Monday, June 17, 2013

DIY Dog Door

We adopted a 12 year old poodle several years ago named Brandie.  She has been in a few of my posts.

We decided to try to train her to use a pet door but did not want to buy a new screen door with a built in pet door in case she would not use it.

We really want to get a storm screen door with a adjustable top that closes off in the winter but opens to a screen in the summer, and that has a pet door.

So, we made a pet door in our old existing screen door.........

First, Jerry took off the white wire screen door guard (not pictured) and then took the screen door off the door frame.
He then cut a rectangle opening in the bottom of the door (above).
He put silver duct tape around the sharp edges of the cut-out.
Jerry put the screen door back onto the door frame and we started trying to get Brandie to use it.
She caught on very quickly.  Her vision is getting worse so we are glad there is a low area at the bottom for her to step over.  Our next step will be to add a piece of clear lightweight vinyl to the hole and hope that she will push it to walk out.
There she goes outside............

 We love our sweet dog.....Brandie.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


One day I decided to crochet a few headbands with some leftover yarn.

For the purple headband I used Vanna's Choice yarn that was leftover from a cowl and fingerless gloves here to see it.

I also made a turban headband to go with the cowl and gloves.  I forgot to take a photo of the turban headband but can just say that it turned out beautiful.

The purple cowl and fingerless gloves did sell at a craft show that my daughter Jessica (SunnyStitching) who live in England participated in.

I believe the turban headbands will be for sale soon along with other pretty headbands already available in our etsy store SunshineMakings ...keep an eye on the store to see when they are available.

I used this pattern for the purple headband below.
Ribbon is added to the crocheted front of the headband to tie it around the head with a pretty bow in the back that looks nice, especially if worn with a ponytail or swept up hairstyle.
 I knitted the grey headband using Caron Simply Soft yarn. It was a little too long so I added some buttons to make it fit snugger.  I like the color of the buttons....They are both actually the same, just look different in the lighting of the photo.
 They were a fun and quick project.

Creating with yarn when crocheting or knitting is delightful!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Great Dish Soap

I have used many dish soaps but finally found my favorite......

Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid, Free and Clear
Liquid Dish Soap Free & Clear 50oz.
    Plant-derived dish soap effectively cuts grease
Non-toxic natural dish liquid soap
Dishwashing soap that is free of dyes and synthetic fragrances
Biodegradable liquid dish soap formula

I really try to be environmentally conscious about what cleaning products I use.  The first bottle I purchased of Seventh Generation Dish Liquid lasted a long time.  It cleans our dishes, pots and pans really efficiently.  

I love using it, especially along with my newly crocheted dish cloths! (See Delightful New Dishcloths post)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Delightful New Dish Cloths

Good bye sponges and hello to my new crocheted dishcloths.

I had been thinking about changing to crocheted or knitted dishcloths and finally decided to just make the change.
I only use the sponges for cleaning marks on floor and burnt (yes, burnt) food in pots and pans.

I had some exta Lily's Sugar N Cream Cotton Yarn,  leftover from the really pretty cup cozies available on me and my daughter Jessica's etsy store SunshineMakings.  (We have received wonderful feedback from customers who purchased these cozies.)

*Jessica also has a wonderful free patterns and creations on her SunnyStitching blog that I know you would really enjoy.*

I decided to use the extra yarn to crochet these delightful dish cloths.  I actually have made another yellow one since taking these photos.  I am pretty sure I used the Gritch Stitch Washcloth and the Back Loop Stitch patterns from Lion Brand..  I made them about 8"instead of 10" squares.

I use one for a few days and then wash it with other towels, adding a tiny bit of Ultra Downey Free and Sensitive Fabric Softener.  The dishcloths smell fresh and are soft after being dried. I like having a few extras so when one is in wash, there is a clean one to use.
Ultra Downy® Free and Sensitive liquid 
Notice my favorite dish washing liquid soap (as mentioned in upcoming post Great Dish Soap) in picture below....Seventh Generation

I have really enjoyed using them and love seeing the cheerful color when they hang over the edge of the dishdrainer.

So glad to have cheerful dish cloths in the kitchen........

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Refreshed Tile Grout

I love the tile countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms of our home. 

Some of the grout between the tiles had worn away, especially in the kitchen.  One area, there was actually no grout left.  I decided to regrout since I do mosaics and figured it would be just like doing them.

I got advice from an associate in our local Lowe's and got started.  It was not hard at all.

First, raked out the empty areas between the tiles and raked the rest of the grout areas to clean them.

Used vacuum to blow all the dust off of the counter and wiped down with a dry rag.

Then mixed the grout and water to be like a peanut butter consistency and used my hand and a plastic spoon to fill in the areas as needed.  The associate at Lowe's suggested I get Keracolor U Unsanded Grout since the area will not be walked on.

For the grout that did not have to be replaced I recolored it white so it would match the new grout areas, using Grout Refresh.  I used a paint brush and switched to a toothbrush to put it on. I poured amounts into the plastic container.   Once it is on, the instructions say to let it sit 30-60 minutes, spray with water, let it set 5 minutes, and then wipe off the extra that gets along the edges with a sponge.

The tiles in our home are laid very very close together so I tried various rakers, a box cutter, a grout tool shaped like a hook, but decided on the grout rake (there are no photos of me using it)

First, using box cutter I scrapped all the "food particles" that had accumulataed in the cracks with no grout.
Then tried this tool to just clean other areas where there was recessed grout that needed to be filled in.  The tip of it was a little too wide to really get into the space.
  The Grout Rake was the BEST.......really cleaned areas when scrapped over existing grout before the Refresh Recolor and dug just deep enough on areas that needed new grout.  A  photo of it is below.

Some "Before" photos are below.  The Grout Rake was great in the wider grooves.
 Below is the Keracolor U Unsanded grout made into a paste and spread into the open area of the groove.  Once the groove is filled in, I let it sit for a little while and then wiped the excess off with a damp sponge

Honestly, when it was made the kitchen and bathrooms look like they were newly painted...just freshened up so nicely! 
 Photos are below.......

All done and so happy with the finished look!