June 5, 2012

Hospital Bags

So I’m making hospital bags. In hindsight I think I should have probably have gotten red bags or something a little more colourful, but I went with black & white because the hospital is pretty drab so I didn’t want colours or patterns determine which one I chose and I didn’t want the colour of the bag determine what would be put in it:

I’m making 5 bags because that’s how long I’m going to let them keep me. Blake is making a 6th but he’s busy so that one may never happen so I’m banking on 5.

Inside the bags are going to be papers and fabrics and other ephemera to be used in the little spiral bound sketchbook you can see in the pic above.

Papers waiting to be cut.

At the bottom of each bag are photo corners as I plan to acquire this Polaroid camera kit to take with me to the hospital and then I’m going to “art journal” with the pictures in the sketchbook I showed you in the first picture. Or try to. I’m terrible at art journaling so I’m trying to take more of a “Smash book” approach to the whole thing only smaller and more ghetto.

I haven’t decided my rules for the project yet or if there should be any. There are 5 bags because that’s exactly how long I’m going to let them keep me in the hospital unless there’s some dire need to keep me there longer but with the way Blake explains to me what “afterward” is going to be like, I don’t really see any reason for them to keep me there longer than 5 days and after that I’m going to live on the pull-out couch again like I did all fall but that’s okay because Blake’s going to rig up a dual monitor way for me to still do my job from there and as long as the painkillers I’m on aren’t crazy I don’t see why I can’t still work while I recover. I mean, I just need my computer and another monitor and maybe my webcam for meetings and I’m set, but I can’t do that from the hospital. That’s asking way too much from the people who will be taking care of me between cords and adjusting the bed when I have to pee and readjusting it when I get back into bed and I don;t think I’m going to be doing much moving at all the first few days because it’s going to be so fucking painful that I’m expecting bringing the iPad is going to be pushing it but I’m going to bring it anyway in case I’m okay. I mean, it’s the size of a newspaper…I suck at using it and don’t like it enough to bother to do much with it except read & update Facebook, make Live Journal posts without pictures because the camera on the iPad is HORRIBLE and I still don’t know how to save pictures on it so the posts would be text only. Maybe that’s a blessing.

But my compulsion to document is in overdrive right now and I’m trying so hard to try and find the right things to bring and these bags are what I’ve come up with because they just work. The only space you get at the hospital is your tray that goes over the bed and generally you get HALF of that area because the nurses use the other half. This is a very small amount of space when you consider the fact that you have to eat there too and THAT takes up half your tray as well so whatever I can do on my half of the tray needs to be able to be cleaned up in 5 seconds so I don’t make anyone mad. You do NOT want to piss off your caregivers intentionally or unintentionally. I mean, these people take your blood at 6 or 7am, when it’s not even fully light out, you want to be their favourite person. The food is terrible enough but lunch is lunch and you do not want spit in it. I am going to have to rely on these nurses to go to the bathroom, I think, and that’s a pretty big deal. I want to be the model patient. Or at least give it my best shot. A crappy nurse is still a crappy nurse and they happen. It’s just the way of things.

But yeah, anyway, back to bags!

These are feathers Wes and I found at Wasaga Beach the summer before I got sick.
No idea what I’ll do with them or if I’ll even use them but they had potential so I put them in.

Who knows?

Here’s other crap from that bag.
I forget what’s in the tiny black envelopes and that was kinda the point in using black, so I *wouldn’t* remember what was in them.  There’s nothing in the medium sized one yet.

I took the best, most relevant pages out of some of my Smash Book Smash Pads and divided them up among the bags.

Oooh la la!
I am SET for paper.
I have such a ridiculous amount of paper it’s…ridiculous.
But I won’t lie. I would buy hundreds of dollars more if given half a chance.
I love paper.

These are brads.
They’re from the whole “Smash Book” line of stuff so I figure I should use them. I have them and they’re relevant so why not, right? I’m going to use one for every day I’m in the hospital.

Each day I’m in there, I’ll add another one to the cover or something.

Like I said though, I don’t think I have any rules for the bags except that I can only open one a day and if I don’t like the contents, too bad, that’s what I’ve got.  I don’t know what will be in the book but I do know that I came home will all kinds of ephemera when I was in the hospital before so there must be things to glue and smash into the book.

I’m building a “Smash kit” of a Ziplock container with 2 Smash Sticks (pink or black pen on one side, glue on the other), a pair of scissors and 10 rolls of Washi tape because Washi tape is the best thing ever (and if you don’t believe me, then suck on this). Or this. Or this. Or maybe even this.  If I’d have known Etsy had such a wide selection I probably would have gone that route, but no, I went to Michael’s, stupidly thinking “this is a product often used for scrapbooking, must have tons!” They had one brand of it which is an expensive brand, and then that brand only had 3 or 4 different stacks of it (prepackaged rolls that all compliment each other). So I got a couple and there’s my big expenditure until my next paycheque. If I can fit in any more pens I’m going to throw in some of my Microns and that’s my version of a Smash Kit.

I can clean that up in less than 5 seconds if necessary (like if my food was coming) so I think I’m good to go there.

This whole thing, as I explained before I think, was inspired by the glassine envelope packages Sarah Ahearne Bellemare was selling through the Squam store last month. That’s how I got the book:

(I peeked at the big envelope, but I haven’t opened any of the little ones – they’re surprises for the hospital.)

On Friday I see Dr. Hanrahan, first thing in the morning so I’m going to have to go to bed SUPER DUPER early on Thursday night. Figuring she would order a bunch of tests, Blake took the day off. I’m not sure why she wants to see me BEFORE the kidney specialist on the 20th, but that’s how she wants to do things, then that’s how the lady wants to do things! I also have another staff meeting on the 7th though, which sucks, so that means I’ll probably be a mental case for Dr. Hanrahan.Ugh.

But what are ya gonna do?

So rules…again, I don’t know if there should be any rules for this project or not, especially when I’m not sure I’ll be able to get the camera. The only one I can think of is that I can only open one bag per day. But does that mean I can ONLY use the contents of that bag on that day? Because that kind of seems like a total waste of items that I’ve cut up in smaller sizes especially for this project. So I think yes, you can use the materials from past bags too. Oh and here’s another good one: no pressure. If you’re not feeling inspired, you’re not feeling inspired.

Like I said, Blake’s making me a bag too so there’s a 6th and Wes and Madison have both said they may throw some things in the bags. I have 3 sizes of bags, a tiny one, an in-between one and a normal one.

Okay I’ve blabbered on enough about bags. I decided today was going to be another terrible movie day and finding things to put in the bags so I’m gonna go do that! Enjoy the day!

PS. Sarah Ahearn Bellemare is one of the teachers I’m going to be having at Squam in the fall and her class “Pages and Paint” is currently being offered online for a pretty reasonable price. I really like online learning but I’ll be skipping this one because I’m pretty sure it’s exactly the same thing as I’m going to get in the fall, right down to the course kit. Anyway, I think it’ll be a really good class if anyone was feeling uninspired. I’ve read her book and I think I’m really going to connect with her as a teacher.

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