Yummy S’mores (without the campfire)

Since it’s soooo freakin’ hot around here, who wants to sit out around a roaring campfire roasting marshmallows to make s’mores?!? Count me out! And we all know how much I love camping anyway…

Smores Campfire

So, a few weeks back I discovered this website called Thirty Handmade Days on Pinterest-this week’s High Five For Friday. Loaded with all kinds of great DIY and cooking ideas from various sources, there is so much there to repin and enjoy! On this particular day, she was featuring the S’Mores Popcorn recipe from Your Home Based Mom.

Smores Your Home Based Mom Recipe

Your Home Based Mom S’Mores Popcorn

You won’t believe the photography on this website-all of the food offerings literally jump off the page- makes you want to go and try every darn recipe.

Smores Home Based Mom Pics 2

But the S’Mores Popcorn recipe caught my eye because I was looking to make something easy, sweet and plentiful for a wedding shower we were planning. See how yummy it looks in a nice big bowl next to the Ooey Gooey Life Changing Caramel Cupcakes?!

Smores Bowl of Popcorn

So we followed the microwave recipe she had posted for the caramel corn.  Sounded perfect- no oven to turn on. But, because we were on Cape Cod and it was pretty hot and steamy outside and in, the resultant corn was a bit soggy, especially once we added the chocolate and marshmallows. (it was devoured anyway…never let a sweet treat go uneaten…). So we made the second batch using my old tried and true oven recipe (the beauty of living in an air conditioned society). First, you pop two bags of popcorn. We used this Smart Balance low-cal popcorn, figuring that it wouldn’t be quite so decadent-ha! Then we drizzled it with caramel (recipe below) and melted chocolate…

Smores Smart Balance Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn Recipe

1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup

2 Cups Lightly Packed Light Brown Sugar

1 Cup Margarine or Butter

1 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

In medium saucepan, melt butter, then stir in brown sugar. Bring to boil over med/high heat. Continue to boil, stirring constantly, for five minutes. Remove from heat, stir in remaining ingredients. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes. Pour over popped popcorn that’s spread evenly on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake @ 250 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to allow even coating of caramel and the popcorn is lightly browned. DO NOT OVERBAKE!! Pour the still warm popcorn onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Smores Golden Grahams

Sprinkle the mini-marshmallows and Golden Grahams evenly over the warm caramel corn. Watch out for the mini-minions-they’re hiding in the box!

Minions

Drizzle the melted chocolate all over-as much as you like-but with all things chocolate-more is better!

Smores Tray

I found this melting chocolate stuff at Hannafords and it was actually quite good. Melted easily and smoothly, poured well from the pan or drizzled with a spoon, tasted delish! We used 1/2 package for each batch we made.

Smores Candi Quik

So this recipe ended up making three sheet pans filled with the golden goodness!

Smores Popcorn Trays

Which we broke apart and placed in the large bowl (did you know that you can turn a covered glass domed cake dish into an elevated serving bowl? No? Me neither! You just simply flip the stand upside down

Caked Plated Domed

Bowl Inverted and the ball of the top goes into the hole-who knew!?  For the shower, we packaged some of the caramel corn into clear plastic bags

Smores Bags on Table

and tied pink and blue ribbons with a little tag I made from the Avery.com website. Super easy and cute little gift bags for guests to take home and munch on later.

Smores Tags

So I hope you have S’More fun this coming weekend. It’s Friday, and the hot weather is supposed to clear out soon!! In the meantime, keep your ovens off and stay cool, everyone! Susan 

Life-Changing Cupcakes!

This past weekend was another crazy whirlwind of activity featuring a trip to Cape Cod, a bridal shower and a birthday party-whew! We had planned the shower the prior weekend (in between coats of paint on the whale table) and had decided that cupcakes would be the featured dessert. So I found this amazing recipe on, where else, Pinterest from the blog Jan Can Cook (tons of great recipes! If you want to take a look, just click the link below : ) and we decided they would be perfect.

Cupcakes Jan Can Cook Blog

I mean, after all, who doesn’t love dark chocolate and caramel and buttercream and a pinch of sea salt?!? I followed her recipe (click the link above) with a couple of exceptions. For the cupcakes, I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge

Cupcakes Duncan Hines Mix

and I added a cup of Toll House mini semi-sweet bits

Cupcakes Nestles Morsels

into the batter before pouring it into the cupcake liners. For the caramel to put inside the cupcakes, I used good ol’ Hersheys ice cream topping-quicker and easier and oh, so gooey and yummy!

Cupcakes Hersheys Caramel Topping

Just warmed it up in the double boiler and then spooned it into the little cavities

Cupcakes Filling

we had scooped out of the centers.

Cupcakes Caramel Filled

(By the way, this bowl filled with little cone-shaped fudgy chocolate goodness are leftovers- and fabulous dipped in the warm caramel for a snack : )

Cupcakes Mini Bites

The Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 Tblsp water

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 (1.5 sticks) cup salted butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Stir together granulated sugar and water in small saucepan until clear. Heat in small saucepan over med-high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes without stirring until liquid turns a light amber color- do not overcook- it will burn!!! Remove from heat, allow to cool for a bit and then slowly beat in the cream and vanilla with a spoon.  In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and slowly add confectioners sugar until it is all incorporated and smooth. Turn off mixer and slowly drizzle in caramel mixture. Turn mixer to med-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Cool until ready to frost cakes.

(Normally I would insert a photo here, but we were having so much fun I forgot to take it! So I am just going to show you some pretty garden flowers : )

Cupcake Flowers

The buttercream frosting mixture was pretty soft, as it was hot and we were down the Cape, so there is a lot of moisture in the air. Once I piped it onto the cupcakes, we put them in the fridge to firm up. You don’t even need a piping bag- you can just scoop the frosting with a spoon and plop it on top- the more the better! In the recipe it says to pour the chocolate ganache on the frosted cupcakes, but we just dipped them right into the bowl and allowed them to drip a bit, then inverted them.

The Ganache Recipe:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate-chopped. I used the 10 ounce bag of Ghiradelli Square chips-perfect for melting.

Cupcakes Ghiradelli Chocolate Chips

1 cup heavy cream. 1 Tblsp Dark Rum (Optional)

Melt in a pan over low heat and beat with wooden spoon til smooth. Allow to cool slightly before glazing cupcakes.

For the final touch, we snipped some mini-marshmallows (snatched from the S’Mores Popcorn Mix- recipe soon!) into flower shapes and popped them on top of the ganache. Cute! (we tried to figure out how to cut them into starfish, as the shower had a beachy theme, but that wasn’t happening…)

Cupcake Closeup

So the shower was moving along, and the cupcakes were just sitting there lonely and forgotten, next to the lemon water. I mean, it was a wine-tasting- who’s drinking lemon water?!?

Cupcakes in Tower

So my friend grabbed the tower and some napkins and started passing them around. Suddenly, the room was filled with “oohs and aahhs” as each person took their first scrumptious bite. The hostess declared that she would choose me for her Cupcake Wars team, but the sommelier’s comment was the best when she exclaimed: “These are life-changing cupcakes!”  Now I’m not certain if that is the case, but they were a big hit! Don’t be afraid to try these, even if you are a novice baker. Perfectly simple recipe. Perfectly delicious. Have a sweet, sweet Monday everyone!! It’s especially sweet for me because I am on vacation…woo hoo!! Susan

Summer Porch Envy

The weather has been nothing short of yucky the past month or so. Blazingly hot, thunderstorms and an occasional tornado watch has made for not-so-great outdoor relaxing and entertaining. Even our screened-in porch, which we converted from a deck a couple of summers ago, isn’t always so pleasant when it’s 95 degrees! So, since it’s Wanderlust Wednesday, I thought we might take a virtual tour of some of my favorite porch images on the web.   I would love to dine here-bright, comfortable and cozy. Perfect summer porch.

Summer Porch Between Naps

Between Naps on the Porch

As I was scrolling along, I noticed a trend in the images that caught my eye. Bright colors,

Summer Porch Flower Garden Girl

Photo courtesy of Flower Garden Girl

texture, natural woods and wicker

Summer Porch SV Designs

Siemasko and Verbridge Architecture

all make my list of things that create that “come on in and set a spell” look. I adore this bohemian chic look…

Summer Porch Tumbleweed and Dandelion

Summer Porch Tumbleweed & Dandelion

Although I am a huge fan of white wicker, an all-white porch does nothing for me. Adding a pop of color in the woodwork

Summer Porch Michelle

Houzz.com French Flair

or the pillows makes a dramatic contrast that draws you into the space.

Summer Porch Stephanies Cottage

Stephanies Cottage by Gerald Cowart

Even adding a pot of brightly colored flowers makes an impact!

Summer Porch Pinewold

Porch by Whitten Architects

Nothing beats a porch with a water view, whether surfside (amazing, no?!)

Summer Porch Stelleco

Summer Residence by Stelle Architects

or poolside (equally amazing)

Summer Porch by E B Mahoney

Oasis by E. B. Mahoney

or at lake-water’s edge. Can’t you just feel the cool breezes?

Summer Porch Smith and Vasant

Porch by Smith and Vansant Architects

And then there are the sleepers.

Summer Porch Historical Concepts

Porch by Historical Concepts

Can you imagine taking an afternoon nap in one of these cozy nooks?

Summer Porch Lands End Development

Sleeping Porch By Bede Design

But at the end of the day, when we make our way to our own back porch,

Summer Porch Country Design Home

Summer Porch by Country Design Home

I realize that it isn’t so much about the style or the design, whether it’s dramatic or simple, it really is just about the place you call home.

Summer Porch Pillow

Time to head outside for this evening’s cool brew: Sam Adams Porch Rocker! It’s so yummy!

Summer Porch Rocker

Care to join us? We’ll be on the porch! Susan

A Whale of a Weekend!

Over the 4th of July weekend, I traveled to Cape Cod to spend the holiday with a good friend at her family’s beach-side cottage in Falmouth. Is there anything more quintessentially Cape Cod than magnificent blooming hydrangeas against grey cedar shingles? Beautiful!!

Whale Table Flag

We ate too much, drank margaritas, chatted for hours, watched the neighborhood fireworks and delighted in the joy of her two adorable tow-headed grandsons. The cottage is circa 1930’s, with dark beadboard walls and ceiling in the living room,

Whale Table Bead Board Walls

a vintage kitchy kitchen and many of the original furnishings still in place. Since she is slowly attempting to freshen and lighten the decor, her most recent flea market find was a white rattan living room set with green and blue striped cushions-so comfy and pretty!

Whale Cushion Colors

But the dark brown, pressed-board, veneered-top coffee table had seen many better days,

Whale Table Before

so the choice was to toss it and get something new or refurbish it-nothing that a little paint, tape and time can’t fix! Since she has often admired my whale table,

This Old House Whale Table

our original plan was to cut the top of this table into the proper shape and then paint it. But the base was too wide, which didn’t leave  a lot of room for cutting definition. The next choice was to define the background with a contrasting color and then paint the whale-perfect! The red, white and blue of my whale table would not have cut it in her beachy blues room, so we chose the Behr sample pots

Whale Behr Paints

that most closely matched the stripes in the cushion fabric.

Whale Side View

(Funny story, when we went to the mixing counter to order our colors, the clerk said “Why is everyone calling these paint pots? They are jars!” I guess we can thank the British invasion for that one-so thanks, Annie Sloan!)

Here’s the how-to:

1. Get a table that fits a whale shape well. This one is oblong in shape so it was a natural fit with a curved middle and rounded edges. But since most coffee tables are rectangular, they lend themselves to the whale shape well. Prime it. I usually use Glidden Gripper

Glidden Gripper

for its awesome priming ability to stick to pretty much anything.

2. Decide on a pattern

Whale Chalk Outline

and then draw a whale on the primed table top surface.

Whale Pattern Pencil

It you don’t have any drawing skills, the next best thing is to find the shape online and then print it. My skills are primitive, at best, but they get the job done.

Whale pattern

Whales are pretty simple though. They are kind of just a big old long blob with a mouth and a tail.

3. Paint the background color. In this case, we used the darker green to give it a good definition. That also wrapped around the edge of the table. Then we painted the skirt and the legs the other contrasting colors of Mother Nature, Grape Vine and Blue Fox.

Whale Table Color Palette

4. Painted the background color of the whale. In this case, it was a Behr plain white.

Whale Painting White Coat

Now you can really see the shape taking shape against the darker green background.

Whale White Undercoat

5. Tape off the stripes. I originally measured true center, then started a line across using the table edge as a guide. However, I soon realized that since the table is oblong, it gracefully slopes down as it nears the edges. We could have followed those lines and created a curved effect, but we were going with pin-striped preppy whale so we just started with the center lines, then pulled the tape taut across.

Whale Taped Stripes

A quick tip: instead of measuring each individual stripe row spacing, we just placed a small piece of tape, then started the next row-quick and easy!

Whale Tape Spacers

6. Painted the blue lines and tail. Make sure that when you are painting along the tape, you use light coats and strokes so it doesn’t bleed underneath the tape lines! Two light coats are better than one heavy coat. This paint takes so little time to dry, especially in the hot Cape Cod sunshine, that it was only a matter of minutes between coats.

7. Pull the tape and step back and admire the cute preppy whale emerging.

Whale Blue Tail

8. Decorate the tail. We wanted to make him look a little more fresh and beachy, so we used a starfish shape cut from an old sponge.

Whale Sponge Starfish

With the white paint, we began sponging the stars on his tail in a random pleasing pattern. This is your chance to use your creativity! Don’t want stars? Use circles or spirals! Anything you can think of you can cut out of a sponge or potato or find a stencil or stamp at your local craft store.

Whale Tail with Stars

Tip: try to stamp a couple along the edges with a partial pattern so the overall effect is more even and not cramped into the defined space.

Whale Tail with Star Edges Defined

The sponge effect is lighter and makes for more realistic starfish.

Whale Completed

9. Add an eye. This is a personal choice, but since whales have eyes and we wanted to add a touch of the soft green to the top, this half-moon shape worked beautifully.

Whale Table with Eye

10. Stand back and admire. The table is back in place in front of the new sofa, and it instantly added a bright, whimsical touch to the living room.

Whale table complete

At that point, it was time for me to head back home (to avoid the notorious Cape bridge traffic). So she’ll be finishing her whale with a touch of glazing and a couple of coats of polyurethane. Need to protect our project from the battle beasts that were once played with by her sons, and now by her grandsons.

Whale Battle Beasts

So thanks for a whale of a weekend, Mary! See you very soon. I’ll bring the sandpaper…and the margaritas. Susan

PS: Check out my links on the Thirty HandMade Days Pity Party and on My Repurposed Life!

Hooray for the Red, White & Blue!

As you can see by my back porch decor, I’m a sucker for good ol’ American flag red, white and blue.

whale full porch

I wear my patriotic heart on my sleeve, and the singing of the national anthem still sends chills down my spine (especially the Whitney Houston version). I love the idea of using our American flag for design and color inspiration.

RWB Truck

And sometimes just for fun : ) This is Yankee Doodle Bartlet!

Bartlet Calendar

So for your Independence Day pleasure, please enjoy some of my favorite flag-inspired red, white and blue design images.

RWB Pottery Barn

Flag by Pottery Barn

RWB

Kitchen Eric Gedney

Gloss NY

Gloss NY

Barn by James McAdam

Barn by James McAdam

Flag by Holly Anderson Art

Flag by Holly Anderson Art

RWB Childs Room

Childs Room by The Uncommon Law

RWB Family Room

Living Room by Billy Beson Company

Cottage by Shoreline Architecture

Cottage by Shoreline Architecture

Amazing Sideboard by Chic Relics

Amazing Sideboard by Chic Relics

RWB Fireworks

To see many more of my favorite pics, check out my Pinterest board: Hooray for the Red, White and Blue.

Have a safe and joyful 4th of July everyone!! Susan

Yikes! We Ain’t in Kansas!

Yesterday afternoon, as I was relaxing after a long weekend of driving up and down the east coast and making airport runs and painting and sanding and prying up ceramic tiles…whew! I decided to take a break and watch some old movies on my DVR. Just as I am getting settled, my cell phone makes this unbelievable screeching noise- something like an old dying crow- so I grab it and this is what I see!

Tornado warning

(Well, its not this one exactly, I was so freaked out I forgot to take a screen shot of it) Seriously?! Living just north of Boston, the closest I have even come to a Twister was in the movie theatre watching that cow go flying by!

Tornado Cow

But I did have a dear friend who lived in Kansas, and she told me all about the TV alerts and sirens and basement drills with the kids.

tornado noaa

So, having seen the devastating destruction they can cause, I have to say, I was just a tad nervous. So I texted my daughter in Boston to let her know, just in case, since she was in Suffolk county, so she wouldn’t have received the text warning. This was her response:

Tornado Warning Phone

thanks for that, sweetie…clearly not too concerned. So I had to decide between continuing to watch the unfolding news on the TV, which by the way, with those brightly colored graphics and super-excited weathermen reporting the impending doom, is a bit unnerving…)

Tornado Map

or retreating to safety until the warning was lifted. First option, the downstairs bath, in the center of the house with no windows and surrounded by interior walls and doors. The one room where we would often find our dog when a thunderstorm was pounding overhead-she was a smart pooch! It is in demo state since I am doing a little renovation, so I was tempted to grab a paintbrush and start adding my topcoat as I waiting out the storm.

Tornado Bathroom

But imagining a tornado hitting my 1800’s home, I didn’t think that little bath would stand a chance. Down to the basement I went, where many, many  projects await in my workshop. Did I paint? Nope. My stream of consciousness went something like this: “Well, if it hits this old house, I don’t stand a chance anyway. No sense working on projects that may get ruined. Wait, maybe it will just hit the barn.

Barn Exterior

That would be the easy way of getting rid of all the junk and books Coach has collected and I’ll be rid of those blasted kayaks!

kayak pair

Well, maybe if it didn’t hit the barn, I could hire a bulldozer and have it knocked down and then tell Coach that the tornado hit it (he’s out of town right now…). So I called my family on the north shore to make sure they were safe and secure, hung around the basement til 4:30, then headed back up to the daylight. Everything intact, disaster averted. Thanks for the warning, NWS, but I just have one question? Where did you get my number?!?! Have an un-twisted Tuesday everyone!! Susan

Up S***’S Creek…

…with not one, not two, but three paddles! When Coach brought a pile of old wooden paddles home last year (5 in all), I was pretty ticked off, because at the time, we just didn’t have any place to store them and I had no use for them. These are not the type of paddles you would use for kayaking, and since that is the watery mode of transportation we are sporting these days,

Kayaking- The Launch

it just didn’t make much sense to have a collection of wooden paddles. (For the record, these are paddles, not oars, as I kept calling them until Coach corrected me enough times.) Paddles Before

So they sat in the barn over the winter until 1. I sold a couple of them to Pat from Perfectly You, A Decorating Service for her awesome nautical hallway project

Perfectly You Hallway Paddles

and 2. I discovered this decorative box at, where else, HomeGoods,

Paddle Book Box

which became my inspiration for this month’s nautical theme at the Vintage Thymes Market. With three paddles remaining, I decided to paint and distress them to look the ones pictured above. Except those are oars, so I am taking some artistic license here. Do you know the difference?! I made the necessary repairs to the handles, sanded them down, taped off the lines and stripes,

Paddle 3 Taped

painted in the red and white and blue,

Paddle Red Stripe Taped

added the number 3 (found the one I wanted online and printed it out on a piece of paper. Cut it out, traced it on and painted it in. Easy!! You know you don’t have to paint perfectly when you are planning on sanding and distressing a piece, right?

Paddle Painting 3

I re-sanded the painted sections for that worn-out, been used to row across the ocean and back kind of look,

Paddle Sanding

then added a coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax,

Paddle Annie Sloan Soft Wax

which restored the original luster of the exposed, unpainted wooden areas.

Paddle Waxed

Lovely. So I brought them, and the box to market, and only the #3 sold! So now there are two paddles remaining, which are presently hanging proudly in our summer porch.

Vintage Porch Paddles

The good news is that they are all painted and shiny and pretty. The bad news is that there is one short and one long-in case you have a lop-sided canoe. Which, thankfully, I do not. Hope you don’t spend your entire day paddling upstream!! Susan

Hats Off to The Vintage Bazaar!

I had the opportunity to visit this past weekend’s Vintage Bazaar with the adorable Lisa from RitaJosVintage. The owners of the gorgeous Pettengill Farm

Vintage Pettengill Farm Arches

in Salisbury, Ma and the organizer of this event, the amazing Devon Allen of My Bazaar Life deserve kudos for once again staging such a fun, inspiring experience for shoppers, crafters and vintage vendors. This year’s Bazaar was bigger than ever, featuring some old-oh, hello, Fish in the Garden

Fish in the Garden

and many new faces. Like this gorgeous black Chevy truck-NFS but oh, so dreamy…Black Chevy Truck

We arrived late due to a previous engagement (Happy 30th Birthday Lindsey!), so we moved through the rows of tents with some urgency, stopping to snap some pics (have you ever seen such a funky fabulous chicken?!)

ChickenCDH

chat with fellow vintage fanatics and purchase unique items (well, not me, but Lisa kept disappearing and re-appearing with bags : ) She found these super cool croquet ball candle holders

The Flea Circus

at The Flea Circus…a whimsical design shop. And that it was. The bright primary colors caught my eye, as did the retro childhood school furniture.

Flea Circus Sutdent Desks

Since there is no way to list every vendor (there were 125+!), here are a few favorites we found (sort of going row by row, but we made a couple of detours so…)like these adorable Junkyard Dogs from ArtHead Studio.

Arthead Studio Junkyard Dogs

I love when artisans take something of no apparent worth and re-imagine it into something fanciful and functional. How many days do I feel like this?!?

Arthead Studio Midol Doll

Too many to mention!! Next up was Laceypots, from Portland, Maine with a collection of original, hand-painted, yummy colored pots and dishware.

Laceypots

Around the corner was Backroads to Oz-“home decor from the past for the present”

Backroads to Oz

featuring hand crafted furniture and accessories fashioned from old wood and metals. Pretty colors, pretty awesome stuff! The bazaar is split into two fields, so we headed down the path to the Strawberry Fields Forever, only to find Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash and Cari

 Cari Cucksey

in the middle of her RePurpose Shop!

Repurpose Shop Yellow Cabinet

Despite the blazingly hot temps and the fact that she had been there all day, she was so gracious, chatting and answering our many questions about her show, how she got started in the re-purposing business and what she was doing way out here in Massachusetts, which is far from her Michigan home! Loving this pink trunk in her shop, and I am fairly certain I actually had that little Mexican painted chair as a kid (hmm, wonder where she got that…)

Vintage Cash & Cari

Could have stayed there for hours to pick her brain about pickin’ and junkin’, but time was awastin’, so we headed on over to see Bettie B., this awesome vintage trailer featuring goods from Log Cabin Antiques and

Bettie B Exterior

Lynn Kells Antiques and Vintage Treasures… How perfectly styled is this interior space?

Bettie B. Interior

Bettie B Table

Bettie’s already sold, but Lyn and Lynn are working on a second trailer they just acquired-might need to take a ride to New Hampshire to check it out! This stunning floorcloth by Addie Peet from AP Floorcloth Design in Winterport Maine is “functional-practical-durable” and expertly hand-crafted by the artist.

Addie Peet Floorcloth

Lisa made another purchase- this time some upcycled vintage jewelry, from the combined tent of juNxtaposition, who fashions vintage pendants from old typewriter keys

Junxtaposition

and bel monili, featuring these lovely collage necklaces.

bel monili necklaces

Whenever I am blogging about markets and fairs, I am always on the lookout for unusual or unique items that I haven’t seen before.  These personalized signs by ginger blue too were created with sliced license plates-genius!

Ginger Blue Too

Imagine the fun you could have creating your own. Of course, you can’t actually use it as a license plate…or could you?

Dream Truck

One of the new shops I featured in my before-fair post was Heja Home, whose owners Heather and Jason Rosfeld were super excited to share information about their fledgling company whose name means “to cheer”. And that we did when we spotted this fabulous American Eagle bench. Coach, if you are reading this I will say that

Heja Home

 I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat, if only I had sold my own bench at the Vintage Thymes Market : ( And finally, our last stop at the row of retro furnished trailers by Vintage Maine Vacations. If you are looking for an amazing Maine getaway at an affordable price, you need to check this out!

Maine Vacations Red Vignette

You book the trailer of your dreams and the owner, Patrice Leary-Forrey will drive it to you-as long as you’re no more than 125 miles from Portland, Maine! You spend the week under the red striped canopy, just resting and relaxing or exploring the sights of Maine,

Maine Vacations Airstream

then she returns to pick it up. Can’t imagine an easier way to book your summer rental!  So once the day was done, and the tents were buttoned up for the evening, we were invited to the after-hours vendor reception featuring a gourmet food spread, icy cold beer and wine and a vintage hat contest!

Vintage Bazaar Hat

The winner was to receive free rental for their fall booth in September. Now, I am not sure who actually won, but my money was on this lovely lady’s stunning vintage rocking chair hat. So hat’s off to all that made this bazaar such a special event. And if you didn’t make it to the fair this time, we’ll see you in September! Susan

Weekend Fun at the Fair

 Vintage Bazaar Masthead

Those of you who have followed my blog from the start know that I am a huge fan of this weekend’s Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm. Held bi-annually in an historic setting in the rural town of Salisbury, Mass, the folks at Pettengill Farm transform the vast fields from farmland to fun! Rows of colorful tents are filled with vintage wares offered by over 125 talented artisans and artists from 10+ different states.

Bazaar Pettengill Tents

Strolling through the multiple fields with names like Strawberry Fields Forever and Back Field in Motion, you just know you’re in for a good time! Under the tents you will find distinctive and unusual goods for sale, like these repurposed fanciful dolls, Bazaar Doll

gorgeous glass flowers pots from Creative Glass Works

Creative Glass Works

vintage jewelry and lots of re-furbished furniture and home decor- loving this vignette from Heja Home!

Bazaar Heja Home

So many fabulous finds await you! Some of my old favorites are back again, like Yellow Chair Market

Bazaar Yellow Chair Market

and some new favorites- loving this vintage trailer from  L Kells Antiques & Log Cabin Antiques

Vintage Bazaar Bettie B

cannot wait to see what’s inside!!  This year’s crowds are expected to be bigger than ever, especially with the exciting addition of Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash and Cari. She will be manning her own shop, RePurpose, and meeting and greeting her many fans.

Bazaar Cari Cucksey

Watch for the camera crews roaming around-you may end up on TV! Along with the great shopping, the Bazaar also features live blue-grass and country music and a vast array of yummy food trucks for your dining pleasure.

Vintage Bazaar Map

As you can see by the map here, there’s loads to do for shoppers and kiddies alike, with the Vintage Carnival Children’s Tent, where there will be face-painting, games and photo-ops! So head on up the turnpike, over the big green bridge and follow the signs for fun at the fair. The dates are this Saturday and Sunday, June 22 & 23, and the hours are 10am-5pm. The address: Pettengill Farm, 45 Ferry Road, Salisbury, Mass.  Have a great, sunny shopping weekend everyone! Susan

Flipping Over The Elephant’s Trunk-Part 2

As promised, here is the second half of the Connecticut adventure to The Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market-this is the good stuff! So we arrived around 8am to a sea of parked cars

Flea Parking lot

in a large open field surrounded by rolling hills and trees. This place is huge-not Brimfield huge, but there are 55 acres with hundreds of tents and tables. Lined up in orderly rows and flanked by food trucks, it made for quite an excursion for the thousands of shoppers already rummaging and haggling for goods and wares.

Flea Crowd Shot

As we keep attending more flea markets, antique shows and auctions, I am noting that this year’s trends are still holding strong: industrial, schoolhouse, old tools and of course, animals. Taxidermy,

Flea Antlers

metal work roosters,

Flea Rooster and Fence

deer old lawn ornaments (aren’t these two so sweet?)

Flea White Deer

and mounted deer heads

Flea Deer Head

were all right at home in what once was vast alfalfa farmland. At this flea, there was not a lot of repurposing or repainting, everything was pretty much “as is”. With a few notable exceptions. One booth had many painted and distressed tables and cupboards. Nice work.

Flea Green Table

This amazing metal-work coffee table was created by Jepsen’s Restoration.  He uses everyday items like signs and horseshoes and boxes and pipes and creates custom industrial works of art.

Flea Welded Table

This hand-painted flag trunk

Flea Flag Trunk

and this vintage decorated suitcase using old census listings were re-designed by Don S. Wing. Very well-crafted and vintage pretty.

Flea Suitcase

So as we were strolling, Coach taps me and says “look, there are cameras!”.

Flea Camera Crew

Sure enough, a camera crew was running after a couple of contestants from the HGTV show Flea Market Flip! If you haven’t seen the show, Lara Spencer (the Lifestyle anchor for Good Morning America-an avid flea marketer herself and author of NY Times Bestseller I Brake for Yard Sales) hosts a televised flea market competition- two teams get $500 each to spend in 1 hour. Here, she was chatting with the vendor who had just sold a table to a team for the show.

Flea Lara Spencer Closeup

Then, they repurpose their items to resell at the Brooklyn Flea Market. The team that earns the highest net profit wins $5000! We watched for a couple of minutes, then moved on, only to encounter Lara and her entourage chatting and laughing.

Flea Lara Spencer

Back to shopping and not stalking the game show host. As I continue to work on styling my own shop at the Vintage Thymes Monthly Market, I notice that my eye is always drawn to groupings (must be my touch of OCD at work?). Trays of jewels sparkling in the morning sun,

Flea Brooches

Vintage brass pipes and faucets make an industrial statement

Flea Faucets

colorful license plates all in a row.

Flea License Plates

This collection of colorful circles-gears and wheels-is art in itself.

Flea Gears

Anyone got a welding torch? I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance with my own personalized welder’s mask.

Flea Jennifer Beals Welder

Well, actually, I always wanted to look like Jennifer Beals. I did have me some rad leg warmers…

Flashdance Jennifer Beals Dancer

OK, back to the flea. This collection of broken statue heads was intriguing and I stood there thinking “what could I do with these?”, but nothing came to mind.

Flea Heads

As was this collection of metal junk pieces. Tiny Monopoly tokens, vintage jewelry pieces, broken barrettes, metal tokens, little bits of everything and nothings. Looked like a miniature Armageddon in a bowl.

Flea Trinkets

But I am really kicking myself for not grabbing some of these. I had seen a mirror once where they had glued all sorts of miniature items around the frame and then sprayed the entire thing white. That would have made a great conversation piece! This vignette caught my eye- not sure if it was the pretty umbrellas or the fake furs or the antiqued frames, but the pastel palette was pleasing to look at!

Flea Frames

I always enjoy hearing the stories of where people acquired their offered items. We came upon this truck with piles of these beautiful art prints on heavy parchment paper.

 Nantucket Prints

The sellers said that they were cleaning out a shop in Nantucket and hundreds of these prints were hidden away in a back storage room. They had been there for years, yet the colors were so vivid and brilliant! Of course, a couple right before us grabbed the whaling print we really loved. Moving along, we bumped into the Flea Market Flip entourage again. This time with different contestants, and Lara had changed her outfit. It appears that they shoot more than one episode per shopping day? Surrounded by cameras-both the crew’s and onlookers’-they seemed to be having quite a bit of fun.

Flea Lara Spencer and Contestant

And then we found The Duke…John Wayne.

Flea John Wayne

We never did get a chance to chat with the owner of this booth, but he appeared to have props-from an amusement park, perhaps? Menacing Jaws (he could definitely use some floss…),

Flea Jaws

pint-sized choo-choo trains

Train

20 foot signs and larger-than-life-sized statues (this one looks a bit like Coach, don’t you think?)

Flea Soldier

He also had these amazing rusted wheels that came from a vintage coffee grinder from the Enterprise Manufacturing Company. Each wheel weighs about 20#-they must have been some giant coffee beans! Coach and I looked at them, discussed what we would do with them, and then walked away. Enterprise Coffee Grinder Wheels

Word of advice-if you really want something at a flea market, buy it right away, because someone may come along behind you and scoop it up! In this case, we doubled back and a potential buyer was standing there negotiating with the owner for them! Coach swooped in and grabbed them-our prize for the day, along with this antiqued brass National Cash Register drawer faceplate. What are we going to do with them? You’ll have to tune it to a later blog post to find out. But for now, rest assured, we will be heading out again to the next big market in our own home state. No more Bates Motels for me!! Have a bargain of a day everyone! Susan

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