Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Last Friday morning I was avoiding my local fabric store and the sale that they were having because I don't need any more fabric. I'm on a use it up kick and am trying to finish all of the unfinished projects that I have laying around.

Of course when Marion and Natalie invited me to go along with them, I couldn't refuse. I did show restraint and only bought a couple of things...

The sale fabric was $5.55 a yard, so I bought three half yards.
This little bag is what I'm really excited about.  It was one of those fill the bag for $3.  As long as you can get the bag closed, you can stuff as much as you can get into the bag. 

 Look at all of that! The yellow dot in the back was a half yard of fabric. My secret was to roll the fabric. There are some fun colors to add to my stash, or I may just use it all together on one quilt. All that for three bucks! I even had money left over to go to lunch with the girls :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Kitties chase away the blues. They really do. Felix here has his doctorate in psychology. 

 If you are the tiniest bit upset he'll climb up and push his face into yours. If you step on a fuzzy, feathery, wet toy or pony tail holder at the door of your room, that's just little Feli leaving you a present.
Depression, anxiety? A little bit of meds and a whole lot of kitty. He has been such a blessing from above sent to our family. Sara rescued him from the shelter, but I think he might be the one doing all of the rescuing around here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Borax Bonus

So remember that old dish cloth that I was using to cover my food processor with? It had seriously just come out of the dryer. I was cleaning up after I had made laundry soap and wiped the counter down. When I rinsed the wash cloth, the water was grey. The counters were also freshly cleaned, so I'm guessing that all of that dirt was still in the wash cloth. Gross! That just goes to show how much better the homemade stuff is.

Anyway, I've been using the Borax to clean with (the outside of the box has a ton of info on how you can use it to clean). Then i got a wonderful, awful idea.

Wet cloth and Borax in hand, I headed to my bathroom. I live in Utah and we have hard water, which leaves hard water stains everywhere. I do have a brand new, never installed water softener downstairs, but that is a story for another day. I've tried everything on the hard water, the best thing that I've found is The Works at the dollar store. The smell overtakes me and I end up giving up. A streaky tub and a headache are all I have to show for it.  

No judging...here is my tub streaks and all. I've darkened the picture a little so you can see them better.

 Close up of the streaks - regular lighting

Wiped off with the wash cloth.  No scrubbing. You can still see streaks below where I didn't wipe it.
Seriously! No scrubbing. No smell. No headache.  Of course I jumped right in and washed out the entire tub - not! (jr. high flash back). That is a job for another day. I wonder what else I can use Borax for.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Making Laundry Soap

Have you tried making laundry soap? What is your favorite recipe. I used one that I found online...not sure where or if it was a combo of a few recipes. Anyway, I loved making it, but for some reason, the stores around here stopped carrying the pink bars of soap and my family wasn't crazy about the others out there. It's back on the shelves! While I was making a batch, I remembered my log lost blog. Camera in hand, I documented the process for you...

First, gather your supplies. My recipe is 2 cups of Borax, 4 cups of Super Washing Soda and two pink bars of Zote (they also come in white). This is a double recipe. I also cut off a half inch chunk of the pink bar and save it in a plastic container. It works great on tough stains.

You will also need a cutting mat, knife, measuring cup, food processor and a bucket. I had a little store bought detergent left over in a plastic container, so I used that.

The food processor that I use is an attachment that came with my blender. It was a wedding present over 20 years ago that I haven't used much. I've used the blender but not the attachment. First I measured out the washing soda and borax and added it to the container. I left the left over laundry detergent in the container since it won't hurt.

Next I chop the soap bar up into about 1 inch cubes. You will notice the bars are a little sticky. They will stick to the blades of the food processor and gum everything up (trust me). To keep this from happening, put a little of the powder from the laundry bucket in with several chunks and blend in small batches. I throw an old washcloth over the food processor to keep the little dust from flying everywhere.

When you are done processing all of the soap bars and have added them to your laundry bucket you will notice that the pink chunks are larger then the white powder. When you scoop it, you don't get a very even mix.

Dump all of the powder into a second container and blend it all together in small batches until it is nice and fine. About 10 Mississippi's on blend should do it.
When using the homemade laundry soap, you don't need to use as much. Actually you don't need to use a full scoop on the store bought stuff either. If you look at the little cup that came with your store bought detergent, you will notice little lines on the side telling you how far to fill it up depending on the size of your load. I used a permanent maker to show my family how much they need to use. They will all go over the line anyway, but at least they won't be dumping two scoops per load in the washer.
Let me know if you make any...or if you have any tips.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Two Month Hiatus

Has it really been two months? I'm going to think of it as the ending of a season and the beginning of a new one. Forget about about the season premier of Call the Midwife or Mad Men, it's the new season of Making Ends Meet!

Just to get you up to speed...we've started homeschooling, my job has officially ended (along with my paycheck) and I've been in a funk. Some of it was a stupid cold that kept making it's rounds through the house. Actually, I think it was two different viruses that we each had back to back. Finding a new groove with homeschooling and finding my way back to full time Mom has been a little tricky. The first few days I found myself wandering around wondering what to do.

As is the usually the case, a little time is all it took for things to work themselves out and for us to settle in to a new normal.

On with the show...or as my dad would say, "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."

I'm finishing up the binding on Hello Moon! I just uploaded pictures and accidentally deleted the pictures of my finished November and December blocks. That stressed me out way more than it should have! I'll retake those when I take the "real" shots of the quilt for the cover of the pattern.

You can probably click on the picture and take a closer look at the last two blocks. Rather than go with the same setting as Hello Sun, I wanted something different for Hello Moon. Since the center of the blocks are the same size, you could use either layout for both quilts. I love the way the churn dash blocks look like little windows.
The quilting was done on my home machine. This was one of those quilts that told me how it wanted to be quilting - moon rocks aka pebbles :) I'm working on getting those instructions finished and posted soon, so stay tuned.