You know it’s a good year when you honeymoon in Brimfield and celebrate your birthday in Adamstown. That’s like the Disney World and Disney Land equivalent to us east coast antiquers. Side note, I have never been to Disney and I don’t really care as long as I can continue to jaunt to Brimfield and Adamstown annually.
Yep, I turned the big 3-1 last weekend. On Small Business Saturday no less. It was no circus like my 30th. (Maybe you recall the circus themed party we threw last year. Good times.)
However, it was perfect. Just about a mile stretch of antique shop after antique shop and no real agenda but to meander the aisles and look for treasures!
I brought home a couple of keepers including a double-sided rear bike basket. I actually passed up the opportunity to buy one of these a few months ago and was kicking myself. It was the “one that got away” for sure. Lo and behold, I found it again and this time for 1/3 less! It is already stationed on a junky bike in the newly excavated garden bursting with holiday greens. Now I am on a quest to find an equally cagey basket for the front of the bike by spring.
I also scored a few new-to-me frocks including a retro plaid Pendleton dress that I will be wearing this Christmas. #lumberjack
And a cute US Navy cardigan. It was probably part of a suit. Perhaps a lady administrator wore it with a navy pencil skirt. So cute.
It was a good day!
One of my all time favorite Christmas movies has got to be “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It’s not even specifically a Christmas movie, is it? What a great life lesson George Bailey learns.
We recently watched the movie and a brief documentary about the making of it as well. Would you believe that it wasn’t initially the hit that it is today? I was surprised by that.
At any rate, I was inspired to paint some Wonderful Life signs. With an oak cut out and some milk paint, I came up with this…
The base coat is a wash of lucketts green allowing the oak grain to come through. It looks more green in person. The lettering is painted in typewriter and tricycle. I used furniture wax and a hint of antiquing wax in the top coat.
I am still working on decking the halls here. We’re planning to trim the tree this evening…perhaps we’ll watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again. It never gets old! What is your favorite holiday classic to watch this time of year?
This sign will be up for grabs at West End Garage this weekend.
Hello! Hello! How was your Thanksgiving weekend? We were on the move for 4 days straight. I managed to steer clear from all of the mall madness and put in some serious time antiquing. More about that later this week…
Now that your Thanksgiving leftovers have ran out, I’ve got another tasty soup recipe for you. One of my favorite things about creating new recipes is naming them. Actually I feel this way about most creative projects. Once something new is produced, I love to step back, evaluate and then brand the package. With that said, I introduce you to my newest comfort food…Baked Potato Soup.
Can I let you in on a little secret though? It is not really baked at all. More like boiled and mashed. But Baked Potato Soup sounds better.
Start by peeling and washing a couple of pounds of potatoes. Place them in a large pot of boiling water.
While the potatoes are cooking, caramelize a large chopped onion in a separate pan.
Once the potatoes are soft, drain most of the water and combine with the onions. Blend with an immersion blend. Season with salt & pepper. Garlic is good too if you’d like. Basically season as you would mashed potatoes. Don’t stop there though! We’re making soup, remember? Now add a cup of stock for each pound of potato. This will thin it into a nice creamy potato soup base sans any heavy cream or dairy. Allow it to simmer on low-medium in the stock pot with the lid on.
At this point, you can add in vegetables of your choice like broccoli or asparagus to create a dairy free ‘cream of (fill in the blank) soup’. I took another approach in order to make this soup more personal and interactive.
Think Baked Potato Soup Bar.
I chopped and steamed fresh vegetables separately along with shredded cheese. The options are pretty much endless – carrots, avocado, broccoli, peas, mushrooms and even bacon if you want. Just don’t forget the cheese! It will melt right into the base of this dish – the warm baked potato soup.
I served my hearty Baked Potato Soup along with a berry smoothie filled with antioxidants. Yum!
As everyone is preparing for Thanksgiving today, I find myself thinking about Christmas. I opened some of the bins over the weekend that house my decorations. Some vintage, some family heirlooms, some handmade. I simply wasn’t inspired by them this year. I want something different. Less fragile. More organic and comfortable. This led me to my favorite shirt. It is a vintage wool plaid shirt that I wear around the house. It is cozy, comfortable and colorful.
That is exactly how I want to decorate this year! Cozy, comfortable and colorful.
I am pulling out every single one of my cozy wool throws.
The plan is to layer on the patterns and bring nature in – pine cones, moss, twigs. I’ve got plenty of extras to go around like these pretty vintage wool scarves.
This theme will be prevalent in my retail spaces as well. Ryan has made timber napkin rings and coasters from fallen trees.
Plus, we’ve crafted wine gift bags from old flannels. By “we”, I mean Ryan since he sews! My idea of course but the execution was all him. Turns out these little upcycled gift bags are the perfect size for milk paint as well.
And I put together a few rag ball ornaments with the scraps. I am loving all things flannel, wool and plaid this season! Can’t wait to see how the rest of our Lumberjack Holiday decor comes together.
How are you decorating this holiday season?
If you’re craving your own cozy vintage wool button down, I’ll have a few for sale in my shop at West End Garage along with the flannel wine bags, some flannel bunting (not pictured), the scarves and timber pieces.
P.S. Did you catch a glimpse of that flag? I recently scored two huge 48 star casket flags circa WWII. I will be selling one as well. American history at its finest.
Surfaced amongst many holiday projects this weekend was this gem of a vanity stool. I’ve had it “on deck” for a while actually. It simply needed some TLC in the form of upholstery and a proper seat cushion.
The before shot of this stool is kind of comical. It was topped with a toilet seat cover over part of an egg carton.
Finally, I got down to the bare bones of the seat so I could start from scratch.
That is when I cut out a 1 inch foam cushion and then secured and covered it with batting.
Followed by some sassy leopard fabric. Much better.
I love a simple vanity stool in a classic leopard. It doesn’t get anymore feminine.
In fact, I don’t even think this stool needs to be paired with a vanity to be complete. It would be a great accent in a dressing room or bathroom on it’s own.
This isn’t the first vanity stool I upholstered in leopard…
That stool was upholstered in a bedspread when I found it! Check out the before and after here.
What is the strangest thing you’ve found when reupholstering a seat?
You guys, SOUP! I seriously can’t get enough of homemade soup on these chilly late fall days. I have been making all kinds over here. But my all time favorite has always been French Onion Soup. Sometimes I just crave that salty tavern staple but don’t want to head to order it. Surprisingly I usually have enough ingredients in the house to throw it together. I have made it a few times now this month and we’re not sick of it yet! I have got it down to 30 minutes because when you crave French Onion Soup, you crave it now.
There are a lot of recipes out there calling for all sorts of seasonings like bay leaves, garlic, thyme, etc. While these are all great, I skip them completely and use one simple ingredient. Wait for it…
To make 4 servings, I simply chop a vidalia onion into about 1 inch slices. I place them all into a frying pan with a dash of olive oil and the secret sweetener that my friend clued me into… brown sugar! Approximately 2 tablespoons should do the trick. This will help caramelize your onions in no time on medium-high heat.
While the onions are sweetening, I put the broth on high. I use about 4 cups to one large onion in a stock pot. When the water boils, the onions are ready to be transferred into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and all the onions and broth to tango.
In the meantime, prepare your Gruyère cheese. I prefer to cut them in long, thin slices.
For the bread in your soup, you can go in a few directions…
- You can simply use croutons.
- You can slice up French bread and pop it in the broiler for a minute or 2 to brown it.
- My favorite thing to do is use bread I already have – usually a whole grain of sorts. If I plan to make onion soup that day, I leave a few slices out to basically dry out. So glamorous letting your bread go stale, I know.
Now it’s time to put it all together. Place the bread in your crock. Ladle the soup in it. Drape the Gruyère cheese across the crock in sort of a Z. I find this gives the best cheese coverage. Pop it into the broiler for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and lightly browns.