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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So, you would think that after that whole Cupcake Tower of Terror disaster that I would be staying away from baking for weddings, right? Well, that is the case where cakes are concerned-no more falling frosting fiascos! But, for the same wedding, I created some yummy individual three berry cobblers in little personalized mason jars as favors for the guests to enjoy. Those did NOT fail, or fall for that matter!

Three Berry Cobblers in Mason Jars Wedding FavorsThe recipe was a tried-and-true favorite from a co-worker (thanks, Krista!) that was adapted for the mini jelly jars, and two batches was enough for 6 dozen jars. Here is the how-I-did-it:

1. Prepare the jars. These are 1/2 pint, wide-mouth Kerr glass jelly jars I purchased from a local Ace Hardware store, ordering them online and picking them up at the store. Despite the fact that they were factory sealed in plastic, I still ran them through the dishwasher to ensure cleanliness.

2. Prepare the crumb topping/crust. This recipe is enough for one 13 x 9 pan of cobbler, or 3 dozen mini jars. So double it for the 6 dozen:

 TOPPING/CRUST

2 Cups All-Purpose Flour

2 Cups Rolled Oats (I used instant and it didn’t seem to matter at all)

1  1/2 Cups Packed Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Gground Cinnamon

1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1  1/2 Cups Cold Butter

Combine all dry ingredients in large bowl, then cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

3. Prepare the berry filling, literally just mixing the berries and sugar in a large bowl and set aside.

FRESH FRUIT FILLING

1  1/2 Cups Fresh Blueberries

1  1/2 Cups Fresh Blackberries

1  1/2 Cups Raspberries

4 TBLSP Granulated Sugar

I used fresh blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, but you can use any berry combination you would enjoy. This recipe was enough for three dozen jars, so I doubled it to make the 6 dozen. One thing I noted: the large whole raw berries (like the raspberries) take up more space, but once cooked, they collapsed and left extra room in the jar so it didn’t appear as full. Next time (and for these there will be a next time : )  I will slightly chop the larger berries so more fits into each jar prior to baking.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place as many jars that will fit onto a cookie sheet and spray the insides with non-stick cooking spray.

Cobbler Mason Jars Non-Stick SprayTake 1 TBLSP of the crumble mixture and lightly press down into the bottom of each jar. I used this wooden thing that was in my pastry drawer. Don’t know where it came from, don’t know what it is, but it worked perfectly! Continue until all of the jars have the base crust.

Cobbler Mason Jars Tamping Down Crust5. Fill each just with the berry mixture, until it is about 1/4 inch from the top. Leave room for the crumble topping!

Cobbler Mason Jars Filled with Fruit6. Add 1 TBLSP crumble topping to each jar, pat lightly to secure. You can adjust the crumb topping/crust ratio as you like, but remember to adjust the recipe as well!

Cobbler Mason Jars with Crumb Topping7. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned.

Mason Jar Cobblers Baked8. Remove from oven and cool. You can serve these warm from the oven with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, or save them for later. I kept them lightly wrapped, but did not seal the tops on until it was time to assemble them as favors. Which I did with the help of my dear friend-thanks Alice!

9. The personalized labels were purchased on Etsy from Snappy’s Boutique. The owner was great to work with and the labels were beautifully printed on vinyl round stickers, one for the top of each jar.

Vinyl Round Stickers for Mason Jars 10. The bamboo wooden spoons I stamped with cute little sayings like “berry happy” and “sweet love”. Of course, you could paint them or decorate them or simply leave them blank.

Mason Jar Cobbler Wood Spoon11. The spoons were attached to the jars with purple raffia ribbon-the wedding color- (and a little scotch tape to keep them from sliding off!)

Mason Jar Cobblers with Bowsand then we added a second bow for pretty : ) This was the best tool-a fork stuck in a ribbon reel taped to the counter-to tie the tiny bows with the chiffon-like material. Ah, necessity is indeed the mother of invention. Shark Tank, here we come!

Cobbler Bow Tie Fork12. I picked up the unfinished crate at Joanns (with a coupon, of course : ).

Unfinished wood crate from JoannsIn order to make it appear somewhat rustic, I “stained” it with paint thinned with water,

Cobbler Crate Stained with Bluethen added another coat of blueish-purplish-white paint that I dry-brushed to give it a more rustic look.

Dry brushed crate13. The little chalkboard was also from Joanns, that I backed with some fringed burlap, then added the chalk graphic.

unfinished crate from Joanns I used my easy chalkboard transfer method for the Three Berry Cobbler sign. Click the link for the DIY.

Three Berry Cobbler Graphic

14. To safely stack the jars in the crate,

3 Berry Mason Jar CobblersI added separators made from burlap-covered cardboard panels.

Cobbler Crate Layer SeparatorDone! Now who doesn’t love a rustic crate filled with pretty jars of yummy three-berry cobbler that is easily and safely transportable?!? Well, this girl does : )

Mason Jar Berry Cobblers in CrateAnd hopefully the guests did as well… Have a berry-licious Thursday everyone!! Susan

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Recently, I was asked to sample and review a new paint primer called Kilz HIDE-ALL,

Kilz HIDE-ALL

which happens to be perfect timing for the kitchen makeover I have just begun! My mom, who lives in a townhome (that was once owned by my sister…long story) has been asking for a kitchen makeover for quite some time now. Although the budget does not allow for a full gut-job and remodel, we are using paints, glazes and some elbow grease to create that “French Country” look that she adores. The kitchen is circa 1980’s construction-grade with very dark oak cabinet doors and drawers and veneered plywood boxes. In the center of each door is a white vinyl panel that was glued into place, and the backsplash is alternating 4″ square ceramic tiles in black and white stripes that mirrors the white door panels.

Mom's Kitchen View 1The appliances are fairly new and white, so they are staying, and the floor is a sheet linoleum in a vintage black and white tile pattern, so that is most likely staying put as well. So, everyone knows that the key to a successful painting job is the prep work, which I personally despise, but it must be done! In this case, those white vinyl panels and the adhesive used to attach them had to be removed. I tried many, many de-glossing, de-gooing and de-sticking type products before I could get the edges ready for priming and painting.

Kitchen Cabinets with Vinyl Panels A messy job, but absolutely essential to ensure a good outcome!

Cabinet De-Greasing Fromula 409Once that was accomplished, it was time to try the new Kilz HIDE-ALL product.

Kilz HIDE-ALL PrimerThis is from their website:  “KILZ® HIDE-ALL™, a new primer sealer exclusively available at Lowe’s stores across the country. For home interior painting projects of all types—including covering dark colored walls, masking minor surface stains, smoothing out porous surfaces and more—the undercoat offers consumers excellent hide at an affordable price. KILZ HIDE-ALL helps prepare surfaces for painting by evening out porosity and creating a consistent canvas for adding the desired topcoat. With a multi-surface formula, KILZ HIDE-ALL can be used on drywall, cured plaster, woodwork, masonry, concrete block, brick and previously painted areas. The high-hiding, fast drying, latex primer sealer helps minimize issues caused by dark colors and minor surface stains to effectively transform bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and more.”

Did the primer live up to the hype? You betcha!! For only $26 and some change for a 2-gallon bucket, what I got was little to no prep work and no sanding-yay! Just a quick cleaning to remove any accumulated surface grease, dirt and dust-and that pesky glue.

Kilz HIDE-ALL PrimerThe odorless primer is a creamy white color with a slightly grayish hue. It has the consistency of a watered-down school glue. Very smooth, very little dripping, brushes on easily and cleanly without leaving brush stroke marks and creates a light, bright prepped surface. And a little goes a very long way! Since these cabinet doors have had a lot of wear, the surface finish in some areas was worn away, while other areas were still shiny. The primer covered all of that evenly so that you cannot see the difference. The directions indicate that the primed surface can be re-painted after one hour with oil or latex paint, but I didn’t attempt that, as I am doing this makeover in stages, which I will be sharing as I complete each one. Brushes easily cleaned up with soap and water.  Here is a before cabinet door

Kilz HIDE-ALL Cabinet Door Before

(note the taped #? Prior to removing the doors and drawers to paint them, remember to number them and make a map so you know where they go once you are finished):

Kitchen Cabinet MapHere is the primed cabinet door:

Kilz HIDE-ALL Primed DoorA perfectly smooth, matte surface awaiting the paint and glaze. But that will be in the next installment! I hope you are having a prime Tuesday, everyone!  Susan

Disclaimer: Although the product in this blog post was provided by the makers of Kilz HIDE-ALL, the opinions expressed are strictly my own and have not been edited or altered in any way. Susan

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Next up on the blogging agenda is a trip to the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY on June 6-8.

Country Living Fair

I have been a huge fan of Country Living Magazine for as long as I can remember (after all, they are the bible of country design),

Country Living Fair Pictureand I am so excited to be finally attending their fabulous fair! For those of you who aren’t familiar, it truly is a celebration of all things country, “Bringing the pages of Country Living Magazine to Life”.

Country Living FairsThis 3-day event features vintage vendors with great wares to sell, DIY demonstrations, antiques appraisals, food and cooking demonstrations and meet & greets with HGTV and Cooking Channel Celebrities.

Country Living Fair LineupLuckily for you, I am hosting a ticket giveaway-2 three day VIP passes with early bird access- from the show’s organizers: StellaShows.com, Country Living Magazine and Hometalk! 

HomeTalk Country Design Home Logo

Since this is a quick turnaround-the fair is next weekend– the giveaway starts on May 31 (NOW!!) and ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 1.  To enter, just click the Rafflecopter link below and complete the form. Not a whole bunch of stuff to click, and if you already follow me on Facebook or Pinterest or Twitter, you are way ahead of the game!

Rafflecoptor Fair Ticket Contest

Winners will be notified on Monday, June 2 and the tickets will be available at the “will call” window at the fair. Good luck, and I’ll see you at the fair!! (If you are not the lucky winner, there is still time to purchase the tickets from Stella Shows here. ) And for all of my local followers, it’s only 3+hours from Boston! Have a lucky weekend, 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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