welcome to our farmhouse…life is good

Sunday, September 16

a speedy summer...

Yes, it's true...time does fly. We all know that, but it's still hard to accept that the calendar says school is well underway. We've been loving Friday night football games, and I admit we are partial to the halftime show (our son plays the trumpet in the band!)

Now, I'm a firm believer in a full 3 months of summer vacation for kids and a start date of after Labor Day. Kids should be allowed to be kids...and for this family summer means staying up late, camping, glamping, movie marathons, star gazing, homemade lemonade, grilling out, sleeping in, and anything else we can think of. Our daughter was able to spend a month dancing with a ballet company and our son was honored to take his 4H robot to the State Fair for judging. I'm happy to say we spent time perfecting the no-bake cookie recipe and ate them non-stop for probably a week...okay, maybe more!

However; I am not the voice of the school administration, and classes in our part of the Midwest began in mid-August (in my humble opinion; ridiculous.)

And so that's why it's been so long since my last post...we've been hanging onto every summer moment as much as possible.

We recently took a trip to Greenfield Village and loved it, so I wanted to share a few pictures...oh the houses, oh the gardens...I could move right in!

If you have the chance to visit, and love history, it's definitely worth the trip...and be sure to plan for a full day to see it all. Now the Henry Ford Museum is right next door...that was another visit I'll share next time.

Monday, July 2

meant to be!

This photo has been on my bathroom remodel wish list for ages. I just love the old cast iron & porcelain sink, handy drainboard, and vintage-style faucets. If you've been visiting here for awhile, you know I love anything old...it's just how I'm wired!

source: here

And so this week I'm meandering through Craigslist and this pops up:

"Vintage Kohler cast iron and porcelain sink...still has original brass drain stopper...excellent condition...1940."

Wow, love that! Where is it? Probably hours from here. Big sigh...

LOCATION:                        10 minutes away!

No way! Get out! Happy dance!
Show hubby, hop in car, go visit, love it!

What are the chances? I mean look! I can't be the only one who gets excited over old sinks with drainboards! (They're practically twins...except for the base, ours is dated August 26, 1958)

And so a happy ending...this little beauty on the right has a new home and I can't wait to get her in place. Not sure what color to paint the vanity...any suggestions? 

I'm thinking I'll pair it with a claw foot tub something like this...

and maybe some beadboard...

Have I mentioned there's a clawfoot tub in our basement? It was here when we moved in, tucked away in the 1864 cellar of this old house (complete with partial dirt floor and 6 trees holding up the entire house, but that's a story for another time.) This week I've got a reason to give that tub a much closer look!

Now if I can just fine someone who's looking for a vintage commode and tub in retro pink...Country Living Magazine is pretty sure pink bathrooms are making a comeback...there's even a website dedicated to the pink craze; save the pink bathrooms!

Interested? Drop me a note, I'll make you a real deal!

Thursday, June 28

heartfelt thanks to MaryJanes Farm...love the Wild Bread book!

Some days it just seems like there's extra happiness that greets me!

flowers bursting with color...
(no filters, I promise)

a volunteer gourd/pumpkin plant that is growing like crazy!
(somewhere behind it is a hidden birdbath)

Even a chippy red watering can makes me smile.

and then...
an email from Debbie, MaryJanes Beach Farmgirl,
that says I'm the lucky winner of
MaryJane Butters new Wild Bread book!

I couldn't have been more surprised or thrilled,
and i
n no time at all this was on my doorstep...

I spent the night in our little camper Maizy, curled up reading it cover-to-cover!

It's packed with great recipes and step-by-step how-to's. And truly, these photos don't do the originals justice...trust me, they're beautiful!

I bake for our local farmers' market, and I can't wait to share these wonderful breads with my customers...I know they'll go crazy!

Thanks so much to MaryJanes Farm for offering this book as a giveaway...you truly made my day.

My first batch of starter is on the counter now...oh dear, a true weakness for me: warm bread topped with real butter, mmm, for me, there's not much that beats that!

Wednesday, June 13

a Maizy follow-up & questions answered...

As a quick PS to my last post about our vintage camper, I thought I'd answer a couple of questions I've gotten lately...
  • Hmmm, I see the propane tank is missing...how will you use the stove?
  • Since the propane lines weren't hooked up, we decided to postpone work on the stove
    for now, so we'll be using this handy "breakfast station" by Nostalgia (find it here).
    With a toaster oven, griddle, and coffee maker for hot water (we're not coffee drinkers,
    but it'll be perfect for instant cocoa or herbal tea). We can make grilled cheese or French bread pizza, too, so it'll definitely come in handy!

  • I love the colorful dishtowels, where did you find them?
  • A friend gave them to me as a birthday gift (thanks, Lisa!) and I liked them so much, I picked up a couple more. They're from The Pioneer Woman collection (here) at our local Walmart. All her colors are so cheery and are a perfect match!

This salt & pepper shaker set is from The Pioneer Woman, too...they are just so sweet, and again, her colors are spot on for what I had in mind.

I added theses cookbooks for fun (although they really do have some good, old-fashioned recipes). They were gifts from a great cook (that's you, Carol!). The cover photo on the front book just seemed to fit the retro theme, and the copy on the cover of the book behind it says, 

"Swanky food from the '50s and '60s"! 

Wow, how could I resist recipes for "swanky" food while Glamping?!

Just another little I had tucked away that seemed to be a good fit...a red sifter on a Pioneer Woman dishtowel.

And that's the latest...can't wait to get her back with her new roof so she's ready no matter the weather!  

In the meantime there's more pillows to stitch and I found some retro goodies at our local feed store...will share those when she's back.

Sunday, June 10

merry & mad-cap May, plus a first peek at Maizy, our vintage camper!

Which explains my absence for nearly a month...when May rolls around, it's filled with school band and orchestra concerts, award ceremonies, piano recitals, book fairs, parades, ice cream socials, crazy exam schedules, and wrapping up all things school-related.

Whew...is it any wonder my veggie garden isn't in yet and I'm still planting flowers? Oh well, mad-cap yes, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

It's definitely past time to fill you in on Maizy - I've had such fun putting my own spin on her. With so many ideas to choose from, I've had a ball getting inspired!  I've seen amazing campers with every kind of theme imaginable...

Cowgirl...cool boot purses, cactus lamps, cowgirl hats, and bandannas! 
Girly...chandeliers, doilies, and lace.
Seaside...relaxing blues and seafoam greens with sea shells & anything nautical.
Flamingo Pink...from the same decade as polyester pants
and Naugahyde lounge chairs!

What clever designs and talented folks! In the end, I kept getting drawn to a simple retro look with a color combination of cherry red, turquoise, and a little hint of what I like to call lightning-bug yellow. I wanted a couple of framed quotes I love, along with pillows stitched from a vintage cherry tablecloth and fluffy chenille.

While there's still odds and ends to put together, here's a quick peek at what's done so far:

This greets us at the door, surrounded by colorful bunting! 

I painted the shelf to match the picture frames,
then added littles that I had tucked away.
(The alarm clock I've had since Elementary school!)

At first I tossed the pillows up in the crow's nest just for storage,
but I liked them so much, I'm leaving them there!

I'm not a big fan of pink, but the cushions were cute,
so I just topped them with a vintage tea towel
and stitched on colorful buttons.

A close-up of the vintage fabric and chenille...I'd forgotten
how much I really like the texture of chenille!

A little corner by the shelf with some lap-size quilts
to curl up under on chilly nights. The red wooden phone
was one my daughter picked up in an antique shop years ago,
and I've had the days-of-the-week tea towels for ages...
just waiting for a home.

Hanging above the quilts...
a favorite quote from a favorite author.

And so there's the first look at Maizy...I'll add a few more photos soon. Right now she's getting a new roof so she'll be weather-tight for road trips.

Even though she's never left the driveway, we've camped in her 6 times...my daughter and I took advantage of the cool nights last week (it was 48 degrees Wednesday morning!) and decided we needed a girls camp out, which turned into 3 nights!

That's why the Laura Ingalls Wilder quote is a favorite...those 3 "camp outs"  were the best: Netflix by fairy lights and chatting until we fell asleep. Nothing fancy, just making memories.

Friday, May 11

rainbows in the country...

 Look up to the sky...
You’ll never find a rainbow,
if you’re looking down.

~Charlie Chaplin

Happy Friday!

(linking up to Skywatch Friday, here)

Tuesday, May 1

never stop making wishes...

A couple of months ago, I found myself wandering through one of my favorite shops...a great small-town store that has become a "must" anytime I'm nearby. Filled to the brim with everything vintage, primitive, antique, and retro, it's nothing short of fabulous!  

On one of the walls was this sign: 

Something about it caught my eye...the lovely shade of turquoise-blue, the talent behind the hand-lettering, the message. Yes...so true, NEVER stop making wishes! 

As much as it called to me, it really didn't "fit" into our style. Built in 1864, I've tried to fill our home with things that have a sense of history...old trunks, cupboards with wavy glass, spongeware dishes alongside yellowware bowls, spinning wheels, handmade quilts...you get the idea. As cute as this sign was, it just wouldn't work. 

After wandering through the store, I finally told myself, "It NEEDS a home."  You see where this is going...yep, it did come home with me. I wrapped it in paper and tucked it away. Not sure what to do with it, but knowing it just had to be a little gift to me, from me.

Which leads me to this...no matter what, NEVER stop making wishes. What do you wish for? Dreams delayed come true every day! Just because you're living in an apartment now, doesn't mean you won't be gathering eggs from your own happy hens in the country some day. Making business deals across the conference room table, doesn't mean that you won't be making lunches for kids, and yes, climbing the corporate ladder, can be exchanged for chasing fireflies. Here's a little story of my "dream delayed."

An earlier post of mine was titled "Dream a Little Dream"  and all about the search for a vintage camper. A search my teenage daughter began, and I was determined to help her. There's the story of the cutest little 10' Shasta compact camper that was the $100 find of the century!  Not my find, of course, but one lucky gal had her wish come true. It was so...Tiny. Yellow. Adorable.

Then there was another Shasta I drove by for several days just pondering over. Maybe? Maybe not. Okay, definitely! Peeked inside...no leaks, had potential, yes! Bring the Hubby to look over it/climb under it...let's make plans! 

Lesson learned...do not ponder too long. By the time I decided to show it to Hubby, it was gone. On it's way to Michigan with a young family. You know, for months I found myself still looking at the spot where it sat...as if I could turn back time and it would still be there.  

I kept looking in the paper and reading online auctions. Nothing was right, or nearby, or simply nothing existed at all. Vintage campers and glamping had taken off like wildfire and I could find nothing. And so the search continued...for years.

One day in March, I sat down to catch up on a friend's blog...I'd followed the progress on her 1963 Yellowstone camper for about 5 years. Freshly painted, with cheery fabric stitched into curtains and comfy seating, it was fun to look at the before and after snapshots. 


It's amazing what a little TLC can do!
(see the whole transformation here)

While reading her blog I blinked...what? "I have decided to let our little trailer find a new home." No pondering this time...I immediately commented, and then, just in case she didn't have time to check her blog, I sent an email. I knew that the camper was well-cared for and only about 15 minutes away. In no time Hubby and I looked it over, then brought along a friend who knows all the ins and outs of vintage campers. He suggested a rubber roof and a quick fix on the water line.

And you know what? That sweet little 13 foot 1963 Yellowstone Cab-over camper is sitting in our driveway. The first thing I did was unwrap and hang the picture telling me to "Never Stop Making Wishes." While the turquoise blue wasn't right for our home, it was perfect for a camper now named Maizy! I'm dressing her up with turquoise, cherry red and a bit of lightning-bug yellow...I'm having fun putting my own retro spin on her. And you know, for someone who loves antiques and primitives, who knew I had a surprising amount of vintage goodies tucked away just waiting for someday? When she's all "just right" I'll share some photos.

Yes, a time for everything...and I can hardly wait to take her on the road with our family!

(I'm linking up for Wonderful Wednesday here!)

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