Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Halloween Decorating...with Antiques

These pictures were taken at the shop...because I always have to get that done first and I have spent a lot of late nights there lately...changing seasons. These ideas are easily used at home too. My idea was to have old time movie scary...not evil or slasher movie scary. More along the lines of "The Birds" and "The Mummy." I searched around for all things witchy or amber or orange or harvest. I love the old shoes in the picture above...around Halloween they suddenly seem like witches shoes to me.

I have a lot of crows and blackbirds that I bring out each fall. Atop this display cabinet I stacked cages and orange pottery and some carnival glass.

This is a wonderful rustic piece....just layered up with gourd jack-o-lanterns and crows. Old lamps, and the best part....a very pretty chandelier. Pop in those flicker bulbs and it has an instant Halloween look. Now's the time to drag out quilt in darker colors too...they don't even have to be great shape. Just drape them around for color. Mirrors are great too because when you pass by you get that hint of movement.

Probably still not done with this. The piano has purple lights inside it...but I need a stronger light to get it to shine out....a haunted piano is what I was going for.

This case is filled with everything I could find that was amber or carnival glass or orange.

Old photos are great at Halloween too. The sepia color is wonderful and they have almost a ghostly feel to them.

I know some people have strong feelings against the whole Halloween thing...but to us it has always just been about dressing up, hay rides and spooky decorations....and of course candy. We have friends who go all out with their costume party and it's a ton of fun.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomorrow's Project....Radiator Cover

This radiator cover is in our living room. We have lived here 20 years...and yes, it has had those holes all that time. Time to wrap up some of the stuff on the original to-do list. Tomorrow I'm planning on sanding and priming this cover and the window sash in this pic. Someone antiqued the window sashes and it is peeling. I will be painting it an antique white. We painted some of the upstairs sashes white and left the trim natural and it looks nice. I'll also be taking that broken mesh out and investigating what kind of material to use to replace it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Giveaway Winner and Happy Birthday

The winner of the giveaway is Becky from Twelve Weeks at a Time. Congratulations Becky!

I want to thank you all for all the understanding about my empty nest post. It really does help to know that I'm not the only one who feels all weepy about my kids going off on their own.

Since I hate a post with no pictures (I'm like a little kid, that way!) I thought I'd share with you the day my hubby planned for me for my birthday. We celebrated it in August while we were on vacation. He knows just the kinds of things I like. We spent the day wandering around small Michigan towns looking at artwork.

We visited the small town of Buchanan. This little town has a wonderful art center with one of the best equipped pottery studios I've ever seen. And the volunteers and teachers there are so enthusiastic about their work.

Surrounding the art center are some fabulous life size metal sculptures of wildlife.

Everywhere I go, I'm always looking for great details on houses. You never know when you'll need inspiration for a fabulous railing!

We also went to St. Joe where they had a public art show of different artist decorated boats around town.

At the end of the day we went to see "Shenandoah" at this nice summer stock theater. The Barn Theatre is a wonderful place and you never know who you will see play here....some famous people have been Barnies. I just love the inside of this theatre. Click the's a neat photo and really shows what it's like inside. Joe planned it all....he's very good at planning things like this and we have always liked to travel around and see new places. It's fun sometimes to do that right in your own backyard!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Empty Nesting

Our Family
Photo by my brother-in-law

The whole empty nest thing has hit me like a ton of bricks all of the sudden. The little girl is a beautiful young woman off to her first year of college. The little boy is now a young man working hard at learning his trade. They are fine people. They bring glory to God and that makes me so happy.

But for 21 years they were my focus....I was a Mom. in that was my job. And I really studied about child development, and advocated for them, taught them, and enjoyed being with them. I ate up every minute of it. Even all those hours on the bleachers watching basketball, track meets and oh so many band competitions. Joe and I loved all of that. Oh there were those times every mother has, when you think you will pull your hair out. I think every mom has those moments. But I love and cherish my career as a mom.

Now they are doing what we raised them to do...they are trying out their wings and making their own decisions. They are learning so much as young adults. I'm so proud of them.

And yet, the last couple of weeks I find myself so weepy and sad. It's not as if I don't have other things to think about. After all, I'm running my own shop and working and scheming to make it a success. I'm working on my art, playing with our dog, visiting with my parents, working on church related projects, and doing (or not) housework. But a mom always has her kids on her mind. And it's hard to step back and not give my opinion so much, to let them watch them as they make this decision or that.

And I'm missing all these great kids who have been hanging at our house all these years. Somehow, they are partly mine too. I sound like such a whiner don't I? After all, they are healthy and happy and doing all the things young adults need to do.

Poor Dot. She has had me crying on her shoulder several times in the past week. Aren't women friends great? I know that now is the time for me to pull myself up and start focusing on doing things with Joe, getting back into shape, and figuring out how not to cook huge pots full of food.

And after all.....they still come home....and I love that. In fact, after all my whining you'd be surprised to know that our boy is officially living here right now. But much of the time he's off with his friends or working, and for a year he has been working in a different city. And things are changing....they truly are growing wings and learning to fly. Just like I prayed and hoped. I'm so thankful for that. And they can always fly home for a hug.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chick Lit Giveaway

I've done some reading over the spring and summer. I almost never read a novel twice, so I thought I'd give you all a chance for some free books. Just leave a comment on this post telling me one of the best novels you've read. You can leave comments until midnight Tuesday. On Wednesday, Sept. 17th I'll draw a winner. The winner will receive all the books shown in this picture.

If this goes over well, I have another batch to give away the next week.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weekend at the Lake

It was rainy and cold at the we did a lot of reading and knitting. I got my first sock done and it fits! I had trouble with the kitchner stitch that you are supposed to do on the toe....but I'm calling this one good. Maybe I'll "get it" when I do the toe on the second one. I started knitting the second one and I'm most of the way done with the cuff.

One day we went to Coloma, MI and visited the antique mall there. It's a good one! We also went to this charming little shop.....oh my, she has a lot of good stuff.

And it's all so charmingly displayed. If I was a young woman starting out in an apartment I would have bought this whole living room.

At night it was cold and rainy and we just curled up and read.

And during the day it was we just curled up and read (we read a lot when it rains!)...this is my mom and dad. We were the only ones up this time, so it was very quiet.

Puppers curled up too...but I didn't see him reading.

I worked on an art project I've been working on all summer.

We also visited my favorite resale shop....Laurie Anne's in Dowagiac, MI. She always has good things...and she sells clothes too. I never leave her shop without finding something.

The sun finally came out and I dipped my feet in the and refreshing!

This is looking out towards Scout and Hemlock Islands from our neighbor's yard.

On my way home I spotted this just east of Momence Illinois. I'd like to have seen how they got that tractor up there!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Heavens to Betsy, it's a sock!

This is by far the hardest thing I've ever knit. I've done some baby sweaters with cables and things, but this is the first thing with short rows and so many decreases. And here's what I've learned:
~Read the directions carefully.
~Follow them, even if you think they don't make sense.
Amazing....but if you do this, it actually works!

Now, I was able to pick up the stitches that Hawkeye ripped out. I just didn't touch it until I felt I had an abundance of patience and some time to sit and work on it. Later I had some problems when I read the first half of a sentence in the pattern and forgot the last half....that's unusual for me. Usually my problem is I adhere to the directions (or rules if a game, life, etc.) to the letter. In some cases that ties you up creatively...but not in knitting! In knitting it seems to be ever so important.

Monday, September 01, 2008

New Table and Thresherman's Parade

I our town we have a big thresherman's reunion with all kinds of steam powered tractors running sawmills, threshers and such. I didn't make it out to the thresher's park but if you follow the link you can see what it is all about. There's all kinds of tractors and farming history on display. My brother in law has a collection of tractors and farming equipment and he always takes one of them to the reunion. This one is still owned by his mother. There is a parade on Sunday with lots of tractors, floats, bands, clowns and acts. This was the first time my little nephew ever rode in the parade and he was so excited.

A new addition to the parade was this Mexican vaquero group. Wonderful addition and very entertaining.
More horses...they and the bands are always my favorites.
And here is my new table made by Sharon in place on our back porch. I just love it. The middle (red) part is a lazy susan and my nephew loves to spin it. I think it's so cute ...and definitely different from anything anyone else around has! We're also really enjoying the red table and chairs. We got them from Kmart this spring. I'm thinking about painting the glider red too.

You can see in this photo how close the neighboring house is. We had a nice row of lilacs in made a leafy screen and also had a cooling effect. Last year we had a very late cold snap that killed a lot of lilacs and other shrubs around here. Now I'm trying to decide what to plant there. I think I might go with some kind of would give the birds some cover in winter and also make a nice buffer between the houses.