Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've been wanting to make one of
for awhile now.
I think they're really cute. 
And I'm tired of this.
Even adding a label didn't help. And it has this weird thing in the back like the trunk of a car. My hand washing needs don't require a trunk.
(I know it's for a scrubbie. But that got gross. There was always a little bit of scummy water in the bottom of the trunk.)
I have some blue mason jars with the original zinc lids that I could have used, but I wanted to do a trial run before I sacrificed one of them.
So I decided to use this jar.

A really stinky candle came in it, but I liked the jar so I saved it.

Here's how you make your own soap dispenser.
The first thing is drill a hole through the lid. It helps if you have the right kind of drill bit. The kind that cuts circles. I don't, so I just used a large drill bit and reamed out a hole.
(I tend to just jump in like that.)
It's jagged, but the dispenser top will cover it.
Then I painted the top white.
Next, you have to cut the top off the plastic bottle the dispenser came with. Make sure you have enough of the neck still attached that it won't come through the hole.

Then you want to cement the neck of the bottle to the underside of the lid, with the threaded part sticking up out on top of the lid.
I used this.
I'm not sure how it will hold up.
Most of the tutorials I read said to use epoxy.
I didn't have any, so I used this stuff. If you don't want to walk on the wild side with me, that's ok. Use the epoxy. We can still be friends.
So this is what I ended up with.
I also caulked around the dispenser where it touches the lid. I thought it would look more finished.
I like it!
I want to buy the right drill bit before I make more~I'm pretty sure it will work better on the zinc lids.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The oil cleansing method

Have you ever tried it?
There are some good articles about it 



I started using it a few months ago. I have troublesome skin. Which is weird~I never did in high school. It's just now that I'm older. My skin is sensitive, oily and prone to breakouts. I used to use Proactiv, but got tired of the way it would bleach out my clothes if any got of it on them.
The oil cleansing method is CHEAP! 
And you mix it yourself, so it's easy to adjust if your skin changes with the seasons.
My mix is simple
2/3 Castor oil,
1/3 olive oil,
a splash of vitamin E oil
about 20 drops of tea tree oil. 
Basically, the oilier your skin, the more Castor oil you use. If you have dry skin, use more olive oil. 
I add the tea tree oil because it has antiseptic properties that help control breakouts. The vitamin E oil helps with any scarring that might happen if I do get a breakout.
A small bottle of this stuff lasts a month or more. 
I just massage it into my face and neck, and then put a hot damp washcloth over my face. I repeat that a few times, and then use the same washcloth to wipe it all off. It dissolves makeup. Some nights I use and astringent and moisturizer, some nights I don't. But my skin never has that tight, dry stripped feeling when I'm done, so most of the time, I even skip the moisturizer.
I've only been using it for a few months, but I really like it. My skin isn't as oily and I don't break out as often.
Everyone I know that uses this has a complexion that really seems to glow.
I'm not there yet, but I fully expect that any day I'll have the skin of a healthy 10 month old baby.
(I jest)
But my skin does look better than it did.
Give it a try!

Monday, June 28, 2010

my lucky lockers

A few years ago, we remodeled our bathroom. We took out our only linen closet to make room for another vanity.
I like that we have another vanity, but I had no place for sheets and blankets.
We were traveling through Uniontown, Washington a few months after the remodel, and stopped at an antique store. I fell in love with these cool wooden lockers, and the price wasn't bad. They came out of an old country club in Spokane. I wanted them!!
But we were in a car, and there was no way to get them home.
I admit it. I was disgruntled.
Fast forward a year. We were going through the same town, this time in a pickup. I insisted that we go in a pickup.
(I was using my noodle and thinking ahead. I had a plan.)
We stopped at the same store, and the lockers were still there!
Was I lucky or what?
The store owner was just getting ready to split them into two pieces. He thought they weren't selling because they were too big. He didn't know that I had kept my fingers crossed for an entire year, hoping that they wouldn't sell.
 (I think I must have mad voodoo powers. How else could these have gone an entire year without selling?)

They weren't in bad shape. Since they used to be built ins, the sides were rough. My husband just put some bead board on the sides to cover that up. I painted it all with a fresh coat of creamy white paint, inside and out, and spray painted the door handles black.
Now these lockers are in our family room. It's my new linen closet. I can fit an amazing amount of crap sheets and blankets in them.
I assigned each locker a different bed size.
Twin, double, king, and then odds and ends. 
(we don't have anything queen size.)
It makes me feel very organized. 

This is probably one of my luckiest finds, except for what I've found on our farm.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 25, 2010

What do you look for?

What do you usually look for when you're out looking for treasures?
(that makes it sound like we're pirates)
I usually look for more of these cute clocks.
I only need one more. 
Yes. Need. :)
And old doorknobs.
I want more mirrors like this one.

 I like old coat hooks, too.

Usually, I end up with things I never even knew I wanted.
This is one of my favorite pieces of "junk". 
It's part of an old scale. 
I think it's really pretty.
I like the shape of the hand, and the font that was used on the face. 
I even didn't know I wanted one until I saw it.
I hadn't planned on buying one.
I bought it anyway.
I'm flexible like that.
I don't have to have a plan when shopping for anything other than groceries.

Have a great weekend, 
and I hope you find something you never even knew you wanted!
P.S. I'm going to be out of town most of next week. I have some posts scheduled, but if you email me, I won't be able to email you back. I don't want anyone to think I'm ignoring you~I just won't have any internet access.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Have you ever made

Cake balls?
I'd never even heard of them before my husband brought one home for me~almost the same day my daughter was telling me about some she'd tried at a wedding.
The one I ate was so good, I did a search for a recipe.
I found out they aren't a brand new thing. So where have I been, I wondered? Why am I just hearing about these now?
(I'll tell you where I've been. Idaho. New ideas generally travel at the speed of SMELL here. I'm not saying I don't love my home state. I do. We're just usually a little out of the loop here.)
Anyway. In case you live someplace that's out of the loop, here's how you make them.
They aren't that hard to make.
This is what you need.
A cake mix. Some kind of chocolate to coat the outside. I used white chocolate. But any kind that melts easily is fine.
You also need frosting, and some kind of scoop. If you want some different flavors, gather that stuff now. Extracts, crushed hard candies, anything that won't be hard and chewy. I guess you could use nuts, but I think they'd be better sprinkled on top.
You just bake the cake according to the directions on the box.
While it's still warm, crumble it into a large bowl.
You don't want to smoosh the cake so that all you have are solid lumps of cake. You just want fluffy crumbs. I used two forks to just kind of fluff it apart.
Then you add your frosting.  
(I decided at the last minute not to use the canned stuff. Because I don't like canned frosting. I'm not sure it's really frosting.
 I just used some basic homemade vanilla frosting.)
Mix it in well. This is where it helps for the cake crumbs to still be a little warm. The frosting starts to melt and it's easy to incorporate it all.
Try not to smoosh it all into a soggy lump.
Once you're done, it will look like this.
If you want different flavors, now is the time to separate this into different bowls.
I added some crushed up peppermints to this mixture, and some orange extract to another bowl of cake and frosting.
Next, scoop up the cake and frosting mixture and form some balls. Roll them with your hands to get them smooth. You'll have to wash your hands after every 6 or 7 balls because they get so sticky that it makes a mess.
Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and pop them in the freezer.
Once they're good and cold, melt your chocolate.
And start dipping! I got a serving spoon, scooped up some chocolate, then placed the cake ball on the spoon. With another spoon, I covered the ball. I just put the balls on a plate.  
Before the chocolate hardened, I sprinkled more crushed peppermint on top of the peppermint balls. Work fast, though, because the balls are cold and the chocolate will harden quickly.
The variations of flavors, coatings and sprinkles could be almost endless. 
I took some of these to some ladies I visit from church.
They loved them.
My husband loved them. 
My son loved them. 
My daughter loved them. 
I gave some to a friend~she loved them. 
My daughters boyfriend loved them. 
I tried one of each flavor.

I loved them. 

You can put these on a stick, too. Just poke the stick into the it ball before you coat it. 
It's better to store these covered in the fridge. Unless they're gone as quick as you make them. That could easily happen.
They're a little bit time consuming to make, but definitely worth making. They seems so much more special than just cake.

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

No more junky trunk.

I did a quick project yesterday.
I painted the trunk I found on Monday.
It already had paint spots on the top and some spots were really damaged,so I thought painting might be a good idea.
At first I thought I'd just white wash it. 
I didn't like it.
Doesn't have a kind of weird glow in the dark look?
So I found some old off white paint. I think we used it on our ceiling a few years ago. It had gotten really, really thick~like sour cream. 
I used it anyway, and it worked great for dry brushing. Lots and Lots of texture.
I also used some soap on the hardware before I started painting. 
I first heard about using soap
I rubbed it on the spots I planned on distressing later. It works like wax, but since I usually have more soap on hand than wax, it's been a good tip. 
The paint was so thick that it dried quickly. I found that if I rubbed my hand over the painted hardware while it was still tacky, the paint came off easily. No sandpaper needed!
(It came off my hands easily, too.
I credit the soap.)
The trunk still has both leather handles. I painted them, too. 
It was on purpose. 
Cross my heart.
I really like the hardware on this trunk.
Some of the rust is already bleeding through the paint. Yay! I like some rust.
I like the whole thing, actually.
I think it would be fun to make a large scale luggage holder, like they use in hotels, to put it on.
Imagine how many magazines will fit in this.
A years worth, at least.
(I'm starting to wonder if I need some professional help. I might have a magazine addiction. I also had this thought~you know what we use for storage now, instead of these? Rubbermaid storage containers. It's kind of a shame. We just don't have the same kind of style that people used to have. Wouldn't you rather have a garage or basement full of these? I would.)
Here's a closeup of the lining.
I think it's pretty.
I'm glad we found it.
The total cost for this was
Gotta love that!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Now I'm disappointed

We unearthed what I thought was a really cool thing in the old garage. 
It's not as cool as I thought. 
It's cool, but I don't know that I can really do anything with it.
I took pictures, but my flash wouldn't work.
But hey~the end result gives you an idea of the creepiness of the old garage. 
No lights. No windows. Lots of spider webs.
Let's begin.
It's an old Maytag washer.
Because it was so covered with other junk, all I could see were the legs. I thought it was an old washtub on a stand.
I'm wondering if taking off the motor and the wringer would be worth it. I wanted to put it on my patio and plant flowers in it. 
A cool look for a washtub.
I'm not sure how it would look with an actual washer.
(the words "white trash" spring to mind. Yeah, vintage white trash, but white trash nevertheless.)
I found this, though. I forgot I had it. I think I stuck it out in the old garage almost as soon as I got it. It's an old headboard.

My original plan was to sandblast it and paint it white.
Cute for a girl's room.
 none of my daughters liked it, so I never did anything with it.
I found something else I'd overlooked before.
(if you're in this for the photos, I apologize. They're awful.)
Yes, it's another cool table! 
The top is just plywood, but I found some old planks that could replace the plywood. It's rickety and might need some brackets for reinforcement. But a woman can never have too many cool old tables.
We also managed to pop the lock on the old trunk. We couldn't pick it because it was already broken. The lining is kind of neat.
The trunk was empty.
We thought it was, but the dream of finding a trunk full of old IBM stock certificates dies hard.
I think I might whitewash the outside of the trunk. And then fill it with old magazines.
My future grandkids won't find a trunk full of old IBM stock certificates, either.
Just Country Living.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, June 21, 2010

I've been shopping the farm again.

And I found some cool things.
 Most of this was found in what we call "the old garage"~because it is an old garage. :)
The window in the back is heavy~one of the small panes is broken, though. I'll either have to pay to have it replaced, or decide that I don't care if it's missing.
I have a few ideas for the window.
The trunk is pretty neat.
I'm not sure where it came from.  
(from whence it came? Does anyone still talk like that?)
It's locked. I don't know if we can pick it or not. We're going to try. It's probably empty, but I'm thinking of how many old magazines this will hold. 
I need the storage!
I was really excited when I initially found the mirror. I thought it was etched. It turns out that the design was just painted on the back of the glass before it was silvered. But it's cute. (The light bounced off the mirror onto the concrete and is reflected back into the mirror, so you can kind of see the whole pattern that goes around the edge of the mirror.)
The old yard light is a nice weathered metal.
(I think one might even be able to safely say it has a nice patina.)
It's a side mount light, so I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet.
This is interesting.
It's old baling twine that was used to bale hay.It's sisal, and I'm told that it's not made any more. I have three spools of it.  
(I see a fun craft project in my future!)

There was one other thing I found that is so cool! I'll need help to dig it out, so maybe I can show you that tomorrow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My latest experiment

I'm not much of a gardener. 
I do O.K. with perennials. 
Like this Iris.
(It's the most perfect purple in the universe.)
And I can grow daisies, and petunias.
Easy stuff.

But I just LOVE hydrangeas.
I've heard they can be tricky.
But I'm taking a chance.
I planted one.
It's looking a little ragged.
But I noticed that it has some new buds coming out.
So maybe it will live.
Wish me (and it) some luck!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dollar store mercury glass

I got some of these cute little jars at the dollar store.
I liked that they were ribbed, and they're pretty heavy.

I've been wanting to try something for awhile now.
Ever since I did
And someone commented and said it would be fun to see if you could replicate mercury glass with this stuff.
It's about $8 a can.
Let's get to work.
Spray the glass on the inside.
It's very liquid, and only looks smooth if you're spraying a flat piece of glass.
You have to do several coats, and it takes a long time to dry. You don't want perfection, though. It's the imperfect spots that are fun to look at. I found it worked better to spray one side, and lay it flat to dry. Then I'd move on to another side.
Make sure you either wear a mask, or do this outside. The fumes are fierce.
Once you have it well coated, you can spray it again in just a few spots, and dab it with a crumpled up shopping bag.
Don't spray too much, because that seems to almost dissolve the dried paint, which is fine if you're fixing a bad spot. But if you're trying to finish in time to link to 
then it's not so fine.
(Now that I'm looking at this picture, I'm starting to thing gloves would be a good idea, too. Who knows what's in this stuff? Do we want it on our skin? Probably not.)
Dabbing off some of the paint will give it more of that mercury glass look.
Taking off the plastic gasket from the lid would probably be smart, too. I didn't. I'm just saying. It might be a good idea. Cleaning the glass before you start would also be smart. I didn't. 
(I make these mistakes so you don't have to.)
So this is what you end up with.
(this was remarkably hard to photograph.)
Cool, huh?

Here are some close ups. You can see my camera.
One last look.
And there you go!
I want to try this on a larger glass jar, too. I think with a larger one, it would be easier to control the paint. You could fit your whole hand inside when you're dabbing the paint off.

Thanks for reading!

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