Chalkboard Menu

Been crazy busy around here. Did my first show in October and have another one next week. With a full-time job and a home and family to care for, DIYing happens after dark. Not the best time to take pictures; and I love picture heavy post. In the new year I will find a happy medium. In the mean time, lets talk chalk boards.
I love the idea of chalkboards. You can see them all over the web. I find them so versatile, and communicating my thoughts is really easy. With the use of Chalkboard paint, anything I love can be come a chalkboard. And the concept of colored chalk makes me kinda giddy. Have you seen what a ‘chalk artist’ can do? So it was time I made one of my own. A few months ago I came upon a small coffee table that had no legs. It was dirty and shabby and unloved. So I took it home and washed and sanded it. Sanding is very important. Spray on Chalkboard paint did not smooth out the surface of my piece. I had to do that myself. And if you don’t, you’ll end up with shaky, lumpy lines when you draw on the board with chalk. I brushed on a quick primer coat and then sprayed on the chalk paint. I’d recommend a thick coat or three, of primer. I only used one thin coat and now wish I’d done two or three. The rim of the table was painted white, sanded and then glazed with dark walnut stain. I added a vintage typography from the graphic fairy to finish the board. Karen has a wonderful tutorial on how to transfer typography to furniture. It’s simple and easy. After hand painting the letters I sanded them down a bit to give them some aging. Good Morning! I really like the way it turned out. It makes my family happy to get up in the morning and see a message from me. And I’ve left a menu for the daughter and she had dinner ready when I got home from work! And it’s a great finish at the end of our long gallery kitchen. You remember the Small Kitchen Tour.

I’ve tried the spray chalk paint on a silver plated tray that’s waiting for a hanger. I’ll give you a look-see when I have her on display. Check back soon, or sign up for emails and I’ll just drop into your inbox when I’ve got her done. Have you done a chalkboard paint project yet? Did you use the spray on or the paint on? Would love to hear how it worked for you. Cheers, Miss Ellie

I’m linking this post to Linda’s Nifty Thrifty Tuesday over at Coastal Charm.

I’m linking this post to Cassie’s POWW over at Primitive and Proper.

I’m linking this post to Courtney’s Feather Nest Friday over at French Country Cottage.

I’m linking this post to Marion’s Furniture Feature Friday over at Miss Mustard Seed.

I’m linking this post to Donna’s Saturday Nite Special over at Funky Junk Interiors.

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Sweet Pickin’s Outdoor Vintage Market

SweetPickins Poster

One of my first loves is treasure hunting. Another is fixing up what I’ve found . And before long I’ve amassed a house full of treasures with no place for more. If this keeps up I’ll have to divorce my love of treasure hunting.

Aaa… Not going to happen!

So where to put all these treasures and have room for more.  Well the most obvious solution is to find like minded individuals who love these treasures as much as I do.  So I started looking around.  And while I was looking around my town and in neighboring towns, Sweet Pickin’s was created.

Sweet Pickin’s Outdoor Vintage Market, the first vintage market in my town. Isn’t that a great name for a vintage market? When my application was accepted I was so darn excited  I nearly danced to the moon. I had so much I wanted to do and only 30 days to do it in. And with two birthday milestones and a full-time job I would have to be very efficient with my time.  My Dad helped a lot and I got moral support  from my family and great advice from my Mom. Thanks Mom and Dad. The daughter was great at the 6 a.m. set up (not a great hour for young people) and her boyfriend took pictures.

Bonnie (the organizer) over at ‘Junk in the Truck‘ and the GV Downtown association did a fabulous job of pulling it all together. All the vendors were friendly and nice and had amazing stuff to sell. I only wish I’d done more shopping. And the weather! You could not have asked for better weather; cool during the hustle of set up and almost balmy for the market. And Bonnie got the most fabulous food vendor, Back Porch Market  who kept us all fed. A glorious day. Just glorious!

I did learn a few things that I’ll do differently next time. But what I know right now is I loved it. Every bloomin’ minute of it. It felt good to be with like-minded folks and talk a little bit about our love. Can’t wait to do it again.

Here’s a photo college of  my space that my daughter’s boyfriend took for me. Thanks Cody.

Cheers,

Miss Ellie

Click the photo for the larger format.

Preserving the Harvest

Just as I harvest vintage pieces from estate sales, flea markets, second-hand stores and friend’s attics, making them useful and loved again, I also reap the harvest of the land. I’m still building up the orchard and have yet to put in a veggie garden, but the friends and neighbors with a plentiful supply and the farmers markets, provide all that I need. I was gifted a bucket of Sebastopol Gravenstein apples from my Aunt at our family reunion.

The Gravenstein was first introduced to North America in 1811 and is the first apple to ripen in late July.

The apples were ripe and ready to go. We made 5 apple pies for the family reunion and I took my bucket home to dry and freeze. My process uses an apple peeler, corer to remove the seeds, stems and skins.

It’s a beautiful process. The green and red skin piling up in a neat little mass. The house sweet with the smell of fresh apples.

The first batch went into the dehydrator. Cut the rings apart, dip in food fresh, spread on the racks and turn on the machine. By dinner the next day I had a gallon zip bag filled up. The plan was to re-hydrate in December and make pies. Alas, the daughter and her friends discover this little stash and enjoyed most of it. I assure you, those kids would not have eaten that many fresh apples if they had been place on a stick surrounded by caramel.

So I have to take time out from furniture re-purposing to preserve the harvest. Next up… tomatoes!

Hope you’re enjoying this bountiful season.

Cheers,

Miss Ellie

Dear Blog

It’s been so long. I’ve missed you. Have you been busy? I have! This summer has just flown by and now its fall. Can you believe it?

Lets catch up. Grab a cup of tea and we’ll chat.

In early August I had the cottage painted. I went with a professional. It was a hard decision being a DIYer. But they had the tools, I did  not. They had the time, I did not. It was a good price, although just barely within my budget. I got to work with them; sanding and scraping and spraying. I learned a great deal about painting a house. Being an exterior situation the paint had to survive harsh winters and blazing summers, creating a shield against the elements. Unlike painting furniture where we want a chippy, faded look. Not so much on my house. If you’re hiring a pro ask to see samples that are 10, 15, 20 years old. You’ll know how long the job will look good. I still have shutters and window boxes to paint and install but here’s a peek at the color.

When the house was done I promptly went on the family vacation. A little sister time, a little Mom and Dad time, a little me time. Well, not me alone time, but me away from the ‘to do’ list time. We tried new food, new beverages and new yoga poses (with my Dad). The mornings were cool, the days hot, and the evenings beautiful.

With the cottage painted I could now tackle the landscaping. So for the later part of August or was it early September, I worked landscaping after the day job.  I dug up the rock path at the front of the cottage and moved it to the drive way. I used the cement blocks from around the trees to start a flower bed. I’m 32 blocks short so when the budget allows I’ll get more. I had to dig up half the lawn so it wouldn’t grow back. I’ll tell ya, it could have been back braking but my new exercise plan has made me a lot stronger. Oh! I didn’t tell you about my new plan?

In September I moved compost. Once the flower bed was complete I had to figure out how to fill it with some good dirt. My native soil is mostly clay and grows natives just fine, but I wanted to branch out seeing as I was going to fence it off from the Deer. Yes, I have deer that dine in my yard. It’s an amazing nuance. I love to  see the babies in the spring but hate how they eat everything I like to plant. So I was watching Freecycle and a lady posted she had compost/manure available. “Great” I thought. I’ll just fill the bed and let it mellow over the winter. Turns out she has a never-ending supply. Yah! I go every two weeks or so with my little trailer and pick up two loads. I should have it filled up by… Oh… say December.

And some where in late August I hosted with my parents the family reunion of about 50 family members, who came to town and then tacked on a 50th wedding anniversary for my parents at the end of it. Busy, busy.

And here comes fall. I love this time of year. I have several things brewing on the horizon that have me excited and energized. As they come about I’ll share. Can’t jinx anything.

And you. Have you been swamped lately and neglecting the blog?

Cheers,

Miss Ellie

Weekly photo challenge is Purple

I love the color purple.

It’s all over the east wall of my room. But it’s hard to photograph so there are not any photos of it.

Dahlias and gladiolias at the farmers market

So I went to the farmer’s market and took pictures of my favorite flowers.

Dahlias and sunflowers

And one more for the road.

Black purple ‘cattail’ looking things

I did find an interesting lamp on my way to market. I’ll try to get a daylight picture of it tomorrow.

Got any purple in your life?

                                                                  Cheers,

                                                                       Miss Ellie

New TV Stand from Old

This winter was the year for new electronics. I say that because being a resourceful gal I take second-hand goods, TVs, Computers, VCRs, and appliances, and make them work for my family. This year my house earned me an energy rebate so I decided it was time for a flat screen TV. I needed the TV to take up less room and be compatible with the electronics my family was tiring to plug into it. But it also meant the current TV arrangement was not going to work.

I spent a couple of months looking for just the right TV stand. And then I found the best one ever at the Restore. But it needed a lot of love.

It’s mahogany veneer on most of it. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it so I just started sanding. You’ll remember the post about getting a paint brush back in my hand. Well, I decided to paint it orange. Yup! Orange. It’s a beautiful soft shade of pumpkin.

I glazed the lower half with chocolate and finished the top with a dark oak stain and hand rubbed poly. And gave the hardware a good cleaning too.

The TV fits perfectly. And with the addition of wall decor above the TV it almost doesn’t look like a big black box.

Dinner and a movie has taken on a whole new meaning in our house.

Next up? The coffee table.

While photo shooting this piece I sat on the table and one leg gave way and I went crashing to the floor. So, furniture Repair and Re-finishing are my next adventure. Stay tune for the details.

Cheers!

Miss Ellie

I’m linking this post to Courtney’s Feathered Nest Friday over at French Country Cottage.

I’m linking this post to Donna’s Saturday Nite Special over at Funky Junk Interiors.

I’m liking this post to Marian’s Furniture Feature Friday over at Miss Mustard Seed.  

I’m linking this post to Casie’s POWW107 over at Primitive & Proper.

4th of July and Door Decor

It just a little collection of things, pull together last night in celebration of the 4th of July.

I wanted something festive on the porch; the door to be precise. But it’s metal and I was challenged to over come that short coming. I had found an old shovel at the Restore and a folding ruler in red and white which caused inspiration.

With a cleaning and a coat of poly the shovel made a great magnetic chalk board. The addition of a drapery rod hook in the shaft of the handle behind the shovel head made hanging it easy.

The pinwheel takes me back to Independence Day celebrations from my childhood so I couldn’t pass it up when I saw it at the cash register a few days ago.  The blue bandana was found to hold it all together since all the ribbon stores were closed by this time and upholstery webbing was too stiff.

And it hangs next to the metal door.

I went out to get the paper this morning and saw it on my way back into the house. It made me smile.

Hope you have a wonderful Independence Day.

                                    Cheers!

                                   Miss Ellie

I’ve linked to Mary’s Share the Love Wednesday link party at Very Merry Vintage Style.

I’ve linked to Debra’s Vintage Inspiration #95 Porches and Outdoors link party at Common Ground.