Category Archives: General

What RenewStuff’s been up to…

So… what have I been up to? Planning fall and winter projects, cleaning up the house, and trying to start the dark, cold, wet season on a good note. I hope to have a little more on the winterization bit in one of the future posts…

My Market Stand recycling yarn demonstration was a blast! I met some talented and interesting people and learned a bunch of new things. Here’s a recap of my experience on the Urban Homesteaders’ League blog and some photos…

Mike and I have also visited my parents and sister in NYC. My sister has just moved on her own to her very first apartment – and it’s a big deal! I got all excited about helping her decorate (read – coming up with all sorts of ideas for her place before I even had a chance to see it!). I asked her what her color scheme was and heard in response, “What’s a color scheme?”  Funny how I’ve adopted a whole new vocabulary ever since moving into our apartment and starting this blog.

But worry not – I got a chance to share my DIY obsession with my sister. We helped her paint an IKEA dining set. For those of you who paint/refinish furniture – isn’t there something very satisfying in finishing a simple piece that doesn’t require too much repairing, sanding, and detailed painting? These IKEA table and chairs were so uncomplicated to paint that I was just dying to add a little something extra, a little detail that both garners attention and does not clash with the simplicity of the lines (Little Green Notebook had a nice post about details in furniture design) . In any case, here’s what we started with:

and here is what we got after a couple of hours of collective effort:

I have also joined the ranks of other DIY bloggers in creating a color-field inspired painting, described (with instructions) on The New Domestic blog. Here is my take on the project:

Moving to one’s own place for the first time is always exciting – it is how I started to learn about design and domestic crafts. My sister’s apartment allows me to think of a different decorating style than the one we use in our old drafty house (I realize that she might disagree with my vision, though!). For those of you who have had a chance to decorate several of your living spaces, how have your tastes changed from your first place to your current one?

What’s coming up for me? A quick craft tutorial to share with y’all and a couple of homesteading projects to do and photograph for my next posts. Until then – happy crafting!

 

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Save the Date – UPDATED

My dear readers,

If you will be in or around Boston area on Saturday, October 9th, please stop by the Union Square Farmers’ Market in Somerville. The Urban Homesteaders’ League is hosting a Market Stand, an experiential learning space where visitors can learn skills for sustainable urban living and creative domesticating.

I will lead a 15-minute tutorial (or skillshare) about recycling yarn from old sweaters .  There will also be speakers who will share other homesteading and creative DIY skills. You can also bring something that you’ve made or grown to trade at a Swap Table. Local graphic designers have designed an informational broadsheet with all the information covered in each of the skillshares and each visitor will be able to take a broadsheet with them. Please come by to chat, learn something new and meet other people interested in DIY and urban homesteading. (Plus, I hear that there will be cookies for skillshare attendees).

Here are the details:

When: Saturday, October 9th,

10:00 a.m. Developing Eco-Friendly Habits with Kat Friedrich
10:45 a.m. Lactofermenting Fall Vegetables with Alex Lewin
11:30 a.m. Recycling Old Sweaters into Yarn with me
12:15 p.m. Backyard Chickens with Tessa Desmond

Where: Union Square Farmers’ Market, Union Square, Somerville, MA (Google Maps link here)

For all you knitters out there who cannot attend on Saturday, my tutorial on yarn recycling is available here.

I leave you for today with some colorful knitting inspiration from Flickr… Hope to see you at the Market Stand and happy crafting!

Photo credits: socks – Bibbiw, yarn – timiat, lace – osloann.

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Spring Cleaning, Part I

By Oklahoma Farm Girl via Flickr

I

n my childhood home, spring cleaning was usually finished in time for Easter. Well, I am almost a month late with spring cleaning our apartment. Our window films (transparent insulation film that we put over our windows for the winter) have been to blame – anyone who lives in our neck of the woods will tell you that March and April here are fickle and you can expect a couple of freezing nights and chilly days to warrant keeping the window films on a little longer. At this point, be that as it may, I am washing windows and tackling other spring cleaning projects to make us breathe easier.

While there are no tutorials and how-to’s in this post, in the spirit of renewing things, I thought I’d share a couple of natural cleaning product recipes that I am using in this momentous undertaking. Plus, sharing my spring cleaning process with you might (just might) help me stay on track and finish all of it within reasonable time!

Washing the shower curtains:

Our shower curtain liners get quite grimy here – some sort of rust sediment from old pipes and salts in the water. So instead of replacing the liners, I learned that it is possible to wash them in the washing machine – who knew! Here’s how I did it:

  • In the washing machine, dissolve a cup of detergent, a cup of white vinegar, and a cup of baking soda in warm water. Let the machine fill with cold water to the brim.
  • Add a couple of old terrycloth towels – they will act like scrubbers for the curtain liners.
  • Put the liners in and let the machine finish the cycle.
  • With the liners and towels still in, set the machine to rinse cycle and add a cup of bleach.
  • Let the liners dry over the tub, back on the curtain rods – do not dry in the dryer.

Cleaning the cast iron tub:

Our old apartment has a cast iron clawfoot tub that is wonderfully deep and big for a long soak. The tub is also old and has dents and scratches here and there, so I can’t even think of making it perfectly clean. However, here is a recipe I found to be effective at making the tub look reasonably good:

  • Start by thoroughly scrubbing the tub with a brush.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of the tub with baking soda.
  • Now, add a small amount of white vinegar to the baking soda. The resulting bubbles will deep-clean the tub. Before this step, open windows and doors and make sure that the area is well ventilated, because the smell of vinegar in large quantities can be quite offensive.
  • Scrub with a brush some more, rinse thoroughly with water, and dry the tub to prevent water stains from reappearing.

These are NOT the pictures of our bathroom! Just some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing:

By StyleMakerTV via Flickr

By xJavierx via Flickr

Next up, washing the windows. What are your spring cleaning recipes? And what keeps you motivated?

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Inaugural

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This blog is about all things reused, repurposed, or recycled. Or better yet – renewed! The art and craft of repairing and fixing, restoring and refinishing (resoling, reseaming, repainting – insert any other “re” word here).
The female half of this team is interested in repainting, repairing, and otherwise beautifying various domestic objects to result in something new and unexpected. The male half of the team wants to explore the power tools side of renewing cars and motorcycles. Together, we are interested in learning about and teaching others about the joy and practicality of giving new life to our posessions.
Welcome to the blog!

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