Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Air Stream Dream

I've alway wanted to roam the country in one of these. I guess it's never too late to fulfill my Air Stream Dream.

Found via My Black Book.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Cat Training

I just had to share this. My daughter was frustrated with the fact that the cats never listen to her. She decided it was time to train them. I chuckled at the thought of our tenacious cats standing to attention or rolling over on command. The next thing I knew, my clever little girl had Fluffy following her all around. Upon closer inspection, I learned that she had filled an old sock with some catmint from my gardens, which is like crack for cats. She tied the sock to a string, so Fluffy was following her and literally drooling as she teased him along. Look at the box of training tools she made. Too funny. Needless to say, the kid needs a dog.

P.S. Recent studies show that catnip makes a great mosquito repellent. Check out our Insect Veil Spray, which includes catnip essential oil.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

respond with purpose

I found this Ralph Marston quote via The Lettered Cottage. It came in handy today. Thank you Layla.

Respond with purpose
What upsets you is not what happens.
What upsets you is your response to what happens.Just as easily as you respond in a negative way, you can easily and naturally respond in a
positive, empowering, uplifting way.The biggest problems are often caused by
what you choose to do about the smallest problems.
Most of those big, painful problems are so unnecessary.

Keep reminding yourself that you are in control of you.
You are in control and you can decide
exactly how you wish to feel at any point.Imagine the power of remaining calm and focused
and resourceful when some totally unexpected,
disappointing development interrupts your day.
Truly, you can make the disappointments not disappointing at all.

Respond on purpose, with purpose.
Feel the power and the joy as every moment gives you a way to move forward.

A Sound Sound

Recently, I took my daughter to the park. It was late in the afternoon and my iced coffee wasn't doing the trick, so I had that lethargic, can-I-really-be-this-tired-or-do-I-have Lyme-disease feeling. I let her go run and play, while I sat on a bench and closed my eyes. The air was perfect with a friendly breeze. I could hear the kids playing. It reminded me of days when I would be drifting off to sleep on the beach. The sound of waves and kids building sand castles lulled me into a dreamy state. Then a woman walked by my park bench. I cracked an eye open to acknowledge her. She said, "Don't you wish they had adult playgrounds right next to this, so we could work-out while they play?" I laughed and said that would be great. But I lied, because I was quite content doing nothing and having nothing to do so I could just listen to sound of kids playing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Drool Worthy Totes

Remember my post about Lexie Barnes' book, "Sew What! Bags"? Well, Lexie has a whole new collection of totes available just in time for summer. I'm a big fan of Lexie Barnes bags, especially because the quality is always top-notch, not to mention they're extremely functional. Lexie's bags are so durable that they last forever. But enough with the practicalities...Lexie's bags are gorgeous. Her new "Classic Lexie" totes, made with shimmering metallics, are lightweight and fun. There's even a wipeable interior lining, so throw in the sunscreen and snacks and head out for some summer fun.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice Sale

(valid while supplies last. not valid on previous purchases.
cannot be combined with other offers.)
click here to visit the shop

Friday, June 19, 2009

Peony Soap For a Cause

Try the new fresh scented Peony Goat's Milk Soap and help save the Arapawa Goat.

Arapawa Goats are globally endangered (approximately 243 remaining) and just recently added to the Conservation Priority List. Arapawa Goats were introduced to the US through Plimoth Plantation in 1993 as part of a heritage breeding program. Plimoth Plantation is a living museum of colonial life in North America in 1627 located in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The possibility of a connection between the Arapawas and the animals brought to North America by the first colonists made them a logical addition to the rare breeds collection at Plimoth Plantation.

We're pleased to offer these soaps because the maker donates the proceeds from the sale of these soaps to the conservation of this amazing breed.To learn more visit the International Arapawa Goat Association.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cow Poetry

One of my very favorite books is "One Man's Meat" by E.B. White. It's "a personal record of life on a Maine coast salt water farm." Here is a passage, filled with charm and poetry, that has stuck with me for many years:
"A friend of mine has an electric fence round a piece of his land, and keeps two cows there. I asked him one day how he liked his fence and whether it cost much to operate. 'Doesn't cost a damn thing,' he replied. 'As soon as the battery ran down I unhooked it and never put it back. That strand of fence wire is as dead as a piece of string, but the cow don't go within ten feet of it. They learned their lesson the first few days.'

Apparently this state of affairs is general throughout the United
States. Thousands of cows are living in fear of a strand of wire which no
longer has the power to confine them. Freedom is theirs for the asking. Rise
up, cows! Take your liberty while despots snore. And rise up too, all people
in bondage everywhere! The wire is dead, the trick is exhausted. Come on
Cartoon from Gary Larson, The Far Side

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

True Love Ways

My husband and I met on Martha's Vineyard 19 years ago about this time of year. One warm summer night a bunch of us were out on the town. As we all started to pile in our old Jeep I asked him a question, which I shan't repeat here. I will only tell you his reply, which was, "Yes, to the right music." This was so the right answer. As we headed down the country roads, hair blowing all over in the night air, this Buddy Holly song came on the radio. He turned to me and said, "Like this song." This was so the right answer. We eloped eight weeks later. Needless to say, this is our song. What's your song?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bee Happy

I'm a little bee happy. I hope you'll bee happy too.

top left: our adorable new woven grass Bee Skep
top right: amazing Aromatherapy Bees Wax Candles by Big Dipper Wax Works
bottom left: Organic Acacia Honey by Savannah Bee Co.
bottom right: drawing by my daughter--she makes me really happy!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Emmy Lu Design Studio

If you're looking for an amazing wedding invitation designer, or you need some personalized thank you cards, look no further. Emmy Lu Design Studio creates gorgeous invites, wedding logos, stamps and more. Bethany and Laura, the very talented duo behind Emmy Lu, make life easy with their four-step process to obtaining the design of your dreams. Bethany and Laura met as students while attending Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they both received bachelor degrees in graphic design. After college, they parted ways... each finding their niche as graphic designers for private, Minnesota-based firms.Their paths crossed at an alumni event and they were able to connect once again. Shortly thereafter, they combined their talents and created a company that would celebrate the things they delighted in. "Emmy Lu" was established as a custom line of stationery and papergoods. Bethany and Laura are committed to creating the highest quality of design, and the finest products.For more about Bethany's and Laura's daily lives and adventures, visit their blog, Emmy Lu: "Pretty in the City, Lovely in the Country."

Friday, June 12, 2009

puss 'n boots

It's that time of year when our cat Fluffy becomes...well, not so fluffy. You see, Fluffy has soooooo much hair that he gets quite uncomfortable in the summer heat. Not to mention he gets furballs the size of Rhode Island, and those can be painful for him. Shaving day is always traumatic for Mr. Fluff. But our vet is very good about it, and the technicians treat him like a celebrity, which he just loves. This year they shaved everything but his lion mane, the end of his tail and his feet. Now he looks like he has little boots on. It also looks like he could dust my house with that tail.

The really traumatic part though--his girlfriend, Katrina, snubs him for days after the event. It breaks my heart too. She's really not supportive at all. In fact, she completely takes off and doesn't bother coming home for days. We've been giving him tons of extra love. But she came home today, sniffing around him like nothing ever happened. I think he should pull out his best Nancy Sinatra impression and tell her "these boots are made for walking". What do you think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rural Cottage {get the look}

Designer Ginger Barber creates a soft look in the rugged rural cottage featured in the July issue of House Beautiful (shown in the top image). Clean whites pair with earthy linens for a most comfortable, down-to-earth design. I love it all! I thought I'd put some Farmhouse Wares' goodies together, so you can get the rural cottage look too.

Handcarved wood santo (shown left)

Ivory Wheat Pitcher (top right)
Bird Transferware Dish (bottom right)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vintage Style Wooden Clothes Dryer Rack

We just got this Vintage Style Wooden Clothes Dryer Rack in at Farmhouse Wares, and I'm completely love-struck. Everything about it, from the retro type and horse-shoe logo to the idustrial style metal hardware pieces, has me ready to give up on my electric dryer for good.

Once manufactured by the American Wringers Co., this reproduction Horse-shoe Brand Empire Clothes Dryer offers 10 racks for drying, and it can be closed, to save space, when not in use (shown bottom right). The system is easy, you simply push the vintage-style hardware up from the bottom until the racks fall into place and pull down to tuck the racks away.

I'm going to have to hang one inside and outside by the pool for towels too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sale on our Small Blue Glass Milk Bottle

Remember this sweet little le bon lait Glass Milk Bottle photographed by Tartelette? Well we're offering a special sale price on this Milk Bottle in blue and the small size only (as shown) for a limited time. Sale price $11.95. Regularly $13.95.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Haying the Fields

My neighbors are haying the fields today. There's something about this summer ritual that puts a peaceful spell on me. The sound of tractors buzzing about and the smell of sweet grass makes summer come alive. I want to go outside and take in the big blue sky. I want to go to the brook and catch frogs. I want to lay in my hammock and daydream.

The funny thing is all their hard work and ambitious toil is making me very lazy. All I want to do is indulge in sleepy summertime fantasies.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cupcake Stands and Coco Loco Cupcakes

It's been a rough week, so I think I deserve something sweet (and maybe a little intoxicating--just a little). I'm also excited to put Farmhouse Wares' new Cupcake Stands into action. This Coco Loco cupcake recipe looks like it will suit all my needs, especially because they're made with tequila. How can you go wrong with anything that has coconut and tequila. It's like a day at the beach! Be careful because one too many of these cupcakes and you might have trouble getting into your bathing suit (or walking, for that matter). Happy Weekend!

Coco Loco Cupcakes by Joanne Weir from the book Tequila

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
Large pinch of salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. coconut extract
¼ cup tequila (100 percent agave)
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Coconut Cream Frosting
½ lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk, or more as needed
2 Tbsp. tequila (100 percent agave)
2 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, or more as needed
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 12-cup cupcake pans or line with paper liners.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing well after each addition. Add the coconut milk, ginger, and coconut extract and beat for 1 minute at high speed until well blended.
In a measuring pitcher, stir together the tequila and buttermilk. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches to the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk mixture in 2 batches, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing well after each addition. Fold in the shredded coconut.
Fill each cupcake well about three-fourths full with batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a rack and let cool completely before frosting.
Meanwhile, using the electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. With the mixer on high speed, slowly add the coconut milk, tequila, and coconut extract. Continue beating until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl. The frosting should be smooth and spreadable. Adjust with more coconut milk if the consistency is too thick, or more confectioners’ sugar if it is too runny.
To assemble, spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with the shredded coconut.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Grain Sack Art

I created this grain sack picture recently. It's not completely done, but I thought I'd share it anyway. I love the quality of the fabric and of the graphics for something so utilitarian, the kind of thing made of plastic and thrown away without a moment's thought these days. Not only is this perfect for our farmhouse decor, but this grain sack has a story:

My husband works for a local newspaper that once occupied the building shown on this sack, long after it had been in use as a mill. When the newspaper owner sold the business and vacated the old mill building, he gave my husband one of these old sacks. We prized it, and were hesitant to stretch it for display, so we tucked it away. A few years later, my husband told our neighbor George about the old grain sack. George had a historian's knowledge of the farming industry around us, and he filled my hubby in on the building's long history. They went on their respective ways. A short time later, George wandered over with three of the identical sacks, which he had stashed away. Typical Yankee farmer--never throw anything away that can be put to good use.

George said the reason he had saved it was because it had a picture of a pretty place that he remembered as a boy. I think its pretty sweet that he passed them on to us.

My Old Mill Grain Sack is pictured here with our new Cromwell Zinc Cake Stand and one of our Vintage Style Milk Cans.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ideas for Dad! Savings for You!

(offer valid while supplies last. only applies to our gifts for dad section.
not valid on previous purchases.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beachy Bangle

I've got the beach on my mind. I'm thinking this pretty sand bangle, by Sea Side Designs, will look great with a little white dress. Sea Side Designs, based on Cape Cod, has so many cute things at her etsy shop. I want everything.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I've been tagged

The lovely Darlene from Flax and Spindle has tagged me. So, I'm to reveal six things about myself you might not know. Hmmm...

1. I'm addicted to the Bravo show Real Housewives

2. I like eating lemons with salt

3. I need at least nine hours of sleep to function properly

4. My favorite artist is Laurie Anderson, and my favorite song is Strange Angels

5. When I was nineteen I was in a movie

6. I get really crabby if I don't get my bike ride everyday

Now it's my turn to tag you:

The Lettered Cottage
Vermont Cottage
Beach Vintage

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