What have I gotten myself into?…Part 2

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I got off to a really good start with my blog. I had over 2,000 hits my first week, which I think is pretty spectacular! Thank you! Then I put a little too much on my plate. I have a little problem with shopping for antiques and “junque”, as my husband and I call it. I justified my problem by thinking that I would be using all of the stuff in the One Dollar Cottage. Right. There are only so many vintage berry bowls in various patterns that anyone can use, even when they have a butler’s pantry.

So I am making a big move by opening up my own booth in my favorite antique mall, which will both manage my growing inventory and allow me to keep shopping. I have been busy organizing, cleaning, cataloguing and fixing up my inventory, and will now have a ton of projects to blog about. We have purchased the fixtures for my booth, and will start moving in this weekend! I am SO excited! We own an old downtown storefront, and I may eventually move in there, but this will get my feet wet and tell if I am cut out for this or not!

Wish me luck!

Kary

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Camo Duct Tape Box

My husband is coming come tonight after being away on business for two weeks, and I have a LOT of things to do before his flight gets in at 11pm. My plan was to go run my errands, come home, clean the house, finish the laundry, supervise homework, have dinner, get some outside chores done, and somewhere in there try and look nice for my returning husband. Well, I ran my errands. This is where my plan went awry.

I will admit, I have a junk problem. At least it is a cheaper habit than collecting shoes or purses. When I was out running errands, I thought I would stop by just ONE little thrift store. I did so well I went to another. And another. Then I had some ideas about aforementioned junk, and ended up at Staples and Hobby Lobby. Sigh. I did go to the grocery store, but after I got the groceries put up I had to do just one little fixer upper.

My youngest son absolutely loves hunting and guns and knives and camouflage…since I drag him to all of my junk spots, I don’t mind that he has started collections of his own. Problem is they are scattered all over his room. I thought this $1 metal box would be a great place for him to store some of his collections.

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When I was at Staples I spotted this digital camouflage Duck Tape. Perfect! I covered the box with it, and used a razor blade to cut out holes for the hardware. It took maybe 5 minutes, and the whole project cost around $5! I can hardly wait for him to see it!

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Preserves Gone Wrong

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I have never canned anything before this summer. Cooking, yes…canning…no. My mother didn’t can, and neither did either of my grandmothers, so that is a skill set I never acquired. This summer was the first really good garden I have ever had, so the only way to deal with the harvest was to either give most of it away, or learn how to can. My fabulous mother-in-law gave me some lessons about the basics, I bought some supplies, and I was on my way.

The very first thing I tried was salsa, and it turned out great. I made pepper relish, peach preserves, more salsa, candied jalapenos, fig preserves, more salsa…and surprisingly enough, everything turned out great, and I never had a can not seal. I was feeling pretty cocky. Then I decided to make my mom some tomato preserves, which she loves and are hard to find. They didn’t set up. I mean, not even a little. It was thinner than my salsa. Ack! And there were 12 half pints and 1 pint! I looked online, and some people suggested to use it as syrup (tomato syrup? Yuck!), but after waiting and watching it for two weeks, I admitted defeat and I decided to reprocess it.

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That is my tomato preserves with some candied jalapenos.

I reprocessed the jam last night, and it has set up so well now that you can hold a jar upside down, and it doesn’t budge! Woo hoo! This is what I did:

1. Unseal all of your jars and dump the preserves in your widest pot that will hold it all.

2. Get your water boiling to process the jars like you normally do.

3. Sanitize your jars, and get some new lids.

4. Bring the preserves to a boil, and whisk in 2 T. powdered pectin. Keep in mind I had about 14 cups of preserves. You may have to adjust the quantities. Check after a few minutes of boiling.

5. Use the plate test. Put a plate in the freezer when you start, then when you are ready to test the preserves, place about a teaspoon of preserves on the cold plate. Wait a minute, then tilt the plate. If the preserves have a skin on them, and hold still on the plate, they are ready.

5. Mine still wasn’t thickening, so I started grasping at straws. I added 1 cup of sugar, and 1/2 cup of lemon juice, and boiled it a little longer, until it looked thickened. This time it worked!

6. Refill your jars, put on your lids, process, and say a little prayer!

I hope it works for you!

Kary

*Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival

Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework, Tilly’s Nest

Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue

Thursday: The Coloradolady, Common Ground,Five Days Five Ways , My Romantic Home

Friday: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Whipperberry

Saturday: Positively Splendid

Sunday: Alderberry Hill, Flour Me With Love, Stone Gable, This Gal Cooks

Quick and Easy Weeknight Shrimp Scampi

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I spent all day not being very productive. I was having fun working on my mod podge shoeshine kit and I didn’t do any work on dinner until it was 6pm and my sons were trying to make me believe that they were going to die if they didn’t eat in the next 30 minutes. I had bought some shrimp on sale at Bi-lo, so I threw my 11 yo son’s absolute favorite meal together in less than 20 minutes, including parsley garnish! I found a recipe for this somewhere, and have changed it to fit our regular portions and taste. I wish I could remember where I found the original, so I could could thank them!

Thanks, Momma, for my South Carolina platter from The Dish!

Quick and Easy Weeknight Shrimp Scampi
16 oz. linguine (or whatever pasta you prefer)
2 lbs. raw shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
1 T. minced garlic (I use the kind in the jar)
1/2 c. lemon juice (you can use fresh, but I never have lemons, so I use bottled)
1 tsp. salt
Fresh parsley for garnish

Garlic Bread
Texas toast
Butter or margarine
Garlic powder
Parmesan cheese

To start, I go ahead and start the water boiling for the pasta. My family loves garlic bread with this, so I go ahead and get the garlic bread ready for the broiler and preheat the oven. My family’s favorite garlic bread is not fancy at all. I spread the Texas toast with butter, place it on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle it with garlic and Parmesan cheese.

When the pasta is in the water, I start the scampi. Melt the butter in a big skillet, and add the garlic, lemon juice and salt. Cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbly. Add the shrimp, and cook about 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and cooked thoroughly.

Put your garlic bread under the broiler. The pasta should be done now, so drain it, and add it to the shrimp. Toss together, pour into a serving bowl, and garnish with the parsley. Now your garlic bread should be done, so cut that up, and you are done! A quick and easy dinner that doesn’t taste quick and easy!

Kary

*Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,Time Warp Wife, Chef In Training, The Ivy Cottage Blog, Holly’s Stamping Addiction, Serendipity and Spice, Homestead Revival

Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework, Tilly’s Nest

Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue

Thursday: The Coloradolady, Common Ground,Five Days Five Ways , My Romantic Home

Friday: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Whipperberry

Saturday: Positively Splendid

Sunday: Alderberry Hill, Flour Me With Love, Stone Gable, This Gal Cooks

Mod Podged Vintage Shoeshine Kit

I found this vintage shoeshine kit this weekend at the flea market for $4. My first thought was to use the box for something else, but then I decided that it would be great to have a dedicated place for our shoe polish, because that is something that we really don’t use that often, and when I need it I can never remember where it is! When I decided to do this project today, I finally found our shoe polish in a bag stuffed in the back corner under the vanity in the boys” bathroom. I don’t think I will forget about my shoe polish now!
Here is the box before:

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I really couldn’t figure out what to do with this thing. I googled some things, and saw one over at Lift Truck Projects that I LOVED, but it was too primitive for my kit. So I just went ahead and put a coat of flat black on it. I thought and thought about this thing, and could not get inspired to save my life. Then I saw some adorable old shoe polish advertisements, and decided to try my hand at decoupage!

I don’t think I have decoupaged anything since maybe the third grade, but what the heck! I printed out a bunch of images, cut them out, and put a little spray adhesive on the backs of my cut-outs so I could try out my placement. Then I ran to Hobby Lobby with my weekly coupon and bought some Mod Podge and some old looking paper to line the inside. I cut the paper to fit the inside, coated it with Mod Podge, and lined the inside. Next I coated the backs of my cutouts and positioned them on the box. I then coated the entire box with a pretty thick coat of Mod Podge, let it dry, then coated it again. When it was dry, I used a razor to cut through the cutouts on the side of the box so I could open the box. I loaded it up with our shoe shine stuff, and I think it looks really cute!

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Kary

*Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,

Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything, Primitive and Proper, homework

Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue

Thursday: The Coloradolady, Common Ground,Five Days Five Ways , My Romantic Home

Friday: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Whipperberry

Saturday: Positively Splendid

Sunday: Alderberry Hill, Flour Me With Love, Stone Gable, This Gal Cooks

Butterfinger Cake

My mother-in-law is awesome. She has many attributes and talents, but most of her family would probably say the finest of these qualities is her cooking. My in-laws live in Florida from October to June, then come home for the summer, and while she is here my mother-in-law cooks Sunday dinner for around 20 people every Sunday. Everyone goes to church, then we all meet up at Grandma’s house around 12:30. The meat varies, but she almost always has macaroni and cheese, okra, green beans, creamed corn and rolls.

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That is my mother and father-in-law, with my son in the background, on the Peace River in Florida last spring break. I feel like I should do more to help her, but no one really wants to eat anyone’s cooking but hers! So I take a dessert. Since John and I got married I have figured out through trial and error what goes over well and what doesn’t. Refrigerator cakes, eclairs ( you know the ones with graham crackers), banana pudding, and apple dumplings always go over well.
This week I am being lazy. It is almost 4pm, and I don’t feel like going to the store, so I am using what I have on hand. Minus one ingredient, which I will buy on the way home from church in the morning.  By the way, aren’t my Dollar Store placemats cute?

Butterfinger Cake
I box yellow cake mix
I can sweetened condensed milk
I jar caramel sauce
8 oz Cool Whip
Butterfinger candy bars

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Make the cake as instructed on the box. When it is done, poke holes in it. Some people like to use forks or straws, but I have always used the end of a wooden spoon. Mix up the sweetened condensed milk and the caramel in a bowl.

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Now pour that over the cake.

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Now you wait. Cover the cake and put it in the fridge. I try to leave it to soak overnight, but it needs at least 4 hours. The next day crush up the candy bars. I put them in a ziploc bag and smash them with a hammer. Scatter half all over the caramel on the cake, spread the Cool Whip over that, then scatter the other half of the candy on the top. Voila!

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Weekly Junk Report 9/8/12

I love to get all of my junk that I have purchased each week together on Saturday and take a family photo. All in all, a pretty good week!

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My brother in law found me an old copper samovar and a copper watering can in an old house. They were totally covered in tarnish and goodness knows what else! I found something online that said to boil old copper in a big pot with vinegar and salt, and it worked great! Of course, then I had to get the nasty stuff out of the inside of my stock pot! You can read the markings on the bottom dated 1907 now. I am going to get some regular polish to finish them up. Thanks, Gary!

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I got some stuff from an estate sale: 4 sets of crystal doorknobs with hardware for $40, which is a great deal. I also got some assorted blue and white dishes, and two really cute old cow creamers from them.

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My husband is in Portland right now, but he still managed to call me Friday and tell me that there was a listing on Craigslist for free stuff at a warehouse downtown at 10:30 am. Of course he called me when I was on the way to the grocery store at 10:25. The entire way there I was wondering how sympathetic the officer who pulled me over would be when he asked me, “where are you going in such a hurry?” and I answered,”there is this great free porch rocker I really want to get!”. I didn’t get pulled, but a guy was loading it in his truck when I got there at 10:40. I took a few things, but only got an old yellow chenille bedspread, some great baskets, and some old lace.

This morning at the flea market it was kind of overcast and foggy, and there weren’t that many vendors there. I got an old shoe shine box for $4, a great old black flag bug sprayer for $3, and a truly bizarre gun rack made from deer feet. One of those purchases I truly can’t explain!

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We stopped by Goodwill on the way home from checking on One Dollar Cottage, and got a few things. I love this huge cutting board for $3, it looks like it had a table base on it. This little shelf for $2 is another thing that I can’t explain my motivation, as well as these vintage clipboards for 3/$2. I will figure out something!

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Did you find some good junk, too?
Kary

Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Bowl Full of Lemons, Between Naps on the Porch, The Coloradolady, Common Ground, Five Days Five Ways, Funky Junk Interiors, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, House of Hepworths, My Romantic Home, Not Just a Housewife, Organize & Decorate Everything, Positively Splendid, Someday Crafts, Skip to my Lou, Shabby Creek Cottage, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, the 36th Avenue, Tatertots & Jello, Ivy and Elephants, Whipperberry

Moving Update!

My husband is back in Portland until Friday, so after my weekly junking I went over to check on the house. The house itself is pretty much ready to move. Now we are working on getting the physical landscape around the house cleared away so that the movers can load it up. My brother-in-law has been cutting down trees and chopping them up, and our son Rob was moving all of the tree remnants.

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Exciting!!

Kary

Does anyone have a big dustpan I could borrow?

You know how when you sweep the floor you make a little pile, then get your dust pan to sweep it up? This is what happened the first time I swept my floor:

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Isn’t my parlor beautiful? Sure it is! Well, it was when that picture was taken when the house went on the National Historic Registry in 1982. Here is the same fireplace now:

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Ack! I think it is going to take a little more than paint to fix that.

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And here is my fabulous floating staircase. In 1982. And now:

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Here is a side view then:

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And now:

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I think it is fair to say that we have a bit of work ahead of us!

Kary

Cheap thrill…My Craigslist China

When I quit work last year I had a hard time adjusting. I was used to the daily adrenaline rushes that came along with working in an emergency room, and I soon discovered the thrills of couponing. Go ahead and laugh, but I love the challenge of getting my savings as close to if not under my spending! I have now added new thrills. I am crazy about Craigslist and the flea market. I check Craigslist every day, and no one wants to be around me if I don’t get to go to the flea market every week. I have also recently added picking up things on the side of the road to my repertoire, and have a supply of furniture I am hoarding like nuts to rehab over the winter.

So anyway, this is my score from Craigslist. At first, I thought it was a misprint. An entire 12 piece service of Homer Laughlin china from the 40’s, plus serving pieces for $40. Yep, $40. When I went to get it I thought she was going to say, “oh, no, that was supposed to read $400.” But she didn’t! She let me walk off with it when I handed her two twenties. This set even has teacups and saucers, bread plates, salad plates, dessert plates, dessert bowls and soup bowls!

Doesn’t it look cute with my grandmother’s silver and great-grandmother’s tablecloth?

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Kary

*Sometimes I link up at these parties…

Monday: Skip to my Lou, Between Naps on the Porch, Jam Hands, Home Stories A-Z, How to Nest for Less, Today’s Creative Blog, Thrifty Décor Chick, Not Just a Housewife, Boogieboard Cottage,

Tuesday: Bowl Full of Lemons, Organize & Decorate Everything,

Wednesday: House of Hepworths, Shabby Creek Cottage, Ivy and Elephants, Someday Crafts, the 36th Avenue

Thursday: The Coloradolady, Common Ground,Five Days Five Ways , My Romantic Home

Friday: Tatertots & Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Six Sisters Stuff, Serenity Now, Whipperberry

Saturday: Positively Splendid

Sunday: Alderberry Hill, Flour Me With Love, Stone Gable, This Gal Cooks