Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Hello dear friends! I have taken a break from painting for the shop and concentrated on some decorating for the holidays. The tree is up and rivals the Griswolds' for the number of lights and ornaments that it holds. There are so many wonderful memories hanging here and there.... clothespin reindeer that Megan made in Kindergarten, all the school photographs with tinsel around them she made through the years and the various mementos we have gathered on vacations here and there. I also have some old ornies from my own childhood on the tree that remind me of the Christmases that my sweet brother and I would spend trying to guess what we would find under the tree.

The nutrackers are attached to the columns on the front of the house. This is the second year for them and our friends and neighbors are still asking about the flying angels that we had hung for the previous 20 years. Each window has its wreath and candle so we are finished with the outside of our home.

I love my snow village and how it looks inside the old oak cabinet. This is a treasured family heirloom piece that my dear father and mother-in-law started housekeeping with. I can't bear to pack the village away so it will stay up for a week or so after everything else is packed away.

That Jolly Olde Soul's elf (ME!!!) still has some last minute shopping to do but I am waiting for some last minute inspiration before I dash out into the wild masses. Yesterday's trip was an adventure to say the least. You would have thought it was Christmas Eve from the terrified look on some of the shoppers' faces. Dearest and darling Megan love to go to the Malls and be in the hustle and bustle. I prefer to stay home and make a lovely Brunswick stew to feed my hungry sweeties when they return.

I pray each of you are enjoying this most special time of the year. Try to make time for yourselves and soak up all the warm feelings that you can to tide you over through the winter months ahead. My love to each of you!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another Thanksgiving Memory

We just returned from another simply wonderful trip to a little piece of heaven on earth, Gatlinburg, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. Our little family has been going there ever since our precious Megan was a toddler to celebrate Thanksgiving as well as our wedding anniversary. We are never disappointed and, although the streets are crowded with people, everyone is always in a holiday mood and having a glorious time. Christmas lights are everywhere and all the decorations are simply stunning.

We ate at all our favorite places, especially the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. Our Thanksgiving dinner there was served "family style" and was absolutely delicious. Breakfast at the Apple Barn Restaurant is also a real treat! An added bonus is all the cute shops on the premises... a bakery, ice cream shop, Christmas shop and winery. The winery is fabulous and we always bring home several bottles of our favorites. The apple orchards are on the surrounding hillsides. It is such a picturesque setting.

Now it is time to complete my holiday decorating and get ready for Christmas. I do hope that each and everyone of you had a lovely holiday with those you love. We are still talking about what a wonderful Thanksgiving we had and already making plans for next year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Happy Thanksgiving to All of My Dear Friends!!!

For each new morning with its light,

For rest and shelter of the night,

For health and food, For love and friends,

For everything Thy goodness sends.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Sincere and loving best wishes to all of you for a lovely and blessed Thanksgiving. My family and I are off to the Smoky Mountains for our annual Thanksgiving holiday trip. I promise to share pics with you when we return.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

HERE I AM!!!!!

Oh, my friend Diane had it right when she said I must be up to my elbows in painting... I have indeed been a busy girl in my studio and simply loving every minute I spend there. The sawdust has been flying and brushes working their magic as the holidays approach. As many of you know, I simply love finding unusual things to paint on so I decided to share a few with you.

One of my most recent pieces is this beautiful doll trunk that I "altered" with a page from an antique hymnal, one of my little wooden angels and some of my saltbox houses painted on the bottom. I think it would be a great place to store all your Christmas cards and stamps, don't you?

Another great find was this antique saw. I have only painted another saw and it was one my dear father-in-law had used over 60 years ago. I decided it would be a fabulous gift for my dearest and so painted the family farm on the blade. The saw pictured here was the perfect piece for me to try out my new snowman pattern. I am most happy with it and thrilled that my sweet friend, Natalie, is going to use it in her beautiful prim home. You might remember that I featured her in one of my older posts...

I have saved the most unusual piece for last! These bellows are just huge and so lovely. They, according to the antique seller, were used on a farm years and years ago. I painted my new design for a Father Frost on this amazing piece of Americana and couldn't be happier with the outcome.
So, dear blogging friends, I am off to paint a bit more. The clock is ticking and I have to get busy. My warmest regards go out to all of you!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

By the Light of the Candy Cane Moon

I just love this design by Terrye French. I have painted it on two different pieces and have orders for two more teapots painted with the same cute scene. I never paint a design the same way twice... I just can't do it! I have tried, but it goes against my nature. Do you feel the same way? I even vary recipes each time I prepare one over and over. The problem is, I don't write down the changes I have made so when one turns out really well and my dearest just loves it, I have already forgotten what I did to make it better. I guess the lesson here is to always keep a pencil handy!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

So many things to paint, so little time!!!

Once again I must apologize to all my wonderful blogging friends for not being attentive to my blog. I have been painting away in my little studio like a mad man (woman!!! LOL!). My favorite season is fall but my favorite things to paint have got to be anything Winter and Christmas. I have more ideas than I will ever be able to produce into reality. I was always puzzled when I was a little girl and I would hear my friends say they were bored. My goodness, I have never been bored a day in my life --- how can you be when there are so many wonderful things just waiting to be painted on, glued together and assembled?

Here are a few of my latest pieces. Thanks for taking the time to look --- I welcome your comments!
The first is an old cabinet that I painted with a Candy Cane Snowman (design by Katrina Roncin). He is one dapper fellow, don't you think?

I have a passion for vintage cheese boxes and here is one I just finished today. The inspiration for the flying snowman came from Terrye French and I added my own twist.

Finally, here is an old kerosene can, painted with the sweetest little angel ever. The penny rug border has black snaps for centers to give extra dimension to the piece.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Old Farmhouse Gathering on Etsy

I belong to a wonderful group of artisans on Etsy called Old Farmhouse Gathering. We just welcomed our 200th member!!!! Currently many of the artists are featuring Autumn and Halloween items in their shops. Just type OFG in the search bar and you will find treasures galore!

Christmas Time!

I have been MIA for a while and I apologize to all my blogging friends. Dear Megan has been busy house hunting and we have been lending support (isn't that what parents do best?!!). I have also been treasuring hunting, cutting wood for projects and of course painting hours on end in my little studio. Here are some Christmas projects to get you in the mood. Check out my Christmas counter below... it isn't long until the happiest day of the year!!

The first project is an old cheese box. My dear father-in-law used to buy one of the "hoops" of cheese that came in this type box every year at Christmastime. Can you imagine a twenty-five pound piece of cheddar cheese? I found this lovely old box and painted it up with a Terrye French Santa.

What would make a better beard for old Santy Claus than yards of torn muslin. This Jolly Old Soul has two and a half yards of torn strips to create his magnificent beard. Lots and lots of glitter and mica flakes make him look as if he has been on a midnight ride for sure.

Finally, here is a sweet gingerbread teapot (my design) with a Christmas tree filled with all sorts of gingie delights. I have two Christmas trees in my kitchen for the holidays and one of them is always contained in a teapot. After all, don't you spend a lot of time baking and cooking goodies so why shouldn't you have decorations there too??? Oh my goodness, all this talk of Christmas makes me want to start decorating! Do you think my dearest would notice if I start putting out my Snow Village????

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Harvest Moon Clock Box

This is a clock in name only.... I removed its non-working parts and replaced them with a new face painted as a Harvest Moon. I saved the hands from the old clock and attached them to Mr. Moon (aren't they pretty?). I love to rescue items and give them a new life. I always think about that old holiday cartoon about the island of misfit toys where they are all broken and unloved. Well, this clock box is feeling feisty with his twinkling eyes and rosy cheeks. The wood finial that I attached to the top is painted to resemble a pumpkin. This was a fun piece to construct and paint!

A Sweet Etsy Friend...

I love the customers I have on Etsy --- they are the sweetest people on the planet. We send notes back and forth and share what is going on in our respective lives. One special friend is Tracy. She and her husband have two precious little girls and live in a house that they dearly love. They are filling it with things they find and refinish as well as art that they collect. She sent several pictures to me, one of which I am sharing with you. This is an old wash stand that they have redone.... don't you love it? She has displayed a couple of my pieces on it. I am honored that the things I have made for her have such a good home. Thank you Tracy for taking the time to share your life with me!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let's Have a Parade!!!

I have been looking and looking at this tricycle that I bought months ago. Do you do that too? Sometimes I have to really think hard about what I want to do with a piece that comes my way, especially something as unique as this little vintage inspired jewel. The lightbulb went off yesterday as I thought about the Halloween Parades we used to have in elementary school. This was long before things got so complicated .... we children would walk home for lunch (remember when we could do that???) and change into our costumes. No premade outfits for us! We had homemade costumes that were ever so much better than the "prefab" Ernie and Cookie Monster you buy at K-Mart now. Then we would rush back to school for our parade that ended with a great party in each classroom. I decided that these gourds should have a parade, so I painted them up and perched them on the tricycle (after all, everyone knows a pumpkin needs some sort of transportation!!!). Hope these guys make you smile!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grandma's Vintage Kitchen

When I was a little girl, I loved to go visit my grandma and grandpa. They had all the things that my family didn't.... a chicken house, the best garden ever, and a huge kitchen where the most wonderful things to eat were created. There were things in that kitchen that I loved. Old kettles and pots, long handled spoons and balls of twine. I guess that is why I am fascinated with any vintage kitchen piece I can find to paint on.

This matchbox holder is a reminder of the one dear Grandma had hanging on the wall by her stove. One strike of a match and the king of the kitchen was fired up and ready to get to work.

Grandma also had a scale, similar to this one. She canned everything she could, always saying, "Won't this taste good this winter?" She used recipes that called for "5 pounds of apples" or, "3 pounds of Kentucky Wonder green beans." How I wish I could go back in time, drag that chair out from under the table and stand in it watching while Grandma worked her magic in that wonderful kitchen of my childhood.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Market Monday.... featuring Etsy Artist "Art by Me"

As a new feature in my blog, I will feature a fellow Etsy artist each Monday as are many other of my fellow members of the Old Farmhouse Gathering Team. I am sure that you will agree that Cindy is one talented lady. I find her creations so fascinating and love the names she gives each of her characters.

In her own words Cindy describes herself as ... "a self taught artist that works in many mediums. I worked in Accounting for years before deciding to stay home with my kids. I now work in the school system, so I can have summers off with my kids. I have a son and daughter that both love art! I spend a lot of time and hard work creating my dolls and artwork. Please visit her shop, to see more of her stunning work!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hurry Up Autumn!!!

I am surrounded by pumpkins, vines and dried berries in my little studio. I love painting anything to do with my favorite season. Today I found an old vintage cheese box at an antique store and couldn't wait to get started on it. I love the three crows sitting primly on the fence. Don't you wonder what they are thinking? This was great fun to paint (my design).

And speaking of crows, this old lunchbox was just the ticket for the perfect piece to paint one of Terrye French's designs on. I love the way the colors "pop" on the black background. Wouldn't the person who carried his lunch in this think it is so funny that it is now a piece of folk art?

I think aromatherapy is a great concept. My precious Megan brought this to me as a little surprise last weekend. It is a plug-in from Bath and Body Works and is just the best thing for getting you in the mood to bake pumpkin pies and think of Fall being just around the corner! It is not overpowering at all.... just perfect!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Frost is on the Pumpkin.....

It is beginning to look like Fall has arrived, or at least in my studio anyway!!! I love this season for its glorious colors --- all the crimsons, golds and bronzes just make everything glow. Here are some of my latest pieces:

The first is a kerosene can. I love the curly stemmed pumpkins and the little saltbox village. I would live in the red house, if I could, and give the sheep names like "Maggie" and "Estelle".Here is an old sewing machine drawer that I painted up with the most prim jack-o-pumpkins ever! I love their toothy smiles!!! The drawer is filled with frosted pumpkins, gourds, berries, leaves and cinnamon sticks.

Finally, this is an old vintage leather suit case I found while I was on vacation. Don't you just love those black crows that are flanking the banner? I used real antique shell buttons on the pennies down each side.
I have more ideas rolling around in my head and more items already primed and ready to paint. I wonder what it will be today? Hmmmmm, another sewing machine drawer or a coffee pot? I never know until one of them speaks to me and says, "Me, me!!!! Make something out of me!!!"

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back from the Beach --- Again!!!!

We have returned from another glorious trip to the beach!!! We are brown as berries and already missing the sugar sands and beautiful emerald sea on the Gulf Coast. But, all good things (it seems) must come to an end, so it is back to the office for my beloved and back in the studio for me. Dear Megan was able to come for a few days before returning to her workplace too, so we all had a chance to catch up on some downtime together. If you have never been to the Gulf Coast, please do try to go. The sand and sea are beautiful and the food is always fabulous. Whether it is eating at Captain Anderson's or buying shrimp off the boats and preparing it in the condo, you are in for a real treat.

We spent one enjoyable afternoon at the Sea Breeze Winery in Panama City Beach, Florida. After a tour of the facility we had a personal wine tasting that was just fabulous. Our favorites were the Breeze Blush, Island Red and the best golden amber Sherry that we have ever tasted. Go to their website at to learn more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My friend, Natalie....

I have met the nicest people from all over the world through my Etsy shop. It is so nice when a friendship is formed and you go beyond the "buyer/seller" relationship. Such has been the case with Natalie. She is the dearest person and is working hard to make her beautiful new home warm and inviting. Filling it inside and out with all things "prim", she has shared with me news of her antiquing trips here and there and tells me of the wonderful treasures she has found. Most recently she and her soon-to-be-husband bought this great Singer Sewing Machine to use as a table. Didn't she find a beauty? And just look at her fabulous house. Wouldn't you love to sit on that front porch and drink lemonade? It is decked out for America's birthday now, and I can't wait to see what she does for Fall and Christmas. Now, here is the best part of all.... dear Natalie is only 23!!! I am so proud of her and the attitude she has about making her home special. Yes, I have met some of the nicest people and Natalie is one of them.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July --- GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!

This Land We Love

How beautiful this land we love,
We cherish all good people of
With pride we call this home our own
Oh how our seed of freedoms grown.
American is what we are
Our time has nurtured us so far,
For truth and justice we do strive
Our laws are meant to not deprive.
We know we’re not the perfect place,
As we are of the human race.
In God we trust along our way,
His goodness near, both night and day.
So please do stop and pray awhile
Ask help in facing each new mile.
And now I’ll end with words so clear
Concerning freedom we hold dear
Let Grateful Thought –
Well Deep Inside
For Soldiers Brave –
Our Country’s Pride

©2002Roger J. Robicheau

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Primitive Angel Psaltery

As you have probably already read in my blog, I love to poke around in all my favorite antique stores and thrift shops for treasures to paint on --- the more unusual, the better. When I found this psaltery, I knew I had a jewel!

A psaltery is an instrument in the harp family. It is mentioned several times in the Bible and can be pictured in old manuscripts and woven tapestries. This particular style is called a "plucked psaltery" and has 2 octaves.

I antiqued and distressed it before painting a prim angel on back. Her wings are cut from an old hymnal page and antiqued. A rusty bell and rusty star are hanging from homespun tied to the top. Also attached is a laser cut wood key. This was a really fun project to paint... now I have to get busy and see what else I can find!
Our garden is doing well despite the terrible heat. The squash are so tender and wonderful to cook with. Every Southern cook has their favorite recipe for a squash casserole. Here is mine!

Squash A’la bama

1 pound yellow squash
1/2 stick butter
1 egg
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers rolled into crumbs

Clean, slice and boil squash until tender. Drain squash well and mix with other ingredients. Bake in a buttered casserole dish at 350° for 30 minutes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

New Design...

I have been working on some new designs, hoping to make patterns for some of them. Here is one that I am pleased with. I painted the four seasons prim pears on an old sewing machine drawer. I just love painting on these vintage pieces! The stems for the pears are twisted rusty wire that I inserted in holes drilled by my Dremel (don't you just love power tools???!!!!). I filled it with an assortment of "stuff" that I thought might enhance the design. I think I might try this on a bigger scale soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Primitive Jar Recipe Holder

I haven't posted in a bit... the garden and painting for my Etsy shop are really keeping my busy! The okra, peppers, squash and eggplant are doing wonderfully. The tomatoes are struggling in this dreadful heat but I am coaxing them along with plenty of water and words of encouragement!!! Hopefully they will make it through the first of what will be many "heat spells" here in the South.

Here is a recipe holder I wanted to share with you. I covered an old Ball canning jar with homespun and then painted a prim pear with sheep on the front. The bent tines of an old vintage fork form the holder. To make it "perfectly prim", I added buttons and rusty wire. That piece of beautiful ecru lace is thanks to Marilyn's give-away that I won recently.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hurray for the Red, White and Blue (and watermelon too!!!)

I couldn't wait to paint one of the sewing machine drawers I bought yesterday. I knew exactly what pattern I would use... one of my favorites from Terrye French with my own twist. I just love that big fluffy sheep with the watermelon slice balanced on its back. The pear, the crows, the quilt and the sunflowers are the essence of a prim American summer, aren't they? I lined the drawer with a piece of an antique quilt. The tin star is painted with the stars and stripes to mimic the flag. I cut the watermelon piece and painted and distressed it. The candlestick holder is a copy of a "courting" type. Your daddy would adjust the height of the candle according to the time your beau could stay... when it burned down it was time to say goodnight! Finally, I covered the center of a sunflower with lots and lots of buttons. This was so much fun to make!!! I am already thinking about what to paint on the second drawer!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little Thank-You Gift for Marilyn at Our Victorian Cottage

Marilyn at "Our Victorian Cottage" has got to be one of the sweetest people on the planet. She always writes the nicest things on her blog and her comments to other folks are just grand. I won her May give away and I wanted to find a special way to thank her. I have been reading about how dear her husband is to her and how they are working together to make their darling cottage even more magical than it already is. When I saw this precious old framed card at my favorite little antique store today, I knew it was just the ticket! I am sending it off to her tomorrow. I hope she can find a place to tuck it away in her charming home.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Kitchen Goodies...

I have found the most wonderful things to paint on lately! Dearest declares that we are going to have to build on an addition just to hold my "junk" --- I quickly remind him that it isn't junk at all and that I promise to reorganize my craft room to accommodate all my TREASURES!

Here are two little whimsies that I picked up recently. The first is vintage food grater that I repurposed to become a towel hanger. It was perfectly rusted so I left the surface unchanged and only added one of my saltbox designs. The other is a "short'ning and ice cream spoon" --- isn't that a disgusting combination??? I had never seen one before, but did a little research online and found out that you can find them if you are lucky. The shape was perfect for painting a little prim night scene. I had such a good time painting these pieces. So now, I have to get in that craft room and get serious about maximizing my space.

Last Weekend's Painting Project

Oh my goodness.... I am so glad this is not an every year project!!!! We stained the deck last weekend and by the time we were finished, we were pooped! If I could have played "Tom Sawyer", believe me I would have. I kept trying to make it look fun for the neighborhood kids, but they didn't buy it. Guess they have hear that good ole' Mark Twain story before... We keep talking about replacing the deck with that composite stuff so we will never have to worry with it again, but somehow we never get beyond the talking stage. Phew, were we ever hot and tired when it was over but it is done for another year. I think next time I see my dearest dragging out the buckets and brushes I will make a quick trip to Home Depot and pick up some brochures ---!
Oh, by the way, look closely and you can see my sweet girl Suki on the patio below!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Vintage Finds... new projects completed

I met Megan for lunch in Birmingham on Friday so I went early enough that I could visit my favorite shop, "What's On 2nd". Oh my, what a delight to go there. There are two floors in this vintage shop just filled with the most wonderful treasures. I bought several to bring home, two of which are pictured here.
The first is a vintage iron that weighs so much I wonder how anyone could possibly have the energy to do the family ironing with it! Goodness, our poor grandmothers must have fallen into bed every night, absolutely exhausted from using their "modern conveniences. I painted this one up in a prim style, and in keeping with its laundry day theme, I wrapped the handle in homespun and attached an old clothespin with rusty wire.

The second find is something I have wanted to paint on for ages. It is an "Old Pal" brand minnow bucket!!! My Uncle Hugh and I used to go fishing when I was a little girl in Oklahoma and he had a bucket just like this one. Oh, the memories of the wonderful time I spent with this kindest of men..... I used a favorite Terrye French design to paint up this piece. I tied an old piece of rope with wooden fish and bobbers attached to the handle. I think Uncle Hugh would like it!