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How to Fix Damaged Surfaces of Wood Furniture

How to Fix Damaged Surfaces of Wood FurnitureWood is lovely, but at times it does not age well, or exposure makes the veneer or varnish suffer needlessly.

 

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Bubble and SqueakWe got this recipe from British friends who were camping with us one year. It is filling, healthy, and makes a great one-pot dinner for potlucks or camping. It is as easy as can be, fairly inexpensive, and uses only 4 ingredients.

 

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Use Vinegar Instead of Dryer SheetsActually this has to do with laundry, I have been told this before, but I tried this last weekend. I was not happy with my dryer sheets; I would rather not use them. Our sons use them so we have lots of them.

 

Frozen Yogurt Bark

Frozen Yogurt BarkThis is an enjoyable and healthy dessert for all ages! You can customize your yogurt bark with any toppings you have at home, or a great way to use up any last ingredients you have.

 

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Instant Potatoes As Non-Toxic Rat BaitMost rat baits are toxic to other animals if they happen to chew or chomp on a dead rat. This is a deadly but non-toxic method to kill rats by using Instant Potato flakes or powder.

 

A vintage gold trinket on a white background.

The Thief In Your Closet and On Your ShelvesIs your stuff stealing your time and money? You know those doodads on your shelves, your clothing, the flotsam and the jetsam piled up in the nooks and crannies of your house. For most of us, the answer is a resounding YES! Your stuff is making you poor and you probably don't even realize it.

 

Samantha witha braid.

How To Repair Frizzy American Girl Doll HairThis is an easy and inexpensive way to repair American Girl Dolls' hair using household items.

 

DIY Eyelash Adhesive

DIY Eyelash AdhesiveI started making my own eyelash glue when I realized the store brand ones I was using was making my lids a bit itchy. This adhesive is made of a few simple household products and keeps your lashes on all day.

 

Altered T-Shirt for Shoulder Surgery  - view of Velcro strips in place

Altered T-Shirt for Shoulder SurgeryRecently, I searched online for medical clothing needed after a rotator cuff surgery and noticed the cost of such alterations was in my opinion over priced. After gleaning a few items, I decided to give it my best DIY version that was less costly and worked just as well.

 

Ingredients for homemade Oxiclean.

Homemade Oxi-CleanIf you are anything like me, you spend too much on laundry products each month. I especially would splurge on stain treatments that were overpriced, as I found their generic counterparts to often be ineffective or too diluted to cause any real savings on our monthly budget.

 

A bottle of peppermint oil.

Peppermint Oil for Face MaskLooks like the face mask is going to be the new fashion for quite a while. A drop of peppermint essential oil on your face mask makes wearing it much more pleasant and comfortable. It helped me.

 

Leftover Mashed Potato Waffles

Leftover Mashed Potato WafflesThese are my favourite things to make after Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any time I have an abundance of leftover mashed potatoes. These waffles are creamy in the middle and crispy on the outside; perfect for breakfast with some eggs or just on their own. Definitely a fun twist on a leftover item.

 

A blue broom with yellow bristles on a white background.

Use A Broom To Clean Bathtub When PregnantThis is a way to get no "ring around the tub" when you're pregnant and the belly bump gets in the way of your bending over to clean the bathtub. Simply buy a cheap broom from the Dollar Store and use it specifically to "scrub/sweep" that tub sparkling clean.

 

Starr Jennyanydots (Tabby)

Starr Jennyanydots (Tabby)Adopted from a pet rescue at about 8 weeks. She likes to sleep, fight with her brother, sleep some more, run all over the house, curl up with me and sleep some more. Play with string, foil balls, toy mice, eat my plants, and tonight I caught her licking a stick of butter I'd put out for the butter bell.

 

fudgy cookie

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Walnut...Let the cookies cool for a bit if you can stand waiting. Go on, try, I dare you! When hot, they are moist and very fudgy inside, with a touch of crispiness on the outside. When fully cooled, they settle into a rich chewy cookie center.

 

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Easy Tree Limb Clean Up - off they go

Easy Tree Limb Clean UpI decided to do a little tree trimming in my yard and once I got finished I had a whole lot of limbs in several areas of my yard. It was going to take several trips to get them all moved to my dump pile. In the past I would have dragged a handful of limbs (all that I could get in one hand) to my dump site.

 

eyebrow closeup

Homemade Coffee Eyebrow TintI have patchy eyebrows from years of over plucking back in the day. Loving a very full looking pair of brows, I have gone through quite a bit of eyebrow pencils and tints. I now make my own with my used coffee grounds in the morning.

 

Knee boots.

Stretching Tight Boots and ShoesI have really big muscular calves and wide feet (thanks, Mum!), making it very hard for me to fit into shoes I fancy. I bought these suede boots and pumps online because they were dirt cheap and super cute. When they arrived, not surprisingly, I could not fit into them.

 

Mexican Street Corn Tacos

Mexican Street Corn TacosThis is a delicious twist on tacos. I used Mexican street corn as my inspiration to fill these tortillas. It's creamy and zesty and really hits the spot when you don't have things like guacamole or sour cream on hand. It pairs very nicely with the meat, cheese, and salsa inside.

 

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"5S" Your Way to an Organized LifeMany people are overwhelmed with the thought of organizing their home let alone one specific area. A great "workplace" organization methodology you can follow in the home is called "5S", originally employed in Japanese manufacturing plants.

 

A crazy quilt made from scraps of material.

The Most Frugal Of All, Free MemoriesWhat is your earliest memory? I will tell you three of mine as I don't know which is earliest. When I was little, the house was not heated past bed time. If the temperature was 10 degrees outside, it was 10 degrees inside, not long after we all went to bed.

 

Orangettes

OrangettesIn Europe Christmas means citrus, the green grocer's shelves are filled with citrus of every size and shape. The smell of the peel brings back happy memories of Christmas past. For me this is also the signal to do what I love the most; making something out of nothing and making a delicious festive treat to help my friends and family celebrate Christmas. Don't be daunted by all the steps, the ingredients are few and the delicious results and compliments make it well worth spending your time!

 

A frosty scene with fallen leaves.

Is the Season Beginning or Ending?Oh, but it's getting ugly around here. I am speaking of my garden of course. For one thing, about this time I lose interest in it. The magic of watching the plants grow, then blossom and put on their colorful array of tasty treasures for us to enjoy is long past.

 

A bowl of handmade flower shaped chocolates.

Healthy ChocolatesUsing only healthy ingredients, this easy (and keto friendly) recipe is a perfect and easy snack for the whole family! Just melt, mix, cool and ENJOY!

 

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Vegetable Water Blanching TimetableThere have been a lot of requests for blanching veggies as of late so here's an easy timetable to follow. Be sure to check tenderness part way into the blanching guide times because freshness and size of vegetables vary.

 

Shrink wrap on a broken car window.

Temporarily Cover Car Windows with Shrink...I have driven briefly on highway at 55 mph and on local city streets at 35 mph all over about 2 weeks. The film stayed on perfectly, kept the heat in the car and the cold out .

 

Iced tea with lemon slices.

Get the Most from Your LemonI love a fresh lemon slice in my iced tea but the lemon usually spoils before I can use the whole thing. I'd slice it up and put it in the fridge but, by the end of the week, it's slimy and spoiled. Until I thought of this trick.

 

5 Ingredient Apple Tart

5 Ingredient Apple TartThis apple tart is so easy to make. The great thing is you don't need any fancy equipment or fluted tart pans or techniques. Just throw everything in a pan and put it in the oven!

 

cut Herbed Chicken Rolls in Cherry Sauce

Herbed Chicken Rolls in Cherry SauceHere comes a winner-winner chicken dinner from my personal cookbook. This chicken breast is rolled up with herbed garlic butter, then cooked in a tart cherry sauce. It's a beautiful meal for these colder evenings... and I think quite pleasant visually! Enjoy!

 

CD case on windowsill with emerging seedlings

CD Case Plant DisplayUse a spare CD case, add some soil and a seed, close it and leave it by a bright window. A pretty plant will sprout and grow! Great for a child's learning project or even a pretty, natural window ornament!

 

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Cream Cheese Sweetheart Cake - Finished Cake

Cream Cheese Sweetheart CakeSweetheart is a type of cake with a cookie-like texture; more like a brownie. It is just a simple cake, but what I like most about it is the white glaze on top.

 

Learning Frugality

Learning FrugalityI have always been a pretty frugal person, but I'm finding later in life that I don't need as much as I once thought I did. When you are young, you are led to believe that those pretty new shiny objects you see on TV or someone is wearing is something you just can't live without.

 

Candle Ring - finished candle ring

Candle RingThis candle ring is made from disposable aluminum pie pans and a 10" wire frame.

 

Save Eating Out for Special Occasions

Save Eating Out for Special OccasionsWe were sitting at a buffet one busy weekend discussing how we needed another dresser but can't afford it. Then we paid the $65 bill and went home. It struck me how ridiculous it was to continue to eat out for convenience sake all the time.

 

A bottle of vodka to be used for deodorizing clothes.

Deodorize Clothing with VodkaA great way to deodorize clothes is to place some vodka in a spray bottle and mist them with it. Hang them to dry and you'll notice all the smells are gone. The vodka kills bacteria and odor, but won't leave an alcohol scent behind. This is great for clothes that you just brought out from storage.

 

Kitchen Makeover

A Beautiful Unique Kitchen MakeoverAfter sanding, priming, painting and adding antique silverware to my twenty year old, dark, dull and just plain outdated kitchen cabinets, putting in new counter tops, new appliances and painting the walls, I now have a beautiful, unique kitchen that I am proud to say was done by ME!

 

Taster Turkey

Taster Turkeys For Picky EatersA couple of Thanksgivings ago, I was faced with my first big dinner for my daughter's new husband and his two kids, who were sweet, but notoriously picky eaters.

 

Folding Fitted Sheets - folded sheet sets on the closet shelf

Folding Fitted SheetsI remember the days when we did not have fitted sheets and if the sheet was not tucked in good, you would wake up and find yourself laying on the mattress.

 

Closeup

Ice and Ladle Fat SkimmerWhenever we watch cooking shows, my husband sees those handy dandy fat separator tools and asks me if I want one. I'm perfectly happy with my way: put ice cubes in a ladle and skim across the fatty top of whatever you're separating. The cold will get the fat to congeal in the ladle. Just like a magnet!

 

Making a Bamboo Rain Stick - braid some string and decorate the instrument. Be sure to glue the string in place.

Making a Bamboo RainstickHere on the island music is an important part of our lives. There are many ways that we use bamboo to make musical instruments. One of the instruments I love to make is a rainstick.

 

Woman writing a check.

Spending Money to Save MoneyMy husband spent extra when he bought my new vacuum cleaner to get a bagless. It is now well over a year old, and I have probably saved at least $30 on not having to buy bags. That was the price I spent buying the HEPA filter bags from my old vacuum.

 

Lemons in a bag

Lemon DeodorantI have been reading alot of stuff about deodorants and how they clog your lymph system. They are also full of aluminum. I decided to try lemon. I was a little skeptical at first but it works.

 

Shasta (Siberian Husky) - wearing a sheep's hat

Shasta (Siberian Husky)Back in 2011, I acquired him from a man who was going to put him in a shelter. He was moving and couldn't take him along. Shasta's name was Kingsley at the time, and he was 9 months old. When I found out, I asked "If you're just going to put him in a shelter, can I have him?" And the rest is history 

 

Easily Remove Grease from Ground Beef

Easily Remove Grease from Ground BeefWhenever I browned hamburger meat for tacos, spaghetti, or whatever, I used to take the meat out of the pan, transfer it to a strainer to drain the grease and then return it to the pan to finish cooking. I have found a better way.

 

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Pinesol To Keep Pests AwayKeep a spray bottle of half Pinesol/half water under your sink spray outside garbage cans or anywhere you have a pest problem. Animals like rodents, opossums, raccoons, etc. don't like the smell.

 

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Carry Stun Gun On Dog Walks - a dog who was killed in a dog attack.

Carry Stun Gun On Dog WalksLast May, while I was walking my three Dachshunds, I was attacked by a Pit Bull. It knocked me down and then ripped up one of my dogs on top of me. My dog was unable to survive the attack and the Pit Bull had to be put down. I went into therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder.

 

Dog Potty Spot Made from Sod Squares - sod in a pool

Dog Potty Spot Made from Sod SquaresWe live in Florida and half of the year we are prepping for hurricanes and my dog may have to stay in for hours or even days during bad weather. I went to my local garden center purchased a couple of pieces of fresh sod(yes you can buy pcs! About $2.50 each) I put the sod in a cheap plastic kiddie pool on my back porch and voila! Outside potty inside!

 

Rubbing Alcohol for Mealy Bugs in a Succulent Garden - rosette succulent

Rubbing Alcohol for Mealy Bugs in a Succulent GardenKeeping a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol is convenient and can be used to get rid of mealy bugs on succulent plants! Rubbing alcohol is inexpensive and succulent safe while also getting the job done by getting rid of mealy bugs!

 

Cleaning with baking soda.

Cleaning With Baking SodaI have started keeping a clean glass Parmesan cheese dispenser by my bathroom and kitchen sink filled with baking soda. Great for a quick scrub for the sink, etc. I also sprinkle it on my toothpaste and sprinkle into my facial cleanser before I apply it.

 

Soap Scented Perfume Basket

Soap Scented Perfume BasketThis project is called "perfume basket" simply because of its fragrance. The scent doesn't come from any expensive perfume, but from a bar of soap. This will cost you less than a dollar and since it looks gorgeous and elegant it can best be used as a party giveaway, especially for weddings.

 

Mancala game board from an egg carton

Egg Carton Mancala GameMancala is considered one of the oldest games in the world and is played just about everywhere nowadays. When my students played, they used dried beans and empty egg cartons.

 

closeup of Lyle's face

Lyle (Golden Chow Mix)When he was approximately 1 year old from the animal shelter. He is a real hoot. He likes to run and play and jump and act tough, but when there is thunder or fireworks he becomes the furriest lapdog in the world!

 

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Avoid Aspartame for Bladder Control IssuesDo you drink sugar-free drinks or otherwise use aspartame? Do you have an issue with frequent urges to urinate, or incontinence? Did you know that aspartame many times is the cause of these issues?

 

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Make Frozen Lasagna Taste HomemadeThis is a tip I thought I would share since I did this over the week-end and my dinner guests loved the lasagna dinner. They all thought it was homemade! Little did they know, I purchased the Stoffers large frozen lasagna when it was on sale at my favorite store.

 

Flicker at suet feeder.

Homemade SuetI just got done making suet for the wild birds. It is cheap enough to buy, but gets even cheaper if you make your own. The following is my recipe.

 

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Use Ground Coffee To Remove OdorsHere's a solution that works for getting rid of odor problems on anything and anywhere; such as on clothing, furniture, refrigerators, freezers, rooms, semi-trailers with stinky cargo (see below); anything and everything!

 

Two old socks and a Swiffer floor cleaner.

Sock As Swiffer PadWorn out socks? Don't toss them. Place them over your Swiffer. It saves purchasing cloths and is great for dusting high places and washing floors.

 

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Use Maalox on Skin RashesOne of the best treatments around for really bad rashes and skin irritation is liquid Maalox, the stuff you use for indigestion. When my friend was in the hospital ICU, she had horrible, uncontrolled diarrhea and bed sores, which literally left her skin raw and bleeding.

 

whipped cream on piece of Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Purple Sweet Potato PieI'm sure many of you have had sweet potato pie. This pie is very similar but uses purple sweet potatoes. Baking the sweet potatoes in the oven (in lieu of boiling them) gives this a beautiful creamy consistency and not at all watered down. Baking them also retains their beautiful purple colour. Purple sweet potatoes can be found in grocery stores labeled as Okinawan, Hawaiian, or purple sweet potatoes. They are packed full of potassium, B6, vitamin C, and fiber.

 

Tips for Making BiscuitsHoe cakes can be made of flour or corn meal. The name derived from the early American practice of putting a small amount of dough on a very clean hoe blade and placing the blade atop hot coals or stones in the fireplace.

 

Isaac (St. Bernard) - St Bernard outside near leaf pile

Isaac (St. Bernard)I rescued Isaac a year and a half ago. We have bonded in a way that I have never experienced with an animal before. He is gentle, loving, and very devoted. Isaac loves to give a paw and nudge you when he wants to be petted. He also loves to roll around and sleep in piles of leaves!

 

gold glue basket bowl

Hot Glue Basket BowlI am so in love with making these little basket bowls. They're so easy to make and barely cost a thing. They're so pretty, you'd never know at first glance they were made of hot glue!

 

Bag Holder for Picking Up Litter - adding a McDonald's cup to the bag

Bag Holder for Picking Up LitterThere is a great need for volunteers to help clean up our roads these days. I have found that the winter months are the best time for me as the grass is short and the litter is so accessible and there are no biting insects to bother me.

 

Blue Neti pot.

Use Distilled Water in Neti PotsIt's better to be safe than sorry so please use distilled water or water that has previously been boiled and then stored in a sterile container. Also, rinse your Neti pot well with hot water, turn upside down on a clean towel to drain and allow to completely dry....

 

Recycled Garden Totem

Recycled Garden TotemI had a corner of my garden that needed some color this spring. I saw some garden totems made of glass, but I wanted something with more color.

 

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Freezing Produce In Paper BagsI learned this freezing method from a friend who puts up produce from a very large garden every year. She freezes Okra, green beans, bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash, Purple hull peas, and more this way. Use brown paper lunch bags.

 

Cleaning Badly Burnt Pots and Pans

Cleaning Badly Burnt Pots and PansDon't waste your time scrubbing a badly burned pot. All you need to do is put it outside in direct sunlight for a few days. The burnt food will crust up together, and when you turn it upside down, it will all fall out.

 

loave pans of baked banana bread

Cake Mix Banana BreadA great way to use up overripe bananas. It is very quick to make.

 

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Heal Minor Burns Instantly With Soy SauceThis tip might, if not save your life, at least make it a lot more agreeable! It happens to all of us at some point - we spill a bit of hot water on ourselves, we touch the stove too soon, or we interact with high temperature tools or irons.

 

4-H Breadmaker Rolls

4-H Breadmaker RollsBelieve it or not, this recipe is at least 54 years old. When I was in 4-H, another member and I gave a demonstration on making rolls. I have since adapted it to my bread maker.

 

Net Frame Around a Tree

Fruit Tree Bird Net FrameHubby and I made this frame out of 2 inch plastic irrigation piping attached to metal 'star' pickets. This size pipe fits snuggly on to the ends of the pickets, sliding easily over.

 

Pan of treats cut into large squares.

Marshmallow Crisped Rice Treats (Giant...We love marshmallows at our house, so when Walmart had two pound bags of these new giant sized marshmallows on clearance for only a dollar a bag, we went a little nuts.

 

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Rope Dresser HandlesWhen we were younger we bought our kids dresser at a garage sale, but the handles were missing. We couldn't afford to buy any. So, my husband strung rope through the holes and tied a knot inside to hold it in place.

 

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Prevent Mold on Cheese with VinegarIf you are like me and prefer to purchase a "chunk" of cheese instead of already shredded cheese, this tip is for you.

 

Glass replaced with acrylic.

Chandelier MakeoverWe just moved into our house that we have been renting out for several years and I noticed a few things are outdated. I hated the 70's era chandelier over the dining room table because of the smoked glass.

 

How to Make Sushi Cakes - serving tray with sushi cakes and condiments

How to Make Sushi CakesYou don't have to be a professional baker to make professional looking decorative cakes. I made these sushi cakes using regular cake batter, frosting, and candies you can find at any shop. It cost me 1/10th of the price that I would have paid had I ordered them from a custom bakery and they were absolutely delicious!

 

Tin man made from recycled cans.

Tin Man ManiaI created this mini man from some recycled soup and coffee cans, soda tabs, funnel, bolts, screws, candy tins for feet, coat hangers, swivel, spray paint and tin snips. I used and awl and hammer to make the holes I needed.

 

German Shepherd mix dog.

Smokey (German Shepherd Mix)Smokey is a 10 year old German Shepherd mix. He was abandoned. When my husband went hunting and he was walking down a hill to go to the cabin, Smokey jumped out at him.

 

Crockpot Toffee Apple Crisp

Crockpot Toffee Apple CrispI had some toffee chips I wanted to use up and I also had a lot of frozen apple slices in my freezer. So I looked for a recipe and found this one to try out.

 

A plate of roasted carrots with carrot-top pesto.

Roasted Carrots with Carrot-Top PestoThis is a beautiful side dish with vibrant flavours. Use the carrots' own greens to make a pesto to serve with it. I added a bit of mint and lemon to really make it pop. I used pine nuts, but you can use cashews or something similar, too.

 

Cut plate to protect crust

Crust Cover from Metal Pie PlateAfter wasting countless strips of aluminum foil just to cover my pie crusts when baking, I tried cutting up an old aluminum pie pan to place over my pie crusts while baking. It worked!

 

phone keypad

Tools That Help The Blind TodayI can't outline every tool available for the blind today. However, I promised I'd write about the tools that make my life easier. I try not to adapt more than necessary, but I do need some things accessible. I wrap a bread tie around the handle of the gallon jug of tea or fruit drink.

 

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Organizing Craft Supplies With Recycled ContainersI have all sorts of tiny crafting materials (wiggle eyes, acrylic jewels, needles, beads, etc) and not a lot of space to store them, we live full time in our camper. I tried looking for storage boxes but the compartments were either too small or too large for most of the materials.

 

Save Ribbon from Shopping Bag for Crafting

Save Ribbon from Shopping Bag for CraftingBefore tossing out shopping bags, see if you can salvage any pieces. This Victoria's Secret bag has had it's fair share of being recycled/reused. I was able to salvage the ribbon and it will be perfect to use for crafting!

 

Adult pads as puppy pads

Adult Pads as Alternative to "Puppy Pads"Most everyone I know owns a pet. They can be expensive but I try to cut corners and save where I can. There is nothing like the unconditional love of an animal. I rescued my dog on what was, to be her last day.

 

Rolls of wrapping paper stored on dowels suspended by metal chains.

Wrapping Paper and Ribbon StorageI do a lot of crafts in a small space. My collection of wrapping paper seems to grow this time of the year. I make my small area more efficient and a space saver with cup hooks, wood dowels, and plastic or metal chains.

 

View of clean and burnt sides of pan.Cleaning a Very Burnt Saucepan

Cleaning a Very Burnt SaucepanI took a telephone call and completely forgot my saucepan boiling my Udon noodles. I didn't think anything would shift the burnt-on food. How wrong I was.

 

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Tea Tree Oil For ToothachesMost toothaches are caused by an infection around the tooth. It is between the tooth and the gums causing pressure. Try coating the area with Tea Tree Oil on a Q-tip. Try to keep your tougue away from it, it tastes terrible.

 

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Warning About Dryer Sheets And PetsThere have been several posts lately involving the use of dryer sheets around pets - either wiping the pet or their bedding with dryer sheets. This is a very dangerous idea, because dryer sheets contain poisonous, even carcinogenic, chemicals.

 

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Sew Two Twin Blankets To Make A Big King Sized OneNeed a big king size blanket that won't fall short of keeping you and your husband warm? Buy 2 twin size and tack them together.

 

painted countertops 1

Painting Formica CountertopsMy home was a mecca of ugly and strangely colored laminate countertops; hunter green, brown, navy blue, beige, etc.. I set out to paint them to improve their look, thinking "they can't get any worse, can they?" Paint was my frugal friend.

 

finished booties

Easy Newborn Crocheted BootiesQuick, easy, and oh so fun to make. These would be a great shower gift for that sweet little bundle. Baby princes would be just as proud to wear them if you left the flower off and crocheted in blue.

 

Tinkerbelle (Syrian Hamster) - in her exercise ball

Tinkerbelle (Syrian Hamster)While shopping at a local pet supply store for my dog and two cats, I decided to look around and discovered the small pet section. I had recently lost the second in a pair of male gerbils, and I missed caring for them. Although I was still grieving that loss I decided to adopt a hamster.

 

Buttercup (Flame Point Siamese Mix)

Buttercup (Flame Point Siamese Mix)I rescued Buttercup and her 3 kittens from a kill shelter in North Georgia in 2013. Buttercup loves to play with her ribbon toys (a crunchy toy with ribbons that come out of it). She loves to chase catnip mice and bat a ball around the circular scratcher.

 

Binding Carpet Remnants

Binding Carpet RemnantsAffordable carpet remnants can be found at thrift stores and carpet discount outlets; however, it's extraordinarily expensive to have a carpet bound with carpet binding.

 

Photo of Quilt made from fabric sample

Fabric Sample QuiltWhen I worked at a wallpaper store, periodically they would toss out outdated books and I would save the fabric samples. Eventually, I had enough to make a quilt and then bought enough of the navy fabric to finish it.

 

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