Saturday, January 16, 2016

Hanging Plates on the Wall

Ever since moving into Holton House slightly over a year ago, one of the items on the 'to do' list was to hang plates on the dining room walls.  Unfortunately, my fear of pounding nails into the new walls kept me in a frozen prison of my own making.  I kept putting it off, putting it off, and putting it off some more!!!

I scoured antique shops, my own stash of plates, and Goodwill stores for suitable blue plates of all kinds and shapes.  Carefully washing and keeping my finds in the pantry, I gently covered them in soft napkins or linens so they wouldn't become scratched or nick each other as I stacked them on the shelves. They were on my mind often.  The pictures in my mind of shiny blue plates brightening up the room were enchanting me.

After dreaming through Pinterest ideas and photos, reading everything I could find on hanging plates, and because it is cold, icy and gray outside, I decided now is the time to tackle this little decorating item.

I drew a deep breath, said a prayer for inspiration and courage and began.

First of all, a photo of the bare walls.  I am sure you agree, something is needed there, right?

Okay, after much planning and probably over-thinking the project, I began.  Thought it might be fun to share this whole process with you.

First I began by purchasing stickable backing with little metal "D" rings at the top.  Following the directions, I wet the back of these little sticky things, waited the prescribed three to seven minutes for the glue to soften, and placed them on the back of the plates, ensuring the tab ring was at the point on the back that would make the plate hang with the top of the plate at the top once it was placed on the wall.

They had to dry overnight to guarantee they would hold.  

My next step was to take spare paper (from print outs or the back of papers no longer pertinent) and trace around the shape of each plate onto the paper.  Then I cut each one out carefully, reminding me of the childhood days of playing paper dolls.  A number was written on each paper and the same number of the corresponding cut-out onto the back of the plate.  Also I wanted to be sure to make a pencil mark along the metal tab, so I would know EXACTLY where to pound in the nail!

Then, I got out my frog tape (that green tape for use when blocking areas to prevent paint from getting on it).  I knew it would not take the finish off the wall.  I then used it to tape each cut out piece of paper on the wall where I wanted that corresponding plate to be hung, putting seven plates on each side of the dining room breakfront.

Then I left it up a day or so just to keep staring at it.  I wanted to be sure (or at least reasonably sure) the plates would look okay there.  I moved the pieces a little up or down or over.  Made sure the ring mark was at the top of the plate. Thought about it.  Ruminated.  Imagined.

Next step.  Take a deep breath, get the little nails out, begin pounding nails into each paper where the ring is marked!!!!

I was sweating bullets at this point - nervous, very nervous.  Then I carefully tore the paper off the nail, removing the green frog tape one at a time.  Before the paper was torn off, I picked up the plate with the corresponding number on the sheet of paper.  That plate was carefully hooked over the nail on that spot.

Here is the result.

Please let me know what you think about this.

Here is a view from the kitchen into the dining room. (below)

Wally says 'hi'!  too.



Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Secret Life and Adventures of Walter Kitty And ..... His "Blankie"

Many children have their favorite "must have" little blanket, often fondly referred to as their "blankie."  At least two of my own 'grands' had a favorite blankie that they cuddled and dragged around and held close to their cheeks when feeling the need of security and assurance.  Both of these blankets began their life as lovely, carefully hand knit blankets, white and edged in either pink or blue.  Made by a dear aunt.  

Each of these blankets was so loved and so held and ultimately so WASHED over and over a multitude of times, that in at least one instance, the blanket disintegrated into basically a ball of yarn!!!!!  OH MY! 

At any rate, the baby in my life at the present moment is Walter Kitty, fondly referred to as Wally or when I am cuddling him next to my neck and cheek, he is called in cooing tones "My Sweet Baby."  He is young enough at this point, that he is not offended being called "Sweet Baby" but I think very soon he will be and I shall have to call him "Most Distinguished and Handsome Wally (or perhaps Most Distinguished and Handsome WALTER)."

When Wally was rescued and came to reside with me, I put a little basket in the bedroom and laid the softest pieces of fabric I could locate and retrieve from my stash of cottons.  It's a mint green and so soft and fuzzy, originally purchased as a fabric for a possible baby gift creation.  Obviously, that never happened and the soft material was among my many other quilting fabrics waiting to be made into something!!!! 

Well, Wally evidently has bonded to his blankie.  On numerous occasions the blankie has been spied in a soft heap in the oddest places throughout the house.  It's sometimes in the center of the kitchen floor .... or on top of the bed when I awake in the morning .... or in a stuffed chair in the library room .... and most recently I returned from grocery shopping and this is what I saw.

I stared at the tree and wondered, "What in the world happened to the pretty antique lace cloth that was spread beneath the tree?  What happened to it?  Did Wally rearrange it because he likes to sleep there?"  

Upon close inspection, I realized he had dragged his green blankie out from the recesses of the back bedroom and into the living room and then up and under the tree.  His favorite napping spot during Christmas became a little nest spot under the tree.

I doubt if Martha Stewart would approve of this new addition to the decor, but his blankie can stay there as long as Wally wants it to as he naps and dozes.  

As you can see, I really appreciate and love this little cat.  I am grateful to have found him at the rescue service and thankful he is one who likes to cuddle, sleep on my lap as I read, and provide me with smiles and laughs throughout the day.  A good companion for me!!!!

Wally and I wish you blessings and joy during this new year!!!!