I recently happened upon this awesome photo editing website I would like to share with you: Pic Monkey! Pic Monkey Logo

I use photos all the time for my blog, my Pinterest page, Facebook and my Etsy shop. That’s a lot of pics! Although most of the time I just use my Iphone 5 to take photos and my desktop Paint program to crop and resize, oftentimes I need to edit or enhance my photos. I do use Instagram and Photoshop express on my Iphone or Ipad, but I’ve been searching for an inexpensive desktop editing tool and this is it!

Pic Monkey Front Page

Cheap is good, free is better. For free, yup, no $$$, you get a multitude of editing options including fun enhancements like backgrounds and collage layouts and text additions. You don’t even need to sign up, just download, edit and go! But, for less than $3 per month, you get an ad-free, amazing program with loads of extra goodies!

Pic Monkey Lux-O Design

In a short amount of time, this is what I produced with the basic, free, super easy, drop and drag online editing tool. This is the original collage I built from some photos of the amazing St. John wedding (almost a year ago, is that even possible?!)

St. John Original

This is the same pic, enhanced using a basic editing effect.

St. John Brush Effect

And again the same pic with a burst enhancement

St. John Burst

And this one is with the dusk enhancement. So many options!

St. John Dusk

Once you are finished editing, they ask you how you want to save the picture for the best resolution, depending on whether you are printing it or digitally saving it. They talk you through the options in regular language (not techno-speak) and have a bit of a sense of humor as well : ) LOVE.

Pic Monkey Print Settings

And then you get to save it to your own computer files or share it via email or social media such as Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr. I’m pretty sure they thought of everything. But I really just started playing with the program, so I am certain there is so much more to discover!! Try it yourself, and send me a pic to post. And have a picture perfect Friday, everyone! Susan

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A few weeks ago, I started a mini-reno on our downstairs half-bath. Well, it started out as a mini-reno…

Bathroom floor

 While that project is still ongoing and will be unveiled shortly, my Big Rack Attack Towel Rack project is ready to share with the world!  Having seen them used for decorating, both in print and on TV, I had been searching endlessly online and in stores for a white porcelain deer head to add to an old tabletop (you’ll see…) without much luck. Everything was either too big, too small or too pricey to use for a budget bathroom remodel. It didn’t make sense to spend more on an decorative accessory than we did on the new toilet. So, while in Maine a few weeks ago, I grabbed this one in a flea market for three bucks and thought “perfect!”

Deer Head Before

Apparently this is intended to be stuck to the outside of your car window so that it appears he is busting through the glass. Is this 6 inch buck head with the super cute face supposed to be scary?! And who would be driving around with a deer crashing through the window anyway? But instead of hanging him outside the window, this little guy enjoyed the ride home on the dashboard in the blazing sun to soften him up so I could reform his antlers, because they were a little smooshed together.

Deer in Window

So while he was basking in the sun, I stuck a hair clip between the antlers, then allowed them to cool and we were good to go. So here’s the how-I-did-it:

Making a Big Rack Attack! Towel Rack From An Old Tabletop and a Plastic Deer Head

1.Used a decorative piece of wood for the base.  In this case, it was a small cherry tea table top without any legs. I cleaned it, then taped off the center for a decorative painting technique.

Prepped, taped wood plaque

2. I wanted an aged, colorful middle, so I grabbed my folkart crackle medium. To create a crackled finish, you paint the surface using an undercoat, whatever color you want to appear through the cracks, in this case white. Then you paint on a layer of the folk art crackle paint medium,

Folk Art Crackle Medium

then add the top coat. The crackle medium makes the top coat crack apart, instantly aging it like 100 years easily.

Wood Crackled Blue

This top color is Behr Midnight Dream , a color I chose to co-ordinate with the new bathroom color scheme. Behr Paint Midnight Dream

3. Waxed the frame edges to bring back the original cherry luster. Used my Annie Sloan Soft Wax for that. Really brings back that glow in the wood.

Wood Wax Finish

4. Propped the buck on something to allow spray painting on all sides. I placed it in an old mason jar, impaled on a screwdriver surrounded by a plastic bag (that’s even worse than crashing through a car window!) Poor deer…

Deer Head Shiny

5. Primed first. Since this was plastic, I wanted to make sure the paint adhered well. Used Rustoelum Speciality Plastic Primer.

Rustoelum Plastic Primer

5. Painted with gloss white paint to give the appearance of porcelain. Used Rustoleum Gloss White which made it super shiny!!

Rustoleum Gloss Paint

Deer Head Primed 2

6. A friend had suggested that I use a little brass plaque to give the deer a name or tell the date of his capture. I went with some old scrabble letters that spelled out “Oh, Deer” but use your imagination. The letters were too blonde (is there such a thing?), so I used this furniture scratch touch up marker to give them a little color. Love those pens!!

Oh Deer Letters

7. Adhered the deer head to the center of the plaque with hot glue. Now, unbeknownst to me, while all of this had been going on, my amazing children surprised me with a beautiful large white deer head from West Elm for my birthday!! Even David Bromstad said it was a really nice deer. So there’s that.

West Elm Deer Head

It’s much, much larger than my daughter’s little guy Bartlet, but he wasn’t scared, so much as just a wee bit worried, perhaps?

Deer and Bartlet

Unfortunately, the big buck was so big it didn’t fit in the middle of the plaque! So he has to go back to whence he came, West Elm, and since they don’t have any more of the small ones, we are going to shop for another beast instead. A rhino, perhaps? Who else would have a rhino in their bathroom? So, I didn’t permanently fixate my little deer head to the plaque, just hot-glued it for now, in the event that he needs to move on to greener pastures.

8. I needed to add a bit more rustic glam to my piece, so these metal stars were perfect. Again, used the stain marker pens to change the stars from silver to bronze. The result was kind of a mottled look, which was perfect.

Deer Stained Star

9. Attached the hook at the bottom. This is going to be the guest towel rack in the new bathroom so it needed a hook or two.

Hook for Rack

10. Stood back to admire my new Big Rack Attack Towel Rack!!

Deer Head Plaque Instagram

So, next time you stop by for a visit, you’ll be hard-pressed not to notice the big rack (insert joke here) Sometimes we just have to take things a little less seriously, folks. Now I just have to finish the rest of the room, seriously. Have a wicked awesome Wednesday, everyone and just remember: If a big rack attacks, turn him into a towel rack!  Susan

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Copper Coffee Pot Before

After much trial and tribulation and multiple attempts utilizing all sorts of natural and chemical cleaning formulas, my copper coffee pot is now perfect!

Copper Pot with flowers

Since my last blog, I have received multiple suggestions from several sources on how to get my copper pot clean and shiny. After posting the question on my “Antiques Are Green” LinkedIn group, the cleaning options were endless from the many dealers and collectors of all things copper! Among the home remedies mentioned were vinegar, salt, lemon, ketchup (yup, ketchup-apparently not just for hotdogs anymore…), 0000 steel wool pads, Brillo pads, Chore Boy pads, Never Dull wadding or just put the damn thing in the dishwasher.

Copper cleaners

I also tried my Magic Eraser sponge and my Cape Cod Metal Polish with some luck, but still not perfect.

Copper Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Also mentioned on LinkedIn were lacquer thinner or acetone (nail polish remover) and kerosene (really?!?), or having it dipped. Not sure what that means, but it conjured up images of my helpless coffee pot being immersed in a boiling, bubbling hot vat, and that made me sad. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…

Copper Kettle Turbo Squid

Among the commercial polishes I could try were Siege, Wrights, MAAS, Liberty, Brasso, Twinkle, Silvo and Bar Keeper’s Friend. But I was hoping to keep it “green” clean, so I started out with the natural method, utilizing heated vinegar in a large pot.

Copper Vinegar Gallon

Once I placed the pot in there, the bits of bubbling lacquer appeared floating on the surface. Yuck.

Copper Floating Varnish

But it was working!

Copper Pot half dipped

Or so I thought. Flipped it over and immersed the other end. This was the end result. Double Yuck.

Copper Tarnish Mess

I finally decided to go for the commercial products, and the one that was mentioned more than once was Bar Keeper’s Friend, which I found on the shelf of my local Home Depot for $1.48. I got some Brasso, too, just in case that didn’t work.

Copper Cleaner Cans

Make a soft paste of BKF and started wiping the pot with a sponge, instantly removing years of tarnish and varnish and dirt! Copper Tarnish In about 3 minutes time, my copper coffee pot, and even the brass handle, was gleaming and shiny and pretty! So the Bar Keeper’s Friend is now my friend as well! As a disclaimer, I am sure the other products mentioned would have worked just as well. But this is the one I saw first, and the Brasso was at the hearty recommendation of the Home Depot clerk. Who, BTW, could not have been more that 17- I am curious as to just how many copper pots he has cleaned?!?Copper Pot Complete Since my Barkeeper’s Friend worked so well on the coffee pot, I grabbed a copper sconce I was planning on painting, but now it’s got a whole new shiny life as well! Copper Sconce Then this plaque, which was so dark and tarnished, I couldn’t even tell what the picture was until I started cleaning it. As I was rubbing the bunny, I noticed a signature at the bottom and the date was 1502. So I stopped. Did a Google search and discovered that the Young Hare was painted by Albrecht Durer in 1502. Copper Bunny You know when you’re watching “Antiques Roadshow” and the expert says “gee, it’s too bad you cleaned this. It would have been worth a million dollars but now it’s ruined and worth about twenty bucks”? I’m pretty certain that this copper engraving by Albrecht Durer isn’t the real deal because it’s mounted on a backing that appears to be a more modern substance than what would have been available in the 1500’s, but the tag says made in Germany, so I’d better check it out before I ruin it! So there you have it, 2 weeks of work on a $1 copper pot that finally came clean with Bar Keeper’s Friend. Have a super sunshiny Sunday everyone! Susan

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Hi everyone! Just discovered it is National S’Mores Day-who knew!?! But since it is, and I know you always love a quick sweet treat, I thought I would re-publish my Yummy Popcorn S’Mores recipe. It’s easy, quick and you don’t even need a campfire, just some marshmallows, chocolate and popcorn. It makes a ton, and it’s absolutely so scrumptious- handful after handful after handful-enjoy!

Smores Popcorn Trays


Have a yummy Saturday everyone…Susan

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Recently, Coach and I spent a few days in Maine at the Bethel Inn and Resort for a little R & R. On our way there, we stopped at the Undercover Flea Market in Oxford Maine

Undercover Flea Market

(they don’t appear to have an internet presence, so no direct link. Ah, so maybe they are really undercover…) Thought long and hard about this table, but decided against it-too pricy to paint and flip.


While in Bethel, we discovered not much going on downtown, so we ventured out to find some antique shops in the area that were listed in several brochures he had picked up at the visitors center. The Steam Mill Antiques

Steam Mill Collectibles

was right around the corner from our hotel. Looked promising, with a vast array of junk and stuff all around the property. We visited, several times, but it was never open! Will definitely have to return another time…Next stop, the Picker’s Paradise in Welchville (again, no links here).

Pickers Paradise Sign

We were drawn in by the beautiful Great Canadian wood canoe in the parking lot.

Pickers Paradise Canoe

Inside was a variety of antiques and collectibles. Wishing I had grabbed this chubby old cow doorstop. I often experience what I refer to as “non-buyer’s remorse.” I see something that I love, hem and haw about it, because I don’t need ONE MORE THING, so I leave it, then lust for it when I am back home. Oh, well.

Pickers Paradise Cow Doorstop

This shop featured several pieces that were reclaimed and repurposed, like this LOVE sign, created from old frame pieces and lace. LOVE.

Pickers Paradise LOVE

On our shopping expeditions, I noticed quite a few “Boston” items,

Pickers Paradise Boston Beans

which made me feel very nostalgic for the place we call home. Across the street was this shell of an old building, now being dismantled and sold for parts.

Burned Out Antiques Building

In year’s gone by it was the Welchville Methodist Church turned antique shop.

Burned Out Building Sign

But after being on the market for quite some time with no bites, the owner decided he could no longer afford the upkeep. So everything, including the bell tower,

Bell Tower is for sale. If you are in the market for some architectural salvage, this might be your place! Next up, Pa’s Tradin Company in Oxford, Maine.

Pa's Tradin Company Sign

…a huge co-op shop that was neatly organized into departments like furniture & outdoor gear-snowshoes, anyone?

Pa's Tradin Company Snowshoes and more Boston collectibles.

Melrose Crate

I did score a couple of great items, like this gorgeous cupboard (the vendor literally was loading it in the back door when I spotted it, and he and Coach moved it right back out the back door into my CRV!)

Pa's Tradin Company Cupboard

and my little buck (projects in progress : )

Pa's Tradin Company Buck

Drove by this place, Pic-N-Paw in Norway, Maine a couple of times, but again, it never was open! What’s up, Maine?!?

Pic N Paw

On our way home, we discovered Bridgton, Maine, a country town with some fun shops- again, many not open. But we did find Harry Barker’s Emporium and Harry Barker’s Two, antiques co-operative shops, with some donated items being sold to raise funds for the local Harvest Hills Animal Shelter.

Harry Barkers

There I found Exit, stage left.

Harry Barkers Exit Sign

Nearby was Flowerbed Farm Antiques in Bridgton. True to its name, there were exquisite, colorful flower beds surrounding the property. There are so many massive white homes in Maine with attached barns! Can you say barn envy?!

Flowerbed Farm Antiques Sign

Outside and in, an array of restored, repurposed and reclaimed items for your shopping pleasure.

Flowerbed Farm Entrance

Beautiful minty green bedroom set. Sooo country pretty!!

Flowerbed Farm Mint Green Set

Adorable rustic antique horse cart.

Flowerbed Farm Antiques Horse

Following Rte 302 South to Portland on our way home, we happened upon Naples, a picturesque resort town. And there we discovered Antique Revival. Again, no media presence, but this guy doesn’t need it. Sprawling property loaded with anything and everything you could possibly want or imagine you need!

Antique Revival Sign


Antique Revival Entrance

Enormous, three story barn,

Antique Revival Two Story View

packed to the rafters-literally

Antique Revival Rafters

Greeted by the human-sized roosters at the entrance,

Antique Revival Rooster

once you step inside, you are transported back in time.

Antique Revival Boston Beans

Room after room of antiques and collectibles and junk,

Antique Revival 2nd Floor

an overwhelming assortment of furnishings, goods and finds.

Antique Revival Store

For the serious collector (may the Force be with you)

Antique Revival Star Wars

or the casual collectibles shopper,

Antique Revival Patches

this is one spot that’s worth the trip!  So I’m adding a few more pins to my map, and we’ll be heading out again soon. But for now, it’s good to be back home.

Boston Embroidery Print

Have a great weekend, everyone! And if you are in the mood for some antiques shopping overload, head up Rte. 302 to Maine.

Maine Map

It is so worth the trip. OK, it’s TGWB (time to go wallpaper the bathroom)… Susan 

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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.


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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