I admit, I’m teetering on the edge of crazy cat lady. There are probably only two things that keep me from finally falling into the abyss of fanatical feline fandom, and those are: 1. I do not live alone/am not single 2. Equally important, I have been told that only two cats are not enough to cross the line.
Now that I have my defense in place… let me tell you what I made! A crochet house for my cats!
It involves very few tools:
- Crochet hook
- Wire hangers
- 2 needle nose pliers
- Slightly loose screws in head
Create a large flat crochet circle, big enough for your cat to lay on. To keep its shape, take apart a wire hanger and carefully bend it into a circle. This is where those two needle nose pliers come in handy. Use them to help twist to two ends of the circle together to complete the circle. Attach the wire circle to the outside of the crochet circle by enveloping it in a row of stitches. This is the bottom of the house. To create the dome portion, crochet the same number of stitches as the outermost row of your circle. I did about three rows to give it a slight lip at the bottom of the opening to the house. Your next row won’t go all the way around, stop it at how wide you want your opening. Continue on, slowly decreasing the number of stitches in each row to slowly start curving the dome in. Eventually you want to start making the opening taper in as well by adding stitches onto the ends of your rows. You should end up with a fairly floppy house.
Now it’s time to go tent style! Grab another wire hanger and create two separate semi circles. Slip them into the house crossing at the uppermost point of the “ceiling.” I attached the ends to the base by twisting/hooking them around the wire circle. Use some of the same yarn the house is made from to secure them to the ceiling, and about halfway down the walls to keep them from slipping out of place. I ended up needing to use one more wire support for the back of the house that stopped at the ceiling and hooked into the ‘X’ of the other wire supports also secured at the middle and top with yarn.
It’s a pretty sturdy little thing. The rabbit actually spends more time in it than the cats, but they like it too. Here’s an awesome low quality video of Mustafa playing in it. Lex likes to pounce on top of it and crush it, but it’s super easy to bend back into shape.
Am I a crazy cat lady, or is it just that I wanted to crochet but didn’t know what to make? Perhaps a little bit of both my friend.
I’ve been on this kick lately to make my apartment smell nice. It’s not enough for me to just not have it smell bad, I want it to smell NICE. Let me tell you, it can be a bit of an uphill struggle with two cats and a rabbit (not to mention two humans) all housed in under 700 sq ft. I used to just burn fragrance oil, which, don’t get me wrong, smelled absolutely delicious. But… it’s really not good for you or the environment. Same with Febreeze and other similar products. That stuff is just nasty. It’s such a weird concept to think that we equate great smelling chemicals with a clean home, when in reality it’s absolutely terrible for you and your pets. So, I thought I’d share some different things I’ve come across after spending countless hours obsessing over cleansing the air and making it smell pretty.
First things first I needed to get rid of my oil burning obsession. Sweet sweet destruction of my lungs how hard it was to release thee!
Surprise! There is a super similar solution I could turn to! They make things called cold air oil diffusers which is pretty much like a humidifier that you can add essential oils into. I read a whole bunch on all the super awesome magical effects that these are supposed to have, so even if only 1/4 of them are true I’m totally satisfied. Most importantly, it’s good for you to breath and it smells nice. They’re also supposed to help to cleanse the air and protect you from disease. There is one essential oil blend in particular that I kept reading about called Thieves. Apparently, during the plague a bunch of thieves used this combination of oils to keep from contracting the plague while they robbed plague victims. It’s cray-cray expensive though, and pretty much all of the stuff I’ve run across about how fantastic it is are coming from sites selling them, so I take the stories with a grain of salt. Currently, I’ve been using lavender, eucalyptus, and clove essential oils. My cold air diffuser smells delicious and it’s pretty too! It makes a little bit of a mess though, I have to admit. It tends to get pretty damp where the fog drops down to the shelf. I found this little (actually, it’s pretty big) Precious on Amazon for about $20. If you’re interested, you can check it out here. The one I really wanted was close to $100, but I thought this one would be a pretty good starter.
Sorry for the poor quality photos, I had to use my phone to take the pictures because I forgot to charge my camera.
I also brought home a bunch of green leafy friends! Here’s a list of house plants that are particularly good at cleansing the air. I was able to find peace lilies and spider plants quite easily at my local nursery, and for rather inexpensively. Peace lilies are poisonous to cats though, so be careful with that one.
Look how sweet he (spider plant) looks hanging out with my essential oils on their little shelf.
This next one is a simple no brainer, and totally free. Open your windows and let in some outside air!
Scented candles, unfortunately, were another hard-to-give-up-nice-smelling-but-toxic go-to scent-projecter that I used before (how many hyphens can I use in one sentence?) There are a couple alternatives that I came across. Non-GMO soy candles that use essential oils instead of nasty chemicals was an expensive one. When I’m rich I’m sure I’ll buy a million of them. In the mean-time, while I’m waiting to win the lottery, I found a super neat simple way to turn oranges into candles. There are tutorials all around for how to do this (I particularly like this one.) Basically, all you do is cut an orange in half (or other citrus fruit), scoop out the meat being careful to leave the peel intact, fill one half of the peel with olive oil, and just use the little nubby thing in the middle as a wick. You can use the other half of the peel and cut a little star hole out to top it so you make a cute votive. I tried this as soon as I came across the idea and it was so easy and smelled really nice.
Lastly, I wanted to take a quick look at natural home cleaners. Just like anything labeled (or not, as often is the case) with fragrance, cleaning supplies can have some super nasty stuff in them that can create and leave a lot of bad stuff lingering in your air. After looking through a bunch of different alternative cleaning supply recipes (check pinterest,instructables, or even use your googlefu), I found that pretty much all of the recipes relied on the same handful of ingredients:
The ingredients are all fairly inexpensive too (aside from essential oils) which is an added bonus. I know the dollar store I go to carries hydrogen peroxide.
In addition to the sites I already mentioned, I also wanted to give a shout-out to a blog I’ve been lovin’ on for all sorts of awesome naturalness called Crunch Betty. I love her sense of humor too. She makes “natural” and “homemade” sound a lot cheaper and less scary.
And then just for funzees, here’s a gratuitous picture of my kittens being cute and sleepy.