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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Changing of the Guard - Rainbarrels - and the Cutest Little Barn

Last night we hit the local Kohl's store while getting some birthday presents for the grand kids.  While there,  I suggested we just "look" at what kettles might be on sale?

In December, we did buy a pretty set of ceramic lined copper colored kettles for Christmas as a present for each other. But they are thinner aluminum metal and the bottoms flex when heated.  Not bad if you have a gas stove with iron rack type burners.  But on our smooth glass top stove they dome upwards and spin around on a center bump when you try to stir.  Also they do not make full contact with the glass top then, and don't heat evenly.

We need some flatter thicker kettles with ceramic coating.  We are trying to get away from teflon or silverstone linings.

Mind you, I am not a shopper person. I don't hang out in malls or pass time browsing the sales catalogs or website shopping deals.  Soooo if I happen to see something at a good price at a store, I will check it out quick online on my phone and maybe decide to buy it.

Which is what we did!  LOL

We found some nice ceramic lined Cuisinart kettles that had all the sizes we wanted.  They have thicker metal sides and bottoms that lay flat for glass top stoves like ours,  or even for using on induction stoves in case we update at a later time down the road.

This set has a taller stock pot instead of the dutch oven. A deeper fry/saute pan with a lid.  Larger saucepans of 1.5 and 2.5 qt instead of 1 and 2.  10 pcs set means ten actual pieces of kettles, fry pans and lids..... and not extra flippers or spoons called "pieces"... haha   What was really nice is that all the lids fit on the fry pans too so it was more versatile.

Okay, I liked them.  But now the price.  They originally were $299.00 on sale for $229.00, (everything at Kohl's always seems to be on sale)  then another $100 off weekend sale brought them down to $129.00.  Next, my handy dandy cellphone coupon got us another 20% off so that brought them down to $103.00.  

Although I didn't go shopping for kettles, we came home with them.  LOL  This morning Mr. Steveio Chef Man washed them all up and cooked us breakfast !!!  They met his approval and do not flex or dome, they heat evenly and nothing sticks. Winner!

I moved the other coppper colored ones out to the motorhome.  
They are so pretty and I like them a lot,
and they will cook just fine
even if they do flex a bit
on the cast iron grid of the propane stove. 

After breakfast, I started on my next project.  I have a few folks who want rainbarrels made up for them after seeing the ones I made for the Critter Sitters Dog Grooming and Daycare  and the other for the Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue auction in June.

We got ahold of two food grade quality barrels last week. 

Steve cut the tops off and I started to clean them up today. 
A good scrubbing with degreaser and a stiff brush.
The labels have to come off too. 

This product is the BEST stuff for removing stickers. It's called UnDu.  Works so much better than acetone, Goo Gone or lighter fluid etc. We used to use it at the hardware store to remove price tags. It doesn't damage the surface underneath like other harsher chemicals do, but the sticky stuff comes right off with ease. 

Once the barrels were cleaned up (and I broke the garden hose sprayer nozzle today too)  I was able to start painting.  This customer wanted something prettier and lacier designs like my own barrels instead of the dog bones and puppy paws.  These colors will match her house.

Then it's Steve's part to do the next task... he uses a hole saw and drills out a hole up high enough to fit a watering can under, but low enough to get most of the water from the barrel.   I recommend putting the barrels up on a couple cement blocks, or a stand, to hold the barrel up higher to the downspout, This will get clearance for filling watering cans underneath the spigot.

We buy the next two parts at the local hardware store. 
A plastic spigot type faucet so it don't get rusty or corrode.
Then a three part grommet set with a rubber gasket to 
attach both inside and outside of the barrel. 
We screw the spigot to the grommet with a round or two of plumbers tape.

If one wishes, they can add a top pipe elbow and fitting and hunk of garden hose to channel overflow water away from the barrel.  One of my barrels has one of these, but I really don't see a need for it, because I use up so much of the water it rarely gets to the top.  I don't even have one on my other barrel.  I do see in the this pic my water is getting a bit green.  Just a little dollop of chlorine bleach takes care of that.

I am waiting for the other lady to let me know what colors she wants painted on hers... and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow.  My price is $50 and they sure look better than a big old blue barrel in the yard.

On edit:   Mary Jane asked for multicolored bones and puppy paws for her barrel. here they are all finished last night.  Tonight Steve will drill the holes to put in the rubber washer, grommet and tap the spigot.

Now my friend Lisa said she has located another 
TEN barrels for me to paint!  Whee heeee!!!!

This evening we took a ride out to an elderly gentleman's farm.  He was selling some table saw parts on Craigslist that Steve wanted to look at.   So while they were jaw jacking in his neat as a pin shop.... I was admiring this wonderful barn! 

Look at these glass block windows... 
just shining and gleaming in the evening light.

These dormer windows are so unique! 

The shape and patterning of the shingles is like none I have ever seen! 

 The rest of his yard and gardens were neat as a pin. 
PS he is also selling the donkey and little mexican boy statues

He chatted with us about apples (he sells at the farmer's markets) 
and his barn, which was built when he was only 16 years old. 
What a beautiful piece of Wisconsin Heritage,
 built back in the day of craftsmanship 
and pride of a job well done. 


  1. I still prefer gas stoves for cooking. With gas, it is immediately hot when turned on and when turned off it is off, there are no coils to take time to cool down. Yes, I know, with gas, the grating is still hot.

  2. Fun barrels! Wouldn't have done us any good in California. It doesn't rain in summer so nothing to catch for watering.

  3. What a beautiful barn. I thought you were talking about a tea kettle until I saw you were talking about pots and pans. I never heard that term before. I learned something new today.


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