DIY – Stain remover (and dye remover)

So this week was the DIY stain remover that I’ve been reading about. The original recipe links back to Glamour magazine, but variations are all over Pinterest. I have a stained t-shirt that I really like the way it fits and looks – except for the stains. I wasn’t going for perfect, but I thought maybe I could get it from junk t-shirt to at least something I could wear out to the store without having to change first.

The results? Not everything I’d hoped for.  The “before” picture is on the left and the “after” picture on the right. The stain remover is really “wet” (liquid) and obviously I missed rubbing it in where the worst of the stains were.

Shirt before stain remover

Shirt Before

Shirt after stain remover

Shirt After

While the mixture did remove some of the stains (and these have been set and washed in for over a year now) it also took out some of the color leaving faded spots around the stains. Not the result I was hoping for.

Would I use it again? Not on colors. But I do have some while shirts that are showing their age with yellowing and one that has some hair dye stains around the collar. I do I think I will give it a go with those for the next load of whites.

HST update – So far half of the HSTs are stitched together into their rows and pressed open. The third row should be assembled by the end of the weekend if all goes well (it may not get pressed because we are back at hot & sticky ) Then it’s just the last 200 or so to sliver trim and assemble. After that, block assembly

And speaking of sliver trimming, I’m loving my new ruler! I bought a new Creative Grids ruler in 3.5″ square for the hourglass project and it has been improved from the older style. Not only are there little grabbers in the center of the ruler, now there is a border all around the edge of grabbers. Much less slipping! I’m using my new one for everything right now.

And the list continues

Yesterday’s list-making was very productive. I counted 33 things on the list this morning – and I’m not sure if I should be relieved that I trapped the thoughts or overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to work through the list.

So how long will it take me to work through this list? I have no clue.  Some of the items fall into what I call “the cost of doing business”. These are things that have to basically be done on a regular basis. One of these is “Change linens on guest bed.” It’s not a particularly time-consuming chore and the linens will cycle in with the rest of the household laundry.

Then there are the other chores that you need to do on an annual (semi-annual? when it gets to really annoy you?) basis. I’d put “Reorganize the linen closet” in this category. It could go either way. It might be a straightforward project, or it might become a time-sink. Either way, plan for more time rather than less. (And of course that doesn’t include any time lost on Pinterest searching “closet organization”!)

But “Paint the guest room” is a whole different thing.  And as any list maker will debate – do you break out the tasks on the list and create sub-lists? (I say yes, just to be able to cross more things off the list.)  That one I’m not even thinking about today.

I did get one thing off the list – “Flowers”.  I love the self-watering planters and bought one of the converter kits for the summer planter. I’m not good at the whole keeping plants alive thing, and this makes it so much easier.  So added the front step is a pot of petunias.


I’m off to tackle more things on the list. First will be trying one of the bathroom cleaners I’ve been seeing on Pinterest. I’d love to start using more environmentally friendly cleaners, but sometimes, they just don’t cut through the hard water grime. But I’m game for an experiment.

Notebook day

I’ve been a flake lately. I don’t know what it is, but from one room to the next I can’t remember what I was going in there to do. So today is Notebook Day. I am keeping a notebook next to me all day and as all those thoughts run through, I’m writing them down. So far it includes things as diverse as “wash windowsills” to “fix house number over garage door.” Maybe once I have the list I can make some progress in getting them done.

Heat has broken and it cooled off overnight. Time to try to move some mountains.

heat memory?

It’s hot.

I know, a lot of other places are hotter and will see extended periods of weather like this. But for us, this early in the summer, this is really hot.

And for some reason I’ve been plagued with memories today- the kind that come out of nowhere and get you in the gut.

I know different senses can trigger memory. The sounds of a song, the smell of a fragrance – any sensory experience can be a trigger. But today it’s almost like the heat itself is amplifying the memories today. All of the memories that have hit me are both the trigger and the heat. A song on the radio brought me back to not only to an old mix tape and its maker, but almost instantly to the hot, sticky summer night that was the last time I saw him.

A discussion of high school graduations and sympathy for those in outdoor ceremonies in this weather, reminded me of my own graduation. (Something I haven’t thought about in years, and almost thought I’d blocked out.) But it was all there. The fights with my parents, the resentment – everything raw and fresh. And with it the sense memory of sitting in the heat, stewing in my own emotions.

It’s like the heat is a character itself in the memories, one that’s ignored until it’s strong enough to team up with the other triggers.

Tony Awards

Some year I will get to see the Tony Awards in person. It’s a theater geek’s night of the year and while I didn’t get to watch last night’s television airing the first thing I did this morning was check the results.

The news that made my morning was Christian Borle’s win for Peter and the Starcatcher. That whole production was amazing, but Borle was genius. I remember coming out of previews and saying that he should be nominated for a Tony for the performance and telling friends they’d be hearing more about the show.  Nice to know my instincts are still intact.

And I must say, Mr. Harris summed it up nicely – If life were more like theater, life wouldn’t suck so much.

What if life were more like theater – Tony Awards 2012

(Sorry – for some reason this morning video won’t embed…. Guess I do need to do the software updates WordPress has been prompting.)


I had to stop to feed the car on the way into work, so I decided to feed me too.  Lately one our local gas stations has been beating the local store price on a 2L of Diet Caffeine by about 30cents. (Which is about 65cents less than a smaller one from the vending machine at work!)

While I picked up the soda, I was looking at the convenience foods and there was Oatmeal! An Oatmeal Dispenser. Ok, I’m sure nutritionally I could have made a better (and probably worse) choice, but for 99cents I was entertained. Take the bowl, put it under the dispenser, fill 3/4 and stir. Honestly, not bad.

I’ve been meaning to blog, but I’ve been doing so much writing for work that I’m out of words lately.

One last thing – HST update:

  • 1100 HSTs made
  • 700 of those sliver trimmed and ready for the next step.


Bleah. It’s mornings like this when I really resent my doctor suggesting I switch to de-cafe.

In my twenty minutes of sewing this morning I finished up another 38 HSTs to where they need to be sliver trimmed. Thunderstorms came through last night and cooled things down enough that I was able to press them this morning without melting. It’s still unseasonably warm and sticky this morning, but it looks like it will clear out during the day.

Along with the storms last night, my power went out. I came home from work and it took three tries of entering the garage door code before I realized it wasn’t just me. A glance around at my neighbors showed windows open on houses that usually are closed up for A/C and no visible lights.

Now you’d think that no power would be a great time to sleep. It was getting dark and I was exhausted. I had considered trimming some of the HSTs at my cutting table with the remaining natural light and a camp lamp, but I knew I was too tired to use sharp tools safely.

I went out for two hours, and woke up completely refreshed from my nap. No, not nap – this is supposed to be sleeping through the night. I also was confused. Nothing in my house was on, but I had light coming in from the neighbor’s outside lights. Sticking my head out the front door I could see everyone to my left had power, to my right did not. I used my phone to verify that the power company did know there was an issue. Not much to do at almost 11pm with no power, so I managed to get back to sleep.

Two hours later – wide awake again. Nightmare. And with the power off I couldn’t even go around and turn on all the lights. You know when the dream involves an evil Santa Claus in a Grinch suit (?) and a small child that you’re not falling right back to sleep. Thank goodness for smartphones and friends in different time zones. Several texts and distractions later I was falling asleep when the power finally came back on just before 2am. For some stupid reason as soon as the power was back on, I fell sound asleep.

Or rather fell into hallucinations. I’m sure they would be categorized as stress dreams. I was back working at the grocery store and I couldn’t tell the difference between the eggs, avocados and mangoes. (Huh? In my waking hours, I’m pretty confident I could tell all those apart.) I haven’t worked in a grocery store for 20+ years. I have no idea why my subconscious chose that setting for those 4 hours of sleep.

I woke up feeling hung-over and I didn’t even get dinner last night much less go out drinking.

It’s not going to be a de-cafe kinda day…

Saturday drive

Took a drive out to the cemetery after work yesterday to bring out flowers. (Too sick to make it out on Mother’s Day.) I can’t say it was a “pleasant” trip, but it was beautiful. That makes it a little easier.


Morning mess

I don’t have anyone to blame but myself for this one. And if I had even thought about it for 5 seconds, I would have been able to predict what was going to happen.

I forgot my iced coffee container this week. And it sat in a hot car for a couple days. Heat + closed container + residual with dairy product = smelly mess. I’ve been meaning to buy some of this Skweet stuff to try, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

So I figured I’d let it sit with some baking soda in it, to see if that got rid of some of the smell. That’s worked before. I rinsed it, sprinkled in a bunch of baking soda and shook well to get it to coat the inside.  Then I spotted the white vinegar on the counter. I had planned to run it through the coffee maker and I thought, Baking soda, plus vinegar. If one’s good..

Yeah, you can see where this is going.

I popped the top to the bottle and poured in a bunch of vinegar. Great! Lots of foaming cleaning. I’ll just put the lid back on quick and let it do it’s thing for a while.

That “foamy cleaning” blew the top right off the bottle.  And I had a foamy vinegar-y mess all over.

The bottle does smell better….

The kitchen


You don’t even want to know how long these pull-out drawers for the cabinet have been sitting in my dining room.  This week they finally got installed.

Of course there are still two more in the dining room to go into one of the bathroom cabinets. Maybe next week. One room at a time.