Something about having a major risk taking endeavor go awry makes a usually risk averse person like yours truly recoil into total mundaneness. Mundane is okay, but you only go around once, right?
I decided maybe trying some new things isn't so bad.
Here are some of the things I've tried so far this year...and, yes, I mean in the last two days.
Last year, I set out to make my sister a scarf for her birthday in March.
I failed miserably.
It could have been that I was a relatively new crochet person.
It could also be that I crocheted for hours on end while also trying to watch episodes of The Tudors on Netflix.
At any rate, the scarf was uneven and goofy looking.
Then, I joined Pinterest (if you are not familiar, it really is pretty sweet) and began to feel increasingly more craft empowered than I probably should.
I decided that I could TOTALLY make my sister a scarf for Christmas. Not only could I make her a scarf, but I could make her an infinity/circle scarf.
Pinterest told me I could. And, I learned two valuable lessons that saw me through: 1) chunkier yarns require bigger needles which makes your work go faster and 2) there is an easy way to hold onto the end of a row so you can turn your work around without adding a stich every time you start a new row.
God bless Pinterest and YouTube. I totally finished this scarf and and then used a yarn darning needle to stitch the ends together to make it a circle. Although Pinterest made me bold for no reason, I did recognize that crocheting in the round is currently above my pay grade.
My next challenge is to switch up the stitches and learn a new one. This one, the Star Stitch, looks difficult, but when I watched the video, it seems totally doable. I'm going to teach myself how to do it this week. I want to make another scarf using this stitch.
Another thing I had seen on Pinterest and then heard friends discussing? Homemade laundry soap. I had quite a stockpile of laundry detergent. I use liquid--Tide and Gain a perennial favorites. I would use coupons and try and buy when the sale prices were the lowest. We do so much laundry and go through so much detergent that I'm already running low even though my fabric softener stockpile is still legendary and large.
I knew I would need a lidded bucket to store it in and immediately thought of the bright yellow Tidy Cat litter buckets I see at the store. But. I'm allergic to cats and I don't have one. I wanted to try the recipe for the soap so bad! Imagine my surprise tonight when on the way home from work, I was sure I spied a Tidy Cat bucket in someone's curbside recycle bin as I drove past. I decided that when I took M2 to basketball practice, I'd drive stop and have a look.
It was the bucket I needed!
I pulled over & put it in my trunk. Ha!
I had $30 in Kohl's cash burning a hole in my pocket. I decided if I could find something to use it on, I would. The kitchenware department is right beside the return desk, so I started poking around there first.
I quickly settled on the idea of replacing my chicken fryer that I've had for over 17 years. I KNOW, right?!
I was torn between a Calphalon model that would have cost me $30 or the above T-Fal model that was a little over $30 itself. I ended up walking from the store with the T-Fal pan after paying $3.52. Seriously. Good deal.
Then, I headed to Wal-Mart to pick up my homemade laundry detergent ingredients.
I picked up a 4-lb. 12 oz. box of Borax; a 4-lb. box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda; a 3-lb. 7 oz. box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda; 3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap; and 2 small containers (about 3 to 3.5-lbs) of Oxyclean or store brand Oxy cleanser. I purchased Sun brand at Wal-Mart.
You dump all the boxes/containers into the bucket then grate the bars of soap into the bucket and mix it all together. And, you're done!
As you'll notice, this is my husband who did the lion's share of the grating. I definitely need a box grater or something for next time.
A microplane is great for zesting citrus. Not so much for shaving down three bars of soap!
Everyone took a turn, even the girls, but the Hubs had to crank out the most shavings. It dampened his spirits for the soap itself, but he'll get over it when he realizes we're saving some major jack and our clothes are still washing up nicely.
The backseat of my car smelled amazing after hauling these ingredients and the laundry room area now smells divine.
It's first test was M2's filthy dirty winter coat.
It did a wonderful job--the coat looks fabulous and smells nice too without being too perfumey or overpowering. Score!!
Now I can use my laundry money elsewhere to replenish my stockpile. For girls' deodorant, for instance. Having M1 using it now really depletes our stash so much faster! Once M2 starts, I'll be buying it all the time.
It snowed today. And, it's bitterly cold. I chickened out and didn't run today. Bad me! I will need to suck it up tomorrow because I need to be back on that wagon sooner rather than later.