noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Poorly Painted Pitcher (A Fail Story)...

Sitting in that big ol' box in
the living room.
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm! How has your week been?  Warm?  Fun?  Anything? We finally got almost an entire week of nice weather; some would same it was too warm, but I say no sir.  It was perfect!  Hubby thought we needed to have the air conditioner on and we just passed these looks back and forth all week. Mine said, "it's freezing in here, can you turn that off?" His said, "are you nuts? It's hot!" hahaha And so it goes all year long, no matter what the weather. I'm hot or cold; he's entirely the opposite. Seriously, how do we even live together? LOL! Ah well, such is life.

Noticeably bad paint job.
A while back, I got the brilliant idea to take one of my glass pitchers and paint it.  Why?  Because I'm trying to do a little sumpin' sumpin' to my kitchen and I'm poor.  That's why.  Painting a pitcher would be cool. Actually, I have three glass pitchers; two are perfectly clear of any design and one was a pitcher I've had for about 25 years now and the design on it was faded and blah.  I loved it when I first got it; it matched my entire dishes and canister set.  I even at one point had cabinet knobs to match.  Alas, the dishes got broken one by one until the point where I didn't even have a complete set anymore.  I couldn't bear to get rid of the pitcher though.  It's the perfect size and a nice shape. I've always loved it.  

This side isn't so bad.
When I started doing little things to my kitchen (aka anything with a little personality cuz we had nothing but boring going on in there), I thought maybe I could use those three glass pitchers to hold my kitchen utensils.  Have I ever mentioned how many kitchen utensils I have?  If not, I won't mention it now.  It might fry the cells in your brain to try to count that high...I'm pretty sure a bazillgillion is a lot higher than I can even count.  I've never tried, but I'm not about to give myself that kind of a headache.  My thought was that I'd have the cooking spoons in one, the spatulas in one and my other baking things in one.  Then I got the really cool thought to chalkboard paint them so that I could label them.  You know, in case I forgot what those things were when I was looking at them and trying to figure out which one to use for what.  That thought went by the wayside when I saw the stone-textured paint (see how I used it differently here).  

So disappointed.  :(
I thought the stone-textured paint would be really cool to cover up the faded design on my favorite pitcher.  It broke my heart, but it just wasn't fitting in anymore and really needed to be up with the times. So...I taped off the top part and went at it.  I have to admit that I think it's a big pain in the rear to use.  No matter how hard I shook the can, the paint would spit out nothing but air and then all of a sudden a big glop. No smooth spraying with this stuff, at least not from me.  It ran in several places and didn't cover in others. I don't know if it's the texture or the way I was trying to do it, but it was very hard for me to use.  I let it sit for several weeks; I actually did this pitcher way before I did the signs in my other post.  But I didn't like it and it just stayed in this giant box that I had it sitting in (aka the new stove box that sat in the living room for four weeks until I threatened hubby's life that it needed to be gone).  

This side isn't so bad either.
My tater utensils make it
look way better though!
When I finally took it out, I just looked at it.  Still didn't like it.  Time did not change my mind on this one.  The color?  LOVE IT!  The end result?  HATED IT!  Now, what was I going to do with it?  Scrape it all off, paint over it, what?  Well, I didn't really want to scrape it all off because with my luck I'd break it.  I'm really good at that; in fact, it's one of my specialties. I just broke a glass today taking it out of the dishwasher.  How does that happen?  Anyhoo, I decided to just leave it alone and put it in the very back of a cupboard somewhere so I'd never have to look at it again.  Problem...I don't have any cupboards that have a very back.  They're all actually pretty shallow.  Ah well, it was a good thought.

When I got the one side of the kitchen painted (it's still the only side painted) and moved the refrigerator over, I thought maybe I could put it on top of the fridge. At least that way it wouldn't be so noticeable that I epically failed at the painting. Would it? Well, yeah, it would, but what the heck. I decided to do it anyway. After a couple of days, I decided it needed to hold something because it was getting on my nerves just sitting there like that by itself. What to put...what to put...I wasn't going to put utensils in to use; at this point I don't like it enough for it to be out on the counter and looked at up close. So, I asked myself, "self, what would you do if you were me? I know you are me, but I'm asking anyway." Myself said, "how about those old potato mashers/ricers that you have?" Myself is a genius! The potato mashers/ricers are kind of bulky and would draw the eye to them and away from the horrid paint job. AHA!

I have to admit that I actually do like them in there!  If only the paint job were decent, I'd be totally happy.  But hey, I can't have everything.  I'll leave the paint as is until I figure something else out...perhaps wrap with burlap or muslin and tie with twine or something?  We'll see.  For now, I hope you all enjoy looking at my epic texture paint failed pitcher with the tater utensils.

Spray paint (Multicolored Textured Brown) by Rustoleum.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm So Blue...

Look at these goodies!
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful week!  Did you do anything fun or exciting? Or maybe just plain old relaxing?  I sure hope so! Here, we have had severe thunder and lightening storms, with torrents and torrents of rain.  Wow, these have gone on for a while now! Looks like they're just about over, though, so that's good.  Although, here we are, mid-July, and haven't even had to turn on a sprinkler yet!  I guess there's a good/bad quality about this, huh?  LOL!

The cutest blue cup!  With
Kona blend coffee.  Mmmm.
In between the beginnings of the storms a couple of weeks ago, I was looking at rolling pins on Ebay. "Why on Ebay," you ask?  "Because I have a collection," I answer. And sometimes Ebay has some really interesting old ones.  I did happen to come across one that was pretty cool; it was an Ironstone rolling pin, which I've never seen.  Bidding was uppermost in my mind, but I didn't really know about the pricing since I'd not seen one before.  It was awesome, though!  So, since I was extremely interested in this rolling pin, I started searching for some information about it. Although I couldn't really find what it was I was looking for, I DID find THIS:  The Ironstone Nest.  

Is this the greatest jar ever?!
When I first clicked on it, I didn't realize that I would be looking at a blog (cuz I didn't really read the description before I clicked, thank you very much). But as I got into it and started reading it, let me tell you, this is an AWESOME blog! I loved it!  (I actually forgot about the rolling pin as I started going through the blog and reading the different posts)  This lady loves to collect ironstone and the things she has done decorating-wise are so welcoming and appealing to the eye.  I seriously did fall in love with her blog.  I'm telling you, you NEED to check it out.  No, it's not all about ironstone; there are lots of different things in it.  But, trust me on this - you WILL love it.  I guarantee it.

See how old it is?  Love it!
Well, as I was reading through her blog, I saw a post where she was doing an all blue giveaway. Now, I don't normally enter these things, not only because I never win, but because a lot of times what's being given away isn't something that I have to have.  Not that they're not nice giveaways; I didn't say that at all!  Every one I've seen has been a fabulous giveaway; just not what I'm wanting at that moment.  But THIS one - well, it had this awesome old blue mason jar.  And I NEEDED that!  Desperately.  It was was was authentic...did I mention that I needed it desperately?  That's what I noticed first.  But that wasn't all!

Pretty box that the soap
came in.
There was a cute blue cup, with a packet of lovely coffee to go with it; a pack of colorful thank you cards; a huge bar of verbena soap  and a candle.  Now, this is not just another candle.  This one is a sea salt and ginger scented candle.  Ooh, now I'm completely interested.  But, seriously, I never win.  I passed up the giveaway.  Later that day, I was still thinking about that mason jar.  Hmmm, it will fit perfectly in my kitchen with my decor.  I really and truly needed it!  I still passed up the giveaway.  And went back to researching the rolling pin.

This is what the soap looks
like.  I don't know if I can use
it, it's so pretty!
Then I went back to Laura's blog (that's her name, you know) and read some more.  There was just something homey and comforting about her blog.  And then I did it.  I read it again (as well as some more posts that I hadn't read the first time) and I ENTERED THE GIVEAWAY.  And promptly forgot all about it. Seriously, all the people that had entered and I had a chance?  Wasn't going to happen. But, I got home from work a couple of days later and guess what?  I HAD WON!!!  Really and truly, I had won!  I read the email a couple of times and then clicked on her link to see where she had announced it, thinking that maybe she had sent the wrong person that email.  I won! And, of course, I was happy about that!  Woo hoo! Thank you Laura!!!

The cutest ever thank you cards.
I know some of you are asking, "why an all blue giveaway?"  Well, because Laura has just had a brand spanking new baby boy!  What could be more appropriate?  Blue! Congratulations, Laura and hubby!  I know he's a beautiful little guy!  

Sea Salt & Ginger candle.
Love the paisley design.
My winnings were mailed out right away and I got them just a couple of days later.  It was all I could do to not rip that box wide open, but I took my time and opened it like a lady.  Well, not EXACTLY a lady, but you get the drift.  My goodies were wrapped very nicely in tissue paper and padding, with a twill ribbon holding it.  What a pretty presentation.  Me?  I throw stuff into a box.  And yes, I kept the twill.  You know I'll use it for something, right?  I did have a slight anxiety attack when hubby went to light the candle (I wasn't ready!) but luckily he backed off right away when I did a little sucking in of the breath, squeaking kind of sound.  These are the best goodies ever!

Love my goodies!!!!
After you get done taking a look at my loot, how about you stop over to Laura's blog and give it a check out?  The Ironstone Nest  I promise you that it's worth your time.  And, if she ever does another giveaway, DON'T ENTER IT!  I want to win that one too!

Thank you so much, Laura, for making me so blue!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Window to my World...

Where the paint is darker there is no
glass in the window
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  The rained in, muddy, soaking wet farm!  Yep, today, in the middle of what should be summer, we have had heavy rain all day.  The kind so loud I couldn't hear Mr. Scrappin talking to me over it.  I hope it wasn't important!  Wow! We made the mistake of leaving the windows open and everything is soaked.  The carpet, the bed, the headboard...holy partying cows, this is not good.  Good thing I have a LOT of towels!

I am NOT using this ugly gray side!
You can see the broken glass better in
this pic though.
While all this was happening, hubby was being his ever-so-helpful self and telling me he needs cookies.  FOURTEEN DOZEN cookies, to be exact.  Riiiiiighhht!  Of course I said no.  And then he said that maybe he didn't need to help me with my project.  Hmmm, what's a girl to do?  Ok, ok, I gave in.  But NOT to 14 dozen cookies! Just a regular batch.  I don't think the kitchen is big enough for the massive amount of sugar imbibing that he wants to do.  And of course they have to be chocolate chip. Seriously?  Like he doesn't know that's my fave?  How can I not eat some of those?  Hmmmph.  But, I needed his help on my project, so chocolate chip it is.

Hubby made shanks to put the knobs
on and put them in the window for me.
Now, you may know that I like to try and make things out of, junk...I already have, so this one is a doozy.  Mr. Scrappin thinks I've finally gone mental. WRONG!  I think it's a great idea!  Who doesn't want an extra window in their kitchen?  And who doesn't need something to hang things on? And who doesn't, well, you can fill in the rest of it. Once I explained what it was I needed done, I got that "why can't you just do it yourself" look.  And I gave that "cuz" answer that I'm so fond of.  After all, I'm not allowed to play with sharp objects, fire or power tools (see my profile if you don't believe me) so how was I going to manage this on my own?  I only needed ONE little teensy thing from him.  Really!

Knobs are on.  Doesn't that break look
strangely like a ball went through it?
So, we've got this old window with broken glass in it that hubby found in the barn when he was cleaning it out.  Good man that he is, he asked if I wanted it for anything. hee hee hee Got him trained pretty well, huh?  There were also a couple that had no glass in them and of course we kept those as well.  It was one of the windows with no glass that I was going to use for this project, but Mr. Scrappin decided that he liked the one with the broken window in it. Interesting.  I wasn't so sure about that.  But, since he rarely asks for anything and usually has pretty darn good ideas, I went with it. See?  I can compromise!  Onward I went (after about three months of this thing sitting in my kitchen).

Glass cabinet knobs in between the
larger door knobs.
I had gotten some old door knobs a few months ago, just for this project.  They've been sitting on one of the living room end tables waiting for me to do something with them. You'd think I could at least put them somewhere in the meantime, right?  Uh.  No. They just sat there.  For what seemed like forever.  They probably thought I forgot all about them.  But I didn't.  Truth?  That window was so stinkin' dirty that I just plain didn't want to clean it up.  Thank your lucky stars that I forgot to take a before picture.  You'd have fainted, trust me.  We're talking about a window that was in the barn for over 40 years.  D.I.R.T.Y.!  I actually stuck it in the shower and turned the water on it to get the top grime off before I took it out and scrubbed it clean.  

Framing my mixer and blender until the
wire for hanging gets put on.   
But it's a cool window!  I let it dry for a couple of days before doing anything to make sure it was dry clear through.  It got pretty soaked in the shower and then with the scrubbing.  One side is this ugly gray, and the other side is what I presume used to be white.  I really wanted the broken side to be to the right, but that gray was just too ugly for me to handle.  So, white it is.  Plus, I think the knobs stand out better and that to me gives it more personality.

Sitting on the floor for a cleaner view.
Hubby made some shanks for me to fit inside the door knob shafts.  He cut them and put them on the window bottom for me so I could stick the knobs right over them. Awesome!  I'm quite sure the knobs wouldn't have stayed on by themselves for long if he hadn't done that. After that, I hot glued around the bottom of the shanks and stuck the knobs on, holding them down for a minute so they would adhere to the window.  Then I hot glued three more old glass cabinet knobs between the big knobs.  Love it!  Seriously, it could not have been any simpler.  When it quits raining, hubby will go to the shop and get some wire to put on the back so we can hang it. Until then, it will sit on the kitchen counter with my mixer and  blender behind it.  

A few of my aprons.
What are all those knobs for anyway?  To hang my aprons on.  I have a few and I'm always on the lookout for more.  Any unused knobs can be used to hang old utensils or something.  Possibly a pie plate or framed recipe will go in the spot where the window is broken, but I haven't decided yet.  Do I have to know everything right this minute? All I know is that this little window is a tiny bit of insight to my world of loving old things and trying to use them for something fun and productive.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Signs of the Times...

Sad, lonely, grimy shelves.  :(
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I'm hoping everyone has had a wonderful week!  The weather is changing to warm up and start acting like summer and it's about time!  I know some of you are in areas that have had massive heat indexes, though and I pray that you can find relief.  I may like hot, but I don't like dangerously hot and I don't want any of you being in danger of heat stroke or any other issues that could result from such high temperatures.  Please take care!

Cleaned off and with a purpose!
Now that warmer temps are here and we can actually do something...anything...I am happy to report that I have done (waiiiitttt for it) NOTHING.  My week has been pretty filled up between work and getting some tests done and I have just been a little tired.  So, nothing has been accomplished.  Until yesterday, when I decided I needed to get off my heiny and clean house., I did not.  Well, I did get off my heiny, but I did not clean house.  Unless you count doing the dishes.  Which, in our house, COULD constitute cleaning house because we use so many.  I don't understand how that happens with just the two of us.  Am I really that lazy? Uh...apparently so.  I am so, so sad at that revelation (not that I haven't had it many times before, but it still makes me sad).

With a sloppy coat of textured spray
paint.  Perfect for what I'm wanting
to do.
Well, instead of cleaning house, which just seemed a little too busy for me (hey, I needed a quiet day, ok?), I decided to make something for my kitchen.  Because my kitchen is boring. And only partially painted.  And in need of some fresh blood. Mainly mine, but I was able to keep the blood spatter to nil this time around.  Oh, I'm so proud of myself!  No maiming or bloodshed, no bruises or thumb hits.  All was well.  For probably the first time in history! Which means I must think of a way to celebrate!

A quick coat of creamy white paint.
So, I've had these shelves sitting around for a long time now.  When I first met Mr. Scrappin, he had this funky shelf system that had these weird plastic pole segments holding this shelving together.  Not very sturdy at all. I just found it interesting. Well, when I ended up moving up here and bringing all my junk, er, um...things, some of his had to go. That interesting, not very sturdy shelf being one of them. We got rid of the plastic pole thingies but kept the actual shelf parts.  Which then went up onto the top of cabinets to fit into the recess so they could hold my teapot collection.  Once up there, they were never heard from again.  See those clean spots inside all that dust? Yep, that's how it went.  They never came back down.  Until recently, when I started painting the kitchen.  

Slightly distressed - just
enough to let the brown come
Since I didn't put my teapots back up there, the shelves didn't go back up either.  So they've been sitting at the end of my counter on the floor looking pathetic.  And I do mean pathetic.  Dirty, grungy, sickly alone pathetic.  They needed something to do. I'm pretty sure they were feeling unloved and abandoned (which, admittedly, was true) and were wanting some way to feel useful again.  Hmmm...what to do?  I thought about using them as shelves; after all, isn't that what they were originally? But I didn't really like that idea.  Nah, they needed some renewal. Revival.  Love. Someone to look at them and admire them for all of their devotion and hard work. Yeah. Cut to the chase and they just needed to be off of my kitchen floor.  They were driving me nuts!

Outdated picture frames.
Since I needed some kind of decor for my kitchen that was more in tune with my tastes now, I thought maybe these guys could help me.  But what could I do with them?  Our walls aren't really set up for a lot of weight, as where I'm putting them are above windows and those windows pretty much make up the walls.  But those spaces had been empty and I wanted something up there, even if it was only temporarily to take away the dullness.  I remembered seeing some great prints online so I searched until I found them.  The prints are very quiet, vintage and just cute. Perfect for my little space above the windows.  My project was born.  And changed a couple of times along the way.

Spray painted black for continuity.
First, I had to clean those grimy shelves. Thank goodness there are only two down right now. The rest of them are still on top of the other recesses of cabinets that haven't been painted yet.  These suckers were G.R.I.M.Y.  After cleaning them off, I took them outside and spray painted them with some textured paint that looks kind of like stone.  Once they were dry, I painted over them with the paint that I have been using on my kitchen cabinets.  I thought it might be a nice enough contrast, but still look ok when I distressed it. Hopefully the colors would be what I was looking for.  After everything dried, I took a sanding sponge (don't ask me, my hubby found it in his garage and it has different sanding textures on every side) and swept it over the tops the shelves to bring some of the brown texture through to the top.  Not exactly how I had pictured it, but not too bad.

Hot glue frames to shelf.
Love these vintage printables!
While those were drying and waiting to be distressed, I found some metal frames that I have had sitting in a drawer wasting space because I can't stand to get rid of something once I've paid for it.  They served their purpose for a long time, but I didn't have anywhere to put them now so they were relegated to a some-day drawer.  You know, some day I'll do something with them but I don't know what at the moment?  That kind of drawer.  Don't judge; I know you all have one! I took those outside and spray painted them with black chalkboard paint.  It's the only black paint I have so that's what I used.  But I was happy with it because it's not a shiny paint.  I'm not really one for shiny if that tells you anything.  Anyhoo, they turned out just like I wanted them to!  Yay!

And these ones too!
Then I downloaded the prints that I found here and here; printed to the sizes I wanted and put them in the painted frames.  Those painted frames then got arranged and hot glued to the distressed shelves.  I did rip the stands off of the back of the frames so they would lay flat.  Pull carefully so as not to rip the entire cardboard back into pieces.  Not hard at all.  A little time spent waiting for paints to dry, but not all that long.  All in all, this was a super simple project that makes my kitchen wake up just a little more and be seen.  The best part is that if I change my mind, I can always put new graphics or prints or labels or whatever in the frames.  So easy to switch out if I want to!  

Both of them finished!  I love them!
The best part is, I already had everything, so this project literally cost me nothing to do.  I love that!  With all of us trying to be frugal and still make our homes match our personalities, it's just signs of the times that we want to use what we already have.

Spray paint (Multicolored Textured Brown; Chalkboard Paint Black) by Rustoleum; Creamy White paint by Behr; Printables (Spoonful of Sugar, Roll With It, Be Grateful) courtesy of Over The Big Moon; Printables (Mixing Bowls, Scale, Cake Stand) courtesy of The Handmade Home.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Say Cheese(cake)...

Mix your crust ingredients
Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  Here it is already, the beginning of July!  Really?  Where did the time go?  I swear it was just the middle of winter and snowing! Of course, it hasn't really warmed up a lot here as far as summer weather, but I keep hoping it will come.  It has to, right?  Isn't that the law of weather?  At some point - IT. HAS. TO. WARM. UP.  Today is cloudy and chilly, but not cold.  It is, however, just chilly enough for me to want to bake something.  Good thing I have a couple of recipes.  BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHA  I said "a couple" of recipes.  Shoot, I probably have more recipes than my granny has mothballs in the closet!

Mix your filling ingredients
I thought about chocolate chip cookies, but they just didn't really appeal to my senses today.  Which obviously means I have no sense; I mean, seriously, who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies?  Maybe a cake?  Nah, just made one the other day for my bestie's birthday (and I will admit that it was out of this world good and so moist!) so I'm not into making another one so soon.  Well, guess I'd better get to looking through the recipes so I can finish before midnight Tuesday.  LOL  That's about how many recipes I have.

Pour crust ingredients into baking dish
Ooh, a recipe for Triple Chocolate Crockpot Mess...yummy sounding! Except...I'm already using the crockpot and it has tonight's dinner in it.  Chicken with homemade barbecue sauce.  I'm thinking the chocolate and the barbecue chicken will not cook evenly together. Next?  Got it!  Caramel Cheesecake Bars! I've had this recipe bookmarked (which, in my case, means bolded so it stands out to me) for a little while now and it sure looks appealing to me.  Hmmm...sounding more and more feasible with every second that goes by!  If memory serves me, which I have come to doubt, I actually have everything to make it because I had it on my menu a couple of weeks ago and it didn't pan out.  Time to check the pantry. 

Press crumb crust to fit bottom of dish
Aaaannnddddd....I HAVE EVERYTHING! Woo hooo!  Ok, trust me when I say this rarely happens.  I THINK I have everything; even swear I saw it when I looked.  Get the recipe started and guess what?  Nope, I don't have everything. Seriously, I think the dessert gods are trying to tell me something.  And if this situation happened only with desserts, I'd be darn sure that was the case.  But it never is; I usually let this happen with ANYTHING I'm making.  I guess it's my curse.

Mix your filling until it is smooth
But today, I really do have everything! Wait, let me sit down while that fact sinks in.  I'm not sure I can actually make a recipe if I have everything. How will I make it without panicking?  Without cursing under my breath because I just KNOW that ingredient is in this house somewhere even if I can't see it. Without having to substitute something completely off the wall and wondering if it will turn out anyway?  I just don't know if it's in my chemical make-up to actually prepare a recipe correctly.  I'd better think about this a while.

Pour filling on top of crust
Ok, I'll give it a try.  Just because Caramel Cheesecake Bars sound truly scrumptious on a day like today.  And it won't hurt that the oven will be on because it's just chilly enough to want a little extra heat.  And caramel.  Have I ever mentioned that I like caramel?  This is not a super caramel-y recipe though; the caramel is just drizzled over the top so it will ENHANCE, not take over, the flavor of the bars.  I won't lie when I tell you that even if it did, I'd probably love it anyway.  :)  So, without further ado, here is the recipe I'm making today.

Caramel Cheesecake Bars
Serves 32

For the crust:
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp butter, softened

For the filling:
3 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, slightly beaten

For the topping:
1/4 cup caramel topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees; Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

To prepare crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and margarine. Mix well to to combine. Press mixture evenly into prepared baking pan; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, flour, vanilla extract, and eggs. Beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour over crust layer.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until center is firm. Cool & refrigerate at least 4 hours. Drizzle top with caramel topping.

Now, I ask you - does this not look delectable? Scrumptious? Yummmmmmmm? I think so too! Next time you're trying to figure out what kind of dessert to make, or are just in the mood to bake something, SAY CHEESE(CAKE)!

Adapted from recipe by Kraft Foods.