Two ways to get a knot out of a fine chain

With luck, perseverance, and endless patience you can sometimes tease a knot out of a fine chain, but there are actually easier ways to tackle it.

Everyone who has ever owned a fine jewelry chain has dealt with this one, and getting it sorted is a bitch (which is the reason the bottom of so many jewelry boxes are covered with hoplessly tangled necklaces). With luck, perseverance, and endless patience you can sometimes tease the knot out, …

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Six ways to sharpen dull scissors

I wouldn’t use these methods on scissors that you’re going to do hairstyling or major surgery with, but for everyday scissors used for everyday stuff these all work fine.

I wouldn’t use the following methods on scissors that you’re going to do hairstyling or major surgery with, but for everyday scissors used for everyday stuff these all work fine:

Six ways to make cut flowers last longer

Cut flowers are a very perishable luxury; most start to look pretty sad within a few days. But there are some ways to prolong the life of a cut-flower bouquet.

Cut flowers are a perishable luxury indeed; while some hearty strains like chrysanthemums will last as long as a couple of weeks, most start to look pretty sad within a few days. But there are some ways to prolong the life of a cut-flower bouquet. Start by preparing the stems. …

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Seven ways to get a zipper unstuck

Even the most hopelessly jammed zipper can usually be unstuck, but it takes a bit of patience and a gentle touch. And these tips will help, bigtime

There are basically two reasons why a zipper gets stuck: either there is something (like thread or fabric) caught in it, or the teeth of the zipper aren’t sliding into place and locking together.  Either way it can usually be unstuck, but it takes a bit of patience and a …

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How to stop cats from digging the furniture

If your cat has ever reduced your upholstery to fringe, you know the galactic-level frustration of coping with a furniture-digging feline. Here are some ways to stop 'em.

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats – they all do it, and it’s even good for them.  But if you’ve ever had the back of a chair or the arms of your sofa reduced to fringe, you know the galactic-level frustration of coping with a furniture-digging feline.

Five ways to start a fire without kindling

If you heat with wood, kindling is often in short supply. Here's a serviceable repertoire of kindling replacements that work fine in a pinch.

The classic method of starting a fire – build an inverted pyramid starting with very small pieces of kindling wood and creating layers of increasing size – is all fine and dandy, assuming you have a whopping great heap of kindling at your disposal. On the exceedingly rare occasions when this has been the case for me, it’s worked like a charm. But the operative phrase here is “exceedingly rare”.

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A dozen ways to get rid of cat pee odor (fast and cheap!)

Don’t panic – you can actually get rid of cat pee odor very quickly using ordinary, everyday items you already have.

Pop quiz: your mother-in-law is pulling into the driveway and Fluffy just sprayed the guest room carpet. What are you gonna do?! a. shoot the cat b. shoot your mother-in-law c. shoot yourself If you’re a long-time cat owner, you know that all three possibilities race through your mind. But …

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