A bit of a facelift...Red Chairs

There's a story about how we got these chairs.  We responded to an ad on craiglist.  Went to buy the chairs.  We got there and the guy said "I only put a price on them to make sure someone who was serious about them got them.  I plan on giving them to you for free if you want them".  Isn't that neat?!  We paid it forward and gave a grill away on craigslist the same way.

These chairs used to be in our former kitchen. I liked them just fine, but was always worried about lead paint.

So a quick can of spray paint and they now are accent chairs in our living room.

 And after...


I wasn't sure when I started to paint them, but I'm quite happy with them now.  One more project checked off the to do list.

Garlic at Dusk

Mondays are my early days at work.  I was driving home, thinking about how I wanted to plant garlic this fall and hadn't gotten around to it.  I read that it's supposed to be in by November 15th in Maine.  Defeated, I thought "next year.".  But, on a whim, I decided to pull into a farmstand on my way home.  If there was garlic there, it was meant to be and I'd scurry to get it in the ground.  Yup, there it was "Our own Maine grown garlic".  Just for me.

 I scooted to the old house to pick up the compost that I had already bagged. I may get called crazy for bagging and moving my compost, but I don't care.  I left the recent compost, but this stuff, I've been adding brown matter and turning for almost 2 years for some of it.  It was too good to leave behind.  Isn't it awesome?

Four bags down, I think I have one to go at the other house.  I popped it in the barn for now, taking some for the garlic. (and I need to show you more of this gorgeous barn, don't I?!).
It's dusk, and cold.  And I drag my kids out in it to plant garlic.  Mean mama I am. I must be quite the site wearing a baby, having a two year old at my heels, and shoveling and planting. 

 We are discovering how beautiful dusk is here on our farm. It's fun to look out in our woods (10 acres of woods!).  I wonder if there will be a Christmas tree out there for us to cut?  I know there will be some wood we will burn.  I wonder how many maple trees we will find to tap?

I wonder what animals this barn and the fields will hold?  (While my little guy is planning where his live kangaroos will live in the barn).
And it's fun to look at this site and dream of what the garden will be.  I want a HUGE garden, but know I must be smart and not plant too much the first year here.  Rhubarb and garlic is in.  And my neighbor told me there's asparagus to be looking for as well.
 It's also fun to look at our home, think of the memories created there before us and dream of the memories we will create.  (Isn't the moon grand?!)
 Live really is quite good.

New hats and more sibling love....

The best gift for kids?  A new hat.  We could never have too many cute covers for these little noggins.  Particularly since we live in Maine, hats are a perfect gift.  Thank you very much, Mary. We love them!


 Hope you have a cute hat to cover your noggin too. 

Antiquing furniture like the Pros...

I know my neighbor will laugh when she reads I called her a pro at antiquing furniture.  But, she is!  She has been doing it for years, multiple pieces each week for a local antique shop.  I sooo wanted to learn. She not only taught me, but let me use her stuff.  Old fashioned milk paint.  Sand here. Wax like this.  Buff like that.  All these tricks she showed me.  Let me tell you, I am learning to be a pro too.  And I'm hooked. I want to paint EVERYTHING in our house this way now. I'm thankful for my teacher, Nam.  My husband, on the other hand, may be just a bit overwhelmed when I tell him all that I must paint now.

I swear it's not shiny in real life, I just didn't get the lighting right. Here's the before/after.
This lighting is better.
How did I get this done? First of all, this ginormous three seasoned porch helped.  I could leave it all set up. I had a few half hour bursts when I had company who wanted to hang with the kids.  Other than that, I had helpers, as usual. (Excuse the mess...we're still moving in).

I'm sort of head over heels in love with it.  It looks like it belongs in this house, before it definitely didn't belong.
 Here's a bit of detail.

This living room is starting to come together.  Which is good, as living with boxes shoved all over the place isn't my thing.  (Also, if you're interested, I made the quilt  and I made the woven blanket. I collect Robinson Ransbottom Pottery, antique firkins and early 1900s Sicily Nippon Royal Sometuke dishware (in antique china cabinet).
This house is turning into our home.  And I'm so thankful.

Our Awesome Non Plastic Kitchen/Grocery store...DIY or Thrifted.

Things are coming together in our farmhouse.  The kitchen area is all set up and ready to go.  I know I've showed you bits and pieces of our kitchen, but never the whole shebang.  So...for your viewing pleasure, here's our non plastic kitchen...with just about everything thrifted or made by me.  This Christmas season, if a play kitchen is on your list, think about what you can do yourself or buy at a thrift store.  Challenge is on!  Here's ours:

My kids get pretty excited to play in it. Or maybe it's me who is most excited:)

Here's what's thrifted:
1) Play easel, perfect for shopping lists.
2) Muffin tins and wooden stringing beads.  Each bead goes into a muffin tin to make 'cupcakes'.  And the wooden beads get dumped into a pot and are stirred for soup.  Plus we can use them for stringing.
3) Wooden napkin holders in the shapes of watermelon.
4) My great grandmother's silver teaset works for dishware.
5) I scored a couple wooden food sets (Melissa and Doug sandwich set and another wooden skewer set).
6) A wooden abacus for grocery shopping checkout.
7) Wooden baskets and bowls for more dishware.
8) Fall home decor apples.
9) The smallest pots and pans from our dishset have moved here. Same with the smallest wooden spoons and wisks.
10) The whole wooden kitchen set (two pieces) was scored off of craigslist for $45.
11) This was a free table and chair set saved from the dump.
12) Old wallets hold money.
13) Dinner bells and an old camera are in the buckets (okay, so the camera has a bit of plastic...but I'm allowed one 'oops', right?!).
14) These are a vintage collection of tins that I found at a yardsale...for $9 total for all those tins!
15) That's a play ironing board I scored for a buck.  We pretty much use it as a shelf though.
16) (The bag) Thrifted dress up stuff...scarves, ties, etc.

And, here's what I made...much of which was upcycled.  Thrifted and DIY...a perfect combo. Click on the links for more info.
1) Chalkboard eraser
2) Penguin softie
3) Felt fruits and felt vegetables
4) Wooden groceries 
5) Potholders and dishcloths
6) Turtle softies
7) Duck softies
8) Play apron
9) Cupcakes
10) Ice cream cones
11) Play money and Pouches to carry them in.
12) Market bag
13) Humpty dumpty
14) Itsy Bitsy Spider
15) Wooden push cart
16) Backpack including dressup stuff.  Like tails and such.
17) Play flower garden.

Tell me, what is in your play kitchen?



Three shirts
A mug that I am a big fan of.
More napkin rings.
McCalls vintage coat pattern (isn't it cute?! I just had to have it!)

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A bit of a diversion.

I can't pretend I have anything together lately.  Both houses are a wreck.  We have half completed DIY projects dispersed in random places.  The areas I *thought* were clean now have sat long enough that they need to be cleaned again.  There's sawdust covering everything.  There's piles of dishes, laundry and boxes that were just moved.  It's an utter disaster.  Our to do list is a mile long.  And that's not an exaggeration.  I shift between repeating to myself "It's okay, it's temporary, it will all come together" to thinking "Oh my gosh, this is sooo stressful".  

There was a time this week when that list was ignored.  I bought a bouquet of flowers.  A frivolous purchase, perhaps.   Instead of completing what I set out to do, I carefully placed flowers in nooks around the house and collected various things I (somehow) found around them.  Although the to do list isn't shorter, there are tiny areas amongst the mess that tell me of what this place will be.  Cozy, settled, comfortable, calming.  Not just a house, our home.  We'll get there, I'm sure of it. 


"His" cake...

We saw my husband's boss in Walmart.  He generously gave our Adrian two dollars and told him he could get whatever he wanted. Adrian's face lit right up and he held on to those dollar bills as we walked up and down each aisle. 

After a half a dozen aisles, his eyes locked on a boxed cake mix.  He instantly decided *that* was what he wanted.  Nothing else. 

Mama suggested, "How about a new tooth brush? Markers that aren't dried?   Even M&Ms you can share with mama?  You know, we can make our own cake at home, we don't need a box to make a cake." 

His opinion wouldn't be swayed.  He's never made anything from a box before, but he was determined.  He said it would be "so special" and "delicious". 

 He (obviously) was quite excited.  

And you know what?  It was special and it was delicious.  Who was I to try to talk him into something else?  I love my little guy with such strong opinions.  I need to listen to him more often and not doubt his ideas. 
Of course, sweet Audra was right there too.  She's pretty good at looking cute. 

It's quite a blessing, raising these two.

Her First Thanksgiving....and a mama made hat.

Remember the turkey hat I made ages ago?

Well, Audra's wearing it, along with the "I'm a Little Turkey" bib.  And she's wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

And here's a side by side of my two littles.  They may roll their eyes at me someday when they see the shots of them in the turkey hat.  But I don't care.  It's fun to dress them up.

What's become a holiday staple...

Pomegranates.  They're so awesome.  Somehow I never had one as a kid...but they've become a part of our holiday season.  A perfect snack. Delicious.


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