Do try this at home!

It works. It really works.

I should buy stock in Heinz. Not because of Warren Buffet, but because everything I have tried using vinegar…well, almost everything, has worked. (I do not recommend using the hot water, Dawn, and vinegar on hardwood floors.)
Yesterday I cleaned my oven. Yes, I do have a self cleaning oven, and yes, it was the perfect winter day for the high temp cleanse, but I don’t like the smell, and I read that it shortens the life of your oven. My oven has been here since construction. I don’t know how old that would be in dog appliance years, but I use my oven a LOT and am not interested in a new one right now.

I would have been embarrassed humiliated to post a before picture after all the holiday baking, but I did take this shot after a shoddy minimal effort at cleaning using this recommended method.
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Why did we ever waste money on harm our environment subject our bodies to all those toxic chemicals of spray-on oven cleaners when we could just do this?

Open your oven door.
Sprinkle the door and bottom of oven with baking soda. (Swish it around to cover all surface area.)
Spray vinegar over it, and let it fizz.
Cover it with an old rag kitchen towel. (Synonymous in my kitchen)
Put in a load of laundry unload the dishwasher check Pinterest for 15-30 minutes, depending upon filth degree of burned on debris.
Wipe up with the towel. Difficult areas may require a light scrub with a scratch pad, but seriously, this is amazing!
For the sides, I sprinkled threw some baking soda on, and sprayed some vinegar. Next time, I will mix up a baking soda/water paste and then spray on the vinegar.

Chalk up another win for vinegar!

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THE ICE MAN COMETH! No, no! I mean the ice cometh, man.

At least that’s the weather hype forecast on the local stations, confirmed by my teacher friend, Nicole, aka Barometer. Early dismissal of Eureka Springs schools (about an hour and a half away) adds to the impending weather threat. So, I’m preparing, of course.

House cleaned-check-because there is a big huge difference between not wanting to vacuum and not being able to vacuum.

Extra shower-check-because you never know when you’ll get the next one.

Muffins in the oven-check-because bad weather always calls for comfort foods.

Stew meat simmering-check-because a pot of soup can be heated in the fireplace if need be.

Bathtub filled with extra water-check- because, in the country, the well won’t work if the power lines are down. If the well won’t work, no automatic flushing. Water dipped from the tub and poured into the commode works as well.

Wood laid in the basement fireplace and a wheelbarrow loaded with extra logs by the back door-check-because we have a heat pump which requires electricity. The gas fireplace upstairs will still work but not the blower.

Cell phone charged-check-

And, if you are a blog follower, you know from an earlier post that we have two emergency kits filled with most everything one could ever need for at least 72 hours all prepared and waiting. It is not likely that we’ll need those right away, but memories from the 2007 ice storm in which the power was out for several days has me thinking.

I remember having lots of food already prepared, which was a good thing. We moved the propane grill close to the back door, and I learned that this recipe can be baked on the grill in a bundt pan covered with foil and the lid of the grill closed. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/land-of-nod-cinnamon-buns/
I remember that lamp oil is a good thing to have on hand as the old oil lamps produce a better light than candles and flashlights. We also learned that a headlamp is indispensable for walking around, up and down stairs with your hands full, and for passing the long evenings reading.
I recall making much needed coffee in a camp percolator on the grill and pouring it in a thermal jug to keep it warm all morning. Later, I read in the newspaper about a family lucky enough to have a gas water heater who filled a thermos with hot water, and inserted hot dogs. We roasted ours over the fireplace. I even dug up some marshmallows for toasting.
We filled our camping drink dispenser with fresh water, made a big jug of tea, and picked up my mom, sister-in-law and her husband because they had less survival mechanisms at their places. Neighbors came, and we played cards by lantern light. We can always manage a good card game. But, as our son said of his experiences trying to keep his girlfriend’s pipes from freezing, “I’m tired of playing Little House on the Prairie.”

So, come if you must, ice. We are prepared. I think.
What would you recommend people do to get into survival mode?
Oh, and Baby Wipes. Lots of them. It takes quite a few to have a good sponge bath!

MOVE THAT BUS!

I miss hearing those words! The work Extreme Makeovers did in Joplin, MO was just short of miraculous. I wish I had something that awesome and helpful to post, but actually, I do have the results of our little camping trailer makeover to share with you…nothing extreme, for sure, but cute as a button, nevertheless. I’ve already shared the painting of the cabinets which lightened up the area considerably, so today,
let me begin with the window treatments. Here are the before pictures:
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The heavy lambrequins have been replaced. In keeping with the coastal tones that I had hoped for, I chose to mix natural and bleached burlap with a blue and white ticking striped fabric. At first, I tried to create the “poufs” I wanted by bunching and tying. That was ok, but not the look I wanted. I remembered the plastic “create a valance” frames I had picked up at a garage sale 3 for a dollar, and yes, I actually found them without any too much trouble. I used the hot glue gun to tack the poufs in place. I made these fabric flowers as accent pieces. I found these cuties here I didn’t follow the tutorial, just made my own by ruffling some with needle and thread and tacking together, and others by ruffling and attaching with hot glue. Either way worked just fine.DSC00060
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I added panels of the striped fabric to the window beside the sofa, but not to the window over the sink.
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Remember what the sofa looked like before? Lots of country blue print fabric. I thought this would be my biggest challenge because I wasn’t sure how to remove or reupholster it. Well, nothing says coastal like slip covers, and I had another brilliant idea. I tried a queen sized fitted sheet. It was too big. I tried a full sized fitted sheet. Still too big. I have no twin beds, but I borrowed a single fitted sheet from my bff, and voila! Just right. A stretchy T shirt sheet set from WalMart for about $15.00 worked perfectly.
DSC00081 I picked up the large pillows at Target on clearance, but I didn’t find the nautical covers I was looking for. Sewing (yes, I said the word) a pillow cover out of leftover burlap was not too difficult. I stuffed it with an old pillow I had, and sewed in a strip of navy and white striped fabric, tied it together with nautical rope, painted a wooden anchor cutout navy blue, and there you have it. Today I purchased navy fabric to make additional cushions later.
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The booth cushions were covered with the same print. Saint helped me cover them with the navy striped fabric (also picked up in the pillow above) and keep them intact by duct taping; a trick learned years ago from Christopher Lowell on HGTV.
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And here it is.
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We covered the blue trim around the booth, under the sofa, above the door with burlap. I repurposed some white sheers and made tie backs with the blue ticking fabric. The ship in the background was one of the few purchases I made for this project.DSC00084
Here is the before picture of the bedroom.
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I’m not too wild about how these window treatments turned out, but the good thing is they untie to block out all the light. I like a dark room for sleeping. Here, I reused the banner from a baby shower above the bed. I’m still looking for a new comforter and shams, but this one is still okay for now.
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I’ll take more pictures when we get this girl on the road, but right now, I kind of like the way she turned out. I think this is still my favorite part.
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The chalkboard paint on the old fridge. Can’t wait to say, “Move that trailer!”

Bad News!

My 80+ year-young business partner and I are going out of business. The distance we both have to travel coupled with her health issues has made it difficult for us to continue at the flea market. The bad news is that I now have no excuse for hoarding and re purposing. That can mean only one thing…well, two things. To Saint, it would mean building a new out building; for me, a lake house. How would you vote?

At any rate, we still have booth space through February, and I am busy trying to finish projects to sell. Saint hasn’t figured this out, yet, but when I get my junk stuff out of the garage, it is getting a major cleaning/re-organizing…oooh, I feel a blog post coming soon. After all, I must prove to him that it is his junk treasures that have been taking up all the space.

This week, I made my own chalk paint and used it to refinish some bar stools. I got the stools at an exceptional price because they had been sitting in a booth for ages quite awhile. No wonder. Who else but a re-purposer could see the value. In fact, I completely failed to take a before picture, but think dark bamboo, scratched finish with rickety seats covered in an vinyl tablecloth. Yep, I’m not kiddin’. In fact, I did take a picture of the covering after I removed it.
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Major yuk factor, right? So, this is the picture of one stool after saint disassembled one unnecessarily and we sprayed a thin coat of Zinsser primer on it. With the chalk paint, I’m told you don’t need to do that, but these were pretty rough! And here are the supplies I used to make the chalk paint.
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I used the formula of one cup latex paint and 2 teaspoons unsanded grout. Stir, stir, stir, and there you have it. A paint that is supposed to adhere to almost anything and be very durable after curing. I brushed it on. Yes, it took a couple of hours to do all three of the pieces I had, but it was a perfectly beautiful day, especially for February, and I enjoyed being out on Redbud Ridge with all the birds and squirrels.
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Don’t you absolutely love that color? Somebody didn’t, because I got it in the return/mismatched bin at Lowes for $5.00. The whole gallon. I was debating about the seat fabric, and I got a piece of lime green scrap booking paper, just to see how the color would look with the turquoise. It was fabulous! But, that would definitely limit my buyers, so I opted to use the natural burlap, instead.
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Saint put all three back together for me. (He is really going to miss that flea market booth, isn’t he?) And these three babies are ready to go. Did I mention that they swivel? And, they would look smashing with a shabby chic white table or repurposed dresser turned bar, wouldn’t they?
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They look pretty nice on my deck, don’t they? Maybe I should keep them?? Oh, for that lake house!