Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DIY: Fruit Fly Trap of DEATH

Fruit flies!



Sound familiar?  Today I'm going to show you a great trick for catching and killing fruit flies.  You only need three items.

-Dish soap (any kind)

-Cider Vinegar

-a small dish

Pour one or two tablespoons of cider vinegar in the dish.

Then pour about a teaspoon of dish soap into the cider vinegar.  

Set the dish out wherever you see the most fruit flies and let the bloodbath begin!

MWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa  cough cough.

Friday, October 21, 2011

rockin' chair redo

In the land of blogging and Pinterest, the transformation of ugly, unwanted things into treasured beauties is what inspires me most.   After reading several amazing blogs about refinishing furniture, I decided to give it a try myself.  For several days, I hunted for just the right project to start with; something small but useful.  Finally, I found an old child's rocking chair at the Goodwill for $14.99, and the rest is history! 




The first thing I did was make repairs. One of the legs had been damaged and the previous owner had tried to fix it with some witch's brew of sawdust, glue and hair.  For all I know there were bat's eyes in there, too.  See the hair?  GRODY.   I sanded that crap off with glee.

Then I painted. I used Behr Plus which is paint and primer combined.  The color is 'Silver Sage' which is a nice grey/green.  I sanded some weird parts of the chair down before painting but I didn't do the whole thing. I didn't strip or stain it prior to painting either, because I was happy with the color of the stain already on the chair.  Oh, and I just used a cheapo sponge brush!  The pros use a paint gun but guess who's not a pro?  ME!


After the paint was dry I distressed the whole thing using a 60 grit sanding block.  This was one of the more fun and creative parts of the process. I imagined where little hands would rest, where feet would rub, and where the chair would get banged into walls, and these were the areas where I sanded.   I even put wear marks on the seat to make it look like little bums have been scooting in and out of it for years. 


The last step was glazing.  This stressed me OUT!  I really liked how the chair looked after distressing and wasn't sure I wanted to risk messing it up by glazing it.  But I wanted to try it out so I went ahead and did it.  Just slap your glaze mix on and wipe it off with a rag. It gets in all the nicks and nooks and looks like a million very old bucks when it's done. 

 I mixed three parts Behr Faux Glaze with one part Minwax Wood Finish in Ebony.  I would NOT recommend using the Behr Faux Glaze.  It mixed poorly with the wood finish and over time morphed into a gelatinous, chemical snot ball.  Did I mention I'm not a pro?  The insanely talented  Sausha from The Show And Tell Blog recommends using Clear Mixing Glaze by Valspar from Lowe's.   See her very helpful post on glazing furniture here


Then I let it dry for a day or so, tied a big bow on it with some muslin fabric I had, and that's it!

Sigh. I just LOVE happy endings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No-Sew Oilcloth Chair Protector

 I saw on a blog a while ago (that I don't even remember now, sorry!) where a mom had actually upholstered her bar stools with oilcloth so she could clean them easily. 

When Lydia switched from a high chair to a booster, my mom mentioned I should put something under the booster to protect the chair it was sitting on.  I remembered the blog with the oilcloth chairs and a light bulb went off!   

I measured my chair and made a pattern of it on wide freezer paper.  I also measured how much oilcloth I would need to wrap around the seat of the chair and attach to the bottom of it (sorry I didn't take any pictures of this part!)

Then I cut out the pattern from the freezer paper and tested it on my chair to make sure it fit and covered all the parts I wanted it to.  Then I laid the pattern on my oilcloth and traced.  In this case, it doesn't really matter if you trace on the right or the wrong side of the oilcloth, but I would recommend tracing on the wrong side so you don't see your trace marks.

I then cut the pattern from the oilcloth.  On the bottom of the chair where I wanted the oilcloth to wrap and attach, I put one-ish inch pieces of sticky Velcro.  Leave both pieces of Velcro sticking to each other so that when you wrap your oilcloth under the chair it will automatically stick to the exposed adhesive.  Like so:

And that's it!

And whenever I want to remove the oilcloth, I just separate the Velcro, like this, and nobody would ever know that that chair is the one that gets doused with milk, yogurt, fruit, and mac and cheese!

I ordered my oilcloth from Oilcloth Addict on Etsy, which has a great selection.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

pumpkins and simmering spice pots

My mom used to simmer spices in her old pots to make the house smell good.  I loved the aroma of the clove and cinnamon wafting through the house as the mixture bubbled away on the stove.  I had forgotten about this handy and resourceful trick until the other day when I was going through my fall candles.  Instead of burning one, I went through my spice cupboard.  Into the pot went a handful of cinnamon sticks, some star anise (smells like licorice), whole cloves, a dash of vanilla, and a few leftover apple slices from lunch.  I added a few cups of water, brought the mixture to a boil and then set it to a low simmer.  Away it happily bubbled for hours and the smell was divine!  

Here is a list of things you could throw into your own spice pot:

Fruit juices (don't throw away your expired juice!  just throw it in the pot!)
Lemon, Orange, or Lime peels
Apple slices or peels
Evergreen sprigs
Bay Leaves

Experiment with different combinations.  Just don't forget to check the pot every once in a while.  If the water or juice gets low, just put more in and keep it simmering. As with candles, please don't forget about it and leave the house with it still simmering on the stove!

Last Saturday we went to a farm near our home where we could pick our own pumpkins.  Our dear friends, the Jones,  invited us.  Their son is Lydia's best friend.

We all quite enjoyed ourselves and Lydia picked herself a perfectly petite pumpkin.  I think, though, that  I've gotten more than my money's worth out of those pink leggings and can now feel good about retiring them.

P.S. Are you proud of my photo editing skills?  I'm just learning.  I think photo editing is swell.

Friday, September 2, 2011

a cookie of considerable superiosity

If you're like me, you want cookies.

Right now.

Let me help you with that.

Round up the following:

1 box of cake mix (any flavor)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

1 egg

1 cup of anything you want to throw in (candy bits, fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.)

Throw all that in a bowl.


Form into balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. I rolled mine in powdered sugar after balling.

Bake at 350 for 10-11 minutes.

Give them to your kids.

They will be happy you did.

And so will you.

Need some variations? Try yellow cake mix with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts; cherry cake mix with chocolate chips; devil's food cake mix with mint chocolate chips; red velvet cake mix with crushed candy canes. Frost 'em, dip 'em, sandwich 'em. Love 'em.

Like I love you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

After Dinner

Her hair was messed.

She wasn't wearing a shirt. 

The kitchen was a wreck.

But man, we had fun.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A Few Words; A Few Photos

Yesterday this little baby said "no" for the first time.

And then she said it 900 times.

The first thing on her docket this morning was to thoroughly inspect her wardrobe...

by pulling everything out...

...and trying everything on.

It kind of made a mess, but I let her do it because she put everything back.

And because she has these little honey colored curls...

that could charm the socks off a snake.