Bottle to Vase

In pictures:

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Clean off the glue with nail polish remover.  (The label was already removed.)

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Most important step:  ask a “Bob” who already made the contraption to score the bottle.  If you can not locate a “Bob” you’ll have to make your own contraption.

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It’s a glass cutter which is secured by screws and the bottom right board is moveable (adjustable) to hold the bottle in place as one scores it.

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Score the bottle once around—do not overlap the scoring.

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image  Scored bottle.

image  Heat up a lot of water in a teapot.

Then, gently pour onto the score over the sink —one person turns the bottle around and the other person pours, which explains why I have no picture of that.  I was the pour-er…….

When the teapot is empty, quickly place the top portion of the bottle under cold running water.  It should smoothly break off.

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Here is the vase portion of the bottle.  The top portion cracked, so we were unable to recycle it, but if it had not, it would make an interesting small hanging light shade!  Let it stand in the sink until it is cool.

image  Bob lightly sanded the edge.

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Vase!

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Table top Wineglass Rack

My friend, Bob K., came to do some outside work today and brought us a gift.

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Yes, he designed and made it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                   image  Look closely.  Can you tell what it is?

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The base looks like marble.  But it’s painted wood.

image The spindle is part of a table leg.

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And the top portion is a rake!  How unique is this!

Thanks, Bob! 

Papa Claus and Mrs. Nesbitt

“Whaddaya talkin’ ‘bout?” asked Jabberwocky, who is not up-to-date on Toy Story and Mrs. Nesbitt.

Well, she will be brought up-to-date shortly as will you.  Read on gullible ones, read on………

As we have previously established, our family members are rather unique.  (Actually I am the ‘normal’ one.  And so there you have it—draw your own conclusions.) 

Father Christmas came to visit over the holidays, and he used to be my son, but somehow was hijacked for the season.  I am glad to report he’s now back to normal.

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Oh, alright.  He’s back to what passes for normal and we pretend is normal.  He put a shirt on and shaved his beard.  Otherwise, he’s the same.  But I digress……..

 

 

Of more concern is recent revelations regarding our son-in-law.  It is odd what happens to men once they become grandparents.  Ah yes, they have a 3 year old granddaughter, which might explain his unusual behavior.  Then again, well………just judge for yourself:

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Yes, here he is as Papa Claus, likely closely related to Father Christmas.

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And here he is dressed (convincingly, I might add) as Mrs. Nesbitt.

“Who is he?” asked Jabberwocky, somewhat perplexed.

We are not sure, Jabber.  We are not sure.

Eggs in a Basket—for Breakfast

“I always heard, DON’T put all your eggs in one basket, whatever that means…..” commented Jabberwocky as I began this post, “But then there is the Easter Rabbit who does.”

Well, true enough, Jabber.  Just one egg in one ‘basket’ for this recipe.  But they’re yummy!

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I’ve been straightening out the pantries—yes, I have more than one.  Making lists, organizing and cleaning each one, one at a time.  This past weekend, I organized my spice pantry, finding I had duplicates of some spices, so I made a list.  And alphabetized them.  Because, well, you know how it is:  you go to the store, have a recipe in mind, can’t recall if you actually have a certain spice on hand, so you buy another.  When you get home you see that you already HAD that spice (or sometimes you don’t run across it for a while). 

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The little white plastic trays were all acquired at yard sales for pennies, but they are perfect on this particular shelf.

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I also made a list of the spices on each shelf for easy referral.  I just leave the list on the shelf so I can check it to see where a certain spice is located.  I loaded the list onto a new computer program called Evernote (Evernote.com) which I can pull up on my phone when I’m at the grocery store.  Evernote.com is a free software program.  You might check it out for yourself!

Sunday morning I fried up bacon—a whole pound of it, then stored in the fridge.  Four slices I partially cooked, not until crisp, for this morning’s breakfast.

It’s easy to make this—and fast, too, if you have the bacon partially prepared.  Here is what I did:

Cut off the crusts of four pieces of bread. 

image  Go ahead and cut up the crusts, you can make croutons for your dinner salad at the same time.

Spray muffin tin with baking spray and press the bread into the cups.  Wrap a piece of bacon inside the bread, then place some shredded cheddar inside the bread cup.  Place an egg on top and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

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Before you put the muffin tin in the oven, place your bread cubes on a foil-lined tray, use a little olive oil and some type of seasoning and toss.  You can bake the bread cubes at the same time, but they will be done before your eggs are.  Watch them!

I happened to find some Ms. Dash seasoning while cleaning out the spice cabinet, so I used it—they turned out quite good!          image

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The muffins were made with this:

image  to which I added about 1/3 cup of frozen berries I had in the freezer.  They needed to bake a little bit longer than the package said.  This makes 6 muffins, just enough to last the two of us a couple of days.

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These were tasty—the cheese ‘disappeared’ into the nicely toasted bread, the bacon was perfectly done and the eggs were as well.  They were easy to remove from the muffin tin.  You could also make these in ramekins.  You could prepare them in advance except for the eggs, and bake them the next morning.  I found this recipe here with a link to the original post:

http://www.recipebyphoto.com/breakfast-cups/

Computer Cabinet Redo

Around here, after the holidays, you know that winter will be here for a while with the arrival of Bob the Painter.  For inside painting only at the moment, though we have some outside painting to be done later.  But I’ve always got some ideas milling around in my head—don’t you?

So, yes, Bob the Painter finished some trim work in the house, leftover from our massive flooring project last year, and patched the ceiling in the dining room where a misapplied foot had gone through the attic where there was no flooring.  The talk then turned to chalk paint.

“What is it?” he asked.  “I don’t know,” I replied.  But my daughter and Girlfriend know.  They have used chalk paint for several years and are experts on the subject.

Bob the Painter knows a lot about paints, their ingredients, which products work best in which area—but he had never used chalk paint.  Time for an experiment!  Nothing like hands-on experience.

So the project was launched.  Doing some online investigation, Bob determined that chalk paint could be made by mixing latex paint with plaster of Paris and perhaps some baking soda.  We promptly chose a color and a cabinet to paint—my computer cabinet which was plain white, but worn after a decade’s worth of use. 

He went to work:

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The inside was first painted blue and then white lightly was applied allowing the blue to show through.  The outside was painted and then we tried a glaze.  Neither Bob nor I liked the very light blue, so Bob, being a perfectionist, painted it a deeper blue:image        

He painted the flat surfaces with polyurethane as this protects them and they will wear longer.

The next day, he sanded the entire piece, rubbing some of the paint off so that white showed through making it appear distressed, applied the polyurethane to the inside flat edges, and finished with a coat of wax on the rest of the cabinet, buffing it after it dried.

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Chalk paint is best used on a piece one wishes to finish in a chic distressed look.  This is generally why one uses chalk paint rather than latex or oil—to get the worn effect.

He and I both learned some interesting facts about chalk paint.  While one does not have to ‘prep’ the wood before painting, one will definitely need to sand and wax the piece after it is painted.  This takes about as much time as prepping would.

Secondly, one MUST apply polyurethane to any surface which will be used much.  Even after waxing, chalk paint will not release stains, making it inadvisable to use it where it would be exposed to stains or moisture.  Since one begins with latex paint, a water-based paint, water and liquids will actually dissolve the paint.  In other words, a very poor choice for the kitchen!

The plaster of Paris will lighten the paint one entire shade.  This occurred in both applications of paint.  So, if you like one shade, go a bit darker to get it with home made chalk paint.

Daughter has mixed her own chalk paint like Bob did.  She prefers a name-brand paint, however, saying that it goes on and sands much smoother than what she makes at home.  Keep in mind that name-brand chalk paint can be very expensive, however. 

Girlfriend kindly brought two sample drawers down for Bob to see—one had been painted with home made chalk paint and the other with a commercial brand.  They discussed amongst themselves (I had a phone call, so I missed the talk!) the pros and cons of the product, agreeing in the end that they both preferred plain old latex paint.  But, Daughter thought otherwise.  I guess it becomes a matter of preference.

Here are the finished results—a fresh look for the computer cabinet and a bit of brightness in the office:

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What do you think?  Have you tried chalk paint?  Did you like the results?

Happy Valentine’s Day

I had a surprise this morning when I glanced into the herb garden.  Chives!  They were up, so I picked a few.  Got to be the first signs of spring, yes?

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I’m sure there will be more winter weather, but for today, Valentine’s Day, I can’t think of a more cheerful gift from nature than a touch of spring.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thrift Shopping

No yard sales today, save one……which we went to because it was in the neighborhood.  We found nothing!

So 2/3 of the Brocanting Brigade headed to Good Will, Restore Habitat for Humanity and a Thrift store in Franklin.

“Wait!  What do you mean two-thirds?  There are six of you in the Brigade…….how do you come up with two thirds?” asked Jabber who is not very good at math.

Simple fractions, Jabber.  Four of the six of us went, which is 4/6.  But that can be reduced to 2/3.  So there is your answer.

“I don’t get it.  How can you have 2/3 of a person? go to sales or thrift shopping.”

Never mind.

The Good Will store held lots of items which interested us. 

Oh, alright! 

Mostly me. 

But we spent some time looking around.  This is what I got:

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Daughter had requested an inexpensive hand-held mixer to mix up paint.  Voila!  And it was $4.50!  It has both beaters and wisks as attachments.

image  Cool wire basket for $3.60

A Chrysler Building clock.  Cost was $4.50.  It coordinates with my Eiffel Tower clock, so if I get tired of looking at France, I can look at New York City.  How’s that!

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Pazzo shoes for moi.  They were marked half off and I get a 10% discount for arriving at the ripe old age of 110, so I paid $1.80 for them.  These are very comfortable, leather, not worn at all, and look how nicely they shined up!  (Yes—with mayonnaise!)

Thumper reported she’d read one could polish shoes with banana peels, but tried it and it did not work.  Poor Thumper.  I wonder if she had to eat the banana to get the peel or if she had one sitting around?

No matter.  I always have mayonnaise in the fridge—or to be precise, I used Miracle Whip which not only is good to eat, but also will shine shoes. 

What did you ask?  Why would I use it to shine shoes?  Well, ‘cause it’s easier than dragging out the shoe shine kit, that’s why.  I’m fairly lazy like that.

You’re welcome!

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