Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
This month, I am participating in the #Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest, an event featuring some of the best furniture flippers in blog-land. This contest is the brainchild of the bloggers from Evey’s Creations and Anastasia Vintage, both of whom love design, DIY and bringing new life to old pieces. Evey was even on one of my favorite DIY shows- Flea Market Flip! I had read about the contest a few months back, and since I am a devoted furniture flipper, I was eager to get started, so I submitted my application. Of course, that was before the broken foot incident, which temporarily put me on the sidelines, but I am finally primed and ready to participate in this month’s contest. Which is this: each month, a theme is chosen, and different companies sponsor the contest, providing either supplies or prizes to the flippers (that’s me!). We are allowed to choose any item to work on using the products supplied, and we have approximately 3 weeks from start to finish to paint, stain, decoupage, sand, wax and finish our chosen pieces before photographing them for submissions for judging. Once the judging is completed, a winner is announced, and its on to next month’s flippin’ contest! It was my good fortune to be selected as a contestant this month, because I have now had the opportunity to sample an extraordinary paint from Pure & Original Paint USA,
which was created in the Netherlands and is now distributed in the US through Luxury Dutch Importers, LLC. This paint...well, the only word to describe it is luscious…the colors are simply soft and natural.
and get this, does not need any finish. Even though it has a matte appearance, there is no waxing or varnishing or polyurethaning needed, because, unlike other chalk paints, it does not leave a chalky residue mark when you touch or scratch it. It actually dries to a rock hard finish that can be used both indoors and out…amazing. And the brush cleaned up easily with just water. So, before I started working on my contest piece, I decided to give the paint a test run on a simple brown console table. I cleaned it, did not sand or prime it, just painted with two coats of Nautique Pure & Original Paint
this beautiful green/blue color that caught my eye when I was choosing my 2 cans of free paint provided by Pure & Original for the contest- there are 140 to choose from! The finish is a lovely smooth matte, but I decided to sand it just to see what would happen. Instead of just sanding off entirely, the paint had already cured and adhered to the wood finish, so the sanding exposed the now “stained” wood grain for a stunning effect.
The more I sanded, the prettier it looked and the smoother it was to the touch. And still no final coat needed. Wow. So now I am off to prepare my actual contest piece, with the addition of a few more colors. I will keep you posted as the work progresses. In the meantime, if you are interested in reading more about Pure & Natural Paint USA, click the pic below:
And, if you are interested in sampling this fabulous paint, you can do so by using this link- : https://www.pureoriginalpaint.com/usa/?ref=118 (I love this paint so much, I’m now an affiliate for Pure and Original Paint USA) A special thanks to the FFFC Team at the Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest for allowing me to participate- this is going to be so much fun! Have a great weekend everyone! If you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the painting workshop : ) Susan
Awhile back, I received this large wooden wall-hanging of an elephant painted on some slats.
It was free, and free is good, but the graphic was just a bit too brown and black for me. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE elephants, but it just seemed a little colorless and blah to me. I have had it hanging around in the workshop for quite some time, literally painting over it a dozen times with all sorts of blues and grays, awaiting some inspiration to hit me.
Generally, I find that when all else fails, go with the American Flag with its bold colors and simple but striking graphics. So, stars and stripes it is! But, it was essentially a square, and of course, our flag is a rectangle, so I had to come up with a shape…a star? the map of the US? a rectangle? a heart : ) So I left the background as it was…dry-brushed with multiple shades of grays and blues and added the heart shaped design.
The easiest way to create a symmetrical heart of any size? Take a piece of paper (in this case, a newspaper because of the size I needed), fold it in 1/2, then draw out your shape on one side. Cut along the edge of the folded paper, and then when you open it up, voila! A perfectly proportioned heart!
Because of the curves of the heart shape and the spaces between the slats, it was impossible to fit all 50 stars into the field in rows, as they are on the real flag. So I painted over the first go and tried it again. I taped off the edges and winged it…just stamping them wherever there was an open space…not symmetrical, not perfect by any means.
There are a few states hanging off the edge…hello, Alaska and Hawaii! And there are a few states missing representation…then again, aren’t there a few states that are threatening to secede from the union if a certain candidate wins this year’s presidential election? But you get the general idea, right? Then I added the graphics above and below via my reverse chalking method.
(of course, that was a few days ago, when it was 60 outside, so I could spray it, as opposed to this morning’s temps, which are hovering in the 20’s). This graphic could easily be applied to a wood palette- another great project idea! Have a totally terrific Tuesday, everyone (even if you’re buried in snow…) Susan
With another Easter now done and gone, I am reflecting back on a few things that I could have done a little differently so that everyone would have had a safe and happy holiday! Such as:
1. Use cheese in the garlic smashed potatoes-lots of cheese. This year I attempted to make things that were a little healthier and not so creamy and cheesy, so I omitted the cream and cheddar cheeses in the smashed red potatoes recipe…MY BAD. So instead of being yummy and gooey, they were kind of dry and chunky…even with the added melted butter. Use cheese, people!
2. On that same note, DO NOT USE FAT FREE CREAM CHEESE WHEN YOU ARE MAKING CREAM CHEESE FROSTING for the carrot cake. Did you read that? Well, remember it. Because otherwise, your carrot cake will have a oozy, bulgy middle and weird consistency and everyone will be saying “yeah, what happened to that cake- you usually make such good cakes!”
3. Secure the paintings to the wall with heavy duty screws, or else it may fall off and hit your mother and brother in the back of the head on its way to the floor. Heavy, framed pictures and little nail hangers from the dollar store do not go well together.
4. When you are done dusting the wine bottles on the cupboard shelves in the dining room while making the room pretty, make sure you push them all the way back into the rack so they don’t fall out during dinner and nearly take out your niece and your future daughter-in-law!
5. Make the damn green bean casserole. It has been a family tradition over the years to have green bean casserole on Easter, but I had been noticing that I was throwing more away than people were consuming. So I sent out a group text asking for a show of hands on who actually LIKED green bean casserole. The only yays were from my two kids. The remaining conversation looked like this:
6. Ham has always been the go-to meat for this particular holiday, and as usual, I had Coach purchase one that was the “size of a basketball”. This year, I also made some roasted turkey tenderloins for the guests who do not particularly care for ham. What I have noted is that, while the turkey is long gone, we still have a large platter of ham left over that Coach and I now have to eat.
Other than that, it was a wonderful holiday filled with fun and laughter…and thankfully, no fatalities. I hope yours was as well! Now, I need to find some recipes to use up the rest of that ham…any suggestions?? (Please do not say pea soup. I do not make, or eat, pea soup…) Susan
With the melting of the final snow…and spring in the air…its time for mud. Yes, yucky mud. When the sun shines down and warms up the earth and the snow melts and the rains come pouring down…there is mud. Which is why mud rooms were created..that catchall entry space for boots and coats and muddy paws and dripping umbrellas. Now as for me, I am not fortunate enough to have a mudroom in our home, but if I did (or when I finally do build that dream home) these are the essential elements needed for a perfect blend of country style and modern convenience. Today, I am sharing a blog post about the Perfect Country-Style Mudroom written by Becca Grady from Zillow.com, “a leading home and real estate marketplace with quality data and design insight for homeowners, buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals. She has some great tips and tricks for creating the perfect country-style mudroom…
6 Features of the Perfect Country-Style Mudroom
By Becca Grady
Source: Tim Hebert on Zillow Digs®
April showers bring May flowers. But it also brings mud, dirt and mess into your otherwise clean home. With the arrival of spring, now is the perfect time to prepare your home, making sure you’re equipped to stop the seasonal mess at the door. As a designated space to slough off wet-weather gear, mudrooms are one of the most hardworking spaces in any New England home, and it’s imperative that the area is properly equipped to do so. Design the perfect country-style mudroom using these helpful tips.
Creative Seating As a designated area to shed coats and shoes, it’s best to have seating options available for guests and family. Benches work great for mudrooms because they are simple and often include storage space underneath. Extra storage is always handy for storing shoes and boots. Opting for a reclaimed wooden bench adds a rustic touch, or try white washing it for an airy, cottage feel.
Modular Shelves and Cubbies
Open shelves and cubbies are useful features of a well-designed mudroom. Cubbies allow each member of the family to have personal space for their belongings as they walk in the door. Whether it’s used for backpacks or sports gear, designated spaces for personal belongings helps keep the family organized.
Hanging Space Another important feature of a country-style mudroom is ample hanging space for jackets, coats and hats. Space can be created by purchasing a mounted coat rack, or try making your own by attaching hooks to a slab of wood. Mounting single hooks in the wall can be damaging, so attaching it to a plank, wainscoting or even an old door can add a rustic element, while saving your walls.
Mudrooms see a lot of mess – from muddy shoes to dirty paws – so it’s important that the space has surfaces that can be wiped easily. For flooring, consider choosing a moisture-proof surface like tile or stone. Linoleum is also a great option for a more affordable alternative. Look for a non-slip, easy-to-wash carpet runner to help collect any dirt and water from shoes upon entry. Paneling and wainscoting can also be a great choice for easy-to-clean walls. In addition to being more functional, white paneling also adds country charm.
Baskets and bins are useful for organizing smaller items. Consider using a decorative bucket or bin as a place to store umbrellas. Create a designated area for mail, keys, notes and reminders. You can buy a wall mount that includes all of these organizing features in one – incorporating hooks, organizing baskets and a memo board.
Put the finishing touches on your mudroom by adding décor elements that tie the home together. Look for flea market finds such as bins, wall signs or vases. Also, keep an eye out for salvaged materials that can be used for benches or turned into mounted hooks, adding the perfect rustic appeal. Get ahead of the weather and ensure that your home is ready to manage the mud and dirt of spring. Whether you choose to add organizational elements to your entryway or create a complete mudroom, try using these tips to achieve the perfect country-style space.
Thanks to Becca for sharing some inspired ideas-definitely some great tips when you are searching for your new home…or rehabbing your present one! Have a great hump day everyone…more sunny days to come! Susan
Can you believe its already March 15?! Where did this month go…and more importantly, where did our winter go?? The mountains of snow from last year are becoming just a distant
memory nightmare as we are about to turn the corner and head into spring. Time to celebrate, and what better way than to raise a glass of cheer on St. Patrick’s Day!? With this variety of Sparkling Ice Flavored Waters & Teas, the combinations are endless.
I buy these tall bottles all the time at the grocery store-typically for less than $1.00 each-they have a great, bold flavors , zero calories and are delicious served with, or without alcohol. Rather then your standard tonic water or club soda for mixers, these colorful sparkling waters add a punch to any beverage…or punch!
Here are a few green recipes to try…just in time for the Wearing ‘O The Green!
1 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz Sour Apple Pucker
1 1/2 oz Sparkling Ice Crisp Apple
2 cups ice
Apple wedges for garnish
Fill a martini shaker with ice. Pour in the vodka, sour apple pucker and juice into shaker. Stir ingredients, then pour into martini glass. Garnish with an apple wedge. Enjoy!
Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
Fill mason jar 1/3 way with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime. Fill to 2/3 with Pineapple Juice. Top with two scoops Lime Sherbet. YUM.
1/2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 3/4 0z. Sparkling Ice Lemon Tea
1 1/4 oz. Bourbon Whiskey
1/4 oz. simple syrup or 1 packet Splenda
Place all ingredients in mixing cup or shaker. Stir and strain over ice. Pour into glass. Garnish with lemon slice and cherry.
(I was skeptical too, thinking how does a cupcake rise without eggs? So I made them. They are light and fluffy and very delish : )
1 box any brand white cake mix
12 oz. room temperature Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper liners. In a large mixing bowl, stir cake mix and soda with wire whisk until blended and most of the lumps are gone. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cupcakes are springy and toothpicks come out clean. Allow to cool completely and frost with your favorite vanilla frosting. Decorate with some shamrocks and you’re ready to party! For more party recipes, click here: Recipes-Sparkling Ice. Have a fun-filled St. Patty’s Day everyone. And don’t partake in too much of the Drinking ‘O The Green if you have to work on Friday! Susan