Friday, November 29, 2013

Where You Been At?

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Good Evening Good Peeps!

Boy, did I go off the radar or what? Between my classes, a truly weird work schedule and a new foster pup, the fall just got away from me.  But I'm back now and I have so many fun new posts on the way!

"But wait", you exclaim! "You never did the big reveal on your living and dining room re-paint! And what about that giant hole in your dining room wall? What gives, Lucky Charm?"

Well, I did leave that bit hanging, didn't I? How about some cute pics of a pup to make up for it? Why yes, you say? Well then, here you go...


That's my new foster pup, Smiley! How cute is he?  I'm not sure he will be a foster for long because I am falling in love.  He might have to join my pack officially.  But that makes four dogs and that's quite a few right? When are you considered a hoarder or a crazy dog lady? But then again, they are small dogs. In fact, all together they might make one good sized dog.

While I'm posting dog pics, here's Oscar's big Halloween costume fail...


We were trying for a ghost yet somehow it came off as something not quite that. Poor Oscar.

So, back to the lost thread of my posts.  I will post some lovely pics to show how the paint turned out.  I also cleaned and added several coats of clear polyurethane to my floors and have some pics to show of that as well.  I was really pleased with how they turned out but my goodness - they were some serious work!

Well that's all for me this evening! See you back here tomorrow and in the meantime, I would love to hear from y'all.  What's up buttercup?

Sleep tight,

Lucky Charm

Saturday, June 29, 2013

But Can She Make a Strawberry Pie? Yes She Can!

Good Morning Folks,

The other day I was craving a Shoney's or Jerry's type strawberry pie and no other pie would do, so I decided to make one and share it here on the blog.

The first time I made this pie, I was truly shocked by how good it was in relation to how easy it was to make. I love this pie, not just because it's easy to make, but because it seems so old-fashioned. It reminds me of summertime picnics, VBS and family reunions. So let's make a pie...

INGREDIENTS

1   Cup of Water
1   Cup of Sugar
3 T   Cornstarch
4 T   Strawberry Jello
1 pt  Strawberries





Start by combining the water, sugar, cornstarch and jello powder into a saucepan. Stir it almost constantly over medium heat until it reaches a slow boil.

As it starts to boil, the mixture will thicken. Continue to stir until it reaches an almost pudding-like consistancy. It should also be somewhat transparent as the sugar and cornstarch melt and combine with the water and jello. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.


 



Next get your pie crust ready and let it cool down to room temperature as well. If you are good at making pie crusts from scratch, then have at it by all means. If you would like to learn how, jump to the video at the end of this post and let a sweet lady named Betty show you how to make a good, simple pie crust. 

But, if that's not your thing or if you're short on time, then store bought pie crust is just fine. The only recommendation I would make is to use the deep dish pie crust because it seems more heavy-duty and up to holding all those strawberries we are fixing to put in this pie!



 Why even Big Boy himself showed up!
                                  

Next you cut the strawberries up however you like them best. I like to cut them in large pieces but that's just me. Do it however you want because it's still good however you do it.  Line the pie crust with strawberries and after giving it a good stir, pour the "glaze" you made earlier over the strawberries. It's that simple.


Fill that pie up with strawberries!



 Oscar, being a big fan of pie, stands by to lend moral support.



This is what the end result looks like! Put it in the fridge and let it chill a couple of hours and just like that...you have a really awesome pie! It's so good with a big dollop of whipped cream on top but you don't have to have it. Either way, it's good pie!

The pie snuggled up next to the sweet tea of course. Ah sweet summertime!




If you want to learn how, I've included little video that does a great job of explaining how to make a good, basic pie crust.  Betty is a Kentucky gal who lives in Richmond and boy can she cook! Betty has hundreds of easy to follow instructional videos on how to cook most anything on her YouTube Channel - Betty's Kitchen. I spend quite a bit of time there and I recommend her to anyone interested in southern cooking,






Enjoy,

Lucky Charm

Friday, June 28, 2013

Somehow I Find It Oddly Liberating!

In the prep work leading up to the painting extravaganza Mom and I have planned next week, I was doing a little plaster repair on one wall of the dining room. It was a bumpy, saggy area that has frankly concerned me for some time now but since I lacked the funds and expertise to address it properly, I did the next best thing. I cleverly arranged some cabinets to hide it from my everyday vision so I could easily forget about it.

And I did forget about it until this painting project came to pass. So yesterday, after doing some internet research, (which amounted to wildly conflicting advice on how to deal with plaster problems that freaked me out even more) I gathered my meager supplies and timidly approached the wall. At the end of the afternoon, this was the result of my efforts.....


Yep! It started out OK but the situation rapidly disintegrated, quite literally. The area was just too crumbly for a quick, easy fix. So I just took all the bad part out which was a larger area than I initially thought I was dealing with. But don't fear! My super awesome step-dad, Rick or The Ricky as we shall call him, is coming over tonight to start the re- plaster process. I am so lucky to have the best step-dad ever and my mom is pretty great too since she is coming with him and I suspect she will do something fabulous, like paint, while they are here.

This area of the wall has secretly nagged at my soul since I got the house. I knew it had to be dealt with but I was really scared about what was behind there, what was causing the wall to be disfigured. I was so sure it was something awful and costly, so I ignored it. Turns out it was not some big, horrid and expensive flaw that would require crews of workmen and beau-coup $$$$! There was no bogeyman. Instead it was just plain old age and ain't nobody getting away from that!

The base coat plaster had, over time, pulled away from the lath in the wall and had bunched up underneath the top coat plaster. There was also a complete kitchen renovation that "shared" the same wall, so I'm sure the settling of that project placed stress on this already weak area of plaster.

Heck, the house was built in 1939 so I guess she is due a little sagging here and there. In fact, this episode has made me appreciate how smooth and sound the rest of the plaster walls are. I can't wait till they are all pretty and painted!



Happy Friday,

Lucky Charm


I'm Sure It's Wrong But I Can't Help Myself!

I confess. I really love drawing eyebrows on lil' Oscar! He's just lying there, sleeping the sleep of the innocent. His sweet little snores are just adorable. But what do I do? Why I draw eyebrows on the poor little fellow of course! I can't help myself because it is hilarious. Not only does it make everything Oscar does a little more funny, it lasts for days. 

Oscar has no clue he has been "browed" while he was sleeping. He just wakes up and carries on with his typical Oscar day.







Our entertainment budget is small here at the bungalow and Oscar has provided us with days of free laughs, bless him. Even the other dogs are amused or so I like to think....


Monday, June 24, 2013

Thrift Finds of the Week! Utility Edition

Good Afternoon Folks,

Here are some of my thrift finds this week!

I'm really focused on useful, vintage kitchen items (that are not plates, Lord knows I don't need more plates) in good, usable condition. I really lucked out this week with a really solid, clean, Club saucepan and lid. Yep, it's awesome alvacado! At the same thrift store, I found a vintage Pyrex measuring cup. Yes, it is unchipped! I love how the chef on my recipe book looks mildly scandalized by my thrift finds. He must have paid too much!



Worse than my salt and pepper shaker fetish is my addiction to vintage pajama sets. I confess I am powerless to resist those soft cotton - poly blends, cool patterns and retro colors. This seasonally appropriate set is made by Sears and the fabric is a really light shade of yellow interwoven with pink and lilac designs.  I really dig them. Also, they have their original tags! Be still my heart! I am so wearing them this week.


How was your recent thrifting? By thrifting of course I include yard sales, estate and tag sales as well! I sure would love to hear about your great finds!

Happy Thriftin' Folks,

Lucky Charm

Longing, Thy Name is Coral!

Good Afternoon Folks,

The living and dining room paint colors have been narrowed down from many to three. Actually two, because that middle color sample is not really a contender. It's way too pink to live with 24/7. Don't get me wrong, I like pink but what I'm searching for is that perfect shade of coral. That perfect shade of coral that lives only in my head and is unattainable in the cold light of day. My true coral darts and disappears when confronted with paint samples leaving me confused and distracted and no closer to my goal.

I finally settled on the above samples after painting little swatches on the wall. As I said, number two is out due to it's pinkness. Sample one and three are the serious players now. Sample one, ironically, is named Flamingo Pink while sample two, which was disqualified due to overt pinkness, is named Island Coral. Sample three, which is my favorite today, is called Youthful Coral. I like to think of it as Vintage Lady Lipstick Coral because it is the shade of every vintage lipstick I have ever come across in vintage purses and suitcase vanities over the years.

I predict Youthful Coral or Vintage Lady Lipstick Coral, if you prefer, will be the winner by default because I am running out of time and it is the closest I have come to matching not only the shade I see in my mind but also the colors found in my "inspiration" piece. You know, that object or painting or pinterest page with the unifying color vision that "inspires" one to start this whole show in motion.

My color "inspiration" for the living and dining rooms is this really great vintage painting I bought off eBay donkey ages ago. It is really one of my favorite items ever and I love the colors in it! See those elusive strokes of coral. Also, I dream about a turquoise sofa in the same fabulous shades found in this painting. I don't have this dream sofa yet but you know the old adage about preparation for the future starting in the present. So I am preparing in the present for my future turquoise sofa by finding the right shade of coral for the walls today.




I have no idea who the artist is and I have never been able to decipher the signature. Despite many attempts and staring sessions over the years, the enigma will not yield and the artist remains a mystery. I would really love to know who painted it. I would also love to replace the frame as well but there you go.

So, Vintage Lady Lipstick Coral is the winner mainly because I like it best but yesterday, when I was really trying to focus and pick the right and best color, I brought in an impartial observer and VLLC matches Mitzi best of all. So be it.


Coral Dreams and Turquoise Wishes,

Lucky Charm

Firing Up the Mechanism!

Last Saturday I received my acceptance letter for readmission to the University of Kentucky. Yay! I have so much free time right?




I'm only planning to take two classes per semester so I don't become hateful and mean. In fact I really love school. I'm a big ol' geek that way. I love scanning the list of offered courses, looking at the required book lists. I love the potential that comes with a new school semester. What I don't love is paying for college classes. But I'm lucky because my employer pays for 6 credit hours a semester. Yay! Free classes! How can I not take advantage of free classes?

I've been out of school quite a few years now so I'm curious to see how my brain makes the adjustment. Right now I read a great deal - at least a book per week. But that is a lackadaisical, follow your bliss kind of reading, not disciplined, effective in a paper writing way of reading.

I'm going to make it easy on myself until I get back in the swing. I'm only taking two classes and I'm only taking classes I want to take. No "have to" classes for me this semester. I know I'll be taking a couple of history courses but I'm not sure which ones yet. I'm having a real time deciding. UK has a really great History program so I am truly spoiled for choice. Then, I have to pick a graduate program which is even harder!



In the spirit of  my return to studies, let's pretend Oscar's hat is a mortarboard instead of a Shriner's hat.