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Shoebox: Scrubber, Painted Gourds

Carol Duvall reaches into the Shoebox and pulls out a lesson for a crafty scrubber and photos of beautifully painted gourds.

We started off the Shoebox segment today with a real blast from the past as sent in by Rita Urbaniak of Peoria, Ill. Rita reminisced about some of the craft projects that she and her sister used to enjoy making together — the crepe paper roses, tissue carnations, the bird cages made with a foam disc and chenille stems. But the item she sent in was a scrubber — a nylon net scrubber made on the handle of a gallon milk carton. Oh my how I remember those! Rita made hers differently than I did but the end result was the same and I do remember what wonderful scrubbers they were.

Scrubber

1. Cut the handle off of a one gallon plastic milk carton. Leave enough plastic around the handle (about one inch) to be able to punch two rows of 1/4-inch holes.

2. Punch the holes using an ordinary hole punch. Rita put two rows of four holes across the front and back of the handle and a double row of eight holes down each side.

3. Purchase about 1/4 yard of nylon netting. It comes in 72-inch widths so a little goes a long way. Fold the netting to make it easier to work with then cut several three-inch wide strips.

4. Cut the strips into 14-inch lengths.

5. Take one strip at time, fold it in half crossways and gather down the middle.

6. Twist one end as tightly as necessary to force it through one of the holes. Pull it half way through then twist the end again and fold it through the second hole in the set. Continue all the way around the handle.

The resulting scrubber is quite wonderful. Used dry, it's great for brushing off cat and dog hairs, lint, loose threads (if you are a sewer) and more. Wet, it is wonderful for scrubbing everything from the bathtub to the car to fine china and crystal — whatever. They really do work!

Gourd Art

Way at the other end of the time capsule were the photographs of the work that Stephanie Witte of Springfield, Mo., does. Stephanie is a gourd artist and she mentioned that often when she tells folks that she paints gourds, she can almost see their eyes glaze over as they visualize birdhouses and the like. Far from it. There is no way I can describe the wonderfully colorful creations that Stephanie does but there is a gallery (Stephanie says it is rather avant-garde) in Springfield that carries her work.

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