Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Making Lamps from Candlesticks

As soon as I spotted these brass parrot candlesticks at a second hand store I knew that I wanted to make lamps with them.

parrot lamps with blu and green shade thumb

Let me show you how I did it. I started with these brass candlesticks. In the photo below, I have already polished the one on the right.brass parrot candlesticks somparison

I purchased a bottle lamp kit.

lamp kit 1

I did not use the wire in that kit because it is very heavy and white. Instead, I used a clear wire that I took off a thrifted lamp.

lamp stopper in candlestick

There were three rubber stoppers in the kit but unfortunately none of them was a perfect fit. This one was the closest fit and I found some foam in my supplies to add as filler.

foam filler for lamp

After doing a dry fit, I cut the foam and glued it around the rubber stopper and glued it in the candlestick.

assembly of lamp

I followed the directions to assemble the lamp.

socket base on

I added the socket and wired it according to the directions.

wires added to socket

I tried them out in this bedroom first.

parrot lamps in bedroom 1

Let’s take a closer look.

close up parrot lamp

I liked them there but decided to move them to the guest room.

lamps in guest room

The brightly colored shade helps a lot.

parrot lamps with blu and green shade

Not bad for a pair of crusty old candlesticks.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Homemade Peanut Butter Ice Cream

One of the local restaurants that we go to occasionally has peanut butter milkshakes in the summertime. After having a couple of those milkshakes I decided to try my hand at making peanut butter ice cream at home.  I have had a Cuisinart Ice Cream and Yogurt maker for several years but have never used it until now. I chose to use it for a couple of reasons: it requires no salt or ice and it makes a smaller portion than the large ice cream freezer. The counter top ice cream maker makes 1 and 1/2 quarts of ice cream whereas our large ice cream freezer makes 5 quarts of ice cream.  Unless we have a crowd, the smaller ice cream maker is much quicker and easier to use.

peanut butter ice cream

With the exception of the Reese’s cups I had all of the ingredients on hand.

ingredients for pb ice cream

I used Splenda instead of sugar but you could certainly use either. I also used skim milk. Notice that in this recipe  I used evaporated milk, not sweetened condensed milk, just regular canned milk.

pb ice cream recipe

It helps the ice cream freeze a little quicker if the ingredients are cold before putting them in the freezer. I just put everything in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before mixing. I mixed everything before putting it in the ice cream freezer so that the peanut butter would be incorporated well. The ice cream freezer takes about 20 minutes. I chopped 6 or 7 snack size Reese’s cups and added them after 20 minutes then let the freezer continue to work for 5 to 10 minutes. As you can see by looking at the photo, the ice cream is very creamy and not frozen hard. If you prefer hard ice cream you have to transfer the ice cream to another container and place it in the refrigerator freezer until it reaches the hardness that you prefer. My family is so anxious to eat it that we can’t wait for additional freezing time!

peanut butter ice cream

I hope that you will enjoy this recipe as much as my family has! I think I have it fixed where you can click on the recipe and print it.

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I’ll be linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

More Found Treasure

Before I show you my recently found treasures, I want to show you the lamps that I made from the brass parrot candlesticks that I found. I will do an entire post on them soon but wanted to give you a sneak preview.

parrot lamps with blu and green shade

Here is what they looked like when I bought the pair for $19 except that both of them were very tarnished and the one on the right has been polished in the photo below.

brass parrot candlesticks somparison

I found several items that were “ready to use” which is unusual for me! I’ll show you those first.

Bowl of orchids

I love this bowl of orchids that I purchased at an estate sale. It was $45 which my husband thought was expensive. Each of the two orchids would cost $25 to $30 each and I got the great bowl so I thought it was an acceptable price though not terribly thrifty. I am sure that it would cost at least $100 if purchased at a florist. Actually another shopper was going to buy it until she found out that the orchids were real so she put it back down and I bought it. You can see a tablescape that I used it in by clicking here.

covered silver dish

I also bought this little covered silver plated server at the same sale. It is missing the glass liner but I think I can find a replacement. This was a $10 find. 

dutch canisters

Another purchase from this same estate sale was the 4 large antique Dutch canisters pictured above. I had bought the small one in the center of the top shelf at a market in Belgium then saw that these were matches. Two of the canister have tops and the other two do not. The price for the four was $35. You can read about the market in Belgium by clicking here.

red transferware

I found this set of red transferware at another estate sale. I know it’s not a bargain if you don’t need it, but I could resist it at $22 for eight plates, cups, and saucers. It is in excellent condition.

 transferware and urns

Of course one purchase leads to another. I LOVE these hand painted Italian urns that I found at an antique mall. They were not particularly thrifty at $49 for the pair but I bought them any way because I thought they would go with the dinnerware very well.

Italian urns

Now to my “to be transformed” purchases!

cane chair

This faux bamboo cane chair caught my eye at Goodwill. I had to wait for an older gentleman to get up from it to inspect it and purchase it. He seemed to be enjoying it while he was taking a little rest. I will need to make some minor repairs and replace the cane in one side and replace the cushions. I’ll post an update when it is complete.

cane chair label

It is a good quality piece made by Hickory Chair. Price tag: $15!!

ginger jar lamps

I have another fun project planned for these two lamps that I found at a Habitat Restore. One was $6 and the other was $15 but they are identical except for the color. I asked about the price difference at the check out. The price was not negotiable and the manager told me that the beige one was more expensive because it had a really nice shade (hahaha) and that they don’t sell much stuff that is bright yellow! I told her to keep the shade as I would not be using it. Price was still not negotiable but it never hurts to ask. I still got a pair of lamps for $21. This store had a great feature that my husband who hates thrift stores thoroughly enjoyed. They had a large plastic bin full of golf balls for 25 cents each. He is very particular about his golf balls and only uses Titleist golf balls which start at about $30 per dozen. We bought several dozen for $3 per dozen! Next time I want to stop at a thrift store I can say “they might have golf balls!”

red dining chairs 1

My last purchase was a set of 4 dining chairs. They are very sturdy and in very good condition except for needed cosmetic changes. They were $20 each. I am going to do a post one day on all of the $20 treasures that I have found! I can’t wait to tear in to these chairs but I have to finish some other projects first.

red dining chairs 2

I will be painting and reupholstering these!

I hope that you are enjoying these last few weeks of summer. I surely am.

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I’m linking to Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality and to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Tablescape of Collected Treasures

One of my favorite things to do is hunt treasures, not buried treasure of gold and silver but small objects of beauty. I especially enjoy hunting treasures while traveling. This table is set with many collected treasures.

collected tablescape 1

Here’s another view.

collected tablescape 3

collected tablescape 2

I love the printed tin plates. They are illustrations from vintage children’s books. I first saw them on this post at My French Country Home. When my daughter and I were planning our trip to Europe back in the spring, Au Bain Marie was at the top of my list for Paris! The store has so many beautiful things it was hard to choose something. Let’s take a closer look at the plates.

Parisian plate 1

Each of the six plates has a different design.

Parisian plate 2

Parisian Plate 3

Parisian Plate 4

Parisian Plate 5

Parisian plate 6

The wicker chargers were purchased online from Nell Hill’s.

The white service plates were purchased at Homegoods.

I made the linen napkins using this tutorial from Yvonne at Stone Gable.

The flatware is vintage silverplate. I bought it because it is almost identical to my sterling pattern and I can use them together when I need extra. I have a lot of silverware, possibly 100 place settings!! I have found that I can by vintage silver plated flatware that is a nice weight for much less than I can replace my stainless flatware. Often I have found pieces for less than $1 per piece whereas my stainless flatware is now $75 for a five piece place setting! Crazy!

The vintage pewter bread plates were bought from an antique store. Many of my best finds come from antique booths that are going out of business with drastically reduced prices!

The cranberry tumblers were purchased from a local shop a number of years ago. I wish that I had more than 4! They are a great accent for several of my sets of dinnerware.

Chinese roof tile -1

The fish are vintage ornamental roof tiles that I found at a market in China. You can read about one of my trips to China here. I bought a pair of these and wrapped them in clothes and carried them in my suitcase. They survived the long journey with just a chip or two.

Chinese roof tile -2

The mercury glass votives were purchased at Target several years ago.

pewter salt and pepper mills

The vintage pewter salt and pepper mills were bought at my favorite second hand store.

Bowl of orchids

This beautiful bowl of orchids was purchased at an estate sale! Another shopper was holding the bowl of orchids and I asked her if they were real. She answered that no, they were fake. About that time, the operator of the sale walked up and said “be careful with those. They are real and they will break.” The other shopper immediately put them back down and said “ Well I can’t take them if they’re real because they will die.”  Exercising a lot of restraint and self control, I said in my sweetest voice, “well I’ll take them if you can’t use them!!!” I have had great success with orchids and will do a post one day.

no centerpiece

I added the photo above to show the impact of a centerpiece. It makes a tremendous difference.

You can read about the dining table project here.

extra side chairs

The antique oak chairs  are used for extra seating when needed. You can read about them here. I enjoyed collecting these treasures and using them all together. I have so many posts to catch up on but I have about a dozen projects going on now! I hope you will visit again soon to read about them.

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I’m linking to Grace at Home at Imparting Grace and to Tabletop Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Making A Sconce From an Architectural Element

I have searched for several years for a tiny floor lamp to fit in a tight spot. Since I haven’t found one yet, I decided to try a wall sconce. I decided that I could make one from an architectural element so my switch searched to one for an appropriate element. Here is what I came up with.

new shade- close up 

It started with this element that I found at Scott’s for $15.

architectural fragment

Let’s take a closer look. I’m not sure what this is made of. I don’t think it is solid wood but it worked great for my purpose. I’m calling this Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar

Since I don’t have any gold tones in this room, I spray painted it silver then added stain to age it.

architectural fragment with new paint

I drilled one hole from the top and another from the back and was careful not to drill all the way through.  I used lamp parts from a thrifted lamp.

painted fragment with drilled holes for lamp wires

I assembled the lamp and added a hanger to the back for mounting it to the wall. I was able to find a half shade at a lamp shop.

rear hanger

I used a Cree light bulb that I got in my swag bag at the Haven conference. The bulb uses very low wattage and is always cool to the touch, even after being on for a long time. This bulb is especially great to use here since it is so close to the wall I don’t have to worry about any damage to the wall or possible fire.

cree light bulb

Let’s see how it looks in the room.

room view

I really liked it but I decided to paint the shade black for a little more pop.

new shade

Now I like it even more!

I hope you are having a great end of summer. I have been away for a couple of weeks and had big plans to catch up on some blog posts but had the worst internet service I have ever had in America! So much for plans!

I will be linking this post to Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch, to the Scoop at Worthing Court, to Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life and to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style and to Best of the Nest at Simple Details. Click the links for lots of inspiration!

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