Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and deadly gas that can leak into your home. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble the flu so you need to be careful and aware, I have a couple of ideas to keep your family safe.
1. Carbon monoxide can be found in car exhaust, so if your garage is attached to your home, make sure that you have venting to the outside and weather stripping between the garage and the house.
2. Gas appliances such as water heaters, clothes dryers and improperly vented stoves can also leak this dangerous gas. Make sure that these appliances are installed by professionals, and maintained on an annual basis.
3. Another source of carbon monoxide back up is in the fireplace, both gas and wood-burning. A blocked chimney can cause big problems so have yours cleaned and inspected by a reputable professional each year.
4. Never operate a gas grill in an enclosed area like the garage.

Wax Removal Guide

You name it; somebody's got to get wax off of it. Here is how it's done.
1. For carpets, clothing and linens the method is the same. Layer several paper towels over the wax and use a hot iron. The heat from the iron will transfer the wax to the towels, no muss, no fuss. If you're using an ironing board, protect the surface with a brown paper bag or more paper towels.
2. If you blew a little to hard to put out that candle and ended up with wax on your walls, hold a hot cloth over the wax and then use a credit card to gently scrape it away. Then dip a cotton ball in white vinegar and dab at the wall to remove any residue.
3. Need to clean the tail end of a candle from inside a votive holder? Put it in the freezer for a couple of hours, when the wax is good and hard, carefully use a kitchen knife to pop it out from the bottom. Then just let the container come to room temperature and then wash in hot sudsy water to which you've added a cup of white vinegar to remove the waxy residue.


If you want to build a cozy fire, but you've run out of kindling, you probably have some substitutions around the house.
1. Newspaper is an easy and economical way to start a fire, but if you crumple it up, it won't burn as long as you need it. Roll a newspaper as tightly as you can into a log. Then, slip it inside of a paper towel or toilet paper tube, this will keep it rolled and help it burn longer.
2. You can also try some citrus fruit peels as kindling. The natural oils in the peels will help them burn a long time. Another advantage to using these peels is that they burn very hot, which can help clean your chimney. Plus, the great citrus scent will spread through the house while the fire is burning.
3. To make fire starters, grab a cardboard egg carton and fill the compartments with dryer lint. Then, melt some wax in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. (Make sure it's not a bowl you plan on using for food). Keep a close eye on the wax, it is extremely flammable. Once it's melted, carefully pour it over all of the sections. When the wax is hard, just cut them apart. Then when you need them just light the cardboard.

FIXITs Top 5

It seems we all have the same problems in our home, because I keep hearing the same questions, here are Fixit's Top 5 solutions!
1. Number 5. Nail polish spills on carpets can be removed with window cleaner. Spray it onto the carpet and then dab it out with a damp white cloth. Once the stain is removed, mix together a teaspoon of dish soap, a teaspoon of white vinegar and a quart of warm water to clean away any traces of window cleaner. Test in the hidden area for colorfastness before you start, and be patient because it may take more than one application to get that stain out.
2. Number 4. Pet stains on carpeting. Clean the area with cool soapy water and a clean white cloth. Let it dry completely. Dab the area with white vinegar and another white cloth and let that dry. Sprinkle it with Baking Soda, and then leave that overnight. In the morning, Vacuum it up. This technique not only eliminates the stain but it helps neutralize the odor.
3. Number 3. Heat and Moisture stains on wood. Simply rub some white toothpaste onto the mark with a soft cloth.
4. Number 2. Slow drains. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the Two bubble and fizz, and then flush the drain with a gallon or so of hot water. This will speed up and clean your drains in one quick step.
5. And the Number 1 the most requested Fixit, Wax spills! For carpets, clothes and linens the method is the same layer several paper towels over the wax, and then iron the towels with a hot iron. The heat from the iron will transfer the wax to the towels. No muss no fuss. If you're working on an ironing board don't forget to protect your cover with a paper bag.

Glue Gun

Do you have a glue gun in your toolbox? No, well you might want to consider it; because it's a super versatile tool!
1. There are three basic types of glue guns, high melt, low melt and dual temperature. High melt guns are for more heavy-duty applications. A low melt is more for craft and floral projects, and the dual temp - you guessed it, for both. The only trick is to make sure that you use the right type of glue stick for your gun!
2. If you do a lot of projects on your own a glue gun can be an extra set of hands. Run it along wood or trim pieces and put them in place, it will set up in about five seconds and free up your hands to add a more permanent fastener while keeping your work in place.
3. A glue gun is the perfect tool for reattaching loose trim on upholstery and lampshades, or use it to add embellishments to a plain item.
4. I like to keep my glue gun on a cookie sheet or another metal tray. This way if it leaks or tips over you don't have to worry about something getting burned.
5. Another tip, if your glue sets up too fast and you need to reposition, aim your hairdryer at it for a few seconds. It will soften it up enough to move it where you need to!

Swag Light

swag lamp is the perfect solution for a spot where you need overhead lighting but you can't hardwire it. Well all you really need is a lampshade and a swag kit.
1. Thread a connector screw and the wires for your new light through the top of your lampshade; make sure the end of the plug is at the top of the shade to wire the socket.
2. Thread the lamp cord through the socket cap and pull it out so you have at least a few inches of wire. Split the cord wire in two and anchor the wires with an underwriters knot by turning each wire downward to form two loops, then insert the ends of each of those wires through the opposite loop.
3. Connect the wires to the terminal screws on the socket. The wire that's smooth goes to the brass screw and the wire with the ribbed casing goes around to the silver screw.
4. Push the socket shell and cardboard insulation over the wiring until you hear a faint click so you know it's secure.
5. Pull the cord back out so that the socket is secure against the shade and screw the connecting nuts into place so that the weight of the shade isn't pulling on the wires.
6. Hang the fixture. You may want to cover the cord by painting it the same color of your walls or use a cord cover.

Olive Oil

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!

Glasses stuck together?

If you get two glasses stuck together - put ice in the top one and set the bottom  on in warm water.  The warm water expands the bottom glass while the ice contracts the top glass so you can take them apart!


A little rice in your salt shaker will help keep the salt from clumpping up!


Did you know that you can use chalk under your sink to absorb excess chalk?  Tie a few peices together and pop it in place!

Want to cover a scratch on Wood Furniture?

Did you know that a paste of instant coffee and water on a soft cloth will cover scratches on dark wood furniture?  Just wipe it on and buff it out!

Cold and Flu Season is Here

Looking for a quick disinfect for household surfaces?  Rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth will clean, disinfect and dissapate in no time flat!

Pet Hair Problems

If you have pet hair problems at your house -  I have some ideas to help.

Did you know that a dry rubber glove can help remove pet hair from upholstry.  Simply run your gloved hand over the furniture and the pet hair will cling to the glove.

For hair on carpeting - a slightly damp sponge mop will pick it right up!

Looking for Projects...

I'm definately in the mood for a revamp project - I can't decide whether it should be an in-house project or a outside project?  Any suggestions?

Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook

Don't forget to like Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook for more great ideas for fixing up, brightening up and tightening up the place you call home!

Grout a Floor

Mix your grout according to the directions provided, they will vary slightly from brand to brand so be sure you read your package.

Once the grout is mixed, put a glob on the floor and use a grout float held at a forty-five degree angle to push the grout into the tile.  work diagonally across the tiles back and forth to be sure you’re filling the joints. 

Avoid the spaces between the tile and the wall or other materials, these act as expansion joints and they are needed to make your tile job last. Once you’ve grouted the entire space, let it sit for a few minutes and then you can start removing excess grout.

Use a large damp sponge to remove excess grout from the surface of the tile.  you will need to rinse and wring out your sponge several times as you work. you want to remove excess grout from the tile without removing it from the joints.

Once you’ve removed as much grout as possible let it dry.  when you see a haze forming on the tile, you’re going to want to use an old cotton towel to buff the tiles to a shine.

Let the grout dry completely before you allow traffic on it  - usually another twenty-four hours. I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!



Laying Ceramic Tile

Laying ceramic tile on  a bathroom floor is a big job, but i can show you how to do it, step by step!


generally when you’re starting a tile job you want to find the centerpoint of your room by snapping chalk lines at the centerpoint of each wall. 


in my case I am tiling a small bathroom and i want a full tile line at the edge of the bathtub, so i am going to start by the bathtub and work my way out from there.

Spread a layer of thinset onto the floor with a notched trowel large enough for a sheet of tile, and lay it in place.  Press it lightly into the thinset and use a level to be sure that it is perfectly even. continue this process working out from the tub and back toward the door.  space your sheets apart the same distance as the tile on your mosaic sheets.

When you get to the walls, toilet flanges or outlets, you can pop tiles off of the sheets and cut them mesh with a utility knife.  if you need to cut individuals tile use a tile saw or nippers.

Once all of the tile sheets are in place – keep people off of the floors for twenty-four hours so the adhesive can set up.  that’s all there is to it!  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Laying Cement Backerboard

Don’t skip the cement board when you’re tiling job, I have the step by step to get the project moving.


The first step is to snap chalk lines onto the floor to mark the dimensions of the sheets.  You want to be sure that your joints don’t line up with the joints on your sub-floor and so that there is nowhere four corners of backer come together.


starting in the furthest corner from the door, spread enough thinset onto the floor for one sheet of cement board.


Once you’ve filled the space, make ridges in the thinset with the a notched trowel.  Lay your first piece of backerboard in place leave a quarter inch gap between the board and the wall.  To cut cement board, score the board with a utilty knife or carbide tipped cutter, and snap on the score line.  for outlets or toilet flanges, trace and then drill holes in the perimeter, score lines and snap out small pieces.

Repeat the process until the floor is covered; leave an eighth of a inch seam between boards. 

Once all of the boards are in place, secure them to the floor with backerboard screws every eight inches, along the outside keep screws between a half an inch and two inches from the edge.

Once everything is secure, fill the joints with adhesive, extending it out from the joints about an inch and a half on either side. 
Lay two inch fiberglass tape over the joint pushing it into the adhesive. When it’s in place cover the tape with a thin layer of adhesive feathering it out at the edges.  

 That’s it, ready for tile! I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Remove Vinyl Flooring

If you’ve been living with vinyl flooring that you don’t like I can show you how to remove it quickly and easily! Grab some work gloves, safety glasses let’s get to work!

Use a utility knife to cut the vinyl into one foot sections across the length and the width, be careful not to damage the subfloor.

Wedge a putty knife under the corner of one of the sections and pull up the vinyl using the knife to break up any adhesive as you work. Repeat the process over the entire floor.

Once you’ve got t he flooring up, you can use a mixture of a couple of teaspoons of dish soap and some warm water in a spray bottle and spray it over any remaining adhesive to loosen it up,  use a putty knife to scrape it off.

If your floors were put in prior to the 1980’s call an asbestos removal company because vinyl flooring manufactured before the 1980’s contained asbestos. 
Now you’re all set to add your new flooring.  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Canning Jars

If you think you only need canning jars if you have a garden, think again!  I have some great uses for them!

Pick up some heavy gauge wire at your local hardware store and make some hanging lanterns.

Just wrap the wire around the neck of the jar a couple of times, then make a loop up for a handle and then around the neck a couple more times to secure it.  Add a candle and you’ve got a great rustic lantern.

Speaking of candles, if you’re interested in making your own, canning jars is the perfect vessel!

You can make a terrarium from a canning jar. Add pebbles to the bottom of the jar, then a layer of charcoal, then some soil and finally the plants.

The pebbles allow the water to drain from the plants but remain in the jar for moisture when it’s needed!

How about a soap dispenser? Drill or punch a hole through the lid of your jar big enough to slip a pump assembly through.  Use a cork on the underside with a hole drilled through it to hold them pump in place and you’re all set!

Some cool uses for canning jars that I hope you will try for yourself! I’M Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple.  

More Dremmel Fun!

The Wolfman carved with the new Dremmel Pumpkin Carving Tool -

James Wallace Artist

Halloween on the Cheap

Between the costumes and the candy that has money left to spend on their Halloween decorations.  I have some super inexpensive solutions I think you’re going to love.

How about some spooky ghosts? Cut cheese cloth into several squares and put them aside.  Then, blow up some small balloons and set them in paper cups to make your ghost forms.

Make some homemade fabric stiffener by mixing a half a cup of white glue and a half a cup of water in a shallow bowl.  Dip your cheesecloth in and lay it over the balloons, then leave it till it dries. Then gently peel them off of the balloons.

Hang your ghosts with some fishing line or light
Colored thread and you’ve got great custom ghosts for pennies.

Cheese cloth can also be draped or wrapped onto wreaths and other décor as creepy fabric.

Use newspaper as Halloween décor, it’s the perfect color.  Replace your framed pictures with newspaper and layer some black silhouette cut outs onto the newspaper so it becomes a backdrop for spooky artwork.

You could also use paints and glitter to add art directly to the paper.

Make a garland from newspaper.  Layer sections of newspaper over a string or ribbon and secure it with some glue or staples, then use your scissors to
Cut fringe into the paper, the more layers of paper, the fuller the fringe.

A few easy Halloween decorations for you to try, I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 

Paper Perfect Halloween

You can pick up crepe paper streamers at your local dollar store two for a dollar! The crinkly paper is perfect for Halloween décor cheap!!!

First off, did you know you can dye crepe paper?  Fill a spray bottle with some water mixed with food coloring. spritz the top edge of a roll of crepe paper until you’ve got the color you want and then let it dry.  Custom crepe paper!

Try a crepe paper wreath, make rows of loops and secure them to a wreath form with some simple pins.  Add a crepe paper bow and flowers and you’ve got a spooky wreath the cost a couple of bucks.

If you’re not into the loops, accordion fold several layers of crepe paper onto itself and cut feather   shapes.  Glue the feathers onto the wreath form for a feathered, fringy look.

You can also use crepe   paper to make a great fringe for a cone or hat. 
Use poster board to make an oversized cone. 

Using a glue stick, secure crepe paper several times around the outside edge of the cone.  Use scissors to cut fringe and add some ribbon trim to mask the raw edges.

Easy and inexpensive crepe paper décor for your Halloween celebration. I’m Mrs. Fixit and it’s just that simple. 

Protecting Electronics

Electronic equipment is an investment, so you want to be careful and keep it safe, I have some ideas to help you out!

If you tend to snack while you’re surfing the internet you know that your mouse pad can get a little gunky from your fingers and food, to protect it, secure a post it note over the pad. 

The post it won’t interfere with the mousepad at all, but the pad with stay clean and grease free.

If you’re cooking or working on a project where your hands will get messy, slip your touch screen device in a plastic zip top bag. 

You will be able to work the phone and see the touch screen devices can get banged up and smashed pretty quickly in your handbag.

Grab a hard shell glasses case and slip those fragile electronics into it.  You can easily slip the case into your bag or a coat pocket and it will protect from unintended bumps and drops.

A few easy ways to protect your electronics from unnecessary roughness!  I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Revamp a Stock Vanity

A lot of times when you buy a house you inherit someone else’s taste and choices. I’ll show you how easy it is to transform this basic stock vanity into a piece you’ll love!

The first step is to remove any hardware that is existing on the cabinetry.

Then, use a sanding sponge to rough up the surface of piece with sandpaper or a sanding sponge. Once you’ve scuffed it up, wipe the entire piece down with a damp cloth and let it dry.

To ensure a nice and lasting finish, prime the piece with a bonding primer and let it dry.

Next, the paint.  For a bathroom, I recommend enamel paint; it has a tougher finish and will hold up nicely to the wear and tear a bathroom sees. 

Finish the cabinet with at least two coats of paint for both coverage and durability. 

Add some fresh hardware that really speaks to your taste and you’ve got a whole new vanity for very little money.I’m Mrs. FIXIT and it’s just that simple!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CHECK IT OUT! Pumpkin Carving Tool from Dremel

We recently got a chance to try out the new Pumpkin Carving Tool  from Dremel - Soooooo cool!
It is battery operated and easy to use - check out the results!

Special Thanks to Carolyn Wallace our Pumpkin Artist

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Halloween in a Hurry

If you have no time to make, much less go out and buy Halloween costumes, I have some easy, quick and inexpensive ideas.

Have a square box; think about a jack in the box. Cut some leg holes and decorate it with some brightly colored paper or paints. For the crank, cut and bend a wire coat hanger, slip it in place and duct tape it to the inside of the box. Use a Styrofoam or rubber ball or block as the grip. Dress your child in bright colored clothes; slip a hat on their head and paint their cheeks red.

How about a present. Cut arms, legs and neck holes in a box and scrap it in some birthday paper.

Bath time, splish, splash. Simply pull together a shower cap, a scrubber, a rubber ducky, a bathrobe and some slippers. Cute as a button.

How about a painter. All you have to do is grab some old paint cover-ups and a cap. If you have to buy a cover-up, they only cost a few dollars, and if you just splatter them with some paint, top it off with a cap and a brush and then use a paint can for collecting your candy.

It's just that simple!