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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Warming my Heart and Home

Shopping today, I found something that warmed my heart on this COLD day of 15 degrees in Tennessee.  So I brought it home. 
This bouquet of tulips not only warmed my heart but warmed my home.  The color got my attention.  I don't know if you can tell in this photo, but they are a burnt orange, almost rust - a perfect compliment to my kitchen.
The Bottom plate is:
Gourmet Expressions in Great Room Cream
Center Plate is made by Royal Stafford
that I picked up at Home Goods
The tiny top plate is:
Martillo in Crème Brulee from Pier One
The tulip - designed and created by God.
In the photo above and below, I traded the two top plates for the salad plate that is supposed to be paired with the bottom plate.  I don't know if I have a preference.  They each have their own personality.
Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch
Mosaic Monday at Little Red House
Share Your Cup Thursday at Mrs. Olson's

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Creating an Office

Recently, we pulled the sofas, tables, lamps, everything out of our front "sitting room" and started from scratch making it into an office.  Since we have, what I call, the gathering room to "live in", we never used the front room as it was.  Below is a before photo:

We sanded down this old table, used tung oil to finish it, no stain.  I love the patina of the three old poplar planks this table was originally made from close to a couple of hundred years ago.

We brought down a couple of used chairs we'd stored in the attic and had them recovered.

I bought this chair at an antique store years ago.  The fabric was worn off of it and you could see the horse hair stuffing in the seat.  I loved the worn wood of this chair so much I decided not to refinish it.  The upholsterer thought I was crazy.  (He may be right.)
We also reupholstered this Wingback.  We painted the walls SW Oyster Bay and the ceiling, SW Latte.
I found this old phone at an estate sale a few years back for $5, a steal! 
The old inkwell here inspired my blog name.
Cigar Man and I went to the Nashville Flea Market today.  This is what we came home with.  Hope to do something special with this...but that's for another time.

Linking to the following:
Wow us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Share Your Cup Thursday at Mrs. Olson's

Friday, January 24, 2014

Happy Friday

Brrr... It's COLD here in Tennessee. 
Good day to curl up and read a book.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Candle Lighting

A few years back I found a couple of my mother's candles.  What makes them so special is that I gave them to her years ago. 
In fact, these candles are about fifty years old! 
(I was a mere child when I gave them to her.) 
I love the old look, but I didn't want to light them and melt them down. 

So one day I saw the light. (Pun intended). 
I could dig out a ditch in the candle I want to keep,
and set one of these little votives inside. 

Now, I can enjoy my flickering candle and keep it too.
Kind of like, having your cake and eating it too!
Stay Cozy and Warm.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Decorating My Mantle

If you saw my last post, here, you know I took the plunge and altered my builder's spec mantle into one more my taste.  Now I have an empty mantle so it's time to PLAY. 
Before Christmas, this is what my mantle looked like.

I wanted something that complimented my distressed mantle more than the picture above so I started shopping around the house.  Do you do that?  Shop around the house?  It's a lot cheaper than shopping elsewhere and Cigar Man is much more pleased with the former.  I throw very little away.  When I stop decorating with something, I store it away instead of throwing it away.  Chances are I'll use it again. 
This is what I found.

Now what to put next?  I started exploring ideas.  Where's the best place to search for ideas, but the source of all information, yes, the INTERNET. 

Here's one idea that popped out from Country Living.  I like the pottery.  So I find myself shopping again...in the house, of course.

I pulled this pot from another room and added the grass.  I love the way the curly branch climbs up the wall.

Then I balanced off the other side with two pots.  A little something else was needed so I added the greenery.

Remembering a flower arrangement I had stored away, I pulled some greenery out of it that I could use in my mantle arrangement.
Cut some florist foam that I already had to fit my pot and ...

filled my pot with greenery.  Actually, this photo is my first try.  After placing it on the mantle, I thought it was a little too much to suit me so I pulled it out and started over.

So this is my final product.  I love the simplicity after all the "foo-foo" from Christmas.  I'll spruce it up for Spring, but for now I'll enjoy. 
What I spent on this project?  NOTHING BUT TIME!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mantel Redo - Adding Character and Old Charm

Welcome to my first post at "From the Old InkWell"! 

I played at a different blog a few years ago and now I'm at it again at the beginning of this brand new year with a brand new blog.  I've never stopped drooling over other "home" blogs.  I've enjoyed all your décor ideas, recipes, and DIY projects.  Now that I'm retired, I have more time to spend on the things I love; creating, decorating, baking, and simply making my home uniquely me. 
Of course, when you are retired, money is harder to come by so the challenge is to do what you love on a budget.  That's exactly what I'd like to do with this blog.  Having a blog to share my projects with other like-minds gives me incentive, makes me try harder, do a better job, and in the end makes me a happier person.  If you already have a blog, I don't have to tell you this, you know what I mean...which brings me to the subject of this post.  
While taking down Christmas decorations from my mantel and thinking about what to put there next, I had an impulse to paint my humdrum, builder's "spec home" mantel shown here.

Of course, the next decision is what to paint it.  I'd read about Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint and liked the look from some of your blogs like Kim's gorgeous work at Savvy Southern Style.  So after reading different sources and watching a few how-to videos, I took off, for better or worse. 

 First step was to tape off around the mantle with blue painters' tape.  Just to be honest I hate this step on any project and many times bypass it, but on this type of painting, I think it would be difficult to keep it off the walls.

 Since I was looking for an old distressed look with underlying wood tones, I painted the entire mantel two coats of Annie Sloan's Primer Red to cover the white existing paint.  This paint dries really fast which is one thing I love about it.  So by the time I had finished painting one coat of Primer Red, it had dried enough to allow me to start another coat.  Another plus is that you don't have to prime with this paint.

After allowing the second coat of Primer Red to dry, about an hour, I painted a third coat of Old Ochre.  (Love this color!) 

I wasn't too particular about totally covering since I wanted some of the red to show through.

Next, I have to be honest, I was prepared to rub the mantle with Annie Sloan's Clear and Dark Wax to age, but I had trouble getting the dark wax off to my satisfaction.  Luckily, I had Valspar Mocha Glaze in my paint supply from another project so I tried it and love it.

First, I tore up an old t-shirt into rags.  I rubbed the glaze on a small portion at a time with one of the rags and then wiped it off to my satisfaction with a clean tee shirt rag working each portion into the next blending it as I worked.  If you want more or less glaze left on your project, you simply redo that portion till you receive the results you want.  It's very forgiving, which is another thing I love!

After letting this dry, I waited till the next day to wax because I was tired.  (Let's just be real.)  Then I waxed with Annie Sloan's Clear Wax, putting the wax on with a brush that I already had and taking off with my clean t-shirt rags.

I used the following for this project:
Annie Sloan's Primer Red, Old Ochre, and Clear Soft Wax
Valspar's Translucent Color Glaze in Mocha

Here's my finished project. 
It consisted of a few steps, but I'm proud of the outcome. 
See my post on decorating the mantel, here.
Joining the following link parties:
Wow Us Wednesdays, Savvy Southern Style
Treasure Hunt Thursday, From My Front Porch to Yours
Home and Garden Thursday, A Delightsome Life
Feathered Nest Friday, French Country Cottage