The Things I Collect


I joke a lot about my hoard, but really I try to keep my stuff down to a minimum. I donate a ton of stuff to a twice yearly garage sale that is a fundraiser for an organization near and dear to my heart. I really do only collect what makes me happy and I get rid of what I do not love. At Star Hill I collect milk glass. It is cheap and easy to find, along with being very versatile. Here is my whole collection.


I cleaned it all over the holiday and snapped some pictures before it all got put up. The milk glass is about to need a bigger shelf unit. I have one planned but it is not at the top of the list. I also collect old wooden bowls.

They are rustic and remind me of my great grandmother. I have her wooden bread bowl at Star Hill.

She made sour dough bread in this bowl almost every day. I add old bowls as one “speaks” to me. I have collected 10 of them and keep them on top of the cabinets in my tiny kitchen.

I also collect cream or white colored creamers.

Come on, cream creamers… just typing that makes me smile. They are small enough to be in kept on top of my cabinets in front of the wooden bowls. It is harder to find my creamers than you would think. I don’t want a set, just the itty bitty pitcher and I want interesting shapes. Oh, and my spending limit is less than a dollar. No wonder I only have 8 9 of them. ( The social planner just bought me one tonight.) At the city house I collect McCoy pottery and shell angels and crystal globes. The stuff at the city house definitely is a bigger investment. Do you collect things or am I the only one out there?

Dump Cake

Leave a comment

Because we are only in the country on the weekends and I am lazy, I have found things that can stay at Star Hill so we can whip something up if guests show up. Who wants to gussy up and run into town just because someone is on their way for supper? Not this girl.
Cake mixes are cheap and easy to keep on hand. My one hint is to keep them in a sealed container to keep out the critters. I keep them in gallon sized ziploc bags. I found out years ago that a cake mix can be turned into other desserts if the need arises. A sort of fancy but super quick dessert is a dump cake. I keep the ingredients on hand at Star Hill because we never know when company is going to show up unexpectedly. We love company so of course I want them to have something yummy to remember their visit. The dessert is served hot, so no prior cooking, cooling and icing required if you need something cooked in a hurry that tastes like you worked hard.

Dump Cake

1 can cherry pie filling
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 to 3/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup pecans if you have them.
Dump the cake mix into a bowl then cut the cold butter into the cake mix. I have a pastry cutter but two knives works fine. Should look like granola crumbles not cookie dough when ready
Spray an 8X 12 glass casserole pan well with Pam
Dump in the cake mix
Spoon the cherry pie filling into the pan in small dollops then cut it into the cake mix, do the same with the pineapple
Bake at 350 degrees until browned and bubbly
Serve with ice cream or cool whip


French Provincial Hardware Windfall

Leave a comment

Okay friends, I really do need your advice. At a resale shop, I found all of this hardware- dresser handles and pulls- for $7.00. I also have a lead on some 1950’s drawer pulls for free! I love all the French Provincial pieces, but I only have a few pairs, mostly singles. I may go back to see if I can sweet talk a little more out of the resale shop, but it was tough getting what I got. Two of the people in the shop said to make them an offer, but the owner said he had some of those pulls for 20 years and tried to cancel the sale. I I had to complain a little to get what I had already collected and up the price $2.00. I could tell with this owner that collecting things was more fun than selling.

Here is a page from Etsy with an idea what the stuff runs for:

Any ideas what to do with the pairs? I was thinking about making some trays and using them for handles. Here is one example from the reuse center: tray made with dresser hardware

I think I will save the singles to see if I can catch the right person at the resale shop to let me go through the huge tub for pairs. I can be persuasive. I may bring cookies. If not… I could do something like this: Drawer into Stool

What should I do with what I have? Have any of you seen a great idea on Pinterest?
Let me hear from you.

Turning Ugly Frames Into Key Holders


This week in my thrift store shopping I bought several things in a bundle for $4.00. The bundle included three milk glass pieces, a mid century modern relish dish, two yellow plates, a bowl, a creamer, and two really ugly ornate picture frames. I the frames were a faux terra cotta color, and because they are so overly ornate, they are too small for a photograph to be noticed in the frame. Look at the oval one. It almost has teeth around the edges do the inside.

Here is a sampling of my $4.00 bounty. The milk glass was already on the shelf.

Of course I wanted the frames. They were the first thing I picked up when I entered the shop. The guy must have felt sorry for me once I picked up the unfortunate frames because he clearly sold me the stuff I collected there for a song.


I am not sure if I should be proud of my husband or worried that he has given up on me because he didn’t even shake his head or ask what I was going to do with them. Believe
It or not I did have an idea. I decided to turn them and another ornate frame from the hoard about the same size into key holders that will hang by the mud room bench in our entryway. I was looking for a small ornate frame to copy this idea: shadow box key holder
Possibly this will help us with out morning rush out the door.
To make the holders Hubby cut some hardboard that attached to the frames. The oval ones were trickier than the rectangle because we did not have the skill saw. It took multiple coats of black paint to cover the terra cottaish coating. I used scrapbook paper that looks like an old love letter on the hardboard. I attached the paper to the hardboard by soaking it in watered down school glue. Once it was dry I spayed the glued down paper with acrylic sealer before attaching the hooks.
Here they are without the screws in.

The ornate frame I added to the two that I found at the thrift store.


A simple, inexpensive and I think stylish solution to a nagging problem at our house. I only hope it works to speed up our mornings.

We are still negotiating the location, but they will be up by the end of the week.


Making a Bird Feeder


A while back I picked up a chicken feeder base that screws onto a mason jar at a garage sale for 50 cents. I have to wonder how the feeder ended up at a garage sale. It has been hanging out inside the buffet at Star Hill for some reason. I found it during a cleaning and organizing frenzy after Christmas. I also had a 60’s light fixture cover that I bought just because I liked the pattern on the glass. Hubby bought a glass bit for his drill, an eye bolt and washers. When assembled it made a cute little bird feeder. I have a feeling that I will be wanting a larger jar but this works for now. My birds will have another feeder in the yard. Yay for the scary bird lady of Coldspring!



Chairs for the Porch

1 Comment

Our country home, Star Hill, has a porch that runs along two sides of the 950 square foot “mansion”. The home is in east Texas, in a lakeside neighborhood. Our lifestyle in the country is slow moving, with a lot of time spent outside. We have two seasons here; hot and chilly. Right now I have two great rockers and a vintage swing on the porch which you will see soon as we get the porch updated. I also have two plastic chairs on the front porch that I I got from my mom. They were forest green and faded when we got them. I painted them with brown paint two years ago and have them on either side of a chest I got for three dollars then painted our door color to store bird seed. The plastic chairs are functional, but way less than amazing.

In my resale shopping I have been casually looking for some sturdy, cheap, rustic chairs that would hold up on the front porch and look like they belong in the country. I already had chairs that worked so this was not an emergency.
If I can give you one piece of resale shopping advice it is for you to get to know the owners of the resale shops you like. Deal directly with the owner when possible. Treat them fairly, tell them about your projects, bring in pictures of your finished projects, and always, always, always be nice. Even when the cost of an item is more than I am willing to pay, I never insult the shop owner. My favorite thrift store owner, Patricia, knows me well. She knows that I will be back and she knows that I am not afraid of a little work. On my last trip I told her I was looking for assorted chairs. I am planning on a chair weekend for Sweet Amanda’s friends. We are going to each redo a chair using our combined paint, accessories, and ideas. It should be fun. Patricia let me know that she had three matching chairs that need work she was willing to part with for $5.00 each. The chair bases were old and sturdy but the backs were loose and several spindles were unglued. I decided to take the best two. I loved the original vinyl on the seats and the nailhead trim. It did not have any rips or tears so I wanted to keep it. I knew as soon as I saw these chairs they would not be a part of the chair party. They were going on the porch. I thought I was going to paint the chairs a color of paint I bought a while back but did not use. It is a sort of cedar color that should blend well with the soon to be coming new cedar posts and rails on the porch but I decided the more I looked at the chairs the more I liked the weathered look.
The tricky part of the process was getting the spindles into the holes at one time. It took two sets of hands all working at once. So glad Larry was there to help out.

After the gluing, I taped off the vinyl and sealed all the wood with polyacrylic. The sealant will protect the wood from the elements. I also saddle soaped the vinyl to make sure it was clean. They should hold up well for years.
This is a definite upgrade for the front porch. The chairs will come in handy when we need to add chairs to the table on the deck too.



Painted Chalkboard Suitcases; Hitting the Motherlode


Recently I made painted a suitcasethen put a chalkboard on one side. The idea was from another blog, and I loved the idea. The Southern Belle wanted the suitcase so of course I gladly gave it to her. It is now in her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. I decided when I made the first suitcase that I wanted to make one for Sweet Amanda’s friend Molly. She has started a business doing hair and make up for weddings and photo shoots. A fun suitcase can hold her treasures she needs to take to the locations. MollyDo’s
Sweet Amanda recommended a Huntsville thrift store, but I had trouble being in town when it was open. I finally made it to town when it was open and I hit the jackpot! I found four suitcases that will work perfectly for a painted suitcase. The sides are hard, not sunken in, with very little texture, and a vintage shape. I went to the store with my social planner, Tanis and together we agreed that $5.00 each would be the most I would spend. I was thrilled when the lady at the register told me that they were going to be $ 2.00 each! No haggling required. I happily took them all to the truck.
Four suitcases meant I was going to have several projects to give as gifts. This is the perfect week because I have time on my hands and the winter usually makes me hibernate and grumpy.

Here all all four of them!

My plan for the four suitcases was: one for Molly, one for Sweet Amanda, one for my social planner, Tanis, and one for me!
The largest is going to Molly. I researched Molly’s business Facebook page for her logo. Using the colors of the logo and her design for inspiration I chose fuchsia as the color. Not a perfect match but fun and cheery like her.

For Sweet Amanda’s suitcase I decided that a light yellow color would be fun for her eclectic home. Tanis was easy. Her new home is going to have a barn red front door and there will be touches of red throughout. Red was the natural choice. Tanis chose Heritage Red in the Allen and Roth line at Lowe’s. I bet we find other uses for the paint.
Because each one is unique, I decided to try different types of paint to see what I like best on a suitcase: cans of spray paint for Molly and Sweet Amanda (two different types) and brush on paint for the others. (Two different brands.)
For my own suitcase, I chose my favorite off white color, Olympic cinnamon cake. It was on hand in the Garagemahal so no cost. The off white will work well at the city house and on the porch at Star Hill.

The weather did not cooperate the week after Christmas. I feel sorry for those of you who live where it gets really cold and stays that way. I had to spray paint inside the closed garage with a mask on and a preheated space. Yay for Hubby’s Christmas present, a propane heater! I had nothing but problems with Sweet Amanda’s suitcase. The yellow Fusion paint did not cover well, it took a second can. I could not find an exact match so I decided to do something different with the two colors; I taped off a pattern on the front. I really liked the result but it took forever to dry- like hours, then a small disaster… the suitcase fell over. It took some touch ups, but the end result was great. Not a fan of the Fusion paint. Mark that one off my list.

My social planner, Tanis, pitched in to help. It was NOT that cold in the Garagemahal, I promise!


Molly’s suitcase painted like a charm. I am a fan of the Valspar paint + primer spray paint. It even said on the front of the can good for metal, plastic or wood. Go to Lowe’s and snatch up this paint. Less than $4.00 a can, great coverage, and a ton of colors. I will definitely use it again.

For the other suitcases I had to paint first with bonding primer then wait for the paint to dry then I brush painted them. It took a lot of work, and tim due to the drying time between coats but I think I like the brushed on, vintage quality. The next time I am going to use Annie Sloan’s.

I did learn a few things from the first suitcase that made the process go a little quicker and will hopefully make them last a little longer. I taped off the hardware including the bottom hinges, used my trusty liquid sand on the outside do each piece, then primed the brush on paint with a bonding primer.
I painted Molly’s handle yellow. I like the contrast but did not like how hard it was to cover. I will be wrapping the handle with twine next week. Tanis’ suitcase needs some touch ups. The chalkboard paint peeled off with the tape in one spot. Boo!

I glazed my suitcase and roughed it up. I liked the old quality.
All of the suitcases will look better with age, dings and time.
Here are the finished projects. I love them. I hope that the recipients like them too.







Newer Entries