Saturday, October 11, 2014

Country Life = Baby Showers

We are in full baby shower mode around here! Our daughter-in-law is expecting in December. Our first grandchild! A boy!

We are having a small shower in our house tomorrow afternoon. Our daughter and I have been getting decorating ideas from....... where else? Pinterest!

And even though she lives 5  hours away, the magical thing called the internet is allowing us to share ideas with ease. But nothing compares to doing it in person, and she is coming home today. Yay! The flurry of actually putting together our ideas will be taking place soon. I will post pictures once everything slows down again.

In the meantime, our daughter-in-law is traveling 2 1/2 hours today to attend the shower in her hometown that her family is having for her.

Yep, full baby shower mode around here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

12 years!

It's our 12th Anniversary!
We have been in business for 12 years in our brick & mortar location.
Longer than that if you count the years we only did shows.

Where does the time go?

For a couple stories about our opening, 
and the effort that went into it, see our facebook page.

No time today, but one of these days,
maybe I will post some of the photos from those early days.

Oh, the memories!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Country Life = Canning Applesauce and Preserving Memories

This was my day yesterday - canning applesauce.

To be honest, I don't like working up apples. I enjoy canning, but I find apples to be very tiresome. Cutting them up, cooking them to make them soft, running them through the strainer, and finally reaching the canning stage......... lots of work! But totally worth it.

Anytime I can, memories come flooding back. Mostly of me and my mom canning together, which we did every summer. She has been gone for several years, but every single time I can, I hear her voice guiding me in the steps. I am so glad I paid attention! I treasure those memories more than I can express. We shared many happy times as we "put up" food for winter. 

With apples though, the memories also include my dad. They had several apple trees, so I can see him picking them, and bringing them into the kitchen in one bushel basket after another. If they didn't have a good crop, they would buy apples from a local orchard. When my kids were small, the orchard owner would sometimes drop off their order at their house. She was a story teller, and I can still see my kids sitting there, soaking up every word she said.

Dad didn't usually help with the canning, but he did with the apples, because they would put up several bushels. So every fall, he and mom would turn their kitchen into an applesauce factory. Mom knew which varieties to cook together to make the best sauce. I remember one year when the sauce came out pink from the red peelings. It was delicious!

There was much more preserved in that kitchen than food. I miss them both terribly, but am so very thankful for the lessons... and the memories.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall Open House

We are in the middle of our Fall Open House. The weather is not cooperating. We have had an absolutely gorgeous stretch of fall weather the last couple of weeks. Not a drop of rain in sight. Sunny, comfortable days. But yesterday on day one of our open house, it rained.

All day.

It's now day two. I'm laying in bed, trying to wake up. The wind is howling outside, as the temperatures drop. More rain is coming.

But that's ok!

It was dry, and we needed the rain. We had planned to have crafts outside for the open house. Obviously we can't do that, but the rain won't hurt pumpkins, so they can still go outside. 

Our shop is warm & dry. You can help yourself to lemonade & cookies. Sign up to win one of two $25 gift certificates.

The rain will hurt business, it always does. But at least we have a roof over our head.

We feel terrible for the crafters set up at one of our favorite festivals. Oglebayfest is this weekend, in Wheeling, WV. They do set up under large tents.... but still.

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by and see us today. And stop by Oglebay as well. We will be going there tomorrow after church.

Happy weekend!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

History and a Fall Festival

My shop is on Jefferson Avenue (in Moundsville, WV). Jefferson is the main business district in our small town of around 10,000 people. It's also a street full of history, starting in 250 BC. Give or take a year.

What is this, you ask? It's a burial mound. Yes, you heard me right. It's the Grave Creek Burial Mound, built by the Adenas waaaaaay back in the day. This old postcard shows it had become a tourist attraction in the 1800's, and still is today. When you drive by it every day, you kind of forget how special it is. But every once in a while, I will just stop and look at it in amazement. You can read more about

In a bit more recent time, still on Jefferson Avenue, the West Virginia Penitentiary was built... in 1866.

If you were just driving by, you might at first think it is a castle. But a closer look would reveal the bars on all the windows. The prison closed in 1995, and is now a tourist attraction. Thousands of people come throughout the year for the daytime tours of the prison, and the night time ghost hunts. Interested? Read more here.

Moving up in history just a bit more, we come to last Saturday, September 20. 2014. Besides the Grave Creek Mound, and the former WV Penitentiary, Jefferson Avenue also features the main business district in Moundsville, and last Saturday, it featured the Fall Festival on the Avenue. The main feature of the festival this year may have been the weather. It was an absolutely beautiful fall day to showcase the 70 craft tables, and the shops, along with food, music, and other attractions. Around 5000 people came out to enjoy the day.

For the first time this year, we reserved the 2 spaces in front of our own shop for ourselves, and sold pumpkins right on the street.

Besides filling the booths, we also had a display on the sidewalk, making it quite full in front of our shop.

It was a very busy day! Quite a few of those 5000 people made their way into both our booth, and our shop. Kevin and Katie manned the outside booth. George and I ran the store. It took all 4 of us to keep up. In fact, we could have used another helper or two. We needed runners with wagons to take pumpkins to customers cars. We sold lots of pumpkins, but we would have sold more if we would have been able to take them to the cars. Something to remember for next year.

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted. And happy that the day had gone so well. Looking forward to next year! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lazy Days of Summer? Don't Think So!

What a crazy summer.

It's actually a bit of a blur.............

I guess what we'll remember most about it is the produce we started selling in front of the shop. It's a long, long story, but the end result was the addition of a farmer's market to our business.

It all started with a simple lemonade stand. George built it - I think he did a great job on it! 

Then we decided since we were setting up outside, we may as well add a few baked goods.....

And then came the garden produce.....

We did not grow it ourselves. We did have a garden, but it was nothing to brag about, let alone sell anything from. We actually bought the produce from the Amish, who have a way with gardening!

The garden produce is winding down with the approach of fall, but that means the pumpkins and gourds and corn shocks and Indian corn are in full swing!

In fact, they are taking over our shop! But that's ok, I LOVE fall!

Every summer is busy it seems. 
But this one has been our all time busiest. 
Fortunately, we did get a chance to relax before all the craziness started.

We spent a few days at the beach in June.

We are very tempted to do it again in September. 
Or October.

Well, anytime sounds good!

Remind me to keep this blog updated. 
It has been suffering lately,
but we'll see if it can be brought back to the front burner.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Horse stool

This stool from an auction is a perfect example of "I wish it could talk". 

Because of the detail!

Someone made the stool, then wood burned a horse into the top. There is actually a horse on each end too, but that doesn't show in the picture.

Who was that someone? A dad or grandpa or brother maybe? Or could it have been some boy's shop or 4H project? Maybe it's wrong to assume it was a boy. It could have been a girl who made it.

It not perfectly built. It has a bit of a lean. The brace piece has writing on it from the manufacturer. It's not neatly joined up.

None of that matters. It was built for someone who loved horses. Or BY someone who loved horses. Maybe as a gift. Or a grade.

If only it could talk!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

To paint or not to paint

A lady posted a trunk for sale recently on a local antiques auction page on facebook. It had been painted a pale blue.

Someone (in a very rude manner) commented to her that she had ruined it by painting it, because "no one wants painted furniture, they want it restored". (The funny thing was, the one who had it for sale did not paint it, the trunk was painted when she got it. She tried to explain that to the rude lady, to no avail)

That led to a lengthy online discussion, in which the one who had made the comment kept getting ruder, and just before the administrator was about to ban her, she dropped out.

Really. If you don't like something someone posts, can't you just scroll past it? Apparently, her mother never taught her the old "if you don't have anything nice to say" mantra.


My thoughts -  if someone thinks "no one wants painted furniture", they have never looked at Pinterest!

I'd rather not see a "nice" piece of wood furniture painted, but if it has flaws & dings & stains, they why not?

Perfect example.......

The before. But not totally before. We picked this up at an auction, and when we got it home, we realized the dirt on top was more than just dirt. It was........ well. we're not sure what it was, but it was nasty.

Soap and water didn't touch it. So George took the orbital sander to it, and got rid of all the nastiness. But there were still plenty of areas that didn't look so great. I don't normally paint oak furniture, but....

This time I did, and it went from being drab to fab! And it sold quickly, which is always a good thing.

No before pictures, but I recently painted these pieces......

This table was a very dark brown. You know that old furniture that is very dark? Was that the color of stain and varnish they used back in the day? Or did it darken with time?

The red makes it much, much cheerier.

I've had this table in the shop for a LONG time. Too long. But I liked it so much, I hung onto it. It was a light brown. I finally put it on clearance, but for whatever reason, it didn't even sell at half off. Okay then. I used the same red paint on it. We'll see if that draws more attention.

While I had the paint out, I grabbed this table too. It was a medium brown, but all scratched up and tired looking. Again, I think the paint gave it a new life.

Should antiques be painted? The best advice I ever heard was an antiques expert on a TV show. He said to make the piece something you love, and something that will make you smile every time you look at it. Whether that is leaving it in it's original condition, restoring it, or painting it. 

A wise man.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Country Life = Spring Babies on the Farm

Say hello to our newest addition - Striker!
This was taken just a few hours after he was born, isn't he a cutie?

As is usually the case, by the time we found the new baby,
Mama already had everything under control.
Willow may be a first time mother, but she knows exactly what to do,
and so does Striker. Their God-given instincts take over.

Why the name Striker?
We just kept saying how striking he looks with that dark black hair
and white spots on his head and either side.
So Striker he is.

The rest of the goats are doing well too, this is Jessica and her baby.

And Carmelle with her twins.

I have actually lost track of how many mamas and babies there are!

And that isn't counting all the dairy goats and their babies!
Don't worry, the one on the stump isn't hurt, she's just playing.

After a bit, all the goats wandered back outside, 
where one of the babies greeted the sheep.

It's really hard to say which is sweeter...
baby goats or baby lambs.

Maybe what is sweeter is our great nephews.

Yep, it's definitely our great nephews.

Looks like our son Kevin who owns all these animals 
will have plenty of help taking care of all of them!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Painting flowers

Barn wood makes a great backdrop for flowers.

I like how the colors pop against the wood.

But then again, just about anything makes a good backdrop for flowers!
Even an old breadboard.

Or a drawer from a dresser that has served it's time and is ready to retire.

After that long cold winter we had, it's so nice to see flowers!
Even if they are created with a paint brush.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Coffee pot vases

We bought a box of old coffee pots at an auction to play around with. Keep in mind, we tend to be "outside the box" thinkers.

And our outside the box thinking made us realize that 
after a pot is done brewing coffee....

it makes a great vase!

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Perfect for the Flower Garden

This time of year, we are always on the lookout for old stuff that will look great in your flower beds, or will make unique planters.

No worries about this old plow blowing away!

These old waterers would make great planters!

The bowl shaped ones were mounted in the barn for dairy cows 
to be able to drink as they were being milked.

The tall one on the right used to be our chicken waterer. 
As you can see, it has earned it's retirement.

And let's not forget the old shortening cans on the left!
Wouldn't that red and white one be pretty with a fern in it?
Or hey! How about red geraniums?

Old buckets are perfect for flowers.

So is old kitchenware.

Old beds are the perfect backdrop in a flower garden.

Dig around your basement or barn or shed. Use your imagination.
You may come up with all kinds of fun garden decor without spending a dime!
Of course, if you have some extra dimes you'd like to spend, you are always more than welcome to spend them in my shop! 

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 ...