Mary, I'm sure your friend is referring to white iodine, which you can find at most pharmacies. If you can't find it, ask a pharmacist if it can be ordered for you.
A daily application of white iodine on your fingernails for one week will help strengthen them. After the first week, use ONLY once a week. This is not a case of more is better DO NOT continue to use white iodine on your fingernails every day, or they will become too brittle. It might take several weeks to see any improvement if your nails are paper-thin from using a primer on them (for acrylics) or from being roughed up so the nail products would adhere better.Since white iodine is relatively inexpensive and easy to use, it's the perfect "help" for soft, damaged fingernails. NOTE: Avoid using hydrogen peroxide (or anything containing it) while using white iodine these two products "don't get along" and can cause your fingernails to turn orange. Also, clean an old fingernail-polish brush with polish remover, and use this to easily apply the iodine to your nails. Heloise
Dear Heloise: I took my 5-year-old daughter and two of her friends to see a movie recently. I decided to bring some cone-shaped coffee filters, and bought one medium popcorn for all of us to share (refusing to mortgage the house to get each child an individual "kid's popcorn combo"). Each used a filter as a popcorn holder much less messy than trying to balance popcorn on a flimsy napkin. Missy T., Springfield, Ill.
Dear Heloise: Patterns these days are very pricey, yet still made of flimsy tissue paper. I have found a helpful way to preserve patterns and make them sturdy.Using quilt basting spray and a roll of paper I had on hand, I separated the pattern pieces, lightly sprayed the paper and "floated" each pattern piece down on top of the paper. The spray is forgiving you can gently lift the pattern to remove a crease or bubble. Then, working from the center to the outside, I smoothed the tissue a little at a time. I put the pieces aside for about a half-hour as I worked my way through all the pattern pieces. I recommend keeping inexpensive self-sealing bags to place all the pieces, directions and envelope into, because the pattern does gain bulkiness when done. Connie McCahan, Tyrone, Pa.
Dear Heloise: For 40 years, I have kept a 96-count box of crayons just for fixing dings, bleach blotches, etc. I just repaired a nick in a photo frame by using a crayon, and it can hardly be seen. Barbara, via e-mail
Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column. © King Features Syndicate Inc.