Thursday, October 7, 2010

Use what you have: The charming farm

At the end of yesterday's post I started to think about what little vignette I could create using my new pink lazy Susan and shabby off-white tray. I discovered that the glass top from a cheese dome I'd nabbed recently fit perfectly in the well of the tray.
Our dining room table doesn't lend itself well to centerpieces - we do eat meals at home, but the table has to be cleared every evening to make room for the table setting because it's loaded up with two laptops, papers, homework, etc. So rather than make a centerpiece, I decided to just create a little scene under glass for the kitchen table - which is used as an island. (Confession: I've been trying to think of a way to sneak some "vintage" into the kitchen as well. My hubby really likes the woodsy 70's thing we've got going in there.)

So - first, here's the table as it was when I started, including my furry assistant Tiger:

I really love that table - it was a gift from my neighbor over at our old house and was made by her grandfather. To this day I don't know why she didn't want it, but I welcomed its well-crafted goodness. It's one of three pieces of wood furniture that survived the flood, and that's because it's so well-made. (It has an empty spot on the other side where the drawer used to be, but that part did not survive the flood. So I turned that side to the wall and installed a towel bar for front-facing detail and utility.)

I started by putting down one of those pretty, colorful vintage tablecloths which is more of the era I want the kitchen to reflect, eventually, after I work on hubby a bit. :) I added the pink lazy Susan and white metal tray, and decided to do a farm theme for the cloche. Here is what I came up with:

What I love about this is that because it's on the spinning base, you can rotate it easily to see all the treasures inside! The picture below shows my mother-in-law's rose lapel pin, the floral hanky used as a base, and a bit of the pretty label which proclaims "charming farm."

Here are a couple more close-up views, showing off the happy hen (rooster? can you tell I'm not a native farm girl?? LOL), pattern glass toothpick holder (not farm related but it adds sparkle and height, and goes nicely with the hanky), tiny porcelain kittens, and romantic butterfly brooch.

I think the little hand-painted farm scene, found while thrifting many years ago, gives it just the right backdrop.

It needed a third element, so I used a pattern glass spooner and added our most casual flatware for easy grabbing. I think it all looks rather sweet - now I just need a way to hide that unused switchplate on the wall!

More soon!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spray paint before-and-afters

I've been playing with paint this week and while I seem to be getting pretty good at keeping the drips to a minimum, I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do with some of my newly-painted treasures. Still, thought it would be fun to show you some before-and-afters.

First up, I nabbed this at the Goodwill this week for $2 - tested it in the store to see if it was a lazy Susan, and it wasn't. It was a pedestal, so I thought I might eventually find a stray glass top to make a nice large cloche.

Got this baby home and - oops! Turns out it IS a lazy Susan, the ball-bearings just needed a little breathing room! Gave the mechanism a little WD-40 and loosened the bolt from the bottom, and voila - spins like crazy! I painted this one a soft pink:

Contestant Number Two is this nifty metal serving tray - quite a few scratches, but thought I would paint it shabby off-white, maybe paint some flowers on it, and make a magnet board from it:

Got it home and - oops! Turns out it doesn't hold magnets! So for now it's just shabby off-white:

Contestant Number Three is this white plastic two-some - a throw-away vase from my mother-in-law's recent funeral, and a Dollar Tree plate:

I used a can of "hammered" texture bronze paint for both of these:

Originally, before I dug the vase out of the cupboard, I bought the plate because I had the idea of making a hammered bronze-looking "treat tray" or cake stand out of the two pieces together. Alas, when I got the vase out - oops! It was really the wrong scale (or shape, or something) and didn't look natural with the plate on top:

Now, with all these "goofs," I did happen upon one possibility: I paired the white metal plate with the pink lazy Susan, added a small glass top, and just *might* be able to come up with a centerpiece that can be rotated to show itself off to everyone at the table:

We shall see... for now, back to the painting station!

More soon,

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