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On the farm



July 25th, 2008

Oh dear

On the farm

If normal pregnant women get the overwhelming urge to nest, what happens when someone who's obsessed with redecorating gets knocked up? I guess I'm going to find out. I'm due in March, which gives me plenty of time to find every single adorable baby furniture site on the internet, starting with this one: Ohdeeoh. I think we've decided to turn the already redone front bedroom into the nursery, move all that nice furniture to the back bedroom and move the hand-me-downs up to the third floor. So my new list of things I need to do around the house is longer than my arm. I think the first order of business is to have a garage sale. Seriously, some of this crap is going to have to GO.

June 22nd, 2008

Adventures in Furniture

On the farm
BLAH. All my exciting plans for this chair and it ended up a mess. It didn't take the regular spray paint at all, and when I tried to sand it and use a spray primer I got a crazy flaking reaction. Another round of sanding only helped marginally. So I used regular trim paint left over from my house and did two coats with a brush. It still looks kind of a mess. The black chair I did last week also had issues when I tried to put a shiny top coat on it. From now on I'm going to buy only one brand of spray paint and make sure to not be so lazy about priming and sanding. The photo doesn't look so bad but it person it is less than beautiful.
Luckily the free table decoupage project came out better:

The legs are the same blue as the back of the chair and the music on top is all real sheet music that I found in the piano bench of my free green (now dead) piano. I saved the front covers because they were all really beautiful and I'm going to frame them like art. I think it came out pretty cool.

Flea Market, 6-22-2008

On the farm
So today was going to be a good flea market day, but there was a huge storm and the outside vendors all packed up and left. I wasn't really in the mood to talk so I tried to avoid the people I knew were chatty. I told Evan the mission was to find a sugar bowl - because when he knows we're looking for a specific thing he always feels better about it. There were so many ugly ones. The one I liked best was part of a whole dinner set and they wouldn't sell just the sugar bowl, so I ended up with my second choice. I still bought the creamer too, just because a set is nice to have:

The print is called "Maria-Theresia Rosetta" and it's Edelstein china. I tried to find a comparable piece on Ebay but they don't have much with this print. It's not old - mid century probably - but they are in nice shape. $12 for the pair.

This was my better purchase:

It's really a nice pitcher even with a chip and a crack near the handle. According to the mark and this site: http://www.thepotteries.org/mark/w/wood_sons.html it dates from pre-1907. Once I fill it with hydrangeas you won't even see the chip and the white goes well in my dining room. It was $7.

June 15th, 2008

Trashy Furniture

On the farm

 I have a terrible hereditary condition. It comes from my mother's side of the family. There is no treatment or cure, you just have to learn to live with it. We are physically incabable of leaving furniture by the side of the road. Horrifying, I know. My husband cannot understand why almost every time we go for a drive I am screaming and pointing at someone's trash, yelling "Stop stop! I could repaint/stain/cover that chair! That table still has three good legs! That couch might be soaking wet and ugly but it has good bones!" Even when it doesn't. I have a furniture graveyard in my basement - but I like to think of it as a furniture hospital, where old and sick pieces go to be transformed and taught how to fit in with the "good" stuff. I don't know WTF I'm going to do with all these tables and chairs, but for now I'm enjoying turning them into art:

I'm going to repair, refinish and repaint the rolling cart, repaint and recover the black chair, paint and decoupage the blue table, and paint and recover the white chair. The tall chair isn't holding the paint so I'm going to have to get some primer and another can of spray paint.

Two of the fabrics I'm using.

TA-DA! One chair down, a zillion to go...


On the farm
I don't know why I like birds so much. They're nothing very special. But I have three feeders and a birdhouse in my garden, plus tons of bird themed and shaped stuff. I bought four of these off of Etsy (why did it take so damn long for me to find that site?) and one from Pottery Barn. I'm always looking for more.

May 23rd, 2008


On the farm

So just for fun, I took pictures of my gardens. Many of the plants bloom in the summer, so there's a lot of green for now. Take a look!

Back steps - the bench goes to my poor dead piano, but has new life holding my gardening tools

My friendship garden, with plants that remind me of people or that have been given to me by others. The pot has herbs.

Irises, Poppies and Columbine along the side of the house

Wisteria on the arbor and honeysuckle next to the porch

My front porch is my pride and joy. The containers on the front porch were designed with the help of my mother, and I think they look fantastic. I planted the yellow superbells in the flower boxes last week, I hope they grown and trail over the edges.
The porch has a swing, as promised, for rocking with other young-old-people.

Come and visit to get the complete tour!!

May 11th, 2008


On the farm
Last weekend Erin and Mitch came up to visit - and reclaim the small china cabinet they bought when they were in town two years ago. I had been keeping all my good china and my chicken dish collection in it, so all that became homeless when they took their cabinet. So before I could let them take it, I wanted them to help me find something to replace it. But just like always happens, I found too many things.

First, we found a beautiful sideboard at the flea market. Mel always has nice furniture but it's almost always out of my price range. He must be losing his mind (he's an old man) because he only had it marked at $125 and said he'd take $100. So we bought it on deposit, planning to come back for it this weekend.

No antiquing trip is complete without hitting Putnam, so we headed up to the "real" antique stores, where valuable stuff is marked as such and we can only afford things in the bargain basement. Of course, as soon as we walked in we saw a fantastic china cabinet. The glass front part is great for my collections and the drawers are perfect for storing the less pretty things. The moment when I decided I had to have it is when I saw that the middle drawer opens up to a little desk! The fact that it was 20% off didn't hurt either. Of course, 20% off of $950 isn't exactly cheap, but it feels like a bargain for such a beautiful piece.

We picked them up today, and hauled them home. Our problem was now we have two huge wooden pieces of furniture and only one spot. So we had to improvise, and I turned the sideboard into a sofa-back table. It's kinda too big - ok, definitely too big - but I love them and some day we'll have a bigger house with more room for my antiques. So here are the pictures! 

(Please ignore the ladder and the random doors leaning agains the walls and windows. We still haven't gotten the house back  together from the new floors. It's probably going to be July before we get the hardwoods refinished.)

April 19th, 2008


On the farm

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh. Tiling is some damn hard work, even if you have a husband and father to do all the hard parts. Here are the steps:
Step 1. Screw Wonderboard (cement board) into the existing floor (in our case, mostly old hardwood and some subflooring). 

Step 2. Plaster seams & cut tile. It's much easier if you don't lay tile on the diagonal...but since when do I want things done the easy way?

Step 3. Quick-set the tile. We used 1/8th inch spacers for the grout lines. P.S. That's still Evan, he just shaved his head!

Step 4. Grout. You smooth it in, wipe it off and then buff out the tile.

Look, I helped! The truth is, tiling a room this size is a two person job, plus we only had the tools for two people. So Evan and Dad did all the hard work, while Mom and I worked outside on garden clean up. We worked really hard too, just not on the floor. This is what my house looks like now, until the tile grout dries and we can put things back together:

Oh no! My living room! My dining room! You can't even see my furniture, or my beautiful hardwood floors. The next project (do they ever end - answer, NO) is having the family room and hallway floors refinished. Evan called the floor guy today, hopefully he calls back on Monday. To get the tile completely finished, we need to seal the grout, mop the floor, caulk the edges, and paint & install shoe moulding around the edges. And THEN we can put everything back and be done with one room. Now that we've had a crash course in tiling, the next room we move to is the upstairs bathroom. It shouldn't be too hard, just expensive. Some day I'll be able to buy new clothes again...for now, I own a house instead.

P.S. Brutus sez: Hai guise, can I halp?

March 18th, 2008

New Stuff

On the farm

As I'm waiting for my tile to come in, so we can finish the kitchen, I have the urge to buy as many new things as possible.
I tried to make my own stained glass window from one I found in the trash, but it doesn't look as nice as this one I bought at the flea market for $30.

These are insulators from electrical poles. They're made out of glass and porcelin, and very heavy.

I cannot WAIT to eat my breakfast out here on my wonderful, screened in porch.

I got a set of four for $8. They're lined up on my table as Easter decoration.

March 11th, 2008


On the farm
 So we finally ordered the tile for our kitchen, and with that off our backs we decided ripping up the existing floor would be a FAB idea. Guess what we found underneath: 

We're going to refinish the wood in the family room and hallway, and tile the kitchen. Should be done mid-April.
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