Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Magazine article illustrations

Recently I submitted an article to Backwoods Home Magazine entitled "Disposing of Disposables." I heavily used all your extremely helpful input you sent in response to my request on this subject.

The following photos are for possible inclusion with the article for purposes of illustration. I'm posting them here so my editor can choose which ones she wants.

Photo 1 -- A drawer-ful of terrycloth dish towels

Photo 2 -- Recently washed Ziplock bags upended over utensils to dry

Photo 3 -- Cloth napkins

Photo 4 -- Plastic food containers and "shower cap"-style plastic covers

Photo 5 -- Tattler reusable canning lids

Photo 6 -- Old-fashioned metal "butterfly" razors

Photo 7 -- Bandanas. We have dozens.

Photo 8 -- Rechargeable batters, AAA and AA

Photo 9 -- Battery charger -- can be powered by solar or electricity

Photo 10 -- Corelle dishes resist breakage

Photo 11 -- Shark upright bagless vacuum cleaner

Photo 12 -- Gold mesh reusable coffee filter

Photo 13 -- Cheap wash clothes in storage as reusable toilet wipes

Photo 14 -- Used aluminum foil, folded and waiting for another use

Photo 15 -- A terrycloth dish towel always hangs by the kitchen sink.

Photo 16 -- The towel holder works by snagging the corner of the towel. Because the adhesive isn't very strong, we reinforced it with a screw to hold it tightly in place.

Photo 17 -- A bulk bale of 60 terrycloth towels lasts for years

Photo 18 -- The rag basket holds old absorbent fabrics of all types, suitable for messy cleanup jobs

Photo 19 -- Cloth diapers, washed and drying in the sun


  1. My neighbor laughs when I hang washed zip lock bags and tin foil on the clothes line. Must drive her nuts when she sees the bread bags and the shower caps. I also save the waxed bags from cereal. They are perfect for rolling out pie crust - just dust the inside of the bag with a little flour, insert a ball of dough and roll away!

    1. I hang my Ziplocs and aluminum foil to dry on triple swing-arm towel racks over my woodstove in the winter.

  2. #12 "gold mess" or "gold mesh" Mees does smack my funny bone, though.

  3. This looks like my house except no diapers on the line anymore!

  4. Rock on, Patrice. I hope they put them all up, and a look forward to reading the article.

    I wonder, though-- how come it is that, when you do these things, you're a knuckle-dragging right-wing throwback to the 50s...

    ...and when I do these things, I'm a radical environmentalist??

    Guess it's peoples' tendency to marginalize whatever they don't agree with.

  5. Looks a lot like my house - except yours is neater.
    I have a metal rooster on my kitchen counter that I use to dry my washed zip-lock bags, over the tail and over the head. My son commented that when I put one over the head of the rooster it looks, well, mean :)

  6. I have duplicates of some of these things but also have a different way of drying the freshly washed plastic bags. I have a line over the sink and fasten them upside down to the line with clothespins. I also dry herbs on the line. The line is handy since the bags drip into the sink. The herbs are handy for grabbing a few for cooking without going to the stash in the cupboard even if they aren't quite dry.

  7. Loved the clothes line picture. It reminds of the Sunshine State where in most parks do not allow clothes lines, not even one in lanais. One of them actually banned pickup trucks parked overnight. They were real happy to see me (and my truck) move away. ha ha.
    Montana Guy


  8. WRT the plastic containers and "shower cap" covers...

    I use straight-sided stainless steel bowls and saucers/ plates for storing leftovers and other things in the fridge. It was quick and inexpensive to collect an assortment of sizes from the thrift stores, and they range from 4" to 14". I look for clear glass saucers and plates whenever possible, which makes it easy to see what's inside without needing to lift the cover, and having saucers on top of straight-sided bowls makes a very stable thing on which other items can be safely placed. Another useful feature is that the bowls can often be upended and placed over the contents while re-heating, eliminating the need to use or wash a skillet or pot lid. The saucers are also really useful as spoon caddies when I'm cooking. They're so easy to stack, handy to grab and easily kept clean I don't know how I managed before I used them! :)

    I initially made the move to stainless bowls for their light weight and compact stackability, and they've proven so versatile and useful that these days I rarely use my crockery or glass bowls.

    My version of the 'shower cap' cover would be a circular piece of fabric, hemmed at the edge and trimmed with a weighty bead fringe to keep it in place when it's draped over a vessel. They're fun to make and really pretty. They're easy to hand wash and can be versatile, depending on what material you choose.

    A. McSp

  9. Diapers?

    Is there something you want to tell us Patrice? B-)

    Raising Chimps?

    1. LOL -- Old photo from back in our Oregon days.

      - Patrice

  10. You missed washable sanitary napkins. I know its gross for most people but no worse than the washable bathroom wipes that we use.

    1. +1 to Peanut Gallery. yes, indeed, re-usable sanitary napkins and "family wipes" are indeed missing from the list! the amount of storage space to store a year's worth of toilet paper is incredible...and if people switched to family wipes, they could save a ton of money over many years, especially if you have a large family. you can buy or make different coloured cloths for every member of the family. every member of the family has their own container of their own coloured cloths and has the choice to have them moistened or not. a simple, large bucket with lid filled with vinegar is where you put your wipe after using it. then you simply handwash the wipes or use a washing machine. women have used cloth diapers on babies for hundreds of years and either handwashed, or used the washer to clean them. on to the female napkins - i have found that having 7 will do the job. and they last forever.

      just wanted to give Peanut Gallery a shout-out for being the only one to raise these things.

    2. We've used washable feminine hygiene products for the past four or five years, but our sets are too worn to feature in a magazine photo. I got photos of new sets from the manufacturer that I'll send directly to the editor.

      - Patrice

  11. I'm on board with everything but the reusable toilet wipes. Even if I wanted to, I could never "sell" that to the others in my house.

  12. Patrice,
    Slightly off topic - can a family of 6 homeschool with one parent staying home on a $35K a year income?
    Thank you for your reply.

  13. Found you by way of this BHM article. I just got my issue yesterday and as usual, plowed through the entire thing in one evening. Coincidentally, I see you also wrote an article in a previous issue on Kerosene lamps (which I loved as well)! Thank you for sharing your wealth of information!