clever use for rubbing alcohol

I recently found out that rubbing alcohol will release hot glue from practically anything!

I recently found this out while prepping for the last craft show I did. I used an insane amount of hot glue on a few of my projects and of course it got everywhere! After taking way too long pulling off hot glue off some glass, I decided to clean off the glass with some rubbing alcohol. Lo and behold, the remaining little bits simply released!

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Since then I’ve used it to easily remove hot glue from everything, including porous items like fabric.
I mainly use 91% isopropyl, so weaker ones may not work.

Rubbing alcohol is one of my favorite things, and now I have one more reason to keep it around!

Did you know?

I recently found out that rubbing alcohol will release hot glue from practically anything!

I recently found this out while prepping for the last craft show I did. I used an insane amount of hot glue on a few of my projects and of course it got everywhere! After taking way too long pulling off hot glue off some glass, I decided to clean off the glass with some rubbing alcohol. Lo and behold, the remaining little bits simply released!

20121112-194955.jpg

Since then I’ve used it to easily remove hot glue from everything, including porous items like fabric.
I mainly use 91% isopropyl, so weaker ones may not work.

Rubbing alcohol is one of my favorite things, and now I have one more reason to keep it around!

Cleva: 5 simple ideas for your home dot com

Like my Tamar Braxton reference, dontcha?

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for tips and suggestions to make my homekeeping a little easier. Here are just five that I found on the interwebs.

1. This first one comes to us by way of Be Different, Act Normal (love that name!) I have quite a collection of scarves, but they until now they’ve just sat in a bin on a shelf in my closet. I always wanted a better way to arrange them to see what I have, but it never occurred to me to do this: put them on shower curtain rings and clip onto a hanger, which then goes on your closet rod.

scarf organizer
image courtesy of Be Different, Act Normal

 

2. This one is especially near and dear to my heart, as an avid DIYer. Up until now, I would just throw out my paintbrushes after a few uses (ssshhhh, don’t tell Hubby, or the Environmentalists). Coming from This Old House is an idea to revive your paintbrushes to almost new Soak your paintbrushes in vinegar for 30 minutes. So simple!

02-10-uses-vinegar
image courtesy of This Old House

 

3. I battle the dust monster in my house, and it seems like they do love to settle on baseboards. Something that little really affects how clean your house looks. This, from the fabulous folks at Apartment Therapy: Dust your baseboards with a dryer sheet. Added bonus, your house will smell nice too, even if for just a few minutes.

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image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

My twist on this? Anytime one of the kids says something about being bored, hand them a dryer sheet and tell them to get to work. There, two birds, one stone!

 

4. I do like this one…so much! From craftgawker: Remove a salt box top, attach to a pretty piece of cardstock fitted into a mason jar lid. Great for a those loose flowing powders in the kitchen like baking soda, baking powder, and duh, salt.

saltbox tops
image courtesy of craftgawker

 

5. This last one from the minds of Real Simple. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like a great idea! Sprinkle some baby powder in the pits of your stain and iron, to prevent sweat stains. Pretty cool, I say.

babypowder iron
image courtesy of Real Simple magazine

 

Now, That’s Cleva!. Five great ideas to make your home keeping a little easier.

If you’ve tried any of these, let me know how well they worked for you!

one less to-do, plus a {sewing} tip

So remember that I had promised my in-laws some placemats? Finally got it done! I owe this accomplishment to my big craft supply purge of a few days ago. Getting rid of my stash of useless fabric cleared my mind (and space) of old baggage, literally. As promised, I will no longer be stashing fabric just because it’s cute. I will only purchase what’s needed for each project. This goes for all aspects of life, really.

Here are my placemats. How’d I do?

PICT0305

I used the instructions from Amy Butler’s book, “In Stitches.” The instructions called for a brand of interfacing called “Timtex.” I have never successfully found Timtex in my local stores, but guess what? I found out I already had something on hand that substituted beautifully. While I was in store looking for a substitute for the Timtex, I realized that I already had a very similar material used for something totally different.

About 2 weeks ago I had picked up a roll of Wall liner from my favorite thrift. Wall liner is applied to walls and used to smooth out imperfect wall surfaces like wall paneling and such, before wall-papering.   Go here to see how it is typically used. I’m a sucker for rolls of paper(and other paper-like materials), and couldn’t resist the roll off wall liner. (That was before I decided to stop hoarding materials, thank goodness).

wallliner

image courtesy of www.shelterpop.com

Wall liner feels almost like cloth or rag paper, and is very stiff, just like Timtex. I washed a piece of it first to make sure it was washable. This is what I used to give my placemat the stiffness. I’m not sure how much a typical roll costs in comparison to Timtex, but I paid about a buck for an 11 yard roll, so that was a cost savings to me. This is one time that buying a bargain item without necessarily knowing what I’d use it for paid off for me.

The beauty of being creative is the ability to draw out relationships between seemingly disparate things. What creative uses have you found? Please share your ideas!

The Mother of all Mothers

I met the most amazing lady ever! She was on the 4hour flight with me from Atlanta to Salt Lake City during my trip to visit my Aunt in California, which is where I am writing from…

What is so amazing to me is that I met her at a time where I’ve been contemplating my Mothering skills.  I have recently come to realize that I’m not doing enough, and that I am not as ‘present’ as I should be.  I’ve let certain things go, and we just seem to be muddling through life.  The problem is that I haven’t fully submitted to my role as a mother of 3.  I’ve been so hung up on what I want to do, how I’m going to make money, how I’m going to ‘make my mark in this world’ and my need to be creative.  Yes, I love my children and I think I do ok, but there are certain things I’m not focusing/paying attention to that I need to be.

Anyway, I met this woman on the flight.  At first I was a little annoyed that she asked me to switch my window seat for her 9 year old daughter’s aisle seat.  I said yes, because there was really no reason to say no, other than ‘I chose a window seat, so I should have a window seat.’  I said yes, but I was just a little annoyed anyway.  Her adorable 11 month old baby of course dissolved that annoyance within minutes.

I usually don’t get involved in long conversations with airplane seatmates, but she struck up conversation, and she seemed nice enough, so I responded.  We ended up talking non-stop the whole 4 hour trip.  She not has not only nursed ALL her kids (including the 11 month old with her), she also donates to Milkshare, an organization that collects breastmilk and donates to babies who maybe cannot tolerate formula or have other reasons whey they need it.  She is also planning to carry a baby for couple who have been unsuccessfully trying to conceive for years.  Did I also mention that she is an Army wife, which means she is a single mom for months at a time? Prior to meeting her husband and becoming a Mom of 6, she taught English in South America and Russia. This woman is simply amazing! An earth walking Angel, if you ask me.

Turns out she is a mother of 6 (?) with her oldest being the 9 year old girl I switched seats with, and her youngest being the adorable baby.  For the 4 hour trip, she regaled me with the exact mother-wit and mother-wisdom I had been seeking.  She shared with me her love of mothering, and her love of humanity, her grace, her poise, and her calm and patience in dealing with life with 6 under 10.  She also showed me that its okay to get gangsta with your kids if they get outta line.  Most importantly she showed me the importance of Natural Consequence as a way of getting kids to behave.  I’ll never forget her stories of how she handled her kids’ insistence on unbuckling their seatbelts.  I won’t repeat them here because I know some people might find it extreme.  Suffice to say that it was ingenious, drastic, and extremely effective.

In those four hours we discussed everything from breastfeeding to temporary homeschooling, to tips for packing healthy school lunches.  In case I forget later, here are some of the tips I learned:

-On homeschooling:

She believes kids should get to experience school during elementary and high school.  Elementary school because that’s where they learn to sit still, follow a routine etc. High school, for social reasons: joining in clubs, attending dances, dating etc.
She plans to homeschool her kids during middle school, for 2 reasons.  1. She will get to have very precious valuable one on one bonding time with each child for at least a year, before it’s time to homeschool the next one.  2.  Middle school is a very delicate time when kids are just developing their self-esteem and are highly susceptible to peer-pressure and wanting to do things (sometimes dangerous things) to impress their friends.  It’s also the time when the mean kids are the meanest.  She figures if she can spend that time with them teaching them, molding them while she still has influence, her kids will have that time to develop a strong sense of self, and healthy self-esteem before going to high school.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

She believes each child should participate in gymnastics because it teaches balance and coordination. Not every child is going to stay with gymnastics, but it will help them in whatever other activities they choose to participate in, be it soccer, ballet, whatever.

She also believes that in high school, each child needs to participate in at least one activity, because it gives them a place to belong.  When she was in high school, she probably would not have participated in anything because she was a home-body. She was not naturally inclined to join anything, but her mother told her she HAD to pick something, so she picked the one thing there was no try-out for.  I honestly don’t remember what it was, but she ended up loving it, and it gave her a place to belong, even if she wasn’t or outgoing.
Incidentally she doesn’t believe in the overscheduling kids that we see today.

ON GETTING KIDS TO BEHAVE.

Of course kids should be taught right from wrong, why something is right, and something is wrong, etc. They should also understand consequences.
But she also says find out what your child’s currency is, and trade with them using that currency.  One of her kids loves to be outdoors, so she trades outside time for chores.  Whatever it is, reward them wit that incentive.

ON PACKING HEALTHY LUNCHES

Don’t buy single serve packs, they cost too much.  Instead, buy in bulk and pack in serving sizes. For instance, she has little plastic containers (such as the 8 or 10 packs at Dollar Tree) that she uses for jello, or chocolate pudding. Also, she freezes little plastic bottles half filled with water, which she then tops of with juice.  3 benefits: 1) the juice has thawed by lunchtime but is still cold, 2) the kids don’t get the full amount of sugar in the juice and 3) the juice bottle lasts longer
Hide the veggies. While it’s important for kids to identify veggies and develop a love for them, sometimes they refuse to eat them, so hide them so they still get the nutrition. She purees chocolate pudding with steam veggies, a la “The Sneaky Chef” by Missy Chase Lapine.
Whatever you can do ahead, for the week, do.  For instance, she makes puddings, jello, and whatever else she can for the week, so all she has to do is pack sandwiches and toss everything in the lunch box the night before.
Lemon keeps it fresh Squirt some lemon juice in your bag of cut apples to keep them from turning brown.

These are just a few of the lessons I learned from this amazing Mom in that short time. Of course, I have no plans of doing everything like her, because that’s not me, but I plan to incorporate some of the things I learned from her.  Ironically and unfortunately we never even exchanged names or contact info.  If by some strange chance she should ever read this, I want to say ‘thank you!’ I learned a lot from you, and most importantly I was reminded of the reason we become stay at home moms in the first place, which is to raise happy healthy well-adjusted kids who become productive members of society well into adulthood.