decorating with dodi

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Creating a Monster!

After everyone left, things were really quiet. I thought I might start a really big project but knew that I really wanted to just end up outdoors reading a book, drinking a glass of wine and floating in the pool. But, I wanted to actually accomplish something before I began the lounging so I took out the new can of mirror finish paint and two of the vintage blue Mason jars and started "playing".

I had looked up tutorials for making faux mercury glass and chose the easiest one I found. I also found a video of someone using the paint and it looked relatively easy, so I just started.

I started by spraying 2 - 3 small sprays inside the jar and then turning it until the paint was dry. I waited a minute or two and did that again. The mirroring effect is fun to watch happen. One second the jar looks a mess and then all of a sudden, you begin to see the mirrored look take hold. I decided I would use my first attempt to go on to the faux mercury look as the inside of the jar looked drippy to me ( even though the outside looked fine I thought I might get more of a feel for the process with a bit more practice ). There were all sorts of mixtures recommended for this process, but straight up vinegar seemed the easiest. I put it in a spray bottle and sprayed very lightly.

When I didn't really "see" anything happening, I sprayed more and the painted surface literally slid down the sides of the jar. I kept this up until I reached a look I was happy with and then simply sprayed in a bit more paint and turned it upside down to drain.

After I finished that one, my next was a total mirrored finish. I really like them both. They both have their own unique appearance. I am going to use the solid finished one for decoration or as a vase ( you must put a small glass inside to hold the water so that the water doesn't sit on the paint finish ) and the mercury glass jar as a votive holder. It is hard to photograph, but it is really pretty sparkling at night. Now that I am "hooked", I will probably try mirroring all sorts of things - and so another monster is created!

And just in case you are wondering, this was such an easy craft that I got to finish my weekend just as I planned.

I know I have a few more 4th of July things to show you, so stay tuned.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Epic FAIL!!! or "What Was I Thinking?"...

....or, always trust your gut!!!

I shared in a few previous posts about how I was getting ready for our family celebration of July 4th a week before the rest of the country because most of our family were going to be out of state on the real day. We had our celebration and it was a SUCCESS! Everyone made it - which in these days of many, many work and social schedules, is a feat that is getting rarer and rarer to pull off as the kids get older and have more things happening in their lives.

Harrison had just gotten picked up after a week at sleep-away camp, so he was still tired. A nice rock in the hammock sounded good until his sister - who he had missed very much until this moment - decided that she wanted to climb aboard AND be in charge of rocking. That black velvet rope they are holding is tied to a bush and our way of keeping it "Rockin"! You can tell they had different ideas of just who would be in charge!

This picture is always what makes me happy - there are 16 people hidden somewhere in this photo. That means my whole family is actually here in one place and I love it!

O.K. We always do a July 4th photo with Nana, Papa and the kids. As I said, Harrison was a bit tired and coaxing a smile out of him wasn't going to happen...

...until I saw his hand start to creep up behind his brother's head in the infamous "rabbit ears"...

...and then someone yelled "crazy faces" and we were done! No going back after this!!!

I CAN NOT believe that our youngest is now actually old enough and a proficient enough swimmer that I let this happen - all by herself - without me ready to jump in - clothes and all!!

This is Papa after he opened what will go down in history as one of his all-time favorite gifts. My sister-in-law has heard his stories of working on the 1964 World's Fair when his brother served as one of the engineers designing the fair. He spent the whole summer up there working and has many tales but the one we hear the most often, when he sees a picture of the sphere anywhere, is how he ate his lunch under that every day all of that summer. And so, when she happened upon a World's Fair scarf in an antique store, she knew she had to get it and transform it into something for him. She decided on a big, fluffy pillow and he loves it. And, what was the first thing he said as the wrappings fell away but "I ate my lunch under that every day that summer"!

And then Kristin received her much awaited "scrapbook" quilt and the search was on for all of the meanings in the different quilt squares.

And so, right about now you must be thinking "looks like anything but an epic fail to me". But, wait for it. Remember I have told you that I don't decorate cakes. I am just not patient enough - plus, I would rather have savory than sweet any day. But, I am always looking for new traditions - as if we need one more. So, when I saw this pie-cake on Home & Family, I thought it looked cute and would definitely give everyone something to talk about - and talk we did!!!

First of all, this thing cost a fortune. I decided to use boxed cake mixes which I knew right away I would not like but I was making all of this food on a day when the little kids were here and I knew I would be a bit distracted. I looked up ways to "fudge" a cake mix so it didn't taste like a cake mix, so more butter and whole milk were added to the batter. Then, you needed 2 small pies - and of course because I wanted red and blue, I went for cherry and blueberry - I thought. When I actually started baking, I realized I had grabbed apple instead of cherry - that little red fruit picture on the box sure looked like a cherry to me!

Anyhow, hubs bailed me out and went and found another pie - this time a cherry (wait for the other shoe to drop) and I baked the cakes. Which took forever and ever and still never got done all the way so I ended up scooping out some raw mix. I will say that the recipe warns about how long this might take but I truly don't think mine were ever going to get done before the cake turned a total charred color!

Since I REALLY dislike canned icing, I did use the included recipe for homemade butter cream. 3 cups of butter, 9 cups of confectioners' sugar and 6 T. of heavy cream later I had the sweetest concoction I have ever made! And yet, I kept on.

By this time I was over this cake but persevered and iced it and just threw on some blueberries hoping it may still capture everyones'' whimsy" when I cut it and the red, white and blue was revealed. I would have at least a mini-moment of glory and all of my efforts would be applauded - before anyone actually tasted this thing. Wait for it. Wait for it! Breath being held and waiting for the ohhhs and ahhhs!

"What's that?" you say. Where is the red? Good question. To add insult to injury, the cherry pie - and yes, it was definitely labeled cherry pie with a picture of a real cherry this time - turned out to be peach. Orange, white and blue somehow just doesn't have the same "awesome" reveal. Truly don't know what I was thinking. My gut told me this was probably not the smartest idea I have ever had! Note to self - listen to your gut next time. By now, it was screaming and hitting me over the head! I promise I will listen next time.

Back we go to the fun. Sparklers for everyone!

It was a really lovely day - one of those days when all of the "hoopla" died down, everyone just hung out in the pool until late at night - a perfect evening really and the perfect way to end a day!

The next day we were able to go watch Harrison in his last swim meet of the current class. It was more of a fun meet with half of the group against the other half so, no pressure - just lots of swimming and goofing around - and goodies to eat! I love when the family can be together for things like this. Since we live in 3 different cities, some of the little things get missed - especially since there is usually something going on somewhere every single week - hard to keep up with everyone all of the time these days - but we try!

We now have most of the family off on out-of-state vacations so I am going to try to use my week to catch up on some things that have been on the to-do list for awhile - some of them are still for the 4th of July. Seems as if I have them in my head so I am going to see what happens - stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

"Holy 4th of July Batman"!

I hit the grocery store this morning after first hitting WalMart and loading up on pool toys, sparklers, suntan lotions, etc. I don't know if I was tired, hot or just plan out of practice but it took me forever. My plans had been to come home and get 2 or 3 things made and then even start some cleaning. Well, THAT isn't going to happen. The baked beans have been assembled and are on their way to the frig. I got a red, white and blue pot planted and most of the stuff I bought put away. Thinking it is time to sit down and put my feet up. I can just work twice as fast tomorrow - yeah, right!

I am only in charge of baked beans, potato salad, corn on the cob, and two desserts. Hard to believe it takes that many groceries - maybe I did throw in an extra goodie or two. I really need to learn not to shop when I am hungry!

I finally found this stuff today at WalMart. Definitely think I am going to try to faux mercury those jars. Can't wait to see how they turn out. You will be the first to know - stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"Be Prepared"

I have had a very busy but fun several days. Thought I would share them and another room or two of the house before I get into my "heavy-duty" preparations for this coming weekend.

As usual this time of year, the weeds and "weed trees" (yes, these things shoot up to 20-30' in no time with trunks 8-12" around or bigger) begin encroaching into our yard by way of our 8' privacy fence. I will fight them from my side as long as I can, but several times a year, I just have to "face the monster"...and this was the weekend.

I truly wish I had taken "before" pictures because you could not take one step behind my fence without chopping, pulling or cutting something. As old as I am getting and as much as I know I will not be able to do this myself forever, I truly love the satisfaction I get when I am done. We have 308' along the back fence and I got almost all of it vine, weed and weed tree free for about 6-8' back. Since I do this one to two times a year, I am establishing quite a pile of "stuff" back there and let's just say that I have encountered a "critter" or two, but yet I persist. I just make lots of noise and warn them that I am coming.

Let me also say that we do have permission from the owners of this property. They are really supposed to do this themselves but they stopped a number of years ago and told us to do as we wished. We don't rock boats so as long as we can keep our yard relatively clear, I am O.K. doing so. The 17 acres behind us has been for sale for years and will probably not sell as such and, that is how we like it, so we don't rock any boats!

This picture is deceiving because a lot of the stuff you see that is still green has been pulled and cut. It was probably dead by sundown. Suffice it to say that this old body needed a rest the remainder of the day!

Then on Monday, I got to go see Harrison off for his first ever sleep away camp. He has been away from home and mom and dad many times but always with family or friends. He was very very excited but looked a little tentative until he got there and saw the set-up and kids that he knew. This camp has been around for years and fills up so fast that he is very lucky to have gotten in. I can't wait to hear the tales he will tell. And bonus - I got to stay with the little ones for a few hours while mom took him out and got him settled.

Then, it was straight up to Gainesville where hubby had to take a Continuing Ed class while I got to pick up grand daughter #3 and head downtown where we met up with grand daughter #1 and had a lovely lunch at a restaurant I had never been to. It was yummy!

And then, Morgan was off to get her driver's permit. Yikes - that means 3 of our grand children are now driving!!!

Today I am making lots of lists to begin preparations tomorrow so let's hit a few more rooms before I am off and running again!

Just a simple centerpiece in the sun room along with Uncle Sam and a few other red, white and blue things scattered about.

This has really become my go-to spot these days. I love sitting here for a cup of coffee, magazine perusing or writing a note. Only trouble is that I often get distracted with the goings-on right outside the windows - lots of birds and squirrels and an occasional visiting cat or two.

I still love this plate that the girls and I made years ago. Just vintage images cut out and decoupaged on the back of a clear glass plate and then a layer of ripped red tissue decoupaged over top. I put gold around the edges and we filled them with cookies as gifts that year.

There are those pesky jars. As you can see, I haven't done anything brilliant to them yet!

I am really getting used to having this baker's rack in the kitchen. It allows me to stack so many of my holiday serving pieces which in turn allows me to have a lot less clutter on my counters. Didn't like this here at first. Guess it just goes to show that change is NOT always bad! A bit more to go plus, I am going to attempt a "piecake" recipe that I saw on Home & Family. I will let you know how it works. Stay tuned.

Yep, those are pies baked inside of cake and then frosted and layered. The recipe calls for home made pies if you want, but I am going for store bought. I don't like packaged cake mix cakes either but I think I will go that route as well as I have LOTS of other things to make. But, I am going with the home made butter cream as canned frosting tastes like metal to me. The icing alone calls for 3 cups of butter and tons of sugar so we shall see!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Still Thinking

I showed you the vintage green Mason jars that I bought and have used in so many ways. No problem with green as it is my favorite color as well as the fact that it can stay out through many of my holiday and seasonal transformations.

But, since I am not the biggest blue fan, I'm not sure why I just had to have these!!?!

Maybe just the fact that they are blue and I knew I would do something with them for 4th of July. As we blog, I have yet to show you my kitchen or you would see what I have done with them so far...NOTHING. Well, that isn't exactly true as I have taken them out of their cardboard carton and put them around the counter tops. There are tons of ideas floating around Pinterest so I am hoping to getting going on them this next week - in between all of the things I want to do to get the yard, driveway, pool deck and windows - not to mention the inside of the house - ready for some company coming next weekend. I think I am leaning toward making them "faux" mercury glass - but then they will still just be jars sitting around the counter - albeit pretty jars - unless I come up with something else. Got any ideas? Stay tuned. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer

I have been MIA lately just because we are embracing summer and the lazy days it lets us enjoy.

We have had the little kids several times for impromptu visits and have been fitting in lots of celebrating as my husband had his most recent birthday. Seems he learned from "the master" just how to "milk" the day. We have eaten out at each of his favorite restaurants every night this must start on Monday - LOL.

Hudson and Presley came over on Thursday evening for a sleepover. My daughter was heading off to Wesley Chapel early the next morning to work on a whole house redesign she is doing for a client and their older brother was spending the week in Lakeland with his best friend.

Friday morning we woke up and had a big breakfast while watching all of the birds and squirrels in the yard and then we started our day by surprising my hubby with our rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday". Then we were off to the garage for the fun to begin.

So this is really my little crafter. Any time he is over for awhile, he will ask what my craft plans are. He really loves all aspects of crafting. This time he was all about the drilling! One day soon I am sure he will want to be in charge of the chop saw, but for now, he is very cautious of it and the potential dangers.

We have truly just about done every 4th of July craft there is so desperate times called for desperate measures! We took a 2X2 and cut it into varying lengths. Then, we sanded and painted them. We each took a different color as we were making 2 sets. I was surprised when Presley didn't want red but she chose white.

After letting the paint dry while we played out on the playground, we came back to sand off a some of the color to distress them a bit. Then, I just pulled out all of the 4th of July scrapbooking embellishments I had - and trust me, they had MUCH to choose from - and they went to town. My initial thoughts had been to rip some 4th of July themed paper and start by decoupaging but they had other ideas so we went their way. It is certainly not the most "polished" craft we have ever done, but they had fun and are thrilled with the results so that is all that matters. Mine have already taken a place of honor on top of the shelves over the fireplace in the dining room.

Here is Hudson proud as punch with his blue contribution.

And here is Presley trying to light her fire crackers.

I love this picture because I realized that it is the first I have gotten with Hud's first missing tooth.

When we weren't crafting or swinging, we were making Papa birthday cards, or watching a movie or, best of all, getting in lots of pool time - thank goodness today's summer storm came through much later in the evening.

We also found time for lots of eating out this week as hubby celebrated his birthday. Good thing he only has one birthday a year! Rarely do we start a meal like this:

...and end it like this:

So that is what has been keeping me busy as well as finishing up the flag pillow covers and doing a few more sewing repairs while the sewing machine was out and ready! We are having everyone here next weekend for our June birthdays, Father's Day and 4th of July celebration, so my next chore will be to get going on a list of to-dos so I will be ready - that is, unless we get some other impromptu visitors. Then the chores will be pushed to the side for more grand children fun! Still a few more rooms to share also. Stay tuned.