Monday, January 31, 2011

Farmdog Lizzy

I've been needing a Lizzy fix and thought you might, too.  There is nothing better than a good farm dog, right?


Lizzy is still young but so far she's adjusting to winter on the farm.

She likes to spend time digging, digging, digging.......her face buried in the snow.

 I just love her little muzzle hairs when they are sparkling in frosty ice crystals.

So, what exactly is she digging for? Well...... what is it that farmboys detest the most on their farms?

Yep, you guessed it. Mice. See how proud she is of her catch? She brought it to us while we were sledding.

I certainly thought all this extra farm work had her worthy of the pink "Snuggie for Dogs" I saw on sale at the drugstore. Farmboy? Not so much.

So, no Snuggie for now. Regardless, I'm sending lots of hugs and kisses Lizzy's way.

Well, maybe not the kisses.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Transformation

This has been one of my best transformations in a while! I found this tray a couple weeks ago at a thrift shop. I have no idea what it is. It's heavy, appears to be real wood or at least composite. It has a felt backing, no tags, no bracket for hanging, and two handles on the sides. Was it a wall hanging at some point? Homemade? Is it old? Or new made to look old?

The only thing I knew was that it was interesting to me. And obviously abandoned, due to a pretty awful permanent pink stain that ruined the picture of roses on the tray. The black paint you see below is actually my first edge of chalkboard paint, I forgot to take a photo before I started.

However, I saw potential to do something with it. I decided that a little chalkboard paint could turn this into a fun tray.

I loved how it turned out!

The handles add a lot of character and the beaten up glazed beige-toned wood is vintage looking.

Of course, I have done some debating on whether this tray will be mine, or go to the shop. I am thinking I will enjoy it for a week, then it will go to the shop the first weekend in February.

Unless I start tearing up as I walk it out the door. In that case, it will stay.

Here is how I am using it for now. I have been wanting to buy some bunches of tulips but haven't my faux yellow tulips worked in a pinch.

I used my new milk bottle which I also got at a thrift shop for 1.99. I've seen these from $10-20 at antique shops recently so this seemed to be a deal!

I am not sure it is old though, as this dairy in California actually still uses the glass bottles. How cool is that? And the reviews I read of this dairy claim it is a pretty amazing milk product!!

What I love about this fun little biz we're in is taking something damaged or unwanted and giving it a new and beautiful purpose! It takes a while to get in the mind frame to walk into a room of junk and see the potential in items, but once you really open yourself to it (and peruse a lot of blogs and antique shows and flea markets for inspiration) you'll find it becomes easier to have an instant vision and do it yourself!

p.s. I wrote "spring is knockin" on my tray. After all, there are small signs of spring starting to pop up around here. A bit scary, as it is only January! They've been sayin' this was going to be the harshest winter we've had in a while.....old man winter has yet to live up to that claim. Mark my words- I don't believe winter is done with us yet! To those poor little bulbs which have sprouted four inches out of the soil in my yard....I'm so sorry!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Treasures Under $3!!

Do you have a Michael's Craft store near you? I went there last Sunday looking for invitations. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I did find a section of inexpensive fun kitchen and stationary goodies. I walked out spending $10 on these treasures~

I don't have a recipe box to hold and organize all the recipes I print or tear out of magazines. I would love to find a vintage metal one at some point, but this colorful cute plaid and strawberry cardboard box ($3) will do for now.

Look at the darling strawberry dividers~

Of course, I needed a few recipe cards ($1)~

I couldn't pass up the rooster timer. I don't even have a kitchen timer, I use the timer on my Blackberry!

These utensils were actually  labeled "cooking with mom."

However, since I practically have child-size hands, they were perfect for me. And I've been wanting a smaller sized wisk ($2) and spatula (2/$2) to use for special baking projects.

I don't mean to sound like a Michael's promoter, but I do like thrifty fun finds and thought I'd share them with you all! Michael's also has two "celebrity" lines of similar items. Check them out here~

Kitchen Goodies~
Paula Dean Fun Finds

Stationary goodies~

Now, is it just me or does this week feel like it's just p-o-k-i-n' along after last week's 4-day work week?? I hope yours is going well!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Fire Bucket

First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for commenting on my post about the evolution of your home decor styles. It was so fun to read what you had to share! I could go on and on and on about this topic, as is my nature to over analyze things. For example, my completely random thought of late is~ what if one day Rachel Ashwell decided she was tired of roses? Just wonderin'.

Okay, now I want to show you a new treasure that I got at an antique mall a few weekends ago. The tag said "old fire bucket- $15." I had no idea what a fire bucket was, but I loved it's red chippy patina and the letter "B" on it.

Sorry about the slightly blurry image of the pail. I got a good focus on the wood, though!

I did some research online about fire buckets. If you have more information to share, please do! What I gathered is that fire buckets were actually used for putting out fires. Earlier buckets were made of leather, often rounded at the bottom (so that they could be hung for quick retrieval.) Later years, they were used as a safety precaution in kitchens. The galvanized pails were painted red with the word "FIRE" on the side, filled with sand, and were nearby for tossing onto oil fires. I do not know why this one has a "B" on it? Perhaps it was added later or was a family name?

Here are a few links to other fire buckets I found online~

For now, my fire bucket will hold scraps of wood for my fireplace and future sign projects (I'm getting low on wood!)

I even think I could put a plant inside, use it as a Christmas tree holder....the possibilities are endless!

I have a lot more goodies to share with you this week! I've been discovering soooooo many fabulous new blogs (to me) this past week! Thank you all for your inspiration, and thanks for stopping by our little blog here! It makes our day!!

Happy Monday!


Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Booth Makeover...AGAIN!!!

Hi everyone! It's Tara again, posting on the latest booth shuffle. You know how it goes, a few weeks go by and you start getting that itch to shake things up and move things around. So what's a girl to do but go for it!

It only took 4 1/2 hours to accomplish. Which I am discovering is about the length it takes me when I do a complete makeover. This is the third one in 2 months. But one was pre~Christmas and one was post~Christmas so I don't think I'm getting compulsive about it or anything. Yet. Right?

I added a few touches of red to tie in with Valentine's Day coming up. I am with Michelle and want to add some color back into our space after all the winter whites and greens and grays. I just brought the chalkboard door back into the space. We got this when we first opened our booth and welcomed our customers comments on it. It wasn't for sale at the time. I just added a fresh coat of light aqua paint to it and it's now for sale.

If you come and shop you get FREE candy!

Another view. I think this corner turned out rather cozy. I also added a few clothing items. You can see some sweaters and blouses in the dresser and there are a couple of dresses hanging about along with a coat Michelle brought, tucked in the nook.

Nana's handmade items, she just added two quilts you see on the bottom left. The whole family got quilts like this for Christmas about 10 years ago. They're perfect to curl up for a nap or watch TV with. Mine is looking pretty ratty and has a few tears. I may be needing a new one soon. Hint hint Nana.

The Paris France trunk was previously in the space too. It was once a beautiful combo of green and orange. I wasn't having any takers so it got a major overhaul and hopefully it will find a new home now, along with the birdcage that got a coat of  bronze~black paint. It was previously brass. Trust me when I tell you it looks much better.

I think I have satisfied my urge to shuffle. 
For now!
Hope you enjoyed the tour and have a terrific weekend!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Evolution of Inspiration

Inspiration comes from many places. Blogs and design shows. Retail stores and catalogs. Homes of our friends and family. Flea markets and antique shops. Books and magazines. Those of "us" like-minded design and home decor nuts are bombarded with messages, ideas, and photos of amazing homes and creative decor. It can literally be overwhelming at times to decide what we want to do with and invest in for our homes. Do I keep the walls white or dark red? Should all my throw pillows be burlap? Does every bit of paint in the house really need to be chipping off? Should I combine silver and gold? What if in a year am I going to want to totally change everything in my home?

Right now, this quilt embodies inspiration for me. The colorful and torn patchwork vintage fabric, the soft flannel lining, the sightly weathered white cotton on the outside.   It speaks to me, it says farmhouse and cozy cottage and baked goods and puppies lying by the wood stove.

My style, my interest in this home decor world- it has evolved over time. Twelve years ago I was into Shabby Chic, lots of pink frills, and flowers. Ten years ago I was into the modern, classic, posh New York loft look. Six years ago it was french country (a friend got married at a farm that was authentically 'french country' and set me off on a kick.)

Some of my Nana's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes.

Interestingly, no matter how eclectic I've been over the years, I always, always go back to the antique, to the vintage. It is at the heart of my soul, inspired and nurtured by family members when I was a kid who also appreciated the nostalgia and memories of "old things."

I love my home to reflect a style that is meaningful, livable, and personal. I am a sentimental person and I have a hard time letting go of things (oh yes, I still have many greeting cards from my early childhood.) I want things to be purposeful, even if that purpose is to simply look cute and make me smile. To help me feel at home. From here, I can start building a collection that I can cherish and pass on to the next generation.

How has your design style evolved and what inspires you?


Monday, January 17, 2011

Thrift Til You Drop

My recent shopping trips for our All That Jazz vendor space aren't going so well. I keep finding treasures for myself. Oops. Do any of you thrifty junkin' shoppers find that to be a bit of  a problem?

Last week I hit a few thrift shops and found some great finds~

I have needed a dish rack for a long, long time. This metal one had a handle that slides out so that it hangs over one side of my double sink. It is perfect for me as I have limited counter space!

Old books for stacking. One is a book of Shakespeare poetry.

Sonnet XII~

I have no idea what it is about, but the language of old William is quite lovely and eloquent, don't you think?

I snagged up the rustic red metal plate, it will go to the shop.

Those green plates, however, are staying with me!

This old Spaniel will be sold in the shop as well. He is so cute, a bit sad and chipped yet perfectly vintage!
I love old aprons and that red gingham one was right up my alley! I passed on it's blue partner which I might have to go back and get.....I imagine it's gone. Don't you hate it when you pass on something that calls to you later? My number one junkin' and thrifting tip: pick up anything that remotely calls to you, even if you aren't sure. Put it in your cart as you shop. If you don't, more often than not it won't be there when you decide later that you can't live without it!

I have a few more weeks to do some shopping for Jazz before we do a bit of the "blahs-of-winter" sprucing and fluffing of our space. I am excited to help Tara do a make-over, maybe with a few hints of spring color. It's about the time of year we start feeling the winter doldrums and need a bit of color and cheer in our lives!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and found a few thrifty treasures of your own!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Potty Talk

While playing with indoor lighting and a lens on my camera the other day, I used my bathroom as my photography playground. I did not get a shot of the whole bathroom, it is tiny with a funky 1960's retro style vanity, mismatched white paint on the walls, and peachy-pink shower tile~ you aren't missing much. But when I downloaded the photos I realized that despite the hodge-podge design of the bathroom itself, there were some cute simple touches that I've added.

I have a small white nightstand in the bathroom to hold overflow. Lots and lots of white towels, hair products, and a numbered zinc can filled with cotton balls.

I use a wire basket underneath to store rolls of TP.

This nightstand is old and chippy and I've had it since I was a little girl! I love the scroll detail.

On top of the nightstand I keep a box of Kleenex, a candle-holder-turned-make-up brush storage, and a blue vintage clock.

I have to wind the clock for it to keep time and honestly, I've given up!

This bathroom doesn't have a toilet paper holder installed on the wall, so I just use a planter pail on the back of the toilet. I recently switched to this chicken wire pail, which had been for sale in the shop for months but didn't sell. I brought it home and found the perfect place for it!

I recently acquired this sign at a thrift shop. I adore it's vintage appeal and it reminds me of the ice skating I did over Christmas. Oh, and the blue color ties in nicely with the clock!

I have a jewelry obsession (we'll have to chat about that another time....) and as I have shown in the past, I hang necklaces on a shabby metal candelabra on the wall next to the mirror.

I don't have a lot of storage in the bathroom, so I hang a straw tote bag to house my curling and flat irons.

As I'm a renter, I don't have a lot of options for re-designing the layout or painting my bathroom. However, that doesn't mean I can't add interesting details that make it practical, peaceful, and personal!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Joy of Wanting to Be A Cook

My whole life, I have been a cook-wannabe.

When I was ten I cut out advertisement recipes from my mom's Woman's Day and Family Circle magazines. I would glue them onto construction paper, creating a "recipe book" as her Christmas gift.

I love photo cookbooks. The photos are alluring and inspire me. I page through my cookbooks and Post-It the pages of recipes I want to try. Last year I was inspired by The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I have recently been inspired by The Farm Chicks in The Kitchen.

But the truth is, I really only cook when I try something wonderful that someone else has made. Then I am obsessive about getting the recipe from them and trying it myself! I am not bad in the kitchen. I have a lot to learn. I get by.

Whereas being a good cook is a pipe-dream for me, I do love to bake, and can bake fairly well. My baking is something I share with others which makes it more enjoyable.

 This is one of my recent favorite snacks. It requires no baking or cooking! So really, it's quite perfect for me. Farmboy's mom introduced me to this over Christmas.

Buy a small pack of smoked salmon from your grocery store's seafood department. Put it in a pretty bowl (everything tastes better from a pretty bowl, right?) Then make it like you would tuna fish. I add pepper, basil, and mayo. Mix it up well. Use a pretty spreading knife and eat it on your favorite cracker (I use Keebler Multi-grain Club crackers.) Yum!

Now, about all that snow I've been watching and waiting for??

Let it snow, let it snow!

Well, it is still not here. I have been checking out my window religiously. And by the time it gets here I'll be asleep, and when I wake up they say it will be raining. I was looking forward to a cozy day at home tomorrow, working on Jazz projects, watching movies, going for a walk in the snow, then coming inside and "making" soup~

~you know, opening the can of Campbell's can of split pea and ham.....breaking up the Saltine's on top....

Happy "cooking" everyone!