Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bar Keeper's Friend - A Test

While we were away on Spring Break, my Cottages & Bungalows Magazine arrived.  So, after all of the unpacking was done and the laundry was going I sat down for a few minutes to take a quick look.

(On a side note...why is it so much work coming home from a vacation?? It's just wrong!)

But anyway, while reading my mag, I came across a little tip that was credited to

It stated that if your dishes were marred by silverware scratches you could use a little Bar Keepers Friend on them to get them out.

REALLY?  Could it be true?

I thought these dishes were doomed!

I've had these dishes for probably 15 years!  They are great Pfaltzgraff plates that are nice and heavy.  Over all these years, I don't think I've chipped a single one.

But, all of the scratches make for an unappetizing table scape so when company comes, we use my newer dishes.  Unfortunately, they are starting to show the same types of scrapes.

So, when I saw this tip I had to give it a try.  I had some Bar Keepers Friend in my cleaning stash so, I whipped it right out.

I squirted a little bit on...

Scrubbed with a damp sponge (and a little muscle)...

...and noticed an immediate difference...

Notice the grey on the sponge!  How exciting!  It actually works!

Wow!  Doesn't the "after" look so much more appetizing? 

OK, they don't look brand new but this is a huge improvement.

Funny thing is I think Daniel at momoutnumbered may have had the very same plates.  I visited her blog but couldn't find the post so all I have to go on is the picture in the magazine. is my magazine copycat photo: is a magazine tip that is tested and true! 

Thank you Cottages & Bungalows (and Danielle at momoutnumbered).  It really works.

Linkin' Up to:
The Bunny Blog Hop

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wanted: New Trellis

I have a problem.  Everyday, I walk out my back door and I look at this:

I know...right?  Tough problem to have.  I get it.

But look you spot something yellow in there?

Here...let me help you:

Not the best looking trellis is it?  Now I'm all for re-purposing things. But somehow this yellow ladder being used as a trellis just doesn't do it for me. 

So the problem is that my bougainvillea has become so heavy that it has finally fallen even though it is tied to some posts.  It happened a couple of weeks ago on a very (I mean very) windy day.  It simply couldn't stand on it's own anymore.  So, Mr. 1101 propped it up with this ladder as a temporary measure.

So now, we are faced with figuring out what type of trellis to put in to help support it. 

This thing is massive!  So it will have to be a pretty big trellis.  Here is what it looks like underneath:

...and that is only one of them.  We have two side by side.

Anyway, we need ideas so I started pinning.  Here are some ideas I came upon:

I really love this one with the red chairs next to all the red roses.  (I probably wouldn't want bright pink chairs to match my bougainvillea).  I especially love the re-purposing of the window and door!  Hmm...I have at least one extra window around here somewhere.

{Source Unknown}
This picketing is nice.  But that was what was here when we first moved in and it just wasn't strong enough to support it.  It eventually fell under the weight.

{Southern Living}
This pergola structure would work but we already have a pergola under our grapevine and a pergola over our back porch.  We really don't need another one.

Something like this with some architectural details underneath might work. 

These are all really beautiful don't you think?

Well, I'll show all of these to Mr. 1101 and see what he comes up with.  He always comes through.  I think he surprises himself sometimes but I have 100% confidence in his abilities.

Yes, this is the problem that I have.  It's terrible and I know that you will feel sorry for me.  By the way, it came with the house.  I didn't plant it but I have lovingly cared for it all these year. ... Ok, ok.  I've trimmed it occasionally.  That's it.  It is just beautiful on it's own with some help from God.  I can't take any credit.

Hope your day has been filled with similar "problems".

Happy last day of winter!

Linkin' up to:

Do It Ya Self at Three Mango Seeds (even though I did nothing myself!)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ramsign Winner

Well, it has been a crazy week.  I'm up to my ears in CLOCKS as I'm getting ready for the women's retreat that I've mentioned.  More on that next week. 

Right now, I'm updating you on the winner of the Ramsign Give-away.

And the winner is...

Labbie1 over at The Adventures of Garrett Squared!

Congratulations Labbie!

Ramsign Giveaway Reminder

Just a quick reminder that the Ramsign giveaway will be today! 

Sign up by 3:00 to win one of these beautiful enamel signs by going here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Sign Giveaway!

Recently, I was contacted by a company named Ramsign which makes...can you guess?  SIGNS!

You all know I'm a big sign fanatic so I'm excited to be able to give one away (even if I didn't make it myself).

Ramsign makes quality enamel signs for your house, your mailbox, your business -  wherever you would like to put a sign.

Here in the states, it's pretty much mandatory to have your house number located somewhere on the front of your house.  Why not at least have a house number that is beautiful?

The winner of this give-away will receive a sign in any shape or color that you choose with up to 5 numbers.

(I can picture this with the number "1101" can't you?)

You can do any or all of the following to enter. 
You can enter up to 4 chances to win!

1.  Visit the Ramsign Website then leave me a comment telling me which sign you like best.

2.  Follow me on  Google Friends Connect (on the right) then tell me that you did in a comment (or if you are already a follower, leave me a comment telling me so.)

3.  Become one of my Linky Followers (on the right) and let me know you did in a comment.

Thats all there is to it!  This will run through noon on Friday and the winner will be announced Friday night.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Feel Different Today - The Dining Room!

I woke up yesterday morning feeling different...

(Source Unknown)

No, not like "the odd man out" different...

But rather like I wanted something different.  I also don't mean like "I want more" type of different.  Just I had this feeling like I needed to change something.

At first, I thought it might be the kitchen.  But I looked around and realized that I really like my kitchen so it wasn't that.

But it was close.  It's the dining room. 

It is time for a change.

Coincidentally, yesterday was my 13th wedding anniversary.  And guessed it...this dining room was decorated 13 years ago.

Well, sort of anyway.  We painted it red 13 years ago and have never changed it.  The furniture was an acquisition we made about 5 years ago on a Thanksgiving visit to see my brother in Georgia.  I just happened to go to an antique shop with my sister-in-law and there it was! 

After a call to Mr. 1101 who rushed over to the antique store to see it and a few calls to locate a U-Haul Truck, it came home with us---500 miles it traveled.

I've changed the pictures once or twice but the color has remained the same.

Don't get me wrong.  I still really like the red.  Every time I walk in this room, I feel warm and cozy.'s just time for something different. 

I want to change the color and accessories.  The rooms simply lacks personality right now.

That's where you come in.  I can't decide what color it should be and what "style" I could make it without changing the furniture.

We're keeping the furniture -  and NO!  We aren't going to paint it. 

I can paint the built-ins, the trim, the walls -  change the light fixture and the window treatments.
I'm just not sure how.

So, what do you think?  What color should it be?  What should I do with that mirror?

We'll probably also change the window treatments and I'll consider getting rid of the big mirror. 

There isn't a whole lot of wall space because there are three doors and two built-ins in this room.

The built in on the far right is actually a pass through to the kitchen.  It apparently had doors on the kitchen side at one time but now it is open shelving in the kitchen and glass in the dining room.

The built-in on the left (or in the middle of the picture above) has become more of a dumping ground than a display case.  And yes, I'll get rid of the baskets that I dumped up on top of it.

As you can see in the picture above, the living room is beige and very bright.

And on the opposite wall (above) there is a door that goes into a hallway that is also beige.

I have a brown in the kitchen that I love and most of the colors in my house are in the beige/brown family.  The dining room has always been the exception. (Not counting the kids rooms).

I want the dining room to be a little less formal but...just not willing to get rid of the furniture.

Any ideas?  You inspire me so much...I would love to hear your thoughts. 

I'm feeling different today me out.

Linkin' Up To:

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

French Tray

I love French typography.  If you've read my blog in the past, you know that I have painted several of the lovely old French ads that I found at the Graphics Fairy.
This one advertising wroght iron is one of my favorites:

This time, I have painted it on an old tray.  I found this tray at a yard sale a few months ago.  It looked like this:

I purchased it from an elderly man who seemed sad to see it go.  It was obvious that his grown children were helping him with the yard sale as he prepared to move out of the home that he and his recently deceased wife had lived in for many years.

When I told him I wanted to buy the tray, he told me that it had been sitting on his bar for many years.  I could see memories in his eyes as he recalled it's existence.  He seemed far away.  Then he said something about "that old thing" and seemed to brush off any importance it may have played in his life.

I truly have a love/hate relationship with such sales.  I feel terrible for the owner's loss and an end to an era. But I love giving old things new life.  And that was just what I promised the elderly man that I would do because as soon as I saw it, I knew it had a future.

So, it took me several months to decide what to do with this lovely, oversized tray and it finally came down to this.

Hand painted typography takes several hours to complete.  It gave me plenty of time to imagine what all this old tray may have been through over the years.  It gave me time to think of the elderly man and his wife.  How was he doing in his new home?  Did he miss his old home?  What celebratory toasts had he and his wife made standing in front of this tray?

I imagine that after he sold me the old tray he never thought of it again...

...and in all honesty, I'm not really sure he would approve of the change.
...but I hope his memories will live on for a very long time.

I like to think that just a tiny part of that home lives on in this tray.  And I hope it will witness many more treasured memories in the years to come. 

Yep, I'm sentimental that way.  Every old piece I work on gets me thinking...