Mercury Glass Patterned Votives – How To.

Re-posting this blog article because it is one of the most requested articles from my site.  I am still thinking about the variations on this technique and when I will have time to share them…

In the mean time, I hope you find some inspiration.



Twinkly Light. Just lovely.


I like a little mercury glass for that touch of elegance that it brings.  Flash photography can’t quite showcase the twinkly quality of the mirrored paint effect, however, in person…it is just lovely.

Since my post yesterday, I have gotten quite a few emails asking about the technique used to make this antiqued, mercury glass votive.  I was planning to post this later in the week, but have moved the post up a couple of days because of the requests.

Let’s get started!

Here is what you will need for this project:

  • Glass vessel
  • Looking Glass Paint (online or at Walmart in the spray paint section)
  • Embossing folder/machine
  • Paint tape
  • HVAC tape (also called foil tape, it is 2″ wide and is found at home center stores, like Lowe’s)

Before you get started there are two important things to follow explicitly in order to have success, and trust me on this…I made these mistakes a few times:

  • When you have applied your foil tape to the glass: BURNISH, BURNISH, BURNISH.  Simple finger pressure will do, but if you don’t press down on every part of the foil, you risk not having a clean image remain when you pull the tape off.
  • When you paint the glass vessel, go very, very lightly on the paint.  Micro bursts of paint with very thin coats.  You don’t want more than two coats and don’t try for heavy coverage…the tape won’t be able to remove the negative space so that the image emerges.

Lastly, no worries.  If you mess up, just scrub the inside of the glass with a sponge and some elbow grease and the paint will come right off and you can start over.

As a foot note for this project, I tried this technique with other paints…but it doesn’t work.  I tried using a copper paint for a fall project and regular spray paint has different properties and the tape usually takes the entire spot of paint off with no image remaining.

Just have fun.  This is a technique that has a lot of possibilities…only limited by your imagination!

Send me pics of your finished product and I will post in a future blog article!



Remember to click twice to bigify!




Discovery: Wire and Linen Lanterns from Lunabazaar

Wire and Linen Lantern

I am forever perusing the Internet for fun and interesting websites with products that inspire me. is just one of those sites.

Particularly this Wire and Linen lantern.  I am already thinking towards spring when there is this transitional time between spring and summer when the weather is quite glorious.  It isn’t cold like winter or hot like summer, but rather just right.  I love it when I can throw open the windows and doors and really enjoy my little old cottage in the way it was intended.

Being able to light candles and lanterns and enjoy some sitting time on the porch is one of my favorite things. has many things to look at like mercury glass ornaments and candle holders, paper parasols, glass vases and many different colors, cut glass small decanters and string lights.  They are a great source for accents for your home styling or items to support a color or a theme for a party or gathering.  Take a look, this website has a lot to offer and I think you will enjoy it. I have embedded some of their wonderful merchandise below.

I hope you find some inspiration.



Pearl Opal Glass Vintage Candle Holder

Mercury Glass Candle Holder

Gilded Glass Candle Holder

Glass Votive Holder

Cotton Lace Parasol

Perfume Bottle

Paper Parasol

Brownies that Mrs. Patmore would approve of

I am a fan of baking.  In fact, I may like baking more than I like eating the sweet treats I make!  It is just so much fun and homey and at the end of the day, if you do it right and make something delicious…you are bringing joy to others.

The weather was a balmy 70 degrees, VERY unlike our normal weather during Winter.  So I threw  open the windows and doors, let the old screen door snap shut and decided to make the most wonderful brownies in the world: Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies.  Her trick is using coffee grinds in the batter; it brings a depth of flavor to the chocolate.  Sure…that is common knowledge now, but when she first introduced this recipe, it wasn’t so common.

Fair warning, this recipe makes loads of brownies…so make sure you have a good and hungry crowd to serve them to, neighbors you can give them to or be prepared to scarf them up yourself.  No one can resist these bad boys when they are sitting in the kitchen…any effort to try is futile.

Recipe is after the pictures.

A pound of butter.

Eggs. Chocolate. Flour. Simple.

Brownies ready for the oven.

If only every piece had crusty goodness like the corner piece.

Vintage Ironstone Cake Stand and Brownies. Two of my favorite things.

Brownies. The finished product.


Outrageous Brownies


1 poundunsalted butter

1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

6 ouncesunsweetened chocolate

6 extra-large eggs

3 tablespoons instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter,1 poundof chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

Copyright 2012 Television Food Network G.P.
All Rights Reserved

I hope you have found some inspiration!




The $1821 Kitchen

It seems appropriate to re-post my very first blog article that I published almost a year ago.  I still love my “new” kitchen.  I hope you enjoy the transformation and find some inspiration for the new year.





More. Free. Labor.

I’m in love with my cottage.  However, the kitchen left much to be desired.  I have lived in the house for almost nine years, and only done minor painting to the cabinets and had the floor professionally done a couple of years ago.  In October,  hankering for a change, I wanted to re do the kitchen in a really impactful way under two important conditions: a budget of $1500 and cosmetic changes only.  I had to work with the existing flaws of the kitchen.  No ripping down sheet rock, no moving electrical junction boxes, etc and nothing structural.

I just longed for something simpler.  For a while, I wanted everything on display.  Scouring antique stores, ebay and flea markets…everything had to have a great container so it could be on display.  But too much of having everything on display starts to feel cluttered and the kitchen never felt clean…even though I clean on a regular basis.  Plus it was kinda exhausting making sure everything was always looking perfect because it was all out in the open.  Some closed door storage and major editing was in order.

Truth be told, I met only one of those two goals.  I went over budget by $321 because of taxes, delivery fees and unforeseen product substitutions that were more costly.

Still, it is a darn good kitchen for the money.  It is a very personal kitchen, not just because I did the work but because it navigates the way I do.  Having lived in the house for almost nine years prior to this undertaking, I inherently knew and understood what I wanted and needed out of the kitchen.  I am not sure I would have the same harmony with a kitchen that I designed and built without having lived in the house first.

I did all the work myself in 14 days, but I have to share that my wonderful neighbor, Darlene Kirksey, spent a day helping me install the counter tops which were too heavy for me to lift on my own and my ever helpful yard man, David Keel helped me with demolition on Day One.  Props to my lovely friend/neighbor Kathy Burt for bringing me a sweet surprise of dinner from my favorite burger joint since my kitchen was torn up and I was way too tired to fix even a sandwich.  Lastly, I need to thank Gus Tinajero, the GM at IKEA and his assistant.  He worked, in good faith to get me the countertops I wanted and offered GREAT customer service.  Over the next few weeks, I will be highlighting several individual projects within the renovation:

  • Beautiful spice storage using lab bottles (click here)
  • DIY Pendant Lamps (click here)
  • Re-purposing an upper cabinet as a lower cabinet
  • Re-engineering a four drawer cabinet for the better
  • New life for old cabinet doors (click here)
  • DIY roman blinds (easy peasy for anyone, even a beginner)
  • Pantry Pride (click here)
  • Organizing recipes with a deconstructed book

Here are the before and after pictures.  It’s a little hard to tell in some of them, but the after pics are shown directly to the right of the same spot in the before pics. For additional kitchen and home tour pics, click here. Let me know what you think!

Remember to click twice to bigify!

Love Always,Cindy

As a post script, I am submitting this article for consideration for a feature in Cottages & Bungalos.  Stop by the blog when you have some time, there are some terrific entries already:

[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]

[hana-code-insert name='Half Banner' /]


[hana-code-insert name='cottagesbungalos' /]


Into the Bright New Year…

The Bright New Year

Hello Folks,

I haven’t posted since Christmas.  No real excuse except that I am recovering from the Holidays.  For the next two weeks, I will be re-posting some of the more popular articles and maybe fit a new one in here or there.  I am just taking some rest for the new year, trying to get back into the groove.

As always, thank you for stopping by.  I appreciate your comments, emails and support.


Cindy, Lillie (ruff ruff) and Samantha (ruff, ruff)