Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Stumbling Blog

  • A few days ago when I started this blog, I thought it would just be about vintage things, and I wouldn't make it about my family life. Without my family, however, I probably would have quit before I'd even really started because I'm so old school. I was a writer and editor for years, and my first computer was strictly a word processor. I still tend to view computers as just that-- a way to get words right (and of course a way to get those all important messages from teachers, coaches and team moms). But I was lonesome for someone who appreciated old things as much as I did, so I tried to blog. I picked a template, but I was dissatisfied with it. I wanted a blue damask background, but I didn't know how to create it. My sons worked on it and then my husband took time away from his deadlines to create it for me. Next, I was frustrated with how my photographs were turning out. My daughter stepped in and taught me the very basics of Photoshop, showing me how to adjust contrast and crop. Yesterday I picked up a copy of Artful Blogging and learned I'd broken a rule of blog etiquette--I'd mentioned people and had not linked my readers to their blogs. I asked my son to show me how to hyperlink and in the process I discovered there were a bunch of other useful icons I had overlooked. Last night, I tried them all, creating a silly practice post that was a patchwork of color, fonts, quotes and lists. My blog is a week old now and I'm glad I cluelessly jumped in. I've already met people with similar interests and sharing spirits. And here are some other things I learned this week:
  1. I need to see old things in a new way.
  2. I need to use (or at least try) all of the tools available to me.
  3. I need to appreciate my talented family more. (Thanks Steve, Zack, Nick & Sarah)
  4. I need to blog with heart.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My cup of tea birdhouse

I didn't have much time to prepare by the time I found out about Karla and Beth's birdhouse bling but I wanted to participate, so here is one I did some time ago. The twiggy silverware pulls really appealed to me when I bought it, but the top section was plain. I figured it already had the silverware so why not add the dishes? I had saved the pieces of several blue and white "accidents" so I made my first mosaic with them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Topping it off

The top of the tv cabinet holds some of my favorite books and some pretty finds. I bought the French ivory hand mirror, the mirrored tray and the figurine for my booth when I sold vintage wares, but they stayed with me when the booth closed. The figurine looks a lot like one of the women in the toile wallpaper. The tole bucket and gold vase came from a thrift shop located in a retirement community. A number of things from that thrift shop, some decorative and some useful, have made their way into my craft room--everything from a delicate pincushion shoe to a very sturdy and retro turquoise metal toolbox.

The pulls find a home

I was leaving a church sale one morning when an old tv cabinet in the parking lot caught my eye. I liked the curvy insets on the door panels. I stood there imagining the ugly, brown scratched-up wood covered with crisp white paint. In the insets, I'd apply blue and white toile wallpaper left over from my craft room's accent wall. And those wreath-shaped pulls I'd found would be the finishing touch. The cabinet went home with me for just $7. I spent quite a few hours under an awning on my patio working on it. I had to pull out some speaker fabric and supports. I removed the hardware and spackled the holes so I could place my pulls where I wanted them. I sanded it, primed it and gave it several coats of paint. I moved the cabinet to my craft room to wallpaper the insets. I drilled holes for the pulls and screwed them in. At Home Depot, I purchased some wood for shelves and they made the cuts for me. They were also painted white and, luckily, were in the perfect spot when I rested them on some of the original wood supports. When I can get around to it, I think I will put a Briwax finish on the paint to give it some soft lustre. In the meantime, it hides a small tv and cd player. It brings a bit of the toile from the accent wall over to a plain wall. And, of course, it gives me yet another flat surface where I can arrange my finds.

Getting pulled into a project

I have a thing for pulls. I found these (there were three) at an antiques and collectibles market and bought them without having a place to put them. They are brass and were painted brown. I used the little wire brush wheel on my Dremel and took the paint off of the high spots. I've found that I don't like the way brass looks when it's polished (too harsh for me), so I rubbed the pulls with Treasure Gold metallic wax. I apply it with my finger, and I usually choose Classic Gold or Florentine Gold. After the pulls sat for awhile, I buffed them with a paper towel to take off the excess gold. I really like the soft shine this product gives the metal.