heinz vinegarI am on a spring cleaning spree (dear incredulous spouse, I am in the early planning stages) and granted it is late but at least I am doing, well, almost doing it.  Lookout, dust – I know (and now care) where you are hiding.  I have also really started to pay attention not just to the food I have been eating (the Joos™ cleanse started it and despite a handful of jellybeans just now, I am more mindful of what I eat) but also to the chemicals I am using in our house. Really, is it helpful if I avoid pesticides on fruit and  vegetables but then use caustic cleaners around the house? I think it would be best to avoid chemicals whenever possible (note, in only the way a brain can rationalize things, this does not apply to hair color…it is just different). So here are some excellent resources for cleaning your home…or my home.

23 Ingenious Uses for White Vinegar–  from a great site – http://www.care2.com

10 Unexpected Natural Cleaners – from another favorite site, Real Simple

Calendar for Spring Cleaning from Google Documents

Using Natural Cleaners from Martha Stewart – my go to on DIY.  Here is a DIY cloth napkin from Martha Stewart on http://www.care2.com:

Before we sing the virtues of using cloth napkins again, let’s get the facts straight. According to the EPA, the U.S. generates approximately 3,430,000 tons of tissue, napkins and paper towels of waste. That’s a lot of trees…all non-recyclable. It’s enough to make you go on a paper purge.

So once again, let’s toast to the eco-friendly cloth napkin:

• Cloth napkins can be used and reused over and over again.
• Cloth napkins dress up your table.
• Cloth napkins help with spills.
• Cloth napkins take up less wash (
in cold water) than a bulky tablecloth.
• Cloth napkins are classy and chic.
• Cloth napkins feel good.

Want to save some trees? Here’s a no cost, quick, DIY project inspired by a Martha Stewart, project that you won’t lose your shirt on.

What you need:

Shirts-men’s oxford or flannel shirts work well. Mix and match napkins for an eclectic table or find some similar shirts (blue oxfords are easy to come by).
Ruler or tape measure
Sewing machine (optional)

What to do:

1. Measure the size of the napkin you want. I measured two different sizes. One napkin from Crate and Barrel and one vintage napkin. The vintage napkin was 4 inches smaller. Who knows, maybe there’s a correlation between napkin size and super-sized portions? Here’s my measurements:
Large napkin–18” square.
Small napkin–14” square.

2. Lay the shirt flat and cut a square piece of the shirt.

For a no-sew fringe edge, pull the threads off evenly on each side. Or, with a sewing machine, hem stitch the four sides.

4. Iron.

Place mats can be made using the same method.

Really, at the end of a meal would you rather wipe your face with paper or cloth?

0 comments on “Spring Cleaning – postponed but in progress”

  1. Hooray!!!! You go girl, cloth napkins are the way to go…
    What a great idea using the oxford shirts…you’re going back to the old days
    when women quilted using their dresses/any clothing not being worn to make quilts.
    Not like today when we go out and spend hundreds of $$ to buy yards of fabric
    to cut it up (w/very modern cutting tools) & sew it together on a very expensive sewing machine, not by hand, to make a quilt. Look at the antique quilts, when the women made them from outgrown/unused clothes…
    they are beautiful.

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