Friday, October 30, 2009

coming soon...I promise!

You girls are just the best! Thank you for taking my business card at the shows...and actually using them!
I cannot thank you enough for all the phone calls and emails...wondering when the heck I am going to get anything listed on Etsy!

Soon...I promise!

I have been working - literally - day and night on all the custom orders I received since the last show.

I hope to have the last one, a gorgeous dining room set, wrapped up and delivered by next weekend.
Who knows, maybe I will even show you pictures when I get it done!
Then I can concentrate on getting photos taken and edited...and finally get some goodies up on Etsy!

Oh, but I do have a twin and a full size bed up on Etsy now, for those of you that were asking.

Here are a couple pics of what will be going up...if you see something you like...
drop me an email...

I know, I know...thats only 3 pictures, but I have a china cabinet calling my name in the other room.
I better get painting!

UPDATE: Wow! I didn't even get them up on Etsy yet, and the 2 dressers sold! Thank you Kari & Jessica! More to come, so keep watching!

one man's trash...


Yes, that is what I was saying as I was jumping up and down in the middle of the street yesterday!

Can you belive someone threw this beauty in the trash???
But I am soooo glad they did!
She is HUGE...and super heavy.
And the garbage truck was just 3 houses down...I guess it was meant to be.

She is just so much more beautiful in person!

~ *sigh* ~

I am just in love with those gorgeous old lead details...

I believe I have just added a new neighborhood to my garabage night cruise...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


So I am you ever walk through your home...
and realize just how much you own?

I have been thinking a lot lately about the "things" I have around my house...and just how important they are to me.
The trinkets and possessions I have collected along the way of life.

There are loads of old white ironstone dishes...tarnished and worn silver...old clocks...lots of old kitchen scales....and even a big ol' white butcher's scale. Oh, and mirrors...I think the old mirror buying needs to stop for a while. There are enough seashells to fill a beach somewhere and if I recycled all my old metal pieces...which I will never do...I could pay for a dream vacation. I love all these things. But I would not say they are "important" to me. As much as I love them, I am just not a material person.

So where am I going with this?
I am not really sure to be honest with you.
I just have been thinking about this the last couple days...
so here it goes.

A friend of mine owns an estate sale company.
She is hired to take over a person's home, sort their posessions and get them tagged and ready for sale.
Lately, I have been helping her, and I have to say, I am always a little uneasy when I first walk into a home.

I walk room to room, trying to decide where to start.
Really, how do you begin to look through someone's drawers and closets when you have never met them before?
I see things that were seemingly so important to them in their lives.
Designer clothes in the drawers...and shoes in the closets.
China and crystal filling a cabinet in a dining room that was barely used. A jewelry box full of sparkly treasures.

Usually, these sales are for an older person that has passed away or moved to care facility.
Their story is usually very similar to the one from the sale before it.
But the sale I worked on this week was different.

The person that owned the home was young.
44 years young.
And she passed away unexpectedly.
Even though I didn't know her, I find myself thinking about her.
She woke up one day, took a shower...
 and started her day just like any other.
Little did she know that would be the last time she used her favorite perfume.
The last time she would choose her outfit for the day.
I have such a problem wrapping my mind around things like that.

As I looked around her home, I was amazed at how my 'things' she owned.
I mean seriously, I don't think I could own this much in my whole lifetime.
I believe she must have had quite a shopping habit.
100s and 100s of books, all sorted by subject and title.
2 armoires...clothes armoires...full of jewelry.
Statues and trinkets...enough to fill a store.
And the Christmas decorations...woah...I stopped counting at 18 trees.
It seemed as though she surrounded herself with things she really loved.
But I couldn't help but wonder why she felt the need to have so much.

Working on this sale made me feel I need to take inventory of my life. Weed out what is important to me...and what is terms of posessions.

I have always lived "simply" I guess you could say.
I don't even have a "junk drawer". And I hate clutter.
I like a great pair of jeans, but I don't care to have 20 of them.
I love shoes, but you won't find loads of those in my closet either.
I do think I need to purge a few purses...I get a little crazy with those.
And the ironstone dish and old scale addiction may need to be put on hold for a while.

I think it is a good thing once in a while to have something like this put you in check.
To realize I need to stop circling things in the Pottery Barn catalog that I want to order...and to put back one out of the 3 sweaters I found at TJ Maxx before I check out.

I want a fabulous home, with fabulous things. But I want those things to be unique...not lost in a sea of "collections". I want to be able to enjoy what I have and not feel burdened by it. Am I just having a hormonal week...or does this make any sense at all?

Maybe I am the only one that thinks of things like this...but honestly...I am so glad I do.

(images 1-6 Country Living, 7 unknown)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

its a slow cooker kind of day...

Its a cold, rainy day here in the Midwest today.
I am going to have this simmering in my crock pot thought I would share.
Quite possibly one of the best soups I have ever had.
And it makes your house smell fabulous!

This is super easy to make, but I admit...
I sometimes use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store if I am in a hurry.


1 lg. onion (chopped)
1 (16 oz) can chili beans
1- (15 oz) can black beans
1 (15 oz) can corn, drained
1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
1 (12 once) bottle of beer
2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can diced green chilis
1 (1.25oz) taco seasoning
3 boneless chicken breasts
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream
tortilla chips

Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer and diced tomatoes in your slow cooker.
Add taco seasoning and stir.
Lay your chicken breasts on top of the mixture, and press down until they are covered.
Set your slow cooker on low...and cook for 5 hours.

Remove Chicken breasts and shred with 2 forks.
Return the shredded chicken to the soup and stir.
Cook for 2 more hours on low.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

~ Enjoy! ~

Monday, October 19, 2009

my name is Mary...and I am addicted to beadboard

Seriously. I think I have a problem with my love for beadboard.
I want it everywhere...walls..ceilings...and I want it all to be white.
I want the real deal...the 3/4" boards...salvaged pieces would be fantastic...they are just so pretty.
I especially love it with layered paint...

Check out this mirror. I did a little happy dance when I realized I have the my warehouse...ready to be painted.
I love moments like that.

(photo: Country Home Magazine)

I just started a reno on my home office space. It is the smallest bedroom in my house...about 13x11.
Would it make a small room seem smaller if I added beadboard to the ceiling?
Would I be crazy to add beadboard over perfectly fine plaster??
Wait...maybe I don't care if it is crazy.
I am so lucky "the man" in this house thinks all my ideas are awesome.
He just wants what I want.

(photo: Old House Journal)

Texture. My other 'obsession'.
Love the old wood walls next to the smooth clawfoot tub.

(photo: Country Living)

I am in LOVE with this powder room!
I am trying to find a way to incorporate a window like this in my home.
Fabulous idea for a divided wall.

(photo: Country Living)

This bathroom has my two favs in one space!
Beadboard..and gray marble.
And the door on the window in this bathroom??
I need it.
Thats all I can say.

(photo: unknown...drop me an email if you know!)

The ceiling in the picture below is my dream for when I start my kitchen reno.
The farmhouse I grew up in had a ceiling like this in the dining room.
I miss that house so much.
Funny how you don't appreciate things like a big ol' farmhouse it until you are older.

(photo: unknown...drop me an email if you know!)

So I want to there anyone else out there that shares my beadboard love??
I would love to hear if anyone has it on their ceiling!
Send me pictures!! I want to hear all about it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

book love...

My latest obsession is old books.
I love the typography...the old binding.
I especially have a love for books of a foreign language.
They were just so much more beautiful 100 years ago.

This past weekend, when we were out for "girls day" I happened upon a sign that said "barn sale".
When I see that...there is no stopping me.
I drive a little fast, roll through stop signs.
Everyone in the car knows they are just along for the ride at that point.
I think I may have a problem, really.

 We had 4 miles of a gorgeous fall drive through winding country roads with incredible orange and yellow foliage, so you would think the 3 other girls in the car would have been grateful for that...even if a "barn sale" was not their thing!

And then I saw it...a big 'ol barn with junk treasures all over the place. Old metal beds, rusty wagons, piles of old metal baskets...I was in heaven, I tell you!

I made my way inside...and on a shelf...calling me...were these beauties.

Now, I will friends just didn't get it. To them they were ready for the fireplace.
But not me..I had to have them.
The old paper covers, adorned with lovely old German script and numbers.
They date from the could you not want to give them a little love?

29 of them in all.
Check out the the old family tree!

Their home is going to be on a new bookshelf in my sunroom. We removed a doorway in lieu of a built in bookcase. It'is DIY every day around this house!
I'll show you their new home as soon as soon as it is painted and pretty!

Monday, October 12, 2009

oven luvin

Sunday was a "girls day". I love those days.
 Shopping, eating, laughing...and it was a gorgeous sunny fall day, too.
We decided to go to an art show in Galena, IL...a charming historic town full of shops about an hour from here. We hit the Galena Country Fair while we were there. It is an art/craft fair that is usually quite fabulous.

 Usually this show has a couple hundred artisans and I buy way more than I should. But this time was different. The vendors were different than they have been in the past. We went through a few isles, and I have to admit...we were feeling a little disappointed.
Just too many country crafts for our liking.
Please don't be offended if you like a cozy for your tissue box or a goose in crazy clothes outside your front door. Thats just not quite what we were looking for.

Anyway, what I am getting at is the fact that I am a "tough critic".
I see so many fabulous things on Etsy and from all you talented girls in blogland...that it takes a lot to impress me these days.
So let me tell you how thrilled I was when I saw this cute polka-dot tent!

Oven Luvin...what a great name...The 2 lovely ladies in the back are Jessica & Liz.
Their mom, Peggy is in the striped sweater.

They sell handmade aprons for mothers, daughters and their dolls...casserole covers...oven mitts
...among other goodies!
Now, let me tell you...normally casserole covers don't get me this excited. In fact, I can't remember the last time I used one...but thanks to these ladies...I am on a mission to bring something to a Holiday dinner this year wrapped up on one of these babies! Who knew I could make my contribution to Thankgiving dinner delicious...and unbelievably cute??

I love, love, love their aprons...I now know who is going to make me a couple of new aprons for my show season next year...the quality is fabulous...yes, thats right...I am a girl that checks out the seams. One of those people. For me, its all in the details.

And did I mention that on top of their talent...girls were just so darn cute?!
I am so buying myself a pair of boots like this.

Check out their many pretty things...Christmas is coming, girls!

Jessica and two were so great to talk to! You are both just the best! Thank you for giving us something to be excited about at the show! Who knew an apron could make my day??

Thursday, October 8, 2009

bedroom love...

It is such a cold and wet fall night tonight...
I decided to peruse for a little inspiration for my upcoming bedroom reno.

 ~ Enjoy! ~

I love, love, love the brick wall...I've always had a thing for "urban loft" style.
Amazing how they used a vintage vs. industrial look...I could so live here.

Ahhh....a breath of fresh air. I can never have enough white.

I would say this one is the closest to my personal style.
Love it. Love everything about it.

Gorgeous...reminds me of a French chateau...

I am crazy about this room. Then again, I am pretty much Layla's #1 stalker fan.
I am so excited...I can't wait to have her design for me.
Simple. Beautiful. Perfect.

Last but not least...this one feeds my "grey obsession".
I could slip into this bed and stay for days!

(all photos from

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

until we meet again...

October marked our last show for the year at the Kane County Flea Market.
I am going to miss you girls!
But...not to worry...I will still be painting throughout the winter!

I thought I would show you some of my favorite moments from the last show. I didn't have much time to take pictures because we were so darn busy...but that is a problem I love to have!

This is Bailey. I always think there is something so cool about a teenager that loves vintage things.
She is young, but very mature and had an elegant way about her...and those legs...I would kill for them.
She worked a summer job as a dance instructor (hence the legs)...and used the money she saved to buy herself this vanity table, mirror and chair.
Oh, and that frame around her neck, too...silly girl.
I hope to see her next year.

This was probably my most talked about piece this month.
It sat right out front, yelling out to everyone that walked by.
Soooo many people stopped and stared, commenting on its beauty.
In its former life it was a buffet...but with the legs made shorter my thought was a window seat...or for a chest at the end of a bed...or to hold a flat screen.
And that is exactly what its new owner is going to use it for. Her husbands huge, manly TV is going to sit on top of this wonderfully girly, ornate, white, antique buffet.
I love it.

This pretty much sums it up for me...

I am so happy I had the opportunity to meet this couple!
Romey is on the left and her boyfriend is Thorbin.
So not fair they are this good looking, geesh!
They are here from Germany, and came to the Market for the first time.
They were looking for furniture...and spent quite a long time at our booth.
It was so much fun talking to them and hearing about their life here and in Germany!

They purchased a dining table and chairs.
Oh, and Thorbin left me a voicemail yesterday about a couple other pieces he wants to pick up.
I am not erasing that message for a while. I love an accent, what can I say??

I am so happy so many of you stopped to say how you are going to miss us over the winter. That means so much. When I started this adventure, I never thought schlepping 2 trucks of furniture to a flea market every month would bring me so many wonderful friends. You girls are the best!

Call me...or soon you can find my goodies on Etsy...but give me a couple of weeks to recover from the show. I hope to have everything ready to post online by the end of the month.

And to answer all those questions from those of you that are "local" to the Chicago area...YES...I will be making monthly deliveries to St. Charles and Schaumburg with your orders. Email me for details!