A Mantel of Aluminum

Don't fall over but yes I accomplished a post two days in a row.  Don't get used to it either. 
Since I hauled out the box of tin just yesterday this is a follow-up for what I did with the stuff.

Half the box of stuff is now on my mantel.  The mantel that for the past three weeks had nothing but dust on it.  Don't worry, the dust is still there, I didn't do anything drastic like clean it it off.

The letter holder is now displaying my mom's Primer, from 1927.  For you youngsters, a primer is a book to learn reading.  It's really worn and faded and I love it.

BBQ tongs.  Really looooong ones.  Used for short people to reach farther.  Like to hang a galvanized letter "R" on the mantel.

One mantel down, two to go.  If I get really ambitious I might do the master bedroom mantel for Valentines Day.  But probably not.

Follow on Bloglovin


Hammered Aluminum Collection

About an hour ago I read a post over at EclecticallyVintage about Kelly's glass collection, or addiction depending on how you view your junk habit.  She called it "collectingitis".  At the end she asked what we collect. 

Well I have more than enough junk put away, correction.... collections, because I view my junk as part collection and part addiction.  No matter how you combine those two words it comes out as a 'tion' at the end.

Kelly's question got me thinking, what do I have I might want to reincorporate in my decorating, since a lot of my 'tions' have been banished to darkness for many years when they just seemed like clutter.   Which of course was well before blogging affirmed that my junk is in fact treasures.  Right?

I went to the depths of helll, AKA the storage under the stairs, and I pulled out this box of vintage hammered aluminum.

I spread it out and counted..... 27 pieces of silvery metal ware. 

With awesome detailed handles.

My favorite handles are like the one below.

I recall having this little letter holder on my desk for a while, then on the table holding napkins. 

So now what should I do with all this stuff?  How would you display it?  I actually think there might be another small box of it under the stairs.  I do have a very naked mantel.  Hmmmm?

If that pile of junk is still on the table when Brawn comes home, I'm blaming Kelly.

Follow on Bloglovin


Yardstick Table

This yardstick table was originally posted over at the terrific ReFreshReStyle with Debbie, so you might remember seeing it before.  But when 'ya do a guest post it feels wrong to link up your own project to a party when your project is at someone elses house.  So I'm bringing my table home.

Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,
Months worth of collecting
When ever I see a yardstick my ears hear the slap of it hitting my rear end.

My mom was a gentle lady.  I was a brat.  One of my first posts was about her and the Christmas cactus she left me.

She kept her yardstick by the refrigerator.  Was it just a convenient spot to store it or did she keep it there so when I came by she could quickly grab it and smack me on my butt?

I will never know.  A mark was never left on my azzz and I don't remember ever crying, but I knew I was being a serious brat if the yardstick came out.
Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,
I picked up this little table at an estate sale in July for $10 bucks.

I didn't need it.  Didn't have a place for it, and didn't like it's blonde finish.

It sat in the garage till October when I put it in my entry decorated with a dangling eye ball in a birds beak for Halloween.

Nearby in an umbrella stand was the stock pile of yardsticks I have been collecting for a project.  When the two were in close proximity to each other I made the connection - the lightbulb came on - and I knew they would become one.

Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,

There is no tutorial for this.  The yardsticks were attached with nails, the edge was cut off and a router was used to finish it.  I used CeCe Caldwell Traverse City Cherry with a wash of Virginia Chestnut Brown, which I also painted the top edge with.

Perhaps the key to obtaining this finish was painting, sanding, waxing, and distressing while in my jammies.

Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,

The distressing was followed with dark wax and I left the hardware as is.

Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,

I only wish I still had that old yardstick of my mom's.  It would be on this table top.

Yardstick Topped Entry Table, CeCe Caldwell Paint,

I also hit part of the mirror with some of the red.  I ran the brush over lightly and wiped it back.  I can't say how long this table will stay in this spot, but the warm tones are nice for this time of year.

*Update:  As of January the table is still there, however the glass candle globe didn't make it.  It was pretty easy to hit as you fumble in the dark for that light-switch.  Just saying.....

Since the reason I reposted was so I could link, here it goes:

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Nite Special - Yardsticks
Made You Look Linky @MadeInADay
Creative Inspirations Link Party @EmbracingChange
Open House Party @NoMinimalistHere
Under $100 Linky @BeyondThePicketFence
Party time @ThreeMangoSeeds
What's in the gunny sack @TheGunnySack
Make The Scene Monday @AlderberryHill
Newbie Party & Graduates @DebbieDoos
Crafty Texas Girls Cowgirl Up Party
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations
Party Time @Cupcakes&Crinoline 
Project Parade @DIY Show Off 
Silver Pennies Sunday @FindingSilverPennies 

The yardstick table proudly featured here:
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations 
Silver Pennies Sunday Party @SilverPennies
It's Party Time @ThreeMangoSeeds & Friends
Make the Scene Monday @AlderberryHill
The DIY Party @DIYShowOff 
What's in the Gunny Sack with Tonia @TheGunnySack 
Creative Inspirations Link Party @EmbracingChange 
Made U Look @MadeInADay

Follow on Bloglovin


Party Features so I can come out of the corner

Back when decorated trees sprouted out of peoples houses I was part of a link party called 'Tis The Season' with 8 other blogs.  Thanks to Stacey at EmbracingChange for inviting me to be part of it.  The "season" seems like eons ago for me.  I was the last hostess - ending in January - and I was on top of reading the party links, but getting a post done with the features.... not so much on top of that part.

Just sit me in the corner with the cone of shame.

Why did it take so long, you ask?  Because I tend to want to feature every. single. link. so I put it off as that's not how these link parties work.  Dammitanyhow.

Let me refresh your memory on what you were to link..... I wanted to see where you were a year ago at this time, or your first post ever.  First I had 22 selected.  Then I whittled away to 15.

This is why I will never be good at hosting link parties.  So I did eenie-meenie-miney-mo.

To start, how about a concrete walkway that has botanical leaf imprints in it.  A year ago ThisGreenHouse was documenting their new home progress... and pouring lots of cement!

And I remember the next one from last year - the post responsible for my summer hunt for futon frames.  Susan at HomeRoad made a bench out of the wood from a futon.  People usually can't even give those things away at garage sales, where are they now that I'm looking for one? 

Last year this time, OurPinterestingFamily was busy installing a bead board ceiling in their bathroom.  Curses.... now I want some on my bathroom ceiling too. 

On Manor Drive linked her first post of January 2013.  Emphasis on first post.  She is a new blogger and has set out her goals as DIY resolutions.  I'm pretty sure she'll get those missing door handles put on, but what I am looking forward to is goal #10 - create a WOman cave for herself. 

This next link was the one feature that was a no brainer for me to pick.  I knew right away I was ordering some of the paint and giving it a try on the craigslist dining room chairs I picked up in November.  Because, you know, I'm all about trying what I see from all of you.
Jean at TheBackYardBungalow  used fabric spray paint to transform this chair.  Hopefully soon you will see a chair transformation at Bliss Ranch too.

2012 had Linda at ItsyBitsandPieces redoing an entry way.  Go see the before and how they gave the existing waiscotting the look of a built in.  Linda is a super star, and one of the two bloggers to have actually met the elusive Bliss.  I really do exist.

And because I really do exist, before blogging I gave away a table that looked just like the one Laura at TopThisTopThat redid.  Now I want it back. 

You linked some "mayhem", "pearls" of wisdom, a "heart"felt tribute of remembrance and a bit of "monkey" business.  A beautiful door headboard, a chalked door, a pine headboard makeover and a dresser redoux from two bloggers who always inspire me. 

And lastly there was this...........

The first ever photo upload from Ranger911 ..... misspelled.  Because in bogging we have to be abe to augh at ourseves, which in turn teaches us to check spellling for a missing "L".

Follow on Bloglovin


Lampwork Bead Cake Testers

Beads by Lampwork Artist Leese

I am going to introduce you to one of my beautiful daughters.  Yup, I'm actually putting a photo of one of my kids on my blog.  Don't stalk her.  I will hunt you down.

This is the same daughter who made some signs at Christmas and decided to sew a little elf for the little girl she was a nanny for while at college.  She has a kiln and makes pottery.  She is a graphic designer who works in advertising and on a variety of web sites.

She is someone who I refer to as artistic. 

But don't let that sweet face fool you, she's the same young woman who rolls her eyes at me if I ask for computer help, and she seldom reads my blog.  But she likes to bake.

Professional Eye Roller
Today she made cupcakes.  Lemon filled.  Cream cheese frosting.

A few years ago, Beth being a starving college girl, had to come up with a way to put gas in her car and gifts under the tree.

So she made this glass beaded beauty.......

And started selling them.

It's a jeweled cake tester, you know... something you poke into cakes instead of tooth picks to see if a cake is done.  But these aren't tacky little trinkets, they are true works of art made with top quality goods - Czech glass beads, Tibetan silver spacers and you can't buy the stainless steel at the craft store.  One of a kind gifts.

Cake Testers made with Fire Agates & Glass Beads
Beth found a lampwork bead artist on the East Coast who makes the most beautiful beads.  Lampwork beads are made by using long thin glass rods put into a flame then the glass melts as you spin it.  (That's the simplified version of how it's done).

There is a real art to it - just like glass blowing - and each bead is unique and original.

The artists name is Leese and her beads are stunning.......

In all colors and shapes.  Blues, reds, metallics, pinks, golds... each bead prettier than the one before.

Beth takes whatever beads suit her mood and turns them into her own works of art as a functional one of a kind kitchen gadget.  I keep mine in the knife block where it's handy.  She used it on those cupcakes today to make sure they were done.

Cake Tester By One 30 One Design using Glass By Leese Beads
When Beth first found Leese I was addicted.  I checked every day to see what new beads she had.  Jewelry crafters use Leese's beads for their custom jewelry.
Beth also has other lampwork artists that she gets some beads from.  Those beads are pretty too, but nothing matches the ones that Leese creates.  (Of course I think all the cake testers turn out pretty no matter whose beads she uses).  Beth also uses faceted agates on some of her cake testers, those are really popular.

Variety of Cake Testers
Beth can use any kind of bead really.  She has made some custom ones out of grandmothers sentimental baubles; she made a set of 8 for some airline stewardesses with travel charms; one lady orders them and tucks them in home made aprons and baking gift baskets for bridal gifts.

I like to give them as baby shower gifts for all the birthday cakes that new mom is sure to be making.  And I always know it's a gift the recipient won't receive from anyone else.

Beth also goes through a few pink ones in October......

If you want to see more of Leese's beads you can go here, here or here.  Tell her Beth's mom formally known as her stalker, sent you. 

All Glass Beads
Beth and One 30 One Designs, have a blog page {here} that she uses as a store front, and an Etsy Shop as well.  Keep a cake tester in mind next time you are stumped what to give your BFF for her birthday.  They look cute with one of those fancy bakery cupcakes.

And the lemon cupcakes?  Lemon poppyseed, with lemon curd filling and lemon cream cheese frosting...... one of them is calling my name.

Follow on Bloglovin


No *I* in Team & Link Party

This post has a lot of *I*'s in it, but everyone knows there is no *I* in team. 

And for the past year, anyone and everyone that made me laugh or inspired me was right there with me while I created and crafted and wondered if I was doing stuff *right*.  So thank you.

As I sat here thinking about how fast 2012 went by I was feeling like blogging took all my time and I didn't really accomplish much.

Then I went through photos.  I was very wrong on that last remark.

When I had it all right there in front of me I realized I accomplished more projects than I would of had I not been blogging. All because I unintentionally joined a team by starting a blog.

A team of hundreds + one man with some brawn.

Teams of bloggers, some of whom don't even know they were my motivation or inspiration, or that I joined their team and they unintentionally joined mine when I referenced their blogs for help.

The crafting team.The sewing team.The tutorial team.The motivational team.
The inspiration team.The painting team.The idea team.The organization team
The decorating & design team.The clever, witty & funny team.The building team.

In the blogging game last year I had to call on each of those teams at one point or another.  And they all became....
New friends.

And there are also followers.  Followers on my team who are not bloggers.  They come to read what I write and see what I make.  That amazes me.  Thank you.

My first post hit the blogosphere January 9th and saying I had no idea what I was doing is an understatement!  But how fitting my day for the 'Tis the Season' link party is also January 9th.  I'm holding up the rear or ringing in the new year, which ever way you want to look at it.
I would very much enjoy if you would link up at the bottom.

My first year of blogging brought cast off furniture or pieces of wood scraps that  mostly I had to hand letter.......
It was someone, somewhere - it was one of you - that I gleaned confidence from 
Confidence to stick my brush in the paint and put fingers to keyboard.  Thank you.

I made pillows.  I can't sew, but gosh darnit I made pillows.  I made burlap valances because I was inspired by one of you.  I did copy cat challenges most every month, just to see if I could do it.  I picked up free furniture on the roadside believing even if the project sucked, what did I have to lose by not trying? I became a hoarder and filled our garage with crap.  I'm proud.  Brawn, not so much.

I put something on the door for every season.  I'd never done that before. I even painted the door.

I amused myself with a 4th of July wreath made out of old hankies and a pool noodle, naming it Hankie Noodle Dandy.  The name still cracks me up. And who thinks to make stuff out of pool noodles anyhow?  It wasn't me, it was someone on one of those teams.

I prepped my house for a Halloween Mystery Dinner with some of my own old ideas, and some new ones from blogs that inspired me.  Thank you.
I even inspired a few people along the way myself.  Me? Hmmmm... a creative and inspiring blogger?  Nope, never imagined that would happen.

I created a window display so I would have somewhere for the Kodak dresser.  I complied junk into a tree with some groovy girls, and made gifts for friends......

I calculated everything I made/updated/created/painted/repurposed/recycled/COOKED or baked, for the last 12 months and it comes out to about 4 projects a week, which means I accomplished a whole bunch of stuff that never made it to the keyboard.

Projects were featured......and I hope I never forgot to thank anyone for that.

The cooking and recipes...... O.M.G. you bloggers inspired me to try new stuff, thank you,
*I think*, but that has GOT to stop!!!  Seriously, if I do that throughout 2013 I won't fit in my computer chair!  And this cute kid did not loose his tongue cake pop making!

I guest posted on 19 blogs, and I will never forget who each one of you are.  Thank you.

Being associated with like minded people for the past 12 months has reawakened my creativity. 
I would not have accomplished all of that without all of you.
~ I have never been so inspired before. ~ 
Thank you.

And now, it's time to link up. What should you link?  3 choices......
1) Link up something from last year this time...January of '12.  
2) Or link YOUR very first post in the blogosphere.
3) Or link anything that was inspired by someone or something...someone from YOUR team.

Follow on Bloglovin


I Resolve to......

I resolve to:


Please head over to 551 East Furniture Design for this weeks 'Tis The Season link party and link up your own resolutions.

The party started on the 2nd.  It's now the 4th.  Hence my resolution.  Bliss Ranch's party is on the 9th, hope I make it.

Then on the 5th, stop in with Stacey at EmbracingChange for favorite furniture makeovers (this is a change from the original party host).  LOOOKIE LOOOOKIE.... I'm early for that one, I am so on top of my resolution!

Follow on Bloglovin
Disclosure Policy for Bliss Ranch:
From time to time there might be a written review of services or products on this blog for which Bliss Ranch may or may not have received that service or product for free. Receiving a product or service for free or at a discount will never dictate what is written on this blog or guarantee a favorable review. All opinions here belong to Bliss Ranch and Bliss Ranch alone. Bliss Ranch is not monetarily compensated to write anything on this blog... period! For the complete privacy policy please see the tab at the top of the blog.