DIY Replacement Hammock from a Bed Sheet

The kids got my husband a hammock last year for Father’s Day.  They bought it a rummage sale, and the guy who sold it to us said it had been sitting around in the garage for years.

Unfortunately, the years took their toll on the hammock, and the fabric ripped.  We decided to re-use the tree straps and hardware and make our own hammock out of an old sheet.

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You can see I need to learn to tie a decent knot!  In my defense, I did this in the rain when it was very cold outside.  I would not let anyone use this if it were any more than six inches off the ground!

You can see the nylon tree strap to the far right with a round ring.  The strap is nylon and the ring is steel.  Then we have a steel S hook attaching the poorly tied hammock.  The metal part protecting the rope is called a rope thimble.  We salvaged it from our old, torn hammock.  It reminds me of a french wire for jewelry making.  Same concept, much heavier!

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Here’s the sewing part.  I’ve been sewing for 40 years, and so I’m afraid I have no excuse for how this turned out!  I used bonded nylon thread and I sewed the casing twice on each end of the sheet.  It was a very fancy satin sheet a few years ago.  But somehow, the hem was kind of crooked.  I followed along the existing hem when I made the casing, and then I couldn’t figure out why it was so crooked.  Duh, Maria!  I’m afraid it’s not the best looking hammock in town.

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Ahhhhh!  Here’s the important part!  My son likes to lie face down on the hammock.  For some reason, the pressure around his belly calms him and helps him feel better when he starts to feel upset.  Obviously, we need to supervise closely to make sure he can breathe OK.  Fortunately for us, he never holds a position for long.  He’s one of those kids that is always moving, moving, moving.

Now that the kiddos are back in school, I can take a few minutes and read up on how to tie a hammock properly, and then we’ll be set.  Hmm, I wonder if anyone will give their father a turn in his hammock!

DIY Boot Scraper from Scrap Lumber and Toilet Brushes

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Just in time for the winter weather around here, I made up a boot scraper.

I used some leftover wood scraps and some toilet brushes.  I used the old-fashioned kind, with a wire loop twisted with plastic fiber bristles.  I cut the wire loops and straightened them out, then poked the ends through some holes I drilled in the wood.

I probably made this unnecessarily complicated.  I didn’t know what I was doing, so I copied a boot scraper I saw at a store.  But now that we’re using it, I can see that the side brushes are unnecessary.  A flat piece of wood with a few brushes attached would work just as well.

In case you’re worrying, I bought NEW brushes at the dollar store for this project.  But that got me thinking…I’ve seen toilet brushes at the thrift store.  Who decides they don’t need a toilet brush any more?  And who buys used toilet brushes at the thrift store?  If I bought one, would I boil it before I used it?  And then would I have to boil my pot in another pot?  And then what about that pot?

Just something to keep you awake at night.

 

**Update:  Mom, here is your evidence.  You can see it didn’t sell yet so they marked it down.

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Still more than the dollar store.  But look!  It comes with a spoon rest for the kitchen!

Too Many Snow Days!

My kids are working on day number four of weather-related school closings.  This is right after having Monday off for President’s Day.  Kind of an unplanned nine-day weekend.

Here are a few items recently added to my to-do list:

  • Replace one toilet.  It is not fixable.
  • Stay grateful that we have more than one bathroom.
  • Clean one bag of (formerly) dried barley out of the dryer, which also contains one load of (formerly) wet laundry.
  • Lock children out of my own computer.
  • Run away from home.

No, I’m (mostly) kidding about that last item.

The kids have been a little bit productive this week, writing cleaned up lyrics to Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda.  Here you go:

My Lucky ducky ain’t

My Lucky ducky ain’t

My Lucky ducky ain’t in the mood

Unless you got food, dude.

Oh my gosh,

Look at that duck!

Oh my gosh,

Look at that duck!

Oh my gosh,

Look at that duck!

Oh my gosh,

Look at that duck!

This dude named Lucky

is a very good ducky.

He’s a million times nicer

than the doll Chucky.

He’s really really funny,

and super silly.

He is a good friend,

but his name is not Billy.

And he’s sweet, sweet, sweet.

He’s a bird but he don’t tweet, tweet, tweet.

He’ll sit on my lap like it’s his seat, seat, seat.

Just know to never touch his feet, feet, feet.

Great so far, huh?  Then I went to look up the rest of the lyrics and about fell over.  I sure am glad she sings so fast.  Otherwise I might have heard it on the car radio and had a crash!  Now I understand why the kids like it so much.  It breaks rules in almost every section of the school list-of-violations-and-punishments book.  Obviously, they haven’t been singing the original song around the house beyond the first little bit.  Is there a cleaned-up version?  Yikes!

Time to take a break and give the duck a bath.  Don’t worry, he’s been living in the living room all week.  It’s too cold out there!

Sorry so blurry!
Sorry so blurry!

Mom, don’t read this.

Sorry guys, my mom checks my blog and I don’t want to spoil her surprise.  Well, it’s probably not much of a surprise anymore, but anyway…

Everyone besides my mom, there’s still time, and you would feel very happy if you made time for this little project.

When my youngest was in first grade, he announced that he doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day.  I was puzzled, because I could not understand the rejection of chocolate.  He said he didn’t like it because it was a made-up holiday that forces people to spend money, and that it probably made his grandma (my mom) feel lonely and left out.  My dad died in 2000, and my mom has recovered.  She has a fulfilling life.  She has lots of friends and family, and we love her.  But my son is right.  Single people, people not in a romantic relationship, widows and widowers can easily feel lonely on a day like Valentine’s Day.

We’ve started making stuff for people who might feel left out, because that just stinks!

Here’s a sneak peek at this year’s goodies:

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We made some of it ourselves, and some of it is from Dollar Tree.

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Chocolate candy and red rose soap thingies come in heart-shaped boxes, so of course my kids wanted these.

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We make memory wire bracelets by the zillions around here.  I like them for gifts because they expand to fit just about any size of wrist.  Plus, making them is fun!

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Banana muffin, mmmmmmm!

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A little origami here.  We made some baskets with red heart bookmarks and some with cranes.

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And last, a sweet little card.

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Then we popped everything into a Dollar Tree basket and used a little plastic wrap to hold it all together.  These little baskets fit into a priority mail 7x7x6 box, and weigh just around a pound, so shipping is pretty low.  We’ll be dropping off the local baskets in person today.

My poor son thinks he’s being all un-romantic and rebellious by rejecting contrived romance in favor of authentic love.  Of course, he is doing just the opposite.  It turns all of us to mush!  He’s a little teddy bear, and all the girls know it, to his great chagrin.

Please take a peek around your life and see if you know anyone who might feel left out on Saturday.  It doesn’t have to be a gift basket – just a card or phone call or invitation to coffee or a walk is nice.  We could all use a little love!