Saturday, July 26, 2014


Well hello there!  I know I have been M.I.A. for most of the summer but it has been a crazy one so far.  As you know we have been renovating the upstairs of the farmhouse.  It just seemed to take so long!  I find that smaller spaces are really tough sometimes and tend to take longer than a big room.  Well at long last, after designing, discussing and arguing, the closet/computer/cozy up in the winter room is finally finished.

Let's start top to bottom.  The sky ceiling made it from the old garden room.  Since the room is so small, around 8 by 9', painting the ceiling and walls cream would have made it look like a box so I left the clouds to see how it would look and I love it, I still have a little bit of my garden room with me.

Now for the floors, oh how I love these floors!  We had never stripped them, they were always painted since we moved in over 30 years ago.  The last paint job was a deep moss green so when we started to strip them and the green was in the nooks and crannies it looked just fabulous.  My sweet husband painstakingly hand sanded these to keep as much of the patina as possible.  All I did later was one coat of good varnish.  I am so happy with them, they remind me of floors from an old factory.

Now for the "office" part of the room.  This is a gorgeous oak table that my great-grandmother inherited from her mother, which she brought from England with her.  It sat in front of the diningroom window for years, covered in plants.  Needless to say the top was a mess so I sanded it down and left the bottom.  A bit on oil and voila, back to it's original glory.  I do not know if my great grandmother knew it but in the front of the desk the panel opens and it is a drawer, a very nice surprise for me, now all of my computer stuff is hidden.

I have had the ladder back chair in our bedroom for years.  Basically it has been my husband's clothes hanger.  It is very sturdy so now it is my desk chair.  The shutters made it from the garden room as well, I am so glad they fit after we built the closet,  hubby made those too.  The great celadon green lamp was a very cheap HomeSense find.

This is the "cozy up in winter" part of the room.  We like to sit up here in the winter and watch movies on the computer.  I had this sofa from Ikea, very comfy, it was a brick red.  I reupholstered it in this amazing Suzani fabric I found for the reduced price of $3.99 a yard!  If I do say so myself I would buy this sofa if I saw it in a store, I am very pleased with the results.  The beautiful art were paintings I found online and just had to have them.  I searched until I found posters and framed them.  I love how the one women appears to be looking at the other woman feed her Raven, who is wearing a crown.  The fantastic wooden lamp with the burlap shade was reduced to $19.95 at HomeSense.

I have some treasures in my room too.  My grandmother always talked about a postal rack she had in the chicken coop, where she stored items for her Anitque Store, that she was holding on for herself and would never sell.  I never did see it and now I know why.  When we were loading up things from my Uncle's house we were in the garage and my husband found a pile of old wood.  Being restorers of old things we never throw anything away.  Thank goodness my sweet guy saw that pile of wood because low and behold it was the postal rack in pieces.  He put all the pieces together and just wiped it down.  I knew it would be perfect in my studio but once the closet room was finished it was if the empty wall was made for it.  I filled it with some of hubby's collection of Nature Craft figures which I have given him for memorable occassions like the birth of our son.

The pretty plates were a gift from my Grandmother and the dog nutcracker was something that sat on my Great Grandmother's fireplace front, I played with it all the time.  It is one of the few things that my Great Uncle did not sell off, I think of her every time I sit at my desk.

This poster of "The Flock" is something I bought so long ago I don't remember where I purchased it.  I found it rolled up with some of my son's artwork, it now hangs proudly above my desk.

TA DA!  First I must say that I am so lucky to have a talented husband who is willing to build whatever crazy things I come up with, mostly without complaint.  And now here is my closet.

It goes right across the back of the room, three doors, one section for shoes and boots and the rest for my new wardrobe (I am now 55 lbs. down and counting) .  We made the closet look like an old armoire, I wore it out and used our signature curved bottom we put on most of our furniture.  The knobs were a real good find at Michael's of all places, for a mere $1.50 each!  Inside the door I hung all of my necklaces on little hooks with an old scarf behind them because they made a lot of noise when I closed the door.  I collect them from thrift stores and either repurpose them for my Etsy shop or I also like to buy really long ones and wrap them around my wrist for a cool bracelet.  The print was a $9.99 buy from HomeSense it reminded me of Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I hope you have enjoyed the tour.  Redecorating does not have to be a big expense.  By doing everything ourselves, repurposing things we had and watching for bargains, like the lamps, this redo was well under $500.00 that includes the fabric for the sofa. 

Now we are almost done the bedroom and it is really going to be gorgeous.  I picked up the ocean green stain for the floor yesterday so stay tuned.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014


For many years I have loved the art of Jessie Willcox Smith, although I did not realize it was always her work. 

Born in Phillidelphia in 1863, she graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1888, and took a job as an illustrator for The Ladies Home Journal thus beginning a lifelong career as a renound Magazine cover illustrator, one of the most recognized in the world.

In 1915, she began her career as the cover illustrator for Good Housekeeping Magazine for as long as she wanted the position.  She stayed for 15 years and was paid was paid $1,500.00 per cover making her the highest paid illustrator of her time.  These covers are perhaps what most of us know her for.  They show the simplicity of everyday life and in these times of instant everything it is heartwarming to look at them and think of a time when life was so family oriented and simpler.  I have several of them framed in my home and it just make me very happy to see them everyday.

As I said, I have always loved her art but I did not always know it was her work.  When I was a very little girl my grandmother gave me a book called The Water Babies.  I loved the story but the illustrations fascinated me even at that young age.  How magical to be able to bring a story to life with such beautiful, whimsical drawings.  That book was worn out from years of turning the pages and Jessie Willcox Smith is one of the artist who began my love of art and who started me drawing which gave me a lifelong love and career as an artist.

Jessie Willcox Smith was also an illustrator of children's books and other magazines such as Collier's.  She never married but had her brush on the heartbeat of family life and through her eyes she left a legacy of life in her time.

I am sure you have all seen her work in one form or another but you should look her up.  She had a long, fabulous career and her illustrations are endless.  Thank goodness for artist like her for she preserved a life worth remembering.