Tuesday, August 21, 2012


For the past 8 years we have rented our little cottage to people who are undergoing treatment for cancer - mostly men who have prostate cancer. It has been a wonderful experience and we have met so many lovely people that it makes the issue of spring cleaning the cottage every 9 weeks not quite so oppressive. I always ask the tenants to replace anything that they have broken or ruined so that we can keep the rent affordable. I didn't know if this would work, but I have been amazed at how careful and willing they have all been to make sure things are taken care of. The bedspread and towels/washcloths are all white so I can bleach the heck out of them should they become stained and actually people tend to take better care of something that is white. Well, for the first time, on our last walk through the last tenant showed me a 3-4 inch stream of blood that looked as if it had been washed and dried and wasn't budging a mm. After seeing the stain I started planning my shopping trip to look for another bed cover because I knew that stain was going nowhere. Just for fun I thought I should look on the internet to see if anyone had any wisdom regarding blood stains and how to get rid of them There were several ideas and some had to do with whether or not they had been washed and/or dried. That part was out of my control so I thought I had nothing to lose by trying one or two of the suggestions I was able to find. The one I opted for was to combine 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide and 2 drops Dawn dish washing liquid. I could not wait to try this on that nasty stain and hoped there might be some lessening of the stain. After pouring the concoction on the stain I would watch as the hydrogen peroxide would fizz up on the blood areas and even though they seemed lighter it wasn't disappearing like I had envisioned. The bed cover just sat with the liquid soaking into the fabric for about a half an hour before I decided that trying a little bleach might give it what it needed to get the stain out. I could not believe my eyes...the stain started to disappear! I alternated between the hydrogen peroxide and bleach until the stain was completed vanished. I just couldn't believe it because my experience with that type of blood stain has never been good. I highly recommend this mixture for stain removal - you just won't believe how great it works on fabric. There was a small amount left over and I used it on the vinyl kitchen flooring and it pulled dirt right up from that crazy floor. I now have a new stain removal product and the price is right!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Couture Dressmaking class from Susan Khalje on Craftsy.

Since I didn't have a pattern to start with I watched 14 of the 15 episodes trying to get a feel for what the process would be. There were no course materials available at the time I signed up so I went to Hancock's and bought the pattern that Susan was using for the class and thought I would start.

Getting garments to fit is such a horrible process for me that I could only try to envision what I would have to do to pattern with 14 pieces to get it to fit me. Well, I tried, and tried to get the bodice to fit and finally told myself that the inch extra around each pattern piece that Susan shows you how do would save the day and so I moved on.

Loved the process of marking the pattern that she showed and cutting it out was a breeze because I didn't have to worry about my wavy cutting lines.

I checked the grain carefully for each piece and finished the marking by machine and if I must say so, am feeling pretty positive about the process. The only thing is...I haven't tried it on yet. I am hoping to get to that point some time today. Can't wait to see what the result of all of this couture work will be.

If you haven't signed up for the class yet, go do it now...you'll be glad you did.

(Pictures when I can get my laptop to download from the camera!)