DIY Dryer Balls

Dryer Balls

I’ve been wanting to stop using dryer sheets for a while now.  I have read too many articles that make me wonder if they are really toxic to our health, (and our appliance repair friend doesn’t think they are so hot either) so I promised myself that I would not longer buy any dryer sheets, that instead I would actually make the pin from pinterest I bookmarked so long ago.  It took about a week of being out of dryer sheets for me to get my act together, but I finally did it.

Materials:
100 % Wool Yarn Machine Washable.  I found it at Hobby Lobby.  (With coupon less than $5)
Scissors
Thin Old Sock or Pantyhose
A Small Crochet Hook
Optional: Essential Oils for scent

You begin by winding a bit of the yarn around two fingers.  About 10 times or so.  Then pull the yarn off your fingers and wrap around the yarn in the opposite direction, (so it makes kind of a cross).  You then just keep wrapping in different directions to make a ball of yarn.  Once your ball is the size you want it,  (Mine was almost tennis ball sized) cut the yarn leaving a few inches and use your crochet hook to pull the end of the yarn into the ball.  Repeat until you have as many dryer balls as you want or you run out of yarn.  My yarn made two almost tennis ball sized balls and one smaller ball.  Put your yarn balls in a pair of pantyhose or a thin, old sock.  (I used one thin old sock per ball, because I just don’t do pantyhose). Be sure if you use pantyhose to tie string or rubber band in between the yarn balls so they don’t touch.  You don’t want them to felt together.  Run the yarn balls through the wash on an HOT water load.  I through them in with the towels.  Then let them get transferred to the dryer.  I ran mine through the washer and dryer twice.  Then I took them out and started using them straight away.  I wanted to scent them with a few drops of lavender essential oil, but I was out so I used two drops of geranium oil on each.  Mine don’t look exactly like the picture, but they seem to be working. They are a bit noisy than dryer sheets, but if they are less toxic than dryer sheets I don’t mind so much.

God Never Gives You More Than You Can Handle

When we first moved into our home we went looking for a dog.  I had always had dogs growing up but for the past few years during apartment living we decided it was better to wait for a house with a yard before tackling finding a canine companion.  I happened to run into a lady at the vet’s office that I had worked with doing animal rescue.  While the group I worked with strictly dealt with cats, her group focused on cats and dogs.  I inquired whether or not her group had any Australian Shepherds or the like currently in the program.  She said they did not, but she had a lady contact her about help placing an Aussie and she would forward me the lady’s information.

I contacted the women and we arranged for a meeting with a dog named Sadie.  The lady we met with was a park ranger and had found Sadie abandon in one of her parks.  She said Sadie was probably there about a week before the park flooded and she felt guilty and brought Sadie home with her.  She lived in an apartment with a German Shephard puppy and even though she said she would love to keep Sadie, she really didn’t think it was fair to have her in an apartment.  We took Sadie home with us that afternoon.

After we had Sadie for about a month I could totally understand why someone might have abandoned her somewhere.  She was about 9 months old and a super high energy Catahoula mix, which was a world of difference for me having had two low energy Pitties as my last dogs.  After a half dozen pair of shoes and a few shirts were eaten we kennel trained, figured out busy toys and discovered dog parks. Later on Sadie was able to start going to work with my husband for a while and all these things helped tremendously in taming down the hyper and mischievous behavior she would display if left to her own devices for too long.

Fast forward a few years and we were blessed with a little boy.  A non-sleeping, stubborn, very high energy little boy.  I’ve heard more than a few times people use the turn of phrase “God never gives you more than you can handle.”  Sometimes I have really questioned that phrase.  When my teeny tiny baby would only nap an half an hour at a time making it near impossible to get any task completed and when it would take 2 hours to get him to go to sleep at night I really thought that line was a load of bull.  Some days I really struggled.  Some days I still struggle.  Sometimes I wonder if I really can handle everything that’s been thrown my way.  Sometimes I wonder if I have been given more than I can handle.  Sometimes the thought of running away cross my mind (I don’t but sometimes the thoughts still flicker.) Why does my child seem so much more difficult than other children?

Then, I read a horror story about something a parent that has done to a child and I think maybe that phrase means something else.*  Maybe I was blessed with this bouncy little high energy child because I would never do one of those things that you read about on the news or see in the paper.  Maybe that’s really what that phrase means.  I was sent this child because I have the temperament to deal with all the crazies.  I have learned the tools that are required to deal with a child of this temperament.  Maybe I was sent a crazy Catahoula mix dog as a test run and when I passed that test I was then sent a child with a similar personality.  Maybe.  And even if not, it helps me have a little more patience when I think about things using that mindset.  Whatever the answer is I love my dog and my child and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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*In all honesty sometimes I can’t even read the stories I don’t make it past the titles before my eyes start tearing up and I get so incredibly angry.

DIY Dinosaur Costume

Last year I made my little one his very first homemade costume and I hope to keep up the trend this year.  There are so many cute DIY costumes out there that it’s hard to choose.  My sewing machine and I do not always get along and I actually am better at hand sewing things so last year I picked a dinosaur costume to make.  I got a little inspiration off of Pinterest and kind of winged it from there.

I happened upon an army green, dinosaur colored hoodie at Goodwill and then also found some pants that matched.  I like working with felt, so I used felt (leftover from making a Christmas tree) for the spikes, tail, and a little bit of embellishment on the pants and hoodie.  I stuffed the spikes, tail and spots with cotton balls to give them some dimension.  The whole project cost less about $10 and a few hours of evening sewing.

I started by cutting Triangles for the spikes.  I cheated and folded the fabric over so I only had to sew two sides of the triangle back together after I stuffed it with cotton balls to give it a bit of dimension.  I then attached each spike to the hoodie sewing through the inside of the hoodie to the outside so you can see the stitches inside, but when the child is in the hoodie you can’t see them from the outside.

The Tail was two pieces sewn together.  A figured out how to make a cone shape and then sewed the spikes to the cone.  Both pieces are stuffed with cotton balls. I added a piece of fabric with some velcro for a belt.  I then sewed on some spots stuffed with cotton balls on his pants and hoodie to add a little extra color and voila, a little dinosaur.

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Now I have to figure out what to turn him into this year.  Time flies in the fall and before I know it Halloween will be upon us again!

The Beauty that is Fall

We had a teasing taste of fall this past week as a cold front blew our temperatures down into the 60’s.  When you live in Texas to be able to play outside until lunchtime without breaking a sweat is a little taste of heaven.

This is my absolute favorite time of year.  The bustle of fall activities.  A hope of cooler temperatures.  Leaves, Bonfires, Hoodies, Football, Festivals, Renfair, Pumpkins, Halloween, a bazillion birthday celebrations. . . what’s not to love?

I cannot contain my excitement as I look forward to the coming months. I wish you and your loved ones a fun-filled fall season!

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