Tuesday, October 22, 2013


On Tuesday I will feature an item that I like to have in my “arsenal.”  It might be a craft item, something for sewing, a needed item for household arts or my latest kitchen gadget.  In a recent post I featured the wonderful onion chopper, that is the sort of thing I will feature, tell you where you can find it and why I think it is a good item. It will usually be something that I don’t want to be without or run out of just when I need it for a project, a meal, for entertaining or to give to a guest.

String, twine, & cord, all pretty mundane items but indispensable for household, craft and other uses. I am going to show my age here but when I was growing up string was ubiquitous – it was everywhere. Go to the meat counter in the grocery store and your packages were wrapped in heavy paper and, tied with string and had the name of your item written in grease pencil. There were dry cleaning trucks that ran around town (or in my case out in the country) and would leave bundles of laundry (freshly starched sheets and pillow cases) in big bundles wrapped in paper and tied with string. If you were wrapping a package for mailing you would wrap in Kraft paper and tie with string, very environmentally friendly, nothing for landfills here, all biodegradable.

As you can see from the photo above I keep several types of string, twine & cord in my craft room, where I can easily access them. Contained on these spools several colors of waxed linen cord, cotton string, jute, cotton blend string and lastly the two small rolls are not really string but linen ribbon on spools.

Jute is just an all around item to have and can be great for general household use as well as weaving and macramé (yes, it is still around).

The waxed linen is a particular favorite for paper crafts. I just made (7) Halloween garlands and each had (31) small paper items (that had been designed, printed out and cut) and (5) larger items that had embellishments on them - all very time consuming, the last thing I wanted was to punch a hole in the paper, and then when I attached to the garland itself, have it tear.  Using the waxed linen not a single paper tore.
Other uses for waxed linen are for jewelry, as necklace cord, can be braided, sew leather, the basket makers use waxed linen and also used for beading.

Cotton string is not just for tying up your Christmas goose, turkey or that roasted chicken. It is a great thing to use if you need to get into an odd spot for cleaning silver or other hard to clean items.  To get your silverware looking good, run a length of string through some silver polish and use it to get at those hard-to-reach spots between fork tines. Do the same with other cleaners and hard to get to areas. When wrapping packages for mailing, take a second to make it easier for the recipient to open. Place a piece of string along the center and side seams before you tape, allowing a tiny bit to hang free at one end. That way, the recipient just needs to pull the strings to sever the tape without resorting to sharp blades that might damage delicate contents. Do the same for packing boxes when you move. When measuring something odd shape and you don't have a cloth measure handy Wrap a plain piece of string around the item instead, then hold it up to a ruler to get the measurement you need. Is a slamming door getting on your nerves? Here are two ideas for using string to control the way a door closes: A piece of light twine tied to both sides of a knob and running around the door edge provides just enough friction to slow it down and prevent a loud slam when it shuts. Use thicker rope the same way to temporarily prop open a door that automatically locks when it closes or to make sure pets don’t get trapped in one room of the house.

The linen ribbon can be used as a rustic ribbon or is great when making cards and other craft items because you can print out a name, graphic, etc. on iron-on paper on your computer and then personalize the ribbon.


Wooden Yarn Spools - You can find them on Ebay, Etsy & Antique Stores
Waxed Linen - available at craft stores, I purchase mine on Ebay because of good color selection
Cotton String - craft, hardware & grocery stores ($ store too)
Large Wooden Spool w/scissors is available at the Urban Cottage, here is the link:
Chicken wire cage with yarn -  Sorry, I was unable to find this item.
Linen Ribbon - the linen ribbon is available at the Antique Farm House, here is the link: http://www.antiquefarmhouse.com/past/ribbon-boutique/linen-ribbon-with-wooden-spool-misty-grey-set-of-2.html

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