Keeping Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Keeping Your Home Safe While Away on Vacation

Tick tock. Check your watch. Every 16.4 seconds, a home burglary takes place in the United States. That number is scary enough on its own, but it gets even scarier when you’re away on vacation, leaving your home vulnerable to opportunistic criminals who can spot signs of your absence from a mile away.

That’s one reason why having a solidly rated safe — and ideally, a security system to back it up — is so important. Often, seeing that your home and valuables are well-protected is enough to deter criminals from even trying. But don’t stop there: Use the following tips to help keep your home safe while you’re away.Continue reading

How to Remove Any Stain From Your Leather Handbag

How to Remove Any Stain From Your Leather Handbag

Carry a leather handbag around for long enough, and it’s bound to develop a few stains. Large or set-in stains merit professional attention, as do any stains on a raw leather handbag. But if you’re feeling brave, you can treat small stains on finished leather handbags as soon as they happen. In fact, the sooner you get to the stains, the better your odds of success.Continue reading

How to Remove Scratches From a Watch Face

How to Remove Scratches From a Watch Face

The watch crystal — that is, the glass front on your watch — is made to protect the delicate workings inside while still letting you see the time. But when scratches build up in the glass, your view of time starts getting fuzzy.

If the watch crystal is otherwise in good shape and you’re feeling brave, you can buff out most scratches on your own using a rotary tool, buffing wheel, and polishing compound. You’ll also need some masking tape and a soft cloth, and if the scratch is deep a sanding disk will make things go much faster.Continue reading

Ways to Keep a Suede Handbag Clean

Ways to Keep a Suede Handbag Clean

Suede’s soft, pliable feel makes it the perfect choice for high-end handbags and other accessories. Although suede has a reputation for being delicate and will stain from contact with water, it’s also surprisingly resilient. Often, a regular brushing — and being careful where you set it down — is all you need to keep your suede handbags looking new.

What Brushing Can Do

Suede’s nap — the fibers that give it a soft, velvety texture — is the key to both its delicacy and its resilience. The nap shows dirt, mud and scuffs very easily, but a quick treatment with a suede brush is usually all it takes to lift the nap back up, brush away any lingering dirt, and leave the handbag looking as good as new.Continue reading

How to Preserve Porcelain Dolls

How to Preserve Porcelain Dolls

Porcelain dolls are the epitome of delicate but enduring beauty: They’re undeniably fragile, but if treated well they’ll last forever. They’re also a good investment, with some antique dolls selling for thousands of dollars. Whether you’re keeping porcelain dolls for sentimental reasons or as collector’s items, here’s how to keep them looking their very best.

Handling Porcelain Dolls

Nobody expects a little girl to wear gloves when she handles her best friend — but once a porcelain doll turns the corner to becoming a collectible, you should always wear white cotton gloves when handling it. This keep the oils from your skin from staining the doll or its clothing, or accumulating on its surface and attracting dust.

Here’s another good precaution: Any time you clean, dress or otherwise do anything more to a porcelain doll than just pick it up, use a thick towel or plastic tub as your work surface. This gives you a little extra protection against accidental nicks and cracks.

Storing Your Precious Dolls

Store your porcelain dolls in the original box or a well-ventilated container, out of direct sunlight and away from extremes of heat and cold. If you have the original tags or inserts, store them with the doll as well. There is one exception to the ventilation rule: If you smoke, storing your dolls in an airtight box will protect them from stains.Continue reading

How to Safely Store Photo Prints

How to Safely Store Photo Prints

Even though we live in the age of digital media — or maybe because of it — there’s something special about holding an actual photo print in your hands. But hard-copy photos are just as fragile as they look. For every print miraculously pulled from the rubble of a tornado, another dozen are lost forever due to careless handling. Here are our favorite tips for making sure that never happens to you:Continue reading

Remaking an Heirloom Piece of Jewelry

Remaking an Heirloom Piece of Jewelry

The memories in a family heirloom are always precious — but let’s face it, every so often the look of the heirloom doesn’t match its meaning. Styles change, tastes change — and sometimes even the loveliest of family treasures becomes worn down to the point that it’s in danger of breaking and must be rebuilt.

Think it through carefully

The decision to give a treasured heirloom a facelift isn’t easy — but if it’s important to you that those treasured memories be worn and displayed, sometimes having the jewelry remade is your only viable option.Continue reading

Caring For Haute Couture

Caring For Haute Couture

Nothing is as comfortable as a piece of clothing hand-crafted of the finest materials, custom-designed to your specifications and tailored to fit you exactly. That’s haute couture, with prices that typically start in the thousands.

That price alone is justification for having your couture dry cleaned at an establishment that’s experienced with the particular materials and construction involved. There’s simply no other way to handle the fine materials, stitching, and embellishments on a garment made just for you. Fine furs and leather should be taken to a furrier for yearly cleanings; suede can usually be brushed with a suede brush.Continue reading

How to Best Preserve Letters

How to Best Preserve Letters

Love letters never go out of style — but they do become fragile and brittle over time. So do heirloom letters sent home during the war, or written correspondence sent by relatives living thousands of miles apart.

These precious, one-of-a-kind memories can never be truly duplicated; the paper that’s passed from hand to hand is almost as important as what’s written on it. Of course, that paper will eventually crumble to dust — but there’s still a lot you can do to protect your treasured old letters from the hands of time:Continue reading

Resizing a Keepsake Ring

Resizing a Keepsake Ring

Sometimes, the most precious rings in your life won’t fit your finger — whether they’ve been handed down through the family or your own ring size has simply changed over time.

When that happens you can try these temporary fixes for a too-large ring or, if it’s too small, wear it on a chain around your neck. But if the heirloom is going to be worn regularly you may want to get it resized, so it’ll look (and feel) the best on your finger.Continue reading