Saturday, July 22, 2017

Really? Five Dollars?

Let me just say I had an entirely different post planned for today, but after last night, I had to change my plan.  

I was at a Summer Festival/Craft Fair at a local church when I noticed this box:
It was a little worse for 'wear & tear', but look at that beautiful wood:
But, the real treasure was inside:
Yes, it was an almost complete set of silver for 8.  With a little quick research this morning, I've discovered it is silver-plate from the Holmes & Edwards Company.  The pattern is "Youth" and was made in the 1940s.
The most amazing part of this find was the price.  Take a look:
I had to ask, "Really, $5 for the box and everything in it?"  The lady said "Yes" and I said, "Sold"!

Here are a few close-ups of the contents:  Apologies for the coral in my shirt reflecting on the silver!
Dinner Forks:
Salad Forks:
Knives:
Teaspoons:
Tablespoons:
Serving Pieces:
Iced Tea Spoons: a different pattern, but that's OK, they're going to get used!
I was just saying to my husband that I wished we had iced tea spoons!

The bottom of the box was covered with paper towels, so after everything was out of the box, I removed them.  The  felt is in really good condition:

Who remembers this paper towel pattern from the 70s?  I'm pretty sure my mother used them back then!

The big question is what do I do with it?  
  1. Polish it and use it.  But, let's face it, my china is packed away and our lifestyle does not lend itself to formal dinner parties.
  2. Get Crafty!  There are TONS of ideas out there for repurposing silverware.  I know nothing about cutting, filing, bending silver, but, I guess I could learn...
  3. Take it to a dealer and sell it.  I'm pretty sure it's worth more than $5.  
  4. Repurpose the box.  Don't you think it would make a beautiful jewelry box?
So, my friends, help me out.  What would you do with this find? I'm open to any and all suggestions and I promise to let you know the final outcome.

Thanks for stopping by - I look forward to hearing all of your suggestions.
Have a great weekend!

One more thought...Is anyone interested in doing a Five Dollar Challenge and turning it into a Blog Hop?  All you'd need to do is find something for $5 (or less) and repurpose it.  A date would be set for sharing the 'finished posts' and 'hopping' from blog to blog. It might be a fun Fall activity!  
If you're interested, e-mail me at november-rose@hotmail.com with "$5 Challenge" in the subject line.  Let's have some fun!

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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Jammin' in the Summertime!

We've had some perfect days with temperatures in the mid to upper 70s, along with a few hot, humid days with a few scattered showers.  Yes, it's summer and that means it's time to make jam! 

Every summer, when my children were small, we'd head to the strawberry fields near our house to pick sweetest, most beautiful strawberries.  You were allowed to eat as you picked, and I'm sure my kiddos ate more than they actually picked - you could tell by the red stains around their mouths!  That was OK because we headed home with several pounds of berries and I got right to work making jam - you can't get fresher than that!

These days, my children are grown and still want jam, so I buy my berries and get to work.  Let me show you how I do it.  

Gather what you need:  a few pounds of strawberries, jars & lids, fruit pectin, and sugar - LOTS of sugar!  

First you have to sterilize your jars and lids.  If you have a dishwasher, send the jars through a wash and dry cycle.  If you don't, boil them in a pot for at least 10 minutes.  Put the lids and bands in another pot to boil, as well.  

In one bowl, measure 7 cups of sugar - I told you it was a lot!  Set that aside.

I like chunky jam, so I cut my berries up and mash them with a potato masher in a bowl.  If you don't like chunks of berries you can put them in the blender or food processor.  You'll need 5 cups.

Put the crushed berries in a pot with one package of fruit pectin. (You can add a tsp of butter to help with foaming.)  Bring that mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  
Now, add the sugar and bring to a boil again.
Once you get there, boil again for 1 minute and remove from the heat and start filling your jars - like this:
I leave a little room at the top (1/4") wipe the top edge and thread, and put the lid and band on right away.  I tighten the band as tight as I can get it and immediately turn the jar upside-down on a towel.

When all the jars are filled, I wait about 20 minutes and turn the jars right-side-up.  That when I hear the 'ping' of the jars sealing.  You will know they're sealed when you press on the lid and it doesn't move up and down. 

Now, here are a couple of tips:

Tip #1:
Wear your kitchen rubber gloves because those jars are HOT!  Save your hands!

Tip #2:
Use tongs to remove your jars and lids from boiling water - refer to Tip #1! 

I'm sure many of you are saying, "Ann, you're supposed to put those jars in the canner and boil them again."  I've heard that too, but, honestly, I've been making my jam like this for over 20 years and have never had a problem.  

Now I'm not saying you have to use my method, and if you have any doubt, get yourself a canner and boil those jars. 

What I will tell you is there is nothing like homemade jam on your toast or english muffin in January! 😉

So, do you make jam?  Do you have a specialty?  I'd love to hear about it!

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll follow me and keep up with 'all the latest' at the Cottage!


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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Recycling To The Rescue!

Last weekend we were invited to a July 4th BBQ.  In addition to bringing my favorite pasta salad, I wanted to bring our hostess a baby jade plant.  My jade plant is absolutely huge and is producing baby plants at a rapid rate!  Since I didn't have a small pot for it, I headed to the recycle bin.  
That's right, an aluminum can, wrapped in scrapbook paper, makes a great little planter!  I 'dressed-it-up' with a piece of jute tied into a bow, and this little plant was ready to go.

It doesn't get any easier than that!
If you'd like one, send me your address.  I have a few more!

Now, before you ask about that pasta salad.  No worries, I'll share that recipe soon.  There's still plenty of summer -  and summer parties left!  

Have a great week everyone.  Don't forget to follow, pin, share!  

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

Pink Flamingo Planter

This planter has been 'in the works' for a few months. I've been on a 'flamingo kick' for a while and wanted to make a planter.
So, before we moved, I made patterns and then cut, sanded, and primed all the pieces.  Here are a couple of pics from the 'cutting stage'.
The pieces were leaning together to check for fit.

Recently, I took out all of the primed pieces and gave them two coats of paint.  After the paint was dry, they were distressed with 220 grit sandpaper.  

Everything was sealed and it was assembly time.  I used E6000 to attach the wings to the sides and then added screws from the inside.
Next came the beginning of the box.  This is where my dear hubby helped.  Since I'm not known for drilling exactly straight, he volunteered to help - love that man!
The sides (with wings) were attached next.
The last part to attach was the neck & head.
The screws were sunk a bit so they could be filled with wood dough and painted.  The dimensions are approximately  20"L x 10"W x 15"H.
All in all, this was a pretty easy project and I'm thinking of modifying my patterns and making a swan next.  What do you think?

If you happen to be one of those people 'crushing' on flamingos, check out my Flamingo Pinterest boards HERE.

Thank you for stopping by - hope you have a happy & safe July 4th!


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Monday, June 26, 2017

The Unexpectedly Wonderful Day

Every once in a while, you have an experience that absolutely astounds you and restores your faith in humanity.  On Saturday, my husband and I had one of those experiences.  
It was the perfect summer day, sunny, temperatures in the 70's, and low humidity.  There was a garage sale I was interested in and we didn't manage to get there until after 2:00 in the afternoon.  The man who owned the house was very friendly and we struck up a conversation.  I commented on the beautiful view of the lake and he invited us to go around to his deck and enjoy it.  We said we didn't want to impose, but he insisted and the next thing we knew we were sitting on the deck chatting like we'd known each other for years.  


We introduced ourselves - his name is Gene and he told us that his house once belonged to his mother and was very tiny. Over the years, he added on to it using wood and rock from the property until it became what it is today - a 5 bedroom, 2 bath house with a huge deck.  The picture above was taken from that deck.  The inside was finished with wide pine boards and some of the walls were finished with stone.  It was amazing! 
Yes, he invited us inside to see it.  At one point, someone came to the door and asked about something he was selling.  Gene went out to deal with that and told us to stay put.  We were astounded - we had just met him and we were invited into his home like we were old friends!  
When he returned, he told us we had to see the beach, so, off we went. 

His two dogs were the sweetest, but Sophie was the lovebug of the two.
Gene went on to tell us that he was battling cancer but this place was his dream and his 'healing'. He's not able to do what he used to, but he takes time every day to sit on the deck and walk down to the beach and enjoy the lake.  There is a boat that he still takes out and a fire pit for the evenings.  I can tell you that it was so peaceful and I was content to sit in an Adirondack chair and listen to the lake water lapping at the shore.

We were invited to stay for burgers on the grill, but we didn't want to over-stay our welcome.  Another friend had stopped by, so we said our good-byes, but not before we were invited to stop by anytime.  

I don't know about you, but it isn't often we are invited into a strangers home to spend the afternoon.  It wasn't just 'an afternoon', It was a truly remarkable day and we came away with a new friend, whom I'm sure we'll visit again soon!

One last note. Gene sent me home with a cutting that had been rooting from one of his plants.  The original plant (that was sitting in the window) belonged to is aunt and was from the 1920's.  He called it "Moses in the Bullrush".  There is a story behind it, but I'll let you Google that one!


I hope this little story restored your faith in humanity as much as it did mine - have a wonderful week!
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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Art Deco Clock

There was an Estate Sale today and the owner must have been a clock maker/repairman.  I decided I wanted an old junkie clock to repurpose, so I dug down deep into a box in the basement and found this:
Yes, it is the most disgustingly dirty clock ever, and I even scraped off several dead bugs before taking this picture! 

The first thing I did was wipe the whole thing off with a damp rag. It immediately started looking better.
Don't you love the Art Deco look?

Here's a look at the back:
The electrical cord was cut off, but, no worries, it's not going to be used as a clock anyway. The next thing to do was remove the back...
...and have a look at the 'works':
More on that in a later post!

The glass and trim were also removed and the trim was labeled for future reference.

Here's the case:
A little sanding with some 60 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper resulted in this:
If you know what type of wood this is, please let me know.  I know it's not pine and it doesn't have the grain of oak.  It is fairly heavy, though, so could it be mahogany?

The face is made of paper and I'm thinking of using it as a background - maybe?  

Now for the big question.  Does the case get stain or paint?  Also what shade or color.  Weigh-in everyone, I'm on the fence.  I still want an Art Deco look, so, what do you think?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I will follow-up soon and show you the final result.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I look forward to your suggestions.  Have a great week!


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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Upcycled Apron

It was time to upcycle this old apron.  I haven't been a consultant for the company for about 3 years now and anything with a little weight that hangs on my neck causes me pain.  Soooo, it was time to turn it into this:
This is how it started:
The first step was to draw a chalk line and cut it in half.
I found some scrap fabric and cut it into 3 long sections that were about 7" wide.  After they were sewn together end-to-end I folded the entire piece in half lengthwise and pressed a small hem along each edge.
Next, I marked the middle of this piece and the apron, placed the unfinished edge of the apron along the fold,folded it down, and pinned the entire piece.


The apron was basically done, but I decided the pockets needed a little 'something'.  

I had just enough scrap fabric to make flaps for them, so I drew a quick pattern and went to work.
I added a button to each flap to 'dress it up' and the apron was done! I really wanted black buttons, but I didn't have 2 matching ones in stash of buttons, so the white flower ones won.
So, now I have a new apron that doesn't hurt my neck!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for stopping by...please share, pin, comment, etc.  See you again soon!


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