Removing Food Grease from Leather Boots

I hope this got you as excited as I was. Strangely, it’s happened to me twice over the past couple months. Once to each of my favorite pairs of leather boots. If you are a tidier person than me, this may not be an issue, but I’m not, so here we are.

Removing Food Grease from Leather

You are hanging out at a classy party with friends, wine in one hand, a cracker in the other, going for this fantastic melty honey brie dip… when a healthy drip of cheese grease goes straight for your soft leather shoes. Or another scenario: You live in boots, and at a less classy party you have a beer in one hand and fantastically greasy pizza in the other. No judging. Both of these stories may or may not be true.

But, for us klutz’s, I have good news! See above? That was just one overnight application. I love these shoes, so I wore them that day, and after normal day walking and scuffing it wasn’t visible at all.

What is this magic you ask? Cornstarch.

What the what? My mind was blown. The first time (with the brie) I was devastated,  I thought my boots were stuck with a stain forever. The next day, I wanted to yell from the mountaintops. I’m only slightly exaggerating.

What you need:

  • leather with a food grease stain
  • corn starch
  • old toothbrush (optional)

So, you start with you beloved shoe or other leather item that is now has a dark splat on it. Sad day.

IMG_6928

Find these items in your home or for dirt cheap at the store

IMG_6931

Give the shoe a little rub. You can just rub with your finger, I found it works a tiny bit better if you can get it deep in the grains with something like a brush.

IMG_6935

Let the powder set for a while. At least a good 8 hours. It’s worth cleaning it off and doing another application for a little extra grease extraction. Once you’ve given it some good time just use a cloth to dust off your boot, no need to dampen for most types of leather.

Viola!

IMG_7510

Beginning of Fall and Applesauce

It’s been more eventful lately, and I’ve taken photos… so I just might be posting more in the near future!

To start, I talked in my last post about how I am going to occasionally post more outfit photos. Well, twice in a row, I might start pushing “occasionally”… but it’s becoming Fall, and new seasons are so much fun!

For one of those perfect sunny and 65 days:

IMG_0938

Jacket: Guess – second hand, Tank: J.Crew – swapped, Jeggings: Mossimo – thrifted, Belt: Marshall’s clearance, watch: Thrifted, Necklace: Yobel Market
 

IMG_0946

This is one of my all time favorite necklaces. Simple, geometric, just a great little accent.

IMG_0956

And I was so proud of myself for wearing my hair down (I lasted the entire day!), I took another photo. However, when getting my picture taken (even if I am taking them of myself) I get a little weird.

IMG_0973-2

In other news I made a GIANT batch of applesauce for us, and we are almost finished with it. If you want your house to smell amazing and celebrate fall, do this recipe. Super simple (besides the whole peeling and slicing apples part), and it’s worth it. Go here for the recipe I used, and maybe wander around, because I love their blog.

IMG_0984

And topped it all off with some sunset reading next to my thriving tomato plant with this super great applesauce. Including a vintage pyrex bowl, vintage silver spoon (from my grandma) and vintage lawn chair. IMG_0990

Pretty Sweatshirt.

Pretty Sweatshirt.

This, people, is my first real hand sewn article of clothing. Well, hand sewn by me. Other than scarves and bags and things.

Frankly, I found clothing patterns to be this oppressive foreign language. It sounds like German in my head. No flexibility, cut along the lines, don’t screw up or it will all look terrible… but I gave it a try.

I give most of my credit to Craftsy.com. Loaded with online classes from food to knitting to anything else, including sewing classes. This pattern is from the class “Sewing with Knits” lead by the author of books I’ve eyed for years, “Sew Liberating”. TONS of information, a great place to start, and hey, I got something unique. And we all know, that’s what matters in the end, right?

Michigan Lovin’

Life has been a bit ridiculous lately, to say the least. Many good things are taking up time, like MANY photography sessions last month that I am trying my hardest to get on top of, great events with friends, and of course getting art up. Unfortunately, my paying job is taking up much of my energy. One of those situations that really isn’t that horrible in reality, but dealing with it on a daily basis gets exhausting, absorbing all of my emotional, physical, and (worst of all) creative energy…

I have high hopes for fall to bring a calmer life, but for now, you will just get some photography. Huzaah!

Last week was a major blessing, a trip to Michigan to be with my side of the family. Playing on the beach, in the water, getting sunburned, digging holes, bonding with my nieces and nephews and siblings and parents that I don’t get to see often enough. Also, my competitive brother bought trophies for a few things, and my husband and I won the one for the best meal! Creativity for the win? We can pretend. But I’ll let you know, go to this fantastic recipe http://www.jasonandshawnda.com/foodiebride/archives/7766/ and use half chipotle chili powder with the regular chili powder, adds a great kick.

Meanwhile, here is my beautiful family:

Veggie Crate Garden and Zucchini Trivia

It’s been a roller coaster of weather this past month! It seemed like all of June was in the 90’s or 100’s, and we even had the hottest temp EVER here (only 101), and it was June! Needless to say, the  roof-garden had a hard time with the blazing heat, no rain, and lack of relief. Thankfully I made some updates and improvements to save many of the plants, and “the garden” continues to be a great little escape.

One improvement was freeing up the tomato plants.
One day as I was bringing out the trash I happened to find 2 wooden fruit/vegetable crates in the dumpster. I am far to big a Pinterester to let those go…

Fixed them up a bit:

Had to get creative with the bottom of this one…

This next part was tricky to do, photograph, and explain.
Cut out a good chunk of the landscaping fabric. I found that if you start by stapling in the bottom/inside, it helps things get settled. I started thinking of it like wrapping a present in reverse… Regardless, just get the holes covered.

Then simply fill ’em up and get some things planted! (You can definitely fill them fuller than I did here.)

Those tomatos you see planted back there, along with others, got spread out between these new boxes. Most of the lettuce in the pallet did not survive the desert storm that was June. I replanted one in an ice cream pale that and it is flourishing, not sure why it’s doing so much better than the ones in the pallet. Other things in ice cream pails are peppers, some spinach, and later, some zucchini.

Fast forward:
Spread out the zucchini so they had room to grow. A couple of them in a wine box from our wedding.

The broccoli have been harvested once and more are coming. I drilled holes for dowels and strung some string up it for beans to grow. And this lettuce looks terribly sad…

The tomatoes have exploded with the warmth and space! The once sickly and spindly plants and quite thick now.

OK, I am starting to treat these things like pets. Better to talk to plants than cats, right?

Now it’s time for the science lesson. My zucchini were exploding, and had new flower growth practically every other day… but they kept just dying. What was I doing wrong? Was it the heat?

Then I noticed some of the stems of the flowers started looking different. If you’ve ever picked zucc’s yourself, you’d recognize, it looked like a tiny baby zucchini!

So, using my middle school ability of deducing a theory, I wondered if there were male and female flowers on zucc’s. Sure enough, Google confirms, it is quite common for the first round of flowers to be entirely male. Next time you need bar trivia, you are all set. The more you know! (insert jingle)

Bring on the zucchini!

Frost-Proofing the Roof Garden

Pallet Garden Frost Proof

So the timing of this post is off. Talking about frost in July? It is Colorado, but I’m not too worried about it.

It was, however, a crazy spring, and it seems better to get this seed planted (pun intended) in your brain so when you have your own pallet garden and you get that surprise snow storm you’ll be prepared.

What You Need:

  • We inherited a roll of what I believe is painters plastic, which just so happened to be the perfect size for our pallet. Any large piece of plastic or old bed sheet would work.
  • Sticks or dowels taller than your plants.
  • Staple gun (or another way to hold the plastic down and make sure it doesn’t fly away in the wind)
I took some dead branches from a tree hanging over our porch, broke them into pieces that would hold the plastic above the plants. This is important, you want to keep the plastic off the plants as much as possible to help keep them from freezing. If they touch, they are more likely to freeze. If you want to look a little more clean and less haphazard, get a dowel or two, or even some paint stirrers, and cut them up. Place the sticks around the outside edges as well as throughout the middle trying not to upset your plants too much.

IMG_3625-2 IMG_3627-2

Lay the plastic over your pallet and get it arranged and straightened. It was a good windy storm, so we went all out and stapled the corners down instead of just laying something heavy on the corners. Start at one end, get all the excess gathered, and make sure you pull it fairly tight. You don’t want to wind catching too much of the plastic and ripping it off.

IMG_3628-2 IMG_3630-2

The plants, all cozy! They kind of look tucked in for bed. All the rest of the plants were still in small pots  we just brought them inside for the night.

IMG_3629-2

And safe and sound the next morning!

IMG_3633-2

IMG_3635-2

The snow was already melting in the sun, and next to nothing was damaged. When I unrolled the plastic I only detached it from one end and left the top stapled in case we had another round of frost.

What method have you had luck with?