Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tennis, anyone?

Our vacation was winding down and we wanted to get our kayaks out on the water one more time.  Living in the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" we have plenty of choices in every direction.  That morning I chose Murphy Lake, which is about a 30 minute drive from our house.  We had never been on that lake before AND I spotted this little ditty in the morning newspaper.

We had to park about a mile away from the cabin on a dirt access road because some poor woman put her new SUV in the water filled ditch, blocking all traffic coming and going from the sale.  Not a good morning for her.  Bill stayed in the car while I walked down the road, my pace getting faster, and faster as I spotted all the goodies the early birds were carrying to their cars!         
Darn!  I knew I should have gotten out of bed earlier!

I kept in mind that anything I bought would have to be carried back to the car by me.  Luckily, I didn't find any big ticket items. 

I've been looking for a few of these exercise/juggling pins and these were pretty reasonable.  I think they are the perfect autumn accent for the mantel.  Maybe I'll even work out while I'm watching HGTV.  Or not.

Now why do you suppose nobody nabbed these at only $12 apiece?  We all tried, unsuccessfully, to pull the tennis balls off to see if the finials were intact.  I decided to chance it.  Really, how bad could it be?

The rubber was actually petrified!  I had to use a hacksaw and pliers to pry the tennis balls off the chair.  Quite a workout, but look what I found underneath.............

Perfection!  One for Finley, one for Mack.

My arms were full, but I had room for one more thing.

Did I mention that   I.  Love.  Old.  Clocks!!!

Just look at the marvelous details.

A sweet message from the previous owner.

Price $20.

Right about now I can hear my mother,"Jack come and look what Vickie just paid good money for!"
Really, all it needs is a good cleaning, some wood glue, and a battery powered clock mechanism.


I'm linking up to Junker Newbie's "Would You Buy It?"
So...........would you?

Linked to:

Furniture Feature Fridays

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lighten up, wood ya!

Our dining room is filled with an abundance of dark heavy wood.  The walls are dark.  The furniture is dark.  The woodwork is dark.  But, I'm not quite ready to be the first owner to paint the original dark woodwork.  We've also got "popcorn" ceilings and that's just fine with me.  At least there are no cracks!  It even has glitter in the textured finish and when the chandelier is turned on, the ceiling sparkles!

Here are the wood furnishings currently at home in the dining room.

On the left is a secretary filled with a small part of my blue and white addiction collection.  The dry sink on the right is a $20 estate sale bargain destined for an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint treatment.

Mix-and-match sideboard with window-turned-mirror mounted above.  The mirror also needs to be painted.  Below, on the left is a bedside table from an old hotel.  The sconce on the right doesn't do much to lighten up the room.  It's a $12 find that is hanging on a nail, covering up more nail holes.


You can see where our plaster repair ended inside the dining room archway.  I'm not going to paint the gloomy green walls until we've repaired the many cracks AND as you know, we've already got one room in progress.

Here it is.  My version of a farm table, but with a lot more flexibility.  Without the leaves it is a 42 inch square table.  With the six leaves in place it expands to a whopping 102 inches! 

The legs are equipped with casters, so it's a snap to pull apart and add the leaves.  It even has a 5th leg in the center to prevent sagging.  The leaves are lightweight and store easily in the bottom drawer of the sideboard.  Our previous table was round which explains the round rug.  I've also picked up these mismatched chairs ( 2 more in the garage ) that will get new updated skirted cushions and a paint treatment.....eventually.

So, to temporarily lighten up the room, I made a faux grain sack table runner.  Here are some simple instructions to make your own and these are the supplies you will need:
  • Length of burlap from the fabric store.
  • Craft paint.  I used Folk Art navy blue.
  • Scruffy stencil brush.
  • Masking tape.
  • Paper towel and newspaper.
  • Professional painter's palette a.k.a. styrofoam plate.
To start, cut the burlap in half lengthwise to the width you want.  Fold the long ends under 3/4-1 inch and press.  Lay down 3 rows of masking tape on the long edges and remove the middle piece of tape.  This makes for a nice straight stripe.

Load your brush with paint and blot on paper towel.  Rub paint on between the strips of tape and pull tape off when done.  Place newspaper under the area that you are painting. 

For the small stripes, lay a strip of tape overlapping the large stripe.  Lay a second strip next to it, leaving a narrow piece of burlap showing through.  Paint the thin stripe and remove tape.

Continue taping and painting in this fashion until you have the striped pattern you like.  To finish the runner, turn up short ends 3/4-1 inch and press.  Sew a 4/8 inch seam around entire piece and apply fray check to edges to prevent burlap from fraying.  Normally I would fold the fabric under twice for a finished hem, but I thought it would get too bulky and not lay flat on the table.  If you don't want to sew the hem, you could use iron-on hem tape instead.  That's all there is to it!

The paint will look slightly mottled which only adds to the aged look.

Dark and dreary.

Much better, don't you think?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch.
  • It's like comparing apples and oranges.
  • The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

We've all heard those old adages, but until I planted an apple tree myself, I didn't realize how many apples fall from the tree before they are fully ripened.  Like.   All.  Of.  Them.

I kid you not!  I have yet to pick a fully ripened red apple from either of my trees.  Between the squirrels, blackbirds, and who knows what other critters eating and destroying my apples, there are none left for me!!

This year I'm beating them at their own game.  I've been inspecting the dropped apples daily and keeping those that are unblemished to bake a dessert or two.  The other day I reached under a hosta to pick up a prime specimen and yikes!!!!! A dead squirrel was stretched out with an apple near it's head!

What in the world could have happened?!  A poison apple?  BB gun toting neighbor?  Bill came up with this scenario:

"Maybe it fell out of the tree and broke it's little neck."
Well, now, that response started me on one of my uncontrollable, eye-watering, wet-your-pants laughing spells.  What?!#  Those squirrels can do triple loop-de-loops while jumping from tree to tree and still land like a prima ballerina!  Can you picture a clumsy squirrel?  Nope.  Don't even get me going again!  That species does not exist!

I had to sober up real quick 'cause there's no way I was going to remove that stiff little carcass.  So, I said, "Yup, that's probably what happened."  And went in the house to finish my laughing in private.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

To his credit, Medical Examiner Bill did come up with the most likely cause of death.  Sparky got zapped on the power lines overhead.  In the past, these squirrels have cut off power to the entire town by stepping on the wrong wire.  Probably with one of my apples in its mouth.

So.  I've come up with a new Forrest Gump-like adage:

"When life gives you fallen apples, make dessert."

Soon to be added to the Diner 911 menu:
Savory Squirrel Stew

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hot-diggety Dog Days

We just returned home from a short stay at an old resort in the Brainerd Lakes area where we've taken many of our family vacations over the years.  "Making memories" as Bill would say.  We were scoping out cabins for next year in hopes that our extended family can all get together for a few days and make some new memories.  We'll see how all that pans out.

There were far fewer resort guests than in years past.  I'm not sure if it has to do with the economy or the fact that our reservations are usually earlier in the season.  A little of both, I'm sure.  I guess the dog days of summer have arrived.

Of course I had to squeeze in a little junking along the way.  :@

As we were heading to Brainerd, we stopped at the teensy lakeside town of Crosby.  It's population is a mere 500 something but boasts oodles of antique shops on the main street.  I really didn't find anything outstanding, just a few small items for moi.

I bought this enamelware bowl thinking it could be used as a sink in the play kitchen I have yet to paint, but it's way to big!  Remembering size is like trying to remember a color without a paint swatch.  Never works!  Oh, well, as you can see it's the perfect size for apple picking.

I found this dainty little vase on the left to add to my "white" collection gathering in the bay window of our kitchen.

To the right is another pottery vase to place on the piano.

On the journey home, I hit the jackpot at a shop in downtown Brainerd.  I only stopped at one place and that was enough for me!  The minute I walked in the door I saw this.......

It was only 25.00!!!!!!  Oh, I should mention that it is a children's play cupboard.

This ruler found inside should put things into perspective.

I think this piece will be the perfect addition to the stove and sink I found last year.  Call me Grandma Hog-all-the-good-stuff-for-my-house. (Winter project for Mr.Ranger.)

A pretty, but worn tablecloth to be used for future sewing projects.

And this sa-weet' tray for Finley's room.
This was a splurge at $16.00, but look at that dog!

Last, but not least, was The Find of the Day.....

Excuse me while I wait for my pulse to return to normal!  I love, love, love this piece!!!!  I love everything about it.  The color.  The artwork.  The subject matter.  The price.  Prepare yourself.  $20!!!   It will need to be professionally framed to preserve it, of course.  While I was thinking what color of picture frame would work best, I walked from room to room until I found the perfect spot to hang it.  In Julie's house.

This poster is advertising a Christmas display in a St. Paul department store, the "Golden Rule"  (the event took place before 1945 when the store would become Donaldson's Dept. Store).  Julie is my daughter born on Christmas Day.  And she lives a hop, skip, and a jump from St. Paul  And she was mentioning that she needed some large art for her living room.  So, Julie, it's yours for the taking.  Just call it an early birthday/Christmas (one and the same for her) present!

Ah, the good 'ole dog days of summer.  Woof, woof.

Linked to:

good oneFeathered Nest Friday
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