Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wool Dryer Balls



Yes it is an green thing in more ways than one!

The concept of dryer balls are to save you money and time and these really work.  
I use them and love them!  The  idea is this the balls roll around in your laundry separating it in the dryer hence cutting some of the dryer time.  They also fluff keeping wrinkles down and softening.  The bonus is...I have one of these:
Meet Gnar Gnar..short for Gnarly little attitude!

He sheds long blonde hairs.....The dryer ball brush against your clothes causing the hairs to knot up on them selves.  The plus is I will find little wads of hair in the dryer but not on my clothes....Love that.!
Making the dryer balls is simple however time consuming.  A lot of post suggest buying wool that is 100% wool yarn and rolling it in a ball.  That is costly!  It takes a lot of yarn to make a ball the size of a tennis ball.  My short cut is a 100% wool sweater or blanket (found second hand) that I cut into strips, roll those in to a ball then wind yard around that ball.  Also a cost saver ; take your coupon or app on your phone with you to Joann's,  Micheal's or Hobby Lobby to get your yarn for at the least 40% off.  Also Ibotta has rebate offers for Joann's I think the last time I used it I got 10% back on my purchase.  It was super easy just scan the bar-code on your receipt in the Ibotta app.

Once you have your ball made you put in the leg of a pair of panty hose and knot it off.  One leg will hold about 10- 11 balls.  Throw this in your wash.  I throw in mainly washes that use hot to warm water.  The agitation in the wash will cause the 100% wool yarn to felt on it self.  This felting prevents the balls from coming unraveled.  It takes about 7 washes to really felt then well.  


Once they are felted you are done with washing them.  It takes 3 balls to effectively work in your dryer, I have not noticed any difference with more than three. Simply put three in your dryer with your wet clothes.  You do not  need to wash them again.  You can put essential oils on them .  The oils will really not scent your clothes that well but when you open your dryer it will be a spa experience!
I sell these in my booth at Vintage Collections downtown Camden. I decided to make storage bags for them.
I approached this with simplicity and minimal supplies.  I wanted the customer to be able to see the balls so the back had to be "see through".



I had some remnants of cotton dish toweling that I could get roughly two bags from each remnant.
PERFECT
This was another mug of Tea project!

I used twine, tulle and the remnants! 

 .
And my serger.  I love this handy little machine once I just dug in and taught myself to thread it!


Simple process :  cut the remnants with pinking sheers to prevent unraveling and make an interesting edge, Sew folded over tulle onto the back leaving the folded edge as the top of your bag back..Insert a ribbon or in this case a jute string about 3 inches from the top in the seam with the string on the inside of the right sides together.  this way the string will be on the right side of the finished bag to tie it off.  Serge or machine sew and you are done!


Just make a tag with instructions on how to use and what a great little gift!

If you are local and want to save the green and go green but are cramped on time visit my booth at Vintage Collections down town Camden SC.  I have them for sale there!

Happy Savings!
Sheryl

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fence rails,treadles and wagons

I was privileged today and managed to get in the shop  and put together a Funky little table.  The components are: old radio flyer wagon, fence rail, treadle sewing machine base and treadle sewing machine trim molding , a handful of screws and e6000 glue.  Optional clear coat lacquer. Well and a few standard tools.



The most difficult part of this project was removing the wheels from the old wagon.



The bolts were pretty rusted and finally I resorted to one of my favorite tools the Dremel. 


A grinding wheel for metal split the nuts and I was able to pull them off with pliers.

I cleaned the wagon with some medium steel wool and general purpose cleaner.  


In order for the wagon to sit level and sturdy I used a fence rail cut in 2 peices.  I used the original holes that were used to attach the sewing machine cabinet to the base to attach them.  I drilled four holes in the wagon as well, as pilot holes in the fence rails.  I put a dab of e6000 in each holes and screwed the wagon down.  


The towel bar is a vintage piece of molding off a treadle machine.  I cut it to length , pre drilled the ends and attached it to the base with vintage screws. In order to prevent anymore rust from forming on the wagon I put a few coats of clear lacquer on it.  



Not every one,s taste..However, Funky and different!  Perfect for the dorm room..man cave as a bar. towel storage in a bath or spice and utensil storage in that eclectic kitchen.  It will be available at Vintage Collections down town Camden.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Homemade Laundry Powder and Being Green



In an effort to be frugal and more environmentally conscious I have started making my own laundry soap.  I have been pleasantly pleased with the results.  There are three basic ingredients: Fels-Naptha soap, Borax and Super washing soda.  All of these items can be found at your local grocery store or you can order them on line and have them delivered to your door.  I find my bar soap at Kroger in the laundry soap isle and the other two items are at almost every grocers.  You can also use Ivory soap as well, you can replace one Fels Naptha bar with two ivory bars.  Handmade soaps that are coconut oil based also make great alternatives. 


The recipe is very simple.  One bar of soap finely ground plus one cup each of borax and super washing soda.  When I make it I make a triple or at least double batch.  This time I made enough to offer "give it a try Jars" to sell in my booth.  

Here is how I tackle this Job.


I am making three batches at one time.
 I first, do not do this in the house...because I use an old food processor the soap and additives can make dust so I make this in my shop with....
The DOOR OPEN

Ventilation is a good idea..I do not want to breath in Borax.  
I break the bar soaps in half so that they will fit in the shoot on my processor and install the grate plate so that I can grate the soap first.  You can hand grate the soap but what is the fun in that.  Mental Note:  I make soap every two to three months so I have a old processor that I no longer use for food.  The benefit is there is minimal clean up.  If you use your kitchen processor run it through the dishwasher before you use it again.  You can usually find a old used processor at thrift stores cheap.  Getting one may make this a lot less labor intensive. 





You will have little slivers left just put them to the side you can add them back when you process your grated soap. 


When you are done grating the bar soaps switch back to your processor blade , break up the slivers and grind your soap to a semi fine powder.
Get your self a bucket to make mixing all the ingredients a lot easier. Use a spoon because it can be drying on your  hands or you can wear gloves  You can also add 1 one and a half cups of soap powder to one cup of borax and one cup of washing powder to your processor and mix small batches at a time.  I tried this method this time and was pleased with how well it worked.



I keep an enamel pot beside my washer with the homemade laundry powder in it and an old tablespoon measuring spoon.  I use one tablespoon per normal size to smaller loads.  I use Two for heavily soiled clothing and extra large loads.  I have a Bravos XL washer and it can hold large loads and two works great .  This is also a HE machine and this is fine it has no suds.  I use warm to cold water for most of my clothes and this powder dissolves wonderfully as well as cleans.  It will leave you clothes smelling clean not perfumed.

Now not every one has time...we are all strapped for it and when we get a minute making soap that we are not sure we will like is not the first thing on our list.  So I made small jars that will do 10 small to normal loads.  I will be offering these in my booth at Vintage Collections  located downtown Camden.




The labels were made using avery templates and printed on my printer.

I used a Martha Stewart circle cutter to cut them out and double sided tape runner to attach them to the jars as well as the left over ribbon .




I do keep a back up of commercial soap in the laundry room .  Life here gets busy and complicated at times so a back up is always a good plan.  However for the most part homemade is my all the time preference.

I also use wool dryer balls. I find that they do all that you hear about them.  Clothes dry quicker with less wrinkles and static and are soft. I will also be offering them for sale at the booth in a few weeks.  I have tried a few homemade fabric softeners but so far am not impressed, when I find one I will be sure to share.
Well happy Laudrying ,
Sheryl


Thursday, June 15, 2017

I got it covered!



In a kitchen remodel we decided to go with open upper shelving.  I house my pots and pans on this wall above the stove.   and YEP!  The lids to the pans that are not used on a weekly basis get a little filmy.  



..
I have some vintage linen napkins that would make great pot lid covers.  They would be reusable and match the retro vintage theme of some of my kitchen.


Now to you linen collectors no linen with out stain or hole was injured during this project.  
I gathered my materials I needed with my machine....


estimated what the large button hole had to be in the center of the napkin to accommodate the largest pot lid handle.  


Marked the center of the napkin with pins , set the stitch length to the lowest setting on my machine with the zig zag stitch selected..and made a large button hole....snipped a slit in the center and.....




HOLD EVERY THING.....
I HATE IT....so plan B!
I am glad I only made one!





PLAN B: Get a paper towel...bare with me it looks pretty good from where I am standing...


Fold it in quarters....put the center of your paper towel in the center of the lid press...it will leave an impression on the towel ,




 then cut your round.  Cut a slit in the center large enough to go over your handle and you are done.  If it is still clean when you take the pot down reuse it..if not throw it out and make a new one...it only takes a min or two...a lot less time then washing the lid every time you take the pot down.

barely notice it!




Moral of this post:  All of these wonderful ideas in blog land did not always start out wonderful ideas. Sometimes you go back to the "drawing Board" and re approach an idea several times before you get your desired out come.  So try again!   
Sheryl 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Its an Option....

I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite little Thrift shops in Cola. SC .  The people are so nice in this store and they are a spiritual bunch as well..always refreshing.  The gal working the register commented that she had not seen me in quiet a while 'where have I been?' I explained to her that my sons health had taken a drastic turn, and he was now in Dialysis, and I was taking the time to get a little retail therapy.


He makes a great Allen Jackson for Halloween



 She immediately was so sorry that he was in Dialysis and how hard it must be.  The Lord at that time took hold of my tongue and heart and I replied to her "Its an option and with out it the circumstances could be so much more painful".  I was reminded, even in what we see as tough spots, fail to see that it is an option.  I have DVT Deep Vein Thrombosis it is a life threatening condition and I take Warfrin ...blood thinners ..to treat it. I have to watch my diet and get regular blood checks to make sure that I am not too thin...also a life threatening condition.  But you know it is an option.  With out an option I more than likely would not be here.  I guess it is like not being able to see the forest from the trees .  Fear and despair are difficult things to see clearly through.  They make our minds and hearts operate in despair and not in faith.  So three days a week we load my little "Alan Jackson" up and head to dialysis..it takes us 5-6 hours round trip but its and Option.  We love him and so appreciate that we still have him .  He gives the best hugs and Kisses...we are loved....and he is loved and we thank God for options!
Sheryl

Thursday, February 9, 2017

From dresser to bench..




It is so much easier to drastically alter a piece of furniture when it is just not cutting it as its original purpose.  It being a freebie is also a great motivator to go to Mr. RTI with a jig saw and a plan.






This dresser had some repairs already.  the top had been replaced with some plywood and a pretty rough trim added. The corners had not been mitered, it was pretty rough.  A few drawers were coming apart but the frame work was pretty sturdy.  Solution convert it in to a bench with drawer storage.

I removed the drawers and we cut the legs down to remove some damage.  We also removed the top that was very sturdy and would make a great bench seat.





We measured what Height we wanted it to be and marked all sides....

Cut it and reattached the top.  I used Southern Honey paint and distressed the final finish.  



I added vintage hardware as it was...and each drawer had different hardware ......


I decoupaged the drawers with vintage children's book pages in black and white. (no worries the book was in pretty bad shape I just managed to get enough pages)






My thoughts on this:  A perfect item to sit at the foot of a bed to hold linens or a blanket.  A perfect addition to the mud room, a place to sit and take off your shoes and store them in the drawers.  Either way it is used it was a fun and rewarding project!

Sheryl

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Industrial cabinet make over

You do not find metal drawer cabinets that often and when you do they can be quiet pricey!  So when I found this one for under 20 bucks...even though it's drawers missing I snatched it up!  

The Plan:  Kitchen Storage




It was in nice somewhat clean shape.  I used a mixture of rubbing alcohol and a Mr. clean sponge to get the heavy marks off and to sanitize the drawers...

IT worked beautifully !

The pen and sharpie marks are gone...the normal wear I am not that worried about.
I elected not to paint it because, I like the industrial color and could not think of another color I would rather have.  



I now had to deal with the missing drawers.  I thought about baskets or custom made slide in wooden drawers then it hit me.  I have pets and am not as young as I used to be .."will I really use the lower drawers?"  So a kick plate it was.  I had some great aged scrap in the stash at the woman cave and asked Mr. RTI to help me measure and to cut it the size. I needed
To give the cabinet "balance" so I also added a piece of maple from my Dad's Shop for a top.


The next step was deciding what I was going to store in the cabinet. Spice?...utensils?..food?..ect?..ect?.

Since I have recently dedicated a drawer near my prep area to spices..


Mental note:  This was one of the smartest things I have done in my kitchen.  I saves steps time and makes putting spices back up so much more easy. I also added to this drawer a set of long handled measuring spoons that will reach in to every jar easily.


No not all jars are the same size or type however they all fit and I can see what I have at a glance.  BIG TIME SAVER!

Now back to the cabinet.
Spices are taken care of so I elected to use the cabinet for utensils that I use however not every day and various kitchen items that fall under the same category.
To make it all easy to find I added labels to the label holders on the drawer to indicate what was in it.  Yes this was tedious...and I kid you not I had to hang in there to finish.  I struggled with this part of the project however it was worth the effort.  Every thing can be found at a glace.
Here is the theory on the labels :
Not what the item is but what the item does.  Ex.  There is a drawer dedicated to "Grate"  If it grates it is in the drawer...One to , "Strain"  If it strains then it is in the drawer.   


The empty Drawers I put blank labels on and will use the Ptouch to add them as I find uses for the drawers.  



The top has a fruit bowl and basket for mail...and a great spot to rest a cool vintage pyrex refrigerator Dish..  I even added to a lower drawer  Lysol to hit that trash can with and wipes to wipe it down when needed.  Less steps and less time looking for what you need.  A WIN WIN!

You can read about my first craft room metal cabinet upcycle here

Hope you are inspired to organize an area in your kitchen or bath..or closet ..Just bite the bullet and do it.  You will not be sorry!