Friday, November 25, 2011

Thermostat Collage

I only accomplished one small home decorating project this past weekend. I was trying to enjoy the outside before it gets too cold for this southerner, so I spent time planting daffodil bulbs for next spring, raking leaves, and cleaning up flower beds. I won't bother you with a picture of the holes I dug or the leaves I raked. Trust me when I say I dug a LOT of holes. Hopefully, my hard work will be rewarded in the spring!

Here's the decor project I did accomplish. My thermostat is on a small wall going down the hallway. There is nothing else on the walls of the hall so it is kind of an eyesore. I took a bunch of random small pieces, painted them white and grouped them into a collage around the thermostat. The thermostat itself I put in a picture frame (glass removed) to kind of disguise it. The two odd shaped pieces are actually mirrors. One was picked up at Goodwill for $5, the other I've had forever from World Market. The two smaller pieces are picture frames, one from Goodwill for $1, the other from my grandma. They are a little too high to see in them, but still fun nonetheless. Here are the random pieces before spray painting.

And here is my beautiful new thermostat collage!

Doesn't it look better than a thermostat sticking out like a sore thumb?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Old Blue Chair

There's a blue [rocking] chair sitting in the sand...

Ok, so this isn't a rocking chair and it's not sitting in the sand. I stole those lyrics from Kenney Chesney. My lyrics would go something like this There's a blue chair with pretty legs! I really do love the legs on this chair. They are so unique. Here's a close up.

Aren't the front legs just gorgeous? I wish I had a real before picture. Before I had started to work on it at all that is. I hadn't decided to start a blog yet so I didn't get a "real" before picture, complete with ugly fabric and chipped paint. I paid $20 for this baby at a yard sale. A little more than I would have liked but the guy wouldn't budge. (He could probably tell how much I liked it.) This really is an old chair. I didn't just steal those lyrics for fun. The cushion was stuffed with horse hair. Here's the before picture that I do have.

Since the original cushion was stuffed with horse hair I cut a piece of thick foam to fit the seat and wrapped it in cotton batting and then muslin--should I ever decide to change the fabric the muslin will make this easier--then stapled my chosen fabric to the wooden seat frame. Then it was just a matter of spray painting the chair itself. Of course the cushion wasn't on the chair during the painting! There were quite a few colors I could have chosen to go with the fabric. I almost went with red, but decided that there's just something about a blue chair. I chose Valspar Tropical Oasis, a bright, cheery blue.

I had intentions of placing this chair in the foyer by my antique buffet to bring some color to the space. Alas, I didn't realize just how tall the buffet was until I put the chair next to it. It looked like a miniature doll chair sitting there! I'll have to find the chair another home and find another (taller) chair for the foyer. I'm thinking a slim wing back chair in a large graphic print, but finding a slim wing back at the thrift stores might be a tall order. I'll keep you posted.

I'm partying here:
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Inspiration Friday at At the Picket Fence
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Thrifty Things Friday at The Thrifty Groove
Freshman Friday at Home Savvy A to Z
Latest & Greatest Friday at Days of Chalk and Chocolate
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Debbie Doo's Newbie Party
Savvy Homemade Monday at Home Savvy A to Z
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Power of Paint Party at Domestically Speaking
Piece of Work Wednesday at Primitive and Proper
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Monday, November 14, 2011

Coconut Cake Recipe

This weekend I made my step-father a coconut cake for his birthday. I always give sweet treats for special occassions because who needs another tchotchke sitting around when they can have a homemade baked good instead? This recipe is my great aunt Emma's. She makes it every year for our family Thanksgiving get together. It's not a hard cake to make, but it is rather time consuming. That being said...

The first thing you'll want to do is make the 1234 cake from the back of the Swan's Down Cake Flour box. This will be your actual cake. For the icing you'll need:

1 16oz. carton sour cream
2 c. coconut
2 c. sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8oz. carton cool whip

Mix the first four ingredients and refrigerate overnight. The next day, take half the sour cream mixture and mix with the tub of cool whip. Use the sour cream mixture for icing between the layers of the cake. Use the cool whip mixture for icing the tops and the sides of the cake. Keep the finished cake refrigerated! Easy enough?!

Tips: Be sure to make the icing the night before and refrigerate overnight. If you drizzle coconut juice/milk on the layers your cake will be more moist. Caution: the longer the cake sits the more moist it gets!

My great aunt takes and cuts the three layers in half to make six layers. I have never done this before but the cake always turns out fantastic. Well, except for the one time I forgot the baking powder...then it was more like a pound cake with coconut icing. :)

DO NOT, repeat DO NOT use dried, flaked coconut. You want to use fresh coconut for this recipe. My great aunt uses two fresh coconuts, I being the lazy smart person I am, use the frozen grated coconut and let someone else do all of the hard work. Granted, I pay more for this, but it is worth the time saved to me. I just let it thaw first and then go about my cake making business.

This cake has been a Thanksgiving staple in my family for as long as I can remember. It gets multi-generational seals of approval! You don't suppose aunt Emma gave me the recipe so that I would have to start bringing it to the Thanksgiving dinner do you?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Television stand from a ....television?

So you're probably wondering about a couple of things based on this picture. First, "What in the world am I looking at here?" Second, "You give your cat a Christmas present? Weirdo." (He is smelling of his gift, a can of cat treats. And yes my cat gets a Christmas present every year. Usually a can of cat treats!) Or maybe you're thinking, "How sweet I give my pet a Christmas gift too!" Or...maybe you've got it all figured out based on the title of this blog post. For those of use who haven't had their coffee yet today you should point your attention to the big screen television in the background.

I really do wish I had a better before picture but who says, "Hey I think I'm going to take a picture of my tv!" It's just your typical old school, 42" big screen tv, encased in a black square to make it look better. This is before flat screens were invented. I'm not even sure you can buy them like this these days. I haven't been tv shopping recently which you'll be able to see from my after shot. :) Regardless, this tv sat in my parents living room for many years. When it finally croaked it was taken to my step-father's garage where he then proceeded to take it apart because he was curious as to how it worked.

Being the thrifty and handy man he is, he then decided to make it into a tv stand. He took out the screen (and all of the inside parts of course) and cut off those sides of the box. What was the flat top to the tv box (can't be seen in the above picture unfortunately) was set on the top of the speaker part. We're getting technical here folks! He then put it on big casters so it would roll easily. When I was gifted it the speaker on bottom still looked like, well, a speaker. So I covered it up with a black curtain I got from Ross for $7.99.

Wha-lah! A tv cart was born. Best thing of all is since the bottom part was a speaker I can set my satellite receiver and dvd player below and it will still pick up through the mesh and fabric. All the cords and power wires are now hidden and if I want to put in a dvd or the satellite receiver gets ornery all I have to do is roll it out from the wall a little. Oh, and that part before about who takes a picture of their tv? Well, I did! I tried to pretty it up a little for the picture but it still a tv after all. Focus on the stand it's sitting on, not the actual tv! :)  Here is a close up of the fabric for you.

How awesome and creative is my step-father?!?

Sharing on:
Nifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty Things
Debbiedoos Newbie Party
Savvy Homemade Monday at Home Savvy A to Z
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Primitive and Proper-Piece of Work Wednesday
Perfectly Imperfect
Transformation Thursday at Shabby Creek Cottage
Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

I've been a bad, bad blogger. I aim to post every Friday, but here lately life has just gotten in the way. I had two days off from work last week and my goal was to finish the second yellow nightstand and work some more on the aqua chair. Alas, I accomplished neither. Instead, since the weather was nice, I moved half a ton of river rock redoing a flower bed. Talk about a work out! (I do live in the south so the weather is nicer more often than not, but since I had willing help I wasn't about to turn down free labor!) I didn't take any before and after pictures, but the before was a bunch of weeds and the after is a bunch of rocks. :)

Last week, Laura over at Our Prarie Home awarded me the Liebster Blog Award.

Laura does a much better job explaining it on her blog, but the award is given to up and coming bloggers with less than 200 followers (no problem here meeting that criteria!).  Liebster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. I don't speak one word of German, so I'll just have to take her word for all the things it means.

Thank you so very much Laura! I am truly honored to be included with your other choices. Compared to those ladies I'm an amateur, but I do give myself an A+ for effort! (Ok, ok, so here lately it's more like a B-...) Being recognized and getting new followers is like hitting the lottery. You all should check out Laura's blog. The girl's funny, has some great crafting ideas, and always finds awesome treasures at "junque" stores.

To keep this award going and pass it along to other new deserving blogs, I have to recognize five other bloggers with less than 200 followers that have stood out from the crowd.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2.  Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3.  Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4.  Have faith that your followers will spread the love too!

So, here are my 5  blogs, in no particular order:

1.  Aimee from It's Overflowing. Yes, I also gave her the Versatile Blogger award, but what can I say, I just love her blog. I was going to try to make chalk paint pumpkins like hers, but the Dollar Store was out of pumpkins and they were $5 each at Wal-mart. Booo!!

2. Barbara from 21 Rosemary Lane. Barbara has some serious decorating style. And that coffee trifle with toasted almonds...YUMMY!!!

3. Aimee from Twigg Studios. Oh, if only I could sew so I could make some of her awesome projects. Cute little fabric roses, ruffled bib necklaces. Must. Learn. To. Sew. Yes, she's the second Aimee on the list. One of my best friends is named Aimee, so it's fitting.

4. Krista from Sew Inspired. Again, must learn to sew. However, she has some great tutorials for us non-sewers. She even has an etsy shop where she sells some of her projects.

5. Andrea from Just Down the Hall. Lovely blog, lovely projects. Written in such a sweet, humble style.

So there are my 5 picks! Please go check them out. Get some ideas! Become a new follower!

Look for a new transformation tomorrow, I'm just searching for a before picture (you'll see why).