Antique Find: Belgian Soda Bottles Repurposed

Blandin Vintage Bottles.

A three day weekend just isn’t a three day weekend if I don’t go antiquing.  A great find this weekend would have to be these vintage Belgian Soda Bottles found at a wonderful shop in downtown McKinney, Patina Green Home & Market.  A little Internet mining shows these Blandin Brand bottles are about 50 years old.  They just have a great look and feel to them and the minute I saw them, I knew that I was going to add bottle top dispensers and use them for holding olive and other oils that I grab for cooking.  Within the hour I had them washed and ready to go and really, I couldn’t be happier.

The picture above, is actually a grab from Napa Style.  They sold them at one point, although they are no longer available from that site…it is nice to see great style fits in anywhere.  Vintage soda bottles of all shapes, sizes and designs can be found readily on the Internet and the stopper/dispenser can also be found using the search term “bottle stopper dispenser.”

As a foot note to this article, I now want to change over other items, such as vinegars into these vintage bottles.  Doing a search for “vintage mineral water bottles” or “vintage spring water bottles” also yields an interesting selection of bottles.  Good luck!

Until next time,

Cindy

Antique Belgian Soda Bottles Repurposed.

Embossed "Blandin" Brand.

We Remember.

Flags 'n Flowers.

Lunch Sack Luminaries

I think that old houses are meant to be decorated for the holidays.  These luminaries are a project that can change with the seasons.

Lunch Sack Vintage Patriotic Luminaries, with a little patience, are easier than you would think.  I created these in MS Power Point.  The key is to create a custom page size ( to mirror the size of a lunch sack) in the advance options button in the printing box.  You will also want to adjust the type of paper setting (set it for thicker paper) and probably, depending on your printer, use the manual feed tray.  The patience part comes from figuring out which way to load the lunch sack…each printer loads differently so experiment until you get it right.

A little trial and error for image placement and some vintage Victorian clip art and it is a great way to pay homage to the men and women who have fallen.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.

Always,

Cindy

We Remember.

Beautiful Vintage Victorian Images.

For the Fallen.

Patriotic Finials.

 

The French Monogram

 

DIY Upholstered Headboard

 

I love french monogrammed sheets.   I generally find them when I go to the Round Top Antique Show.  There is a particular dealer, Touch of Europe, who always has quality, vintage linens and I always make it a point to stop by and pick up something.  The question, for me, is always “what do I do with it?”  They are so lovely, but they mostly sit on a shelf which isn’t a great showcase for the beautiful monograms.

One day, I got brave and decided that I was going to use one of my antique sheets to sew a slip cover for a homemade upholstered head board in my guest room.  I have to admit, I was a bit nervous cutting into that sheet.  But I finally just bit the bullet and did it and fashioned a slipcover for the headboard. I used inexpensive white denim for the back and the piping, and the monogram sheet for the front.  If I ever want a slightly different look, I can just turn the headboard around and showcase the plain, white denim side.

The headboard itself was fairly elementary to make.  I just used a piece of plywood, a 2 x 6 and some metal “L” brackets to hold it together.  The foam I purchased online.  I was able to get it custom cut, in one sheet wrapped in Dacron.  The company I used vacuum packs it so shipping is very reasonable.  I found it is much cheaper and produces a better product than trying to buy the foam at the hobby store which is expensive and has to be pieced together.  Click here to go directly to the foam website.

Touch of Europe and Foam For You can also be found on my Resources and Buying Guide page.

Here is a quick tutorial in the DIY headboard and the result.  More pictures of my guest room can be found on the My Home Tour page.

Thanks for stopping by!

Always,

Cindy

It is a freestanding headboard.

The foam, custom wrapped in Dacron attached to the plywood backing with spray adhesive.

Simple "L" brackets attach the plywood back to the 2x6 base.

A slipcover made from painters drop cloth used to help hold the foam against the plywood back.

The trick is to make the painters’ drop cloth slipcover slighty smaller than the finished measurement.  It is a bit of a tug getting it over the headboard, but doable.  This helps the headboard always maintain a full, stuffed look.  Another tip: wash both the painters drop cloth and the denim BEFORE you sew.  This also helps keep that fuller look.

The regular slipcover pulled on.

DIY Upholstered Headboard.

Delicate work makes this headboard special and a great showcase for The French Monogram.

 

Lazy Sunday Afternoons

Lazy Sunday Treat.

If I am lucky and can manage to have a productive week, by the time Sunday gets here, I can choose to be a little lazy if I want.  The truth is that there is always something to do around the house, particularly my house.  So some porch time with some homemade Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade is just the ticket.  Recipe to follow.  Enjoy!

Mercury Glass votive holder used as a vase.

Vintage hankerchief with satin ribbon and a barrel clip to keep the flying critters away from the lemonade pitcher.

Very refreshing.

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) package frozen unsweetened raspberries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (1 liter) bottle chilled sparkling water or 1 (1 liter) bottle club soda
  • ice cubes
  • fresh raspberry (optional)
  • lemon slice

Directions:

Combine frozen raspberries, sugar and 1/2 cup water in medium saucepan.

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and berries thaw.

Increase heat and boil 3 minutes.

Strain raspberry mixture into bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in stainer.

Mix lemon peel into raspberry syrup in bowl.

Chill until cold.

Stir raspberry syrup, lemon juice, and sparkling water in large pitcher to blend.

Fill 6 glasses with ice cubes.

Pour raspberry lemonade into glasses.

Add fresh raspberries to each glass, if desired.

Garnish with lemon slices and serve.

 

 

Pretty Porches

 

Sit a spell, if you please.

I feel really lucky to live in such a great neighborhood. You sit on your front porch and people walk about and say hello, offer a compliment for your yard work or stop to pet your dog.  Two years ago, after Christmas,  one of my neighbors (whom I have never met) placed a photograph of my house taken during the holidays in my mailbox.  We had a White Christmas that year and she thought that my house looked so lovely with the snow and holiday decorations that she took a picture and left it for me, in the event I was out of town that day and missed it.  Now THAT’S what I am talking about.  As I said, I feel really lucky to live in this lovely little Anytown, USA.

Old Houses and Picket Fences.

Patriotic Colors of Summer.

Old Quilts for Cushion Covers and French Ticking Pillows.

Mason Jar is painted with Mercury Glass Spray Paint for a warm summer glow.

Screening is added to the top to keep the bugs out.

Pottery Barn clearance item for night time congregating.

Samantha Girl who is always ready to play ball.

 

Summer’s Bounty of Blueberries

 

Blueberry Lemon Glazed Poppy Seed Cake.

 

I love to bake.  It truly satisfies my soul.  I happened upon a delicious recipe for Glazed Lemon Blueberry Poppy Seed Bundt Cake from the pages of Cooking Light.  Now I almost hesitate to tell you it is a Cooking Light recipe because you may infer that it lacks a little flavor because it is a reduced fat recipe.  Categorically, I can’t tell you how delicious this cake is.  It is extremely moist and flavorful, it’s the perfect ending to a long day.  Enjoy!

Nature's Best.

Moist and Flavorful.

Cake:

Cooking spray

1 ½ tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

1 ¾ cups granulated sugar

¾     cup butter, softened

4      large eggs

13 ¾   ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

½     teaspoon baking soda

½     teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups fresh blueberries

¾     cup nonfat buttermilk

1/3  cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon nonfat buttermilk

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. To prepare cake, coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with breadcrumbs.

3. Combine granulated sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt); stir with a whisk. Add blueberries to flour mixture; toss to coat. Combine 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/3 cup juice, and extracts. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan; cool on rack.

5. To prepare glaze, place powdered sugar in a small bowl; add 1 tablespoon buttermilk and 1 tablespoon juice, stirring with a whisk until combined. Pour glaze over warm cake; cool completely.

 

Pantry Pride

 

Food Gift Tags.

In my old kitchen, I had what I referred to as the “open concept pantry”, which is really a fancy way of saying “everything is out in the open.”

Tired of open concept, I insisted on closed door storage for the pantry.  As luck would have it, I had an old hutch I had purchased on Ebay several years ago.  I liked the look of it and the price was right, so I bought it even though I didn’t have a place for it at the time.

Some cleaning up and a few coats of paint later, tah dah…it is a righteous pantry!  Right after the remodel, I pretty much just threw everything in there.  I knew I wanted to reorganize it, but wasn’t sure exactly how at that point.

Like most things with me, if I live with something for a while, I eventually figure out how to make it fit the way I do things.  The pantry was no exception.

Here are a couple of highlights:

  • Chalkboard Contact Paper.  Found on Amazon, it comes in a roll and can be cut into any shape.  I used my die cutter and cut labels in a vintage shape for the bail wire jars that hold various staples.  I also sourced chalk pens and keep them handy for when I change the contents.  A simple wet cloth wipes the old chalk off so I can write something new.  For the pasta jars, I also have a chalkboard label on top of the jar that has a number in it to remind me how long to cook each kind of pasta.
  • Bail Wire Jars.  I love these gems.  Found at IKEA, they are extremely reasonably priced and because the seal so tightly, they keep things fresh longer.
  • Plastic Air Sealed Bins.  In order to get maximum storage efficiency, no shelf space was tall enough to handle a common cereal box; this allowed me to have more shelves.  The alternative was to use Better Homes & Gardens air sealed containers (found at Walmart) that were short and squatty, but large enough to handle the contents of a box of cereal.  Actually these are much easier to access and close than a normal cereal box.  And it keeps cereal fresh for alot longer than just a regular cereal box.
  • Canvas Bins. For the lower cabinet, I  purchased (from Walmart), the white canvas bins, (3.99 ea). They help me access condiments, bread, extra baking items much easier.  Instead of mining shelves and moving things around to see what is in the back, I just pull the bin and I see everything I have….without disturbing the rest of the pantry.
  • Vintage Enamel Trays and Basins.  As you  may know by now, there is a little bit (or a lot) of vintage in everything I do.  I used what I believe to be old medical instrument trays to organize the drawers in the hutch to keep things in place and I have an old enamel basin to hold fresh lavender that I use through out the house.  As a second benefit, the Lavender always makes the pantry smell lovely every time I open the doors.

The before and after pics are posted.  Remember to click on the pictures twice to increase the size.  Let me know what you think!

Love Always,

Cindy

Architectural Elements

 

Lovely details.

Lamps. Lamps. Lamps.  I have always been challenged to find mass produced lamps that satisfy my cottage sensibilities.  So I am always on the hunt at flea markets, antique stores and antique shows for architectural elements that I can turn into lamps.  .

Here are two that I have found, both for under $20 each.  Some inexpensive hardware and two Pottery Barn lamp shades and the net result are some wonderful pieces that have loads of character and charm.

I hope you like them.

Love Always,

Cindy

Lovely architectural element painted in crisp white.

Everything looks so much crisper against a white backdrop.

Vintage glass knobs for lamp feet.

Lamp made from re-claimed baluster section

 

Loads of character and cottage charm.

 

Lovely first hydrangea blooms of the year.