Thursday, April 25, 2019

Cleaning Blinds - Quick and Easy!

Cleaning is not really my first activity choice on any given day.  And cleaning blinds . . . uggggg.  Hate it.  And as you can see . . . it's not something I do as often as I should.  Here you can see where I wiped away a spot of grime . . . yeah, they were bad.

I was looking on Pinterest (when I SHOULD have been doing something more productive) and saw this post from The Intentional Mom on cleaning blinds.  I decided to give it a try.  I tweaked a little bit by using Dawn in my water.  SO, all you need is a few old socks, some Dawn and a sink or bucket of hot, soapy water.

Wet your cleaning sock puppet in the water, add a tiny drop of Dawn and squeeze to distribute (You don't want your sock TOO soapy . . . just a tiny bit to help remove grime.)

You can clean the top and bottom all at once.  I started with the blinds straight open to easily clean both sides.  Depending on how dirty the blinds are, you can do a section, go rinse your sock puppet and begin fresh.

EEEEEW!  This was after about 1/3 of a blind!  Just take the sock, rinse, add some Dawn to clean it and start again with the same sock.

Once you've cleaned the whole blind, close it in one directions and go over it with a clean, rinsed sock to pick up any stray gunk.  Close it in the other direction and do the same.

And if you have a cute puppy, of course let them have fun by trying to grab the socks while you're working.  

Does anyone do "spring cleaning" any more??  My mom did (and fall cleaning).  I remember her taking down all of the drapes, curtains, blinds and washing them all or replacing them with seasonal window treatments.  She washed the WALLS, BASEBOARDS, and scrubbed everything top to bottom.  She also ironed sheets.  I did not inherit this gene.

What's your favorite cleaning 'tip'?  

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How to Age Clay Pots

I wanted to make some little gifts for the Sunday school teachers who serve with me and thought a little flower or plant would be perfect for Easter.  I found these lovely Viola plants at our local nursery and some cute little terra cotta pots at the dollar store (3/1.00).  The pots were way too "new" looking so I decided to 'age' them.

I didn't really have a plan so I just looked online at "old" clay pots and tried to duplicate some of the features.  I started with what I had on hand which was a tub of joint compound that will probably never been used for 'joints'!  By dabbing this on with a piece of towel, I thought this was a good start. I would think you could use things like spackle or other 'construction' compounds too.

After the joint compound dried, I mixed some green, white and dark brown paints sponging on in random places with another piece of towel to give them a dirty, mossy look.

Next I decided I wanted to 'mute' the colors so I used sandpaper to go over certain areas to blend it together.  

Here's the finished product!  Now, IF I were going to actually use these outside (and if I make bigger ones to use outside), I would seal these because the joint compound and paints would probably wash off after time.  

The pots are ready for their little flowers!

I love how these turned out . . . no two are the same.
The nice thing is . . . you can't mess these up! If you don't like the look, just go back with more white paint to lighten areas, more joint compound, more sanding . . .

To finish off the gifts, I added some green, shredded paper to a little bag, put the pot in and tied with a ribbon and this tag.  I'm including little boxes of chocolate too :)

I have to share these photos before I go.  Two days ago it was of course, Palm Sunday . . . and we got a record-breaking snowstorm!  This is what it looked like when we came out of church as my husband began cleaning off the car!

Those who know me, know that after March, I do NOT wear anything related to cold weather, including boots.  No. Matter. What.

Now . . . I took THIS picture TODAY . . . just two days later.

It's true what they say: If you don't like the weather in Chicago, just wait a day and it'll change!

Have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

EASY Fabric Flowers

When making a collar for a friend's dog, I wanted to add a fabric flower.  After playing around with some different ideas, I came up with this simple method.

Here's what you'll need:

Cotton fabric (To make 8 flowers I used 6 pieces of fabric, each 1/8 yard)
Pinking Shears (probably NOT a must but you'll get more fraying . . . which is what you want, with pinked edges)
Fabric scissors
Two sizes of circle patterns

You can use one fabric or several.  Find something for your pattern.  I used this plastic container's TOP edge for the larger circles and the BOTTOM edge for the smaller ones.  You can make these as big as you want though.  Cut 7-8 large and 7-8 small in any combination of fabrics. Layer your large pieces and then top with your small pieces.

I have to say that this part is a bit tedious with all the cutting so you definitely need sharp pinking shears or fabric scissors.  I just sat and watched a movie while I cut!

I have to say that I spent too much time making sure the pieces were in a repeating pattern.  Once the flowers are finished, I don't think it really shows or matters that the patterns were in a certain order.  Once you have your circles stacked (7-8 large topped with 7-8 small), stitch through all pieces in the center.

Now the fun part.  Wet each flower and crumple, crunch and smoosh into balls then . . . toss in the dryer.  They will come out like the center picture with frayed edges.  Next, dampen them (don't soak them this time or they'll take days to dry).  Gather them up and rubber band as shown in last picture.  Let them sit out to dry (overnight).

The next morning you can unwrap them and this is what you'll have!  I scrunched and wadded them up and peeled back each 'petal', fluffed and scrunched a bit more.

Just play around with them until you are satisfied with the look and amount of fraying.

I just placed these around my different Easter vignettes for a pop of color and softness.

I'm thinking these would make pretty hair accessories for a little (or big girl!) or a brooch.  I'm thinking of making some for a summer robe I'm making.  Lots of possibilities.

We are finally enjoying REAL springtime here in the Midwest! Hoping it's the same wherever you are!