Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

A unique way to dye Easter Eggs is to use scraps of silk tied tightly around raw eggs before boiling. Look for pretty designs in men’s ties, scarves, boxers, and blouses – anything that is 100% silk.

I heard about silk dyeing from one of my customers. She bought a large amount of my men’s ties and wanted me to double check that they were all silk. She said she was going to use them to dye Easter eggs. I was intrigued so I googled it and found instructions at Martha I tried a few this morning. I got some really pretty ones. I’m just not sure that they are safe to eat as they are dyed with fabric dyes and we usually use food dyes that we know are safe to eat.

Here are the instructions:
1. Wrap eggs tightly with a square of silk - pattern side against egg.
2. Wrap silk covered eggs with a square of white cotton or linen fabric (old sheet or pillowcase works best) and secure with a twist tie.
3. Cover eggs with cold water, add 3 tablespoons white vinegar, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Note: I did mine for 25 minutes and I think they could have used a little longer.
4. Remove eggs using tongs to a paper towel covered tray and cool.
5. Carefully remove wrappings from cool eggs and let dry.

You can use blown out egg shells also but you will need to weight them down by putting water inside or weighting them down with a rock to hold them down in the water.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning Blues

Spring cleaning can improve your mood! Really! It is a lot of work but a clean, fresh, organized home will make you feel more comfortable, happier, and lighter. It is also good exercise and a good way to work off frustration. Cleaning is a satisfying task because you can see the results immediately.

You can do a light cleaning or go deep. I like to deep clean my house once a year and spring is the perfect time to get rid of all that dirt and clutter we have collected through the winter. I will then do a lighter cleaning in the fall.

I am busy with my yard and garden this time of year so I just do a little at a time. I do one room at a time and it can take me a month to six weeks to finish the house. And then I power wash the outside and wash all windows. I choose a room and move small furniture, lamps, pictures, books, plants, and accessories into another room after dusting or cleaning them. I take down curtains and pillows and wash or just run them through the dryer with a wet towel to remove dust. I clean out and reorganize the closets and cabinets. I take down and wash blinds and hang to dry. I take out the window screens, wash them, hose them off, and set out to dry. I now have a relatively bare room to clean which will be much faster to clean, more thorough, and you will be less likely to break anything. I take a broom and sweep the ceiling of dust and cobwebs. Sweep and/or wash the wall. Wash the inside windows. Dust the leftover furniture. Vacuum couches, chairs, and carpets. Shampoo the carpets. When cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen, I will clean the tub, shower, toilet, sink, and appliances last. Then, I can “redecorate” the room with the stuff I have moved into a different room. It can make you feel like you are moving into a new and cleaner home!

It helps to have some boxes in the garage where you can pack up excess stuff for storage, donation, or trash. Help from family members or friends can make this an easier and more enjoyable task or maybe not. It is good for kids to learn how to clean and a good activity to do together. Playing some good upbeat music while cleaning will energize you and improve your mood.

House Cleaning Blues
by Ellen Bailey

I have the house cleaning blues
I look around and see so much to do
I look at the walls, the windows, and the floors
I see heaps of dust layered like boards.

What I need is a good house cleaning crew
But where to get one, I haven't a clue
I asked for volunteers,but none would relent
Their community spirit, it seems, had been spent.

I could wish for an occasional hurricane
For me, that may not be such a bad thing
I could raise the windows and open the doors
And be done with these house cleaning chores.

But hurricanes don't occur where I live
So its left up to me to clean this crib
I have devised a plan to get the job done
Since I can no longer depend on anyone.

My plan is as simple as it can be
One that is not very taxing on me
My walking shoes I will lace up tight
And from this nightmare I will take flight.