Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Now My Kitchen Is DONE

My favorite kitchen decorations have been in boxes in the garage and attic since we moved into this house.   A few weeks ago, I finally decided how I wanted to hang them, got out the big ladder, and went to work.

I have had most of these red and green handled kitchen tools since I moved into my first apartment after graduating from college.   Mama and I bought some of them on trips to antique malls and some of them she bought for me later.   A few of them are ones I brought from my parents' house after Mama and Daddy  passed away.   I have had vintage tools hanging in every one of my kitchens, from tiny rental kitchens to our first purchased home.   I just couldn't figure out where they would go in this kitchen, though.   In all my other kitchen spaces, there was a long horizontal space, usually above cabinets, where I could stretch them out along the space.   Here, my cabinets are deep, which is great for displaying favorite items that belonged to Mama, but it meant I had to think of a new way to display these little treasures.

I finally decided to go compact, in a square, instead of a long rectangle.   I used one of Mama's pie plates as a centerpiece and then arranged the tools around it.   The apple sign was a clearance deal and the rolling pin was a cheap purchase I made expressly for display purposes.   The basket was a dollar store find and was the perfect way to display the pin with some other tools.   One of my friends commented that it almost looks like an abstract art display.   It just makes me smile, with all its vintage happiness!

The metal boxes to the left of the apron are matchbox holders.   The black one was Mama's and hung in her kitchen as long as I can remember.   I purchased the red one at a festival when I thought I had lost the black one; it was in a forgotten box.

Well, I had a coupon, so a few weeks later, this sign took the place of the plate:)

Next, I had to hang my plates which have also traveled with me through the years.   I used to space them between my vintage tools on those long horizontal spaces.   The space above the entrance to the dining room seemed right and I tried to arrange them in such a way that they looked good now, but left me room to add any vintage plates I might find in the future.   And I earned some Justification of Time Spent on Pinterest!   I do NOT like to measure or use levels to hang things.   I'm a Just Eye-ball It kind of girl.   It generally works, but I found a solution on Pinterest which brings greater accuracy to my eye-balling whist still leaving me free from the shackles of precision.   This is one area in which I differ greatly from my beloved mama.   She measured and did things with deliberate patience.

Ta-da!   Toothpaste can be placed on the hanger of an object.   Then, just figure out where it needs to be placed and press it against the wall so most of the toothpaste remains in the spot where the nail should be driven.   It worked great and was especially helpful here because each plate had a different type of plate hanger.

The plates are now hung and the empty space has been filled.   Empty spaces in a room make me nervous.   I Must Fill Them.    This end of my kitchen is all the more happy for me now that my favorite decorations have finally found a home in this space.

Here's the other tip I can share: you can hang light items on sheet rock walls with straight pins.   Those vintage kitchen tools were hung with straight pins and I hang any light frames 8 x 10 or smaller with pins.   You just need a steady hand with a hammer.   My father made sure I didn't hammer "like a girl" and it comes in handy as I decorate.   Sometimes I use pins to test nail positions for heavier objects and then I drive a nail in the same spot once it's correct.   That tip came from my mama, not from Pinterest!   Also, a little sticky-tak on the corners of a frame will keep it hanging straight, especially if it's on a wall that gets vibration from closing doors.   And that's about all I've got in the DIY tip department tonight...

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Teacher Gifts

In a previous post, I mentioned baking an apple pie for Clare's Kindergarten teacher.   I packaged it in a pretty basket which had a beautiful apple-themed wooden lid.   It turns out the teacher loves baskets and has a red kitchen!

For the assistant in Clare's class, I filled a pretty star-shaped candle holder with Hershey's Hugs and Kisses candies.   A note attached that read, "Hugs and Kisses to a Super Star," completed the gift.

Summer vacation was the theme of the gifts Emmeline gave her third grade teachers.   I found cute personal-size cooler bags at our local Kroger and got a fantastic deal on insulated cups.   I used the bags as gift bags.   A hand-written note from Emmeline and me, the cup, along with a little tissue paper, and the gifts were done.

One last gift was for the dear woman who stands on duty every day in the car-rider line.   She calls the name of your children into the walkie-talkie so the teachers on duty can have your children ready when you pull up to the porch.   She always has a beautiful smile on her face.   She learned the girls' names within a day or two.   Since we were new to the school, it meant so much to me because it made me feel like we belonged.   It's just a little token, but I wanted her to know how much she meant to us.   I wrote a note to express my gratitude and gave it to her with a Sonic gift card.   I just crumpled one clear favor bag inside another one to resemble ice, placed the card and a straw in the other bag, and tied it with a ribbon.   Simple, but cute, and she was so surprised.

Summer So Far

 It's the second full week of second break and it's been a good start to the season.   The weather has been beautiful.   We even had a few cool mornings and we were able to stay at the pool during the noon-three o'clock hour without even breaking a sweat one day!

Soak it up kids!   I made an effort in an attempt to celebrate the Last Day of School.   This is as fun and creative as I'll probably get all summer, so enjoy!

Streamers on the door.   The wrong side, really, for effect, but they still liked it:)
A basket of summer goodies awaited them, just beyond the streamers.

I bought a copy of the Williams-Sonoma cookbook for children.   Worth.Every. Penny.   The recipes are delicious, fresh, and arranged in a simple format that is easy to read.   Emmeline has made three of the recipes and has plans to try her fourth tomorrow for lunch.

Easy to follow, attractively arranged recipes.   I wanted a cookbook with good recipes, not just a lot of opening cans or bags.

There has been plenty of grapes, ice cream, fruit bars, and WATERMELON.

 We've gone to the neighborhood pool almost every day.  I didn't grow up going to pools on a regular basis.   We lived in the country and our pond had water moccasins.   So much for swimming in the pond.   I'm slowly getting used to the pool routine.   Wet towels have only been left in the car once.

The only sour note has been my backache.   I haven't had pain that lasted longer than a day or two since the first year after my back surgery, more than fourteen years ago.   Sitting is painful, so I try to keep moving, although I've had to find relief at times by lying on my side.   It did give me the chance to finish the third book in Pat Barker's World War I trilogy, The Ghost Road.   Yesterday, I started Delta Wedding, by Eudora Welty.   It has done my Delta heart good, especially this beautiful description of the landscape viewed from the window of the train known as The Yellow Dog:

And then, as if a hand reached along the green ridge and all of a sudden pulled down with a sweep, like a scoop in the bin, the hill and every tree in the world and left cotton fields, the Delta began...The land was perfectly flat and level but it shimmered like the wing of a lighted dragonfly. It seemed strummed, as though it were an instrument and something had touched it. Sometimes in the cotton were trees with one, two, or three arms--she could draw better trees than those were.

It is a perfect description of the views from my car window on so many drives.

I hope your summer is going along well:)

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