Tuesday, January 31, 2012

vintage junky giveaway...

I just wanted to spread the love and be sure you all heard about a {FANTASTIC} giveaway going on over at Vintage Junky! Michelle and her husband are so generous...she is giving away one of her his gorgeous creations on her blog - a custom chalkboard created for one lucky winner!!

When she first announced a few months ago that he was going to be selling his work in a new Etsy shop, I was so excited! I snapped one up right away for my booth at the flea this summer!

I am going to made a frame from salvaged wood and hang it near the checkout.

{LOVE it!}

It was adapted from this gorgeous sign I saw in the Custom Chalk Etsy shop....

I think this one is pretty awesome...my sister would LOVE one of these! I think my birthday shopping for this year just got reeeeeally simple...

But then there is this sign...the sign of ALL signs...I not-so-secretly covet this one. We are talking full-blown love affair here. And sadly, this ones not for sale. It is a special one created just for Michelle.

Lucky girl.


I am heading to Nashville at the end of February, and can't way to stop into Michelle's new store while I am there. I'm gonna wear a reeeaaallly big coat so I can stuff this under it on my way out the door. I don't think she will notice, do you?


The giveaway ends tomorrow! So head over to the Vintage Junky blog to see get your name in, girls!

(all photos courtesy of Vintage Junky and used with permission)

Good luck, girls!

If you are the lucky winner, I want to hear about it!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

why I've been MIA...

Whew! What a CRAZY couple of weeks!

I have been working an absolutely insane amount of hours on the little house the hubs and I gave CPR to and put up for sale. (I decided I dislike the term "flipping a house") I think in the last 11 days, I worked a minimum of 13 hours each day at this house.  That would be my excuse for not getting a blog post up for...well...forever. For some reason I decided this house needed to go up for sale this week, so there was this huge push to get it done. My hubs was working all week, so it was kinda all up to me. What was I thinking? I can tell you what I am thinking now...Calgon, take me away! (someone please tell me they remember that commercial!)

Here is a "progress" photo. My hubs thought he was helping me out with the "staging' today. I walked in the bathroom, and he had hung the shower curtain and a couple towels. He is so cute...but he better not quit his day job. I had to kinda change it up, but lets not tell him, ok? I don't want to hurt his feelings. You know how guys are, they do one little thing and want a round of applause for it. {hee...hee...} Although I did think it was cute when I saw he had folded the toilet paper end like they do in hotels. 

I will try to get a photo of the {correctly} staged bathroom this week if I have time. I didn't plan on showing you these photos, I took these just as a reference for us to use on the next house, but then I decided what the heck! I will throw a little reality at you tonight and you can see it in the "during" stage. 

Here is what we had to start with. 


It hurts my eyes to even look at it! I had forgotten how bad it was until I uploaded these photos tonight. Wow. What was I thinking when I signed on for this project?

Who ever decided "flesh" was a good shade for toilets, sinks and tubs?

And you just have to loooove that space-age vanity cabinet. All metal, baby!

This is a tiny little starter home...only about 1000 square feet. This is only one bathroom in the house. I have learned from experience that when I reno houses like this, it is best to keep things clean and simple. It is not how I would decorate my own home, but it does seem to be what buyers in this price point, and in my area, are looking for.

The flooring is a new product put out by Allure. They have a standard planked-strip vinyl, and a new one which I used, call Allure Ultra. It clicks together much like Pergo, but is 100% vinyl so can be used in wet spaces like bathrooms and basements. I {LOVE} the look, it has a hand-scraped rustic look to it. 

 I always use the same beadboard painted white, the same white vanity and tan Corian top. Buyers always seem to love it, so I just keep using it. I think its so funny that there are multiple houses in my city that all have the same exact bathroom. I'm sure some paint the walls their own color, but I use white because it gives them a blank slate to work with once they move in. And it makes a space look so crisp and clean!

The tub was in incredible condition, other than the mildew and awful color. Oh, and the stick-on daisy appliqués in the bottom of the tub. I decided rather than tear it out, I would have it professionally reglazed. For $500 it was the best solution for this house. I know 2 people personally that had their tubs glazed by this same man. One lasted 15 years, the other 17 before they had to be redone. I thought that was a pretty good track record, so I gave it a try. 

I am happy to have life back to normal again. It was not an easy week. I was feeling achy and old every night when I got home! I lost 4 pounds in the process, so that made me a little happy! But now I have to get back to reality with mounds of laundry waiting for me...dishes piled up by the sink and tumbleweeds of dog hair floating through my hallway. 


I am off to find that Calgon. If you don't hear from me for a few days, I really did take me away. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

your questions...answered. part 1

Last week, when I wasn't feeling well...I asked if you girls had any questions for me. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get so many! Well over a 100...so I think I best break my answers down into multiple posts. I didn't know so many of you would be so curious about this Urban Farmgirl! 

This post is a little wordy and very random. Just so you know. Oh, and I am going to keep you in suspense and announce the winner of my little giveaway that went along with the questions when I answer the next round in a couple days. 


So let's dig right in, shall we??

"Is that sweet little toy truck in the photo actually yours or just a random photo?"

I am the proud owner of that sweet little ride. I found it at an auction...and got it for a steal - only $6. It is one of the possessions that qualifies for "save it if the house is burning down". 

"What is your favorite source for vintage home goods?"
Hmmmm...that is a tough one to answer, because you truly never, ever know what you are going to find. I looooove a yard sale, but estate sales and auctions are my most consistent means of supporting my 'habit'. 

"Do you know the people in the truck photo that is in the header of your blog?"
I have no idea who the guy in the truck was! I will say this, it was like a moment out of a movie when that photo was taken. The hubs and I were driving through rural Kansas and I spotted the tailgate far ahead. I freaked out because I just KNEW it was going to be a cute truck. My hubs (being the AWESOME man that he is) drove Nascar style until we caught up to it. I was snapping pics all the way up to it, beside it, and after we passed it by. And can you believe the guy driving it was good looking, shirtless, tan...and wearing aviator sunglasses? If I didn't live to talk about it, I was SWEAR I had died and was driving on the highway to heaven! I mean, when does that happen???

(bad photo, sorry. taken out a car window while going 70 down the highway!)

Have you ever seen the scene in Chevy Chase's Vacation movie where he see's Christie Brinkley driving the Ferrari down the interstate. If so, you will understand why me and the hubs refer to that moment in my life as my "Christie Brinkley Moment." It will go down in history as one of the best moments on a vacation I have ever had.

"What kind of camera/set up/editing tools do I use"
Hmmm...so have I fooled you all into thinking I actually know what I am doing when I am behind my camera?? Hahaha! I received a number of emails complimenting my photography and wanting to know how I learned to take photos. Here is my 100% honest answer. 

{ I have absolutely no idea how to use my camera. } 

Most days I turn it on, and hope for the best. 

There. The facade has been broken down. I can tell you I have a Canon T1i I bought a couple of years ago. BUT, I am soooo busy hunting for my treasures, painting furniture, renovating 2 houses and trying to have some sort of life...I have yet to find time to figure how how to use it. I will tell you I have a TON of great tutorials saved in my Pinterest files, and I am going to take a class a local photographer offers. I also own Photoshop, but have yet to figure that out. I use Picnik.com to edit my photos right now. For lenses, I   I normally use the kit lens (18-55mm) but for some of my Etsy photos I use my 50mm.

"What is your all time favorite comedy movie"
Wow, that is a tough one! I am kinda old school when it comes to comedy. "What About Bob" with Bill Murray is one of my all time favorites. I never, ever get tired of that one! I love the Chevy Chase/Bill Murray/Steve Martin/John Candy era of comedy. Totally 80s. 

"If you could go anywhere, where would it be?"
Impossible for me to pick only one! I cannot play favorites when it comes to travel. I have wanderlust flowing through my veins! My parents made sure we were well traveled when I was growing up. They wanted us to see the world. As a little kid we went everywhere - from camping at state parks to traveling by train through Europe. If I had to pick tropical I would say The US Virgin Islands or Bora Bora. I MUST stay in one of those little huts out over the water someday. But Norway is at the top of my list, too. I feel it is an overlooked country in terms of travel. It is sooooo beautiful! 

"What is your favorite meal in the history of the world?" {If I couldn't decided, said I could give my top 5 favorite foods, so I'm going with that one.}
- Pasta. Specifically the Rigatoni D from Maggianos restaurant. If for some wacky reason I am ever on death row, I told my husband to make sure that is my last meal. 

- Ice Cream. Not the soft serve kind...the good old fashioned kind that involves using a scoop. Mint Chip, Cookies and Cream, Butter Pecan...those are my favs. 

- Bread. Any kind. I have never met a slice I didn't like. 

- A cheeseburger with everything from Portillos restaurant. My Chicago area peeps will know why. Its pure heaven!

- A Dole Whip Float. It is Pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice.  (These can only be found at Aloha Isle under the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse in DisneyWorld. You will see me in line there once a day when I go there this June, and again in September. LOVE!)

"Do you sell smalls at the flea market? I just saw your Etsy shop and love it!"
Well, I get asked this one a lot. And right now, I still plan on selling only furniture at the flea market. I am just so busy with the furniture, I find I can't divide my time in order to do it properly with a good set up, etc. However, I do bring things for customers to pick up at the flea all the time! If you see something you like, just let me know and you are welcome to pick it up in my booth!

Ok, that has probably bored you enough for one day!

I am off to work on the house were 'flipping' today. I need to finish painting the kitchen cabinets and install some lights today. Oh, and tear out a counter top and sink. This should be interesting to do all by myself. The hubs is working today - convenient, no?

Happy Thursday, girls! The weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

this is SO four months ago...

I was going through the card from my camera this morning...and realized that of the 2,134 photos that were on it, I had some good shots from my trip to the Country Living Fair that I never showed you. This is totally old news...and maybe I should have just filed these away, but decided they should make their debut after all. 

{I hear there is a 3rd Country Living Fair this year! And it is coming soon! April 27-29 in Austin, TX}

These first four photos were from the same booth...I can't seem to locate their card, but I remember they were from New York. I have no idea why I didn't buy that lodging sign. I was in love with it, and came back to their booth 4 times to look at it. I think I was visually overwhelmed. There was so much to see I wanted it all! But this would have been perfect in my guest room. 


A fun sign for a kitchen...

If my name was Sarah...this one would have been mine!

Great Stuff By Paul was there selling all sorts of European antiques. My friend Andrea ordered some French Bistro chairs from their website, and I was all set to bring some home with me...but the colors I wanted were already gone. Although, now that I see it again, that pink one would have been quite nice for a photo prop!

Love me some suitcases!!

This cabinet is another one of those {KICK MYSELF!} moments. I need to dig up the card from this booth and see if she still has this one. Seriously, does't it remind you of Maria's cabinet from Dreamy Whites?

Modern June's booth is always 10 kinds of happiness! Isn't all that color fantastic!!?

We snuck over to the flea market in Springfield, OH while we were there. Cabinets like these were EVERYWHERE, and I didn't think the prices were too bad. This one was $425. 

Oh, and I think I was going to tell you about this a while ago...but I had a great meeting with Cari Cucksey from the HGTV show Cash & Cari. I was the first one in her booth {I headed straight there when the gates opened}. Everyone else started at the first booths inside the gate, which was nice because I actually got a chance to talk to her for a   while. We are BFF's you know...since I set up Estate Sales like she does, I have deemed it so. Her show is actually very accurate to how the process of having an estate sale works. Nice to see something that isn't staged.

She was very nice and down to earth. I was going to show you the photo of us together...but this girl is
 T-I-N-Y! I look like Godzilla standing next to her, so you are so not seeing that one. Isn't she just so cute? She has a great boho-vibe about her. She is getting married this fall, and is having her wedding in a barn. That, my friends, is going to be awesome...and I can't wait to see the photos!

Country Living had huge banners all over the grounds with photos from the pages of their magazine. This one caught my eye. So yes, I took a photo of a photo. Isn't that sink AMAZING!!?

Nothing is off limits when I have my camera. If I like your boots, I will shamelessly take a photo of you as you walk away. But these were just the perfect shade of gray! I should have asked her the brand....I am still slightly obsessed with them.

When I road-trip, it takes a little longer to get to your destination than a normal person. I stop constantly. Do brake hard, do u-turns on 4 lane roads...all in the name of beautiful things! I saw this old house outside of a small town in Indiana on my way to CL. In her prime, she was such a beauty. Look at the moulding around each window! She needs to be saved!!

Ooohh...this was another u-turn moment. I have a {LOVE} of the old, 1-story motels from the 1940s and 50s. I have a secret little dream to own one someday. This one in a small town in Indiana has been turned into an apartment complex, but the sign was still out front. Oh, how I would love to own it!! The pale aqua background was so beautiful...

Just in case you are interested in going...here are the dates of this year's Country Living Shows. 

April 27th - 29th - Austin, TX
September 14-16 - Columbus, OH
October 26-28th  -Atlanta, GA

I am off to take Etsy photos today! I have some goodies to list in the shop tonight. Here is a run-down in case anything sounds interesting! I have an old white scale, small metal pie safe cabinet, swedish books, a few old metal toolboxes, crusty old bottles, ironstone plates and platters, old sign letters...and whatever else I pull out of my 'archives'. So check back - I will start filling this shop this afternoon!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

right now...

I never really like to do a picture-less post. We all love the pictures, you know. But tonight, I just felt the need to do this post. Susan (Hometown Girl) did this one last week...she got the idea from Tara (Between You & Me), so I thought it only fitting I follow suit (with permission, of course). Thanks, Susan for letting me copy you inspiring me!

I am starting to feel better...thank goodness! Thank you for all the well wishes, I will announce the winner of my giveaway on Monday and then start answering all those questions you left for me!

So here is what I am doing...right now.

watching: American Pickers. I just turned it on, and it is the episode where they are in my town, picking an old warehouse that is not far from mine!! How weird is that?? 

eating: Don't tell my Beachbody coach, but I just had pizza for dinner. And italian salad. And maybe a little cheesy garlic bread. Hey, I'm doing the P90X workout. I haven't eaten real food since I was blessed with this lovely virus. I thought a few calories should be part of my Friday night plan. Feed a cold, right??

drinking: I have switched from the throat soothing Diet 7-up to Hot Apple Cider with a splash of orange juice. Bliss!

needing: To take my Christmas wreath down from by my front door.  It slaps me in the face every day when I get home, but yet I cannot remember 10 seconds after I walk in the door to take it down. 

wearing: Ooooooh, you are all going to stop reading after this. Brace yourself. Light green fuzzy polar fleece pjs with a pepto-bismol pink polar fleece robe over them. Oh, and slipper-boots. I looove slippers that are tall like boots. My favorite thing - ever!

 I have been sick. I wanted comfort. Don't judge.

avoiding: Filing the 1,698 pieces of paper on my desk. Paper is my nemesis. 

feeling: Sinus pressure. 

missing: The ability to breathe through BOTH my nostrils at the same time. 

thankful: For Pinterest and my iPhone. Talk about a way for a girl to pass the time! I am in line at the grocery store pinning away...I just cannot be idle for one moment in my life. It's a sickness I tell you. I must do multiple things at all times. 

weather: 36 hours ago it was sunny and 54 degrees here in Illinois. Within in the last 24 hours we got whopped with 6-8 inches of snow and the official temperature right now is 7 degrees. Gotta love the Midwest!

praying for: This is a shallow answer, but I am going to an auction this weekend at an old sign factory. It is full of old signs and an antique card catalog I have my eye on. Please, please, please let me come home with a full truck! I never thought I would say this, but I am soooo excited to stand in 23 degree weather for 6 hours just to see what I can snag at this one!

needing to: Finish the house I am 'flipping' with my hubs. It seriously needs to be on the market by the end of the month. Tomorrow I have to paint kitchen cabinets and some pretty new beadboard in the bathroom, and I am sooooooo not feelin' it. Why oh why have I lost my DIY mojo?? If someone finds, please let me know. I am sure my hubs will offer a reward. 

thinking: That if I hear Mike from American Pickers say "I'll pop on that" one more time in this episode...I am going to get in my car, drive through the night to LeClair Iowa and just let the man have it.

Ok. Sorry. I'm over it now. But while I was typing this, I swear he said that phrase 6,245 times! Alright already!

loving: These boots. Aren't they fantastic?? I NEED them!


Happy Weekend, girls!

I'll be back on Monday! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

new goodies in the shop!

FINALLY! I am starting to feel alive again! I am still not 100%, but I needed to get up and do something today to force myself into getting better. I am not used to being down this long. It makes me c-r-a-z-y!

Anyway, I couldn't do too much...but I did get a few new things in listed in my Etsy shop, so thought I would give you a peek!

A beautiful Swedish cookbook...dated 1899. This one is a GEM! 

I have 2 of these metal baskets...perfect patina, great size! Storage should be cute and efficient!

These old opera glasses would be perfect perched on top of a pile of old books...

And you must know by now how I {loooooove} old metal toolboxes! I use them for storage all over my house! My studio has a line of them up on a shelf! I can just grab it and go when I have to create on the run! 

And I cannot believe someone has not taken home these gorgeous french vanity jars yet! I listed these a couple days ago...they are quite large...an unusual size, so would really make a statement if you have a shelf or long bathroom counter!

Oh, and here we go with my toolbox obsession again! It it was not the middle of winter int he Midwest, I would have styled this old beauty full of pink peonies! Spring is just around the corner..this would be a cutie for the middle of your dining room table! {wink...wink...}

Well, that is about all the energy I can muster for today. I guess it is back to the couch of me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better! I need to squeeze a little TLC out of the hubs tonight. (Hey, I have to milk it while I can, right!) 

I can't believe how many questions you girls came up with for me on my last post! We are over 100...I had no idea you girls would be THAT curious! Thanks for taking the time...each one was fun to read, I can't way to get the posts going with the answers!


I'll be back tomorrow! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Q&A...and a giveaway!

Hey, that title rhymed!

Not too bad for a girl that is delirious with a head cold and bronchitis right now! I have one whopper of a virus right now, and I just can't seem to shake it. Ugh. 

I thought since I don't have enough brain cells to compose a post today we would do something a little fun...

I'm holding a little Q& A session for the Urban Farmgirl!

Ask away! 

Anything you would like to know about me personally...or my little biz...my home...you name it! Just leave me a comment on this post with your question. I always wonder about the girl behind the blog, so I know you probably do, too! 

And just to add a more little fun, I will hold a little GIVEAWAY to go along with it!  I will randomly choose one winner from the questions and send them a little surprise package of vintage goodies! (I have some awesome things set aside...but it's a secret...so shhhhh!)

I can't wait to see what you come up with! Its been a while since I have done this but it is always fun to read through your questions!

Happy Monday, girls! I am off to curl up on the sofa...

Oh, and on a side note...did you know that if you suffer from those crazy coughing fits  - rubbing Vics vapor rub on the bottom of your feet and putting socks on stops the coughing?? I know, sounds TOTALLY crazy...but a friend told me about it, apparently her Grandma swore by the method. After another sleepless night last night,  I was desperate enough to try it. My hubs insisted she was pulling some practical joke on me...and I did feel a little weird doing it, but I have to admit, it actually worked! I have not coughed once since I tried it. That is my helpful hint for the day! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

i {heart} pine...

I am hoping to get a little makeover to my home office completed this month. Notice I say 'this month'...I am always amazed when I visit a blog and see someone complete a room transformation in just a few days. How do they do that?? I have to sneak a few minutes in here and there between client orders, working on the house we are flipping and the never-ending laundry pile. Please tell me I'm not the only one that takes this long??

Anyway, I use the smallest bedroom in our home or my office. The room is only 10x12 and the interior wall that is only 10 feet, has 7 1/2 feet of closet on it. The two outside walls have huge windows on them. Each one is 4 ft wide x 5 feet tall. Those are big windows for such a little room, so it makes furniture placement a little tricky. 

I have an 'odd' corner between those windows, and nothing every really seemed to work right in that space. I walked in to the room last week, and I decided it was time, literally, to do something with this room. I have those moments...I ignore a space and then like flipping a switch I decide its time to change it up. As in RIGHT. NOW. My hubs probably thinks I am crazy. But, he goes along with my whims without saying a word, so we drove to my warehouse to see if I had anything on hand I could use. 

And there, buried waaaay in the back I found this old girl...

I picked her up at an auction last winter, hoping I would find a place for her - someday. 

I cannot tell you how much I love this cupboard! The perfect piece to go with my crisp white walls. Thank goodness I never sold this piece. I can't wait to fill her with pretty things...

Since we are on the subject of my home office....I'll show you a few inspiration pics from my Pinterest files that I am using for this space. 

I also found this exact.same.desk while I was dragging things out at my warehouse. It is solid oak...an old teacher's desk from our school district. It is being painted white as we speak, I hope to have it finished up and in place this weekend. 

Above the desk, I am thinking I need a bulletin board. I rather love the 'unstructured' style of this one...

Maybe that would help tame the 6,247 pieces of paper that somehow accumulate on the top of my desk. 

Well girls, Happy Wednesday to you! 

I am off to pack Etsy orders. I loaded the shop with some new things last night and they went so fast! I am going through the treasures from my grandmother's home right now...so if you see a lot of roses this week, that is why. She loved her pink roses!

Monday, January 2, 2012

well hello, 2012...I have plans for you!

It has been a fantastic couple of weeks around here! I hope all of you had wonderful Holidays! I have some blog reading to catch up on so I can get up to speed on what you have been up to! 

First of all, I have to start by sayingTHANK YOU for making 2011 so incredible for me! Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to stop by my little corner of the blog world and for all your support of my Etsy shop and my booth at the flea market. You are what make it possible for me to do what I love and be able to make a living doing it. To hunt, to gather, to create. It truly fills my soul to be able to spend my life exploring nooks and crannys...all in the hope of bringing a little piece of happiness into your home.

 {HUGS to all of you!}

I don't usually get into all the "New Year" hubbub, but for some reason this year I am feeling refreshed and renewed! 2012 already has some AMAZING things on the horizon for me, both professionally and personally. I don't really do 'resolutions' but there are a few things that I am so stinkin' excited to change around here! There is something about turing that first page on a new calendar makes all things seem possible!

One BIG thing for me that is going to change...my business. I am sooooo excited to revamp things a little  so I can improve on aspects of it I have let take a backseat for too long! Yes, that means blogging. I really need to be better about posting more often. I just have an insane amount of furniture to paint for clients, everything else just seems to fall to the wayside when I have deadlines. But, I am going to change that this year.  I am not saying I am going to do a daily post, because quite frankly, that is just unrealistic for me. But there are going to be more project posts, more business information posts (I get so many emails about that, I think a post once in a while is the best way to answer everyones questions) and I swear I will actually take time out of the craziness to show you inside my home. I know, I know...I have been so bad about that, because I have been all work and no play for so many years now. It is time to bust out of my old ways...and do things a little differently! Do what I want to do...not what I feel obligated to do. 

And for my Chicagoland friends that shop my space at the flea market in St. Charles...my 2012 schedule is now on my sidebar. I have will still have my regular space with the sea of white furniture you love so much...but this spring I will be rolling out a new line of custom made pieces. Everything will be made from salvaged bits from old barns and farmhouses. Just think old chippy paint and naturally weathered wood. Farm tables, locker-inspired cabinets...I am soooo excited about it! I have had this in the works for so long, I am over-the-moon I could finally make it happen!

I am considering offering some of my furniture for sale on my blog, too. A special piece here and there, just for fun.

(all photos are via my Pinterest board 'words to live by')

And while we are on the subject of new things...before Christmas, I had a fabulous Saturday spent with 3 new blog friends and it was such a great time! Stacey, from A Sort of Fairytale and I went to the Tattered Tiques sale in Lake Barrington, IL (their next sale is Jan. 13-15th...if you live around Chicagoland, you MUST go!). Two sisters, Anne & Julie, have an incredible space and they are HILARIOUS! Just my kind of girls! Isn't it AMAZING when you meet someone you have only known through their writing and there is an instant 'click'? So rare and so awesome when it happens!


Happy New Year, friends!

I am off to eat a little dinner and cozy up by the fire with my hubs. It was a nippy 20 degrees here and really windy today. Brrrrr!