Monday, October 31, 2011

Antique Jam Cabinet, Jr. Edition

I also found this mini version of a jam cabinet in a different barn:



I actually think it is meant to be a box with a hinged lid, since there are handles carved on the "top" and "bottom" (being on either side of the lid). Maybe it was some kind of tool, or ammunition box; since there is also half of a hasp on it for locking it with a padlock. But I turned it up on end as, as you can see.

That is the original shabby paint. It takes care of that big, empty, useless corner of the kitchen cabinets very nicely, with the addition of various kitchen items like jars and such.

Whatever it's original use, it's found a new life now!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Antique Jam Cabinet

I like Shabby Chic decor. I like cottage decor. I like flea market, French, country, traditional, and Victorian decors as well.

So when it comes to decor in my (still being remodeled) kitchen, I have developed a style of decor I like to call "Shabby French flea market country farmhouse cottage" style decor. I know what I like, and what I want, and instead of settling on one boring style, I just decided I wanted it all. To some extent. Tee hee.


One of the many treasures I discovered in the barns on the farm that I cleaned out when we moved here was a mysterious "box" with a shelf in it. I left it in the barn for awhile, not sure what I was going to do with it; as it was pretty shabby, and squirrels had been living in it. It stayed in the corner of the hay loft in that barn next to piles of antique tobacco sticks.

("Tobacco sticks" are not cigarettes... they're wooden sticks they used in the old days for hanging the tobacco in the tobacco barns for curing and drying. They're considered antique now; and I've seen them auctioned for a pretty tidy sum.)

Then one day I was moving some things around downstairs in the barn when I found a piece of wood that looked similar to the box upstairs; with the same shabby paint. But it was just a corner piece with a henge.

I kept rummaging around, when I found a second piece; and what do you know..... the two pieces formed a door. Then I had a revelation: the door was for the cabinet upstairs in the hay loft! It was a old "jam cabinet"!

I dragged it back to the house. And of course the door fit perfectly and all I had to do was screw it back on with some new screws.



I put it in the pantry while I thought about what to do with it. I thought about taking all the paint off; I thought about painting over it; but in the end, after two years, I decided this week to leave it in it's present condition, shabby chipping paint and all, and just "shellac" it in place.

It is a perfect "farmhouse" piece; or a "Shabby French flea market country farmhouse cottage" piece, if you will.




It's in the pantry - a very appropriate place for a jam cabinet, I thought.
You can see some green paint underneath the chippy white paint:


The door, I noticed, is carved with a kind of Scandinavian design, that you can sort of see, if you look real hard:


Looks like this:


I have no idea how old it is exactly, but it is.......... old. For sure. And I love it! How perfectly "Shabby French flea market country farmhouse cottage"!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Poultry Saga: Continued.

As much as I railed about how I was done with poultry earlier in the summer, when I suggested to my husband that we "just buy eggs and chicken meat at a farmer's market or something", he was highly offended.

"You can quit the chickens if you want," he said, with a air of noble loyalty;
"But I will always have chickens. It just wouldn't be the same around here without Roo (as we affectionately call our rooster) and The Girls (as we affectionately call our pesky hens)running around and ...stuff."

So I feel as if I have been raising, babysitting, and otherwise supervising fowl all.year.

First, it was my two batches of feed store chickens in the spring, most of whom met a morbid end. (Read all my railings about our chicken situation here.)

Then, when we got into hay cutting in the summer, I did a really illegal thing. Which I have not mentioned before now because I was scared of getting in big trouble for it.

One afternoon while cutting hay, my brother ran over a nest of wild turkeys in the middle of the field, by accident. The hen ran off and didn't return for a couple of hours. My brother, who kind of makes it his business to know all things wildlife, said he didn't expect she would ever return to the nest, since the cover was totally destroyed. He felt really bad about it.

So, I - knowing the risks - collected the 12 or so eggs from the nest, and popped them into my chicken incubator at home. No one expected them to hatch; it is very rare that wild turkeys are successfully raised in a "domestic" environment. But we felt like we owed it to Nature to try to make things right after ruining everything for that hen.

I counted out the days for turkeys to incubate. I turned the eggs twice a day - by hand. I carefully monitored the temperature.

And on the last day, I said to Kevin: "Can you take those turkey eggs and dump them somewhere where Dodge cannot eat them? I don't think they're going to hatch."

And that evening while cooking dinner I kept hearing peeping outside my kitchen window and I wondered why my hens were hanging out there so I walk over to check it out, when I happen to notice there is a wet, newly hatched infant wild turkey peering at me through the window of the incubator. I was dumbfounded. I had defied nature and hatched out wild turkeys in my kitchen! So THERE, wildlife experts!!

We hatched seven.

We told no one.

I never even took photos.

There is a steep fine for keeping wild animals without a proper license and training.

We raised them in a tank in the dining room, just like the chickens; and I did it without touching them or interfering very much as all; because we intended to set them lose once they were grown.

But when they got too big for the tank, and it came time to move them to bigger quarters, they flipped out and one died from the shock.

In fact, one baby turkey died from shock/fright each time we had to re-locate them as they grew. I started to understand why they don't want lay persons, without a license and training, raising wild turkeys and other wildlife. It is a pain in the neck to do it properly, if you're not making pets of them. I told my husband that he and my brother had better not make a habit of ruining turkey nests in the fields anymore; because I never want to raise wild turkey babies ever again.

We finally ended up with three, and we put them in the chicken run and put a roof on the chicken yard to keep them safe. The evil skunk got one; and I finally got rid of the other two, just a couple of weeks ago. When I opened the doors on the official release day, I expected them to fly away into the woods, leaving me standing there feeling all warm and fuzzy about my rare accomplishment and noble efforts to rescue wildlife. Like in one of those Disney, "family" movies. (I still have all these convoluted, idealistic, hopeful fantasies about living on a farm, but it never works out like Disney tries to make you believe.)

But instead they just ran around all frantically; and never went near the open door. For a entire week I opened the doors and finally, one day, one was gone. Then the next day or two passed, the the second one was gone, too. My babies "done growed up", and went to live with the big turkeys! And good riddance. Turkeys are kind of...... dumb. Poor things.

Well all was great, until about three weeks ago when one of my remaining chickens from the Spring batch got broody and started sitting on a nest full of eggs... in the hay baler. Nothing could get her off. So we left her. Most of these attempts do not end well; leaving me with a pile of rotten eggs to dispose of.

But then last week, I came home from work after dark, and walked by the baler on my way to look at something else, and heard that peeping I recognize all too well....
Lo and behold, that Spring Chicken hatched out 8 chicks all by herself. Apparently no one told her that you usually sit on eggs in the springtime. Not right before cold weather.

I did have to move them out of the baler, as the babies kept falling out and complaining loudly. They're safely stowed in a large cage in the yard till they get some size on them. But I am letting the mother raise them, because I am done with raising poultry for 2011!

They really are stinking cute, though. I can't help but gush at them in baby talk when I go out into the yard and see them scurrying around.



Hopefully, this is it for the year for me; and, depending on how many we loose over the winter, I may beg and plead with Kevin to NOT get more chicks in the spring.

*crossing fingers*

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today's Plunder...

We had made a plan to go over to the Blue Ridge Parkway today, and view the leaves, hike underground at Dixie Caverns, shop in the antique malls, and have a barbeque supper someplace.

Then Kevin's boss decided to make him work instead.

So I was sad, disappointed, a little annoyed, and generally grumpy this morning. Plus I woke up with a headache.

So to cheer myself up I took Dodge and headed to Yanceyville, NC (near my childhood home down the road) where they have a community yard sale most weekends during nice weather. I got myself a smoked sausage biscuit and a hash browns, and went shopping at the yard sale vendors.

Then I went to the Junk Shop next door, and I was starting to feel better so I went to the local charity shop, where I found the mother lode.

Here's a few of my findings:

For me -

A tin of old sewing notions. I also found four or five necklaces mingled in with the sewing things. I got it for $2. I don't sew, so I don't know what I am going to do with it; except stash it and tell myself I will eventually sew something.

From the junk shop, a blue insulator. My favorite color.

A very old strand of faux pearls with a nifty clasp. From the same yard sale as the sewing notions.

From the charity shop, a 40s black velvet hat for my collection. So cute.

A lovely tam, which I will probably wear a lot this winter.

And, for the shop:

Two really cool 50s - 60s bags: white wicker and a very.very.very. cool tapestry handbag.

A dead stock apron, in sweet blue and white.

When the lady at the charity shop saw I was buying a bunch of old stuff, she said she had, in "the back", two sets of old pjs with the tags still on them. I asked to see them, and so she brought them out: 2 sets of cotton 1950s pjs, tags still attached, and in perfect dead stock condition. I had to pay a little more than I wanted, but I could NOT leave those there! So adorable!!

Several sets of frilly, lacy and romantic, and very old, gowns and robes.*swoon*



I am still annoyed that my mountain plan was wrecked, but I am somewhat comforted by my excellent finds.
And the delicious sausage biscuit. Mmmmmm.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ruche Fall "Lookbook" Wishlist.

My favorite indie fashion website is Ruche, and fall fashion is my favorite; and the two combined just made my heart go pitter patter....

(Click the link below the photos to buy.)

These shoes are to die for. Look at that cute velvet flower on the toe!

I am a sucker for velvet. Love this bag in mauve.

This print trench coat is so unusual! I have a coat similar to this but it's a shorter coat, and in a brown print instead.

This pleated coat has 1910's vibes. Love the dusty lilac color...

Be still my beating heart... (Click here to buy)

Love this whole look.

The sweater coat is so cozy looking!

There are so many other gorgeous things at Ruche right now; I suggest you take a look at the Fall "Wanderlust" Look Book and see for yourself!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Last Sundress Of The Season....




I bought this dress when I was visiting my sister who is attending Regent University in Virginia Beach. It's a classic Laura Ashley cotton sundress, done in a 50s style. I love it. My sister, on the other hand, said it looked like something she would have dressed her American Girl dolls in, when she was a kid. She said it was too "cutesy". I agree; it is kind of "cutsey"; but I need something cutesy for when I am in a cutsey mood. So there, Noelle.

Anyway, today it was warm - in the upper 80s - so I figured I'd enjoy wearing it on what will probably be the last really warm day of the year; since we'll be getting chilly here at the end of the week. I took my camera, and Dodge, walking in the fields here on our farm.





Dress: Laura Ashely; thrifted
Shoes: American Eagle; thrifted
Hat: Liz Claiborne; thrifted
Locket: Vintage silver plate locket, thrifted

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Etsy Shop Update and SALE

A little shameless self promotion here..... hey It's my blog so I can promote a little bit, right? Hee hee

It's closet cleaning and wardrobe switching around time of the year; I've been doing it in my own closets and drawers and I am doing it in my Etsy inventory as well.

You know how they say you should toss anything you haven't worn in a year? Well, I have stuff that has been listed in my Etsy shop since DAY ONE and I guess nobody is interested in it, so I won't be renewing those listings.

Plus, I am kind of trying to give my shop a face lift and a certain "vibe", which entails ridding it of certain eras - like the 70s. And the 80s. I am just not going to do the 70s and 80s anymore, unless it is the 70s Victorian revival stuff, like Gunne Sax, Jessica McClintock, and Sarah Coventry, etc. Polyester = buh-bye. A lot of this stuff has already been pitched (dumped on eBay/stashed in storage for a later vintage fair or something).

As a result, I am having a "purge sale" in the shop. Many dresses are on sale, and I am offering free shipping on some, as well.

Plus some items are on sale at a "final reduction" price. Because once they're gone, they're.... well, totally gone. Not even coming back for next year. Buh-bye.

I am shooting for a really girly-girl, Victorian inspired, sweet and pretty, sappy kinds of items only shop. A shop for the hopeless romantics. Not the hip and modern, funky and bold ladies. (Nothing against it, because I love that too!) I just need to focus. I am also trying to free up some space (and time) for adding more Shabby Cottage decor and housewares after Christmas. Cutting back on my clothing is a start.

I have been working like mad to try and improve my photos (not always successful but I am trying).

There is no sale going on in shop #2, however. It's still too young and getting going. I still have piles of stuff for listing there; I just need to get motivated in the photography department. I've been really discouraged about my cruddy pics but I have only the one puny camera for the moment.

So anyways if you want to check out the free shipping items (free shipping is only to the USA; I can't afford to offer free shipping internationally, sadly.) the sale items, and the final reduction items, click over to my shop Carolina Roses.

And as a special treat to you readers: Convo me if you're buying AND a follower of this blog and receive a FREE GIFT with your purchase. :)

Thanks for listening to my little commercial/blurb and do have a great rest of your weekend! :D

Friday, October 14, 2011

Preparing For Winter


"Preparing for Winter".

It sounds so old fashioned, like something Laura Ingalls would do in the Big Woods, or something.


I find myself "preparing for Winter", even on this 75 degree, sunny, beautiful day. I just left the garden with a five gallon bucket of tomatoes and green peppers and I have to go back for more green beans.

But a few days ago the walnut trees dropped all their leaves, and the mornings are chilly..... so I know these warm days and fresh veggies are numbered.

I love it when the last of the hydrangeas turns that lovely dusty rose color....

It's time.....

......time to start cutting and stacking firewood, and collect kindling for the wood stoves; plus clean out chimneys and replace the fire bricks inside the stoves.

Time to get out the horse's blankets and clean and repair them; plus order new ones for the new horses.

Time to "put the garden to bed" by plowing it under and bringing in loads of compost to spread on top; to get out blankets for the bed and cozy afghans for the sofa.


Time to put away all the summer clothes and bring out the sweaters and jackets and Carhart, to have my suede and wool vintage coats dry cleaned, and find my fuzzy slippers and cuddly bathrobe.

Time to plant bulbs, mulch flower beds, put away porch furniture in the barns, stash air conditioning units, and replace screens on the storm doors with glass.

Time to park all the tractors and farm equipment we won't be using till next season in barns.


Time to start stashing Christmas gifts.

Oh yeah; and it is definitely time for hot cocoa and pumpkin recipes. I want to make Paula Deen's pumpkin cheesecake real soon.

What do you do to "get ready for winter"?



I've canned more than I ever have this summer. I ran out of space on my large pantry shelves and now I have jars stacked on the floor in the pantry, three and four thick... I don't have an exact count but it is a bunch; probably over 50 quarts of green beans, at least....

Friday, October 7, 2011

An Apple Pie Kind Of Day

The trees are still green, the flowers are still blooming, the garden is still producing, and the weather is gorgeous and warm.... a typical "Indian Summer" day here in Virginia.

I was canning green beans and saucing tomatoes to can; prepping green peppers for freezing, and making apple sauce, when I thought I'd also bake up a quick apple pie.

Just to make it seem more like fall.






It was tasty.