Friday, May 30, 2008

What I Brought Home Yesterday

Yesterday my mom, Joy, and I visited The Antique Gallery/Fleamarket. It was just oozing with all sorts of great prim items that I would have loved to bring home with me. However, I only came home with two. I try to stick with the immediate decorating project at hand (whatever room I'm focused on decorating at the time) when I go shopping.

So.....I did for the first purchase. We've been turning our attention lately to the sunporch and the outdoor landscaping/decor. This little red wagon was perfect for the bench area in our backyard. I'm going shopping today for flowers. I'll share pictures later when I get a chance to work on it and decorate more out there.

Here's my little red wagon:

Okay....for the second purchase, I didn't exactly stick to the decorating task at hand...or did I? I can't really decide where to put this or quite how to use it or what to display on it. I just know that I loved it! It was a little Americana stepladder that was outside on the porch of The Antique Gallery. Those items out there usually go fast, so I snatched it up.

So where would YOU put it...inside or out? I have a place on each side of my piano that needs a special prim touch or I could use it outside. Any ideas on what to put on it? Hmmmm.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Giveaway at Kindra's Blog....3 Guys, a Girl, and a Prim Place

Hey sure and check out Kindra's blogspot! She just opened her new Etsy store! She is selling her own handmade items. She is also giving away two prizes (handmade by her too). Just stop in.....take a look at her Etsy store...and come back to her blog and tell her your favorites and she'll put your name in to the basket for the drawing. I just love her prim block signs! I've got them on my wish list...the bathroom one AND the blessed one! Oh, and the drawing will take place over there on June be sure to stop and visit Kindra before then!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Cozy Glow

When afternoon begins its transition into evening, you will often find me going through the house turning on lamps. I just love the atmosphere created by the soft glow of a lamp. It's cozy, warm, and inviting. It almost gives me the same feeling as the twinkling lights of the tree at Christmas time. I do have to go through the house before bedtime turning off lamps, but it's worth it!

I was just noticing the other evening the variety of lamps that I do have. I guess I have a soft spot for out-of-the-ordinary lamps. Here's a few that I have in the main living areas of our home......the ones I click on every evening.

This one is my pump lamp. It's an old pump made into a lamp by my Uncle Wayne. He and my Aunt Jo gave it to me after years of admiring it at their house. This lamp is on a table beside my couch in the living room.

This one is my crock lamp. It was a clearance purchase from Gordmans. I picked up the lampshade at Primitive Homeplace during her Christmas open house (that was lots of fun)! This lamp sits on my piano.

This "rusty star" lamp got a makeover. It began as a gift for Christmas from my mom (purchased from Fred's). It was pretty as it was...but the lampshade was just too white. I decided to prim it up a little. I soaked tea bags overnight and then dabbed the shade with the teabags several times letting it dry between dabbings. That wasn't dark enough, so I made a pot of coffee, poured it up into a bowl and added cinnamon. I mixed the two together and took a rag and dabbed that mixture on several times (also letting it dry between dabbings). I loved this effect because it gave it a texture from the gritty cinnamon. Not to mention, that it also smelled great for the longest....every time it was turned on! I then added the berries and the star garland on the edges as a border. This lamp sits on a side table made from crates beside one of the recliners in the living room.

This lamp was a purchase from Gordman's too. It's a bobbin lamp. This one was bought as is...I just added the berries at the bottom. It is in the dining room on the sideboard/buffet.

My latest favorite one is on my sunporch. It's a birdhouse lamp. It was an ebay purchase. It says "sunflowers for sale" on the side of it. I love to leave it on when we go out for the evening because it's the room through which we enter the house. It's so cozy and inviting as we walk in!

And....the smallest lamp is also on the sunporch. I found this little house "candle light" at Gordmans and the barn red punched tin shade at Goodwill (with new tags on it). I was determined to make it fit. It was wobbly, but I searched around the house and found an old baby bottle screw-on-lid to make an adapter. Now it fits just right. It was perfect for this little table out on the sunporch.

So.....these are the lamps you'll find glowing on any given night (if I'm at home anyway) just because I love that cozy glow!

Monday, May 26, 2008

In His Sister's Eyes

Today's blog is dedicated to my brother, Richie. I picked today (Memorial Day) for this blog to honor him because he is currently serving our country in Iraq.

Richie is my only sibling. I'm four years older than him, but I love to ask kids, "Who do you think is older?" ....because for some reason, they all think he is older....he actually looks really young!

If you were around him for any length of time, he'd probably share with you some of the things he had to "endure" as my little brother....but don't believe EVERYTHING you hear! He'd probably tell you that I was a little on the bossy side as kids (well he might say alot on the bossy side), that I was and still am...stubborn (that might be true.) He'd probably also say that he wasn't fond of following along behind me in school as Tammy's little brother (with the expectations from teachers). He'd also tell you that I liked to scare him into thinking that I wasn't really his sister...that actually I was an "alien" that took his sister(actually I did do that...and it was kind of fun....mean I know!) And he might tell you that I sent him head first into our TV when we were playing our made up game of "Zip Zop". (That could explain some of his goofiness, I guess).

Here we are as kids:

He was actually a good sport when we were kids. He'd play barbies with me and I'd play army with him. Playing army with him wasn't really a sacrifice on my part though because I loved playing farm and westerns and stuff like that was fine with me. However, he'd be quick to point out that when he did play barbies, he was always "Ken" though!

Richie is really the fun....spontaneous...goof-off....kind of guy. I'm more of a cautious...think-it-through (too much sometimes)...kind of girl. I'm not nearly as fun as he is! I really wish I was more like him in alot of ways! He's just an all around likeable guy! Come to think of it, my son is a whole lot like him. I sometimes slip up and call him Richie. He has that entertaining quality about him!

Richie & I a few years ago:
(This was taken during
our overall phase!)

Now he's all grown up and a husband and dad to three. He is serving our country in Iraq in the Air Force Reserves. I'm very proud of him and I wanted to honor him, as well as the other men and women, that sacrifice time with their families, their convenience and comfort to protect our freedom in a foreign land. So for Richie, Daniel, Brian & BJ, and in memory of Matthew (a close friend of Richie's son who gave his life for our country), I'd like to say thank you. I appreciate you and honor you today.

Richie now serving in Iraq:

And for Richie, from your sis,....I love you. You might be my "little" brother, but you really are a giant in your sister's eyes.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My "Old" Country Cookstove

This is my "old" country cook stove. Actually, it's a replica. I really do cook on it and I don't even have to haul wood in to cook with! It's all electric. It really has been fun and quite a conversation piece with visitors.

This was a splurge to myself when we built our home in late 1989/early 1990. I saw several of these stoves in country magazines at the time and researched the manufacturer. I persuaded my husband that I "needed" one. (He really didn't mind...he liked it too!) We actually bought it before we moved in and it sat in the unfinished house for a bit. The kitchen was planned around it.

These doors on the left house the controls to the stovetop burners and the oven. The oven is a little smaller than most standard ovens, but for the most part, it has been sufficient for our needs. When we have big family dinners, I also use my crockpot and family members usually bring dishes too. However, the manufacturer, House of Webster, did have the option of a separate "extra" iron wall oven that could be purchased if you so desired.

These top compartments are just for storage. I've used these to store dangerous items such as sharp knives away from my kids when they were small. It was made to look like the old bread warmers on the real woodburning stoves. The built-on coffee grinder on top is actually a timer.

This is my latest prim decor addition to the stove. I picked up this old muffin tin at an Antique/Fleamarket Gallery a couple of weeks ago and spruced it up a bit with candles, rosehip, and homespun.

The stove is one of my favorite features in our home. If I ever move, I think I'm just going to have to take it along with us!

Have a Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Daddy's Ballet Lesson

Last night Joy decided that dad was going to have a ballet lesson. I really don't think he knew what all he was in for when he agreed! She took him out on the sunporch for his lesson. I could hear her quizzing him and could see all sorts of positions going on out there! I wasn't allowed to do very much watching because I was to be the audience for what all he learned!

So today's blog is dedicated to Joy and Dad's Ballet Recital. When she came to the doorway of the living room, she announced him as having attended Joy's Daddy Ballet School. I tried to capture photos of the different positions that he learned. And believe me, she EXPECTED him to remember every move! (I'm taking a stab at spelling these French words, by the way!)

First Position

Second Position

Third Position

Fourth Position

Fifth Position


Batt Ment'

First Arabesque'

Second Arabesque'
"Piero - what?", said Dad.........Pierouette'!

Thank you.....thank you very much!

And a curtsey....

And so dad passed his class with flying colors and mom was thoroughly entertained!

Joy is POSITIVE she wants to have her own ballet school one day now!

A Walk Down a Country Road

Do you ever just take a moment to observe the beauty in nature around you everyday? Sometimes we see them as weeds, pests or down right gross (speaking of some critters here), but I think God wants us to appreciate these little things in nature around us that we see and take for granted.

For ever since my kids can remember, we've been taking walks down the little country gravel road close to our house. We've taken a snack or picnic lunch and sat under a tree down there to read. We've pulled them in a wagon when they were too young to walk it. Sometimes the kids would ride their bike while Jason & I walked. Then sometimes we would just go walking to see what we could see......a nature walk we'd call it.

Yesterday's walk was a nature walk. I always hope (and sometimes pray) that we'll run across something interesting just for learning sake. I've learned though to be careful about praying for those things because God has given us some interesting surprises....surprises mom doesn't care in snakes sunning in the road! Most commonly we find flowers, turtles, frogs, and various insects.

Yesterday as Joy and I walked, I took the camera along for any photo opportunities. We didn't have any critter surprises yesterday.....just wildflowers. We picked some of each and brought them home so she could look them up in a field guide, press them, label them and place in her notebook. Here's a few pics from our walk. There were a couple we couldn't find in the guide book, maybe you can tell us the name of it!


Anyone know what this is?


Anybody know this one?


Sitting at our kitchen table, we also watched a family of rabbits chasing each other around our backyard. They were so cute with their little white tails. I wasn't fast enough with my camera to get a picture. It's ready for them next time though!

Try taking a nature walk with your husband, kids, or even alone and see what awaits you....but take your camera because I want to see too!

Happy walking!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Our Dining Room

I'd like to invite you into our dining room. We recently gave it a little facelift. We repainted and gave it more of a primitive decor.

Remember the sideboard/buffet my husband made? Here it is after I was able to add the prim touches. I was so happy when this piece of furniture went from dream in my mind's eye to reality. I had always wanted something like this in that bay window. Jason built it for me back in March when he had a week off work. We had a little trouble finding the right shade of navy for it. The first one we tried was a bit too bright. We found this one and loved it. I was really proud of him distressing it, because if you remember, he's really not a distressed furniture kind of guy. I think he likes it now that he sees it that way. I catch him every once in awhile walking in there and just looking around. (He just thinks he doesn't like the distressed prim look).

This is the sign made for me by Becca of Folkartfromharbor on ebay. It hangs above the dining room side of the door frame.

I bought the shutters from a vendor out of the Country Sampler magazine about a year ago. They added character to the pass through from the kitchen to the dining room. Jason made the peg board above to coordinate. Then I got to have fun adding all the prim touches!

This corner cabinet used to be a medium to dark stained wood. We just gave it an undercoat of barn red, then the navy topcoat, and distressed it to let the red peek through.

For now, my dining room table arrangement is simply a wooden dough bowl of apples on a table runner. I really would love to locate a larger trencher though.

Here's the hutch. I'm still working on adding primitive touches and accessories as I run across things that I love.

Here's an old sled I rescued from a friend's shed that she was just going to throw away!

My "homespun corner" houses my great grandmother's old ironing board and an old chair.

The chandelier was a birthday gift a few years ago.

Thanks so much for stopping in to visit. I hope to have pictures real soon to share of our newest project we've been working on...our remodeled sunporch.

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Book

I was recently asked to speak at a homeschooling meeting on a panel of homeschooling moms. I was given a questionaire guideline prior to the meeting on the topics I was to address. One of the questions asked, "What single thing about homeschooling do you enjoy the most?" That was easy. I knew my answer. Besides the fact that I just love to spend time with my kids everyday, the thing I enjoy the most is the time I spend reading aloud with them. Before I left for the meeting, I asked my daughter, Joy, that same question. Her answer was "when you read to me." That's Joy in the picture below.

If you're thinking....but my child is older now...he or she can read books for themselves....why should I be reading aloud to're missing the point, and more importantly a real blessing. It's the sharing of a book together that is so special. Grab a snack, get comfortable, snuggle up with your kids and give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed. You'll be making memories that will last a lifetime! To put it plain and simple, reading together as a family is a bonding experience.

Though I suspected it before, I am now convinced that if your children see that you value the written word, it will cultivate a love of reading in them. Reading aloud with your children grows lifetime readers, I believe.

We've always put a great deal of value on books in our home. Since our kids were babies, they've been exposed to books everywhere. We have built a library over the years. We have shelves and baskets all over the house. We've read to them from babies to teenager. When they were preschoolers, we would tell them how exciting it would be when they learned to read and could read anything and read to us! All they've ever known is that reading is fun and they both couldn't wait until they could do so themselves. Teaching them to read to me rated right along beside watching them walk for the first time or hearing their first words! And now, there's usually a book beside their bed and it goes along with them if they have to wait anywhere for any length of the an appointment, etc.

I believe if you can read, you can learn anything. Reading definitely feeds the imagination and opens up worlds of learning and opportunities. In fact, broad reading also equals broad vocabulary and most often, develops a good writer too.

Our 9 year old daughter, Joy, summed it (reading) all up in a poem she wrote one evening (on her own time). She brought it to share with her dad and me. She was 8 at the time. I couldn't have said it any better. I'd love to share it with you.

A Book

When I get a book down from our library upstairs,

I hold the whole world in my hands.

A book is a door.

When you go in, you're enchanted.

A book is like a favored painting,

That draws you to itself and captures you.

A book.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Faux Geraniums

What's a girl to do that loves all the pretty, colorful & cheerful flowers but just doesn't have a green thumb?

Well until now, I just avoided certain flowers because I just knew that if I had the real thing, they'd look good for a bit...then the same old thing would happen....they'd either shrivel, quit blooming or become scraggly. (Ok, I know it could be called neglecting your flowers but I really don't do it on purpose!) Or maybe flowers just know if you enjoy the watering, talking-to- them, pruning-them-process. Maybe I just don't baby them enough. Or maybe it's just that there's so many other things I'd rather be doing at that moment.

It seems to be so windy around here that the flowers dry out so quickly. And yes, I know you should water them in the early morning or the late evening, but there's two problems with that. First of all, I'm not an early rise, remember? Second of all, the mosquitos also love the early morning and late evening! And our mosquitos.....well they can carry you off!

Anyway thanks to some online friends on the Country Sampler forum, I spotted the most realistic looking faux flowers (geraniums actually). I was so excited because they really fooled my eye! I was just sure they were real!

Now, I'm still a fan of the real thing when I can use them in a spot where I know I can realistically keep them alive, but I really love geraniums and I've never had that great of luck with them (same thing for ferns and petunias most of the time). Also these were going to be going on my sunporch that for the time being is not cooled. (We have a unit coming this next week sometime though.......yeah!)

Most of the ladies on the forum had gotten their faux geraniums at JoAnns. If you're lucky enough to have a JoAnns, and aren't blessed with a green thumb (or committed to real ones), you should really check them out!

I don't have a JoAnns near me, so I decided to try out Hobby Lobby - no luck there. Although I don't usually do as well in Michaels, I decided to pop in there real quick and just see. I was very excited to find their flowering bushes (including geraniums) at 50% off. They were regularly $9.99, so I got them for $5.

So...I bought the clay pot, styrofoam, and spanish moss to do my own arrangement (all this added up to another $5). I came home and talked Jason in to brushing some white paint over the clay pot since he was out there painting on the coffee table anyway.

I put it all together and I have to say that I'm I'm actually very happy....with my faux geraniums.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Handy Man

My hubby, Jason, is a pretty handy guy to have around. He's just not an old, worn out, distressed furniture kind of guy, but I have to admit, he's been a good sport about going along with my primitive craze. He's more of a nice crisp, smooth, shiny wood kind of guy. I know it must be hard for him to build a really nice piece of furniture for me and then see it transformed into.....well...."old".

I've wanted a sideboard/buffet for my dining room bay window area for a long time. He kept promising to build me one every time I'd see something similiar to what I was wanting. So....finally this past March, he built my sideboard/buffet! We painted it navy and distressed it. I'm so proud of it. That's it in the first picture.

One thing called for another in the dining room. I had already purchased the shutters about a year ago to frame the pass through window between the kitchen and the dining area. Then Liz, of Brown & Hopkins, suggested a pegboard above the window. Why didn't I think of that? When I suggested it to Jason, he went to work and built this one for me. (In the second picture) I'd love to say I thought of the star cutouts, to repeat the pattern in the shutters, but the truth is....he surprised me with the stars added. The pegboard added even more character to that space.

Jason's newest creations were for my sunporch that we've been remodeling recently. Here's the potting bench/cabinet he made from an $18 door from Lowe's (3rd picture). I saw something similiar in an issue of Country Sampler from an old door. Since we couldn't locate an old one at the time (did I mention that I a bit impatient?) and within our budget, he suggested this. I knew it would work if we were careful to paint it in a manner to make it appear older. It's definitely the focal point of the sunporch (which is quickly becoming our family's favorite room to hang out)!

And then in the 4th picture (directly below), here's the shutters he made to frame my old window that's on the cedar wall next to the potting bench. And I didn't even have to ask this time......he came in with these "perfectly distressed" all on his own......grinning all the while! He's such a trooper!

Well.....he's "almost" a trooper. I'm still working on him about his latest creation. I brought another old window home from Alabama a couple of weeks ago and asked him to add some legs to it for a coffee table for the sunporch. He rolled his eyes when he saw yet another old window and grinned....but he agreed. Well, he worked on it last Saturday when I was gone all day. I came home to a "NOT distressed" coffee was all framed around and all new paint. It really is beautiful.......but I would have been just as happy with legs nailed on and the old chipped white paint. I do love it...but it's just bugging me that it's so perfect. I really am glad he's such a great carpenter, but.......I asked for him to either distress it a little to his liking or I'd do it myself "some". I think he's hid the sandpaper from me! (That's it below).

I promise to post pictures of the sunporch when we're done......we're almost there, thanks to...........................My handy man.