Vintage conservation

Dear Readers: Any chance I get, I like to pass on valuable information I receive concerning certain topics I’ve addressed. Such is the case with this letter.

A reader wrote: “Your column is a great source of helpful hints for do-it-yourself repairs and cleaning. As a custom picture framer, over the years I have seen many VINTAGE PIECES of needlework with condition issues. Many stains can be removed or minimized, but I always recommend taking the problem to a professional.

“The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, http://www.conservation-us.org, will assist in finding an appropriate and reliable conservator in any vicinity, for any kind of textiles or artwork.”

— Taffy M., Vienna, Va.

Readers, I checked out this website, and right there on the home page is a tab labeled “Find a Conservator.” If you have something of great value, this is a good place to start. — Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE

Email: Heloise(at)Heloise.com

Rest-stop information

Dear Heloise: When recently traveling with my dog halfway across the U.S., I noticed that some highway signs indicated how many miles to the next rest stop, but many did not. It would be very helpful to travelers to have this information available on highway signs placed periodically along the way.

— Carol M., via email

Sticky pens and pencils

Dear Heloise: I use pens and pencils in my work and prefer the kind where the barrel has some kind of wrap-around rubber for comfort and grip. Not sure why, but after a while, the rubber becomes sticky and gross, especially if not used for a while.

One particular favorite got like that, so I took a clean tissue and pumped some hand sanitizer onto it. I then rubbed the grip with the sanitizer, and it fixed the sticky, nasty problem.

It also worked on my pricey mechanical black pencils, which were a disappointment because the rubber barrel got sticky rather quickly!

— Audra A. in San Antonio

Crochet solution

Dear Heloise: I like to crochet, and I recently worked on a project that required multiple skeins throughout. I would have to drop one yarn and pick up another, over and over again. Immediately after starting the project, I had the most difficult time keeping the yarns from tangling and knotting up. I almost gave up, I was so frustrated.

Then this idea came to me: I went to the local retail store and purchased a small laundry basket with multiple holes. I brought it home, placed all the skeins inside it, pulled each yarn through a different hole in the basket and started all over.

Voila — problem solved! The yarns stayed in place and separate throughout the entire project.

— Bailey H., via email

Cushion fruits and veggies

Dear Heloise: As an added protection against bruising my fruits and vegetables, I line whatever I place them in with a layer of plastic containing trapped air bubbles.

I cut it to the size and shape that I need before placing my fruits and veggies on it. Works great!

— Carla, via email