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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Inspired by Brittney

It all started with Brittney.  

Brittney has a video posted on the site and called, "God Will Lift Us Up."  

Here is the link:  

In case you didn't watch it yet, here's a recap:

Brittney is 15 or 16 years old and suddenly discovers that she has a rare and challenging condition where her intestines are paralyzed.  She cannot eat, and must carry around a backpack at all times which carries her special food. Despite  her personal trials, and after spending months in the hospital, she finds ways to focus on bringing happiness to others.    

Being an artist,  she designs coloring books for the children in the hospital.  Her coloring books share the message that they are not alone.  

Being inspired by her story, I suddenly had the uncontrollable desire to make Sock Monkeys.  Not knowing HOW, is not really a problem these days because there is a great resource out there in the HOW TO DO STUFF arena:  YouTube. Sure enough, there are a bunch out there.  After watching them all, these are two of my favorites:

This one is  called "Rockin Sock Monkey". I loved the music and she was a really good explainer:

This one, is a very enthusiastic Sock Monkey Maker.  She grows on you, I promise, AND she has the best technique for sewing the monkeys:

Scoring big time at the dollar store in the sock department:   striped, dotted, colorful, fun socks.  I was ready.   All I needed were some little "helper monkeys" and who is better for the job than grandchildren?    Nana's Sweatshop was born.   

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sock Monkey Super Hero

My daughter, Corie, called this morning.  

"Mom, Ian has something to tell you."  (Ian is her 6 year old.  He was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago, and currently visits the hospital for monthly bloodwork and followup.)

"Nana!  I brought the Sock Monkeys to the hospital today."  

This is great news!  I've been waiting to hear about it.  He sounds very excited.

He explains, "I forgot them so we had to go back home the nurse loved them especially the Super Hero Monkey she said that there was a little boy in the hospital who LOVES Super Heroes and she said that I could take it to the little boy but I didn't want to then the boy came in and threw the Sock Monkey up in the air to see if it could fly!"  

Conversation over. Corie filled in the details:

She and Ian left the house but forgot to grab the bags of Sock Monkeys. Luckily, they were running EARLY that morning, so they turned around and went back home to retrieve the Monkeys.  Arriving at Children's Mercy Hospital, Ian carried the bags. He was very excited and proud.  Incredibly, no one seemed to notice anything extraordinary about a 6 year old carrying two big white bags.  Not knowing what else to do, Ian carried them into his treatment room.  

When the nurse came in and saw the bags she asked, "Whatcha got in the bags, Ian?"  Taking his cue, he began pulling Sock Monkeys out of the bag like a little magician.  With the appearance of each monkey she became even more excited.  The Doctor came in and the excitement crescendoed.  (sp?)    Next came the Social Worker, and hearing all the commotion,  poked her head in to see what was going on.  

When Ian showed her the Super Hero Sock Monkey, she exclaimed:  "Ian, there is a little boy in the room right next door who LOVES super heroes.  Would it be alright if we gave that one to him?"

 Ian readily agreed but declined the invitation to accompany her.  (Ian can be shy at times).  The social worker left with the monkey.  A minute later, a little boy popped his head around the corner with his new best friend, Super Hero Sock Monkey.  The little boy's mom thanked Ian.  Then the little boy threw the Sock Monkey up in the air towards Ian to see how far it could fly.  The nurse promised Ian that they would find a home for the rest of the monkeys.  

Ian was very happy as he left the hospital that day.  The gift of Sock Monkeys made his day, the little boy's day; the mom's day.  Ian's phone call definitely made my day.......... 

We're going to make a lot more Sock Monkeys, and be a lot better about taking pictures.  This is a few of the little guys:

And a few more.  They each have their own personality:

These are the certified, bonified members of "Nana's Sweatshop".    They all helped create the monkeys.  Ian is in the center, wearing a BIRD shirt and a big, beautiful smile.  If you look carefully you can see that he is holding up the Super Hero Monkey.  It has red goggles and a red cape.  


Monkeys have to start somewhere.  Here are ten today, waiting for some lovin.

10 Little Monkeys.  Looked like they jumped on the bed and bumped their heads.

A few of them are stuffed.  Looking fine!

Love the Pink Mouth on the gray stripe.  Its fun to mix and match.

The 99 Cent store has the best socks!  And all for 99 Cents!