Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something beautiful and practical

A friend of ours painted this beautiful windmill on a drop leaf table.  The table height makes it perfect for a coffee table or it could also be an accent table under a row of windows or in an entry way.

We love it!  This is one of those items that I constantly weigh - should we sell it or keep it?!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Thank you cards with paper flowers

Over the winter break, I had the chance to work on some handmade cards.  You can tell how busy things have been if I am just now posting about something that happened in December.

I tried out some simple cards using Stampin' Up! paper and a 'Thank you so much!" stamp.  I made the paper flowers using pages from an old book.

The paper flowers were made in two ways.

Flower number one was super easy.  I used a circle punch with scalloped edges.  I roughed up the circles a little bit and smoothed them out to add some depth.  Then, I stacked a few together, punched a circle in the center with a mini hole punch and added a brad.

Flower number two was a little more detailed. I used the circle punch to create a cardstock base and then used the same punch to create circles that would eventually become petals.
This picture gives you an idea about how to fold the circles into the petals.  Double-sided tape is one of my favorite crafting staples and it works perfectly as an adhesive for the petals.  Once you have the petals created, just stick them on, six per base.  Then, I used a mini punch to make a hole in the center for the brad.  Finished!

I think the flowers would also be cute embellishments on a gift or on a picture frame.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Studio update

Today was all about reorganizing, cleaning and fixing things. The cold weather and snow we have been experiencing has taken a toll on our studio and on us!

Thankful for a warmer day and a moment when both of us were home, we set out to get the studio back into shape.  My dad was also in town to help with the repairs.  We had some pipes that froze and broke and my dad's expertise was what we needed to be back in business.

While the guys worked on the plumbing repairs, I reworked the store.  It was fun to finally sort through all of the signs my husband has been making.  He has been trying out some new designs and color combinations and I have several favorites in the bunch.

We look forward to being open again soon to show off all of the latest creations and finds.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New year, new finds

 One of my ambitions in the new year is to do some updating and editing around our home.  I am inspired by the idea to surround yourself with things that bring you joy.  My new questions when either purchasing something or deciding whether to keep to sell/donate/toss something are:

Does it bring you joy?

Is it useful?

Is it beautiful or delightfully odd?  (All lovers of vintage items have to have the "odd and unusual" disclaimer.)

My other ambition is that when we decide on something, we do it Examples:  Buy a new picture, hang it. Decide to let something go, sell/donate/toss it.

Maybe with some time, I can knock down the piles.  Send me good thoughts!

When we were in Asheville, we found so many really great items.  I was so excited to *finally* get our box of goods we had shipped home.  Yes, we had that much stuff!  We outgrew our suitcases pretty early in the trip and decided to just get a flat rate box and carefully wrap all of the breakables and take our chances.  Our two day delivery turned into about ten days and one item did break in transit.  In the end, it all worked out.

Some of my favorite finds included some new decor for the house.  And, it's early in the year and I am still on the "get things done" bandwagon.  I wanted to share three new pieces with you and I am proud to report, they are all on the wall.

The farm kid with the dairy cow caught my eye right away in the Antique Tobacco Barn.  The base is a burlap wrapped frame and I am guessing someone enlarged a black and white photo and decoupaged it to the top, roughing up the corners.  It was dusty and tucked above a door frame.  It caught my eye - love at first sight.  But, I decided to walk around and think about it.  In the end, it went home with me and I am so glad.

I knew it was a good buy because so many people have commented on it.  It hangs in our kitchen and I really, really love it.
 For years we have had this vintage frame hanging in the half-bath off of our bedroom.  It is the perfect color - a light cream - and has beautiful age.  A family member gave it to me and we have really treasured it.  I had ideas about adding a mirror or framing some family hankies, including the one my grandma gave me to carry for my wedding.  In the end, I just decided to hang it for what it was - a beautiful vintage family piece. 

While we were roaming around in the Antique Tobacco Barn, we found this set of angel wings. We had been on the hunt for some wings and had considered everything from giant wooden versions to tiny metal options.  We found something in the middle.  They are mid-sized and are a metal base with some texture.  I am not sure exactly how they created the layers and texture, but it makes them look really cool.

When our box finally arrived, I was so anxious to see if the wings and the frame made a good pairing and luckily, the wings fit!  I am happy with how this turned out.

We found this beautiful woodcut print at the arts center off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We had a great time walking around the usual exhibits of local artists and was surprised to see that they had a separate area for an expanded show.  We browsed through the booths and discovered Nancy Darrell's work.  We bought this framed print and two sets of note cards.  She called the bull "Ferdinand" and that name has stuck.  So, meet Ferdinand who has a prominent spot in our kitchen.

I feel like I get extra gold stars for making progress on my updating.  Now, for more editing!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Vintage finds: cookbooks

I have a small obsession with cookbooks.  Some of my best memories are of cooking and baking with my mom and grandmas (and later my dad).

My dad passed along a ton of vintage items for us to sort through.  I was thrilled to find a whole bunch of vintage cookbooks - some from the 1930's.  There was this great Girl Scout cookbook, a version from GE meant to guide the cook on the new methods of preparing food (i.e. using an electric oven), and the Good Housekeeping Cook Book.  There is also a very rare Chinese cookbook and a volume called Roundup of Beef Cookery, and a few more.

Now, the big decision...keep or sell?!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New stuff for a new season

 We really love the Christmas season and we also can appreciate putting away all of the decorations and starting a fresh new year.

We now have all of the holiday stuff at the studio and at the house cleaned up and stowed away. 

Our attention has turned to Valentine's Day, organizing, planning, and spring!  If you stop by the studio, you will see  little glimpses of this shift.

I really like this vintage lamp with a paper shade.  My husband has been creating some really great hand painted signs - perfect for Valentine's Day and wedding gifts.

My dad also passed along three huge boxes of vintage finds.

Some of the gems include these little bunches of light green and white fancy work.  I love these colors and the workmanship.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vintage finds: dress form

We added a new display item to Prairie School Farms - a vintage dress form. 

I am excited to see how we will incorporate it in future displays.  For now, it's cleaned up as best we could - the jersey fabric is a little rough in some places, but we love the overall character.

Keep you eye out for this piece at the studio.