Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
As promised, I am sharing the remainder of the Country Living Fair with all of you. If you love living and shopping country, but didn’t have a chance to attend, at least I am giving you a tiny glimpse of what you missed this year! (and, there is still a chance to attend one in Georgia or Ohio in the coming months.) Of course, a country fair isn’t complete without a bright red tractor
and a billy goat! This one was so funny-it kept standing up on its hind legs and peeking over the railings like a baby in a crib!
Sage Farm Antiques, in North Hampton, NH holds a “three day antiques and collectibles show with fresh stock monthly“. Unfortunately, the photo I took wasn’t useable, but rest assured the booth was stocked with totally vintage, reclaimed and repurposed goods. Going to be sure to check that one out soon!
I had the pleasure of meeting Addie Peet of APFloorclothDesign.com at last year’s Vintage Bazaar. Her expertly hand-crafted and vividly-colored floor cloths always catch my eye. How sweet are these waterproof doggie mats?
I met the lovely and talented Jeanne van Etten of Nantucket Mermaid who has just opened a shop on the island of Nantucket.
and adorable hand-crafted dolls. You can check out her blog here: Nantucket Mermaid.BlogSpot or visit her shop at 4 Fair St in Nantucket. And if you do, tell her Sue from Country Design Home sent you : )
I walked into the very large Earth Angel Studios booth and was instantly transported into a colorful, dreamlike fairyland. The owner, Jen O’Connor started this venture in 1996 and features the works of extremely talented female artists and crafters. A few samples:
Plush fanciful soft sculptures by Nicole Bowen
From The Land of Enchantment by Debrina Pratt –The Starlight Ballet
You just couldn’t stroll past the booth from Reclaimed State from Wappinger Falls, NY
Loved this school of unfinished wooden fish decoys from the St. Lawrence River Decoys so much that I bought a couple for my porch : ) Can’t wait to paint them!
Folks were buzzing around the Homestead Collection like bees on a honeycomb! Filled with cleverly repurposed and recycled vintage items such as this chicken wire wall planter
If you love mason jar anything, then you would have loved the Sweet Tea Clothing Company. The entire booth was lit with strands of mason jar lighting, hanging from branches and overhead, creating an inviting ambiance.
From Vintage by Crystal we discovered these fanciful miniature dolls of all types, painstakingly hand-crafted of spun cotton.
I was so busy looking and taking pics that I didn’t have a chance to buy much, but I did purchase this beautiful little painting on a distressed wood box by Mary Gregory Studio, LTD. I don’t know why this pair of sheep spoke to me, but I just couldn’t walk away… and apparently neither could the mom sheep with the little one standing on her back…The originals are hand-painted art, and the ones on display were giclee prints on wooden boxes. Not sure where I am going to hang it yet in my country-inspired home, but I will let ewe know! And finally, when we were just plain tuckered out and so hot and tired, we were happy to have a seat at the main tent stage and enjoy a demonstration on casual outdoor entertaining by Denise from The Painted Home and Kelly from Eclectically Vintage.
The two of them are hilarious together, and their presentation was a hoot, but with loads of great, simple outdoor decorating ideas! Kelly even posted the cupcake liner tea lights DIY on her blog : ) So that’s it for now-hope your enjoyed this little tour. And remember, the Vintage Bazaar is just around the corner, so get your walking shoes (and your shopping totes) ready!!! Susan
This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of attending the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. So, where do I begin to describe the sights and sounds of this fabulous fair?!? Let’s start with Hometalk.com and Country Living Magazine who extended the invitation and provided the VIP blogger tickets for the three day event. Here’s me with all of my fellow bloggers-I met so many nice people!!
to do some shopping, one-on-one chatting with so many fellow bloggers and fantastic vendors and snapping photos for Tweeting and Instagram-ming. There is no possible way for me to share information about every single vendor or event on this blog post, but I will highlight some of my favs here, with more to come in the days ahead. The fair was held in The Dutchess County Fairgrounds (if you are from around the Boston area, think Topsfield Fair, only quadruple in size), where there are many barns and outbuildings that would typically house livestock, (there were a few little guys in the 4H tent…)
but for this weekend were home to the hundreds of sellers of the finest country wares I have seen in quite some time: antiques, vintage wares, original artwork, amazing crafts and DIY’s from the simplest of everyday items. Every time I see these custom doll statues from CA Mataruso of Tin Hearts, they make me smile : ) Late for Work on a vintage thermos-brilliant!
The array was dizzying and required several go-arounds to ensure that we didn’t miss anything! Because I have so many photos to share, I am just providing a sampling today, and will focus on several of the vendors in greater detail in the coming weeks. As you all know, I am drawn to COLOR, the brighter the better, mixed all together. Now, I can appreciate the dreamy whites and creams that are so popular today, but could I live in an all-white space? Heck, no!! While strolling through the fair grounds, these particular vendors caught my eye:
Modern June-Cool Stuff For The Hip Housewife: offering a brilliant array of colorful vintage-look oilcloths and chalk-cloths
Some of the nicest vintage original artwork at the fair from Terri Palmer Signs
HiHo Home Market was one of our favorite booths, chock full of vintage items and so colorfully decorated! Loved these vintage checked saucepans (now why didn’t I buy those?!?)
From Sentimentally Me was a colorful collection of beautifully preserved vintage quilts, banners, books and memorabilia. The vendor was sharing hilarious stories about her moment of fame on Flea Market Flip at the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market, where she normally sets up shop. So funny!
I was immediately drawn into the Olive Grace Studios booth because of the clever displays of vintage-inspired fabrics, pillows & quilts-so country pretty!
In the showcase at Grandmother’s Buttons was this velvet case of brilliantly sparkling rings, each created from vintage buttons!
One of the very first booths we entered was that of Blue Bird Home Decor, where I was instantly taken by this beautifully painted country hutch (which was sold : (
and also of the lovingly rendered oil paintings of livestock by Shelly Broughton. Never thought I would think: “How sweet is this sheep?”
This willow porch swing from Around the Bend looked so inviting with the brightly colored pillows and cushions! Can you just imagine relaxing and sipping lemonade here on a beautiful summer day?
And finally (at least for today!) we met up with Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash & Cari, who was introducing her new line of Repurpose Paints, Stains and Finishes. Yummy colors, water-based and so easy to use! These will be available shortly on her website: RePurpose Shop.
Cari was so sweet and incredibly gracious, standing in her space for hours and repeatedly explaining and demonstrating the how-to’s of her products, then posing for pictures with anyone who asked! Of course, I had to get in the act as well!
So, there you have it, today’s colorful commentary on the Country Living Fair. I have added links to all of the vendors above so you can click on them to read more and discover what else they have available. Check back soon for another episode of A Country Living Weekend! I hope you have a color-filled Tuesday, everyone! Susan
So, you would think that after that whole Cupcake Tower of Terror disaster that I would be staying away from baking for weddings, right? Well, that is the case where cakes are concerned-no more falling frosting fiascos! But, for the same wedding, I created some yummy individual three berry cobblers in little personalized mason jars as favors for the guests to enjoy. Those did NOT fail, or fall for that matter!
1. Prepare the jars. These are 1/2 pint, wide-mouth Kerr glass jelly jars I purchased from a local Ace Hardware store, ordering them online and picking them up at the store. Despite the fact that they were factory sealed in plastic, I still ran them through the dishwasher to ensure cleanliness.
2. Prepare the crumb topping/crust. This recipe is enough for one 13 x 9 pan of cobbler, or 3 dozen mini jars. So double it for the 6 dozen:
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Rolled Oats (I used instant and it didn’t seem to matter at all)
1 1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Gground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups Cold Butter
Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.
3. Prepare the berry filling, literally just mixing the berries and sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
FRESH FRUIT FILLING
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Blueberries
1 1/2 Cups Fresh Blackberries
1 1/2 Cups Raspberries
4 TBLSP Granulated Sugar
I used fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, but you can use any berry combination you would enjoy. This recipe was enough for three dozen jars, so I doubled it to make the 6 dozen. One thing I noted: the large whole raw berries (like the raspberries) take up more space, but once cooked, they collapsed and left extra room in the jar so it didn’t appear as full. Next time (and for these there will be a next time : ) I will slightly chop the larger berries so more fits into each jar prior to baking.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place as many jars that will fit onto a cookie sheet and spray the insides with non-stick cooking spray.
Take 1 TBLSP of the crumble mixture and lightly press down into the bottom of each jar. I used this wooden thing that was in my pastry drawer. Don’t know where it came from, don’t know what it is, but it worked perfectly! Continue until all of the jars have the base crust.
8. Remove from oven and cool. You can serve these warm from the oven with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or save them for later. I kept them lightly wrapped, but did not seal the tops on until it was time to assemble them as favors. Which I did with the help of my dear friend-thanks Alice!
9. The personalized labels were purchased on Etsy from Snappy’s Boutique. The owner was great to work with and the labels were beautifully printed on vinyl round stickers, one for the top of each jar.
and then we added a second bow for pretty : ) This was the best tool-a fork stuck in a ribbon reel taped to the counter-to tie the tiny bows with the chiffon-like material. Ah, necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Shark Tank, here we come!
12. I picked up the unfinished crate at Joanns (with a coupon, of course : ).
13. The little chalkboard was also from Joanns, that I backed with some fringed burlap, then added the chalk graphic.
I used my easy chalkboard transfer method for the Three Berry Cobbler sign. Click the link for the DIY.
14. To safely stack the jars in the crate,
Recently, I was asked to sample and review a new paint primer called Kilz HIDE-ALL,
which happens to be perfect timing for the kitchen makeover I have just begun! My mom, who lives in a townhome (that was once owned by my sister…long story) has been asking for a kitchen makeover for quite some time now. Although the budget does not allow for a full gut-job and remodel, we are using paints, glazes and some elbow grease to create that “French Country” look that she adores. The kitchen is circa 1980’s construction-grade with very dark oak cabinet doors and drawers and veneered plywood boxes. In the center of each door is a white vinyl panel that was glued into place, and the backsplash is alternating 4″ square ceramic tiles in black and white stripes that mirrors the white door panels.
The appliances are fairly new and white, so they are staying, and the floor is a sheet linoleum in a vintage black and white tile pattern, so that is most likely staying put as well. So, everyone knows that the key to a successful painting job is the prep work, which I personally despise, but it must be done! In this case, those white vinyl panels and the adhesive used to attach them had to be removed. I tried many, many de-glossing, de-gooing and de-sticking type products before I could get the edges ready for priming and painting.
Once that was accomplished, it was time to try the new Kilz HIDE-ALL product.
This is from their website: “KILZ® HIDE-ALL™, a new primer sealer exclusively available at Lowe’s stores across the country. For home interior painting projects of all types—including covering dark colored walls, masking minor surface stains, smoothing out porous surfaces and more—the undercoat offers consumers excellent hide at an affordable price. KILZ HIDE-ALL helps prepare surfaces for painting by evening out porosity and creating a consistent canvas for adding the desired topcoat. With a multi-surface formula, KILZ HIDE-ALL can be used on drywall, cured plaster, woodwork, masonry, concrete block, brick and previously painted areas. The high-hiding, fast drying, latex primer sealer helps minimize issues caused by dark colors and minor surface stains to effectively transform bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and more.”
Did the primer live up to the hype? You betcha!! For only $26 and some change for a 2-gallon bucket, what I got was little to no prep work and no sanding-yay! Just a quick cleaning to remove any accumulated surface grease, dirt and dust-and that pesky glue.
The odorless primer is a creamy white color with a slightly grayish hue. It has the consistency of a watered-down school glue. Very smooth, very little dripping, brushes on easily and cleanly without leaving brush stroke marks and creates a light, bright prepped surface. And a little goes a very long way! Since these cabinet doors have had a lot of wear, the surface finish in some areas was worn away, while other areas were still shiny. The primer covered all of that evenly so that you cannot see the difference. The directions indicate that the primed surface can be re-painted after one hour with oil or latex paint, but I didn’t attempt that, as I am doing this makeover in stages, which I will be sharing as I complete each one. Brushes easily cleaned up with soap and water. Here is a before cabinet door
(note the taped #? Prior to removing the doors and drawers to paint them, remember to number them and make a map so you know where they go once you are finished):
Disclaimer: Although the product in this blog post was provided by the makers of Kilz HIDE-ALL, the opinions expressed are strictly my own and have not been edited or altered in any way. Susan
Next up on the blogging agenda is a trip to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY on June 6-8.
I have been a huge fan of Country Living Magazine for as long as I can remember (after all, they are the bible of country design),
and I am so excited to be finally attending their fabulous fair! For those of you who aren’t familiar, it truly is a celebration of all things country, “Bringing the pages of Country Living Magazine to Life”.
This 3-day event features vintage vendors with great wares to sell, DIY demonstrations, antiques appraisals, food and cooking demonstrations and meet & greets with HGTV and Cooking Channel Celebrities.
Since this is a quick turnaround-the fair is next weekend– the giveaway starts on May 31 (NOW!!) and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 1. To enter, just click the Rafflecopter link below and complete the form. Not a whole bunch of stuff to click, and if you already follow me on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter, you are way ahead of the game!
Winners will be notified on Monday, June 2 and the tickets will be available at the “will call” window at the fair. Good luck, and I’ll see you at the fair!! (If you are not the lucky winner, there is still time to purchase the tickets from Stella Shows here. ) And for all of my local followers, it’s only 3+hours from Boston! Have a lucky weekend, everyone! Susan