Sunday, April 25, 2010

A Century of Farm Charm

This weekend we attended an estate auction at a centennial farm.  The day was cool and grey with a light, on-and-off, drizzle.  But the location was so picturesque that I just had to take some pictures to share with you.

A beautiful victorian farmhouse, with just the right amount of old lace.

Everything was pristine white, including the outbuildings.

This is the old brooder.  Can you imagine this building filled with hens?
Or, maybe your studio?

Fabulous windows face south.  Actually, I'm directionally impaired
and since there was no sun, I'm only guessing that it faces south.

The barn and a few of the lingering crowd.
The barn floor is dirt and unfortunately riddled with gopher holes,
so a bit of an ankle breaker if you weren't careful.

Look at all those great farm chairs, piled up by some lucky bidder.
Isn't that bike sweet.

It was raining by the time we got home, so we had to pull the trailer inside the pole barn and will unload when the weather clears, hopefully tomorrow.  I'll be sure to post some pictures of my treasures soon.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Vintage Farm Charm

I came across a cabinet made of crates and old windows at a farm auction awhile back.  It was covered in cobwebs and had a few broken panes, but I knew it was destined to come home with me.  The auctioneer described it as an egg cabinet.  There are slats for shelves spaced about five or six inches apart, so the idea that it was used for eggs made sense.  My husband thought I was crazy to spend any money on it, much less the two dollars that I bid and won with.

Recently, I sold the primitive cupboard that I used to hold some of my magazines (Country Living, Romantic Homes, Early American Life, etc.)  I am I self-confessed magazine junkie -- but that's another story.  Anyway, I just knew this cabinet would be a perfect replacement.  So we washed it up and put the thick plank shelves in it, put it in place and UGH! -- my magazines don't fit, at least not standing upright.

So here is my dilemma, find something thinner, like Masonite, to make new shelves.  Or, find another use for this cabinet (possibly sell it) and go out and find a more functional piece to house my mags.  Of course my mom suggested that I downsize my periodical collection, LOL, what is she thinking! 

I'd love to hear what you think I should do.

Only one shelf accommodates the magazines standing upright.  What to do? What to do?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life Inside A Whirlwind

Hello dear friends,
So much has been going on that its hard to know where to start.  I was sitting at the dining table with my mom pricing items for the booth when the phone rang.  It was a longtime friend, who happens to be a realtor, calling.  "Hi, how ya doin'...blah, blah, blah...would you consider selling your house?  I have someone who is interested in it," he said.  "What!" I said then took a deep breath.

To make a long story short. My husband and talked it over and decided that if we sold, we could downsize (we have 80 acres) and live mortgage free.  So yes, we would consider selling.  And the whirlwind began.

We had just emptied a large storage room in order to build some new shelving -- boxes were everywhere; antique frames, lamps and furniture scattered about; lumber was stacked in the hallway of our lower level (i.e. walkout basement that serves as our family room/office.)  I'm sure you get the picture, and its not pretty!

In addition to the mess downstairs, the rest of the house had been kind of ignored since the holidays and definitely needed some major sprucing up.  So the past several days have been spent cleaning, sorting and organizing, the shelves were built and everything loaded back into the store room.  Exhausting work when done at a madcap pace.

Now everything is ready and we are just waiting to hear back from the friend/realtor.  Hopefully, the "interested party" will come to look at the house soon.  I've been an emotional wreck ever since this thing started.  I understand the benefits of selling, but I really LOVE my house.  Here are some pictures of the exterior and property.  I'm still working on organizing my studio and so I'll post some pics of the interior when I'm done.

The front of our house. My studio is in the converted garage, you enter through the french doors
on the right--the cars haven't been parked inside for a couple years now. 

Not much showing in the perennial bed yet.

Here are a couple views of the wildlife pond from the back deck.  Our house sits on high ground and slopes down to the pond.  We have 80 acres total, approx. 50 acres are enrolled in a federal conservation Wetland Reserve Program, which means they can't be developed.  I love this pond!  It is home, or at least a migratory stop over, to Great Blue Herons, Little Green Herons, White Egrets, King Fishers, Hooded Mergansers, a wide range of ducks & geese, rare and not so rare turtles, and a loud chorus of frogs and toads.  Not to mention the deer, raccoons, mink & muskrat, fox, coyotes and other woodland creatures.

Beyond the pond is a large upland meadow.  Here is one of our dogs, "Boy-Dog" checking for wild turkey.

And, last but not least, some scenes from the woods.
Well, there you have it.  I hope you enjoyed my little tour of the place I love.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Few Goodies For You

I recently attended an auction where I purchased a photo album full of ads from 1898 - 1908 McClure's, Munsey's and Cosmopolitan magazines, over 150 in total.  Unfortunately, whoever saved these wonderful bits of the past placed them (for safekeeping, I'm sure) in one of those awful 1970's sticky-backed photo albums and the adhesive bled right into the old, fragile paper.  Well, no one seemed to want a book of damaged ephemera, except of course ME!  So I won them for a song.

Once I got the home, I tried a few tricks to clean them up a bit.  Nothing worked, but the more I looked at them the less the diagonal adhesive stripes bothered me.  I'll keep them and love them and use them in my art just as they are.  The adhesive blemishes are, after all, as much a part of their 110 year history as the decision to save them in the first place.

Here's a little sample, with lovely springtime themes, for you to use and share.

Pansies are one of my favorite flowers, I've loved their sweet faces since I was a young girl.

I'm also including this one with some of the text removed so you can place your own message inside.  I love the bicycle girl and the swallows.

Here's another with the same simple alteration. 

Good day dear friends, I hope you all had a lovely Easter.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I've Been Away Too Long

I'm sorry to have been away so long dear friends.  Like most of the women I know, I'm guilty of believing I can do more in a day than I actually can.  And so, I often over extend myself.  Such has been the case in the recent weeks.  When will I ever learn!

One of the things that kept me from writing to you was preparing for an antique and folkart show that I attended as a vendor for the first time this year.  It was a lot fun, sales were good and I met so many nice collectors, craftsmen and antique dealers.  But...I completely underestimated the amount of effort that goes into preparing for show like this.  The next show, Homespun Holidays, is in November.  I'm going to start preparing for it right after Easter.  LOL.  That way, maybe -- just maybe, I'll avoid my usual time crunch.

Here are a few pictures of my booth, featuring a mix of my artwork and antiques/collectibles.

Toys & Tins
I make papier mache bobble-head figures using old tins for the base.

Here's a close-up of some of my artwork.  The little duck on the Dunker's Club coffee tin didn't sell.  I think I need to add a coffee cup.  What do you think?

More artwork and some great tins. 

My mom gave me the little dollies to sell.  My great-grandfather made the furniture that went with them.  It was a little sad to see them go, but they've been packed away for years and now have a new home where hopefully they'll be displayed and loved. 

 Victorian boots, linens & quilts, and a blanket chest -- all sold.

 Vintage garden items were very popular.  It's that time of year.

 Primatives are big sellers at this show.

We found a buch of great feed sacks and turned them into memo/inspiration boards.
I love the way they turned out.

And last but not least, here is a cute graphic that I scanned from The Farmers Manual, published in 1911.  I used it to create some marketing materials for my booth.  Feel free to take it and use it.