Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Official Sew-A-Thon - With Pictures!

Ok, here we go! You ready?

The awesomeness kid of the day is our buddy J. He offered to let us invade his 11th birthday party and show the kids how to make pillowcases. He and his mom picked out some of the coolest fabrics. We had some of the coolest kids show up and we got a lot of good stuff accomplished!

One of the neighbours came over with ten pillowcases she made before the party. That was really cool. She also helped a little and plans to make more pillowcases. To our friends up north, thanks for working so hard on this project! Your support? Totally rocks! And gives us hope!

Joram, Caramon the Million Pillowcase Kid's brother, used his mad dog sewing skills to help us teach the other children and prepare the "hot dogs" for making. Mmmm hot dogs.

It was super crazy and super wild and SUPER FUN!

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get how to photos. So no tutorial yet. We'll continue to work on this. I promise.

Now, are you ready for some photos? Yeah? Well here goes:

Million Pillowcase Challenge

Million Pillowcase Challenge

Million Pillowcase Challenge

Yup, it was super fun! Once again, THANK YOU!

Are you interested in hosting a Million Pillowcase Sew-A-Thon? Ask us what you need and if we can come!

We have to look at the calendar at our local church building to see when during the crazy holiday season we can host a sew-a-thon here in our town. I hope we can do something. My table is but only so big. We'll make it work if we need to!

--Lady Ozma and the Caramon, Million Pillowcase Kid

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sew-A-Thon Update and Matthew Blanchard Foundation

Greetings this lovely Saturday afternoon!

We are here to report the first sew-a-thon went very well. If you look right, you can see we've updated our collected pillowcase numbers! Huzzah for pillowcases!

We will blog more about the sew-a-thon after we've all recovered a little bit. But we want to give a great big:


to our big suporter that used his ELEVENTH BIRTHDAY PARTY as a sew-a-thon for Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid! That's the AWESOME.

Oh and a great big:


as well.

That said, we also want to feature a kid, who like Caramon, has a childhood that is filled with many doctors appointments and worries. We just saw this on Twitter and wanted to share it with you. If anyone is in the greater Vegas area and looking for some service opportunities... here you go. Check out the Matthew Blanchard Foundation now.

We look forward to updating - WITH PICTURES - soon!

Have a wonderful and blessed Saturday!

--Lady O and Caramon, the Origami Kid

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: APPROVED!

That's right... WE ARE OFFICIAL!

Special Credit to:
Lady O (Mom that helps me type)
Dad (For helping me figure out the PDF
Grandma (For driving me to my last appointment)
My Bishop (for signing paperwork three times)
Every Scout Leader I've ever had or will have
Everyone else supporting the project.

--Lady O and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hot Dog Pillowcase Ingredients and Recipe

So you want to make your own pillowcase? There's about eleventy hundred tutorials on the web. However, we can work towards making one if you need us to... after all guess what?

Our FIRST sew-a-thon is on Saturday!!!!!!

That's right! We want to give a great big shout out to our friend that wanted to do this as his BIRTHDAY PARTY. What a great kid! We shall bring you footage from this event sometime next week hopefully.

In other news, the paperwork has made it through everyone but the last person. Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid, set up an appointment to do that final step tomorrow night. Huzzah for being "official". Good timing with that sew-a-thon planned!

What do we need to make a pillowcase?

Well basically you just need some fabric and thread, but if you want to know what you need to make the cute pillowcases we've already shown you? Here's a supply list - this is the "hot dog" method which gives you lovely piping and everything:

  • 27 inches by Width of Fabric for body of pillowcase (this is roughly 3/4ths of a yard)
  • 10 inches by Width of Fabric for trim (roughly 1/3 of a yard, which is really 12 inches)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 inches by Width of Fabric for piping (I recommend 1/8th a yard, it's a little wider, but easier to work with)
Here's the directions without any nifty pictures for a tutorial. Please, comment if you would like a better tutorial. We can work on a video or pictures. We can try to work on this at the sew-a-thon on Saturday!

  1. Trim all pieces to the width of the shortest fabric. You are hoping to have it measure around 20-21 inches when folded! (This is important. Everything will just sew together faster if you go ahead and match your fabric widths! Trust me!)
  2. Fold piping in half lengthwise and iron.
  3. Stitch the piping to the body using 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  4. Roll the body of the case up jelly roll (swiss cake roll, yum!) fashion, from the raw edges to the edge with the piping. Pin in several places through all the layers just to hold it.
  5. Lay the trim face up on the table. Place the pillowcase body on top, matching the raw edge to your edge with the piping.
  6. Fold your trim body edge up and around and pin. (This is what makes your hot dog! Your trim is the "bun", your body is the "hot dog" and your piping is like the "ketchup". Can you see it? Great!)
  7. Stitch all the layers together. Don't forget to backstitch the ends!
  8. Now you have a tube. You gently push the insides through one end. This is kind of fun because there's a bit of a "pop" as you reach a breaking point and then poof, everything just comes out easy as anything.
  9. Iron everything flat. Feel free to topstitch if you feel the need, or add a decorative stitch. Or not. It's all the same.
  10. With WRONG sides together, stitch along the side opening using a scant 1/4 inch seam. Iron to one side, then turn inside out and iron right at the seam line.
  11. With RIGHT sides together, stitch a 3/8ths seam, encasing the previous seam. (This is a known as a French Seam and means you have no raw edges/exposed seams! Nice touch! Now you have fancy schmancy pillowcase in the making!)
  12. Repeat steps 10-11 for the bottom seam.
  13. Iron, take a picture, upload to the internet, and share with us... because... YOU ARE DONE!
Seriously, it is that easy.

I did find this tutorial which seems OK. Has loads of pictures.

Caramon is avidly collecting pillowcases, fabric, and items. If you are interested in helping out, please let us know. Our hope is to work hard this month and the start of December. We will log the pillowcases made at our local quilt store for the Million Pillowcase Challenge.

We already have 16 pillowcases we received in the mail. I look forward to updating that number this weekend!

--Lady O and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

Friday, October 8, 2010

Youtube waiting

So we have this great entry that we are just dying to post... but youtube is taking nigh on FOREVER! So I thought I'd talk to you about our stats. Why? Because that makes this post ALL ABOUT YOU!

I want to thank you all for your great support! You are really spreading the word!

One of the cool things we can look at is what countries people are looking from. We have viewers in Canada! Way awesome! To our Canadians, thanks for visiting! The bulk of our hits are from America, which makes sense since that's where we live.

We also see some of you are using smartphones and ipods. Cool. Checking us out while on the go!

We have one user using "Simplepie" as a browser. Man, I thought I knew all the alternative browsers but I have never heard of that one. Thanks for giving me something to google while cursing youtube today!

Anyway, we just want to thank you for visiting and sharing with your friends! Please keep sharing! We had 49 page views, which isn't bad since this is a brand new blog! I've added a counter for Pillowcase Lovers. We also received a shipment (hence the youtube upload) so I've started a counter for how many pillowcases we have. Let's see how we can grow that!

Here's the latest on the paperwork: We've finally passed through our troop. Now we just have to take it to the next level which means we are close to being done with that. Then it's all the hard work here. This doesn't mean that those of you wanting to help can't do stuff now! We have a sew-a-thon planned because of an awesome fan. We'll try to do some video footage from that. We will definitely have pictures.

So there you have it. Meanwhile, youtube says 722 minutes. So sometime in the next 12 hours that will be loaded. We'll do a post ASAP so be watching for it!

--Lady Ozma and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

Caramon and the Packages

We've had some great response to the Million Pillowcase Eagle Project idea. GREAT response! People are buzzing and that excites us all and is totally carrying us while we deal with the paperwork aspect of things.

So there we were on Monday, doing some schoolwork when the doorbell rang. Packages!

That's right! Caramon has two of the coolest Aunts ever! (In case anyone is wondering, Caramon thinks that all his Aunts top the cool chart and this just proved it.) We decided that his next vlog entry should be him opening the presents. His guest aide? Tenderfoot brother, Joram!

Check the two of them out as they enjoy opening the packages! And check out the loot!

I know we blew through three boxes, but we knew we were limited for time. You should see all of this stuff. It was awesome. After the video we enjoyed really looking at stuff.

Caramon loved the sixteen pillowcases. Some of these were super cute and some of these were awesomely cute and some of these were amazingly cute. So really? Sixteen super cute pillowcases! Some are flannel and way soft. There's camo pillowcases, sparkly pink pillowcases, pillowcases for littles, pillowcases for bigs. It's a great way to start off the pillowcase collection! Thank you so much to Caramon's amazing Aunts for their generosity and hard work!

You can see 16 pillowcases stacked up right here. Nice, right? What else was in the box? What WASN'T in the box? Let's just say that *someone* had a little bit of fun at the dollar store! Holy cow. We couldn't believe everything crammed into those boxes!

In fact it took us several tries to get everything BACK into the boxes. Super cool Aunts? We are impressed with your packing skills!

Some of the contents in the boxes:
  • folders
  • crayons
  • colored pencils
  • pads with paper games like tic-tac-toe, dots, and hangman
  • a bazillion silly bandz
  • army men
  • lego packets
  • crazy straws
  • notebooks
  • coloring books
  • activity books
  • puzzles
  • door hangers
  • cars
  • pencil sharpeners
  • pencils
  • cards
I'm probably missing something. Or a bunch of somethings. All I know, this is going to be great!

--Lady Ozma and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fundraisers for Charity Last Week!

Last week was a pretty cool wee for us. We love to help promote good causes ans support businesses that raise awareness as well as funds for various things. One of our favourite things to do every September for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month is to eat at our local Chili's Restaurant. During the month, children can colour a chili pepper however they please and the staff hangs these around the restaurant. Each year they select a handful to frame and display. Every year, Caramon puts that he's a cancer survivor and how many years clean he is at. They display each one! So our local Chili's has a pepper marking years 5, 6, and 7! This year, Caramon gave them one for his year 8! Isn't that awesome?

You are asked to pledge money to then go to St Jude's. St Jude's is a wonderful hospital just for kids with life threatening illnesses. The hospital does a whole lot of research to try and find cures. The really great thing is that NO child is turned away because they cannot pay. One day, usually the last Monday of September, the restaurant then offers all of their proceeds to St Jude's. That is when we go. We always make sure to thank the staff for their awsomeness! This is nationwide at any Chili's restaurant!

Above, you can see Caramon with the staff of our local Chili's. When we told them about his story and his Eagle project, we asked if we could get a photo. The entire staff wanted in! Thank you Chili's for a wonderful dinner and for helping St. Jude's!

If you are looking for another venue that supports St. Jude's, look to The Melting Pot. They will run special deals and money goes to St Jude's. They even give you a $20 gift card for a future visit. Caramon's father and I always watch for those nights and attend. The manager at our local Melting Pot always greets us! The last one was a while back, so nope, no photos.

Another really great organization is Make A Wish. This organization asks those with life threating illnesses/condtions if they could have any wish in the world, what would it be... then they grant it. A lot of kids choose to visit a Disney Theme Park. I've seen kids choose to go to sets of TV Shows they like, meet singers they adore, go skiing, whatever. The organization works with the medical teams to ensure everything is safe and in order for the children. Some kids get better, some earn their wings. All I know is that Make A Wish is truly an awesome organization.

Every year, Cold Stone Creamery hosts an "Ice Cream Social" at all their locations. They call it the "largest". They offer a special treat, generally created by a child they select. This year Cold Stone Creamery got to grant a wish because one girl wanted to make her own ice cream treat! At the ice cream social you get a free scoop of whatever the creation was. This year was something much akin to apple pie a la mode. Talk about YUM! While there, you are asked to donate to Make A Wish and they give you a star to sign. Caramon made sure to label his that he is a survivor and how long he's been cancer-free!

Above, you can see Caramon with the staff of our local Cold Stone. Once more, when they learned about Caramon's story and his project, they were more than happy to nab a photo. Take a close look, they are having loads of fun! That's just part of the Cold Stone experience! I love to hear the staff sing and stuff!

Thanks to the great staff at both Chili's and Cold Stone for posing with Caramon, being joyful and excited to help out good causes, and agreeing to let me post pictures to my blog! You guys are the best!

What a wonderful way to wrap up the month of September! Watch for Caramon's next video! It's coming up soon and it's going to be a real treat. Here's a hint: *Someone* heard about Caramon's project and mailed him stuff! I'm not giving any more spoilers, you'll have to check back later!

--Lady O and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Another "local" teen's video urges for help:

Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid, and I read this news article today about a DC Metro Area teenager that plays guitar, collecting money for a friend with not one but two cancers. This teenager has reached out on youtube to help generate votes for Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation in the Pepsi Refresh Project.

This is something you can do... voting ends on September 30th. But really? It's free. And if Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation wins, Pepsi will give them a grant to help fund research into pediatric cancer.

Why is this important? Pediatric Cancer gets such little national funding and the child mentioned? The treatment for her cancer is so toxic it actually gave her a second cancer. I mean, how awful is that?

I know we're generating a growing audience of people across the nation. It's truly amazing that you are sharing this blog with those you are close to. I know that many of you are just wanting to give Caramon moral support. Many of you have no real way of helping us with this Eagle project. This is something you CAN do to make a difference.

There's plenty of good causes vying for the grant from Pepsi. This is just the one that touches our hearts.

Here's the video:

--Lady Ozma and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

PS: Currently this charity is number 3 in the polls. The top two will receive $250k.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Caramon's Intro Vlog

Caramon recorded his first vlog entry. Please watch it below. As always, feel free to share this with your contacts!

--Lady Ozma and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A short video

Caramon and I wanted to share this video with you because he is an eight year cancer survivor. That's right, he was not quite 5 when we received the devastating phone call that changed our lives.

Did you know that Childhood cancer gets less then 3% of the funding set aside for cancer research? Oprah has covered everything else, but not childhood cancer. There's a huge drive for her to cover this for her last season.

There is just a lot of good information. I will warn you... you might need a tissue when the slideshow of kids comes along. I'm not a crier but it brought tears to my eyes.

Caramon will be coming to you soon with his very own video about his project. For now, grab a tissue and learn something about what he went through.

We are not gearing the pillowcases gathered towards only cancer patients, but it IS where his heart goes.

--Lady O and Caramon, the Million Pillowcase Kid

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Introduction - Who we are

Greetings, Blog Reader,

My name is Lady Ozma and my son is Caramon, The Million Pillowcase Kid. Caramon asked for my aid in preparing and managing this blog. He plans on recording videos as his contribution. We shall see how all of this works out, but his first video is already in the works.

Caramon is currently a thirteen year old Life Scout in his local Boy Scouts of America troop. In order to advance to his next rank, Eagle, Caramon must prepare and act out a large service project. His project involves assembling pillowcases and placing in them some various items such as crayons, colouring books, and the like. After completion of the project, he plans to distribute these items to children in local hospitals.

Why is he doing this? Just a few months before his fifth birthday, Caramon fell ill. What we thought was pneumonia turned out to in fact be a Wilms' Tumor. This cancerous tumor grows on the kidney and is generally found in children under the age of six. In fact, the disease is typically found in children under the age of three and is a very common form of cancer. His diagnosis was Stave IV, and unfortunately deeply affected both of his lungs. He lost his right kidney and the lower lobe of his left lung.

He spent many weeks in the hospital over the next year as he received treatment for his cancer. All of this occurred between August 2001 and September 2002. Lucky for us, he has been in remission since 2002.

While going through all of this, someone turned Caramon's name over to a wonderful charity called Hugs and Hope. Their goal was to brighten critically ill children's lives with "happy mail". Several volunteers took it upon themselves to adopt certain ministries. One such volunteer made pillowcases for each child that came her way.

The pillowcase was to remain the special hospital pillowcase. Upon leaving the hospital, you were to launder and put somewhere safe until the next visit. This allowed the child to have something a little special in the hospital to brighten the sterile environment, hopefully be germ-free even though it came from home, and it could keep "home" and "hospital" separate.

An outside might see nothing special about Caramon's pillowcase, but to him it meant the world. He loved his pillowcase then and has kept it as a treasured keepsake. When asked about it, he referred to the volunteer as an angel, and truly, she was to our family.

This year, Bernina and American Patchwork & Quilting teamed up to issue a Million Pillowcase Challenge. Their goal? For American sewers to make 1,000,000 pillowcases to donate to local charities. You can see why our family has taken a shine to this. Caramon knew immediately he wanted to use this challenge as part of his Eagle Project.

Are you interested in following his adventure? Helping? Giving encouragement? Well, this is the place for you! Over the next several months we plan to use this blog to update you on his progress. Look for more blog entries detailing his progress, what people can offer, and hopefully we will end this saga with details of his receiving the award.

Here's a picture of Caramon with his very special pillowcase. With love and thanks to his angel from nine years ago, this picture is dedicated to you. (FYI due to comments on this picture elsewhere... Caramon is wearing Red Cross flip flops from when his father recently gave blood. They were too small for dad and Caramon loves the Red Cross for donating when he was sick. If you are able, donating to the Red Cross is a wonderful thing.)

So where is Caramon at in his progress? Pretty much at the start. He has all his ducks in a row verbally. He turned in his paperwork for the official approval. With any luck that will return to us in about a week's time and he can begin really working on his project.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Please, share this with your contacts. We would love to hear your comments. Subscribe to our RSS and connect with Google or Networked Blogs. Those of you already in touch with us, Caramon's tender heart has been touched more then I can describe. Thank you!

--Lady O

Monday, September 20, 2010

Greetings Cyber Space

Caramon and I are setting up this blog so you can follow his efforts toward earning his Eagle Project. Expect more to come! Please subscribe and tell your friends!

--Lady Ozma and Caramon