From Sea to Rustic Sea

I recently spotted this amazing rustic wood and license plate USA map in my local HomeGoods store (lucky me, I actually have three local Home Goods stores!!)

USA Map HomeGoodsI took a pic and posted it to my Facebook page, where it has had 3800+ views!!

HomeGoods pic on Facebook

Clearly, this is a popular piece. What is it about this particular USA map that folks love so much?? There are all kinds of rustic USA map renditions out there, like this one available at Pottery Barn,

Pottery Barn USA Mapor this one from World Market (when are they coming to Boston, BTW?!?)

World market USA Plank Mapor in the Pinterest world-including this one I created myself.

Map and Sign on Wall SignedBut, the HomeGoods map is so colorful and unique and has so much detail-if you look closely you can see that every state is created from its own license plate!! Can you imagine the work and time that went into this project? Now, you ask, if you love it so much, why didn’t you just buy the damn thing? Truth be told, I don’t have a wall big enough to hang it on : (  But, I keep thinking about it and wondering if there is a way that I can reproduce it on a smaller scale. Which means I would need a miniature license plate from every state in the union. I guess I’d better start searching…ideas, anyone??

Cape Cod HydrangeasIn the meantime, have an inspired (and hopefully not too soggy, Independence Day!! Susan

Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-DIY Series-Wax On!

The final step of the kitchen cabinet transformation was the finish coat on the doors, drawers and boxes. To this point, we have painted 2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint + I coat of tinted glaze to give the cabinets a slightly aged look.

Glazed Tinted White CabinetsBut they still required one last coat of protection-this is a kitchen, and kitchens get messy right? Don’t want some splashing spaghetti sauce messing up my hard work! First, I tried a satin polyurethane, but it was too shiny. I also have a can of absolute matte finish, but I knew that would be too flat. So I decided on a wax finish that would provide protection while adding just a touch of shine. In the past I have used paste waxes that you wipe or stipple brush on, then buff off. They do give a nice finish, but I don’t like the odor and the elbow grease necessary to get the job done. Having recently discovered a new Crème Wax from Americana, I knew this was the perfect solution!

http://decoart.com/chalkyfinish/finishesYou literally brush this odorless opaque, white creamy liquid on with a foam brush,

Foam brushing wax onto cabinets allow to dry (about 1/2 hour), then buff it. The more you buff, the brighter the shine. I purchased this product at Michaels Crafts (with a coupon, of course : ), but it is available online at HomeDepot.com as well. Now, this is Tuesday’s DIY Tip: I use my little mouse sander to buff my finishes (if auto detailers can do it, why can’t I??)

Using mouse sander to buff waxSimply remove the velcroed sandpaper, stick on a soft cloth or rag in its place and buff away!

Buffing Waxed Cabinets with Mouse SanderUse a soft flannel or fleece, not terrycloth, as the loops in the cloth will make it a rougher finish. Unless, of course, that is the look you are trying to achieve. The buffed finish is perfect-smooth and with a low satiny shine-the look we had imagined when we first decided to make over mom’s kitchen. The wax finish is essentially colorless, so it doesn’t tint the finish, but it did enhance the glazing color I had already applied. So, this part of the transformation is complete and we’ve gone from this:

Kitchen Cabinets with Vinyl Panelsto this:

Waxed and glazed white kitchen cabinetsIf you are just joining us now, you can check out my Pinterest page with all of the links starting at the beginning here. But we still have a long way to go! Up next, the hardware. Have and buffed and shiny Tuesday everyone! Susan

Yard/Barn Saturday Sale? Finally, yes!

Last week, I read a great blog post from Kelly of Eclectically Vintage, who wrote the do’s and don’ts of having a killer yard sale. Lots of great tips and pointers, including “Enlist Friends-the more hoarders the better!” and “Purge-be ruthless”. You can read the blog post in its entirety here:

Ecelctically Vintage Killer Yard SaleThis past weekend, I made sure we followed all the pointers as we prepped for our barn sale. As you know, I’ve been bugging Coach to clean out the junk which has now spilled out of the barn, into the yard, onto the porch and into my dining room…which is starting to drive me just a little bonkers.

Dining Room EphemeraBut, I am giving him a pass for now because we are starting an exciting new venture very shortly-for which we need mucho stuff-more about that soon!!! So, over the past couple of months, Coach has been hosting barn sales on intermittent Fridays and Sundays, with some good success, but I kept asking him why he didn’t want to do Saturdays, like all the other thousands of people in our town. Misery loves company, right? Lots of our friends kept saying they wanted to come, but couldn’t because they were working. (Of course, Coach, being a teacher, has a little more spare time to hang out and sell stuff.) He kept saying that it was because he wanted to sell on a day when no one else was, so there was less competition. Hmmm. This past weekend, it finally dawned on me that the real reason he didn’t want to open up shop on Saturdays was so that he could go pickin’ at the thousands of other yard sales to replenish the stuff he sold on Fridays! This past week, when he said he wanted to do another Friday yard sale, I told him I wasn’t going to help because it was dumb. But of course, I did. And he did OK, but the traffic just wasn’t there like it normally is. So, he begrudgingly decided to forgo his Saturday pickin’ and keep selling stuff for another day. FINALLY, I figured that would show him that Saturdays were definitely the way to go when you want to do some serious selling!! Signs in place all over the neighborhood, postings on Craigslist and Facebook (just to let all our friends who said they always wanted to come but couldn’t because they were working…) Up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning, we dragged everything back out into the driveway and waited for the hoards of shoppers.

Wooden Crates at Yard SaleAnd waited. Typically, when you post an 8 am start for a yard sale, the serious shoppers start showing up around 6:45-7am (which is what Coach would have been doing if he wasn’t sitting in our driveway awaiting the rush of pickers). And waited. By 8:15, when only ONE person had stopped, I began to notice that not only was there no yard sale traffic, there was actually no street traffic! We live on kind of a busy street, where usually only Sunday mornings are quiet. And waited. Where was everybody?!? Ah…the Saturday of the week of the 4th of July would be a great time to take a family vacation, am I right? Which means that the folks who are normally browsing through junk on a Saturday morning were actually sitting on a beach on the Cape or Maine, enjoying the gorgeous sunny weather and having their first BBQ of the summer.

Beach

Woops, didn’t count on that. Well, the good news is that we still managed to sell quite a bit of stuff, and I managed to get in about three hours of gardening to clear the path to the barn that was almost jungle-like. The bad news is that Coach went out on Sunday and found some sales and came home with more stuff. Just can’t win. So, if you’re in the market for a cute kid’s Red Sox table and chairs,

Red Sox Tableor a vintage robin’s-egg-blue-chalk-painted cabinet with a tin paneled door (painted by me, of course : )

Tin Paneled Painted Cabinetlet me know-they’re still available. And, if you’re one of the lucky ones to be sitting on a beach somewhere sipping a margarita, have a great vacation week! And no worries, we will be back in August with yet another yard sale-but most likely on a Friday… Have a sunny Monday, everyone! Susan 

Thrifty Kitchen Transformation-DIY Series-Painting & Glazing

As you recall, part one of this series was the cleaning and priming of the cabinets: doors, drawers and boxes. Since the wood was so dark. each required 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of paint. The paint we chose was a Benjamin Moore Eggshell in a custom color called Design Studio White-very soft and creamy white, but not ecru.

Benjamin Moore Eggshell Design Studio WhiteSince the appliances are bright white, the cabinet color needed to be just the right shade of white. Since we wanted the cabinets to appear somewhat aged and glazed, a pure white would have been too stark. However, choosing a beige or a white that was too creamy would have highlighted the difference between the cabinets and the appliances. Here are the painted doors all lined up and ready for glazing! I chose the eggshell finish because I knew I would be finishing the doors with some sore of glazing or waxing, and the matte finish is more porous which may have resulted in too much glaze being absorbed into the paint

Painted Cabinet DoorsThe same decision went into the glazing process. Initially my mom wanted to just keep the cabinets white, but I convinced her that glazing them would highlight the door detail that was completely hidden when they were dark oak with the white panel.

Kitchen Cabinet Doors BeforeGlazing them with a faintly tinted glaze highlights the edges and moldings and creates a nice antique look without darkening the cabinets too much.In this case, I used Martha Stewart Antique Effect Glaze.

Martha Stewart Glaze EffectsI found these in a mark-down bin at Michaels awhile ago and they were so cheap I grabbed a bunch of them!  I figured this was the perfect glaze for the cabinets, because it allows you to tint the color and then use as little or as much as you like to create the perfect glaze. I poured all of the little bottles, plus my colors into one large mason jar, ensuring I had enough for the entire kitchen.

Kithcen Makeover Glaze MixtureFor the tint color, we decided on a very light combination of the wall paint, which is a Benjamin Moore Whitestone and some Rustoelum Java Brown Cabinet Glaze I had left over from another project. 1 teaspoon of each went into the quart jar of glaze. You know that old adage, “measure twice, cut once’? Well, that applies to mixing colors as well! I had to know the exact formula, in the event that something catastrophic happened to my jar of mixed glaze so that I could replicate it if need be. (Sooo, remember the time when I was testing out my new paint in the hall and I got distracted and dropped the whole can? No? You can read about that here: The Hall of Shame-Color-Splash!)

Hall of Shame Color SplashSo the formula for this jar of glaze is: 1 quart of glaze + 1 teaspoon of Rustoleum Java Brown

Kitchen Cabinet Glaze Rustoleum Java Brown+ 1 teaspoon Benjamin Moore Whitestone

Mixing Glaze color 1 tsp paintSince all three are water-based, they mixed together easily with just a paint stirrer. Yum-looks like mocha swirl!!

Glaze in mason jarApplying the glaze is simple. You simply paint the glaze onto the entire piece, using a foam brush. If you are planning on doing both sides of the cabinet doors, you have to allow each side to dry and cure (approx. 24 hours, depending on the humidity) so they don’t stick to the work surface once you flip them over.

Kitchen Cabinet Brushing On Glazelet it sit for a moment, then begin wiping it away with a damp rag. Gloves, people!

Kitchen Makeover Wiping GlazeThe more you leave, the darker the piece. Conversely, the more you remove, the lighter the piece. Once I went over it with the rag, I allowed it to sit for a couple of minutes, allowing the glaze to settle into the corners. Then I wiped away any excess I didn’t want. The final look: a soft white with just a hint of darker glaze in the corners and moldings.

Cabinet Door Glaze and DryNext up: the finishing wax! We are getting there! Have a great (hopefully not too wet) Thursday, everyone!! Susan

Tuesday’s DIY Tip-Choosing Paint Colors with Kelly

This week’s great DIY tip comes from Kelly Bernier of Kelly Bernier Designs. Kelly is a professional Interior Decorator and color consultant who shares “decorating advice, design inspiration, color selection help and hints.”

Kelly Bernier DesignsOn her blog, Restyling Home by Kelly, she provides invaluable information about choosing the proper colors for your home and shares all sorts of great decorating tips with her readers. On last week’s blog entitled “5 Tips I Taught Our Local Paint Store Today“, Kelly shared some of her extensive paint knowledge with a local store owner who had recently become a Benjamin Moore Paint retailer. And now, from her blog, (with her blessing, of course : ) I am sharing those tips with you!

* Suggest Benjamin Moore White Dove when asked for the best/favorite trim and cabinet color. A good white without obvious undertones.

* Suggest to the customer that they bring in a piece of fabric or inspiration to help choose a color, NOT a cell phone picture. (this is a great tip! Cell phones do not always properly capture the proper hues and tones of a color-SM)

* When they have no idea where to even start, ask if they are looking for a warm and cozy room (beige,red, orange or yellow) or a bright and cool room (white,blue, green or violet).

* A great place to start looking for colors is in Historical Colors. 95% of all paint colors chosen are from the Historical Collection. Tried and true! Or show them the Candace Olsen Fan Deck and tell the customer how popular she and the colors are.

* Push those paint samples! I strongly suggest buying just a small sample and testing on poster board before you paint on walls. The color will change from that small paper sample to up on the wall. Even I always do:

Kelly Bernier Designs Paint SampleTo read Kelly’s blog post and get so many more amazing tips about choosing the proper colors and styles for your home, click here:

Kelly Bernier Designs Paint Store PhotoThanks, Kelly for allowing me to share this great Tuesday DIY Tip information with my readers! I hope you all have a sunny summer day everyone! Susan 

 

 

Creative Glass Works At The Vintage Bazaar

For all of you vintage lovers out there (and by that I don’t mean old folks, I mean folks who love vintage stuff. But then, again, old folks-like me-can love vintage stuff too…) it’s the weekend we’ve been waiting for- The Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm!

Vintage Bazaar LogoThis weekend, June 21st & 22rd, make the journey to Salisbury Mass to discover some of the finest country hand crafts, vintage furnishings and accessories, jewelry, clothing and a few DIY television personalities (Yup, that’s me and Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash & Cari at the Country Living Fair a few weekends ago. Gosh, I hope she doesn’t think I am following her like a vintage fair groupie when she sees me again…)

Sue & Cari from RePurposeall in a bucolic setting on a real working farm complete with live country music, vintage trucks

Vintage Bazaar Truckand this chick. Love this chick.

Chicken @ Vintage BazaarEach time I have visited the Vintage Bazaar, I’ve discovered new and innovative merchandise, all from re-purposed, re-cycled and re-loved everyday household items. One of my favorites has always been this spectacular planter filled with gorgeous glass flowers created with vintage glassware and plates from Creative Glass Works Boston. 

Creative Glass Works Bouquet PMRecently, I had the pleasure of chatting with the owners Ann Marie and Robert and visiting their home-based workshop.

Creative Glass Works Anne Marie and Robert PMThis husband and wife team began creating these gorgeous pieces for a local Artisans Workshop Market over four years ago. Anne Marie, whose background was in IT before becoming a master glass flower-crafter, reports that she was searching for a way to use the extensive collection of glassware she had accumulated over the years. Her husband, Robert owns and operates a renovation and restoration construction company-so beauty met brawn and the rest is history!

The workshop is bursting with shelves and tables laden with sparkling glass in every color, style and shape.

Creative Glass Works Flowers Laid Out PMThere are vases and dishes and tall blown glass sculptures.

Creative Glass Works Blue Glass Stand PMand jars filled with colorful glass beads and baubles.

Creative Glass WorksFrom light-catching dangling pendants

Creative Glass Works Pendantsto larger than life blossoms.

Creative Glass Works Red FlowerEach is individually hand-crafted, with carefully choosen pieces that complement one another and that together, resemble the anatomy of a life-like flower. Along with the clear and colored glass, Anne Marie and Robert work with ceramics and pottery,

Creative Glass Works Teapots PMcreating whimsical, one-of-a-kind teapot lamps

Creative Glass Works Teapot Lamp PMwith fashionably vintage shades.

Creative Glass Works Lampshades PM

So, make sure you visit The Creative Glass Works Boston booth while you are at the Vintage Bazaar this weekend. And if you see Anne Marie or Robert, say hello and tell them that Sue from Country Design Home sent you : ) Have a (hopefully not too bizarre) Thursday, everyone-see you at the fair! Susan

 

 

Tuesday’s DIY Tip & A DIY Giveaway!!

Good morning! As the kitchen transformation continues…and continues…

Kitchen Before

I thought I would share some DIY tips along that I have learned along the way. Some are from DIY mistakes I have made (see Cupcake Tower of Terror),

fallen cupcakes in grasssome are great tips learned from many, many years of DIY experience (I have been doing this way before DIY was a thing!) This kitchen project is taking much longer than I originally anticipated, essentially because I am working on it between my work hours and weekends away and family celebrations : )

Summer Porch Photo Country Design HomeBut I have to keep reminding myself, and my mom, that good things come to those who wait, (and also to those who follow my blog : )

First, the DIY tip. You know when you are painting something like a cabinet door, where there are two sides that need to be painted? And you can’t really see the underside of the piece you are painting until it dries and you flip it over? And then you discover those unseen runovers that leave a ridge of paint along the edge, which, if it’s already dry, you will then need to scrape or sand away?

Kitchen Cabinet Painted Drip RidgeYeah, I hate that too. Simple solution. I always keep a damp rag handy when I paint to mop up spills and drips before they dry.

cleaning edge of cabinet doorIn this case, I am using it to keep the edges clean and remove the drips. I paint the surface, making sure I get all the edges, then wait a minute for the paint to settle. Then I take the damp rag and run it along the underside of the edge, capturing all of the runover paint. I thought I did a perfect paint job until I saw the amount of paint on the rag!

Damp Rag with Painted Edge

Now, the giveaway. Since we all like free stuff, especially when it comes to DIY, I am giving away a $25 gift card to Home Depot! Enough to buy quite a few drip rags!

Home Depot Gift Card There are three simple things you need to do to enter:

1. Leave a blog post comment, telling me if this DIY idea is new to you, or if you have been doing this all along. You know, the whole damp rag thing…

2. Then go to my Pinterest page and follow my Country Design Home boards.

3. Finally, “LIKE” my Country Design Home page on Facebook here. (And, yes, you need to do all three to be eligible!) I will pick a random winner from the entries on Friday, June 20th and notify you via the emails from your blog post comments.

Have a lucky Tuesday everyone!! Susan

PS: This offer is my own and not endorsed or sponsored by Home Depot Corp. This offer is available to US residents only. Upon verification of entries, the gift card winner will be randomly chosen and the card will be mailed via the US Postal Service.  Good luck!

 

Lessons From My Father

Years ago, when I was a kid, my father offered $1.00 (yes, that’s one dollar) to myself and my siblings as a prize for the first of us to memorize and recite this poem:

Don't Quit TItle

Happy to say, I won the challenge and pocketed my $1.00! Which, by the way, went quite a long way back then, when penny candy really was a penny and an ice cold Coca Cola was a nickel!

Coca Cola Bottle VintageFor all these years, through many moves and changes, the tattered copy of the poem remains in my top desk drawer,

Don't Quitserving as a constant reminder of my father, now long since past, and the legacy he left behind. One of giving back, of perseverance and fighting against all odds, and it remains my go-to thought when I am feeling especially defeated. It begins:

Don't Quit

The author of the poem is unknown, which is a shame, because I would like to have had the opportunity to thank him (or her) for many times motivating me to keep moving forward and upwards, especially when I am feeling the most down. The next stanza reads:

“Life is queer with its twists and turns, as everyone of us sometimes learns.

And many a failure turns about, When he might have won, had he stuck it out.

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow, You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out. The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,

It’s when things seem worse, that you must not quit.”

So, I will leave you on this Father’s Day, knowing that my own dad would have been so proud of his kids and grandkids, who every day strive to be better people, to give back to those in need and to greet each day with a renewed sense of purpose and determination, no matter the obstacles. And to all of the extraordinary men in my life, including my dad (and no cracks about the bridal hat, please. It was a thing back in the 70’s!!)

Dad and Me Wedding Day PMalong with my friends and fathers and sons, brothers and uncles and grandfathers, I wish you a very happy and relaxing day filled with the love of your families and friends. Happy Father’s Day, everyone!! Susan

Country Living Weekend-Day 2

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

 

 

 

 

A Country Living Weekend!

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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