Monday, January 16, 2012

Various and Sundry Monday: Vol. 22

If you put your happiness in temporary things, your happiness will only be temporary. –Steven A. Cramer

A Week of Giveaways Directory
I am so happy with the huge response to my week of giveaways! Thanks to each and every one of you who entered. I have so enjoyed reading your comments and hope to squeeze in a little time to reply to each of you before the giveaways close. You can enter through 10:00 pm on Thursday, January 19th and the winners will be announced on the 21st. If you haven't already, check them out.
Embroidery Gift Pack
Backyard Baby Fat Quarter Bundle
$50 Long-Arm Machine Quilting Gift Certificate
Polka-Dot Quilt
Machine Quilting Gift Pack

My Kingdom for a Butter Dish
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away . . . wait. That's not right. Different story. Let's try again. Sometime last summer, I'm not exactly sure when, but I think it was about the middle of June, Mr. Bug knocked the butter dish {the everyday one, not the fancy one that matches my china} off the end of the counter. It was an accident, but our tile floors are not the least bit forgiving and anything that falls on them breaks. So it was with the butter dish.

I put “butter dish” on my grocery list and the next time I went shopping at the big blue box store, I looked for one. The shelf was empty. The was a little price sticker saying that butter dishes were $3.97, but there were no butter dishes. I circled “butter dish” on my list, as I do with things I can't find or they are out of, so I'll remember to put them on the next list. A week {or maybe two—I'm foggy on the details at this point} later I went shopping at the big blue box store. “Butter dish” was on the top of my list, but the shelf was still empty. There happened to be an associate on the aisle and she asked me if I needed help finding something. I told her I was looking for a butter dish, but there were none there. She kindly scanned the price sticker on the shelf and told me that they had six in stock, but perhaps they hadn't been brought out from the back yet. I thanked her and circled “butter dish” on my list. Again. I have been repeating this little ritual three or four times a month since then, and the spot where the butter dishes are supposed to be is always empty.

I am a creature of habits. As much as I hate the big blue box store, I still shop there because I mostly know where everything is and I can buy jeans for the kids, oil for the car, fabric and groceries all in one stop. I really hate running all over the place to get everything I need, so the convenience of having it all in one place supersedes the several annoyances that come with a large and spacious building that sells anything you could need. Also, I really hate driving anywhere that takes more than 10 minutes to get to. The nearest locale which may have a butter dish is between 20 and 25 minutes away, depending on traffic. I don't like to drive across town. Even for fabric. But I'm beginning to think that we'll never have another butter dish unless I shop somewhere else.

Or maybe I can hold out just until they do inventory and they find out that they in fact do not have six butter dishes in stock and order some more in.

Magic Starch
I'm big on washing fabrics before I use them. Because most of what I buy is 100% cotton, that means it needs a good pressing before I use it. I like to use a little starch, which makes exact cutting easier and the blocks press out better as you put them together. It also keeps the fraying down. My friend, Angie, gave me this recipe a long time ago. I never got around to trying it because procuring the necessary ingredients required driving all over town, which, as you might know, I'm not a big fan of. So Angie sent me some. She actually made some up, put it in a recycled 1-liter bottle and mailed it pretty much across the entire country to me. And I love it! The stuff is liquid gold! Fabric presses up like new. I've been using it carefully, because when I've used up the stuff she sent, I'm going to have to drive all over town so I can make my own. I'm sharing the recipe with you. Try it. You'll thank me later.

Magic Starch
2 cups distilled water
2 oz vodka
10-15 drops pure essential oil of lavender
⅛-¼ cup liquid Sta-Flo® liquid starch {ironically, available at Wal-Mart}

• Combine all ingredients. Put in a fine misting spray bottle and spray on fabrics before pressing.

• Recommended for cotton fabrics. Synthetic fabrics may stain due to the oil in the mix.
• Shake before each use to make sure the ingredients are mixed well.
• Use the cheapest not-really-fit-for-human-consumption vodka you can find with the highest proof available.
• Vodka is an emulsifier for the oils as well as a preservative which will help keep the starch fresh over time.
• Vodka is recommended because it has no additives and dries quickly. Rubbing alcohol can be substituted, but some recommend against it because of its toxicity.
• You can mix other oils, such as peppermint, jasmine, chamomile, bergamot or sage to enhance the smell, but make sure to only use clear oils so you don't stain your fabrics.
• Tap water contains chlorine which will destroy the essential oils, so do not use it.
• If you leave out the starch it makes a great linen water to use in your iron.

Monday Music Spot: Total Eclipse of the Heart
A little something funny, especially if you lived through the ‘80s.


Shay said...

You sound like me Elizabeth ..I wont drive anywhere I dont have to (which is why I was so annoyed when Miss P moved 40 minutes from us !)

Try your local op shops for a butter dish ...

I got all excited when I saw the fabric starch recipe until I realised I've drunk all our vodka and we dont have Sta Flo starch here . I wonder if other kinds would work as well?

Who knew Ellen has such a great voice?

Jocelyn said...

Vodka???? Can you substitute rubbing alcohol??

Barb said...

Who would have thought Vodka....

I love the little blue store but don't go in there much.

Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet said...

That video was pretty funny. They did a pretty good job for not preparing or being a singer....LOL.

I will have to try that starch recipe too, I have some liquid starch.

Paulette said...

Now see, if you lived in Wis. you wouldn't have to drive all over town for the ingredients to the magic spray starch, because there is usually a liquor store within walking distance...well, at least from my house (two actually). Those little "travel size" vodka bottles are probably about 2 oz. Unless you want to make a whole batch of "slushie mix," with the leftovers from a big bottle. Not that I would have that recipe or anything, LOL.

Jill said...

I was once looking for a filter for my humidifier. The place where I bought the humidifier didn't carry filters. I checked 2 of that same store. So I went to the 'blue store' and the shelf was empty. The lady with the scanner said there were some in the store about the same distance but the other direction from my house. So I went there. The shelf was empty. I asked for help, and the nice lady went to the 'back' and brought some out. Turns out, wrong filter.
I found some online. By the time I got them, my kid's cough was gone and I didn't need the humidifier anymore.

I love Ellen! I never get to watch it, though. It's on when I'm getting kids from school and helping with homework.

Unknown said...

Funny that, I went thru the butter dish thing.... found one I like at Kmart. (Can't stand Sprawlmart....)
Other possibility is to check out antique shops.

Michelle said...

I've run into that very same problem at the big box store that will remain unnamed.

Thanks for the starch recipe. One of those ingredients will be good for drinking too. It's a two-fer! ;-)

Hey, Ellen did really good!

Susan said...

The butter dish story is amazing! No thrift store to check every week? The music was great! Thank you for sharing that! The starch recipe sounds great, but I don't drink, and none of the people I hang out with do either! I wonder if something else will work.

Thank you for a couple of good smiles today!

Angie said...

The ONLY butter dish worth having is a 'butter bell'. I have had one for years and will NEVER go back! You put the butter in the bell side and then turn it over into a crock with a little bit of water in the bottom. This makes a seal over the butter and keeps it fresh so you can keep it on your counter for days (weeks if it is cool enough) and always have soft butter at hand...You can google it. ;)