Monday, October 24, 2016

Life In South Jersey

Why, yes, those are turkeys standing on top of and all around my Wrangler.

This is what they resort to in an effort to get my attention when I don't feed them on time.

Apparently they weren't going to let me go anywhere until they got their dinner.


Friday, October 14, 2016

My $14 Indoor Window Shutters

I wanted shutters for the downstairs bathroom and found an online company that did really terrific custom work...but they weren't cheap.  And the shipping cost was crazy.

I have a very strong aversion to anything expensive.  I'd rather spend money on experiences and having fun together instead of stuff.

The shutters I was interested in were really very simple - just plain wood panels, stained or painted, with primitive-style star cut outs.  The cut outs weren't very important to me and the design was ridiculously simple so I knew it was a project I could totally do.

So, off to Home Depot I went...

$14 later I had what I needed:
(1) 1x6x8 pine board, cut down to the 4 panels I needed
(2) pkgs of black hinges

It's fabulous that Home Depot cuts lumber for you. Normally JP will do my cutting but I wanted to do this project completely on my own and I wanted it done before he got home from work.  You just find a Home Depot person and ask them to make your cuts.  I needed (4) 19" pieces.  It took the guy about two minutes and the cutting was free.

I already had the black glaze that I wanted to use so no extra expense there.  By the way, the glaze that I used is called General Finishes Pitch Black glaze and it's amazing.  It's not cheap at about $15.99 for a pint, but it's worth it. A little goes a really long way. You can buy it here.

These are my boards after I finished glazing them.  Note: I used the glaze like paint and I know that's not really how you're supposed to use glaze but don't worry about rules. Nothing fun ever comes from following them anyway. This glaze gives the wood such a wonderful, silky finish.  I could have used my old standby - my chalk paints, which I adore - but I wanted the finish that the glaze gives.  Chalk paint would work really well on these though, too.

You can see above that I started to use my hand sander to distress the edges.
Yes, it is MY hand sander but for some reason I always seem to have to go looking for it and always find it in my husband's garage next to some project he's working on.  And I do recall that he scoffed at me when I purchased it.  That's okay, though...I use his drill all the time so we're even.  You know it's true love when you share your power tools with each other.  :-)

So the custom shutters I had been considering ordering had cut out stars but since the cut out part wasn't important to me, I decided to just paint stars on mine...

I outlined the stars...

...then painted them, using chalk paint.

Next I added the hinges.

And - voila! - we have shutters!

The finished product is not hinged to the actual window casing.  You could easily attach them but I didn't find it to be necessary.  I can still adjust them with them simply resting on the sill.  The thought of drilling holes into the actual window made me shudder.  (Ha, that was an unintentional pun.)

All in all, they took me about 3 hours start to finish but I had interruptions...phone calls, dogs that needed to be played with, etc.
Happily, the shutters did get done before JP got home ♥

Don't be intimidated about doing stuff like this. If you screw it up, so what? That's how you learn.
It's easy to just go buy and pay too much money for stuff; it's way more fun to do it yourself.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Why I Love New Jersey, Reason #5,274,931: Bivalve Farmers Market

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at the Bivalve Farmers Market in Bivalve, NJ.

I'm actually quite hesitant to post about this because Bivalve is in my most favorite area of my beloved NJ.  It is my most favorite area because it is well off the beaten path and I would very much like it to remain that way.
But I'm not the selfish type and the Bivalve Farmers Market is so wonderful so I have to share it.  Besides, I met some of the nicest people there yesterday who were selling their goods and wares and I would like you to go there in the coming weeks and spend lots of money on these fine folks.

I am lucky enough to live in Cumberland County, NJ, which is where the town of Bivalve is located.
Most people are so caught up in their misconceptions of NJ (and making lame jokes about it), that they don't realize there are places in my state that are literally breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful and steeped in history.  That's probably okay because (most of) those kinds of people are not the kind of people who will come, quietly and with reverence.  (See?  I can make broad generalizations, too! haha)

If you are the type of person who does have appreciation and respect for serenity and history, I think you will find that making the trip down to Bivalve is well worth the time and effort.

See for yourself:

The shore road to Bivalve

Inside the museum

This is what's left of the schooner, Cashier.  Read more about its history HERE and HERE. Built in 1849
"She worked the waters, mostly out of Bivalve, Commercial Township, Cumberland County, NJ
from 1849 to 2000."

Amazing. I felt proud to make her acquaintance.

There she sits, in her resting place, watching all the activity around her.

I'm standing on the one of the docks that the market is held on. This is the view from there.

Oyster boat

More of the magnificent view. This is across the water.

Fresh, beautiful flowers for sale

Samples of sailors knots

Fresh seafood for sale and some pretty cool shell art/jewelry
Out front; please note the musician whose music lent itself so perfectly to this oh so perfect place and event

Some of the locals hanging out

A local dining on one of the  local specialties - clam? oyster?

I went home with everything we needed for a perfect dinner: a quart of oyster chowder, a loaf of locally made bread, deviled eggs stuffed with lump crabmeat and applesauce bread for dessert.

The Bivalve Farmers Market is held on Wednesday afternoons until 11/22.  Please note that 11/22 is a Tuesday and I imagine they're doing it on that day so that we can go over and get what we need to start cooking for our Thanksgiving meals on Wednesday.

I can't wait to go back!  If you go, look for me and say hello.  I'll be the one taking pictures of everything.

   photo Sharon sig with heart dragonfly butterfly waltz font1_zpsgxy5knqy.png
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