Thursday, December 20, 2012

25 Vintage Household Tips

  1. Old powder puffs are handy for cleaning and polishing silverware. They won’t scratch the delicate metal.
  2. Soak neglected paint brushes in hot vinegar to clean and make them as pliable as new.
  3. When putting up curtains on small curtain rods, slip a thimble over the end of the rod. The curtain slips on in a second and no threads are pulled.
  4. To prevent ice trays from freezing to the shelves, sprinkle a little salt on your dampened palm and rub it on the bottom of the ice trays before putting them into the freezer.
  5. Cloths for cleaning windows without the use of water can be made with a semi-liquid paste of benzine and calcined magnesia. The cloth, which should be of coarse linen or something free from lint is dipped into this mixture and hung in the air until the spirits have evaporated and it is free from odor. This cloth may be used again and again, and is a great convenience. When soiled, wash and re-dip.
  6. When washing delicate colors or much-soiled woolens, use a solution of 1/2 lb. very mild or neutral soap, 1/4 lb. borax and 3 quarts water.
  7. To strengthen weak colors in fabrics, mix a solution of one gallon water, 1/2 cup mild vinegar (good to restore pink), or 2 cups salt, or 1 tbsp. alum, or 1 tbsp. sugar of lead (poison).
  8. To hold a nail securely in plaster, put the nail in the plaster, remove it, wrap it in steel wool, and replace it.
  9. Clean oilcloth by wiping it off with a little milk.
  10. To remove wallpaper, mix together one heaping tablespoon saltpetre and one gallon of hot water; and apply freely to wallpaper, keeping the water hot. The paper will come off easily.
  11. To patch wallpaper, first dampen the ragged portion with a cloth wrung out of warm water and allow the paper to soak for some time, then carefully remove any ragged portion with a blunt knife, leaving an uneven, but not ragged edge. Match up the paper from a piece of new, then tear around the edge so that it is jagged. Paste the back of the patch and carefully stick it in place, making the pattern match the rest of the wall. When dry, this renovation will hardly show.
  12. White window shades may be cleaned with magnesia. Spread a sheet on the floor, unroll the shade and with a soft cloth scrub the shade with magnesia and water. After treating one side, turn the shade over and clean it in the same way. This method removes the dirt very satisfactorily and renews the shade at a cost of about ten cents.
  13. A quick and presentable repair may be effected on a torn cotton blind in the following manner: Dip a piece of the same material into hot starch, place it neatly on top of the tear, and press with a hot iron.
  14. If windows are very dirty, wipe them first with a damp cloth. Then wipe again with a cloth dipped in methylated spirit. No polishing is required.
  15. A shabby umbrella may be renovated by brushing with a solution of ammonia and warm water.
  16. When putting away delicate white summer things or linens into the hope chest, wrap in blue tissue or a well-blued cloth. This will prevent them from turning yellow. In the case of new things being put away for some time, do not wash them if it is not absolutely necessary, as they will keep much better with the dressing in them, even if mussed from handling when in the making.
  17. An ordinary paper plate, glued to the bottom of the paint can, is much more convenient than spreading newspapers which must be moved every time the can is shifted from one place to another.
  18. A pot lid without a knob can be saved by applying this clever little life-saver: Push a sharp, pointed screw up through the hole and twist a cork onto it. The cork is heat-proof.
  19. A retired curtain rod makes a handy shoe rack. Just tack it on the closet door, and hang the shoes by their heels on it.
  20. If aluminum ware has warped, place a wooden block on bulge and hammer back to shape.
  21. When you crack a favorite dish or plate, put it in a pan of milk and boil it for 45 minutes. Not only will the crack usually disappear–the dish will actually become stronger.
  22. When glassware develops nicks on the edges, rub them smooth again with fine sandpaper.
  23. To stop leaks in vases or bric-a-brack, pour melted paraffin over the leaky spot and let it harden.
  24. Plaster ornaments which look ready for the scrap-heap should be dipped into a solution of starch and water. When dry, brush off the excess starch and your old plaster vases, statuettes and busts are “new” again.
  25. Take that old broom you were just about to throw out, cut the bristles away, then tie an old felt hat (or scrap of flannel or carpet) around the “business end”–and, you’ve got a perfectly handy floor polisher.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cuts of Meat

Kitchen 101: Mixing Methods

Kitchen 101: Mass & Volume Equivalents

Kitchen 101: Eggs

Kitchen 101: Cooking Methods

Kitchen 101: Volume Conversions

Mermaid or a Whale?

A while back, at the entrance of a gym, there was a picture of a very thin and beautiful woman. The caption was "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

The story goes, a woman (of clothing size unknown) answered the following way:

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.  They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.  They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on CD's. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?  They would have no sex life and could not bear children.  Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.  And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.  We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.  Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I?!"

Do share if you care.

Via the Rationalist
Plus model Tara Lynn

Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks, a set on Flickr.

Recipe Cards: Ways to Spice-Up Ordinary Foods

31 Days of Cupcakes

31 Days of Cupcakes, a set on Flickr.
31 recipe cards for yummy cupcakes :c)