Category Archives: Homekeeping


ImageI sadly noticed that one of my favorite, and very well-used, tablecloths had sprouted several holes (again). So I decided to make two matching table runners out of the good end sections. That finished, I was about to toss the holey middle section when I realized that I could cut it all up into nice, heavy, cotton rags.

So I folded and cut in half and half and half until I had reasonably sized rags. But those raw edges got me. So out came my serger and I zipped around all 16 rags in no time at all. I rounded the corners to save time. Ta Da!



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Nasty Grease Be Gone!

Pinterest is wonderful. Yesterday I found directions on de-greasing the vent filter the easy way. The instructions said:
Fill your largest pot with water and bring it to a boil. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup baking soda. Do it slowly because it will bubble up for a moment with every addition of baking soda. Then stick your hood fan filter in the pot and let it sit. Turn it end over end, and let the other end sit for awhile. The boiling water literally boils the grease right out, and it comes out sparkling clean!
See how murky the water is? That is all the grease boiling out of the filter.
After it was clean and the water drained off, I had to keep it propped up over the sink all night, but it was still damp in the morning. I clipped it back in place anyway, and it dried eventually.


Filed under Homekeeping

Frames and Mirrors

I’ve gone a full year without artwork on the dining room walls, ever since I painted the room last May. See the corner of the dresser and the big, bare wall beyond the dining table, above.
I needed inspiration and a BIG mirror. Well, I got the big mirror last month. Heather had it stored in the attic and then she decided she would never hang it above her boys’ dresser. Never. Not with Thomas the Tank engines and books and Brix Blocks flying through the air on a regular basis. So she gave it to me and I knew it would be perfect above my dining room “china cabinet”, which is really just a dresser.
When Greta stopped by this morning, I snagged her help. That mirror is HEAVY! We weighed it just to be sure we bought hardware that would hold the weight. It weighs 33 pounds. After a run to three stores, we had hardware in hand and we got that thing up on the wall.
Next I wanted to add some artwork on each side of the mirror to fill out that big, blank wall and begin to balance the 12 feet of tall bookcases on the opposite wall. Greta helped me with that too…

 Tracing the frames on brown paper, cutting out the templates…

 taping them to the wall, pounding in the nails…

 And hanging everything up. Thanks, Greta!


 Two chairs to fill out the wall a little more, and a little r,w, and b for the season.


Filed under Decorating, Homekeeping

Kitchen Closet Finished!

In my last post, I had cleaned out and repainted the closet in the kitchen. Over the next few days, I gathered up all my china, glassware, serving pieces, baskets, and all the other food-related items I use when entertaining. They have been scattered all over the house, from bedroom closet to laundry room to dining room and garage.  I slowly worked my way up from the floor, filling the shelves with it all. 
I purged (again) as I worked. Wow. I sure have a LOT of stuff. Some pieces I’ve held onto for decades, even though I haven’t used it in decades. I guess I thought I “shouldn’t” pass it on if someone gave it to us for a wedding gift. So silly.

I have officially renamed this closet the China Closet. Many historic homes have a china closet instead of a china cabinet or hutch, so I feel I’m in good company.
Going from top down and left to right on each shelf, I have: (shelf 1) glass beverage dispensers and large apothecaries; (shelf 2) inherited family china and vintage glass dessert sets; (shelf 3) china teapots and small pitchers; (shelf 4) our wedding china; (shelf 5) china Christmas plates, china plates for decorative uses, and china plates collected from our travels; (shelf 6) goblets; (floor) tall vases and baskets in open bins.
On the very top shelf which doesn’t show in this photo I have a green depressionware berry set and smaller glass apothecaries.
I love that I can simply open the doors and take out whatever I need.


Filed under Homekeeping

A Redo for a Closet

After hurting my back on Monday (or maybe it was Sunday), I’ve been rather slow this week. Lots of lazing around and doing nothing. Yesterday I fell asleep while reading, and then I couldn’t go to sleep last night. I decided I’ve had enough of that, so I got busy on this sad, sad closet. 
This rats’ nest of cords and electronics is gone now. It’s new home is the office closet, but some has been completely removed. Yay!
The guys moved all the computer equipment out last night and that freed up lots of space. It also exposed all the grime on the walls! Since I needed to empty the closet and reconfigure it anyway, I decided to take the extra time to clean, patch, sand, caulk, prime, and paint.

 Lol. Some people have phone jacks in their closet…and electric outlets too!

 It’s still a work in progress, but here is the closet with one coat of primer. Check back later for the finished closet!

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Digging Deeper

After getting all my fabrics sorted and stored in a much better way, I was inspired to look for more stuff to clean out. I found some boxes in the attic, put away in 2008 when we upended our house to have family move in with us. I figured it was time to bring these remaining boxes into the light of day. I found plenty of goodies to toss or pass on:
Old greeting cards
Old sewing patterns, but not “good” old
Beanie Babies
Several dolls
A cordless battery charger
A stack of printer ink cartridges for a printer that died before we used all the ink
Dried-up craft ink
A semi-broken calculator
Outdated P.O. forms 
A foot massager
Plastic(!) needlepoint canvas
Nursery decor
I even decided to let go of the fabric scraps from my wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses. Really now, it doesn’t change my world to not own them anymore, and I haven’t used them in a project in the past 33 years. Time to say goodbye.

After finishing the attic boxes, I hit the storage shelving in the garage. Wow. I really got into it and purged and organized for three days straight.

 Before, right side of garage. Not bad, but I want this wall to be empty.

 Before, left side of garage. Nicely shelved, but all these boxes need serious review

Out went:
Christmas decorations we don’t use anymore
A camp chair 
Crafts projects that went awry
Dated Christmas ornaments
Dead food
Drafting equipment
Dried-up paint cans
Duplicate tools
Empty boxes and cartons
File cabinets
Grass seed
Hardware for things we no longer own
Ice cream maker can for a machine we never owned
Metal shelving
Particle board drawers that are falling apart
A single weight
4 sofa legs
Stinky shoes
Stuffed animals
And much more!

Left side, after moving all the shelves and power washing the floor. Freezer is moved into more convenient place.
Basically, I divided the garage in half. On the left side, I boxed and shelved all the things I believe we should continue to own. On the right side, I stacked cardboard cartons, filled with the rejects, on old shelving we no longer need. The two sides ended up being about equal in quantity.

 Re-org in process but not yet finished

 This stuff is going…

I hoped to be able to post a picture of the finished product, but we have so, so much to get rid of. I decided we will have another garage sale later this month, and then I can post a picture of our clean garage. Our goal is to get both cars parked inside.


Filed under Homekeeping

Sorting and Storing the Fabric Stash

For some yeas now, I have stored lots and lots of fabric pieces in big bins in my garage. And for some years, I haven’t liked that arrangement for several reasons. First, it is dusty out there, and dust does filter into the latched bins. Second, sunlight manages to get in also, fading stripes on the fabric. And third, it isn’t very accessible to me when I feel like puttering through my fabrics or starting a new project. 
But now that we have a big room for our office and studio, I determined I would move my fabrics indoors. 
This is our old oak TV cabinet. It has nice closing doors to hide messes, but it is very brown. 
I primed and painted it -it took many, many layers to cover the brown wood. I also sprayed the hinges ORB, and I’ll replace the knobs. Ignore that unattached door on the right. It has hinge issues that need to be addressed.
We moved it into the studio, and then I discovered an interesting method on Pinterest for storing fabrics. It’s visually appealing, tidy, and gives quick access. I cut heavy cardboard into “mini bolts”, and I folded and rolled all my fabrics around them. I also purged some “no-go” fabrics from my stash. I purged more than this, but I didn’t get a final photo. 

 Four big bins of fabrics became these tidy little bolts.

I’m storing them in the newly-painted cabinet in small plastic bins I can pull out like drawers.
Interior view: The empty shelf on the bottom is reserved for patterns, while the pile of fabrics on the top shelf is fabric that is too big to roll on mini bolts. This is all my fabric now, and I plan to keep it pared down from now on.
I’m linking to Met Monday at BNOTP.


Filed under Decorating, Homekeeping, Sewing