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Inspirational Jewelry, Gifts and Gab

Friday, November 20, 2009

Washing a Pottery Barn Cranberry Sectional Slipcover

I know this is not normally what I write about in my blog, but I thought this might be good information for some of you moms out there with the popular Pottery Barn Sectional. I love my Cranberry-colored sectional, but after three years, three kids and three dogs, it was looking dingy and faded.

I washed the slipcovers about one year ago, and the result was not great - a little faded. I was afraid to wash it again because I really love the deep red of the couch. I went online and looked for tips on washing the slipcover and found information on washing it with fabric dye. There were lots of ideas that wouldn’t work for me - soaking the covers in the bathtub was one tip. No thanks! I didn’t want a red tub. One idea was to use cranberry juice in the wash, but I didn’t think that would be a deep enough color. I also wasn’t sure if it was even a serious suggestion.

I decided to go for it and try dyeing the slipcover my own way. I figured it would either turn out great, or I would have to buy a new couch. Being an optimist, I really hoped for the first result. Thankfully, I was right. Here was my strategy for my top loading washing machine:
1. wash covers on gentle and remove them before spin cycle so they are very wet.
2. boil a pan of water and add dye to dissolve. I used Jacquard iDye in Crimson.
3. let washing machine fill with water and add dye. Let machine agitate for 30 seconds to mix in the dye.
4. add slipcovers to water.
5. Soak for at least 15 minutes and agitate every few minutes to keep the dye even.
6. after soaking, let machine drain and rinse.
7. restart cycle and add mild detergent. I used Ecos Laundry detergent from Costco.
8. dry gently on low heat until covers are just damp.
9. iron and put cushions on while still a little damp for a better fit.

Last tips: I washed the seat and back cushions at home (one or two at a time), but used the laundromat for the main slipcovers.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Time For Some Meditation

I know that meditating is beneficial. It reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, helps to control anxiety, and much more. It sounds so easy to do - relax, be quiet, focus on yourself...what could be simplier? However, meditation takes work. With all of the noise and business that surrounds us, it is actually difficult to shut it out and it is most challenging to quiet your thoughts. It seems like such a paradox to me.

I've found a website and podcast that has proven very useful in helping to quiet my thoughts and have a few minutes of meditation. The site is called mythoughtcoach.com. It is lead by Stin Hansen and, although there is a membership charge, many of the meditations are free. Some of the titles are: Anxiety, Health and Fitness, Pregnancy and Sleep. Give it a try.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What To Do With Old Medicines

Wondering what to do with old medicines?

I recently organized my medicine cabinet and found lots and lots of expired prescriptions. I had read that flushing pills down the toilet was harmful to the waterways and our ecosystem, but I didn’t just want to throw them in the trash. Real Simple magazine had a great tip for safely getting rid of “the goods.” The magazine suggests mixing the pills with coffee grounds, cat litter or sawdust and throwing them out with the garbage. “This will keep them away from kids and pets and prevent harm to fish and other wildlife habitats. Apparently, the exception is highly addictive drugs, such as Percocet and OxyContin. For those, visit smartxdisposal.net.