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Showing posts from February, 2012

Cleaning dusty lampshades on a bedside lamp.

I was given many years ago a pair of matching lamps that fitted so well into our decor, that you'd think we had bought them specifically. Over the years they have served us well but since I'm on a bit of a cleaning binge at the moment and these two lamps came under scrutiny and it has been decreed that they must be cleaned...
They photographed much better stained and dirty than they looked in real life!!!
Here's what I did...
First I consulted my copy of "How to Clean Practically Anything" and decided that they way to go was to brush them with bran, a little detergent, warm water and a stiffish brush.

I sprayed a small portion of them with a light mist of warmish water...

And then rubbed a handful of the bran and a tiny bit of detergent in a circular motion on the lamp shade taking extra time on the really soiled bits. I did them both section by section so I didn't miss any parts. You have to rub quite gently as they are more fragile than they look! Pop one (cle…

Compost and Chook bucket tip

We have a chook/compost bucket that all our kitchen scraps go in and then get distributed to the the various spots around the garden. The bottom of it always collects the messy sloppy stuff and things like tea leaves that get stuck to the bottom making it hard to get out.

I read somewhere (and if I could remember where, I'd put the link in for you) that if you line the bottom of the bucket with shredded paper it makes the whole emptying of the compost bucket a lot easier.

Here's what I did...


First empty and clean your compost bucket.


Fill the bottom 1/4 with shredded paper...




 Fill with scraps!

Empty onto the compost when filled. Shredded paper is a pretty good addition to the compost heap either in the bottom of the bucket or as a bucketful to soak up liquid in a soggy heap. Make sure you spread it out through the heap though. A big blob of shredded paper will turn into a solid mass if you don't work it through.

On the odd occasion that the compost bucket with shredded paper i…

Making your own laundry washing powder - its easy!

I have been reading about making your own washing powder on the net for a while. There's a good discussion going about it over at Earth Garden, and Cheapskates also have a lot of information MYO washing powder as well. I talked to my husband about it and he wasn't keen. (He's a bit fussy about his washing - and that's why he does the washing in this house!) and so I left it. For a while.

One afternoon I decided that I would give it a go as we were running low on washing powder and made some and plonked it on top of the nearly run out commercial stuff in the laundry.

He didn't notice a thing!  

Until I made a batch with yellow laundry soap instead of white bathroom soap. And it was only the colour that gave it away! He decided that since it had obviously been working and he hadn't seen any adverse effects on his work shirts thus far - I was "allowed" to continue! But now he gets involved and is happy to make up a batch when we are getting low. It is defia…

Easy to make - Plum sauce

Have you noticed that plums are in season at the moment? Maybe? Have you noticed the price plummet? Yes? Me too! My Mom made plum sauce from our own plum trees when I was a kid and I know I used it like you would normally use tomato sauce. On meat sandwiches, on my sausages, in a burger. We always seemed to have some in the pantry. 

I remember one year Mom had us kids up on the roof of the garage picking plums off the tree out the front almost in the dark as she frantically tried to water down the 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper (instead of 1/2 a teaspoon) that she had put into this years batch of plum sauce! As I said, we always seemed to have plum sauce in the house.

I was flicking through my Edmond's cookbook - a New Zealand classic - and found a recipe for plum sauce - and it has 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in it so I bet its the same one my Mom used! I decided that since plums were under $2 a kilo, I would give it a go... 

Here's what I did...

Halve two and a half kilo&#…

Upcycled or recycled can - Pencil pot for my desk!

I went to the Lifeline Book Fest last month in Brisbane - Ahhhh book heaven! A very dangerous place for me. The library always demands their books back sooner or later but the ones in the unpriced section I can keep forever and at $1each, I may have come home with more than I needed!

 One of my little gems was this book on paper craft. When I spotted the pencil pot - I knew I had to make me one. I had the perfect paper. Gift wrapping paper from a birthday present that I love - from a great friend to boot and since it was a rainy day (they are all rainy days in Brisbane at the moment) and the husband was tucked up in bed with a coffee and a book still, it was the perfect opportunity to turn the dining room table into a craft zone for minute or two!



Here's what I did...



First I cleaned the can thoroughly and dried it well. Check that it doesn't have any sharp bits on it and cut them off or push them down if it does. (Sorry the photo's aren't so great - its so dark with the…

How to make a great pot of tea!

I have always been a tea drinker. Cant stand the taste of coffee in a cup. I like coffee cake with coffee icing and have even been known to munch on the odd chocolate covered coffee bean - but to actually drink the stuff - Yuelch!

When I got married my mom started bring my grandmothers Noritake dinner set over from NZ in drips and drabs and encouraged me to use the setting rather than store it and pass it on. Of the whole dinner set the tea cups and saucers were the easiest piece to use - and so I did. About the same time I started using "real tea cups" I discovered a tea stall at the markets that sold flavoured black tea's as well as green and herbal concoctions and so my tea drinking took a giant swing upwards!

Its one of my only indulgences - especially when I don't smoke, don't drink a lot of alcohol and don't even have have a TV to blob out in front of! So I like to enjoy my tea. Made in a proper tea pot and sipped out of a nice cup forces me to slow down …

How to smoke your own salmon at home! mmMMmm!

For Christmas I wanted to do a whole baked salmon as the food centrepiece for a cold seafood buffet. Whole salmon are not cheap and I didn't want to stuff it up on Christmas Eve and have no amazing centrepiece on the day. So I called my little brother, who at 6' something isn't quite so little anymore, but happens to be an ex-chef and a seafood lover. I figured he'd  know the best way to cook it.

"Smoke it," he said. "Oh for goodness sake," I replied, " I'm a home cook not a trained professional like you". "Its easy and I guarantee even you can do it" (He lucky he lives on the other side of the country is all I have to say about that!) "I'll email you the instructions" and in due course a list of instructions arrived filled with expletive's - You'd think he taken his apprenticeship with Gordon Ramsey from that email - and I gave it a go. Its a GREAT way to cook salmon and I'm telling you, any home co…
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