Friday, June 27, 2014

A Pillow, a Mat, Two Projects Needing Help

I was going to show you a couple of small projects I was working on but one didn't happen and the other hit a snag so instead I will show you some things I'm trying to figure out and the projects that did get finished.

A long time ago, my maternal grandfather owned a dairy. My mom had saved some of the milk cans, intending to spray paint them silver so they'd look like they did back then. I don't remember what exactly we talked about but somehow I ended up with one coming home with me in all it's rusty glory.




Whatever plans I had for it are long lost and now I'm trying to decide what to do with it. Do I leave it as is or paint it? I can see it with a cow/dairy graphic and maybe some white paint with some of the rusty area showing...or just a graphic on it all worn looking?

Another project I need to redo is the shadow box I put together after my mom died:


It holds a photo of her when she was about 18,
My beautiful mom!
some of her personal things - beaded purse:


her watch (which I actually took in to have fixed but it was beyond repair):

gloves:

and things she loved and collected - salt cellar spoon(with a rose on it-she loved roses!):


hummingbird pin (one of her favorite birds):

sea shell(we spent many an Easter vacation at the beach with her):

Some of the pieces have come loose so I need to fix those. But I'm not sure  I like placement of the items. I think I'll take it all apart and play with where they go. Plus I kind of want to paint the frame blue as it was her favorite color. I plan on putting this in the guest room where I'm using her bedroom furniture. You can see the furniture in this post.

I did manage to finish 2 projects. One is a pillow I made for Bruce using a t-shirt that was given to him and too small for him to wear:
He didn't know I grabbed the t-shirt out of the giveaway pile to do this. He's thrilled with it and it now resides in his office.

Lastly, I repainted my kitchen mat...This is how it looked when I first painted it:
I got the idea from Roeshel over at the DIYShowOff. You can see her tutorial here.

But after two years of getting walked on, the paint had crackled and had worn off in some areas. I came up with a new design, painted the background with ASCP Old White,

drew my design with chalk, painted the chicken, then added the words and stars on the edges:

After drying, I put a coat of poly over it. It's good to have it back under foot and I like the new look.

That's it for now. I'd love to have feedback on the milk can and shadow box if you have any ideas. And hopefully, I can share the two other projects that didn't happen soon. Until next time, have a blessed weekend.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Using Blueberries: Intro to a New Dessert

It's been a week of blueberry yummy-ness! Smoothies, muffins,

added to yogurt, by the handful...and we still have a lot to eat. So, what else to use them for? A friend offered me a recipe for a Blueberry Buckle. I said sure but, um, what is a Buckle? I had to look it up. Wisegeek.com says:

Buckle is a dessert which combines fresh seasonal fruit, a rich cake batter, and a streuseltopping. The result is a rich, dense cake with a moist crumb which is sometimes compared to coffee cake. It is an excellent summer dessert, and can be served hot or cold, plain or dressed with drizzles of sauce...
...Buckle is extremely popular in New England, where it is often made with blueberries. While blueberry buckle is a classic version, the dessert can also be made with peaches, nectarines, raspberries, and any other fresh fruit that can be imagined...
The base of buckle is a rich cake batter, which is sprinkled with fresh fruit. Some cooks prefer to split their batter, layering half in the bottom of the pan and mixing the other half with the fruit before pouring it in. The fruit is topped with a streusel mixture. During the baking process, the cake batter rises up around the fruit, encasing the fruit in batter and causing the streusel to buckle, creating a distinctive crinkly appearance.
Bruce swears it's called that because you have to loosen your belt buckle after you eat it. LOL. We all agree it's delicious.

It reminds me somewhat of my mother's easy coffee cake but with blueberries added in. Needless to say, this recipe is getting added to the Farmhouse Recipes. To get the recipe, go here. Scroll down on that page until you see it.

It was very easy to make so go ahead - make some. Your mouth will thank you. :o)

Yep, it's that good!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blueberry Time!

My sweet mother-in-law and I drove up to the farm yesterday so we could pick blueberries at a blueberry farm close by the B Farm. It is called Lake Creek Blueberry Farm in Montalba, TX.


We had no idea what to expect. We went early before it got too hot. This is the view down the drive to where you pick up your buckets.

 This is the view back toward the road. Those are some tall blueberry bushes!

The bushes were loaded!


There are three varieties, each ripening at different times. The owners told me they have 7800 plants on 11 acres. Wow. They also told me the crop was about 50% less than previous years because of the late freezes and hard winter we'd had. I can't even begin to imagine that many more.

We were given gallon buckets with a harness to hold them up. Here's Bonnie modeling one for us:

It was a very effective way to carry the bucket and berries as it left your hands free. :o)

We quickly filled our buckets:

And decided to go empty them and each pick another gallon. They taste so good (yes, I was sampling as I was picking)!

The owners, Tim and Judy, are so sweet. They told us when we got home to spread the berries out on a paper towel so they could dry off and then when they were no longer damp, to place them in bags and freeze them. So, I have mine all spread out on paper towels:

Counter next to the stove


On the table

Another view of the table
Y'all, that's a lot of blueberries! 2 yummy gallons for smoothies, salads, dessert, etc.

Bonnie and I agreed this will be a yearly tradition. Now excuse me while I go drool and dream of all the delicious things I'm going to make.

:o)
Cecilia

You can find me at these parties:
Lavender Garden Cottage Cottage-style-party-strawberry-festival
Flusters Creative Muster-linky-party-76

Monday, June 9, 2014

Headboard Bench Makeover

This weekend was a weekend of projects and chores. This time of year, there's always mowing that needs to be done. And weeding - lots and lots of weeding. So while Bruce mowed, I started weeding the flowerbeds. While I'm glad things grow really well here, I could do without all the weeds. I need to go rake up some of the pine needles for mulch. I know that. So why don't I? I could say I'm afraid of finding snakes or scorpions (I am), but the truth is, I just haven't. It's hot and I'm being lazy. Of course, it's hot weeding too. So beats me why I don't just go do it. I'm going with the whole snake and scorpion thing.



Very overgrown front bed



Lots of weeds still...(I have plans for the reindeer)

When I finally finished the back bed and got tired of the front bed  um, the sun got too hot, I moved on to my next project - in the garage, with fans! Bruce made me a headboard bench long before Pinterest made them popular. The head and footboards came from Bruce's parents - it belonged to a great aunt and they let us have it, understanding what we wanted it for. It sat on our back porch for years and got lots of use.
Ignore the footboard....the bench is behind that and the only before picture I could find of the bench

When we bought this place, I decided it would be good to have up here so we brought it up one weekend. We used it at the kitchen/garage door for putting our shoes on. It needed some TLC though as the years had taken their toll. I sanded it and filled in the holes. Then it sat while other projects took over.

This weekend, it was finally its turn. I primed it with my favorite primer: Zinesser. After that dried, I pulled out my paint I used on the exterior of the front and back doors: Benjamin Moore's exterior paint in Wethersfield Moss. It got two good coats. Much better!
Up on the sawhorses...ignore the mess-just keeping it real, y'all.

The finished bench:

Although it will continue to be our kitchen/garage door bench, the exterior paint will allow it to be placed outside if we so desire.

I'll share some of my small projects next time. Have a blessed week!
Hugs,
Cecilia

I am linking up at these parties. Go check them out!
Lavender Garden Cottage Style Party
Fluster Buster Creative Muster Link Party
Cozy Little House Tweak It Tuesday
Kathe With An E You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
One More Time Events - Share It One More Time Party