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

 

 

 

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 Glidden Project

Glidden Autumn Paint ChipBack in October, I spied this insert from Glidden Paints inside the Halloween issue of Country Living Magazine The brilliant autumn-inspired colors in the ad caught my eye, as did their interactive Country Living October 2012website, so I blogged about it. Well, the good people at Glidden saw my blog (yay!) and asked if I would be interested in doing a room makeover using their paint brand. They would send me the paints of my choice, I would paint it myself and then write about the experience. Now, those of you who read my blog know that I am a one-paint kind of decorista. Over the years I have tried just about every paint brand, only to keep returning to my personal favorite. But, since I had been contemplating a facelift for our family room anyway, it seemed like the perfect time to sieze an amazing opportunity to try something new and write a blog for the whole world to see (well, maybe not the whole world, but at least my blogging world).

Here’s the story: The last time we re-painted the family room, I had decided to add an accent color to the fireplace wall.

Glidden Before Mantel

At the time, it worked to enhance the fireplace and mantel that were viewable from the kitchen, which was the same color. However, last fall we converted our adjacent deck to a screened-in porch, which we LOVE, but any natural light we had streaming into the picture window wasGlidden porch

greatly diminished, making the room darker and less appealing. Along with that, I had changed the sofa slipcover from this light toile print

Glidden Blue Toile

to a brick red solid, creating a cavernous feel.

Glidden Brick Red Sofa

 Of course, that was not my intent. The original blue slipcover that came with the sofa we bought back in 2005 was too flowery for this more “countrified” space, and the red slipcover I purchased online looked a lot brighter on my computer screen than in person. Bright, cheerful color is my thing…dark and gloomy, not so much. And several of the decorating elements in the room- like this hand-carved whale-also creamy white, just faded into the walls, which were the same color as the trim. Glidden Whale

Time for a change. The new colors I chose were Antique Beige Glidden Antique Beige

for the walls, because I needed a color just a shade or two darker than the trim but still bright and light, and this one has just a hint of pink, and Steel Blue for the accents to match the rugs and curtains that I was planning to keep. Glidden Steel Blue

I kept the trim, fireplace and bookcases the same creamy white semi-gloss. But before I could paint the wall, I had to do a wee bit of patching since I had made some pretty big screw holes while hanging a mirror awhile back.

IMG_5957

A hole this big cannot just be filled with putty, you actually need to use some of this mesh tape to bridge it, and give it something to grab onto.

Mesh Spackling Tape

Patching the Hole

Once the putty was dry and sanded, I used this Glidden Primer called Gripper . (I had given this a High Five For Friday awhile ago-see Primed for Success...)

Glidden Gripper CanIt has a school-glue consistency, covers everything and seals in stains and dark colors, yet it is water-based for easy cleanup.

Blue wall with Gripper Primer

I was able to paint all of these shelves that were stained and polyurethaned over 25 years ago-without even sanding them!

Shelving

IMG_5965

Amazing stuff.  Next up was two coats of the eggshell finish Antique Beige Glidden. Having stated above that I have been using the same paint brand for years, I have to tell you that I was very happily surprised by how great this paint is! I typically judge my paint by the several factors listed below; in each case, the Glidden paint passed with flying colors!

1.Drippiness: Minimal dripping and splattering, both from the brush and the rollers (foam and low nap), even from up high on the ladder.

2.Sagging: No sagging at all (that’s when you roll or brush the paint on, then look back a minute or two later and find that the paint is literally     sagging from the wall, which you then have to go and redo before it sets).

3.Ease of Use: The paint rolled and brushed on smoothly and quickly, covered beautifully, cleaned up easily with soap and water.

4.Overall Depth of Color. The color is deep and even and the eggshell finish has just enough glow so the light from the window is refracted- exactly what I needed to brighten up the room!

Coach walked in after I was done (yup, the interior painting is my thing, he sticks to the outdoors), and said “wow, this looks really amazing!”, which, if you know coach, is a lot for him to say… Sooo, this is the before:

Glidden Blue Wall Before

Bookcases Dark

But you will have to come back tomorrow for the after : ) Happy last minute shopping everyone!!! Susan

So Very Thankful…

…that my holiday prep is over!! Sorry I haven’t been blogging much, it has been such a busy time around here and something had to give. Thanksgiving is absolutely my favorite holiday, and we love to entertain family and friends with a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixins! This year we had special guests from Ireland, New York and Oregon, so we tried to make it especially festive.

Since last year, my plan had been to host a primitive dinner in our re-furbished barn, but those hopes were dashed when we were rejected by HGTV. Sooo, necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to hold our annual feast on our newly vinyl-clad porch. After three long hard weekends of cutting and taping and grommeting, we had this:

So I hung thermal-lined drapes, added three tables and chairs for 22, twinkle lights and candles and then it looked like this:

Each table had its own centerpieces and decorations, using autumn leaves, burlap runners, rustic vases and candles to add a warm glow:

Once the candles were lit and the twinkle lights were glowing, it made for a pretty special (if not a bit chilly-could only use one portable heater as the others kept blowing a fuse!) outdoor dining room.

One of my young nieces walked in and said “Wow, awesome, it looks like a wedding!”

Mission accomplished. I would like to thank everyone who joined in to celebrate this special day, bringing wine and sides and pies and last-minute, hand-made place cards

and delicious hors d’oeuvres to make this dinner the best ever! Funny story about the hors d’oeuvres. My brother texted me to ask what time the party started. This was my unintended response (thank you, auto correct!)

Look for it on Ellen’s Clumsy Thumbsy : ) Hope you all had a lovely holiday as well.

On to wedding #6! Susan

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