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Snow Day Mistreatments

This is the view from my cottage today.

So I decided to dust off this friend who does not get much use around my house.

While snacking on these....

I made some slipcover mistreatments for my stools. I used a vintage grain sack that I purchased last summer. I don't know if I am totally crazy about the outcome - I may add some vintage buttons on the back for an extra detail. This is one of those projects that has been on my "to do" list for a long time. Today's snow, gave me the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

I hope it is more springlike at your cottage - off to buy some daffodils!

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A Great Way to Display Pictures

While I was visiting a friend recently, she asked me to help her tackle the BIG job of hanging favorite photos. I LOVE arranging a photo wall - call me crazy but I really love mixing the new photos with other pictures and fun vintage drawings/botanicals/silhouettes/mounted letters etc...

My friend had purchased these wonderful old window frames at a flea market. They were originally installed in a church. I love the patina and color of the frames and knew that black and white photos hung within the larger vintage frames would look wonderful in her new "bonus room".

What do you think?

So, the moral of the story is, don't pass up those larger window frames you see while at flea markets and antiques stores, they really add some vintage fun to new black and white photography!

On another note, I received my last issue of Country Home magazine this weekend. I will miss that old friend.

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While I do live in Minnesota, I don't mean the kind where you dress in bright orange and go sit in a tree waiting to kill some poor unsuspecting deer.

For me, its all about hunting for treasures for my home. This morning I had some spare time and headed to an "occasional sale" - that's what they call a open-only-3 days-a-month selling good junk and antiques sale.

I pulled up right when they opened and it was PACKED. Go figure, our winter bitter cold has returned but that did not stop lots of people (even managed to get one of them in the above photo) from coming out to find some good stuff to feather their nests.

I did manage to take a few pictures (with my iPhone, so not the greatest quality, sorry Apple people). I bought exactly two things - and will post about them later. And like any good person who tends to rotate the stuff in her home, I also sold a few of my cast-offs to one of the vendors. This makes my husband happy and frees up space for their replacements!

Enjoy the pics! I will be back Monday, have a great weekend everyone.

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A Friend's Home

While in Portland I stayed with one of my very good girlfriends, Carrie. Carrie and I met while hugely pregnant with our first daughters (I have two now, thank you - Carrie has FOUR, count em, FOUR!). Anyway, Carrie has been a great partner in crime when it comes to antiquing, flea marketing and all things house-related (just ask our husbands!).

Carrie and her husband purchased their home about 5 years ago. The home had recently been renovated - beautiful new kitchen, modern baths, plenty of hardwood floors etc... What it lacked for the family of 6 was a big informal space (playroom now, hangout room later) and enough bathrooms for all those girls.

Like most women, Carrie wanted MORE. She saw the potential for an addition that would give them the added space they needed. As a bonus, Carrie was able to add some extras that put her personal "stamp" on the family's "forever" home.

From a distance, I was able to go through the renovation process with Carrie and was anxious to see the results. It seemed like every time I talked to her she was buying a new settee or cabinet for her home. On this trip I was able to see the new spaces with all those purchases incorporated. Lovely.

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Happy to be Home

Indeed it is good to be home. Every mommy out there NEEDS to getaway once in awhile, escape the duties and obligations of motherhood, of being a wife and running a household. In my mind, girlfriends are a necessity to being a mom - only they know the work and rewards and can celebrate the joys with you along with the challenges that ultimately do come.

Thank God my girlfriends are also great antiquing partners! I spent a wonderful day in Portland with two friends who each have great taste and a great eye for decorating their homes. The picture above was taken in one of our favorite antique malls in Portland. It was at this antique mall that I found a great old laundry basket (like Layla had been talking about over at The Lettered Cottage)for my "in progress" laundry room. Pictures coming soon I also found a great bird print and a few adorable old books in the perfect shade of beige!

My friends and I had the priviledge of getting a peek into the barn space where a favorite dealer will host her first sale in a couple weeks. I had purchased these amazing bottles from Barn House and they invited us to meet them at the barn to pick them up (they were made by Joe!). The space is terrific and in the process of being transformed into a showcase for great vintage finds! If you are in the Oregon City/Portland area, I urge you to go the Queen of Tarte/Barn House sale! I am sorry I will miss it.

Of course, I found some other lovelies for my house too. I loved on my family for the evening but secretly could not wait to get them off to school/work the next morning so I could go about incorporating my new finds into my home. Odd? Crazy? Or just plain obsessed? Oh, but it makes me so happy!

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I am leaving on a jet plane!

I will be heading to Portland Oregon this weekend for a visit with my best girlfriends. I am looking forward to seeing my friend Carrie's newly remodeled home (including lots of new fun French/vintage furniture), antiquing with my best "hunting" pals, and enjoying the company of good friends. I promise to post pictures upon my return!

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Say it isn't so...

Another favorite magazine will no longer published.


I loved that magazine for its modern, boho chic, eclectic, hip decorating. The rooms featured were the perfect combination of contemporary and comfortable yet never pretentious.

What am I going to do? These magazines were some of the small indulgences in my mom-in-the-suburbs life. Often when the man was out of town, the girls were put to bed, I would look forward to pouring a glass of wine and going through my "stack" - favorites like Cottage Living, Country Home, Domino, House Beautiful etc.... I guess my "stack" has gone from a two glasses of wine "stack" to a one glass of wine "stack".

There will always be my collection of back issues!

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Boy do I need to take better pictures. Just looked at the close-up of my kitchen - trust me - go check out the magazine, it looks MUCH better. No worries that my photography "skills" will be called upon anytime soon.

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A Fun Surprise!

This blog is really quite new, but I think I have shared a bit about the sweet cottage that we live in. We purchased the home from our neighbor next door who had completely gutted the house and built it back up, restoring lots of the original vintage character. During the process, the kitchen of the home was used in an episode of HGTV's "Kitchen Renovations" and along with that was photographed by Better Homes & Gardens. Well, low and behold, MY kitchen is featured in the current issue of Remodel "The Kitchen Issue", a Better Homes & Gardens special interest publication. I tried to get images on the BHG website but was unable to locate any, so if you want to see my kitchen before I lived in it, check out pages 68-75 in this issue. If you want to see what the kitchen looks like today, I took this picture this afternoon. Pretty much the same with a few changes (lighting and replacing the steam oven with a convection/mircrowave).

I love my kitchen. As is usually the case, the kitchen was the biggest reason we purchased the home - that and the mudroom (I will show you that too someday!).

As a pretend decorator and lover of all shelter mags, I often have fantasized about my home being magazine worthy. This little suprise this week, I expect, will be the closest I get.

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