Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Home Tour: A Coastal Maine Farmhouse

Last week we were camping in mid-coast Maine when a dear friend invited us to Sunday brunch at her ocean front 1880's farm house. A beautiful active woman in her 80's (who still models!), our friend is known as a fantastic cook, so we couldn't wait to go.

What we didn't know was that she is also an interior decorator extraordinaire with a home that belongs in the pages of Country Living magazine.

When you step onto the side porch, the first thing you see is this old blackboard, covered with the words of a favorite poem about life by the sea. The old camp chairs are in the side entry, just outside the kitchen. I love that they are numbered!

 The little kitchen is filled with vintage cooking utensils, fresh flowers, herbs and antiques. 

Our friend is an artist at heart. She sees everyday objects as beautiful. On the way to the living room, we pass this old door hung on the wall . . . a piece of art.

She works on her watercolors in front of a big window looking out at the Atlantic Ocean . . . beautiful even on a foggy morning.

The old iron beds in the guestroom are positioned so that they look out at the ocean.

  I could spend a week cuddled under one of those quilts listening to the sounds of the sea.

In the corner of the living room is a writing desk, an old table really . . . covered with books, notes, sketches, family photos, and yet another view of the ocean beyond.

Every corner of this home tells a story . . . 

And welcomes you to sit for awhile.

Breakfast was served on the old screened porch, with the ocean just outside.

The jam is home made and the Nasturtiums are from the kitchen garden.

No words are needed to describe this view!

I loved the little yellow playhouse hidden in the side yard.

It is surrounded by native wildflowers, which are listed on a board on the side of the playhouse!

 Here's a peek inside!

And this is the house from the driveway. There is a lighthouse just up the road.

The straw hat bird house on the door of the old garage bids us "Goodbye", although I really wished I never had to leave this place.

As the blackboard by the door says,
"I go down to the edge of the sea,
How everything shines in the morning light!"

Indeed it does.

This post is linked to:
Style Showcase #42 at Savvy Southern Style
Talk of the Town #136 at Knick of Time
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Tips for Stenciling Flour Sack Towels

I haven't picked up a stencil brush in about 25 years . . . since about the time that country geese, ceilings covered with dusty baskets, and stenciled walls became overused died.

Recently though, I've been exploring different media for stenciling.

Flour Sack Towels make are a perfect material for stenciling and fit well with today's farmhouse decor.  They're simple, organic, and inexpensive.

My little "craft group" is planning to get together and make some of these soon, but I wanted to try the process first before attempting to teach it to others.

So . . . I've been stenciling like a crazy woman for the past three days . . . and really enjoying it!

I've learned a lot too. I actually read the directions on the back of one of my stencils and tried using fine grit sandpaper under the towel to hold it in place while I stencil . Works so well!

I also learned that the cost of repositional spray adhesive is well worth it. It holds the stencil flat so that no paint "bleeds" into the fabric and leaves absolutely no mark on the fabric when removed.

This is really fun!

I've purchased a few stencils (with 50% off coupons, of course) but have cut most of them myself  after printing templates from the Internet.

I just enlarge or reduce the printable as needed, outline it in Sharpie, place Mylar over it, and cut with an Exacto knife.  That's how this Maine lobster was born!

It's important to use good textile paint (I got mine at Amazon). After stenciling, allow the towels to dry for 24 hours before ironing for 30 seconds on the reverse side to set the colors. Now they are machine washable!

  Old craft, new use. 
I can't wait to stencil more towels to use for for fall and Christmas gifts
I've think I'm getting addicted to stenciling again!

This Post Is Linked To:
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

I Can't Stop Laughing!

Having recently been required to "dress up" (here in Maine that means you have to leave your LL Bean boots at home) for an evening dinner party, I succumbed to vanity and purchased yet another Spanx. Before doing so, I decided to reread a post I wrote back in 2014 about my very first "Spanx" experience and why it didn't seem to work out. Aha!!! Back then I had purchased a two-piece Spanx ensemble that kept coming apart in all the wrong places. This time, I decided, I'll be smart and purchase a little (literally!) one-piece number.
Here it is!

Before I tell you how Spanx worked out for me this time, take a minute to read about my 2014 experience so you'll understand where I'm coming from . . .
October 13, 2014
     10 Tips for Dancing In Spanx

Do you wear Spanx???

We just returned from a beautiful wedding on Cape Cod and since I had to get into this knit dress...

I decided to expand (poor choice of words?) my selection of body armor undergarments by purchasing some Spanx for the occasion . Two pieces of Spanx actually . . . a top to "smooth out" my  tummy and waist . . .

And a "bottom" to contain . . . well, my bottom.

After I squeezed into those two pieces, I realized that you could see through the knit dress so I added a half-slip.

Once all of these layers, were in place, I have to admit, the dress looked pretty good. So off to the wedding DH and I went. That was when I realized that there is more to successfully wearing Spanx than Oprah would have you believe.

The ceremony and dinner went fine; I was sitting still. The reception, however, was another story. Dancing required frequent trips to the ladies' room to fine tune the Spanx. With each of my ridiculous retro dance moves the top half of the Spanx went up while the bottom worked its way down. End result? Total exposure of tummy section I was trying to hide. And the half-slip? Forgetaboutit. It ended up in my purse!

photo courtesy of Vintage Style Files

Here's what I learned the hard way:

10 Tips for Dancing In Spanx

1. When the DJ yells, "Let's Get Down!", don't do it!

2. Don't even consider trying to "Move Like Jagger".

3. During "Twist & Shout", don't try to see how low you can go. In fact, don't do the twist at all or your layers of Spanx will end up, well . . .  twisted.

4. When you are wearing multiple layers of Spanx and friends ask if you remember how to do the Swim, say "No"!

5. Don't try to keep up with the dance moves of  crazy BFF Karen while wearing Spanx.

6. When you're slow-dancing to a favorite oldie and start to feel all fluttery, it's probably just your Spanx coming loose.

7. When leaving the ladies' room, make sure all of your supporting layers are tucked  INSIDE your dress.

8. When you think your partner just said, "Thanx for the dance", consider that he may actually have just whispered, "Your Spanx are askance".

9. Stick to slow dances and your Spanx will thank you.

And finally . . .

10. When the band plays "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green, try not to take it personally.

While I was rereading that old post, I got laughing so hard I almost spit out my diet Coke!
Seems I'll never learn.

Anyway, on the evening of this cocktail party, I thought I was well-prepared. I had the Spanx. I had the shoes. I had the dress. But . . . it was the hottest evening we've had here in Maine so far this summer - 93 degrees and muggy. As I struggled into my tiny new one-piece Spanx, the sweat was pouring off my brow. By the time I did my make-up and reached for the dress, I was damp all over. So . . .
I gave up.

I ripped off the Spanx, threw it on the bed, and wore this dress instead. (I think the reason they call this a "swing dress" is because you can actually move in it without Spanx!).  Note: I hardly had to hold in my stomach at all in this little number.

DH and I had a great time at the party and I've think I've finally learned my lesson:  No more Spanx! From now on, I'm just going to accept my bulges and dress with the inner layer "au natural"!

If you've figured out a way to survive an evening in Spanx, I'd love to hear about it!  Meantime . . .

It's all good,

This post is linked to:
Inspire Me Tuesday #432 at A Stroll Through Life
Amaze Me Monday at Dwellings
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Sundays at Home at Little Farmstead
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