Tag Archives: home

Homemade Fabric Softener

I stopped using fabric softener years ago after I discovered it actually shortened the life of your clothes.  However, sometimes it’s nice to have some on hand- like for a new set of sheets you want to break in.

Since I’m trying to be a more frugal homekeeper, I searched Pinterest for softener recipes & after some math (to make less than 1 gallon), I found a good one.  Our sheets came out nice & soft & they didn’t have that fabric softener smell which I personally can’t stand.  Here’s the recipe:

1 1/2 cups HOT water
1/2 cup hair conditioner (they recommended a Suave rain that smelled nice, I used Suave Shea Butter ’cause that’s what we use)
3/4 cup vinegar

– Pour water & conditioner into a lidded jar (I used 2 pint mason jars, or 1 quart would be perfect).
– Shake until completely dissolved.
– Add vinegar & shake well.

Use about 2 tablespoons per load.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we are!

Weekend Wrap-Up & Other Stuff

Whew!  That was a busy couple of weeks!

We had a friend to visit, so between prepping for that & Holy Week at church, there went some time.  I did manage to plant some potatoes on Good Friday (per an Old Wive’s Tale).  Here’s my first planting:

Our friend (who’s always up for trying something new), didn’t mind helping me figure out how to setup this “urban gardening method” of potato planting.  (She’s such a sport!)

Then I’ve been finishing some knitting projects.  My knitting bag is overflowing, so I took some time to finish projects:
A bunny made from leftover bamboo yarn:

A dish scrubbie from leftover cotton yarn:

A swiffer cloth from more leftover cotton yarn:

And I’m *almost* done with a cardigan I started when I got my wisdom teeth out last year- just need to block the collar- then I’ll post some pics.

But where’s the quilting?  After all, this is a quilting blog!  I know, I know.  Those pics with be uploaded shortly, stayed tuned for those posts!

Pesky Foggy Glasses (& How I Conquered Them)

Today is Monday, so today I was busy mending and getting some yard work done (it was 65 degrees!!!). While emptying the dishwasher, I noticed our horrible foggy glasses.

Does this happen to anyone else? Does this happen *anywhere* else? *sigh*

No matter what I do to clean the dishwasher, nothing comes out clean.

I was nearly tempted to throw away all our glasses & get a new, matching set from Target. But then I reminded myself that’s not fiscally responsible.

So I soaked them for 1 hour in hot soapy water. Nothing. So I went to the Internet to research how to clean these pesky glasses. After combining several tips, this is what I came up with:

– take a large pot, fill with water (but allow enough water for the displacement of glasses)
– add 1 cup of vinegar (vinegar is a frugal homemakers best friend. We should all store vats of this stuff)
– bring to a boil. I didn’t wait for a rolling boil (not that much patience), but there were small bubbles coming up for about 3-5 minutes
– remove water bath from heat
– using tongs, carefully immerse 2-3 glasses. They should be fully immersed in the water.
– set timer for 20 minutes
– using tongs, remove glasses from bath, hand wash & dry
– repeat until all glasses are clean!

Have any doubts this works?
Here’s a before & after pic:


It doesn’t get any better than that!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A New Studio

Good morning everyone!

I’m proud to announce that I’m the new resident in a newly redesigned & decorated studio (i.e. our basement)!

We were very fortunate when we got this house to have a finished basement. I quickly took that over as my studio- but with working other jobs, trying to find my “place” with the long arm- the basement stayed the dull tan/brown color the previous people painted.

I also discovered in that year that I had the room setup “wrong.” The space didn’t work for me. The design wall was miles (ok, yards) away from my sewing machine. My thread sat jumbled in a drawer & projects in progress were mixed in with stash fabric. So about two weeks ago in the middle of a pity party, I pulled out the paint that had been sitting in the garage since last September & starting working. I’m very happy to say that my once dull brown studio is now a very cheery Robin’s egg blue! I also rearranged my workspace & here it is:

One bookcase holds my projects in process, the other my stash fabric. My spool holder is finally hanging (I think I finished it last August??). All the long arm tools are together & all the piecing tools are in one spot. The design wall is now about 2 feet from my sewing machine & the best part? The studio actually feels like me!

So I immediately sat down & pieced 3 quilts! No, not really. I actually left town to go to MQS in Kansas City. I went in 2010 but just attended the show. This year I shopped, drooled over gorgeous quilts & took classes! Since MQS deserves it’s own blog post- tomorrow I’ll tell you about all the great things I learned, teachers who inspired me and ideas I have for the future!

Our Office

This was our office. It wasn’t very inspiring. Now granted the paint samples weren’t there for the past 3 months, but the room definately needed some help.
So we bought a desk! A nice L-shaped desk in a cherry finish from Staples. And it sat in the box for about a month b/c of life. Then we started looking at paint colors. We looked at Sherwin Williams and Home Depot. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we picked up some paint samples of some potential candidates & they, like the desk, sat in the house.
Then J took a couple of days off this weekend specifically so we could work on the office. We spend a good deal of time in there, so it was important that room be worked on before some others.
Friday afternoon we tested! We threw some paint on the wall to decide upon a color. The final color: Home Depot’s Painted Turtle!
Saturday we painted! Decided to do only 2 walls as Painted Turtle is a dark color. The previous owners painted the ENTIRE house in an adobe/tan/beige color, so the other 2 walls are a nice bright adobe/tan/beige.
Sunday we assembled! We put together the L-desk & Hutch. I already had the bookcase assembled from a burst of energy a month ago. (I think that was the last burst of energy I’ve had in a while to be truthful.) J also worked on transferring the computer over & that ever fun “cord management” goal.
Monday we shopped! We decided we wanted nice reading chairs. We took out the bright red couch of mine & the room needed a space where we could just sit & read. So we checked out some stores & finally decided on an Ethan Allen recliner. J got his recliner. I got something that didn’t look like a recliner. Yay! I can’t wait for them to arrive! We then continued our tour of Omaha furniture stores to find a sofa set for the formal living room. We found a nice set at the behemouth furniture store in Omaha. So now that room is slowly coming together.
So, here is the final product, without the great chairs!

Overall it was a wonderful weekend. J also cooked some great food. Sunday was balsamic grilled shrimp on a salad w/ tomatoes & peppers from the garden. Monday was Jambayla with shrimp & sausage w/ Lucky Star Zinfandel.

Busy Weekend & the Status of the House

We had an extremely busy weekend here, running errands, assembling furniture, buying furniture & our first DIY project in the house!!

The garage was mess of yard tools and bikes. We hung these 2 handy dandy pegboards to organize all the rakes, shovels, gardening supplies on & ta da! No more mess! We even have room to store the grill in the garage over the winter!
The lawn furniture arrived this morning & hopefully I’ll have time to assemble that this afternoon.
The office is still a work in progress. We are now going to paint sooner than later, so we picked up lots of paint samples as Home Depot & now just need to decide which to use. The main problem is that the former owners painted the ENTIRE house (and I’m not exaggerating here) in one shade of tan. It’s a special shade too- almost like adobe, but darker- I swear there are hints of peaches & cinnamon in the color. We like the color, just not in every single room of the house. Now to find complementary shades….. makes my brain tired. Also, in assembling our desk, one of the pieces was damaged & it still hasn’t arrived from the great big Staples warehouse (note to future office furniture purchasers- look at Staples- free shipping & they are GREAT about replacing damaged parts!)
The quilting studio- coming along slowly. The Quilting Machine came! Now we just need to assemble it & set up the computerized software.
The garden- producing more cucumbers than we can possibly hope to eat. Luckily the neighbors don’t mind free cukes. The watermelon plant has 5 babies melons so far. I hope the neighbors like watermelon too.
The yard- We’re slowly coming up with the landscaping plan. Not going to happen anytime soon. We did however find this cool sprinkler that you can set to various distances to water your entire lawn at once. But of course, it’s supposed to rain all week. Ahh.
The kitchen- mostly all done, but J bought be a Kitchen Aid 12 cup food processor & I’m so excited about this! I’m thinking zucchini bread! Pesto! (oh yikes- I need to split the basil plant! It’s being strangled in the small pot.)
The bathroom- need to pick a color- the matte paint that is in the ENTIRE house doesn’t quite cut it for the humidity in a bathroom. Maybe a nice blue-green shade?
Living room- haven’t done a thing. It’s currently our drop space for all these boxes.
Lots & lots still to do!!!! Musn’t forget the business either!

Random List

1. I’ve gotten into a nice routine of cleaning everyday- which should help me manage the place.
2. Potted some african violets over the weekend, so now the bedroom seems a little more finished.
3. Finished 1 Maeve sock & now at the gusset increases on the second one. Would really like to finish this tomorrow, most likely won’t be until Thursday.
4. Currently reading “Cards on the Table” by Agatha Christie. One from my Booksfree queue. I really enjoy reading her novels. Very entertaining even 80 + years later. Maybe tonight I will find out who the killer is…..

Also, it was someone mentioned they wanted to see more pics. Here’s one I took at the Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria:

Washer & Dryer!

We also had to purchase a washer & dryer. We sold the one we had in Alaska with the house. Then we used the horrible apartment W/D in Virginia. But now we got to buy a really great set! We did tons of research (*cough* J did a lot of research *cough*) definately wanted the high efficiency models. At first we decided on the LG mid level set. Didn’t have the steam feature, but it seemed to be a good machine for the price. But we were hestitant about the front loader fitting in the laundry room. Then while in Roanoke, we stopped in at the Home Depot & chatted with the appliance sales person. She introduced us to the Maytag Bravos series! This thing is amazing! Top loading (no fitting in the room worries here!) & quieter & was even certified to eliminate allergens! & the best part- it’s HUGE! 4.7 Cubic feet! I did the first load of wash & what would have filled the “full size” apartment washer only came to about halfway! & thanks to moving in the week after Memorial Day, we got a FANTASTIC deal, so we didn’t pay anywhere’s near that scary price on the Maytag site! Yikes!
So yes, we’ve become complete suburbanites, getting all excited about our appliances. Next up I need to show you the Dining room set!

Our Kitchen!

Well we are finally in our beautiful new house. It seems everyone has their “House buying drama” story. We have now joined that group. The previous owners didn’t think twice about leaving what they didn’t want in the house after they vacated. But thanks to CBS Home (a very nice realty office), everything got hauled away right as the carpet cleaners where ready to begin. Our household goods arrived safely & so far nothing appears to be damaged.
The best part was putting together the kitchen though!!! The previous owners had replaced the cabinets to a nice cherry & updated the dishwasher & microwave to stainless steel. However, they left the fridge & range the old white models. Needless to say, it looked a little disjointed. So J & I went out to replace those units. We ended up with a HUGE LG fridge:
Just look at the inside of this machine!
And here’s a pic of the overall kitchen:
That alumumin pan in the middle of the island is a “Welcome to Omaha” tray of brownies! I love this town!