Thursday, October 18, 2018

Do You Have a Home Coffee Station?

I'm probably one of the last people I know to invest in a Keurig, but I finally did. With cool fall days ahead, the lure of quick single cups of coffee and hot chocolate was just too tempting. I figured though that if I was going to get a Keurig, I might as well have some fun with the color. I chose "Oasis", a pale turquoise,  just for fun!

It was coincidental that a few days after my coffee maker arrived from Amazon, I happened upon this discussion on Houzz, entitled, "Do You Have a Coffee Station In Your Home?". My new Keurig was on the kitchen counter but the photos from Houzz and other internet sites encouraged me to add to it to make my own "Coffee Station". Here are a few of my inspiration photos . . .

church coffee station ideas
The white tiles in the photo above reminded me of my kitchen and I loved the use of galvanized metal to hold coffee supplies in the two photos below.

coffee station decor ideas
Photo Courtesy of Home CBF

  Photo Courtesy of Houzz

A three-tier galvanized stand was too tall to fit under my cabinets but I found a two-tier one that is perfect. They are available online but I happened to have a 50%off coupon at JoAnn's fabrics,where they had the same one I was about to  order from Amazon. Under $15.00 and it holds creamer, sugar, Sweet 'n Low, utensils, coffee pods, and two mugs. Perfect!

The little white-framed chalkboard was all of $5.00 at Target, in the "Wedding" section of the Stationery Department of all places!

I love this farmhouse-inspired coffee station.
coffee station design ideas
Photo Courtesy of Home CBF

And this coffee station (below) on a vintage wooden ironing board! I recently posted about the wooden ironing board I just bought but didn't see this in time for my post. What a unique idea!
wood coffee station

Photo Courtesy of Home CBF

coffee station ideas for kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Home CBF

I always thought I'd like a coffee station in our Master bedroom but decided that, with the layout of our house, it would probably be more trouble than it's worth.  I also thought it would still involve a trip downstairs unless we had room for a mini-frige and bar sink in the MBR as well. (We don't.)

But I'm really happy with the little "Coffee Corner" I did create, inspired by photos from favorite decorating sites.

Do you have a "Coffee Station" at your house?

If you were only a little closer, I'd invite you over for a cup of coffee!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Call the Midwife

Have you ever watched a TV show that was so good you cried when it was over?
That's what happens to DH and I as each season of Call the Midwife comes to an end.
We sit on either end of the couch, in the dark, afraid to look at each other because we know we will see a few embarrassing tears.

We just finished watching Season 7 of Call the Midwife and can't wait for Season 8 in early 2019.

Call the Midwife, based on the memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth, tells the often heart-wrenching, often funny, stories of midwifery in London’s East End  in the 1950's and early 60's. The drama follows the nurses, midwives and nuns from Nonnatus House, who travel by bicycle to provide maternity care to some of the city's poorest mothers.

The series is produced by BBC1 and PBS.  Newly qualified midwife Jenny (Vanessa Redgrave) and the  eccentric, lovable community of nuns at Nonnatus House can all be found on Netflix, which is airing all 7 Seasons.

This is the perfect series to binge watch as the fall days grow shorter. I promise that it will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even want to dance.

That's because the episodes of Call the Midwife are accompanied by exactly the perfect music for the times. The soundtrack includes so many favorites from the 50's and early 60's:  Diana, Lollipop, My Special Angel, Here Comes Summer . . . 
Little Darlin', Come Softly to Me, Stranger In Paradise, Dedicated to the One I Love. If you're a Boomer like me, you can fill in the rest of the list (and probably remember all the words too!).

As the Series begins, Jenny is surprised to find herself at a convent -- she thought she was being sent to a small private hospital -- and is initially daunted by her surroundings, most notably the formidable Sister Evangelina and the unconventional Sister Monica Joan. 

But Jenny gradually begins to find her way and develops incredible friendships among the nurses, as they are drawn into the lives and homes of the women and families they treat.

I like that the producers of Call the Midwife are not afraid to address the medical and social issues of the time, including polio . . .
Thalidomide babies . . .

Down Syndrome . . .

and womens' issues like poverty, domestic violence, and the lack of birth control among women who can't afford even one more baby.

Thankfully, truth is mixed with a big dose of British humor that often makes you laugh out loud

As the nuns interact with the families of their East End neighborhood of  Poplar.

Jenny's voice lives on in Vanessa Redgrave’s crackly narration, as an elderly Jenny, who reminds us at the end of each episode . . . 

that love is often the only answer. 
   By then, I'm usually reaching for the tissues and repeating to DH, "This is just so well done". 
I say it every time. 

This post is linked to:
Share Your Cup #310 at Mrs. Olson blog
Sundays at Home #13 at The Little Farmstead
Amaze Me Monday #285 at Dwellings

Monday, October 8, 2018

Repurposed Ironing Board

My friend, and felter extraordinaire, Kathleen Gerdes, recently had a "Yard Fair" at her home - half Yard Sale and half Craft Fair.  My big purchase? A vintage wooden ironing board! I had no place for it, and no use for it (I'm downsizing, remember?,) but couldn't seem to leave without putting it in my car. I'm so glad I did!

It was leaning against the side of Kathleen's garage when I first spotted it.

Kathleen had planned to paint sunflowers on it but, like most of us, had just too many projects going and never quite got to it.

I loved that the original label was still on the underside of the board. And it was made right here in Portland, Maine. 

 I couldn't find a date on the label but, judging from the clothes and hairstyle of the lady ironing her husband's shirt (Wow, this really is an OLD ironing board!), it's  probably from the early 1900's.
Did they really iron back then?
Did they really iron in heels back then?

After moving my "new" ironing board all around the house, I decided to check the Internet for inspiration. Other bloggers always have great ideas! These two are from Floriane at Floriane Lamarie Blog. Designer Floriane writes in French but the blog has a "translate" button which works well. (Any way, I think "vieille table a repasser" sounds a lot better than "old ironing board", don't you?)

This one is from Anita at Cedar Hill Farmhouse.

This ironing board image is from Pinterest. It caught my eye because I have the same sign (thought I was the only one!). It reads simply, "Work Hard and Be Nice". I haven't really gotten into the "Live, Laugh, Love" sign trend but this one really speaks to me so it now lives in my kitchen to remind me of what's important. I love how this vintage ironing board is styled.

 And here's mine. There were so many places I could have used it but it has finally settled into my dining area, right off the kitchen. It will be great for displaying seasonal vignettes as well as for serving when I entertain.

DH just cut back the hydrangeas for winter. They dried right in my vase. Aren't they beautiful?

And if you happen to find a newer ironing board at a yard sale, how about this idea for your laundry room, again from Floriane Lemarie?

Décoration table à repasser

Even though I refuse to think about Christmas yet, I had to share this ironing board from Becky at Beyond the Picket Fence.  How about the "tree lights" coming through the steam vents?

Décoration table à repasser

Who thinks up this stuff?

 For now, I think I'll just stick with my old wooden model.

Yours in repurposing . . . 
A lot more fun than ironing!

This post is linked to:
Amaze Me Monday #284 at Dwellings
Talk of the Town #144 at Knick of Time
Inspiration Monday at Refresh Restyle
Share A Cup #310 at Mrs. Olson blog
Share Your Style #178 at The Red Painted Cottage
Farmhouse Friday Link Party #78 at The Painted Hinge

Monday, October 1, 2018


It seems as if we've been "downsizing" forever!  But, the closer I get to the end, the harder the job has become. Because . . .

The "easy stuff" is gone.  Now I'm coming to the really hard stuff:  Family keepsakes, toys from when our kids were little, handmade items, items loaded with memories. What does one do with the dress your Mom wore on her honeymoon?  Grampa's violin case from his time in vaudeville?  Your sister's favorite dolls?

I've used about every method known to man woman to pare down from a 3500 square foot farmhouse to our little cape cod retirement home.  My copy of Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is dog-eared and my little Mini Cooper could find its way to Goodwill by itself.  But the things that are left seem too special for any of  my previous methods. 

So I've come up with an unexpected solution for the "hard things":
I'm giving them away.  
To people I don't know.  No strings attached.

Here's my first gift:  My late sister, Nancy's, Ronald McDonald doll from the 1970's. 
image 0

The long-time manager of our local McDonald's was thrilled to get it. He's so touched that he plans to display Nancy's doll in a shadow box inside the store for everyone to enjoy. Nancy would like that. Score!

Next:  The vintage child's John Deere tractor and cart from the 1960's that all of our grandchildren have played with. Now even the youngest one has outgrown it.

We considered selling it on Craigslist - until we went apple-picking last weekend and saw these! It turns out that the farm, which is located in the town I taught in for years, collects John Deere tractors and artifacts. They display them in this barn,  outside among the apple trees . . . 

And in a little farm museum they've created on the property.  This farm has been in the same family for four generations and I have happy memories of taking students there to pick apples over the years.

We knew immediately that this would be the new home of our little antique John Deere. 
DH got it down from the attic and we brought it back to the farm the very next day. 

The owner of the farm was a bit reserved when he first got out of his tractor to meet us.  I think he was probably a little suspicious:  Were we trying to sell him something? Ask for a donation? Get him to make an offer on the tractor?  "No", we said "We'd just like to give this to you."

Slowly, his face brightened and he shook our hands, thanking us repeatedly. He wanted to give us apples, cider, pumpkins, whatever we wanted, but, having picked two pecks of apples just the day before, we declined.

Because we got some things even better than apples or cider from our gift to the orchard.

We made a new friend, "paid it forward" in our community, had fun, and left with good karma and full hearts.

What could be better than that?

This post is linked to:
Amaze Me Monday #283 at Dwellings
Inspiration Monday at Refresh Restyle
Talk of the Town at Knick of Time

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