Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Hot Pink Pearl

Ok so way back when I wrote a blog about my wheelchair. I had gotten a great deal on a really nice wheelchair. Then I gave it some personalization and upgrades. (see that blog HERE if you'd like.) I also added after that posting a Pirate flag to the front of the seat as well as my mom and I made a bag that would hang on the back of the chair so I could put stuff in it. I also created a cup holder above the bag so that I would have something to hold my drink as well as the drink of any person who might be with and/or pushing me. Here are the pictures of the additions. Also I didn't update that blog but as it turns out the color of the wheels match the color that they painted the gates outside CA Adventure when they re-did it. At the time that I painted my chair the entrance to CA Adv. was blocked off so I had no idea what they were doing or what color they were using. Pretty cool! I also later eventually got some footrests for that chair. So it was perfect. I had a fun colored wheelchair with a nice bag, drink holders and finally footrests. I hate that I cannot stand to walk that long, but if I am going to sit in a chair I would prefer to do so in style. Thus I "pimped my wheelchair" I really miss the days when I could walk around Disneyland or anywhere else for more than a few hours without pain! I miss hiking and all kinds of other activities I cannot handle now. I miss being at the park and talking with whoever I am with because I have learned that when you're with more than one other person and you're in a chair you tend to get ignored a little because they're both standing making eye contact and talking while you're below them and in front of them so you're forgotten a little. I really wish I had never messed up my knee! But I know I have grown thru this trial especially after 3 knee surgeries!

 Flash forward to the past few weeks. I am on a group on Facebook that is called Simi Goods Exchange. It is similar to Craigslist where people are buying and selling items. But it is primarily people who live in Simi valley and since it's through people who know each other on FB it's not open to as many people so it's slightly safer. The group was started by my neighbor. Now of course I have spent more than I have sold, but I have gotten some cool stuff at really good prices. So I cannot complain too much (except for the fact that i am spending money) Anyway someone awhile back had posted a wheelchair. It's a simple model was all black and not as fancy as my chair. But it is a little bit bigger. Now obviously I fit in my chair but it is a little snug as it isn't a typical standard size chair. I checked how much she wanted for it, thinking that if I bought it I could tranfer my wheels and flag and then sell my other one on Craigslist or somewhere and get my money back maybe plus some profit (since my wheelchair is fancier and worth more) but she wanted $75. I didn't really want to pay that much and I didn't want to low-ball her an offer knowing that I would most likely sell mine for more than that. Well then at least a few weeks go by. My sister Denise gave us her old couches as she was getting some newer ones from her in-laws. Now my mom didn't really need the recliner she was using anymore. It was electric and I bought it prob close to a year ago from craigslist for like $40. I posted it on Simi Goods for $25. As it turns out the girl who wanted to buy it was the one who had been selling the wheelchair. She hadn't really gotten any other interest in it and asked me if I would be willing to trade the recliner for the WC. I said sure. So we traded.

So now I have 2 WC's. The second WC does have a bigger seat and although it's not as fancy as my first one I didn't really need all the fancy features on the other chair anyway. I put the 2nd chair in the garage knowing that I didn't really have time to do much to it, plus Deann still had my other chair in her trunk anyway. ... well last week I got my chair from D's trunk and decided to start transferring stuff. I took off my Pirate flag and had put it onto the back of the new chair. It didn't really fit the way it did on the first chair. :-( So then I took off one wheel from each chair to exchange them. The wheels were the same size, everything looked good so I started to switch them..... I ran into a problem.... UGH

As it turned out although the wheels are the same size, the bolts holding the wheels onto the frame as well as the bearing in the wheel itself were different sizes. So I thought about getting new bolts in the alternating sizes so that I could still exchange the wheels but realized that may not work right. One needed longer fatter bolts, and the other needed shorter skinnier bolts. So although I knew I could probably get new bolts in the same sizes with the alternating lengths from what I needed they may not work right. Because now the chair that initially had the larger bolts, the bolt would sit loose in the frame (although it would fit right in the bearing) and that may cause problems while going. Then the one with the larger bearings with the smaller bolt to fit the frame, the bolt would be loose in the chair/bearing....again possibly causing problems.  (If this paragraph doesn't make sense I am sorry, ignore it and move on...basically I couldn't change the wheels because of the bolts)

So now I knew I needed to leave things the way they were, my pirate flag didn't fit and the wheels were not switchable. I knew I wanted to go ahead and keep the larger sized chair but now it was going to be boring. I knew it wasn't too hard to paint the wheels and that It was only like $10 for the paint so I figured I would pimp my new chair now instead. I could still sell the initial chair I would just have to post it with the green wheels. I liked my green wheels especially since I unknowingly painted them the same color as the entrance gates. But I thought if I was going to do a new chair maybe I should change it up a bit. I started thinking about things and thought maybe Hot Pink was the way to go. .... I know they do a lot of "party" type stuff in the parks (especially CA Adv) involving black lights and so with Flourescent Colors my wheels would "glow" :-) That decision was made! I went to Lowe's and bought some spray paint! Woohoo!

I thought about adding some fabric around my pirate flag so that it would fit properly on the seat back. I was also thinking I needed to try and tie in the color of my bag (I have more of that fabric) along with some new fabric so that the wheels would coordinate with the seat and the bag somehow. I found a fabric in the garage (in our stockpile) that I liked and would work. I laid it on the seat and seat back and left it there a bit. After awhile I decided it was too busy of a print and wouldn't work to my liking. I thought maybe I could find something else pirate-y to coordinate with my flag so that i could still use the flag somehow. I got online and looked up Joanns. I searched fabric for "pirate" and found a fabric called "hair bow pirate"

Hair Bow Pirate is a repeating pattern of the skull & crossbones and periodically a skull has a pink hair bow on it's head! I loved it the moment I saw it! I knew the pirates would work and the pink would match the wheels! So on Mon during my lunch break I went and bought 2 yards! Monday night I created a seat cover for the chair. It is removable with a zipper in the back. (part of why I needed to do a seat cover was the seat fabric was slightly faded) Then last night I did a cover for the seat back. The seat back is done differently and basically slips over the top and the handlbars so it comes down just a little on the top of the seat back. Then it drops down behind the seat and I brought up the bottom just a little and it wraps around the bottom of the seat back. So it too is removable for washing etc if needed.

I may take the pirate flag and some of the leftover hair bow fabric and wrap part of the bag for the back of the chair. I am not sure yet. I don't want to make it too busy... But I do want it to coordinate. So we will see. Or I may take just the hair bow fabric and cover just the top of the bag. ... I haven't done anything yet. I think I like the idea of just the top of the bag because it is kind of a lot. Prior to beginning any work on my chair I was on FB chatting with my friend Jen who is currently living in FL. I told her about my ideas with painting the wheels hot pink  and she said she was going to name my chair Hot Pink Pearl. I am not one who usually names my cars etc. but once I found the hair bow pirate fabric and worked on my chair expecially once I got the wheels on and saw just how Hot Pink they are... I decided it really FITS! So my new chair is the Hot Pink Pearl! I cannot wait for my next Disneyland trip and it's maiden voyage!

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