Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dish'n it

I've been longing for warmer weather and the yard sales that will start popping up all over. I've been trying to appease my addiction by hitting a flea market here and there - picking up one thing here, one thing there. But this weekend I finally got a good fix! I found a couple of thrift-stores I hadn't visited before and a community garage sale (held indoors, thank goodness, since it was snowing and hovering in the 20s all day!) in a neighboring town.

Maybe I went overboard on dishes ...hmmm... but I can justify it! I want to get a nice supply and variety for doing mosaics. And each of these just spoke to me!

The brown-eyed susans were really exciting to find - my daughter recently purchased a Monet sunflower print and I want to create a mosaic frame for her. I think a couple of shards with just a bit of yellow petals showing will really marry the frame to the print. And the green and aqua hues of the other 2 saucers are just beautiful.

I rarely even give state plates a glance, but the color and pattern of the rim on this Montana dish just grabbed me.

The delicate feathers in the center of these caught my eye. I've seen lots of wheat designs, but the feathers were new to me. I learned this pattern is "Prince of Wales"....I just know I love the color, feathers and scalloped edge.

And this dinner plate with green rose transfer design holds lots of possibilities.

And there were more - a Lemon Federalist pattern saucer - EXTREME yellow color! And a couple of others with deep, vibrant hues (I'd describe as school bus yellow and key-lime green) but I just couldn't get my camera to capture their true colors.

Next post I'll share the other goodies I dragged home!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quick, Easy Crackle Paint Project

I have a ton of projects I want to do, but have been stalling. Deciding which direction to take with these is giving me fits. I'm not sure what types of finishes I want, but I recently learned the scoop on creating a crackle paint finish without dropping a small fortune on special products. I found the perfect test item at a local thrift store - a wooden spindle on a base for $1. The paint on this didn't suit me, but the spindle itself did. So, using the easy method I learned about on one of my favorite new sites, Junk Revolution, I gave it a makeover.

This is the spindle I bought. That outdated finish has to go!

And here it is after a couple of quick coats of ivory acrylic paint and a coat of "Crackle" (this is sooooo easy - 1 part water mixed with 10 parts white school glue). I let the acrylic dry between coats and again before adding the glue mixture. Then I let the glue mix dry just until it was tacky before I painted on my final color.

I used the brown paint I had from my buffet redo and mixed it with enough black to give it a nice dark shade.

And, here it is!
Love it on my ceiling tin shelf. You may have noticed the ball on top has holes drilled in it. I'm going to look for something to pop into those to hold small "antiqued" pictures. But, on a high shelf it really doesn't have to have anything.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sprouting Success

My cold frames (or hot tubs?) worked like a charm! I sowed seed last Sunday (see previous post). We had unseasonably warm temperatures most of the week that gave this process a big boost, so by Wednesday the Arugula had begun to sprout and the Kale and Komatsuna weren't far behind. This morning we awoke to a dusting of snow and 20-something temps, but the sprouts should fare just fine in their glass-covered tubs.

I sowed 3 tubs - but only had 2 glass panes so the 3rd was covered with plastic sheeting. That made a difference - no sprouts. So, I finished cannibalizing the 2 old aluminum storm doors that I had "borrowed" the 2 glass panes from. Hubby cut the aluminum frames so that I now have 2 more glass panes, and he has a plan for the leftover pieces, so nothing will go to waste.

So, now the 3rd tub also has a glass lid and has begun sprouting. In typical fashion for us, we used inexpensive and easy means to secure the glass from blowing off if the winds gust - baler twine and bungee cords! And they're easy for me to remove when I water or just want to get a closer look at what is going on inside.

I love seeing new green growth, especially since spring is still 5 long weeks away! Now...where is that spinach seed so I can sow another tub?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hollyhocks in February

Ok, so I'm a little overanxious for spring to arrive. Especially when a February day feels like an April day - today was fabulous! As I wandered around I noted there is green growth already amongst the old leaves of the Hollyhocks - isn't that neat!? Of course, too much mild weather right now could be disastrous if the trees and flowers start budding, so I'll enjoy the moment and hope things get back to normal soon.

I celebrated the warm day by sowing seed - indoors and outdoors. I started a few oregano and pansy seeds in seed cells in the house. Outside I worked up the soil in my black tubs and moved 3 of them to a spot where they can make the best of any sunshine that might break through. I then sowed Arugula, Endive, 2 types of Kale, and Komatsuna. I covered 2 of the tubs with glass panes and, for lack of more glass, I used clear plastic sheeting on the 3rd tub. I did this last year and had good results, because basically these work like a coldframe, absorbing the sun's warmth and keeping hardy seedlings warm enough to survive and even grow.

I smile to think of how popular re-using, re-purposing, and living a more frugal life has become. And I'm a huge advocate of that. It's just that I've done that most of my life and suddenly it's cool! My black tubs once held mineral-lick for my brother-in-law's cattle. The glass came from an old storm door. I saved the Komatsuna seed from last year's crop and traded for all the other seed using various other seed I still had from last year. And the soil is a combination of the dirt that was used in the tubs last year + compost created from our yard and kitchen waste. Oh, and the plant markers? Cut from old vinyl mini blinds, of course!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...