Small tears and frayed ends are easy repairs, thanks to Nicole Vasbinder’s guide to machine sewing and hand-stitching.
“Super Stitches Sewing” (Potter Craft/Crown Publishing Group, $19.99) includes 50 machine sewing stitches and 20 hand stitches; each stitch has step-by-step instructions and a sidebar explaining its common uses and recommended thread and needle type.
New sewers can learn the proper way to thread a needle or learn how to use a machine with Vasbinder’s guidance, while experienced sewers can learn new techniques.
Because Vasbinder teaches classes, her book focuses on the practical applications of sewing.
McClatchy News Service
5 things to throw away
AARP, which knows old, is offering suggestions on the five old things you need to throw away during your cleaning exercises this year.
Piled-up plastic containers. Years-old plastics can leak harmful chemicals into food. Recycle them and buy a new set.
Expired canned food. It doesn’t last forever. Vegetables and fruit expire in slightly more than 18 months.
Moldy makeup. After a year, makeup should be replaced because of bacteria buildup that could cause infections.
Old dried spices. After five years, most spices lose flavor, so dumping more on won’t help. It won’t make you sick, but for more flavorful food, get some new spices.
Pathetic pillows. Pillows older than 18 months contain fungi, dead skin, and dust mites that can aggravate allergies, asthma, and sinusitis. Try this: Fold your pillow in half and squeeze out the air. If it doesn’t spring back, it’s too old.
From Apartment Guide, some tips for keeping clutter in check:
If you haven’t worn that piece of clothing in a full calendar year, chances are that you won’t. Give away the clothing you haven’t worn so you can clear out space for those pieces that you do.
Don’t be afraid to rethink your entire closet/storage space layout. It may seem overwhelming starting from square one, but oftentimes a full reorganization and layout upheaval can yield big results, and you may find space where you least expect it.