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  • As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
  • read all shaktoids!
    August 24, 2015
    Ways To Recycle Old Window Screens

    I’m a huge fan of finding ways to recycle and reuse old objects. Just because your screen has a few large holes or tears in it, doesn’t mean it’s done for. Should it still be on your window? Probably not. But there are ways to give new life to these used objects! My mom had two large windows sitting around for the longest time before she gave them away. Too bad she didn’t see this article by Megan Baker at This Old House first! Here are some new uses for old screens:

    -Protect newly seeded grass- lay down a patch of screen over the area to keep birds from eating the seeds.

    -Prevent drain clogs- wad up some screen and put it in a drain to keep debris from getting through

    -Sift unmixed grout- or anything else.

    -Clean your hands- use a wad of screen as a metal scrubber to get rid of paint.

    -Make compost tea, using the screen as mesh. 

    Photo Credit: Bethany J. Brady 


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    May 4, 2015
    DIY Toilet Cleaner

    I’m a huge fan of making my own household products. Usually, the ingredients are very cheap and you can make the products in large batches. An added bonus is that you know exactly what you are putting into them. That’s why I love this post by Sara McFall at My Merry Messy Life! Here is their recipe for all natural homemade toilet bowl cleaner:

    1/4 cup liquid castile soap 

    1 3/4 cup water

    2 tablespoons baking soda 

    1 teaspoon of essential oils to kill bacteria and freshen

    Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz. or larger squirt bottle and gently shake or swish.
    Squirt in the toilet bowl and use a brush to scrub it clean.

    Photo Credit: Laura Ritchie 


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    January 12, 2015
    Upcycling Idea: Ladder Shelf

    I absolutely love the whole “shabby chic” design trend. I think it just makes the home look cozy and lived in. But, my favorite décor style is bohemian! Flowy fabrics, rich colors, plants living in the house, mismatched throw pillows and rugs- it’s the absolute epitome of maximalism! Which I am all about. That’s why I love this project by Donna at Funky Junk. It incorporates the best of both worlds, while also upcycling an old piece. Check out her stepladder shelf tutorial here:

    -Select boards for shelves, wall supports, and something to connect the ladder to the wall.

    -Lean the full ladder against the wall at the desired angle. Attach ladder to the wall with top brackets. 

    -Mark how long you desire the boards to be, then cut to size.

    -Paint or stain boards if desired

    -Attach supports to wall, add boards.

    Photo Credit: My Latest Obesession 


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    December 12, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: DIY Solar Panel
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2ccou6

    Really great idea!


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    December 9, 2014
    Saving Money By Winterizing Your Home

    Well, winter is officially here. And last winter, I had an electricity bill that was DOUBLE my monthly average– which is completely unacceptable. But, before those dreaded winter electricity bills come rolling in, you can prevent them! There are plenty of ways to lock down your home, get it ready for the cold, and save big. Check out this post by Teresa Mears at Yahoo Homes for home improvements that will keep you warm and toasty:

    -Caulk around windows and doors, seal up all holes

    -Put rugs down on non-carpeted floors

    -Cover holes around electric outlets

    -Add insulation in attic, crawl space, and basement

    -Put a blanket around the water heater

    Photo Credit: Bill Smith 03303 


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    September 15, 2014
    Energy Conservation Tips

    The cooler months have finally arrived! After a long summer of nearly 90° weather every day, I nearly shed tears of joy when it hit 60° a few days ago. I’m so excited for Fall and Winter! But, unfortunately, with colder weather comes higher electric bills. You can curb them later by making a few simple changes now. Get a jump start on winterizing with these easy energy saving tips by The Family Handyman, with tutorials on how to do each of them:

    -Find and seal leaks in the attic

    -Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes

    -Use silicone caulk and foil tape to seal leaks in ductwork

    -Wrap pipes with insulation.

    Photo Credit: thebarrowboy 


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    May 29, 2014
    Things You Didn’t Know You Could Clean With Salt

    There are tons of recipes out there for DIY, natural cleaners. Most of them use vinegar or baking soda, which works for almost everything. But, there is another natural cleaner sitting in your kitchen- table salt! Sea salt will also work for most of these. It’s a great exfoliator and will help you scrub almost anything back into shape: including most metals. Check out this post by Heather Schisler at Passion For Savings:

    -Remove Soap Scum – Remove soap scum from bathroom tile by mixing salt and vinegar (about 1 part to 4 parts) and scrubbing. Wipe clean with damp rag.

    -Remove Rust from Metal - Make a paste from salt, cream of tartar and water and apply to the item. Let sit in the sun (if possible) until dry and then buff clean.

    -Add Shine to Chrome – Shine up sink faucets and other fixtures using a mixture made from 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Apply to fixture and then buff with a rag. Rinse with water and wipe dry.

    Photo Credit: Karyn Christner 


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    May 1, 2014
    Going Rustic

    A really popular interior design craze right now is rustic and shabby chic themed decor. If you want to capture that “log cabin in the mountains” feel, you just have to go with rustic furniture. This includes: pieces made from logs, twigs, or even driftwood to give it that old-timey, welcoming atmosphere. Check out this post by Emma’s Decoration blog on the history of rustic décor, along with info on how to get the look for yourself. Plus, there are plenty of gorgeous photos. I especially love the criss-crossing wooden headboard. Gorgeous!

    There are two types of rustic furniture; bentwood and twig work. In bentwood type of rustic furniture, sticks are harvested fresh or steamed to make them supple, then bent into a variety of structures and decorative shapes. In twig work sticks are straight, curved or forked. These sticks are assembled into structures and decorative shapes.

    Photo Credit: Anne Worner 


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    April 16, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Color Pop = New Life To Thriftstore Finds

    Photo from Indulgy


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    April 4, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Upcycled Old Furniture Ideas
    YouTube Preview Image

    Some furniture that has been thrown out can be saved with some cleaning, sanding, painting, and TLC.


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