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.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Snowflake and flower paper projects

A couple of our vintage shopping trips netted some really awesome paper ornaments.  We found the snowflake and the intricately folded star at two different stores in Asheville - ScreenDoor and Foundry.  ScreenDoor was a huge store that was loaded with booth spaces.  There was such great variety in items.  You could find rustic and refined.  We also loved Foundry - a cute little store that featured repurposed items. 

When we returned home, we ran to one of our local vintage stores because they were having a great sale.  I loved the accordion folded ornament with the sheet music as the base.

 On a cold, cold night while we watched football, I messed around with some pages from an old book to try my hand at some of the snowflakes with vintage buttons.  I did ok, but I still need some practice.
 While I was cruising Pinterest, I ran across these coffee filter flowers.  Super cute!  I thought they looked kind of spring-like and as cold as it is in Kansas, we could use a little spring.  I made a few to use at the studio. This mini garland is on the old screen door we have on the east wall.
My favorite is the paper flower made from strips of book pages with a vintage button in the center.  I was a little unprepared - I didn't have any floral wire handy and used a paper clip instead.  It worked!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Plant geek: New life for old doors

 We are still sorting through our pictures and memories from our trip to Asheville.  One of our stops was the Biltmore Estate. We loved so much about this place, including the conservatory.

I totally geeked out, surrounded by beautiful plant and blown away by how artfully things were arranged.  It was also wonderful to experience green plants and blooms since we are still a few months away from the start of gardening season.

In one of the sections of the conservatory, the curators used vintage doors - just how we like them - with peeling, chippy paint as a display for wreaths.  Instant plant geek crush.
Check out this backdrop.
 And, this option with the simple wreath and small pots attached.
We still have this screen door at the studio.  I am thinking about dressing it up for Valentine's Day.  I might not be able to work out the live plant option, but maybe something else.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014


The beginning of a new calendar year feels much like the start of a new school year - full of possibilities and opportunities to get it right. I am inspired by this great quote by Benjamin Franklin.

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
 and let each New Year find you a better man."

A simple wish for the new year.

Whatever is on your list for 2014, we hope that you feel like you make progress on what is important to you.

For Prairies School Farms, we plan to keep searching for the unexpected and creating useful, beautiful things.  Thanks for being part of our journey.

Photo credit:  J. Lehning