Sunday, May 22, 2016

Peonies and a Mercury Glass Vase

Years ago, while on a community house tour, I spotted a mercury glass vase with peonies in it and immediately fell hard for it.  As it was a decorators home tour, everything was for sale, but when asked about that one sweet vase, the owner said that was the one thing that wasn't for sale. I've always remembered it.

Last year, while antiquing with a friend, I came upon this mercury glass vase and couldn't leave without it.  With this one exception, all of the vases I use are flea market finds that are usually a dollar or two, but this vase was special and was priced as such.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to buy it or not, but I'm so glad that I did because I enjoy it so.  And my peonies (the first of the season!) couldn't be prettier in it.

Also, can we just appreciate the beauty of these flowers?   I will never tire of peonies.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Cottage Bathroom

I believe I've mentioned that the farm has a guest cottage on the property.  We were intentionally looking for a property that had an outbuilding that Bryce's parents (or anyone else!) could stay in while visiting.  We lucked out with this cottage because it had been newly renovated and is already quite nice.  However, there were a few things that needed to be done to make it feel like ours!

Off of the bedroom there was a bathroom that was painted a shade of pink/salmon.  This bathroom felt forgotten and like an afterthought. The cabinet, the tub and the floor were fine, but it needed to be refreshed and cleaned.  Using extra rolls of wallpaper from our current bathroom, Gretchen and I wallpapered the bathroom and the difference is remarkable!  Gretchen and I have a great time while wallpapering, we solve all the worlds problems and laugh a lot.


It went from being a little dingy and ugly to being sweet and charming!  It's remarkable what paint and/or wallpaper can do in addition to a little elbow grease!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Dapper Frog

I seem to have an obsession with these felt animal heads (here and here), and I had sworn off buying any more, but then I saw this guy.  Immediately, I knew that he had to find a way into our new home!  I adore him and his jaunty hat; I just love how dapper he is.  I'm envisioning him in the mudroom where he can welcome us home every day!

P.S.  He's actually supposed to be Toad from The Wind and the Willows.  This actually endears him to me even more since it is a favorite book of our family!

Thursday, May 12, 2016


As the new septic was first being installed, it came to be that a few more trees needed to be taken out than was previously planned.  Two of the trees were already on their way out and weren't great trees anyway, but one was a walnut that we really hated to lose.  Bryce and I have a fondness for walnut as our bedroom furniture was made by Al out of walnut and our kitchen island top is also walnut.  It's simply a beautiful wood.

After a fair amount of calling around, I found a young man who was willing to come to our farm, load up the logs and mill them.  I loved working with Travis as he is just starting out, but clearly knows a tremendous amount, loves what he does and is super easy to work with.  He loaded up the logs (the septic guys were willing to use their equipment to help Travis get the logs loaded) and took them to mill them into slabs.

Yesterday, he delivered the newly milled slabs and stacked them in an outbuilding where they will spend the next year or so drying out!  Once they are finally ready, I have visions of a mudroom bench, a large serving platter and some sandwich boards being made out of them!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Lilacs in Jars

My favorite lilacs have had a lackluster year.  They were small and not all the blooms opened before the ones that did open, turned brown on the edges.  This unfortunate turn of events hasn't stopped me from bringing in some to enjoy though!

I've collected a few vintage, purple bottles for the sole purpose of putting lilac stems in them (I'm sure they will get more use for other flowers!).  I love flower stems in single jars and especially love them lined up down a table.  However, these lilacs look great bunched together to look more like a mass of blooms!

P.S. I've already started a list of lilac varieties to plant at the Hollow.  Any suggestions for must haves?  Luckily, they are usually deer resistant!

Friday, May 6, 2016


We've been making plans to do some renovating at the new house.  A few of the things we'd like to get done before we move in, but most of them won't get done until afterwards.  We've been meeting with the architect, and while we are pleased that we are making progress, it's been really slow going. It's really important to me that any changes we make be respectful of the house and move it forward in a positive way.  I don't want to be responsible for make some oddball change that doesn't make sense or strips the house of it's quirkiness and charm.

Here's a list of the "major" changes...

1.  Add a mudroom.  From the moment we looked at the house we knew that a farmhouse needed a mudroom.  Oddly, there isn't even a place to make one in the current footprint, so it looks like that will be the one thing that we add to the house.

2.  Renovate the kitchen.  This will be our third kitchen that we've renovated.  I can't wait.

3.  Beef up the screened in porch.  You know how we love a great screened porch and the bones are there for this one, but it needs some work so that it is more seamless with the house.

4.  We would like to move the master bathroom into a bedroom and the make the current master bathroom a closet.  This might be the biggest project of them all so we will see if/when it happens.

5.  The end bedroom upstairs is only accessible through another bedroom (common for old houses) and we are hoping to put a hallway down the middle so that it's more accessible.  The bedroom has stairs that led to the kitchen and a really small, sweet bathroom.  That's the room Grace wants.

Of course, there are about a million other things that I want to do but these are the ones that require an architect.  Also, a fun fact is that Bryce loves to draw plans!  After our first architect meeting we were a little underwhelmed and he came home, got out a sheet of tracing paper, and got to work. With a few tweaks those are the plans we are going with.  I suppose that we know better than anyone how we live and use our space.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rose Cupcake Bites

I recently had to make cupcake bites for a Garden Club event.  I tried my hand at making little roses with a star tip and leaf tip.  They aren't exactly perfect, but I think they turned out sweet and were super easy to make.

I got the idea from the cookbook, Butter Baked Goods: Nostalgic Recipes from a Little Neighborhood Bakery by Rosie Daykin .  I love this book!  The pictures are right up my ally with pinks and greens, florals, a vintage flair and a beautiful shop!  So far, everything I have made has been a keeper.

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