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Do It Yourself

To discuss any of these business idea, contact Randal Watkins.  Randal has been in business for himself full-time since 1988 and has had experience with business at home, in office space, in a retail store, and online since 1999.  Call toll-free: 1-866-580-3226 

Nature’s Sunshine Products
Herbs, supplements, weight loss, nutritional beverages, hair and skin care, water purifiers, and cookware.  The absolute best marketing plan.  Replicator websites available for online business.

Home Spa Party Plan
Home parties promoting essential oils to make your own bath, beauty and household cleaning products. 

Flint River Ranch Pet Foods
Oven-baked natural pet foods, bones, and treats.  Pet Force for odors and stains is a big seller.  No replicator websites available at this time.

Health is more than just eating right and exercising. Trilogy provides an array of superior quality, safe and effective products that are inspired by nature, informed by science and born of a commitment to improving the health of people, pets and the planet.

Are You Functionally Frugal?

It is very easy to be frugal but are you "functionally frugal"? Let me explain, by giving a real-life example.

Recently, I needed to repair the headboard in our bedroom. Previously, I had two screws with washers holding the headboard to the bed frame. The washers acted as a barrier to prevent the screw from slipping through the bedframe slots. Over time, the washers had bent and they were now going through the slot in the bedframe and soon the screw would be sliding through too. Consequently, this wasn’t working anymore.

Now I am frugal as much as most of you. So instead of buying what I needed I went to the garage and found the pieces necessary to affect the fix. All of that is well and good and like most of you, no big deal!

However, I was "functionally frugal" because I could find what I needed. Now I am not the most organized person, Just ask my wife! The reason I became functionally frugal is because of my wife.

This came about because my wife kept asking me over the years when I wanted to save an item "will you be able to find it?" Like most DIY’ers we all think that has to be ridiculous to even consider. However, over the years I started to notice that I was buying things at the hardware store that I already had. After 4-5 times, of purchasing something I already owned, I began to think her question wasn’t off the track that much after all.

So now when I am thinking should I keep this item, I now ask a question "will you be able to find it?" Most answers are coming up a Big Fat No! So I just trash the items. Case in point, I had a shoe string that wasn’t broken and thought I might need this some time. But when I asked the question "will you be able to find it" I knew the answer was No, so I trashed it.

Now back to the bedframe fix, I was able to find the screws and the oversized washers because I had separated out this big container of excess screws and washers a year or so back. Once they were separated I organized them in the garage and marked them well too. This was an example of being "functionally frugal" simply because I could retrieve the item when it was needed.

To be frugal is one thing but to be "functionally frugal" is even better.


Covering A Couch

Q.      I have a reclining couch and loveseat that are only four years new and the material has worn away… three young children and an old golden retriever. Besides using a throw to cover the holes what can I do?  Leslie, W

Recovering chair and couch–use the canvas sold for drop cloths as very inexpensive material. Dye it if you want to. You can make a simple throw to completely cover them or actually make slip covers. Your library will have books on how to make slip covers. If you have children, I suggest making a simple cover you can easily take on and off for washing. Be sure to preshrink your material.

The most interesting recovered chair I’ve seen was in the home of two quilt artists. They had a crazy quilt  chair. Apparently, it was begun with a patch over the first hole, hand-sewn to the chair with one of those semi-circular upholstery needles. Then another patch was added as needed or as wanted until the entire chair was recovered like a crazy quilt. For a piece of furniture receiving the hard use like the sofa mentioned by the reader, I would use very sturdy long lasting canvases & denims. You can make the color scheme as varied as you wish.  A variation on this is simply to get enough fabric to cover the entire item, and sew it on piece by piece. Lay the fabric on and sew it directly to the sofa, turning under the raw edges as necessary.

Many areas have vocational schools that teach upholstery and will reupholster your furniture at a nominal cost. The drawback is that you have to wait for their availability to do it, but if you can wait, this is the way to go. It comes back looking professionally done.  Marge N.

Christmas Cards – Don’t Trash or Stash Them

by Donna Watkins

I thought I’d share a Holiday Tradition that makes Christmas cards "last"much longer than just for the month of December. It takes away the guilt of just tossing them in the trash……and takes away the clutter of putting them away.

As the cards arrive in the mail, we sit them around the house as they come in so we can be reminded of the many friends we have been blessed with. After Christmas Day we gather them up and put them in a basket and schedule a time to pray over each person and family that sent them. It’s a special time to slip into lives in a way that will bless them for the year to come — and possibly for eternity.

When our son was little and life was a bit more hectic, we would place them on the kitchen table in a basket or napkin holder and each of us would draw one to pray for before we ate each meal.

After we’ve prayed, we cut the covers of the cards into 4×6" postcards and write thank-you’s on them. You can use the left side for the message, draw a line to the right of it, and then write the address and use a 20-cent stamp. This saves 12 cents plus the cost of note cards – and you "save a tree."

A postcard gives just enough space to say thank you and makes the task quick and fun. It isn’t as intimidating for children as a note card sometimes is with all of its blank space to fill in, and it teaches children an important character quality: gratefulness.

Read more of Donna’s articles

Help With a Bathroom Vanity

Q . I need a way to refinish a cultured marble bathroom vanity?

I’m buying another house that needs a complete remodeling.  I don’t mind replacing some of the vanity tops but not all if I can avoid that since I’m trying to bring the remodeling in within my budget.  These vanities are unsightly because of cigarette burns on them.  One is crazed in the sink where the drain is.  Can anything be done to refinish these without turning to a professional refurbisher?  Joan

A.  The only way to refurbish cultured marble is to sand down the top. This must be done with at least with a belt sander.  You can not just sand the affected area.  The whole top must be sanded to the same depth. Constantly check results with a straight edge.   

A.  The problems around the drain can only be solved with a new drainpipe that has an inner ring larger than the affected area.   If you can find this then fill the damage with auto body putty. Make sure that the sink bottom ring is sealed with a high quality sink and tub sealant and a rubber washer or it will leak after some use.  This is all a lot of work, but if you are intent on saving the cultured marble it may be worth your time.   If not then purchase new or find used tops that will work for your vanity dimensions  good luck!  Michael

A.  This is for the reader who wants to re-finish her vanity tops. I used a product called "Klenk’s", which I purchased at the Home Depot. It is an epoxy product, so there are two liquids to mix together, let set, then apply. AND, you can even ask the home improvement center to tint the base liquid (although the manufacturer suggests pastel colors only).  Read the directions, then follow every step exactly. Make sure to use a tack cloth after sanding – if you don’t sand, then "tack", the mixture will not adhere. I used Post-Its to mark off a grid on my vanities and shower floor, then sanded each grid (at night after work), or one or two grids.  Using a low adhesive marker, instead of masking or other types of tape, meant less sanding over the grid marks.  The box costs less than $20 and you should have enough to refinish several vanities. Oh, don’t worry about the first coat if it looks a little streaky- the second coat makes a huge difference. For the shower floor, I used two coats. Cora

Need A Specialty Wrench?

Don’t have the specialty wrench you need? No problem, you can still tighten or remove a specialty (Allen-head, Star or Square) head screw; just try different sizes of plain screwdrivers until you find one that will turn the screwhead.

You will need to wedge the standard screwdriver in the recessed openings of the screw heads. Or, if the screw is protruding above the work surface you can remove it using 1 of 2 methods:

1. Grip the head of the screw with a pair of locking-grip pliers to loosen.
2. Use a hacksaw to cut a slot in the top; then use a standard screwdriver to tighten or remove it.

Please note: please try these methods in order, gripping the head after a slot has been cut may weaken the head causing it to crumble.

Before the cutscrewheadAfter the cut screwhead with cut