The Crompton Collective

A few blogs ago, I wrote about a road trip out to Signature Finishes in No. Grafton to pick up some Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. While there, I also traveled into Worcester (pronounced “Woos’tah, for those of you not from the Boston area) to visit the Crompton Collective,

Crompton Placea collection of local artisans and vintage vendors housed in a beautifully renovated brick mill building in the canal district. The Collective is the brainchild of Amy Chase,

Amy Chasewho also owns Haberdash Vintage, America’s very first mobile vintage shop and she is a co-founder of The Swapaholics-quite a resume! You enter the Crompton Collective store through the pretty fancy lobby of Crompton Place, go down the stairs (just follow the antique signs), but once inside the Collective you feel as if you have stepped into someone’s vintage home

Fire King China Set

and an antique parlor wrapped in the warm glow of lace and lamplight.

Lace Window Vignette

The store is separated into 70+ loosely defined vendor spaces,

Vintage China Cupboardeach one offering unique,

vintage

Transformational Divas Dressersrepurposed

Simple Home Life

re-loved

Scrabble Cupboard

items for sale.

Reclaimed and Resalvaged

At every turn, I spotted lovingly repainted,

Painted Pine Commode

refurbished furniture

Antique Therapy

and home decor accessories,

Antler Table

as well as one-of-a-kind pieces (cocktail table from an old drum? Brilliant!)

Drum Cocktail Table

and this bit of Americana created from old license plates.

Reclaimed and Resalvaged Flag

One of my absolute favorite spaces was The Junk Drawer

The Junk Drawer

The owner created this cozy, welcoming booth that was completely packed with inspired goods.

The Junk Drawer Sign

Have you ever seen a vintage lamp with a shade made of crumpled old sewing patterns?! Perfectly poufy Beehive ‘do!

Junk Drawer Sewing Pattern Lampshade

How about a hot pink deer head? (Had I seen that first, I might have altered my color palette for the bathroom reno…)

Junk Drawer Pink Deer

From there, I ventured into the Haberdash space,

Haberdash Vintage

chock full of fabulous vintage clothing and accessories.

Haberdash Faux Fur

Of course, this was back in October, so the fur coat seemed unnecessary, but after those snow flurries yesterday, I may need to return to grab it! This is a co-operative shop that you need to walk through at least a few times, Transformational Divas Cupboard

there is so much to take in! Stopped short in my tracks when I spotted these letters in the window.

LOVE sign Flea Circus

Offered for rent for weddings and showers and happy occasions, I can imagine that they are well-used and LOVED in each venue they are featured. No gift purchases made today, it was Halloween season, but I did grab my Eulalie’s Sky Milk Paint from the Signature Finishes booth.

Signature Finishes Milk Paint

But now that the holiday shopping season is upon us, it is definitely worth a trip back to the Crompton Collective to see the shops decked out in their holiday finery.

Antique Mason Jar Candle Holder

They are at 138 Green Street, Worcester, MA. Have a wander-ful Wednesday everyone, and if you happen into the Crompton Collective, tell Amy that Sue from Country Design Home sent you! Susan

The Thanksgiving Table

This past weekend, I was definitely caught off-guard at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, because I was dreaming of Thanksgiving table arrangements instead of a White Christmas! Now that the market weekend is done, the task at hand draws near: Thanksgiving, which I am once again hosting, is a mere 2 1/2 weeks away!

Thanksgiving-6

That’s a lot of planning in a short time, but I am up to the challenge, as Thanksgiving truly is my favorite holiday. It’s all about getting together with family and friends and sharing dinner and spending time together without the shopping and gift-giving angst that accompanies the December holiday. This year, we will be dining inside, so hats and gloves are optional. (If you are late to this blog party, you can read about last year’s dinner on the porch here : ).

Porch Full View Country Design HomeI started searching online for some rustic table arrangement inspiration that I could use for this year’s feast. There are so many amazing options, but refined rustic country is my style, so that’s the look I am going for: earthy with a bit of bling. Burlap and pumpkins, silver and shine. Here are a few of my favorite vignettes: From La La Linen.blogspot. comes this outdoor farmhouse feast. I adore the single long table with the mismatched chairs. Definitely not going outside this year, but if we were…

lalalinenThe stacked cut logs scattered with pine cones and mason jar candles are simple and charming from Tips from Town. Definitely in the running! I have plenty of jars, and woods across the street from my house with loads of fallen trees and logs.

Tips From Town

The pumpkin stuffed with fall-hued roses from Jenny Steffens Blogspot would make a perfect centerpiece. Love that it’s sitting on a silver tray. Pumpkins and shine.

JennySteffens Blogspot

From I Love Farm Weddings.Com comes this amazing table scape. The white plates and flowers against the rough hewn farmhouse walls is brilliant. A wedding table or Thanksgiving table? Does it really matter?!

ilovefarmweddings

This Rustic Glam Tablescape on HomeTalk.com is from Sophia’s Decor Blogspot. Many natural elements with a touch of gold bling. Great contrasts of black and white and gold.

Sofia's Rustic Glam

These pastel pumpkins create a dramatic centerpiece for this dining table from Miss Mustard Seed for HGTV. Eulalie the cow is resting comfortably, knowing that beef is not the traditional Thanksgiving meal!

HGTV Marian Parsons

Although these are not traditional Thanksgiving colors in New England, anyway, I am loving the chocolate brown and aqua with punches of orange for contrast! On each plate is a white wishbone. Cute idea from The Inspired Room.

CelebrationsAtHomeBlog

This table setting from Between Naps on the Porch is the perfect combination of rustic and shine. White porcelain turkeys, natural elements like berries and corn, silver and crystal serving pieces. Refined rustic with a touch of bling. Now if only I had 14 of those individual white turkey soup tureens I’d be all set!

Between Naps On The Porch

If I lived in the desert…from Apartment Therapy. Stunning.

Apartment Therapy

If this were my room with the incredible fireplace, every meal. Every day. The white vignette in contrast to the rustic hearth, farmhouse table and high backed leather chairs. A perfect dining experience from Accent On Design.

Accent On Design.net

And for dessert, pie. In pie-shaped boxes. With wood forks. From Southern Living. I am so doing that.

Southern Living.com Pie Favors

So I am off to a good start. I have some great decorating ideas for the upcoming holiday. Now I just have to get organized, figure out which of these decorations I will go with, get a guest list together, send out the invites, make a grocery list for Coach and choose some carpeting for the Hall of Shame project (we’re getting closer!) Piece of cake…or pie.  Susan

Seasonal Scenes from the Market

This weekend marks the November edition of the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, Farmhouse Holiday.

Stockings Were Hung

It seems like we just wrapped the October show with pumpkins and Halloween, and here we are barreling into the holiday season!

VTM November

I was blown away when I walked through the double red doors

Joy

on Friday morning. So much sparkle and Christmas cheer!

Pink Tree and Santa

(Of course, I was thinking Thanksgiving, not Christmas, because I am most definitely a one-holiday-at-a-time kind of gal.

Country Design Home

So when I conceptualized my booth, I was planning Thanksgiving dinner and making pies! So my space is a little less sparkly

Green Tree Sparkle

and Santa-inspired than many others…

Santas Clogs

but I am pulling out my cans of sparkly snow and adding some bling for the December market!)

Get Your Holiday On

If you haven’t made it to the Vintage Thymes Market yet

Berries in Barrel

and I can’t imagine why not!?!

Skates and Skis

This month’s market is a great introduction

Christmas Country

to view all of the extremely talented artists,

Simplify

craftsmen

Fleurish Home and Garden

and designers

Screen Door Vignette

who create amazing pieces for their magazine-worthy vignettes,

Peace on Earth

using simply vintage everyday items that they’ve dolled up and made beautiful,

Baby It's Cold Outside

and it’s all for sale : ) Something for everyone on your shopping list!

Fleurish Home SIlver

The Vintage Thymes Market is open today, Saturday from 9-6 and tomorrow, Sunday from 12-5.

Owl in Snow

And owl be seeing  you in December! Susan

Signature Finishes

It’s Wanderlust Wednesday, and this week we are off to North Grafton, Massachusetts to visit the fabulous antiques, vintage furniture and home decor shop, Signature Finishes.

Signature Finishes Maureen Bane

Owned and operated by the lovely Maureen Bane, Signature Finishes is the nearest vendor to me for Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints and finishes. And since I was on the hunt for my “Eulalie’s Sky” milk paint,

MMS Eulalie's Sky sampler

a recent road trip was in order. All of the pieces for sale in the shop have been expertly and artistically rescued and refurbished by Maureen,

Signature Finishes Arch Window Vignette

and she offers several workshops on how to achieve that “instantly antiqued” look using her paints and finishes.

Signature Finishes Green Desk

Stocked on her shelves are two lines of paints for both the the novice and accomplished DIY’er.

Paint Cupboard

The first, Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint, is available in a powdered form that you mix at home with water. (Remember my Mixing Milk Paint Misstep?

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Perhaps I should have taken the class before I attempted to mix the paint with my cake mixer!?) The newer line is Paint Couture, a pre-mixed, self-priming, matte finish paint that is available in the most gorgeous country colors-perfect for refurbishing an antique or “junk-tique” piece.

Paint Couture Samples

Along with the paints, Maureen also offers many one-of-a-kind decorative

Signature Finishes Vintage Tablescape

and gift items.

Signature Finishes Store View

LOVE these amazing canvas and leather tote bags,

Signature Finishes Canvas Totes

and these candles and soaps by Sweet Grass Farm.,

Sweet Grass Farm Products

and this beautiful vintage glassware-you’ll be sure to find something for everyone on your holiday shopping list!

Signature Finishes Glasses and Trays

So if you have a piece of old furniture that you would like to put your “signature finish” on, make sure to visit Signature Finishes in North Grafton. It’s right off 495 near Worcester, and you won’t believe the incredible scenery along the way!

Signature Finishes Scenery

Tell Maureen “hello” from Sue @ Country Design Home, and have a wanderful Wednesday, everyone! Susan

Mixing Milk Paint Misstep

This past week I have been working on quite a few pieces for the upcoming Vintage Thymes Market in November. It’s fun, other than the fact that my house looks like a bomb hit it-I have bits and pieces of projects going on everywhere!

Family Room WorkshopThe smaller pieces I can do in my basement workshop, but the big pieces stay upstairs. Man, I really, really, really do need a studio! For my current project, I decided to use my Miss Mustard Seed’s “Eulalie’s Sky” Milk Paint for the back of a beautiful step-back cupboard I am working on.

Cupboard Back BeforeI read the instructions and set out my necessary tools: air-tight container, measuring cup, warm water, bag of milk paint, mixer-what?!?

Milk Paint Mixing ToolsYup, a mixer. You see, milk paint comes in powdered form, in much the same consistency as powdered milk we used to use as kids when we ran out of regular milk. (I can’t help but notice that in this advertisement, they are using a cocktail stirrer to mix the milk. Those were some crazy times…)

Non Fat Dry MilkInterestingly, when I first opened the package, it appeared to be white.

Mustard Seed Paint PowderUh, oh, I thought, they put the wrong color in here! But once I added the water, the magic began. Now, according to the instructions I had read, this paint needs to be blended for 3-5 minutes, which makes sense, to break up all the powder bits and get them blended smoothly.

Mixing Paint with MixerAnd it says you could use a blended or a stirrer stick. Well, my blended is reserved solely for frozen margaritas, so not using that! And, standing there for 5 minutes stirring paint didn’t seem like all that much fun, so I decided to use a single whisk on my mixer. FAIL. BIG FAIL. I should have stopped once I noticed that my paint was looking more like a blue vanilla frappe than a bucket of paint, but I didn’t. So once the 5 minutes were up, I had this:

Blue Frappe

A big container of frothy blue milk. You cannot paint with blue bubbles. I repeat, you cannot paint with blue bubbles. So, I put it in the fridge for awhile to allow it to settle-it is milk paint, after all! Once I removed it, it looked a lot less frothy, so I attempted to paint the cupboard. While it was actually useable, the color was very sheer, obviously from the aeration still present.

First Coat SheerIf I had wanted it to have a stained appearance, it would have been perfect. So I waited awhile, stirred up the paint again with a stick to smooth, then added a second coat.

Breaking Down the FoamBetter, but still kind of streaky and with a lot of color variation.

Second Coat Milk Paint

So, then I went online and watched all of the Miss Mustard Seed Tutorials to make sure I was doing this correctly.

Miss Mustard Seed Video

(You would have thought it would’ve been a no-brainer to do that first, right?) And I was doing it right, with that one fatal flaw-frothing the paint first. That was most definitely NOT in the tutorial. Oh, well, another DIY lesson learned. One more coat, and now the color is deep and true on the inside of the cupboard.

Final Coat Eulalie's Sky

And, although there are variations and some streaks, it gives the piece some striations and depth of color-much like the sky itself. (I took this from my car yesterday-so beautiful!)

Rainbow Sky PM

Now I just have to finish the rest of it! And I will, while watching the Red Sox Duck Boat Parade from the comfort of our family room  paint workshop. In the meantime, anyone got a studio for rent? Happy weekend, everyone! Susan

Eulalie’s Sky

When I was a kid and old enough to realize I actually had a middle name, it was a very long time before I was comfortable sharing it with anyone. Kids are cruel, and the “I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours” game did not set well with me, being the very awkward and shy child that I was.

Susan Eulalie PM

Because, while my friends’ middle names (and why do we have middle names, anyway?) were short and cute, like Ann and Jane and Beth, mine was unheard of, unpronounceable and French, no less! So, I would typically give the hint “It begins with an E” and let the games begin. First of all, there weren’t that many names beginning with “E”- Ellen, Elaine, Emily-kids could guess all day long and NEVER figure it out! Secondly, even if I divulged my middle name, the typical response was “WHAT?!?? no way, you’re making that up, how do you spell it?!” And so it was my well-guarded secret, shared only with my closest allies. But I never told my mother about my childhood angst because I was named after my beautiful and talented maternal godmother, my great-aunt Eulalie. (it’s pronounced you-la-lee).

Lally and John at our WeddingShe was a fashionista before it was a thing, all five foot nothing of her,

Lally, Arthur and Bernadette at Disneyand what she lacked in stature she made up for in spunk and style.

Lally ActressAccording to my mom, when she was a small child in boarding school, the teachers would stand her on the lunch tables and she would sing and dance-a born entertainer!

Child Lally with White BowWhat I remember most about her in my adolescent years was her fabulous spiky red hair, fishnet stockings, mini skirts and thoroughly modern style-even into her 80’s.

Lally & John at homeShe would have been a star in today’s social-media-driven world. Aunt Lally, as we called her, was an amazing musician, playing both piano and organ professionally.

Lally at the pianoAt every family gathering, there was always that moment when Lally sat down at the piano to play some jazz tunes, oftentimes accompanied by her sister Bernadette, a talented opera singer. So many fond memories…

Lally & Bernadette at pianoSo why am I sharing all of this with you now? Well, I would first like to think that I (and my friends-ahem…) are more mature now, and able to appreciate the name for what it is: a beautiful reminder of a wonderful wife and mother

Lally & Donaldwho was a role model for my generation of women-fabulous, talented & sexy.

Lally and Norma PMSecondly, in all of the years that I have carried my middle name, I have never once seen it in print, until recently, when a Google search (we didn’t have Google back when I was a kid. Heck, we didn’t even have blow dryers!) revealed that there is an 1845 poem by Edgar Allen Poe named Eulalie. And amazingly, a very short while ago, I spotted this on a blog that I follow,

Miss Mustard Seed-this is one of her newest milk paint colors:

Eulalie's Sky MMS Milk Paint

What’s so interesting is that this beautiful shade of pale aqua-green milk paint called Eulalie’s Sky is one of my very favorite colors.

MMS Eulalie's Sky sampler

So now I am planning to use this color in some new pieces I am currently working on, leaving my own personal stamp. Last week, I drove out to Worcester to obtain my very first Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in my new favorite color, Eulalie’s Sky!

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Now, I am not certain where Miss Mustard Seed happened upon the name Eulalie, or how she chose it as a paint color, but I am so happy to share it-finally-with all of you. And the meaning of my middle name? “Well-Spoken”. So perhaps the legacy my Aunt Eulalie left for me with her name was not her fabulous fashion sense (that’s for sure!) or her incredible musical talent, but the ability to communicate with all of you through the written word. To that end, I am eternally grateful that I was chosen to carry forward the beautiful name Eulalie.  Susan 

Paint A La Cart

Coach and I did a LOT of picking this weekend and scored many great items for some upcoming markets. Mirrors, and oak bookcases, furniture, rugs, and more mirrors-all amazing!

Rug and MirrorSaturday morning, I was busy doing house sort of stuff, so Coach went off himself, only to call me within a few minutes to tell me that someone was selling cases of paint for $1 per can! So he grabbed the first boxful of colors he thought I might use.

General Finishes Case of Paint

I went back with him later and struck up a convo with the homeowner. Turns out he had owned an unfinished furniture store for years, and had recently closed it down. These were the leftover paints, stains and finishes.

General Finishes Paint Supply

So I grabbed some stains (now, I know Hunter Green is not in style right now, but you never know when it might return to its former backwoods glory)

General Finishes Green Stain

some Milk Paints-can’t wait to try these

General Finishes Milk Paint

and Glazes- so many colors to choose from.

General Finishes Black Glaze

This ought to be fun! But my best yard sale buy of the weekend? This awesome heavy-duty stainless steel rolling kitchen cart!

Paint Cart Cleaned

The guy was asking $10 and Coach asked if he would take $5. He said “sure, quick, just take it before my wife comes back outside-she has an emotional attachment to everything!” LOL!! We all know how that goes! So, I brought it home with the intent of finally organizing all of my paints, stains and finishes into one spot instead of scattered all over my work shop.

Workbench Paints

Before I could use it, though, I spent about 2 hours with many household products including Awesome Orange cleaner, vinegar, baking soda, bleach spray, scrubbing brushes and many kettles of boiling water to clean off layer upon layer of grease-yuck! I am not sure where this thing had been, but I sure as heck didn’t want it in my basement attracting critters! Finally, the finished cart was sparkly and ready to go. I made quick work of filling it with so many cans and bottles and pots of paints and finishes.

Finish Cans

So now its filled with my newest additions

Filled Paint Cart

to go along with my ever-growing collection of Behr paint sample pots I get at Home Depot,

Behr Sample Pots From Home Depot

plus a new paint with some amazing colors

Paint Couture Color Samples

from a company called Paint Couture

Belize Blue Paint Couture

and my first ever Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint (in a very special color, more on that later..).

/Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint

Boy, do I have a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks! As I try each new product, I will give my unbiased opinion on the overall painting experience. But tonight is game one of the World Series, so paintbrushes away! And Go SOX! Susan

“Every Little Thing’s…

Gonna Be Alright”. Bob Marley. Shane Victorino. Another epic baseball night at the old ballpark in Boston.

Victorious VictorinoWho knew when this season began that this little band of bearded misfits would turn into the team that would not quit? In honor of this remarkable season, I am sharing a few vintage baseball-inspired images, to which I have added my own little decorating touch. In lieu of growing a beard to show my support,

head shot large BeardI have added this Red Sox/Fenway Park vignette,

Fenway Park Vignette PM

which is now gracing our kitchen, awaiting the start of the World Series-can you believe it!?

Sox Fan Vignette

(Truth be told, these are all pieces that we have collected over the years, that banner is from 1975! But they were packed away last year mid-season in protest of all that was wrong with the 2012 Sox.) I am happy to restore them to their rightful spot for all the world to see. Hey, Wally, welcome back!!

Wally The Green Monster PM

Here are a few other baseball-inspired images that caught my eye this morning while browsing my Ipad as I was watching the replays of last night’s drama. These inspired ideas are a GRAND SLAM in my book!

Mason’s Party by Hostess with the Mostess– lucky Mason!

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess

Baseball Bedroom by Knockoff Decor

Baseball Bedroom From Knock Off Decor

Baseball Mural Bedroom by Theme Rooms Blogspot

Red Sox Room by ThemeRooms

Baseball Wedding by Evoke Blog

Baseball Inspired Wedding by Evoked C Blog

Rustic Brick Wall & Clock-Game Time by Cool Kids Rooms

Baseball Brick Wall and Balls

Vintage Man Cave by Nathan Taylor for Obelisk Home

Man Cave by Nathan Taylor

Combing two of my favorite things! Baseball and Buffalo Plaid by Colorful Living Interiors

Baseball and Buffalo Plaid

And finally, this extraordinary baseball bat wall installation by Intimate Living Interiors

Baseball Bat Wall Installation by Intimate Living Interiors

So, no matter what happens in the coming weeks, we can always celebrate the special moments of this extraordinary Red Sox season.

Koji Celebrating

And remember,

Sign by The Silver Spider Etsy

unless, of course, they are tears of joy. Go Sox!!! Susan

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