Tag Archives: Recreation

Summertime, summertime, summertime.


English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. R...
English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just looked at my timeline for the first time in a long time.  My o’ my, where has the time flown.  It’s been six plus weeks since I have posted anything.  You would think I fell off the earth.   Actually, I have been quite busy with back to school things.  Things like getting the daughter prepped and ready for school and getting myself ready for the back to school grind.  Actually that part was easier this year because I taught summer school for the first part of the summer and the daughter attended two band camps of which I participated by being the second camp chauffeur .   The hubby did the first camp during my summer school phase.

Then there were the busy summer sales at both stores.  We put these on in between band camp and summer school.  I love summer sales.  I was trying to decide just what items to put on sale when the hubby said, “Just put it all on sale.”  So we did.  He’s so practical.  In the afternoons and on the occasional weekend, we did manage to get out and go picking.  He’s into collecting and selling “netsukes” and vintage pens and I let him put some in “Dad Corner” in my space at American Classics.  He also has his display in Case 409 there as well.  I love our excursions to the antique stores, estate sales, and garage sales.  Together, we love the flea markets.  It’s where he occasionally finds some of his best treasures.  The weather was hot most days, but we endured.  (it’s a tough life isn’t it?)

So that’s my excuse for not writing and I’m sticking with it.  Been too busy to write and too busy being busy.  In all fairness, I could have simply sat around all summer and complained about the heat.  I know many people who did; so I let them, all by themselves while the hubby and I played.    But now, it’s back to work time.

However, every weekend and after school many times, you will still find me in one of my locations, nose deep in my linens, getting my weekly fix.  If you see me at either the Treasure Shoppe (B4) or American Classics (C30) and I have that glazed look in my eye, know that I’m in my own little heaven.  Feel free to grab a handful of freshly laundered linens and join me.   It’s OK, I know what you’re feeling.  You’re welcome here.

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.

——–

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.

Make a plan – then make another.


9:00 PM Thursday and I’m tired. I am just putting the  finishing touches on a colorful border that will go up along the shelf in our store. I am using some odd sized material and scrap lace that doesn’t come up to a yard. It will be neat, trust me. Anyway, just as I am about to finish, “the disruptor” (my husband) turns towards me and says, “Here” and he hands me a printed rectangle and some paper pieces he has cut out and laid on top of the sheet.

“What’s this? I ask. “Are we taking up paper dolls?” ( I get “the look.” Strike 1) “No,” he answers. “This is the floor plan for the layout of the linen store. I told you that I thought we should change the store around to give it a new look, so here’s my idea.”

“These tiny scraps of paper are your idea?” I asked with my usual incredulous look on my face. You would think I would know better. Strike 2

“No,” he said patently, this is the stores floor plan in scale. We are going to shift the pieces around on the paper until it looks the way we want it.

His idea has merit and I know it.  Plan it out on paper before you just jump into something.  He’s right in his thinking but, I hear myself saying, “It’s 9:30 in the evening. I have to be up at 6:00 AM – can this wait until tomorrow?”   I knew the minute the words left my mouth – I was in trouble. The look on his face was similar to the first look he had when I told him I dented the car.  Strike 3.

What I should have said was – “It looks great dear – let’s wait until tomorrow to work on it. Instead, we worked on it that night. Little scale pieces of cabinets and shelves, moved around on the paper until they were just right.  The following morning I woke to find a completely different layout then what we had the night before.  It figures. He always does this.  By midnight, I was convinced he was saying yes only to humor me anyway.

The one thing I learned about all this is that you have to be able to visualize flat plans in three dimensions. I can’t when it comes to floor plans. That was frustrating to both of us, because I can see a dress pattern in three dimensions.  I can see the finished dress or project when it is nothing more than a bolt of cloth, folded readied for cutting.  It has to be  genetics.  I won’t go so far as saying that’s what makes us women, because there are many excellent men fashion designers, just as there are women architects.   The significant trait is the ability to visualize in three dimension, regardless of the gender.

I still couldn’t visualize his plan on paper, but what he had done in anticipation of this, was build it out using our daughters Lego‘s.    Now I could see it.   What a great idea.  Try it the next time you’re trying to figure out a room layout.  Now if they could only make a dress pattern Lego, what a great world this would be.

Until next time, recycle, repurpose and stay green.

Beer in My Coffee Stain.


Coffee Stain
A coffee stain that is sure to ruin someones day.

Recently, I had purchased some nice table linens from an estate sale.  I was very pleased with my purchases even though you could tell they had been stored a long time.  They had that “stuffed and tucked away” smell to them.  I wash and iron all linens anyway, but imagine my dismay when I opened up the white tablecloth and found a rather large, light coffee colored stain along one whole border

I had once read where you could use a baby wipe to blot up coffee spills from your rug or carpet; it absorbs both the liquid and the stain.  I thought that a great idea so I grabbed some from the car that I carry there for when my husband makes a mess.  I am regularly attacking coffee spills he gets on himself from his old drippy coffee cup he never washes.  Trouble was, they were too dried out from having sat there in the hot car after someone (him) had left them open. 

So when the baby wipes didn’t work, I turned to my dog-eared copy of Heloise where she advised using baking soda.  I quickly figured out that baking soda would work if the stain was brand new, but for coffee stains that had been washed and set in – baking soda didn’t seem seem to be the solution. 

Beer was the next suggestion and much to my husbands dismay I figured the better the beer, the better the results.  I suppose I should have asked him first before I snatched the beer from his hands.  Seems you can soak the stain in beer and it should remove the stain quite well.  Three beers later, two of which I drank while waiting, the stain was fainter but still there.  I, on the other hand, was fading quickly. 

By this time, I was desperate, frustrated and, I must admit – a little light-headed.  (That’s my description and I am sticking with it.)  I was also frustrated.  Grabbing a bowl, I poured the rest of the beer in it and dumped about – let’s say – a quarter of a box of baking soda into it – just for good measure.  The mixtures foamed all over the place and gradually settled down to this mush like mixture, which I put a lid on as I went to bed. 

By the time I woke up the next morning, slowly walked into the kitchen and then remembered what I did, I half expected to take the lid off and find a large hole where the spot had once been.  I didn’t – thank goodness.  Instead, I found a clean white space where the stain had once been.  Excitedly, I told my husband while holding up the table linen   He nodded once, grabbed his tool chest and then spent the morning putting a lock on his beer cooler. 

Later I read that had I brushed the mushy mess into the fabric using a soft hand brush, it would have done the same thing – but quicker.  If you don’t drink the beer, it also helps get the stain out faster, because then – you would have read that last part of the instruction.  However, what fun would there be in that? 

Use these suggestions only on white linens and it’s OK to use cheap beer. 

Until next time, repurposed, recycle and stay green.