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Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 | 0 comments

An Old Ironing Board Cabinet Turned Spice Rack

An Old Ironing Board Cabinet Turned Spice Rack

When we moved into our 1920s bungalow, I admired the old ironing board cabinet, but not being much of an ironer, I imagined converting it into a spice rack. The other day, my husband Matt decided to make it his weekend project. He started by pulling out the ironing board, which normally pulls up and out and then rests on the bottom cabinet door that moves out on an angle. While removing the ironing board, the bottom cabinet door came out with it. It’s not hinged to the wall to begin with, but is attached to the ironing board. Next, he went to Lowe’s to buy the shelves, cut to size, along with brackets and hinges to use to reattach the bottom cabinet door. He was hoping to find a hinge to match the vintage one on the top door. Matt then drilled the brackets on to the wooden shelves before screwing them in place inside the cabinet one by one. Now, when we open the cabinet, we see...

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Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 | 2 comments

Creating a Moth-Free Environment for Woolens

Creating a Moth-Free Environment for Woolens

Imagine my dismay when I pulled on my favorite sweater and discovered a gaping moth bite on the arm. On closer inspection, I found more nibbles all over the sweater. After hearing from two local experts on creating a moth-free environment for woolens, I now know how to prevent a clandestine moth feast in the first place. We recently wrote about the collection of vintage ski sweaters at Amalgamated Classic Clothing and Dry Goods and mentioned how important moth-prevention is to the longevity of wool sweaters. The sweater collection in the store, as well as their many other wool items, are pristine. Fibre space yarn shop also takes a keen interest in keeping their vast collection of yarn moth-free. They don’t accept donated yarn “just in case” it’s carrying moths, and they have a 30-day return policy to make sure the yarn hasn’t had time for moth exposure. The owner of fibre space, Danielle Romanetti, and Deb Fuller, the Store Manager at Amalgamated, share their best practices for keeping their woolens moth-free,...

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Posted by on Oct 8, 2014 | 8 comments

Cleaning Out Clutter: Where Can It Go Besides the Curb?

Cleaning Out Clutter: Where Can It Go Besides the Curb?

Guest blogger Laine Hardman from Tidy Up Professional Organization, who has offered her expertise before on kitchen space savers, keeping our small bedroom closets tidy, and craft organization, gives us her excellent tips and resources for where to take unwanted household items.  Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions I receive from clients about how to clear out our houses without filling up our landfills. What can I do with all these books, DVDs, and CDs? Schools often have used book sales to benefit their PTA and would be happy to take used books off your hands. If you’re in Alexandria, you can donate books for the George Mason Elementary school’s book fair through Sarah Goldstein. Mount Vernon Community School just launched their Alexandria Book Shelf in the front lobby which enables kids to take as many free books as they want. You can contact the PTA for information about how to donate your used books. Books, CDs, and DVDs can also be donated to...

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Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Curating Your Kids’ Artwork with Pegboards and Portfolios

Curating Your Kids’ Artwork with Pegboards and Portfolios

If you have preschool and elementary school-aged children, you know how hard it is to recycle any of their artwork. And you also know how much comes home during the school year. Piles and piles. My friend Rachel has developed an ingenious, efficient, space-saving way of both displaying her kids’ artwork and storing everything for easy access and viewing in years to come. She’s used this system for a few school years already, so she knows it works well. First, I’ll mention that Rachel does frame some of the artwork and has it hung in various places around her home. But, for an ongoing display and “art curation,” here’s what she does: She installed two big pegboards in one of the bedrooms and uses big clips and s-hooks to hang a variety of artwork made by her three elementary school-aged children. The clips allow her to hang 3-D artwork as well. When the board gets too crowded, Rachel pulls every piece off one by one. She then takes a...

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Posted by on Mar 4, 2014 | 2 comments

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

Tips for Inspiring Your Kids to Read: A Consult with Melissa LaSalle

A few months ago, we introduced you to Melissa LaSalle, an Alexandria resident who writes the very thoughtful and informative blog What to Read to Your Kids. In addition to the blog, Melissa also provides in-home consultations as way to help parents decide what books are the best for their particular children — what is appropriate for their reading level, what will challenge them as they get older, and what will inspire their imagination and, hopefully, a life-long love of reading. I tagged along on one of her recent consultations with Mary and Chris and their 7-year-old daughter Alora. Before diving in to Alora’s collection of books, Melissa listened attentively as Alora told her what she’s currently reading and what other types of books she likes to read. Just as you would do a deep clean of your closets and basement or attic every once in a while to figure out what you don’t need anymore, Melissa suggests doing the same with your kids’ books. She carefully sorted through...

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