Save the Leather


You bought that vintage suede jacket.  It’s beautiful, but when you get home and take the rose-colored glasses off, you

Suede

Suede (Photo credit: AMagill)

notice that dark color you thought was only from the poor lighting, is actually a large stain.  Suede is leather with a brushed or “napped” surface.

NEVER use leather cleaning products on suede unless it says it is specifically designed to clean suede.  Instead, make a paste of fullers earth and water.  Brush clean with a soft brush after drying.  Re-apply as needed.  Make sure the past is wet enough to stick.  Allow it plenty of time to dry fully.  Brush the area gently.

We obtained some suede pieces that had been mixed in with some linens we purchased from an estate.  A couple of pieces had small stains of unknown origin.  So before we ut it in the shop, we tried this and found that it worked well.  Will it work on every stain?  Don’t know, but it’s a safe method for trial and error.

Happy repurposing.

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About Julie
Julie is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur.   As a teacher with along history of teaching students in the elementary grades, she obtained her credentials for Special Need teaching and advocacy late in her career, because – as she puts it, “these kids need to be taken out of the corner and given a voice.”
As a means to lessen the stress that comes when one deals with bureaucracy, Julie – her Mother-in-Law and her daughter, opened the Mom & Me Vintage Linens and Lace shops late in 2011.  Now with two locations in Colorado Springs, (The Treasure Shoppe – downtown CS and American Classics on N. Academy) she has managed to gather a rich following of friends and steady customers who look forward to seeing her come in with an armload of vintage linens, fine lace and the occasional vintage purse or pillow to round out her diverse selection.
Julie can be reached by JClark@Linens2Lace.com .  You can also follow her blog at www.Linens2Lace.WordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.

This would be the perfect project for vintage linen tablecloths. Great idea.

Bumble

Up until now, I’ve been using safety pins to keep my tablecloths from blowing in the wind and tripping any customers.  It wasn’t a beautiful or perfect solution, but it got the job done for now.  Still, I always knew I wanted to upgrade to fitted tablecloths as soon as possible.

One snag: buying fitted tablecloths is expensive and there aren’t very many attractive choices!  I really like my grey-blue linen tablecloths from Target; they are the perfect shade and they have an amazing texture.  Besides, I’ve gotten used to them and it seems disloyal to abandon them.  SO, I decided to sew them into fitted tablecloths myself.

It was a bit tricky, especially given that I hate hate hate pinning.  Rather than wrestle with the pinning and the sewing machine, I chose to hand sew them.  To be my usual lazy self, I taped the sides to the table…

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Beautiful work. I had to share this with my readers.

Heart To Harp

CLICK ON A PHOTO TO SEE THE FULL-SIZE GALLERY PICTURES.

The women in my mother’s family did handwork. Their hands picked up knitting needles, crochet hooks, embroidery floss, or sewing thread whenever completed chores allowed them to sit down. I’ve carted around a trunk of handwork done by my grandmother, my great-aunt and my mother since my mother’s death in 1977.

I am an only child without children. My second cousins both have daughters, so I recently mailed them the “family linens.” I photographed everything before sending the treasures to the next generation. These are four of my favorite pieces, along with one of my own long ago attempts at crocheting doilies.

Seeing the contents of my trunk spread out in front of me, I finally understood why “making” is such an unrelenting force in me, and why all my life I’ve been drawn to doing all things involving yarn…

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Lick that Lacquer


English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogenca...

English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogencarbonate, sodium bicarb, “baking soda”, “bread soda”, “cooking soda”, bicarb soda Deutsch: Natriumbicarbonat, Natriumhydrogencarbonat, “Natron”, “Backpulver”, “Bullrich-Salz” natriumvätekarbonat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see a beautiful brass or copper antique pot, kettle or other metal object in the flea market but some fool has lacquered it.  You know it’s a vintage piece, but its value is greatly diminished by the now yellowing lacquer.  However, the price is right and when you point out that its been lacquered; the seller offers to make you an even better deal.  So you buy it with thoughts of leaving the lacquer and using it for a trash can.  (shudder)

What can you do with that lacquer?  Try this.

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with

1 gallon of boiling water

Put the newly found lacquered pot into this solution and let sit.  When the water cools the lacquer should peel right off.  Be careful not to use any sharp metal instruments around the crevices or tight areas.  Use a toothbrush instead.  If any lacquer remains, repeat the process.  You should have a completely restored piece by the end of the day.   We’ve not tried this on varnish or an other finish other than lacquer.  If you do and it works, let us know.  We’ll pass it on and give you credit for the advice.

Cat Olympics


There has to be a point in every cats life when they realize that they just did something stupid; when they run behind the

Cat hiding behind the couch

Cat hiding behind the couch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

couch and, according to the legendary comedian George Carlin, slap paw to head and howl out “F*&$*ng Meow

My daughter’s kitten had her moment today when she thwarted the laws of nature and in mid-flight, suddenly came face to face with the realization that for every violent action, there is an equal and just as violent reaction.  In her usual morning ‘ kitten run through the house as fast as you can’ moment, she came nose to tail with this old law.

In the spirit of the summer Olympics, her ‘never-before-attempted’ running broad jump from the back of the recliner to the couch was to be her moment of feline glory.  However, the recliner was not to be toyed with.  It “reacted”, (naturally) by doing what it does best.  It reclined – violently.  That’s when I saw it; that “stop action” moment, when the human mind records the feline equivalent of “Oh Crap!”

Did she see me – see her?  Of course she did, but she was too busy to look “cat cool” and that’s when the second myth was shattered.  You can rewrite all text that records “cats always land on their feet.”  I have news for you – they don’t.  They attempt to make up for it by looking as if they meant to land on the side with their head stuck behind their back leg and their tail stuck in the ear.  They do this by imitating their best Fonzy move, jumping up quickly.

This action shatters the third rule of cat mythology.  The rule that says all cats are graceful.   When cats are ungraceful, (as this one was) in their haste to get away, they scatter everything collected on the table – to the floor – including the full cup of coffee.  Then, (this is the best part) they run straight behind the couch – where I am sure they – in the cat’s equivalence of disbelief, slap the old paw to face.

As I write this, hours later, after having cleaned up the last dregs of the overturned coffee and put the table back in order, she has yet to come out from behind the couch.  She knows I am writing about her.  She hears me chuckling between key strokes.  I know this because I hear her “cat muttering” under her breath.  Poor kitty.  Chuckle.

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About Julie

Julie Clark is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur.   As a teacher with a long history of teaching students in the elementary grades, she obtained her credentials for Special Need teaching and advocacy late in her career, because – as she puts it, “these kids need to be taken out of the corner and given a voice.”

As a means to lessen the stress that comes when one deals with bureaucracy, Julie – her Mother-in-Law and her daughter, opened the Mom & Me Vintage Linens and Lace shops late in 2011.  Now with two locations in Colorado Springs, (The Treasure Shoppe – downtown CS and American Classics on N. Academy) she has managed to gather a rich following of friends and steady customers who look forward to seeing her come in with an armload of vintage linens, fine lace and the occasional vintage purse or pillow to round out her diverse selection.

Julie can be reached by JClark@Linens2Lace.com .  You can also follow her blog at Linens2Lace.wordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.

Oil Down, Don’t Strip


Have you ever bought an item from an antique store or flea market only to get it home and realize that the seller glued a %@*$#+ sticker on the wood or other finish, that will not come off without the threat of ruin?  Don’t use alcohol, scrape it or use any abrasive.  (shudder)  Don’t even pick at it with your finger nail.  Instead, grab the salad oil or mineral oil, pour it on a soft cloth and cover the sticker, letting it sit and soak for a while.

If you have already pulled parts of the sticker off, use the cloth, rub the oil into the glue in a circular motion until it softens and rolls off.  If the sticker is stuck fast or has been there for a long time and you can afford the time, (and with some stickers you may have to do this anyway) pour either one of the oils directly on the paper and let it sit overnight.  The following day it should be soft enough to pull off, glue and all.

While we are on this topic, every collector should have mineral oil around.  A small amount of mineral oil works great on removing light scratches from vintage furniture, without stripping the original finish or patina.

Repurpose and Reorganize in One Step


TV Dinner trays are especially useful around our house. Never tried the the record rack. Great post.

Treasure Shoppe

    Let’s talk about what can be done to organize an office or dorm room while doing our part to recycle.  Here are some great ideas for putting things together inexpensively.

  Save those Styrofoam veggie and meat trays.  Wash them thoroughly and place them in desk drawers.  Arrange pens and small office supplies in the sections.

  File papers on your desk using an old record rack.  Paint it to match the rest of the colors in the room. 

  Are there too many magazines just lying around?  Save an empty detergent box, cut out a pocket and line with decorative paper.  Store your magazines neatly on a book shelf.

  Here are some quick fixes:

       Old eye glass cases for pens, erasers, paper clips, etc.

       Remove the clip bar from an old binder, secure it to a closet door for hanging scarves or belts

       Shoe boxes…

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