Friday, May 29, 2009

Cynthia is having a give-away!

Oh my! One of my favorite blogs in the world is having a give away! Not that I should bother telling any of you this, because I AM GOING TO WIN, but I told her I would post this for "extra credit".  (hehehe anything to get an edge . . . ) 

So tonight, before I'm "outta here" for my fun weekend, I'll let you in on it. I know a ton of you are already familiar with Cynthia's Cottage Design, so it won't be news, but if you aren't then here is where you go!!! Scroll down and click the button on the left side of my blog called Cynthia's Cottage Design. It's too easy, it's the only button I have!

Here is just a smidgen of a hint of what I AM GOING TO WIN!!!

You have to admit - it would look pretty darn awesome in my house, yes? 
One little room in particular? Yes? I agree!

Kidding aside, go visit Cynthia's blog and sign up for the giveaway. She is truly inspirational and just a sweetheart to boot.  I wish she didn't live all the way in New York!!!



Thursday, May 28, 2009

My First Show & Tell Friday

Hello everyone. 

MY FIRST TIME! Thank you Kelli at "There is no place like home" for hosting "Show and Tell Friday". This is going to be fun. I hope I've done all the copy/pasting correctly!

I have some things to "share" this week! They are things that makes me smile (sometimes GRIN) when I look at them, so here goes.

If you are familiar with my blog, you'll know I've been pretty excited about my room. I now have a room just for me - just for doing whatever I want in. After raising two boys and being the only female in the house I was ready for FRILLY PHOO-PHOO! And finally last summer I got my room. Since - at the time - we were empty nesters - I took the boys' Bonus Room. Now it's ALL MINE! I love to scrapbook, and just create in there. I love to hit the yard sales and the Goodwill stores. And throughout my excursions, I've come up with these bits and pieces of very special treasures. 

I'm going to share a special little spot in my room with you this week.

First, here are overall pictures of my room. 
I feel I must show you this first, 
so you can see how my special "show and tell" things inspire me.
You have to look hard to see it,
it is right there above the basket on top of the white cubes.
But every time I walk in - I walk right past it. 

It's never neat and clean. 
I usually have one project or another going on in here.

Ahhhhh - what's hiding under the table skirt! 
(We all have our little secrets.)

OK - on to what I want to share with you.

My lovely little tray of "nothings". 
They are for no purpose, other than I love the 
way they look, and they make me smile. 
They are feminine and phoo-phoo and I love them! 
That is an antique milk bottle with a simple ribbon on it. 
And the two ceramic boxes I've had for years and years.

These are three vintage bottles that I have filled 
part way full of antique music paper, vintage buttons 
and pearls! I've tied on simple bows of vintage lace 
and some ribbons, and used a vintage piece of jewelry to top it off.

See what's inside?

The old bobbins are two that I found at an 
Estate Sale and simply wrapped with vintage lace and ribbons. 
The pearls that you see on the bottom of 
the right one are vintage "cuffs" that ladies 
used to use to hold their long sleeves in place. 
 I just love them. And then I hung an old pearl bracelet from it, 
cause I liked the way it looked. The German Glass Glitter 
in the old S & P shakers just sparkle! And my Grandmother's 
old jar is full of vintage buttons on cards.

Well . . . that's my "show and tell". My first one. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed sharing it. Isn't it funny how the littlest things can make us so happy?

Have a great day everyone! I am off to "An Artistic Affaire Printemps" this weekend, hosted by the adorable Kim Caldwell, and I am so excited, I don't think I'll sleep at all tonight. I will take pictures and post all of it's loveliness next week. And I'll show you the birdhouse! I think it came out really cute! 

Have a great weekend everyone! 



Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Playing hooky . . . .

Good morning! Welcome to Tablescape Thursday hosted by the wonderful Susan at Between Naps on the Porch! Whom I have never met . . . yet. I know she is so busy. One of these days I hope she pops by to say hello.

Ok ladies, I cannot believe I did this!

I have a housekeeper who comes once a month. (that's why I work, so I can afford one - how weird is that?) So while she was inside working . . . I played! (hehehe)

Anyway - today while she was here, I decided to have "breakfast on the patio".

Care to come along?

Here we are! Out on the patio. 
What a gorgeous morning! It's been so foggy 
and cloudy in the morning lately, seeing the sun 
this morning was truly a surprise!

Wow. This is great.  I NEVER do this!
I wonder why? I'm not getting any younger!

Nothing too fancy. But I did treat myself by using 
my new teapot I picked up a few months back.

My husband and I treated each other to a new 
Mac laptop for Mothers Day/Fathers Day. So now I have 
the pleasure of sitting out here enjoying the day 
while logging on and seeing what all of you are up to.

I have some fresh fruit and a piece of toast with strawberry jam!
And my favorite tea. Lipton's Bavarian Wild Berry.
I know - it isn't very English. But it is yummy!

My new teacup to match my new teapot. LOVE IT!!!
Did I mention I have TWO of the same 
pattern, but different style teacups?
One for you too! Come on over! 
I'll make a fresh pot!

And that my Friends, is my morning!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day!!!



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New hutch!

Yup! It's done! YAY!

BOY! That was just a ton of work. When my friend Joy came over on Friday, she kinda looked at me like I was out of my mind and said "I would've just painted it Karen." Well, that was what I intended to do, but when I discovered it had such pretty wood I couldn't bear to just cover it all up just to sand some of it off again. 

So I sanded. And sanded. And sanded some more. 
Final tally of hours spent sanding was at almost 26.

But look at how pretty the details are. Who could cover those up?

I had wanted just a very light matte polyurethane finish, but after trying two different kinds, couldn't find one that worked well. Joy had suggested glazing it.  Since I was painting the back "wall" and the bottom shelves a creamy buttermilk color to match the color of the wood anyway, I opted to try the glazing. I had never done this before. 

This is it yesterday morning standing proudly 
in the garage before painting and glazing.

And here it is almost finished! (The color of the picture is not true. It's a very creamy buttery yellow.) I took this shot last night. At about 6:45 I just flat out ran out of energy. I had started at 8:45 yesterday morning with the glazing and painting, and by dinner I was just - DONE. I did not have even one more ounce of energy to apply the handles last night. So I got up early today and first thing this morning I finished it off. Only one casualty - the upper middle door glass was broken, so need to go to the glass shop today and order a new piece.  The light was a 35 year old electricity guzzler, so my darling husband went to the hardware store yesterday afternoon and picked me up a new florescent fixture and installed it for me. I'm just so tickled he likes the piece. It was scary there for a while!!! LOL

It was a ton of work. But I LOVE it. And even better? MARK LOVES IT TOO!!! WHOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!

Now to load it up. At first I thought I'd put all my good china in it. But . . . it's in a hallway - not in the dining room, so I've opted to just place some of my pretty things that I long to gaze at in it. Maybe once I get this out of my system, I'll change the dining room hutches around and incorporate my good china into those. But for now - it's just for my special eye candy!

Now remember I live in earthquake country. This just sooooooooo hinders me when it comes to putting out my pretty special sentimental pieces. I try to take precautions, but when a piece is priceless to you, I just have a hard time putting it at risk. These are not just someone else's antiques. These are my family history. Just too special to leave to chance.

Currently, all of my Mom's china is up here 
on the very top shelf of my kitchen pantry. 
(how embarrassing - but hey, you know me . . . tell it like it is.)

All of this is my Mom's Candlewick. And my sister got the other half! 
She loved this stuff. It makes me nervous!

I got it all down, opened up, looked through it and . . . I thought I'd try putting out my very, very favorite china. It was my Grandparents. This was their everyday dishes they used on the diary farm up in Washington. Each granddaughter got two place settings.  It's actually not even a place setting, just a dinner plate and salad plate. And I am unable to find it on so if anyone has another idea how to find more - please let me know!

Here it is, ready to be admired daily.

And here it is going right back into it's nice safe packing. 
I hear you!!!! "Chicken!" I am. I really do need to get over this!

The hallway is really wide for a hallway - 
but not so good for taking pictures. 

Let me introduce you to a staple in California. 
"Quake Hold". You get it at any hardware store. 
They use it in all of the museums out here.

You roll it into little snakes or peas and adhere it your piece. 
The idea is to hold everything from sliding around 
or falling off shelves or walls during a quake. 

Can you see it? It is on the back rim of one of the cloches. 

And it works. Having experienced several rather large quakes, and one, the Whittier quake in 1987 nearly destroyed all of my stoneware I had purchased in Colorado when we were first married. I learned my lesson the hard way. But I think that quake was the first real "wake-up" call to So. Cal. It was the first big one since the Sylmar quake when I was in 7th grade.  

BUT ALL OF THIS IS ANOTHER POST! I keep getting sidetracked!

Anyway - I have my new fifty buck hutch all pretty and safe. 

All my Mom's wonderful Candlewick is now much easier to access. 
Maybe I'll even start using it now that I can get to it. 

View from the east end of hall looking towards 
front entry and living room. The color on the wall 
above the fireplace is the true color.

View from the west end; from front entry looking towards office.

And this is the best shot I can get of it in one piece.

DONE! I was going to share everything I placed inside, but this post has ended up being really long! So again, another post for another day.

Thanks for visiting with me.  Let me know what you think about my fifty buck hutch! :) In the meantime - I'm off to order a new piece of glass . . . 

Have a great day everyone!


Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Goodwill tale . . .

A funny thing happened at the Goodwill store last week.

I've had my eye on this old, beat up china hutch. In mid April it was marked $199.99. Too much. But I kept my eye on it, going in every week to see what else was new and would always end up in front of that hutch. End of April, it got marked down to $99.99. Hmmmmmm. I really liked it - could see way past all the dirt and scratches to what I wanted it for . . . but a hundred bucks? Still too much. Kept going back and last week I stood in front of it thinking, "It's meant to be - that's why it's still here." I have had no luck finding anything else on Craig's list or at yard sales. So I turned to walk up to the counter to tell the lady I wanted it. And from over the loud speaker came the announcement "Don't forget shoppers! Today's 1/2 price tag color is BLUE, and anything with a blue tag is 1/2 price!" 

Low and behold . . . BLUE TAG!


Fifty bucks! Oh my goodness! Was I a happy camper!

So here it is in the workshop in two pieces.

It's pretty beat up, but boy oh boy - do I have plans for it! And it has all the glass too. It is currently standing tall in the garage, half way done. I hope to finish sanding it today and begin finishing it.

Did I mention my husband had a major coniption fit? I called to tell him I was on my way to trade him vehicles and told him I had bought a piece of furniture. He said "No problem Honey - I'll pick it up for you on my way home from work." What a guy! 

I was waiting out front for him when he pulled up. Took one look at his face. Uh oh. Not happy. Uh oh. Every fiber in my body screamed "RUN!" But I stood there and took it like a woman!

"What the #**@!*!*# were you thinking Karen? Where is this piece of *@#*!!#** going to go in this house?"

"Uhhhhh . . . could you trust me on this one, like you have in the past?"


Allllllll righty then . . . I better make it good. 

Well, while we were in Paso Robles last weekend, (Did I mention it was 108 degrees up there?) we went inside this little shop to borrow their air conditioning for a few minutes. And right there by the door was a beautiful armoire. I looked at Mark and told him "This is what I want the hutch to look like." And he looked at me and said "That piece of junk taking up all the room in my workshop?" 
"Wow Honey, if you do that - I'm on board!" 

WHOO HOO!!!!!! 

Well . . . I've spent TWENTY TWO AND ONE-HALF HOURS sanding. three straight days of doing nothing else. (I think my arms and fingers are going to fall off! I'm having charlie horses in places I didn't even know I had muscles!) And I think I finally have it to where I want. It has the most beautiful color wood underneath all that goopy stain. And we BOTH love it. I DID GOOD!!!  And for only 50 bucks! Well and about $100 in materials to get it looking like I wanted. But still! :)

I hope to have it inside and loaded up with my pretty dishes and things this week. I'll keep you posted!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - reality check for me

Hi everyone! Here we go again!

Thank you to Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for once again hosting this! It really is fun! I don't do nearly what most of you other gals do . . . how on earth do you find the time? LOL

Now remember I told you last week that that was the last time my spring dishes would be out? Well, they are gone! Rotated up to the top shelf  of the kitchen cabinets and down to the middle shelf came the summer ones. And I love these just as much.

The vintage blue and yellow tablecloth is one from my childhood. 

The pattern is by Nikko. It is called Pleasantdale. 
And yes, I found most of them at TJMaxx - 
golly . . . it's been about 12 or 13 years now. 
And I added to it with a few more pieces 

Napkin rings by Brighton.
A friend of mine gave me a pair each Christmas.
I now have a collection of 12. 
And I love them.

Ok! Now lets get real!
It all got put back in the cupboard. 
The candlesticks back to the dining room
and the centerpiece and linens back to the closet.

Because during the summer - I declutter the entire house.
I just don't have too much stuff sitting out. 
Dining room is very minimal.
Kitchen counters are clear, no mixer out because 
I do my best to not heat the oven. Period.
We'll do all of our BBQ and cooking outside on the grill.
I love having all the doors and windows open 
each evening because we get such a great breeze 
to cool off the house. And I really don't want 
to spend my time dusting all of my pretty things every other day.

So, in reality? 

Usually, this is what the kitchen table looks like!
Grab the napkins, the wine and glasses, and minimal dishes . . .

Cause we usually eat out here!

But I guess that's another post!

I hope you all don't think I'm whacky. I'm just tellin' it like it is at our house! :)

Have a great day!