Thursday, February 26, 2009

Country Cottage Kitchen

I tried, really I did.
I tried to decorate with everything but...
checks, stripes, lace curtains, flowers, dishes, little critters & knicky knacks.
I just couldn't do it...
You can take a girl out of a cottage
put her in base housing
but you really can't take the cottage out of the girl!
The same thing happened to Mary Engelbreit...yes sirree bob it sure did. I read about it in her magazine. She moved to a different house, thought the style of her collectibles wouldn't really fit into the new house...had a HUGE sale...sold almost everything. She said she wasn't in her new house but about 2 months until she started to haunt garage sales and flea markets again.
Um Hum...I know the feeling.
She said the one important thing she learned was
"To Your Own Self be True"
It's true,
I am an ole cottage, country gal.
I like to wear plaid shirts, jeans and Keds.
I can sit in a field and listen to birds for hours and I
Couldn 't be happier than when I am surrounded with cuteness
like checks & plaids, bunnies & chicks,
lace curtains & dishes
I like good old homecooked meals
with pickled beets, fried potatoes, navy beans and ham
& a big chunk of hot cornbread.
If this sounds a whole lot like the "real" you too
come on into my country cottage kitchen and sit a spell
and I will show you what this old country gal has been up to lately.
I have been hitting the thrift store pretty often and my favorite antique mall/flea market.
Thought you might like to see some new fabulous (countryfied) finds!
Oh you see what is now hanging in my breakfast room windows?
Um Hum those curtains that were going in the chicken house.
I like them here!

See my little garage sale cabinet,
that is where all my cute new cottage finds are going.
You know what though?
A lot of these cuties, like the birds, I have had for years.

Isn't this little hen basket just too cute for words?
I love the chicken wire for the basket.
She came home with me yesterday from
my favorite antique mall.

Always on the lookout for old gardening books,
this I picked up at the Salvation Army this week.
The copyright date is 1958.
I like to read to find old tried and true gardening tips.

Here's the little corner in my kitchen. I can already tell this is going to be a fun area to decorate.
I found the little wire bird/candle yesterday. Mom bought the gorgeous toile matted mirror for me at the antique mall. I had been admiring it for the past couple of weeks.

A couple of my favorite bloggers, Cindy at my Romantic Home and Tina at Cherry Hill Cottage have these wonderful flour & sugar containers sitting on their counters. Of course, they have transferware teacups in theirs. I am now on the hunt trying to find some red transferware cups. Anybody have any they don't want anymore?

The only red transferware I have found lately are two of these little fruit plates,
they were only $1 each.

I picked up a couple decoupaged green apples for a song!
They were originally hanging ornaments. I LOVE this color green!

Here are some cute things, that I have had for awhile. The red berry star I won at my husband's Christmas party. The birdhouse and plate came from goodwill and the red basket, from an antique mall in Colorado Springs.

A cute new rug from one of my favorite stores!
And look there are more coordinated accessories

Yes, Toile hand towels and pot holders

Really, how cute is this!

A view of the other side of the kitchen.
Do you see on top of my cabinets.
Cute Daniel, added lots of plug ins everywhere for me
just in the event I might want to decorate up there.
Yes, I will decorate up there.
You should have seen me...
I am only 5' tall

So I am standing on my tippy toes trying to put stuff up here,
without it crashing down on my head and my ceramic cooktop.
Doug put my lamp there, he could reach the plug, LOL!

I found this little green tole tray this week.
I like the punch of color it adds behind my cooktop.

These little jars came from the antique mall/flea market.
I love their colors & little metal leaves.

Cute book..I know it is way to early to be thinking of fall, but you have to grab the goodies when you see them. This was just $2 and the photos inside are just beautiful! Plus there is lots of info on growing pumpkins & gourds and there are recipes!

I am going to plant me a hill of Baby Boo pumpkins!

Last, but certainly not least, a vintage-looking rack.
I am going to hang my straw hats here...
so they will be ready to plop on my head
when I skip off to the garden!
As always...
thanks for stopping by to visit!
My next post is going to be about..
Bubbles in the Bathtub, stay tuned!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Victorian Chicken House Update!

So sweet of YOU to ask, Nikki & Liz!
They would like to know what the latest news is on my
Victorian Chicken House.

Remember this Craig's List find last summer?
I had gotten inspired by an article in the Mary Jane's Farm magazine, about fixing up an adorable chicken house.
Their's had wallpapered walls, a cute little shelf with a tea cup dangling from a peg and was utterly charming.
So I started looking on Craig's list and found a little outdoor playhouse.
Immediately I thought
Here is what I have finished so far.

I've done a bit of painting on the outside. I am going to repaint the big posts white, the little railings are going to be red and the top of the railing white. I am hoping to add a couple little window boxes under the windows. I also painted the birdhouse on the porch post.
On the left side of the house is going to be the chicken yard enclosed with picket fence (and chicken wire). On the right of the chicken house you will find my herb & flower garden with picket fence, arched arbor & gate.

Isn't this gingerbread trim so VERY cute!
Here are my favorite colors again Green & Red

This is still what the inside looks like.
but when it warms up, (will it ever be warm again?)
I am going to wallpaper the walls with this
very cute, very cottage Waverly wallpaper...
Big Lots $3 a roll

and then I am going to hang these little lace curtains in the windows...

they look like they have been hand tatted...there are 4 separate valances!

I am so VERY excited to have my own charming little Victorian chicken house. We had been talking for years, that when we moved out to the country we would have some hens, so we could gather eggs. Some names we came up with are Matilda, Henny Penny, Gladys, Helen & Ethel ...we want old fashioned names for our girls. I have been checking into bantam chickens.
Did you know they will mail baby chicks to you in the mail?
One day Lindsey and I were in our country post office and I heard peeping noises.
I asked the Postmaster about the sound and he showed us
a box of precious peeping yellow chicks!

Look what I found adorable ledger sheet to keep track of the girls and their egg production. I am going to print this out and turn it into a picture to hang on the wall in their house. Maybe it will keep them encouraged to produce, lots and lots of eggs!

These little prints from a vintage school primer are so cute,
and will make for some cute pictures in the chicken house.
I am going to be on the lookout for some cottagey frames.

So Nikki and Liz,I hope you feel all caught up on the little Victorian Chicken House project, and thanks for asking.
You know what?
I just LOVE my bloggin buddies!
You are guys are soooo much fun to share things with!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Precious Gardening Books

Every now and then, I will get a little glimpse of spring. The grass is starting to turn green, just a little bit at the very bottom near the soil. The robins are finding their way home to their favorite nesting spots, and the Meadowlarks are hopping around in the field. But it is still chilly enough to snuggle in by the fire and dream about gardening.
I am so excited that finally, after 10 years of container gardening, I will get to have a BIG vegetable garden. And I want to plant it ALL, asparagus, beans & beets, cantaloupes, cucumbers & corn, potatoes & tomatoes, peas & peppers!
I have been unpacking all my books/treasures and have rediscovered 3 absolutely adorable gardening books. I know you will fall in love with them too...

Betty Crocker's
Kitchen Gardens
A year 'round guide to growing and using herbs and vegetables
by Mary Mason Campbell
Pictures by Tasha Tudor
Copyright 1971

Are these not, the most adorable illustrations? Of course they are, they are by Tasha, a most magical woman who led a magical life. Tasha's family has website: Tasha Tudor and Family that allows us to continue to enjoy all of Tasha's work. You can purchase different items, but most importantly to me, you can purchase seeds that were grown from Tasha's own flowers, Forget-Me-Nots, Foxgloves and Hollyhocks to name a few!

Hollyhocks should be in every garden. I think an apron is so appropriate for the garden, little pockets to carry your tools and a big wide bow in the back.

Many pages are adorned with precious pictures.
Looks like I need a nice pair of garden galoshes too!
~*~Lois Burpee's
Gardener's Companion and Cookbook
Delectable recipes and invaluable advice on growing vegetables and fruit from American's foremost gardening family
Illustrated by Parker Leighton
copyright 1983

This little book was a precious thrift store find. The illustrations are beautiful and it is an enjoyable read. Why, just last evening I started reading it again!

The book is divided into gardening seasons, to help you know when to plant!

The book is filled with delicious, garden fresh recipes!

A Blessing of Toads
A Gardener's Guide to Living with Nature
copyright 2004

I became familiar with the writing and illustrating of Sharon Lovejoy through the Country Living Gardener Magazine. Beside Victoria this was my other all time favorite magazine. I have kept every issue I ever purchased. Unfortunately, I don't think the magazine is in publication anymore. But, Sharon does have some wonderful books and she also has a website:
Sharon Lovejoy

I wouldn't mind having these cute little critters in my garden, how about you?

Are squirrels your greatest bird feeder nemesis?
Well just bake them their own cookies, why don't you!

This little book, well actually it isn't quite so little there is over 290 pages, is just full of wonderfully endearing garden stories, recipes and crafts.
Aren't you excited too about the arrival of spring?
I know the next few weeks I will be busy trying to decided exactly what to plant and when to plant it. What I know for sure is that potatoes go in the ground on St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

100 Chocolates in the Mail ~

Ding Dong...who could that possibly be? Who walked across the 2x6 gangplank/sidewalk precariously perched on the mud to come to my front door? Why it is the FedEx man. says something about Southern Living at Home enhancement kit. Oh, did I win something because I just recently subscribed, something that will enhance my magazine?
Oh, I recognize that name and address! This goodie box is from
Suzanne at Southern Inspiration
Hmm...I know this must be
My heart was just going pitter, patter when I opened up the shipping box and discovered this round, floral and ribbon bedecked beauty!
Now let me tell you this...
I have recently fallen in love with two colors
Granny Smith Apple Green and Red
and just look at this pretty girl
in my most favorite colors

Inside were little bundles of chocolates tied with red ribbon and a precious handmade Valentine card. It just made my day, Suzanne! What a joy to have such a fun surprise on a rainy day!

Yes, those are Russell Stover Private Reserve chocolates and some Hershey Kisses and melt in your mouth Doves!
With such a pretty box now in hand of course I had to play cupboard dress up. I think she looks very cute sitting next to a little bird nest and a basket of pears and a little $1 plate.

So smitten was I with my cute little round box,
I turned her into a new header for
Hickory Hollow!
Blogging truly enriches my life everyday.
It keeps me inspired to be creative in my home and it has allowed me to met some very wonderful and creative women who live many miles away. It is so delightful discovering shared interests with others. Those who enjoy the same fun, little tidbits of life that I do.
It is also enriches me with gifts...
Chocolate for one!
Thanks so much, Suzanne!
I am enjoying them immensely!

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