ScrapHappy September 2020

The past month has been very ScrapHappy – I resurrected a cushion cover, the zip of which Sam had decided would make an exciting chew toy. I removed the zip, then didn’t worry about an inner case, but simply stuffed the canvas cover with a combination of Woolcool insulation, tiny bits of left-over fabric and yarn ends that were too small to tie together to make scrappy hats. There’s no point in making any furnishings with zips because of Sam’s predilection for them, so I simply stitched it closed and now we have an extra sofa cushion.

Sam not eating the cushion this time

I came across some red yarn that might be pure cotton or might be cotton and bamboo. It was a bit of a ball and I have no recollection what I used it for originally. Anyway, I used it to add to my ever-growing wash cloth collection. I like making these because I can play with different stitches and it doesn’t really matter how successful the design actually is. As you can see, I only had enough for a small cloth with the last of the yarn, even combined with a final scrap of some of the organic cotton that I’d been using for the same thing earlier in the year.

Three new cloths

My final project was a mend, but using a scrap (as is so often the case). Daisy’s harness is attached to her lead via a metal ring that slides along the “handle”. After two years, the fabric had started to wear, so I rummaged around and found a length of (nylon?) ribbon off a chocolate box and used that as binding. I wrapped it around and stitched it, then wrapped it around and stitched it for a second time, so hopefully it’s strong and secure and won’t need mending for another couple of years. The harness is perfect for an enthusiastic spaniel and they are quite expense to replace, so I’m pleased to have been able to mend it… especially since it was a scrappy mend.

So, that’s three different ScrapHappies for this month. How about you?

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I’ve been inspired to write this (and future) ScrapHappy posts by Kate,  Tall Tales from Chiconia. On the fifteenth of every month lots of folks often publish a ScrapHappy post, do check them out:

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin

If you fancy joining, contact Kate and she’ll add you to the list. It would be lovely to see more non-sewing posts, but any use of scraps is welcome.

Lazy cleaning

I have to confess that I really don’t like cleaning – I can almost always think of something that I would rather be doing. The only times I was at all enthusiastic about it was when I had an Open University assignment to work on or marking to do! Since I completed my MEd several years ago and I’m no longer teaching and therefore no longer marking, cleaning is now very low on my list of things I spend my time doing. So, I am always looking for ways to make it easier… and to divide it into manageable bits.

Years ago when I first saw single use cleaning wipes advertised I was sorely tempted… but since I generally try to avoid anything that’s single use (apart from toilet paper) I pulled myself together and ignored them. However, the other day I came across a website with instructions for making such wipes… but not disposable ones. Some of the stuff required I already had – suitable wide-necked jars (they originally came with chocolate chips in them), an old sheet (very thin on account of it being about 50 years old) and various essential oils – but there were some other ingredients that had to be purchased – alcohol (apparently wine won’t do), white vinegar (I had run out and balsamic doesn’t work either) and distilled water. So, I placed an order and yesterday everything arrived.

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Ready to clean!

It’s very simple, although I adapted the recipe slightly from the original because of the strength of the alcohol I had bought. First you cut up some thin cloths – I used pinking shears and made the pieces 20-25cm square. You place these into a wide-necked jar that will seal well (mine have screw caps). Then you mix together 240ml distilled water*, 120ml white vinegar, 40ml isopropyl alcohol (strength 99.9%) and add essential oils according to your preference (I used 15 drops lavender oil, 10 drops orange oil, 10 drops tea tree oil and 6 drops peppermint oil). Give it a good stir, then pour it into the jar, seal and shake it up.

 

I split the liquid between two jars – one for the kitchen and one for the bathroom. To use, just take a cloth out, squeeze the excess liquid back into the jar, replace the lid and your cloth is good to go. Once you’ve done your cleaning with it, pop it into another container to await washing – I have a third wide-neck jar for this purpose, labelled ‘Used Cloths’ to avoid confusion. I’ve tried using them and they are great – the glass shelf over our sink in the bathroom is positively sparkling!

Most of the time a microfibre cloth and some water or just a few drops of detergent is enough, but these are great for instant use and for jobs where you don’t want to reuse the cloth before it’s washed. I’m not suggesting that these will transform my house, but they will be useful and they don’t produce waste… plus the re-use of the cloth and the jars is all part of my grand declutter.

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* Necessary to ensure that the mix is long-lasting… I’m not sure whether boiled water would do the trick too, but I didn’t want to risk it.

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