Monday, February 10, 2014

Revitalized Lamps


All this bedding from an estate sale!
At an estate sale, I found a hand-made blue and cream Country French toile bedspread set with two matching shams, curtains, two decorative pillows, a round table cover, an extra bolt of fabric, and three lampshades.  Two lampshades were smaller, so they needed a small lamp base. Since I needed a couple of small lamps for a bedroom table, the one I use as a desk, finding the entire set with the two smaller shades was serendipitous. 
The photo shows the larger lamp shade.  I found a cute bird base for it.

After searching for lamp bases in local stores with little success, I finally found two at an on-line trading site.  They would need painting, but I fancied the shape with its old world style.
The gold color seems original, but the aqua looks sprayed on.
The lamps had been painted an aqua color that faded to gold, probably the original color since the bottom was the same gold tone.  Judging by their heaviness, they could have been expensive when they were new.  However, the gold with the painted-on aqua had to go. I found a small container of paint, Sophisticated Finishes, that can be used on many surfaces, including metal, in a blackened, oiled-bronze color.  It matches the oiled bronze finish in my kitchen. 

One coat on one lamp.  It only took about a teaspoonful of paint!

I left a few tiny areas of the aqua showing, as if it were bronze on copper.  I purchased the bottle at Michael's, but you can also find the paint here:
Isn't it beautiful?

A funny thing happened on my way to take the lamps upstairs: I did a kind of double take and noticed that one of these lamps would fit in my kitchen where I worked on my laptop.  Since the original lamps came with nice quality white, but somewhat dirty shades, I  gently scrubbed them with a toothbrush, using a hydrogen-peroxide and Dawn solution.  They came out beautifully white, so the original plan was dashed.  The lamp bases have been reunited with their original shades.  So, instead of using the lamps in the blue toile bedroom, one of my new lamps has a new home in the kitchen where it matches other oiled bronze fixtures.  The other one found a spot atop a guest room dresser.  Perfection.

Now to find some lamp bases for the toile shades in the bedroom.  Deja vu?


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Frog Legs for Lent?


My husband, before he had his first cup of coffee this morning, asked the question, “Being a good, practicing Catholic, are frog legs OK to eat during Lent*?" He went on to say, “They are amphibians, but they taste like chicken.”
I told him that it was too early for a theological discussion, but then curiosity took over.
This photo is from the site.  See link below.
Photos and recipes, here: Frog Legs 

It was an interesting question that I wanted to research, but that odd follow-up statement was in the back of my mind: Why mention that they taste like chicken? I searched the question of whether frog legs were acceptable for Lent, and found several laymen-type sites that said that frogs, being amphibians, were aquatic animals and therefore permissible.  However, I also found a statement that said that animal by-products were appropriate to consume, such as butter or milk, since they did not taste like meat. So now, I’m wondering, if frog legs taste like chicken, are they really OK?  This is turning out to be more perplexing than I first thought and will require more investigation. For now, everything indicates frog leg approval.
Here in the South, frog legs may be one more answer to “What’s for dinner?”  Imagine them like chicken wings, the little drumettes that are so popular with barbecue sauce, and also known as hot wings.  Frog legs are often served as appetizers with a white sauce as well.  

Carnival is underway with parades in many of the Gulf Coast cities, including Mobile, where the oldest carnival/Mardi Gras celebrations in the US take place. Mardi Gras is still a couple of weeks away, so for now, we can enjoy our frog legs without worrying about restrictions. Laissez les bon temps rouler!
*As you know, Catholics abstain from eating mammals and fowl on Fridays during the season of Lent, from Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) until Easter.  Denying oneself of certain foods is a type of penance.  The focus instead is on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, not just in giving money but also in giving of our time and talents. 
            "In the poor and outcast we see Christ's face; by loving and helping the poor, we love and serve Christ." — Pope Francis, Message for Lent 2014