Friday, November 23, 2012

How I make washing dishes more pleasant…


Aside from not using a dryer my dishwasher is also on the fritz. I’m pretty sure I can fix it but I just haven’t taken the time to try. I really don’t mind doing dishes. Of all my mom-cleaning jobs washing dishes may be the least offensive. I like to see the cluttered counters all tidy again. It’s instant gratification. It’s also a good time to ponder. I ponder very important things like…how can I make this job easier? (While I don’t mind washing dishes I don’t want it to take all day!) And after a big meal like yesterday, Thanksgiving, the dishes were everywhere!!! Here are my tips and another installment of my jury rigged life:

  • Above you’ll see what I use to drain my silverware. It’s a plastic container some french fried onions came in…I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and clipped it to the outside of my dish drainer. This way I have the entire dish drainer for plates and bigger stuff. The one that came with the dish drainer is under the sink holding sponges…it took up way to much room in the dish drainer.
  • My dish drainer rests on the top sides of my sink…I like this because if something needs to be dumped out, like milk left in a glass, it won’t get on my clean dishes and it won’t get my dishwater icky.
  • I fill up my copper bottomed tea kettle with the cold water that comes out of the faucet before the hot water gets to my sink. My hot water heater is in the basement on the other side of the house. Darnit. It’s cheaper and hotter to heat the water on my gas range than to keep pulling it across the basement from my electric water heater. 
  • Let the hot soapy water do the work! I fill the dish tub with plates and silverware first and let them sit in the hot soapy water. While they are soaking for a bit I add super hot water from the tea kettle. Then I’ll do something else in the kitchen for a couple minutes…like put away the pot holders…or get recycling ready. When I get back to the plates they are clean and only need a wipe…not a scrub. Refill the sink with glasses or whatever and repeat. I always wash the silverware last. I don’t know why…habit.
  • Have two dishcloths in the dishpan! While waiting for the hot water to do it’s magic on the dishes use one dishcloth to wipe the counters…if there is a really sticky or stained area don’t stand there wasting precious crafting minutes scrubbing! Take the other hot soapy rag from the dishpan and lay it on the problem area…while that is soaking go back to the dishes. When a new load of dishes is soaking go back to the problem area. Chances are the hot soapy dishcloth dissolved the problem and you can just wipe it away.
  • Let the dishes air dry and have the kids put them away later. Air drying is more sanitary…having the kids handle them…well it’s a chance I take.
  • I periodically refill my tea kettle, heat it on the range and add more hot water to the dishwater as needed.
  • When I’m really on a roll I make sure my sink area is clean and tidy. Sometimes it’s the cleanest and tidiest place in the house. Sometimes it’s also the most peaceful place to be in the house…nobody bothers me because they don’t want to get roped into helping lol!
  • Other tips: Use a good dish soap. I stick with Dawn. It’s nice to have a plant or pretty piece of pottery to stare at while pondering at the sink. Have something pretty in that area. If you use a sponge get it really wet and microwave it for a half a minute or so to sanitize it, don’t wash your dishes with bacteria from a dirty sponge!!

Well, while this seems like some pretty basic stuff to we “pro’s” I’ve noticed a lot of teenagers going through my house who don’t have a clue how to handle a huge mess like the aftermath of Thanksgiving…this post is for them…

Happy Crafting!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

More needle felting…


I’m starting on a new needle felting path. When I demonstrated needle felting at our church bazaar many people commented on the “cute pin cushion” I use to keep my needles in. So next year I will be offering some up for sale. This is the first one. I think I need to needle the little bird a little smaller. It’s funny how something looks different in a photo.

I’m also going to start showing you guys my “Jury Rigged” life piece by piece. Did I ever tell you that I challenged myself to live without a clothes dryer for a year? Well, it’s been about 6 months now without a dryer and I really don’t miss it. That might change come winter. Anyways, as long as I do a load of laundry every day we’ve been getting along just fine. But sometimes I don’t get that done. Like this weekend. I then end up with more laundry than clothes line. One thing I’ve jury rigged is this-


This can be a real lifesaver when a million socks need to get dry. I just match them up right out of the basket and clip them on the clothespins. To make it I drilled holes in a wooden hanger and drilled holes in the clothespins and wallah! I will probably modify it later – I think some jump rings and chain would be better than this cause the pins are “stiff” but if you have a similar problem this works great! (I then hang the hanger on the drying rack, I’ll show that another time.)

Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Needle felted snowman picture -



Sorry for the fuzzy picture…I couldn’t seem to hold still. Well, the Bazaar is all done now and it went great!!! When we have the final numbers I’ll give you a recap but everything I made (except the pouches that took me TWO DAYS to figure out) sold!!! Last I’ve heard the Bazaar raised well over $10,000!!! I spent my time at the Bazaar needle felting. It is relatively new to this area and people are fascinated by the process so I demonstrated. It was so much fun meeting so many different people. I even made a contact for future wool…

I needle felted this little snowman this morning. I’m not 100% sure he’s done but I had to get him on the wall. I picked up the frame at a thrift store and made my own “rub-n-buff” by mixing carnuba was and pigment powders together and applying it with my finger. The frame was originally a bright brassy gold color…now it’s kind of a copper color. Mary if you see any of these frames at our favorite thrift store pick them up for me please!!! Doesn’t matter if they have glass in them or not…I picture a bunch of them on the wall with seasonal themed needle felted designs… I hope I come across lots!

Happy Crafting!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Needle felted Santa’s


This is the next batch of needle felted projects going to the Spirit of Christmas Bazaar. The Bazaar is on Saturday!!!! We are going to have a BUSY week getting everything ready!!! Again, I wish I had focused on needle felting right from the beginning rather than waste my time on other projects that didn’t really turn out well. I’m going to work on some of them next and cross my fingers that something can be made of them. You’ll see them next week if all goes well. These guys were inspired by some others that I saw somewhere online – mine are different…I needle felted everything but the beaded eyes…the other ones were mass-produced and used felt for the nose and mustache and hat rim. I hope people like them!!!!

Happy Crafting!!!