A Trash to Treasure Love Story

a true trash to treasure love Story.

Have you ever had a project that turned out even better than you envisioned?

A project that was years in the making?

A project that truly leaves you just a little bit smug with yourself?

A true love story.

But… like every good love story, there’s always a plot twist.

Because love doesn’t always turn out the way you plan.

(Make sure to read to the very end.)

This story begins several years ago…

when my sweet daughter found an old set of red toile dishes in a Thrift Store in Wisconsin.

Knowing my Love Affair with Red Toile dishes she couldn’t resist the $25 price tag.

While packing their car for their visit home, my son in law picked up the box to rearrange the

car and the bottom fell out.  Most of the dishes survived.  Several of the large plates did not.

Deciding to turn lemons into Lemonade, I kept the broken plates to make garden stepping

stones with  my grandson, Nicholas.  (one of my most popular posts.)

  Click on picture for project.

Being a “saver”,  I saved the remainder of the broken plates for a future project.

(notice I didn’t use the word hoarder?)

Then there’s the base of a broken bird bath.

I’m ashamed to admit how many years that base has been sitting around.  (it was a lot!)

I used the rest of the broken dishes along with the base and a 20″ round wood top cut from

cabinet scraps to make the Mosaic table.

To start my project…

I gave the base a simple cleaning and painted it with Decoart Outdoor Living Paint: picket fence*

After the base was fully dried, I dry brushed the base with  Color Stain in Ash Grey.

To make the mosaic table top…

  • Lightly sand the 20″ wood circle to prime it to accept paint and glue.
  • Paint the sides and bottom of the 20″ wood circle with the white paint used on the base.
  • Glue the broken pieces of china onto the wood base using a good glue specific for mosaic tiles such as Glass, Metal & More Premium Permanent Glue* or Weldbond Adhesive*.
  • Try to use flat pieces of china whenever possible.  You can smooth the sharp edges of the china using a Dremel Tool*.  (read product instructions before using)

  • I used unsanded grout because I didn’t want to take the chance of it scratching the china.
  • Mix the grout as directed and follow the package instructions when applying the grout onto the top.
  • Confession Time…I did not smooth the edges of the China before gluing them onto the top.  After the grout had dried,  I decided that some of the pieces were too sharp.   After it was grouted I  went over the sharper pieces with a Dremel tool.  The table isn’t completely flat.  But that doesn’t matter for  how I plan on using the table.
  • Seal Grout with Grout Sealer.

Mosaic Table Product Information:                   (*affiliate link)

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I really loved that table.

It was just the perfect size to sit by a comfy chair with a good book.

And then there’s the sad part…

The Plot Twist…

To be honest… I made this table on a warm week-end in February.

By the time I was staging the table for pictures, the weather was beginning to really cool down.

Being in a hurry to photograph the project,  I didn’t take the time to secure the top

to the base or seal the grout .  I stuck it into the garage to do at a later time.

When I finally got around to finishing the project…

I carefully moved the top so I could seal the grout and then glued the top to the base with

a  strong adhesive.  While the adhesive worked initially, when I went to move it again a few

days later by the top (what was I thinking), the base came crashing down on the garage floor.

To say “I felt defeated” would be a understatement.

That’s one reason…(even though I had a 100 good photo’s)

that I never posted the project  until now.

Why?   Because, I didn’t want to mislead you.

The Happy Ending…

Always resourceful, I did find that I had a 20″ black metal mesh table that the top fit perfectly on

and I didn’t have to worry about securing it.

The table has sat there beautifully on my back deck all summer.

(who am I kidding…it’s still there.)

So the moral to the story would be to find a super duper industrial adhesive.

Or…what I would do now if I had to do it over again.

I would cut a small wood disc that is slightly smaller than the top of the bird bath base so that it

would fit inside.  I would glue the disc (with a really good glue) to the bottom of the wood and

keep it as a removable top.  That would help stabilize the top and make for easy storage.

So remember if you decide to try this at home…. 

Sometimes you have success and sometimes you don’t.

And…sometimes you have a little bit of both.

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from Drab to Fab: My Perfect Planner

Sue's 2015 Planner 1049

Every year around this time, I start searching for the perfect planner.

My sweet husband even picked up a couple of planners for a Christmas gift.

I’m really picky and he knows my requirements.  They came with the receipt and a disclaimer.

After taking one of the calendars back, I picked up a third one just in case.

I like to keep my options open before committing to something as important as a yearly planner.

After forgetting to pick up hairspray during our last trip to Walmart,

my husband volunteered to take the groceries to the car and pick me up at the door if

I went back and got it.   (after all, it was for him)  Besides it was really cold.

Anyway… on my way back to get the hairspray I ran across a huge display of

very cheap inexpensive planners for only $1.00.  Eureka!

Finally… exactly what I was looking for.

A month at a glance, thin, big enough space for writing, with lines planner.

Plain 2015 Planner

The colors were bright, but, I knew that didn’t matter.  It was perfect for decorating.

And… better yet, it came with a clear protective cover.

With the help of some scrapbook paper and stickers, I just happened to have on hand,

I now have the perfect planner.

From Drab to Fab, Cheap to Designer.  I love it and I couldn’t be happier!

On a Side-note:  I showed my husband my fabulous creation and he wasn’t nearly as

amazed as I thought he would be.  (go figure!)

Sue’s Holiday Workshop Recipes

I promised the ladies last Saturday at my Holiday Workshop that I would post my Sugar Cookie Recipe and Cheese Soup Recipe today.  (So Ladies, here it is)  Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of the pictures from the workshop.

For the rest of you:

I know I’ve shared my favorite Christmas Cookie Recipe here on my blog before.

But, I think the meaning this recipe holds for me bears repeating.

When I was a new bride (32 years ago) I asked my mother for her Sugar Cookie Recipe.

(It was a Tupperware Recipe.)  She wrote it out on a piece of notebook paper.

Sugar Cookies

(I have always loved my mom’s handwriting)

It is now yellowed, stained with vanilla, brittle, ripped and creased.

But it is priceless.

Several years back after my mom was diagnosed with Dementia and she could no longer write

her name, I realized how important that piece of paper really is.  I now keep it in a protective sleeve.

I can help thinking of my mom every time I make them.

Sue’s Sugar Cookies

  • 1- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2- 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  1. Cream sugar & butter, add egg & flavoring, mix thoroughly.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together and stir in.  (I dump)
  3. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 375°.
  5. Divide dough in half & roll out on lightly floured Tupperware pastry sheet.
  6. Roll thin, but thick enough to pick up the design with the Tupperware cookie cutters.
  7. Dip cookie cutter into flour before each cutting.  Cut as many cookies from each rolling as possible.  The least amount of working with the dough gives the best cookie.
  8. Place on lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake 7 to 8 min. or until delicately golden.

 

Cheese Soup

  • 1 Qt. Water
  • 2 Cups Diced Potatoes
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped onions (optional:  I don’t add onions to mine)
  • 4 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Bag of Frozen California Mix Vegetables
  • 1 lb. Velvetta Cheese loaf  (also good with a little  extra)
  1. Boil potatoes, onions in water & cook.
  2. Add frozen vegetables & cook.
  3. Add mushroom soup and cheese.
  4. Heat & Serve

Do not allow soup to boil.

* I make this soup every Christmas Night.  After a long day of eating heavy foods it’s nice to have something warm and light to eat.

 

Busy Summer Meal Planning

I was recently thumbing through a magazine and noticed a week of dinner plans.

Each meal was designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less.

While I like the idea, I looked at the menu and said to myself.

“My family would never go for that.”

Black Bean Burgers with Srirachi Aioli and Greek Cucumber Salad?

Seriously, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

At the risk of sounding horrible…  (Healthy Moms close your eyes)

Here’s what my Busy Summer Menu looked like for the week:

Mon:  Ham Steak, Cheesy Potatoes, Green Beans

Tues:  Fiend for Yourself Night  (Baseball Practice, Dad out-of-town) aka leftovers

Wed:  Crockpot Italian Beef, Baked Mac and Cheese and because we had three extra teen-age boys show up I added a Wal-Mart Pizza for good measure.  (total of 9 for dinner)

Thurs:  BLT’s and Chips.  (Baseball Practice, Dad out-of-town)  Of course, Dad/Grandpa stops by and offers to take me to Cracker Barrel.  Who am I to refuse?  BLT’s another night.

Fri:  Pizza Night  (of course!)

Now if this isn’t your idea of good meal planning, please don’t throw me under the bus just yet.

Once school starts, I’ll do much better.  (I hope)

Until then, you can enjoy your Grilled Steak Panzanella with Pickled Vegetables and Bourbon Peach Limeade without me.

 

Sometimes in life a little H20 must fall?

I like my blog to be light-hearted, a positive creative place where you can go to

get a little creative inspiration and maybe even a little chuckle from time to time.

I like to keep it light.

I try to be a positive person and most of the time I think I am.

But… today since I’m not feeling quite as inspired or as positive I thought I’d share the

reason why.  (I’m still trying to look at all the positives)

Tuesday night after returning from a baseball game.

DSCN0654

I went upstairs to find this.

DSCN0656

Three weeks ago, we broke down and finally decided to replace the 25 plus year old

air conditioner for the upper level of the house.  (not an inexpensive purchase)

Something on the unit malfunctioned causing a leak, the pan underneath the unit which has

the safety that should have shut the machine off didn’t work.  (insert long technical explanation)

Of course, the company is extremely apologetic and are doing everything they can to make it right.

But currently, the unit malfunctioned again last night.  There is more water and they are

cutting more ceiling as I type.  Still I’m trying to remain positive.

Here are the reasons I’m trying to stay positive:

  1. No one was in the room at the time.
  2. No one got hurt.
  3. We weren’t asleep in the bed.  (which would have gave me a heart attack, I’m sure)
  4. We weren’t on a weeks long summer vacation. (can you imagine that scenario?)
  5. They had someone come out right away.
  6. They started the restoration process the same night.
  7. I have a spare bedroom that I can sleep in.
  8. I have a separate air conditioning unit in the lower level.
  9. We still have a home and a roof over our head.  (In my community that’s a big deal!)
  10. Things could always be worse.

Life Happens, Crap Happens!

DSCN0676

(Here is my bedroom as of yesterday)

I’m just trying not to let it get to me.  Even though it’s going to get real hot today and I can’t work in my studio.  Still, I have every confidence that the problem will get fixed and everything will work out fine.  I’m just a little sleep deprived with all those giant fans blowing constantly in the next room.

So stay cool out there today and try to have a great day.  (I may just float in the pool)

Thanks for letting me vent.

Reconnected…

The past week was such a mix of emotions.

It started with unexpected news, a trip out-of-state, hugging the necks of family I hadn’t

seen in quite a while and saying good-bye to a very good man.

While it was extremely sad, we also left with a good feeling of being reconnected.

After arriving home late the night before, Saturday morning, I joined a group of my

classmates at my old alma mater and we all took a tour of the high school.

While some things hadn’t changed much at all, there were several new additions and changes.

I had my camera in my pocket the whole time and only managed three pictures. (that’s not like me)

A Building

I’ve always loved “A” building.  (the original high school)

I was talking too much and wandered off with a few other classmates and didn’t get the whole tour

of “A” building.  (kind of like me in high school)

A few years ago, there was talk of tearing it down, I’m so glad they didn’t.  So much history.

This building was special because both of my parents and their siblings walked the halls of this place.

Until recently, my dad’s graduating class of ’49 picture was hanging on the walls.

I had hoped to take a picture of that.

Epchs main hall

Raider Hall of Fame

I hadn’t walked these halls in 35 years.  (it was surreal)

This was the part of the reunion I was looking forward to the most.

Since, I had missed the Friday night mixer, this was the ice breaking point for me.

Saturday nights reunion was filled with blinding rain and close to 100 people stuffed into an old barn.

Even though there was a few leaks, I thought the ambiance was fun.

A party like this 35 years ago, would have been epic.

With all the old pretenses gone, it was great reconnecting with old friends.

Some I hadn’t seen since graduating 35 years ago.

Even though I had serious trepidation about the event, I was so glad I went.