Thursday, March 28, 2013

Glamour Photo of a Rug

This rug is made out of the worst yarn I have ever held between my two fingers.  The yarn was on sale at a ridiculously low price and the colours were so cute I bought six balls.  I was thinking of a cute hat I could make or a baby blanket, but once I started working with it, I realized that it was crap … and it was taking up a considerable chunk of space in my yarn box (I’m only allowed to have one yarn box (no clutter policy)). 

What could I do with the unspeakable crap? 

So, I got the idea to make a rug out of it.  A lady I knew when I was in high school who used to gather crappy yarn and make the most beautiful rugs.  She made one that looked like a sunflower and another one that looked like a watermelon slice.  Granted, this is not like that.  You have to have a lot more yarn to do what that knit-witch used to do.  But I needed a little rug for my two piece bathroom, so here it is. 

Here’s what you do to make a rug.  First, chain it.  Chain all of it.  The yarn I used and other useless yarn is too thin to be a rug unless you chain it.  When you’re done chaining it, get a BIG crochet hook.  I used a 6mm for the chain and a 9mm for the rug, but I have made rugs with hooks as big as 11mm.  Then with your BIG crochet hook – make a rug. 

I’m sorry.  I know that’s not particularly descriptive, but the reason I crochet rather than knit is because I can’t be bothered to follow a set of instructions.  I like crochet because it’s all about lying your face off. You can really just make it up as you go and it will probably turn out all right.

Recently I got a DIY craft feed on my phone and there are a lot of cute DIY projects that people post.  The only problem with them is that you have to go to the store and buy A, B, C, D, E, F, G and I’m like, “Why would I wanna do that?”  What I want to do is have supplies A, Y, H, W, B … sit there for a while and then LIGHT BULB – I am inspired!  I’m gonna do <fill in blank> and it’s going to be awesome!

It’s great when it works out that way.  If feel like it did with my little rug.  Well, I may do another post about it after I run it through the washer.  Eek!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Snap! The Four-Letter Word

I don’t really sew, but I do mend things.  After a button on a man’s dress shirt, the easiest thing in the world to replace is a snap.  However, on a new garment, they are probably considerably easier to install than a string of buttons (and their holes), or a zipper, or Velcro.  Yet, even though I know this, I have decided something …

Snaps suck!

Seriously, have you ever dressed a baby that has five snaps going down the front of their undershirt, followed by three snaps that either do up between the legs or on the tummy, followed by a sleeper that has six or seven more?  Urg! … Huff, huff, huff … I know what you’re thinking and I agree with you.  Snaps are hardly something to get riled up about … unless it’s three-thirty in the morning, you’ve just changed a poopy diaper in the dark because your eyes are as dilated as Golem’s when he lived in the cave, and you’ve just done the snaps up wrong three times in a row.  What else could make a sane person snap?  Seriously.

Well, I haven’t been living like that for some time.  I gave up snaps years ago, but I forgot about my unquenchable hatred toward them until recently.  I was lately reminded why I need to pass on the torch to new parents.  Newborn babies need to have their diaper changed between six and ten times a day.  If you take it for granted that you will need to change their diaper eight times a day (the average) and multiply it by the eight snaps on the undershirt and the six snaps on the sleeper – you will do up ONE HUNDRED SNAPS in a single day.  You’ll get callouses on your right hand forefinger and thumb by the end of one week.

So, here’s my advice to new parents: fork out the money for zippered sleepers. Then you only have to do up eight zippers a day.  Quite the difference, isn’t it?  My other advice is to forget all about undershirts that snap between the legs.  I buy ones that go down to the bellybutton and then stop.  That way you don’t have to muck with them each and every time you change a diaper. 

Now, I must warn you.  There are times when you’ll be tempted.  The sleepers with snaps on them will have unbelievably cute penguins on them, or kitties, or green aliens with three eyes.  Remind yourself firmly that it doesn’t matter what the confounded thing looks like at three o’clock in the morning.  You won’t be able to see it anyway.  You may also be tempted by the low price.  That’s a harder battle for me to win, but I came off conqueror eventually – and so can you.

In conclusion: zippers good J snaps bad L

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Skeletons in my Closet

The other day I sat down and realized that I have nine closets in my house.  Nine!  I was absolutely floored.  It was quickly followed by a series of anxiety inducing thoughts.  1. That doesn’t count the pantry, the storage room, or the tops of several high places where I like to stash things.  2. Each one of those nine closets is disheveled or outright messy.  3. I hide things in one of them and have to hip-chuck the door to get it to close.  Sheesh.  It’s a good thing I’m Canadian.

The biggest problem is that nine closets is a lot to tackle.  And I’m short.  Okay, I’m not really short, but I’m short enough that when I put on a pair of high heels and walk through my house I realized that I’ve missed an entire aspect of dusting because I’m too short to see all the dusty surfaces 6–10 cm higher up.  It also means that the top shelf of each closet is basically impossible for me to see without a double-step stool.    

It’s really pathetic. 

What makes it more pathetic is that I like throwing things away.  Every time I go into one of my kids’ rooms, I take away at least one more bag of garbage than what was in their garbage can.  Why can’t I get that kind of control over a closet?  A closet is a twentieth the size of a room.  Why am I such a weenie?

I’ll tell you why.  Big stuff.  You can’t throw big stuff in the garbage in Edmonton.  If you want to throw away something big, you have take it to the Eco Center.  Have you ever driven past an Eco Center in Edmonton on a Saturday?  It’s like someone put a huge ‘Everything is Free’ sign on top of a Tim Horton’s.  And the lineups in front of Timmy’s are colossal every day of the week.  In front of the Eco Center – they wrap outside the parking lot and down the block on a street where the speed limit is 60 km/h.

So, the things clogging my closets aren’t small stuff.  They’re huge, and useless and dead … almost like … dare I say it?  Skeletons. 

Yes.  That is what they are like.  I’ve got bedside tables that don’t have legs on them anymore, TVs that don’t turn on, scanners (too many scanners), old speakers, silk plants with all the leaves ripped off them, and computer parts (too many computer parts).  You know what – the advancement of the smart phone will save millions.  And when I say millions, I mean millions of square centimeters in everyone’s closets.  Even if you have ten smart phone carcasses in your closet, they won’t take up more space than a box of Kleenex.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Hurricane Hana

Today is my promotion for Hurricane Hana by Jandy Branch.  It's available on for $2.93.  Here's the synopsis.

It’s a new clean, lighthearted series from “Parakeet Princess” author, Jandy Branch. Set once again in the small, Mormon town of Upton in the 1990s but populated by a brand new cast of characters, this is the story of Hana Song. She’s lived all she can remember of her life in an apartment on Main Street, over her parents’ restaurant. Now in her final year of high school, Hana is ready for something exciting to happen in her quiet world. And that’s just what she gets when a new guy appears in her chemistry class. Nolon’s parents have “parachuted” him into Upton to let him start over after getting into trouble with the law. But the law is everywhere. In Upton, it takes the form of new police trainee and recently returned missionary, Tyler Bowen. He’s just come home after spending two years in Korea and he’s drawn to Hana and her Korean immigrant parents. And he’s worried the person behind a mysterious, racially motivated crime against the Song family might just be Nolon himself.
I've got to say, as a fan of Korean dramas, if you're a fan - you'll like this novel.  Jandy's best quality as an author is knowing how to get her heroine in a heap of trouble, fishing her out ... only to land her in more trouble.  I love that.  This is an excellent read.  Go get it today!