A Simple Life

  I got wind of a new magazine called ” A Simple Life“. It looks to be very interesting and the pictures from the sneak peek have made me get a subscription. If you love primitive furniture and the simpler way of life, I think you will enjoy this magazine.  I have included the link to their site above and by clicking the picture. Check them out for yourself.

Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Do You Have a Great Idea..

Have you come up with a nice display combination?  Have you repurposed an item in a unique way? I know I get a lot of inspriation from seeing what others have done and I love those ‘I never would have thought about that’ ideas I stumble across.

Share your tips and ideas with others by sending them to me for posting here on our Blog. If I add them to the blog I will give you one of our highly scented and long burning candles at half price or a $5 gift card for the shop.

And if you like the little bench in the picture, click the picture or HERE to check out the Etsy shop I found it on. Nice stuff.. her motto is “ Because a Womans Place is in the Woodshop”. I love it!

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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EnoUgh of ThiS WeaTher

Ok.. who is with me on this..

They are talking about more snow coming this week. Ugh!! People on some of the boards I’m on are without power in the Northeast.. and my Florida friends teeth are chattering with the unusual cold they have been having. Crops and tropical fish in the south are being destroyed with the cold. I think we will feel the effects of this weather for a while. We are paying higher utility bills now and will pay extra for other things throughout the coming year. Thank goodness they are talking warmer temps next weekend. I’m really ready for warmer weather.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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TeA and CoFFee StAiNed FaBriC

crowdollI get asked a lot of questions about how to do things around the shop. My experience is candles and scented products. But I have come across others that do a wonderful job of other types of crafts and I also like to cruise the net looking for info to see how others go about doing things. So, although I have not tried these procedures for myself, I have heard and seen the results of others doing them.

Primitive decor has a palate of darker colors.. the colors you get over time. Blues and reds become muted, black gets more charcoal and anything white developes an darker antique patina. So, to get that age-old look instantly on fabric, you can tea or coffee stain.

Tea staining is the less extreme of the two methods. It will give you lightly stained, yellowish-brown areas on your fabric. Different teas will result in different tints and tones in the final product. Standard black teas will give a soft brown or cream color to your fabric, while some of the herbal teas leave more of a red tone.

 To create tea dye you will need to bring to boil enough water to soak your fabric in. Then add 1 tea bag to every half a cup of hot water and let it brew for about 10 minutes. Soak the fabric you wish to age in the bucket of tea. Swish it around every so often if you want a smooth textured finish. Leave it without moving it much for a mottled finish.

When the fabric has soaked “enough” pull it out and rinse it under cool water. You will loose a lot of the color doing this, so if it isn’t dark enough to suit you, soak it some more. Be aware that when the fabric dries it will be slightly lighter as well. It’s been found a medium light tan color can be achieved after about an hour. A richer tan can be achieved with an overnight soaking.

 Another method of staining fabrics is to sponge them. Make up the stain as before, then using an old sponge, soak up some of the tea dye and blot it onto the fabric. This gives a distinctive mottled look to your fabric. You could build up layers using different strengths of tea. The more tea dye you use, the darker the stain will be. This process gets the fabric pretty wet. You can lay the fabric out to dry, run a fan over it or bake it in the oven at about 200 degrees for a few minutes to dry it. Reapply additional coats of tea dye as necessary to get the desired color.

 Tea dye is only for natural fabrics like cotton and linen. Tea dye is also semi-permanent. What this means is that while it will not wash out easily, you can usually remove it with bleach. It may also fade in sunlight. It is not suggested for use on items (such as clothing) that will be washed regularly as modern detergents are designed to remove the tea stain.

For a richer and darker color, try coffee dye. A recipe I found was mixing 5 tablespoons of instant coffee crystals in half a cup of hot water. They also added a few drops of vanilla extract to add a bit of scent to the mix. Other recipes throw in a tablespoon of cinnamon for the aroma as well as the texture it gives.  To stain with the coffee dye, use the same sponge-blotting method described above for the tea dye. When the piece has the desired color it can then be baked in the oven. You can also spray tea or coffee dye on with a spray bottle, or dry your fabric outside in the sun on a warm day.

Since I had to get this information from other sources, here are the web sites I found the most information on and they are worth a look for other things as well:

Primitive Folk Art

Kiss My Crafts

Cinnamon Sticks and Candle Wicks ~ for the doll pictured

FeaThEr TrEEs

feathertree-5Christmas items have been arriving at the shop for months now. It has been no fun to have all this cool stuff and not be able to have it on the floor. In a few weeks we will be phasing out Fall and bringing out the Christmas goodies in preparation for our Open House November 7th.

One of the items we have new this year are Feather Trees. I did some checking on the internet and found out some history of these trees. I’m going to pretty much quote a page I found at Victorian.com. This site has a lot of cool information if you are into Victorian decorating so check them out when you finish reading this. Here is their article:

Yes, it is actually true that feather trees were the first artificial Christmas trees and they were originally made in Germany as early as 1845.  Like many inventions, tabletop feather trees came about out of necessity. By the mid-19th century, decorated trees were more popular than ever; however, in Germany deforestation was widespread, especially during the holiday season. It had become the fashion to chop off the tip off a large Fir tree to use as a Christmas tree; however, this practice prevented the tree from growing taller and thus made it useless as a timber tree. Statutes were enacted to limit people from having more than one tree, hence protecting the forests. With the introduction of the “goosefeather” tree, this problem was resolved. Goose feathers were plentiful and these feather trees began to be produced as a cottage industry as the alternative to cutting a live tree. These goose feather trees became the first artificial Christmas trees. Metal wire or sticks were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers. The feather sticks were drilled into a larger one to resemble the branches on a tree; the feathers were often died green to imitate pine needles. The trees were made to resemble the locally growing white pines of the German forestland, so they had wide spaces between their branches, short “needles,” and composition “berries” on the end of every branch tip.

feathertree-3Meanwhile in America, cut live trees were the cherished way to make the holiday come alive.  When the Germans immigrated to the United States, they took their beloved portable feather trees with them to use in their new homes. While it was the German immigrants that introduced feather Christmas trees into the U.S., the practice of using artificial trees really did not take off in America until Sears Roebuck first advertised artificial trees for sale in their 1913 catalogs.  Often they had berries and candleholders at the branch-tips and a round white base.  They ranged in size from 55 inches to 17 inches tall.  By the late teens, Japan followed suit and manufactured feather trees for the U.S. market.

In the 1920s feather Christmas trees were gaining in popularity, especially to European-born Americans continuing to follow their customs. However, by the mid-1930s their popularity declined somewhat as the tree farm industry grew.  In an effort to revive the market, Germany began supplying Montgomery Ward with a wider variety of color choices and fancier designs on the tree stands. Artificial trees all but disappeared during WWII. Then after the war, in the 1950s, feather trees were replaced by artificial trees made of synthetic substances, like visca and aluminum.  It’s no small wonder why feather trees are now a popular decorating choice for people with period homes.

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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ChriStmaS in OcTobeR

findlay 09-1The Findlay craft show is this coming weekend, October 3-4, and we are very busy getting ready. We will close early Friday to get set up for the show and be closed Saturday. With all the Christmas items we have received around the shop the last few months it will be nice to get away and just enjoy Fall. The weather should be cool and crisp, perfect weather for strolling around the Craft Show. If you have never been to this show you are missing a wonderful way to spend a day.

Findlay’s Christmas in October is one of NW Ohio’s largest and most distinctive Fall Craft Shows. Every year it features over 300 exhibits from 10 States. With ten buildings, two tents & dozens of outdoor locations brimming full of Americana, Country, Contemporary, Folk Art and Victorian Arts & Crafts it is fun for the entire family!

You can pre-order your candles and lotions from us now so you can enjoy the show and pick up your items when you are done. No need to see us early to get the best selection or worry about your favorites being sold out. Buckeye is always sold out no matter how many I bring and we have some wonderful new fragrances that we are expecting to sell out of as well. Amish Harvest and Toasted Hazelnut have received many comments around the shop while being tested and will be available at the show. Other favorites will be  Caramel Crunch, Glazed Baklava, Coffe Cake , Pink Sugar and Pumpkin Crunch. In the lotions it is hard to beat Pink Sugar and Sandalwood Vanilla.

So come see us in Findlay this weekend. To get $1 off admission see HERE. Come for the day or make a weekend of it and stay in one of Findlay’s many fine hotel accommodations. We hope to see you there!

Summer Color

4One of our most popular items is our jewelry. Colorful and  fun, they come in sets with necklace and earrings. Rich earthy shades and bright colorful pastels.. we have something for everybody. And best of all, most are also priced below $20. With prices like that you can treat yourself to something new

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We also have a nice selection of bracelets, watches and earrings.

 

 

 

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Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 3:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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Catchin some Z’s

b8I took a walk down to the farmers market before we opened and when I came back, Bruce was looking like he didn’t like being left behind. He got wound up yesterday because a different UPS driver came in and got him a bit fritzed. The regular guy talks to him and pets him.. this guy just left.. and I guess Bruce was a bit put out. So, he was a bit silly all afternoon. Now today, completely out of the usual routine, he got left alone. After following me around a bit, some kids came in and he got busy playing with them. He settled into chasing his string and playing hide and seek under the cabinets with the kids. All was well with Bruce again. Then we got more kids.. the Farmer’s Market brings families to town and we get a lot of traffic because of it. And best of all, Bruce gets a lot of kids to play with.

b2Things finally setteled down in the afternoon and I got busy putting the shop back together. Poor Bruce! All the excitement today wore him out. Instead of napping in the front window.. or on my counter.. Bruce got up in the hutch facing the front door for a nap. I had a step stoole in front of it as I was changing out some stuff on the top, and Bruce just cruised up and got comfortable.

b6If you’ve been reading this blog, you know this is not his first time up here. I imagine it is pretty cozy and it still gives him a birds eye view of the front door so he doesn’t miss a thing. Most of the time he gets up here when I have something in front of the hutch to climb up on. For a shop cat he is pretty good about not getting into or onto things. More often than not he is under things so he can play with your feet as you go by.

b4The hutch isn’t quite finished yet. We are still changing things around. But for now I will let Bruce finish his Cat Nap.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Amish Country

farm 4Another place my son and I traveled about and took pictures on Mother’s Day was in our Amish Country. I love a drive out past the Amish farms and along River Road. The rolling hills and stately barns make me hard pressed to enjoy Amish Country any where else. The beautiful sunny day and gentle breeze made the drive a wonderful way to spend the day.

horses Sundays are a day of rest for man and beast in Amish country. Here a herd of Belgiums are enjoying the beautiful weather.  My son got to drive a pair of these horses when he helped an Amish friend dig his basement. That’s right.. DIG.. with horses. They are hooked up to a large scoop and layer by layer they scrape up the soil. Then it is shoveled onto a wagon and taken out into a field and scattered like their manure. My son loved every minute of all that hard work.. especially when he was given home made bread and Coconut Cream Pie.

baby bell2Spring also brings all the young colts and fillies. We caught this young’un trying to reach something on the drive. He was funny to watch as he spread his legs to get anywhere close to the ground. He was also a neat light color with a darker strip down his back. I imagine he will be a light buff color when he matures.

river road 3

 This farm is also along River Road. I wish I lived out that way as I would love to travel this road every day. The winding turns, beautiful farms and the river make for some incredible scenery. I have yet to drive this road and not meet a horse and buggy along the way. I can think of no better way to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life than a ride in our Amish Country.

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Mother’s Day

10Mother’s Day dawned breezy and beautiful. After a nice Church service and lunch, my son and I decided to drive around and take pictures for the photography contest we mentioned earlier. We thought it would be a nice way to remember the day if we got some photographs. Having one of them a winner and turned into a post card would be nice too.

8Every Mother’s Day my husband and I take a walk in Lawrence Woods located off 68 just outside of town. Since he had to leave for business today, my son stepped into the role of taking Mom for her annual walk. Spring is still new this time of year and the sun dapples through the trees and many flowers adorn the 1 hour walk.

4This year I spotted only a few of the Trilliums I usually enjoy. It is nice to see these lovely flowers in their natural surroundings. There was a small patch of about a dozen flowers.. maybe it is a bit early.. or a bit late for them. The few I did get to enjoy made my day.

13Other flowers dotted almost the entire walk. Shades of lavender and sky blue were sprinkled under the canopy of trees and dancing in the breeze. Spring brings so much rain and the damp air and new growth make a Spring walk in Lawrence Woods one of my favorite things to do around Hardin County.

15When you first enter into the woods, you come upon this unique tree known as the ‘Rhino Tree’. It is one of the few really mature trees in these woods of several hundred acres. When you see the young trees bent by the ice storm about 5 years ago, one can imagine a storm bending this tree in it’s youth and shaping it’s future. Because it was not tall and straight, it was not harvested.. and now it causes young and old to marvel at its shape.

6Another tree, this one broken by a recent storm. My son is still several inches shorter than the clearance under the branch.. but as the years pass.. he should be able to stand under it and touch it with the top of his head. This will be fun to check out on Mother’s Day in the coming years.

Hope everyone had a delightful Mother’s Day!

Published in: on May 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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