Fall is here and that means we are itching to get some projects done both inside and outside the house before the weather changes.  We are even doing some stories to show you what to look for when you are checking out your home.  Donít worry, we still will have some great recipes and a couple of design tips for you too!


Kid Proof Carpet

The 2 toughest things on your carpet are kids and pets.  To learn about some of the newest and toughest carpets we stopped by Paulsonís Floor Coverings (503-620-7080).  Tyler Paulson told Robin about the newest fabrics that are out on the market.  He told us that most carpets have some kind of stain resistant protection but they donít cover the toughest stains like bleaches, blood and wine.  There is a new product called Sorona fiber by Mohawk Carpets.  In fact, to test it they put it in a pen with a live rhino for 2 weeks and then went in and cleaned it!  It bounced back beautifully!  Next we took a look at the latest in kidís carpets from Disney.   You can get patterns that feature a bunch of different Disney characters.  You can get Hannah Montana, Disney fairies and an assortment of princesses.  For the boy you can get Winnie the Pooh, Cars and Toy Story.  If you have a small Disney fan you need to stop by Paulsonís!

Placemat Pillows

Our friend Linda Gemal from Rejuvenate Your Home (503-803-8000) showed us a cute little project she has done with placemats she found at her local store.  She discovered a placement that had tassels and she thought it would make great pillow for the holidays.  It was a double sided placemat and she used a seam ripper (or a scissors) to open the seam at one end.  Then she used poly-fill to fill the space in between and then just stitch the small seam shut. Not only do you get a cheap pillow, but you can match it to your table-setting!


Preserving Your Shades

You have your beautiful new lamp shade and it is covered in plastic.  It is well preserved and safe, right?  Wrong! Bea Searles from Naomiís Lampshades (503-636-1884) in Lake Grove joined Robin to show us how to preserve your shades and extend their life.  Leaving the plastic on your lampshade can shorten the life of the shade by holding in the heat and causing it to fade faster.  Most shades will also have better color if uncovered.  If you need to clean your lampshade Bea recommends that you use a soft bristle brush and not your vacuum.  A vacuum will sometimes transfer the dust and dirt from other area to your shade.  You can also use a soft clean cloth to whip the dust away.  It is the dust that ends up destroying your shade.   Heat is another thing that will destroy your shades.  Remember to use the correct wattage of bulbs in your lamps.  Most lamps are designed for a certain type of bulb and using the wrong bulb can ruin your shade and even create a fire danger with your lamp.  If you have any questions about lamps or shades you can always call Naomiís.

Northwest Cioppino

The Northwest is known for lots of things; beautiful outdoor scenery, clean air and fresh and tasty produce.  We stopped by the Stone Cliff Inn (503-631-7900) and met with Chef James Keeney to learn how he uses some great local ingredients (including seafood) to make a cioppino with a Northwest twist.  This recipe has a little bit of prep before you fire up the stove.  You will want to cut up your vegetables, clean your seafood and organize your ingredients first.  Once you have everything ready it will only take about 10 minutes to cook everything.  To see how quickly it can go together check out the video.  If you donít want to tackle this recipe (or you want to compare your recipe) feel free to stop at the scenic Stone Cliff Inn.  Once you are there, see if you can recognize the scenes at the restaurant that appeared in the recent ĎTwilightí movie.  Even one of their employees appeared in the movie (see if you can guess who the star is!).  You can find Stone Cliff Inn along with many other great local restaurants at DOITNW.com.

Cutting a Potato

If you are looking to make fresh cut potatoes you may have run into a problem with slicing due to the round shape of it.  Chef David showed us how easy it is to cut once you know a few tricks.  First, cut of a small slice on one side.  This will allow you to have a flat surface on one side and it becomes more stable to slice.  From here you can make scalloped potatoes by cutting off rounds, or you can slice long planks that can then be sliced into long French (or steak) fries.  Then you can also cut these down even more by dicing them for a southern style hashbrown! 

Fixing a Leaky Toilet

If your water bill is a little bigger than usual it could be a signal that there is a leak in your home somewhere and one of the most common locations for a leak is your toilet.  We took a couple of minutes to show you how to find and replace possible leaking parts to your toilet.  First, we turned off the water and flushed the toilet to get the water out of the tank so we could work better.  We then checked the flapper.  This is the part that stops the water from draining into the lower bowl.  If you notice flaky pieces, worn edges or cracks you will want to replace this piece.  Take the old piece with you to the hardware store so you can get the right size replacement part.  Next we showed you how to replace the flush valve assembly.  This is the part that has a float attached to it.  Sometime the seals wear out and the valve will leak.  Before removing the valve we got a bucket a couple of towels, a wrench and a mirror.  We placed the bucket under the valve and unscrewed the valve from the tank.  This is where you use the mirror to see the underside of the tank to loosen the valve nut.  Once we removed the valve assembly we took it to the hardware store to make sure our replacement valve is the same size. To install the new valve we just reversed the steps we used to remove it.  It looks like we fixed the leak, but we will check the toilet in a couple of weeks to make sure there is no other problems.  For more water saving tips we recommend contacting the Regional Water Providers Consortium (503-823-7528).  

Painting your Front Door

Sometime a small change can make a big statement.  We found this to be true with something as simple as painting your front door.  Changing the color to something striking, like the color red, can make a huge transformation to your home.  To get started you first have to clean the old door.  Robin used a product called TSP, which cleans and de-glosses your door.  That will help the new paint stick to the old stuff.  You also want to clean the door to get rid of any mold or mildew that could cause problems down the road.  Next came the primer.  This is a base coat of paint that creates a good foundation for your final color.  Always start from the inside of door and work toward the edges to help you pick up any drips that may occur.  After the primer dries we are ready for our final color.  If it is something strikingly different it will probably require 2 coats of paint, but once you are finished you will have something that will really stand out!

Check Your Roof

With the cold wet days of winter approaching it is a good time to get up on your roof to make sure you can avoid future problems.  Mike Satran of Interstate Roofing (503-684-5611) took us up on a roof to show us some of the things a homeowner should look for.  First of all check for nails that may be exposed, they could mark the point where a small leak could start.  You also want to check the flashing and seals around your chimney and skylights.  You should also check the grout on your chimney to make sure that it is intact and not chipped or broken off.  Next we moved to an overhanging tree.  This is a problem because the branches have rubbed the shingles off in places and even started to wear a hole in the roof.  An arborist may need to be called if the job is too big or requires some big cutting (you donít want to carry a chainsaw up there yourself).  Finally we checked out the flat roofs and talked about what to look for up there like pooling water, plugged drains and damaged skylights.  Of course, if you get in Ďover your headí you can always call the experts at Interstate Roofing.



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This page last modified
March 06, 2010.