Sunday, December 25, 2011

merry christmas...

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

The festivities are now over. I am back home in my cozy sweats...make-up washed off for the hair in a ponytail...and all I can say is.....ahhhhhhhh. 

Hope you all had a wonderful day. 

I know I did. 

Good food. Lots of laughter. And fun. And family. 

Life is good.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

its a wrap! (and a giveaway winner, too!)

 This is one of my favorite days of the year! Sounds crazy...but tonight it is gift wrapping night in our house! I love saving all my gifts until I am done shopping so the hubs and I can have a little 'wrapping party'. I went back to my Pinterest board "gift wrapping" this morning for a little inspiration, so thought I would share. 

Tonight, I will make a couple appetizers. (Also ideas from my Pinterest board "yummy") The hubs will build a fire in the fireplace, open a bottle of wine and we wrap gifts until every last thing is under the tree!

 He is the official gift wrapper in this should see his attention to detail - amazing! I design, he executes. We make a good team that way. (Actually, he couldn't care less what they look like, he is just the man that has a mind like an engineer, so the gift come out wrapped perfectly every time.) Most guys I know wrap like a 5 year old, but this guy has some skills when it comes to paper and scissors, I tell ya! 

(And yes he would DIE right now if he knew I was telling the world this right now. Thankfully the guys at work don't read my blog! Haha!) 

I like to use simple things...I don't spend a fortune of all kinds of glittery paper. My favorite thing to use brown or white kraft paper, since I already have big rolls of that around the house. (I use it for the dust jacket backings on the mirrors I sell.) When my show season ends in October, I bring the big roll home from my warehouse so its ready for Christmas!

Oh gray, how I love you so. So simple and pretty. 

And I have to say, I cannot believe that I do not own a single shred of this pretty baker's twine yet! I am trying to find a good source where it doesn't cost a fortune.

 Trader Joe's bags used as wrap....what a fantastic idea this is! It mixes my love of kraft paper...white...with the perfect amount of red thrown in for good measure! 


This is my favorite idea for this soon as I am done with this post, I am heading to Home Depot to steal a few paint samples in reds and greens! I won't even need to write the "from" portion on the tag. Everyone will already know! 

(I am a little famous for being the nut that is obsessed with paint swatches the diligent and prepared business woman that carries every fan deck of paint colors with her. You never know when you need to whip out 500 shades to find the perfect color for a client, right?)

 So my friends and family will get a kick out of this. 

 I am off to steal paint sample cards and buy some food and wine for tonight. Wish you could all come over for a wrapping party...wouldn't that be awesome? How fun!

Oh, and do you want to know who won the giveaway I hosted for the $50 credit to Post Road Vintage? 

Sasha from Lemonade Makin' Mama!

Thank you to all that entered! I have a few more giveaways up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Just a quick reminder...

My giveaway with Heather from Post Road Vintage ends tonight at MIDNIGHT central time!

Go here to get your name in!

You could win a $50 credit to her beautiful shop!

Good luck, girls! I will announce the winner in the morning!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Giving is such a fun part of this time of year! In that spirit, my friend Heather from Post Road Vintage has so graciously offered one of my readers a $50 credit to her shop!  

Have you seen the beauty that resides in her shop?? It is beyond amazing...I love her style...her craftsman ship...whoever wins this giveaway is going to be truly lucky! 

She has {GORGEOUS} handmade coat racks...

And these lovely white soap dispensers! Heather was sweet enough to send me one of these, and it was one of the happiest packages I have opened in a long time. I couldn't wait to run over to my sink and fill it up with my favorite yummy Holiday soap! 

And another of my {FAVORITES}....her blue Ball jar soap dispensers! So simple and pretty, aren't they? Who wouldn't love to have one of these by their sink?


So here's the scoop on how to win...


2. FOR A SECOND CHANCE TO WIN, SIGN  UP FOR HEATHER'S INSPIRING NEWSLETTER HERE. (Be sure to leave me a separate comment to let me know you did!)

Oooohh...and did I mention....Heather is offering a 20% discount in her shop right now! If there is something in her shop, that you must have, she will guarantee arrival by Christmas (within the Continental US) if you order by Dec. 19th! Just use the discount code MERRY20 at checkout. 

Good luck, girls! 

Giveaway ends Sunday night at midnight Central Time! I will announce the winner Monday morning!

Friday, December 9, 2011


So who wants to win $50 to spend in my Etsy shop????

If YOU over to visit Heather at Post Road Vintage!

There are 7...yep, thats right....SEVEN ways to enter so you have a great shot at winning some vintage goodness before Christmas!

Good luck!

(And just so you shop was almost picked clean yesterday...THANK YOU! I will list more goodies tomorrow so come back to take a peek!)

Ok, now go over and see Heather and get your name in to win!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just wanted to let you know I added a few new things added the the Etsy shop...

 A little vintage ironstone...rusty metal...scales...more to come this weekend, too!

Happy Thursday, girls!

I am off to rural Wisconsin to visit a man that makes dining tables out of salvaged barn wood! Someone may just have a new table for Christmas dinner...fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Northwind Perennial Farm 2012

Hello, girls! I have a busy day today...taking LOADS of photos of new things for my Etsy shop! Today I have scales, signs, transfer ware, a few industrial pieces and a collection of roses china and paintings from my grandmother's estate. 

Just thought I would check in with some photos from my weekend...I went to Indy on Friday and Saturday to pick of these 'ugly duckling' pharmacy cabinets but Sunday I made the trip to my beloved Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, WI. 

I love this place. Seriously. 

I would move into the barn and live there if they would let me. And not even care that I didn't have running water and heat. It is that beautiful in person.


Anyway, just some photos from around the grounds. If you want to see the barn or more photos when there was snow on the can read my two posts from last year here and here

On with the show...

Oh, amazing industrial light fixture, how I love thee. 

Have I ever told you I dream of owning one of those little old 1-story motels someday? I have had that dream since I was a little girl. The kind of retro hotel that used these chairs outside each is a dream of mine. But in the mean time, I will just obsess over the pile of rusty chairs. SO pretty!

Rusty goodness is everywhere on the grounds at Northwind...

And we all probably know by now of this farm girl's obsession with a barn. This is one of the many little ones around the property. 


I have always had an obsession with doors! Simple beauty. It is what I love the most. 

But this one is my FAVORITE!!!! Wouldn't this make a fabulous Christmas card for Urban Farmgirl this year??! Hmmm....I think I just had an 'ah-ha' moment!

If you are from the Illinois/Wisconsin MUST make the trip to Northwind. (This weekend will be the last they are open for business for 2011.) Springtime here is the BEST! Amazing plants fill the farm   (just about everything for my landscaping comes from here) and in June they have an antique show on the grounds that I LOVE, too! When I was there on Sunday we talked a little about my being a vendor in 2012! I have a warehouse busting at the seams with things waaaay to large for Etsy. I think its time to let some go!

Ok, I have to get back to work. The Etsy shop needs stocking! Don't forget to take a peek tomorrow morning for new things!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

pharmacy cabinet potential...

I do the craziest things. 


I fly by the seat of my pants, jump in with both feet and hope it all turns out for the best. 

And I think this time I've done something that just might turn out to be quite fabulous!

Today my sweet hubs is taking me 5 hours to Indiana to pick up {FOUR} of these beautiful old pharmacy cabinets....once upon a time they were all lined up along the back wall behind a pharmacy counter. I found them in a little town in Indiana on my way to the Country Living Fair in September. They are so worth the trip back to pick them up! I hope you can see the potential like I do! 

( My apologies for the ugly photo...but I took it with my iPhone in a very dark antique shop. )

Not so spectacular now...but just you wait!

Each of the 4 cabinets has had a 1960s refinish job that went bad. Very, very bad. The pulls they put on are just tragic, the shelves hurt my eyes and the color of the stain....well...I am not having a love affair with that either. 

I plan on spending a little time this winter giving them the library pulls that would have been original...the kind that hold the little paper card - {LOVE!} 'old' shelves. I think the cabinet may reach out and hug me for making it pretty again. 

Happy Weekend, girls! 

Indiana here I come!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

are yours real or fake?

Ummmm...the subject of todays post is in Christmas Trees and Wreaths. 

Lets not let our minds go crazy places with what I am asking is real or fake, ok?

Trees. Wreaths. 

That is all. 

Just thought that title might wake everyone up this morning. 


Artificial trees & wreaths have always been part of my Christmas. My parents always had a 'fake' tree and I have 3 of them for our house, but truth be told, I {LOVE} the look of a real tree. 

I love the irregular shape, the smell, the natural look it has. It is just so "me".  

And to be honest, I love the idea of not having to store anything in my basement the 335 days of the year I am not using it. 

(By the way, isn't that mini flag bunting on the tree below just the cutest??? I am in love with it! I have a feeling we will be seeing bunting on one of our trees this year. It is just so simple and sweet. )

 I feel a little guilty about cutting down a living, thriving tree only to let it decorate my house for a month, then throw it to the curb as soon as its loveliness fades. But after talking to a blog friend on the phone last night, she has me feeling a little better about it. She pointed out tree farms grow Christmas trees just for this purpose, so I am not just randomly kiling an innocent tree. 

And I realize she probably things I am a total nut for even worrying about it in the first place. But I am making my annual trek to the Northwind Perennial Farm in Burlington, WI this weekend and I need to decide if I am going to come home with a tree strapped to my roof or not. 

(By the way...if you are anywhere near Southern Wisconsin and love big old barns, french pastries, gorgeous Christmas greens and fabulous antiques & home have to make the trek to Northwind. You can read about my visit last here and here. It is AMAZING!)

(all images can be found via my Pinterest board - Christmas)

So I just have to know, girls....


What are you doing this year? 

Monday, November 28, 2011

giveaway winner!

Happy Monday, girls!

Hope you had a wonderful Holiday weekend!

I am back today with the winners of my Artful Blogging magazine giveaway, then I am off to photograph things all day today for the Etsy shop! Stay tuned, I have some awesome finds getting posted later this afternoon!

But before I get to that, did you all download Heather's fabulous E-zine?? Nothing like a little eye candy...and can you's free!? You can sign up on Heather's blog, Post Road Vintage. I am between the virtual pages giving you a little info on how I transformed this cabinet for my home office. You can find some of my favorite bloggers in it, too!

Ok, onto the fun stuff....the 2 winners of the Artful Blogging magazine are:

The UnSoccer Mom

Kat from Pretty in Pink & Green

Congrats, girls! Email me so I can get your package on the way!

I am off to photograph some vintage goodness now...keep your fingers crossed I get sunshine all day today! Darn this Midwest winter weather!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Homebound e-zine!

I have some exciting new to share!

Heather, from the beautiful blog Post Road Vintage has put together a GORGEOUS new e-zine for everyone to enjoy...and I am so lucky to have been a part of it!

You may remember me showing you a "before" of the cabinet below on my blog last month....

(click here to subscribe)

Between the virtual pages of the e-zine, I am giving some info on how I took it from 'before' to 'after'!

You can also find projects and decor inspiration from some of my very favorite bloggers:

Andrea - Faded Plains
Carol - Raised in Cotton
Lynda - Lynda Naranjo Photography
Courtney - French Country Cottage
Heather - Post Road Vintage

If you would like to have pages of endless inspiration delivered straight to your email inbox, click here or below the photo above.

No spam...and best of all this Holiday doesn't cost a dime!

Just sharing the love of all things home...homemade...and vintage! I hope you will take a moment to check it out! It is Heather's very first e-zine, and I think she did a FABULOUS job!

I will be adding new goodies to my Etsy shop after the weekend, so stay tuned!

And there is still time to enter my giveaway! You could be one of 2 lucky readers to win a copy of Artful Blogging! Click here to enter!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thank you Artful Blogging...and a giveaway!

I just added one more thing to my list of things I am thankful for. 

I received an email a couple of months ago, asking if I would be willing to be featured as one of the bloggers highlighted in the issue they were working on. 

I thought for sure they had the wrong farmgirl. I mean, really....Moi?? In the pages of Artful Blogging? I double checked the email address, and read the email a few times before I answered. And sure enough, as crazy as it was...they were indeed asking me! Exciting, right?

I am forever grateful to Stampington & Co. and Jennifer Jackson Taylor for seeing a little something in my little corner of the world they wanted to share with all of you. 

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

You have no idea how you made a girl that constantly doubts herself...feel so very humbled and just plain happy!

I thought I would share a little of that happiness this weekend...I am giving away 2 copies of this gorgeous publication!

Some of my very favorite bloggers are in this issue...

Anne from Fiona & Twig 
Tracey from French Larkspur
Tricia from A Rosy Note

and one of my all time favorite photographers...

We are taking some serious eye candy between the pages! I am in good company, or what?

Just leave me a comment on this post, and I will draw 2 names Monday morning!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

 Have a happy, happy Holiday...and safe travels!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm flipping out...

Well, really just house-flipping, as they call it!

 I have been an absent blogger these last few weeks, so I thought I should explain a little. I have missed everyone...and THANK YOU so much for all the "Mary where are you??" emails! It sure makes a girl feel good to be missed! Here is the low-down on whats been going on in my world.

 I have been CONSUMED with trying to finish a house project we have taken on. The hubs and I do this about once every-other-year. We stumble on a house that had LOADS of potential but needs LOTS and LOTS of love. We give ourselves a time frame of 6 weeks to get the house done, and then its up for sale and ready to be a cozy new home for a new little family. 

I do 75% of the work...and I love every single minute! Choosing finishes, hanging light fixtures, painting walls...I just WISH I had more time to blog about it. 

Darn it. Reason #379 I need a personal assistant. Wouldn't it be fun to see this process step-by-step in real-world time...not edited HGTV time where it looks all fast and glamorous? Trust me, it is far from either one! Its exhausting and dirty but I looooove it so much!

Want to see photos of the house I am taking on at this very moment??

WARNING: The following photos may hurt your eyes. They may cause burning, stinging or for you to gasp out loud when you see them. We are talking some major ugly here, girls. 

Living Room

Living Room/Breakfast Nook

Bedroom #1

Bedroom #2

I cannot wait to make all those cherry-wood walls and ceiling beams bright white! 

It is a petite little house, which has unintentionally become my specialty. I have found a niche in the market of small starter homes, usually the buyer is a single, younger person. In my corner of the world, I have found the secret is making the house very "Pottery Barn". It appeals to the young, first time buyer that can't afford a large house with a large payment...BUT they cannot find what they like in their small price range. So, it has worked for me to make it cute...clean, simple, classically modern...and it sells fast every time! Lets pray this one goes the same way! 

The last time I sold a house we had redone, it was only 850 square feet..and I redid every single surface in the house for under $ had new and cute everything! Bathroom, kitchen, flooring, windows, gutters, fixtures....we had seven offers on the day of the very first open house. Crazy for this market!! I hear the same thing over and over when I sell this size of house "I can't find anything this nice in my price range". Bingo! If anyone is thinking of doing a project like this, small houses seem to be the way to go!

I am not even going to show you the kitchen or bathroom yet.  I didn't want to do that to you on a beautiful Monday morning. There are some painful 1970s memories going on in those rooms, so I will save it for when I can show the before-and-after in the same post. 

Happy Monday, girls! 

I am off to start my workday! Paintbrush, here I come!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm over at Vintage Junky today!

Just checking in to say hello to everyone! I really thought life would slow down a little and I would have more time to blog when my show season ended a few weeks ago...but the whirlwind continues!

I am a busy little bee setting up an Estate Sale at my hubs grandmother's home and planning the updates to her cute little bungalow in hopes of a quick sale when it is finally on the market. So don't forget about me! I will show you some of my projects as I go through the process of updating her cute little home. Sorting through 85 years of "life" has been all-consuming the last few weeks. But I am finding some amazing things I will be adding to my Etsy shop over the next few weeks!

And for some fun news...come see my post over at Vintage Junky today! Michelle is doing a fabulous series every Wednesday called "What I Keep" and I am spilling the secrets of the finds I just can't seem to part with! I'm even going to add a few new goodies to my Etsy shop in honor of the occasion!

I'll be back soon! I just need to get through this Estate Sale this weekend so I can breathe again!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

made-to-order roman shades??

Anyone out there know of a good source for made-to-order roman shades?

Maybe a fellow blogger...or an Etsy shop?? I like to support handmade, you know!

I am working on a master bedroom makeover, and I need to have some made to fit a large corner window.

Next question...anyone out there have a corner window like the one in the photo below?

Do you use drapes or another type of window treatment. Do tell!!

Most of the photos I have found on Pinterest or Google with corner windows show no type of window treatment at all. Not an option for a bedroom.

It is the HARDEST kind of window to dress, I swear! I would use white drapes, but then my hubs would have fabric hanging behind his nightstand, which seems kinda weird. (Our bed sits where you see the sofa in that photo, so his nightstand is positioned under the window for the most part.)

I thought a white roman shade would be a perfect solution. Our bedroom overlooks a large and private, somewhat wooded backyard, so privacy isn't a huge issue.

(all images via my pinterest)
Ideas, anyone?

Friday, October 14, 2011

let's talk halloween...

Every year the hubs and I organize our part of a Halloween event at our local museum.

It is SO. MUCH. FUN!

(I love seeing my 6'3" hubs wearing a mask that makes him yet 4" taller towering over the kiddos...they LOVE it!)

It gives our city's kids a safe and unique place to come out all dressed up and trick-or-treat. Behind the museum's main building is a town...a general store, an old hotel, a white clap-board church, a firehouse, a big barn. There are quite a few buildings and businesses, and they make up the most charming "Little House on the Prairie" type town. Each a historic building that has been moved from its original location to the Museum's ground. 

 A local business signs up to sponsor one of the buildings. They employees volunteer to decorate their building, they dress up in costume and  hand out candy to the kids. There are other events too, bobbing for apples, hayrides...the usual old-fashioned style fall party.

Last year my hubs was Frankenstein and I was Red Riding Hood.

(I never realized this until I uploaded this photo on the blog...there is a mini Red Riding Hood behind my hubs - so cute!!)

Oh, and just so you know...I cannot be held responsible for what looks like huge 1980's bangs piled high on my head.

I blame the hood.

I swear I don't walk through my normal life like that.

Anyway, I need help. Ideas. Creativity.

What should I go as this year?? Do I give Red Riding Hood one more run before I retire the outfit, or should I try something new?

Any ideas from all you creative ladies out there??

Oh, and for any of you in the Northern Illinois area, this event is soooo worth the trip out! It takes place at the Midway Village Museum in Rockford, IL next Friday October 22nd from 2-8pm. You can find me in the Police Station handing out goodies all day!