Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
Over the past year, since the momentous events of last year’s Boston Marathon, we’ve heard that phrase used time and time again. For some, it means rebuilding a life without a loved one who was tragically lost during the bombings. For others, it is the day-to-day reminders-the scars, the wounds, the prostheses-that force them to remember those horrible events but pushes them to keep moving forward.
For the majority of us, who were not present and could only watch in horror from afar as the events of that day, and week, unfolded, where heroes stepped forward and lives were permanently altered, it is a call to arms to help, to fight back and support the neediest among us.
I am re-sharing this blog with all of you, one of my very first, for any curious onlookers watching and reading from afar who are interested in learning the origins and essence of this amazing, wonderful, joyful city we call Boston, our home.
“In honor of Patriots Day, a uniquely Massachusetts holiday, a little Boston history for your reading pleasure. Facts confirmed by Wikipedia, several historical societies and my historian-in-residence, Coach. Click on the pictures for links to websites and information.
Boston (pronounced baws-tun). The Capital of Massachusetts. The Hub. The City of Champions (see Boston Red Sox, N.E. Patriots, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins). Although significantly smaller in population than The Big Apple, what we lack in size we make up for in historic stature. We are the site of the world’s oldest marathon, begun in 1897, the Boston Marathon.We have the oldest MLB ballpark, Fenway Park (c.1912)
the Swan Boats (c.1877) in the Public Garden
and Harvard University, founded in 1636 and the alma mater of 7 US Presidents.
We are Beantown named for Boston Baked Beans, a dish created by the Colonials, using beans cooked in molasses, a plentiful product due to the slave trade. We are home of the USS Constitution, nicknamed “Old Ironsides”, (C.1787) the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat.
and the Boston Massacre
and the famous Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (the reason for this holiday!)
Penned by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1860, this poem details Revere’s April 18th journey by horseback from Charlestown to Lexington & Concord to warn the townspeople to take up arms in defense of the oncoming British invasion.
“…He said to his friend, “If the British march By land or sea from the town to-night, Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,– One if by land, and two if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.”
The British, whose ships were in Boston Harbor, were planning a march to Concord, where they were to destroy supplies and munitions stored by the local militia. Revere’s plan was to make his way there ahead of the advancing British troops, alerting the locals along the way of the impending British invasion. On the night of April 18, 1775, alerted by the two lanterns hanging in the Old North Church, indicating the British would be advancing in boats over the Charles River, Revere began his historic journey on horseback. He travelled from Charlestown to Concord, alerting the local minutemen of the advancing regiments. Captured and subsequently released by the British, he made his way to the Old North Bridge in Concord,
There you have it. A quick US History lesson of Boston, featuring heroes and patriots, who were not unlike so many of the present day heroes among us who bravely stepped into the fray without fear or trepidation and altered the course of Boston’s history. So, whether this is a holiday for you or not, enjoy the day. And if you are one of the elite 36,000 running the 118th Boston Marathon-congratulations on such an amazing achievement and best of luck to you-stay strong! Happy Patriots Day, everyone! Susan
A few days ago I shared a project that I had been working on: transforming a country cupboard from this ugly, broken, junky piece to a cottage fresh country cupboard. This was the before:
this was the during
this is now.
A simple fresh white country cupboard that is filled with some of my cherished blue and white pieces, including this vintage set of Block China that I have kept stored away for over 30 years!
I have treasured this dinner set with the luscious blue strawberries for so long, but have never had an open cupboard to display them…and now I do! In this close-up pic you can also see the wainscoting wallpaper that I had installed and painted. It just gives a little extra depth to the otherwise plain back of the piece.
You can read about the initial transformation process, including the prepping and installation of the wainscoting wallpaper here:
Once I had finished painting the cupboard, I wanted to add just a bit of glazing to the detailed trim to enhance it. BUT, I did not want to change the overall look of the piece. It needed to remain bright white to contrast with the red walls of my dining room. This concoction of DecoArt Metallic Pearl White Paint + Behr Custom Color Sample (kind of a soft tan-but I’m not sure of the color because it was in the OOPs bin at HomeDepot for 50 cents!) + Martha Stewart Tintable Glaze Effects.
I mixed it all together- lets say 6 parts glaze to two parts metallic paint to one part tan paint. Very scientific.
Then I painted it only on the areas where I wanted the trim to be defined- then wiped it off with a damp rag.
Just a hint of color was left behind to enhance the deep trim work.
Once it dried, I then mixed the Metallic Pearl White paint and the Tintable Glaze (about 50/50) and painted over all of the raised detail and trim areas. So what I have now is an elegant piece with a pearlescent glaze finish that captures the light and makes the detail pop.
Perfect. It just goes to show you what a little TLC and elbow grease can do to transform any ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. And just in time-now I can clean up the dining room and get ready for Easter, whew!! Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone! Susan
I know Easter is just around the corner, and you are probably Easter-crafted out, but I couldn’t resist the chance to share my chunky wood bunny with all of you! Many, many years ago, a dear friend of mine made this wooden Easter Bunny for me.
For all these years, he has been the center of my Easter decor, whether on the table, on the mantel or sitting on the buffet surrounded by yummy desserts. When Coach brought him down from the barn loft this year, I noticed that his pink coat had become dirty, worn and scratched. Not good for a bunny who needs to look his best while roaming the world delivering Easter baskets! I decided he was in dire need of a facelift. And, since I was taking him apart anyway, I thought I would trace the pattern and share it with all of you! He was cut out of 1 1/2″ planks-very heavy and sturdy. But you could certainly use any width you would like. Here are the patterns (you just need to right-click and download them, then resize them to your specs)
The body is 14 3/4″ high by 8″ wide. You will need to cut one.
The arms are 7 1/2″ long by 3″ wide. You will need to cut two of those, one for each side.
The legs are 10″ wide by 6″ high. You will need to cut two of those.
Once you have cut the pieces, you will need to cut three 3/8″ dowel pieces into 2 1/2″ lengths (assuming you are using the 1 1/2″ width wood for the bunny), one each for the arms, the ears and the legs. Using the proper size drill bit (it needs to be snug, so don’t use a larger one or else the extremities will just flop around!), drill the three hole completely through the bunny’s body. Tap the dowel through so there is 1/2″ protruding from either side.
With the same 3/8″ drill bit, drill 1/2″ deep holes into the extremities in the indicated spots on the patterns (the big black dot). Make sure you drill one on each side to create mirror images. Otherwise you’ll have a holy bunny!
The fun part: paint the bunny! Go nuts and make him polka dot or plaid or just plain and simple. He’s your bunny to keep, so have a ball. You can even have your kids give him the finger paint treatment : )If you do decide to make one, please share your pics!!
Now just gently twist the extremities onto the dowel sections of the body: Ears on top, arms in the middle, legs on the bottom. Or, you can mix it up and go all Picasso on him- that’s fine too. The fit should be snug so they stay in place and he stays upright. If you have made the holes too large, you will need to glue the pieces in place or add a little putty. And there you have it- a bunny that is ready to join in all the Easter fun! And my little guy? Well, he’s being painted right now, and he’s not quite ready to show off. But I wanted to get this pattern to you, just in case you need some last minute Easter fun. Have a warm and wonderful Wednesday, everyone! (I know I will : ) Susan
As you all know, Coach and I are HUGE fans of all types of nautical decor, and especially anything with whales. Any time we come across a whale sign or carving (and tables, of course), we add them to our ever-growing collection for our nautical summer porch and family room. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to receive and review this hand-crafted Wooden Whale Sign from Nantucket Brand,
I jumped at the chance! This one is a beauty!! From the Nantucket Brand Emporium website,
the description reads: “Wooden sign featuring a painted black whale on a white background. This sign is handmade in the USA and makes for great nautical decor. Since each sign is handmade, colors and sizes will vary slightly. Sign measures approximately 10.5 x 30.”
All true, but, honestly, that description does not do this sign justice. The distressed, wooden hand-painted sign is hefty, quite large, and the design is bold but aged and weathered as if it had been sitting on a dock in the Nantucket sun for quite some time. Which fits in so nicely with our rustic, nautical summer porch decor! The Emporium of Nantucket also offers the inverse design: a black, distressed background with a white whale. Just as majestic and a perfect focal point for any nautical vignette.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of visiting their shop on the beautiful island of Nantucket, then luckily for you, they offer their home decor items online at nantucketbrand.com. You can purchase the whale sign, along with all types of nautical decor, like these gorgeous brass door knockers
or these 3D WoodCut Nautical Charts
a family-owned island retail store that was established in 1947. Additionally, if you visit their website, nantucketbrand.com and either like them on Facebook, Tweet about them @NantucketBrand or add your email to their mailing list, you automatically receive a 15% discount on your first order! So shop ahoy!! But if you are interested in the whale sign like mine, you’d better move quickly- there are only a couple left in stock! And the next time you drop anchor at the Emporium of Nantucket, tell them Sue from Country Design Home sent you. Anchors away, everyone!! Susan
As we head into the final week leading up to the historic 118th running of the Boston Marathon, I have been receiving many emails and inquiries regarding shirts with this beautiful logo that I had featured last year. I am happy to report that I have a source to share! Steve Baumann has a tented stand in Worcester, MA where he sells his shirts and sweatshirts with this particular logo. I have a couple, and I can tell you that I have received many, many compliments no matter where I go while proudly wearing this Boston logo!
Steve will be at 500 West Boylston Street in Worcester, Ma next weekend, including Patriots Day (this is all weather permitting, so give him a ring before you head out to make sure he will be there- #508-414-3940.) And, good news, he is also taking orders and shipping them as well! He can be reached at #508-414-3940 or email@example.com.
Additionally, if you have always dreamed of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated (athlete or swimsuit model?!) here is your chance! On Saturday, April 12, Sports Illustrated will be shooting their April 16th cover on Boylston Street and is hoping that all of you will come out to represent everything that is great about our beautiful city of Boston. From SI.com:
“Sports Illustrated is inviting Bostonians to be part of a photo shoot featuring Boston Strong. A photo from the shoot will serve as the cover of the next issue of Sports Illustrated, which will hit newsstands April 16. The production will take place Saturday at 7:00 a.m. at the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth, the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon. Fans will be joined by Mayor Marty Walsh and city first responders and are encouraged to wear Boston gear as a show of resiliency and civic pride.” Hope to see you all there-and wear your finest Boston Strong gear!
And, announcing the next event, #25 for The Next 26, the non-profit organization that has spent the past year raising funds and city pride in the aftermath of the marathon bombings. On April 19th, you can join them at the Watertown Police Finish Strong Walk/Run
This very special event “will commemorate the one year anniversary of the events that led to the capture of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects by inviting the community to fill the streets of Watertown in a celebratory 5k road race. Proceeds to benefit the WPSA, local charity & victim funds, One Fund, Watertown Police Foundation–the new foundation to support youth community programming and school safety initiatives.”
So, with the weather finally co-operating, lets get out and get ready for next week’s events,
and show the world how “wicked awesome” Bostonians are! Have a great weekend everyone, and stay Boston Strong! Susan