Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nail Keg Slats

What do you do with an old nail keg that falls apart? 
Paint on the individual slats.

Sometimes it seems like we run across more barrels & kegs
that are falling apart, than we do in ones that are intact.


But that's okay.
The slats (or staves) make a fun thing for me to paint on.

We have some good news (we hope!).

Our shop has been closed for about a week and a half now, due to the bitter cold weather we have been having. Our water lines froze up, and it's a long story, but we haven't been able to get them fixed until....... tomorrow! Fingers crossed that they will indeed be fixed!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Old Man Winter Chair Makeover

I painted this chair last fall. I forgot to take a "before" photo, but it was a plain ole brown chair. It had already been  painted over with brown paint, which had worn down. Sometimes wear is pretty. In this chairs case, it wasn't.

I spray painted it with a burgandy paint, not sure what I was going to do with it afterwards. But as soon as the paint dried, I knew.

Look at the face in the middle of the chair back! When the chair was brown, I hadn't even noticed it. The burgandy paint really brought it out. It made me think of an angry winter cloud, breathing down fierce, biting winds, whipping snow across all the land.

You know - Old Man Winter!

I finished painting the chair, took it to our shop, and posted it on our Facebook page. It was sold within hours, to someone who saw it on the page. 

We were having a somewhat mild winter, with spurts of bad weather here and there, but plenty of nice days in between. But we are making up for it now! It's been bitterly cold for several days now, with several more in the forecast. When the temps hit negative numbers at night, with highs in the single digits, our water at the shop froze up. We had to have it turned off, and decided to just leave it off until the weather warms, hopefully next week. So, I am home, crafting. I hate to close the shop, but honestly, hardly anyone comes in when Old Man Winter is rearing his head. So, I'll take advantage of this unexpected time at home, and get more inventory ready. Spring is just around the corner!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tutorial Link - How to Make a Burlap Bow

I hate to admit it, but I struggle with making bows. My mom made beautiful bows for the pine wreaths she made and sold at Christmas time. I have watched our business neighbor, a florist, make big beautiful bows in a matter of seconds. But when I make one, I do it slowly, and awkwardly. One of these days I'll get the hang of it. I hope.

I ran across this tutorial as I was wasting spending quality time on Pinterest this morning. It's not the big fluffy bow style, but rather one that lends itself well to the burlap ribbon which is all the rage.

The directions are so simple I think even I can follow them. (I am following directions challenged).

Take a peek. Then grab some ribbon!

Thanks to Ann of On Sutton Place for generously sharing her bow making method!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Vintage Doilies and Linens

I bought a box of beautiful doilies at a recent auction.
 Just look at those colors!

When I was young, I thought doilies were a bit embarrassing. SO old fashioned & grandmotherly. I have never thought of myself as "hip". But doilies? Even I knew those were horribly out of date.

Then, as the years went by, I started seeing them in a different light. The work that went into them! I inherited my moms & grandma's when my mom passed. And we also have some that had belonged to George's mom.

Once in while, I would open the boxes, tenderly looking through them. And admiring them. And even getting a couple out to use.

And, of course, owning a crafts & antiques shop means having ones I pick up at auctions on hand. To sell to those of you who appreciated them sooner than I did.

I have now reached the older & wiser point in my life. I love doilies, and am not afraid to say so.

I was so excited to buy this box of them. They actually were divided up into 5 boxes at the auction, and sold as choice. I won the first bid. When the auctioneer said, "How many do you want?", I said, "All of them! I want all of them!" And a few people in the audience groaned, because they had missed out on getting the beauties for themselves. Before the evening was over, I did sell 4 purple ones to a man who said he was going to be in trouble with his wife if he didn't take those purple ones home.

I usually think of doilies as setting on a table, with a vase on top.

Or maybe some silly chickens.

Whoa! Bright colors! That silly chicken is almost camoflauged!

But they are also beautiful when used to drape over edges.
I love how they soften the harsh lines of the box.

So pretty mixed in with china plates.

They add so much charm anywhere you put them.

I love these turquoise ones!

I wish I had the patience skill to embroider.

How sweet is this?

As much as I like these ones from auctions, I did not take any of them home. I will enjoy them while they are in the shop, then be happy when I see someone buy them, and give them good homes. Anytime I want to decorate with doilies in my own home, I will pull out the family ones. 

How about you? What are your thoughts on vintage (or new!) doilies and linens?

By the way, in my last post, I wrote about our furnace problems at home. I'm happy to report that it has been fixed! Yay!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Country Life = A broken furnace

This could have been me one day last week. I got up, and the house felt chilly despite the wood stove cranking out it's heat. I looked at our thermostat, and the house was 67 degrees. The furnace was not running.

Oh no.

I went downstairs, pulled the filter out, and it started running again. Whew! Just a dirty filter!

That evening, George met me at the shop, and instead of going home, we decided to go out to eat, and see a movie. We saw Kevin Costner's Black or White. Great movie!

Our nice evening came to an abrupt halt when we got home though. The furnace was off again. And the fire in the woodstove was out.

We discovered the batteries in the thermostat had corroded. We cleaned that up, put in fresh batteries, and turned it back on. Yes! Heat!

But this morning, I got up. The house felt chilly. I looked at the thermostat. The house was 67 degrees. The furnace was off. I felt like I was in a real life Groundhog Day!

Oh no.

When George gets home from work, he will look into it further. Hopefully we just missed something. Like a mouse. In the fall, he took the furnace door off to do a little checkup before winter, and discovered a couple mice had climbed up into the furnace guts where they.........well, let's just say they met their Maker right there inside the furnace.

It's relatively warm for winter right now. 30's today. 40's tomorrow. But we are supposed to be back in the single digits by the weekend.

The woodstove is great, but it only does so much. We need that furnace! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Vinyl Record and Music Related Crafts

I have a customer who comes in every Christmas, looking for a music related craft for a gift for a friend. She was part of my inspiration for these.....

The records are some of the old thick 78's.

Honestly, I had a hard time painting on them. What if someone would want to play them? But, I have tried to sell them before, and there was no interest. I even tried to give some away once, and again, no interest. So........ may as well craft with them.

Have you seen the ones where they heat them, and turn them into bowls and such? Look on Etsy and similar sites, and you will find them. So creative. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vintage baby treasures

How precious are these vintage baby clothes, and quilt? Say it with me now... "Awwww".

A little closer view of the quilt. I always wish these treasures could talk and tell their story. Who made the quilt? Mommy? Grandma? An aunt or close family friend? Was it a boy or girl? What was the baby's name? What year was the baby born? And wouldn't you love to see a picture of the baby?

Ah. Well. We will just have to use our imaginations I guess. 
All we know for sure is that they are absolutely precious.

All of these are for sale in our shop.
What sweet decorations for your home!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Farm themed display window

One of our display windows has been filled with farm decor.........

The tin signs and canvas pictures are imported items. 
I love how bright and colorful the tin signs are! 

I painted the wood signs, using some scrap lumber.
The Farm Life sign in the bottom right is a piece of barnwood.

A friend made the fabric sheep on the stand.
The vintage pump is missing it's handle, 
but still makes a cool decor piece.

In fact, just about any vintage item from a barn
makes a cool decor piece!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Country Life = Modern technology and a brand new baby

Modern technology got the best of me.

For the longest time, we were sure we didn't need smart phones. Well, that's not exactly true. We knew they would be nice, but we didn't want to pay for the internet a THIRD time! We have it at home, and in the shop. We just couldn't bear the thought of paying for it yet again. But finally, before a trip to the beach last June, we decided to take the plunge. It was a LONG story, quite the comedy of errors that wasn't at all funny at the time, but we got them, just in the nick of time. As in our son & daughter-in-law were giving us a crash course in how to use them the evening before we left.

Anyway, like everyone else, we love the camera feature. So handy! Too handy maybe, because I've hardly used the "real" camera since. My phone was filling up with pictures. The beach trip. The baby shower I mentioned in the last post. An unexpected but wonderful trip to Alabama to see an old friend. The busy season in the shop. Christmas. And the best of all? The baby! Our first grandchild! Oh my!

In the back of my mind, it kept bothering me that I hadn't updated the blog in a very long time. When I hand customers a business card in the shop, I always point out that we are on Facebook. And that if they can't find our page using the Facebook search engine, they can go to our blog and link to it from there. As I would point to the blog address on the card, I would cringe inwardly, knowing it hadn't been updated since October! Gasp!!!

Back to modern technology getting the best of me. "How so?" you ask with bated breath? Well, I'll tell you. Almost all the pictures I needed to use were on my wonderful new smart phone. But I wasn't smart enough to figure out how to get them from my phone to my desktop computer so I could write and post on the blog! I know, I know, it's an easy task. And I could have looked it up. Or asked someone. But again - busy season in the shop. And new grandchild!!! It wasn't very high on my priority list. (hangs head with shame)

But, I finally did the obvious - I used that handy dandy cord that comes with the phone, plugged it into the computer, and Voila! - the pictures are now on the desktop. Easy peasy.

So, hopefully I can get back in the groove now.

When I'm not oohing and aahing over this little guy.......

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 ...