Sunday, January 20, 2013

Toy Hammock

I'm not sure why, but where there are kids, there is bound to be a stuffed animal (or 10) nearby. When you have a baby, people start buying them for you. And then your kids get older and they start ASKING for them on their birthdays and holidays.......leading to stuffed animal overload.

I have three kids. And that mean I have about a thousand stuffed animals in the house. (Ok, maybe not REALLY a thousand, but it sure feels that way).

I don't really mind that they want their little cuddly things, but I am SO tired of constantly picking them up and trying to find somewhere to keep them. If you put them in the toy box, you run out of room for actual TOYS in there. If you keep them on the bed, you have to move them every night and put them back every morning. Too much work for an already over worked mom, if you ask me. 

I know that there are those triangular netting-type things to hang in the corner of the room to store all the stuffed animals in......but if you ask me, they are kind of cheap looking and are bound to break in no time. Besides, they look kind of dorky. 

But I'm desperate. 

And also being frugal (Ok, cheap) I start thinking of how I could MAKE some hammocky-thingy to hang in their room that wouldn't look so bad. I must be able to use something I have already...... Fabric? Not stretchy enough. Oh, YARN! And thanks to the internet, a few clicks lead me to this forum which had a pattern in one of the responses. I added about 10 rows because I didn't feel like it was big enough, but otherwise made it according to the pattern listed.

All loaded up.... whoops! I was so excited to try it that I forgot to weave in the strings....

After loading up the hammock, I realized that one was not going to be enough to hold all of the cuddly animals. AND, now my son needs one for his room too. It's a good thing it's an easy pattern. Off I go to make another one.....

7oz worsted weight yarn
size H crochet hook

ch 9, sl st in first st to make a circle. DO NOT TURN.
Row 1: ch 7, sc in circle, ch 5, dc in circle. TURN.
Row 2: ch 7, sc in first loop, ch 5, sc in next loop, ch 5, dc in same loop. TURN.
Row 3: ch 7, sc in first loop, ch 5, sc in next loop (repeat to end), ch 5, dc in last loop (this will be your second stitch in the last loop). TURN
REPEAT Row 3 for Rows 4-41 (or more if you would like to make your hammock bigger).
Last Row: ch 5, sc in first loop, ch 3, sc in next loop (repeat to end), ch 5, dc in last loop.
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Hang with hooks in the corner of the room at your desired height and load up with stuffies! Yay! No more teddy bears on the floor!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bearded Beanies

Well, Pinterest hits again.....

I kept seeing bearded beanies (hats) show up on my page and I knew that I just HAD to make some for my family this year. I had a feeling that they would be funny. But I never dreamed that they would be such a hit! I managed to make them for my two nephews, my niece, my brother, and my daughter (though hers was a little different......see below).

I tried to match hair color and age of recipient so they would be as real looking as yarn beards could be.

Oh. My. Gosh. 

I still laugh when I look at the pictures!

My brother and nephew wearing their new beards.

While I was knitting and crocheting these gifts, my 4 year old daughter decided that she wanted one too. Now, Penelope is a very girly girl, so I was surprised to hear her request..... until she explained it more. It made perfect sense.

"Mom, can you make me one of those hats? But instead of a beard I want it to have pink lipgloss."   

DING, DING, DING! Great idea!!! I haven't seen any "lipgloss beanies" on Pinterest yet! I managed to tweak the beard pattern to be skin colored with lips. She was THRILLED! (Personally, I think it looks like she put too much lipstick on and went out of the lines....)

The kids with their "beards" (and my brother with his REAL beard). 

I think these were my favorite gift to give this year. I might just have to make some more..... 

(I will try to write out the instructions this week and add them here)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Clearing the Kitchen Sink Clog

As a person who likes to do everything myself, I never thought I would be doing plumbing. My husband is very good with all of the construction and maintenance of the house, and does most of it with me as a mere assistant to "hold the light here" and "get me a wrench" and "QUICK, turn off the water!" Needless to say, I haven't had to actually DO any plumbing myself. But I have watched him do a lot of different things. And that's a good thing, because now I know I CAN do basic plumbing if the need should arise. Again. 

Since we moved in our house (a year and a half ago) one of our kitchen sink drains (there are separate drains for each side of sink) has never drained well. I usually just try to avoid that side, but I finally got fed up with it. I decided to play plumber today and I took off the trap to see if there was a clog. The "trap" is the U-shaped pipe under your sink, for those of you who don't know). I cleaned out lots of gunk..... but not enough gunk to stop the water from flowing. So I decided to check the pipe that goes from the trap to the wall. OH. MY. GOSH!!!! I'm sure this thing has been clogged for YEARS. And let's just say it's a good thing I don't have a sensitive gag reflex! Seriously! That clog covered 95% of the pipe opening...... 

and this clog went ALL THE WAY TO THE WALL! More that 18 inches of solid blockage!!! How do you even CLOG a pipe like that??? One of the grossest things I have seen. Ever. (This picture doesn't do it justice... and it got even worse as I dug deeper and deeper into the pipe). But after a half an hour of digging and scraping with various tools (except for the actual pipe snake which I am afraid to use and will let my hubby do later) the pipe was as clear as it was going to get.

 I was trying to save Danny a job.... which I did. Sort of. While examining the pipe, I found that it is rusted almost all the way through and needs replacing (to avoid a WAY bigger disaster). So, add another job to HIS list, because I am not THAT savvy with the plumbing. LOL! But at least, for now, the water flows without pooling up in the sink..... Yay me! :-)