Saturday, March 12, 2016

Fresh and Minty Green Makeover - My First Attempt at Furniture Painting

Kitchen Table After
I am pretty late to the party when it comes to painting furniture, but it felt wonderful to return this sad 1940s kitchen table back to its former glory - or at least its former color. Now I am totally inspired to save every old dresser, desk, cabinet and table on the planet from the landfill. Instead of buying new (and horribly expensive) display cabinets and shelves for the shop, I’m going to use old furniture made to look wonderful - like my inspirational friends on Pinterest do!

Original Minty Green Paint
The surface of the existing paint was very rough and would have required complete stripping to get it completely smooth. Since the enamel was slightly chipped, I decided to distress the table instead - not too much, just enough that it was aged in line with the chipping. 

Thanks to the advice of Vickie at Ranger 911, I asked the helpful lady in the Lowe’s paint department about color matching. She was able to find a nearly exact match to the original minty green color (which had been covered in white and then a peachy beige color) in the Valspar Heritage color pallet. It was moderately priced and gave great coverage, so I didn’t need a custom mix, but after talking with her I’m certain she has answers to all my future paint questions. And luckily they are right down the road because I am a can’t-order-on-line-and-wait person. I need instant gratification for all of my paint desires. 

Gingham Lined Drawer
I’m pretty proud of my first attempt. I think this will make a perfect display table for vintage and handmade kitchen goodies at the shop in Brussels. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Oh Goddesses of Fabulous Farmhouse-ness - Please Help

I found this wonderful 1940s kitchen table with a lovely enamel top today and I want to strip off the peachy beige paint and restore it to the gorgeous farmhouse green color that is underneath. It is actually quite photogenic above, because close up it looks more like the photo below.

I tried chipping off just the shiny glossy - and filthy dirty - peachy beige, but anything that comes off also takes the green with it. If anyone knows who has just the right minty farmhouse kitchen green, please, please save me from spending hours mixing my own!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Tin Can Cabin - Part I - Who Needs a Garden?

Marsh Mallow
We recently purchased a used Jayco travel trailer and took it to Swan Lake at Two Rivers Natural Wildlife Refuge in Illinois.  I'm going to give it a fabulous makeover and stay there as often as I possibly can. The wildflowers are absolutely beautiful so I have no need to plant a garden.
Orange Jewel Weed
 This Orange Jewel Weed looks like a little orchid - gorgeous!

Partridge Pea
 The Partridge Pea is an extremely beneficial plant for the quail, who eat the seeds.

Verbena-Like Wild Flower & Bee
I tried to capture the honey bee on this verbena-like plant that I could not find the name for. The bees call it yummy.

Yellow Wildflower
This beautiful yellow flower is either in the daisy or sunflower family, I'm not sure. If someone out there knows - please tell me.

I am thoroughly enjoying my new garden, planted by Mother Nature and no weeding necessary!

Thank you for visiting and visit my Pinterest page for lots of ideas on how to remodel a travel trailer.
The Tin Can Cabin on Pinterest

Saturday, May 2, 2015

How to Keep Ants Out of Your Hummingbird Feeder - DIY Ant Moat

Columbines to Attract Hummingbirds
My mother-in-law, who is a very smart lady, told me to put out hummingbird feeders when the columbines bloom. Although the orange columbines in my garden clash with the pink azalea, they are loved by the hummingbirds, so I let them pop up where they will and pull them out just before they go to seed (allowing just a few to go to seed so I will have them to attract hummingbirds next year). 

Last year I had so much trouble with ants in my feeders that I stopped feeding the hummingbirds. I’ve heard that Vaseline on the wire or string helps but it can get on the birds feathers and harm them. I certainly don’t want to use poison of any kind so I decided to try these bird safe moats.

$8.00 ant moat

I’ve seen them at prices all over the map, but my favorite price is FREE, so I made my own version.

You will need:

1 spray paint cap in the color of your choice
1 piece of wire - I used the red wire that came on my feeder

1.         Drill a small hole in the cap;
2.         Thread a piece of wire through the hole and make a hook on each end;
3.         Glue around the wire to seal the hole;
4.         Fill the moat with water and hang it just above the feeder.

I use the Audubon Society approved nectar recipe of ¼ cup plain white granulated sugar to 1 cup of water. Always use plain white sugar. The nutrients that are in raw sugar and honey are good for people, but not so good for hummingbirds. There is absolutely no need to put food coloring in the water and it may actually be harmful to the birds.  

I will let you know if the moat actually works.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Level of Virginity Doesn't Seem to Matter

Whenever possible, I try to use all natural products on my skin. After all, the skin is the body’s largest organ. It makes no sense to smear it with chemicals.  There are over a dozen commonly used ingredients in eye makeup remover. Most of them are unpronounceable and some of them, if not in minute quantities, are downright dangerous. I’ve tried lots of them, from the stupidly expensive department store brands to the bargain drugstore brands. What I usually ended up with was red, burning, raccoon eyes. Apparently “washes off easily with soap and water” only applies to the lashes themselves. Mascara sticks really well to the skin all around the eyes. I have found the perfect solution. All natural, one ingredient, pure virgin olive oil. I put a small drop on a cotton ball and gently wipe off my eye makeup, including waterproof mascara. Then – voila! My eyes are clean and soft and moisturized. You can even put it in a lovely bottle like this one. Perfect!  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Tomato - Tomahto - OH CRAP!

Can you tell which of these tomato seedlings are the heirloom Brandywine, which are the red cherries - no? How about the beefsteaks or the Super Sioux?  Me neither, doggone it. I had them all color coded on a chart in their little pots in the starter tray. Then when they got their second set of leaves and became a little leggy, I prepared to move them into larger pots. They say you are supposed to bury the stem about halfway up when you put them in larger pots and then harden them off when they are big enough to go outside.

This is my chart. It would have worked had I not removed them all willy-nilly from the tray without paying attention.

Now I cannot sell the extra plants at the farmers market. Guess I'll find a place for all 45 plants and and sell the tomatoes at the market. The good news is, I had no trouble identifying the watermelon! Next time - Popsicle sticks!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day Everyone

If you are a mother, if you have a mother or if there is a mother somewhere in your future, past or present - have a wonderful day!!