Monday, January 30, 2012

Feeling Patriotic?

Here's a few of my TDIPT Mercantile offerings that will be available Tuesday night, January 31st.
President George Washington Firewood Folk.

Click on the button below to go directly to my selling page.

Wishin' everyone a terrific and productive week.

:> )

Saturday, January 28, 2012

A Sneak Peek...

At my February 1st offerings for TDIPT Mercantile.


Seeing February is the month we celebrate a very special someone's birthday, I thought it appropriate to make my first Firewood Folk for 2012 in honor of him.


Contrary to popular belief, he did not have wooden teeth nor did he ever chop down a cherry tree.

Hmmm... I wonder who it could be??

I'll keep you posted...

:> )

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Almost February? Really??

You'd never know it by walking outside.


WTHeck!! This is Central New York for cripes sake! We're used to measuring snow by feet not inches. But there is none to be found.

Wait a minute... I stand corrected. Jeepers, I should have worn my snowshoes.


Man, last February Punxsutawney Phil was on my Sh*t List.

We had close to three feet.


Ground Hog Day isn't until Feb. 2nd but if he plays his cards right, I will remove him off "the list."

Have a great weekend everyone.

Get outside and enjoy nature!

:> )

Thursday, January 26, 2012

"I once had a...

sweet little doll, dears, the prettiest doll in the world."

~Charles Kingsley







You're never too old to play with dollies.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

♥ She Shined Up Like A New Penny ♥...

Man, she was parched!!! But after rubbing her down twice with mineral oil, her true oak beauty shined through. I even heard her happily sigh with relief. "Ahhh..."




Whew! With hard work and some old dental tools, I was able to clean out most (but not all) of that green paint.

See! What a difference!


I'm a happy camper and she is too.

:> )

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Monday, January 23, 2012

This Is Why I Love My Husband AND Craigslist...

I love my husband because he is my soul mate, my best friend and my knight in shining armor. I love Craigslist because you can find anything on there.

I have been searching for a butcher block for a few months now and finally found one that was reasonably priced. Woo-hoo! The only problem... it was almost three hours away from us.

We planned on driving out yesterday to get it. But I woke up not feeling all that great. So my sweet hubs brought our dear friend and took the trek to pick her up.

They finally pulled into the driveway around 6pm with her.


She's about 20+ years old and is originally from Lancaster, PA. She has the worn look that I love and she's in great shape! She just needs some TLC.


Unfortunately, someone took the liberty of painting her carved leaf design a shade of green. Yikes. I am going to try my best to remove it and restore her back to the way she was.


So the next time you're looking for that certain something, check out Craiglist. I know it's reputation isn't the best. But if you use your noggin and weed through the crazies, you can find exactly what you're looking for. (Use common sense.)

Now I'm off to clean her up and rub her down with some mineral oil. I think she'll like that.

Happy Monday, everyone!!!

:> )

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The American Windsor Chair...

I am totally smitten and have been for as long as I can remember! I love all the styles but my favorite is the comb back style. It just oozes Americana!








Below are just a few of some wonderful sites I've been drooling over.

Fisher's Quality Furniture.

Thomas Wetzel Windsor Chairs.

Our American Heritage.

But from what I'm seeing to own a dining room set, I will have to save my pennies for some time. Unless of course they will except Monopoly money or belly button lint.

;> )

Friday, January 20, 2012

I've Always Wondered...

what they did in there to pass the time.


I figured they played Solitaire.

:> )

Have a great weekend all!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

You Can Find The Coolest Stuff On Etsy...

For about a month now, I've been online looking for an old butcher block. I want to use it as an island in my kitchen. Since I don't have much room, it can't be too big. But just the right size to be in the way and annoy my sweet hubs when he opens the refrigerator. **giggle** Sure the new ones are nice, but I want one that is old(er), has been "loved" with lots of character.

After searching and searching I finally found one on Craigslist. Yippee!! (Have I mentioned how much I love Craigslist?!) Lordy, you can find anything on there. We'll have to travel about 2.5 hours to get it, but (I think) it's worth it. I'll tell you more about it in a later post.

Anyway, as I was hoppin' around on the internet, I came across this awesome artist on Etsy. He takes old, vintage wooden boxes/crates (another one of my passions) and re-purposes them into amazing little tables like this!!


How freakin' awesome is that?! His business name is Modern Arks. Be sure to check 'em out. In the meantime, I'm going to stand in my kitchen and impatiently wait for my butcher block.

:> )

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"You cannot be thankful...

and unhappy at the same time." ~Unknown


"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." ~Melody Beattie


"It takes a lot of work from the face to let out a smile, but just think what good smiling can bring to the most important muscle of the body... the heart." ~Unknown


Happy Tuesday!

:> )

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Love Doing Dishes...


I know, crazy huh?! I never thought I would utter such words but I do. Mind you, I don't wear an apron and heels. Jeans and slippers for me. Heck who am I kidding, it's more like sweat pants and slippers with a bad case of pillow head.

I'm convinced it's because of my new single bowl sink and super tall faucet.


No more wrestling with trying to scrub down a cookie sheet and a bucket fits under it like a dream! All my years I've never had a single bowl sink so I never knew the awesomeness of having one. I was worried about splashing. Not a problem at all! I'm telling you if I could cram myself in there, it would be me and Mr. Bubble.

Now if they could come up with a product that would make scrubbin' the sh*tter more exciting... Nah.

Happy Monday all!!

Remember to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

:> )

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feeling the urge to whine and complain about your life...

This sweet and amazing gal will snap you right out of it!

Talk about an inspiration!!

We could all learn a lesson from Diane.


:> )

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who'd A Thunk...

Truth be told, I am not a big "fan" of ceiling fans. *giggle** Sure they keep a room cool in the summer and help circulate the warm air in the winter. We have one in our living room. It's okay, I guess. But they just aren't the most attractive looking things, you know what I mean?
Well... Not until I came across this one!

Now unless you like old, beat up looking stuff you probably gasped at the sight of this fan.
Nope, not me. I oooh'd and ahhh'd over it. Although I am not really diggin' the light fixture.

I'm kicking around the idea of having one in the kitchen. I thought this one would look nice with my 1776 American flag peninsula.

I really don't want one in there but unfortunately, the vaulted ceiling traps all the toasty warm air from our wood stove. I know heat rises, but it is amazing the change in temperature up there!
We tried those wee (loud and annoying) corner fans, but I could have literally stood in the corner and blown more hot air out of my trap better than those things.

So... Here are my choices. We could either be practical and get a ceiling fan. (b-o-r-i-n-g) Or keep my impractical, rustic chandelier (that I love and really don't want to part with) and stand on ladders. OR... Maybe make an indoor rock climbing wall?? Stilts? How about Jet-Packs??

Have a terrific weekend, all!!
:> )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Rust-Oleum Cabinet and Countertop Transformations are complete... You've Come A Long Way, Baby!

With a lot of elbow grease and I mean a lot, you can change the look of your kitchen for about 500 bucks.

Here's some "Before" photos:

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I painted the Americana flag on the walls in the background.

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Dark vaulted ceiling.


Here's the "After":

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I used Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations in English Cream (glazed) and Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations in Charcoal.

The rustic 1776 Americana flag peninsula was my own creative doing too.

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Since many emailed me about my Americana flag I painted on the walls, I thought I'd sneak in a photo.
(Stella had to get in on the action.)

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With all the hard work I did, we decided to install a new kitchen sink and faucet. Isn't she a beauty?
It really pays to shop around online. You can get amazing deals.

As you can see the counter top does have some slight texture to it. As I mentioned in a previous post, I would have preferred a smoother finish. In fact at my own risk, I would have taken an orbital sander to it. But hey, you live and learn. We are happy with the outcome and no longer have our outdated 1980's laminate counter top!
**doing a happy dance**

So if you have the desire to work hard, you can inexpensively change the look of your kitchen and do a happy dance too!

6 MONTH UPDATE July 2012 Review: It's been 6 months since I transformed our counter top.

How has it held up? Remarkably well. To play it safe, I did purchase a large glass prepping board to place on the counter top where I work the most. I also use trivets for hot pots or pans.

I can only find one faint, teeny scratch. Other than that, I can find no other scratches or digs.

My only complaint is that while painting my kitchen walls, I accidentally dribbled some latex paint on the counter top. When I noticed it, I wiped it up. But it left behind a slight haze where the paint drops were. I contacted the company, they suggested I wipe the area with Mineral Spirits, which I did. But it did not remove the haze. So for now, we'll live with it. But I will contact them again for any other suggestions they may have.

As far as the Cabinet Transformations product goes... I can't praise this product enough!! Everyone who sees my kitchen cabinets cannot believe I did the work myself.

ANOTHER UPDATE: November 2012:

For under 100 bucks I added a beadboard backsplash. I love the look and if I do say so myself, I didn't do too bad of a job. Especially not knowing what the heck I was doing. You see, I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Weeeeeee!
You can read more about it HERE.

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UPDATE: July 2013

Check out my "new" Jenn Air Downdraft cooktop!

To read my story about my AWESOME Craigslist score, click HERE.

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You are not going to believe it!
It pays to give Craigslist a lookie-loo!

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Below are my previous posts regarding the Rustoleum Transformations products.

PHASE ONE: 1/7/12

Well, I must have snickered one too many times at my hubs being sick this past week. I woke up this morning feeling crappy. But there was no way I was putting off doing my counter top. Come h*ll or high water (or ER visit)... It was getting done this weekend!!!
All day I've been popping Zicam like Tic Tacs.

So last night hubs removed the sink and lifted the cook top insert.
(Note: the lighting and my crappy camera makes the cabinets look very yellow but they're not. "English Cream" is what I would describe as a "buttery cream" color.)


The next step was to use a two part epoxy and fill in any nicks or seams. Unfortunately for me, the backsplash and counter top are two separate pieces so I had to fill that all in. What a pain in the dupa.
(dupa = @ss in Polish)


Okay, that's done. Now the next step is to sand down the counter top with their diamond embedded sanding block. This step removes the sheen and roughs up the counter top to make the base coat paint adhere.


But be careful. You can lose some skin like I did.

Dress appropriately. Put on something you would see on "What Not To Wear." Ooooh, I bet Stacy London would like to get her scrawny lil' mitts on me.


All sanded and wiped down with a damp cloth.


Next, wrap everything up tight. Have I mentioned I have a love affair with blue painter's tape? I use it for absolutely everything. So this step was right up my alley.


Now the fun begins... But first, set up an area where you have everything at your fingertips.


The next step is to apply the base coat paint, wetting agent and chips. The problem is I have no photos of this because there is only a 20 minute window to do it all. So there was no time to frog around with a camera. But I will give you the lowdown.

First, their description for applying the paint is "like frosting a cake." I found this not to be an accurate statement. I'm a baker and it is not like frosting a cake. Nope. Not even close. I can equate it to old paint that's been sitting in a can for awhile. Not as smooth as fresh paint but a little thicker.
Truth be told, I expected it to be much thicker. When I started to apply it, it streaked showing the cream counter top through. I went into full panic mode! I'm thinking (no actually I was yelling) "OMG, this small can won't cover everything!" Hubs grabbed the roller and tried his hand at it. His attempt was worse so I grabbed the roller back. Then it kind of turned into a Laurel and Hardy skit. But after all the running around and bumping into each other, I did have enough to do the counter top with a little (but not much) left over. Best of all, we didn't want to kill each other during the process! Imagine that? Dare I say... we had fun!

The color I used is "Charcoal." Chips are light, medium, dark gray and black. The kit states it covers 50 square feet. I covered 39 square feet. With very little left.
Here is how it looked after all the chips were applied. (Very rough)


We then took a bright Halogen light and carefully inspected the counter top for any areas that didn't have proper coverage. I did find a few spots along the edge. I used a piece of dampened sponge, dipped into the paint then lightly reapplied, tossing chips at the area by hand.

Here's a close up... (It was really hard for me to get a good pic of the color)


After 12 hours but no more than 24 hours, I will start the sanded process. This is where I'll be sweating bullets worrying the paint didn't cover correctly.

Overall, I am pleased with how it looks so far and how easy it was to apply once I got the hang of it. I'll give it a (dirty) thumbs up for now.


The DVD that comes with the kit explains everything to a tee. I watched it quite a few times just to be sure. Bottom line is this project is time consuming and you can't be in a hurry.

There is a low to medium odor and when applying the chips, I suggest wearing a mask. (Dust flies when applying the chips) Also, the chips go all over the place. So if you're a Type A personality, take a deep breath, relax and let the chips fall where they may. **giggle** Nothing a broom and dust pan or Shop-Vac can't fix.

Tomorrow is Phase Two. Sanding, sanding and more sanding. Then applying the top coat. Yippee!

I'll keep you posted...

Well I sanded for seven hours straight yesterday, then applied the top coat to my counter top last night. But I will wait to take photos since I want to lightly sand and add another top coat.
A few months ago I contacted Rustoleum regarding the textured look I saw on everyone's counter top (submitted photos to their site). They graciously sent me additional top coat to use, stating this should make for a smoother finish. Their customer service is top notch!

Here's a few comments I have about the whole process.
Doing the counter top is very labor intensive. You need some arm strength to sand everything down. For a chick, I've got some "guns" and it was a little hard for me. Especially sanding in tight areas and the backsplash. I literally laid across my counter top to get good leverage to sand the backsplash and it wasn't as smooth as I wanted. If I had an orbital sander I would have tried it (they don't recommend it). But after sanding by hand for seven hours I would have tried just about anything.

I had read some comments on forums where people were complaining about the difficulty in removing the blue tape around the counter top. This is absolutely true. I have a few areas where the tape actually removed my wall paint. (Base paint soaked into the blue tape)
Also, I would recommend removing your sink and cook top insert if you have one. Sure it's a pain in the butt but I would think it to be more of a pain in the butt to try to paint then sand around them.
Besides, do what I did. With all the money you've saved by doing the work, treat yourself to a new kitchen sink! Yippee!!

After applying the top coat, my counter top is darker than I expected. I can't imagine what the "onyx" looks like if "charcoal" is this dark. Don't get me wrong, it looks really nice. It's just darker than I expected. Also the top coat is a gloss. So if you prefer a matte finish, this may not be your cup of tea. Truthfully, I wish it was offered in a matte finish. I'm not one for shiny. But in a kitchen, it's hip and cool. Unlike me, who is lame and boring.

Bottom line is it's hard work and it's messy. BUT if you're looking for an inexpensive way to update your old and dated counter tops, it is definitely worth it and best of all, you'll be proud of your accomplishment!

Are you interested to see how my Rustoleum countertop looks 3 and a half years after being "transformed?"
Click here.

Cabinet Transformation 7/7/2011

I decided to jump in head first and tackle a few large kitchen projects.

As much as I loved my colonial red cupboards, I thought it was time to lighten 'em up!

I picked up Rustoleum's Cabinet Transformations kit and hit the floor running!


I decided on the color "English Cream." Here's a sample of it...


I also have "samples" of it on my knees, arms, hands and face.

Since I haven't won the lottery or pulled 9 grand in change out of our couch cushions for granite counter tops, I'm going to use Rustoleum Countertop Transformations.

So I'll be scarce for awhile. But I promise when I'm done, I'll share before and after pics with you.

Well, I did it! I finally finished painting the cabinets! Woo hoo!! Sure I worked on it 15 hours a day for 6 days and I've gotten hardly any sleep because I've been drinking coffee for those six 15 hour days; but I'm happier than a tick on a hound dog with the outcome!!

Ummm... Please try not to look at my counter tops. They look really bad now, but hopefully not for long.


I never thought I would get excited over new cabinet hardware, but I did! Just look at that knob! Feel free to "Ooooh and Ahhhh" just like when you see fireworks.


"Well hello there, handsome."

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I love to paint, so I found painting/glazing/sealing the cabinets an easy process. It's just time consuming.
Everything went on smoothly. I didn't go extremely heavy on the glazing though. Some like it heavier. Some don't like it all. It all depends on your taste.

NOTE: Since I was going from dark to light cabinets, I took the extra steps and primed (two coats) everything first. I strongly suggest it. I used Bulls Eye 1-2-3 by Zinsser.

Here's a few doors prior to glazing.


And for my next trick, I will attempt the Countertop Transformations! I wonder if I can take my coffee intravenously?
I'll keep you posted.


((giggle)) Did that get your attention??

Well, you may not believe this, but I did yet another kitchen transformation! Guess you could say a re-transformation. This time I didn't use the Rustoleum kit. I did it on my own.
If you want to see what I've done... (heck if you've read this this mile long post you may as well click on the link and hop over to see what I've done!!)
Go ahead and click on the "Click here" link below and get an eyeful.

Click here.

:> )

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