In This Moment

Last weekend, Coach and I were sitting in a quaint sandwich shop, Bessie’s, in downtown Ogunquit, Maine, enjoying a quick lunch. We needed a break after having spent the morning loading the cars, driving north and then setting up our new shop space inside Hutchin’s Antiques Etc.

Hutchins Antiques Signwhich was around the corner from where we sat. Chatting about our new space and how best to stock and decorate it, I had a moment of…I’m not sure of the word…wonderment perhaps? Thinking about all that had transpired in the past year that brought us to this place in this moment left me a bit overwhelmed. A year ago at this time, our new Maine cottage plan was slowly coming to fruition but still a dream away. At that time, we had no thoughts of setting up shop in Maine…after all, Coach had the Arundel Flea Market that he frequents quite often. Its a great outdoor flea market right near our cottage, BUT, its not so great when there’s a foot of snow and its 20 degrees outside! We had visited Hutchins’ during our frequent Maine visits and loved the quaint vintage vibe of the family-owned Village Blacksmith shop (c.1840) turned antiques co-op. So when Coach noticed a “this space for rent” sign on one of our recent visits, we jumped at the chance to set up shop, once again…hopefully for the last time! Our junking journey began so many years ago at Vintage Thymes in Norwood…

Vintage Thymes Market Shopthen to The Barn at Todd Farm in Rowley (remember that giant rusty bedspring marquee sign? I miss that thing!)

Country Design Home in the Barn At Todd Farmand then on to the Mills at Pulaski Street in Peabody.

Pulaski Street Map WallEach venue has had its own unique charm, and along the way, Coach and I have realized how much we enjoy doing what we do…reuse, restore, refurbish and sell…and we just weren’t ready to throw in the vintage towel quite yet!

Last weekend was the preliminary setup for the new space-ladders, doors, furniture and signs…of course, the signs : )

Hutchins Wall With SignsAnything we could stuff into our two SUVs-items that I had been working on for the past month-now fill the sunlight-splashed space.

Hutchins Setting Up ShopThis weekend we’ll be adding some finishing touches…painted furniture and vintage accessories and lights for the tree…did I mention we have a tree in our space!?!

Hutchins Empty SpaceI’ll be adding more pics as we keep adding to and editing our shop-presently its decorated for the LOVE holiday that is fast approaching.

Hutchins Red CornerIf you have a chance to visit- they’re open every day except Wednesdays during the winter (and they’re having a huge store-wide sale!) we’re in the shop on the right in the second room-just look for the sparkling tree : ) For now, it will be enough to say that I am so grateful for everything that has transpired over the past year to bring us home to Maine. Have a Maine-ly wonderful weekend, everyone! xoxo Susan

The Hall of Shame

With Easter coming up next week, it’s time to make my “to-do” list, since we will be hosting the family celebration at our home. Typically, prior to most holidays, my lists look something like this:

1. Make a menu (this one’s not mine, but it looks good!)

2. Re-paint and wallpaper “something”- in this case, the front hall.

3. Clean out and mulch the garden. 4. Wash all the windows.

4. Buy a ham.

5. The night before- prepare the side dishes and desserts, clean the house, set the table, create some fabulous decorations for the holiday.

For some reason, it never occurs to me to NOT do a full-on reno project right before a holiday. So many times, with the deadline looming, the projects are not fully completed, or don’t get done properly. New wallpaper slapped over older wallpaper that never gets stripped, paint only gets one coat, the surfaces not properly prepped and sanded.

On several episodes of Modern Family, Phil Dunphy makes a mad dash up his stairs, tripping halfway up on a loose stair tread. As he mutters “I’ve got to fix that thing”, I think of our front hall. We use it 100 times a day, but at some point, we just stopped seeing it- the scraped walls, the torn wallpaper, the threadbare carpet.

Our “Hall of Shame” is like poor, overworked Cinderella. With some loving care and a glass slipper, it could be the Belle of the Ball, but right now it is the ugly stepsister. It was updated back in the 80’s, with cherry burgundy carpeting that is now thread-bare and worn from years of kids’ cleats and muddy paws. The floor is stick-on faux marble black and white check, with most of the ends curling up. The wallpaper has been changed a couple of times, but always with a nod to the horrible carpet. The bannister and railings? Well, they have been sanded and sanded and stripped and sanded some more, but never completed. I spent one whole summer stripping the paint off of the stair treads, only to find that that the wood was so worn, I went ahead and repainted them. BIG mistake!

So this time I started a week early-lol! But this time I am going to take my time and do it right, from the ceiling to the floor, both upstairs and down. I am creating my “mood board”, choosing my colors thoughtfully and adding the accessories carefully. As this week goes on, I will keep you updated on my progress. And if it is not done by Easter Sunday, so be it.

Hopefully, for my guests it will conjur up lovely images of faraway rustic Italy. I will just pour some wine, carve the ham and no one will even notice my latest work in progress. It’s gonna be a long week…

Happy Renovating! Susan

The Three “R’s” – Re-Imagine, Re-Purpose, Re-Love

Like most working women, I treasure the weekends. They allow us some free time to catch our collective breath and unwind, before gearing up for the upcoming work week. Saturdays are cleaning and errand day, but Sundays are usually saved for special projects that I have set aside, typically involving crafting, sewing or home improvements. Today was a “3 R’s Project”: Re-Imagine, Re-Purpose, Re-Love. I was a DIY fanatic well before HGTV and the DIY Network came along. My mantra? “Sure, I can do that!”

Over the years, I have created extravagent wedding cakes, painted folk art, and more recently, I create and donate T-Shirt Quilts through “Threads Of Hope”– all the while working on refurbishing and restoring my 1850’s homestead. I never shy away from a project, whether its re-clapboarding the front of the house, baking a fantastic cake for a party, building a fieldstone wall, adding wainscotting to a room or crafting a quilt for an auction. I’ll try anything, with the exception of electricty. Attempted to splice some wires once with shockingly bad results. Lesson learned. I love re-using, re-cycling, re-beautifying things and giving them a new purpose.

Today I re-covered two pillows for my living room due to the “decorating domino effect”. Not sure what that means? I’ll explain. My living room is decorated in shades of blues and creams with brown accents. Recently I purchase a new rug for my dining room-red and white and gorgeous! So now the dining room rug has found a new home in the living room. Unfortunately, the transported rug is in shades of blues and reds, so exit the brown accents from the living room and enter the reds. Therefore, the brown and blue pillows needed new covers to co-ordinate-got that?

Now, dropping $50.00 for a new throw pillow is not something I am able or willing to do. My shopping is a constant struggle between want and need, and throw pillows typically don’t fall into the need column within my limited decorating budget. So, having two perfectly good down-filled pillow inserts, it was time to pull from my fabric grab-bag to re-cover them. Disclaimer: In a previous blog, Map It Out, I described my husband as a pack-rat. I want to state here that I do have my weakness when it comes to saving:fabric.

I save left-over fabric pieces, curtains, sheets, bedspreads, pretty dresses, in the event that I might need a scrap or two for a project someday. In my defense, I do a lot of quilt-making, painting and crafts, and fabric scraps are used for everything from rags to ruffles. Today, I pulled a lovely old blue Waverly Toile Valance out of my bin, and with that discarded window treatment I made two new covers for my living room throw pillows-love them! The cost? $1.78 for the covered button kit I purchased at Joanns (using a 50% coupon, of course). Had I gone shopping for those same two Waverly-covered, down-filled pillows, I would have paid upwards of $45 each, and with all due respect, they would not be nearly as pretty as the ones I created today.

So another Sunday gone, another re-purposing project completed-time to go clean up the dining room and gear up for another Monday morning. In the meantime, I can check pillows off the list of things to re-imagine, re-purpose and re-love.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: