Wednesday, July 31, 2013

This evening on Early Work Mercantile...

Why are vampires like false teeth?
Because they come out at night.

Meet Count Drac.

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The Count is my first Halloween Firewood Folk for 2013.

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Folk Art Holstein

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Bartholomew the Bat

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See you at 6pm est.

:> )







Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Just picked off the primitive pumpkin vine!

Ooooh, it's coming up on my favorite time of year! I can't wait!!

Heck, I wish it could be autumn all year round! Can you imagine?! Brisk mornings, sunshine, falling leaves, a toasty warm sweater, pumpkins, cornstalks, apples, a wood burning stove, cinnamon... I could go on and on!!

My trio of Primitive Pumpkins are available at my Countryfolk Keepsakes selling site.

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Have a peek here...

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Tomorrow night I'll have new offering on Early Work Mercantile!! So be sure to stop back to get a sneak peek at my two offerings!!

Happy Tuesday!

:> )

Friday, July 26, 2013

I have a new recipe to share with you!

If you like BLTs you'd better go grab a pen and paper right now!
Go ahead. I'll wait for you...

Ready?!

Okay, the recipe is for a BLT pasta salad!!

Oh my! I just made it for supper tonight and one word describes it:
Delicious!!!

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BLT Pasta Salad
Author: A Bird and a Bean. Adapted from Food Network.



Ingredients

12 ounce corkscrew shaped pasta
½ cup milk
12 ounces lean bacon
4 medium ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped
fresh thyme
1 clove garlic, minced Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup mayo
¼ cup greek yogurt
¼ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons chopped chives
5 cups chopped romaine hearts

Instructions:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package.
Drain and toss with the milk in a large bowl; set aside. Crazy to toss it with milk. You won’t be sorry.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain. Discard drippings, but reserve about 3 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
Add the tomatoes, thyme and garlic to the pan and toss until warmed through; season with salt and pepper.
Crumble the bacon, set aside ¼ cup for garnish. Toss the remaining bacon and the tomato mixture with the pasta.
Mix the mayonnaise, greek yogurt and sour cream with 3 tablespoons chives with the pasta until evenly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the lettuce; toss again to coat.
Garnish with the reserved bacon and the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.
Serve at room temperature. Or chilled the next day. Refrigerate leftovers. If there are any.

***************************

Now I didn't make it exact. I used Penne pasta. I don't eat Greek yogurt so I omitted it. I used light cream instead of milk. I didn't have fresh thyme, so I threw in some dried thyme instead. Wish I had chives too, but I didn't.

Still delicious and definitely a keeper recipe!

You must try it!

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!

:> )


Monday, July 22, 2013

Beadboard Wallpaper on Bifold Doors Part One

I always seem to pick the hottest day of the year to do home improvements.

Also, I've never removed bi-fold doors or put them up for that matter. Let me just say whoever invented them, should be killed.
Ooops! Did I type that out loud?
Trust me. If and when you ever have to remove them, you'll understand that statement.
Relax, NSA. That was just a joke. ;> )

So after watching a YouTube video on how to remove bi-fold doors
(bless you, kind man who made that), I wrestled them off.

Next, I got my two most important "tools" I need when it comes to any home improvement job I try to tackle.

Coffee and a chocolate chip cookie.

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Did you know there are so many uses for a free standing butcher block other than chopping veggies?

It's true!

For example, using it to wallpaper bi-fold doors.

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Everyone must own a quilter's ruler! They come in handy! No, you don't have to be a quilter to own one.
As far as I know there's no executive order making it mandatory... yet.
But I digress.


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Done!

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Next step, paint them. I painted them the same color as the beadboard backsplash I did in my kitchen.

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Unfortunately the doors can't go back up yet. Silly me didn't realize that little bit of added thickness now doesn't make the doors close properly.
Yet another reason why I'm not a carpenter.
I'll need to adjust wood trim so they will. But I'll do it in a few days. I need a break from wrestling with those @#$@% doors again.

Besides, I need to order some decorative strap hinges.
I did try to paint faux hinges.
I have one word to describe the outcome.
----> YIKES!

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So here's my opinion on the beadboard wallpaper.

First of all, I do love it!
But it's very spongy and has the potential of showing marks and dents.
My Seinfeld "man hands" can attest to that.
Personally, I wouldn't use it in a high traffic area. Unless you like marks and dents.
Or you can Saran Wrap your husband, children, grandchildren and pets before they walk by it.

Because of the texture, it creates lots of air bubbles. Ugh. That's where most of my time was spent.
Well that and trying to remove the doors.

Bottom line: For only $19.99 + tax, I turned my hideous, cheap bi-fold doors into more attractive looking bi-fold doors.
It was well worth it!!

Finally, with the heat and humidity wave we had, I've been unable to create. (The paint wouldn't dry on my pieces)

I need to get back to work, so I will be scarce for a while.

But I promise I'll show pics of my doors when they're complete.

Happy Monday, All!!!

UPDATE: Click here to see them finished!

:> )




Friday, July 19, 2013

Look what I got!

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Without going into great detail about my telephone conversation with the gal at Lowe's in the wallpaper department, let me give you a little personal advice.

If you call asking if they carry a particular item in stock, you may want to skip the phone call and take a mosey over and have a lookie-loo for yourself.
What they tell you they don't have in stock, they more than likely do.
(This has happened to me on more than one occasion.)

That being said... YaY! I got my beadboard wallpaper with the added bonus of some aggravation.
Does it get any better than that?? I think not.

So I went ahead and primed the doors.
Many of you know how difficult it is to prime over red. I did three coats of Kilz and that did the trick.

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It's still hotter than blazes and even more humid. But a "cold front" is supposed to blow through on Saturday. So hopefully it will cool down to a brisk 82 degrees and I can get crackin'.
((giggle))

Have a terrific weekend, everyone!!

:> )










Wednesday, July 17, 2013

They make textured, paintable beadboard WALLPAPER???!!!

Have I been living under a rock? Why haven't I heard of this before?!

This is right up there with the discovery of fire!!
A little much?
Okay. Then it's right up there with the invention of the wheel!!
((giggle))

Remember my hatred for these butt ugly bi-fold doors that hide my washer and dryer off the kitchen??
((shudder))

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Well guess what I'm going to wallpaper?!
You guessed it... the living room!!!
For a second there you thought I lost it, huh?

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Don't be silly! Of course I meant those butt ugly bio-fold doors!

I was going to buy a thin sheet of wood and go through all the trouble of cutting it into strips to make my own beadboard. But with beadboard wallpaper, I don't have to!

YaY!!

Here it is on some sliding doors. Look how cute!
I may be wrong, but those hinges look painted on. I'm going to use real ones.

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But I'll have to wait until it stops feeling like we're living on the surface of the sun and this heatwave passes.

In the meantime, I'll continue to wait in anticipation and do my happy dance and sweat!

**tap**tap**tap** Whew! **tap**tap**tap** Whew!

:> )



Tuesday, July 16, 2013

This is Earl...

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He's training to compete in the American Chipmunk Ninja Warrior.


Here he's working on his grip strength.

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I know... Who would have thought?
Ninja Chipmunks?
Turtles I can understand.


Enjoy nature.

:> )


Monday, July 15, 2013

Are you up for a challenge???

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Stop complaining.
(Even when it's unbearably hot & humid)

Stay positive.
(Even when it's unbearably hot & humid)

Smile more.----> :> )
(Even when it's unbearably hot & humid)

The "even when it's unbearably hot & humid" is my own personal reminder.


Happy Monday.

Maybe it will snow today??
How's that for staying positive??


:> )


Saturday, July 13, 2013

How true.

 photo 9a87efd4-cc9b-4fe6-b578-7e35413444a0_zps863c47cf.jpg

 photo apple1_zps05b3b215.jpg

keeps the doctor away...

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if thrown hard enough.

((giggle))



Happy Saturday.

Enjoy nature.
Enjoy an apple.

:> )


Thursday, July 11, 2013

I went for a bike ride...

What possessed me to do this when the heat and humidity have been off the charts??!!
My guess...
senility!

Riding on the trail is like riding in a tropical rain forest. Everything is so green and lush.
But there are freakishly gigantic bugs everywhere!
I swear, I saw people riding on one.

The heavy rains we've had has muddied up our once quiet creek.

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Unlike the trail itself, Stan the Beaver's digs withstood the massive flooding.
(Man, I wish my hubs was that handy)

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Even though it's hotter than a goat's butt in a pepper patch,

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the views are worth it.

Happy Thursday.

Enjoy nature.
(and sweat your rear end off in the process)

:> )


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

If anyone needs me...

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I'll be in the freezer.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I couldn't resist...

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I had to add my touch of whimsy.

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There's also a method to my madness.

The red knobs will remind me it's a cooktop and not part of the counter.
I've accidentally melted a few T.V. remotes in my day.

:> )

Happy Monday.




Saturday, July 6, 2013

It wasn't too good to be true!!! Yippee!

Now before I tell you about my awesome Craigslist find, I have to start from the beginning. (I promise I'll try to keep it short)

Many of you know, my Jenn Air Downdraft cooktop is a dinosaur. I'm guessing early 1980's but possibly earlier.

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Except for a fan switch that sh*t the bed, I really had no problems with her. She's just old and dated, but she still runs.
Like myself.
I did jazz her up with some red knobs though. I love them!!
Hmmm... Maybe I could use a pair myself? ((giggle))

Since I love to cook, a Wolf Commercial Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop is on my Bucket List.
I did look into other brand name cooktops. But many reviews I read online weren't all that great.
Besides, you know I'm a tad cheap frugal.
I couldn't see spending 1100.00-1500.00 bucks on a cooktop and not being happy with it. So I'll stick with my old dinosaur for now.

This leads me up to yesterday. With coffee in hand I hopped on Craigslist
(my morning ritual) and just for sh*ts and giggles I clicked on "appliances." Why? I have no idea. But I did.

That's when I came across an ad for a Jenn Air Downdraft Radiant cooktop. Curiosity got the better of me so I clicked on it.
Boy! It was a nice one! Frameless and it looked hardly used.

So I read the ad.
(Did a double take) Then I re-read the ad. (Rubbed my eyes making sure I was seeing it correctly) Then I re-re-read the ad thinking I read it wrong. So I called my hubs over to the computer and asked him to read it. We both looked at each other like deer in headlights.

I said, "Do you think it's legit? Should I email to confirm it?" "Absolutely!" was his response. So I did.

I heard back from the guy fairly quickly. He did confirm the ad was correct and assured me the cooktop was very
nice and was in working order.

Deal.

Hubs went this morning to pick it up.
He had a nice chat with him. He and his wife moved up to the area from NYC way. They were looking for a quieter, relaxed lifestyle.
They bought a home and decided to gut it, even though the kitchen was already remodeled.
Hence the lovely, almost new cooktop he was selling. Which is now my lovely, almost new cooktop.

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Are you ready for the kicker???

The price.

Drumroll please...

$25.00

Yes, you read that correctly.

Now you can understand our reaction to reading the ad.

I didn't want to post about it until I knew it actually worked.
((hee-hee))

Worse case scenario: It didn't work and I was only out 25 beans.



Not only is she pretty, she works perfectly too.
You know... For that price, I suppose I could paint her knobs red.

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And so I did.

It may not be a Wolf Commercial Stainless Steel Gas Cooktop.
But for 25 bucks and a can of high heat red spray paint...
This will do just fine.


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:> )

HOLY CRAP!!!

I think I hit the mother lode of all my Craigslist finds!!

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But I can't spill the beans just yet. I want to make sure it's not too good to be true.

Sorry...

((giggle))

I'll keep you posted.

:> )

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 4, 1986

"My fellow Americans:

In a few moments the celebration will begin here in New York Harbor. It's going to be quite a show. I was just looking over the preparations and thinking about a saying that we had back in Hollywood about never doing a scene with kids or animals because they'd steal the scene every time. So, you can rest assured I wouldn't even think about trying to compete with a fireworks display, especially on the Fourth of July.

My remarks tonight will be brief, but it's worth remembering that all the celebration of this day is rooted in history. It's recorded that shortly after the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia celebrations took place throughout the land, and many of the former Colonists -- they were just starting to call themselves Americans -- set off cannons and marched in fife and drum parades.

What a contrast with the sober scene that had taken place a short time earlier in Independence Hall. Fifty-six men came forward to sign the parchment. It was noted at the time that they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors. And that was more than rhetoric; each of those men knew the penalty for high treason to the Crown. ``We must all hang together,'' Benjamin Franklin said, ``or, assuredly, we will all hang separately.'' And John Hancock, it is said, wrote his signature in large script so King George could see it without his spectacles. They were brave. They stayed brave through all the bloodshed of the coming years. Their courage created a nation built on a universal claim to human dignity, on the proposition that every man, woman, and child had a right to a future of freedom.

For just a moment, let us listen to the words again: ``We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.'' Last night when we rededicated Miss Liberty and re-lit her torch, we reflected on all the millions who came here in search of the dream of freedom inaugurated in Independence Hall. We reflected, too, on their courage in coming great distances and settling in a foreign land and then passing on to their children and their children's children the hope symbolized in this statue here just behind us: the hope that is America. It is a hope that someday every people and every nation of the world will know the blessings of liberty.

And it's the hope of millions all around the world. In the last few years, I've spoken at Westminster to the mother of Parliaments; at Versailles, where French kings and world leaders have made war and peace. I've been to the Vatican in Rome, the Imperial Palace in Japan, and the ancient city of Beijing. I've seen the beaches of Normandy and stood again with those boys of Pointe du Hoc, who long ago scaled the heights, and with, at that time, Lisa Zanatta Henn, who was at Omaha Beach for the father she loved, the father who had once dreamed of seeing again the place where he and so many brave others had landed on D-day. But he had died before he could make that trip, and she made it for him. ``And, Dad,'' she had said, ``I'll always be proud.''

And I've seen the successors to these brave men, the young Americans in uniform all over the world, young Americans like you here tonight who man the mighty U.S.S. Kennedy and the Iowa and other ships of the line. I can assure you, you out there who are listening, that these young are like their fathers and their grandfathers, just as willing, just as brave. And we can be just as proud. But our prayer tonight is that the call for their courage will never come. And that it's important for us, too, to be brave; not so much the bravery of the battlefield, I mean the bravery of brotherhood.

All through our history, our Presidents and leaders have spoken of national unity and warned us that the real obstacle to moving forward the boundaries of freedom, the only permanent danger to the hope that is America, comes from within. It's easy enough to dismiss this as a kind of familiar exhortation. Yet the truth is that even two of our greatest Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, once learned this lesson late in life. They'd worked so closely together in Philadelphia for independence. But once that was gained and a government was formed, something called partisan politics began to get in the way. After a bitter and divisive campaign, Jefferson defeated Adams for the Presidency in 1800. And the night before Jefferson's inauguration, Adams slipped away to Boston, disappointed, brokenhearted, and bitter.

For years their estrangement lasted. But then when both had retired, Jefferson at 68 to Monticello and Adams at 76 to Quincy, they began through their letters to speak again to each other. Letters that discussed almost every conceivable subject: gardening, horseback riding, even sneezing as a cure for hiccups; but other subjects as well: the loss of loved ones, the mystery of grief and sorrow, the importance of religion, and of course the last thoughts, the final hopes of two old men, two great patriarchs, for the country that they had helped to found and loved so deeply. ``It carries me back,'' Jefferson wrote about correspondence with his cosigner of the Declaration of Independence, ``to the times when, beset with difficulties and dangers, we were fellow laborers in the same cause, struggling for what is most valuable to man, his right to self-government. Laboring always at the same oar, with some wave ever ahead threatening to overwhelm us and yet passing harmless . . . we rowed through the storm with heart and hand . . . .'' It was their last gift to us, this lesson in brotherhood, in tolerance for each other, this insight into America's strength as a nation. And when both died on the same day within hours of each other, that date was July 4th, 50 years exactly after that first gift to us, the Declaration of Independence.

My fellow Americans, it falls to us to keep faith with them and all the great Americans of our past. Believe me, if there's one impression I carry with me after the privilege of holding for 5 1/2 years the office held by Adams and Jefferson and Lincoln, it is this: that the things that unite us -- America's past of which we're so proud, our hopes and aspirations for the future of the world and this much-loved country -- these things far outweigh what little divides us. And so tonight we reaffirm that Jew and gentile, we are one nation under God; that black and white, we are one nation indivisible; that Republican and Democrat, we are all Americans. Tonight, with heart and hand, through whatever trial and travail, we pledge ourselves to each other and to the cause of human freedom, the cause that has given light to this land and hope to the world.

My fellow Americans, we're known around the world as a confident and a happy people. Tonight there's much to celebrate and many blessings to be grateful for. So while it's good to talk about serious things, it's just as important and just as American to have some fun. Now, let's have some fun -- let the celebration begin!"

~Ronald Reagan

It's been decades since we've heard our American president speak of true love of country, positivity and unity among its people. I'd almost forgotten what it's like.

I hope you took the time to read this speech.

Pass it on.

Teach history.

Fly your flag.

Happy Independence Day.



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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's been gnawing at me for just about two years now...

That's how long it's been since I did my kitchen redo. I'm the first one to admit, I busted my rump "transforming" my cabinets and counter top. It was hard work, but totally worth it.

My inspiration for color came from the Painter Sisters blog. I loved their painted buttery cream color cabinets!

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I think I came pretty darn close to getting the cabinet color.

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But after painting the walls, backspash and ceiling, something was off to me. I thought I had picked out the right wall and ceiling colors.
You know how it is... What looks great on a paint chip at Home Depot looks like
"What the h*ll color did I just buy?!" when you get it on your walls.
Also, other colors in the room reflect off the wall color and light bulbs can cast a funky hue.

Actually, the wall color I'm pleased with. It was a color I mixed myself with acrylics and then had Home Depot mix me up a gallon.
But the ceiling color and backsplash didn't look right. I used Behr's Havana Cream.

So yesterday, I got out the original paint from the cabinets along with my acrylics and started mixing like a mad scientist.

Well, I mixed and mixed and mixed and finally came up with this color for the backsplash:

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Here's the before with Havana Cream:

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It's hard to tell but the vaulted ceiling is also that color.

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Now, most people
(meaning my hubs) would say, "I don't notice a difference." Which is exactly what he said.

But I do. The Havana cream is more yellow.
So you know what that means... I need to repaint the vaulted ceiling now!!

I took the new backsplash color I mixed and lightened it up a few shades. I'll run to the Home Depot and have them mix me up a batch.

Guess what else?! Home Depot is having an Independence Day Behr paint sale. 5 bucks off a gallon. YaY me!!!

Yep. My hubs is going to strangle me. Hopefully not before I get that ceiling painted.

((giggle))

Happy, happy Tuesday, all!!

:> )










Monday, July 1, 2013

It's that time of year...


"My patriotic heart beats red, white, and blue."




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