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Spring Grapevine Wreath

You may have heard about all the snow in the northeast.  Fortunately, we didn't get as much as some areas, but the white stuff is still EVERYWHERE!  Since Mother Nature seems to be off her meds again, I created a wreath to encourage her to deliver some Springtime weather.
Last month I bundled up and trudged through the snow to grab some of the vines that were growing wild.  If you missed it, you can read about it HERE.  In addition to the grapevine heart, I made this wreath.   It was an easy process that involved about 9 lengths of vine that were about 6' each.  I started by making a circle with one and winding the vine around it.  I kept adding, winding, and wrapping vines...  ...until I got to a size I liked. The finished wreath is 18 inches in diameter.
I bought 4 bunches of tulips for $2 each and some burlap ribbon for $1.  That's right, the total cost was $9! Since I want to use this wreath for several seasons, the tulips and the bow were attached with wire.  In a few months…
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Why You Should Shred Your Own Cheese

We've been doing some 'experimenting' at the Cottage after my husband seemed to develop a sensitivity to cheese.  He noticed it a few months ago after eating certain dinners that contained cheese.  About a half hour after eating, his skin became itchy and he had hives. At first, we thought he was developing an allergy to dairy, but as we started tracking what he ate we noticed that he didn't react to cheese slices or cheese cut from a block.  
At this point, I started reading labels and discovered some interesting ingredients like powdered cellulose and natamycin. 

Powdered cellulose:  minuscule pieces of wood pulp that coat the cheese to keep it from clumping by blocking out moisture.
My husband found this additional information about cellulose:
Cellulose comes in various forms, each with a specific use. Beyond powdered cellulose, two other modified forms are common in food. Microcrystalline cellulose is either listed as such on labels, as MCC, or in some cases as cellulo…

Pig Gets a Facelift

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I Did It Again!

Yes, another dresser has been transformed by decoupage.  
I found this one on a garage sale site and it was not in the best of shape: So, out came the sander and what did I find? Poplar, not the best wood. In case you missed it the last time... Poplar is and inexpensive hardwood. The tell-tale green tint gives it away.  It is usually painted because poplar is notorious for being 'blotchy' when stained.
If you'd like to see the last poplar dresser I found, you can click HERE. I began this project with new napkins.  That's right, the drawers are done with napkins.  I have a full tutorial HERE. In the interest of full-disclosure, this dresser started out with pink paint but it fought me every inch of the way.  The final result was this chocolatey (that's a word, right?) brown with the pink showing through the distressing.  
I made sure to paint the edges of the drawers to give it a 'finished' look.
All in all, I'm pretty happy with how she turned out.  I think I&#…

This Little Piggie... happy to see the snow melting!  We've had some warmer weather (40's) which is giving us a bit of a thaw.  I'm trying not to get too excited though since we still have to get through March!

You may (or may not) know that I collect pigs and you will find them throughout my home.  I'm not one of those crazy collectors with thousands of pigs lined up everywhere.  I have some and each one has a story and is special to me.  Someday, I'll write a post devoted to this collection; I did write about Chalk Pig and if you'd like to meet him, you can click HERE. In the meantime, let me introduce you to the newest member of the family, Pallet Pig:
With all that pallet wood, there had to be at least one pig, so I drew myself a pattern and started tracing: I fit two on the wood I grabbed.  Here's a close-up since I used pencil for tracing: Out came the jigsaw and the pigs were cut-out in minutes.  A little sanding, dry-brushed white paint, stain and they were almost done…

Grapevine Heart

If you visited the Cottage on facebook this week, you saw a 'teaser' for this project.  Go on, go take a peek, I'll wait!  
I don't know about where you live, but, around here, grapevines grow wild all over and, since most of my 'stuff' is still packed in a storage unit, I decided to use what was available.  I grabbed my clippers, went out back, and started clipping long lengths of grapevines.  It was really cold, so, let me tell you, I clipped pretty quickly! They still had some leaves...

And some great curlicues... I grabbed a few from the pile and made this: You can't tell from the picture, but this heart is pretty big - about 26" across and 29" tall.  I twisted together three vines for each side.  I used a piece of jute twine to tie them together in the middle, slowly bent the vines until  the were joined at the bottom, where another piece of jute twine completed the heart.  It probably took about 5 minutes, you know, one of those long, involved p…

Did Someone Say, "Pinecones"?

It's been a pretty quiet week around here.  After pulling a muscle in my back, the only thing I was good for was lazing around with ice and heat while taking ibuprofen and muscle relaxers.  Believe me when I tell you, I don't 'laze around' well at all, but I did read two books!

Today I want to share my 'Shopping Expedition' from when we visited our kids for the holidays.  
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So, on one of our shopping trips, I commented on the pinecones that had fallen off the trees along the street.  My daughter asked me if she had to pull over, and, naturally, I said yes!  I collected about 12 that day, and, after a few more stops on different days, I ended up with a bagful! Because you can never have too many pinecones, we took the dogs for a walk where I acquired a few more. My daughter took video of me walking along the …