Junk Cabinet.... not the kind you paint & Display

One of the first blogs that caught my eye was  Uncluttered LifestyleI need to unclutter. The name alone spoke to me (and then a sandwich under recipes spoke louder).    My clutter has gotten out of hand the past few years, my Feng Shui is all off.   Mostly my Shui, my Feng seems ok.

But keeping up with Ms. Uncluttered on this uncluttering stuff is hard work!  I first climbed on board when Iesha did her pantry and I followed right along (even though you have not seen those photos) then this week she blogged on doing another cabinet.  Darn her.  And to make matters worse, Joy over at Joy2Journey was doing a whole storage room clean.  Wait you guys, I'm the one with the clutter.  Gotta keep up with Joy too, she's in my state.  I kept stopping to go read blogs so it took me all day for one stinking cabinet!  Anyway WalMart provided some bins.  Did you know they have plastic "shoe" bins for .96¢...a bin for under a buck-I was pleased.  With a lid. So I got 3, and some others for the pantry.... and some canning jar rings & lids for the cute jars of stuff I'm going to have (soooo not happening).
Bliss Ranch Label Maker
 This is my high tech labeling system; exacto knife, clear package tape and the empty box.  
If I had a label maker I swear I would label the world, so it's better that I don't.

I started pulling the junk out of the junk cabinet.  I have several junk cabinets, but this one is the least used to store stuff we need to get at.  Don't read any further if you are looking for an amazing cabinet transformation.  There are no cute labels, or cool glass jars, or really anything more than tossing old crap out of the junk cabinet.  Also keep in mind I adore cute labels and cool glass jars, I just don't have any and I'm as disappointed as you are.  I'll try to keep this post entertaining to compensate, there has to be some reward if you are bothering to read it.  Honestly I'm kind'a wondering why I'm bothering to write it!  Probably because I didn't make any cool project or paint something last week.
Rogue Supplies
The target cabinet is below the junk drawers, and above the recycling.  I toss extras in there and anything I want off the counter in a hurry.  And leave it there.  Apparently forever.  I did find some items that fell down the back from the overcrowded junk drawers.  When I couldn't find that stuff I probably blamed Brawn for not putting it away when he was done.  I know all of you have husbands who always put stuff back after they use it.

Hmmmm, a fur fighter.  Never been opened.  Looks like a more recent purchase. Did I actually think that little thing was gonna help me pull fur off a couch?  I need one the size of a 3 foot squeegee but I'll keep it just in case I decide to try it.   

And that thing.. what is it?  Seriously what the he!! is it?  It was in the cabinet.  I can't ask anyone now what it is because I threw it away.  What if they wanted it?  I hope it wasn't important.

 I have a brand new bottle of Cook Top cleaner.  Why?  I have never owned a glass cook top.  NnnEeeeVeeeEeeeRrrrr.  Could I have bought this to clean something else?  What else is it good for - does anyone know that tip?  Whatever it is, mine must still be dirty.

 Toad Stool.  Bet you don't have that in your cabinet.  It looks sort of familiar.  
I pulled the cork and took a wiff, just in case it was a neon flavor of Schnapps.  It wasn't.  
I kept it, I'll put it in the bathroom around Halloween.

Yes those are IV supplies.  Our vet had us nurse our dog back to health after kidney failure... 4 years ago.  'I think he's gonna make it doc'.  Did I believe I was going to randomly need to give someone an IV?  Why would I save that stuff?  Why?  There is no explanation so please don't offer one. 
"Hey Bliss, do we still have that IV?  I'm feeling a little dehydrated".

OH GOD NO.... a B.rown P.aper shoved in the corner.  That can't be good.  
What is in there?  I'm afraid to look.  It might be green and hairy like stuff from the fridge.
Maybe the toads that go with the stool?

Before I put anything back I took inventory.  
4 cans of Scotchguard type sprays.  I can't tell you the last time I Scotchguarded anything, and I think I have another can where I keep my regular cleaning supplies.
4 different brands of Stainless Steel Cleaner.  At least I know why I have those- I was trying to find something that actually worked so bought every kind I ever saw.  After trying more like 10 stainless steel products, I now consider myself an expert.  Sheila Shine.  It's the only stuff that works, and it's excellent.  Two thumbs up, I promise you will love it.  It also lasts a long time.  I could be their spokesperson.

I found out I need therapy for hoarding chair leg pads and Hot Hands (things for inside gloves on cold days).  I guess I have a fear of running out of those.  In my past life I must of slid a chair across a wood floor and had to stand outside in the cold without my gloves.  I will die at 92 and still have some of both left.  Silk Plant cleaner.  Seriously WTH?  I only remember squirting dust off fake plants with the hose and all that time I had a cleaner for it?  And I don't remember having any silk plants for what, like 10 years.  Have I never cleaned out this cabinet???
All the more reason not to look in the brown bag.
There was a Huggies baby wipe container in there.  My baby is 12.

These were the only treasures I found.  I can use the glass for something, right?, and those brass wall-sconces, what should I do with those?  Save them to paint and fasten on to some amazing piece of repurposed furniture like you all make?

The lids for those shoe bins.... I should just get rid of them, I DON'T NEED THE LIDS, but I tucked them in the corner next to the mystery brown bag.
My hope is that Iesha won't be tackling her bedroom closet anytime soon.

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A Little Bit of June

June was my mom.  The woman couldn't get her Christmas cactus to bloom all my days living at home.  I never saw it, sort of didn't believe it could.  Might be because the cactus lived in California and I hear tell they need a cold snap to bloom.

 When I moved my mom to Minnesota 19 years ago I took the smaller of her cactus and put it in the back of her car and my BFF and I drove across country so my mom's car would be here when she arrived.  We stayed the night in some frozen place in Colorado.  That was the first "cold snap" the plant received.   

I thought I killed it, everything turned to goo and fell off, and I arrived home with a pot of dirt.  But I didn't give up, I thought by some chance the roots might come back.  They did, but it still never bloomed for her.  It lived with my mom in Minnesota till she left the earth - and left me her cactus.  It never bloomed that is - till a few months after she died!  It still doesn't bloom when it's suppose too, like around Christmas, and it surprises me every year with the month, but it always blooms between November and April, once it bloomed twice; one half then a month later the other.  I like to tell myself June makes sure it blooms some time in Winter to remind me that spring is on the way...... and that she's here with me.

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Old Bench

Brawn made this bench about 23 years ago or more.  He made it back when we only had tiny mittens for two little kids to put in it.  Now we have bins and baskets and cubbies and the bench holds the stuff no one wears.  It's been in the same spot in our mudroom for 19 years and at some point I rubbed it with a black stain.  Why I don't know, it pretty much looked like crap since then.  Brawn's furniture building skills have improved in 23 years, but the bench is part of us now so it's not going anywhere. Those rectangle spots are from velcro, why did I rub it black and put on velcro?
Enter my recent new found love of painting.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....NOT!  Enter my newly purchased Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  I've got it, so I'm gonna use it.  And I promised my family this would be the last time I used their home as my paint booth.

I had a sample pot of Old Ochre and chose that for the bench.  By the time I was done waxing, the Old Ochre didn't look all that different than Old White when it's antiqued.  I didn't mind painting the bench near as much as the high chair here since there was less nooks and crannies and I really didn't care all that much how this turned out - I could of spit on it and it would of looked better.
 I think I am going to re-pad it, and cover it in an old quilt that I have only parts of.  I want to jazz it up, but for now the old pillows and fabric stay.  People kick shoes under it,  they forget they have cubbies, so the ruffle stays or I have to look at shoes.

I have to say my favorite part of painting is distressing it after.

I linked the 'ol boy up to:
 Saturday Nite Special "Benches" @ FunkyJunkInteriors

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Occasional Sale Finds

Yesterday my oldest daughter and I went to a great town that hosts 15 occasional sales.  We thought we would be gone a few hours, and it turned into all day.  She's hooked.  She got a great farm style coffee table, an old crate and I forget what else.  She proudly marched her wares into her house discussing their price and uniqueness with her husband.  Me on the other hand did this......
Treasure Keeping a Low Profile

I left mine in the car to bring in this morning when I could be all alone with my thoughts.... and no guilt for buying stuff we didn't need.  Brawn never makes me feel guilty, it's just a natural occurrence as I totter on being a hoarder.

I got two baskets, a very heavy metal yellow bin and an apple cider jug that is actually for Halloween.  (More on that at the bottom).

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with any of it, except the cider jug, although it was too cute to just toss in with the fall decorations out of sight at this time of year, so I hung it on the wall for now.
Can't WAIT to use this jug (hear me cackle)

The yellow bin will probably go outside with flowers in it once spring gets here, but for now it is in the cedar porch holding some fake ones.  Just one of those sneaky tactics.... place the new found treasure in some unused space in the house, then when Brawn notices it say "oh I've had that for years".

Probably held toxic chemicals

I love the long basket and actually had several spots I wanted to use it, but opted for a bathroom.  Brawn will notice it, and hardly say much other than "you got a new basket".  No guilt for me.
  The only item I am not thrilled with once I got it home was the only item I thought I knew what I wanted to do with it.  The large basket didn't work out in either of the spots I hoped to hang it.  So for the sake of getting it off the floor (and out of view?) it is now on the pot rack holding pestles that I had just taken out of baskets hanging on the pot rack!  It was like double the work.  Until I get hit with some inspiration for that basket it will be hanging there collecting dust.

About the Apple Cider Jug
There is a wicked beverage that only comes out at our annual Halloween party called Apple Pie.  Some friends make it.  You can't taste the alcohol in it and it's swigged from a jug.  Lets just say I can't wait to add this jug to the swigg'in.

Linked up at:

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Just Soap

I was cleaning in my bathroom and decided to share a product we use that I really like, but for all you bloggers with a house full of men - the guys around here like this stuff too.  Did you ever hear of anything so crazy as making soap by peddling a bicycle?  That's just how this soap business does it and if you go to their web site you can read all about the process.  They're called Just Soap from Massachusetts and they make the best smelling all natural organic soaps.  (Have my blogger friends on the East coast heard of them?)  Best smelling that is if your better half doesn't want to smell like girly stuff.  Just Soap has scents like Cinnamon Clove, Sage Fir, and my favorite the Almond.  They have oatmeal soap, balms, etc., all natural.  Shampoo bars.... and everything I have tried seems to last a long time.  I'm funny about stuff on my skin, I don't like the feel of lotions so they have to *feel* a certain way, and the same about other stuff like soap. 

 I order usually at Christmas - keep some and tuck some in gift baskets.  One year I tucked the lip balm's into everyone's stockings.  On their web page they also have "seconds" you can buy for a lower price.  The most popular scents at my house are the Cinnamon, the Sage and the Almond, but we have tried them all.  I put a new bar out when we have overnight guests and they always comment on it or ask where I got it.  Sometimes they say they like the color, for some it's the scent, and for me I like the organic feel of the bar itself.  They aren't smooth as a baby's bottom, but they lather nice.  These are the only soaps I've used in my shower for at least 3 years.  Now when we have a hotel stay I think hotel soaps smell funny.

OH, and the price?  They are only about $2.95 a bar, less if you buy more or get seconds.  $2.95 for a cool soap, that smells good and lasts a long time... I think that's a real fair price.

My palms were not greased with any money for this post.  It's my opinion and no one could pay me to say something I didn't agree with.  Well, maybe for a million dollars I would say I loved liver.  Beef council - call me.

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DONE.. High Chair Chalk Paint Makeover

My      First      Chalk Paint       Makeover

This is a 30 year old high chair.  It has sat butts for 30 years, six of them.
It has now moved on to seating new royalty - "The Grands".  Two of 'em. 
It was bought new in the 80's when it was popular to buy furniture that looked antique.
We were so proud.
It is now a throne fit for the current Princess and all the future Royalty.

I was armed and ready for battle on my first experience with Annie Sloans chalk paint.  I ordered from Shades Of Amber a sponsor over at DebbieDoos.  There was a small problem with my order that was handled immediately, their customer service is TOP NOTCH!!!
(Honest review of ASCP at bottom)

French Linen & Old White
If you don't remember anything else about me, remember this..... I don't enjoy painting.  Especially stuff like this chair, with little cracks and crevices.
Under coat of French Linen
 Slapping on the French Linen, easy.
Free Willy
It covered the whale.... the remains of tub grips put on so little butts didn't slip out.  First I sanded to remove Princess's ramen noodles from the day before, and oatmeal I saved for old times sake, for about 12.....  years, not days.  Dried oatmeal is like glue.  I was worried when I got rid of it that the chair would fall apart.

Top Coat, Old White

No I didn't do this in the garage like normal people would do.  And now if you remember only one thing about Brawn remember this....... his garage is always used to saw.  And always a mess.  So to recap; Bliss hates to paint, Brawn's garage is a mess.
"Scribble Method" transfer process I used

"The Grands"
 Crown graphic from the Graphics Fairy

Tiara & Scepter ready for the Princess to take her seat

I forgot to take pictures of sanding and distressing and waxing.  That is probably because about that time I understood why they call it "chalk" paint.  It was like some crazy *old school* kids, about 100 of them, ran through my house cleaning their erasers.  Next time I will do this in the cold messy garage.

Linking up to:

My ASCP review.
I like the paint as far as paint goes (remember Bliss + paint = yuck).  What I really liked was it didn't stink.  I hate the smell of usual paint.  I love the wax.  I would use both again and I expect the ASCP will be my paint of choice.  It seemed to go far, should I ever want to paint and distress something again, I have plenty left to do so.  Brawn described the French Linen as gray.  The paint covers good, with no prep, BONUS, just like everyone says.  The extra steps at the end... of sanding, and waxing is well worth the effort.  I would rather sand than paint.  I hate painting, remember?  But I felt good with the results.  I can't sew either, and I want a cute little tuffett for all the future rear ends to sit upon.  I might just try sewing. 

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Whimsical Wife Chocolate Caramels

In honor of the Whimsical Wife who is under the weather and could not do her Tasty Tuesday Party, I am posting a tasty tuesday treat.  Valentines Day is next Tuesday you know.  (Stop over and tell her to get well soon!).

 My daughter made this monkey.  He is sitting on the bathroom shelf.  (Get over the dust sitting there too).  He is see no evil.  The recipe I am going to post is so good it's evil.

So here's the deal..... I'm a caramel maker.  I've perfected the golden brown treat and the only time I make it is at Christmas.  Every year for Valentines Day I buy 6 cheap heart shaped boxes of chocolates, one for each of my kids.  The married ones have to share.  Most of the time no one likes half the stuff in the box.  I do it only because I always have.

Not this year. This Valentines Day I am making a treat that everyone loves (especially me-shhhh!).  Not regular caramel...chocolate caramels.  Not caramels dipped in chocolate (although that would be good, hmmmm?).  Yeah, so Bliss, what's so special about that?  Well what makes these ones special is they are awesome, that's what.  I've tried no less than 10 chocolate caramel recipes over the past few years.  None were right.  Even though of course all the ingred's are pretty similar.  These ones were just what I wanted them to taste like.  You know those little dark suckers at See's Candy?  (They used to be a nickle when I was a kid), well these caramels are a chewy version of those.  YUMM. 

So 'ya know, I'm not a food blogger, I'm a food eater.  I won't post the whole recipe here, you can click over to Epicurious yourself.   I've tested, tasted, and made them, and they have the Bliss Candy Azz seal of approval.  The only changes I made were that I didn't line my pan-just seemed like it over complicated it, I just gave the glass pan a light wipe of butter and cut them in the pan then take them out.  I also made half the batch with the salt the other without cause some of my kids don't appreciate the sweet salty thing going on.  All I can tell you is mine turned out excellent, just the right texture, right taste, it was all good.  **recipe says to cook to 255° this makes them on the harder side.  I cook mine to 250-252°, also I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao chocolate bars from the baking section.  You need 10 oz. which is 2 1/2 bars**

If Brawn was kidnapped by aliens and sent back to earth all messed up and he could then cook stuff like candy - he'd make these for Valentines Day.   But since I don't see any spaceships hovering I'm gonna make them for all of us myself.

They look exactly like this.
Make some, and send a few to the Whimsical Wife, chocolate cures all.

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