• Do you knit or crochet? Does the yarn get tangled or unruly? Consider putting the yarn in a kitchen colander and stringing the yarn through the little holes. You can have several colors going at the same time because there are so many little holes in those colanders.
• Since spring is (we hope) just around the corner, thoughts of outdoor barbeques are dancing in people’s heads. Get bandanas for napkins. Wrap the silverware in the bandanas and you’ll have a colorful, outdoorsy look for your guests.
Walking on porcelain
Porcelain flooring that looks like wood or stone is coming on strong. Improvements in the manufacturing process offer a more natural, varied appearance compared with the sameness of pieces from the past.
“There is no maintenance on porcelain,” said Mai Williams, design gallery manager in Santa Ana, Calif. “You install it, and that puppy is done. With the porcelain you’ve got the look of (wood or stone), but you can wreck it. You can throw plates on it.”
She noted that house flippers especially like porcelain, which is cheaper than wood. “They want to differentiate themselves from the other beige house that someone else just did. They’re going for more design, but at a lesser price point.”
How to clean coffee mugs
To remove coffee stains from ceramic coffee mugs, Sara Vestal, a china and crystal restoration expert with Replacements Ltd., recommends mixing equal parts dishwasher detergent and hot water and applying it to the stains. Let it soak 10 minutes, then rinse.
If that doesn’t work, she suggests trying Polident denture cleaning tablets. Fill each cup with water, drop in a tablet and let soak.
Other cleaning experts recommend a mixture of lemon juice and salt for removing coffee stains. Apply it with a sponge, rub and rinse.