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Dirty job: composting

27 Sep
Yard compost bin

Yard

Kitchen compost bin

Kitchen

 

Compost bins

 

 

 

 

 

Composting is both a dirty job and “Black gold” to enrich vegetable garden….this season’s yield…100 pounds!

For fifteen years, I have used a three step process to mitigate the slime and smell of kitchen waste.  This year I added a fourth step.

  1. Compost kitchen and garden waste (very slimy and smelly)
  2. Compost yard waste (primarily trimmings of perennial flowers).
  3. Add kitchen compost to yard waste = black gold
  4. Top off with ashes from fire pit for enrichment

All gardening starts with dirt.  Yes, it is less expensive and messy to buy compost by the bag at garden centers.  Homemade is better.

From Houzz: Antiques Today?

16 Aug

 

 

Barrel back chairs

Barrel back chairs

This alcove was originally configured for cabinets/buffet in the dining area.  The cabinets were long ago used in a modification of the kitchen floor plan.  Today the alcove (with pot/can lighting) has just enough space to “show case” these barrel back chairs in their new life for reading and conversation.

Lean closet movement and second chances

19 Jul

Goodwill promotes that vicious cycle “Shop, Donate, Shop, Donate”.  TLC’s “What Not to Wear” had Stacy and Clinton demonstrating weekly how to make over nominee’s wardrobe/closet.  Cuyana promotes lean closets as a business plan by including a mailer for clothing donation with each clothing purchase.

https://www.cuyana.com/story/lean-closet

For the past fifteen years, I have travelled often, primarily to three destinations.  For me the “twist” on lean closets is to have three functional closets in three different states with the goal to reduce luggage plus packing and unpacking.  (Easy laundry access at each place makes this workable.)       1) Home base  2)Farm  3) Warm weather.   As time goes by, transfers between closets wring a little more use out of my clothing.

I have an example for extending the life/value of clothing.

I still love the colors and pattern of culottes I purchased 25 years ago.  The waist was always a little snug.  I had it altered professionally to raise the hem and expand the waist.  The alteration was very well done.  However, the change was awkward because the culotte style tended to bunch up.  My remedy removed the excess material and sewed it back as a true skirt.

From culotte to skirt

From culotte to skirt

For a much more involved projects, check out “Go Green” Sew News Feb/Mar 2013.  One article illustrates “Giving an old scarf new life as trim on a fitted sweatshirt jacket” or “Mix and match worn sweaters of a funky up-cycled shoulder bag” …..ahhh the possibilities…

From Houzz: Dreamy closets

31 May

Don’t let the advice to “follow rules” deter you from admiring the photos of these dream closets.  Sam Ferris does us a service providing basic measurements for clothing (folded and hanging).

Shower Caddie Encore

12 Apr

Back by popular demand…shower caddies as functional gift bags for the women at Wheeler Mission for Women and Children.  Our adhoc group of benefactors delivered 72 overstuffed caddies for Christmas last year.

We have a “green light” and a jump start for 2016.  A friend of a friend saved LLBean outdoor seat cushion covers from the REJECT bin.  The Plan:  Recycle as shower caddies.  Enough fabric for 13 of the 72.

Outdoor seat cushion covers undergoing "ripping" or deconstruction.

Outdoor seat cushion covers undergoing “ripping” or deconstruction.

I asked our group leader (who also has Master Black Belt Six Sigma certification), if there was VOC (voice of customer) feedback to incorporate this year.  Her suggestion…”leave off the button holes”.  Yes, I put button holes in the caddies last year to drain water that might accumulate in the bottom.

Six equally spaced button holes on a radius is a little time consuming.

Six equally spaced button holes on a radius is a little time consuming.

I did that without DRBTR!  (Design Review Based upon Test Results).  Do shower caddies without slots hold water?  YES.  Is that a problem?  Maybe.  Search for a suitable mesh fabric bottom was unsuccessful.

Mock up for test

Mock up for test:  Fill with one cup of water.

  1. No slots:            Drains      3.42-3.70 minutes          Over twenty times as slow
  2. One slot:            Drains        .60-.70 minutes            Four times as slow
  3. Two slots:          Drains        .28-.38 minutes            Twice as slow
  4. Three slots:   Drains      .15-.18 minutes         Baseline

The winner is a three slot design for the few occasions when water may accumulate it is a reasonable feature to have.  I will use parallel slots to save the time preparing the radial layout.

Here we go AGAIN!

 

 

Channeling grandmothers

29 Dec

What happens when three TV remotes (and only one fully functional) are combined with three rocking chairs, dining table and chairs, two ottomans plus one TV? …CHAOS!

First things first.  All the remotes are restored and fully functional.

img_20151228_112120443.jpg

 

The next part channels grandmothers talents to make “holsters” to hold the remotes between uses.

We found three worn finger tip towels.  I cut them down the middle to get proportions to match and hemmed cut edges.  The short sides are sewn together.  Fold over half to make pocket and sew sides.  Sew two sets of antique snaps (if I had been home I would have used Velcro) to be able to secure “holster” over arm of chair.

Ladies and gentlemen, this project was much easier than explaining TV remote controls to my grandmothers.  May they rest in peace, not knowing.

 

 

 

 

 

Scavenger Hunt

18 Nov

 

As I read “20 ways to organize your craft space”by Laura Gaskill, I kept thinking “scavenger hunt” because I knew I could find these concepts here at home.  One thing leads to another….I turned it into a quiz of sorts and scored myself at 85 of 100.

  1. Sort yarn by color   X
  2. Stand paper rolls in basket (with yoga mats)
  3. Place loose paper in drawers
  4. Tools/supplies in clear bins w/lids
  5. For large paper:  art portfolio
  6. Stack fabric on shelf by color
  7. WIP in totes or baskets
  8. Stash fabric in wire drawers  (discarded wine rack)
  9. Hang fabric in closet (standing towel rack)
  10. Arrange spools on thread rack
  11. Hang tools on peg board   X
  12. Attach scissors to magnetic rail (store in case)
  13. Small items in lidded glass jars
  14. Paint brushes in open container
  15. Handled baskets for frequently used material
  16. Tiered cake stand as portable caddy   X
  17. Pop-up sewing corner  (permanent)
  18. Put storage on wheels  (moving men sliders)
  19. Desk/dining table double duty  (coffee table)
  20. To do list chalkboard wall (bulletin board)

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Office assistant Eve: "Don't you have something better to do?"

Office assistant Eve: “Don’t you have something better to do?”

Retreat @ home

11 Nov

“A Sisterhood of Sheds” was published last month in the Indianapolis Star.  How delightful!  “She Sheds” are spaces detached from the house, decorated to be a sanctuary for the woman of the house.  A network of shed owners from around the world are connected by a Facebook group called “She Shed Sisters” with 1350 members!  Creative!  Inspirational!  Even practical.

Reminds me of the lovely book Chris Madden published in 1998 A Room of Her Own featuring high-profile clients with stunning photography of their most personal spaces.

http://www.chrismadden.com/books/a-room-of-her-own/

http://www.indystar.com/story/life/2015/10/25/bloomington-shesheds-trends/74338284/    (This link is annoying because the Indy Star, insists on a survey question before you can read the article.)

Perhaps…there is a New Year’s resolution in these ideas….

 

Twice recycled, Thrice used

3 Dec
From curtains, to pillow covers, to three pocket tote

From curtains, to pillow covers, to three pocket tote

I chose this fabric with watercolor hues for curtains.  Alas, the curtains were replaced with blinds.  Shortly afterwards, I had the opportunity to recycle curtains in to pillow covers for screened porch seating.  Now that the seating is being reupholstered, the pillows will have new fabric.  I was about to THROW AWAY these covers when I realized sewing them together and adding a handle would make a respectable three pocket tote.  (Three pockets are made when the pillow backs are intact and sewn together with the fronts.)  DONE!

 

Salvage pick…my first

13 Jun

To fans of “Flea Market Flip”, “West End Salvage” and “Salvage Dawgs” intrigued with the creativity to repurpose, reinvent and reuse “picks” demonstrated on every episode.  I have been.

I seek  inspiration from my first “pick”.

Salvage_1_horizontal

Salvage_1_horizontal

Salvage_1_vertical

Salvage_1_vertical

Overhead rack for kitchen utensils?

Overhead rack for garden tools?

Wind chime with bicycle sprockets clanging?

See thru lamp “shade” with key rings linked together hanging from the rim?

Linked key rings

Linked key rings

I worked in this direction until I checked the weight.  A lamp would need a very sturdy base.

Suggestions?  Comments?