Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Feed Sacks--Flowers--Wood

 
 
I'm playing with the farmhouse living room d├ęcor again. . . .or maybe I should say 'still'. . . .This is strictly playtime. . . .Making-do with what I have at hand for the moment. . . .mostly trying different looks. . . .various textures and colors. . . .bring in a little of this. . . .and a little of that. . . .testing to see if it feels right. . . .looks right. . . .and fits our lifestyle. . . .It's possible that no permanent changes will be made for a while. . . .If you'll remember, we have a floor to put down and walls to paint. . . .I'll get more serious then. . . .We have many drop-in friends during the Summer. . . .I like having a place where we can all sit comfortably and enjoy each other's conversation. . . .and I like things to be a little tidy. . .
 
First I bought a inexpensive slipcover for our old, tired couch. . . .With that tiny change I was inspired to tie the living room in with the kitchen for the Summer. . . .where I already have the theme of white--feed sacks--flowers--wood. . . .
 

 
 
 
 
I did bring pieces in from another room--but not storage. . . .This wonderful prim table is one. . . .It came out of the Crossroads Baptist Church before the building was razed a couple of years ago. . . .I simply love it. . . .The patina is fantastic. . . .and the color matches the blues in the bathroom, which is right off the living room. . . .It's too tall--I guess? . . .but I just cannot cut it down to coffee table size. . . .not now. . . .In the end, I may set the table in front of the window, with a huge bouquet of cotton bolls. . . .Boo loves a table by the window so he can watch everything that goes on outside. . . .He's not interested in going out. . . .Too hot. . . .or too cold. . . .and a lot of scary things out there!
 
 
I used feed sacks to cover pillows on the wicker settee last Summer, which is now on the back porch. . . .I decided to cover a few for the couch. . . .The big Liberty Baking Company sack is just laid across the back for now. . . .getting the feel for that, too. . . .Actually, I like it. . .Might tack it down permanently. . . .
 
 
The old packing crate came from the grocery store museum. . . .You've seen the wagon crate before. . . .This time it's keeping magazines close at hand. . . .and of course, geraniums (my favorites) with their pop of red. . . .
 
 
 
 
 I had many photos to share. . . .I don't know HOW MANY I uploaded for this post only to find that they look totally different today on Blogger. . . .But, I decided to share these with you anyway. . . . It's a beginning for the farmhouse living room. . . .I love the Plain and Simple of it. . . .No clutter. . . .Favorites all around. . . .Isn't that as a home should be? . . .After all, a Home should be one of peace and calm (if you're lucky). . . .a place of security.  . .a place to be yourself. . . .a place to make you smile.
 
I'm smiling. . . .
 
 
 
 
 
And now my Friends, I will be taking a break from The Country Farm Home blog. . . .It was a very hard decision to make, but in the end it's the only choice I have. . . .I love visiting with you. . . .sharing a little of our lives. . . .but I simply don't have the extra time that I need to do this blog justice. . . .
 
It's time for me to get busy and help prepare the Duncan Farmstead for Fall tours. . . .so much to be done and only a few months to accomplish it. . . .Renovations to complete. . . .A grocery store museum to put in order. . . .A log house to finish. . . .A shotgun house to make ready.  . . .Advertising to do. . . .The list is way too long. . . .There's only John and me. . . .sometimes a friend or two. . . .He jokes and says between the two of us, we might make one person. . . .We joke about it, but I do have fibromyalgia and often have to limit my time at physical labor. . . .John has an artificial leg. . . .He says he's old, too, but I don't believe that (grin). . . .So for the next few months I will literally be 'Gone to the Farm'. . . .If I have a few extra moments, I may pop in every now and then and add a post or two. . . .Show you what I'm doing to the house. . . as the house gets further into it's renovation. . . .and there will be mini updates on The Country Farm Home @ Facebook
 
 
There's a new blog! . . .Did I just say I didn't have time to blog? . . .Well, this one is an extension of our website that has been online for years. . . .The website already has tons of info. . . . I've found blogs to be much easier to share updates and stories. . . .and, too, it seems a little more personal. . . .

 Duncan Farmstead will be geared toward daily Farm Life--from Past to Present. . . .The projects. . . .Snaps inside the barns and grocery. . . .Local attractions. . . .Farm happenings. . . .DIY projects. . . .Gardens. . . .Pets. . . .Southern Farm Cooking. . . .Resources for Teachers. . . .We hope it will give readers insights about life on a cotton farm. . . .Postings will be made as time permits.

If you'd really like to keep up with us, LIKE us at the Duncan Farmstead @ Facebook page
and follow along all the happenings. . . .

We will continue to sell Rag Rug Looms and other goods at Our Old Country Store
 
See there. . . .I'm not totally disappearing. . . .You can still find me at any number of places. . . .but all centering here at the Farm for now. . . .This is where we are at our best. . . .It's the family legacy that we're devoted to. . . .Hope you'll pop in every now and then to see what's happening at our Duncan Farmstead. . . .
Watch for updates at The Country Farm Home, too. . . .
First update--We're Featured in MAKING IT SIMPLE (LINK BELOW)!
 
Have a wonderful Summer. . . .
I'll miss Ya'all!

 
As Always
. . . .from my farmhouse to yours. . . .
 
 
 We're featured in the Free Online Summer Edition of:
 
Creative Steps to a Siimple Life EWEnique Treasures Summer Issue June 2014


Monday, May 19, 2014

And the Winner Is. . . .


Hi, Everyone!
This will be a quick post
but I'll be back again in a day or so with more to share.
 
First, I want to thank each of you for entering the
WEAVING RAG RUGS Giveaway. . .
We had as many email entries as those who commented!
The winner was chosen by a friend who put all the names in a bowl
and had her hubby choose. . .totally unbiased. . .lol
 
And The Winner Is:
 RUTH (entered by email)
 
Please email me with your address and your WEAVING RAG RUGS book
will be on it's way.
 
Thanks again to Everyone!
Each of you are winners in my book!
 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For


My Grandmother used to say, "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it". . .That was the first thing that popped into my head this past weekend as I glanced out the bedroom window and saw beautiful red Roses spilling over the white picket fence where no Roses had been planted. . .It's true that I wished for them. . .maybe a couple of weeks ago? . .I was telling John how I'd love to have climbing Roses--the old-fashioned kind--at the front fence. . .pointing out the place I'd put them. . .I had visions of a cottage garden. . .More than that, I've loved the climbers ever since I was a child. . .I mentally stuck the wish in the back of my mind, to be acted upon later.

You can only imagine my surprise when I awoke to find luscious wild Roses blooming in the very spot that I envisioned them. . .I can tell you, I blinked my eyes more than a few times!


Now, I know I don't have that kind of power--to wish something into existence. . .I can't wiggle my nose and make something appear. . .At the same time, I don't believe that anything happens by chance. . .that we don't journey through life alone. . .There are those unseen--who hover around us. . .watching. . .loving. . .helping us along the way. . .and sometimes leaving gifts.

I found myself standing in awe at the fence. . .touching the sweet blooms to make sure they were real. . .amazed once again that I'm not alone. . .I felt. . . . . .HUGGED. . . . .I can't explain it any better than that.


Sure. . .I can come up with other explanations of how this happened. . .A bird. . .A squirrel. . .An old planting that decided to grow. . .but, what made it happen in the exact spot I wanted roses? . . .Coincidence? . . .And, how did they grow so quickly, without us noticing them? . .Stranger things have happened. . .but this is pretty high on the list.


Later in the day, I returned to the roses with clippers in hand. . .to cut a bouquet. . . As I reached down to clip the first one, a thorn pricked my skin. . .'WHY do Roses have to have thorns?'--griping to myself. . 'They're too lovely to cause such pain'. . .I all but heard my Grandmother say, 'Well, you wished for them!'

A person has to be very careful with roses. . . Learning to maneuver around the prickly stem can be a sticky situation. . .(grin). . .You must watch where you place your fingers. . .and hold them gently once cut. . .yet, the whole process is worth it. . .There's such beauty in a Rose. . .

'Like LIFE!' I thought. . . .Exactly. . .Simply beautiful--once we learn to deal with the thorns.

 
'Some people grumble that roses have thorns. . .I am grateful that thorns have roses.'

As thankful as I was for the gift, I am just as thankful that along with it came a little more insight. . .a little more knowledge about how things work. . .a visual to refer to when times get hard. . .Isn't the Rose and it's thorns a wonderful example of how our struggles in life so often turn out to be a good thing? . . .Yes, Grandmother, you were right. . . .There will always be thorns in the garden (of Life). . .so we have to be careful what we wish for. . . .but I say where there's thorns, there's also Roses. . .and That's the real beauty of it.
 
Just a thought to start your day. . .





Monday, May 12, 2014

Hot off the Press: 'Weaving Rag Rugs' and a Giveaway!



It's been a while since I've had a post at The Country Farm Home about Rag Rugs. . . .Most of my tips and up-dates are now at Our Old Country Store. . . .but, I believe Tom Knisely's new book, WEAVING RAG RUGS, is worth posting on both blogs--and Facebook, too!

Heather Gooch contacted me several weeks ago and asked if I would review Tom's book as a part of their blog tour, which I was more than happy to do. . .She promptly mailed me a copy and have I ever enjoyed it! . . .It's a fun book. . . .chock full of illustrations and how-to's. . . .easy to read and the right mix of beautiful color photos and detailed instructions.
 
Weaving Rag Rugs by Tom Knisely,http://www.amazon.com/dp/0811712125/ref=cm_sw_r_pi_dp_lH5atb03WCZ53ZRC

from Publishers Weekly:
When the author of an instructional book on weaving has taught weaving for 30 years, readers can trust they're in good hands. That's surely the case with this, the first book by the author, full of surprisingly diverse and consistently attractive designs for rag rug weaving. The craft isn't a simple one, and this book doesn't shy away from making it clear that a full-sized loom is needed. Copious photographs show how to prepare the loom, a painstaking process, as well as how to choose and prepare the warp and weft. The fun begins in the second half of the book, when Knisley shows how simple fabric choices can lead to stunning rugs, such as a Rainbow-Striped Rug, the autumnally toned Spice Market rug, and a set of three rugs made from t-shirts in pleasing pastel gradations. This book is surely for a very specific market of determined crafters, and it does a wonderful job of teaching them. Weaving diagrams and full-color photos.



BarnesAndNoble and Amazon:
Every weaver weaves a rag rug--or two, or three. In this long-awaited book, well-known weaver and teacher Tom Knisely shares his knowledge and expertise in this collection of favorite rag rug patterns.
  • The first comprehensive book on weaving rag rugs in a generation
  • Color planning and design advice for rag rugs
  • Step-by-step instructions on warping and weaving for your rag rug
  • More than 30 rag rug projects, from simple to advanced

Before I go on, I must first tell you that these rag rugs are woven on larger looms--such as the Jack Loom or the Counterbalance Loom. . . .They are not twined on looms like the ones we sell at Our Old Country Store. . . .Yet, there is so much information that can be utilized with the twined rugs--color schemes, the best way to prepare strips, different methods of joining the strips, how to use various fabrics and textures. . . .Each rug pattern is beautifully presented and includes a swatch photo of the materials used. . . .A WEALTH of information that would be of value to any weaver.

 
The more I read through WEAVING RAG RUGS, the more excited I became. . . .I think I could adapt several of Tom's patterns for weaving a rug on the twinning loom. . . Might not be as professional as Tom's rugs but I'm planning to try it. . . .His patterns and combination of colors have inspired me.


There's another reason I chose this book as an addition to our library. . . .Last year the owner of one of the antique malls we frequent in Missouri called us. . . .She had bought for resale a large loom and thought we might be interested in it, since we 'were into weaving'. . . .I remember saying to John that I'd love to try my hand at it, but where in the world would I go to learn? . . .Now, I know. . . .I'm certain I could take Tom's book and teach myself--it's just that detailed! . . .I've collected weaving books for years, but this is the first one I've read that is so step-by-step informative that I could teach myself. . . .whether it's any time soon or years down the road. . . .For me, this one is a 'keeper'. . . .


You have a chance to win a copy for yourself--or a friend!
Just comment below and your name will be added to the drawing!
Not allowed to comment with Google?
 
You don't have to follow or add links to your blog or tell others on social media--although I'd love it if you did. . . .(grin)
You can ask your friends to comment, too. . . .It's open to everyone!
 
I'll randomly choose a winner and will announce who the lucky person is next Monday May 19th.
 
Many thanks to Tom Knisely and Heather Gooch for making this Giveaway possible!
If you'd like to read other reviews and follow the blog tour, visit at:

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .


Friday, May 9, 2014

Window Before and After


Wow! Two posts in one week! . .Whatever possessed me? . . .Living room inspiration. . .That's what has me full of energy. . .I couldn't wait to share the window transformation with you. . .It's Plain and Simple. . .but, oh! How I love it! . . .Look at the 'before and after' and see what you think. . .

 
A few years ago, our 1930s manager's home was part of the farm tours. . .I styled it to reflect the time period and was thrilled when I found these vintage drapes. . .They were so appropriate for the 30s. . .They are still beautiful. . .but I needed a change. . .and I needed to get the drapes cleaned. . .

I know I say this over and over, but. . .here it goes again. . .I'm 'into' simplifying and the heavy drapes didn't seem very simple. . .They felt 'heavy' to me. . .Plus, I'm not a big fan of drapes or curtains anyway. . .If you notice, the kitchen has none at all. . .I love sitting on the couch in the morning with a good cup of coffee while gazing out the window. . .From there I can see the flower beds, the garden sheds, the fields of cotton, and the birds playing in the trees. . .Every now and then a bunny rabbit will pass through. . .It's the best of both worlds. . .Enjoying the outdoors without mosquitoes or flies. . .All this to say, I was tired of drapes in my line of sight and wanted more light in the room!


From this. . .


to this. . .in less than an hour.
 

There's so much light now that it is very hard to photograph the room. . . I apologize that these photos aren't as sharp as they should be. . .I like the images, though. . .They give the impression of cool and dreamy, don't they? . .Which is exactly how they make the living room feel.

The embroidered sheers were my Mom's. . .I almost sold them in an estate sale years ago. . .I thought they were a little fancy for the farmhouse before. . .especially if we were showing the house as a 1930s manager's home. . .Now that we no longer tour through our house, they fit in just fine with my style. . .

 
I love that now-a-days we don't have all the hard and fast rules that my Mom's generation had. . .We can decorate in a more shabby and relaxed style. . .Mom and I would have had a discussion on hemming the sheers so that they didn't touch the floor. . .In fact, I can see her waiting until I was away and hemming them for me, because. . .'You can't let them drag the floor!' . . .She's probably looking on and saying the same thing right now!
 
I choose to be more relaxed and have admired others who bravely let their drapes lay on the floor. . .Since I don't plan to put anything large in front of the window. . .I can enjoy the soft effect it brings to the room. . .I was surprised, too, that John liked it! . . He grew up with all the rules and pretty much clings to them. . .I'm the free spirit in this family!
 
 
 
 
I also added a painted transom window with twill tape from the drapery pole. . .This was a hard photo to take due to the light coming in. . .but, I know you get the idea. . .A simple addition that helps tie everything together--and doesn't block my view. . .The whole setting looks rather romantic. . .It's a start. . .
 
 
More to come later!
 
Before I sign off, I wanted to ask--Are you having issues with your emails and comments? I've commented on many of your blogs the last several weeks, only to have them returned as 'undelivered' and an error that the host site would not accept it. . .Is this due to added security measures? . .Is there anything I can do about it? . . .I don't want any of you to think I'm ignoring your wonderful comments or that I'm not commenting on your blogs. . .I'm also having problems with many of your comments going into SPAM. . .Let me know if you have a solution for this! I'd much appreciate it.
 
Watch for the Giveaway Monday!
and have a Wonderful Weekend, My Friends!
 

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .

 
 
Sharing this post with: * Simple and Sweet Fridays *


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sweet Little Wicker Chair Inspires Changes in the Living Room


I was beginning to think this day would never come. . .I've dreamed. . .I've planned. . .I've waited. . .and waited. . .and waited. . .I've teased you as well as myself. . .The time is here! THIS will be the Summer of a 'new' living room. . .This sweet little chair got me started. . .Although I may not use it in the living room, it was while I was photographing it in front of the glass front cabinet that I began to dream again--no--not dream--It was a decision I made--to get this room together.

With the nice weather--there's a lot of activity going on around the farm. . . The farmers are planting from sunrise to sunset. . .and here at the historic district, we're replacing the wrap-around porch on the house. . .the log house is on it's way up (finally). . .the country store is taking shape after a major clean-out. . .our collection of twenty treadle sewing machines are being made ready for display in the store. . . Inside our home, the living room and one bedroom will be getting a new floor, new paint, new curtains, new slip-covers. . .I should wait to work on the living room until the new floor is down. . . but I'm not. . .No telling when we'll have the time to do it. . .Our priority list is long. . .and I didn't want to live another minute in junky chaos (my definition of the living room now). . .It might be the end of Summer before John and I can get to the floor. . .No more waiting!


I will be taking down the 1930s bark cloth drapes and replacing them with sheers--at least for the summer. . .I've already moved in a second couch and a prim table. . .but, mostly I've moved things out. . .simplified. . .Don't want a lot of clutter.


And, the vintage wicker chair? . . Where does it fit in? . . Not sure, yet. . .It might stay. . .or not. . .You'll have to watch and see. . .It was another of my finds--the day I picked up the ladder for the bath. . .I did have to pay $5 for it. . .almost 'free'. . .It caught my eye because of it's shabby, faded seat cover and it's chippy, white paint. . .I thought it would go well in the bedroom sitting in front of the vanity. . .Now that I see it in the living room, I'm not so sure. . .


Such a simple little chair to inspire me to 'get to work'. . .I think it's lovely. . .
Wherever it ends up!

 
. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .

 
WATCH FOR A GIVEAWAY NEXT WEEK!
 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Bits and Pieces from the Farmhouse Kitchen

 
I hope this makes you smile. . . .as it did me. . . .After several days of farm chores. . . .weeding flower beds. . . .and preparing home cooked meals in between. . . .I'm beginning to look LIKE her. . . .A little mussy. . . .wearing an everyday cotton work dress. . . .hair tied up in a scarf. . . .tools of the trade in my pockets. . . .I'm prepared for anything.
 
I'm taking a 'break'  this morning to make Farmer John a chocolate cake.
I intended to whip up the vintage recipe below. . . .I've never used Karo Syrup in icings . . . .
Thought I might give it a try. . . .This one looked scrumptious. . .
.and I liked the No Cook part of it.
 
 
 
It reads:
"Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting Without Cooking"
It's so easy you'll top all your cakes with this good-looking icing.
You whip it up in a bowl in a few minutes.
Gives you lots and lots of smooth frosting. .
peaks up high and handsome.
It's never grainy. . .thanks to Karo Syrup.
Try this 'no-cook' magic on your next cake--and tell your friends.

Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to 2 egg whites.
Beat until frothy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar,
gradually beating until smooth and glossy.
Slowly add 3/4 cup Karo Syrup (Red or Blue label)
and continue beating until frosting stands in firm peaks.
Fold in 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla.
For any tinted frosting, use Karo Syrup Red Label.
Flavor varieties: Add 2 tablespoons cocoa;
or 1 tablespoon grated orange or lemon rind;
or sprinkle with 1 cup shredded coconut."

I was a little hesitant to make the icing because of the egg whites,
so I searched the net and found this on E-How:
"The best way to prevent this (Salmonella poisoning) is to use pasteurized egg whites that can be purchased ready-to-pour in a bottle, as opposed to using fresh egg whites that you crack open yourself. Pasteurized eggs or egg whites sold in the refrigerator section of the supermarket have already been completely heated, so any bacteria inside was killed. These are safe to use in raw mixtures, such as frosting.
Good to know. . . .Maybe a cream cheese icing for now?

I do plan to whip up the Fluffy Marshmallow Frosting one day. . . .I love trying vintage recipes. . . .and the addition of coconut makes me think of Grandmother's coconut cake. . . .Her icing was different from the ones I use. . . .Wonder if  Karo Syrup was her secret?


One more 'mint green' thought. . . .(Did you notice the theme?)
Coming in mid-May, my post A White House Cookbook of My Own
will be featured in the online Summer issue of Ewenique Treasures Magazine!

Hello my name is Gen, I publish a free online magazine that features bloggers
such as yourself who contribute recipes, decor, crafts etc.
I'd love to feature your post Covering a White House Cookbook
and your blog in the upcoming Summer Issue

The book cover of this vintage cookbook was pretty beat up,
so I used a vintage kitchen towel to cover it. . . .The doilies are bookmarks. . . .
There's a semi-tutorial with the post. . . .A simple thing. . . .and quickly done.

Thanks to Gen for including me in her up-coming Summer issue!


I must get back to work. . . .I'm loving the sunshine and being outdoors. . . .
which makes gardening all the more sweeter. . . .
Once I ice the cake, I'm off to soak up more rays!

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .




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