By Suzanne Sparrow Watson
I hope you’ve all recovered from my brother’s trip to Italy. It sounds like it was truly the trip of a lifetime and I’m so glad we could go with him on the journey. I had hoped to take you along this week on our trip to Mammoth Lakes but, alas, my husband had a small procedure on his calf that prevented us from going. So, the picture you see here is from our trip a few years ago just so you can see what you’re missing. Actually, I was okay with cancelling our trip since I’m still on a mission to re-do every room in the house. I have entertained myself this whole, long, hot summer by buying things and moving furniture around. Neither Dash the Wonder Dog nor my husband are quite as entertained by this as I have been, what with their stumbling into things in the night and having to sniff out new napping spots. I let you guess which one is doing what.
In any event, all my staying home and working on the house these past few months has produced some “Aha!” moments that I thought I’d pass along. After all, we here at A Bird’s Eye View pride ourselves in providing lots of useless information just to add more clutter to everyone’s already overloaded memory. The first product I found this summer is a game-changer for anyone who loves to hang, and then re-hang, pictures. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to get some great shots of our trip to Sun Valley and decided to blow about 10 of them up into canvas prints. I also have a little room we use as a library where I had hung numerous family photos. In my frenzy this summer I decided everything needed a new home but that left me with lots of little holes in walls. I know, I could use Command strips but I once had a picture fall from one and ruin a baseboard so I’m not a fan. Enter a little miracle worker – 3M Patch Plus Primer 4-in-1.
The four components of it are: spackle, primer, putty knife and sander. YES!! All in one tube. You simply put a drop cloth down in case you’re a klutz like me, squeeze the tube to place a little of the spackle/primer in the nail hole, smooth it with the other end of the tube which is creatively fashioned like a putty knife, let it dry for a few minutes and then sand it with the end of the tube cap (which is covered with sand paper). I was nervous the first time I tried it, but by the third hole I was walking around the house looking for things to spackle. I repaired nicks in baseboards (see above comment about Command strips) and dents in door moldings. It was like crack cocaine – nothing escaped my 4-in-1. Then I broke out the paint cans and touched up when I’d spackled and – voila! – good as new. It so far exceeded my expectations and was so simple to use that it made we wonder why more companies don’t come up with great products like this. I’m thinking maybe the painter’s union wouldn’t like this because it certainly cuts into the amount of times you have to call in the reinforcements for nail holes.
The second product I found this summer is the Rock Doctor Cleaner and Polisher for natural stone . I think I’ve mentioned that we had a travertine dining table sanded and resealed a couple of months ago so while I had the guy here I asked about doing my granite counter tops. He told me he wouldn’t take my money (already I liked this guy) and referred me to the Rock Doctor brand of products. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s carries it so it’s easily available. I’ve been using it ever since and my countertops are as good as when they were new. Ironically, you have to wipe down the counter before you use the cleaner, which to me is a bit like cleaning before the cleaning person comes, but I guess it’s to eliminate anything that might scratch the surface. The Polisher sprays on like car wax and then you buff it in the same way – brings back memories of when I used to keep my car in better condition.
Anyway, those are my handy tips from the summer. It’s not Italy. Shoot – it’s not even Mammoth Lakes. But I can guarantee that you won’t have holes in your walls or dull stone and that’s worth something!