Monday, January 31, 2011

MORE Pretty Rooms


I am preparing to re-do a room in our house as my office/den; and the photo above is my inspiration. I love the bookcases. I totally need that; for my inventory items, my shipping materials, my creative supplies, and other various trinkets and collections. Like my vintage sewing basket collection. And my hatboxes. And other stuff.

I was originally going to use the room as a "formal parlor" and stash all my antique stuff in there, and just sit in there and look at it. Then, when I started my Etsy business, I decided the space would be much better as an office/studio/den instead of wasted on a "formal parlor". So I want to have a sofa in there, to watch my Neflix BBC Masterpiece Theater shows on, and preferably have it be a pull-out sofa bed, for extra guests not staying upstairs in the guestroom.

And then there is this:


If my one and only bathroom wasn't the size of a walk-in closet, I would beg and plead with my husband to create this awesome, luxurious bathroom for me. Look at the dressing table placed over the tub! (Okay, so that kinda makes me scratch my head a bit. Who puts on their face in the tub - or does their hair in the tub, for that matter?)
I just want to walk into this photo and have a nice bath, right now!

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Pretty Rooms, Vintage Style

I guess I am different from a lot of vintage loving girls; as far as my decorating style goes - because I do not like the 1950s "Atomic" style decor. And "Atomic", 1950's "Mod" decor seems to be the "going thing" among the vintage loving set of folks. I have nothing personal against it, I just prefer a more old-fashioned style of decor.

The husband and I have a 1920s farm house, and we're renovating it and re-decorating it; in a style that is decidedly more "cottage Victorian" than anything else.

Here are some images of bedrooms that are inspiring to me (- these are not my house).



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From Country Living

I adore iron beds. I have been searching desperately for an iron bed for almost 2 years now. I am quite determined to have one this year; if it means going to every antique auction in Virginia and North Carolina to get one.

In my decorating, I decide what items I want/need for a room, and then I wait until I find just the right thing. It could take years..... but I wait until I find it, and make do with something else until then. I don't buy anything new or modern; almost everything in the house is antique and vintage.

So I am waiting and searching for the iron bed. And the perfect china cabinet to complement my "new" antique oak dining table (an auction score). I am waiting for a wardrobe, and I am waiting for a sofa for my office/den. It is a lot like being single and waiting for the right guy to come along.

I like the "shabby chic" style, but with rustic touches; like the first and last photos. I don't like everything to be the same boring shade of bright white, and I do not like how some shabby chic decorators go overboard with pink paint and busy floral fabrics on every thing.

I like neutral walls, wood floors, (especially the floor in the first photo) and hardly anything cluttering up my windows. I do not like "drapes" and they make smaller rooms feel choked, dark, stuffy, and overdone. And by smaller rooms, I mean anything smaller than a ball room in an 1700s era English Manor house. I hate wallpaper - in almost all cases. I love a room to have at least one "woven" or wicker accent someplace.
I like to enter a room and have my mind be relaxed - not busy taking in 10,000 details and then feel completely smothered in it.

Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday! I intend to take in some sunshine and probably ride one of my horses for a bit.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Heh heh.... last post title should have been Vintage BLING and Baubles; not "Blig and Baubles." Me and my type-os..... *sigh*

Vintage Bling and Baubles

One of my personal joys recently has been working on my vintage jewelry collection. I prefer wearing one or two "statement" pieces, rather than wearing every piece of jewelry I own all at once.

Here are some recent items I acquired:


This old ring is so cool. I am not sure of how old it is, exactly. The thing is heavy as lead! The "stone" is actually a piece of shell, or mother of pearl. I purchased this at a local charity thrift shop.


An Etsy find - I had to have it for it's square stone - which is actually purple glass. In rolled gold plate. I also liked the sweet little bows on the side.


Another Etsy find - I snatched it up (figuratively speaking) as soon as I saw it. I loved the rose motif on the ivory colored bangle. LOVE this.


I made this one. As a little girl I loved to look through my mom's button box at all the cool old buttons she had in there. Buttons were so lovely back in "the day"... they were like little pieces of jewelry, sewn onto the garments.

So, when I ended up with a tin of old buttons from Great Aunts, Great Grandmas, Grandma, and who knows what other relatives, I held onto them until the perfect project came along. This was it.

I attached the buttons onto a charm bracelet with jump rings, and included a tiny skeleton key, two new gold tone shoe buttons, and a few little charms and tiny jingle bells I had and now I have the "Grandma's Button Box" charm bracelet. Some of the buttons are from the 20's and before.

I am currently looking for more materials for make these to offer for sale in my Etsy shop. (But vintage buttons are expensive to buy!)

My jewelry box is stuffed; and I think I am going to have to ask my Man to buy me one of those small chest of drawer style jewelry armories for my upcoming birthday. Um, yes. I like that plan. Any other ideas on displaying and storing oodles of bling and baubles?

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just a Little Bit Odd

It occurred to me the other day just how odd I really am....

This probably comes as no surprise to some people who know me really well.

One minute I am sloshing around in the mud, in dirty jeans and Carhart coat, feeding horses and mucking stalls... and an hour later I am dressed in vintage clothes, with hair and makeup done, going to dinner with my man.

Sometimes, I cook and bake in the kitchen, singing along to some Opera aria, or choral masterpiece I used to perform with choirs and singing groups; and then get in my truck and drive to town, rocking out to heavy rock bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, Sick Puppies, or Disturbed. (There. The secret is out.)

I love to watch romantic, English period movies (think Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and all those glorious BBC Masterpiece Theater costume dramas); and then turn around and go to the movies to watch some action adventure flick with speeding trains, lots of shooting, car chases, bombs, terrorists, torture, international espionage, cussing, and Daniel Craig. (Wait - did I actually just say that?!)

I like to drink tea from lovely old china cups and then gear up, grab my rifle, and climb into a tree stand to hunt deer with my man and brothers.

I drive to my antique shop work, dressed in a cute vintage outfit and shoes - in my big, often dirty, 4 wheel drive pick up truck.

I also have been known to go to the mail box, bring in firewood, and lock up the chickens in their coop - all while wearing frilly pjs and velvet Laura Ashley slippers that my Mom gave me.

I can sit and do delicate, intricate embroidery for hours, and then get bored and switch to another project involving saws, screwdrivers, shovels, backhoes, hammers, chisels, and lots of paint.

I can drive a big ol' tractor baling hay with my husband on a hot, hot summer day - then pick up and stack the hay - all while wearing some frilly little top, a hat, and lip gloss (for the spf; of course).

I love my shabby chic farm cottage; with lace curtains and painted furniture and floral prints; and yet I have my husband's trophy buck head (mounted by a taxidermist, naturally) hanging on the wall in our den. And I like it there.

So..... yes, I am a bit of a contradiction, and strange also; and I am fine with it because it's who I am and I am happy. I attribute it in large part to my mom, who always made me dress "girly"; and walk like a girl; and talk like a girl, even after I insisted on loving horses and being in a barn more than the house, growing up.
"Just because you are strong and can ride well and do hard work at the barn doesn't mean you need to dress like, or carry yourself - like a man," she insisted.

Now excuse me, while I watch the next episode of that BBC Masterpiece Theater mini series with the incredible Edwardian costumes before it's time to go outside and split up a bunch of firewood for the wood stove.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Estate Sale Finds



2 handbags; 2 pair of cute gloves (one leather); 2 aprons; 2 sets of rhinestone neckalces and earrings; and 1 rhinestone pin.

I feel really wierd at etste sales..... going through the deceased person's closet, jewelry box, dresser drawers, and cabinets. Although, this is the way you often find the best "dealios".

PS - I spent hardly anything.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

"I Do"...... Vintage Style


1950s lace wedding dress - available here



Pearl and rhinestone earrings - available here


1950s beaded clutch handbag - available here

I am really excited about my new shop section, devoted to wedding apparel and accessories. I wanted to do this last year but never found any good items.

Now, I am on the hunt for vintage wedding apparel and accessories still in good shape, and relevant to today's styles and trends.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thrifting Trip

My Mom and I went "thrifting" today. It was tons of fun; and we met up with my sisters Naomi and Noelle, and our good friend Amber, for a delish Mexican food lunch.

Some of the things I scored: (Sorry the pics are sub - par but I took them in a hurry)


1950s lace wedding dress. This thing is teeny tiny... like a size 0-2. I cannot get over how puny people were back in the day.

I decided I want to start offering more vintage wedding items; and this is a start.


Vintage wedding veil.


Gunne Sax strapless prom dress. This thing looks totally "current"; like something you'd go find at Deb's.


Handmade Jane Austen style gown.... red satin, with a train and built in crinoline petticoat. The sewing is impeccable.


Classic blue polyester 1970's "secretary" dress. I couldn't pass it up.


Pink Vanity Fair bed jacket. I have a thing for bed jackets; I always buy them when I find them.


Here is an example of what I was talking about the other day in this post. The Goodwill marks prices on things like this all the time. In this case, it is a really groovy 1940's - 1950s metal lunchbox that has been permanently marred by the Goodwill Sharpie. But I bought it anyway. :(


A vintage "Kelly" bag, and a groovy little satin and embroidery coin purse made in Spain.


And to keep for myself: a silver creamer and sugar set and a 1950s Pyrex fridge dish.


I bought a dirty bag of "smalls"; mostly miniature porcelain figurines. All of these are about 2 inches in height.


Lions and tigers and bears; Oh my!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Great Books

I don't read as much as I should.... that is for sure.

But I did read some amazing titles last year that I wanted to recommend and review.
A lot of my fellow MJF Farmgirls Will appreciate most of these. Heck, anyone can appreciate them. (Except maybe husbands.)



A Time To Kill; by John Grisham. His first novel, and, in my opinion, his best by far. And I have read most of his others. This book is a little lengthy, but kept my attention the entire time.... if you like legal/crime thrillers, you'll love it. I have always loved Grisham's knack for totally capturing the essence and "vibe" of the South and it's people; and he's at his best in this novel.


The Hearts of Horses - by Molly Gloss. This was a gift from my Mom. If you think this looks like one of those "strictly about horses and the nuts that train them" kinds of stories, think again.
I loved this book - and not just for the horses. The horses are just a part of it.
The story is set in Oregon at the time of the first World War. Most of the young men had gone off to fight in Europe, and there was an emergence of young women who traveled the country side, breaking in people's horses. This story follows a young lady from a broken home, who finds herself staying through the Winter in a neighborhood of ranchers and farmers, traveling a "circle" every day doing her horse training. But the real story is the relationships she develops with the people, and how they begin to care for her, and she for them. Molly Gloss creates a vivid picture of the amazing Oregon countryside, and of the profound way a small community of people touch each other's lives in ways they may or may not even know.


"Beyond the Homestretch", by Lynn Reardon. Okay, so if you're not into horses, this one may not be for you. But I laughed, cried, nodded in agreement, made notes, shook my head, got mad, and basically ran a whole range of emotions when I read this one.
Lynn Reardon runs a ex-racehorse rescue operation in Texas, and this is the story of how she got started. It could almost be my story - except for a few minor details. She relates some of the most hilarious stories of her polo playing days, encounters with dressage divas, cooky cowboys, crazy ladies, mean horse trainers, and touching adoptions. BUT, if you're not into horses, or pets/animals in general.... it won't make sense. I however, loved every word and totally related with the author. If I ever met her in person, we could probably swap crazy horse stories for hours.


"American Women and World War 2"; by Doris Weatherford.This is a fascinating exploration of the "Greatest Generation" 's women. I confess, I did not read it cover to cover, but I did read most of it. Here is a quote from the front jacket that says it all:
"American Women and WW2 tells the story of the whole body of American Women who answered their country's call, both at home and on the front lines." I was fascinated by some of the things in this book; especially about how women had to make do in a time of rationing, and very little manufacturing of items for public consumption. No new shoes; no new dresses; no butter at the store; very little sugar.... men off at war with no word from them for months and months..... these ladies had it rough, and reading this book gave me a whole new respect for them. And for the relics of the time. :)

"Vintage Notions", by Amy Barickman. This is such a sweet book. It is, basically, a collection of articles from a newsletter published in the 20's and 30's by "The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences". Most of the text is derived from these newsletters and the subjects cover Needlework, sewing (Dress making, aprons, hats, etc.), cooking, Fashion, and other cute observations, inspirational essays, and beauty. But what makes it so delightful is the artwork and graphics..... all vintage 20's and 30's drawings and artwork. Page after page of sweet, feminine loveliness that just makes me ogle over it for hours. I first saw it in the Victorian Trading Co. catalog, but bought it cheaper on eBay. :)

"The Farmer's Wife Cookbook". The Farmers Wife was a magazine published in Minnesota between 1893 and 1939. It's primarily a cookbook, but also has lots of photos of old fashioned magazine ads and food photos; as well as insight into the lives of these hard-working, often isolated ladies.
I bought it because.... well because I am a farmer's wife! It's a cute book full of good recipes and nostalgic art.

And finally.....


It's the Pioneer Woman. 'Nuff said.

PS..... I love her salsa recipe..... I use it all the time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

This is the way I amuse myself these days

I don't need another chest of drawers. Let me just get that out of the way right off the bat.

But, I spotted an interesting "dresser" at the local Goodwill two or three weeks ago on one of my scouting trips. They were asking $90 for it; and I felt like it wasn't worth it.

But it was there the next week, and the next; and then it was marked way down. So, I went home, and told my husband about it. Any purchase over $25 - $30 we always clear with the other spouse before hand. It's just one of those things we do; keeping each other accountable for spending and shopping. He was all for it, so I went back and bought the dirty old thing.


This is it with the bottom drawers taken out. I thought it was neat, with the doors above concealing another drawer inside, and space where there were two more. I liked the "lines" of it.

But..... it needed a little help.

I cleaned it, sanded it, glued it, primed it with Killz 2, and a couple coats of "extreme adhesion" paint in plain ol' white - inside and out.


I bought two antique reproduction pink glass knobs to replace the original plain metal ones. The drawer pulls I removed and painted white, and put those back on.



I will probably distress it with a sanding block in a few weeks, after the paint sets a bit. And the drawer behind the doors I may paint white later.... or turquoise; I am undecided - so I just left it. I also plan on fitting a shelf in the space behind the doors where the drawers are missing. I ordered a wooden caster wheel from an Etsy seller to replace the broken one.

I am not sure if I am going to try and sell this particular piece in my booth at the antique shop, or if I am going to keep it for myself.

But I plan on doing a lot more "fixing" of old pieces like it as part of my shop offerings when we re-open in the springtime.

OH YEAH - check out this turquoise tinsel tree I bought today! Regular price on it was $17.00; I got it for $6.00.


It is going to look awesome in my booth next Christmas with my cute little 1950s glass ball ornaments all over it. :)