Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thank You, A Question Answered and an Award

I am still humbled by how many people have have emailed me or left kind comments in the last week or two leading up to and after my CS visit. I still have to pinch myself sometimes. People that know me well know that I don't think it is the end all or be all in life and it is not the reason I work hard to make our house a home, but it sure was a dream come true. Thank you, thank you to all of you who have been there with me along this journey.

And I have to answer a question that has come up a lot recently. Absolutely NOT - my house isn't always as clean and neat as you see it in my photo's. We actually do LIVE here. I have most of the holiday, birthday and seasonal gatherings with our families and friends here. My dining room table is usually pulled out to it's fullest and set with the vinyl tablecloth I posted about here not my prim tablecloth and it is not set for dinner. My very big grand doggy Brady drools all over everything and sheds all over everything. My dad drops his crutches and they knock things over. My hubby spills his coffee all the way down the stairs on the way out the door (yes he knows about travel mugs - he has that in the OTHER hand - LOL) and he leaves crumbs where ever he goes. (not me though ~wink wink~) I do projects on the dining room table and or in the kitchen and leave them up for days until I finish. At any one time you will find dishes in the sink, hair in the tub, laundry piled on the bed waiting to be folded, toothpaste in the sink, my desk full of papers, and the usual chaos of normal living. BUT I don't take my camera out to share that. I figure people have their own messes and don't really tune it to see mine. Am I wrong?

And even though I LOVE and I am BLESSED to be a home maker and it is what I do best, after taking care of people ever since my first job of babysitting at age 11, I am finding that not taking care of others on a daily basis (other than DH) quite refreshing. I went from babysitting to changing bed pans in a nursing home, to nursing as an RN, to being a SAHM, and then to teaching (including changing diapers). Just last year Jen moved out. I have to say, I find it is a whole lot easier to keep a sense of some order when you don't have kids living at home. We don't have grand babies coming over yet either. After 33 years of cleaning up, around and after and for others, it's so nice to come home and find the house the way I left it. I am still getting used to it. I know that grand babies will come along and then the house will look like little ones live here again and I welcome that more than I can put into words. But for now, I am having a little fun and the best part is I find this stage of life leaves me more time for things like my Angel work.

And last but certainly not least, I want to thank Robin for this Wyld Woman Award. Isn't it great looking?

Robin from The Robin's Nest is one of the sweetest gals I have met in blog land. She always leaves me the kindest comments. I love her blog - she is so talented and creative and sweet and kind - yes those are worth repeating. I love her photography and wise words and find joy in her blog each time I visit. She and her DH just welcomed a new grand baby to their family so please go on over and congratulate them when you have a chance. Thank you Robin for honoring me with this award!

Here is how this award works. You may give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure and include links to their blog and also link back to Tammy Vitale so she can visit all the wonderful people that receive this award. The Purpose of the Award is to send love and acknowledgment to women who brighten your day,teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy.

I chose to award this to all the gals with blogs in my blog roll. Please do grab it and post it on your blog. If you are listed in my favorite blogs it is because you amuse me, enrich me, inspire me, teache me, remind me of the things in life that are important, and we share something that connects us through cyber space. Many of you are becoming my friends and I treasure that. I look forward to keeping in touch for a long time to come.
Until next time - hugs, Linda

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Day Of Fun!

For more than 200 years a quaint little cottage has graced the countryside of Southern NH, seemingly untouched by time. The gardens and elegant herbal luncheons of Pickity Place have been drawing visitors from throughout New England for more than three decades. I have been going there since 1984. The first time I made the trip was when I went
with the garden club of the neighboring town of West Boylston when we lived there. I was a young mom, and had heard so much about Pickity from the older garden club members. I was mesmerized and enchanted, as I am each time I make the trip back. Today I made the drive an hour north to the little hamlet of Mason, NH, with my dear friend Chris. It was my gift to her for her birthday. Chris and I met in 1980 when she, her husband Jack and their then 7 month old daughter Callie, moved into the neighborhood that David and I and our then 6 month old son Jay, were living in. Chris and I were each others salvation when her DH Jack worked long hours in Boston as the Assitant to the Attorney General and my DH David was making business trips to power plants around the country. We had our second kids within months of each other and they later had another daughter. We were lucky enough to work together at the preschool for a few years, and we both enjoy being 'empty nesters.' Chris teaches just 3 days a week and when she is not tending to her ailing father, we try to fit in lunch and shopping trips. We always have a great time together and visiting Pickity Place several times a year is at the very top of our must do list.
Pickity is 2 miles off the main route and deep in the woods on dirt roads. As you drive up and the forest clears(literally), you get a glimpse of the the main house, which was the illustrative site for the 1948 English edition of Little Red Riding Hood, by Elizabeth Orton Jones.

photo courtesy of Pickity Place

Click HERE for more pictures

When you enter the front door and take a left into the bookshop, you are greeted by a vision of the wolf laying in the Grandmother's bed.

There is a whole section devoted to Little Red Riding Hood dolls, books and memorabilia.

The walls are stenciled with Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf. It is utterly charming!

On the back of the door of the restaurant hangs her red cape. How cute is that??!

The restaurant is in two rooms of the old cape. The floors are VERY uneven, the walls are old, the fireplace no longer works, but the experience is simply perfect!

Front dining room

Chris and I sat at this table on the right.

Fireplace in the front dining room

Display in the back dining room

Back dining room

They change the decorations inside and out with the seasons which always makes it fun to see what they have found to delight the eyes as well as the palate.

Pickity serves a 5-course gourmet luncheon. From appetizers to dessert, the luncheon dishes are accented with herbs and edible flowers grown and harvested from their own culinary gardens. The menu changes each month and they serve at three private seatings each day: 11:30, 12:45 and 2:00

July's Menu

Fresh Herb Dip w/crackers
Tortellini Soup with Fresh Greens
Mandarine, Jicama Salad with a Raspberry Leave Vinaigrette
Onion Dill Bread with Sun Dried Tomato and Herb Butter
Sante Fe Mesquite Beef Medallions
- or -
Roasted Vegetable Tart
Sugar Snap Peas with Apple Mint
Key Lime Pie with Toasted Coconut

When you are seated, there are crackers and a dip to nibble on you while you wait for the waitress to come and take your order. Soon you are served the soup in a small cup. Then the salad and bread (one slice each) are served, followed by the entree and vegetable. Each course is small - just enough for a few bites of each but all together a filling and wonderful meal. Chris and I both chose the tart. The crust was as flaky as can be and it was melt in your mouth delicious. She choose the raspberry tea - hot, and I had the iced lavender lemonade. YUMMO!

A trip to Pickity Place is not complete without a visit to the main gift shop - just a few steps from the front door of the old house. This is such a pretty picture, but the view in the fall is just amazing with the canopy of maples over head and the pumpkins piled by the shop's door.The gift shops sells all kinds of culinary tools, dips, mixes, teas, spices, cards, herbs, incense, candles, baskets, cookbooks, kitchen linens and more. I can't tell you what I got here because it is part of a fall swap I am doing with 2 friends who read this blog!

Pickity also has a another gift shop and greenhouse out back with Christmas goodies on display all year round. (I forgot pictures of that.)

Whenever we get to Pickity, we also try to fit in a visit to Frye's Measure Mill which is a short drive north in the little town of Wilton, NH. The roads take you deep into the countryside, past very old New England farmhouses and churches. It is so quaint. Chris and I like to imagine what it would have been like living there in the 1800's. Winters would have been pretty harsh!
photo courtesy of Frye's Measure Mill

Paraphrased from the website:

Now an historic landmark recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Frye's Measure Mill has been water powered since the 1850's. Some of the Mill's first products - including round and oval pantry boxes, measures, and piggins - are still being produced on much of the original water powered machinery. Examples of Frye's oldest woodenware can be found in museums throughout the country.

Many years ago, at the request of the Canterbury, New Hampshire Shakers, shaker box reproductions were added to our collection. Because of the same dedication to excellence in quality and craftsmanship today, as in the past, Frye boxes remain sought after by collectors across the country.

Striving for the "urge for perfection", Frye's Measure Mill follows documented Shaker traditions as outlined by historians Edward and Faith Andrews to painstakingly create Shaker boxes with native maple, hand bent around wooden shaping molds, and fastened with copper tacks.

Housed in a portion of the old sawmill, the seven room shop offers high-quality crafts, creatively displayed in an antique setting. Folk art from some of the country's top rated artisans, colonial tinware, hand-blown glass, pottery, period lighting, pewter, hand-forged ironware, antiques and collectibles are just some of the items that accent the woodenware in the Museum Shop.

I came home with a few real beeswax's candles, a beeswax sheep, and 2 antique bottles for my bathroom shelf. There enough antique crocks, bottles, chairs, books and more to keep several of us happy well into retirement! I just love how they display everything. Sadly, I learned the mill and shop are for sale. I can only hope that whomever buys it, still retains the same wonderful atmosphere and assortment of antiques and top notch crafts - many colonial in design.

Our next stop was a small shop called The Black Swan, just bit further north on the road to Peterborough, NH. It is an eclectic gift shop that is always fun to poke around in. Nothing caught our fancy here this time, but we enjoyed it anyway.

Mother nature cooperated - it was warm but not hot and not too humid and Chris and I had a great day -breaking bread and just spending time together.

I am way behind in commenting on blogs - I am so sorry. I took some time after the photo shoot to unwind, relax and the I had to get to some long put off chores around here. I hope to catch up on my visits in the next few days.

I hope you all are having a great week and I'll be stopping by soon! Thanks for taking this little trip north with me.

Until next time - hugs, Linda

Friday, July 25, 2008

Behind My Red Door with Country Sampler

Just beginning to set the scene!

Despite the dark gloomy weather outside it was an amazing day. I am so honored to have had the talent of Esther and Franklin Schmidt as the team to professionally shoot our home. I love the homes they have done before ours - if you have back issues of Country Sampler, or if you have the September issue, look at some of the amazing homes they have been in and photographed. I will be very anxious to see ours in print sometime in 2009. Despite being very tired still, I am giddy with excitement and humbled by the honor and it will indeed be a long wait for the final product!

I also want to thank Donna Marcel the editor of Country Sampler. She only had my very amateur photos to go by yet she saw something in our home that she felt would translate into a magazine page or two and be something readers would enjoy. I truly appreciate that!

Unfortunately, DH could not take time off from work for the shoot - the pilot plant his company is building needs to stay on schedule so his expertise was needed at the office. He wished me luck, kissed me goodbye, and off he went. I did a little primping, a little last minute dusting and mopping and awaited the Schmidt's arrival. We got a bit of a late start so the waiting only added to my anxiousness. One of the things I was most anxious about was having my picture taken. Like most women, especially plus size ones like me, I don't enjoy it. But I wanted to have the full experience so I agreed to pose and I am OK with the results. When you see the photo spread next year, just remember that the camera adds at least 10 pounds (or 40!!)

When Esther and Franklin arrived, the skies had opened up so I had them pull into David's side of the garage so they could get all their equipment inside without getting drenched. (see - it was a good thing he went to work! LOL) They got their cameras and lights all unpacked in the family room and then carried them upstairs. As Esther pulled out the outline she was to follow, she began to look around, and she said my home was very Autumnal, one of the most Autumnal ones she had ever seen, and would have made the perfect fall shoot with the dark rich, warm colors and lots of black. And I totally agree. You know how I love Autumn and of course my home reflects that. She and Franklin both said it was going to be a big challenge to make my home look "Spring like". And indeed it was quite a challenge to "spring it up"! Spring flowers are just not widely available in late July, and just about everything I own is a warm or a dark color. Both Esther and I had bought what few flowers seemed appropriate for the season. I don't happen own many things designed to say spring without saying Easter, but fortunately, I had some fruits and veggies to use and those combined with the flowers, were just enough and we made it work. And I think the torrential rains outside sure made it feel more like spring instead of mid summer!

It was very interesting watching the whole process. Taking a photo for a magazine page is very different from how we take photos' of our homes for our blogs, or Webshots or for scrap booking or whatever. A lot of it has to do with lighting and the placement of the camera and of course the staging. Sometimes a chair has to be moved at a different angle, something dark has to be replaced with something lighter (or vice versa) and there are a zillion little variables - hiding cords, and light switches and things like that. Sometimes what we see with our eye, doesn't translate well in a photo. And then there are the props to make it fit the particular issue it will be in. It takes a long time to set the scene for one photo. The Schmidts take Polaroids first and then examine them in detail with a lighted magnifying glass thingie (like my technical term?) to check for any little thing that could be out of place or even something like a droopy leaf in the flower arrangement or bad spot on a piece of fruit. Then they fix it and take another Polaroid until they get it right. Once they are satisfied, Franklin then takes the real thing using multiple exposures to get different lighting effects. When the film is developed, Franklin will get back transparencies and he carefully examines them on a light table and chooses the best one. (I hope I got those technicalities right!)

Franklin and Esther worked all morning and then we had a short lunch break. I made a delightful lunch with chicken salad, my favorite broccoli salad, Asian coleslaw and whole grain bread. They were thrilled and appreciative of that. They then got right back to work and they we were finally done in the early evening. They got packed up, and we sat for a few minutes and had a nice chat and then it was time for them to head on out to to their hotel - but not before we shared a warm hug.

Here are a few shots of the experts in action and their equipment:

Franklin beginning to get set up. My windows are not that dirty, that's the rain!

Esther doing some flower arranging.

Esther and Franklin discussing an arrangement.

Lights and camera getting ready to shoot the kitchen

Another light waiting to see some action.

And so now I await a call from one of the writers for the actual article. That won't come for a few months. At that time I will know what shots will be in the magazine so the writer and I are on the same page as we chat. I am thrilled to have some of my favorite pieces in the photo's they took - my red step back cupboard, my painted cupboard that sits on the jelly cupboard, my little desk and antique chair, the portraits my mom painted of our kids( they are in the first phot with Franklin - to the right of the window), my Homestead chair, my whale shelf and more. And sorry - I won't be showing you those pics on my blog. I doubt Country Sampler wants me to spill the beans, but even if I could, I wouldn't. They put a lot of work into each issue and each article and I'd like to respect the process.

I'll tease you with this little piece of one possible photo:

Once again, I would like to thank all the kind and supportive messages and emails I got leading up to yesterday and even during the day and last night. You are all so sweet to be excited for me and with me. I truly appreciate it.

Tonight DH and I are going out to eat to one of our favorite steakhouses and I am celebrating with my favorite (but rarely eaten) porterhouse steak and a good salad. The perfect meal and the perfect ending to an amazing week!

Until next time - hugs, Linda

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A sneek peek and A Giveaway

This week I learned that the photographers from Country Sampler will show up with pictures of certain parts of certain rooms all printed out and those are the rooms they will shoot. The Editor and her art team work up the page layout ahead of time. I found that fascinating. I also learned the shoot is delayed by a day until Thursday! And I also learned that I need extra candles on hand because if a candle is in a shoot, it has to be burning and I know some of mine burn pretty fast. And they like to use cloth napkins when setting a table scape and my cloth napkins are Christmas or blue check and I wanted some solid colors anyway. So armed with all that new knowledge, and my DH's blessing (he pays the bills after all) I decided I was taking a break from cleaning and getting out of town! I decided to head to one of my favorite shops - where my DH bought my WONDERFUL homestead chair for my b-day and where I got my WONDERFUL settle bench last year - Homestead Primitives. It is about 35 - 40 minutes from here and I chose the back roads to enjoy the scenery. When I drove up, there were balloons all around and a big 10 th anniversary sign. When I walked in, I was handed a sale sheet with all the things that were on sale. I hit the jackpot! I talked with Charlene and her husband (he makes all the wood furniture including my settle bench -and told them about Country Sampler and that I hoped my Homestead Chair and settle bench would be in the shoot. They had cookies and snacks and lemonade and giveaways and I had a coupon with a discount because of my birthday and between that and the sale, I was like a kid in a candy store.

Edit: If any local gals are reading this - the sale continues today, Sunday and then the shop is closed for a buying trip until July 31st. I also forgot to mention that anyone who sepnds $35 gets entered in a drawing for the most awesome bench Charlene's husband made for the anniversary celebration. I am so hoping to hear my phone ring when the shop closes at 3 today!

I found the candles and cloth napkins I needed and a few more goodies. All yellow ware was 30 % off so I decided to do something I have wanted to do for a few years. I bought some for every day use. I am planning to sell my Pfaltzgraff set if my DD decides for sure she doesn't want it so it will get packed up soon. But not quite ready to use my Bennington every day. So I got 4 dinner plates and 4 lunch plates and the salt and pepper shakers for the price of 4 dinner plates normally. NOT BAD! They will become our everyday dishes. I have odds and ends in yellow ware that mix and match nicely with them already so I won't need a full set. I also got a neat bowl, and some nice homespun dishtowels too. All on sale!!

And I found this cute little crock - it was just the touch I needed on this shelf -

And this bee skep was on sale 20% off - I will use this on the hearth downstairs I think.

And this cute little quilt was on sale 20% off too.

I also wanted to show a picture of a little redo - I love this triangular wall shelf. I cannot even remember where I got it but it is one of my favorite pieces of wall decor. I guess it reminds of the three sided colonial patriots hat. I used to use it to hold my extra candles but I decided it needed a change. I love the Sweet Annie, yarrow and especially the wool strawberry my sweet friend Kathy made for me.

So those are a few sneak peaks at some things I hope will make the pages of Country Sampler!

Today DH and I worked in the almost 100 degree heat and humidity to mow, trim the lawn edges, freshen up the bark mulch, dead head my perennials and spruce up the yard in general. It looks nice and I just hope it stays that way until Thursday!

DH finally got around to cutting out a cover for the HUGE crock we use a recycle bin. We use the 25 gallon crock for recycling. Our town has mandatory recycling but I would make the effort anyway - I think it is important. It holds 2 brown grocery bags - one for paper and one for plastic, cans, and glass. It's perfect. The 10 gallon crock we use for trash. It used to be the other way around but we are making so much less trash now and recycling so much more. The small crock has had a cover for years and I keep mentioning that we should put a cover on the big crock too and I guess a magazine shoot was just the boost DH needed.

This is the circle of MDF that will be painted, aged and distressed and a wooden knob added to become the cover. I asked DH why he got MDF - I had suggested plywood. He said it has a smoother finish. LOL - sweet guy - he still just doesn't get that smooth isn't so important in most prim things. He just does what I ask but doesn't understand it all. I am so lucky he indulges me so much! He says I indulge him too so it's mutual. I think he's got a point. And since I will be cleaning and fussing all day Wednesday, this is my Whatcha Working on Wednesday in advance. I'll show you the finished cover some day next week - if I remember!

And I wanted to let you about some great news! My sweet and talented friend Tammy over at Country Girl at Home has just opened her new Etsy. Congrats Tammy!! She and her DH are collaborating on some very nice primitive goodies. She is also hosting a giveaway so if you want a chance to win some of her prim shutters, please stop on over to her great blog and say hi to her.

And last but not least, I am going to take advantage of bloggers new feature for a blog roll sometime in the next week or so and when I start, it will take me awhile to get all my favorite blogs transferred over there. So if you see your blog disappear from my favs list, it's just temporary until I get them all moved.

Well this will be my last post until after the photo shoot. I need my down time despite getting ready for it, so I will be checking in on my fav blogs before then, I won't be posting here. The next time I post it will be my 50th post! WOW!! I hope to have some pics of the shoot. The Editor of Country Sampler, Donna Marcel agreed it would be a great idea but I need to make sure it is OK with the photographers before I take their pics. I'll have something to blog about I am sure!! :-)

I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by. I really do enjoy your comments and messages and again, thanks so much for all the sweet words of support and encouragement. It means so much to me!

Until next time - hugs, Linda

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

8 Things MeMe, an award and Whatcha Working on Wednesday!

Wow - Thank you for all the sweet comments.I am feeling so blessed and humbled the last few days. I am so excited but unfortunately, I came down with a nasty head cold -the first one in over a year. Great timing huh? Still I have my to do list for before Country Sampler's photographers arrive next week. I just want to spruce things up and I purposely left some things to the last minute so they stay spruced up - if you know what I mean! Esther Schmidt, one of the photographers, said they realize these are real family homes they are going into, but being me, I always see things that shoulda, coulda been fixed etc. I want to enjoy this experience so I want to get some things done this week, and enjoy the weekend! Early next week I'll shop for the food and fresh flower props and food for the day. I have been warned that it is a long day so I want to rest up too - especially now that I have this head cold. UGH!

Here is what I have been working on - our family room - it still has a long long way to go but it's a start. Keep in mind, thus far I have furnished this room mostly with things I didn't want to use upstairs at this time- not that I don't enjoy them but they are more country than prim I think. I did steal some of my favorites to bring down here but I definitely still need another prim coffee table, more furniture and more crocks, a lamp, maybe a wall cupboard and who knows what else. It will be fun looking for those things later this summer and in the fall.

The first picture shows the walls before and during. The left side being the before - more yellow and that fake trim work not painted. The right shows the after -more tan and all the paneling painted.

This is a view from behind the bar, looking towards the fireplace. I want a big crock for the hearth and it another floor lamp to put to the left of the plaid chair.

Another view. The ottoman is from Plow and Hearth and opens to a twin cot. Once I get a better table for there, I'll move that to the other end of the room. Just behind the plaid chair you can see part of the beam that divides the two sides of the room. To the left of it, I don't have much put in place so you don't get pics this time.

That's the antique piano that sits unused.

Another view of the behemoth. I need something else in place of the arm chair.

OK I changed my mind - just for you, here is one corner of the other end of the room - eek - are you ready? This is the ugly bar area. It's functional and great in a get together but I would lvoe a Tavern Cage there - DH thinks not. I have 2 more bar stools to paint black and I am undecided as to what I will put on the wall. I am thinking of taking the game boards out of David's office and moving then down here. To the right of the TV is the slider to the patio.
And this is the other corner on that end. I am thinking a bench, or even a small game table and 2 chairs along this wall. Behind the little freezer are those patio doors we don't use now. I wish I could get a picture that shows how big this room is. When it is finished, it will once again be a great space for family gatherings. I can envision future grand kids toys being down there and it becoming their play space when they come to visit Grammy and Grampy (lol Blogger's spell check wants me to replace Grampy with Grumpy -huumm)!

And I have been tagged and given an award - twice! How lucky am I??

My friend, Cathy at Cobblestones Farms tagged me for this "8 Things MeMe" - Thanks Cathy! She always has the prettiest pictures on her blog - I love all her little garden groupings. Stop on over and see for yourself. I call it eye candy! I wish I lived close to her garden shop. I love her header right now - it says SUMMER in the most refreshing way.

So here are a few things about me!

8 Things I say a lot:
*"Hey there"
*"Hi Kiddo"
*"Hi Stinky Kid"
*"Hey Honey?"
*"Thank you Dear Lord"
*"UGH - it's hot"
*"Is it fall yet?"

8 things I have Read Lately:
* Country Sampler - of course!
* Primitive Times Magazine online - my house pics are in the June Issue
* Land of Mango Sunsets - Dorothea Benton Frank - just finished it!
* Create and Decorate
* The Telegram - every morning
* Early American Life - old issues
* Mercantile Gatherings
* Twenty Wishes - Debbie MaComber - just started it

8 movies I've seen 8 times:
* Pretty Woman
* Sound of Music
* My Best Friend's Wedding
* The Wizard of Oz
* Gone with the Wind
* Must Love Dogs
* Dirty Dancing
* I am drawing a blank here!

8 Things I Am Working On:
* The family room -see above!
* Painted a wicker rocking chair for the family room
* My garden
* Putting strings in the cinnamon ornaments I made 2 weeks ago
* Reorganizing closets - again!
* Taking the back off a quilted pillow cover so I can use it as a mini quilt - needs some hand stitching and it has been sitting on the top of the cinnamon ornaments for a week now.
* Online searches for a fall trip with DH
* Typing up the recipes from my recent school gals gathering to send to the whole group
* Touching up all the scratches in the wood work

8 People I Invite To Do This:

* I know some bloggers love these and others don't have time, so I invite anyone who wants to join - please do!

And now for my award:

And I have received a Brilliant Web blog Award from both sweet Beth over at Raggedy Angel. Thanks so much Beth - you are a doll and your dolls are great and Carolyn over at Cranberry Crossings - you are such a sweetheart. I am so glad I met both of you!

The rules for receiving this award are:

1) Put the logo on your blog.

2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4) Add links to those blogs on yours.

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I honestly cannot name just 7 blogs or 8, or 9 or even just 10! If you see my list of favorite blogs, how can I stop there? I can't - so I won't! I nominate each and everyone listed to the left. If you are there, I enjoy your blog - simple as that! Please accept this award from me and know that I truly have enjoyed meeting you this way. My life is richer for all the sweet conversations and getting to know you all.

I am actually finishing this post late Tuesday evening and setting it to publish Wednesday.(Don't you just love that option??!!) I am going to try be away from my blog for a day or so until I make myself get a few jobs done. I'll be back to check on you all soon so please take care, be good , stay safe and have a great day!

Until then - hugs, Linda

Monday, July 14, 2008

Guess Who is Coming to Town !!???!!??!!

I don't know if you caught it, but a few times I have mentioned that I was getting the house ready for some special guests that might be coming to visit me this summer. Well I finally have a date and I am just so excited I can no longer contain myself and I have to share the news with everyone!! !! Can you guess who is coming ??!! I'll give you just one clue! Are you ready?

Drum roll please.....


COUNTRY SAMPLER is coming to shoot our home next week! YIKES! NEXT WEEK?? I have so much left to do! LOL Oh the woodwork needs touching up and the recycle crock needs a cover and I need to dry clean our quilt and I need to get the family room put back together..... AY YI YI!

Edit: I guess a lot of folks stopped reading here because I already got this question 8 times - I don't know what issue yet- sorry. If I find out ahead of time, I'll be sure to let everyone know.

The short version of a long story is that Country Sampler got a hold of my Webshots pics in a few different ways (me included) and Donna Marcel, the Editor, emailed me in back in April that she might interested in including our home in a 2009 issue. I was so busy getting ready for the trip to Vegas and the wedding reception that I really didn't think it would happen. (But of course I hoped it would!) So then May came along and my July issue came and nothing, so I really didn't think it would happen. I mean - my humble home??

UNTIL, that is, I got a phone call from Donna in May. When you see Country Sampler on caller ID and it is not a toll free number and you have already had an email from Donna Marcel, let me tell you, your heart skips a beat (or two!) We talked for awhile and I was told to expect the freelance photographers to call me to set up the date. It was a Friday and DH was working from home, so as soon as I hung up the phone, I went into his office and was dancing a jig and squealing with delight. And then I waited. For weeks, I have been anxiously waiting for that phone call and it came today! I said last week to a close friend -"watch - I'll start this huge family room project and I'll get the call I have been waiting almost 2 months for" and sure enough, that is exactly what happened.

Now I really need to get in gear and get some things done. I don't know what issue we will be in, but I am told it will be a "season less" shoot so I will be putting my summer decor away. And of course I want our home at it's best - short of renovation. The photographers that are coming are Esther and Franklin Schmidt and they have done shoots of some of my favorite homes in CS!!

So for all my sweet blogging friends who are always telling me my home should be in a magazine, THANK YOU! You brought me good Karma!! I think it is NOW just sinking in. WOW! I better go make myself a cup of tea and start that really long to do list. So if I seem to neglect my blogging chores and visits, you'll know where I am and what I am doing. Now where do I start....

Until next time - hugs, Linda

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Have Been Published!

I am pleased to announce my newest endeavour -
My very own magazine for prim lovers!
Special Bonus for the first 100 subscriptions
Place your order now!

Naw- not really. I can only guess how much work it must be to put together a quality magazine so I'll leave that to the experts. I was over at Linda's Primp Your Pad and I got sooooooo excited because she had her new magazine cover posted - I was practically hyperventilating - I mean if it was half as nice as her home, I knew I would be one of her first customers - only to learn it was just for fun! LOL Just go on over to Big Huge Labs to make your own. We can all dream huh??
Until next time - hugs, Linda

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Internet Fantasy Shopping Trip

Yeah - I am back online and getting caught up with my blogging and emails. It was not my computer that bit the dust, just the monitor after all. PHEW!! So we have a nice 19" flat screen on order, and a borrowed one is keeping me up and running in the meantime. This borrowed one is 21" and it took some getting used to. It's a tad too big for my taste so I think the 19" will be great. I have to say I really think this distorts photo's somewhat. Everything is a bit shorter and wider it seems. Including me. That's my story and I am sticking to it.

I really should be doing a million other things but after 30 + hours of prep and painting the family room this week, I am just too tired to put everything back and decide how to arrange it this time. DH still insists we keep the piano, I couldn't change his mind even after his golf game, but I think the bed is going into storage. We only use it a few nights a year, if that. So until that gets moved, I won't have pics for a few days at least. I know, I know. But just think, it will give me something to post next Wednesday! So instead, I am going to day dream a bit here and take a little trip. I hope you will indulge me as I indulge myself. If you leave me here, I'll understand, really I will. I am taking this trip with or without you though. But I'd really love you come along and ooh and aah with me.

Terri over at Prim Creek went on an Internet fantasy shopping trip and asked us what we would buy on our own fantasy shopping trip. She didn't need to ask me twice. This could be dangerous!
Of course I have to start with my dream house. Or a reasonable facsimile. I love Gambrels, Capes and Saltbox Colonials so this one will do. I want it built new to look old though. I love houses that look like they were added on over time. I like the multiple chimney's too - that means multiple fireplaces, and they would be walk in fireplaces with beehive ovens of course. And they will be built with reclaimed brick. And the floors will be wide pine with lots of patina. See the fenced area - that's for my kitchen garden. I have to have that for my herbs and perennials. What you can't see is the great big screened porch out back. Hey this is my fantasy shopping trip. I have good fantasies!!

It would be painted dark barn red of course and have board and batten exterior doors and 12 over 12 windows. I am thinking dark tan for the doors and the garage addition. And while I am at it, I'll order some big shade trees and central air!

Next I'd buy this island for the kitchen. Isn't this amazing? My friend Karen over at My Yellow Farmhouse got to tour the house this was in. The couple built it for their custom home along with the cabinets in the kitchen. I'll take the whole kitchen please!!

Here is a view of the kitchen from the stairs. Oops - I'll replace the white sink with black granite one since this is my fantasy and I don't do white. I am not sure about the tin back splash. What do you think?

And I'll take one of each piece of furniture, antique and primitive accessories in this gathering room.

To see more pics of this amazing house and Karen's awesome Yellow Farm House, go here to see her albums. Bring a box of tissue's. You might drool over both houses.

The next five items will only begin to fill the gathering room and they are all from Circa1820. I love everything in their colonial catalog! Their house was recently featured in Country Living Magazine. Figures, after I stopped my subscription and just after I got done saying I didn't like the magazine anymore, they went and put a great house it.

On second thought, I'll order one of each thing in this catalog,but here are 5 things I'll share with you. This sofa will do nicely. I'll take another one for the master suite please!

And DH will enjoy this recliner - in fact let's get two! His and hers. And I'll take the lamp and table too.
And I'll need this plate rack and don't bother to remove the redware or pewter either.
And of course I need several floor clothes.
This wonderful set of stacking trunks with look great next to my recliner don't you think?

Next I went on over to Martin's Chair and Oley Valley Reproductions did some more shopping. This is fun! I think this pie safe will look great filled with my Bennington Pottery.

And once I make trip over to EBay for a dozen or so nice old crocks, I'll need this extra large bucket bench.

And because I love my DH, I am going to let him buy a flat screen TV BUT... has to fit in this cabinet. This one is making ME drool! Oh and I can't forget the powder room off the kitchen. This vanity and stoneware sink will do nicely there.

And because I want ya'll to come over and visit me in my dream house, I need a large table and some chairs for ya'll to sit on. (hum - I picked up a southern accent in my fantasy I guess). I'll order this table super sized so ya'll will fit.

And a truck load of side chairs,
And a few of these thrown in for good measure!
Well that shopping trip plum tuckered me out. Okay, not really. The truth is I could shop like this all day. I didn't even get to the upstairs. I'll save that for another day. That way I can indulge again. DH is looking for dinner soon so I best get myself into my kitchen. The one that doesn't look anything like the one in my fantasy and doesn't have an island. But it has one thing that picture doesn't have - my sweet guy! I guess I'll keep it after all. Unless of course he wants to join me in my fantasy ... kitchen that is!

Until next time - hugs, Linda

P.S. After very careful consideration, I have decided that if I can't get the dream house, I'll still take the rest of the loot!