Monday, February 25, 2013

Union Jack Inspiration

Howdy everyone,  I hope all of you have had a great Monday so far.  I spent most of the day trying to figure out what project I wanted to work on first this week.  There are so many things I want to try, thanks to the constant Pinterest inspiration.  One of the ideas that has been on my mind is the Union Jack flag.  Yes, you read that right.  Check out these photos I have been collecting and you will see why I have been so inspired.

Look closely at the rug.  Sooooo cool.  This was a spare bedroom turned closet.

This would be so cute in a boys room.

This ottoman from Ms. Mustard Seed is adorable.  I am so gonna do this some day.

This is my favorite.  I could see this piece in any room in my house.  So this wins.  This is my next project.

I already painted this piece, but it needs something.  So I will add the flag to the doors.  Hopefully I will have this done by Friday.  Stay tuned.  Have a great week.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cowboy Caviar

Happy Saturday everyone.  I am taking my sweet time getting started this morning.  I am on my third cup of coffee and I am in no hurry to get out of my Jammie's.  I love the days when I don't  have a schedule and the day has endless possibilities.

Well, last week I entered a recipe in a contest/fundraiser for a cookbook over at Rusty Hinge.  I won a monogrammed tea towel.  You would have thought I won a million dollars.  I was so excited.  I love Rusty Hinges blog so it was a honor to be mentioned on her post and I won with over 350 entries.  Pretty exciting right?

So I thought that since

starts tomorrow,  and you might need a good appetizer, that I would share my Cowboy Caviar recipe.

Whenever I am asked to bring an appetizer to a party the host usually requests my Cowboy Caviar.  It seems to be everybody's favorite and quite the crowd pleaser.  So without further ado, here we go.


2-3 medium size tomatoes diced
2-3 ripe avocados diced
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
1 bunch of green onion chopped
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black eyed peas, drained
1 pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing, made according to directions

Toss everything together and serve with tortilla chips.  Best if made the same day as being served.

Hope you guys enjoy it.  I promise it will be one of your favorites.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Antiquing Mirror

Happy Happy Monday.  It's an awesome Monday cause I didn't have to get the kiddos off to school early this morning.  Presidents Day may be more for me than my kids.

Anyway, since I slept in I have all this energy.  Lucky you.  Here is what I worked on over the weekend.

I have been wanting to try antiquing my own mirrors.  I bought these adorable side tables at a garage sale.  They came with clear glass in them.  I accidentally broke both pieces of glass.  Did I mention that I am a klutz?  Well, I figure what a great opportunity to try antiquing my own mirror.  I went to my local glass shop and had the pieces cut.  It came to about $20.00 and I had two pieces that were 16X14.

Step 1 - You need -  Jasco brand Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover, Neoprine Gloves, and Citric Acid ( like the kind used to clean pools).

Step 2 - Put on your gloves, put the mirror on a bucket or something that you aren't worried about ruining.  I also did it on my grass.  I didn't know if the chemicals would discolor my concrete and I figured the grass would just grow back.

Step 3 - Pour the remover all over the back side of the mirror and spread it around.  Wait 15 mins. and then take a flat edge texture scrapper or putty knife and start scrapping.  This only took me down one layer.

So then it looked like this, so I did it one more time.  I don't know what I was thinking after this point because I didn't take pictures of the next step.  I think I started getting nervous and excited.  After the second time of applying the epoxy remover I rinsed the mirror and dried it off. 

Step 4 -  I then put the citric acid in a spray bottle and sprayed the edges of the mirror.  Just a side note - do one mirror at a time during this process.  Leave on for 10 seconds then hose off.  Keep watching it.  Continue this process until you get the desired look.  Sometimes you have to take a paper towel and rub it a little to get some of the mirror backing off.  It should end up looking like this.  In the middle of spraying the acid my squirt bottle stopped working.  I think the acid ate the insides, so I resorted to pouring out of desperation.  I was going to finish this project no matter what.

As you can see, the top mirror has more backing eaten away.  That is because I tried to do both mirrors at the same time causing the acid to sit on one mirror too long.  I am still happy with the results and I like that they look different.

I made sure the mirror was rinsed thoroughly and dry.  I then sprayed the back of the mirror with spray adhesive and added a piece of fabric.  You could also use scrap booking paper.  There are so many pretty patterns to choose from.

How stinkin cute and fun is that?  Over at Vintage Revivals she uses this same technique, but creates a collage of antiqued mirrors.  Soooo cool.

I hope you try this project.  It was easy, fun and fast.  In all, it probably only took me an hour.  That is pretty good for transforming a piece of furniture.  Enjoy the rest of your Monday.

To get back to French Country Cottage press here.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Homemade Carmels

 Hi everyone.  Happy Friday.  We survived Valentines Day.  I know,  I sound like Valentines Days is exhausting.  It shouldn't be but I make it that way.  I don't want to just buy valentines.  My son Dylan, and I like to make our own.  So the race was on.  We cranked them out Wednesday night.  I got him off to school Thursday morning and started getting ready for a Valentines Party for last night.  It turned out wonderful but I am a limp biscuit today.  But I am not too tired to write this post.  Haha!

My friend Betsy has been giving me homemade camels for Christmas the last couple of years.  She kept telling me how easy they were so I thought I would give it a try.  You are gonna die how easy and good they are.


1 cup butter melted in a large glass bowl
then stir in the following
2 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup Karo Syrup
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

Stir well.  Then you microwave on high following the pattern time below.  Stir after each segment.

4 mins, stir
4 mins, stir
3 mins, stir
3 mins, stir
3 mins, stir
1 min, stir and then and 1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9X13 dish, or something close to that, with Pam Spray.  If you don't it will stick terribly.  Pour the hot mixture into the pan, spread to even out the mixture.  Let cool.

Once cooled, remove from dish onto a cutting board.  Loosen the sides with a spatula.

I flipped it onto my cutting board and then scored it with my knife to get an idea of the size of squares that I wanted.  Just a little tip, it helped when I ran my knife under hot water before cutting.  It just softened the carmel a little bit.

I then cut wax paper squares into 4x6 inch squares.  So the easiest way I found was to rip a 6 inch piece and then cut it into 3's.  The wax paper is 12 inches long so this made it easy.  I have been told that they sale pre cut wax paper pieces on-line but I have not checked that out.

Here is my sweet boy with his Valentines.  It made all the hurry and scurry worth it.  He was so happy and proud.  Isn't that what it is all about anyway?

I can't wait for you to try this recipe.  You are gonna pass out how delicious they are.  Even though I am late delivering this recipe for Valentines, Easter is right around the corner and won't you just be a hit with this sweet treat?  Let me know if you make this and love it as much as I do.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Iron Parlor Chairs Part II

Oh my goodness the heavens have parted and the angels sing "hallelujah".  The project that would never end is done.  Yes, the iron chairs are done.  This literally took me a month.  Not because it was so hard, but the seat backs were an issue.  I had to try a couple of options before I finally came up with a solution.  I am so stinkin happy words cannot describe.  I usually need reassurance from others that I have done a good job.  Not this time- "nailed it".  So this is the big reveal.  

Remember the before?  Not so pretty, but you can see the potential right?

Before I get to far ahead of myself lets take a look at the cushions. I realize most of you know how easy it is to recover cushions.  You simply unskrew them, cover with fabric and staple. I added some craft paper to the back just to give it a finished look. I know no one is going to lay on the ground and look under the chair, but it just made me feel like it was done right.

Then I sewed the ruffle for the skirt.  I am sure this type of ruffle has a name, but I don't know what it is.  Not only that, I have never  made one like this before.  This is how I did it.

The seat measured 52 inches around.  I doubled that, which is 104 inches.  I then cut a strip of linen that was 9 inches wide by 104 inches long.  I then created a 1/2 inch seam on both sides then folded the fabric in half.  Now my ruffle is 4 inches wide.  I then created a fold every 2 1/2 inches.  The fold was 1/2 inch deep.  I ironed and pinned as I went.  I then sewed the ruffle a 1/2 inch from the top to hold it all in place.

It was lovely even without the back.  Some even suggested that I leave it open.  It just didn't feel finished to me.

I then created a template out of craft paper of the seat back.  I stenciled the number on one of the cut pieces of fabric.  I attached it to another piece of fabric and sewed them together.  I then added grommets that I got from Joannes Fabric Store.  The kit was $30, but I had a 50% off coupon.  To complete the look I added jute twine and secured the backs by tying them to the iron.

I wanted to add that I sprayed the chairs with clear coat spray paint for metal and outdoors.  I used a water based product so that it wouldn't yellow.  I wanted to keep the rust, but didn't want it to get worse, nor did I want it to rub off onto peoples clothing.

I am giddy and proud of the outcome.  Soooo cute.

Thanks to all my gal pals for putting up with me talking about these darn chairs for a month.  I love you.  Also, thanks to all those that stopped by to check out this project and post.  It really means a lot to know I am not just writing to myself. 

To get yourself on back to East Coast Creative press here.