Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fixing the washing machine again

The washing machine stopped last Saturday afternoon. This called for another visit to! Wouldn't dream of calling an appliance repair professional. We have had three times the washing machine failed in nine years. That seems pretty good, especially with used machines. 
Symptoms pointed to the door switch. I got out the multimeter and tested it. It was broken! It is fortunately a $20 part. Not very much. I got the new part on Wednesday. And it felt so good to have my washing machine back. Three days without doing laundry is a lot when you have six people in your family. Four of us have pretty small clothes for  small bodies, and that helps.   Here is a picture of my project. Not much disassembly involved. And I have a helper. Actually he wants to take that screwdriver and poke a hole in the wall. I didn't let him.

I will add that after I put in the part, the wash cycle wouldn't fill. So we went a day filling on rinse, then switching to wash. When I went to figure out why, I discovered a plug I had forgotten to reattach after the repair. I think I would be a disappointment if I tried to fix somebody else's machine. For our family, my husband is a satisfied customer. But he doesn't do the laundry. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rubber band bracelets

This was our attempt at weaving rubber band bracelets. It was a bit too difficult for my daughter. I  think we made only two bracelets with it.  I was about to throw this out and then I decided it should be a blog post first. Now it can go in the trash. 

She prefers to use the pencil method. And I like making pencil grips, when we do this together. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Windshield shade

" Did I post about this already? I can't remember. The weather is warming up and it is time to bring out the windshield shade! These really take the bite off the heat in a car that has been parked in the sun.  Ours is pretty old, and either too small for our Pilot or too bent to stay up. Rather than buy a new one, we bought some magnets! We got the super strong neodymium 3/8" round magnets.  The magnets wouldn't stick to the shield so I sewed a pocket tab from scrap fabric:

Then I epoxy glued a magnet onto the windshield:
And they stick together just enough to keep it up. 

This is what I learned: thin fabric is better. The 3/8" magnets work, and the 1/4" aren't strong enough. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Storage tubs

Needed a place for these tube toys. Emptied a laundry detergent tub. Storage tub for free! 
It looks very empty but half the tubes are on the floor right now. 

And while I am on it, here is my stash of smaller tubs.

Now the trouble with these is that you can't see inside. So I keep masking tape and permanent marker handy in the kitchen.

That's a quick nothing fancy post. 
P.S. A couple more things came to mind. 

1. Don't put food in non-food grade plastic containers. 

2. Of course we have a lot of tubs that are purchased, because we increase stuff faster than we use up products in tubs. 

3. And we throw away containers, because we don't have a need for that size. 

I forgot to add the peanut butter and mayo jars that we use for collecting bugs and things, for fun.

And the juice containers, for storing water. We have enough of these already.
And we also use some containers for children's money and tithing.

Thursday, February 25, 2016


LI watched a few YouTube videos about how to put on makeup. Thought I might try to improve my appearance. I was amazed at how much money those women must have spent on their makeup collections! It is useful to watch the videos, even if I don't have all that stuff. Here is what is in my makeup bag:

And in college when money was scarce, this is what I had:

On the topic of cleaning off makeup, I found the liquid foundation was better at removing makeup than an eye makeup remover product, and the foundation costs less. Now, I use a microfiber face cloth with water. I have no special face soap. Plus I have tweezers, little scissors, a pencil sharpener, and I keep the chap stick in my purse or coat pocket. 
I didn't date much in college either.
I am not going to say that you can look fabulous without spending a lot on makeup. But you can be well groomed.  

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Pacifier Clip

I can't believe how much pacifier clips can cost! We don't usually use pacifiers anyways. My babies gag on them. But I wanted to have a clip available, so maybe I could try offering one more often. I used a name tag clip from a convention my husband attended. This is how it is sewn:
And then I loop it around a pacifier like this:

She is a very calm person and doesn't use a pacifier very often either. But she does use it sometimes! Cost: free. Savings: $5. Time spent: five minutes. 

Wrap party dresses

Every time Pixar finishes a movie, they throw a big employee party, and the dress is usually formal. I should admit that for he last party (The Good Dinosaur) I spent over $200 on clothes, which I continue to use. Most of that was on the boots. But for the approximately nine parties prior, I made do! 
I bought a formal dress for senior prom that I thought would be timeless and reusable. That was sixteen years ago. I wore this one many times. Here is a picture from last year's party for Inside Out:

Almost three years ago for Monsters University I found myself too pregnant to wear the dress. But I didn't want to spend a lot on a formal maternity dress that I may never wear again! I found a pattern for a good dress, and I also had a pretty sheet I picked up from a pile of free junk in a embarrassing! So $13 for the pattern, plus a zipper and thread, and hours of work, and ta-da! Some of the fabric was kind of pilling and not so pretty but I put that part at the bottom of the skirt where nobody is looking closely. I put the dress on so I could make this post, last year. 
And the really fun part is this sash I made for my belly (Pixar wrap party attire is "Creative Black Tie"):
I didn't tell anybody I was wearing a sheet. Until now.