Category: Blog

My Elephants Hold Up the World – the Discworld!

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Image belongs to Amiguruthi, used with permission.

How cool is this? A fellow amazing crocheter, Amiguruthi, created this fabulous Discworld pattern and used my little elephant pattern as part of it. I would say that is some great stitching on the Great A’Tuin!  All the parts to her pattern are free on her blog at this link and my pattern for the elephant is a multi-pattern that contains the elephant, a woolly mammoth option, and a baby gnome option in it for $2 USD. Lots more pics of this amazing piece at Amiguruthi’s link!

 

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Camping Supplies Recommendations

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When I go camping there are certain things I love to bring with me in addition to my yarn and hooks.  They make life so much easier, but are yet simple and convenient.  Since we are camping in a tiny 1968 Shasta Compact that we are completely remodelling (and by “we,” I mean my husband), and that is not completely finished on the inside, I thought I’d share some of the items that have made our trips better and have been tried and tested by us.  I think they work well for tent camping too which we’ve done a lot of before getting our trailer.

This self-contained shower system is amazing!  It packs up small in it’s own case, holds plenty of water for showering or doing dishes, and you maintain the pressure with a foot pump so no electricity is needed, no batteries, and you burn a few calories (with ease) while cleaning.  The pressure is decent enough to rinse suds out of hair and better than the pressure of showers I’ve used in some campgrounds!  Simply mix some heated water in with cold water to get the temperature you desire.  I adore this for boondocking and even when camping with hookups.   I recommend using a cheap plastic funnel for easy filling, which it doesn’t come with, but that is the only slight negative I have about this.  One of our best purchases!

This camp kitchen is newer to us.  We’ve used it on two trips so far, but it has certainly made our lives easier when it comes time to prepare and cook meals.  The height is ideal – no more bending over short tables and getting an aching back while cutting up veggies!  It has hooks to hang utensils, a shelf for storage, a pole for hanging a lantern on in case it gets dark while you are still getting dinner ready, and a plastic tub basin for washing up.  The tub is removable for quick and easy disposal of your gray water.  The only con I have to mention on this product is that the paper towel holder is a cheap plastic with suction cups to hold it up – the suction cups don’t work so well.  We just stopped trying to hang the paper towels with it and left them sitting on the counter.  Otherwise, it was wonderful to be so organized!

Never shall I camp without this item!  Best thing ever!  It is taller and more stable than any other camp potties we’ve used.  Has a battery operated flush and is the closest thing to the one you use at home while still being compace and a great shape.  It holds a roll of toilet paper in a little compartment, and the top half comes off so you only have to tote the bottom half to empty it.  Emptying is easy and mess-free (albeit could be a bit stinky simply due to the nature of what it is used for).  LOL.  We’ve had ours for quite some time now, with no leaks, no issues and I’m thankful to the person who designed it every time I wake up in the middle of the night to pee because I don’t have to trek in the dark to a remote restroom.  I can highly recommend this for anyone camping with children and women to make their experience more pleasant.  I think it would also be great as an addition to a sick room or just an extra potty when having a party.  The only con is that the lid is not meant to be sat upon when it is closed and can’t support a lot of weight.  We knew this ahead from reading reviews before purchasing and have never had a problem.

This is a great item for use with the toilet above or the shower system mentioned earlier.  It is waterproof, so make a great privacy shower enclosure or just to put the toilet in like a little outhouse.  It pops up from a very light weight circle and comes with stakes to secure it.  It folds back down for travel just as simply into it’s own carry case.  I call it the pee-pee tee-pee and this is a great price for it.  I paid more.  But it was worth it!

We’ve had this table for quite some time and used it in all its configurations.  It can be used as two separate tables at the same height or differing heights.  Simply adding easy screw on pieces to the legs make it quick and easy to adjust.  There are also two clips to secure the two tables together into a card table size which is perfect for playing games or eating on.  Everything fits right inside the table which packs up neatly and travels flat.  This is a great price for the table, which I believe we paid more for when we bought ours but again, well worth it and has lasted us several years and is still going strong.

I hope my recommendations will be helpful to anyone considering these items.  I know how difficult it is to decide what to purchase when it comes to camping equipment and feeling like you are taking a risk with your money so that is why I created this post.  We have found the best items for us usually came from good recommendations from other campers who have actually used the items and these are a few that worked well for us.  Happy Camping!

 

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I May Have Gone a Little Overboard with Phones

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I did post a little bit about one of my retro handsets for cell phones before, but it appears my collection has grown.  Since they were so affordable, I wanted to try out a few to see which I liked best.  My collection now includes the original Echo Logic one on the left, the mini Bubble Pop phone in the middle and the really cool looking Sodial brand antique style one on the right.  I will say that as far as how they work – they all work great but do have some minor differences that I’ll point out below.  Each one is just simply plugged into your phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack or into your computer for internet calls.    This keeps your radiation exposure lower since you aren’t holding the actual cell phone to your head, as well as allows you to use your smart phone at the same time to do other tasks.  All three worked great on both my android phone and Igor’s iPhone.  And the receivers can stay plugged in to the phone because if you get a call, you will still hear the ring.

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Starting with the Sodial antique style handset, I have to say it is very comfortable in the hand and it’s shape allows for excellent sound and hearing for the person on the other end of your call since the mouthpiece is curved and aimed right at your mouth.  However, because of its shape, this one does not allow you to cradle it between your shoulder and ear.  Mine is working wonderfully but I do notice the coiled cord is not as thick as the Echo Logic one so wonder if it will last as long.

The mini Bubble Pop handset also worked great and fits in my purse!  Because it is smaller than a full-sized handset, the earpiece does not cover your entire ear and is a bit less comfortable – I had to find the right angle to hold it at to keep it comfortable while using it.  Also, there is a volume control button but I have just kept it at the highest setting and never adjusted it.  There is also a button for picking up and ending a call. And again, since this is a smaller phone, the coiled wire is also much thinner than the Echo Logic one so although it is working great, I’m being very careful with it when putting it in or taking it out of my purse.

The Echo Logic handset is my favorite.  The feel is just like the phones of yesteryear, it is easy to cradle between shoulder and ear, and it has a button for picking up or ending a call.  The cord on this phone is pretty heavy duty and much more like the phones of yesteryear as well.  In fact some of the reviewers purchased this handset for elderly relatives who were having a hard time holding cell phones to their ears and hearing well.  I love all my fun new handsets but this is the one for me when I’m home on a long convo with a friend or relative!

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Hula at the Luau

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I dressed Maddy in a Hawaiian hula costume last year for Halloween. But now that the weather is getting nicer, I realized she can wear it to any number of luaus and barbecues this season! Here she is doing a little dance for you.

And here is where you can get your own costumes!  I actually wore a hula outfit to my great niece’s birthday party one year as it was a costume party.  These are what I used (I did wear them over regular clothes though).

Adult set of three grass skirts with floral waistbands

A set of three for the kids

And some floral clips for the hair (set of 12)!

And don’t forget the coconut bras (set of 3 adult sized)

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