Thursday, April 17, 2014

Happy Easter Weekend!


I'm off this morning to drive to
Washington DC,
to spend the weekend with
my daughter Kate.
(Please send good karma my way,
that I won't get lost too many times!
It's a given I will some…)

Hoping everyone has a 
wonderful
Easter weekend!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

A Nice Snack Cracker...


…you can make yourself!

   
Zesty Ranch Crackers


Mix together:
3/4 c. Orville Redenbbacher's Popcorn Oil
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch dry dressing mix


 Add one large bag of small oyster crackers


Mix to fully coat the crackers.


Pour crackers onto a large rimmed baking sheet.
(I used the broiler pan from my oven.)
Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 250 degree F. oven.
Using a spatula, toss and turn the crackers every 10 minutes.
Allow crackers to fully cool then 
store in an airtight container.


These are a great little snack cracker!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Chalk Paint Time…Again!


I have posted in the past about my ventures into chalk painting.
I'm still loving' my Yellow Painted Wardrobe!
Recently I've taken on a couple of other projects!


A few years ago I had this set of old french doors
backed with mirrors.
They lean against a wall in my narrow dining room,
giving an illusion of more space,
and adding light.
For the past year I have been trying 
to lighten up (i.e. get less brown in) my space here at
Buttermilk Cottage,
so I decided the doors 
would benefit from chalk paint!


I would have chosen the yellow of my painted wardrobe,
but the walls in my dining room are yellow,
so I decided upon a soft white for the doors.
I also already have a white painted buffet in this room.


Everything I know about chalk paint
I have learned from Sherry at No Minimalist Here.
She is a master at the technique,
so be sure to check out her blog.


One coat of chalk paint has never been enough
for the pieces I have done.
In fact, after one coat (above) 
I always have that moment  of,
"what have I done…"
But, it ALWAYS works out well!
For these doors I actually used three coats.


I opted not to distress the doors, 
but I did put a coat of finishing wax on them.


I am very pleased with my "lightened up" dining room!


I recently posted about my new/old office chair,
discovered on Etsy.


It was also a good candidate for chalk paint!


I chose soft white for it as well
and chose to do a bit of distressing on it.




Perfect chair for my office/sewing room!


No excuse for not being productive now!
I wonder if this icky, but very functional,
desk could benefit from some chalk paint…
hummm….

Linking this week at:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Open House Party Thursday at No Minimalist Here

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Knitting Retreat Time!


Last week my knitting buddies and I
loaded up our knitting 
and made our annual trek 
to the mountains for
our knitting retreat.


We are fortunate to be within 
a couple hours drive from 
some wonderful mountain 
cabin rentals.


This cabin was new to us this year,
but suited us perfectly.


These cabins are suited for large gatherings,



and lots of comfort.
Perfect for a couple of days of intense knitting!


First order of business is to unload the knitting bags!





Of course, I'm the one who makes and sells knitting bags,
so why are MY projects stashed in bags from Ikea???
Go figure…


Of course, knitting is not the only order of business.


Meals and snacks are a big part of our retreat.
Everyone contributes to the meal plans
and no one goes hungry!



The retreat is a nice time to complete some unfinished projects.


Karen brought along her already knitted
mitered square bag
for felting.


After the felting process,
which is a very hot water, machine wash 
with lots of agitation,


the bag is shaped and left to air dry.


Karen's finished bag!
Isn't it gorgeous?


This year my sister Nancy joined us.
She is not a knitter but spent her time
making some of her beautiful
wreaths from up cycled sweaters.


Although lots of knitting happened 
during our retreat,
we all came home with more unknitted yarn
than finished projects.

There's always next year's retreat...


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Buying Furniture on Etsy

The time had come to bid farewell to my office chair.


This chair has served me well for the past several years.
It was originally purchased at a Kirkland store, 
so it was manufactured as an occasional chair.
I had my Dad put rollers on it, 
had it reupholstered once,
replaced the rollers a couple of times,
made slip covers for it later,
and have sat in it for several hours
every day at my computer/desk
for the past eight years.
So, I probably gave it a much 
hardier workout than was
ever intended for it.
It finally let me know it was worn out 
and ready for replacement.
So, I've had my eye out for 
a new desk chair for a couple of months.
I definitely needed a chair with
rollers since I would use it
between my computer and sewing machine.
I also wanted one with no arms.

I checked out chairs at
Pottery Barn and Ballard.
Both had chairs that had the look I wanted,
but either price or reviews kept me
from placing an order.
All the desk chairs at the normal
"office furniture" stores,
were functional, 
but lacked a lot in aesthetics.

Then I checked out what was
available on Etsy.


I found my chair!
It was in a shop in Texas,
Silver Star Salvage.
I have never purchased furniture on Etsy
so wasn't quite sure what to expect.
What I could see was that this chair was
VERY reasonably priced.
It would be shipped via Greyhound Bus Lines.
The cost of the chair, plus shipping and handling
still made the chair a bargain.
It's a vintage 1930's lawyers chair,
all wood,
and still very functional.

I took a chance and ordered it.



I have never received anything packaged 
as well as this chair.
Even the man at the bus station was impressed!
(I presently have what I consider 
a very "pricey" chair on order from
Ballard for my living room.
It will be interesting to see if it is
packed half so well.)





Layer after layer of packaging came off.
Underneath was a thick pad to protect the chair.

The chair is perfect.
Its size is perfect for my small studio/office,
it rolls perfectly (a big concern for me),
and is perfectly comfortable.

There were a few nicks and worn areas,
something the seller had clearly stated.
That was not a concern because I
intended to "redo" the chair somewhat.
Hint:  chalk paint,
which I'll tell you about in a later post.



To sum up,
please don't forget to check out
Etsy when you are in the market for
a piece of furniture.
I am fully delighted with the service I got and
with my new chair!





Saturday, March 1, 2014

Accessory Bags!


It's been a week of sewing.
I've been making Accessory Bags.
As a result, my Etsy shop is well stocked with a variety!


The first step in this process is doing an over lock stitch
along the sides of the zipper edgings.
This helps prevent raveling of the fabric
edges and thus snagged zippers!


Next is the insertion of the zipper.


For a project like this,
I like to do several at once.


Combining the vinyl and the fabric
is almost the end.


I first made Accessory Bags
to stow all my small knitting tools.


And, they're great for that.
But since I seem to find bunches of 
different ways to use them.


They are great for storing jewelry and…


…cosmetics too!
I also love them for travel.
Bet you can think of lots of ways
use them too!
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