Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DIY Flute Charms

Who doesn't love a chance to get out the "pretty glasses" and make some cute charms for them? Here's a quick way to make your stemware easily recognizable as their own, to your guests:

Using pipe cleaners, wrap around the stem, and slide one end through a small, unbreakable ornament, Slide the other end through, going in the opposite direction. Pull both ends until tightly against the stem. 

Holding your stemware and the base of the ornament in one hand, coil the pipe cleaner around a pencil with the other hand, and push the coil toward the stem to tighten the coil, and slip it off the pencil. Repeat for the other side. 

Gently pull the coils open. Voila! Happy New Year, Everyone!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Can I Bag That for You, Ma'am?

I saw this trick on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and it came in handy this past week when we helped our friends, the Skippers, paint their soon-to-open play-cafe, "Little Skippers", in the Mill Run area of Hilliard, Ohio. My friend, Lori, and I were each painting a bathroom, and I wrapped the toilet tank in a plastic bag to keep from getting paint all over it when I painted behind and under it - a fun job! This worked like a charm!

How to Remove Foam Tape from a Painted Door

I don't know who's idea it was to stick a full-length mirror onto the inside of my husband's closet door using double-sided foam tape (oh, yeah, it was mine), but I promise I will NEVER do it again. I am in the process of painting my way through the second floor of our empty nest, in preparation of selling it and downsizing to some place where all of the rooms are used, 
and that's easier to keep clean. 
I had tried removing this tape before, just after the mirror fell off of the door, but I gave up in frustration. Well, now I HAVE to get it off so I can paint the door. I Googled the how to's, and most of the hints were directed at removing it from auto bodies, where repairing any paint damage could cost hundreds. Not my concern, as I was getting ready to put 2 or 3 new coats of paint on the bad boy, anyway. I tried a couple of ways without any success, then I remembered using the hair dryer to remove Scotch tape that my then-teenage daughter had used on her bedroom walls to hang up her posters of Brad Pitt and who-knows-who-else (...funny, he's the only one I remember). 

Here's what you'll need to get the job done:
  1. a razor-blade-scraper-thingy
  2. a hair dryer with the nozzle  attachment to concentrate the hot air
  3. Goo Gone and a terry cloth rag
  4. Something underfoot to catch all the droppings - I used a big piece of cardboard
I also had a bowl of hot water with a mixture of Dawn dish soap and white vinegar - one of the previously-tried remedies that failed, 
but it came in handy for cleanup. 

One guy suggested not using Goo Gone, since, apparently, it will take off auto paint, but it did nothing to my latex-painted doors. The same guy advised using rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover residue, and that WILL remove latex paint, so don't do that. 

Set the hair dryer on high heat, and hold it as closely as you can to what remains of the foam tape after you tried to get it off initially, for a total of 30 seconds.

Then, quickly scrape off the foam residue, now the consistency of the inside of a toasted marshmallow. For the areas where the foam was thicker, you may need to quickly hit it with an additional 15 seconds of heat, then scrape it again, cleaning off the razor blade often.

This is how the remaining adhesive looked after scraping:

Give the adhesive residue a squirt of Goo Gone, and use a rough, terry cloth rag to easily wipe away the remainder. 
(I'm talkin' like 5 seconds, no elbow grease involved.)

This shot shows that there is now no adhesive left on the door. There is however, some scraped-off paint, as a result of using the razor blade. 
No worries, I am about to repaint.

Use the dishsoap/vinegar combo, or any cleaner of your choice, to clean off any oily residue left by the Goo Gone.

This WORKS, sisters! I was kind of amazed at how fast it went. I had 13 1-inch squares to remove, and it took about 25 minutes. Hope this helps.

Monday, September 16, 2013


3" in 2 weeks...added a few grains of Miracle Gro to the water a few days ago. So stinkin' cute!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


One of my favorite lines from a movie is, "I just can't help myself." (Name that movie.) I just can't help myself. I bought another dollhouse. But, in my defense, this one is unlike any of the others I've bought before. Yes, there have been several - mostly adorable Fisher Price things a little one can carry in one hand by the built-in handle on top, which have been played with aplenty. There is also a Dora's Casa in my study/toy room. But this one - this one is different. It has cedar shakes, and wood plank siding, twin dormers, a staircase with a landing halfway up, 6 rooms, and I can just imagine some grampa somewhere painstakingly cutting and gluing each tiny piece. 
I can imagine this because I watched it happen over a period of several years. My father-in-law, Kenny Adams, one great man, built one of these for his first granddaughter, Heather. He made all the furniture by hand, he glued every shingle by hand, he wired the lights in each room by hand. He worked on it for years - so many years that Heather was w-a-y too old to want to play with it by the time he was done (was he ever really done with it? IDK). He had other, littler granddaughters, but the house was so fine, and the furniture was so fiddly, that the little ones, the ones who WANTED to play with it, weren't allowed. Something might get broken, and that, I guess, would not have been fair to future little girls who wanted to play with it. Wait...what?
So, I stopped by the thrift store on my way home from Bible study today, and made a beeline for the back room, where they keep the items too big to display on the shelves out front. The 'furniture' room, which is just what I was looking for: a nightstand with 3 drawers, that needed some paint, and maybe some new hardware. I know just what it looks like - in fact, I saw it on Centsational Girl's website the other day (see it here.)
No nightstand, but I spotted this:

It's BIG...30h x 36w x 15d big. It's beautiful, it's rustic, it's Colonial, yet with a log cabin-ish feel. And it is not too fine to be played with. It needed a few minor repairs. I am still working on the bed in my garage (waiting for the weather to go below 90°F), so I still had my compressor and brad nailer hooked up, & wood glue on the table, so it is glued up, bradded and clamped as I speak type. I have to get it upstairs to the granddaughters' bedroom, onto the little rolling TV cart that is perfect for it (so that both sides of it can be seen), before the hubby gets home and gives me THAT look for buying another dollhouse, even though I only paid $15 for it, and it came with all the furniture & accoutrements! By the time he notices it, it will have been played with for several weeks. Heh, heh. Oh, boy...I can't wait to see Juju's face when she sees it.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Never-ending Supply of Scallions???

A week ago, I had to run to the store for scallions (green onions/spring onions/whatever you call them in your neck of the woods), in the middle of fixing dinner. I thought I had some, but when I pulled them out of the fridge, they were pretty much nothing but slime - I hate that they don't last for more than a few days. Anyway, as I cut off the root ends, I wondered what would happen if I just stuck them in a glass of water on the window sill. I used a shooter that I got at Target's One-Spot, so that they wouldn't drown. I hope you can see in this shot-with-my-phone picture that I have little sprouts coming up! I have changed the water twice this week. Wonder how long it will take to actually be able to harvest them? (I'll keep you posted.) Anyone have any experience with this?

Building Anna White's Farmhouse Bed Using Pocket-Hole Screws

I am finally getting to scratch that itch to build something that I've had for a long while. I am building the Farmhouse Queen-size bed from Anna White's wonderful free plans. I have been a follower of hers since her blog was named, "Knock-Off Wood". Now it is just, "AnnaWhite.com", and if you're unfamiliar with it, please go and check it out - NOW! Then, come on back here. I wanted to share a couple of mistakes things I thought about before I started drilling into the wood to make this fabulous bed. For the panels, make sure that you position your pocket-holes (using the Kreg jig) close enough to the edge of the board so that they will be covered by the trim at the top and bottom of the panel when assembled.  That is, if you decide to use the panels - this bed would look just as great with a flat plywood panel instead of the individual boards - a bit more urban, perhaps) Use the 'C' shaft for the right-side hole, and the 'A' shaft for the left side. For the 15" tall footboard panels, I only used two holes, but for the 30" tall headboard panels, I put a third hole at the center of the boards for stability, aligning the 'B' shaft at the 15" mark. These won't be seen from the front side of the headboard, since it will be against the wall. If you want to float your bed so that the back will be seen, you'll have to putty these center holes. 

After drilling the holes, using the dust removal attachment that came with my Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig K4 Master System, I used my Porter Cable orbital sander to sand all edges and clean up the pocket holes. I decided to slightly round off the long edges of the front-side of the boards, so that the panels would be distinct. I figure, why bother using panels if you can't tell they're panels. 
The bed is coming along. I'll post more pics as it progresses.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Dill Dip with Pumpernickel Bread

My son texted me a bit ago, wanting the recipe for a dip I used to make years ago, to serve with pumpernickel bread. I haven't made it in ages, but my mouth started watering just thinking about it. I went through my recipe box - not there. I went through my old handwritten cookbook from my early days of marriage - not there. I began to freak a little. I called my mom, from whom I'd originally acquired the recipe - she called back with a recipe for Spinach Salad : ),  which is, indeed, great, but not what I was looking for. I went online; I knew it had Worcestershire sauce in it, and none of them did. I finally pulled out all the recipe discs I have burned through the years, and chose the one from 2002, the earliest one I had, and there I found it. So here it is, in case anyone goes looking for a really great (dill) dip recipe.

Dill Dip with Pumpernickel Bread

2/3 c. sour cream 
2/3 c. Hellman's mayo 
1 T. dried green onions 
1 t. parsley flakes 
1 t. Lowry's seasoned salt
1 t. dried dill  
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. celery salt
1 t. Accent
Drops of hot sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients. Flavors blend better if made several hours (or a day) ahead, but it's still good served right away. Serve with dark Pumpernickel bread, cut in 1” chunks.


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