Saturday, December 31, 2011

Vintage French Country

One of the advantages to being a teacher is the Christmas break, and was I ever in need of a break. Being a homemaker at heart, I really needed some quality time with my home. I needed an abundance of stress free hours to putter and preen. In November I was able to sell my (not my style) dining room furniture and replace it with vintage French Provencial pieces. They are rustic and in need of some TLC, but they had the look I wanted. I had been reading many blogs about Annie Sloan Chalk paint and decided that chalk painted furniture was my new love! The painting and reupholstering will have to wait until June, but I just couldn't resist playing with my "new" vintage furniture.
When we first brought the little dining room set home, I thought, "uh oh" maybe it is too little. Furniture is so ginormous nowadays. I wasn't exactly sure how it would work with my high ceilings. Once we brought the china cupboard in, and I added some items on top, I started to get excited! This was exactly the look I love. I have a vintage floral picture that will go up even higher on the wall, and I am going to hang some white ironstone dishes on the wall. Of course, I need a cute, French Country oval rug to go under the table.

What has been so fun about my new dining room design, is that I can use some of my more cutsie treasures that have been down in the basement on a storage shelf. The little porcelain rabbit was a recent thrift store find. My black bird cage came from a garage sale. It was originally white and I spray painted it black. Inside is a wee glass rabbit candle holder that Doug gave me over 10 years ago. It looks so charming when lit.

While on a shopping trip over a year ago, I found this burlap throw pillow. Being a follower of the Fabulous Fifi blog, I knew instantly that it needed to belong to me. It had been sitting on a shelf in my closet. Now it has a perfect home in my vintage dining room!
A friend gave me the rusty bird bath years ago. Yes, they were also resigned to some sad storage area. I love rusty, paint chipped, distressed things, I always have. Styles may come and go, but I have learned that the things I enjoy having in my home are still the same. Anytime I buy into something trendy, I lose interest in it.

I love lamps and have them scattered all over my house, I have them sitting on little shelves and perched on top of my kitchen cabinets. This beauty came from a thift store in Colorado Springs. It is one of my favorites!
I also found this wonderful soup tureen and that same thrift store. Makes me inspired to cook a yummy wintery soup and dine in my new dining room.

Another iron rusty item! This teapot is over 10 years old and has traveled with me to every home we have ever lived in. It came from a wonderful tearoom about an hour from where I live. Years ago, I collected everything teapot I came across, so I have quite a collection of charming tearoom items. I really should open my own tearoom/garden shop someday.
Hope you have enjoyed visiting my vintage French Country dining room. It is definitely going to be a work in progress, but it is great fun to have a new decorating adventure in the works.

'Till we meet again!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shopping ~ Craiglist Style

My tuscan inspired dining room is now a thing of the past. It was ornate and fancy, but was it really my style? The answer is no. It had an extreme amount of carvings and moldings and was forever in need of dusting. Plus I think the wood grain was called burl, which reminds me of Spanish, which is my least favorite style. When our new orphan kitten was welcomed "into" the house, he thought the gigantic floral arrangment was a jungle to be jumped in. He would literally pounce right smack dab into the middle of it. Now the floral arrangment is on top of the armoir in the living room.

I decided, what the heck, I am going to sell it on Craig's List. It sold within two weeks. The family that purchased it drove all the way from Kansas City, KS. She laughed and said they thought they would never get here. Definitely way out in the boon docks! Could not get over how "out in the country" we are. I thought they were just going to look it at, so I hadn't unloaded the full china cabinet and the base. Ye Gads....I had dishes all over my kitchen counter for two days! I just didn't have time to figure out where to put everything. So now most of the work is over. Ginormous furniture is gone, I'm relieved. Now I am hunting for something new. Been on Craig's List but just not found exactly what I am looking for. I think I need inspiration...

Design of

I think is very cute. I like the buffet. I have been learning all about painting furniture with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The question is, where to find the time. I do like the mix of cottage plus a little fancy with tassle and the lamps.

I like the oak stained table top and the painted chairs. I also like the cabinet, that looks like it should be in a country house. I thought I wanted French Provincial, but now I think that might be too Froo Froo.


Days Later....
Blogging continues....

I've been shopping on Craiglist and have found "perfect" furniture for the dining room! Let me tell you, the story about the china cabinet deserves a post of it's own. If any of you know a bit about Kansas City, you know that there are murders every night in a certain section, say Prospect and Troost. Well guess what? Yep, two streets over is where I picked up my darling, precious little china cabinet...or as I prefer to say, "rescued" my darling, precious little china cabinet. I'm afraid she was in the hands of two questionable men, who appeared to be very rough around the edges, drugs, maybe? Well, that story later. Do you want a sneak peek of the dining room furniture? I am going to pick it up this afternoon, when I should be readying the house for Thanksgiving! But! At least we will now have something to eat dinner on.
"Aren't these nice sentences for a reading/writing teacher to use!" Hmmm where are the subjects and predicates?
Yes, artistic license!

What do you think?
I think, really cute! The chairs are upholstered in a charcoal grey, and have a small pattern with a check, in each little square is a dot of white or beige. I am also thinking about getting the rug. It may match the wall color in the dining room which is a bittersweet red, and doesn't go well with red toile, sigh, which is a little more cooler in shade. How do you like the fleur di lis? There is a total of 6 chairs and the table has a leaf.
Okay want to know what kinda shopper I am?
When it was first listed on Craig's List it was $750. I saw it listed today for $475.00. I offered him $375.00 and he took it! Yippee! Only drawback, dear husband isn't home yet for me to tell him the wonderful news of a trip up to the city this afternoon. Hmm...tad bit nervous about this part. Generally he is a good sport, but two trips to the city (takes about and hour) in less than 24 hrs. that might be asking a little much. Although I AM cooking big tomorrow!
And friends...
THANK YOU for not taking me off your blogroll!
I feel like I am seeing my old friends again. Gosh how I've missed you and your sweet comments! Okay I know I haven't visited you back, but I will...I am just a wee bit sidetracked with the furniture right now.
Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Friendly Village

I do I ever LOVE dishes. I actually have way too many dishes. I saw this little set of dishes in our local thrift store over a year ago. I just kept passing them by. Then one day, while I was at work, I decided... I must have those dishes! They would be perfect for Thanksgiving. So I had my mom call the thrift store to see if they still had them. Now, I get in an utter panic when I decide, you know months later, that I simply must have something. I am crossing fingers and toes hoping that they are still there. So mom called, they were closed for remodeling but, yes they still had my dishes for a whopping $4.00. A new collection has begun!

I am going with new a decorating scheme at Hickory Hollow. I have always loved the mismatched cottage look. I tried really hard this time for a more formal look, but I just kept feeling that I wasn't quite home. I have been keeping an eye out for interesting pieces that have a more country house/cottage feel. One day as we were pulling into school, I saw a
table and chair set by the road. It was literally smack dab in front of the school. You know the feeling.... heart starts beating rapidly, panic sets in, I have GOT to have that! Especially when I saw the $30 price tag. I could hardly wait for Doug to stop the truck (he teaches high school math, at the same school) so I could run across the street. Banging on the door I finally get a young gal to answer. So happy when she would hold it for me to after school!

Whew... I really like it in my breakfast room. It is not so large and makes the area seem larger and I love how the black and oak look together and the pedestal base. It is a bit distressed, I actually need to sand down some areas more. But it was just what I was looking for!

Tomorrow we are going to go to the city to pick up a sofa, chair and ottoman set I found on Craig's List. I will give you a hint for next week's post... The name of the furniture set is called
Grandma's Attic!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Change at Hickory Hollow

It's Me!
Can you believe it!
Gone from blogging for almost 2 years.

But, I ran across a blog and saw that Hickory Hollow was still on their sidebar.
I realized that I have really missed blogging.

With time, comes many changes...
New Cottage Herb & Flower Garden
New Victorian Back Porch
New Pets
New furniture
New job!
My fondest wish is to blog once a week.
You see, I work full time now.
I have for almost a year and a half.
Not just any ole job.
I teach.
Wonderful 4th graders!
Was it hard for this stay-at-home mom to go back to work full-time?
Oh my goodness yes!
Do I miss staying at home?
Oh my goodness yes!
I feel God's hand guiding me to the classroom.
I know this is where He wants me to be.
So I pray to accept my new circumstances.
I still have to live in my own little world, though
the world of Hickory Hollow.
Where I capture moments
that make my heart sing.
I see much more sorrow & struggle.
So I feel the need, now more than ever,
to find kindness, beauty and goodness.
So I hope you will join me on my new journey,
Hickory Hollow

I'm coming back home!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cozy Little Corners

Dear Friends,
Do you like cozy corners?
I always have liked to tuck my little flea market finds into cozy little vignettes.
Now, it is really hard to take pictures
of cozy corners because the lighting isn't very good...
the whole reason that they're cozy!
Great lighting, or not, here are some cozy corners in Hickory Hollow...

This is a cozy corner in my laundry room. I found this primitive country shelf at a garage sale last year. It was too wide, but my favorite husband, Doug trimmed the sides for me so I could squeeze it between the wall and my cabinet. Of course I needed a little lamp for cute lighting. This is also a great place to display a couple of country aprons. My mom gave me the teacup embroidered one for Christmas.

My friend Cheryl, made me an herbal wreath for my birthday! Isn't it precious. Cheryl loves all things cozy and toile. If in a pinch I run out of herbs in the pantry, I probably could harvest a couple of stems from here!

~ A Cozy Kitchen Corner ~
Here is a cozy corner tucked between my built-in pantry and my black cupboard.
This a perfect place to tuck in another apron. Cheryl also made this for me for my birthday.
Remember when I found the free Susan Branch apron pattern and shared it with you?
Well, Cheryl made me a toile Susan Branch apron!

A little red berry wreath and teapot hanger.

On the other side of my cupboard is a stack of baskets.
They are my Longabergers. Much to pretty hide in a closet.

I bought these several years ago.
So glad that I choose a red, green & gold liner!
The one on the bottom is a cupcake basket.
It has a wooden tray that sits in it so you can transport a dozen cupcakes!

A little wire hen.
Usually she sits on my kitchen table with flowering plant.

~Cozy Living Room Corner~
I cozied up a corner in my living room with a new plaid curtain.
Love, Love LOVE this curtain!
My inspiration was from looking at pictures of Paula Deen's living room.

I tucked in my little white wicker table.
This was the table I bought at the country auction, some of you may remember.
Behind it is a mirror that I daringly painted black!

Love this little pot of posies and the glazed pears!

~A Cozy Counter Corner~
Goodness, I play with this corner all the time.
Sometimes I have my flour and sugar containers sitting out
with their toile teacup scoops. Sometimes I have a basket of seasonal cookbooks nestled in here.
Just last week, I remembered a thrifty painted tray I had and thought that would be great to add behind Mr. Rooster. My Rooster is a pitcher, what great thrifty find!

I am on the lookout now for a cozy little chair to add to a corner in my bedroom.
I want to make myself a little reading nook.

I have been keeping very busy this past week!
I am substitute teaching for an extended time in 1st. grade.
I even get to do some lesson planning!
March will be here soon,
so I have been gathering rainbows, leprechauns, and shamrocks
for some fun things to do with the children to decorate the classroom.
Today I am off to purchase green glitter!
Dangling shamrocks need to be glittery, don't they?
I want to say *Hi* to all my new followers!
Welcome to Hickory Hollow.
And THANK YOU to all who leave me such wonderfully sweet comments.
I do try to return the visit, but sometimes, I just don't make it.
But just know that your comments brighten MY day!
See You Soon!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Wishes

Dear Friends,
Hope you are enjoying a very lovely Valentine's Day!
It has been so cold and so wintery white, I felt that I needed a reminder that greener days are coming soon!
I treated myself to a bouquet of red tulips.
They smell so green!

Tulips and a bunny...
makes me think

Lindsey and I baked and decorated sugar cookies yesterday.
So much fun!

Loved the heart sprinkles.

Oooh, here is another reminder of Spring!
Tasty chocolate dipped strawberries.
I am already planning on planting
50 strawberry plants this spring.
Sweet, delicious homegrown strawberries...

A cute way to celebrate Valentine's Day!
Sometimes we just need a nudge
to make a day special.
Do something a bit out of the ordinary.

If you have been a follower of my blog for awhile,
you will know that it isn't a holiday for Jill unless I have a special whimsical sweater to wear.

Isn't this a cute one for Valentine's Day!

There are little heart-shaped charms along the bottom of the sweater.
The buttons have beaded hearts sewn on them.
Yes, I found it at a thrift store!

Some of you may remember that I found a little shabby pillow in a thrift store that had these adorable gold hearts sewn on it.
I retrieved the hearts and made a bracelet. I love that it looks vintage and Victorian.

I have a couple of cute recipes I want to share with you!

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day with your sweeties.

I looked at the window just now and guess what I saw?
Hmph...More SNOW!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sweaters & Granny Boots

Hello Friends!
I have a secret to share with you.
I'm not all that into the most current styles.

Yes, it is true.
Maybe that is why I like Thrift Stores...
nothing is in or out of style at the thrift store.

It is all there for the taking depending on how daring you are!

I'm not all that daring, but in my closet at one time was a vintage 50's coat with faux fur collar! That one was beautiful blueberry blue. I passed it on when we lived in Mississippi. Now I have a jaunty red number that I wear with a black scarf and gloves! Lindsey gave me a sparkly monogramed J pin that looks quite cute on the lapel.
Seriously though,
I love wearing denim skirts with tights and boots.
I picked up on this style back in the 90's in the Victoria magazine.
Those girls always wore classic, beautiful clothing.
That is what I love, classic sweaters, classic shoes, classic handbags & jewelry.

In the winter, I want cozy Fair Isle Sweaters.
Sweaters that remind me of going on woodland walks, ski lodges & hot chocolate.
Sweaters that smell faintly of woodsmoke.

These are so easy to find at the thrift stores.
Seems like nobody else is interested in these traditional winter garmets.
This gray/green one is classic Eddie Bauer
Lucky for ME!

Sweaters with a little bit of wool in them are fun.
Yes, they can be a bit itchy but you wear them over turtle necks.
This cute little sweater was a thrift store find from last year.

I researched the label and it is from New York and sold for about $175.

Now to wear these with a denim skirt, you need the right type of tights. You want the thick, warm tights. The ones I bought this year are chocolate brown, and black. The boots are a bit harder to find especially for a good price. I did a search on Etsy and found a lot of them. Some were a bit pricey though. My favorites though are the ones with...


I have worn my granny boots with...
long denim dresses,
short denim dresses,
denim prairie skirts,
and just plain denim skirts.
Denim skirts are a dime a dozen at the thrift stores.
But to me they are always in style...Victoria magazine says so!
So my friends let's enjoy winter!
Wear cozy sweaters, and
warm, woolen mittens,
Granny Boots!

~ Jill ~

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