Friday, September 25, 2015

Autumn Home 2015-Part 1

Happy Fall! Come on in!

Yes, it took me a while but I have finally gotten into the mood to decorate for the new season. As I dabbled in decorating this past week I was amazed at how it is the little things that seem to make such a big impact. On my last post I opened with a picture of some little pumpkins I put under a glass dome with a starfish. I got more comments and compliments on the little pumpkin! I had to laugh.

I bought some little pumpkins from Walmart for $.89 each. I also purchased a can of spray paint from Home Depot. I chose a color called champagne. I sprayed some real pumpkins, too!

Add in some leaves made from old book and some berries. The bittersweet on the front arbor is not ready yet so I will have to wait to add that in later.

In the dining room I was a bit bi-focused. I wanted to use a more traditional autumnal color pallet. I pulled from a painting my grandmother had painted. I have been blessed to have inherited several of her paintings to decorate with.

I meant to paint the buffet this summer but never quite got around to it.

And then, I am loving all the white and rustic stuff I am see on the blogs I follow. That is where the painted pumpkins come in.

So the dining room is complete. Now I have work to do in the kitchen!

Linking up;

Friday, September 18, 2015

To Market, To Market...

Okay, okay….I give! Bring on Fall. No, I have not completely decorated for it yet but I am working on it. Here's a sneak peak.

The weatherman said the summer weather is leaving and by the end of this weekend we will be struggling to maintain temperatures in the low 70’s. They are predicting an early show of fall foliage. My sweaters are still packed but I have started putting away my linen dresses and most of the beachy décor. (Okay, some of the beachy décor.) I do like pulling out clothes that have been stored away. It’s like saying hello to an old friend. I have to work hard at not overdressing and then being too warm. I tend to get a twinge of “oh, yeah, I missed that shirt (dress, sweater, whatever) and decide to wear it on a day that is still just a bit too warm for it.

As I decorate and pack away things for next year my excitement is rising for the upcoming season of fairs, bazaars, and festivals. I was contacted by the ladies at Vintage Thymes Monthly Market to write a post about their new adventure.  I will write more about that later. This weekend I am headed to Mary Ellen and Sandy’s Vintage Home and Garden Marketplace! They were recently featured in Romantic Country Magazine as one of the top markets in the country. Mister and I took a trip to Foxboro this past spring to their market. You may remember seeing the blog post here.

The following weekend we are headed back up to Salisbury to see the lovely ladies at Coastal Windows & Exteriors. Again, they will be the sponsors for the Vintage Bazaar. I met some talented people there in June (here) and look forward to seeing some of them again.

All this is coming up in addition to apple picking, corn mazes, the Topsfield Fair, little local fairs, the Big E, and on and on it goes. I suppose that If one has to say good-bye to lazy days in the sun with sound of the surf reaching the shore that Autumn in New England is not such a bad trade off.

Now, off to the market! Are you coming?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Coastal-Junk-French Country-Cottage-Dumpster Diving-Chic-With-A-Nod-To-Traditional

While I linger a while longer in with my summer decor (aka:drag my feet about decorating for autumn) I thought I should find something to write about. As I linked up my last post to my favorite parties I kept seeing new and different things. My familiar blog inspirations had gotten a bit of updating, header changes, ect. Boy! I can't manage to change my dining table flowers and everybody else in blogland is bustin' out mega changes. I have seen lists of upcoming Fall Home Tour parties and I am thinking maybe next year if I pretend I am a part of one of those it may motivate me to get moving! I tell myself that I am just waiting to see what everyone else has done and then I can grab ideas from them!

Since I have nothing in my home worthy of a post this week I decided to share a couple of projects from the past! (...and a bit of blah, blah, blah.)

I have learned two things about my decorating style. (Yes, there are more than two things but I am talking about just two today.)

#1) My decorating taste buds are constantly changing. At one time I was all about Southwest decorating with two big paintings of Native Americans, a woven blanket over the couch and some macrame’ tree-of-life wall hangy thing. Then the late 80’s-early 90’s ushered in the Wedgewood blue, country geese and all things mauve. Scary. Home Interior parties (remember them) were my source of inspiration and my mom had a knack making her home look just like the magazines. I followed her lead right into the Americana/Primitives stage.Today, there is little left of those early decorating days. I don’t know if Coastal-Junk-French Country-Cottage-Dumpster Diving-Chic-With-A-Nod-To-Traditional is a style but I think that just may be what I am….. for now.

Then, one day and out the blue I decided to strip a dresser that had been a hand-me-down and, with the help of Mister, we refinished it. I have not looked back.

#2) I love a bargain. I don’t need to buy everything new. There is plenty of quality furniture out there to repurpose and recycle. That knowledge and the love of a challenge has led to a wealth of decorating inspiration.

One day I found a vanity! Yes, I did. It was on the side of the road; a cast off from an auction held at the church across the street from me. FREE! It had no mirror but seemed stable enough so I commandeered my daughter to help me carry it home. I washed it down with TSP and water but it still did not smell good. I sprayed it with vinegar and water and allowed it sit outside a few days in the sun. That did the trick. A fresh coat of paint and ta-da!


The chair was a set of two and was purchased on Craigslist and I painted it for one of the girls. I saw a picture in a magazine many years ago of a painted chair . I liked it so much that I tore the picture out (pre-Pinterest era) and kept it for future reference-that was the inspiration for this little chair. My girls are getting older and neither of them wanted it anymore....something about it being too juvenile. So, their cast off became my vanity chair.

Sorry about the ugly cords.

The next “vanity” I made from an old tea cart my neighbor was getting rid of. Cost to me...$0!  It is metal and had some rust issues. I sanded down the bad parts, washed it up, let it dry and gave it a coat of Rustoleum in gloss black. The glass top was cleaned up. I painted on the underside and put some shelf liner over a piece of plywood cut to the same dimensions as the glass and put it all back in. It became the perfect vanity for my daughter’s Paris Pink bedroom. A new life and a facelift for something ready to be discarded-my favorite type of makeover.

What girl doesn’t love a designated place to keep their make-up, hair pretties and perfumes!

The dresser is a Freecycle item! The chair is the 2nd chair to my Craigslist purchase above. The artwork was made from scrapbook paper, ribbon and thrift store frames painted with the leftover Rustoleum gloss black. I made the curtains using a large piece of sketch paper as my pattern. I drew out the design, cut two pieces in different fabrics. This fabric is thin cotton so I had to add a black out liner so the patterns wouldn't show through. Of course, a little ball fringe was needed as the cherry on top! They are reversible! The chandelier was a Home Goods cast off that I got discounted because some of the bling was detached. Never hurts to ask! I fixed the 'crystals' with a set of needle nosed pliers and it was as good as new-but a few dollars less than than the price of new!

This next picture is a little blurry-sorry about that. I would go in and take another but this was a while ago and I have not seen the room this clean since these pictures were taken! (My girl is going to hate that I said that.) The bed is from Ikea but I bought it on Craigslist for a fraction of the price.

There, now I am feeling a little motivated...maybe. How about you? I do have another vanity down in the basement just waiting to be loved. Wait, I haven't decorated for fall yet.

Saturday, September 5, 2015


My gardens have been turning out tomatoes like crazy and that means just about every day we get to eat sun-warmed, sweet, juicy tomatoes. Finding things to do with them every day has been a chore I delight in. One of our favorite things is what I have dubbed guaca-salsa. It is a combination of guacamole and salsa. Here is the recipe:

3 large tomatoes
1 lime
3 avocados
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large red onion
1 small bunch of cilantro
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 seeded and minced jalepeno (optional)

Dice tomatoes and set aside to drain.

 Dice avocados. I cut mine in half, remove the pit and score them in the skin. They scoop out with a spoon easily into chunks. Toss them into a large bowl.

Add lime to the avocados and give them a stir to keep the avocados from oxidizing to brown.

Add minced garlic to the bowl. Dice onions (I like mine almost minced) and add to the bowl.

Chop cilantro and stir into the bowl and the jalapeno if you are using it.

Now add the drained tomatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. This recipe may require more salt than you would think-be sure to taste along the way.

Stir together and eat. You can let it sit a bit but we never seem to be able to wait.

We use it on burritos, tacos, quesadillas, or with a bag of chips. You can probably think of other dishes to add it to.


Linking Up
Between Naps On the Porch