Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.


It’s day two of the LOVE collection!

Photo Courtesy of The Plotting Princesses
Photo Courtesy of The Plotting Princesses

Of course, we all remember these Sweetheart Candies from The Necco Company-based right here in Revere, Mass. They were the sweet treat of choice when I was a kid. But these days, homemade goodies are a must-do for Valentine’s Day, so today I am featuring LOVE-inspired sweets and treats from some of my favorite blogs-recipes included-because I LOVE all of you! Up first: What can be more delicious than fruit and nut stuffed pie crust cookies?! These beautiful Pie Crust Cookies from Nest Full Of New look soooo good!

Pie Crust Cookies Nest Full Of NewHow about some Nutella Filled Crescent Hearts from The Pinterested Parent?

Nutella Filled Crescents The Pinterested ParentThese Hidden Kisses Chocolate Chip Cookies from Our Kids Mom look amazing! Especially considering she is a mom of 4 kids and has time to bake yummy decorated treats!

Hidden Kisses Cookies from Our Kids MomNow you all know I am not a big fan of mice-but these! Chocolate Cherry Mice by My Turn For Us! Yum!

Chccolate Cherry Mice by My Turn for UsThen, of course, the Martha Stewart Valentine’s Treat: Heart-Shaped Whoopie Pies with Raspberry Meringue Filling-wow.

Martha Stewart Heart Shaped Whoopie PiesHeart Shaped Linzer Sandwich Cookies by Eclectic Recipes-these are one of my all-time favorite cookies. Crumbly shortbread sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar filled with raspberry jam. What’s not to LOVE?

Heart Shaped Linzer Cookies from Eclectic CookingAnd, finally, these look super cute and easy enough for kids to make for their favorite Valentine : )Marshmallow Treat Pops from Party City

Valentine Treat Pops from Party CitySo if you are having a sweet craving, try one of these tasty recipes, and have a sweet (Super) Sunday everyone! Susan

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In this month of openly-proclaimed all things LOVE, I am celebrating by posting a new LOVE sign or picture each day until February 14th, Valentine’s Day. Some will be images and ideas I have found on the web that I would love to share, some are my own creations, like this reclaimed wood plank with LOVE letters spelled out in shutter slats and the “O” from an old mason jar top. Hope you love it!

Country Design Home Vintage Love Sign

I created this using a reclaimed wooden plank, some paint, glue, reclaimed vintage shutter slats and an old mason jar lid. Here is the “how-I-did-it”:Painted two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen chalk paint. This is my go-to neutral that I use for so many projects!

Annie Sloan French Linen Base CoatStenciled the background with Behr Gulf Winds

Behr Gulf Winds Paintin an all-over stencil pattern to give the piece a “wallpaper” effect.

LOVE sign stenciled backgroundThe blue I chose matched closely to the hue of the mason jar top. Isn’t it just the soothingest color?

LOVE sign Stencil Color Gulf WindOnce the paint was dry, I sanded everything to distress the top and edges

Vintage LOVE sign distressed edges

and then added a coat of Fidde’s Paste Wax to give the board a glowing effect.

 Fiddes and Son Supreme Wax

Cut the shutter slats into the letters necessary to spell out LOVE-without the “o”.

Antique Shutter Slats for LOVE signCoach initially cut them with the chop saw, but I discovered that these are easily cut with just a razor box cutter. They are pretty old and brittle, so it didn’t take much effort at all.

Vintage LOVE sign cut letters

I glued the letters to the board with Gorilla Glue. Just as an FYI, their label was one of the few I looked at during my freak-out session while writing “The Dangers of DIY” that says their product is non-toxic and has no harmful chemicals or odors.

Gorilla Glue LabelHigh five, Gorilla Glue!

Vintage LOVE sign Gorilla GlueJust painted the glue on the back of each piece, placed them into position and then weighted them down with some books and cans of paint and left overnight to ensure the proper bonding.

Add the “O”. Hot glue worked well for this.

Mason Jar Top O for Love SignJust glued all around the edges, pressed it down onto the board to complete the sign.

Mason Jar O for Love Sign

To hang it, I used a couple of tiny rings and some wire. The board was quite thin, so most of the screws and nail hangers I had were too long.

Screw Hook and wire for LOVE signThis worked great because the sign is very light and won’t stretch out the wire. So this is the before:

Wood plank for LOVE sign

And this is now: Do you LOVE it?!?

Vintage LOVE Sign TM

If you have a LOVELY craft, idea or recipe to share, please send it to me @ and I will add you to my LOVE collection. Hope you have a lovely Saturday! Susan

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Antiqued Mirror Completed PM

Who’s the fairest (and most rustic, vintage and gorgeous!) of them all? This mirror was another “throw-away” Coach found “somewhere”. I don’t ask anymore. It’s like a magic cupboard-I need something, I open up the barn door and voila! Instant DIY subject! Today’s project was this old, dirty, chipping and peeling dark brown mahogany mirror. Despite it’s sorry, drab exterior in dire need of some TLC, the actual structure itself was totally solid and quite heavy, I might add. I transformed it from this in a few simple, easy steps.

Antiqued Mirror BeforeHere is the How-I-Did-It: 1. Cleaned the mirror and frame thoroughly with heavy duty cleanser. The mirror is not in perfect condition, but that’s fine by me. Adds to the charm, and it stills reflects the light, which is most important. Lightly sanded the frame just to remove any loose particles of old varnish.

2. Primed with Gripper by Glidden. LOVE this stuff. Seals in stains, odors, evens the color and preps the wood to accept the topcoat.

Glidden Gripper Primer3. Painted with one coat of Glidden Antique Beige

Glidden Antique Beige Can

that I added my “chalk-like-paint” mixture to. It is a nice, soft, matte finish that accepts glazes and waxes very well. That recipe here:

Antiqued Mirror Painted

4. Added the unfinished medallion to the top for detail.

Antique Mirror Unfinished MedallionI purchased this one at Michaels for a couple of bucks. Just glued it on with Gorilla Glue . You have to brush it on, then weight it down

Antiqued Mirror Glueing Downand wait until it’s dry to ensure a good solid bond. Then I painted it with the same Glidden top coat and allowed to dry.

Antiqued Mirror Medallion Primed5. Lightly sanded the whole mirror frame and detail to expose some of the dark wood beneath.

Antiqued Mirror Detail Sanded 26. Painted on this Antique Wax in Scrub Pine from General Finishes. I like this one because you don’t have to work it in with a rag. You literally paint it on!

Antiqued Mirror Scrub Pine Antique WaxBrushed it on with a foam brush, then wiped off with a rag, leaving the dark wax in places to enhance all of the crevices and lines and detail.

Antiqued Mirror Glazed and Sanded

It leaves some color, but it also adds a nice matte finish to the entire piece. Allowed to dry.

7. Scraped off the excess paint and stain insdie the frame of the mirror. Cleaned the mirror.

Antiqued Mirror Scraping Glass8. Here is the finished closeup of my antiqued mirror. I love it, but what do you think? Should I have left it alone or did I give this piece some love? (BTW, if anyone knows the trick to photographing mirrors without me being in the shot, I would love to hear it!!!)

Antiqued Mirror Top Details

This is a very simple DIY project, it just takes some time and a little patience to allow each layer to dry before adding the next. If you are thinking of trying this process, test it out on a sample piece of wood before taking on a big, detailed mirror or frame. But remember, it’s supposed to look old and messy, so perfection is not an option! Sometimes a little messy is a good thing… Hope you have a reflective Thursday, everyone! Susan

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Oatmeal Jam SquaresI have been making these super easy, delicious Oatmeal Jam Squares forever! This recipe was from an old, dog-eared Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Quaker Oats Cookbook

They only take a few moments to prep, make minimal mess because you mix it all in one bowl with mostly (I would guess) stuff you already have in your pantry and fridge, 25 minutes to bake and done. Delish! Here’s the how-to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I have an electric oven, so I always set it 25 degrees less as I feel it cooks faster and hotter than gas, so mine was set at 325. Grease 13 x 9 pan and set aside. This pic looks a little weird, because I used cooking spray and it squirts out rather than lightly sprays. Whatever works…

Oatmeal Jam Squares Grease Pan


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups quick oats

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (you can use either light or dark brown, but I feel the dark brown gives the bars a richer flavor)

2 sticks (one cup) butter or margarine, softened, not melted

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (Optional)

1 1/2 – 2 cups jam or jelly or preserves, any flavor Note: The original recipe called for 3/4 cup. You can use as much or as little as you like. The more jam, the gooier the bar : )

Measure out all dry ingredients, set aside.

Oatmeal Jam Squares IngredientsPlace softened butter in large mixing bowl (I used one margarine, one butter. Not sure why, I just do that)

Oatmeal Jam Squares Softened Butter

and mix just until sticks are broken apart, not creamed. I used dough hooks in my mixer, you can use those, or mix by hand with wooden spoon.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Blending Butter

Dump in all the dry ingredients on top of the butter in the large mixing bowl.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Ingredients in Bowl

Mix with dough hooks, or by hand with a wooden spoon, until mixture is crumbly and well-blended.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Dough Hooks

Remove and reserve 2 cups of mixture, set aside.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Mixture

Place remaining mixture into prepared pan and pat down until firm crust is formed.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Crust in Pan

Do not compress too much, but make sure there aren’t any errant chunks scattered around.

Oatmeal Jam Squares One Cup Jam

Spoon jam onto crust

Oatmeal Jam Squares Jam in Pan

and smooth out to the corners, completely covering the crust.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Jam in Pan Smoothed

As you see here, I am using two types of jam,

Oatmeal Jam Squares Jam Jars

but you can use whatever you happen to have available. I have used everything from orange marmalade to grape jelly, and it all tastes great! Sprinkle remaining topping over the jam, evenly spreading to corners. Bake for 25-30 minutes until jam is bubbling around the edges, the crust is light brown and set.

Oatmeal Jam Squares Baked

Remove from oven before crust over-browns! Over-browning is bad. Makes the bars crunchy instead of gooey. And I like gooey. If you like crunchy, then leave them in a bit longer. Cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

Oatmeal jam SquaresThese are delicious (and nutritious) enough for breakfast and snacks but sweet enough for dessert. Have a yummy Wednesday everyone! Susan

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Tagxedo Logo

Every once in awhile I happen upon a fresh new idea or website that’s just fun and creative and easy enough for anyone to try (and there is no sanding and painting and glazing and waxing to do : ) Well, hello, Tagxedo! This website creates “clouds” of words that you can personalize in a million different ways to print or save or have printed on shirts or whatever you would like to do with them. AWESOME.

Tagxedo Front Page

I went to the home page, where you can add essentially anything you wish to create a cloud-I just entered the URL of my blog and this happened in, like, 2 seconds:

Tagxedo Country Design Home Cloud

Here is their Facebook page where you can get ideas-and there are so many! I love this reverse print HORSE.

Tagxedo Horse

Just for fun, I typed in Sochi Olympics and this is the result-a large snowflake puzzle piece!

Tagxedo Sochi Olympics

I mean, seriously, I could sit here all day and play with this (well, I really can’t, I have rocks to climb with The Next 26).

The Next 26 Boulders for Boston

But this would be a fun way to spend a snowy afternoon, with your kids too!

Tagxedo Snowman


And, for the perfect Valentine for your very special loved ones…

Tagxedo LOVE

So, if you are looking for some simply creative fun, check out Tagxedo. Here’s hoping your Sunday’s not a uphill climb!!

Brooklyn Boulders Somervile

And if you’re looking for me, I’ll be on the top of a rock wall-NOT! Susan

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.


Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.

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