Saturday, May 23, 2009

I Love Mail!!!

I just love when a treat arrives in the mail!! Yesterday my treat was the Cath Kidston catalog. I've already looked through it numerous times!! It is beautifully photographed and full of wonderful ideas for vintage decor and style!! If you aren't familiar with Cath Kidston products you can order her catalog here!!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I am so excited my lilacs are finally growing!! It has been a long, cold spring here in Northern Michigan and I thought they'd never bloom!! I has inspired me for sure... I have been a busy bee this morning and thought I'd share some pics!

I worked on a corner of my kitchen this morning.. adding some of my "junk" I found in the trash last week!! I still need to paint the kitchen walls, but haven't yet commited to a color. It is creeping up on the one year anniversary of moving in and I am a little gun shy about the kitchen color. I am thinking of a very pale green, tan, or even yellow. I can't decide since the pine in the kitchen has a yellow undertone, I don't want it to clash too much and I DEFINATELY haven't commited to painting the wainscoating yet...

This shelf I found junking. I love the color, even though it is really chipped up, I think I like it just how it is. The birds nest was on the ground in my yard, so that was free, the enamelware bowl was my dad's cereal bowl when he was a little boy and the milk jar I bought at the grocery store... it's the brand of buttermilk that I buy and I love the bottles, so I never return them for the deposit. They make great vases!!

I framed this pic of my 6 year old. Walgreens had a free 8x10 print for mother's day, so I had this pic printed. During the summer we head over to the beach on Lake Michigan and search for Petoskey stones. This pic was taken with my cell phone at sundown and I just love how it turned out!!

I hung a couple of my vintage aprons from this old piece of picket fencing I found on Junk day... I have to dig out more of my aprons, as well as finished some I have half sewn... but when this is finished I think it will be cute. The girls love to wear an apron when helping in the kitchen.. I have a stack of the old picket fencing and I will be using it in many more areas of my house, so I am sure you will be seeing a lot more of it!!

Above my picket fence, I hung a pic that I bought when I lived in Las Vegas.. I was drawn in by the frame and the $11.00 price tag, but I also liked the picture. It was painted by a local artist and he had a stack of them in one of my favorite antique stores. I bought it because of the farm. Growing up in southern California, then living in Las Vegas, I always wanted to live in the country and this pic was a little taste of country that I loved. Now I have these barns and fields right in my own backyard!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another day..

Well, today is another day to try and get some needed projects done. Sure these inspiration pics are supposed to get me motivated, so stay tuned to see if this helps!!

I'm going to put on my apron and get some work done..

I'm going to work on my junk bench and try to get it to resemble something like this one..

I am going to the hardware to get some chalkboard paint to finish up some projects on my list

I am going to try and get some laundry done, although not in a laundry room as nice as this one..

and if I'm VERY lucky, I can paint a stool I have waiting for a re-do... I want it something like this!! We'll see what today brings!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Junk Inspiration!!

Ahhhh... gettink ready for another day of junking. The fun will be over early Saturday morning when those big garbage trucks come to pick up all of that beautiful junk and then we will have to wait for other local towns to have their own junk day... Since I haven't made it out yet today, I thought I'd give you some inspiration for your junk and if you haven't perfected the art of junking, here are some resources on where to start!! The pic above as well as some of these wonderful ideas are from Junk Camp Ki Nassauer's wonderful junking blog. There is a wonderful interview ( 2 of them , actually ) on the blog, Restyled Home so check it out here.
Love this cookie cutter turned night light!!

And who wouldn't want to eat pickles out of this cute Junk????

I HIGHLY recommend this book and often refer to it for inspiration!! It is available on Amazon. Ki along with Sue Whitney have elevated the art of turning junk into one of a kind items!! The magazine Junk market style also highlights these ladies works. Check out the blog here. Here is some pics from Junkmarket style..

I'm a sucker for a picket fence!!

Junk in a bathroom is ALWAYS good...

And finally... this is my next piece of junk I picked this week... It's a rusty old planter, used at our local cemetary for plantings, but now it is old and rusted and I think it may be a great toilet paper holder for all of those extra rolls... or I just may find some other use for it... we'll see!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gotta Love Junkin!!

Gotta love Spring clean up!!! Once a year our town has spring clean up day where everyone can put all of their "junk" by the road that the garbage man usually won't pick up, and lemme tell ya... it's a junkers dream!!! I just drove through town and found this bench in a LARGE pile of junk and it sent my heart a pitter patter!!! I can see this painted with new cushions, maybe vintage fabrics and viola!!! A new piece of junk for my.... I don't know where I'll put it, but I NEEDED it!! lol... Thought I'd share some past junk I've accumulated, too.
Last year I got these ols Wheelbarrows and thought they'd look good in the garden planted with flowers on them...

I have a PILE of old doors windows and screens waiting for projects..

This is a porch swing I picked up last year that has no home in my new house, and I never repainted it.. so this year it may go back into the junk pile!!

More junk updates to follow.... I ALWAYS need junk to refurbish and my to do list is never too long!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Amish Cook

Today I thought I'd share one of my favorite cookbooks with you, The Amish Cook At Home By: Lovina Eicher ( you can order it through Amazon, here ). I love this cookbook because it is simple recipes that I tend to cook for my Family as well as it is neatly organized into seasons, so I find I tend to take out this cook book and browse through it as the seasons change.

It is sitting beside me right now on my kitchen table as I look at the spring section and see all of the beautiful pictures and recipes utilizing my favorite spring vegtables! Lovina Eicher writes a coloumn that our local paper carries in the food section and I can't wait to read it each week. It contains a small snippet of amish life as well as a recipe. I sometimes think I could live like the amish, then I get real and realize I would be miserable with out my internet, TiVo, and telephone.... so I cook the recipes and look at pictures and admire the Amish lifestyle from afar!! Here are some pics and a recent article from the Amish cook, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Amish Cook: Spring goodies are everywhere
BY LOVINA EICHER Special to the Record-Eagle

This column will wrap up my writing for April already. Time seems to slip away too fast. There are only five more weeks of school for the children before the term ends. Right now they are outside waiting for the bus. It is a nice, breezy Monday morning and everyone wants to be outside. It sure is easier when I don't have to pack their coats along.
We have been having 80-degree weather the last few days. My husband Joe put our porch swing back up again for the summer. He also put up some swings on some of our big trees for the children. They have had their share of use this weekend. It is surprising how a few boards and a few ropes have made hours of entertainment for them. The children say they like these swings better because they can swing so much higher.
Joe is leaving for work at 3 a.m. this week, 45 minutes earlier than usual. Because one of the drivers is on vacation, Joe is one of the first men picked up on the vanload of Amish men that go to the factory. Being 45 minutes early sure makes a big difference in the morning hours.
I have so many things on my to-do list today that I am not sure where to start. I'll probably start with doing the laundry and then it will be onto the garden. We were ready to plant corn on Saturday but it started raining. I think I'll try to get some corn planted today. Silver queen, Bodacious, Seneca and Candy Corn are a few of the varieties that we will have in our garden this summer.
I want to make quite a few batches of rhubarb jam. We are out of rhubarb jam and this is one of our favorite jams. We like to spread butter and rhubarb jam on our toast or homemade bread in the morning. My rhubarb is really spreading out and growing this year so I will try to put it to good use. Besides rhubarb jam, we'll also be making rhubarb juice, shortcakes, pies, cakes and other desserts. Also Joe came in last night and told me our asparagus is ready to use. I got the hint, so I will try to fix his favorite asparagus recipe tonight, which is asparagus-potato soup.
Our radishes, peas and green onions are up in the garden. We have had a few winter onions already but it looks like it will be another week before they really start.
We have had our share of dandelion greens. The yellow flowers are really popping up so it will not be long before they are over with for another year. Once the blossom is on the greens they taste too bitter to eat. The young tender ones are the best although my daughters don't really like washing them because they are so tiny.

Here is the recipe for my husband's favorite asparagus dish:

Asparagus-Potato Soup

1&3/4 c. chicken broth
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 c. chopped onion
1 t. salt
1&1/2 c. milk
2 T. all-purpose flour
1 c. Velveeta or Colby cheese (cubed or sliced)
Combine the broth, potatoes, asparagus, onion and salt in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Whisk the milk and flour together well in a small bowl and whisk into the broth mixture. Stir in the cheese until melted. Pour into warmed soup bowls and serve immediately.

Lovina Eicher is Old Order Amish. She hand-writes this column from her home in southern Michigan. Anyone with cultural or cooking questions can send them to: Lovina Eicher, The Amish Cook, P.O. Box 2144, Middletown, OH 45042. Read all of her columns online at

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Fesitval of Tables!!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!! I had a wonderful Mother's day weekend and I thought I'd share! Saturday I attended the Festival of Tables in Traverse City, Mi to benefit Child and Family services of NW Michigan . Tables are decorated by sponsors of the Luncheon and judged as well as there are tables that are actually raffled off!! Unfortunatley I didn't win any of the raffles I entered, but I had a great time meandering through the tables and taking some great inspiration pics!! Here is a snippet of what I saw..

One of my fave's was this vintage childrens table. It was a raffle table and unfortunately I didn't win :(

LOVED this french inspired black and white table!!! Ohhhh La La!!

Love the vintage Michigan postcard lampshade on this "Up North" Table!!

Many tables had great Spring ideas, too!

Even though it was a cloudy day on Lake Michigan, the day was beautiful!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Summer Scrappin!!

I am so excited!! Today is the first day that the summer idea book from Close To My Heart is available!! As you may know, I am a Close To My Heart consultant and this idea book as well as any Close To My Heart scrapbooking and stamping supplies can be purchased through me here.
Here is a sample of the great new products and ideas featured in the new idea book!!

This is the new animal ccokies line of papers and stamps. I just got mine in the mail and can't wait to scrap my baby's first birthday with these cute papers!! I even got the cute memory cube to alter!! I'll share what I came up with when the project is completed!!

This is a sample of the new line, Moondoggie!!

And the baby boy line, Tinkerin!!

I also ordered the new alterable board books as pictured above and can't wait to try them out!! If you have never heard of or are interested in Close To My Heart products.. visit my website at or you can email me at :