Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sun Solution


Seeds after three days in the cold frame.

I promised last week to update you as to the success of the cold frames. You might remember, I planted seeds on Wednesday, as chronicled in my It's A Cold Cold World post: http://mandalineartfulliving.blogspot.com/2014/08/its-cold-cold-world.html. It turns out the cold frames are super successful seed incubators; as you can see in the photos above, the seeds were sprouting within three days! The intense heat and humidity created when the frames are closed seems to be the perfect environment for seeds.

After my husband came home the other day he decided it would be better to have one frame against the deck railing, across from the fence I pictured in the other post, so the tall plants could climb up the rails. I carefully moved the sprouted cucumbers and peas to the deck frame, and I was amazed with the root systems they already had. I picked up some cabbage transplants at the store, since they won't have them anymore when it's really cool enough to plant cabbages, and put those in the frame that had formerly housed the cucumbers. Of course, the temperature shot up to the mid-90s and incinerated them. Luckily I'd only put a few out. The rest are being babied under the patio umbrella so I can plant them when the weather returns to normal. My lettuce seeds sprouted but aren't as happy in the extreme heat as the cucumbers, so I am venting that frame by placing a rock on the edge to hold it partially open.


10% benzoyl peroxide cream

I decided if the weather is going to be unseasonably hot I might as well use it to my advantage. I have a big pile of stained dolls in my office. One method of removing these stains is to apply 10% benzoyl peroxide acne cream to the marks and let them sit in bright light. This can take days or weeks, but it will lighten most stains. I read a tip on the Prilly Charmin blog to add oil to the mix with the cream. This is supposed to intensify the bleaching action. It didn't specify what type of oil, however, so I tried canola oil. One doll bleached up pretty fast, which made me happy. She's a very rare type 3 Lori Ann doll, by Nancy Ann Storybook. She had black marks all over her torso. These faded to very faint gray, so I feel like I can get her ready to list. Lori Ann type three dolls, which are straight leg and all vinyl, are hard to find as it is, but this one also has long hair. Most of these dolls had a page boy cut, so her hair makes her even more special. Watch for her in my store, coming soon: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.


Dolls bleaching in the sun.

Besides wanting to move my cold frames, my husband wanted to go ahead and complete the garden path. I was gathering stone to put a path in when the weather cools off, but he and the kids went out and finished it. It looks fabulous. I would probably have left it in the first stage I show here.

The garden path in progress.


They went all out and dug in a metal frame and filled the path in with gravel between the stones. It looks beautiful and makes it much easier to get my wheelbarrow over the path. I already tried it out! The rest of the yard looks pretty shabby in comparison now, so I guess I know what I'll be doing if I ever finish all these marching band cloaks!

The path with gravel.

The sun is great for bleaching spots from fabric as well as plastic and vinyl, so besides placing the dolls and seeds in the sun I cleaned a bunch of vintage doll clothes and set them out to dry in the sun this weekend too. This lot, which I'm still in the process of listing, dates from the 1950s to the 1990s and includes many sizes, from small baby doll sizes to fashion dolls like Revlon. Make sure to check my store for those as well: http://stores.ebay.com/atelier-mandaline.

1950s wedding dress for 18 inch fashion dolls

10-12 inch baby doll coat and hat, made in Japan

Pleasant Company American Girl clothes from the 1990s

I hope you are able to have some fun in the sun this week as well!

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