Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Country Life = a City Weekend

As promised, I'm posting photos that show why I closed the shop last weekend.
 Does this give you a clue?

How about this one? Does this help?

If you've never been there, you should make every effort
to go to Washington DC while the cherry blossoms are blooming.

We went, along with a few thousand of our closest friends.

Well, actually, there were just 6 of us.
But everywhere we went, everyone else went too.
Or so it seemed.

As usual, Jessica and Brian were great tour guides.
It's very handy to have family who live and work in tourist spots!

About to be married Kevin and Katie found a heart shaped cherry tree.

Hey! What are you two doing back there?

It was a drizzly day, so as the cherry blossoms fell, they stuck to everything.
I wish I had a picture of the car at the Metro Station that was plastered with blossoms.
From a distance, it looked like it was covered with pink snow.

Speaking of the Metro Station, it was Katie's first experience with it.
Let's just say she does not envy Brian's daily hour commute by subway.

I have a fascination with tree trunks.
Cherry blossoms nestled among the roots is an added bonus.

These trees are the oldest of the ones planted next to the Tidal Basin.
The very ones that were presented to Washington by the Japanese
as a gesture of friendship and goodwill on March 27, 1912.

According to our tour guide Brian, the trees normally only live for 50 years.
These trees are celebrating their 100th birthday!

We've toured DC on clear days, in perfect weather.
But even on a cloudy, rainy day, the Washington Monument is breathtaking.

Since we have all seen DC before,
and since it was raining,
and since our thousands of friends were taking in the sights,
we decided to skip most of the monuments on this trip.

But Jessica and Brian did want us to see the Old Post Office.

Or rather, they wanted us to go up 315 feet into the Clock Tower.

They said the only other place to get that view of DC is the Washington Monument.
But it is currently closed due to damage from last summers earthquake.

Because it was rainy, the view wasn't clear.
But the Lincoln Memorial was still impressive.

And how cool is it to look down the street and see our nation's Capitol?
Anytime you're in DC, expect to walk.
And walk.
And walk.
They took us to a restaurant that Brian said was a quarter mile or so away.
Uh huh.
We know a quarter mile, and that dear Brian was no quarter mile.
But anyway....it was fun.
And so was the Natural History Museum.

And the American History Museum
where we saw this poor guy with his aching back.
We know just how you feel good sir.

DC is truly a wonderful place to visit.
Every American should try to see it at least once.
There's so much to see and do!
You could spend weeks trying to see it all.

And it's all free for the viewing!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Closed for the weekend

I don't know what it's like weather wise where you live, but here in our neck of the woods, it's been glorious! Upper 70's and low 80's for a couple weeks straight. In March. Unheard of!

Just a quick post today to let you know I'm closing the shop at 2:00 today, and the store will be closed tomorrow - Saturday the 24th.

Why? Sometimes family comes first. How's that for a teaser? Pictures will be forthcoming.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Country Life = A Bird Takeover

I was sitting at our dining table this morning, looking out at the deck. I noticed several birds kept landing on the deck railing, but that's nothing new since there are trees close to the deck.

But then, one of the birds landed on the grill, and walked into the hole on the end of the grill cover. It turned right around and walked back out. A few seconds later though, another bird did the same thing. But....it did NOT walk back out.

Uh Oh.

I went out to investigate. Bird poo around the grill. Bits of grass and straw underneath it.

And when I opened the cover............

Uh Oh. That's not good.

Well...I guess for the birds it was great. Not so much for us.

I stepped inside the house, and looked back out a couple minutes later.

And what did I see?

It certainly didn't take Billy long to catch the scent!

Isn't funny how photos show something very clearly that you don't notice in real life? We may have had a mild winter, but it must have been hard on the grill. Look at all that rust on the edge! Where did that come from? No wonder the birds took over, they think it's no longer usable!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Country Life = Gearing up for summer

The three men of the house (well, 2 different houses, on the same property) may not look busy, but their minds are racing. It's going to be a busy summer...

  • a hog barn under construction as we speak
  • a machinery shed to be built
  • steers to be bought and pastured
  • lots of smaller projects to be tackled
and oh yeah............

  • Kevin's wedding right in the middle of it.
Better get busy boys!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I'm not sure I really "got it" when I was younger....

But the older I get, I'm starting to understand
(and be extremely thankful for) the power of prayer.

 Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Phillipians 4:6
(New Living Translation)

Ahhh, a peace that passeth all understanding.

I hope you all have a very blessed day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


We picked up this table at an auction. Very outdated, but nice and sturdy. The top is some kind of....well, I don't know what it is. It made me think of a countertop. Even more, it made me think of when I was a little girl attending Sunday School in a small country church. Something about it took me back there, and I can't quite put my finger on why.

I've been seeing lots of tables and other furniture online that has book pages decoupaged onto them. I decided this table was a good one to experiment on. Instead of book pages, I settled on sheet music.

I also decided it needed someone to sing all those notes. A canary to the rescue!

Is there some kind of trick to getting out all those bubbles? It looks like they are mostly out when it's wet, but as it dries, they pop up everywhere. I tried smoothing them out, but as you can see, I wasn't very sucessful. But looking at some of the ones online, I see lots of bubbles in them too. Maybe that just goes with the territory?

While I was at it, I tackled another table too....

The first table with the sheet music is coffee table height. This one is dining table height.

On this one I used a book. THE BOOK. I hope I don't get in trouble for tearing pages out of a Bible! This table contains the whole book of Genesis and part of Exodus.

While I was painting tables, I gave this little stand a coat of linen white. No decoupage on this one though...

By the way...George can't quite get the hang of the name Mod Podge.

He says, "did you use Hodge Podge on those?"

Uh yeah. Something like that. Ha!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bundles of books

Old books are so cool. To read of course, but also just for looks.

A couple years ago, I picked up several old books at an auction, and I started bundling them together using homespun fabric. Usually, I'd make the bundle a stack of 3 old books.

I've sold lots of these bundles - a few people have looked carefully at the titles because they intended to take the bundle apart and read them. Most have bought them just for the looks though. I carefully bundle them by size, color, texture etc. until I have a pleasing combination.

Then, I started seeing bundles of books online, with the covers torn off. WHAT? I was appalled. Well, ok, that's an exaggeration, but I didn't care for it. It seemed so destructive.

So, what did I do?

I joined the crowd.

If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would I do it to? Hmmm.

I chose books whose covers weren't anything special. And I have to admit, I kind of like the look now.

We were in a Restoration Hardware store in Tyson's Corner, VA a couple weeks ago. LOVE that store! So much eye candy! So many ideas!

But the prices! Oh my! Let's just say, I didn't pick anything up but ideas.

And guess what we saw there? Yep! Bundles of books without covers! Tied together with just a piece of twine.

I went a little fancier on mine, sticking with the fabric.

Just keeping up with the big boys, but at a much lower price!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oh No! Not the good silver!

Instead of playing with my food, I started playing with silverware.....

Old barnwood + Old silverware = New sign.

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Baby shower gift idea

A few months ago, Kevin's fiance Katie and I were shopping for a baby shower gift. We looked for a stuffed animal to put in the basket of books that would be our gift. We were shocked when we couldn't find any stuffed animals!

This past weekend, we attended another baby shower. This time, as I was shopping for something else, I ran across lots of stuffed animals. Why? It's the Easter shopping season, and there's lots of bunnies, and chicks, and sheep etc. to pick from.

So...I grabbed an assortment of them, and along with a couple books and a pretty basket, that was our gift.

Bet you'd like to see a picture huh? I planned on taking one, but OOPS. I forgot.

I decided to post about it anyway, in case you're in the need for a baby shower gift too. I may go back and pick up a few more animals, in case we need another gift later in the year since I know now that it isn't always easy to find them.

And yes...the basket got lots of oohs and ahhs!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Announcing 2012 Hours

Last year, I decided to cut down from being open 6 days a week to 4 days. There is just no possible way to be open that much, and still be crafting, or to be on the hunt for new antiques without hiring help. And hiring help is simply not an option. I'll be honest, I can't afford to hire help, nor do I want to get into the whole Worker's Comp expense.

Last year, I closed on Fridays and Saturdays to be free those days to go to auctions & flea markets. But, I realize that for many of you, Saturday is your only day off to shop. So.........

For 2012, I'm sticking with the 4 day week, but switching to Wed. thru Sat.

Every once in a while, I will need to close on Fridays or Saturdays to "go junking". Anytime I do that, I will notify you here or on the Country Lane Crafts facebook page.

I'm also keeping short hours on Saturdays. Why? After 1:00 or so, Saturdays are dead. As in, I can look out the door, and not see a soul in sight.

2012 Hours

Wednesday - Friday
10 - 5
10 - 1

This will take effect next Wednesday, March 7th. I'm going to stay closed a few more days to finish up some new inventory, and to put prices on all the new items.

And, the main reason I closed for the winter was because the store building is so cold. We've had a couple warm days this week, but did you hear? They are calling for snow this weekend! Bah!

I'm excited about all the new merchandise. I hope you will be too!

And there will be lots going on this year. There are several events being planned for Jefferson Avenue. A Spring Fling. A Fall Festival. An Old Fashioned Christmas. Farmer's Markets on Saturday mornings. And the one I'm most excited about...The Cost of Freedom display, including the Vietnam Veteran's Wall in August.

I've never seen the portable Vietnam Veteran's wall, but if it's half as impressive as the permanent one in Washington DC, it will be well worth the trip to Moundsville to see it. Standing before the Wall in DC is one of the most humbling and moving things I have ever done.

As for inside the walls of Country Lane Crafts, there will be lots happening too. Sometime this spring, there will be a Clearance Sale again UPSTAIRS. Possibly a Spring Open House. Definitely a Fall Open House. October of 2012 will mark our 10th anniversary!

Stay tuned!

Switching Gears to an Occasional Shop

For a loooooooooong time, I have wanted to switch our shop to an occasional shop. Until yesterday, we were open 5 ...