Use what you have

A good way to stretch your decorating dollar is to use what you have. This cabinet has a large wide area so I need to use large pieces up there to even be seen. I borrowed this chicken feeder from a friend. The bottom is rusty but I coiled a yellow garland around the base and pulled up the pip berries to be seen above the edge. The feeder would look good sitting on the floor as well and could have ivy or flowers as well as the garland in it. An old box I had lying around houses a variegated ivy bunch and had several old jars on the top of which only one remains. These jars were found discarded and we also picked up some at yard sales and flea markets. The wreath was another yard sale find and it was taken apart and redone to add interest. None of these items were expensive in themselves.. they were brought together and repurposed in an attractive display. This allows one to splurge on something like the goose decoy . It adds interest and pulls the colors together.. especially sporting a small yellow candle ring around its neck. This entire display could remain and the florals changed out to reflect the seasons.

Ok, this is not the best picture, but again, I have used some everyday items to create a unique display. the speckled pots were pulled out of a cupboard and stacked to add height and be noticable on the top of this hutch. I turned a divided box on end to show my crocks, a pine cone from my Grandmother’s old house and an pretty blue bottle I found in the dirt somewhere. Added to this are garlands and picks in rich earth tones to pick up the colors of the crocks.

The key to shoe string decorating is to keep one eye always open to the possibilites an item may have beyond what it was origionally intended to be.

Published in: on March 15, 2010 at 2:06 am  Leave a Comment  
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Eggs-Actly PrimiTive

I enjoy searching the net looking for ideas and products related to Country and Primitive decor. I like to make things myself.. when I have the time.. so like to check out patterns. These Primitive Easter Eggs are darling in this small basket. The price of the pattern is only $4 and you get her staining recipe as well. Make up several to use around your home in baskets and bowels. Click on the picture or HERE for the site to order.

According to the site, this egg pattern kit is a ‘No Sew’ pattern. This might be a good project to do with kids. The eggs are beautiful and the rich colors would be great in any Prim home. An old basket, some grass or straw and these rustic eggs and you have a nice touch for the coming season. Click HERE or on the picture to check out the sellers web site.

While you are on this site check out the articles and the rest of the information contained on the site. I have been here before I have gotten a lot of info here.

Another very nice site with lots of great patterns. These eggs are very cool and I fell in love with several of the patterns on the site as well. I particularly love the Woolie Sheep.. and am tempted to get that pattern for myself. I just don’t know when I will find the time to make them. Maybe when I get moved later this year I will have a few evenings to myself.. lol.. time to wake up from that dream. 🙂 anyway, click HERE to visit the site and enjoy.

A Primitive Place

I have found another wonderful site to visit.. A Primitive Place. From their site.. “Our site is full of primitive & colonial inspired homes, primitive inspired gardens, decorating and craft ideas, trash to treasure makeovers, monthly crafting tutorials and much more! ” Well worth some time just looking at the great decorating ideas.

 I especially enjoyed the trash to treasure and craft sections. Also check out their blog. Though it is now past my bedtime.. I can’t stop looking at all the wonderful pictures of decorated homes.

BeAuTiFuL BoXeS

As stated in the earlier post.. I like to get inexpensive little containers like boxes to use in my decorating. Often old boxes can be found for a few dollars a piece and the beat up nature of old boxes in general lends itself very nicely to country and prim decor. Take this little green box, for instance. It is a reproduction but it is made to look like a little drawer from a spice box. This box actually has a hook on the back for hanging on the wall as well as sitting on a shelf like it is here. We have put all kinds of things in it and right now it is home for a twig ball. The rounded ball plays a nice complement to the little wood block’s rounded top and the box’s round pull. The square shape of the box is a sharp contrast to all the other spherical shapes in the arrangement. A nice floral pick with trailing stems ties the green color of the box to the arrangement and of course it softens and ties it all together.

This is my new favorite treatment of small rectangular boxes… masses of pip berries! We have some great, thick pip berry wreaths that I have been scrunching together and putting in boxes. The pip strands are long enough to pull up above the top of the box and the thickness of the wreath makes a very full effect in the box. With this little box I added a mini candlestick light. Is that not the cutest way to display a light?? Instead of the candle stick light try adding a small strand of christmas tree lights or the popular mini rice lights. Those tiny lights look darling in among the berries.

Once again I have taken one of our pip berry wreathes, this time a mustard color,  and flattened it sideways to fit in this box. You can see how thick and full the berries are in the box. This box has a neat rustic fence behind it that just begs attention. I stuck a star up there for no reason other to get the star up where it could be seen. I can see this box with some nice ivy trailing over the side and up the fence and some spring colored florals added in for color. Or add some brightly colored eggs or a cute little rabbit and you have a seasonal piece for your wall or table.. and it could be easily changed for the coming seasons.

The texture of time-worn boxes can also be used to set off other pieces. This candle stick is fairly new. We added a candle ring to dress it up and then put this unique box behind it duplicate the tall vertical feel of the candlestick. And of course, the beat up box adds to the rustic finish of the candle.  The compartments in the box are a nice place to tuck little things like a wood block or a small picture.

Boxes are also very useful for adding height to an arrangement. A well placed box with items on the top help to draw the eye up without drawing attention to themselves. This reason in particular is one of the best for having a collection of boxes to use in your decorating. And.. the best part.. is they are usually cheap and easy to come by so having several will be easy on your purse. First thing to do is look around for the free ones. My grandmother had several in her garage. A cool old box with items to repair shoes in it and several long, shallow boxes with compartments for screws, bolts and what have you. A quick scrub and her trash became my new found treasure. I have picked up boxes at auction for just a few dollars each. Even larger storage boxes with hinged lids can find use to get items up off a floor and to add visual appeal next to a table or hutch. Happy collecting.

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

NeW iTemS for ThE HoliDaYs

Gift Card Holder
Gift Card Holder

We are starting to put out our Christmas items that have been arriving the last few months. We have several ornaments and  these little guys are not only cute on a tree, they are an adorable way to give a gift card, especially one of ours, to your Country or Primitive loving friends and family.

Snowman Ornaments
Snowman Ornaments

Another Primitive Snowman ornament are these two. They come as a pair and have a wonderful grungy look that will complement any tree, especially the German Twig Trees so popular in Country homes.

santa 2Even Santa has a nice grungy Prim look with these ornaments. Our Santas are a good size and I can see them hanging  in several places around a home as well as your tree. I am looking for unique places for them around the shop and will get some more pictures when I start putting things together.
Gold Flecked Tree
Gold Flecked Tree

These pictures do not do these little trees justice! Instead of a bright green typically found in Christmas trees, they are a neat olive color and are dusted with a gold glitter that just makes them something you HAVE to have this year. I bought the last three of these and am seriously considering keeping one for myself. They are about 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall and have little pinecones on the branches and are nestled in a primitive finished pot.

tree 3A close look at the branches and you can barely see the sparkle of the glitter. These trees look fine on their own  or add a few small prim ornaments or a small strand of rice lights for even more impact.
 

New Crocks and Rusty Pails

crock4We got lots of new things finally out on the floor. I like  crocks. I have bought a few old ones at auction with the intention of selling them at the shop.. but I can’t bring myself to part with them. So I pick up interesting pottery when I find it. This jug is really  nice. It is hand made and hand painted.

crock1These little jugs are awfully cute! Only about 4″ tall, they too are hand made and painted. This style pottery also comes in variouse other jugs and also come nice candle holders.

crock3I got a few like this too. This guy has a handle. I also got one that has a a lid and several others in various sizes. these pieces are also hand made and painted so not two are exactly alike. They are very rough and rustic looking.

pot1

Something else I really like are rusty things. I picked up lots of rusty buckets on my buying trip. They are great around the shop to display things.. but around the house  greenery or even a rustic candle and some berries are a nice way to use them.

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 3:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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More Rearranging

img_0119_2This old hutch is really neat. It is beat up and the doors are in pieces in the back of the shop. It is rather deep so I often have a difficult time showing off items I put on the shelves.

img_0120_2Though difficult to see in the picture.. I took one of my 140 bulb Deco Rice Light sets and wove it behind things on the top two shelves then ran them through the garland on top. I have had more people want the lighted garland since I did this. Though the Deco 140 lights are a bit much for the garland alone, we do carry a smaller Deco 35 light strand that would be perfect for adding that touch of light to a garland draped like this one.

img_0122_2Here are some of our Grubby  Battery Tapers. This is a nice, heavy candle pan with a colonial finish. The colonial finish is a very dark brownish black.. not the flat black many of them come in. We added some color coordinating candle rings then a fun little sign. These tapers are lit.. a bit difficult to see in the picture.. but they are a warm orangish yellow and have a gentle flicker to them.

img_0126_2OK.. I absolutely love, love, love these lighted balls! Again, difficult to see in the picture, each of these 10 twig balls have a little light in them. Are they not awesome in this treen bowl? They also looked great in an old, cast iron pot I had them in around Christmas time. I had 6 of these before Christmas and they were gone in 2 days. I got a dozen this time and once again, they are moving out quickly. I can think of lots of cool primitive containers for them.. baskets, bowls, pots, crocks.. you will find many delightful places for them as well. When you do.. send me a picture so I can post it here.

New Arrivials

Another delivery today! My plates from Hearthside came  and we got them all 20080416092511-579862priced and put out. Some favorites are back in stock and we have a few brand new ones. Many of these plates have nice inspirational messages like these from designer Barbara Lloyd  “Once you chose HOPE, everything is possible.”  “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart… SING anyway.” and “Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for GOD is already there.” We also got some fun ones for coffee addicts.

school1Another delivery received this week that we got put out today are wax warmers. We got some of our regular Revere warmers and also some of the Village Warmers. We have been waiting for months to get the Schoolhouse and Church warmers in. Beautiful as an accent in any home, the light bulbs in these warmers quickly melt wax tarts to fragrance your home. If you need wax melts for these or any other warmer, check out our selection Here.

Another item that has been back-ordered and finally in are the Saltbox Night Lights. We recently got our other night lights like the Outhouse, Federal Star, Paul Revere Lamp and Tent Top night lights. To see all our night lights see Here.

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Antique Shopping

   Yesterday I took a couple girlfriends to Springfield to look for bargins at some antique malls. One of them had been there before, and since we all like the same types of things, figured it would be a great way to spend a girls day out.  The first mall we went to was wonderful! We walked for what seemd like hours, oohing and aahing over all kinds of neat things and only got through about half of what they had to offer. After a nice lunch and a bit of a rest from the walking, we headed out to explore the other half of the store.

   My friend Jenn was seeking items for her bedroom. She found a wonderful square basket with a neat iron handle. In places where the wood on the bucket had cracked, there were metal pieces like bandaids to hold the two sides of the crack together.. really cool. And, the best part was it was painted the perfect blue for her bedroom. She also found several old bottels in shades of brown and blue to catch and reflect light from her windows.

   My other frined Deb, the leader of this adventure, found some very pretty lace to go in her bedroom. A recent paintjob and new linens and she was out looking for accessories. She did find a beautiful hand painted mirror that upon closer look, was $700.  She didn’t like it that well. Several other pieces caught her eye but not enough to really capture her interest. She already has some wonderful pieces in her home, so I understand her waiting for just the right one.

   I ended up lucking out with some great finds. As I was looking for pieces I could use in the store for display, I could be a flexible in design and finish. My treasures were some very old and beat up plank seat chairs. They had definately seen better days but were steady enough to set things on for display so they were joyfully pulled out of a corner. While getting the chairs I found a solid oak library table. I little cleaning and that is going to be a great piece. I also found a half round table that has some issues with its finish. I will be stripping that down and restaining it before it gets to the store. A few other goodies I picked up were crocks and a 4 compartment baking pan that will be used as a display at the shows.

   After getting all our stuff loaded we headed down a few exits and went to another mall. Jenn found a windpw pane that had been made into a planter box and I found a delightful old shutter with lots of peeling paint. We decided we had worked up an appetite for ice cream so stopped for a treat on the ride home. The day was such a wonderful treat we really did not want it to end.

   Eventually I got everybody dropped off and it was late when I got back home. My husband helped me unload all my goodies and was real good about all the funky old stuff I got till he saw the shutters. He gave me one of those ‘you PAID money for this’ looks. I told him yeah, aren’t they cool. But he smiled and knew the best treasure of the day was the time spent with good frineds.

Published in: on April 18, 2007 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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