Hi! I got my laptop back. (Don’t ask me why the tops of my posts are always down so far anymore. I can’t seem to fix it. It doesn’t look that way until it’s published? Anyway ---) Hurray for an all better computer. (Thank you Apple for being amazing about it all!)
But I’ve been super busy trying to get tons of stuff done for Christmas. So that’s been the lack of blogging. Well that and sickness with the kids. But we are better now.
Anyway, I wanted to show you a small thing I did over the last few weeks.
Invisible stuff seems to be a going trend over here lately….You can’t really tell. But this picture is of our very special family china inside my china cabinet.
Really? Yeah, it’s in there.
Ah there it is! Once you open the glass doors you can see it. But it’s still blending in pretty bad.
These dishes were my mom’s moms. They are amber colored cut glass.
(A little Googling tells me they are a “Sandwich Pattern” by Indiana Glass, sold through Tiara. Apparently Indiana Glass created their version of the Sandwich pattern in 1925, and reissued it in 1970.)
My mom lost her mom in a car accident, when my mom was twelve years old. (My mom also lost her sister, and broke both of her legs in that accident.) So these dishes are a very special connection back to her. My mom says she remembers her mom was really happy when she bought these. My mom said it seemed like she got them at something similar to a tupperwear party, for dishes, and she was really excited about it. My mom said she doesn’t remember her mom getting that excited about buying things, so she must have really liked these. They would only use these for fancy meals with guests.
In my life we always used these for holidays and birthday meals. I always knew they were my grandmas and very special. I always liked seeing them set out on the table in the afternoon of a special day, awaiting that evening’s meal.
It’s funny, I remember as a kids being uncertain about the color. If I thought about it as gold, then I was sold. Because then it was kind of like gold diamonds, if that could be such a thing, with the cut designs in it. But If I thought about it as brown, well…brown is like the opposite of pink or glitter or girlygirl stuff, so that wasn’t good. I didn’t know about “amber” back then. So I never knew what color they were.
But even when I thought they were brown, I always loved them because they are very, very sentimental.
When my mom offered to let me have them I was so touched and excited. I love remembering our special dinners on these plates. (It usually came with sparkling grape juice in fancy goblets. Which was just the best icing on the cake.) And I’m so excited to get to use these plates for our fancy special meals with our kids.
So when she brought them down to my house a few weeks ago, I was really excited to put them in my china cabinet.
But then they “turned brown” and disappeared in there. It was heart breaking that I couldn’t see the dishes once I closed the doors.
Someday I want to paint this china cabinet. But that’s like way, way on the back burner. And I didn’t want to not see the dishes until I get around to it.
So after some thought I came up with a great solution for the time being. Fabric and fabric starch.
You use it like wallpaper, but it’s easily removed. (You can even wash the fabric once it’s down and use it for anything you can think of.) And you just wash the surface with water till the starch is gone, and it’s like it never happened. (This can be used as wallpaper in a rental house, or anywhere.)
I had lots of left over fabric from when I recovered my ottomen (I have no idea why I thought I needed so much) and I hadn’t come up with anywhere else to use it.
This was perfect!
And I grabbed the starch at Walmart for like $3 by all the laundry stuff.
I found it easiest to totally saturate the fabric in it, by dipping it into a bowl with the starch. It helped to brush a bit of the starch on the cabinet with a paint brush as well -- especially in the corners at the top for extra grip.
Then I just had to smooth out the bubbles. I didn’t get all the bubbles out on the first row I did -- and they do show once dry. (But I can go back later and get it wet again, and smooth it out.)
Yay-- now the dishes are showing up!
I did this on a couple different days as I had time.
I got better at it, and it got faster.
The first row took me maybe like an hour and a half (but I was measuring and cutting fabric too.)
The last row was maybe like 20 mins (or less -- I never looked at the clock.)
But this touch is so, so great. It’s been making my day, every day since I did it.
Ta da! I’m really in love with it. I think it’s adorable. I think it looks kind of historically accurate. (But I have no idea.) And the best part is I can see our special dishes.
The glass doors still kind of give a glare, and hide things somewhat.
So you can see things better, here’s with the door open.
The maroon and white tea cups are Blake’s Grandmothers.
And the tea pot and white dishes are from our wedding.
I bought some cute readers digest books at the thrift store to give them some height inside the case.
It’s a fun touch that really makes sense --before they looked really silly in there and hidden by much of the door frame.
Most of the glass wear at the bottom is stuff I’ve thrifted all the the purpose of placing flowers from our yard in the spring.
A fun fact of this china cabinet (handed down to me by my uncle) is there is a light in it! I just figured out a place to plug it it. And I can’t get enough of lighting the display. It makes everything show up so pretty. (The iphone isn’t very good at capturing it right.)
It feels like a museum!
So there you have it.
And in 4 days we will be using these, very special, no longer invisible plates, for our Christmas dinner.