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So, how do I care for my copper collection?
I love the warm patina of antique copper but occasionally, it needs a good shining to remove tarnish. Restoring the luster of old copper doesn't need to be a daunting task.
My cleaning go-to for my copper collection is ketchup. If you are like me, the less chemicals in my house, the better. It can take multiple applications for some antiques, as you may have years of build up sitting on top of the tarnish, but it does work. If you can't get everything off, then try a chemical agent but for most tarnish on copper, this should do the trick for you.
You will need:
paper towels or clean kitchen towels
plastic brush or plastic sponge
kitchen gloves (optional)
Wash your copper in hot, soapy water and give it a gentle scrubbing with a plastic brush or plastic scrub pad (Do NOT use metal brushes or metal sponges as it will leave fine scratches on your copper). Dry thoroughly. Washing your item first will help remove the surface grime or at least soften it for the ketchup to be able to work on the tarnish. Next, lay down paper towels or a kitchen towel to protect your working surface. Pour just enough of the ketchup on it that it has a moderately thin coat all over it and smear it in all of the crevices of the copper item. If you still have discolored areas, apply again and let sit for 10-20 minutes and rinse again. Keep repeating the steps until it is to the desired patina. Lastly, wash your piece with hot, soapy water, making sure to remove all ketchup from the creases and rims; then rinse well and dry.
It is an easy way to clean and bring that luster back to your copper without using harsh chemicals.
The #1 photo shows a 6" vintage pan that has not been cleaned yet. The #2 photo is a teaspoon of ketchup that I added to show you what it did after sitting for 10 minutes, which is the the #3 photo. The #4 photo is the pan after it was moderately coated with ketchup and let sit for 10 minutes.
"I walk into my home and instantly feel at peace." We all want this, but where to start?
Here are my tried and true thoughts on creating your own individual style:
The first thing to always do when decorating your home is to decide what you want to build your home around that makes your personal style statement.
I tend towards warmth and comfort when I choose pieces for our home. What do you want to invoke for the personality of your home, and why? When you know the answer, it is just a matter of building around that favorite piece of furniture or decor item.
I buy furniture and decor with intention, as most of us do. As we shop, we must consider the consequences of that purchase. Will it add to my already in-place personality, or do I want to tweak my look in a different direction? Will it destroy my look or confuse the style of my home, or will it add a fun bit of drama that I will enjoy? Only you can determine those answers.
On to that first piece that starts your story. If it is a piece of furniture, and you absolutely love its lines and style, the rest is gravy. Go with it and enjoy the journey of picking out details and complementary additions to the room. If you inherited it and don't absolutley love it, but you don't mind it so very much, add things that you are passionate about and decorate around it until you hit the atmosphere that you truly enjoy. Unfortunately, if you are struck negatively by the piece each and every time that you enter that room, move it! It may look better in your children's room (such as a buffet from Grandmother). As you decorate it with their style, you may truly fall in love with it. My point being, your space and your style are too important to diminish your enjoyment of it by tolerating a furniture piece that dulls the joy and contentment you wish for in your home.
In deciding your style at this point in your life, look towards your inspiration. Is it your mother, your friend or a designer home? It may possibly be a region that you are thrilled to visit or memories that invoke something within you that you wish to recreate for yourself or your family. Is it an influence that you can focus on? It is important to know the what and why of that inspiration, so as to reference it when or if you need to rethink an element in your design.
Now, back to your statement piece and deciding on the importance you are willing to give it. You, obviously, would not hang a small picture in the middle of an expansive wall and be done ( even if Great Grandma Eunice painted it). Complement it with other wall decor and build around it. Your pieces should flow with the style of the room. For instance, the furniture should be pretty close to the same period, but that is not always necessary either. If you have an old oak library table and a new painted chair, they can easily blend if the lines and period are somewhat related to each other. Therefore, a new windsor chair would complement that desk as long as it is not painted pink. Just remember, surround yourself and your home with elements that reflect you and your interests and passions.
Conformity is not necessary! When you fall in love with a quirky little chair or an odd duck piece that makes you smile, do not fear that you are ruining the design that you spent time and energy creating for your home. Incorporate it into your home. You felt drawn to it for a reason, and it brings you enjoyment, so find a spot for it and let it go. I have found that there is always a place for something that I really enjoy. Now, I do not mean that you can get away with putting mom's collection of clown figurines into your Federal style living room and expect it to flow nicely, but one endearingly sweet clown mixed in to the decor would be delightful to the eye.
Our homes are a puzzle that we slowly put together over time. I am always pleasantly surprised when the pieces fit together, as if meant for each other. I must admit, though, that I do have an antique wall cupboard that I have sitting in a corner waiting for its place, but you know when you have purchased a "meant to be owned by me" item, and it will sit until I carry it aound to each room and recognize the spot.
Don't overdo and don't overspend. Your statement can come through loud and clear without stating it ten times in one room. I have a room named "the stag room", oddly named, but of course, we have beautiful stag prints in that room. I eventually ended up with stag bookends, the two stag prints, and other stag accents. I moved pieces out of there once I recognized that it was actually, very boring because of the redundancy and disbursed them throughout the house. So, make a statement but add some subtlety to the room also. You don't need to hit people over the head with your direction and personality, and sometimes, too many supporting pieces will cancel out the impact that you want to give a room.
Decorating can be costly! Yet, the cost of your design can be greatly reduced if you use your common sense. If you love a painting that will drain your decorating budget, shop around for similar items that invoke the message you wish to convey in your home. Look for an antique print of it, and you will love being able to buy furniture for that room too. I like to search on online auctions for certain pieces. If you are looking for a Sir Edwin Henry Landseer painting or print, of course, search for his work, but know that you are going to see prices that reflect the value of it perceived by the person selling the item. If you search, instead, for "stag" or "deer", you may find a prize that you can afford that evokes the exact statement that you were striving to make for that room and bring it all together in a more budget-friendly way. But, if you can afford to decorate with a true Landseer, embrace it and enjoy! Just remember, soothe the eye of the beholder and don't waste space being redundant.
Finally, have good bones to support your interior design. Buying a copy-cat plantation desk, although less pricey, will last only for so long before the drawers break or it needs refinished but you have nothing but laminate wood to work with. There are always ways around the cost of good bones. Keep your eyes open for solid pieces that will last for generations. Look towards flea markets, garage sales, your mother (she may be willing to part with a favorite table if she knows that you understand the value of it), auctions, etc. They are out there. If you can afford to invest in artisan produced furniture, do it.
Above all, your home is for you. If you try to impress, who are you living for? Create your home to comfort you and your family. Otherwise, you will constantly be shopping, doubting, selling, and not finding peace within yourself or your home.
Take care and embrace who you are!
We teach our children throughout our lives, whether it is the big details, like ethics and morals, or the small details, like kneading dough.
I have found, as they grow, that my mothering radar remains silent more and more as they become adults. They have taken the reins and manage their own lives with less and less necessary input from me. I rest easier as I watch them, seeing their capabilities put to use in their daily lives, and it is good.
Not that I am done, not even close, but I am no longer afraid. I know they've got this.
As I said, along with their maturation, their mistakes come fewer and fewer, and yet, I do miss the cute things, the mispronounced words, the silly things that only experience will correct. When they do come up, the silly ones, the ones that bring me back to when they were children, it tickles me, and I usually burst with laughter.
Which brings me to yesterday, and I must preface this with the fact that my daughter Jessi has successfully worn many hats professionally in her young adult life, and now she is an egg noodle master as well.
Jessi and I wanted to share a simple recipe, and so, we decided to make egg noodles. We started gathering and mixing, and Jessi took photos as we went along. I had my daughter make them as I read off the ingredients to her, which is always the best way to teach a new recipe to someone, and I watched and enjoyed the adventure.
I set the timer for 5 minutes to help her know when she was in the ballpark of the dough being pliable and ready to roll out for noodle cutting. With puzzlement, I watched as she patted and prodded the dough, seeming to oddly comfort it. Sensing her uneasiness, in a gentle but matter of fact way, I told her that we now would knead the dough. Without stopping her strange prodding and patting, she commented in a questioning tone, "'kneading' is 'massaging,' right?" Trying to hide my amusement and chastising myself for not spending more time in the kitchen with this adorable daughter, I taught her to knead and when the timer buzzed, that dough had received a glorious massage.
Well done, Jessi!
These amazingly gorgeous people are my family. My heart begins and ends with them. They are my children, my husband John and my grandson. This was taken on my daughter Shannon's wedding day in Savannah, GA. It is fitting to have them be my first blog post. They are my greatest gifts and I am grateful every day to share my life with them.
Hello Readers! This is Kay, also known as Katie, and I am excited about this aspect of my store as I can chat your ear off about things near and dear to me as well as favorite things and news! My beautiful daughter Jessi will ghost write behind the scenes so I don't drive you crazy with the bad habits I have collected over the years regarding word usage or mad paragraph design. She wears many hats and, thankfully, copywriter is one of them.