Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Moving to WordPress

After the ambitious amount of writing I've done (all 45 posts), I've decided to move things over to WordPress.  I have pretty much the same address just without the "blogspot."


The first post is up.  Not terribly stunning, just informative and short.  I hope you'll come visit me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Herb de Provence Bread

Happy April Fool's Day!

I'm doing my taxes today.  What better day I figure.  Afterwards I usually need some comfort food.  I decided to make some homemade bread with a little twist.

I bought a breadmaker at Goodwill a few years ago for the sole purpose of having it make my dough and saving me the hard work of making homemade bread.  It has worked out wonderfully.  I put my ingredients in the breadmaker, select the "Dough" setting, let it do all the muscle work, and then pop it into the oven to bake some fresh bread.

The breadmaker came with a book full of bread and dough recipes.

I'm using the French Bread recipe for 2 pounds.  The ingredients are as follows:
  • 1 1/2 cups of water 80F degrees
  • 2 TBL oil (I used olive)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBL sugar
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
To make Herb de Provence bread I simply added 2 tablespoons of Herb de Provence after adding 2 tablespoons of sugar.

My bread turned out delicious!  You can tweak the amount of Herb de Provence to your liking.  This bread goes great with dinner or to make sandwiches.  (Also good if you're sulking about your taxes)

If you like super thin slices of bread, as I've done here, I suggest a bread slicing guide such as this.  I own this one and I love it.  It keeps the bread from drying out.  I put the link below.

Expanding Bread Keeper

I'm sharing this with:
Twirl and Take a Bow Tuesday

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chalkboard Paint On Your Fridge

The other day my husband, Mr. Pinterest, had a novel idea.  "Can we paint the top of the fridge with chalkboard paint and write a weekly dinner schedule on it?"  Now, I only call him Mr. Pinterest when he has these really interesting and crafty ideas.  I didn't know if you could paint the fridge but I was going to find out.

I went on YouTube and found out that there's a lot of people painting their fridge with chalkboard paint.  Who knew?  This is how we did it:

  1. Clean off the fridge or area you want to paint.  No stickers or magnets.
  2. Clean with an appropriate cleaner to get off dirt, grease, fingerprints, etc.  Let dry.
  3. Paint with chalkboard paint.  My husband used those foam brushes and painted in horizontal  strokes.
  4. Let dry.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 till you have the desired coverage.  He painted 3 coats.  No sanding is necessary after the paint dries.  Then we let it sit overnight.
  6. Start using your chalkboard.  We're using ours for a dinner menu.  Some are using theirs as a calendar.

This fridge came with our house.  Perhaps this is why I agreed to this project.

Mr. Pinterest is not a neat painter.

Rowan dug up some chalk for us.

Everything worked out nicely.  Mr. Pinterest painted the handle, too, so it would blend in.  We all wrote or drew something.  It looks like we'll be eating a giant flower on Wednesday and then we'll be having butterflies on Thursday and Saturday.  Yum!

I'm sharing this with Common Ground

Sunday, March 23, 2014

China Hutch Makeover Part 2

Welcome back!  When I left off the hutch had been painted and finished.  Now it was time to put new hardware or leave the old.

This is the original hardware.  There were also two round knobs for the doors which I decided to paint.

This is very close to my original vision.  Two little round things were nagging at me.

These are the original knobs.  They just wouldn't do.

I found these knobs at Hobby Lobby.  I love that they look like crackled glass.  Now my vision was fulfilled.

I have turned my attention to decorating a little bit.  I've had several good ideas from the recent Spring link up parties.

A white platter from a GW store.

A white pitcher with a very authentic crack and bright pink carnations.

A lovely card a friend made for me.

A miniature tea set Jace bought for me before we were married.

A figurine I had bought for my mother when I was a little girl.  Behind is a platter I recently bought at an estate sale.

 A real bird nest, which I'll describe in another post and eggs I colored.

I think yellow is so cheerful in Spring.  I put yellow roses and daisies in a milk pail with a yellow ribbon.  Organic lemons in a tureen from a consignment shop.  A citrus scented candle with a lace collar I crocheted myself.

A new accomplishment in my gardening.  Tulips I grew.  Quite pretty with the two colors.  I will have more solid colored tulips soon. The greenery is fennel which grows very well all winter.  It gives off a light lemon/licorice scent.

After all the hard work, Rowan helped set some things up for tea.

Within a day things around the hutch were already changing.  I hope you'll return to see the future changes.

All around the house we are making remodeling/redecorating changes.  Jace has been bitten by the chalk paint bug and is addicted!  He's taken a real interest and I think understands the style I'm going for.

The garden posts will start popping up very soon.  My planting date is March 25th.  I didn't want to risk planting anything on the 20th.  We always get a last spot of bad weather.  Wouldn't you know it, today and tomorrow will be cold, rainy, and windy.  Not a great start for new plants.  I am looking forward to this season of all things new.

I'm sharing this post with:
Seasonal Sundays #195 at The Tablescaper
Twirl and Take a Bow at Deja Vue Designs

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March 19, 2014 China Hutch Makeover Part 1

At the end of January I wrote about finding a china hutch.  I love it so much that if I wasn't already married I'd be marrying it.  I'm nearing the completion and thought I would share how far it's come.

How many times did mother tell you to keep your shoes off the furniture!

I found the hutch on Craigslist.  A local consignment shop posts pictures of things they have on sale.  The owner of the shop told me the history of it belonging to a little old lady and was a much loved piece in her family.  The hutch is made of maple.  I was not fond of the color and Jace said it looked like 70's wood paneling.  It was still hard to sand because I was afraid I was going to make a mistake and ruin it.  In a fit of what I felt was complete lunacy I sanded most of it but left some unsanded.

I had been reading about a lot of projects done with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and it sounded marvelous!  I looked up a local distributor and Jace and I took a trip to the next town.  We were quite blown away by the cost.  In fact we left the store laughing.  $38.95 for a quart of paint and $28.95 for the wax.  $67.90.  Holy Moly!  I don't even remember the cost of the brush.  This was just too expensive even if it was a miracle in a can.  (I still shake my head when I think back and know how relatively cheap it is to make your own chalk paint.)

I came home dejected and settled on going with Plan B, regular paint.  Then I saw a recipe for making your own chalk paint.  This sounded more reasonable, but I didn't have plaster of Paris.  Jace said we did, or something that was comparable.  It was pottery plaster.  We had gotten it at Hobby Lobby for a project for homeschool.

I also had a brand new gallon of Olympic interior paint in Antique white.  I always have this paint since it is the color on my living room, kitchen, and hallway walls, although, I'm giving serious thought to going greige.  I mixed the pottery plaster and paint in a 1 to 3 ratio.  I did not have furniture wax but I wanted a more durable tough coating.  I have an 8 year old with a skateboard.  I did have a can of polyerethane on hand.  So far this makeover is costing me nothing!

 Painting went very quickly.  I noticed this stuff dries fast!  I finished all the painting in one day.

I asked my very strong and manly husband to help me lift the hutch back up.  I paid him with a kiss.  I'm getting excited at this point because I can really see the hutch turning out the way I imagined.

Just a little more paint and it's done!  At this point I had started giving it a light sanding with 220 grit paper.  Only a couple of swipes and it had a smooth velvet finish.  I did not do a lot of distressing because I'm not experienced with it yet.  I didn't want to overdo it.  I began painting on one coat of the polyurethane.  From the things I read about the wax I don't think what I did took any more time than if I had used a wax finish.

I stored the left over paint in a jar and it kept well overnight.  I'm planning on using it on a small table.  This paint really does go a long way.

 I reached my goal of being able to place my first plate for display.  I love that the shelves have built in tracks for displaying plates.

I found this plate at my local grocery store a couple of weeks ago.  I bought the last one.  I think it is so appropriate for life here on the one acre homestead.

This is where I ended last night.  This piece is such an inspiration.  Jace and I were up at midnight having a decorating explosion of ideas for other areas of the house.  I hope you can join me for the completion of this project.

I'm sharing this post with Deja Vue Design's Twirl and Take a Bow, A Delightsome Life's Home and Garden Thursday, Common Ground's Be Inspired #181.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March 13, 2014 Pinterest Love and School Pictures

I am up at the crack of dawn!  In fact, it's even earlier than that.  Dawn is still in bed and won't be around for a few more hours.  You know who else is still in bed?  Rowan.  Today is field trip day and she doesn't want to wake up.  I could be upset about sacrificing my sleeping in desires because daylight savings time wreaks a little havoc in the routine.  But I'm not upset.  It's quiet.  Peace and quiet. 

Last night I started a list for my Spring Cleaning.  It grows to infinity.  Thanks to the sanding-the-china-hutch project I now have a fine mist of dust on every. single. surface.  This is not what I had envisioned for getting me motivated to clean.  However, it has its merits because it's working.  Plus the fact that we're hosting a slumber party on Saturday.  Oh yeah.  I have a terrible habit of taking on gigantic projects right before we are hosting some kind of shindig.

The GROSSEST thing I've done today is "take care of" all the roosters.  Ahem.  That's probably all that needs to be said.  We love homesteading!  Then nature got me back.  A bee stung me.  On my finger.

The BEST thing that happened to me today was finding something I had pinned on Pinterest.

This is the original picture I pinned.  I don't know the source and wish I could credit it but Pinterest is giving me a 404 error saying the page no longer exists.

Now many times I pin things and pretty much know they will never see the light of day at my house.  Many things are just too exorbitantly expensive or don't even exist in my neck of the woods.  So this image got tucked into interesting fantasy material.

Today as I was deciding where the day would go, I sat on Craigslist.  That is usually a quick browse because in my area they usually post about having free empty toilet paper rolls.  I regularly chat with my computer screen, "Why won't you sell anything good?!"

Today was different...  Today I scored.

This lovely ensemble was for sale and it was located less than 15 minutes from my house.  This is a miracle.  Now I ask you, how much do you think two, count them two, four foot solid wood with metal ladders and 3 solid wood shelves would cost?  Would you freak out if I said $15?  Well, I know I did.  I was a texting fool.  By 9:30 those babies were mine.

Homeschool affords me something important:  a lovely assistant.

She was happy to help me set this up for another little project.

School picture day.  This might be an area you don't think about when starting homeschooling.  I always hated buying school pictures.  When Rowan went to public school there was not a single school picture that came back looking decent.  It would irritate me to no end to get the pictures and her hair was all messy, sweaty, or one year she chewed on her shirt while waiting in the picture line.  Tons of money spent for bad pictures.  But now I just take pictures at home.  Any old time we feel like it.  It's also free.

And before I forget, here's where the ladders ended up.

They're in the hoop house, but I would think they'd be showing up just about anywhere this season.

I'm sharing this post with Town & Country Living.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

March 12, 2014 I Spent the Day Sanding

It could be another inside day here.  The wind has really kicked up and it just makes being outside kind of miserable.  I still have lots of things to do inside.  There really is always more to do than I have time for.  It should be a clue to simplify my life, and it is, but the process to get to simplicity is slow.

The Ultimate Blog Planning Notebook looks kinda promising.  I found it at Lamberts Lately through Home and Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life.

The wind did end up remaining throughout the day.  I spent the day sanding.  I can happily say that I'm am done sanding the china hutch!  This is kind of a monumental task for me.  I was getting a little worried it was going to end up in my unfinished projects pile.  I'd love to post a picture but the hutch is sitting the wrong way.  Ah well, we will just have to wait and see the finished product.

Tomorrow we are going on a field trip for homeschool.  Very exciting activities and things to see.  Which reminds me, I should go charge the camera battery.  And I should go get myself to bed and go to sleep.