Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Holy Polar Vortex Batman!!

This view of our beautiful lawn has been under a thick blanket of white this winter.  The "Polar Vortex" was certainly a reality here at the Griffin Farm!!  Power outages, slick roads and very hungry coyotes that kept us on our toes, were just some of the issues we have been dealing with since last October!
In September of 2013, The French Hen Vintage and Collectibles re-opened in two locations in Rockville, IN.  This is a picture of my booth at Rockville's newest antique mall - Antiques on York.  My other booth is in my dream location - booth #4 at Aunt Patty's Antiques on the Rockville Town Square.  I have enjoyed everything about my vintage and collectibles business -- not the least of which is "pickin" for my sweet booths!!

In December, the Hen headed back to Florida - leaving the Rooster, Griff and Biscuit at the farm as the cold weather and snow continued.  It was a wonderful couple of weeks there, but I cut it short - missing home too much!!

During my Florida mini-vacation, my best friend Kathy and I went to St. Augustine for some shopping and lunch.  I met this sweet dog and his owner on one of the side streets.  Isn't he the cutest??

Last year and the beginning of this year, projects slowed for me - but I did manage to complete this lovely piece!  The window serves as a "frame" for some 1880 pages from a vintage book I got in 2013.  Amazing detail.

One highlight of 2013 was a visit to Rockville by Liz - also know as Junktion Alley, from Texas.  Liz is a powerhouse on Facebook (now over 115,000 fans and climbing as you read this) with upbeat and inspirational posts we all look forward to every day.  She has really guided me in my own Facebook journey, and helped me "grow" my own page.  Love her!!  We spent the day visiting my booths in Rockville, and then took a turn around the country, letting her see the covered bridges of Parke County.

Sweet Liz gave us these beautiful pumpkins, gourds and mums, which added such a festive fall touch to our yard.  Loved it!!

Buttons & Bows enjoyed her time with all of the sweet Rockville Kids.  Birthday parties, the annual REMC county meeting and the Grand Opening of the Rockville Sweet Shop (pictured here) were just a few of the fun times last year.  The annual "Cruise In" on our Historic Courthouse Square was also a huge success!!  Our MainStreet businesses make every season fun for the town and visitors alike.  So glad to be a part of this positive group of folks!!

No review would be complete without showing a couple of pictures of our farm, and the back gardens punctuated by lovely bushes, plantings and paths.  My husband is a true artist!!!

Our dog - Griff - pictured here relaxing with one of his favorite magazines (ha ha...I think he ended up eating it page by page).

We love the slow, easy pace of our life in Parke County!  So happy we both found the life we were looking for - together.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Refreshed, Centered and Ready for Spring

Missi and Dave
I just returned from a wonderful month in Florida.  I got to spend two weeks with my sister Missi and brother-in-law, Dave at their home in Vero Beach.  It was the longest visit we have had since the 1990's!!  Loved it all.

Me with Kathy
My best friend Kathy and her husband, Dan, hosted me for 10 days at the gorgeous Florida home in Deland.  What fun we had.  She took me to see Wicked in Orlando, and a great Stevie Nicks concert in Deland.  We laughed, cried, shared memories and SHOPPED, SHOPPED, SHOPPED!!!!

Vicki and I
My sister arranged a surprise visit with my best friend from the 1960's - Vicki.  Missi and I met her at Bok Tower in central Florida, and had a terrific lunch and toured this beautiful location together.  What fun it was!

Old window with map of France
Back to the SHOPPING....I spotted this beautiful inspiration piece in downtown Deland with Kathy.  My vintage booth is "The French Hen", so this idea will be well recieved by all my shoppers in Rockville!

Some of my Florida picks
Here are some of the fabulous picks I did with my sister, Missi.  Take a close look at my sweet finds from various thrift shops, Goodwills and yard sales in Vero and the surrounding cities.  Gosh - - I had no idea my Florida trip would be so productive.  We shopped so much that Missi's back went out.  Ouch!!  I have that effect of lots of my shopping companions.  Sorry, Missi!

I also got some fabulous items at the yearly yard sale at Missi's community building.  Don't you just love these chippy vintage finds?  Gosh - - what a buzz!

Tickets from my sister to Les Miserables!
The morning of my 62nd birthday, Missi had this sitting in the kitchen for me when I got up at my usual 5am to get my coffee.  Yep - those are tickets she bought for me to see Les Mis with her in Vero Beach.  It was a fabulous production, with the best Jean Valjean performance I've ever seen (and I've seen it in Indianapolis, Washington DC and London!!!)

We also went to the Magestic Theater and saw an amazing movie - - "Silver Linings Playbook."  If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.  One of the best movies I've seen in years.  If you're heart isn't thumping out of your chest in the last 10 minutes of this movie, then you're not alive.  Grab a girlfriend or your guy and go.  You won't regret it!

So here's a picture of me at my last dinner in Florida - at the Lobster Shanty in Vero.  I can truly say that this trip helped me reset my attitude, and sharpened my focus.  My husband was so generous to let me leave cold, snowy Indiana for a wonderful adventure. I'm so lucky to be married to him - - and it was the best birthday present this 62 year old has ever been given!
Thanks Deano!!!

And thanks Florida!!!  Ahh.....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm finally published!!

The story of how Dean and I met is included in this newest addition of Belle Inspiration Magazine.  I still get goosebumps when I share our story, and how his friendship with Aunt Doris led to our marriage.  We are so lucky!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Great weather to start projects..

As we are in the midst of a weather Yo-Yo here in the Hoosier state, I've been steadily pulling project pieces into the house for sanding, painting and embellishing.  I love taking something sad and time-worn, tweaking it - and transforming it into a cherished piece.  Today's treasures:
This table was originally a dull brown and time-worn.  I used a home made chalk paint to brighten it up.  It needed three coats on the top, but it's now ready for paste wax.

I found some fabulous vintage labels last weekend.  I added one to a small lamp after painting it a cream color and topping it with paste wax.  The small box only needed the top painted, and I added a beautiful and colorful label to it as well.  What a sweet treasure to put on a dressing table!  Two lamps I put in my booth sold in just one week, so I'm hoping this one will as well.

My favorite completed project is this vintage "french" milking stool (very, very heavy), that I decided to freshen up with a light wash of new paint.  That looked wonderful, but what puts this piece over the top is a gorgeous water decal that I purchased from Carol at The Polka Dot Closet (!!  This took the stool from nice to FABULOUS!!  Thank you, Carol!!  You'll enjoy her blog, and it's chalk-full (pun intended) of tutorials, too.  She's my inspiration!
On deck for today?  This fabulous group of vintage aprons.  I will hand wash and then iron batches of  10 of them (I bought 60 in all) and put them in the booth with my fingers crossed.  What a find!!
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happiness and the "ahh" factor

At the beginning of this new year, I'm realizing how calm and happy I am at this point in my life.
I know this is what we all aspire to...the "ahh" factor.  Nearing my 61st birthday, I've never been closer to my ideal life!
Here is a picture of my beautiful Aunt Doris before she passed away in 2010.  No one influenced me more in my life than she did.  Her little home was her haven, and she had a true appreciation of antiques and all things collectible.  She also crocheted afgans, and made yarn dolls, too.  She found joy in the simplest of things:  her beautiful roses, her August Lilly's, a freshly mowed yard.  We would visit in her small backyard and talk for hours.  Her memories of her younger years in a small town are conversations I will never forget.

My husband, Dean and I met because of Aunt Doris, a result of his 8 year friendship with her.  He would visit her little back yard with his dog, Jake during their daily "runs", and because of their common interests in sports, gardening and politics, he learned a lot about me from these conversations.  I only met him when I returned to Indianapolis from an 8 year job transfer to Washington DC to take care of Aunt Doris during the last six years of her Alzheimer's.  Dean placed this bench of her's on the side yard of our new country home.  Last fall, he built a beautiful arbor over it, made from chippy, white French Doors we had purchased during one of the annual Covered Bridge Festivals (just 4 miles down the road from our new home).

Dean and Jake
 Dean's vegetable garden last year!
I canned much of what we didn't eat out of our first-ever garden here at the farm.  I hope to be more selective in my harvest this year, and plan on lots more green beans and tomatoes!

This is a view from our back formal garden and woods.  Talk about relaxing!
Our property is bordered in the back by a small creek.  Even a small waterfall!
I finally have my sweet home, complete with a white picket fence!!  I'd call this happiness!!

We lost Jake the spring following Aunt Doris' passing.  Now, our little pup Griff, is learning to navigate our 10 acres.  Even since I took this picture, he has grown tremendously!!  Now if I could just get Griff and our cat Biscuit to become good friends, my mission would be complete!!

Miss Biscuit, with the perfect look-out perch!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Fluffing completed

I spent half a day restaging and "fluffing" my vintage and collectibles booth, The French Hen.  I added some new items, and removed others.  I am very excited about transforming items from plain, discarded pieces, to chippy, shabby and desirable decorative treasures.

I love antique clocks, and Dean and I have been collecting them for years!

I plan on using these vintage labels on different boxes, after shabby-ing them up with chalk paint!

This year, I'm also planning on having a section devoted to linens.  I have 60 vintage half aprons, and I'll enjoying hand washing and ironing each and every one of them. 
I wore one yesterday at the farm when I was making breakfast - and Dean noticed right away. 
Hey - I like Donna Reed!!

Beautifully done, but....

I saw Les Miserables this weekend.  I enjoyed it, but it really can't compare to the experience of seeing it live.  Don't misunderstand:  I enjoyed it very much.  But I will always remember the transformative times I viewed it live, in Indianapolis, Washington DC and London.  I did note, however, that the first Jean Valjean actor portrayed the Bishop in this 2013 version.  I thought that was nice of them to do.