Littlethings.com
Have you heard of LittleThings.com? It’s a website devoted to sharing lots of fun and interesting tidbits of information…with loads of photos and video clips of cute puppies and funny babies and uplifting stories of real, everday people doing nice things for one another. No heavy news stories featured, this site is strictly for entertainment and to provide a few chuckles and “awwws” along the way to its millions of users. And I mean MILLIONS…read for yourself…

Little Things About Us

Recently, I received an email from Todd Briscoe, a senior editor at littlethings.com, requesting my permission to feature my Rusty Bedspring Marquee Project on their website.

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Sign

He thought my upcycling bedspring project was innovative and interesting enough that it was worth sharing with the world! So thanks, Todd! Click on the link to view the post here in the #amazing category:

Little Things Bedsprings Headline

 

If you would like to share an interesting video or photo (not necessarily a DIY project, but something cute or funny or inspirational that makes you laugh or cry or just sigh : ) you can go to the website: www.littlethings.com and click on the “Submit Content” link. According to the website, your video may end up being featured on Letterman or the Today Show! So, if you have a minute (or an hour or two…this website is totally addictive!) and you could use a laugh or a few uplifting stories to start your Sunday, check out littlethings.com. And Todd, if you really want to own that Rusty Bedspring Marquee Light, well, I’ve got a deal for you : )  Have a sweet Sunday everyone and just remember…it’s the little things in life that really matter! Susan  

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Fountain.com LogoThis past week, I decided to replace a light switch in my study that had burned out awhile ago. Having never done this before (and of course, being completely unconcerned about my personal well-being…) I decided to give it a try. What’s the worse that can happen, I thought?? So, with new switch in hand and the power turned off, I unscrewed the switch plate and discovered this…yikes. That’s what you get with an old house. Old scary wires.

Burned out light switchMy first thought was oh, crap, who can I call to ask what I should do with these frayed wires? Fortunately for us, we do have friends and family who can come to our rescue on short notice with questions like this. However, if you are not that lucky and need to make a switch change, what would you do? Well, there is a brand new app called Fountain that was unveiled last night at the 2015 Launch Festival in San Francisco that may just have your answer!

Fountain App Front PageThe brainchild of Aaron Patzer, the same innovator who created Mint.com, Fountain is a new app that is designed to give regular homeowners who are searching for answers some expert assistance in a moment’s notice.  You simply download the free app from the Apple store to your iPhone (Android is in the works : )

Fountain App English Ask

When you have a question, you call up the app and either type in or voice text your dilemma, whether it’s how to plant a garden or repairing a hole in your wall or replacing a burned out light switch. The home and garden categories cover a wide array of topics, including painting, plumbing, furnishings, space planning, real estate, with experts at the ready in their chosen field.

Fountain App Ask PageOnce you ask the question, the app first attempts to obtain as much info from you so it can accurately pinpoint the exact information requested. It then finds the proper expert(s) in the database to answer and immediately pushes a notification to them.

Fountain App Immediate HelpIn this instance, I typed in “replace a light switch”, but Fountain wants to know whether its for a home, a car or an appliance so it can direct me to the proper expert.

Fountain Ask WindowOnce the app is happy with the question, it will connect you with the chosen expert and the chat process begins. On this app, there is a “face-time” type component so that you are actually discussing your issue face to face with someone in the know while they talk you through your home improvement issue. You can even take them shopping with you…asking real time questions about the products or brands you need to purchase for your project while your in the store.

Fountain App Unbiased AdviceDuring the chat, the other option is to share and compare still photos while you are in the middle of the video discussion. So the pics are sent back and forth between the homeowner and the expert, which makes the process unlike any other “help” forum  presently available online.

Fountain App Show and TellOnce you have your answers for your project and your call is completed, you are left with a “recent history” where you can go back and review the information, with texts and photos provided. And so, with that, I am excited to announce that I am one of the Fountain “experts” in the DIY and Home Decor categories! We have been in beta testing for months, and it was so exciting to finally see the app launched in front of a national audience last night!

Fountain Twitter Launch Party

For more questions, you can tweet to @askFountain or download the app and give it a try…and perhaps I will be the lucky expert to help you out!! Have an “app”solutely fabulous Tuesday, everyone! Susan

ps: In case you were worried, I did indeed replace the light switch without any issues…for once : )

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Recently, I had heard of a contest sponsored by Black & Decker called Your Big Finish!

Black & Decker Your Big FinishTheir goal is to get America to finish what they started-“It’s All For Done…And Done For All”! You know all of those projects you have started along the way that are in different stages of completion…like my Hall of Shame...and my mom’s thrifty kitchen makeover? Well, those were not eligible because they are still (unbelievably) in the works. BUT, there is one finished project that I am super proud of…my HI! Rusty Bedspring Marquee Sign.

Rusty Bedspring Marquee SignSo I thought, sure why not enter it? Well, I did, and guess what? My mug is now plastered on a billboard in Times Square!

Black & Decker Times Square Billboard  Times SquareWhat?!?! Now, since I don’t live in NYC, I have no way of actually seeing my face in lights  (ugh, I hope it’s not high def so you can see all those wrinkles), but I am told that it is on the CNN billboard on the corner of 46th and 47th street. So, if anyone happens to be in Manhattan between now and December 27th, could you take a peek? Just look for the giant HI! that is rotating along with the 100’s of other featured projects. You can check out some of the others here (you’ll note that the Times Square featured projects have a little green street sign in the top right corner : )

Black & Decker Project Page

Like my friend Sarah, from Little Red Brick House’s beautiful Fireplace Makeover.

Little Red Brick House Fireplace MakeoverIn the meantime, if you would like to see the now famous Rusty Bedspring Marquee Light in person, it’s hanging in the shop at the Barn at Todd Farm. But right now it says JOY.

Joy Sign in the Barn at Todd FarmBecause that’s a little of what I am feeling right now : ) Thanks to Black & Decker for sponsoring this contest and allowing everyday folks the opportunity for their 15 minutes of fame. And for encouraging all of us procrastinators to finish what we started!! You, too can enter for the chance to have your photo plastered on a billboard in Times Square, but also for some great prizes like some new Black & Decker tools and a grand prize of $10,000!! (which I could then use to buy the new cordless drill that I have been coveting-Santa, are you reading this?!?) Have a great finish to your Friday everyone!! xoxo Susan

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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

Country Living Fair Ford 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!

Country Living Fair GoatTo my delight, I discovered a couple of craftsmen from my neck of the woods, yay!

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!

Sage Farms Antiques LogoI 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?

Addie Peet FloorClothsThis floorcloth design is brilliant! It is a runner that is painted to resemble a hopscotch game down to the very last details, including the cracking asphalt.

Hopscotch FloorCloth Addie Peet DesignsNo more chalk on the driveway to hose down! Unfortunately, she won’t be at the Vintage Bazaar next week, but she does sell on Etsy! you can check out her website here: apfloorclothdesign.com

I met the lovely and talented Jeanne van Etten of Nantucket Mermaid who has just opened a shop on the island of Nantucket.

Nantucket Mermaid Shop PhotoSuch sweet, intricately painted heart dishes

Hand Painted Hearts from Nanctuket Mermaidand 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 : )

Lavender Mermaid Doll from Nantucket MermaidI 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

Plush Soft Sculptures by Nicole BowenFrom The Land of Enchantment by Debrina Pratt –The Starlight Ballet

Starlight Ballet from Debrina PrattFrench Paper Follies by Wendy Addison

Paper Follies by Wendy AddisonAnd from Valerie Weberpal of Harvest Moon-super cool cat box!

Cool Cat Fun Town Jody BattagliaYou just couldn’t stroll past the booth from Reclaimed State from Wappinger Falls, NY

Reclaimed Statewithout noticing the soft glowing copper and amazing workmanship used to build this completely hand-crafted trunk turned cooler!

Copper Trunk by Reclaimed State

Reclaimed State Copper Trunk Corner DetailLoved 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!

School of Fish Decoys UnfinishedFolks 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

Homestead Collectionand this potter’s bench complete with vintage porcelain sink.

HomeStead CollectionIf 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.

Sweet Tea Clothing Co lightsCouldn’t resist this very sweet mounted mason jar wall flower vase filled with daisies. Who doesn’t love mason jars and daisies: )

Mason Jar Sconce by Sweet Tea Clothing CoFrom Vintage by Crystal we discovered these fanciful miniature dolls of all types, painstakingly hand-crafted of spun cotton.

Spun Cotton Dolls Vintage by Crystal With their tiny faces, they appeared almost lifelike with the detailed decorations!

Doll Vintage by CrystalSelina Vaughn Studios from LA will also be at the upcoming Vintage Bazaar, selling their vintage seed sack handbags.

Selina Vaughn Seed Sack Handbag These are gorgeous and just the perfect stylish accessory for a country girl : )

Selina Vaughn Seed Sack Handbag

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…Mary Gregory ArtThe 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.

Entertaining with The Painted Home and 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

 

 

 

 

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Country Living Fair BannersThis 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!!

Hometalk Bloggers The VIP passes meant we were allowed early entrance before the massive crowds arrived (and let me tell you, there were MASSIVE crowds!)

Crowd Scene from Country Living Fairto 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…)

Donkey at Country Living Fairbut 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!

Custom Thermos Doll by Tin HeartsThe 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

Modern June Cool Stuff Sign CDH

Oilcloth Clutch purses from Modern JuneSome of the nicest vintage original artwork at the fair from Terri Palmer Signs

Jersey Shore by Terri Palmer

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?!?)

HiHo Home Market

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!

Sentimentally MeI was immediately drawn into the Olive Grace Studios booth because of the clever displays of vintage-inspired fabrics, pillows & quilts-so country pretty!

Olive Grace StudiosIn the showcase at Grandmother’s Buttons was this velvet case of brilliantly sparkling rings, each created from vintage buttons!

Grandmother's Buttons RingsOne 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 : (

Painted Cupboard by Blue Bird Home Decorand also of the lovingly rendered oil paintings of livestock by Shelly Broughton. Never thought I would think: “How sweet is this sheep?”

Cow Painting by Shelly Broughton

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?

Willow Porch Swing from Around the BendAnd 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.

RePurpose ShopCari 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!

Sue & Cari from RePurposeSo, 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

 

 

 

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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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