30 October 2014


My kitchen butcher block/island was bright white when I bought it.  Then we moved here, and for a while I had to live with the dreadful glazed mess the previous homeowner had made on the kitchen cabinets.  The bright white on the island made them look even filthier than her sloppy "glazing" job.

Then we gave the kitchen a bit of a facelift, and painted all those cabinets White Opulence by Benjamin Moore.  You can read all about it at this post:  At Last My Love Has Come Along.  But the antiqued red I had so painstakingly developed for the island didn't look right with the bright cabinets, so I painted the island white again with Old White.

Fast forward a couple years.  The finish had yellowed, and the finish had gotten a bit "distressed" as usually happens here.  I decided to go back to red, but I wanted a bright red like that Ikea Expedit this time.  We have made some changes and additions and subtractions in the kitchen over the last two years after we painted and spruced it all up. I am also in the process of freshening up a few other things in there as in the rest of the house.  

I had bought a sample pot of Emperor's Silk ASCP for this job, and since the piece had been waxed last time, I thought that would be the way to go.  But the chalk paint let me down this time.  I used two coats, and I thought I would have to get some more, but it was looking really dark and streaky.  (No photos of this stage.)

So today I went over to Lowe's to get some more Red Geranium, having bought a sample I had tried for something else.  The original sample was made by Glidden, but Lowe's matched it with their handy-dandy little computer.  This red is brighter and lighter, just what I wanted.  The satin finish is much nicer than the streaky chalky finish, and I really don't care for the waxed finish in the kitchen.  It attracts dust and grease.  In fact, when I first bought chalk paint several years ago, the owner of the studio told me to use poly, not wax, to seal it if used in the kitchen.  

Tomorrow I will sand the paint smudges off the little towel dowels and reseal those.

I think this jolt of red is great!  You already know I would love to have red cabinets in my kitchen.  But when you use red paint?  You need to tint your primer at least half-strength red, and then use several coats to get full coverage with no streaks.  With the two coats of ASCP plus the three coats of Red Geranium that's five.  I might even need to go over it one more time before I seal it with poly.  I do not have the patience to do that many coats of paint on these kitchen cabinets.  I do have my limits!

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed for Furniture Feature Friday.

Also linking up to That DIY Party

 I am also linking to Metamorphosis Monday.  For some other really fabulous red islands, check out Atticmag's post today.

On Tuesday, I am linking to Inspire Me and Tweak It Tuesday.

On Wednesday, linking to The Seasoned Homemaker for The Project Parade.  I am also sharing this with Mrs. Olson at Have a Cup.  Thanks ladies!

29 October 2014


photo from Google images

No, not the National Park, darlings, I hear that is quite lovely.  I am talking about the new operating system for your Apple computer!  Lately, I have been having issues with my beloved MacBook being a little sluggish again, and since it is not yet a dinosaur, I decided to take advantage of the offer to get a free upgrade to Yosemite.  I had barely begun to understand Maverick(s?), before those new guys at Apple decided to confuse me even further.  

I miss Steve Jobs!  Every time you turn around now they are doing something to our Apple products which is hard for me to understand.  This new Yosemite thing does have some kind of cute cartoonish-looking icons because they want to look young and modern and hip, I suppose.  However, the favorites bar has disappeared and the url line is in a different spot.  I just downloaded it overnight (and it takes about 18 hours!), so I am sure I will uncover other weirdness soon as I go along.

Here is the main thing you bloggers are going to have a little trouble with:

You know how when you add your  link onto a Linky Party you are supposed to enter the URL of the ACTUAL BLOG POST?  Well, you can't do that!!!

Every single time, if you click on the post title, it will give you just that post on the page, all right, but guess what you see in the URL line?  That's right, you see the MAIN BLOG ADDRESS!!!

I tried doing an end run around it (I am famous for end runs, you know) by going to the list of posts on the Dashboard and clicking "View" -- sure enough, it gives me only that post on the page.  But guess what you see in the URL?  That's riiiiight!!!!  The main blog address.  You get a gold star.  Guess what you see if you click on one of the "Pages" at the top?  Uh-huh.

If any of you computer wizards know how to fix this, you must share with us, OK?

Thursday News Flash:  I accidentally discovered how to get the URL of the blog post!!!

Last night, I was on another site, and I clicked on that URL window to delete it and type another URL in there, and lo and behold, the extended URL of the page I was on displayed, highlighted.  I tried to see if it would copy and paste, and it did!  So that is how you get the URL of an individual post.

However, you should also know that all my user names and passwords that were stored, as well as a number of preferences in different applications, are back to a default setting.  So I am having to do quite a bit of adjusting.  

I will continue to update you if I discover anything else you might like to know about Yosemite.

27 October 2014


Last post, we went to the Chapel.  No, we didn't get mar-ah-ah-ried, but we did get two new/old chairs from Miss Mustard Seed.  However, tomorrow (Tuesday) Sweet Husband and I do have an anniversary:  twenty-five years ago on October 28, we met at a Halloween party sponsored by our apartment complex in Arlington, Texas where we were next door neighbors.  Sort of.  He lived in the next building.  

Who woulda thunk it back then that I would be living back in my home state of Alabama and married to this sweet guy who "wouldn't go away"  --  25 years later?

Or that I would have a (almost 7-year) blog (what's that?)  and we would visit an antiques market in rural Alabama and buy two cute little French cane chairs?

This guy (when I met him) had a big ol' ugly brown sofa with oak trim that screamed "bachelor pad" and a giant navy leather recliner.  He also had a bedroom "pier grip" with a "light bridge" and a weird "modern dinette" as well as a gold floor clock and a set of black dishes.   I had a Louis XV-style Thomasville dining room table (now painted red and draped in hundred dollar a yard [wholesale] silk in our DR) and chairs and a white Frenchy bedroom dresser (now painted Emile ASCP in our DR) along with a very girly white iron bed with baby blue bed linens.  My eyelet curtains had lots of ruffles, and my LR chairs were dainty with Louis XVI legs. My dishes were Lenox china and my flatware was "Rondo" Gorham sterling. 

I also had that little bombé chest on the left above.

Hmmmm, I don't believe I see any of that crap he used to have!  Oh wait -- upstairs, in his TV den, there is one piece (armoire) of that hideous furniture he used to have.  It was the least I could do...

So here they are in context, my MMS chairs -- what do you think?  I still need to do cushions or kidney pillows for them.

Speaking of pillows -- here are the five finished leopard pillows for the sofa.  I stashed the two back loose cushions because there was no room to sit!  It is just as comfy this way.

I used some tobacco brown linen from my fabric stash to back the pillows.

It is not Aerin Lauder's fabulous leopard sofa that I showed you a few posts back, but this is what I can do right now.  (Kind of like that old joke -- is this Mr. Right?  Well he's Mr. Right-now!)  I need to keep going -- after all, the holidays are approaching, and I am making a few changes in here and some other rooms.  Baby steps people, baby steps.

25 October 2014


Friday morning 

Bright and early we began our Chapel Market adventure.  I was very excited about it because although a lot of the dealers who were participating carry a lot of the “Farmhouse” look which isn’t my thing, it was a chance to meet some other bloggers I have read and admired for a long time.  In particular I was going to meet Miss Mustard Seed, she of the milk paint and successful book fame.  I pre-purchased two little French cane chairs from her, and I was hysterically excited to get my hands on them.   

Then -- catastrophe!  I was just getting my eyes open a little after eight a.m. when Sweet Husband came barreling into the bedroom and barked, “The Jeep won’t start!”  

Uh-oh.  “What do you mean ‘the Jeep won’t start?’  I just asked you yesterday if the Jeep is ready for this little road trip!!!”

“Well, it was fine yesterday!”

“I certainly don’t feel comfortable taking my car because the “Service Now” light came on yesterday.  Anyway, it is too small to get two chairs in there!”

“I know, I know; besides, I just cranked it up, and that light came on again.”

“Well, scratch that idea ... what do you want to do now?”  He didn't answer.  

I drew myself up to my full height of 5’1” and asserted, “Well, I'll tell you what we are going to do right now.  We are going to go rent a van or an SUV!  I can’t NOT show up!”  

“Yeah, I guess ...  are you sure they won’t fit in your car?  Show me that picture of the chairs again.”

I did.  “See, they have arms, it’s not like you can nest them together.  Anyway, remember that time we like never got that little wicker chair in the back seat at that estate sale?”

He looked so pitiful, like a lamb being led to slaughter, knowing it was going to cost him some more money.  His shoulders always get that certain look of resignation when that happens along with a "just go ahead and kill me now" expression on his face.

Fully awake now --

“I will get dressed, and we’ll just pop over to Enterprise and rent something for today and tomorrow.”  

On the way over there we had a lively discussion about where they were located.  Since I was driving my “Service Now” car, I went to the place I remembered that I thought it was...  Turned out it was Hertz, not Enterprise.  Oh well, they rent cars, too -- good enough.  They let us have an SUV -- not a van -- because they didn’t have one, but a Kia Sorrento.  I worriedly asked the agent if this had those exploding airbags with the shrapnel, and he assured me it did not.  Not having had any coffee yet or even put my face on, I was dubious and unconvinced.

Next thing you know, after a cup of coffee and getting my makeup on, we were riding down the interstate toward Ft. Deposit where Priester’s Pecans is located.  Thirty miles or so South of Montgomery, it is a popular stop with travelers along I-65 going to and from the Gulf Coast.  Tour buses stop there a lot because they have very generous samples of all the kinds of confections and baked goodies for sale.  (We like the chocolate pecan pie, which is very good if you heat it in the oven before serving.)  

We just needed some pecan halves for the upcoming holiday season so that is all I bought this time.  They are online and have a catalog, too, if you need to send gifts.  (No compensation -- you know I don’t do sponsored posts -- they just have lots of nuts.)  There is also a gift shop with all manner of silly gewgaws, most of which are seriously overpriced, but a lot of people buy this stuff.   Usually there is a kiosk in Brookwood Village here in Birmingham during the holidays where you can pick up some pecans and gift boxes.

You may be scratching your head at this point, wondering where in the world is that crazy woman going to put two more chairs in her house.  Ummm -- the answer would be that two others are going to the attic to make a place for these.  


Both days were absolutely beautiful for this little outing, and in fact, this is the very best time of the year in Alabama -- bright and sunny, a little cooler although still warm and the leaves beginning to turn.  

We ate some BBQ and explored the Prattville area for a while, ending the afternoon with our first ever trip to The Bass Pro Shops.  

The store was so fun, kind of a theme park environment for outdoor enthusiasts.  We took some silly photos and our big purchase was a coozie with the store's logo.  

Saturday morning

Cut to Saturday, and we were off to the Chapel at The Waters which is a planned community built around little lakes.  It is very peaceful and serene out there, totally bucolic.  The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department was out in force and kept traffic moving right along.  All the people everywhere we went were just the nicest and friendliest you can imagine.

First order of business, I spotted my chairs in MMS's area, having first introduced myself with, “I am with those French chairs!”  I get very bashful and inarticulate around celebrities.  She is very cute and much more petite than I realized.  

MMS looks just like this photo on her book

We cruised around the rest of the market for a while to see what all was there. Some vendors were under a great big tent, and others were inside the Chapel with Miss Mustard Seed.  About 90% of the photos I made with my iPhone did not “take” including all those of MMS.  I didn’t get a single one of her to turn out!  I also forgot my copy of her book to get signed. 

I did get one barely passable photo of KariAnne of Thistlewood, (above) although the ones of us together didn't turn out, either.  That little woman has a really big personality!  Her son is so cute -- he looks just like her.  

I forgot my camera as well as MMS's book after all the excitement with the dead Jeep battery.  We were trying to use the iPhone camera (both of us are clueless), and most of the photos didn't turn out.

Linda of Coastal Charm (above) was doing a booming business under the big tent, and I got a shot of her listening intently to a visitor  but didn’t get close enough to say hello because she had a line of people waiting to talk to her.  We saw Layla Palmer’s tent right next to the chapel, but I did not see her around anywhere.  The folks from Cullman (Southern Accents) seemed to be doing a booming business, too, with their architectural antiques under the big tent.  

Some of the vendors had both Chalk Paint and MMS’s Milk Paint displays (I am not sure exactly who these vendors were because the layout seems to have changed from what was announced about a month ago).  MMS was to give a demo this afternoon with her milk paint, but we decided to hit the road back to The ‘Ham.  Neither of us slept very well last night.  It seems that when I am in a strange bed I just don't sleep well, no matter how comfy the accommodations.  Do you have this problem, too?

Moi on the way home, looking like a rag -- bloodshot eyes and black circles -- lack of sleep is a wrecker!

The world's most patient sweet man driving me home.

We covered the market, all of it, in an hour and a half.  I saw lots of cotton stalks and dried hydrangeas, lots of signs and chalkboard, ironstone, old typewriters, much painted furniture including stools and tote boxes, and several painted chests.  

MMS's pieces were beautiful!  I had been very curious about how the milk paint finish looked.  Like velvet, that's how.  There were quilts and dress forms and old hats and lots of items for the farmhouse/shabby chic look.  People were leaving with huge loads of stuff so it looked like The Market was a big success again.  

You all know me -- I am not into that farmhouse look although some of you girls do it very well.  Of course, my little cane chairs cross over in into French territory, even a dressier version of French style.  

These chairs wound up costing well over twice what the chairs themselves were actually priced because of the (1) vehicle rental, (2) an overnight stay at a very overpriced Hampton Inn in Prattville (don't stay here -- this is the first hotel in years that has not had a microwave or mini-fridge), (3) meals out and (4) gasoline.  So while I am very happy to have acquired the chairs, that blooming dead battery did put the quietus on doing other shopping!

Saturday afternoon

We arrived home a bit ago, and Sweet Husband conscripted a neighbor to help him see if they could jump the battery.  The fool thing started right up!!!  He has taken it out for a spin, but he did make an appointment for Monday with the service department at the Jeep dealership.  Oh well, as my sainted mother used to say, "Some days, it don't pay to get up."

P.S.  Come back next time to see the chairs in their new home.

Featured Post

GUEST POST BY BRENDAN DAVIS, aka "Son of Scribbler"

Guest Blog by Brendan Davis December 11, 2016 Beijing, China Hello, dear readers and friends - virtual or otherwise - of my ...