Sunday, November 27, 2011

Confession and Tile to Trivet Makeover

Hello, my name is Shanee and I am an addict.  I can admit it but I have to tell you I have no interest in a 12 step program because I like being an addict and don't intend to change.  I am addicted to Pinterest and there are just too many projects I find I want to try.   It is useless to fight it.

My spare daughter, Bri introduced me to Pinterest back in the fall (then promptly closed her facebook and pinterest because she was spending too much time on them)...gee thanks Bri.  Mini told me the whole thing was silly.  I didn't pay her any mind since any time I mention cooking or crafts she gets a glazed look and heads off to check on her Fantasy Football team.  What could she possibly know?  Well, she was right it is silly and addicting but since I am so ADD and hormone induced insane it really helps me keep ideas in one place (as opposed to clipping articles and pics only to lose them before they ever enter my "someday" notebook).

When I stumbled onto these adorable dot painted dishes I just had to try painting some.  Bri and I headed off looking for paints and dishes.  Initially I wanted to paint some Christmas dishes but after some research we discovered that all the paints we could find were not cleared for contact with food.  Opps.  We decided to err on the side of caution and only create designs on the edges of dishes. 

Paint in hand all we needed were the dishes.  I am sure you can relate to this scenario.  You have zero dollars but go shopping anyway and see 10 things you just have to have. Then you go shopping with money and you will find zilch!    That is exactly what happened on our dish hunt, plenty of money but no dishes that fit the bill. 

Okay, plan B.  Bri had seen some designs on coasters so we decided to give that a try.  The great thing about tiles is they are cheap!  Super cheap!  Gotta love super cheap. 

We printed off some templates to use for monograms and designs and got started.   Maybe everyone else in the world knew this but Bri taught me a little trick for transferring designs.  We printed off our design and then HEAVILY traced the design in pencil on the back.  After a bit of measuring (I HATE the measuring) we were ready to transfer.   We flipped the template over and traced the right side..ta da design transferred to the tile.  This was so nice to know after I had been trying to transfer using a very worn out piece of graph paper!

Now for the fun stuff.   The paints we used were Americana Gloss Enamels.  I love the consistency of this paint.  Some multi-surface paints do not work well on glass or glossy surfaces but this paint has excellent coverage for both the dot painting and the freehand painting I did.

Some of the dots were created with the pointed top (I know there is a name for these but I am having a moment and can't seem to find the world I need)  that came with some of the paints and others were created with toothpicks or the end of paint brushes.  The rest of the design was freehand painted.

After the painting was all done the tiles needed to dry for 48 hours.  Once dry I placed them in a cold oven on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and then baked for 25 minutes.  After baking and cooling, I used 150 grit sandpaper to sand the edges and backs and then I attached felt to the bottom using my trusty glue gun (first time ever NOT to be burned doing a project).  You could use cork as well and it would definitely look more professional but I was doing a use what you have project.   I then tied each set with red and silver ribbon to complete the gift.

I am planning on delivering a couple of sets tomorrow, I can't wait!  Hope everyone has a terrific Monday.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Food and Fun

I am sure by the time this is posted you all are all making like turkeys and are stuffed.

Just wanted to share a little of what the last 2 days have been like here in my little corner of the south.  I was so blessed yesterday to have Mini home from school.  She and I spent part of the day cleaning and running errands and the last half cooking.
I haven't told you much about Mini but this is an important fact.  Mini is NOT domestic at all. Not only is she NOT domestic, but she has no desire to be.  As a matter of fact, she took a class this year called Family and Consumer science (she loves science, so she figured she would like this, hehehe).  Imagine her surprise when she went to her first class and figured out this was the new name for that little class many of you that are my age took, we called it Home Economics!  She was not happy and promptly made this known, which landed her squarely on the teacher's naughty list.  It probably did not help that BDJ and Wonder Hubby dubbed this class her Housewife In Training class.  That being said, Mini is a wonderful cook.  Unlike me, she applies all that love of science and detail to cooking and her endeavors always turn out well.
Yesterday she made her first pie crust and a chess pie.  This is probably her daddy's favorite and will go a long way toward making him less sorry he took off tomorrow to take her black friday shopping.  Smart move girl!
Making her first pie crust

She did a great job.  In fact I was a little jealous since breads and crusts are not my strong suit.  I work in too much flour and end up with a crumbly mess.  Not Mini. Her crust rolled up on the rolling pin for transfer to the pie plate perfectly.

Here is the finished product.

She did a great job....she always does whenever I can drag her into the kitchen.  Her daddy says it is a good thing she is smart and pretty cause her lack of desire to have and use "homemaker" skills would make it hard to move the merchandise!

I couldn't have cared less if the pie turned out well or not, the time we spent together was priceless.  Wish I could get that time everyday.

While Mini was working hard on her pie, I did a little baking of my own.  Back in the summer, my spare daughter Bri came home one day with a box of Gigi's cupcakes.  Oh my, if you have not had these, they are to die for.  If you haven't had them, don't walk, to the nearest location and get you some!
For those of us that have had them, you know it is a daily battle not to storm their store for more. 

One of the cupcakes Bri brought home was a pecan pie cupcake.  I'm sorry I can't think of the proper name right now(could be the turkey coma I am experiencing).  If you like pecan pie you will LOVE these.  It is like eating the gooey part of the pie with caramel icing.  I was in love on the spot.  The nearest location of Gigi's is 35 miles away (thankfully) so I can't always get there when I have a craving, so I started playing around with doing a knock off version.   I spent most of my research time working on the icing and experienced many epic fails. 

Finally I stumbled across a couple of recipes that I thought I could tweak and get close.  Of course everyone knows not to try something new before a holiday/big event/dinner party but I just knew I could perform under pressure.

So I whipped up the pecan pie muffins.  Simple ingredients I had in my pantry.  Yea I was on my way! 

While my muffins/cupcakes cooled, I tweaked on my icing recipe.  I will admit that the consistency was off in that unlike Gigi's I was unable to pile it up 3 inches high (okay truth is I couldn't do that if I had their icing).   No problemo...since the cupcakes are more of a muffin consistency I just put them in dessert cups and drizzled more icing over them (you can never go wrong with more icing, right?).   The taste, however, for both the cupcake and the icing was dead on.  Yes, you heard right....I nailed it (happy dance happening now)!

Sadly, the recipe only made 9 (weird huh?) cupcakes and don't you know just after I iced them one had a tragic accident and flipped upside down in the fridge requiring clean up me to try it immediately.

Doesn't that look yummy?  Here is the best part.....only The Nana and Wonder Hubby and I like pecan pie so I don't even have to hide them :)

This is some of what we enjoyed today.  I can barely stand to look at it all now I'm so full but I thought I would share.  How blessed we were to have wonderful food.

This is the star of the show.  I know many of your will be surprised to find out I did not pull a Martha Stewart this year (I was serious about the low stress approach)!  So our Tom turkey was not golden brown and trimmed out beautifully on a platter.  No sirree..he was cooked perfectly albeit a bit pale.

The Nana's famous fresh cranberry sauce/salad...YUM
Oh my, it was all so good.  I hope you all enjoyed food, family, friends, and made some priceless memories of your own.

Now that Wonder Hubby has taken Friday off....Mini and I are gearing up to hit those Black Friday I'll have lots to say about that later. 

Time Warp Tuesday - Thanksgiving Table Tour

Wow, I can hardly believe Thanksgiving is only two days away.   Since I realized this year features the shortest time span between Thanksgiving and Christmas in a long time I have been in a panic.  Apparently, since I have purchased only one gift so far, the days of being finished with my shopping by the first week of December and being able to relax and enjoy the season are officially over. 
I have only worked one day in the last week so you would think I would be more prepared.  No so.  Instead of compiling Christmas lists or shopping I spent one day pre-cooking for Thanksgiving, one day getting all the leaves up (and with 40+ Oak trees in our yard that is no small feat) and Wonder Hubby and I spent two days laying new floors in the guest bedroom.  The rest of the days?  Hello, I rested, I am old after all!
So, with the holiday season closing in on me I am spending today finishing a couple of paint projects and some Christmas gifts.  Tomorrow I will spend cleaning and doing T-Day prep because by the time I wash the last dish on Thursday, Mini is going to want to head out Black Friday Shopping and we all know from that point on it will be days of mayhem.  Knowing this and realizing I would probably never remember to share my Thanksgiving tablescape (which at this point hasn't been dreamed up) I thought I would repost my first tablescape from Thanksgiving 2011. 
Thanks for taking the tour and I wish you the best Thanksgiving ever!
Welcome to my Thanksgiving Table Tour.  This is my first posted tablescape so forgive the blurs, bleeps and bad angles

My Thanksgiving table is filled with all things collected over the years.  The tablecloth first made it's debut here at our house 14 years ago.  I don't necessarily love it anymore but I am such a sentimental fool I will use it until it disintegrates.

The plates are from Garden Ridge about 12 years ago.  I just love the basket weave around the edges.

The wine glasses were a gift from Wonder Hubby 4 or 5 years ago, as were the gold bow napkin rings.

  I love, love, love my Tom Turkey tureen!  He has graced our presence for the past 10 years and always makes me smile, although he is a bugger to clean.  Glass pumpkins and gourds, coffee scented candles and mini pine cones and Indian corn complete the centerpiece.

I love the mix of gold and crystal and the natural pine cones and corn. 
I am so thankful to be blessed with loved ones to gather with and for the food that we will enjoy at this table.  Thanks for taking the tour. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bountiful Blessings

Happy Thanksgiving.  I have read so many posts about Thanksgiving that were so eloquent that I almost didn't post, but I decided that those that know me won't expect a post like that!

I have been on the fence about whether this would be a good day or a bad day.  This year has been so full of changes that I wasn't quite sure when I got to this day which way it would go.

So here we are, and guess what?  It is going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving!  This is actually my 2nd favorite holiday (I just can't give up Christmas as number 1).  It was the first holiday that I claimed when Wonder Hubby and I married.  At the time I thought it was a real coup but over time I realized that The Nana and my MIL were probably just relieved to be off the hook for this one!  Attendance ranges from 10 - 20 depending on the year, and there are no paper plates or cups allowed.  Neither is eating off your lap, so tables are brought in as needed.

I love Thanksgiving because, despite being a ton of work (yes it is....but I secretly love it), it is low pressure.  There is no deciding where and when to go anywhere.  Everyone is more than happy to park at our table.  Again, upon reflection, I think they all knew something I didn't 26 years ago when I took Thanksgiving. 

I love preparing all the same foods (I'm anti-change you know), the same smells, the same sad jokes.  I don't love the same ton of dishes or spending days getting the house up to par, but you have to take the good with the bad.

Thanksgiving was my maternal grandfather's favorite holiday.  He absolutely loved coming to my house for dinner.  In the chaos that is a family holiday, I might find myself questioning my sanity and wondering if anyone appreciated any of the effort it takes to orchestrate such a production.  With my grandfather, I always knew someone did.  I always feel him with me in the days before Thanksgiving when I am preparing things and certainly on Thanksgiving day.

This year is very unique.  We will have only 5 of us gathered around the table.  My baby brother, The Nana, Mini, Wonder Hubby, and myself.  At first this made me really sad, but then I realized that there will be only 5 of us because of blessings we have already received.  Let me explain a bit.

My son will not be here because he was blessed to graduate college this year and accepted a position across the country that is the first step in his dream career.  See where I am going with this?  He isn't here because of this blessing, for that I am thankful. 

My grandmother passed away in August so that will leave another opening at the table.  She was 93 years old and had lived in a nursing home for the past 4 years.  She was in good shape mentally and physically until 6 weeks before she passed away.  Sadly her last 6 weeks were not easy and although I miss her and wish she would be here for Thanksgiving, we were blessed with her not having to endure a lengthy illness  She will be with my grandfather for the 1st Thanksgiving in 8 years.  For that I am thankful.

My father and one of my brothers won't be here this year.  My father is blessed to still have his father and will be joining his dad and his siblings to celebrate Thanksgiving, my oldest brother is going to join them.  I was sad that my grandfather couldn't make the trip here and that my dad and brother won't be here but they will be together.  For that I am thankful.

Funny thing is, once I began to think of all the reasons my table is empty the more blessed I felt.  The more blessed I felt, the happier I was, and the happier I was the more upsides I saw.   I only cooked 1/2 day today and have only a couple of small things to do tomorrow morning.  That is amazing since I normally cook for days.  I am not completely stressed out with details (guess I have learned to roll with the changes a bit this year).

So tomorrow morning I will get up, take my time, and enjoy my coffee.  Maybe watch some parades, actually find time to comb my hair and wear non flour covered clothes, and give thanks for all the blessings that leave only 5 at my table.

May each and every one enjoy a blessed Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mantel Magic

I'm am so excited to finally post about the biggest piece of my Going Coastal room transformation.  Taking deep breaths, take your time, slow down. Okay I'm good now.

I first told you about starting my Coastal feel room makeover here.  I had great success with the first few projects of the room, but I was struggling with finding the right shutters to create the headboard in the inspiration photo.  Finally, thanks to Wonder Hubby, we found the right piece.  Read all about our find here

Now I was ready to get to the fun stuff.  This is how the mantel looked when we purchased it. 

First step was cleaning and cleaning and more cleaning.  We were so excited to try it in the room, we were cleaning like crazy!  I didn't think I would be able to use it as is but it was worth trying to clean.  It had years of crud buildup that just would not come clean, so I had some painting to do, but first we had to test it out.  It was perfect (wish you could hear me sing Perfect) because it made me sing to see it in place.  It fit the space and the bed width perfectly.

1st Test in the Room.  I'm gonna love it.  Also had to test a couple of accessory ideas!
After seeing it in the room, I couldn't drag it to the garage fast enough.  I sanded the whole piece and Wonder Hubby repaired some loose pieces and removed a lot of nails that had no purpose.  The one problem we had with using the mantel as a headboard was the opening.   The opening width was fine but there was a lot of open space between the bed and the bottom of the mantel. we studied the situation and decided we could fill the space with bead board.  Part of this decision was made because we had a piece just lollying about in the garage waiting for a purpose.  It was meant to be because it was just barely enough to fit.

We are so Redneck Creative using Paint Sticks are Joiner Pieces
Hey it's free and works:)

Then it was painting time. I love the look of chippy/distressed furniture and I love creating this look. BDJ totally does not get buying old and then redoing and then distressing to get old again....and when I think about it, it is a little nutty. 

Nutty or not I couldn't get going soon enough. I waxed all the areas I felt would look best distressed and then painted. The paint I used is Porter Paints interior flat latex in Cream Puff and I already had this paint, yippee it's free. Then I waited patiently paced a track around the garage while the paint dried.   Now came the fun part. Using my handy dandy sanding block, I started knocking the paint off the waxed areas.  I love dong this!  Soon I realized that you can have too much of a good thing and I had gone way beyond too much. So back to square one, I painted it again. Do ya'll do that? Sometimes I end up painting things multiple times before I am happy or before I can stop myself from going too far. The second try turned out perfectly, just enough chippy areas. The picture below shows the mantel with the 1st painting and the beaded board attached.

Yea.... Finally I had just the right look.   The black bead board required a couple of coats of paint to cover. 

 I was so excited to try it in the room all complete, but I used this excitement to help kick me into gear to get a bedskirt made to use.  I had purchased a box pleated bedskirt but I should have know that I was putting too much faith in a SteinMart 9.99 special.  When I got it home it was just too thin for me so I decided to patiently wait for the right one.

My patience lasted about 2 days.  I knew I should wait for the right one, but I really wanted to have the room together before BDJ came home for a visit and I was running out of time.  I rationalized that if I didn't have to buy anything and could make one that would do for more I could justify buying "the one" later.  So I went shopping in storage bins and closets.  Lucky me,  I had an old sheet in butter yellow that matched a stripe in the shams I told you about here.  Yes!!!  I was ready to go but some of that life stuff happened.

My ankle biter Chloe developed pancreatitis and we were told she might not recover.  She spent 5 days in the doggie hospital and I spent 5 days crying.  Isn't it amazing how empty your home is without the unconditional, unwavering love and presence of your pet?  Our prayers were answered and not only did she recover but she had an underlying condition that if she had not developed pancreatitis would have gone undetected that she would not have recovered from.  I am happy to report that she is 100% now. In fact, she feels better than she has in a couple of years.  We are thankful.

Chloe came home on Tuesday and on Thursday my brother had to have emergency surgery. He came home by the weekend and is also doing well.  With that behind me I was able to get started. 

Mother most definately helped me with this project. We stripped the sheet into 6 pieces and joined them end to end.  Then we started to hem...and we hemmed and hemmed.  Finally onto the most frustrating fun part: the pining and the gathering.  I used the 9.99 special as an underlayer (it helped create a little more fullness).   While I gathered, and gathered, and gathered, Chloe assisted.  Bless her heart, I didn't realize she could be any more needy, but she seems to fully understand she was very, very sick and she is not quick to let me forget it. 

With all the help from Chloe, this project went incredibly quickly so incredibly slow.  The bedskirt was complete and after about 3 tedious hours of ironing and starching, it was ready to put on the bed.  Now the bedding (well the "for now" bedding) is complete and I'm ready for the headboard.  Wonder Hubby and I moved it in and he secured the headboard to the wall using L brackets.   Okay ya'll try to be excited for me even though I haven't gotten that professional photography and fluffing down yet....ready?

I love it!  I still can't show the whole transformation because I have another little project on each side of the bed that I still have to reveal, but trust me, it is coming soon.  It isn't exactly what I had in mind when I saw the inspiration picture, but it has turned into exactly what I wanted.  Don't you love it when that happens?

Thanks for stopping by. 

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Summer Officially Ends Tomorrow

Waste not want not.  I like to think I live by this motto, otherwise it would be hard to explain all the stuff I hang onto to use later.  I've discussed that problem here so we don't have to go there again.  I have also talked about my obsession love of tomatoes.  So I have to give an update.

I am happy to report that we have been enjoying wonderful tomatoes since July.  We have had several frosts but I managed to baby my tomatoes and we limped on.  Until last week, that is, when we had a couple of freezes. That ended all hope of the 4 dozen or better green tomatoes still on the vine without ever maturing :(   Thankfully I pulled about 3 dozen ripe tomatoes before the freeze.  Staying true to my motto, I couldn't let any of them go to waste so...

First, I had my final bologna sandwich of the season :(    Yes it was a sad day.   I followed that up with this sandwich ring. 

This sandwich is usually relegated to our winter menu (it is great for football days) and never experiences sporting fresh tomatoes.  Oh my goodness, it was incredible!  Now I have probably ruined this sandwich for all of us unless it is tomato season. 

Then I used all the itty bitty maters for some fresh salsa.  Yummy....Mini and I have eaten way too much of this all summer.

As of tomorrow when I decide how to use the last 4 tomatoes, summer will have officially ended here.  I'm so glad it worked out that way since it seems a little weird to be planning my Thanksgiving menu while eating tomato sandwiches!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sometimes you Feel like a Nut and It's a Good Thing

Those of you that know me know that I rant and rave  Unfortunately I rant more than I should and more than I rave (I'm working on it).  Now that I have shared a big flaw let me redeem myself a bit.

I recently noticed the new commercial for creamers that taste like your favorite treats, namely Cinnabon and Almond Joy.  Pay attention here because I'm putting in a disclaimer.....I DO NOT drink coffee.  That's right I drink a concoction that is made with a cup and a half of expresso, a packet of cocoa mix or dessert syrup (whichever I have) and usually 2% milk.  I occasionally skip off into the adult world and try a flavored creamer.  My interest was peaked after seeing this ad but I was disappointed that it was Almond Joy and not Mounds, because goodness knows, I'm nutty enough.  For 3 weeks I passed the creamer cooler at the grocery and gazed longingly hoping there would be a Mounds flavor.  For 3 weeks I left empty handed but with a full list of flavors I wanted to try at some point. 

Finally last week I just couldn't take it anymore.  Truthfully, I was either really hungry or experiencing some kind of sugar craving inducing hormone surge.   Either way the result was the purchase of International Delights Almond Joy creamer.  I left hoping that the coconut and mocha would override the nutty part.  Honestly if it has chocolate I can usually make myself deal with it :)

Ya'll this stuff is awesome!  I think I called 6 people to rave about it after my first cup. It was truly like drinking a melted Mounds, I couldn't really taste any nuttiness.  Yeah!  So I have been happily enjoying this in my "coffee" for a week now and am still loving it.  You gotta give it a try.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Going Coastal/Postal Part II

Welcome to the 2nd installment of trying to finish a guest room.  For most of you this would be no big deal but for yours truly everything is an ordeal!

In part one of this saga I explained I was in search of shutters to create a headboard that was inspired by this  Pottery Barn photo.

They had to be the perfect chippy shutters and I needed at least 3 of them.  I figured this was gonna be cake because I see these shutters absolutely everywhere.  Shocking as it may be I figured wrong (I know I can hardly believe I was wrong!).   Now that I knew exactly what I wanted there were no shutters to be found.   I lived on Craigslist, constantly checked out local radio swap and shop and checked out all the local junktiques, nothing.  

Sometimes you have to wait for the right thing and this was obviously one of those times.  So Wonder Hubby and I decided to take a break from the search have a little fun.  We love the Nashville Fairgrounds Flea Market, especially the fall markets.  The weather was perfect, Mini was looking forward to spending the day chilling on the couch and we were footloose and fancy free for the day.

The booths with fall decor really put me in the mood for fall.  Not an easy task since I detest cold weather and never allow myself to enjoy fall because I am busy dreading winter.   I love the process of looking at booth after booth of interesting goodies and  anticipating what will jump out and be my "find" of the day.

These are adorable!  I think I want the Flamingo by my pond.

Okay, maybe I need a pumpkin on legs instead...

Love, Love, Love this painted furniture, the blue is so calming.

These architectural pieces are awesome and they inspire more projects.
One of our favorites reasons to attend the flea market is this booth.

Fiesta Heavan
Wonder Hubby and I began our Fiesta collection last year.    What started with a 4 place setting is completely out of hand now.  We collect 1st and 2nd quality as well as vintage pieces.  This booth carries factory 2nd's.  I love all the possible color combinations but Wonder Hubby is completely obsessed  and so does Wonder Hubby.
Normally I am the dig through piles half of our duo but not when it comes to Fiesta.  I lose interest after 2 plates while Wonder Hubby will search indefinately for the perfect pieces.

Choosing the right piece is serious!

Naturally I was still looking for shutters and I was finding some.  Some broken, some vinyl, some that weren't big enough and some that were just right but had just sold!  Wonder Hubby and I took a break and enjoyed a co-cola and noticed a building that we had never been in.   After we finished our break we headed toward this unsearched building.

  On the walk over Wonder Hubby asked "could you use a Mantel as a headboard?"   "You could but I wanted shutters and it would have to be just be right one," I responded.  "Would that one work?" he asks as he points to this.

Although I have never thought about it and figured this would be more than I wanted to spend, I walked over to look and before I got any closer than this, I knew it was perfect!  Isn't Wonder Hubby the bomb?  It was completely nasty and gross a little more distressed than I hoped but for some reason it was the right piece even though I just knew I wanted shutters.  I had to hunt down booth proprietor who immediately said she had it priced at $175.00 but would make me a deal.  Bless her heart she lost me at $175.00 since I am so incredibly cheap that she might as well have said $1,750.00!   So as she tells me that it is from a late 1800's church and that she has always thought it would make a great bed (what did she say?  headboard?   I didn't tell her that!) and that she has not sold it in 2 markets and doesn't know why, I am trying to listen politely knowing that this won't be a deal I'll be interested in.   Suddenly I hear something that snaps me back to the conversation...$60.00 is that what she said?  Yeppers it certainly was!  So bless Wonder Hubby's heart he had just created himself an afternoon I arranging transportation of one absolutely perfect mantel/headboard.

I'll be posting the transformation soon.