Monday, March 26, 2012

History field trip

As some of you may know, we are a home school family, and have been
for the past seven years now. . .and we LOVE our monthly field trips :)

On this particular day, we went to "This is the Place Heritage Park"
and learned all about our pioneer ancestors. I decided to post these pics
since they reflect perfectly my goals for this blog...

simplicity, creativity, and joy!

Needless to say, it was a GREAT way for my kids (and myself) to gain an appreciation for
all of our modern day conveniences. . .

A family lived in this one room log home, which had a loft
above where all the children slept. . .

 I couldn't help but think about the sweet little girls that
played with these hand-made dolls.

The kids learned how to use washboards, iron, and hang the clothes out to dry. . .

Of course my son would rather just hang his earlobes up to dry instead :)

. . .precious girl :)

                Plowing the fields. . .how come my kids don't enjoy their chores
at home like they enjoyed these?

...and having a little fun :)

There was something so calm and serene about being here. . .I think
I may have been born in the wrong era.

Such a beautiful simplicity about this place left me longing to
go back in time with my family. No video games or cell phones to
distract us, where we could bond in unity through hard work and play. . .
not that those things couldn't be achieved here and now. . .
I'm just going to have to work a little harder at it.

Maybe we just need to move out to the country somewhere. . .and possibly
join an Amish community. . .seriously.

I love the quaint little rooms, full of character and charm. . .

Here's some of our home school friends in front of the old school house. . .

Nothing like going to school in the good old days :)

Last but certainly not least. . .horse rides (something my poor kids don't EVER get to do)

It's been a long day out workin' on the farm :)

Wishing we could just move here. . .well, maybe just until it snows and
then I'll want my car, and maybe my heater. . .oh, and the TV and
computer wouldn't be bad either :)

"Life is not a matter of milestones,
but a matter of moments."

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Weathering new wood custom tutorial

One of my favorite things to do is make old wooden vintage signs,
but my biggest dilemma was finding salvaged wood with just the perfect patina.

I've searched high and low for ways to patina my own wood,
but have never been happy with the results.

Either it was not the right finish, or it was a long and stinky process. . .ugh

So, I came up with my own solution :)'s the easiest, quickest, cheapest,
and non-smelly-est method to weathering wood. . .
hands down!!

From this. . .

to this. . .

I also love to do lighter / darker patina, offering a nice variation
in the wood. . .which is fun to do on a planked wall like this:

Before varied shades. . .

. . .and after.

Oh, how I love weathered wood!!

If you would like to order an instant download of our
Weathering New Wood Custom Tutorial,
you can do so in our Etsy shop here.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vintage sewing machine. . .

I have a sewing machine. . .but I don't sew.

This was a $7 thrift store find, and it just kept calling my name. . . true story!

I mean, can you not see the beauty in this?

How many weathered hands have stitched warm quilts, baby clothes,
aprons, linen tablecloths, and petticoats?

I can almost hear the low humming of it now, in the days of yester-year. . .
And think about the lives that have been blessed by the hands that worked this machine.

Of course, it didn't look like this at first. . .but I like to envision one's
potential, searching for it's inner beauty...

And this is what I saw. . .

Most things I finish to sell. . .but some things I just can't bear to part with.
This lovely little friend has found it's place in my heart. . .

and in my home :)

She greets all our guests in the front entryway. . .with a smile of course :)

"And in the end it's not the years
in your life that count.
It's the life in your years."
                     -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mod podge and old sheet music

A few months ago, I scored some awesome farmhouse finds
and shared some of them with ya'll (see here)

Well, the sweet old farmer who I dearly love was very fond of music,
and from what I understand, was an exceptional pianist as well.
 As I rummaged through his piles of things, I came across some old sheet
music from the 1940's and 50's. . .Yesssss

Honestly. . .how many cool things can you do with old sheet music?

So here was my dilemma. . .I just recently put this farmhouse cupboard
(from the same estate sale) in my family room, and wanted to just keep
it simple and light, but it's been buggin' me and I finally figured
it out today. . .

It needed a little contrast...

So I pulled out my stack of old papers and came across one
that really caught my eye. I also grabbed a vintage frame that I was
originally going to paint, but the dark unkempt wood provided
the perfect contrast. . .

For this particular project I didn't want to have the glare from glass,
so I cut a cardboard piece the same size as the frame, and
mounted the page with a generous amount of mod podge
on the cardboard. . .

After letting it dry, I then applied another generous amount to
the top to offer protection and durability. . .

To get a canvas look, I bunched up a grocery bag and dabbed
the wet mod podge. . .this leaves a great texture :)

 By hanging it low, and slightly overlapped by surrounding
objects, it united all the pieces together. . .

 I love linking the
past with the present!


...and after

Oh. . .and that little buggin' feeling is gone now :)

"A hunch is creativity
trying to tell you something."
                                   -Frank Capra
If you want to see more tips, tricks, and ideas, click here to view all our other tutorials. :)