Thursday, March 24, 2011

Homekeeping --A Natural Shine to Cleaning

To Disinfect - These two recipes work well on bathroom and kitchen surfaces

1/2cup Borax dissolved in one gallon of hot water
2 cups of boiling water poured over 2 cups of fresh thyme;steep for ten minutes, strain and cool

All Purpose Scouring Powder-

Grind dried petals or fragrant herbs and mix with baking soda

Metal Cleaners-

Silver : Use toothpaste
Brass: Use equal parts salt and flour,add a touch of vinegar to make paste.Let sit before wiping dry.
Copper: Use a paste of lemon juice and salt

Floor Cleaning Recipes -

All purpose floor cleaner- 1 cup vinegar in pail of water
Greasy floors: 1/4 cup washing soda and TBS vegetable oil based soap to every two gallons of hot water
Polish linoleum floors with club soda
Clean and Deodorize carpets: Mix two parts cornmeal with one part borax. Sprinkle generously over carpet,allow to sit for one hour then vacuum

Windows and Mirrors-

One part vinegar added to four parts water
One cup strong black tea with 3 TBS vinegar

Oven Cleaner -

A paste of baking soda and hot water or sprinkle the soda on a damp sponge and wipe.

Water Spots on Furniture -

Massage white toothpaste on the spot, let dry and buff with a clean cloth
Scratch or Stains: Rub the meat of a walnut into the scratch

Who Knew !!!

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

I was just browsing around and found this amazing group of people that are making pillow cases for a cause. Foster children,cancer patients and victims domestic violence. They are trying to reach a goal of 1 Million pillowcases.

You can help by connecting to They have all the information there. They have patterns and tutorials on finishing pillowcases also.

The sponsor of this project is American Patchwork Quilting. So for all you out there that enjoy sewing this might be a lovely thing to do to help people in need .

Projects Using a Roll of Wallpaper

Bold Service Cart- A basic glass front bookcase becomes a stellar service cart with just a roll of wallpaper. After removing the legs and doors,prime and paint the bookcase.When dry,wallpaper the outside surfaces and install casters to the bottom Reattach doors
Spotlight framed black and white photography in an artful way by covering plain mats with leftover wallpaper. Cut the paper to fit and apply it to mats with double stick tape

Floral paper to rejuvenate the drawer fronts of a tired dresser.

Cover a lampshade for a soft glow whenever the lamp is on. Place a piece of wallpaper on a flat surface. Roll the shade along the wallpaper, tracing both edges. Add 1/2 inch to each edge, cut out the cover and use spray adhesive to attach it. Snip the excess paper at even intervals, fold to the back of the shade.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ribbon Wrapped Easter Egg Craft

These beautiful eggs look striking, but take just seconds to complete. For added interest,play with different widths and textures of ribbons for this project. Thinner ribbons can be wrapped multiple times around the egg,and thicker ribbons are perfect for layering.

You need
White wooden eggs,ribbon, ric rac,tacky glue

Cut ribbon so it fits securely around egg in the desired pattern. Dot back of ribbon with glue and carefully wrap around egg.

Chocolate Cookie Shake

Oh my this looks yummy !! I need to try this one You need

1 cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup milk
1 chocolate sandwich cookie

In a blender container, blend together ice cream and milk. Add sandwich cookie and blend until coarsely crushed

Cleaning with Lemons "Did you know"?

Put a shine on metal- When it comes to copper,brass, and chrome,nix harsh chemical polishes and instead put some elbow grease behind half a lemon.Lemons are highly acidic, which enables them to cut through and loosen mineral deposits
Lemon rinds ground in the disposal will deodorize your sinks drain 1-2-3. Unlike vinegar, which leaves no scent, lemons provide a clean,crisp aroma. Just slice a lemon into chubby quarters , slip them into the sinks disposal, turn on hot water and rinse

Rock Solid Doorstop

A stone can be surprisingly stylish. It becomes a useful accent when you add felt to keep it from scratching the floor
You need Gray or brown felt/stone at least 5 lbs/craft glue
Cut felt to size and shape to fit bottom of stone and glue to stone

Housewarming Bucket

Instead of offering the usual plate of cookies, welcome new neighbors with a bucket of practical items they'll need while settling into their new home

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Life with William

Some of you have seen these, but I had to post them for my cousin Pat. He is looking for Mom if you can't read the caption"Mommy are you in there"

Check out the shoes, Pat

Simple Spring Centerpieces

Tuck eggs either hard boiled, plastic or foil covered chocolate inside a folded napkin. These can serve as place cards. Write a name on each egg or tuck a card behind the egg
Tulip Delight Put the eggs in clear glass bowl, add a few inches of water, and arrange tulips so the stems are in the water

Floral Nests- Turn an open round flower into a decorative nest. Use peonies, but open roses would also be lovely. Cut the stems short and float on water in a footed dish or glass. Tuck a few little eggs in the middle and display as a centerpiece

Just Ducky Tennis Ball Chick

Here's a fluffy ball that's all it quacked up to be. This tennis ball duckling can neither swim nor fly, but it gets by with a winning waddle

You need: glue/orange craft foam/1 tennis ball/2 eyes/1- 2 inch yellow pom pom /yellow and orange craft feathers/marker

How to

Glue together two 4 inch squares of orange craft foam.

When the glue dries, cut out a 1 piece of webbed feet, then glue the tennis ball to the feet

Glue 2 eyes and 2 dick bill shapes cut from more orange craft foam to a 2 inch yellow pom pom, then glue the pom pom to the tennis ball

For wings and a tail, glue yellow and orange craft feathers to the sides and back of the duck

Finally, dot nostrils on the top of the bill with a marker

Beady Babies

Cute craft for the younger children to make for Easter. These baby chicks are so easy to make, you can have an entire clutch ready in time for Easter You need: 2 round wooden beads with holes large enough for a doubled pipe cleaner to fit through /6- inch pipe cleaners/paint/craft feather/marker

How to

Paint the beads. When they dry bend a 6 inch pipe cleaner in half, sandwiching the end of a tiny craft feather in the fold

Thread the smaller bead onto the opposite end of the pipe cleaner and slide the bead up to hide the bottom of the feather

Thread the larger bead onto the pipe cleaner,then bend the ends of the pipe cleaner into feet

Finally, use a marker to give your little chick eyes and a tiny beak

Budget Friendly DIY Artwork

It's time to take a trip to the fabric store. Look for texture and pattern in off the bolt yardage that resembles expensive weaving. Add a border of contrasting linen around the edges, sew drapery rings to the top, and hang your faux tapestry from a bold rod.

Frame scrap booking paper, available in an array of trendy colors and patterns, for easy and inexpensive artwork. Choose papers that suit your rooms color scheme and place them in matching frames for a cohesive display

St Patrick"s Day

William celebrating St Patrick's Day . We went out to lunch and he had a good time

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Little Firefighter

This is the fire truck he got for Christmas, we debated giving it to him because we thought he was too young but he fits great now

Monday, March 14, 2011

Almost Lasagna

You need

1 pound elbow macaroni cooked
1 pound ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 pound Ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
2 cups Veggies( zucchini,carrots etc )

Brown meat and .
Mix cooked meat macaroni, sauce, and veggies. Add ricotta mixture and blend well .

Coat a baking pan, and spread half of the macaroni mixture evenly over the bottom. Top with a cup of mozzarella and a healthy sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Add the remaining macaroni mixture and top with another cup of mozzarella cheese and another sprinkle of Parmesan cover with foil.

Heat your oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes .Uncover and bake for another 10 or so until the cheese on top is lightly browned and bubbly.

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a true one pot meal. The spaghetti cooks right in the pot.

You need

1/2 pound ground beef
1 jar pasta sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
1/2 pound Angel hair pasta broken into pieces
2 cups baby spinach chopped
Parmesan cheese

How to

Saute beef until is it browned, add the sauce and cook for a minute or two then stir in the salt ,sugar olive oil water pasta and greens .

Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low,cover the pot and simmer. Cook for 10 minutes until pasta is tender

Favorite New Uses for Old Things

Brand anything as yours-- books,binders,Tupperware,a stapler-with a return address sticker

Use Rubber Bands to Keep Clothes on the Hanger- No more worries of camisoles,sundresses, and other slippery garments slipping off hangers when you wrap the ends with rubber bands
A hard plastic soap case is the perfect size to protect a camera stashed in a carry on

Decorate and distinguish wine or water glasses at your next get together with removable window decals

Simple Spring Centerpieces

Egg Dish -- Mound hollowed out,painted or dyed eggs in a clear compote and add a little water. Then stick stems of delphinium and pom-pom mums in the crevices between the eggs .
Eggs and Carnations- Turn a handful of dyed eggs and a bouquet of carnations into a playful spring centerpiece. Fill a medium size footed bowl with a few inches of water. Nestle dyed eggs in a smaller bowl. Cut carnation stems about 2 or 3 inches long and pack the blooms around the bowl of eggs

Easter Egg Vase- Start with a large mouth clear cookie jar or canister and place a clear drinking glass in the center. Gently stack dyed hard cooked eggs between the glass and jar,alternating egg colors. Fill the glass with water. Cut the stems of your favorite flowers and arrange them in the glass

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Clip Artistry

Use decorative paper or wallpaper leftovers or samples to brighten basic clipboards. Start by making a template; Trace the shape of the board onto card stock,making a notch for the clamp. Place template on the back of the paper;cut out with a craft knife.
Brush a thin ,even layer of decoupage glue onto clipboard with a craft brush. Affix paper,and smooth out air bubbles with a craft scraper. Brush with decoupage glue. Hang several in place of a bulletin board.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Quick and Easy Headboard Updates

Cover it Up -- It's easy to give a pain fabric or wood headboard serious style with a simple slipcover. Just drape your fabric over your headboard to find your perfect length. Next,stitch ribbons for ties down both sides of your fabric. Don't worry about your headboard peeking through the edges. Sew a bed skirt to match
Spend the night in paradise. Or at least feel like you're somewhere tropical with this island inspired headboard. Cover your existing headboard with bamboo. An inexpensive bamboo rug is ideal for this project. Adhere the edges to the headboard with wood glue. Hide the unfinished edges with a border of bamboo canes cut in half and glued to the headboard.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wiliam in Trouble Again

William in Trouble

Look at that innocent face, just before he crawled under a glass top table
Here he is under the table looking up thru the glass at Mom.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ways to Upgrade your Bathroom

Old wooden crates make smart holders for extra toilet paper and rolled bath towels.
Turn an unused nightstand into storage for small towels,makeup,hair tools, and toiletries

When your tub lacks wide ledges where you can stow your bath products hand a multilevel fruit basket for additional space.

Monday, March 7, 2011

William and Scooter

William is very fascinated with Scooter. He just wants to touch him but Scooter is too fast.
Here they are playing "nice" Hopefully someday when William is older they can become "buds"

Easter and Spring Centerpieces

Hollowed out eggshells make a naturally beautiful vases for tiny flower arrangements. Break an egg at the top of its shell,drain the contents, and carefully rinse out the inside. Next, fill the empty shell with room temperature water and place it in an eggcup for stability. Finally, insert small cuttings of your favorite blossoms.

Cut Spring Blossoms- A watering can holding cut spring blossoms will continue to nurture flowers long after the bouquet is gone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

William Crawling

JSJ Studio

If you have not checked out JSJ Studio, you need to! Jennifer has revamped the whole site and it is lovely. She has added some new pictures for your viewing pleasure . She is a self taught artist and has come a long way.

Her commission prices are very reasonable and I am sure that you will be pleased with her work. Check out the link in the sidebar, you will be amazed at her talent.


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