Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fun with friends, more gifts, and more stenciling!

I saw this on  the web recently and it just made me smile!! friends underpantsWe all know how important it is to have time with our girlfriends. I am blessed with some very dear long time friends that still live close enough to see regularly and I had a chance to spend time with 2 of these wonderful friends at different times recently. There is something very special about sharing time with someone who knows your past, where you are from, what your dreams and hopes were back then and can be excited with you to see that many of those dreams are now reality. I met each of these two friends when my kids were very young and among the many things we shared and had in common was that we really looked forward to being grandmothers. And  now we all are!! Neither gal decorates like I do but we can talk grand kids until the sun sets and rises once again. It is just wonderful!

It is wonderful to have newer friends as well and especially when they share the same joy in decorating and antiquing. I just happened to see that sign right before Audrey and I headed to our friend Lynda’s house in NH for lunch and some fun. It reminded me of our last visit there when we laughed so hard that well, we thought we might need Depends instead of underpants this time. And that was not far from the truth! LOL

Lynda’s home is so gorgeous! A large colonial saltbox set up on a hill in a private setting despite being in a neighborhood of other large homes. This pic from last spring shows just part of it…098

And inside she has transformed it so that you really feel like you have stepped back in time. I only brought my old point and shoot camera with me (and it is dying – boohoo!!) and I didn’t want to be rude, so I only took a handful (or two) pictures to share.  This greeted us as we came inside. 008

This is where we later had our lunch. Lynda placed our regular plates on these old pewter chargers and it was such a wonderful way to set the table. 010


Just a few snippets from around the house…..021


Lynda has several Susan Dwyer murals. This is her powder room on the first floor.018


In her front foyer…023


Her kitchen walls are painted a warm rich color so despite being a large room it is so cozy!046

Her collections of antiques are amazing…027


Look at this yummy dessert!! 049

Lynda had two fun projects for us to do. She had sewn up pillow forms and we stuffed them with buckwheat hulls and hand sewed them closed. We now have wonderful pillows in a colonial textile. Audrey and I are filling ours. Lynda had a trash bucket full of the hulls. She uses them for mulch in her beautiful gardens.028

…and she had garden pavers for us to engrave with a date of our choice. We simply wrote the date with a marker and using chisels and a hammer and wearing glasses, we slowly chipped away until we had some depth to the date. Then we sealed them with concrete sealer. You can see the one on the right is sealed already and it really helps to show off the date. They will look wonderful in our gardens when this snow melts!You can’t see mine but I chose 1896. We moved here in 1986 so I transposed the two middle numbers. 005

And now comes the part that had us close to p**ing our pants! Let me introduce to you the wenches - from left to right Audrey, Lynda and Lynne. Lynne does not blog but she visits many of our blogs and always leaves the sweetest messages. Some of you know her as Adsgram. She is so much fun in person and always makes us smile and laugh!! wenches

..and here are their fellas!! guysYes, Lynda was able to gather up all those costumes in a matter of minutes!! It was a lot of fun and we all laughed ‘til our bellies hurt! It was a wonderful day with wonderful friends. I am so blessed to have days like that!! Thanks so much Lynda for the great food, great company and fun projects!!

The fun didn’t end when we left Lynda’s. When I was dropping Audrey off at her home she surprised me with with an early birthday gift, this wonderful Turtlecreek redware platter!  She knows the teacher in me I love the alphabet theme. It looks wonderful in my office and I will treasure it always!! Thank you Audrey!! 014

Yes, I did more stenciling. I have earned over my lifetime to go with my first instinct in decorating but for some reason, I didn’t follow it when I repainted the living room and added the stencil a few years back. While it was perfectly lovely and an historic reproduction, it just never really worked for me. BUT the living room wall goes all the wall down the hall so I would have had to repaint and re-stencil a lot of wall. So I put it off. But now that the long wall that joins the spaces has a mural on it and breaks up the two spaces, I had no excuse. I sent away to MB Historic Décor for the Moses Eaton stencil I always wanted and got busy. Instead of using the same Tyler Taupe I used in the dining room, I used the Barnyard Red and Benjamin Moore’s New Chestnut – which is a bit deeper and bolder. And it happens to be the color on my garage doors and light post and other pieces outside. 024(Whenever I use interior or exterior latex for stenciling projects, I always thin it just a wee bit.) I needed new brushes before I started this project so I headed to Michaels and they didn’t have what I wanted but I found something better!

Martha Stewart foam pouncers!! See those foam cylinders? They are very firm and dense and fine. And see the two big ones, they worked wonderfully in the large open cutouts on this particular stencil. I LOVE these. Over the years I have stenciled many walls – some for me and some for family and friends and I have tried all kinds of brushes and sponges and these are going to be my main stay from now on. The sponges come right out of the plastic casing to wash. I used them just as I would a stencil brush making sure there was not too much paint on them. I personally think they are brilliant!PD_LRG_32243_1

And here is the new look!013

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039That’s all I can show you because I only got half way around the room. My trip to Michael’s included a side trip so I got a late start and haven’t had time to get back to it. I’ll show you more pics when it is all done!

That side trip I mentioned.. well it was to a new marketplace in the area… the Brick Mill Marketplace in Uxbridge, MA. Click ~here~. It was only 15 minutes from Michael’s so I just had to include that in the trip as well!  Remember in my last post I said I was looking for an antique piece to put on the mural wall?  Well I never thought I would find it so soon. Meet my new to me antique blanket chest. I spotted it right away and knew it would be my birthday present from Mr. Red Door! Thanks honey! I quickly put these pieces on it to snap a picture but I hope to change things out soon. 010

In my last post I mentioned how I get many questions about my fowl rack. My large dark red shelf with the cubbies that is over my Homestead Chair in the living room receives almost as many questions. 024

I got this wonderful piece in 2004 at the wonderful Primitive Thymes in Spencer, MA ~ Karen and Rich Boulay are the shopkeepers. And as much as my taste has evolved and changed, 8 years later I still love this shelf as much as when I first brought it home. I love the chunky pegs, the 3 cubbies in the center, all the display space and the dark red color. 048

051I don’t know if they still carry this but you can click ~here~ and check out the other prim items in their great shop and tour their wonderfully primitive home as well!

I hope ( I am not promising) that the next time I come back I can share a few pics of where Lili and I spend a lot of our time. It’s one of my best kept secrets after all!

Until next time – warm hugs, Linda