Tuesday 26 June 2012

Rescued Chickens Update

We all, finally, took the weekend off from working on the reno.  What did I do with all that free time?  I got sick!  After that super weekend in bed, I'm still a walking incubator for flu/cold germs and no one will come near me.

Sooo - I'm hangin' with the cats and the chickens.  They love my conversation.  They love everything I do.  They'd build shrines to me if they had opposable thumbs.  I know this because I make up all their lines and that's what they always say.  

I asked my feathered friends if they thought they looked good enough for an update and they said, "Hell, ya. We're some fine looking mamas, now!"  I know these girls are plain old white, but I try to give them cool sistah voices when they talk.  (Did I mention I've been running a high fever?  Can you tell?)

Remember, these girls had only been out of the experimental facility for two days when I picked them up.  To see how I came to rescue these chickens click here.  Here's how they looked a month ago. ~

Next stop was the soup factory for these spent hens.

We've had lots of adventures with a bad cat.  He still believes, if he rubs his face against the fence and purrs, I'll let him in there for a chicken dinner. ~

We've come a long way with learning how to preen, peck, perch, walk on a ramp and nest.  There's no more huddling under the coop to hide from people.  They don't just drop their eggs wherever they happen to fall out any more.  They've discovered yummy bugs turn up when they scratch the ground.  

Why do they love me?  Because I have these!  Cherry tomatoes! ~

Gert always looks mad because she's blind and has very tiny pupils.  She's the brave one and can hear me coming from the minute I leave the house.  I have to pick her up and move her away from the gate so it doesn't shut on her.

When you get the tomato, you have to run away so the other one doesn't get it.  Chickens don't share!

Maude spent the first couple of weeks hiding under Gert whenever I came near. She's still  leery of contact.  Come on Maude, you know you want the tomato. ~

"Every time you try and touch me, I'm going back in my coop!", says Maude. ~  

These gals may not be exotic ladies of colour, that you see on other blogs, but they do have feathers now.

Check out these new butt feathers! ~

I bet this is the first blog you've read today that showed you a chicken's butt.

Oh, and the spent hen part .... there's two fine eggs in the nests every day.

They remind me of Richard Burton telling his new wife not to discount the, then, heavy Liz Taylor because, "The old girl will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix."  And, she did.

So, did my girls!

Monday 18 June 2012

The Year I Got It Right For Father's Day!

My grandfather and my dad

Shopping for men is never easy!  We've all bought the ties that were never worn or the gimmicky thing we thought Dad would absolutely love, that was never used.

I was pretty safe when I stuck with books.  Dad and I both loved history and I searched out many a signed copy of history books and bought many, many more of the swashbuckling sea sagas he loved.

While I don't remember what I bought as a gift on the year I got it right, I do remember sitting down with a card and planning on adding a couple of nice lines to the Hallmark sentiment.  My family is notably non-demonstrative.  We are not huggers and kissers. Right or wrong, we are more for showing love by actions than by words.  Somehow, though, one particular Father's Day seemed to be the time to tell my dad what he really meant to me.

I wrote a letter that was a thank you for all the adventures and experiences he had brought to my life.  I thanked him for imparting his life philosophy and morals.  Having just come through a difficult time in my life, I told him how grateful I was for his support and the security I had  been blessed with because my dad was always, unquestionably there for me.

The letter ended with thanking him for being someone to love and admire; a role model that I tried, each day, to live up to.

The next day, when we were alone, Dad patted me on the back and simply said, "Thanks for the letter."  I nodded.  I told you we are not a demonstrative family!

After Dad passed away, my sister and I went through the little chest he kept his important things in.  There among his service medals, teaching certificates, university diplomas and awards was that little letter!  He had kept it all those years!

I keep the letter in a box with my important things.  It reminds me to tell people how much they mean to me.

To all the great dads out there, thank you for all you do to raise the next generation.  You lead by example and the future is in your hands.  My dad was a great dad because he had a great dad.  My grandsons will be great dads because they have great dads.  You are our safe harbours and solid rocks.  We need you!

Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Phase I Of Dining Room Suite Redo

I finally found a little time to work on a dining room suite I bought months ago at auction. The suite included table and three leaves, six chairs and a buffet.  It was a fabulous buy at $20!  This one was a painter since a dog had chewed on every leg of the table, chairs and buffet.  Did no one ever notice what that dog was doing?

In the before pic (notice all the other 'projects in waiting' on top of it?) you can see that the finish is dull from sun damage and covered in scratches. ~ 

I liked the inlaid and burled veneer on the drawers and wanted to save their finish. ~

The rest of the piece got a coat of Benjamin Moore Fresh Start primer and a couple of coats of BM Mayonnaise latex paint.  When the paint had set, I wiped it down with dark walnut stain to age the look of the paint. ~

I found an image to dress up the door fronts from The Graphics Fairy and printed out two 8X10 copies.  A regular, ink jet printer works fine for this.  I cut closely around the images to minimize the amount of paper I would have to deal with in the next steps. ~

I painted Modpodge on the ink side of the images. ~

The Modpodged ink side was stuck to the painted doors and left to set overnight. ~

I soaked the paper images with a wet sponge and started rolling back the outer layer of paper with my thumb.  Don't rub too hard or you'll go through all the paper and rub the ink off.  You want to roll until the image comes clear and only a thin layer of paper remains. ~  

This is a nice, showy image for the doors. ~

The whole piece got a good buffing with Trewax paste and viola! a pretty, country cottage chic piece! ~ 

Now, on to the table and chairs!

I'm starting to feel like an old work horse that may drop dead in the traces!!!

I'm bragging about this at:

Monday 4 June 2012

An Oversized Craft Paint Project!

You all know I like to do paint projects.  You take a piece of wood and play around with paint until you get it looking like old wood, driftwood or weathered paint.  It's fun!

The project I took on this weekend was NOT FUN!

The upper hallway in my rental property has gorgeous, exposed beams.  They are massive and hand hewn, with the marks from the adze clearly visible.  Unfortunately, they had been painted mint green.

I didn't take before pics but the green showing on the wall is the same colour. ~

I cockily assured my partners that if anyone could doctor these beams back to looking original, it was me!  Have I mentioned my affinity with Dumb and Dumber yet?  Or, how about, "Pride goeth before a fall."?

Five hours on a ladder, arms over my head, dark brown stain dripping from a saturated rag into my hair and the green started to appear weathered grey and aged dark wood. ~

A rag held more stain than a brush for the first layer.  A brush pushed more stain into narrow fissures than a rag.  ~

After letting it all soak in for a bit, more dark walnut stain was dry brushed on top. ~

That was one hideously painful heck of a fun way to spend a weekend! ~ 

I'm telling you, the fun never stops with this renovation!  I'm definitely feeling a "Calgon, take me away!" vibe these days!

I'm sharing this project with:

Sunday 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Breakfast Table

While some will watch tomorrow's festivities on TV and others have travelled to England to attend, I will be sitting in the colonies enjoying a quiet breakfast.  I will be surrounded with all the necessary trappings of English style and all of it will be thrift store finds!

Since you can't walk into a thrift store and go to the English Collectibles department, you have to be thinking well ahead about what occasions will be coming up.

Several months ago, I stumbled on this Royal Grafton, bone china mug.  It commemorates the SilverJubilee in 1977 and was priced at an unbelievable 25 cents! ~

A few weeks later I found two linen souvenir tea towels, that had never been used, for $1 each. 

One is from Yorkshire and has recipes from that region. ~

The other points out the attractions of Derbyshire. ~

I've laid them end to end to make a table runner. ~

I always use this bowl for the eggs from my very own chickens!  The border has a motif of roses, thistles and shamrocks, all symbols of the British Isles. ~

I'm happy to report that my cost per egg has dropped below the $100 mark!

Some vintage silverware, antique white ironstone from Britain, an Irish linen napkin and a picture of my British grandparents and I'm ready for the Diamond Jubilee big day! ~

My Union Flag pennants are flying. ~

Baby's Brooklyn adventure has come to an end and she is back home in Canada.  In preparation for this weekend, I taught her how to pour tea from the tiny, blue willow tea set.  This is her concentrating face! ~ 

I couldn't enjoy the Jubilee more if I were right there in London!

PS - Nana Diana tells me that the new fangled option of replying to your comments on the blog DO NOT go to your e-mail.  Dork here, thought they did.  I replied to every, single one! Honest, I did!  Let's just go back to the old way and pretend this never happened. lol 

This week I'm partying at:

Sundays Best Par.tay
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Blog Hop To Pear Up
Motivate Me Monday
Creative Things Thursday At The Vintage Farmhouse