Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Can Do That...

do you ever feel that way when watching a decorating or cooking show? While I sometimes enjoy T*he N*ate B*erkus S*how, I don't often get the sense that I could do or would want to do the things featured. That all changed when I saw M*andi G*ubler on the "H*ouse P*roud" segment of N*ate's show this past week.

(Tip: If you don't enjoy all things old and crumbling, this would be a good time to skedaddle. ☺)

Specifically, I like what Mandi does with old mirrors. You can take a look *here.*

I have an *old mirror purchased dirt cheap years ago that was already significantly etched. The frame was painted using some technique that I had seen on a L*ynnette J*ennings' show (this is really dating me) where a piece is painted with whatever color and allowed to dry. Step two is adding another coat in a complementary color painted in small sections. A lot of the paint in that second color is lifted back off while still wet by using an old, scrunched-up plastic shopping bag. I'd like to do this again with a flat paint instead of the semi-gloss I used.

This paper was recently purchased at the dollar store and several of you told me that you had purchased some as well when I featured it back along. (I was planning to paper the inside of my china cupboard; it turned out to be way too busy.) I think it's really nice using it as the backing of this old etched mirror. In fact, this project exceeded my expectations.

Have you ever tried to photograph a mirror? Good heavens! I finally had to ask for advice by Googling and discovered that laying the mirror on the floor below a white ceiling is best. I'd have to agree. Still the first photo with the reflections of the windows and my old Sessions clock suits me fine if I weren't trying to show the details.

on the shelf above my desk

So tell me about something you decided to try as the result of watching a program. Did it turn out well? 

*Old mirrors are not the best for this project because they contain mercury and you don't want to disturb their backings. Lucky for me, my mirror was already mighty disturbed.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Painting the Table Top White

I'm so glad that when I was visiting The Inspired Room earlier this week, Melissa mentioned that she had painted her dining room table white. She further said that, though it was done imperfectly, it was done. That's my story. If anything is accomplished around here, it is imperfectly. This table was begun the week my mother left us. I have not wanted to return to the task. Melissa's words gave me the permission to get going again. When I asked John what he thought about the table project, he said, "It's time for it to be done." Exactly.

Penny's redoing her dining room table as well. You can follow her project at The Comforts of Home. Penny paints her table whenever she tires of it. I do not have that much ambition, though I find it equally inspiring to know that anything we don't enjoy can have a new life.

Check in again if you have time. I'm going to be showing my progress through the day this post. I do have to run and get darling daughter some groceries and some more meds. Why is it that pharmacies don't have everything and only give partial prescriptions? Don't they know there's a gas crunch? Ai yi yi.

Edited to Add @ 11:42

I decided that the white was going to be too stark with the other things going on in the room. I didn't want the table to match the molding and closet doors. Therefore, I decided to match the cupboard in the background. I didn't want to have as heavy a hand as the last time I was working with that antiquing pot. Now it needs three or four coats of poly: clean tables are important.

Guess that's it until I show the finished project always remembering that I can redo it if need be.

Edited to Add @ 2:50:

Shopping done, groceries delivered, still have prescription to pick up. Wanted John to feel encouraged by progress on the table so decided to slap on a doily and set the tulips in the center. He'll need to feel encouraged because he's doing the polyurethane over the weekend; he doesn't yet know this, but he is.
< insert cheeky little grin here >

Edited to Add on 3/26/2011:

Oh boy! I'm sure that I'm going to love this in three more coats. We're going to the flea market...way too stinky at home. We're cracking a window for the pets.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That Book

Shhhhhhhh... Today I want to talk about that book that has me thinking so much, that I've made wide arcs around, and that I promised to critique back there.

I'm nervous writing about it because I have a few concerns about the book. No, I have no concerns about the author. No, I have no concerns about the main subject Who is God Himself. Yet some little concerns...

First, allow me tell you a little true story. The phone rang between three and four this morning. Phones ringing in the night alarm me as I'm sure they do anyone. I've had terribly alarming news in the wee hours of the morning on at least three occasions. This time it was my daughter who was indeed calling from the Emergency Room. I thought that she was there with her grandfather, my father. No, it turns out that she was there for her own health having awakened in great pain around midnight. She drove herself to the hospital and for the next four hours she went it alone as far as any family with her. (I know that no one is ever truly alone.) When it was time to release her, they would not because she was in no shape to drive herself home. Moms are good for something. I told her that a midnight call would've been fine.

As I say, those calls in the night — unsettling — panic mode. I hastily got myself dressed, grabbed my coat and keys, and set off. I was praying, though they were what John calls "pickle prayers." Those are the kind one prays when in trouble and not from any deep and abiding sense of faith. A mile or five down the road, a word much used in that book made its way into my consciousness: Eucharisteo — grace, thanksgiving, joy. "In this, Lord? Even this?" I asked. Especially in this.

So to say the thing I am concerned about saying after having had the experience I just had... Can we just say conflicted.

After the wary arcs, I finally settled down with a pen and this book is as marked as any I've ever read. Ann is a lyrical writer, a true poet. It is worth reading her book for the beauty of it alone. She has been given such talent and there are times when a phrase is going to rip your heart out.

In the end, I sat thinking about what I'd read and wrote a letter to the author on the back pages of the book.
"Ann, dear, you are much too hard on yourself" my letter began... Christianity is not a self-improvement program. There is nothing in our life as Christians that depends on a formula.  Not the way we dress, look, nor in the writing of a gifts journal. We look to Him in every circumstance, decision, new day, and when we lie down at night. He is still the vine and we are the branches responding to Him. We do not all respond in the same way; we each have a unique experience. I am so glad that His ways are much easier than my own. All He asks is this: Come unto me and I will give you rest.
Please forgive me if I tread on any toes. The comments are being kept open so that you can offer an opinion. Oh, do I recommend the book? A resounding yes with the caveat you see above. Let's simply be receptive to the Lord's love and His prompts and nudgings...

Thank you for your prayers for my daughter. I'm taking her to see the specialist this afternoon.

A good day to you...

(Oh, I meant to thank you all for your sweet comments about Nan's bathrobe. It is being tenderly wrapped and delivered to my daughter this afternoon. She is the only one tiny enough to wear it.)

ETA at 7:17 pm : It's the dreaded waiting game for my daughter. She has been prone to developing kidney stones and that is what the trouble is this time. She's on six different medications and even had a shot of painkillers at the urologist's office. Lots of water in her future...funny thing is that she drinks more water normally as a matter of course than anyone I know. Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers. She is feeling pretty rotten.

ETA on 3/26/2011: All is well... Thank you so much for the prayers and good wishes. Now L only has to finish up the antibiotic. No more mind-numbing pain killers...phew! I think she's smiling just as you see her in my sidebar. Yup, we've got a happy camper this morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Made in Japan

Lovella at What Matters Most was the first in "my circle" to raise the question of noticing all the items in our homes that were Made in Japan. She does this in her post titled Remembering Japan where she shares her mother's jewelry box with us. It so happens that I also have a jewelry box that is similar. It has another family story, though I'm not sharing that today.

God will use little things to help us remember to pray Lovella suggests.  She's right. I know that God wants me to remember Japan in prayer because He is using these items and He caused Lovella to first write about it. How neat is that?!  

From the jewelry box sitting under the Easter cactus...  

to the little green bowl in my sewing room... 

to this sweet little find at the flea market last weekend for a mere dollar.

And there it sits high on my corner shelf where I see it dozens of times a day. Giving money and donations is a wonderful thing to do and prayer changes things.

So what's in your home that is Made in Japan?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Vintage Bathrobe~A Sweet Gift

Yes. It snowed. Four inches. Probably will be gone soon even though temps are not expected out of the 30s this week. Thank you, sun and your new angle!

This is the view from the breakfast this view, just not so much on March 22.


If you read here much, you may know that I sometimes follow Mosaic Monday with a mosaic that didn't make it. I debated, but decided that a mosaic about my grandmother's bathrobe probably didn't have too much appeal. ☺

The robe was my find in the attic on Sunday morning — Nan's vintage (circa 1940) chenille bathrobe. (My mother must have put it there for I had no idea where it was and wasn't looking for it.) Yes, it's heavy, which is probably the reason for the excellent shape it's in; Nan seldom wore it. The robe was a Christmas gift from my grandfather to my grandmother way back then. I am so blessed to know the stories behind so much of what I am sorting through. What I'm discovering is that my grandfather had a way with gift-giving.

When my grandmother left her home to live with my parents, this robe came with her and hung on the back of her bedroom door where she could see it often. Even though she didn't wear it, she admired it and appreciated it. 

The only problem was that over the years the buttons were lost. They are the kind of buttons held on with what looks like a miniature hairpin. I remember the day that my mother found the buttons in an old tin being stored in a box in her attic. We all oohed and ahhed when the robe was put back together again.

I had the opportunity to remove the buttons so the robe could be laundered. I had to get out my pliers for the task. Though I was worried about laundering, I used the delicate cycle and a mild detergent. Because it is so heavy, I did dry it in the dryer with a lavender sachet from Trader Joe's. Hmmm...the robe came out so soft and smelling so heavenly. I hugged that robe for a good long while there in the basement beside the dryer.

Hope that you've enjoyed seeing this vintage bathrobe. The images should enlarge if you'd like a better look.

Thanks for stopping by and create a beautiful day...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Welcome Spring~Mosaic Monday

Spring officially arrives in my corner today at 7:21 p.m. It would be wonderful if I could offer a spring mosaic of crocuses and daffodils. Alas, no such sightings like those here. (In fact, we're under a winter storm advisory expecting a major snow event tomorrow.) What I do have are sap buckets hanging from my neighbor's tree, a visit to a Sugar House, a country store that ships maple syrup, and a jug of maple syrup bought just in time for last night's supper.

Have a wonderful spring!

Joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Psalm 107:9