Paint By Number…Vintage Sideboard Makeover

Today’s Vintage Sideboard Makeover brought to you by DecoArt’s Americana Paints and the numbers 1 through 7 : )

Americana Sideboard Makeover on Country Design HomeI’m so pleased to announce that I am now a contributing blogger to the Deco Art Blogger Outreach Program!

DecoArt Blogger Outreach ProgramI use their line of Americana chalky paints and finishes quite frequently and am happy to share my latest furniture makeover featuring their great products with you! This vintage sideboard has been in our family room since we purchased it at a second-hand shop a few years back. Every time I walked in the back door, I was greeted by this drab brown large block of wood.

Americana SideBoard BeforeNo matter how I styled the top, the fact was that it was dark and sucked up all the light in the space. I have been on a painting and DIY overdrive since all of the snow started piling up, and I figured it was high time to take this old wood-paneled station wagon and transform it into a bright, shiny red cadillac. Here is the how-to:

1. Cleaned the wood surfaces. The top was not part of the original piece, it was constructed with reclaimed wood, attached and sanded down to a clean blonde wood (but not by me-thanks to whomever did this step for me : ) Which is how has remained until I got inspired. Because the plank wood was quite pretty in its raw state, I knew I did not want to paint it, so decided to wax/stain it instead.

Americana Vintage Sideboard Top Before Unfinished2. So I finished the top with two coats of Americana Crème Wax in Golden Brown, allowing time to dry between the coats, which enhances the color and grain of the wood while providing a beautiful glowing finish.

Americana Creme Wax Golden Brown RagThese waxes are water based, have no odor, are very easy to apply and clean up. You paint on or wipe on with a soft rag,

Vintage Sideboard Wiping on Golden Brown Wax on Topthen wipe off the excess. If it gets too tacky while you are working, you can dampen the rag to soften the wax and smooth the edges. Allow to dry, then buff with a soft cloth.

3. I was on the fence about the wood knobs-whether to replace them or not-when I realized they were screwed and glued into place. Decision made. I taped them and painted around them to keep the wood knobs to match the wood top.

Americana Painted Sideboard Taped Off KnobsFor the doors and drawers, I painted them with two coats of Americana Chalky Paint called Primitive, which is a creamy greige (that’s a gray and beige combined). Using Americana stencils and Chalky Paint called Relic (a deep charcoal gray) per my No-Fail Stenciling Techniques, I added the numbers to the drawers and doors for a touch of whimsy, then sanded the edges and finished with a coat of Americana Clear Creme Wax. 

Americana Vintage Door Panel Antiqued4. I decided to antique the doors’ center panels for a little bit of color and contrast, so I taped them off, then painted with two coats of Americana Serene Blue Chalky Paint.

Americana Painted Sideboard Serene Blue Chalky Paint5. Allowed to dry, then painted with a coat of Americana Crackle Medium. This is a clear finish that you paint on to a sealed or painted surface, then allow to dry. As it dries, it crackles the paint underneath it and antiques it at the same time. If I had the time-lapse option on my camera, I could’ve shared this process. But trust me when I tell you it looks like a science experiment! The thicker you paint it on, the more crackling appears. In this case, I put it on really thick and most of the blue paint actually crackled off.

Americana Vintage Sideboard Door Panel FinishedWhoops. But I was OK with that, as it gave the panels the appearance of old paint that had been worn away by time and use.

6. For the body of the piece, I had decided to paint it an antique red to co-ordinate with the rug that sits directly in front of it. The plan was to paint with two coats, then add the darker wax finish. But, when I started painting the Americana Chalky Paint in Romance Red

Americana Chalky Paint Romance Redover the dark brown finished wood (remember, with these paints you do not need to prep or sand…just paint away!)

Vintage Brown Sideboard Panel BeforeI got a little panicky because it was really, really bright!

Americana Painted Sideboard Romance Red Chalky PaintBUT, then a miracle happened (not unlike that end zone interception with 30 seconds left in the game last night…) it basically antiqued itself! I painted it on, then wiped off the excess with a rag,

Americana Chalky Paint Romance Red Wiping Offessentially staining it red while allowing the brown tone and grain of the wood to show through! The chalky paint acted like a stain, allowing me to leave on as much or little as I preferred to get the perfect shade of antique red. I love it when the unexpected happens…in a good way : ) Had I preferred, I could have painted the entire piece with the two coats of red and then waxed with the darker finish. But this was so much easier! So all it took was one quick coat of paint on the wood, wiping it off, allowing it to dry, then coating with the Americana Clear Crème Wax, which gives the entire piece a bright, glowing finish.

Americana Painted Sideboard Closeup TM7. After I re-affixed the doors back onto the sideboard, I then re-staged it with some of my favorite things. And although much of those are the same, the entire wall takes on a whole new look with this bright, fun Americana Vintage Sideboard Makeover. This sideboard is a very functional piece of furniture in our home, holding a variety of household items like glasses, batteries, candles and more-essentially one large junk drawer…now when Coach asks me where I can find the IPhone chargers and cases, I can direct him to drawer #5!

Americana Sideboard Drawer #5Thanks to Deco-Art for supplying the Americana Chalky Paints and finishes but allowing me to use my own DIY imagination. Hope you all had a Super Sunday, everyone-I know we Pats fans sure did!  Time for some more snow shoveling… but at least we’ll know where to find our winter scarves…behind door #6!! Xoxo Susan

 

Being Sick (& Yummy Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel) Bites

I’ve been sick these past few+ days with some sort of flu or cold or whatever is “going around”. Sick as in I couldn’t go to work, couldn’t attend the annual neighborhood Christmas party and essentially just found myself lying on the couch for hours watching Hallmark Christmas Movie Marathons. This week so far has been a total frustrating fail for me. I kind of felt like this guy-agghhh!

Sea Salt Caramel Bites SnowmanNo big DIY projects, no blogging, no nothing, other than trips back and forth from the couch to the fridge to the pantry to open yet another can of soup or box of crackers. Coach would leave saying “my poor darlin'” and come home hours later with me still in the exact same position on the couch and say “really??”-lol-he’s not used to seeing me doing nothing, and I mean nothing-not a paint brush or sandpaper in sight-for days. But, you know, it hasn’t been all that bad. This little forced break given me an opportunity to step back and take stock of what I’m doing with this blog and the barn shop and start implementing a plan moving forward that doesn’t result in me being so run down and exhausted that I end up lying on the couch watching endless Castle reruns and stocking up on kleenex tissues whilst staring at a large, dark green evergreen in the corner of my family room.

Blank Christmas TreeThe house is not even close to being decorated, because I just didn’t have the energy to open up all of the giant bins and sort them out, never mind actually placing the items somewhere decoratively. Coach and I finally got a tree Monday night (good thing I’m not part of any of those blogging holiday house tours…) & it finally has lights but no ornaments.

Lighted Christmas TreeBUT, today marks a new day and newly inspired (and sugared up : ) by our annual work cookie swap which took place yesterday,

Cookie Swap Platter WrappedI’m on the mend and ready to add some holiday spirit to our home : ) In the meantime, I figured I’d share this yummy recipe for Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites I used for the cookie swap. (And I assured my co-workers that I did not breathe on them and repeatedly washed and disinfected my hands before handling!) The original recipe for Salted Caramel Pretzel Pecan BonBons

Salted Caramel Pecan Pretzel BonBons by Baker By Naturewas via BakerByNature...but mine didn’t come out exactly as the photo (aren’t these gorgeous?!?), but they were still pretty tasty, if not a bit extra chewy! Here’s the how-to:

1. Assemble ingredients: Bag of caramels, bag of pecan 1/2’s, bag of mini pretzels (these I did not have in my pantry),

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites Ingredients from Walgreenssome melting chocolate, sea salt, holiday sprinkles (these I had on hand). I didn’t have any of the main three ingredients at home, so I ran over to Walgreens since that is the closest store to my home, and I figured they would have the basic snack bags the recipe required. Which they did, which made me happy, so I didn’t have to trek all the way to the grocery store. And they had more kleenex and cough drops too, which made me healthy (sort of). And that is why they are at the corner of Happy & Healthy. So that was a win.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a large cookie sheet. Or a small one depending on the # of bites you wish to make. The beauty of this recipe is that you can make small batches as you go.

3. Place the number of mini-pretzels equivalent to the number of bites you wish to make. 12 makes a dozen. 24 makes 2 dozen. Simple math.

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites on Parchment Paper

4. Unwrap the caramels…meh, not fun. When my kids were little and I needed unwrapped caramels, I used to have them race to see who could open them all the fastest-worked every time!

Unwrapped CaramelsBut the only “little one” I have around me these days is a Frenchie named Bartlet,

Bartland unwrapping caramels is near-impossible without opposable thumbs, unless you want caramels with drool and bite marks. Place an unwrapped caramel on top of each mini-pretzel. The recipe mentioned above called for chocolate mixed with coconut oil and vanilla, so I skipped that step by buying caramels that were coconut and vanilla flavored. Right?!?

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites Caramels on Pretzels

5. Place in oven and bake just until they soften. Now the original instructions said 7-8 minutes, JUST TO SOFTEN. But, I left mine in a bit too long (I swear I was watching them, but then I got distracted and…they over-melted. So I scrambled to put the caramel back onto the pretzel by taking a small knife and scooping it back up.

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites Over Melted Caramel

6. Quickly place a pecan 1/2 on each one. These look pretty messy because I was placing pecans and scooping up oozing caramel lava as I went along.

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Scooping Melted Caramel Over Pecan

If you melt them correctly, you won’t have this problem. Lightly sprinkle each with sea salt. Good thing sea salt is a thing right now, because I have this giant cannister full that will probably last me forever!

Sea Salt

 

 

7. While they cool, you melt the bag of chocolate in the microwave according to the directions. These are the bags of Wilton Candy Melts you can get at your local crafts store. They have many flavors and colors, but I happen to like my chocolate dark, especially when mixed with salted caramel.

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Wilton Candy Melts Dark Cocoa

I always use a heavy bowl and cook in the microwave on high, the first go round for 30 seconds, then take it out and stir.

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Melting Chocolate Disks

Then every 15 seconds until the chocolate is drippy and all the little disks are melted.

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Melting ChocolateDO NOT OVERCOOK. OR YOU WILL HAVE A BIG SCORCHED BLOCK OF CHOCOLATE.

8. I dipped the bottom of the cooled pretzel in the chocolate, then flipped them over on the parchment to let them dry.

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Dipping Base in Chocolate9. Once dry, I flipped them back over, reheated the chocolate just enough to melt,

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Drippy Chocolate

then drizzled it over the top,

Sea Salt Caramel Bites Drizzling with Chocolateadding a few holiday sprinkles.

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bite DecoratedCoconut is optional as well.

Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Bites by Country Design Home

10. Allow to dry, then store in the fridge or a cool, dry place. Like my family room. Because we don’t turn the heat past 55. Sweaters, folks!! Unless I’m sick, in which case I got to turn it up to 60-lol! Then you share the goodies with friends and family, because you can’t eat all of them yourself. Or could you….have a sweet Thursday everyone! Susan

Thanks, Black & Decker For My Big Finish!

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

A Bridal Party @ Crate & Barrel

Did I mention somewhere that our daughter is getting married next summer? Plans are well underway, and I know that what seems so far away right now will be here and gone in an instant! To date, we have secured the venue, the band, the photographer, the florist, 2 wedding dresses (yes, 2, at least for now) and an international guest list which should make for a very exciting event!  Now that our daughter and her fiancé have started their online planning journey on weddingwire.com, they have begun receiving invites from various local vendors who wish to offer their services for the newlyweds-to-be. This past Sunday, I got the call-up to attend a Crate & Barrel Wedding Registry

Crate & Barrel Wedding Registryprivate party with my daughter, as her fiancé was traveling on business and was unable to attend. At 9am sharp, 2 hours before the store opened to the general public, the doors opened and we were greeted by some very knowledgeable folks-meet Bill, everyone-

Crate & Barrel Wedding Party Registrywho took us through the ins and outs of proper wedding registry protocols and the how-to’s of utilizing the registry app. Of course, since I was not registering…

although I wanted to…

I have grown pretty weary of my 25-year-old Corelle dinnerware-that stuff just won’t break…

I stood in the background to follow the bridal goings-on, but was repeatedly distracted by the festive holiday displays scattered throughout the entire store. So many gorgeous holiday decorations and potential DIY projects!! These twigs are actually something (not sure if they were real twigs or wire or what, but I’m certain the store would have frowned upon me unwrapping them to figure it out…) wrapped in birch-log look paper. Gotta get my hands on some birch paper!

Birch Log TwigsDid you know that birch logs are a thing this year? I have three and I feel as if I am in possession of some coveted treasure. Loving these sweet log cabin holiday pillows.

Craet & Barrel House PillowHow many of you have the luxury of using holiday throw pillows in place of your regular ones? I know I would love a whole bunch of them scattered around my house, but what would I do with them after the holidays?? I have enough troubles storing all of those dishes!

Crate & Barrel Holiday Pillows

When we ventured over to the cooking section, while Kate chatted with the All-Clad rep about the virtues of stainless steel vs. non-stick cookware, I spotted these yummy (faux) cupcakes

Crate & Barrel Cupcake Displayand these adorable red striped mixing bowls

Crate & Barrel Red Stripe Mixing Bowlsand these holiday aprons and towels-I’ll take one of each, please!

Crate & Barrel Holiday Towel DisplayIn the Tree Lot, there were Christmas tree candles and soaring pines and spindly sparkly trees,

Crate & Barrel White Wire Treeresplendent in glittery ornaments

Crate & Barrel Christmas Ornamentsand twinkling lights for the upcoming holidays.

Crate & Barrel Christmas TreesHoliday dinnerware displays.

Crate & Barrel Holiday Dinnerware DisplayI have a confession to make…I’m a plate addict. Is there such a thing as Dinnerware Anonymous? I already have 6 sets of dishes, but every time I see new festive ones, I want to add them to my collection! I know, I mentioned that set of old Corelle that just won’t break-which is why we use them every single day. All of the other sets are “The Good Dishes“-preserved for holidays and special occasions. But I digress..I’m supposed to be helping pick out stuff for the bride-to-be to show her groom! But she only chose a few things, because she was waiting for him to return to the store with her to choose their items together. Sigh…young love.

Loving this dinnerware in all shades of chalky pastels. Wouldn’t these look amazing displayed in a chalk-painted antique cupboard?? Hmmm…

Crate & Barrel Pastel DinnerwareThe two hours flew by, as I know the next 10 months will, and we turned in the registry “gun” and headed out, but not before purchasing a couple of items for me to use for the upcoming holidays. You didn’t think I was going to get out of there without at least one new plate, did you?? I hope your Thursday is an eventful one, everyone! Susan

Our Summer Vacation, Part 1

The other day, I mentioned that Coach and I had taken a little trip across the pond for our summer vacation. I haven’t posted a Wanderlust Wednesday for quite awhile, so today I thought I would share a few of my favorite pics with you! Our first stop, glorious London.

London from The Tower Bridge 2 PMThe photos speak for themselves. Home of the Queen of England, Buckingham Palace.

London Buckingham Palace Gates SunsetIt wasn’t tucked away in some remote, inaccessible part of town. (although it did have these rather large gates to keep intruders out)

Buckingham Palace Gates at SunsetNope, it’s right smack dab in the middle of London, where tourists flock daily to view the changing of the guard.

London Changing of the Guard PMPainting the streets to ensure that pedestrians don’t step off the curb into oncoming traffic! (OK, Coach only had to pull me back once, maybe twice from certain peril)

London Street Sign Look Right PMPortobello Road Market. Shops, restaurants and antiques and collectibles for miles.

London Portobello Road PMTower of London. Quite a view of the River Thames from the Tower Bridge.

London from the Tower Bridge PMStunning architecture.

London Tower BridgeBeheadings, murders, assassinations and such.

Greenwich, England. Greenwich mean time is the clock that sets the world’s timetable.

Greenwich Mean Time Greenwich EnglandIf you stand on each side of this one thin metal line, you are in both the Eastern and Western Hemisphere. Even in the rain.

Greenwich England Prime Meridien PMAdmiral Hardy’s Pub in Greenwich. Our first of many, many pub stops to quench our thirst, as it was quite unseasonably warm for summer in London.

London Pub Bulmers Pear Cider PMCoach discovered Pear Cider and Crabbie’s Ginger Beer,

London Crabbies Ginger Beerand we watched a game of cricket on the telly. I am certain that our puzzlement about the game of cricket is only matched by Europeans’ confusion regarding American baseball.

The London Eye. Spectacular. A gigantic ferris wheel built for the Millenium Celebration with the intent to tear it down once it ended, but it became so popular that it remains today as one of London’s most-visited attractions.

The London EyeYou cannot go to London without seeing vintage red phone booths…

London Red Phone Booths PMor visiting the legendary Harrods. It is not a store, it’s an experience. Copper dome lighting display.

Harrods Copper Dome Lighting Display PMFinally discovered a use for Coach’s thousands of books!

London Harrod's Circular Book ColumnAn evening stroll through Chinatown.

London's ChinatownA trip to London is not complete without a Beatles Concert!

Let It Be Concert in LondonI discovered this lighted sign in a window in Trafalgar Square. I think about the message quite often, especially when making a life choice that could go either way. Traditionally I err on the side of caution, but lately I’ve been trying to change just a bit and:

London Store Window Sign PM And with that, I bid you farewell on this fine Wednesday. Just remember to do one thing today that scares you too! Susan

 

Rusty Bedsprings Marquee Lights

Hi, all ! Happy Labor Day!

Rusty Bedsprings Marquee Light Closeup PM

So, ever since Coach acquired that first set of rusty bedsprings, I had an idea for creating a marquee light for the barn shop. Inspired by the rusty bedspring coil lights in Salvage Secrets Design & Decor by Joanne Palmisano, I figured I could just take the bedsprings and attach some lights in the shape of an arrow to the back of the bedframe using pieces of wire.

Rusty Bedspring Light Plan and WiresIt worked, somewhat, and the arrow became a beacon in our shop in the barn. (This is another one of my creations that, like the vintage sink, that is NOT FOR SALE…says me.) But it bothered me because the cords showed,

Rusty Bedspring Light Clipsthe lights were all crookedey and I wouldn’t be able to change the light shape without removing them and starting all over. Plus, because the background was the antique brown wood of the barn walls, you really couldn’t see the form unless you squinted. Or took a photo.

Rusty Bedspring Arrow LightOr looked at it in reverse in the mirror across the barn. So, I decided to take it down and remake it into a true marquee sign. Here is the how-I-did-it:

1. Removed all the little pieces of wire and the lights from the bedsprings. THAT was fun. 2. Went to Home Depot and purchased a 4 x 8 sheet of lightweight plywood.

Home Depot Plywood SheetThey have a nifty wall-mounted cutter thing and a very nice guy who will do the cutting for you, which is pretty awesome. LOVE Home Depot!

Home Depot Plywood Sheet Cutting MachineThe plywood was cut down to the size of the rusty bedsprings with a 2 inch edge all around to allow for framing.

Rusty Bedsprings on Plywood Base3. I built a frame out of 2 x 4’s and secured it to the back of the plywood to give me something to screw the brackets into that would hold the springs in place.

Rusty Bedspring Framing for Board4.  Measured and marked the holes I would have to make for the light sockets to be installed.

Rusty Bedspring Light Socket Holes in PlaceOf course, rusty old bedsprings are not necessarily even, so once I measured and marked the holes, then put the springs back onto the board, I noticed that several did not actually line up with the markings. So I tweaked them just a bit, and then a bit more, and then I drilled the holes.

Rusty Bedspring Light Measuring HolesAfter drilling, I used this handy sheet metal grinder bit to make the holes smooth and just big enough to fit the sockets so that they were snug.

Rusty Bedspring Sanding Holes for Light Sockets5. Painted the board with Rustoleum High Heat spray paint.

Rusty Bedspring Rustoleum High Heat Spray PaintNow, these little patio globe lights (from Target, LOVE these!) do not get up to a temperature of 1200 degrees Farenheit, but it’s good to know I’ll be safe just in case.

Rusty Bedspring Coil Light Closeup6. Painted a base coat of dark gray. Why gray, you ask? White would be too bright so the lights wouldn’t show up when lit. Black would be too dark so the bedsprings wouldn’t show up. Gray seemed like the perfect neutral alternative. This can of dark gray was a yard sale find, but a very nice quality paint from Mythic Paint.  Went on smoothly, minimal drippage, good coverage and is completely non-toxic. Unfortunately, there aren’t any local stores near me that sell it : (

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Light Gray Paint Back Board Mythic7. I wanted the plywood to not look like plywood, but more like some antique barn board or metal. So I dry brushed some darker gray streaks over it.

Rusty Bedsprings Marquee Light Board Dry Brushing Paint8. Once the paint was dry, I placed the bedsprings back on the board to make sure everything lined up nicely, which it did.

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Light Sockets in PlaceTo attach the springs to the board, I used some steel plumbing clamps that I spray painted.

Rusty Bedsprings Drill Hole MarksFirst with some metallic oil-rubbed bronze, but then with a rusty metal primer, both by Rustoleum.

Rustoleum Rusty Paint PrimerI know the primer was supposed to go on first, but I really wanted the bracket and screws to look rusted to match the springs. Done.

Rusty Bedspring Rusted Painted Clamp9. Attached the springs to the board, then flipped the board over and placed the light sockets into each hole. Note that the wires are now nicely hidden behind the board where they are not all tangly and messy.

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Lights Wires in Back

10. Tested out the board by screwing in the lights into the shape I wanted just to ensure they were in proper working order before transporting it back to the barn. In this case, just Hi!. Sent a text to my friends and family : )

Rusty Bedspring Hi! Marquee LightThere is one problem with using rusty bedsprings as your form: there are exactly 66 coils, so there are 66 lights in total: 6 down and 11 across in straight horizontal and vertical rows. Which means that I can’t really make any curved letters. Block letters it is.

11. Re-installed the “light bright” board onto the rear wall of the barn using some big-ass brackets to make sure it didn’t come tumbling off the wall and onto someone’s head! This thing is HEAVY!!  Here is the new, improved Rusty Bedspring Marquee Sign that is now the beacon of light on our shop.

Rusty Bedspring Marquee Light In Shop PMWhich is really fun and draws a lot of attention. And, I heard more than a few browsers say “that must be a new sign, it was an arrow before.” Which is great, because that means they are returning to the Barn at Todd Farm to shop some more! Yay!

12. We do a lot of standing around at the shop (oftentimes the booth is so full of shoppers, we can’t fit in it-which is a very good thing!) Sometimes we’re just taking a break from all of the furniture moving, like this old girl.

Dog in Shop Other times we’re just goofing off-good thing we’re the bosses…).

Lisa and Tiger HeadSo we had some time to try to come up with other words for the light board, now that we can easily change it out. Subliminal messages like BUY could work, but I am thinking HUH? or MEH might draw a smile. Do you have any suggestions?? (no profanities, please : 0 Remember, we only have 11 letters across, 6 letters down and no curves!! Have a great holiday Monday, everyone! Hope you are enjoying the fruits of your labor : ) Susan

 

Wedding Bell Blues

Well, it’s back to school time for Coach! So, what did we do on our summer vacation, you ask? Opened up a vintage shop in The Barn at Todd Farm.

Todd Farm Display PMSpent two glorious weeks touring the UK and Ireland. Didn’t get a chance to visit with the queen, but her house is quite lovely : )

London Buckingham Palace Gates SunsetPlus, we celebrated my milestone birthday and announced our daughter’s wedding engagement! Woo Hoo! Let the wedding planning begin! Admittedly, I have been thinking about this for quite some time. After all, what mother doesn’t dream of the perfect wedding for their daughter? But I have to say that I was not quite prepared for the amount of traveling, viewing and decision-making this past weekend just to secure a venue for the summer of 2015. When Coach and I asked where my daughter and her fiancé would like to have their wedding, their response was “anywhere along the ocean from Maine to Rhode Island.” Yikes.

Coastal MapWhen you grow up along the coast, the stunning blue hues of the shimmering ocean as a perfect wedding backdrop seems the obvious choice. BUT, that’s quite a span of coastline to cover in just a few days, so we did our best and came up with a couple of obvious front runners. Friday we drove north, “down Maine” as the natives call it, along the coastal route through Wells, York, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport and Portland. Yes, we did. There were the quintessential New England venues like Union Bluff in York

Grand Entrance Union Bluff York Maineand The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.

Flower Gardens Nonantum Kennebunkport Maine

A View From the TentIn Portland, we discovered The State Theatre,

Lobby State Theatre Portlanda very cool turn-of-the-century movie theatre with no outdoor views. Next we ventured to the Portland Regency, a downtown hotel with a spectacular roof top deck at 25 Pearl Street

Roof Deck at 25 Pearl Portlandwith amazing views of the Portland harbor.

Portland Harbor ViewAll fantastic, each with its own quirky and charming selling points. Day two, we ventured to the South Shore and Cape Cod. Since we had vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard for many summers over the years, we had often discussed that as the wedding destination of choice. But since many, many of our guests will be flying in from around the world, we decided that asking them to land in Boston, then drive to the Cape, then board a ferry to the island seemed a bit much to ask. So, we are sticking to mainland America. What did we discover on Saturday’s southbound trip? There was the absolute Cape Cod charm of The Popponesset,

Popponesset Tentthe tented venue on the dunes in Mashpee-I mean, have you ever seen a bluer blue sky??

Popponesset ViewThen, The Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth,

Sea Crest Beach Hotel Beach Scenefeaturing bright Orange-Crush-colored umbrellas scattered down the beach as a contrast to the deep blues of the ocean and sky, a “bubble room” on a golf course in Onset (not on the ocean, but still quite beautiful)

Bay Pointe Club Bubble Room

and the White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth,

White Cliffs Viewliterally perched on a cliff with the most spectacular ocean vistas

White Cliff CC Ocean ViewI have seen in a very long time. Not surprisingly, many of these venues had very few dates still available for the summer of 2015! But since we have teachers and students who will be traveling and attending the nuptials, July & August are it. So we need to move quickly in order to secure our spot or we will be blue! Do you have a favorite in this bunch?? And do you have any other suggestions, north or south of the city of Boston? Speak now or forever hold your peace : ) Have a terrific Thursday, everyone! We’ll keep you posted! Susan

Wall Decals Pop!

In the midst of all of the DIY’ing for the shop, I decided to “freshen up” my daughter’s old bedroom, which now serves as a guest room/ironing board room. (doesn’t everyone have one of those?) Since her high school days, when we added white wainscoting and painted the walls sage green, her favorite color,

Wall Decal Green Wall AlcoveI have always thought that someday, after she “flew the coop” I would paint it something a little ” softer and prettier”. Although I am a lover of mother nature, I am not necessarily a “green” person and prefer lighter, brighter colors for my walls. PINK, I can live with that, and since there is already a fun pink floral area carpet in place,

Daisy RugI mixed up a can of bright, light pink for the walls. I had a can of flat white on hand, to which I mixed some bright pink and soft gray to avoid that “bubble gum” tone.

Wall Decal Soft Pink Wall PaintThe room is a square shape, with a small alcove at one end where there is a day bed tucked under the eaves. Which leaves an oddly-shaped, off-center wall for hanging pictures or mirrors. So when I was contacted by the folks at www.vinylwallartdecal.com

DecDecals

to sample their product, I knew this would be the perfect solution! The graphic I chose was “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful”, which is such a powerful statement, especially in a little girl’s room.

Beautiful CloseupThe graphic is stunning, was very easy to apply and looks amazing. I like that it was actually in smaller pieces once I cut it apart, making it much easier to handle than one large graphic.

Wall Decal Closeup DetailHere is the “how-to apply the graphics” instruction sheet, included in the package,

Wall Decal Instruction Sheetwhich I have enhanced with some additional instruction and illustrations, as it was just a bit unclear. Also, the package did not include a pic of the original graphic, so I had to go online to make sure I had it right, since I had to cut it apart and re-align it prior to hanging on the wall. Here we go:

Step 1: “Take the transfer film out”, which initially I took to mean you remove it from the mailing package. There are two separate sheets in the package, both on white paper backing. One is the transfer film and one is the graphic. The instructions don’t say to actually remove the transfer film from the backing and place the tacky side on to the graphic, but that is what you do. Here is the graphic sheet with the shiny transfer film on top of it.
Wall Decal with Transfer Film Applied
Step 2: Then step 2 makes more sense, that you rub the clear transfer film with a towel to adhere it to the graphic, removing any wrinkles or bubbles.
Wall Decal Rubbing Transfer Film with Soft Cloth
Note: the included clear transfer film wasn’t quite as large as the actual graphic, so I had to do a bit of cutting and pasting for that. But that didn’t matter because it is removed once the graphic is transferred anyway.
Wall Decal Cutting And Pasting Film Transfer
Step 3: Cut out the images and clear transfer film together, leaving room around the edges of the graphic for handling.
Wall Decal Cutting Out Pieces
Since I now had a pile of cut-apart sections,
Wall Decal Cut Pieces
at that point I actually taped the entire graphic to the wall to make sure I had it positioned correctly.
Wall Decal Taped Design on Wall
Step 4: Peel off clear transfer film from the white paper graphic backing with the graphic attached and press that onto wall or dry surface in the position you’d like it to be.Wall Decal Peeling off White Backing Paper
Step 5: Rub clear transfer all over with your fingertop, making sure you rub the edges of the graphic for full adhesion onto the wall.
Wall Decal Rubbing on With Fingertip
I did one section at a time and left the others taped to the wall until it was completed. Wall Decal Applied with Taped Sections
Step 6: Peel off the clear transfer film from graphic on wall. If it starts to pull graphic with it, just rub again to adhere graphic to wall.
Wall Decal Peeling Off Transfer Film
Step 7: Step back and admire : ) I know it sounds like quite a few steps, but the final product is just lovely and in this room, creates a statement next to a B&W photo of the iconic Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who was the epitome of being her own kind of beautiful.
Wall Decal Completed Wall & Bed
So thank you to Vinyl Wall Art, who provided the graphic sample for me to review. You can check out their website here: where you will find so many thoughtful quotes and adorable graphics for your home! Loving this Cute Owls and Cute Tree– so whimsical!
Cute Owls in Tree Wall Decal
They even offer large black board stickers-brilliant!!
Wall Decal Blackboard Stickers
If you have any questions, you can check out their blog Notepad Corner, which provides you with lots of information about their products. So, if you do get a chance to shop their beautiful website please tell them that Sue from Country Design Home sent you! Hope you have you’re own kind of beautiful Monday, eveyone!! Susan
PS: Although I was provided with the sample from the company Vinyl Wall Art, the written opinions are strictly my own.

 

The Barn at Todd Farm

Greetings!! Back from my blogging break and ready to start sharing some very exciting news! Beginning Sunday, August 3, Coach and I, along with Lisa from RitaJosVintage will be setting up shop in the Barn at Todd Farm!! Woo Hoo!

Barn Postcard no emailsMany of you already know about the historic Todd Farm in Rowley, Mass-the amazing Sunday flea markets with hundreds of vendors selling everything under the sun-and even a kitchen sink or two. (to read about our outdoor selling experience, click here)

Todd Farm SignBut what many of you may not know is that the beautiful huge yellow barn

Barn View Closeupin the center of the property has undergone a restoration and has been transformed from an antique functioning dairy barn

Todd Farm Dairy Cows Phototo an antiques co-operative. Inside the barn there are many vendors (with more to come) that have filled each of the old cow stalls with antiques, collectibles, junque and recycled, refurbished and reloved furniture and accessories. So, what will we be selling?? Some of the items you have seen me transform on the blog will be there,

Vintage Painted Cabinet PMalong with an ever-changing stock of old and really old and newly old stuff from our barn (and porch, and yard, and deck, and dining room and living room…) along with Lisa’s vintage kitsch collections. I will be posting pics of new items and stock each week on this blog, but also on my Facebook pages, as well as Craigslist (look under north shore garage and yard sales and just search Todd Farm). For now, we will be open at the crack of dawn on Sundays…or by chance…or by appointment. But, for now I have to sign off-the truck is arriving shortly and the packing and moving begins now! See you at the Farm

Rusty Bed Spring Arrow Marqueejust look for the stall with the rusty bedspring arrow marquee : ) xoxox Susan

 

 

Vintage Reclaimed Rules!

While all of the kitchen reno and vintage shopping has been going on, I’ve been working on quite a few projects at home in the few stolen moments I have available. This week’s project: Vintage Reclaimed Ruler Side Table-my new favorite piece!!         Vintage Rules Reclaimed Side Table PMGotta give Coach credit where credit is due. Once I mention that I have something in mind to try to create, he goes all out to find me the proper materials at his yard and estate sales. Little old side table? $3.

Vintage Rules Old TableVintage rulers? Not free, but he’s been collecting them for awhile and stands at about 50 & counting!

Vintage Rules Table and Rulers UncutWhat I love about these rulers are that they originated from old and defunct local businesses, many of them with original phone numbers-no area codes! Brings a little nostalgia to the piece. How sweet is “Make It Your Rule To Graduate From School??”

Vintage Yardsticks and RulersSo, with Lisa from RitaJosVintage’s assistance, we created this cute little reclaimed side table using nothing more than some paint and varnish, wood glue, a brad nailer, painter’s tape and of course, rulers-some for actually measuring and the remainder for decoration (some Coach wouldn’t even allow us to cut because they were too vintage!) Here is the how-we-did-it: Cleaned the table and of course, noted the large crack in the top.

Vintage Rules Old TabletopThat was repaired with some wood glue and a couple of nails. It wasn’t going to be visible so no need for fanciness, just security. I painted the table with two coats of this awesome new chalky paint from DecoArt called Americana Chalky Finish that I bought at Michaels (with a coupon, of course : )

Americana Chalky Paint RelicThis deep graphite gray color is called Relic, which fits in nicely with the piece, don’t you agree? After the paint dried, I sanded it with a damp sponge sander.

Vintage Rules Sanding with damp brickI have discovered with this paint that since it is quite chalky, dry sanding results in a very fine dusting of the adjacent surfaces, but the wet sander smoothes the surface and removes the edges cleanly.

Vintage Rules Wetting the Sanding BrickI attempted to remove the drawer pull to clean and polish it, but it was fastened in a way that it just kept twirling around but would not budge. So, I did the next best thing: painted it, then sanded it. Gives it an antique, finished look.

Vintage Rules Drawer Pull CloseupFor the top, we decided on a design based on an old  “Log Cabin Quilt” pattern, one of my favorites. We measured the first length, then cut it and taped it into place. Then repeatedly cut and taped until the entire top was covered.

Vintage Rules Taped Cut Ruler PiecesYou know, I gotta say, its a lot easier when someone else is doing the cutting and I am photographing them-thanks Lisa! (So, what’s wrong with this picture?? Lisa is not wearing goggles or glasses-my bad! That is a big no-no when using power tools. After all, if you damage your eyes while using power tools, then you won’t be able to see to use power tools any more. Don’t do this at home!!)

Vintage Rules Lisa from RitoJosVintageOnce the top was completed, we lifted each piece as we went along, added the wood glue and then resecured the piece,

Vintage Rules Glueing the Slats into placethen waited until the glue was dry (which was pretty quick because it was about 95 degrees that day!). After that, the tape was removed

Vintage Rules Tabletop Detailand the edges were sanded to smooth out any imperfections or uneven edges.

Vintage Rules Sanding the EdgesThen we secured all of the pieces using a brad nailer. This is the mini version of a nail gun, shoots both staples and tiny little finish nails that you can barely see.

Vintage Rules Brad Nailer GunAt this point we stopped for the day, as the sun was setting, as evidenced by the blue hue of daylight. Not safe to work in the darkness!

Vintage Rules Sanded TableThe next day, I added two coats of this Americana Decor Ultra-Matte Varnish from DecoArt

Vintage Rules Americana Matte Finishto finish the entire piece, including the top (which I had initially glazed to enhance the colors of the different woods of the yardsticks, but then decided I wanted it to have a matte finish as well). This stuff is simple to use, brush it on, allow to dry, no buffing needed. It leaves a slightly textured, very matte finish that works perfectly on pieces where you want to accent the color but not add any shine. After all, this is a relic, right?

Vintage Rules Matte Finish DetailsIt stands now in my dining room with some simple staging.

Vintage Rules Completed Tabletop Closeup PMA sweet salvaged side table that works as both a decorative piece and a handy tool (how many times do you go looking for a ruler to measure something and can’t find one?! Now it will be at your fingertips-as long as you only need to measure 12 inches or less : ) I hope your Friday rules, everyone-TGIF!! Susan

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