Monday, May 26, 2014

Painting regular furniture to use outdoors

Good morning everyone !

We picked up a table and 4 chairs this weekend ( for a song ) to use outside - I also had a pair of cane chairs that I wanted to use outdoors.  I started this project in January ( well the painting the fabric on one chair part ) and then tucked them into the mud room because there were so many other things that needed to be done - and it was winter

But it's summer now - and we needed some nice comfy chairs to plunk down in after trying to organize this backyard

I hadn't painted fabric since I helped Caroline from Piorra Maison paint this gorgeous piece ( HERE )

I was having a S.T.U.P:I.D day and forgot to take a before shot but here's the after

SHOCK ALERT - I did NOT use chalk paint on the body of the chair - I had a couple of tins of this pretty aqua spray paint - and because the sides are cane, it just seemed like the easy thing to do

I DID, however, paint the cushions with chalk paint - pure white ( this is after 1 coat - I have to do another
I think )

In case anyone wants to try painting fabric with chalk paint - it's best if you dampen the fabric prior and apply the paint on to the dampened fabric right away.

AND NEVER, BUT NEVER apply wax on anything that you're going to keep outside - the wax will melt
( unless you want to wax your thighs every time you sit in them in the sun :)

Next up !!!

 Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend - the swamp pool gets started today

 The ducks made themselves scarce yesterday - nary a one and the ground hog must have been sleeping in
 Heavenly peace because we didn't see it either :)
 Oh Happy Day (s) are here again

 Have a great Monday
 Much love,

It's Party Time !!!
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

What the duck is going on around here? (

Good Morning, from your friendly neighborhood animal and bird sanctuary.................


Yesterday I was out planting, a little nervous because of the ground hog that had made it's presence known
this week ( by coming out right while I was working in the yard and ambling along the side of the fence )
cursing under my breath as the squirrels were running around everywhere dropping branches from trees,
when I heard a strange sound.
Cocking my head to one side to concentrate ( much like a dog since I happened to be on all fours at that point ) I could very faintly hear water lightly splashing.....................

Suzan says - We need to have the pool cleaned THIS weekend
John says - No one else has started their's yet around here
Suzan says - I don't care - we need to do it NOW
John says - There's plenty of things to do and -
Suzan cuts him off - screaming - I CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE
Suzan says - I feel like I'm living in the wild
John says - What the hell are you going on about now?

What's next?
The Loch Ness Monster?

Suzan says - It's because the pool is filthy - it looks like the river - it's confused
Suzan says - I'm not cut out for this - I want to go back to the city - I need -
John interrupts - Ok Scarlett O'Hara - we only moved 15 minutes from down town - let's not get overly
dramatic over all of this.

I'm seriously traumatized here - every time I walk out the door I bang it shut to scare off all the wild life -

My daughter says - This is so awesome Mom - you're so lucky !

In my world lucky would be winning the lottery.

Anyway she finally flew away after about a half hour leisurely swim................

Later on I went out to finish what I was doing - and lo and behold

Her husband had arrived - and was contemplating going for a little swim himself

Suzan screams - JOHN - COME QUICK !!!
Suzan says - OMG - they're going to start a family

( 5 little ducks that I once knew - short ones - fat ones - skinny ones too - but the one little duck with the feather on his back - he led the others with a quack quack quack )

Mrs Duck says - Come in - the water's lovely
Mr Duck says - I don't know, it's a little dirty, even for us
Mrs Duck says - Don't be such a wuss, It's summer time and the living is easy..................

Mrs Duck says - Pay no attention to that lunatic jumping up and down banging a paint tin on the ground - she's been doing it all day and screaming for her husband............they're harmless really
Mr. Duck shrugs - and jumps in.

Suzan says - That's it - we're shocking the pool this weekend
John says - Oh stop already
Suzan says - What are we waiting for?  EELS to come slithering out of it?

Meanwhile Sammy the Squirrel looked quite enthralled by it all

Mrs. Duck says - There's too many squirrels here - and I hear there's skunks and a ground hog.
Mrs. Duck says - We're moving - I don't like it
Mrs. Duck says - It's not safe for the kids

I know the feeling Mrs. Duck - I definitely know the feeling....................

( btw - I've named them Donald and Doris - but I thought a little respect was in order, they don't know any of you after all )

Off to buy pool cleaner stuff - and a cover -
Duck L'orange anyone?

For duck
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (5- to 6-lb) Long Island duck (also called Pekin)
  • 1 juice orange, halved
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 fresh marjoram sprigs
  • 2 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
  • 1 small onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup duck stock, duck and veal stock*, chicken stock, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 carrot
  • 1/2 celery rib
For sauce
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice (from 1 to 2 oranges)
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons duck or chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fine julienne of fresh orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • Special equipment: an instant-read thermometer; a 13- by 9-inch flameproof roasting pan


Roast duck:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 475°F.
Stir together salt, coriander, cumin, and pepper. Pat duck dry and sprinkle inside and out with spice mixture. Cut 1 half of orange into quarters and put in duck cavity with thyme, marjoram, parsley, and 4 onion wedges.
Squeeze juice from remaining half of orange and stir together with wine and stock. Set aside.
Spread remaining 4 onion wedges in roasting pan with carrot and celery, then place duck on top of vegetables and roast 30 minutes.
Pour wine mixture into roasting pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue to roast duck until thermometer inserted into a thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 170°F, 1 to 1 1/4 hours more. Turn on broiler and broil duck 3 to 4 inches from heat until top is golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Tilt duck to drain juices from cavity into pan and transfer duck to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan. Let duck stand 15 minutes.
Make sauce:
While duck roasts, cook sugar in a dry 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Add orange juice, vinegar, and salt (use caution; mixture will bubble and steam vigorously) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel is dissolved. Remove syrup from heat.
Discard vegetables from roasting pan and pour pan juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-quart glass measure or bowl, then skim off and discard fat. Add enough stock to pan juices to total 1 cup liquid.
Stir together butter and flour to form a beurre maniƩ. Bring pan juices to a simmer in a 1- to 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add beurre maniƩ, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add orange syrup and zest and simmer, whisking occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly and zest is tender, about 5 minutes. Serve with duck.
I think I'm going to vomit now. ( or start another blog called Decorating with Ducks ? )
Have a wonderful weekend everyone !


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