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countrydesignhome

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



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If you didn’t have a chance to view part one, check it out here:Bride and Dad UmbrellaOnce we had dried off our clothing…and our tears…it was party time! Heading into the cocktail area, our guests finally had a first glimpse of what we had been working on over the course of the previous year leading up to the big event.

Candle Light DecorWe had devoted quite a bit of time to the DIY decor representing international travel as the theme…since many of our guests…including the groom’s family, who hail from Northern Ireland, were traveling to the US to attend the wedding. Throughout the year we had gathered our supplies, creating centerpieces of painted globes (remember the global love project?)

Globe Pilephotographs of the bride and groom with their various travel selfies

wedding globesand vintage windows featuring little teeny, tiny airplanes holding the escort cards.

Airplane Escort CardsA mile marker was also constructed representing the 19 different cities and countries that our guests had traveled from to help our families celebrate this special union.

mile marker sign(A special thanks to our son’s lovely fiance, Ashley

#Crashley 1for all of the hand-painted signs…a tedious labor of love…) As a special surprise to the bride and groom, I had ordered a cupcake tower from Let Them Eat Cake featuring their little Frenchie Bartlet perched on top of the world.

Let Them Eat Cake Cupcake TowerSo sweet!

Let Them Eat Cake Bartlet FigureAlthough he’s not quite as sweet in real life…

#bartletthefrenchiebut we do love our little guy anyway…Once the speeches were completed and dinner consumed, the party really got started. Honoring the groom’s Irish heritage, the night lead off with a troupe of incredible Irish Dancers from the Stillson School of Irish Dance,

Carlene Stilson Irish Dancerswho soared and shook the old inn to the rafters

Irish Dancers Shoesin their colorful costumes,

Carlene Stilson Irish Dancersand had our guests at the ready to jump in and dance as well!

Carlene Stilson Irish DancersA difficult act to follow for sure, but no problem for our band Bearfight,

Bearfight and Crowdwho rocked the night away and had the guests on their feet until closing time! Add in a couple more tunes from Andrea and Ben of BeatRoot

Beat Root At the Partyand a bridal rap with her brother, Bearfight’s lead singer Chris…and the night played on.

yo DiggityAt the evening’s close, the crowd joined forces with the band for a rousing rendition of Piano Man

Piano Man Crowd Sings(an “end-of-the-night” classic by Billy Joel). Once outside in the cool (now dry) night air, the guests had a perfect view of the wedding-yup, even the bride in her gown-party’s Ice Bucket Challenge (in honor of their friend, Pete Frates, who leads the fight against ALS)

Ice Bucket Challenge Bridal Party…from the In Town Trolley, who would take them to the “after party” at a downtown pub.

In Town Trolley(Now I don’t know about you, but after being up at the crack of dawn and partying all night, attending another party was the last thing on my mind. Off to sleep for this exhausted MOB!)  An incredible (albeit wet) ending to a perfect (albeit wet) day and night that most of our guests will not soon forget.

Slainte SignLooks like it’s gonna be another warm (albeit wet) day in the Northeast! Slainte, everyone!  Susan

 

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This past weekend I met up with some dear family members that I’m not in touch with very often…except via social media. They were asking me about my daughter’s recent wedding, which made me realize that I never really wrote about it or shared any photos! So, three months later ( boy, how time flies…) here is the beginning of the story…

Kate & Chris in ArborWe had spent a full year planning this wedding, focusing on every detail from decor to dining to the ceremony and music. But what we learned that day is despite your best efforts,  you just cannot control Mother Nature. During the week leading up to the date, we all kept checking our iPhone weather apps and noted little sunny icons in a row with the exception of the zero hour- 5pm on the wedding day-which was clearly marked by a lightning bolt and dark rain clouds. Hmmm. So, with our wedding planner checking the weather continuously on his radar, he decided we should go ahead with the outdoor ceremony as planned and rehearsed, keeping our fingers crossed that we made it before the weather hit.

780The warm, sunny day started out rather promising, with the groom leading many of the wedding guests…

IMG_7944in a Wedding Day 5K along the rocky Maine coastline.

 

While the bride and her party were busy being primpedand pampered by hair stylists and the lovely Kate from Kosmetics by Kate…

IMG_8011preparing for the day ahead.

After their run, the groomsmen were also getting set for the big day

(hair and makeup consultants not necessary here, just a brew or two : )

After the groom and his entourage

made their way to the reception site,

it was time to get some dancing shoes on and get this party started!

As our amazing photographer, Paul Granese, of Paul Granese Photography and other family members snapped away, creating pictorial mementos to last a lifetime,

in the bright, hot sunshine,

IMG_8072there were umbrellas at the ready to protect everyone from the heat…

so we optimistically assumed it was all going to be fine.

But, as the ceremony time rolled near and our guests gathered in their seats on the green expanse of lawn near the lighthouse…

Seated Guestsominous, threatening black storm clouds gathered overhead,

so we quickly gathered the wedding party together to begin the ceremony. Just as the dashing FOB (Father of the Bride, for those wedding-uninformed : ) took our daughter’s arm to begin their walk down the aisle,

the first gentle raindrops fell. Someone from the crowd dashed over to hand him an umbrella to protect the beautiful bride…

IMG_8151and as the first notes of the lilting folk music were sung by the lovely Andrea Magee of BeatRoot– the ceremony was interrupted by a startling flash of lightning and a tremendous clap of thunder.

BeatRoot Ceremony SongAt which point the wedding planner raced down the aisle and asked the bride and groom if they would like to move the ceremony inside…which they agreed would be a good  fantastic idea…

…creating a scene right out of an adventure film…everyone ducking for cover and looking back over their shoulders

Guests Running from Rainwhile scrambling to race inside as the pelting rain soaked suit jackets and shawls and created a “bad hair day” for all…

…and a pond of water where the lawn games had been played just moments before.IMG_8189But then, something quite magical happened. Dampened by the downpour but not shaken, the bridal party quickly reassembled, then entered the small function room (not really meant for the size of this crowd) to cheers and applause,

something you don’t often see at a wedding ceremony…and exchanged their loving

Vowsand oftentimes quite humorous vows,

surrounded by a very close circle of family and friends.

Circle of LoveWas this our ceremony space of choice? Nope. But it was perfectly suited for this happy couple and their guests…providing a much more intimate and moving ceremony that ended with a rousing rendition of “All You Need Is Love” by BeatRoot (and our guests : ).All You Need Is LoveA crazy start to an unforgettable wedding day celebration!  Part Two: The Party is next! Have a great weekend everyone-hope it doesn’t rain on your special day! Susan

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When Thanksgiving time rolls around each November, one of the first purchases I always make is a big bag of fresh cranberries. With their vibrant, deep red color and lasting freshness, cranberries are the perfect fruit to bake with,  cook and decorate with, especially around the holidays in New England. (Who doesn’t remember stringing popcorn and cranberries on a long length of thread to create garland for the family Christmas tree? And, of course, we cannot forget cranberry sauce tube in a can!)  So, last week I was thrilled to receive a beautifully handcrafted, fresh cranberry wreath from the Artful Cranberry of Freeport Maine!

Artful Cranberry Wreath Logo

With row upon row of perfectly placed ruby-red cranberries, these wreaths are one-of-a-kind, and an elegant addition to any style of decor.

Artful Cranberry Fresh WreathAlthough sleek in their symmetry, the rustic nature of the fruited wreath will complement both modern and rustic decor.

Artful Cranberry Wreath on Picket FenceThey are suitable for hanging both inside or out, and will last up to two months in a 50-70 degree interior environment- perfect to take you through this holiday season! Once I received the wreath, I tortured myself trying to decide on the proper bow. I didn’t want anything too large that would cover much of the wreath, but just enough to add a touch of contrast. This “birch-like” ribbon seemed perfect to me.

Art

It is rustic in style, but the birch has just a touch of a silvery sheen to add a bit of bling to my holiday dining room sideboard decor.

Artful Cranberry Wreath Holiday Decor Country Design Home

So the wreath is now proudly on display in our bright red dining room, the perfect complement to my rustic arched window and sparkling candelabras. If you are interested in ordering a wreath from Artful Cranberry, click the log below. (and tell her Sue@CountryDesignHome sent you : )

Artful Cranberry Wreath Logo

They are available in several round sizes, plus a new heart-shaped wreath that honors Women’s Heart Health, with the proceeds being donated to the Go Red For Women Campaign to stop heart disease in women.

Artful Cranberry Heart WreathThe wreaths arrive beautifully packaged and wrapped

Artful Cranberry Wreath Wrappedand the shipping is free– a perfect gift to send to a loved one who is sentimental about a New England Thanksgiving.  The wreaths are named “Unity, Peace, Goodwill, Joy, Love and Wonder,”

Artful Cranberry Wreath on Evergreens powerful messages that creator Deena Prestegard attempts to spread throughout the year, but especially during the holidays.  Hopefully you can spread this message too! Have a thankful Tuesday, everyone! Susan

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Marketplace at Adams FarmFor those of you who have followed my blog since its inception, you’ll remember that I got my start in the “junkin'” business at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market in Norwood. I had some great times staging my monthly-themed space in the old mill with all kinds of reclaimed and reloved vintage wares.

Vintage Thymes Monthly MarketSince then, I’ve moved north and staked my claim at the Barn at Todd Farm, while Nancy Murphy and Robin Hanlon,

Robin Hanlon and Nancy Murphythe original founders of Vintage Thymes,

Vintage Thymes have temporarily closed the monthly market while they search for some new digs. In the meantime, in order to keep their huge following of vintage-lovers happy, they have focused their attentions on an exciting new endeavor, The Marketplace at Adams Farm in Walpole, MA!

The Marketplace at Adams FarmNow partnered with Carol Bentley from Fleurish Home & Garden

Fleurish Home & Gardenand Marybeth Grey from Vintage Shade of Grey,

The ladies of Marketplace at Adams Farmthese four ladies are hosting a 2-day event at the Marketplace at Adams Farm on this coming Saturday & Sunday, October 24 & 25th from 10-4. The Marketplace will be much like the weekend markets at the mill: amazingly talented vendors offering their hand-made, re-refurbished and re-loved wares. You’ll be strolling the grounds of this bucolic “field of vintage dreams”

Adams Farm Walpole, MAwhile enjoying live local music, furniture painting demonstrations, food trucks, raffles and of course, shopping-lots of shopping!! Admission is only $5, but a word to the wise: arrive early-on both days!

The Marketplace at Adams FarmWhy? Well, if you ever had the opportunity to visit the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market on the opening day, you’re aware of the immensely passionate following these ladies have garnered over the years. I suspect there’ll be lots of folks waiting at the entrance for their chance to have first dibs on the vintage wares being offered at the Marketplace. If you love vintage (and, I mean, who doesn’t!?), it’s going to be an event that you do NOT want to miss (and it looks like we may have a nice, sunny weekend as well : ). So, I’ll be seeing you at the The Marketplace at Adams Farm… and if you happen to run into Robin, Nancy, Mary Beth or Carol, tell them Sue from CountryDesignHome sent you! Have a terrific Tuesday everyone! Susan

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Editor’s note: This is long…but worth reading if you ever use vacation rental websites…

Ever since our son and his fiance announced their intention of being married on Martha’s Vineyard (YAY!!) I have been on the hunt for a rental property to house my family for the week of the event. Renting a home for a large group, as opposed to booking individual hotel rooms, makes sense economically. With a group, the per night cost is much less, plus you can cook many of your own meals as opposed to eating out. And, you get to hang out together, which is always fun when you have family coming in from other parts of the country. We have rented many homes on Martha’s Vineyard with family and friends in the olden days, before the internet was invented (yup, I am THAT old). Back then, you got the Boston Sunday Globe-in paper form-grabbed the rentals section and sat circling tiny 1 inch ads of properties on the island while sipping your Sunday morning coffee. Like this:

Newspaper Classified SectionThen you contacted the listing agent or homeowner on the telephone

Antique Wall Phoneand they mailed you hard-copies of the listings. The process was tedious, but it worked. We had many a great summer vacation at some beautiful homes… such fun memories.

Fast forward to the information super highway with anything you want or need, literally at your fingertips! Nowadays, I use several different vacation rental websites to find and procure our vacation homes, mostly with great success. Until this recent search, I thought the biggest issue was that there are just so many rentals online to peruse with thousands of pictures, that it becomes just a bit overwhelming! But, this time around has proven to be a different story. The first rental I chose, through HomeAway.com was a gorgeous estate in very close proximity to the venue. Perfect for our family-even had a pool! I had been in touch with the property owner several times to discuss the dates available, etc. So I booked the home online, confident that my search was over. Imagine my dismay when I received a phone call from the owner the following day stating that she was very sorry, but she had been busy traveling all summer and hadn’t had a chance to update her listing. Now the price, instead of being $5000 for 5 days, was now $10,000 for the same time frame : 0 Needless to say, I canceled that reservation, not only because the price was WAY more than I wanted to spend, but because I was furious that I wasted all that time and energy with some chick that has this giant mansion as her income property playtoy. Fortunately, she refunded my deposit immediately and I was back on the vacation home hunt once again. This past week, I found a second home, this time on VRBO.com (a sister site to HomeAway) an old B&B that is now a private rental. 10 bedrooms, each with its own bath, right near downtown Oak Bluffs, within walking distance to everything. Again, I contacted the agent through the website portal and awaited a response. To my delight, she emailed me the next morning stating that the property was available for my rental dates. AND, instead of the $5000, it would only be $3000 AND if I paid it all up front, she would also give me an additional 15% off! Looks legit, right? I mean, it has the HomeAway logo on it. But look at the email address:

First Ad Response

Now, if you have rented on the Vineyard before, you know that 1. The price is NEVER cheaper than advertised and 2. An extra discount for booking early is rare-you HAVE to book early-prime properties go fast, especially during the “wedding season” on the island. So I emailed her back and said yes, but all the while, knowing in my gut, something was not quite right. She emailed requesting my information (now, I’m not an English teacher but I can spot a run-on sentence when I see one…)

Rental Reponse 2then sent me the contract and rental agreement, and that’s when I really decided something was up.

Rental Invoice

The fake company and foreign bank listed on the rental agreement were the confirmation I needed. Good thing they have a Carefree Rental Guarantee!HomeAway Rental AgreementWhile I was in the process of investigating further (and preparing to contact the website company to report my suspicions) but well BEFORE I sent my $2850 to England, I received a phone call, this time from the real listing agent. After a short conversation, we realized that following my initial inquiry, the hacker had been intercepting both my incoming and the rental agent’s outgoing emails and had used my information to create the false invoice! Suffice to say, we were both a little freaked out-she, because this is her livelihood and the hacker was able to steal her listing to create a fraudulent one and me, because I was would have been out a LOT of money had I not been paying attention! I forwarded her the email correspondence from the hacker and she, in turn, reported it to VRBO. Within 20 minutes, I received an urgent warning message from VRBO stating that there was fraudulent action on the listing (Ya THINK!?). Which was cool that they were right on top of it. But not cool that the hacker was able to do this in the first place on a secure website. On the other hand, I suppose if they can shut down airports and banks, a little rental agency on the Vineyard would be a day at the beach for a hacker…literally.  So there you go. A word of warning to all of you would-be renters out there. Do your homework and follow the instructions on the rental websites: always talk to the listing person, be aware of things like poor grammar and false emails and remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably, definitely is. Have a great weekend everyone-I hope Joaquin doesn’t make a visit to your part of the Americas! Susan

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.

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Welcome To Country Design Home!

Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style...in 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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