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.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Things You Learn About Yourself in a Thrift Store

Good Afternoon Folks,

I found the cutest vintage, wood, spice shakers at the Goodwill last week and I thought I would use them as models in my quest to become a real photographer! A really good friend of mine, Lynnessy Catron, is a fabulous photographer and she has been nice enough to let me pick her brain about all things photography. You can check her work out here. She also hooked me up with a proper camera. A proper camera that I am so clueless about! I handle it like it's a bomb and peer at its screen with its mysterious text flashing about, mocking me. But, thanks to Lynnesy, I am slightly less fearful and overwhelmed by it this week. Slightly.

Back to the spice shakers. I love finding vintage kitchen items when I go a thriftin', so imagine my joy when I came across a little nest of vintage, wood, hand-painted shakers shaped like chefs! I think they are adorable but some of their expressions seem a little .... belligerent? Irritated? Nutmeg is truly shocked, right? Maybe they are little spice Rorschach tests and you see in them a reflection of your own feelings. Nah, because I am happy when I look at them.


Happy because I visualized the way I wanted this photo to look and with Lynessy's help, I actually made it happen just like what was in my head. This might seem a simple thing, but I am really excited! I went from being completely overwhelmed and doubtful to really psyched by all the possibilities. And I love possibilities.

While I was a thriftin, I had one of those moments that all hard-core thrifters have experienced. That moment when you see some item, some little thing you never knew you wanted and it speaks to you on some primal, hind-brain level. You know that it has been waiting for you all this time. You know it couldn't have been any other way, it was meant to be. Well, here's what the universe gave me last week...



There it was, just sitting there being a green glass hat.  Of course, I had seen pieces like these in thrift places dozens of times. But, I hadn't seen this one. Folks of a certain age will remember when these were common home decor, along with its buddy,  the glass shoe. I think they were toothpick holders, though I don't remember any actually holding toothpicks. I also seem to remember people had one or the other but never both. You were hat people or you were shoe people.

I remember hats and shoes in a range of sizes and they tended to be gold, green, red or blue. Some were made of milk glass. I had forgotten all about them. I truly doubt I have given them any conscious thought until I saw this dude last week. Why did I notice it now? Maybe it's because I have my own house now and have been so preoccupied lately with putting my stamp on it. Who knows. I do know that I am a hat person. A green glass hat person.

Have a good evening,

Lucky Charm

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Getting to Know ... Oscar!


Good evening folks!

It has been a busy few weeks here at the bungalow so I must apologize for slacking in my posts.  Oddly enough, despite my lack of new posts, it feels as though I have been thinking about the blog quite a bit.  New ideas are percolating and home and crafty projects are coming into alignment.  I have so many little things on the burner I feel like the proverbial chicken running around.

But this week I wanted to start introducing the little hounds, or houndlets, as I call them.  I have three adorable dogs, each of whom I love, but I am always amazed at how different they are from each other.  Their likes, dislikes and preferences are as different from one another as well...I suppose our human friends and family. Okay, so even though I really have no great new insight to impart, I think we can all appreciate cute dogs! 

This week the doggy spotlight is on Oscar! Hello Oscar….


At nine years old, Oscar is the youngest of the three at least in biological terms. In attitude, he is a grouchy old man of around 85, so don't let the cuteness fool you. When he's mad his little bark sounds like a duck quacking. An angry duck at that! But he does have a sweet side too. He is a cuddler and always wants to be in someone's lap. Sometimes I suspect this is because it makes him feel more powerful in relation to other dogs rather than a true desire to snuggle on his part. Oh well, we'll call it snuggling and leave it at that for now. When he is not cuddling up to me, he will sneak a snuggle from one of the other dogs. How sweet is that face?



Here are some more facts about Oscar...

He has a cute heart on his side, literally!





He enjoys wearing clothes. I feel the need to state that Oscar actually enjoys wearing clothes and though I let him wear them, I would never dress a dog up otherwise. On the day that Oscar arrived at my house from his foster home, he was sporting a snazzy, brown coat and among his belongings was a big ole' bag full of little sweaters and t-shirts. 



He doesn't care that dogs ought not wear clothes!




He is patriotic!


I totally made that fact up but I do think this pic is so cute. Since his birthday is unknown, I decided to make it July 4th so I would remember it and so that we could have more cute photo ops!




He likes to stare at me while I cook. Or is he trying to hypnotize me .... hmmm?





He loves to eat whatever you're having. In this instance, it was pasta salad.






He is really quite small. This pic was taken while he was sunbathing in the back yard. Can you see him there?




Mostly Oscar loves to nap but he often keeps one eye open just in case. Oscar is suspicious by nature.




So there is the short guide to Oscar. We sure do love him here and I hope you enjoyed meeting him. There will be lots more Oscar in the future as well as introductions to my two other houndlets, Chiclet and Sherlock.  

Be sure and let me know all about your dogs and don't forget that cats are always welcome here at the bungalow!

I leave you tonight with this gem from Miss Patti Page. Nowadays we all know it's not PC to buy a dog from a pet shop, but we can still enjoy the silky pipes of Miss Page and one of the catchier tunes ever written.  


Night, night,

Lucky Charm Vintage

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Counting Your Snakes Before They Hatch


Good evening folks!

What a truly gorgeous day it was today. I had the doors open and all the windows up so I could give the house a good airing and the little dogs sunned themselves on the back porch all afternoon sort of airing themselves out. I sang while I cooked and I hummed while I cleaned. I changed all the sheets. I swept the porch. I even made banana pudding! I thoroughly enjoyed the day. But that's not how things looked when I woke up this morning.


                                                          
I've felt such intense unease mixed with annoyance the last couple of days that I just knew was house related.  It’s a feeling that I've experienced more and more the last few months. I've been so busy with work the last year that my house and my little plans for it have been relegated to the way back seat. So, when I do get a few days off, I feel kind of overwhelmed by all the things I have to do, like laundry, dishes, cleaning etc., much less the things I want to do. 

That's the mood I started the day with. All this lovely day meant to me was that I had to deal with the yard somehow. I was standing in the back yard practically wringing my hands in melodramatic despair at the jungle before me. Also, since my lawnmower died (and I lack funds this month to replace it) I was armed with only a sad weed-eater and I just knew there were snakes out there waiting to freak me out. 



Just then, the dogs started barking and running all around in that way they do when someone is at the door. I lay down my weed-eater and walked around to the front yard to see who it was. Well, it was a nice fellow named Shawn who wanted to know if I needed my yard mowed "real cheap"! Why yes I did! How did he know? 

And just like that, the whole day changed. Shawn knocked out in a few minutes what I had dreaded dealing with all week, bless him. He also said he would stop by weekly to mow for me so I may never have to buy a lawn mower! This is an especially happy thought because I have nowhere to store a lawn mower except under the house and again, I know there will be a future snake there waiting coiled under the yet to be bought lawn mower. Shiver.

Join me next time when we discuss channeling your inner mamaw and I introduce y'all to the little hounds!

But I'll leave you tonight with a video about lawn care of sorts. I had forgotten how much I liked this tune but it is terribly sad when they all go back in the ground...



Good night for now,

Lucky Charm Vintage


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Home...It's Where I Want To Be

Good evening folks!


Brr! Another cold day here in Lexington. But even though it’s still rather damp and grey out, you can feel that winter has lost its bite. It's just going through the motions. Don’t get me wrong, I love wintertime with its sparkly holidays, cold, snowy days and long, sleepy nights. I really dig all that. But what I love more is the changing of the seasons; one into another. I really enjoy the contrast and variety that four seasons bring. About the time you are really sick of the cold or the heat or the rain, another season takes the stage, and suddenly, it’s a whole new show. So winter, I am weary of you and bid you farewell. Hello springtime with your mild, warm days and the drama of your thunderstorms!

This wonder and anticipation I feel at the start of a new season leads me in a roundabout way to today’s topic: my home renovation.  I have so many plans for the house in the coming months and I’m really looking forward to sharing them here, in the ether, with new blog friends. I won’t go into great detail about my plans, partly because I really want to document each project as it happens, but also when I write out everything I want to get done this year, I feel giddy and overwhelmed. It’s like the sun; you can’t look directly at it!

My little 1938 bungalow is the first home I've ever owned and though I sure do love her, I feel like I have so much work to do! But today, as spring peeps her head up, I feel fairly good about it! Dare I say even optimistic?



Oh well, we still have another week or so of winter and it is rather dark and cold outside. I think I'll snuggle in with the pups for one last winter's nap and dream of blooming hydrangea bushes, shiny wood floors, spotless, cheerful kitchens and period bathroom fixtures.

I realize this has been quite the meandering post, but I've been full of thoughts about the house today and wanted to express it somehow. I think I will leave it to David Byrne instead. Preach it Dave ...



Sweet dreams,

Lucky Charm Vintage

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bring Me the Head of Sally Bowles!

Good evening folks!

First things first - I promised to reveal the contents of the taped-up mystery bag from last week so let’s take a peek shall we? 

As we suspected, there were indeed pantyhose craft faces but mercifully, there were only two of them.



However, they are certainly stunning examples of the species! I’m a little bit fascinated / repulsed by them and quite unsure whether or not to dispose of them or save them to teach future generations.  If anyone has any thoughts please do let me know.

On the flip side, there were tons of fabulous little finds in there as well.  There were several really cute hand- crocheted potholders and doilies…


Also, there were lots of vintage fabric pieces as well as a lovely, vintage fabric, yo-yo doll that I really, really love. I shall call him Ferdinand.


There was also a really nice pair of vintage tea towels. Little ducks too! Can one ever really have enough of these? I think they might be the basis on which a truly civilized society rests. I love them almost as much as salt and pepper shakers, which are another mark of the civilized, in my humble opinion.


Some darling, vintage baby clothes...



But the true surprise was......wait for it.....




yep...dozens of adorable, hand-painted, wooden beads that look just like Sally Bowles!  

I will have to find a craft project worthy of these lovelies! If y'all have any ideas please be sure and let me know. 

In the meantime, let's take a moment to enjoy the fabulous Liza as Sally...


Good night for now,
Lucky Charm Vintage