Sunday, April 30, 2017

Talkin' Cowbells

In my continual pursuit to downsize my possessions, I ran across this little gem in a box up in my closet. This cowbell was already way past vintage when I bought it 25-plus years ago. 
 In these days of Antique Roadshow, the question always pops up...Do I have a high-dollar antique?

Here's a picture of a cow wearing a similar bell that was in a post about virtual shopping done by Debbie over at Confessions of a Plate Addict.

I don't know about you, but I love all things cows and farmhouse these days. 

It makes me wonder though... In 20 or 30 years, will we look back at the "farmhouse" style of today like we do about all the duck decorating we did back in the late 80's to early 90's? Yes...I did...GuiltyOh brother! And mauve and blue...whoa baby!
Anyhoo... It got me to thinking about cowbells. I popped over to my old friend Wikipedia to get some info and to Ebay (of course) to see if I had a priceless antique. 

These were the most similar cowbells, to mine, that I could find on Wikipedia. The bottom section, top row is the closest match.

It turns out my cowbell is worth maybe $17. I think I bought it back in the early 90's at a yard sale for a few dollars. So, not going to make me rich!

It stays though cuz, ya know, farmhouse style and all...and then, after all, my daughters will need something to laugh about in the year 2040.

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Friday, April 28, 2017

Wooden Tray Make-Over

Here's an old tray that got a makeover this week. I love the shape of the edges...I'm a sucker for anything with curvy lines!
It wasn't pretty when the makeover started. It had a commercial paint effect that was suppose to look like distressing, but was just some brown paint added in splotches. I think I paid $2.50 for the tray at a garage sale. The tag on the bottom said, Hobby Lobby $25.90.
Here's a fail -- I thought I could just paint the inside of the tray and leave the outside black. I know what you're thinking... Why??? 
I don't know is the honest answer.
I took a look at my handiwork and decided it needed more white so I finished off the sides with white paint too.
Before I add some sort of finish to protect the paint, I'm living with it for a while. I think it would be nice to add some kind of graphics to the center area. What do you think? 

The Graphics Fairy has some pretty printable graphics, which are free, and lots of information on adhering the graphics to the surface you have. Here's what I'm considering...

If you haven't been to The Graphics Fairy's website, you're in for a treat. This link The Graphics Fairy will take you to my favorite section, but have a look around her site because there is so much to see.

Thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What I'm Working On Wednesday - Whites

I've been enjoying the Dixie Belle paint I bought recently. It really goes a long way. I've found the Dixie Belle paint is pretty thick, and I thinned it down to paint the things I worked on this week.

I mixed 2/3's paint and 1/3 water, using just a fourth of the small jar I bought. It seems to stick well to everything I've tried painting... wood, metal, galvanized name it. 
The pub table had been painted a while back and then very heavily distressed. Too distressed. So I gave it a few coats with the diluted paint and then distressed the table lightly this time.

I read somewhere the trick for table tops is to sand the top well between thin coats of paint. OK...thin it is!
I used the watered down paint to put a thin coat on the table top and let it dry, then sanded it smooth and put another coat on, and repeated. 

When I was happy with the coverage, I used a small orbital sander to distress it lightly this time, trying not to get carried away.
 I really love how smooth the top is now. I keep running my hand across the top in appreciation!

I want to try the new tough coat for table tops that Miss Mustard Seed created recently and has been writing about. I have to buy some, so I haven't put any wax or finish on the table yet. 
My next victim this week is this little galvanized tin pot I bought for 75 cents a while back. Love this little pot, but the decoration on the sides didn't show up very well when it was just plain tin.
I love seeing how chalk paint improves little pieces like this one. I left some unpainted edges around the embossed pattern to give it definition.
Here's the only "before" picture I have. Honestly, it's not even a before picture. It's the inside of the pot before I painted inside there too.

My third victim is this little bird piece that I've had for a long time. It was dark brown and not very pretty -- actually kind of blah. I tried giving it away recently, but no one wanted it. 
 I didn't even notice the grape leaves and band on the bottom before it was painted. Now they're my favorite part of it.
I used a dry brush dipped into just a little white paint and did several coats of it until it showed the details so much better. 
I like to try a variety of brands of chalk paint, and I don't receive any compensation from the brands I use. All opinions are my own and are based completely on how the paint performed for me.
To use chalk paint,  I like to pour a small amount of paint into a glass jar and mix some water with it, if needed, to thin it down. I usually dip my brush into the jar and paint right from the jar. When I'm finished, I like to cover the jar with a plastic sandwich bag and screw a lid on tight. 

The sandwich bag helps keep paint from forming on the lid and keeps the lid from sticking, making it easier to open the jar. If the plastic bag gets paint on it, I just replace it with another bag when I'm ready to close it up again.
Usually I wash out glass jars with their lids (such as pickle jars) and keep a stock on hand to hold paint. I write the paint color and brand right on the top of the lid with a black permanent marker. If I've added water to the paint, I usually write the ratio of paint to water so I can mix up more later if needed.

Hope you've been able to pick up a paint brush and add some white or color to your world this week.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Three Things I Couldn't Pass Up

Back a few weeks, I went to an indoor flea market. I bought the cow in my last post and three other things. 
One lesson reinforced that day...take a quick walk around the space and see what's available before you start buying, otherwise you'll see things you love better, but won't have any money left *sigh*... But I'll bet you already knew that, right? 

Here's the three things I bought in addition to the cow:

1. This sweet painted tote box with old rusty hinges and clasps holding the end pieces together due to cracks. Perfectly imperfect!

2. Some products from Dixie Belle Paint in two shades of off-white (like I didn't already have enuf white)... 
The demo lady did a good job of selling people on her product, and I must say it goes on as easy and smoothly as she said! 
 The top one is Drop Cloth. It's a little darker than Fluff, the bottom one. I bought a larger Fluff as I think it's a color I will use more.
It says "easy peasy paint" in the top left corner of its label. I have to agree! I painted a few things with it. I think I'm going to like it. It's made with minerals that give it a little more shine than most other chalk paints. 

So many good products out there...It's hard to stick with just one!

3. A black and brownish-taupe sign for the kitchen. 
I love the unique shape of the wood and the texture and colors. 

I thought it would be perfect for the vent hood over the stove in our kitchen. I'm trying to add black and white to the taupe-y color in there. None of my pictures came out a true color. Please use your imagination here. Having no windows in the kitchen makes it hard to take a decent picture.

Here's the vent hood. I plan to hang the sign right in the middle of the scrolly thing on top.
You'll have to imagine how the sign will look when it's hung up there. I tried to get Wild Bill to stand there on tippy toes and hold the sign up for me, but you know how guys are.

Joining the party at Amaze Me Monday and Sundays At Home Party at Little Farmstead.  Hope you'll click on over and join in.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

You Never Know What You'll Find On Craigslist

We're downsizing our furniture...trying to be a little bit more minimalist. 

We've sold a couch and took a rocker recliner to my mother, but we still had another rocker recliner we didn't need, so Wild Bill put it on Craigslist...
A nice sounding lady emailed him last night asking to see the chair. She was having trouble with her texting so had to communicate via email. So there was some back and forth emails this morning, which ended in her calling Wild Bill for our address.

When he gave her the address...she couldn't believe it.  In 30 seconds she walked across the street and around to our front door!

"uhhhhh...Hello Neighbor that we haven't met yet!"

She came in to see the chair and sat in it for 2 hours while we discovered how much we all had in common. Like me she grew up in California, married a native Texan, and moved to Texas to be near his family. They've lived across the street from us for 6 months! Crazy strange! 

It turns out she and her first husband lived for years in the same neighborhood Bill did years ago in Vacaville CA. Small world!
I stood in our garage on the side of our house (we live on a corner) and took this picture of our husbands moving the rocker into her house with her "supervising" them.

So if you're looking for new friends, my suggestion is sell something on Craigslist. If you don't have anything to sell, maybe just walk across the street and knock on an unknown neighbor's door.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why Our Front Porch Is Never Decorated

This is my tale of woe...
Other blogs have lovely porches, decorated especially for Spring and Summer. They usually have a wreath on their front door that changes with the seasons...
I would love to have a pretty wreath that welcomes people to our home.
But when I put a wreath on the front door, it always ends up in the garage trying to be salvaged. 
Birds like to build their nests on our front porch. It seems as soon as I put a wreath on the door, some bird couple claims that little piece of real estate as theirs, and the nest building begins.
Usually I don't discover their nest until they've lived in it for a little while...and pooped on the window...and made the wreath unsalvagable. 

This time though, I saw the birds right away before they had time to build a nest in our new geranium wreath. 

There was only a few twigs stuck in the wreath, so I pulled the twigs out and dropped them on the floor of the porch...
I was hoping the birds would be able to use them to make a nest somewhere else. Somewhere else far away hopefully!
And since the birds hadn't had a chance to dirty up the wreath, I found the wreath a new home too...

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Built-In Cabinet And Other Dreams

I might have mentioned we are blocking off an archway between the dining room and entry hallway. The reason is to increase our storage space and add a place to hang coats. 

Some people love "open concept" houses, but I'm not such a fan after living without many walls for over 6 years now.
Even before we bought the house, I knew I would want that archway blocked off.  
My idea is to put a china cabinet on the dining-room-side...sort of like this, but with doors instead of drawers as it will not be very deep.
Vintage Style Magazine, Spring 2017 issue

On the backside of the china cabinet will be a mudroom-type wall on the entry-hall side. Again, kind of like this, but without the built-in bench. We'll put a bench there that can be moved away when big things like furniture or appliances have to be moved in or out of the house. 
Old Magazine Picture. Source Unknown

I've dreamed of this for over 6 years, but first we had to put in wood floors (for the cabinet to sit on) and lots of other things on our To-Do list. Now, we're finally tackling that archway problem, and we've found a cabinetry shop nearby to do it.
Of course I gave the cabinetry guys lots and lots of magazine pictures while trying to explain my "vision" of how each side would function.  

I figured a picture is worth a thousand words...but you can believe I gave them the thousand words too -- just in case!

Despite the pictures and words, I really don't have much confidence that it will turn out exactly as I'm expecting! And I've made peace with that...really, I haveThree weeks to wait and then we'll see. Fingers crossed.

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