Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reusing T-Shirts


T-shirts and tank tops are one of those things that just seem to multiply left and right.  I have a few clever ways to clear out the closet and reuse those shirts!






How about wall art? Stretch t-shirts over frames and secure in the back with staples or tacks.  Instant art that your kids can really appreciate!

You could also make a pillow cover. Turn the shirt inside out and fold the sleeves and collar in, securing with pins.  Leave the bottom open. 

Sew a few quick seams to box out the collar and sleeves and then flip the shirt right side out, slip the pillow inside and fold the bottom in place. Then sew a seam across the bottom.

to make this a no sew project, simply place a pillow form inside the shirt and fold away the sleeves and collar and knot off the four corners hiding the “holes.”

Make a tote bag from your tank tops by turning them inside out and pinning the bottom seam together to hold it in place.  Then, run a new seam along the bottom edge. 

Turn the tank inside out and the sleeves make instant handles for your tote!

To embellish any of these projects take strips of an old t-shirt and twist them into simple flowers and sew or glue them into place.

Crayons


Before you toss all of those little crayon slivers – why not make new crayons for the kids – it’s a great project and a cool recycle of something you would have tossed!





Start by preheating the oven to four hundred degrees.

To make the crayons you’re going to want to use a silicone candy or cupcake pan, they are relatively inexpensive to pick up at your local craft or hobby shop.

Place the mold on a baking sheet to make it easier to move.

Remove any paper that is left on the crayons and place them in the molds.  You can break them into smaller pieces as you need to so they will fit.
Once you’ve filled all of the molds, put the tray in the oven for five minutes or so – you just want to be sure that all of your pieces have melted, then remove the pan from the oven and let them cool completely.

Once these are cooled you can easily pop them out of the molds – and presto, new crayons that the kids will love!!

These are especially nice for toddlers because they are easier to grip! 

Keep the mold dedicated for crayon making from here on out! Have fun recycling your crayons!  I’M mrs. fixit and it’s just that simple.  

Candy Stains


Kids love candy, but let’s face it; it can make a big mess! So how do you get rid of those stains? Well here’s how. Chocolate.  short of dressing your kids in chocolate brown odds are if they eat chocolate they are  going to end up with stains, well, don’t worry, everyone has the best stain fighter for chocolate and you probably don’t even realize it!  Plain old dish soap applied directly to chocolate stains will remove them in short order – even older stains.  Rub it into the fabric and then launder in cold water!
Lollipops are a sticky mess, but luckily are water soluble. So just run hot water over the stickiness to dissolve the sugars and remove the film.  If there is a colored stain left behind, rub white shaving cream onto the stain with a toothbrush and then launder. 
The warm water will also help loosen lollipops and hard candy that are stuck to household surfaces.
How about gum –the worst of the candied messes! Really the best line of defense is to dissolve the gum.  Lubricating oil will dissolve the stickiness and loosen the gum. 
Once you’ve removed it, pull that dish soap back out to break up the oil residue, and then launder it as directed!  Taming the candy stains!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s Just that Simple.


Faux Oil Painting


If you love the look of oil paintings but yaw can’t afford the price tag, don’t worry. I have a great way to get the look without the price tag. Coming up next.
Oil paintings can add a touch of elegance to your home, but they can be pretty pricey, so what do yaw do?
Well you can “paint” your own.  Or rather faux paint your own. I’ll show you how!
Part of the beauty of an oil painting is the way that the brush strokes catch the light and give the painting depth. So look for recreating the brush strokes on an art print!
Pick out a nice quality print, poster, map or even calendar page, beyond the print you’ll need some gesso that you can pick up at any craft store or some water based polyurethane and some brushes.

Start by tacking your art work to a flat surface so it doesn’t move around while you’re working.
Then start by adding brush strokes to the whole print. A cross hatch motion will give you the depth that you want. It goes on thick and white but it dries clear.
Let it dry a little and then go back with a few different sized brushes, and add some flourishes where the painter might have highlighted something’s like fruit or flowers.
Once you’re happy with your embellishments, let it dry completely and then frame the piece. 

Streamlining Organization


Bye, have a good day, some   mornings are so hectic that it really stresses you out for the rest of the day; well I have some ideas to help streamline your mornings so it’s not so stressful, coming up next.


I don’t know about your house, but mornings around here are solo hectic. But if you take a little time to “prep” it can be a lot less stressful.

Take an hour on Sunday and pull together the kids school clothes for the week.  From shirts to socks- find, iron and lay them out.

This way you’ll know if there’s anything that needs to be washed and there’s no yelling – mom, dad I can’t find any socks!

Have a place near the door to keep backpacks, shoes, boots, coats, and hats, whatever everyone needs.  This way when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning and everyone’s rushing around you don’t have People looking for their stuff!
You should also keep your keys and bag or briefcase in the same space. Remember kids learn what they see!

Every night, while you’re making dinner, pack the kid’s lunches or put lunch money in their backpack another way to cut out of the morning chaos.

You can also take the downtime in cooking to sort papers from school, fill out permission slips or check homework. 

After the kids are in bed, take ten to twenty minutes or so and walk around picking up clutter, this way when you get up in the morning you won’t be starting your day by walking into a big mess and it will make your day allot calmer!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.

Shed some Light


Did you know that light affects your mood and well being?  If you or your family has winter drag, check your lights, you may be able to help.

First and foremost, open the blinds during the day.  We all need sunlight to be productive, so let the sun shine in.  Painting woodwork and moldings a shade of white also brightens a room because light bounces off of the whites.

If you have rooms without a lot of windows, or you just don’t like opening the blinds, brighten the inside light, there are all sorts of light bulbs that you can buy, to brighten a room choose a crisp sunlight type of bulb.  The brighter light will simulate sunlight and trick your mind.

Mirrored accents help too. These accents will bounce the light that you have making rooms seem brighter than they actually are.

Brighten dark corners, dark pockets take light out of the rest of the room, if you have accent lights in those corners you’ll find that rooms are brighter.

A couple of steps to brighten your home and make you more productive.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 


Mirrors


Mirrors they can do everything from brighten up a room to actually helping you set a table.  I’ll tell you how, coming up next.
Sure mirrors can help you with your hair and make-up; but did you know they can help brighten and decorate your home too?
I’ll show you.

If you’re having a dinner party, use a long mirror as a runner on a table top, add candles, flowers, and what ever you’d like and then turn on the lights. 

The mirror will reflect the overhead lights and the candle light adding sparkle to the whole room.

Mirrors are an inexpensive substitute for art.  A large mirror costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a large painting or picture and it fills the space and adds depth to a room.
Along those same lines you can group several smaller mirrors together to create a really interesting display.

you can also use mirrors to help make home repairs, a hand mirror and a flashlight will let you see problems in hard to see spaces so you know what you need to fix and how you’re going to get there.

Don’t have a hand mirror? Try a make-up compact.  Its “compact” size will reach right where you need it!

That’s it for now, I’ll let you reflect on these ideas for mirrors, I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

Color Palette


You’d like to freshen up the paint in your house, and add some color but the thought is daunting –well, I have some ideas to help you out, coming up next.
Whether you’re thinking of painting or wallpapering you still need to think about the colors and flow from room to room. Well it could be a daunting task but I have some ideas to help you out.

When you’re looking for a jumping off point for a color palette, look around your house, odds are that you have favorite items that you can take your color cues from, match your paint chips right from the inspirational items and you’re ready to go!

Next, think about flow, if you can see from one room into another you need to take into account how those colors look next to each other.  If you can see into two rooms, think about both of them!
Once you start choosing paint colors or wallpaper, staple sample chips
Together so that you can easily take the whole palette with you if you need to shop for accents or fabrics. 

Making this palette can also help you to better visualize how your colors will look together.

These little prep steps can really help make the whole painting and decorating process a lot less stressful.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 
Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that Simple. 

Can It


I’ve canned some great ideas to put all of those empty cans to use, coming up next.
Can it be done?  Can we find alternative uses to these empty tin cans?  Of course we can!  I’ll show you.

First off – make sure that if you’re re-using a can that you used a can opener to get into, use a sturdy pair of pliers to crimps the outside edge of the can, and this will press down any sharp edges so you won’t risk a cut.

A big coffee can near your stove top is the perfect spot to corral frequently used cooking utensils.

Use a smaller coffee can to stash cash and valuables, and then hide it in the back of the pantry!

Line up cans on a desk, craft table or a workbench to store everything from pencils to screwdrivers. Several tin cans lined up across a window sill can make for a cute herb garden.

And if you need to shampoo a carpet, slip some tin cans under the feet of the furniture to protect those feet from water and shampoos!

If you need to put two card tables together for a party, slip the touching feet in a can to keep the tables from coming apart.

And speaking of parties put votive candles inside tin cans and lines them up outside your house to illuminate the walkway.  The high sides of the cans will protect the flame from the wind.

Can do tips to help you out around your home!  I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

Faux Wainscotting


Think you’d like the look of traditional wainscoting, but the price tag scares you, well stick around cause I have a great alternative…. , coming up next.
Wainscoting means different things to different people.  Traditionally it means wood paneling on the lower part of the wall that can be really pricey to have
Installed.  I have a method to give you the same look without the price tag.
I am going to make boxes on the wall out of this simple wood trim and then paint the whole area with one paint color to make it appear as though the entire wall is covered in wood. 
Measure the area and determine the size of the “panel” boxes that you want to create, and then use a miter box to cut all of the pieces to size.
For more information on mitering check out my website.
Once your pieces are cut, sand any rough edges.

Use an adhesive on the back of each piece to help hold it in place, and then tack along the length of the molding with small brads.   A level will keep you in line while you’re working. 
When you’re finished, fill the nail holes with some spackle and then let it dry.
Finally paint the entire area, molding and wall with a paint that is suitable for woodwork. If mitering and cutting isn’t your thing, you can find pre-made molding boxes at your local home improvement center, just adhere them to the wall and paint, I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  

Clothing Care


To keep clothes looking their best they need care beyond cleaning, I’ll tell you.
If your clothes have pilling on the fabric and you don’t have one of those fuzz removers, grab a pumice stone.  Run the stone in one direction over the pills, it will grab them and gently pull them off the fabric.

No pumice, no problem, use an emery board or the hook side of a piece of Velcro to remove those pills.  Always work in one direction so that you don’t damage the fabric.

If you left a tissue in your pocket and your clothes come out of the wash covered in lint run them through again, and rather than using laundry soap use a cup of white vinegar in its place, it will release the lint from the fabric and your clothes will look like new again.

 If you’re dealing with regular lint, try the loop side of the Velcro you used for the pills.  The soft nap will grab onto the lint.

You could also use a vegetable or fingernail brush to remove that lint.
Some easy ways to keep your clothes looking their best. I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple!

Sandpaper


Sandpaper is a handy tool outside the work shop, grab some and I’ll show you.
If you have some stubborn grout stains fold a piece of sandpaper in half
So that there is a crisp edge, then carefully run the sandpaper along the grout line. 

The grit will remove the stains.  Just be careful not to scratch the surrounding tile while you’re working.

If the soles of your new shoes are a little slick, you can stop yourself from slipping and sliding by roughing up the soles with a little sandpaper.  This is especially handy if you’re going to be dancing on a slick floor.
And speaking of shoes, a little sandpaper can help revive the nap and remove some stains of a pair of suede shoes.  Very gently scuff the sandpaper over the area.

If your sewing needle keeps snagging your fabric run it through a piece of sandpaper to remove any little burrs and sharpen it up.
The same is true of scissors, cut through folded sandpaper, or for utility knives, hold the blade at an angle and run it over the paper working in one direction.
Just a few easy ways to bring sandpaper out of the toolbox.
I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

Bed Sheets


Whether you’re trying to figure out what to do with old bed sheets, or you have to go out and buy new ones I have some alternative uses for bed sheets, coming up next.
Bed sheets aren’t just for a cozy night’s rest anymore, I have some alternative uses to bed sheets so gather them up and follow me.

If you have a closet where you store out of season or seldom worn clothes they can get dusty.  The solution, simply drape a flat sheet over all of the clothes and the closet rod. 

You can lift up the sheet if you need to access the clothes, but any dust will settle on the sheet!

A flat bed sheet and some drapery clips make a super easy no-sew window treatment!  As a bonus, it makes it easy to coordinate your bedding and windows.
You could also cut up one of those sheets to make matching throw pillows or lampshades.

The next time your favorite store has a big bedding sale, stock up on some flat sheets that match your dining room d├ęcor, the sheets are perfect for building up and layering table’s capes.

If you have a lightweight bedspread and you find that your blankets show through the spread, simply layer a flat sheet in a coordinating color over the blankets under the spread, it will block the color from showing through.

Some simple ideas for re-using bed sheets, I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  

Leather Furniture Care


A lovely piece of leather furniture is a beautiful addition to any home, caring for it is pretty straightforward, I’ll show you how.

During your weekly cleaning routine, wipe leather with a clean, dry cloth.  Micro fiber is a great choice because it grabs dust and lint rather than just moving it.
Place leather furniture at least a couple of feet from any heat source, like a radiator or fireplace.  Too much heat will dry out leather and make it brittle.

You should also keep leather out of direct sunlight; if your room is sunny make sure you use drapes or blinds to keep the suns rays off of the furniture to prevent fading and drying.

For spills on your leather furniture, use a barely damp cloth to clean it away and then buff the area with a clean dry cloth to be sure the stain and moisture are gone. 

Wondering if your leather has a protective finish on it?  Find an inconspicuous spot and put a couple of drops of water on it, if the water is absorbed you should check the care labels to see if you can seal the leather with a protective repellant.

Along those same lines a good leather conditioner will protect the furniture and buff out small scuffs and scratches from your leather, use it every six months or so to keep your leather looking its best.  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

Olive OIl

Use it in the kitchen to season cast iron pans, or wooden cutting boards and salad bowls!  If you have some leather shoes or a baseball glove that need some revitalizing try olive oil. Put a little on a soft cloth and work it into the leather, remember a little goes a long way!  Use it to shine up plant leaves. A little dab on a paper towel will make your plants look great.  Dented, pitted wood furniture? No problem! Just rub a little over the surface and the dents will disappear.  Dented, pitted wood furniture? No problem! Just rub a little over the surface and the dents will disappear.  In the yard it can help keep moles away. Saturate an old rag with olive oil and stuff it into a mole hole. The animals hate the smell and will stay far away.  Keep some olive oil in the garage too. A quick coat on gardening tools will keep them from rusting. It will also lubricate garage door tracks.  Olive oil is also a great hand cleaner for greasy, grimy hands! Rub it in and wipe it away with a paper towel.  This also works on dry hands and feet. Just rub some in before you go to bed and slip on a pair of cotton socks or gloves you won't believe the difference in the morning.

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Lampshade Mobile


Looking beyond function to form I am going to turn this ratty old lampshade into an adorable mobile for a kid’s room!



The first step is to remove all of the old fabric and trim from the shade so that you’re left with the wire frame.

Once you’re down to the bare bones you can either wrap the frame in ribbon, decoupage it with decorative paper or spray paints it to coordinate with the room?

Once you’ve got the frame set, you just need to decide what to display on it.  You could use paper or picture cut outs, beads, small toys or anything else that strikes you! 

If you don’t want anything dangling down, attach
Pictures directly to the frame with some clothespins or other decorative clips. 

i mounted these pictures to some cardstock so that they keep their shape and don’t curl at the edges.

All that’s left to do is hang it up! Keep in mind if you’re using this in a baby’s room you should keep it well out of the reach of the baby and make sure  that all of the items are securely attached! 

A great new use for something that was headed for the trash! I’M mrs. fixit and it’s just that simple. 

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent


If you’d like to save some money and know exactly what you’re washing your dishes with, I have a homemade automatic dishwasher detergent.


This detergent is easy to make and you may already have the ingredients to need, borax and washing soda!

Pour equal part washing soda and borax into a plastic pitcher with a small spout, this will make it easier for you to pour.  Once they’re both in there, seal the top and shake it well to incorporate the ingredients – then label the pitcher so every knows what’s in there.

That’s it – all you need to do is add the same amount of the homemade version as you would the commercial version.

While you’re saving money on the detergent, keep it going and forget the expensive rinse aid – add straight white vinegar to the reservoir instead.  It will help rinse and clean the dishwasher with each use!

Just a couple of easy ways to give you peace of mind and a little more green in your pocket when doing the dishes!  Try it for yourself!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple

Weeds in the Walkway


If you have weeds growing up out of your walkways – I have an easy solution to help tackle them – and you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen!!



You’ll need a spray bottle, some canning vinegar, table salt and dish soap.

Warm two cups of vinegar in the microwave for about a minute – you’re using canning vinegar because it has a higher acid content than regular white vinegar.

Stir a half a cup of salt into the vinegar until it’s dissolved.  Then add a squirt of dish soap to the mixture and pour it all into your spray bottle.

Now, take it out and saturate the weeds.  You want to spray enough that you see the entire area around the weeds soaked

Now let it sit for about an hour.  The ingredients will work together to shrivel and loosen those weeds.

When the hour has passed you will be able to see that the weeds have shriveled up, use a push broom to easily remove them from the walkway!

That’s all there is to it – natural weed control right from the kitchen.  Try it for yourself, I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  

Reuse Neckties


It’s all about the up cycle these days – I have some cute up cycle uses for old neckties that you’re going to love!




Use a tie to make a case for your glasses.  Take a tie and cut it twenty inches from the point.  Fold the raw end in and use a hot iron to make a clean edge.

Check the inside of the tie to see if you need to snip any threads that are blocking the pocket that you are making.

Fold the small end up and stitch to secure the sides in place.  Then, use your iron to crease the flap into place; you can also add a snap or some Velcro as a closure for the case!

Use the same technique but a little smaller to make a cute wallet or coin purse! Use some ties to make a lampshade.  Cut the ties to the length you need to cover the shade, you will want to leave enough extra to make a clean seam that overlaps the top edge of the shade.

Use hot glue to secure the ties to the shade. You want to place the ties so that they will either butt right up against each other, or that they overlap hiding the shade completely. Leave the point of the tie hanging over the bottom edge acting as a trim.

With no modifications at all you can use a necktie as a headband, a belt or a cute purse accessory. Try these reuses for yourself!  I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Estate Auction Extraordinaire


TWO DAY
ON-SITE
ESTATE
AUCTION
Saturday Oct. 20th &
Sunday Oct. 21st , 2012
RARE OPPORTUNITY - AMAZING AUCTION!!
WHEN: 2 Days -  October 20 &21, 2012
Beginning Each Day At 10:00 AM Sharp!
Preview 8:00 AM until Sale Time Each Day
​WHERE: 3069 West Main Street, Meridian , NY 13113


This Greek Revival Mansion was built in 1835 by William Smith Ingham and his wife Huldah Bacon Ingham It has descended in the family . There are literally thousands of items to be sold in this GOOD - OLD - FASHIONED COUNTRY AUCTION !! Included are a pair of American Folk Art Portraits depicting the original owners of the home Huldah Bacon Ingham and her husband William Smith Ingham . The portraits are apparently not signed yet we believe that the artist can be identified through research due to the distinctive nature and superior quality that they exhibit . It is amazing that they have remained here for nearly 180 years !! We will also be selling DOZENS of Original Paintings ( signed & un-signed ) including other American Folk Art , Victorian , Hudson River School , Many Still Life , Landscapes , Portraits , Modernist , Etc. , Etc. , Etc. . There are wonderful Drawings & Prints . Needle-works & samplers , Ephemera , Early Furniture , Lighting , Textiles , Many Early Toys , Antique Dolls and Early Child Related Items , Iron Banks , Bottles , Silver-plate & Sterling , Fine / Early China , Good Antique Glassware , Estate Jewelry , Watches , Blue Decorated / Folk Art Stoneware , Antique Photographs , Many Primitives , Stamps and Coins , Antique Library and Much , Much , Much More !!! This is what we could see on a cursory walk-through so check back often for updates on what we discover ! This family never threw anything away !! It is like an archaeological dig ! The last Resident , and the person whose estate this sale will help settle , is the late David Dudley . Mr Dudly's Great Great Great Grandmother was the sister of William Smith Ingham ( The gentleman depicted in the Folk Portrait and the builder of this magnificent home ) . David Dudley was born in 1935 , never married , and was caretaker of these many family heirlooms until his death a few months ago . Meridian is located in the Beautiful Finger-Lakes Region of New York State . We expect the Fall Colors to be brilliant the weekend of the auction ! There are many farmer's produce stands in the area , historic sites and this region of the country offers breathtaking views ! Plan to attend this rare event ! Take home a treasure or two and some great memories !!

Baby, Baby - Tips for your Little One!

It's great having a newborn in the house, but it can be stressful.not to mention expensive. I have some easy solutions to help you out!

Use a plastic shoe bag over the back of the bathroom door to organize baby's things. The pockets are the perfect size for little socks, washcloths, lotions and pacifiers, and it hangs neatly out of the way!
A serious diaper rash may require medicated cream, but for daily protection buy petroleum jelly. It's gentle on baby's skin and it costs a fraction of what diaper creams and ointments cost.
How about baby wipes? Cut a paper towel roll in half so you end up with two halves that look like toilet paper rolls. Put them in an airtight container, a coffee can or formula can is a great fit. Mix one and a half cups of water, and a tablespoon each of baby shampoo and baby oil. Pour it over the towels and let them soak. When they're good and wet, pull out the center core and pull your homemade wipes easily one by one out of the center.
If it's a hassle to run to the changing table every time your little one needs a change, stock a basket with a changing pad, wipes, diapers, a change of clothes and some toys. This totable treasure will have you ready for a change anytime, anywhere.

Enjoy that little one!  It's  just that simple~