Friday, April 30, 2010

When you write it down...

January 1, 1999
Things can change a lot in a year. People change. I've changed.

January 4, 1999
I am the Freshman class president! Can you believe it? It all happened so fast...I ran completely unopposed. But I still had to get 51% of the votes. Most people don't consider the fact that I won the election anything great. I wasn't competing against any particular person. But inside, I felt that I was. I guess it was defeating my own fear of rejection that I'd call a win.

February 9, 2000
Every time I write in this journal I have so much to say but not enough patience to write it all down. I guess I should at least say something about the new year, new century, and the new millennium. 2000! Wow! When I tell my kids I was born in the 1900's they're really going to think I'm old!

August 24, 2002
Today is my first day officially moved away from home...all my belongings are packed up in boxes...I'm embarrassed to say that I packed 4 suitcases, 2 back packs, and about 5 or 6 boxes of stuff. leaving only three boxes behind. But I left a lot more than that behind me...
It was scary to know that this family car trip was a one-way ride for me...
My mom has taught me a lot, but mostly I think of her steady, love-filled, unconditional service. She took me shopping today for toiletries and hangers and all that last minute necessary  stuff a girl needs when beginning a new life as a student in the dorms 1,000 miles from home. She wasn't concerned with cost, just with making sure I had what I needed. I have watched her my whole life, never talking too much, just doing what needed to be done to take care of others--physically, mentally and spiritually. I want to pattern my life and my character after hers.

January 20, 2003
I cut my hair while I was home over Christmas break. It was over 24 inches long and now it doesn't even touch my shoulders. I like it a lot! It still has it's difficult days, but it's added  lot of spunk!

January 21, 2003
Well, I still have loads of reading that I should be doing and I'm going to bed instead. Sleep is a real treat and I'm going to spoil myself.

January 18, 2004
Sometimes I'm afraid to write certain things because of what might happen in the future...if I write about loving someone, and then don't marry him, then what? Do I have to bury, burn or hide this journal? Well, all I know is that I need to write about all the aspects of my life, and hopefully my children and future generations will know that these are the things that prepared me for the rest of my life--my life with them.

Do you keep a journal? I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember. The little blurbs I have shared today are just a few pieces of my past that I took the time to write down. It's amazing how even with the missing pieces--because there are weeks, months, and years when I didn't write--my life comes together in my own words.

On a day-to-day basis we rarely think about how our experiences and conversations might shape and change the course of our lives. And most often they don't, at least not right away. But given time and added all up in a collection of words and sentences and pages, it's amazing how you can see the process of building a person and a life happen, one day at a time.

Over the past couple years, much of my journaling has been done in the form of blogging. I love combining photos and stories and having the visual support of family and friends as I share my life with them. However, there are so many things that remain personal and are so essential to the process of becoming who I am. And so, I continue to keep a journal. Hand written, bound in a book, and unedited. There are times I take a new approach--once I kept a gratitude journal and wrote about the things I was thankful for each day; once I focused on something that I had learned each day, and when I traveled to Italy, I wrote down everything we bought and how much it cost.

It isn't often that I sit and read my journals, but when I do I am always glad that I took the time to write.

Do you keep a journal? What things have you learned from yourself?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's in a Name

Everyone has a name, and even if you don't know it, I am sure it means something. It is a relatives name, family tradition, your parents just liked the name, a past friends name, a good memory of a random person named ____, we all have them. As I was pregnant with my children we were constantly thinking of names.
Cameron's middle name was easy. It is my husbands name. There is a James all the way down his dad's side.

Grandma Zelda and Grandpa Ben at our wedding in 2004

Katelyn's middle name was even pretty easy. It was James Grandmas middle name. I loved her. So thus Katelyn's Middle name is Irene from Zelda Irene. As I look at Katelyn I am seeing Grandma Z's traits come out. Katelyn is stubborn, and man was Grandma stubborn. She is independent, and so was Grandma. Mind you this is my Grandma-in-Law, but she made a large impact on me. I love my own Grandmas too, and she reminds me of my very own Grandma Helen, or Hecken as we like to say, but there was always something about her. I loved her. So we named Katelyn, Katelyn Irene. A month before Katelyn was born, Grandma died suddenly. I don't think the family realizes that we were planing on having her middle name Irene since we knew we were having a girl. It just meant even more when she suddenly passed.

Both my kids first names are names we just liked. James picked Katelyn, I picked Cameron (He was almost a Nathan. That was a name my husband picked too.)

Me and Uncle Carlos at our wedding in 2004

My name is actually a last name of my parents friends, the Cali's. I did not meet them till I was 10 or so maybe. When they moved from Hawaii too Colorado. Carlos and my Dad were in the army in Germany together. I have heard tons of stories. Carlos is hilarious! Judy is so genuine and fun to be around. I was always there favorites growing up, I think it is because I was named after them. We call Carlos, Uncle Carlos, and Judy, Aunt Judy. I love them like family. My middle name is Michelle, and from what I have heard it is a tribute to one of my moms ex-boyfriends Michael. (She did not have boyfriends many since her and my dad are high school sweethearts.) My little brothers middle name is Michael too.

So what does this have to do with pieces of the past you may ask? A name is who you are, it is what you become. So are you living up to your name? Is there even a meaning behind it or is it something your parents liked? Is someone named after you? What are the pieces behind your name? I am very curious. There are some great stories out there. So you tell me, whats in YOUR name?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Her Hands

When I look at my hands, I imagine they look somewhat like those of my Granny's about 65 or so years ago. And I like to think there's some of her in me that guide my hands to create. She was an "old" grandmother relative to the ages of her grandchildren, because it was 15 years before my mom was born. But don't be the one to call her old...she was energetic and smart, passionate and talented. She was the best hand quilter I know. She baked the best pies I've eaten. She was always first to volunteer to provide a meal for someone in need.

I'm holding in this photo (besides my lovely mom) a keepsake she made for my wedding day, a pure white linen handkerchief with the most intricate crocheted lace trim.

All of her grandchildren had one of these, even the boys so they could give them to their wives. She couldn't be there to see me married, which broke my heart, and I didn't let that delicate hanky out of my hands that whole day. I was grasping onto her in any way I could. Just three short weeks after my wedding she passed away.

Looking back, I wish a lot of things. I wish I had let her teach me more. I wish I would have watched her more. I wish I would have listened. I wish my husband could have known her as I knew her, instead of the frail body that once worked and the cloudy eyes that once saw. I'm so afraid her memory will fade, so I'm still grasping on to her. Occasionally I dream at night of her, and it's so incredibly real that it's painful to wake up and know she's not here. But I wake up to my daughter who bears her great-grandmother's name, and I know she IS here. It is a testament to how much she impacted my life because, fortunately, the memories I have of her and the lessons I've learned from her have not diminished.

Learning more about Granny helps me to know my own mother and, in turn, myself. They are part of me, and I am part of them. Like holding hands, we intertwine our fingers and our lives with one another. I hope I put my hands to good use, as she certainly did.
Listen, watch and observe the people and moments that shape the direction of your life. You won't regret it. I love you, Granny, and I miss you like crazy. every. day.

I Wish I Knew More About Them

When my grandmother passed away, she left photos. and photos. and photos. All of them are priceless treasures, and in most of them the names and faces are familiar and dear. But among my grandmother's photos was a smallish envelope containing images from a side of the family none of us ever knew - my grandfather's. He was my grandma's second husband, and not my dad's dad. But he was the only grandfather I ever knew: at family functions he was quiet and you'd most often find him on the sidelines, but he had tattoos all up and down his arms that spoke of a more colorful past than his demeanor let on. I like to think some of that spunk came from these two women - unknown (except by the handwritten caption below, as "Aunt Sue" and "Aunt Jessie" - but whose aunts?). There are other photos of these two together, but these are my favorites. You can just see how much fun they must have had together, and how much fun they must have been to be around. They were clearly well-loved. Just from these photos of them, I can't help but love them too.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Brown Eyed Girl

One of my most very favorite smells, above lemon and dirt of course, is my little Sadie bug...especially the memory of her tiny newborn head as she was given to me for the first time. That distinct sweetness that entered my senses that day was one I hoped I would never forget. I remember resting with her in our hospital room the morning after her birth just breathing her in...trying to produce a memory of that moment so that I could bring it back on her 16th birthday or when I was going to have to one day send her off to college.

It's really, really hard to watch your babies grow up.  We wait with baited breath for those first steps or that first word but wish only to be able to go back and see it all this time, could it please be in slow motion. 

The mixed pride and sadness I felt when I heard my 21 month old exclaim her own formed sentence of  "I want to draw a picture mommy" just about knocked me over.  I was losing my little baby and I was so afraid of forgetting all of that time when I would rock her in my arms.  I desperately tried not to cry as I got her some crayons and paper and watched her scribble something only her mommy could see as art. 

I knew I needed something to hold onto.  Something that would remind me of how she felt her first few years and something to show her how much I loved her as a baby.  I knew it had to be more then a picture or a journal entry.  It needed to have the smells and the feel of what she was when she was so tiny.

 I'm sure you have all done it...smelled each memory soaked outfit as you pulled it out of a dresser or box, trying to decide if you should let it go.  A while ago I did this same thing as I was going through her baby clothes.  Each one had a story and I had a really hard time putting anything into that cardboard box headed for Good Will.  I, instead, made three piles.

1. Perfect Condition that held a distinct memory
2. Most Loved, filled with memories but well worn and a tiny bit stained
3. Stuff that never really got used.

I packed the first pile up into the usual Tupperware and put it high up in the garage for a possible girl #2, sent the 3rd pile to a sister-in-law who had just had a baby girl and then I cut the 2nd stack, the ones I just couldn't let go of, into small squares for a quilt... my something to hold on to, cuddle and smell as often as I wanted. After I had enough squares to make a pretty good sized quilt I went to work.  I cried a lot as I made this.  In fact I'm sure there are mommy tears in some of these pieces.  It was harder then I thought but I just kept picturing Sadie and I curled up at night in her bed, when she's old enough to really get it, and getting to tell her about each small square.

One of these was the cute little top I had picked out for her on her first birthday and the bib I made her so that her cake wouldn't get all over it.  I'll get to tell her about all of the people who loved her enough to come and how she preferred her watermelon over her birthday cake.  Sadie, to me, was that color and those ruffles. I couldn't let go. 

These pieces of her past make up this tangible, useful treasure that I want her to love to bits.  Each square has a fun story.  There are so many people who love her that are involved in this project.  Each tiny dress and cute top was given to her by those who will make her who she is.  I can't wait to tell her everything I know about each one of them. 

 Letting go of precious time will always be hard.  Remembering it though, will be a joy!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Smile for the Clouds

Yesterday started out cloudy. That's typical, but still disappointing.
And then the sun came out...and stayed! It was beautiful, and quite welcomed.

I've been thinking lately about how important those cloudy days are. They really do make me appreciate the sunshine when it is here. Opposition in all things, as we say, is so necessary.

That's something I've been thinking about a lot. But I seem to have lost all ability to express my thoughts lately, in writing at least. So maybe I can illustrate with one experience--have you ever ridden in the window seat of an airplane during take-off? You leave the runway, ascending over the houses and trees, then up over the mountain peaks and into the clouds. For a while you're in the fog of white where nothing is visible and you are searching for something to focus on. Maybe it doesn't last too long, maybe you fear you'll never get out of that cloud; but then the fog breaks and you behold a beautiful vision. The top of the clouds are a majestic sight, reflecting the sunlight back at you across a perfectly blue span of endless sky. You breath deeply, slowly, and are filled with a sense of peace and appreciation.
You made it through the clouds.
You can see clearly.
After a few times of nervous take-offs, the knowledge of what is to come can override any initial fears and make the dark under-belly of the approaching clouds seem much less daunting. That's how I'm learning to see my own cloudy days. When I feel like there is a jet engine propelling me at a dark cloud, I know I can break through and the other side will be beautiful.

While pondering on this, my daughter found an old drawing that I had done years ago and made a significant improvement to it. She added something small and simple that is a perfect illustration of where my thoughts had lead me.

A smile. No, two smiles.

It's the smile on the cloud made me stop, think, and then smile to myself.

Yes, you can have clouds and sunshine at the same time--and smile at them both! And maybe next time I'll write about rainbows... 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Black Rain Cloud.

If you look out our kitchen window you can watch the storms come in. One day I started singing the "Little Black Rain Cloud" song and my husband had no clue what I was singing. Growing up I have been a Winnie the Pooh fan. Not die hard, but enough to pick up the songs and things. So in case you have never heard it, here is a full video of it. If you just want to listen to the song it begins at 2:13. You and your children will enjoy it. Then you can pretend to be black rain clouds all day long.

"Tut Tut, looks like rain." Christopher Robin

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Quilt Along: Top o' the Quilt to Ye!

Day 27.

I love this quilt for so many reasons. I love every scrap of fabric - here's one from that dress I made for my daughter, here's a bit of that tie I made for my husband, the curtains in our dining room, my son's baby quilt, the birthday banners, that shopping trip with my mom/sister/dear friends, that fat-quarter swap with a total stranger. I love how it is so much like my life right now - the hodge-podge of fabrics put together in a tidy pattern; the organized chaos; the fact that when I'm in the middle of it I'm not really sure it's going to look nice in the end, but when I step back and see the big picture I realize it's just exactly what I wanted it to be like - yes, that's definitely like my life right now.

I finished over 30 nine-patch squares, but didn't end up using all of them in my quilt - I'll save the extras for some other one in the future.

I decided that 7 blocks x 7 blocks was just about as much as I was willing to sew up, and it worked out just right, I think. The finished size with the borders is 59" square - perfect for getting cozy on the sofa, or tossing out on the lawn for a sudden picnic, or draping over a napping Loved One.

I even love how the not-nine-patch blocks break up the pattern a little. I shuffled them in randomly ... and then I was a little bummed that most of them ended up on the outside, and that there are two right next to each other there. But I got over it pretty quickly - I mean, that's the whole point of random, isn't it?

For the borders, I did a 2" white strip, then a strip of 2.5" scrap squares, and finally a 5.5" strip of this thrift-store sheet I've been using pieces of here and there. I love how it's mostly white, but not completely - I think it fits in well with the pattern.

When I pieced the scrappy border together, I just made one really long strip of squares. I stitched it onto one side, trimmed it, and then stitched it on the other side. Repeat with top and bottom. I didn't even worry about making the corners perfect - because that's just the way I roll.

Here are the specs, then, in case you're a numbers sort of person - I counted it all up just for you:

For the nine-patch blocks (25 blocks total):
125 2.5" squares of scrap fabric
100 2.5" squares of white fabric

For the white alternating blocks:
24 6.5" squares of white fabric

For the first border:
2" wide strips of white fabric

For the scrappy (second) border:
approximately 96 2.5" squares of scrap fabric

For the third border:
5.5" wide strips of patterned fabric

Finished size: 59" square.

I'm going to quilt it this week - I'm so excited to put it together with the fabric I found for the backing and binding. If you have questions about the quilting part of ... well ... quilting, please let me know.

And please post a comment if you've been quilting along - I'd love to hear (and see!) how your quilts are shaping up!

You Say Po-tay-toe, I Say Po-tah-toe

*Note: Just as I was saving my post last night, I saw Rachel's post about the very same book. How very serendipitous that we were thinking along the same path!

A favorite series of books at our house is Charlie and Lola. Recently, we laughed through this one:

I'm enjoying this phase in my daughter's childhood (babyhood) where she eats pretty much whatever I put in front of her or in her mouth, and I'm simultaneously mourning that those very days are somewhat in the past for my 3-year-old son. He's actually not too terribly picky, but where and when do they figure out that certain foods are ones they don't like, when they used to gobble them up??

Anyway, in the book, Lola states, in no uncertain terms, that she will never eat carrots, peas, potatoes, fish sticks, cauliflower, sausages and especially tomatoes. Charlie, humored by her stubbornness, ever-so-sneakily convinces her to eat "orange twiglets" and "green drops from Greenland" (very rare!).

Lola will not eat potatoes, "not even mashed!" only to be told they are not having potatoes, but cloud fluff all the way from the top of Mount Fuji. Mashed potatoes are not on the list of disliked foods in our house, but in case they make their debut on said list, I'll keep the "cloud fluff" idea in my back pocket. Until then, here's my favorite way to make mashed potatoes (they turn out a little different every time depending on how much of the ingredients I have on hand).

Garlic Cheese Mashed Potatoes
4-5 large potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender (*see note)
3 large cloves garlic, boiled with the potatoes
3 ounces cream cheese (I've also used Ricotta cheese when I have some)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
chopped herbs to your taste (chives, oregano, thyme, rosemary)

Put all ingredients except herbs in large mixing bowl and blend together until smooth with electric mixer. It is possible to overwhip your mashed potatoes, as they will turn into a glue-like mess, so just mix it until all the ingredients are blended. For smoother texture, put cooked potatoes and garlic through a potato ricer. Add more milk if you like it less stiff. Fold in herbs at the end or sprinkle on top. So delicious you don't even need gravy!

*Note: I like to use Yukon gold potatoes because I just scrub them and don't worry about peeling them. A little bit of thin peel is not enough to make it chewy but adds to the rustic-ness (is that a word?). The texture of the potato is more starchy and, hence, creamier. If you are using Russet potatoes, here's a great video on how to peel them in a snap - I tried it and it works!

"I Love to Eat Cloud"

I don't think words can really express just exactly the lovely thoughts I have about "Charlie and Lola". It's charming and whimsical and smart and fun and I love watching it with my kids. For a girl who shuns most television, especially kids television, this is high praise indeed.

This particular story, "I Will Never, Not Ever, Eat a Tomato" (pronounce it "tom-ah-to") is one we can all relate to - Lola is a "very fussy eater". But her ever-patient and amazingly thoughtful brother comes to the rescue with lines like this:

mashed potato.
People often
think that but no,
this is cloud fluff from
the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji."
"Oh," said Lola, "in that case a large helping for me.
I love to eat cloud."

I have one adventurous eater - she'll try anything once, which is all we ask - and one who is fussy to say the least. So, how do you do it? How do you get your fussy eaters to eat? Personally, it's simply not a battle I've ever really wanted to fight. So I don't. I love this article by Catherine Newman (who wrote for the fabulous late Wondertime magazine and still writes for FamilyFun) about stealth vegetables - especially this part:

"I put kale on his plate and put kale on his plate and put kale on his plate, and my son tried it and grimaced and we praised him for trying it and pages flew off the calendar and his beard grew down to the floor, and then one day he ate it without comment. And then one day he ate it and said, "This is actually not as bad as I thought!" After which a pair of bluebirds draped around my shoulders the very banner of joy."

I like to think we have healthy eating habits around here, even those of us who are more ... um ... particular. But the real wish I have for my kids is that they not be afraid of trying new things. So I put salad on his plate over and over again, and we don't try to be sneaky about it. But that doesn't mean we can't have fun with it too - pretend we're rabbits or deer or cows, or that we're on a secret mission to destroy the evil plots of Captain Lettuce to take over the world. Or whatever.

So how about you? What's your picky-eater philosophy? Does it work?

P.S. I'm sewing as we speak! Stay tuned for the exciting next episode of our Quilt Along!

Monday, April 19, 2010

To See Things The Way They Do.

I love that my kids think differently then I do.  I also love that they spark my imagination and my creative thought process. 

My little man loves the beach.  He loves the creatures and the sand and the splashing but when he was three he especially loved to collect "clouds," or to us grown people, white rocks. 

Last year at Birch Bay he came running up to me with handfuls of "clouds" and I told him to put them in his pockets and we would take them home and find a special place for them.  Payton held onto his special find the entire drive home...inspecting each one and tossing any that were not white enough for his cloud collection.

After unpacking and getting settled back home I told him to bring me his clouds.  We then began to create a visual memory together.  I first had him pick out the sky paint and told him to cover the entire thing.  While it dried he picked out some fun paper for a tree and some things to make flowers appear.  After designing the scene we got out the hot glue gun and went to work on the clouds.  After he painted the word "clouds" on his art we found a window box frame to dispaly it in.

Now his treasure sits right on a window ledge in our play room for him to look at every day.  Those special rocks, with their fun history are safe and pretty forever. 

It'sreally fun to create something special with your kids. His pile of "clouds" could have just sat in a bowl or glass jar but instead they tell the story of the day he discovered them. I'm lucky my kids have the imagination I sometimes forget to foster in myself. I am grateful to have a second chance to see the world through a child's eyes.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

* George Bernard Shaw

Friday, April 16, 2010

Click for Cluck

I don't know about you, but I love clicking on a link and finding something new and inspiring--an Etsy shop, another fun blog, tutorials and great pictures of crafts or a beautifully handmade item...that leads to another link, and then another, and then another!. So today I found few fun links for you to check out, and of course, they all have something to do with our fun chicken theme for the week. I hope you find something that makes you smile and "cluck-le" a little on this beautiful Friday!


There are several designs for these cute little bowls, all of which are very cute!


The first thing I thought of when I saw these little egg cups was how much my daughters love anything that makes ordinary things more special. I think they would love eating a hard boiled egg in their own special cup!


So cute for a unique shower gift--which I always seem to need!

 One of our favorites here on Praiseworthy, Sew Mama Sew always has a lot to cluck about!


This one doesn't necessarily have anything to do with chickens directly, but I have recently been itching to start sewing clothes and have stumbled upon a few books and designers that I am excited to explore more. Maybe you will like this one too!

and one more...

Sorry to Rachel and any other vegetarian friends, I hope this photo doesn't offend--

Rotisserie Chicken from All Recipes

With grilling season on our doorstep, I am hoping to try this soon! Yum!

Happy Friday to all!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

National Park Week

Photo courtesy of The National Parks Service

Are you looking for something praiseworthy to do sometime between Saturday April 17- Sunday April 25? Well have I got an idea for you.

In honor of Earth Day and National Jr. Park Ranger Day the National Park Service has made it free to all 392 National Parks during those dates. Awesome huh! So no matter where you live, get out and enjoy the spring beauty around you.

For more info here is the link.

A Summer Staple

My mom used to make this salad growing up and I think it was the only green salad we ate at our house. We had a ton of pasta salad and such, but not much green salad. It is delicious!

Barbecue Ranch Chicken Salad

1/2-1 lb Bacon
1/2-1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2-4 hard boiled eggs
1 head lettuce (I prefer romaine or green leaf, but we grew up on iceberg)
shredded carrots, chopped tomatoes, or anything else you like on your salads.

1 part Ranch Dressing
1 part Barbecue Sauce
Mix together in small bowl.

Cook then drain the bacon. Chop it up when cool.
Drain all but a tablespoon or so of bacon grease. Cook your chicken till done. (You could grill the chicken too if you want to.)
Chop up your chicken into bite size pieces. (You could also chop it before you cook it. It works both ways.)
Chop the hard boiled eggs into bits size pieces.

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl of lettuce. Toss salad. Serve with the dressing above.

My mom used to mix the dressing into the salad, but we serve it on the side. that way if there is leftovers the lettuce does not get all wilty. The dressing may sound odd too, but it is really what makes the salad. Try it, it is delicious!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Which came first?


Or this?

In my case, the chicken came first when my Mom made it for me a few years ago. Since then, I've made some for my sewing friends in hopes that this cheerful clucker keeps them company at the sewing machine just like mine does for me. I've seen a few tutorials to make it (plain fabric on the sides), but the one I make is made of a paper pieced 4" log cabin block on each side.
If you've never paper pieced anything (also called foundation piecing), I think you'd love it. You can sew intricate patterns easily and accurately without ever tracing any templates. Think color-by-number for the quilting world. If there's any interest out there, I'm thinking of doing a video tutorial on paper piecing basics. Any takers?
Anyway, find a good pattern here for the pincushion. Also, I don't fill mine with fiberfill because it makes the chicken too round and a bit roly-poly and tipsy (although a tipsy chicken could be fun), so I use these to fill the inside. I've heard of people stuffing pincushions with everything from crushed walnut shells (found at your local nursery, or someone found it at a gun store - yikes), to human hair, to dry lentils, to sand. Pick your preference and stuff away!

As for the eggs (who says they're only for Easter?), I found the instructions here. I have a little trick for you when making little stuffed items such as these. Get yourself some of these:

Yep, your standard hospital-grade hemostats. The ends have ridges, so they grab on and hold without slipping. And, you can leave a smaller opening to turn your project right side out because you don't have to squeeze your fingers in the hole. This means less hand stitching later to close up the hole - yay! Just reach in with the hemostats and grab onto the fabric,

and pull it out the hole.

Easy! I got these hemostats as part of an applique class years ago, and the instuctor had a bunch to give away. But you don't have to hit up your doc or swipe some from the supply closet at the hospital, because you can buy them here.

There you have it. Whichever you think came first, this way you can enjoy both together and it won't even matter!