Thursday, November 20, 2014

Efficient ways to fight the fruit flies

Source: Google
No, you don't want this at home!
Fruit flies! Who doesn't know them? The little disgusting winged rascals that are infesting your kitchen and made you cry of shame when they appear in the soup of your special guest during what would have been a very romantic lunch...
The main issue with them is that they appear when you expect less and don't want to leave you any time soon. With a high rate of reproduction - 500 eggs at a time - get ready for the fight as soon as possible. Thus, the sooner you fight them, the better for your home sanity.

As usual, preventive steps can help a lot and here are some hints about what you can do before your private space is invaded by little nasty black flies:

- Check your fruit counters as often as possible. Avocados, onions and potatoes are the main source of flies. In general, any fruits or vegetables left outside the fridge for a long time might create flies so keep checking their counter as often as possible.

- Keep your house clean. It might be difficult if you have a steady job and a family and you also want some days out. But, try also to have at least 10 minutes the day for a basic cleaning of the kitchen especially. We are living in the modern world and everything can be done fast, thanks to advanced mops and cleaning substances. If you have a regular cleaning lady, things are getting much simpler. 

- Damp and unclean sinks also encourage the multiplication of flies. 

The flies are in! Many of them! What to do?

Here are a couple of ideas about what to do - except to leave your house for a long time - when you are about to cope with many many flies around your home - and especially food:

- If you haven't done yet, do a radical cleaning of the house: those lost dirty corners, the spots of juice, the old bottles and glasses of red sweet wine, the mountains of laundry that you simply forgot about to get rid of weeks ago. Clean the recycle bins, sinks and rooms of the children. Check the bags and get rid of the old bottles. You might need some extra hours of work, but this is the price to pay when you don't do too much prevention work in the kitchen...I went through that too...

- Keep all the fruits and vegetables - and food in general - covered and preferably in the fridge. Don't leave any juice and glasses with liquids unattended, especially during the night.~

- Wash all the dishes immediately. The more you leave them in the sink, the more the flies will be delighted. And you don't want to please them, isn't it?

- Take your trash daily.

- Change the mops, dishrags and sponges. The dirt accumulated is a medium of multiplication for the little beasts. 

-  There are a lot of products on the market that can help you to kill them in numbers, and each country do have its own. Peppermint extract and aerosol insecticides are the most frequent. Ask your local drugstore specialist about the best ones.

- You can also produce your own lemon grass spray, based on lemon grass essential oil and hot water, by using spray bottle to dispense it.

- The most frequent remedy mentioned is the vinegar trap: Add at cup of vinegar apple - preferably heated - in a bowl. They will not resist the call and it is the end of them. Some also add a ripped fruit in a jar, covered by a paper cone through which the flies will hurry up to go one by one to their death. 

- Another trap recipe might include: sugar, honey syrup and a rotting fruit. It seems it will attract them similarly with the other traps. 

Now, time to get back in the kitchen and fight the flies for good! Good luck with that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Presents for friends: Jewellery and a special box

Every time I should buy a present for a friend, I cope with the same question: what will it be the best idea? Especially when it is one of my girlfriends, there is quite a big problem to find something she will really enjoy, because in most cases, they are persons having a lot of nice things and makeup and almost everything you can dream about. So, the question will be to make a very special present, eventually something made by my humble own hands. 
As I am working a lot of DIY projects lately, I spent some good time at the IDEE shop trying to figure out what I am about to do. I set up for making up a box, with some mosaique tiles - mirror like, two sizes. The box looked very poor, calling for a dramatic redo. Although the small mosaique tiles can glue themselves, you better buy a wood glue too - actually, it was the most expensive item from the basket, around 5 EUR. The whole price for the entire shopping was around 8 Euro. As I do have water colours at home, further investment was not needed. 
The remaking of the box was slow - around 2 hrs.30. I was trying to be very careful to the small details, keeping the tiles clean - the best is to try to fix some dirt on the spot and do some more serious cleaning at the end of the project. 
I tried to be as creative as possible, but also to keep in mind the need to cover as much as possible from the wooden part. To be honest, maybe it was better just to paint the wood blue before applying the tiles, but this will be the lesson learned for the next time.
The blue interior looks really better, not only because I am a fan of the blue colour. For the tiles and for the colours, some waiting time is needed before everything is fixed and dried up.
Looking from all part of the box, everything was nice at the end, and I was very excited to finish my first complicated DIY project in a long while.
Now, it was about time to create some surprises in the box, using one of the kits made by Rico Design. Guidance for creating the pieces of jewellery are provided online and thus, if you are out of imagination - not my case - you can simply use the models recommended by them. In my case, I tried to be a little bit more creative and although I followed some technical steps, I preferred to make my own models.
 The jewellery creation process did not took too much time - around 1 hour of quiet work. As in the case of writing, I love how things are well put together out of very small little pieces.

Sometimes, the results can be beautiful but even more beautiful is the feeling of doing things with your own hand. Plus, making other people happy too!

A very simple DIY project: colouring the owl

Although I keep learning about cooking and food, and even took an awesome class of food writing lately - more details as soon as possible - I am glad to be back to one of my oldest hobbies: DIY projects. As a kid, I learned a lot of very useful women skills: from tailoring to knitting, and how to make my own jewellery. By growing up, I gave up such hobbies, more focused to make my way through complicated schools and sophisticated exams. After all, with my education I am supposed to pay other people to do a lot of things for me, from cooking to jewellery. 
However, a couple of weeks ago, while entering the Idee shop, I discover that it's never enough to feel creative and free again and since then, I keep working a lot - since the silence on the blog and on social media - learning again - how to work with metals, objects and colours.
This funny bag, ready made from Tiger and coloured by me, is just a small distraction from a generous sea of many projects in the making right now.  
I bought and finished it having in mind the daughter of a friend of mine who is quite a little lady. It took me less than 15 quiet minutes to finish it. All I had to do was to coloured the white shapes with the textile proof colours. The result is great and can't wait to keep working more projects of this kind.