Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Laundry Saga

Found this link on Polly Hood's Counting Your Blessings blog about making your own laundry soap - soap that not only cleans well, but doesn't trigger allergic reactions and costs a fraction of what regular laundry detergent costs.

Step 1:  convince John it's OK to use it
Step 2:  find the ingredients
Step 3:  go to target - mistake - they didn't have the ingredients
Step 4:  go to grocery store, look at watch, don't have enough time to shop, checkout, and get back for an appointment.
Net result:  drove back and forth with nothing to show for it.  Now I have to figure what that fruitless jaunt and the gas expense adds onto the cost of the home  made soap. (to be continued) 


Step 5:  Afternoon of same day:  Ran out again and got the ingredients and on the way home I stopped at the shop to pick up this cute covered tin can (if you look closely, you can see that I have yet to remove the price tag.)
Step 6:  I followed the instructions, made the soap, put it in container and put the first load in the washer.

And now about the laundry room.  We have a very small 2nd floor laundry room at the top of the stairs, an add-on (John's idea) when we put on a first floor addition.

The  room is barely deep enough to fit the washer and dryer side-by-side with a little space left over. It is as wide as the window plus the washer depth plus room on the other side of the window for a shelf and clothes rack with the laundry sorting bins underneath. Not much space to decorate. The scale is in a place accessible to all, and it is way too accurate for its age!

On the other side of the window is this small vintage plaque with a message, which is as much for me as it was the for the kids.


I thought the laundry room was the perfect place for it, agree? Also wanted to show you my "curtain tie-up" (nailed a clothespin to the window frame and voila!

I filled a small jar with enough soap to do 10 loads of wash.  You use only 2-3 Tbs. per load.  The jar sits on one of the shelves above the washer and dryer.  The higher shelf has vintage picnic baskets perfect for storage, because they have covers. They store some sewing and craft materials. That's a lot of vintage stuff to fit in one very small space. Another example of "where there's a will, there's a way".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Jewels in the Loft and Having a bit of Fun

John and I drove to Marengo last evening to join Jeannie LaBelle for her "Jewels in the Loft" show.  The displays were fantastic with books and antique mirrors and signs interspersed with the jewelry, all designed by Jeannie and a few of her friends and soul mates, whose philosophy is summed up in one of the chalkboard signs with it's message, and I hope I am recalling it correctly:  "Life is too short to wear department store jewelry".  The setting was perfect - in the loft of Jeannie's beautiful home, again decorated with personality, as creative and unique as she is.

Here we are, and for some reason John's camera was in this color mode. or lack thereof. (We thought it was rather interesting because there is some bit of color in the background but not on us)

In a previous post, I talked about meeting a blogger friend of Jeannie's, Gretchen Schaumann at Junk Bonanza in Minnesota this past September. I don't believe Gretchen and Jeannie have actually met but they are soul mates because of their shared passion for using vintage elements and their own creative gifts to fashion their art.

Here I am back in September, conveying greetings from Jeannie, who had told me to look up Gretchen when she found out I was going to Junk Bonanza. 

This is where the fun begins.  Since I don't think they have met, thought I'd have some photo-editing fun and put them together.  Pictured below are Gretchen and Jeannie with some of Grechen's embossed spoon necklaces in the background.  They are both modeling their own wonderful creations.

So now you know why you shouldn't believe everything you see in those supermarket gossip mags. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Linens and memories

After being referred by Nellie's Barn Sale to a site on organizing your linen closet, I decided to survey the situation at home.  Pictured is a big part of my solution.  With 5 bedrooms (including the one in the attic) and multiple beds and multiple set of sheets for each, the linen closet was bursting at the seams.

But one day on an outing to Galena, I spied a sign outside of Galena for a yard sale.  Of course, we had to stop, and this cupboard was in the yard at a ridiculously low price. This probably typifies my style more than any other style of furniture.  I love pine, and I love this warm finish.  That is why I say I like refined primitive, because I do like this look. 

It fit perfectly in an upstairs corner of the hallway right outside the bathroom door.  It became our towel cupboard.  I was able to remove all the towels from the linen closet and clear that shelf space for sheets, blankets, extra pillows, and bed spreads.

You'll notice I have all white towels except for a few royal blue hand towels which go in the 1/2 bath off one bedroom used as a guest room.

White towels became a necessity when kids became teenagers and started using face cream containing peroxide which wreaked havoc on any colored towel.  Now I love white towels since they go with anything and they can be bleached.  

On the top of the cupboard are 3 mini chairs which hold tea lights at Christmas and above them on the wall is an embroidered framed silky picture that I just could not sell.  It has 4 girls on it, and John and I have 4 girls, and they are all dressed in white, most in gowns, and each is carrying something.  Sort of cutesy,  but I love it.  Annie, my oldest daughter, has claimed it, so at the risk of sounding morbid, her name is on the back. 

After my father died a few years ago, my sister went through photos and distributed them.  She gave me this copy of a photo of the two of us taken for a Christmas card.  Can't help but wonder if that isn't why this picture called to me.

The only things missing are the night caps, but we do have bows in our hair.  Pictures of the past have a way of making me sad, thinking about where the years have gone, and how well did I use them, and what are the precious moments I missed along the way.  Carpe diem!!