The way to Stiffen Table Doilies

The identical lovely handmade doilies your grandmother and great-grandmother so adored are still a classy, charming touch in any room. Many of the doilies today are machine-made instead of handmade, but you scarcely notice. When you stiffen a doily and use it to get a lacy decorative table setting, the effect is guaranteed to be breathtaking. You have many alternatives to get stiffeners, from watered-down white glue to chemical-laden sprays bought at the store. Attempt your grandma’s and great-grandma’s recipe rather. At times the old-fashioned things are best, just like your doilies.

Fill a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and stir thoroughly. A whisk works best but a spoon will suffice as long as you focus on the pan bottom borders.

Put the pan on a stove burner set to low heat. Keep stirring as the sugar water heats. A low simmer is fine, but do not let the mixture boil. Watch for the sugar water to turn a clear color with a fluid texture, not sugary and white.

Turn off the burner — eliminating the pan in case the stove is electric — and permit the sugar starch to cool to about room temperature.

Dip each doily into a sink filled with very warm water. Put the doilies in an absorbent bath towel and roll up the towel to blot the excess water. Wetting the doilies prevents the fibers from consuming excessive starch. The fibers are fragile when wet, nevertheless, and wringing, pulling and twisting on a doily will stretch it out of shape, particularly when it’s moist.

Drop each doily, one at a time, in the sugar. Wait a minute or 2, then recover the doily and, holding it above the pan along with your sink, gently squeeze the doily or press it between the two of your hands to remove as much excess sugar starch as possible. Avoid wringing, twisting, stretching actions.

Lay each doily on a fresh, absorbent bath towel, leaving a little space around each one. Shape the doilies as appropriate — squaring or rounding into a circle for instance and smoothing out ruffles.

Tack the doilies with stainless steel sewing needles or hooks to avoid shrinkage since they dry. Leave them at an undisturbed place where they will not be exposed to dirt — moist, sticky surfaces like produced by sugar starch pull dirt — for a day or so. Remove the pins and use as desired once they’re dry.

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Native Plants for Containers & Window Boxes

Native plants have a high survival rate because almost all of them are already adapted to growing in their native climate. Because many indigenous plants have been drought-tolerant, they do well in the drier terms of a container or window box, especially in heat, Mediterranean-style climates.

Container Shrubs

Native shrubs are more suitable to grow in containers rather than window boxes in which the bushy branches block the view from the window. One native shrub that grows well in a container is that the desert ruellia (Ruellia peninsularis), a native to Southern California in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. This 4-foot-tall sun-loving plant produces a dense mass of glossy leaves and purple petunia-like blossoms appearing in the late spring. Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is a southwestern shrub that grows in USDA zones 8 through 11. When implanted in the ground, this sun-loving bush attains 20 feet tall with long spiny stems that stay bare during dry spells. This plant quickly grows leaves and crimson flowers after it rains.

Annuals for Containers and Window Boxes

Showy indigenous annuals grow well in containers and window boxes. Pick short- to average-height plants to grow in the window boxes. Native to the Pacific West is that the California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), which reaches about 12 inches tall with ferny green leaves and summer cup-shaped flowers offered in golden-orange, yellow, cream and red. This native annual closes its petals during cloudy weather. Remove the spent blooms to keep the plants out of developing seed pods. Farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena) produces pink cup-shaped blossoms on sprawling 1- to 3-foot-long stems. This summer flower closes at night and opens again in the morning, welcoming visiting honeybees.

Perennials for Containers and Window Boxes

Short native perennials can endure for years in containers and window boxes. Using perennials eliminates the need to replant the containers every year. One creeping indigenous perennial is that the redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), which grows in USDA zones 7 through 9. This shade-loving plant produces shamrock-shaped leaves and white or pink cup-shaped flowers from spring through autumn on 6- to 12-inch-tall stems. “Siskiyou” evening primroses (Oenothera speciosa “Siskiyou”) grow pale pink summer blooms in USDA zones 4 through 8, reaching 8 to 10 inches tall in full sun. Pinch off dying flowers to protect against that perennial from reseeding itself.

Window Box Native Vines

Native vines work best in window boxes in which the stems cascade over the edge of the rim. These plants need a little trim to maintain the size of the vines short enough so that they do not hit on the ground. One native vine is that the “Amethyst Falls” American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens “Amethyst Falls”), which grows well in USDA zones 5 through 9. This deciduous vine reaches 8 to 10 feet long, and is covered in purple flower clusters from spring through summer. “Chauga” wild hydrangea vines (Decumaria barbara “Chauga”) create woody stems reaching up to 40 feet long as back. Clusters of snow white flowers appear in the summer and the dark green leaves turn tan-colored in the autumn. This native vine brings butterflies and grows in USDA zones 7 through 9.

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Size of a Clementine Tree

The citrus fruits commonly called Clementines (Citrus reticulata “Clementine”) are small, thin-skinned mandarin oranges. The sweet treats are a variety of class II tangerines, according to Purdue University. Often seen in shops around the fall vacations, they’re desirable for their usually seedless pulp, smooth skin and petite size. Clementine trees vary in size based on the time of this tree and also the cultivation habits of this grower. They’re winter-hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 9 to 11.

Tree Appearance

Clementine trees are as appealing as the fruit: compact, around and usually free of thorns, though some hybrids are spiny. The trees have long, slender, bright-green leaves that stand out vigorously against the bright orange of this fruit. Clementine trees possess a rounded crown formed from the drooping branches. They aren’t dense trees, so they don’t require much pruning, as stated by the University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sometimes they’re pruned to mend damaged branches, as the wood is brittle and tends to break.

Tree Size

Mandarin trees in general achieve a maximum height of about 25 feet and width of 12 feet. They’re classified as medium-sized trees. Most don’t achieve their maximum size, nevertheless. Just the oldest trees achieve this height. The Clementine tree can be pruned to stay much smaller, though it requires less pruning than other citrus trees. Some Clementines and other citrus trees are cultivated as bushes rather than prepared to develop on one pioneer as a tree. Clementines may also be grown in containers, either inside or outdoors. These potted trees usually range between 8 and 11 feet in height.

Fruit Size and Appearance

Clementines are the smallest among the mandarins. The fruits average a little more than 2 inches in diameter, tending to be somewhat broader than tall. Their small size, coupled with the sweet taste of this pulp, means that they are most frequently consumed as snacks rather than used for canning or juicing. The fruits have bright orange, smooth skin and rich, red pulp.


Clementine trees must be cultivated correctly to achieve their optimum lawns. They enjoy warm but not humid conditions, which means they can’t be easily grown outdoors in many regions of the southern United States. The trees grow best and make the most fruit when cultivated in subtropical conditions, according to the Texas A&M; Agrilife Extension. Clementines prosper in well-draining soil and full sunlight. The fruits are normally prepared for harvesting in November and December, but the fruit is occasionally damaged from early frosts.

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The way to Measure Glass for a Window

Fitting a fresh sheet of glass to an existing window frame depends mainly on cutting the glass to just the right size: too large and it wo not fit, too small and it will not fill the hole. The distance where the glass must fit is bigger than the hole you see, so simply quantifying across that hole will not get the job done. You also must determine the dimensions of the recess to which the glass fits, a measurement known as the “tight fit.”

Locate the outer borders of the glazing beading all over the frame. Glazing beading is that the strips of wood or plastic which overlap the edges of the glass and hold it from the window frame.

Determine the horizontal “tight fit” measurements by measuring the horizontal distance between the two outer borders of the beading on both sides of the window frame at the top and bottom of the frame. Record the dimensions as the bottom and top “tight-fit” values.

Determine the vertical “tight fit” measurements by measuring the vertical spaces between the bottom and top outer borders of the beading on the right and left borders of the frame. Again record the dimensions.

Deduct 1/4 inch from each of the recorded dimensions. For example, if the width throughout the top of the frame is 30 inches, bend 1/4 inch to create a new width of 29 3/4 inches. The adjusted measurements are the values to use for cutting the new sheet of glass. A 1/8 inch is deducted from each side of every dimension so that the cut glass is slightly smaller than the frame. This allows the frame to contract and expand without squeezing and fracturing the glass. Because 1/8 of an inch is removed from each side, the complete removed is 1/4 inch.

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How to Dry a Feather Pillow

Most down cushions withstand machine washing, even if the tag recommends dry cleaning. Drying is the priciest portion of maintaining feather pillows tidy. The feathers must dry completely or they clump together, mildew or fall apart. Feathers take several hours to dry because large heat may harm the down. Use pillow cases to decrease soiling of the cushions so they simply require washing after monthly.

Inspect the pillow for weak seams prior to washing. Reinforce damaged or weakened seams with new stitching, using a powerful upholstery thread.

Place up to 2 pillows in the dryer with 2 tennis balls. The tennis balls help fluff the pillows during drying, while also preventing the down from clumping and drying unevenly.

Dry the cushions on a low-heat gentle or delicate cycle for up to six hours or until the down is totally dry. Moist down is more prone to mildew.

Remove the cushions from your drier every 45 to 60 minutes and fluff them by hand whilst checking for dryness. Remove the cushions from the dryer immediately once they are totally dry.

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Flowers, Plants & Vegetables That Grow From a Bulb

All plants initially begin as seeds and several reproduce like that. Some, nevertheless, develop enlarged parts along their roots that contain sufficient energy and nutrients to produce new plants. Bulbs significantly reduce the growing time for gardeners who do not want to bother beginning particular types of plants in seed. More often than not, bulbs may be dug up and moved to a different area of the garden or stored for planting in subsequent decades.

Flower Bulbs

The daffodil (Narcissus spp.) Is only 1 kind of flower that is grown from spring coats. They are called spring bulbs, because that is usually when they bloom in areas that fall in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. Planted in the late autumn, the bulbs spend the chilly season in the earth putting down roots and also manufacturing the food they’ll use to feed the plants once they begin growing over the soil. When that occurs, the visible parts of the plants begin to process nutrients with help from the sun through photosynthesis. Plants categorized as spring bulbs comprise tulips (Tulipa spp.) , hyacinth (Hycinthus orientalis), grape hyacinth (Muscari), snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), anemones (Anemone spp.) and crocus (Crocus spp.) .

Flowering and Foliage Plants

Once spring bulbs have finished blooming, other plants grown from bulbs take over in the garden. All these are perennials that are left in the ground lawns but that should be dug up and separated should they become too congested or start generating less than satisfactorily. These include amaryllis (Hippeastrum spp.) and cyclamen (Cyclamen spp.) , which can also be grown as houseplants, irises (Iris spp.) , calla lilies (Zantedeschia) and dahlias (Dahlia spp.) Non-flowering plants grown from bulbs comprise caladium (Caladium spp.) And elephant ears (Colocasia), both of which create large impressive foliage plants. These bulb plants are hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9.


Onions, garlic and shallots are grown from bulbs. While they may be grown from seed, many gardeners prefer to speed up the process by beginning their plants in bulbs, which are smaller undeveloped types of their plants. Garlic intended for planting is sometimes obtained from the prior season’s harvest and stored until ready to go in the ground. Onions, grown from little undeveloped plants called places, can be increased as spring onions and harvested when the tops are mature or left in the ground to enlarge to storage size. Young shallot bulbs grow into segmented mature bulbs, and while fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is grown from seed, the plant develops into a bulb as it grows.


A flower bulb is composed of five main parts, as stated by the University of Illinois Extension. They comprise a basal plate in which roots develop and an outer covering called a tunic that covers the growing part of the bulb. Flowers like tulips (Tulipa spp.) , daffodils, (Narcissus) lilies (Lillium spp.) and alliums (Allium spp.) Produce new, smaller bulbs called bulbils or bulblets just over the basal plate and that eventually can become so many they choke the plant. Digging up and separating the smaller bulbs not only aid the parent plant but also provide more bulbs from which to develop new plants. Other types of plant origins that fall under the heading of bulbs include corms, which are smaller than accurate bulbs, tubers, tuberous roots and rhizomes. Plants that grow from corms comprise gladiolus (Gladiolus spp.) and crocus (Crocus spp.) . Plants that grow from tubers comprise oxalis (Oxalis crassipes) and anemones (Anemone spp.) . Begonias (Begonia spp.) and dahlias (Dahlia spp.) Grow from tuberous roots, lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) in rhizomes that grow horizontally just below the dirt, and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) Exemplify a perennial grown from fleshy roots.

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Plants at a Pond Ecosystem

Even in landscapes, small ponds make an ecosystem of their own, sustaining plants and creatures that wouldn’t thrive in the drier conditions of a conventional landscape. Various types of plants thrive in a pond environment and boast features that make them lovely additions to the landscape around a house.


Many types of flowers make their houses in or near ponds. The Santa Cruz water lily (Victoria cruziana), which resides in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 10, is one of the biggest, with floating lily pads that can reach 8 feet broad and 16-inch flowers that move from white to pink in a single evening. A smaller waterlily is the “Sunny Pink” (Nymphaea “Sunny Pink”), which creates lotus-like flowers in USDA zone 4 through 10 and pads that hit only 12 to 18 inches round. Beside the water, water-friendly plants such as the “Deutschland” astilbe (Astilbe x arendsii “Deutschland”), which grows in USDA zone 4 through 9, thrive from the always moist soil.


Nearby the water, trees provide shade to animals through the hottest part of the day and precious soil stability with their extensive root systems. Trees that live close lakes are adapted to additional wetness and comprise larger species such as the river birch (Betula nigra), which resides in USDA zone 4 through 9 and grows rapidly to 40 feet tall, and many smaller varieties such as the “Kilmarnock” willow (Salix caprea “Kilmarnock”), which resides in USDA zone 4 through 8 and grows only to about 8 feet tall.


When many shrubs favor drier soil conditions, some are adapted to the constant wetness of existence at the banks of a pond. The “Chirimen” marlberry (Ardisia japonica “Chirimen”) thrives in USDA zone 6 through 9 from the shaded areas near a pond, producing deep green leaves and white flowers in the summertime that give way to bright red berries in winter.


Close to the banks and even partly submerged, several species of grass thrive. “Sparkler” sedge (Carex phyllocephala “Sparkler”), which resides in USDA hardiness zone 7 through 10, grows in exploding clumps of cream-rimmed short green blades, while variegated Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii “Aurea-variegata”), which thrives in USDA zone 5 through 9, grows as tall as a foot, with mild green blades that hang lazily close to the water’s edge. Grasses such as the horsetail reed (Equisetum hyemale), which resides in USDA zone 3 through 11, can spend a lot of the time with their foundation under water while their long stalks shoot up to harvest energy from sunlight.

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How to Dry Wash a Comforter at Home

Store-bought dry cleaning kits make quick work of dry washing your comforter at home, but the stain therapy works best on spots that are hexagonal. You need a drier large enough to adequately accommodate your comforter; otherwise, a visit to the laundromat to use one of the commercial dryers is ideal. You’ll also need to pre-treat oil-based stains, like perspiration marks, with a homemade mixture.

Treating Stains

Apply the stain therapy product which came with your dry cleaning kit to some water-based stains or marks. For perspiration stains or other permeable discoloration, mixture dye- and fragrance-free dish soap with water and stir vigorously to produce lots of suds. Dip a white cloth in just the suds and dab at the stain before it lifts or lightens. Spritz the area with white distilled vinegar to neutralize the soap and then employ the dry cleaning kit’s stain remedy merchandise.

Employing the Kit

Place the comforter in the provided bag if it will match, if a bag came with the kit; a few kits work with no bag, particularly when dry cleaning larger things. Place the pre-moistened cloth from the bag or straight in the drier and place the drier to the atmosphere recommended by the manufacturer. Run the appliance for about 30 minutes, or according to package instructions, and then lay the comforter flat to dry; although it will not be soaking wet, it will come out damp in the steam.

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How to Get Nail Polish Off of a Finished Maple Wood Table

Nail polish remover is great for removing shine from the nails, but you should never use it in order to remove polish from a finished surface, such as a maple table. Though it may take longer, and the prospects for complete success aren’t too good, use denatured alcohol rather.

Soften the Navy With Alcohol

Nail polish is basically lacquer, which is more than likely the same finish that is on your table. Nail polish remover softens the finish along with the polish you’re trying to eliminate, and you are going to end up having to spot-finish or even completely refinish the table. Denatured alcohol will not emulsify nail polish or the finish on the table, but it will probably soften it enough to let you rub it off with 0000 steel wool.

Dab, Scrape or Rub the Spot Away

If the nail polish has not hardened yet, you should be able to eliminate it with a cloth, but remember the wax has probably softened the lacquer finish, so dab — do not wipe. If the polish has hardened, then scape off what you can with a pull scraper, being careful not to dig into the finish. Moisten steel wool with alcohol and rub with the grain of their timber. If you can not get out all of the color, you might need to sand it out with 150-grit sandpaper and touch up the repair with clear lacquer.

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What Can Be Grown in Loamy Sand?

The type of soil in your lawn determines how well you can develop plants and what types of plants will do best. Soils support plant roots and supply plants with oxygen, nutrients and water. How well they do that depends upon the dirt particle type and size. Sand is the largest particle, silt is clay and smaller particles are tiny. Loamy soils have a combination of three particle sizes, and sandy loam contains about 60 percent mud, 10 percent clay plus 30 percent silt. It’s good drainage and can develop many types of plants well, especially if it’s amended so it contains more organic thing.

Root Vegetables

Sandy loam has a good texture, without heavy clods of clay or accumulations of stone. This is the very best land for growing root plants where the roots require unobstructed, even dirt. Three commonly grown root vegetables prefer loamy sand. Carrots (Daucus carota) become Reducing or forked in heavier soils, and don’t grow well. The roots of beets (Beta vulgaris) won’t expand in clay soils. Beets are biennials which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Radishes (Raphanus sativus) prefer sandy loam or sandy soils. Onions (Allium cepa) grow well in sandy loam because they need good drainage and a non-compacted dirt which allows for bulb expansion.

Leafy Vegetables

Although lettuce (Lactuca sativa) may tolerate many different soil types, it grows best on a sandy loam that has been amended with organic matter. Sandy loam warms up more quickly in the spring than do heavier soils, therefore sandy loam is the best soil for early types of cabbage (Brassica oleracea). Later-maturing cabbage cultivars prefer a more moisture-retaining soil. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a shallow-rooted harvest that requires good drainage. It prefers sandy loam, which allows the more frequent watering required without building up excessive root humidity.

Other Vegetables

Rumors (Solanum lycopersicum) are heat-loving plants which get off to a good beginning in the garden if planted in loamy sand, which provides the good drainage and early higher temperatures that the plants require. As the plants gain dimensions and the weather warms, strawberries may require more water than plants on heavier soils. Rumors grow as perennials in USDA zones 8 through 11, but are usually treated as annuals. Additionally a plant tolerant of many soil types, peppers (Capsicum annuum), that develop in USDA zones 10 through 11 or as a yearly, prefer a well-draining loam or sandy loam.

Ornamental Plants

Drought-tolerant ornamental plants are adapted to withstand periods with low moisture once they are created. They require a loose, open ground texture their roots may quickly penetrate, such as sandy loam, and good drainage so that the roots don’t stay moist, which promotes root rot. A wide root system allows them to effectively harvest nutrients and water. Plants that thrive in sandy loam comprise “Panchito” manzanita (Arctostaphylos x coloradoensis), which rises in USDA zones 4b via 8b, and California lilac (Ceanothus spp.) . “Julia Phelps” California lilac (Ceanothus “Julia Phelps”), that will be hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10, bears abundant blue blooms in spring and early summer.

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