Sunday, February 23, 2014

High Tea....South African Style




Good Morning!
I have to tell you about the wonderful "High Tea" I had to privilege to attend this past weekend....
It was a surprise for a friend, organized by another friend. It was absolutely wonderful...from the heavenly bites, to the carefully decorated tables.

And the cake! Oh my! Out of this world!


That is ALL edible. Incredible, isn't it? And it tasted delicious, too. 

My contribution to the party was to make place cards for the table. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to make the little tags with names on, look like teabag tags. 
I made shortbread dough and cut out shapes to look like tea bags, and punched a hole in the top before baking them.


 This is after they came out of the oven. I dipped the ends in melted chocolate, because I thought it resembled the dark tea leaves in the teabag.( come on, use your imagination!) I used embroidery thread (purple, because it is the birthday girl's favorite color), as the string. The name tags were pretty straight forward. The names were printed on purple card stock, far enough apart so that I could stamp the little frame around each name, and cut it out. I printed another piece for the back , of which I forgot to take a picture. Aargh! The two sides were then glued together with the string in between.This is what it looked like all put together:




Here are some more pictures of the lovely delicatessen.




 


Well, that's it for now. I hope this inspired you to do something similar for a friend!

              Love,
 
         Suzanne

Our New Backyard: Outdoor Kitchen Counter

Hi Everyone!
One of the excuses I have for not blogging for so long, is that we bought a brand new house in September 2013. We have been moving in and getting settled for 4 months now. With my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, etc., we have had a lot of interruptions, but we are slowly getting there..
 
Today I want to show off our DIY outdoor kitchen and the awesome light Hubby made to go with it.
 
We bought , shall we call it a shell for lack of a better word, for the counter area. Craigslist. It is made out of polystyrene, covered with cement,  hollow inside, and looked like this;
 
 


We could cut openings  where we wanted them, and put on a finish we liked.
So, my husband and one of his friends ,Lou, cut two squares in front, for cupboard doors,  and a square on the top left of the counter for the charcoal BBQ to go in.
 
Lou and Ann are our friends from San Jose, CA, who came to visit for the weekend of my birthday. Boy, did we put them to work! LOL! No, seriously, they were a great help. They might never visit us again, but I'm glad they were here to help us. Lou built the frame and poured the cement for the floor during Thursday while Niel was still at work, and Ann helped with the planting. ( A lot). 
  Ann, in our bare backyard.
  Lou, making the floor by flashlight! 
  Haha! He thought he could stop because it was dark, but Ann and I grabbed the flashlights and put him back to work!


On Friday, Niel and Lou built the cupboard doors, and lay the tiles on the counter.
 

My birthday party was on the Saturday, and we could use our new "kitchen" for the first time!

It wasn't done, but we loved it. 




I have the perfect door handles for these doors, but since it's Niel's project, I guess I will have to nag him wait until he warms to my idea. Looking at this picture, I realize I will have to age the hinges. They are way too shiny!
We both agree that the doors need to be stained a much darker brown. (Yay!)




 

I had several ideas for the finish, but in the end I went with the quickest, most affordable option;  I painted it with Modern Masters' rust paint to look like rusted metal. I talked about the product here.
 It is still a work in progress, but here are some more pics....
 
Notice the plug? Yep, they even did that, too. No need to get nervous for my sake...Lou used to be an electrician , so he could make sure we did not blow something up in the process.  :)

  I need to find some way to make the edges more finished; I thought of corner steel or wood painted to look like steel....not sure. Any ideas?


We found  the old railway tie many years ago , abruptly brought it home, then had no idea where to use it. Now it works perfectly as a footrest!
 
 Notice the brand new gas barbeque? Hubby jokingly said he bought it for me for my birthday. So I've decided to jokingly give him a boob lift for his birthday! Ha!

                           I got the Barstools  off of Craigslist too.
 

 I love that it even still had some kind of metal tag on it, too. It did not come with the bird poop. That is courtesy of the Crackels , who, for some reason, love my bar!
 
I know...the wood needs something...either darker stain, or metal rust, too.
 
 
Notice the lamp/ tree at the end of the bar? I'll tell you about it:
Hubby said he had an idea of what he wanted to do for a light at the bar and barbecue. I have to admit, when he explained it, I was not overly excited. I could not picture it.
 
He found an old dead tree stump in a dry riverbed ( does Arizona have any other kind? ) near our house. With a dremmel he made a small groove in the stump, to hide the electrical cord. See? It looks just like a crack in the wood.

 



 He also planted the piece of stump in cement, to make sure it is sturdy.
 
 
Then he used one of my thrift store lanterns that was supposed to hold a tea light candle.
 
With the light kit from another old , soon to be discarded light, voila! We now have an awesome, homemade, rustic, looks like we are camping, but most importantly FREE outside light at our bar!
 
 
 
 

 


I LOVE it! It is most probably my favorite part of the bar!

 
 
Notice the "bug" flying  in the top picture?
It is actually a humming bird. We have a feeder right there at the window, and love watching them drink while we drink. Hah!
 


 
 

This has become our favorite spot to hang out. Even when its just hubby and me. He sits behind the counter, close to the little bar fridge behind one of the wooden doors, and I sit, or hang, like a regular bar fly on the counter!
 
Gorgeous Arizona sunset! 
 
Until next time, have a great week!
 
 
Bye for Now!
 
 
 
 
Joining these parties:






Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Faux Pewter Desk





 
Hi Girls! (Guys, Dudes, Peeps, Friends, Ladies, and Gentlemen)

I know I promised I would post about another French desk next..but you know better than to believe me by now, right? I also said I was going to stop saying the F word on occasion, drink less wine, eat less, and work out more. Bwhahahaha!
Although, I did join CrossFit and am going three times a week, and it turns out I love it! Who knew I was such a masochist ? LOL
One of these days I will be posting pictures of me in my bikini showing off my muscles...
Don't worry! Just kidding! (maybe..)

This is yet another desk, and I am using my standard before picture, because, well, they all look like this more or less...
And yes, I totally planned it this way. I did not forget the before picture...
 
I have been drooling over these kinds of pieces at Worldmarket..

So, I decided to combine the two effects and ended up with this:
I had some trouble with getting the wood part exactly like I envisioned, and I settled for this look, which almost looks like rusted metal to me.
I know, the more professional furniture transformers out there would have practised on a small piece until they got it right, but as our own dear Miss Sweet Brown so
 aptly put it : " Ain't Nobody got Time for That!"   LOL.

 For the drawers and top I used the last of the textured wallpaper that bought about 8 years ago at Lowes. What a great buy that was!  I really hope I can find some more somewhere. It has the look of ceiling tile, don't you think?
 Of course it was white when I put it on, and I  primed and sprayed it with Rustoleum Metallic Silver after the glue had dried.

Then I painted on some charcoal tinted glaze, and wiped it off with a dry rag. ( I'm guessing son no 2 won't be wearing his "holy" underpants again..lol)
 
 It really gives the impression of pewter, don't you think?
 
 The knobs are from Hobby Lobby. At less 50% they were almost as cheap as buying a mish mash at Habitat Restore.

For the middle drawer,  I used an old pull I got off another piece and just painted it to match.
 
 
Of course I sealed it all with a couple layers of MinWax Policrylic.
 
I have to admit that I am really pleased with the end result...
Won't mind keeping it for myself...
 
Ok! Let me hear those comments!
Love
Suzanne
xoxo






Thursday, March 7, 2013

You've got Mail...(from France)

Hi There!
In Phoenix, Spring has sprung...or should I say "Summer's here! Bummer!"  I actually had to turn the air on yesterday afternoon! It was 83 in my bedroom. Between that and the hormones, I was spending a big portion of the day on my bed, under the ceiling fan, doing "research" . ( checking out Pinterest)

Anywoo...check out my latest desk... I just sold it this morning to the sweetest newly -wed couple.
 
It started out as a regular, brown wood desk, with those "swirly" brass handles.
 
 
Now, if you are one of those "teacher's pet" kind of readers, who always notice little discrepancies, then, yes, I know, the dresser in the before picture's feet are different than the one in the "after" picture.
There is a very good explanation for that. The reason is, that I cheated. This is actually a "before" of another desk I did a couple years ago..
Because I forgot to take a before picture of this one. Because I just can't seem to make myself remember these things. Because I get too excited once I start working on a piece...because I'm pre- menopausal...whatever!
 
I was itching to do a piece with some French postcards, or stamps, or mail. So, I googled some stamp images, and decoupaged them on. I used a dinner plate and salad pate as templates for the round stamps., and I freehanded the written parts.
 
 
The top three drawers were modge podged with fabric I got at Goodwill for a steal probably  two years ago. Yes! Can you believe it? It is coming in handy now with all things French being so popular  these days.
I was going to modge podge the top with the same fabric, but once I sanded it off, it looked so nice, that I just stained it in Ebony.
A word of warning: If you put the stain on the desk to take a picture, remember to remove it again before you lift the side of the desk to paint a leg..Failure to do so might result in the stain being splattered all over the floor..
Just sayin...in case someone is so..uhm "forgetful"
 
 I love how rich it looks.
 
 
 
Of course I changed out the drawer pulls, but I bet you can't guess what these were originally..
They are curtain rod ends (or finials)....bought at a thrift store for a buck a pair!
 Worked like a charm!

One last look, and tell me what you think...


Next week I'll share another desk I did with the same fabric.
Until then..
Happy Thrifting!
 

                                                        
 
Linking to:
Time Travel Thursday
Metamorphosis Monday

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