Easy DIY Peter Rabbit Spring Wreath Door Decoration

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This year, my spring front door wreath decoration is different from what I usually create. Instead of spring flowers, I chose faux vegetables and when I'm thinking about spring and vegetables, there's only one story that comes to mind....the one about a large vegetable garden and a pesky little bunny named Peter Rabbit. This wreath is an easy DIY that took exactly ten minutes to assemble.

Recycled Baby Food Jar Easter Chick Candy Holder

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Yes, there is a yellow pom pom Easter chick candy holder made from a recycled baby food jar in the photo above. And YES, it is wearing a sparkly gold glitter crown.  Why? 

                                                                                                                                   Well.....why not?!

Reader Painted Furniture DIY Help #2: Maureen's Chalk Painted French Linen Armoire Cabinet

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The second reader painted furniture piece in this year's series is Maureen's armoire. To tell you the truth, I wondered if someone would have an armoire to paint this year after Nancy's  fabulous armoire which we transformed using ASCP Provence with dark wax, last year so I was really excited when Maureen messaged me about her pine cupboard. 

If you haven't seen Nancy's cabinet, you really should (click the link above to view the original post). It's one of my most popular painted furniture projects with over 7,500 pins and shares to date!

Reader Painted Furniture DIY Help #1: Elaine's ASCP French Table Makeover

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It's that time of year again! No, not spring...I thought that it was going to be spring last week when the temperatures climbed into the upper sixties for a day...but then it snowed again yesterday.  I'm referring to my annual Free Help With YOUR painted furniture Project offer.

Farmhouse Renovation and A Story About Towels

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Have you ever had one of those days?
                                                                  One where you were just done?

Spring Paper Flower Cone Door Decor: Easy, Inexpensive Kid's Craft

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There's nothing that makes me smile more than the first signs of spring in my neighborhood and to celebrate, I made these simple brown paper cones filled with fresh daffodils for my front door and for my neighbors as well. It's a super easy, inexpensive craft to do with kids, too! 

1926 French Lighting and My Network of Junk-Loving Friends{farmhouse parts}

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It takes a village to build a farmhouse. Or in my case, it takes a network of about 50 of the best pickers in the United States who send me photos like this one which was sent to me by my friend Ann of Nellie's Barn Sale last week:

Ann and I joke that when the farmhouse is finally finished, I'll have to tell people that it was her doing. I guess that's what happens when you know someone for all but the first eight years of your life....they get to know your style pretty well. Of course, I do  say "no" sometimes.

The first photo above was a preview photo from one of the 217 shops in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin that Ann assembled for her Vintage Shop Hop this weekend. It was a place called Deconstruction Inc., located just outside of Madison, Wisconsin. I immediately phoned the shop owner, a great guy named Mark. He sent me the photos above and I knew from the photos that I had to have those fixtures. 

We arrived at Deconstruction early on Friday morning. The place is amazing! It's got a huge yard full of salvaged wood and granite and two floors of architectural salvage inside. I also found (well, Ann found and I purchased) some great, old wooden door stops and Mark's got an old well pump, some barn timbers, and a couple of doors that I'll need to go back to get in the spring when they're not frozen to the ground.  But on Friday, I was all about these lights!

Note: When using vintage light fixtures  in your home, have them checked by an electrician or other trained professional prior to installing them to ensure that they are safe and in good working order. 

As I disassembled them on Sunday afternoon and began to clean off just enough of the dirt to allow the detail to show through without removing the patina that took just about ninety years to develop, I discovered a patent date of  June 8, 1926 stamped into the metal rod at the top of the fixture just below the ceiling valance. There's also a company name that is French and "Canada" is stamped on the inside of the metal disks at the top and bottom of the fixture.

As I washed and dried the fixtures, I also discovered that one of the two lights apparently hung in direct sunlight while the other did not. The finish on one of them is more brassy and the other is more coppery. The fixtures appear to be mainly brass with some copper accents. I don't think that they were ever lacquered which is probably why they developed such a great patina.

The detail on them is beautiful.  There was probably a crystal or finial that hung from the bottom  of the fixture at some point and there may also have been glass hurricanes in them but I love them just as they are.

My son says that they look like something from The Hunger Games. This, of course, is lost on me because I've never seen the movie or read the book.  I think that they look a little bit French and a little bit lodge and just enough farmhouse to be perfect for use as the ceiling lights in the new cloister hall that will lead from the back of the house to my new studio.

I'm thrilled that they still have their original candles and that the ceramic sockets are in good shape. All I had to do was take them apart, clean them, and rewire them so that they're ready to be installed (in a few months when the hall is actually built).  Of course, I couldn't just pack them away in the box without seeing what they looked like lit so I wired one to a plug and took this really bad photo on Sunday night.

Then I wrapped them in tissue and packed them into a box which is carefully stacked in the dining room along with all of the other house parts that I've been collecting with the help of my friends. Ann...and Mary from Hello,Vintage who took me to Plaid Umbrella Studio's pop up market a couple of weeks ago where I found this gorgeous vintage umbrella stand for the foyer and a great mirror that will be used in the powder room.

When my shopping list for the farmhouse includes items like vintage concrete sheep and a life size metal horse head, it's good to have a whole bunch of amazing and talented friends who make it their business to collect stuff from all over the United States and are willing to help out a friend who works full time job and can only go junkin' on weekends.  

My darling friend Mary from Urban Farmgirl reminded me recently that I need to get a smartphone so that she can send me photos...I still need to do that one day soon-ish.  Even though I'm "technology challenged" Mary messaged me last week and sent me this photo of a horse head that she spotted at Bella Patina because she knows that a giant metal horse head is on my list. 

Just a few minutes later, sweet Christie from Carter's Cottage messaged me with this photo:

See what I mean? I'm blessed with an incredible network of junk-loving friends. Some  I've known all of my life, some for just a few months but we all share a common love of all things old and crusty, a joy in the thrill of the hunt, and a belief that the best very things in life are found. It's so much fun to have all of them (and all of you) along on the journey to create the farmhouse. 

If there's something special that you are looking for, let me know and I'll put the word out for you...after all, that's what life's all about (at least it is in mine), 
                                                            friends helping friends find junk!

Old House Stories and A Vintage Men's Shaving Stand

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Have you ever heard the old saying, "If these walls could talk..."?  Lately, I've been feeling that way about the walls here at the farmhouse. As we've been removing walls, we're discovering some of the stories of the house that we're making our home,  

I suppose that it's my love of old houses and their stories that drew me to this project in the first place because I grew up in an old house. It  had a wide front porch with a porch swing and a back door with a wooden screen door.  It had one bathroom with a cool slot in the back of the medicine cabinet where my dad put the used blades from his single blade razor (and I once did the same thing...with an entire package of brand new blades. Sorry, Dad.)

Pot O' Gold Giveaway!

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Are you ready for a chance to find your very own person POT O' GOLD!??? If you are, then today's your lucky day! I'm thrilled to be a part of this incredible giveaway!  One lucky winner will receive a prize package valued at $500+ from 10 very generous sponsors …

Prize Package Includes:
$50 Ace Hardware Gift Card
Ball Brand green mason jars (pint case and quart case)
$50 Birch Lane Gift Card
$100 Duluth Trading Gift Card
HomeRight Finish Max paint sprayer
$50 Michaels Gift Card
$50 in fabric from Oninefabricstore.net
100 free prints from Printicular
Rust-Oleum paint package
Rockwell BladeRunner X2 (small table saw) and Sonicrafter F30 (oscillating tool)

There are 32 chances to win. Just follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter entry form:

Don't forget to take advantage of all 32 chances to win. Good Luck!

The Fine Print: The Pot O’Gold Giveaway starts on March 2, 2015 at 6:00 AM and ends on March 16, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Legal Residents (18 years of age or older) of the U.S. only. Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes. Winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter and will be notified by email on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2015.and be notified by email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note the 23 bloggers participating in this sweepstakes are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes. We have represented each sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. We will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsors, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. We will make every effort to assist you in obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you. The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway. By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to the participating bloggers. We do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.