Monday, May 22, 2017

Vintage Oil Lanterns

If having three makes a collection, then I guess I have a collection of these vintage oil lanterns. I've heard them referred to as Railroad Lanterns. Here's the three I have:

A copper colored one...
 A red one...
And one that I painted black a couple of years ago...

I used Amy Howard's One-Step Paint in black to paint this lantern black years ago. It has held up well over the years.

I like to dress the lanterns up with faux nests and birds. These two  lanterns have ribbon and beaded candle rings to pretty them up.

All the lanterns were missing the glass and were no longer functional when I bought them years ago. 
I'm going to paint the red lantern too, so I cleaned up the dust around the oil well to prep it for painting. One-Step Paint adheres to metal really well, as I'm sure you've heard me say before.

It's interesting how these old lanterns worked. It appears the oil goes in the well at the bottom, the wick runs down into the oil well and soaks up the oil, and the top of the wick that sticks out burns. 
That little circular knob in the middle is used to turn the wick up as it burns down.

I can't even imagine what it was like to burn oil in a lamp or lantern inside the house or even carry a burning lantern around outside, can you? We are so spoiled in the 21st Century.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, May 19, 2017

The 3 Seasons Of Decorating

I've decided to acknowledge what everybody knows:  There are only 3 seasons as far as decorating goes...
The 3 seasons are: Fall, Christmas, and Flag Season
Yep, that's right! Now that all my Christmas lights (yes it's true, please don't judge me too quickly) are finally down, I can break out all my little flags and stick them in the faux floral decorations and... 
I can leave them there through Memorial Day and all the way through the 4th of July! Then, as far as I'm concerned, mid-July comes and it's time to decorate for fall again.

I was looking for ideas of how I decorated the house in years past and found these pictures in my file. This year though, I'm truly going to do something different on that chalkboard. After all, Happy 4th is getting old!
I bought this book a good while back to learn how to create good chalkboard art. 

It has a lot of good ideas and suggestions, such as using painters tape to keep your writing straight. I set the book in the kitchen to try to get some pictures and, as you can see, the kitchen chicken was quite taken with the wild side of the art!

I'm joining the party over at Mrs. Olson's Share Your Cup and at Under A Texas Sky's Friday Favorites Link Party  Hope to see you there.

Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, May 12, 2017

All I See Is Blue...

Have you ever noticed that when you focus on something, all of the sudden you will see it everywhere? 
I've been loving the color blue for the last month since I bought an old, blue-gray tool box at a flea market sale.
I added some blue faux hydrangeas and then dug out some old blue floral pillow shams, from my bedding stash, to spread the blue to the love seat.
At PotteryBarn the other day, I zoned right in on these blue plaid pillow covers...
And, in their kitchenwares, the little blue swirl colanders almost jumped right into my arms! Love at first sight and all...

I feel kinda like the kid in the movie, The Sixth Sense...

I never use to notice blue at all! Now blue is all around me, and I can't resist it!
I have to guard against getting obsessed with it again though. I did get carried away, back in the late 80's, with country blue. 
I ended up almost painting the whole inside of the house with it. And that's all I'm going to say about that...

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Joining the Party Here:
Amaze Me Monday

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What I'm Working On Wed: Flocks And Spots

"We of the Household" had a discussion the other day on where collecting ends and hoarding begins. Have you an answer for that?
We could not come to an agreement in general, but both thought (possibly) my chicken flock had reached past the collecting phase...possibly. 
It seems many of my chickens often have a sort of disgruntled look on their face like the one above. 

The one below is the largest one of the hoard flock. It always stands guard way up on the kitchen's glass cabinet...
This is my favorite chicken. I bought her at a shopping area called The Strand on a trip to Galveston, probably around spring of 2002, just as a storm was flooding the area and all the shops were closing up fast. She has a somewhat sassy attitude.
Here she is at Christmas time in the front room. She loves to sit on the coffee table and look at the Christmas lights.
The two in the photo below sit way up on top of the highest cabinets in the kitchen keeping watch on the cooking, which doesn't actually happen very often around here...
Here's a close up of the one on the left in the basket...
A couple more chickens are keeping the kitchen pig company on the movable cabinet, in the middle of the kitchen, while I'm thinking about where to put them. 
We're in flux right now due to switching out some of the furniture, moving some around, and adding in some new.
Now this particular chicken has probably been with me the longest and has been carried around with me for 15 years, from the Northwest to the South and all points in between. 
I don't know why I carried it that long because I really do not love this chicken.
With the "downsizing game" I play now, based on Marie Kondo's book, if I hold it and it does not bring me's suppose to go out the door! 
So I held the spotted chicken, and I thought... 

"Maybe I just really don't like those spots!"

And right there and then I did what any good hoarder collector would do...I got out the paint and got rid of the offending spots.

I painted a first coat of a color called Kembel in Amy Howard's One-Step Paint. 
This paint was the closest to brown that I had in my chalk paint stash, and my goal now is to complete projects with what I have on hand.
Please Note: I'm no expert, but I do use all types of chalk paint, including homemade. I have found different brands work better with different projects. 

First of all, I'd say use up whatever you have on hand! Second, I've found One-Step paint works well on both metal and pottery if I have it on hand. 
But then, most other chalk paints work well on those items too.

Just so we're clear, my opinion is based on my experience with the paint. I do not receive any compensation for my opinionsand I pay for all the paint I use.
Covering up the spots is as far as I've gotten with the chicken this week. I'm planning to add some dark wax to make it look aged, but I'm looking for inspiration on how to finish it up. 
If you have any ideas for the chicken's makeover, please let me know in a comment. Your thoughts and ideas are always appreciated.

Thanks for dropping by!

Joining The Party Here:
Cooking And Crafting With JJ
Vintage Charm Party At My Thrift Store Addiction
Home And Garden Thursday

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Mantel Copykat Style

I've been talking about it a lot lately, so finally here's our mantel after it got a recent makeover. Since summer is coming soon, it just seems like everything should be a little more colorful these days, right?
The old toolbox came from an indoor flea market last month. When I saw that wonky handle, split in the middle but not broken, it was like a forlorn puppy that had to come home with me.
Bloom where you're planted seems appropriate for summer, and the faded blue-gray paint seemed like it would be a good background for summer flowers even if they have to be faux. 
When I bought the toolbox, I just brought it home and stuck it up on top of a recently delivered TV cabinet, and there it stayed...way too long...looking very forlorn!
After Easter, I was stuck with indecision wondering what to do with the mantel for summer. The room was an ocean of neutral begging for some color and pattern. 

Based on the gray-blue of the toolbox, I added blue hydrangeas to it and vintage blue shams to the neutral love seat.
I don't know about you, but I really don't "do" summer very well. Honestly, I just kind of hunker down and wait for it to pass!
In fact, I was seriously planning to skip summer and decorate for autumn right after Easter passed until I saw Common Ground's breezy mantel and knew just what I was going to do... Copykat it!
I had a big brown-framed mirror (check), a boxwood wreath (check), and a chippy old toolbox (check, check). 
I don't have any white wooden lanterns so I used two large brown candle holders and added some woodland-type pieces to complement all the brown. 

I still need to buy some burlap ribbon so I can hang the boxwood wreath...but maybe the mantle doesn't need it after all?
If you look to the right of the mirror, you can see we still need to remove the wall bracket that used to hold a flat screen TV before we bought the cabinet. It's always something!

I want to thank Debra, who writes the blog Common Ground, for the inspiration...and for letting me borrow her blog photos. 

If I hadn't had Debra's idea to copy, I would probably be putting scarecrows and pumpkins up on our mantel right now.

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Joining The Party Here:
Savvy Southern Style
Amaze Me Monday