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.