DIY Antique Mercury Glass

Before the holiday season completely draws to an end, I wanted to share some of the mercury glass pieces I made recently. You've seen it in Pottery Barn and all of your friends are pinning it. Why not try it for yourself? It is super easy. Trust me. If I can make it after having 3 glasses of wine sugar cookies, you can easily do it.

First, head to Hobby Lobby and get yourself a can of this:
Don't forget your 40% off coupon! This little guy is expensive (Editor's note: This is the actual size of the can). I may, or may not, have actually cursed when I saw the $11.99 price tag.

Then, go around your house and collect all of the glass containers you have sitting around. Don't forget all those vases that come with the flowers Mr. VB gives you. Oh, and also grab that spray bottle you use on the dogs to get them to sit down and stop barking. Don't you just love being able to shop in your own house? Hoarding really does come in handy some times.

Next, mist the inside of the glass vase with the water. Then, spray with the Looking Glass spray paint. Wait for it to dry and do it again. Or, if you are impatient, spray again right away. The paint won't stick to the misted areas.

Toss in a candle and Voila!

I used a scrubber in some of the vases to wipe off some of the paint. Mine have a very light coat of the Looking Glass...be has heavy or light handed as you want!


May I Introduce...

I realized recently that Vanilla Bean has been up and running for three years now and I haven't properly introduced my girls to you. Bad momma!

Like most people, our dogs are our babies. They have personalities all their own. They are usually a pain in the rear...but I can't image the Vanilla Bean house without them.

So...without further adieu, I would like you to meet:

Name: Allie (short for Alberta after Albert Pujols)
Nicknames: Beaner, Beaner Butt, A, Scarface
Family Rank: Older sister and Momma's first baby
Known for: giving the cold shoulder, having a sensitive stomach, snatching stray socks
Likes: dancing, cleaning out my younger sister's ears, ice cubes, snuggling in bed, hunting for moles
Dislikes: car rides, when people talk about me (usually results in me giving the cold shoulder), any type of cleaning, getting brushed
If I had the run of the house during the day, I would: Lay on the couch and nap
The front door is wide open...I will: Dart out and take off running, never to be seen again
Momma's girl or Daddy's girl? Momma's girl
The vet says I: Am perfect and sweet as pie
I've been know to: Completely ignore my mom when she calls me to come inside
Favorite memories: Hanging out with Auntie Bubba and eating pizza, that time I ate three voles...and then threw up, catching turtles and trying to sneak them into the house
I like it when: Momma sings the "Allie Beaner" or "There's a Beaner in the Closet Snoopin' Around" songs to me
Someday, I hope to: Go on vacation to MN and go swimming in Big Birch Lake

Name: Marley (after Bob)
Nicknames: Marles Barkley (or just Marles), Shorty, M, Chopper, Freckles
Family Rank: Younger sister and Daddy's dog
Likes: Getting my ears cleaned out by my older sis, being the first for everything, laying in the sun, sleeping with head under the couch
Dislikes: Getting wet, getting my paws cleaned, exercise
If I had the run of the house during the day, I would: Make myself a gigantic sandwich and not share any with my sister
The front door is wide open...I will: Step outside. Notice that the grass is damp and that it is getting my feet wet. Head back inside to see if someone left food too close to the edge of a counter
Momma's girl or Daddy's girl? Momma's girl
The vet says I: Need to lose a few pounds
I've been known to: While my sister is napping, I like to plop down right on top of her and wake her up
Favorite memories: Going camping, when mom and dad adopted me, that time I ate all those raw hamburgers and mom and dad had to order a pizza
I like it when: Momma gets full at dinner and gives me her leftovers
Someday, I hope to: Rule the world

The infamous "cold shoulder"

Nightly ear cleaning routine

Waiting for Auntie Bubba to pay a visit

2007 VB Family Christmas Photo
2009 VB Family Christmas Photo

THANKS for taking the time to get to know us!

Falling Into November...

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year. From apple picking to delicious squash recipes to decorating for the holidays, winter, summer and spring just don't stand a chance.

We've taken full advantage of the foliage this year...here's a quick photo recap of what we've been up to:

We took a visit to Noboleis Winery.

Stumbled upon an old barn.

And, took a hike on the Matson trail.

I hope you are enjoying the fall as much as I am!


Apple Galette

"J'aime la galette, savez-vous comment ? Quand elle est bien faite, avec du beurre dedans."
("I like galette, do you know how? When it is made well, with butter inside.")

Sadly, alot of the fall baking recipes I've been making in the VB kitchen have not made it to the blog. But, I had to draw the line with this galette. How can you not blog about something that has it's own children's song? {see intro}

I totally winged it on this recipe. Which is to say, there really is no recipe. How can you mess up apples, cinnamon, sugar, butter and pie crust? It's pretty hard. I used a premade crust...so prep time was approx. zero minutes.

I peeled and sliced 4 Gala apples. Tossed them in some cinnamon, sugar and flour. Just eyeball it. I promise it will be delicious.

Put some dabs of butter on there for good measure. Fold up the sides of the pastry dough. Brush it with egg whites and sprinkle on more sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees until golden brown. Try not to eat all in one sitting.


Breakfast Table Gets a New 'Do

I am excited to be back {again} from a hiatus. Well, maybe I've been working on this project for two months. Or, maybe the hours of sanding ust felt like months!

I repainted this set almost two years ago. In decorating years, that's like 17 years. Here's how it has looked since it's last paint job:

So, we dragged it out to the garage for a little TLC. Here's a closer look at the top. Not digging the stain.

So, I took out my BFF (my little palm sander) and, with 80 grit paper, started sanding. And sanding. Then I sanded some more. And it started to look like this.

After about an hour, I had one WHOLE side sanded. At this rate, I'ld be done just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Then, the unimaginable happened. My BFF overheated. RIP little guy.

So, I headed out to Home Depot and got a new BFF.

A BFF with a lifetime warranty.

And, I started sanding again. My new BFF is stronger and much faster. And comes with 60 grit paper.

I got it down to the bare wood. To make it smooth, I went over it again with a 100 and then a 220 grit paper.

At first, I was going to stain the top. But, I've always loved what Layla at The Lettered Cottage did with her dining room table, so I ditched the staining plans and went for paint. I made a whitewash mix of 50/50 water and white paint (Swiss Coffee by Behr is a staple in our house).

Here's what it looked like after a couple coats:

Here's when things got a little crazy. I wasn't really liking this look, so I did a couple of dry brush coats with the Swiss Coffee (without water mix). For dry brush, dip your brush in the paint, wipe most of the paint off and paint away. Then I got out  my little jar of Valspar Antiquing Glaze and lightly painted some on. A little goes a long way!

I did another coat of the whitewash and this is what I was left with. Pure LOVE!

But, wait -- I'm not done!

It was a little harsh, so out came my BFF again and using the 220 grit, I lightly sanded and smoothed out the table. Ta-Da!

I also gave the legs a coat of Swiss Coffee (getting rid of the previous distressing). I love the way it turned out!

My bench and chairs are a bit off, now. I'll be making some changes to those soon. But, I love the new look of the table. What do you think?

Linking up to a few parties this week!



Pinterest: Somebody Commit Me

It was 5:45 a.m. on Saturday morning and I was wide awake.

I don't have kids getting me up that early.

I didn't have any deadlines at work that had me up at the crack of dawn.

I have an addiction. To Pinterest.

I've seen other bloggers mention it, but didn't really have the time to look into what it was all about. Then, last Thursday, my co-worker said I had to check it out. "You would totally love it."

She was right.

If you don't know anything about it, know this: it is a beautiful little world where you "pin" your favorite online findings to boards. Just like a bulletin board. Genius!

I already do this in my office. I have inspiration boards for rooms I want to redo:

And dreams of giving up everything and running away:

Now, instead of saving links to favorites on my computer and forgetting about them, I can "pin" them all in one place.

I can make boards of shops I would like to open.

Tiny houses I would love to live in.

Kitchens I want to cook in.

Food I want to make for the 4th of July.

I invite you to follow me. Pin with me. Share the addiction.