Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkins with Bling

I love a rainy day, and this one is about as perfect as they come.  The rain has been slow and steady.  The temperature has cooled down.  I have windows open so I can feel the breeze and hear the rain.  To add to the perfection, I spent a few hours up in my loft being artsy. 


A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the iron stand I found at a yard sale.  I immediately decided it would make a perfect display stand for pumpkin.  It's been years since I've decorated pumpkins and this year I intended to make up for it.  I found plenty of inspiration and posted about it here.  

I didn't decorate my pumpkins alone.  I had help.

My pumpkins are real.  They will only be around a couple of months.  That's a lot of trouble for something so short lived.  I don't regret a single moment of the time it took. 

I had so many choices, it was hard to narrow it down to 4 looks.  For the smallest pumpkin, I did a ribbon wrap technique.  The ribbon is secured with sequin push pins. This technique was quick and easy.

I decorated the next one with two styles of sequins.  This technique took the longest and pushing the pins in can be hard on your fingers.  I don't know why but I enjoyed doing this one most of all.  It was almost like meditating.  If you choose to try this, you might want to do it on a small pumpkin.


For the next one, I bent soldering wire into swirls and S's and squiggles.  It was loads of fun.  I spray painted the pumpkin first with a gold glitter spray paint. The I pushed the wire end into the pumpkin.  They stay in place just fine.

I used glitter paint in several colors to decorate the largest pumpkin. It was quick and easy.


Since none of the pumpkins are particularly Halloween-ish, I plan to keep them out through Thanksgiving. 



I've joined in with the following parties:
Saturday Soiree at A Little Lovely
Check Me Out Saturdays at I Am Only One Woman
Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting with Laurie
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Saturday Share Your Faves at It's a Blog Party
It's So Very Thrifty at It's So Very Cheri
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots and Jello
Sunday Scoop at I Heart Naptime
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Summer Sundays at The Tablescaper
Making Monday Marvelous at C.R.A.F.T. 
DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple
Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter
Something I Whipped Up Monday at The Girl Creative 
Making it With Allie at What Allie's Making Now ~ open Thurs thru Sunday  

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Oh, How I Love Yard Sales!

Oh, the places I'll go and the things that I'll see... when I go yard sale-ing.  This weekend I found things to put in my booth, but I found a good many things that I plan to keep... at least for a while.

Click photo to see a larger view.
  1. Painted Pottery Pitcher - I'm definitely keeping this heavy pitcher. I love the colors.  I especially love the addition of teal.  The opposite side is similar but more toned down.
  2. Ceramic candle holders
  3. Ceramic planter - it's already on my porch with a geranium being rooted.
  4. Two large stainless bowls 
  5. Vintage quilt in very good condition - it's been washed and is air drying on my porch.  The colors are wonderful.  It soft, soft, soft from age.  It's going in my guest room.  In fact, this quilt may be the piece that dictates my color choices and decor for the whole room.  Finally, I'll have a direction for this room. 
  6. Bench made from a twin bed - Imagine it painted a vintage green and distressed just a bit.  Then imagine a thick cushion with a pretty fabric and contrasting piping. Then imagine it somewhere in my house because I doubt I'll be able to part with it.
  7. Wire basket - I am hanging onto this for a little while.  I know I saw a great idea for using similar baskets.  I came across it recently and can't remember anything about it.  Hopefully, it will come to me soon.  I sure do miss my memory.  
  8. Galvanized bins - *Maybe* one for me and one for the booth. Or maybe both for me.
  9. Butcher block table - this one is super heavy.  I'm keeping this for awhile.  The booth is too crowded anyway.
  10. Breadbox - Not very attractive now, but with a little paint... we'll see.
  11. Ceramic planter
  12. Lampshades - these are going to the booth only because I don't have a use for them.  They are VERY nice, lined and well made... definitely not typical box store shades.
  13. Blue and cream vase - the picture doesn't do it justice.  It's super heavy and quite pretty.
  14. Odd little cabinet It can sit on a counter or be mounted on a wall. I could leave it as is with a bit of cleanup.  It's a very country look with the painted vegetables and vegetable knobs.  Or I could paint and refurbish the whole thing.  It could be painted cream or robin's egg blue or...  I think I could give it a new lease on life with a little effort.  It would probably be very useful as a bathroom wall cabinet.
  15. Rectangular planter - I adore this planter.  The color is fabulous.  It's heavy and chunky. The size is unusual, but perfect for more salad plantings.  I think something like Swiss chard would be beautiful in it - the colors would be perfect!
  16. Set of 3 candle holders These are really tall and fairly heavy. It's hard to tell but I have a 12 inch ruler propped in front of the middle sized one.  
I would say, this was a fun and successful yard sale weekend!  
I'm very surprised at how much I bought that I'm keeping. 

Be sure to check out my Porch and Garden Party.  It's not too late to join in!

I've joined in with the following parties:
Saturday Soiree at A Little Lovely
Show and Tell Saturday at Be Different Act Normal
Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting with Laurie
Garage Salen' Sundays at Debbiedoos
Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Weekly Treasures at Southern Hospitality - her last party of this year! :-(

Messy House - Bless or Impress

Words of wisdom sometimes travel far beyond the intended target.  Such is the case with something my friend, Kathy, learned at a church workshop.   She learned about Bless or Impress.

image from the fabulous Anne Taintor
  When company is coming, my first instinct is to start running around, picking up debris, grab the vacuum and dust rag and go on an all out cleaning tear.  I don't think I'm alone in this.  

But now that I have learned the magic phrase, I stop and take a breath and ask myself - am I trying to bless ~or~ impress my company?  


While thinking this over, I thought about my friend's homes.  Mostly, I thought of one special friend, Susan, whose house always looks lived-in.  She and her family are super creative and very busy.  Yet she has people over all the time.  She doesn't get concerned over whether things look perfect.  And let me tell you, I feel more comfortable in her house than in any other house I visit.  I can completely relax there.  I don't hesitate to prop my feet up and get comfortable.  In a house where everything is spotless and orderly, I tend to sit up straight and feel the need to be very, very careful.  You can't really relax like that, even if you dearly love the person who lives there.

Today, my wonderful niece, Kelly, and her daughter Eiligh (in case you are wondering, that's a Celtic name and is pronounced Eye-Lee) are coming for a sleepover.  I will tidy up just a little bit, but let me assure you, it will not come anywhere close to being ready for a white glove inspection.  We won't be impressing anybody, but I sure hope to shower those girls with love.



I've joined in with the following parties:
Home and Family Fridays at Home is Where My Story Begins
Favorite Things Friday at A Few of My Favorite Things
Saturday Share Your Faves  at It's a Blog Party
Weekly Words to Live By at Notes From A Cottage Industry

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kale - Decorative and Edible + Garden Party

I bought two heavy cement planters a couple of weeks ago at a yard sale.  Instead of planting them with mums or some other decorative fall plant, I decided to plant kale.  

The hardest part was moving the planters to their new location.  I was determined to do it without Mr. Dream's help - he's been working way too hard lately and I feel guilty asking him to do anything extra.
First, I tried using a wagon.  That required lifting the planter up and over into the wagon.  Let me just say that my biceps got a Gold's Gym worthy workout.  Whew!

For the second planter, I pulled out the hand trucks.  That was sooooo much easier.

If I had planned ahead or not been in a rush for instant gratification, I could have grown my kale from seed. Instead, I bought ten small plants - five for each planter.  That does NOT allow for the recommended spacing, but I'm figuring on cutting the outer leaves on a fairly regular basis.  We'll see how it goes.  Three plants per container might have worked better. 



I'll try to remember to do an update in a month or so.  By then, the planters should be looking lush and colorful.

Lots of gardeners use kale can be used as an ornamental.  In zone 7 and above it can be used as a winter annual.  Experts say it looks especially nice with pansies and dianthus.  I planted my kale with... more kale.  I got three varieties and unfortunately, the tags don't tell you what's what.  They labeled all three flowering kale.  Well that's helpful.  One of the varieties is definitely a curly one.

Kale with purple mums from Arabella Weddings Blog
I do want my kale to look attractive, but mainly, I want to eat it. It's very nutritious!!!  I especially love using kale in green smoothies. Note:  I was going to link to my previous post about green smoothies and can't find one.  Can it be that I have not posted about green smoothies?  Oh, my.  They are fabulous and don't taste "green" at all.  I'll post about them soon - maybe even this week.

It's pretty wilt resistant so lots of restaurants use it to make their salad bar look prettier. At home, it would be pretty as part of a serving platter arrangement.

from Sullivan and Murphy

Tips on Growing Kale
Small Print Disclaimer:  
I have never grown kale before.  
All the information here is gleamed from my research.
I'll let you know how it all works out. 

Kale is not crazy about heat, so, for now, I put the planters in a spot that receives only morning sun.  It's still pretty hot here in Georgia.

from Kennedy's Country Gardens

The cool fall weather brings out the color. Kale will hold their brilliant color all the way into spring.  You can grow them in pots to decorate your porch or patios, or plant a group together right in your garden beds. They grow 1 to 2 feet tall.

from Better Homes and Gardens
My kale should do well even in the winter. Around December, I'll probably move the planters to a full sun location.  It's one of the most frost tolerant of vegetables.  It's fine with temperatures as low as 20 degrees. Some sites said they would survive as low as 5 or 10 degrees depending on the variety. If it gets really cold, I'll probably cover or move mine just to be safe.

Kale actually needs the cool weather. It needs several nights of frost to make it sweet. The frost helps break the sugars into starches.

from Southern Living
To harvest, you can cut a few leaves at a time when the plant is 8 to 10 inches high. You start with the outside leaves first. Or you can harvest the entire plant.  Cut 2 inches above the soil and the plant will sprout new leaves in 1 to 2 weeks. Harvest kale before it gets old and tough. 

from My Sweet Savannah - She has more examples on this post!
 The good thing about having my own kale plants is that the fresher the plant, the sweeter it is.  The flavor gets stronger the longer it's refrigerated.  Who knows just how fresh it is when you get it in the grocery store.

from Garden Delights
 Now - - - Time for Porch and Garden Party #8!

 Link up posts you have 
about anything to do with porches or gardens 
- door decorations, nature, sunrooms...
indoor and outdoor plant posts are welcome, too!


Lots of you are decorating your doors and porches for fall - please link up!




I've joined in with the following parties:
100 Ideas Under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence
Strut your Stuff at Fireflies and Jelly Beans
Hooking Up With HOH at House of Hepworths
It’s Party Time  at Pony Tails and Fish Scales
Strut Your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Make It Yours Day at My Backyard Eden
Show and Tell at Blue Cricket Designs
Show Us What You're Workin' With at Me and My Bucket
Creative Share Wednesday at Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New blog page ~and ~ A Book Club

I am in a book club with a group of retired teachers who are loads of fun.  My booth partner, Martie, is in the club, too.  The other members want to see our booth and want to tell some of their friends about it.  To make it easy for them, I have added a page on my blog about the Rockin B - MY BOOTH.

I added photos to the page of things that caught my eye last week.  You can see from those that the Rockin' B has a little bit of everything.  The danger of renting there is that I am tempted to spend more than I make.

As for the book club, Our first book was Olive Kitteridge.  Oh, my.  That was the most depressing book ever!  We all were miserable reading it. The author writes very well and the book has won awards, but I sure wish the author would write well about something a little happier. 

Now we are reading  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I read it several years ago and just loved it.  The topic is depressing, but the book is not!  It's wonderful.  I'm going to read it again, because I have forgotten so much. 

I read several reviews and this is the one that came closest to saying what I would have said -
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have written a wondrous, delightful, poignant book— part Jane Austen, part history lesson.  The letters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society aren't addressed to you, but they are meant for you.  It's a book everyone should read.  An absolute treasure.—Sarah Addison Allen, author of Garden Spells



Be sure to check out my Porch and Garden Party.  It's not too late to join in!



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bakers Racks

Bakers Racks are so useful.  They've been around for ages.  I got my first one at least 20 years ago.   I've used it for all sorts of things - to hold towels in a bathroom, to hold cookbooks in the kitchen, as a plant stand, and lately, as a launch pad in our coatroom. It started out black and many years back, I painted it hunter green.  At the time, I thought changing it to hunter green was wonderful.  The poor thing has been neglected since then. And you know it's been a long, long time since hunter green was "in". 

But then, at a yard sale this weekend, I spied a very pretty bakers rack, (larger than our old launch pad rack).  I sweetly asked if it was for sale and held my breath.  The lady said she really didn't want to sell it.  She liked it.  She didn't know why her husband brought it out for the sale.  Anyway, if she sold it, she'd have to have at least $10.  My heart rate increased. I tried to look calm - not too eager or pushy.  I guess I'll take it for 10.  She still wasn't sure.  She'd have to ask her husband.  Her husband, my new best friend, wanted her to get rid of it.  They were redoing the room.  They'd get something nice and new.  It came home with me and after a very brief thought of putting it in the booth for display, ended up giving my coat room a nice lift. I hope the lady who sold it to me gets something she loves.


 Now, I'm going to work up my nerve and show you the old one, in exactly the state it was in just before the transformation process began.
Ohhh Honey... am I really posting this photo?
What a mess.  The old green one is smaller.  I try to keep it looking neater than this, but when things get hectic, it quickly becomes a mess.  Like I said, this is our launch pad.  It holds our keys and umbrellas and whatever we'll need as we come and go. My purse even looks unhappy in this picture!

So, the old green one is now in the attic awaiting a makeover (with the Rustoleum oil rubbed bronze that I've fallen in love with!)

The new one is taller - four shelves instead of three.  And the shelves are wider.  There's plenty of room in this corner, so the larger size of the rack is an improvement.  And it folds flat, so it will be super easy to move should I ever want to do so.

The shelves are very pretty!  I just love those swirls.

I had so much room after organizing the necessities, 
that I was able to add in a little fall arrangement.

I plan to replace the Longaberger basket on the bottom shelf with something else - not sure what.  It will need to be something tall, otherwise our darling cats will get into it and pull out whatever is there.  Honestly!  We don't have pets - they have us!!!

This is our other bakers rack.  I got it on sale, at a incredibly low price, at Home Depot at least 5 years ago.  Right now, it's home to our salad planters.  In July, I posted about how much I wanted a Salad Table.  As cool as those tables are, in the end I decided to use planters on this rack so I could easily bring it inside when the weather turns cold.  I want fresh lettuce and spinach all winter long.  This rack also folds flat.  It will be a cinch to move inside in a few months.

So far, my growing plan is working great.  I've staggered the planting.  I'm already eating lettuce from two of the containers.  Supposedly, I should be able to snip off some leaves and the plant will keep growing.  I will probably fill the old green bakers rack with more salad plants.  I love salads and it doesn't get any fresher than this. 

I almost forgot - I have a fourth bakers rack.  Uh-oh. Am I becoming obsessed? 


This one is also on our kitchen porch.  It's sort of a holding spot for plants.  Most of the things growing here are going to be moved or replanted soon. 

It's a little delicate looking for my tastes.  The flowers are painted in pastels (not as bright as they appear in the closeup).  I haven't been able to bring myself to paint it. I can't picture this rack painted black or bronze.  Maybe a grey/silver/galvanized look could be interesting. Or a bright fun color???  Or... maybe I should leave it as is, and sell it to someone who will love it just as it is.  I think it's pretty, but I don't really decorate with pastels.  This one also folds up.


Bakers racks come in so many sizes and styles and serve so many purposes.
Here are some pretty ones I found while browsing -

I love the slightly industrial look of this one from Sweet Nothings.
This one from Simply Sailing got a makeover including a piece of leftover counter-top.
This one from Lomond View was used outside at a reception.

Kay Ellen decorated hers for Christmas.
Here's another one using for entertaining - as seen on Apartment Therapy.
As seen on Old Sweetwater Cottage
Another great one found on Old Sweetwater Cottage
Now, are you excited about baker's racks or what!?!


Be sure to check out my Porch and Garden Party.  It's not too late to join in!

I've joined in with the following parties:
Anything Related at All Thingz Related
Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm
Lucky Linky Tuesday at Lucky Star Lane
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Vintage Inspiration Fridays at Common Ground
Fab Friday at Frugal and Fabulous Design
Home and Family Fridays at Home is Where My Story Begins 
It's a HodgePodge Friday at It's a HodgePodge Life
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home 
I'm Lovin' It Fridays at Tidy Mom 
Alphabet Thursday at Mrs. Matlock's 

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mirror Makeover in Oil Rubbed Bronze

A few weeks ago I bought a Pepto Bismol Pink mirror at a yard sale.  No doubt, it had been in a sweet little girl's room.  The mirror is wrought iron - nice and heavy - and I decided it would look really nice brought back to a darker color.

The Before - I was just about to start spraying when I remembered to take a before shot.


I have been hearing about Rustoleum's oil rubbed bronze on blogs for a few months.  I couldn't find the color at my local Wal-Mart, so I bought a dark brown multicolored textured instead.  That didn't work out so well.


Luckily, I only bought one can, which I thought would be plent. The can had 25% more - that ought to do it.  In the photo above, you can see the mirror.  That's how it looked after the entire can. The coverage was terrible and the color wasn't what I had in mind.  I was going to have to get more spray paint, so I went to HD this time, and found the oil rubbed bronze I had been after in the first place. YEAH!!!  I bought 4 cans.  That way, I'd have plenty for the mirror and hopefully, extra for other projects.  


The Rustoleum Universal Metallic covered so much better.  I ended up using all of one can and a few squirts from a second can.


It's hard to take a good picture of a mirror.  The photo above doesn't do it justice.  It really turned out nice.
close up view, so you can see the rich color
 The oil rubbed bronze is everything it was rumored to be.  I highly recommend it.  The color is fabulous - very dark, almost black - and it covers like a dream.  The trigger spray nozzle is a little miracle in itself - easier to use and less messy.

The mirror is going to my booth, where I hope it will be found by someone who thinks it's as pretty as I do.  I can't keep it.  A standing mirror does not belong in a home with four big dogs.   My decorating choices have plenty of limitations!

Note:  The oil rubbed bronze is available in spray AND brush-on.  I started to get a can of the brush-on, too, but changed my mind.  I wish I had gotten it.  I thought the mirror was finished and removed the paper.  When I moved the mirror down to load it in the car, I found a couple of spots of pink in hard to get to places. I had to re-tape the mirror to spray again.  Ugh.  The brush-on would have made those touch ups so easy.

Be sure to check out my Porch and Garden Party.  It's not too late to join in!

I've joined in with the following parties:
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Project Parade at The DIY Showoff
Something I Whipped Up Monday at The Girl Creative 
Motivate Me Monday at Keeping it Simple
Making the World Cuter Monday at Making the World Cuter
Weekly Treasures at Southern Hospitality

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