Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
In an early High Five for Friday!, I wanted to give you a sneak peek at all things country being offered in my shop at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market. After what seems like a year (actually its only been 6 weeks since I agreed to join the market- but boy my arms are tired!) of sanding, staining, waxing, painting, cleaning and hauling loads of great vintage stuff in my poor car-soooo many dings and bumps : (
I am finally ready to debut my collection!
Country Design Home: A Carefully Curated Collection of Simply Casual Country Style Furnishings & Accessories.
This was the before:
And this was during (I really thought I was going to need a bigger booth!)
And this is now:
In my shop, you will find hand-crafted items, like these very cute shutter chalkboard signs,
refurbished beauties like this pink and gray Victorian commode that was featured in a previous blog post: Coming Unhinged
and of course, my newly created wrought iron shutter top patio set! If you get there early, you might find this amazing aqua blue vintage hinged and locking steel box presumably from the back of my dream pickup truck
(but I have a feeling that one’s not going to be there long, judging from the oohs and ahs of anyone who saw it…), loads of creamy white stoneware and crocks, mason jars by the barrel, vintage tin milking pails, luscious yellow enamel bowls and these cute tin daisy canisters with cut glass knobs. If you follow my blog, you know I am all about color. This month is pretty pastels, reflected in the paints and accessories I chose to highlight. I love muted grays and blues as much as the next girl, but for me, color brightens my world and makes me happy : ) The cupboard shown here was in my dining room for years. Moved around a bit, but finally landed back in the barn. What was once an old, tired dark brown stained wood was transformed with Annie Sloan French Linen Paint and Soft Wax Finish and Benjamin Moore Chalkboard Paint on the buffet top. Or, if you have a hankering for some home-made ice cream, how about this vintage ice cream maker? If you are getting ready to plant, I suggest this 9 clay pot vintage iron rack. The pots are chalkboard painted, so you can erase my numbers and label them with the various plants and herbs you are nursing along. I had a blast putting my shop together, with special thanks to Coach, who is my fabulous picker, Lisa Mokaba, my right hand girl and lover of all things vintage, Nancy Granese, who added her amazing artwork for my space and the fabulous ladies from Vintage Thymes Monthly Market-Robin and Nancy-who have helped me immeasurably with great staging and pricing advice : ) The entire market is stacked to the rafters with great vintage finds, and ready for opening day-tomorrow! So much to see, so much to buy! I hope you have a truck : ) The hours of operation are Friday, May 10 from 9-6, Saturday May 11 from 9-6 and Sunday May 12 from 12-5. The address: WinSmith Mill Market at the Norwood Commerce Center, 61 Endicott Street, Norwood, MA. Google Map Here. Hope to see you all there! Now I’m going to take a breath and have a cup of coffee before I start getting ready for June. Happy Shopping, and a very Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Susan
…what would’ve happened if Coach and I hadn’t wandered down to Cape Cod last summer and found some old shutters on the side of the road. Seriously! On a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon, we were driving down the Old King’s Highway, or Rte 6A, for some antique shopping and ocean viewing. All of a sudden we spotted some old, weathered, beautiful pastel shutters on the side of the road. So Coach pulls over and tells me to get out and grab them! Which I did, but only after looking at all of the surrounding homes to ensure that a strong wind hadn’t just blown them off and the owners were set to retrieve them.
All clear! So I threw them in the CRV and off we went, but not very far before I noticed the strong oceany, mildew, rotten seaweedy kind of smell emanating from the back seat. Yuck! But we brought them home, along with some others that a shopkeeper gave us-yup, it was just that kind of day. So I soaked them in bleach, mildew remover, sanded them, washed them again, then laid them out in the sun for weeks. As the summer wore on, the stench slowly dissipated as I anxiously awaited the opportunity to use them in some special project. Fast forward to last weekend’s patio table project. We had scooped this topless table at a yard sale, realizing that I would have to create a new top for it.
My first thought was to use this old rain barrel- the staves were old and beautifully weathered, and unlike the shutter slats, were smell-free.
However, after spending hours deconstructing it, I discovered that 1. old barrel wood is really brittle and 2.old barrel staves are curved, which makes for a precarious perch for a cup of coffee.
The Plan B inspiration hit me at 4:30 am- the cleaned, pastel shutter slats would be perfect! So here’s my how-to:
1. Cut out a round piece of pressure treated plywood for the base in the size you want for the table top.
2. Arrange the slats in a pleasing “patchwork quilt” style pattern.
3. Glue, then nail the slats to the top of the plywood circle. I used this little sharpshooter- it shoots tiny little brads that are almost invisible.
4. Flip the top over, then using a jigsaw, trim all of the excess wood away to create a perfect round. Well, not exactly perfect. I’m working on my sawing skills : ). Then flip it back over and
sand the top and the edges until smooth and even. Stain the bottom and sides.
6. Finish sides with black spray painted hanging strapping stuff with little black tacks.
I had High Heat paint so that’s what I used, but unless you are planning on using this as a fire pit, I think regular Krylon will do the trick.
7. Spray the entire surface with matte clear acrylic finish. Allow to dry, then finish with a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax on top and sides, both the wood and the metal. Place on your patio for all to admire and enjoy!
9. Set it up in your booth for the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market coming this weekend! This one’s for sale : )
So see, if we had never wandered to the Cape that day, I never would have scooped those shutters and created this beautiful table and chairs and offered it to you! Now, does anyone need a box of cut up antique barrel staves? Happy wandering Wednesday everyone! Susan
A few weeks ago, I blogged about the First Annual Guerilla Staging Competition at Mill 77 Trading Company in Amesbury to benefit “Our Neighbor’s Table”. To refresh: we chose a category out of a hat, then had 40 minutes to race through the shops collecting whatever we could move to create a beautiful, photo-worthy room. What a blast!! Our team, Mother Knows Best, with the category Clothing and Accessories, used our collective creative minds to produce a Paris-inspired turn-of-the-century boudoir. This was the before:
This was the after:
Then I sent out a request to all of you in internet-land for votes! For two weeks we sat on pins and needles awaiting the final word. The votes were finally tallied over the weekend, and guess what?!? We won first place!! So I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone out there who visited the website, clicked on the YouTube link and either “liked” the video or voted for us online. We couldn’t have done it without you. It was great fun, for a really great cause, and we can’t wait til next year’s competition! I like the sound of defending champions : ) As for me, I think I’ll use my winnings to purchase a new nail gun!! Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!! Susan
So, you ask, how does one (who really cannot draw more than stick figures) create a great-looking sign that you can be proud of? Well, I have done quite a bit of research and have read many, many how-to tutorials. Most involved special transfer paper, graph paper, rulers and grids and painstaking copying. That didn’t appeal to me-I like quick, fast and easy (insert joke here). The more things I get done, the more things I get to keep doing! I needed a sign for next week’s booth, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try my own approach to chalking it up. Here we go:
Step 1: Go to the barn and get an antique cupboard door that’s been hanging around for generation or two-thanks, Coach!
If you are making your own chalkboard, like I did, I recommend Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint.
I have tried many brands and this one is very smooth and creates a nice writing surface. You need two coats. Follow the directions on the can. It takes 3 days to cure. Follow the directions on the can. Make sure you “size” the board before you write on it with chalk. Then wipe it down. Follow the directions on the can.
Use your basic paint program or photoshop or whatever you use to create the words and graphics you would like to have on your sign. You can be as fancy or plain as you like. Size them to the exact specs of the board you are decorating. You will need to create the entire board, and you can do that in sections or all on one 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Print them as you normally would on regular printer paper, do not flip them to the reverse. If you have printed a large design in sections, you need to tape the whole thing together before you tape it to the board. You can use the program from Blockposters to create a large mural-type board.
Step 3. Flip the paper over and then take some sharpened chalk and draw along the lines of the print. I will call this reverse chalking. Be neat, but you don’t have to be fanatical about it. That’s what wet wipes are for.
And yes, you can sharpen chalk with a regular pencil sharpener-who knew?! And it doesn’t make that squeaky “nails on the blackboard” noise either!
Step 4. Carefully place the paper, chalk side down on your prepared surface. Don’t move it around too much or it will leave smudgy stuff on your nice clean board. Tape it in place. Repeat, tape it in place.
Step 5. Take something smooth but pointy- like this cuticle thingy (lord knows, I don’t use it for my nails…) and rub all of the lines that you want to magically appear on the chalkboard.
Step 6. You can carefully lift the paper up just to make sure you have transferred all of the chalk lines you need as you go.
Step 7. When you are happy that the design has been transferred to your liking, you carefully remove the paper, and voila! Instant fancy printing! I added just a few corner embellishments, but this is where you can go crazy adding all kinds of cute graphics free hand!
You will most likely need to use your sharpened chalk to clean up the edges, deepen the color and thicken the lines. (I also read somewhere that you should wet the chalk or the board to make the lines darker and clearer. That didn’t work for me, but have at it if you don’t think your lines are dark enough.) If you make a mistake, just use a wet wipe and try again.
Step 9. Chalk it up to another great D.I.M. (Do It Myself) tip from Country Design Home! Susan
It’s Friday again- that was fast- and this week’s High Five for Friday goes to Crown Auctions in Medford, Mass. Since Coach and I have been on the flea market, yard and estate sale hunt for treasures for the upcoming market, we decided to try an auction or two. Until we recently attended one of Crown’s Monday night events,my overall impression of auctions had been of a room filled with antiques, with well-dressed bidders quietly wielding their numbered paddles as the auctioneer rattled on quickly and without humor. Monday night changed all that-what a blast! The owners, Arthur and Klia Crisafulli, put on a show. This is part commerce, part comedy and mostly getting incredible pieces at cut-rate prices! When we first arrived, we felt like we were the new kids on the block amidst the assembled group of approximately 100 buyers and bidders. People were eating, knitting, checking out the merchandise and just hanging out and chatting-clearly they had been there many times before. During the auction, Arthur called many of them out by name, joking and laughing while moving the sales along at break neck speed. At one point I counted 30 second intervals for each item bid and gone! By then end of the three hours, he had liquidated an entire estate from Fitchburg, with items like this pottery whiskey jug
and quite a few pieces from an un-named museum in Boston. (apparently the museum folks didn’t want it to be public knowledge that they were selling off pieces at auction!). So, what did we get for our $121 we paid (that’s the winning bids, plus tax plus a “buyers premium” of 15%)? This beautiful antique pine blanket chest,
a maple commode, a little Windsor chair and a ballot box (that one was for Coach). We also bid on and won an entire banquet table of pottery and china- including these beauties! An antique pottery footwarmer from the now-defunct Dorchester Pottery Works
and this gorgeous Weller Pottery (established in 1872) large pale green planter with the base.
The Modern Method of Preparing Delightful Foods by Ida Bailey Allen.
Known as The Nation’s Homemaker and the “original domestic goddess”, she was apparently quite famous back in the day, according to her bio.
We also won so many jugs and vases and hand-painted items-like this precious little hand-thrown “No Nukes”pottery vase- perhaps made by some child in art class?
(At first, without my glasses, I thought it said “No Nuns”, which would have been appropriate for someone who had attended Catholic School in the 60’s : ) If you are interested in getting in on the action at the auction, you can go to their website here and add your email to the list. You won’t want to miss next month’s auction- they are liquidating the estate of Herb Reed (of the Platters!)