Collecting Vintage Silver Serving Pieces

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Collecting Silver

Collecting & Displaying vintage silver


Among the other things I seriously collect {ironstone, white and pink milk glass, blue and white dishes}, I've also been picking up pretty vintage silver pieces when I see them at thrift stores. I use some in displays and I like to use the trays to corral a group of objects...like candles, or glass jars full of shells in the summer, that kind of thing. The rest of it gets tucked away into one of my hutches.

Uses for vintage silver trays

I recently pulled it all out to polish and...oh my goodness, I had no idea how much silver I have actually accumulated!

I think I might be in the running for an episode of Hoarders if I keep it up... some call it collecting... buuuuut I may have crossed that line, if you know what I mean :) When you don't actually know how much you have of a certain thing and keep buying it...is that called 'hoarding'??...I know that's what Mr. Diy would call it!

Uses for vintage silver trays

It might actually be time to let some of these beauties go because in all honesty, I don't really have the room for them. And I like to use what I have and enjoy it {not forget that I have it in the first place!!}. I mean, how many vintage silver trays can I use at one time anyway?

I used to love tarnished silver, but lately mine had taken on more of a black and blue... with maybe a tinge of purple.. hue. It was time to clean it...but I don't own a silver polish cloth.

Uses for vintage silver trays

When I read about Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles easily polishing her silver pieces with Bar Keepers Friend, I decided to give it a shot. It worked like a charm! I wet a sponge, tapped some BKF on the soft side of the sponge and rubbed away. My sponge was black by the time I was done.. and so were my fingernails.. Wear gloves if you're going to do this! And be aware that BKF states on the back that it is not meant to be used for this purpose...so please don't use it on any pieces that hold special sentimental value to you!

Displaying vintage silver

I didn't polish my silver pieces to perfection, I left a little bit of tarnish around the edges and in the grooves. But they look so much better!! See the difference below...the rectangular server has been polished; while the round one has not...see all the spots on it.

Cleaning vintage silver

I'm not sure if I'll list all this beautiful vintage silver on Ebay, open a blog store or take them to a craft show I'll be doing in May. I'll probably start with the craft show and see how that goes. It's going to be very difficult to decide which ones to keep, sigh.

Collecting vintage silver

I'm especially drawn to footed pieces, handled pieces and anything ornate. It is just so pretty and I love to imagine how it might have been used a few decades earlier...very Downton Abbey...except I don't have a butler, boo!

Collecting vintage silver

Are you like me? Do you have things tucked away that you've completely forgotten about, yet you tend to continue to buy the same thing when you find a great deal??

Yikes...please tell me I'm not alone in this! C'mon gals, confession is good for the soul. Let's come clean together!


bringing beauty to the ordinary,



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A New Look

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A New Blog Header

New Blog Header

So you may have noticed Diy beautify has a new look. For now. I created this header last night and I'm not sure I love it, but I like it better than my last one. I have more to learn :) Here's one I made first but it was just eh...

sample blog header

And another one I was playing around with...

sample blog header

I like the scrapbook elements, but it's not really me. I love the black polka dot label with the bright turquoise and white lettering on it, that's me! So that's what I tried to recreate.

Why did I feel the need for a change? Well, my last header was alright, but it was huge! I've been learning so much about the 'techie' side of blogging in the last 6 months that I haven't had time to focus on my header. When I made it, I really liked it then, but it's too big, the colors are too harsh and I was ready for a change.

I know my header says a lot about me, my 'brand' and I guess that's where I'm getting tripped up. I want something that's visually appealing and says 'me' but don't know if I should go with more of a vintage, cottage theme or a fun, colorful, eclectic look. My style is such a mish-mash.

I have noticed that a lot of blogs are really streamlining their look...not a lot of clutter, very simple headers, a lot of white. It looks classy and professional, but I like something a little more fun.

Hmm, any suggestions out there???

For those who have been reading my blog for awhile, what style do you think would fit it best??

I really value hearing from you, my readers! If you think the new header is a bad fit, please let me know. If you love it and think it's the right theme I should be aiming for, please let me know! Sometimes it helps to have a non objective third party who's not living with this thing every day!

Alright, can't wait to get some feedback!

bringing beauty to the ordinary,



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Work it Wednesday at The Turquoise Home

Grey Hutch Reveal and Tips for Finding a Hutch on Craigslist

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Grey Hutch Reveal


Is it grey or gray? I've always written it "gray", but I think "grey" is more in vogue at the moment :) Both are correct, as far as I know.

If you've followed my blog for awhile, you'll remember that back in the fall, I gave you a little sneak peek of my three hutches that I bought {2 off Craigslist}. I've shown you more details of my thrifty black hutch and my $40 white hutch, a true labor of love....it's time to reveal the GREY hutch to you...and the little story that accompanies it's purchase.

This hutch was not found on Craigslist for super-duper cheap. I was looking for furniture for my Shabby Scrapbook/Craft Room that I was putting together and happened upon this old hutch in a consignment shop in Florida. It wasn't for sale. They were actually using it behind the counter to store supplies. But I fell in love with it and convinced them to sell it to me! It wasn't really a steal...I think I paid $160 for it...maybe $170? (this was at least 6 years ago..sorry but my brain is fuzzy..) It was missing the big glass piece from the door, it had a drippy white paint job, the shelves inside were loose ...but I bought it anyway.

using a hutch in the master bedroom

My friend and I {well, mostly my friend 'cause I'm wimpy} dragged it outside to my Tahoe and cooperatively singlehandedly lifted it and stuck it into the back {it's great having strong friends!!} I was a big help because I figured out how to work the jiggy mechanism to get all the seats to lay flat, so I was pretty proud of myself...didn't even work up a sweat :D

Once home, I didn't do anything to it. It went into my pretty, shabby chic craft room {which I will have to show you pictures of some day}, and I stored craft supplies inside of it.

The one thing that really stumped me was that big, open space. The door was just an open frame. Mr. Diy and I tossed around some ideas but weren't sure how sound the structure was and if it could really take any hammering. So I laid a piece of lace over the top and didn't think much more about it.

Grey Painted Hutch

After our move to TN, when I no longer had a craft room, I was using this piece in our living room. I decided to add some chicken wire to the open space in the door, using a staple gun to attach it. The color didn't look great against our vanilla walls, so I mixed up some custom chalk paint from samples of greiges I had been collecting from Sherwin Williams. 

Two-toned painted hutch using a lighter color on panels

I can't tell you what exactly went into it...a little of this and a little of that...

I just mixed until I liked the resulting color. The raised pieces on the front got a coat of creamy white for contrast. Once everything was distressed to my liking, I waxed with dark wax which really brought out some beautiful depth.

The grey hutch has since moved to the Master bedroom. I added the lace panel back (stapled) so that my clothes are hidden from view.  I don't know if it will stay here forever...it's such a great color that would really work in any room {I so wish it fit in my bathroom...it would be a great cabinet to store towels!!}

distressing and the addition of dark wax adds depth to an antique hutch

I LOVE the legs on this piece!

Lovely legs on an antique hutch





My blog friend Ashley, of 3 Little Greenwoods, was kind enough to feature my white hutch on a post about searching for a hutch on Craigslist.

Because I've been successful in this area, I decided to share my top five tips for looking for a hutch on CL:

1. Scour CL daily (morning, noon, night) - you never know when someone will list the exact thing you are looking for!

2. Expand your search area - both of my "cheapie" hutches were found in areas that were a 45 min to 1 hour drive (one way) away from me! In order to save some money, I had to spend some gas $ (totally worth it to me)

3. Experiment with different 'keywords' - you might be searching for a 'hutch' but the person listing it calls it a 'cabinet' or 'cupboard'...get creative in your searching and you just might find what you are looking for much quicker. If you are looking for a certain style, try just entering that in the search field (ie: 'french' or 'mid-century') in the furniture category

4. Be patient - I searched for months before finding just what I was looking for. Don't give up...eventually it will be listed and if you move on it immediately, you have the best chance of getting it.

5. Respond immediately - once you see something you like (providing it's within your price range), JUMP on it. If there's a phone number listed, call and ask to see it; if not, email right away. Always remember safety first when you go to view CL pieces!! Take someone with you!! And remember that a little haggling is definitely okay, but be prepared to pay full price if you really want it.

GOOD LUCK to all those looking for a hutch on Craigslist...I hope you find exactly what you are looking for! If any of my tips helped you, I would love it if you'd let me know!

I hope my grey hutch has inspired you today :)


bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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How to Paint a Graphic with a Sharpie

Saturday, February 22, 2014

We are a bacon-lovin family! Not turkey bacon...the real stuff! And every bacon-loving family needs a tray like this, with a vintage pig graphic that is 'painted on' using a Sharpie!

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

My m-i-l is the Queen of theme gifts. As my boys have gotten older and harder to buy for, she looks for themes to make it a little easier (ie: favorite sports team, favorite color...favorite food). This is where bacon comes in.

My middle son has been receiving bacon gifts for the last couple of years...wild and unusual bacon gifts...bacon popcorn, bacon gum, a bacon-shaped pillow, bacon band-aids, bacon-flavored toothpaste...well, you get the idea!!

What does that have to do with today's post? Nothing really :) Except that when I was searching for a graphic to use on my tray and saw this pig, I knew it would be perfect in my kitchen! And my boys might even appreciate it!

This post may contain affiliate links. Find my complete disclosure policy here.

I recently posted my chalk-painted silver trays. In that post, I showed you how easy it is to antique inexpensive trays with chalk paint and furniture wax.

During a run to the thrift store this week, I came across another silver-plated tray, this one large, rectangular and heavy.

I painted the tray a custom blue, attempting to match my blue and white dishes...but I wasn't thrilled with the results. So I dry-brushed some white chalk paint on. The color was much softer and more distressed looking, but it still looked too plain.

A graphic is what it needed. And this is where the pig came in. I found the pig graphic over at The Graphics Fairy.

The full size PDF was too large for my purposes so I resized it to fit a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper and printed it out.

HOW TO PAINT A GRAPHIC USING A SHARPIE

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

STEP 1:
Print graphic onto regular copy paper and make sure it fits your tray

STEP 2:
Rub the back of the graphic with pencil or dark chalk

STEP 3:
Use frog tape to secure image to tray. It's gentle on painted surfaces

STEP 4:
Trace over the printed image with a pen or sharp pencil to transfer it to the tray 

STEP 5:
Now use a black Sharpie to repeat this step, directly on the tray

The words were the most difficult part of the graphic because I had to be more precise with them, but, having done this technique with a paintbrush as well, I have to say that the Sharpie is definitely easier. And here is my painted tray, all finished.

PIN it for future reference!

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

The vintage graphic adds a farmhouse feel to my painted tray. The blue tray with white brush strokes now looks a little like an old, chippy tray that's been around for years, and is well-used!

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

I'm not sure yet if I'll antique it with dark wax or not. I'm going to live with it as it is for now and decide later.

UPDATE: as I'm using this tray for decor purposes only, I have not applied any wax to it.

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

Mmmm,and now I'm craving bacon!

WOW, get the look of a painted graphic with a Sharpie! My step by step tutorial will show you how. You'll find it at diy beautify!

I'd love to know if you try this project and what you think about using a Sharpie to 'paint' a graphic.


bringing beauty to the ordinary,


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