Search Results for: whales tale

How Many Whales Can One Cottage Hold?

It all started with this sweet little pillow…

Whale PillowWay back when Coach and first made the decision to purchase our cottage, I started looking around our own home and our shop for inspiration…thinking that we could bring a lot of our present décor to Maine-save some $$$, decorate with the things we love. We tend towards the nautical, as you can see by the photos. But, what else did I see? WHALES. Pods of them scattered throughout the house.

Nantucket Brand Whale PaintingOn our porch, in the family room, in the bathroom, in the shop.

Tin Whales Country Design HomeSome hand-crafted by me, some by local artisans, different styles, shapes and colors.

Hail to the Whale Wall Grouping Logo 1Whale, its a full-on WHALE invasion!

Whale Table Tail CloseupNow, anyone that follows my blog knows that Coach and I love those majestic denizens of the deep blue sea. In taking a quick inventory in our home, I came across this beautiful hand-crafted whale cutting board

Granite Whale Cutting Boardwe recently purchased at the Vintage Bazaar…and this whale rocking toy…

Whale Rocking Toy…and these little guys in our kitchen…

Whale Vignette…and of course, we cannot forget about our patriotic whale coffee table on the porch!

Whale Porch TableOK, so maybe we whale-y have a problem…and this is only in a few rooms in our house!  I recently read an article about the 30 worst decorating trends that hopefully will never return: Over-Done Coastal was listed as decorating no-no…too much of a good thing will drown out your style, apparently. So, how many whales can a little Maine cottage hold? Whale, we’ll have to wait and see : ) So, for now, I am scaling back on the whales and looking to simplify some of the spaces I have designed (all in my head and on Pinterest Country Design Homefor now, thankfully : ). But this guy, hand-crafted by the very talented Jess Wrobel

Whale Pillowwhale, he’s coming with us because he makes me whale-y happy : ) Have a whale of a Wednesday, everyone! xoxoxo Susan

A Whale’s Tale- The Reveal!

Here’s the story, about a Whale named Wally (well, it’s actually Wallace, but his “fins” and family call him Wally)  Back on the 4th of July, I started the D.I.M. project- Do. It. Myself. (Because If I Don’t, Who The Hell Else Will?!?)- I referred to as refurbishing Mr. Whale. Today, the reveal! That beat-up, barnacle-covered, down-in-the-spout old pine coffee table I picked up for $5.00 at a yard sale has a whole new look!!

After the whale -washing

the sanding 

then re-glueing and painting the base

taping  and striping

adding the stars

then re-sanding the edges and top and adding the antique glazing (this stuff is typically used for kitchen cabinets but when a whale needs a new coat, anything goes!) You paint it on…

then wipe it off-the more you leave, the darker the finished product.

Final step- polyurethaning  (I used water-based polyacrylic so it will remain clear and not yellow). I wanted to use a rub-on wax for a less shiny finish, but since Wally will be spending the majority of his time outdoors on the porch, he needed a strong, clear coat for protection. 

Wallace the Whale has a whole new life!

Pierce Brosnan (yup, 007 himself) once said: “We owe it to our children to be better stewards of the environment. The alternative? – a world without whales. It’s too terrible to imagine.” Along with tips from my recent “Saving Mother Earth” blog post, I’d like to think that I am doing my small part with my Three “R” principle: Re-Cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Most of the items on this porch wall were also re-claimed!Wally is a perfect example of what you can do with a little elbow grease and some imagination to re-love an object that might otherwise be headed for extinction. 

Now it’s a smooth sail for Mr. Whale! Time to tackle the couch…Susan

Coffee, Tea or Free?

Another trash to treasure redo for the 3R’s: Recycle, Refurbish, Relove! At a not-so-recent yard sale, Coach and I came across this coffee table…

it was a little yellowed, scuffed and dinged, but I knew it was the perfect shape and size for my family room. The cost? It was a free “throw-in” because Coach was buying a “new” set of golf clubs, since the set he previously owned could have been used in the filming of “The Greatest Game Ever Played”. 

So for $80, he got a nice set of clubs with a bag and I got the table! We lived with it for awhile until I figured out how best to refurbish it. That was the before, this is the after:

Here is how I did it. Coach lightly sanded the whole thing, I added the dark blue paint coat to the base- this is the color you want to see when the crackling does its magic.

I wanted the top to remain a natural wood finish so I left that alone. This is the crackling medium from Plaid Enterprises. You can get it very cheaply at any local craft store. A little goes a very long way.

This is a liquid you apply wherever you want the topcoat to “crackle” to show the undercoat paint color. I applied it sparingly, to give the piece a more natural cracked finish. Paint the surface with crackling medium. Allow to dry. Paint over that with your top color.

Be careful to only brush in one direction. Do not go back over where you previously brushed as it will smear the crackled look!

Alow to dry. I added a coat of water-based matte polyurethane prior to brushing on the antiquing glaze, since I didn’t want the finish to be too dark. The poly blocks the glazing from being absorbed too deeply into the painted surfaces. This is the glaze I use, but you can also use any clear glaze with your color mixed in for a custom look.

Working in small sections, brush glaze on

then wipe off, leaving as much or as little as you like. (make sure you use gloves- this stuff stains-well, because it is stain!!)

At this point, I glazed the top as well, since I wanted it to be a bit deeper and richer color than the original unvarnished look. Allow to dry.

Final step. Annie Sloan  soft paste wax. Available in light and dark finishes. I probably could have skipped the glazing part if I had used the dark.

I had been hearing a lot about this product, and I was anxious to try it out. Very smooth application, you literally smear it on in a smooth coat (I left it lumpy here to illustrate, but you need to make it smooth) with a soft cloth…

allow to dry, then buff it off.

What a finish! Glowing and warm. Kind of like a freshly polished and buffed pair of old leather shoes. So country pretty. Family room table project complete. Total cost? Coffee table: free! Glazing: was $10 but it was from the Whale Table Project, and I only used a tiny amount, so lets say $1.00. Wax: $28.00, but only used 1/4 of the can, so $7.00 for that. Paints, brushes and water based poly are all stuff I had on hand from many previous projects, so we will say $2 tops for all. Total cost? $10.00!

Do you have a project you have been working on, and need some help with the finished look? Send questions or photos my way @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. Can’t wait to get out to Brimfield for some new 3R’s projects!! Susan 

A Couch for Coach- Before and After

So, Coach and I have been trying to find a couch for the porch for a couple of months now. He insisted that the wicker love seat was just not long enough for afternoon napping, even using the Wally the Whale table as a foot rest. After many yard sales and curb alerts, we finally found this on one of our trash to treasure hunts at Todd Farm in Rowley.

Although it had clearly had been neglected, was filty and ragged and hosting a family of icky bugs, we decided to take a chance. For $20, the price of two burgers and fries at Five Guys, we had our couch! It was sturdy and well-made, just required some major TLC. We were even more excited when we checked online and discovered the same Benchcraft sofa selling used for $300!

The re-furbishing: We spruced it up with a bleach wash and bug spray, then primed it with Kilz to remove odors and stains. Finished with Rustoleum outdoor glossy white. So clean and pretty!! The original cushions had to be tossed, as they were smelly and moldy and just plain gross. So I created new ones from foam, poly batting and some fabulous European down-filled pillows I got on clearance at-where else-Home Goods for $20 each! (I am saving the pretty ruched satin covers for another project.)

I wanted the couch to have a more casual feel, so I made the covers from solid navy outdoor fabric, using a knife-edge for the pillows rather than formal welted cushions.   

Do you LOVE our new couch!?  It’s stylish and casual and plenty long enough for afternoon naps on the porch and it complements the other refurbished pieces already in place.

The cost breakdown: Sofa $20 Fabric $40 Foam Cushion $40  Poly Batting $5 Pillows $60 Thread $3  Paint: $7 Total Investment: $175

A little more than I usually spend on a re-furbished trash to treasure. But since it is the largest piece on the porch, and is going to be sitting right in front of the ever-stylin’ whale coffee table, I figure it was worth the investment. A whole new life for a down and out couch, saved from the dumpster with my Three R’s Principle: Re-cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Susan

American Flag Coffee Table

Inspired by the red, white and blue decor from last week’s blog, this past weekend I decided to create an American Flag Coffee Table.

American Flag Coffee Table LogoUsing an old brown table that we picked up at a flea market for $5 (you know, those ones that were mass-produced in the 70’s and are at every flea market and yard sale throughout the land…)

American Flag Coffee Table BeforeI transformed it from a drab brown circle to a colorful Americana coffee table! Here is the how-I-did-it:

1. I painted the base legs with a couple of coats of Heritage Blue Stain by General Finishes.

General Finished Hertiage Blue Water Based StainLove this stuff. It is water-based, has very little odor, dries quickly, can go on any surface and leaves a beautiful, satin finish.

2. Sanded the scratched and worn top…I am not sure what the finish was, but it certainly made a powdery white mess! Thank goodness it is finally warm enough to use my mouse sander outdoors!

American Flag Coffee Table Sanded3. Once it was sanded and wiped clean, I taped it off. The American Flag is probably one of the simplest designs you can use-stars and stripes. Easy to do with painter’s tape and a stencil. The table was just the right size to have 13 2″ stripes, so I doubled up my rows of 1″ painter’s tape from top to bottom.

American Flag Coffee Table Taped StripesThen I blocked off the area that would be the star field, and used the Heritage Blue to paint that area as well.

3. Painted the red stripes first, then allowed to dry completely…actually overnight. Because I knew I would be taping right on them and didn’t want to risk pulling the red paint off if it wasn’t completely dry. I used some homemade red chalk paint…need the recipe? Click here…

American Flag Coffee Table Red Stripes4. Re-taped along the edges of the red stripes and painted with white (also used some homemade custom chalk paint).

American Flag Coffee Table White Stripes5. Using the same white from the stripes, I stenciled the stars onto the blue field. You could also use a star-shaped stamp as well. I just happened to have a whole bunch of different style star stencils…

American Flag Star StencilI knew I would not be able to fit 50 stars, so I just went with a pleasing arrangement using a simple star pattern.

American Flag Coffee Table Stars and Stripes6. Sanded down the entire piece to distress it just a bit.

American Flag Coffee Table Sanded and DistressedTIP: when you are sanding red alongside white, keep the sanders separate. The red builds up on the sanding bar and can smear onto the white.

Red Tinted Sanding SpongeIn which case you end up with pink stripes. Which is cute, but not necessarily  all-american.

7. Finished with 2 coats of General Finishes Natural Stain. 

General Finishes Water Based Wood Stain NaturalIt is clear and works as a nice satin finish for any surface where you don’t want to add color.

8. Voila! A Red, white and blue table-perfect for a nautical or Americana theme for your red, white and blue porch or family room!

American Flag Coffee Table CompleteSo where is the table now? At the Barn at Todd Farm! Since I already have an American Flag Whale Table,

This Old House Whale Tableit only seems right that someone else has this beauty for their home. Wow-it’s Thursday again already, everyone!! Hope it is memorable! Susan

 

A Whale Of A Good Time @ The Vintage Bazaar

Is it possible that two weeks have already flown by since the latest (& greatest, IMHO) Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm?!

Vintage Bazaar BannerEvery time I attend this ever-growing event, the sheer breadth and talent of the artists who sell their wares is so inspiring, and slightly overwhelming! Honestly, spending a day there just doesn’t allow enough time to savor every inch of this beautiful working flower farm decked out in its vintage finery.

Pettengill Farm Flower GardensIn September I may just curl up inside one of these adorable vintage trailers and stay overnight…

Sweet Spot Styleto get the best shot at the early morning and late evening goings-on before the shopping masses arrive.

Vintage Bazaar Crowd ShotTo name just a few favorite highlights seems so unfair to the 130+ vintage vendors who make the trek from near and far to join the cast of characters that make up the Vintage Bazaar. But, I can’t name them all, so I’ll do my best to show you my memorable moments. These stunningly hand-crafted whales

Whale of a Displaywere striking, not only because of the colors, but the detail as well

Vintage Bazaar WhaleI kept thinking about buying one but we already have so many. Do you think that you can NEVER have enough whales?! (BTW, if anyone happens to know who created these beauties, could you let me know?! I want to give credit to the artist.)

These hand-painted floorcloths were some of the nicest I have ever seen.

American Colonial FloorclothsCreated by artist Michelle Julian of Newburyport-based American Colonial, the floorcloths were expertly crafted and vividly illustrated works of art. Almost too pretty to use on the floor!!

American Colonial Floorcloths But with 7+ coats of varnish on each one, rest assured, they are created to last a generation or two. A few of my favorites vendors, like Nancy the Linens Lady, were hard at work in the bright sunshine, chatting about and selling their vintage finery.

Nancy the Linens LadyHere is the lovely Lisa-my vintage shopping buddy-from RitaJosVintage proudly wearing her “new” apron!

Lisa from Rita Jos VintageAnd I can’t mention the Bazaar without showcasing the artistry of Creative Glass Works , who always bring along their oversized flower pot filled with unique, fanciful glass flowers. I recently featured them on a post, which you can read here.

Creative Glass Works BostonLoving these adorable dinosaur bookends from R & S Living

Dino Bookends from R & S Living(Robin & Stuart traveled all the way from the Cape to be at the Bazaar!), but this little pooch was a scene-stealer when he just hopped up onto one of their recently salvaged and re-loved side chairs. Cute!!

R & S Living Yorkie PerchedWith loads of vintage and collectible stuff, the Swampscott River Antique & Salvage AKA “The Wooden Box Guy”  featured crates and wooden boxes filled with assorted everyday objects, like baseballs and rulers.

Swampscott RIver Antique & Salvage PMSingularly, they don’t make a huge impact, but grouped together, they catch the eye and become an artistic vignette. But the eye-catcher of the day: this huge tent staged by Howard’s Entertainment of Essex, MA. (I know what you’re thinking, didn’t you see the sign that says “no pictures?!” I did, but I asked, and was granted permission to take pics for my blog. The power of the press : )

Howards EntertainmentChanning Howard is the proprietor, and a wholesale supplier of vintage and nostalgic props.

http://www.howardsvm.com/These are available to rent for parties or functions for both private and retail events. If you are finding yourself in need of some Steampunk props,

Howards Entertainmentor perhaps some vintage cowboy paraphernalia, or any other imaginable vintage props for your special event,

Vintage Hats and Suitcases Howards EntertainmentHoward’s is your go-to! Since we had our VIP tickets in hand (thanks Devon : ) we were invited to a meet and greet featuring the weekend’s presenters,

Joanne, Desha & Devon at Vintage Bazaar Tentincluding Cari Cucksey from RePurpose Shop, Desha Peacock from Sweet Spot Style and Joanne Palmisano from Salvage Secrets whose DIY demo we attended later on in the day. She was a great presenter, funny and full of anecdotes and very helpful DIY tips! Like how to create an instant “old” wooden Lobster sign with paint and a screwdriver (without getting stitches : )

Joanne Palmisano Salvage SecretsHow to re-imagine old lamps using paint and jute rope

Joanne Palmisano Lamp DIYand creating a twig vase out of some sticks and an old glass jar (well, in this case, she used a plastic one-but who knew?)

DIY Vase Joanne PalmisanoOn this day, she was selling her latest book, Salvage Secrets Design & Decor and donating the proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes Foundation-SOLD. And autographed to me : )

Salvage Secrets Joanne Palmisano AutographedThis book is so chock full of all kinds of DIY’s using salvage materials in newly inspired ways. I had literally just opened the book when I got to page 16 and yelped-old coil bedsprings! re-purposed into decorative candle holders! It just so happened that Coach and I recently sprung for two of those old-timey bedsprings-a twin and a full size-and were contemplating where to begin re-purposing them…once we got them off the roof of my CRV. (OK, full disclosure. Coach got one a few weeks ago and then we saw another one at an estate sale last week and I refused to buy it because our back yard is already full and did we really need a second one?!? Until I opened up the book and saw the candleholders so we went back to the estate sale and bought the second one…)

Bedsprings on Car RoofWell, page 16 is a very good place to start : ). So, there you have it. Another amazing Vintage Bazaar come and gone with September waiting in the wings. Have an inspired Thursday, everyone! Susan

 

 

 

 

This Old Kitchen

Recently I blogged about my Whale’s Tale Coffee Table Project being selected for the 2013 This Old House Don’t Buy It DIY Contest.

This Old House Whale's Tale Table

On that same day, sort of as a “oh, well, what the heck”, I also added my kitchen makeover to the This Old house Reader Remodel Contest, but never received a response…until yesterday. Great news! My kitchen makeover was also selected as a “contestant” in the Home Remodel Category, with a grand prize of  $5,000.00 and a new GMC Sierra Truck!! Can you imagine all the junkin’ I could do with a brand new shiny pickup- I’d like the red one, please : )

GMC Truck This Old House

All you had to do was download some before and after pictures- this is a pretty dramatic transformation, don’t you think?!? This is the before…

This Old House Contest Before

And this is after three long months of dusty, dirty remodeling. LOVE. For the remainder of the photos I entered, click here.

This Old House Kitchen Makeover

Now, I am not sure that everyone who submitted an entry was actually entered into the contest, but I would like to think that my kitchen remodel would be the perfect blend of “old and new” for any This Old House judge. The winners will be notified on or before May 10, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and in the meantime, trying out some new D.I.M. painting projects. Have a winner of a Tuesday everyone! Susan

This Old Whale Table

Last summer Coach and I completed a major outdoor renovation, transforming our deck into a screened-in porch. (Of course, today, on the eve of the official first day of spring here in Boston, the porch still isn’t useable due to yet another ridiculous snow storm!) OK, so once the porch construction was completed, we decided on red, white and blue nautical decor, using primarily vintage castoffs and refurbished finds.

This Old House Porch

Of the DIY projects that I posted here, the one with the most interest (and great comments!) was The Whale’s Tale.

This Old House Porch Table

The old whale-shaped table was scooped up at a yard sale for $5,

Whale Table Before

then cleaned,

This Old House Whale Wash

sanded and painted,

This Old House Whale Painted

glazed and finished the table to give him a new, patriotic glow.

This Old House Whale Table Center

Recently, I submitted the project to This Old House, and it was selected for the This Old House Don’t Buy It, DIY It! Contest. For those of you not familiar with This Old House (hard to imagine…), it was one of the original home improvement TV Shows, beginning in 1979 and starring Bob Vila.  Originally airing 13 episodes filmed in the Boston area, the show has grown into a national cultural icon.  Presently aired on PBS, and hosted by Kevin O’Connor, This Old House continues to provide valuable information and resources for owners of older homes through the show, their website and magazine.

This Old House PBS

I am not sure if, at some point, I may need your votes to help me win $100 and a spot in the upcoming July Reader’s Issue of This Old House, but I will keep you posted! In the meantime, if you have a DIY project to share with This Old House, click here and fill in the online forms. (of course, just make sure it’s not as nice as my patriotic pal : ) Have a whale of a Tuesday everyone! Susan

A Big Thank You!

Zazzle Thank You

So, I didn’t realize until Word Press (my host server) sent me a little congrats card that this week marked my one year anniversary of this blog-unbelievable!! What started as a simple marketing assignment has blossomed into a full-fledged, time-consuming, educational, inspirational, often-times ridiculous look into the daily lives of myself and Coach and my family and friends. At 150 posts and counting, some of my personal favorites have included guests spots for New England Home Magazine featuring the works of Interior Designer Rachel Hazelton

 Rachel Hazelton

and photographer Paul Granese,

 Paul Granese Photography

my work on the Glidden Project,

The Glidden Project

my posts from some of the amazing weddings we attended this past yearWedding With A View

The Whale’s Tale, a refurbishing D.I.M. story

Ann Whale's Tale

the special tribute birthday cake I created for my sister in Faded Photographs

Ann Faded Photographs

and of course, my most recent post about our mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

Laundry on Barbed Wire

Over the years, I have always looked for new challenges and adventures-whether its traveling, cooking or creating art or design- and my motto is “I can do that”. Or, at the very least, I can try that (see Kayaking…The Launch)

Kayaking- The Launch

This blog has given me a voice, otherwise unheard, to share my successes and my abysmal failures (of which there are soooo many). Looking back over this past year, it is clear by your responses that you have enjoyed many of my posts about interior design, whether country pretty- yay Buffalo Plaid!

Buffalo Plaid

or chic and glamorous.

Green With Envy

Also big on the hit lists were my ventures to the SOWA Vintage Market

SOWA Market

and the Vintage Bazaar @ Pettengill Farm (can’t wait for that one again!)

Vintage Bazaar

and the Brimfield Antiques Show.

My Sister's Garage @ Brimfield

And, then, of course, there is that whole are you freaking kidding me, I dropped the whole can of paint?!?!” posts,

Hall of Shame Color Splash

where I have been sharing our crazy lives, living in, decorating and preserving our 1850’s farmhouse and barn- featured in Rejected and Dejected

Rejected and Dejected

and so many other posts. Those of you who know us personally have been hearing and witnessing those stories first hand for many years. For those of you in “blog land”, it has been great fun sharing those follies and receiving responses letting me know that you have been there too! For the coming year, I am hoping to expand my horizons and find new places, new spaces and new ideas to share both here and on my Pinterest pages. Endless adventures await, and I never go anywhere now without my camera and iPhone in my pocket. I love comments- so please feel free to weigh in on any subject and “like” a post (the button is at the bottom of the page) so I know you are reading! And if there is something you would like me to feature, check out or write about, drop me an email @ countrydesignhome@gmail.com. Thanks for following my blog everyone! Susan

Craftsy. Learn it. Make it. Love it.

This week’s High Five for Friday goes to Craftsy.com!

Their mantra: Learn it. Make it. It’s like going to community college night classes in the comfort of your own home-I wish I had thought of this! You know all those awesome hand-crafted items on Pinterest and Esty that you think “gee, how do I make that?!” And you are too busy, too stressed, work full-time, don’t have the tools or the knowledge or someone to show you how to make it happen? Well, this website is for you! It’s a free membership, you sign up and have immediate access to thousands of patterns and professional online how-to videos and information for everything from cake creations and crocheted clothing to decorating your nest. You learn at your pace, on your time, whether you are burning the midnight oil in your PJ’s or hanging out on the back porch on a lazy summer afternoon. They even have an online store where you can purchase the craft items you need for your projects. I have added a couple of my own designs to my Country Pretty page, and will be adding more shortly. (so for any of you out there that want to make a whale table of your very own, check my link soon). So whether you want to create a very special cake…

or crochet a hat (this one’s from Color My World Crochet– so pretty!)

Create a chalkboard sign 

Or antique a table…

…click on the Craftsy logo link above and get crafting!  TGIF everyone!!! Susan

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