Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
As you all know by now, we have now opened our vintage shop in the Barn at Todd Farm,
and so far things are going very, very well! Lots of our rescued, re-cycled and re-furbished pieces have been sold, and shoppers appear to be very excited about the variety of vintage goods we are offering.
Following our first Sunday (which seems like a lifetime ago, but was actually just a mere three weeks ago!) I realized we needed to make a change in our displays. When we set everything up and stepped back to admire our work that first day, we all said “this is great, as long as nobody buys these big pieces that have all of our dishes and pottery on them”.
BUT, that is exactly what happened, leaving us scrambling to find new spots for pie plates and Pyrex and pots and pans. So, I decided that we needed a permanent, dedicated spot to safely and attractively display our kitchen wares. The perfect solution, in my mind, was an old kitchen sink and countertop with shelves above it, so off to Craigslist land I ventured and found this awesome old General Electric porcelain sink for $40!!! A steal!!!
Once I had acquired the sink, it really was just a matter of building a solid base that would be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the sink and anything else we put on it. I started with a plywood top, cut with an extra 1/2 inch around the perimeter, and a hole cutout for the sink. Which turned into several cuts, which in turn created a nice new Mustachio for Coach.
Who, by the way, was really not on board with this whole sink thing. He did help me, but reluctantly, not seeing my vision and thinking that I was wasting valuable time that could have been spent working on other “saleable” projects.
The legs were built from 4×4 scraps Coach had hanging around somewhere behind the barn, cut to standard countertop height of 35 inches.
and then I added some of these little metal strips (I have a big bin of these I grabbed at a yard sale. Have no idea what they are for, but they make a nice 1 inch decorative edge. Got plenty more if you need any…)
For the sides, I affixed some burlap panels with a dowel and some tacks. Nothing fancy. We don’t really have any kind of a storage area in the barn shop, so the burlap panels allow us to use the under-sink for keeping bags and tools, etc. The sides are simple blue burlap panels, but the front panels are actually made from old burlap potato sacks (which we have plenty of for sale in the shop : ).
Not crazy about how those look, so I’ll be changing those this upcoming weekend. Once we brought the sink to the shop, it was simply a matter of finding the perfect spot to build it in, then adding the shutter shelving and filling it up with our kitchenware and painted mason jars.
So, what happened when we opened up the shop 6 am Sunday morning?? Every person walking by and into the shop went right to my sink display and admired it, inspected it, asked how much it was. Initially shocked that folks were interested in buying my old sink, Coach quickly recovered and started asking $650. Wait, what?!?!?! THE SINK IS NOT FOR SALE. REPEAT. THE SINK IS NOT FOR SALE!
But both Coach and Lisa (his partner in crime this week) were hell-bent on selling that sink out from under me. Soooo, I compromised and used the old “if I really don’t want to sell it, then ask a ridiculously high price and if someone really wants it, they can have it trick”. $1000. FIRM. In the meantime, I am off to paint the pieces that I didn’t get a chance to paint because I was building the kitchen sink. Have an unsinkable Wednesday, everyone!! Susan
Which decorating style are you?!? For all you decorating oldies and newbies out there, the upcoming September issue of Country Living Magazine (my country bible : ) features a great article on choosing your own personal design style.
“What’s Your Decorating Style” helps you pinpoint which style of decor best represents you and your design choices for your home.
There’s even a quiz featuring everyday items that you choose, and then tally your answers to give you an idea of what kind of design items attracts you and gives you an overall cohesive plan to help you decorate like a pro!
The first of the three distinct decorating styles is Classic
The second featured style? Rustic.
Subtly combining soft colors and a mix of rustic textures gives you that “down-home” sense of style. Your paint color choices tend to be more muted tans, teals and creamy whites. The fabric choices are vintage-inspired floral and striped linens in muted shades of whites and tans with some quilted textures for dimension and interest. The flooring and furniture are lighter, white-washed and distressed using reclaimed lumber and woven rush seating.
A soft, cushy slipcovered sofa paired with a cream-colored sisal rug adds a distinctly casual style. For lighting, try some mercury glass to add a touch of bling and of course, you need a set of antlers or two. Think the Fixer-Upper Style of Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you haven’t seen this HGTV show, and you love this particular style of design, you MUST check it out!
The third featured style is Modern.
But this is not 1960’s mid-century modern with harvest gold and avocado green paint. This is fresh, colorful sleek design with a few vintage-inspired pieces to accessorize. Your color choices are Aquas and teals, peaches and oranges, yellows and grays with chrome and stainless steel accents. Your fabric choices are vintage inspired with a modern twist: bright and bold geometrics and stripes.
So, which style am I? Well, I took the quiz and sure enough, I scored equally on all three!! Which means that my style is a combination of all the looks combined! My design style is whatever makes me happy : ) I love bright colors, and some of our rooms feature bold reds and teals, but I also love rustic, muted tones, so some rooms are awash in blues and creams. And that’s the beauty of decorating your home. You don’t have to stick to one distinct design style-you can choose whatever makes you smile-and that is what design is really all about. Have a great weekend choosing your design style, everyone!! Susan
Remember the time when I built the cupcake tower for the wedding and then it broke apart and toppled over and the cupcakes went tumbling onto the wet grass? No? So that’s just my bad luck…
It is an amazing focal point for their great room! Naturally, when I first admired it, my initial response was “that’s amazing”, quickly followed by “gee, I wonder if I can make that?!” Soooo, here is my version of the Pottery Barn Rustic USA map.
I created it using an old, very large framed print that Coach had picked up at a yard sale, some balsa wood slats, glue, stain and chalkboard paint. Here is the how-it-did-it:
1. I kept the print in place, since it was just a piece of fiberboard that had been printed on and adhered to the frame. Sorry about those creepy flowers, but they just had to go…
2. The balsa wood slats came from a bin we purchased at a yard sale last summer. Tons of pieces of wood in various widths and lengths. Love this stuff-super easy to work with! Just mark with a pencil,
rather than just using all the same widths and lengths.
3. Once I had placed the wood into position, I lifted each piece and spread wood glue onto the base, using a foam brush to create a nice even surface.
4. I lifted one slat at a time, then placed the slats back down onto the glued surface, then weighted them down with various cans and bottles I had handy. If you do this, make sure you don’t use anything porous or it will stick to your project!
5. Once dried, I had to decide which stain to use.
wait a minute, then wipe off any excess with a soft, clean cloth. Then allow to dry. You see all those little white dots? Apparently, I wasn’t as neat with the glue as I thought! No worries, I am going to dry brush some paint on there anyway, so they won’t be visible : )
6. For the dry-brushing, I taped off the frame edges,
then dry-brushed the surface with two tones of Americana Chalky Paint.
8. Traced the map outline onto the prepped surface with a pencil. Then I painted it with three coats of chalkboard paint. This one is from FolkArt by Plaid,
but there are many other manufacturer’s and they all seem to do the trick.
9. Once the chalkboard paint was dry, I “primed” the surface by covering the entire map with chalk. )It needs to be primed so that when you do write on it with chalk, the images will easily wipe off. Otherwise they will leave “ghost images”)
then wiped it off with a damp cloth.
11. This is the finished piece, proudly displayed on my mantel.
And remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! Thanks Pottery Barn for the inspiration! Have an inspired weekend, everyone! Susan
In recent days, you may have seen videos of seemingly insane (or really hot) people dumping buckets of ice water on their heads being posted throughout the social media world.
This phenomena? The Ice-Bucket Challenge, initiated by Bostonian Pete Frates to raise awareness of ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gherig’s Disease. Last summer, I wrote about Pete’s appearance at ALS awareness night at Fenway Park
and have continued to follow his courageous battle against this dreadful disease. Pete and his team of family and friends called the “Frate Train” are waging an ongoing media campaign to continue to raise awareness and funds for research in hopes of someday eradicating this incurable disease. They have sponsored bike races and polar plunges and fashion shows, but in this latest event, Pete called out his friends and family to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves, then nominate their friends and families, and they have responded in spades!!
Every day when I open up Facebook ,Twitter or You Tube, there are newer and funnier, more imaginative and wetter videos of people taking an ice bath to raise funds and awareness for ALS. This one is pretty hilarious:
The deal is, you get nominated, you take the ice bath and then you get to nominate three more people to take the plunge. Then they do the same, and so on and so on, to the point where in just a few short days, the videos are going viral all over social media! Even some local sports heroes, like Matt Ryan, a BC grad (Pete’s Alma Mater)
and Boston sports legend Jason Varitek have gotten into the act.
So, of course, Coach decided he wanted in as well. He was nominated by our daughter, Kate and wholeheartedly embraced the frigid concept. And, since he was Pete’s high school baseball coach, and is still a coach today, a baseball theme was naturally the only way to go. So here is Coach taking one (well, actually three, for the team : )
Oh, and by the way- that was me pitching and I was throwing all strikes : ) So if you are interested in learning more about the Ice Bucket Challenge, or would like to make a donation to Pete’s Frates #3 Fund click on the link. And to view more hilarious videos and pics on social media, use the hashtag #icebucketchallenge or #strikeoutALS. Hope you have an iced Tuesday everyone! Susan
Greetings!! Back from my blogging break and ready to start sharing some very exciting news! Beginning Sunday, August 3, Coach and I, along with Lisa from RitaJosVintage will be setting up shop in the Barn at Todd Farm!! Woo Hoo!
Many of you already know about the historic Todd Farm in Rowley, Mass-the amazing Sunday flea markets with hundreds of vendors selling everything under the sun-and even a kitchen sink or two. (to read about our outdoor selling experience, click here)
in the center of the property has undergone a restoration and has been transformed from an antique functioning dairy barn
to an antiques co-operative. Inside the barn there are many vendors (with more to come) that have filled each of the old cow stalls with antiques, collectibles, junque and recycled, refurbished and reloved furniture and accessories. So, what will we be selling?? Some of the items you have seen me transform on the blog will be there,
along with an ever-changing stock of old and really old and newly old stuff from our barn (and porch, and yard, and deck, and dining room and living room…) along with Lisa’s vintage kitsch collections. I will be posting pics of new items and stock each week on this blog, but also on my Facebook pages, as well as Craigslist (look under north shore garage and yard sales and just search Todd Farm). For now, we will be open at the crack of dawn on Sundays…or by chance…or by appointment. But, for now I have to sign off-the truck is arriving shortly and the packing and moving begins now! See you at the Farm