Silk flower care

Silk flowers aren’t really a substitute for the real thing. They’re just another decorative item for the home, like a flowered fabric or a pillow. Here are a few tips concerning the care of faux flowers.

• Know your enemies.

Most silk flowers are made not of silk but of synthetic fabrics with two principal foes; harsh sunlight and dust. Keep your flowers from fading by placing them away from sunny windows. Remove household dust regularly with a duster or with a hair dryer set on cool.

• Consider life span.

Artificial flowers do have one. One of the best things about silk flowers is that they don’t die. And, one of the worst things about silk flowers is that they don’t die. Five to 10 years, depending on the setting, is a good length of service.

• Avoid boredom.

Change bouquets several times a year or seasonally. Either rearrange the flowers or move the arrangement to another room.

• No straight lines.

You should bend each stem to help give it a more natural appearance.

FYI

Twining vines typically twist clockwise or counter clockwise; most varieties twist one way or the other not both.

Block printing

I have a collection of carved wooden block stamps. I suspect they are from India. Each is hand carved with a simple large design although a few are more intricate with a complex design or two or more designs in one. I’ve used a few from time to time to bring some life to plain paper bags when working on a project.

You can use an ordinary computer mouse pad to make your own block stamps. The high density of the rubber can be cut easily and any subtle veining or configuration can be added. A little pattern around a window or door can be done in under an hour.

Not your gramdma’s

oilcloth

I saw a cute idea the other day. Lunch bags made from oilcloth. They are reusable and cut back on waste since they can be washed with a damp sponge (oilcloth is not washing-machine safe). Use a single pattern for the whole bag, or cut out complementary patterns or solid colors for side panels. Use a small velcro tab to hold the bags closed, or clip the tops with colorful wooden clothespins. Cut the main piece 29.5-inches-by-8-inches, and two side panels, each 12.25-inches-by-5-inches. Fold the long panel into a ‘u’ shape with a 5-inch bottom. Sew-in side panels.

Rake Tool Rack

Put and old, rusted rake head to use as a rack for garden tools. Hang trowels, weeders, hoes, and shears from the tines with leather cord.

 

Susan Woody has been a home and garden writer for more than 20 years and is an advanced Master Gardener.

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