Friday, August 30, 2013

Another Find! Sweet Little Blue Chair & Dress for the Bath

 I was so thrilled to find this Sweet Little Blue Chair at the giant Goodwill in Jackson, TN this week while looking for Fall bargains. . . .

 I headed for the household wares first. . . .as always. . . .Didn't find much there, but as I passed by the toys on my way to clothing, I glanced down the aisle and there sat the little blue chair. . . .pulled out in the middle as if a child had been sitting there and had just left for a minute. . . .I'm sure it would have been in someone's cart other than mine had it been in the household section. . . .

I remember chairs such as these were popular at flea markets in the 1980s. . . .They came from Mexico. . . .I had one in red. . . .Mom had one in yellow. . . .We used them to hold potted plants. . . . .I haven't seen them in years. . . .

I'm so glad the one I found this week was blue. . . .It works so well in our bath. . . .A little chippy here and there. . . . Looks as if someone glued the top rung with brown wood glue. . . .only adds character. . . .I love the folk art painted flowers. . . .so charming.

The cross-stitch towel is another thrifty find from a while back. . . .as is the vintage porcelain basket. . . .Everything came together beautifully.

As excited as I was to find the little blue chair, I was even more excited when I spotted this sweet little blue dress in the baby clothes section. . . .vintage, of course. . . .

Gave me the opportunity to tell you the news. . . .

It's a Girl!
John's daughter and her husband have another sweet little girl--Sarah Lynn. . . .They live in Virginia, so we've only seen photos of her. . . .Hopefully, there will be a trip to Virginia soon. . . . In celebration of the event, I had already chosen several vintage baby dresses and hung them on a clothesline in the corner of the bath. . . .
I had pink, yellow, and white. . . .no blue. . . .Wouldn't you know it--Goodwill had one!

Isn't it sweet hanging with the others? . . . The blue vintage hanger was mine. . . .I found it among our baby items in Mom's cedar chest. . . .I never knew Mom to be sentimental. . . .yet, the last few weeks while going through her stored boxes and the cedar chest, I've found several memories she kept. . . .She wasn't a pack rat like me, but I guess she did have her moments. . . .
The Goodwill finds fit right in with the baby things I've had on my mind and in my d├ęcor lately. . . .Sentimental. . . .Remembering. . . .Anticipation. . . .Joy. . . .Thoughts and ponderings on the ever present Circle of Life. . . .
A Sweet Little Blue Chair
A Sweet Little Blue Dress
Sweet Memories of Loved Ones
Sweet Memories to make
The Circle keeps on turning. . . .Life is good.
. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .
Sharing with: * Share Your Cup

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Remember the Prim Cabinet Yard Sale Find?

Do you remember the blue primitive cabinet we found on the 100 Mile Yard Sale this Summer?  A steal at $32.50. . . .

It was awfully dry and tired looking. . . .yet, I knew it would come back to life with a little Murphy's Oil Soap and a coat or two of Lemon Oil Restorer. . . .

It took more than a couple of coats of Lemon Oil Restorer! I think John used half a bottle. . . .and it could use more. . . .but it did turn into a real beauty along the way. . . .

I knew exactly where I wanted it to go. . . .There's a little entryway at the back door. . . .I'd not found the right combination to welcome visitors. . . .Most of our pieces were too large--leaving little room to walk in. . . .or, they were too small and looked overwhelmed by the space. . . .

So, when I spied this narrow prim cabinet at the yard sale, I knew it was headed for the farm.

It is definitely 'Prim". . . .Don't you love John's sense of humor for the latch?

I recently found the metal veggie signs at a flea market. . . .$1 each. . . . a theme that goes well with the Farmhouse style. . . .

While we're looking at the vignette, let me brag a little more on John. . . .He crafted the dove weathervane from wood and metal. . . .The pattern dates back to 1832 . . . .He sold weathervanes in several gift stores a few years back. . . .I saved this one for us. . . .

We have a family of doves that showed up on the farm the second year we lived here. . . .They build nests in our trees in the front yard. . . .and 'sing' to me each morning as I jump out of bed. . . .We've grown very fond of them. . . .So much so that when dove season opens, we encourage our feathered friends to stay safe and sound here at the farm. . . .It's worked so far. . .  .

It's a charming folk art piece that compliments our primitive find. . . .

I'm finally satisfied with the entryway. . . .Don't you think it's welcoming now?

By the way, we have a saying here, "Backdoor guests are always best". . . .If you ever visit, be sure and come to the backdoor. . . .Only salesmen and curiosity seekers knock on the front door! . . .It was as true in years past as it is today. . . .Some things never change.

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . . 

I'm joining these parties. . . .Why don't you visit, too!

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Downton Abbey Inspired Tea is Happening NOW!

Facebook Author Page

You're invited, too!
Just click on this special invitation. . . .

31-Days of Giveaway

I'm a little late getting to the Tea. . . .Fashionably late--I hope. . . .The reason being--my computer got the flu (a virus) and is recuperating in the hospital. . . .I've been begging and borrowing computers from friends all month long. . . .It's been a challenge, to say the least. . . . But, the doctors (Geek Squad) say my computer will get over it's illness and will be home soon, safe and sound.

The real downside is that I've missed most of the Online Tea Party celebrating the first release of Jessica Dotta's Price of Privilege Trilogy "Born of Persuasion". . . It's been an on-going event this entire month of August.

 Back in July, Jessica sent me an early invitation for the Online Tea Party and 31-Days of Giveaways to celebrate the launch of  her book. . . .It was then that I learned Born of Persuasion was set in 1838--one of my favorite times in history . . . .She's worked on the trilogy for years--pouring her heart and soul into it. . . .I haven't received my copy, yet, but it's on it's way! . . . From the reviews I've read, I can hardly wait. . . .Here's just one of many. . . .

 Autumn Topping at The Silver Petticoat Review:
"Who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned Jane Austen like historical romance? Or an entertaining, Gothic and Bronte ‘esque’ suspense filled mystery? Well I know I eat these stories up faster than I can a piece of chocolate cake. Unfortunately, finding these types of stories (or at least good ones) outside the classics are sadly few and far between. In Jessica Dotta’s debut novel, however, I finally found one I could devour; each page hypnotizing me with its power to uncover what happens next.
. . . .Part Jane Austen (Mrs. Windham strongly echoes Mrs. Bennet) and part Charlotte Bronte, Jessica Dotta weaves a Gothic story effortlessly into the world of petticoats, scandals, secret engagements, and marriage proposals. Dotta is so good at suspense that she had me questioning the characters’ motives and feelings at every corner.
. . . .Romantic and entertaining to its core (with excellent mysteries thrown in for good measure), I was literally on the edge of my seat."

Autumn goes on to say, "This needs to be a television series, Downton Abbey style. . . ."

Intrigued? There's a sneak peek of Born of Persuasion at the end of this post.

I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey so dressing in their style was just my 'cup of tea'. . . .(Pardon the pun. . . . I couldn't resist. . . .grin). . . .You know how I love to 'dress up and play'. . . .When I received the invitation in July,  I began to gather my own Downton Abbey inspired clothing. . . .a Summer hat, dotted Swiss gloves, pearls. . . .a vintage crepe dress. . . .No shoes. . . .Nothing seemed to look right. . . .but, if truth be known, my feet don't like shoes in the Summer. . . .never have. . . .a true Farmer's Daughter. . .Besides it was too hot for shoes. . . .In fact,  I almost opted for iced tea instead of hot tea. . . .Bare feet and iced tea go together you know. . . .at least in the Delta they do.

Everyone is welcome to join the Tea. . . You don't have to dress up like I did. . . .although it was sure fun. . . .Simply go to the Born of Persuasion Facebook page or to the Jessica Dotta website and join in. . . .Be sure and sign up for the Giveaways, too. . . .There's one each day. . . .I missed out on this charming hat. . . .(sigh)

Photo: We're counting down to the launch of Born of Persuasion with 31-Days of Giveaway!

To enter to win this hat from The Victorian Trading Company, visit my Facebook Page:

Isn't it wonderful?

To Jessica I wish great success with her Price of Privilege Trilogy . . . .To You my friends I wish luck at the Giveaways. . . .and to my ailing computer I wish a big 'Get Well Soon'. . . .While I'm waiting for it's recovery, I know of a good book to read!
. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .

Book Blurb:

The year is 1838, and seventeen-year-old Julia Elliston’s position has never been more fragile. Orphaned and unmarried in a time when women are legal property of their fathers, husbands, and guardians, she finds herself at the mercy of an anonymous guardian who plans to establish her as a servant in far-off Scotland.

With two months to devise a better plan, Julia’s first choice to marry her childhood sweetheart is denied. But when a titled dowager offers to introduce Julia into society, a realm of possibilities opens. However, treachery and deception are as much a part of Victorian society as titles and decorum, and Julia quickly discovers her present is deeply entangled with her mother’s mysterious past. Before she knows what’s happening, Julia finds herself a pawn in a deadly game between two of the country’s most powerful men. With no laws to protect her, she must unravel the secrets on her own. But sometimes truth is elusive and knowledge is deadly.

A Sneak Peek:

“I am quite vexed with you.” Mrs. Windham placed a slice of lard cake on a plate. She eyed my dress hanging loosely over my frame, then added another sliver alongside a gooseberry tart. “Why did you not tell us your mother was ailing? Had I knowledge, I would have visited before she passed; indeed, I would have.”

My hand faltered as I reached for the plate. While I’d known the topic of Mama’s death was unavoidable, I had not expected it so soon.

“Mama.” Elizabeth cast her mother a disapproving look over the rim of her teacup. “You can scarcely blame Julia for it.”

“Blame Julia?” Mrs. Windham dabbed her eyes with the corner of her gardening apron. “What a notion, child.” Then to me, “Did she linger in much pain? Did she send me remembrances? Did she call for me in her deep despair?”

Tightness gathered in my chest as I sought for an explanation, knowing full well the Windhams wouldn’t be fooled into believing Mama had pined herself into an early grave over my father’s death. I placed the plate on my lap, then set about tearing the cake into bite-sized pieces. “She called for no one. The cholera took her quickly.”

Elizabeth froze, midsip, as if detecting my lie. Mrs. Windham frowned, but I wasn’t certain whether she sensed deception or simply disliked being robbed of the notion that Mama had died crying out for her.
Mrs. Windham turned toward the window, pressing her lace handkerchief against her mouth. “Well, if you’re going to try to spare me, I am sure there is nothing I can do.” Her voice trembled. “I have lost my dearest friend, but why should anyone consider me?”

A long silence ensued, during which Elizabeth frowned and I twisted my cup in its saucer. We both knew trying to start a new conversation would be useless until her mother had been properly indulged.
After a minute, Mrs. Windham’s mouth puckered. “Humph. Well, do not think yourself cleared on all accounts. I am even more outraged you agreed to have this . . . this guardian. I scarcely believed my own ears when I heard the tidings. Nothing, no, nothing, could have made me believe you would choose this person over me. Whatever are you thinking?” I tore the cake into yet smaller pieces.
Elizabeth darted an apologetic look at me, wrapping her hands about her cup. “Mama, you can scarcely blame Julia for whom her parents selected as her guardian.”

“What else am I to think? Especially when Lucy wrote me a mere month before her death begging me to care for Julia should this very thing happen. Well, all I can say is that Julia has certainly made it clear whom she prefers. Surely this person has no tie, no claim over you. I never heard of such an odd thing in all my life. Not give a name, indeed! And that man who came. That rude man! Is it so unreasonable to assume your guardian would have taken it into account that I have a daughter, and as such made allowances? See if I merit approval. Of all the insults.” She snorted into her half-empty cup.

I shot Elizabeth a questioning look. She’d not written anything about my guardian sending someone to Am Meer. Instead of meeting my eyes, her gaze drifted to the open windows.

“I never met such a rude man as that Simon.” Looking at my untouched food, Mrs. Windham fluttered her handkerchief at it. “Indeed, I wish we’d begun dining amongst higher spheres before I listed our acquaintances. That would have swept the smug look off that Simon’s face.”

Elizabeth let out a short sigh. “His name was Simmons, not Simon.”
“I think I should remember better than you, missy. I tell you it was Simon, and I cannot imagine a more disdainful or trying butler.”
“Butler?” I asked, more perplexed than ever. “Are you saying my guardian’s butler came here?”
“He was no butler; trust me,” Elizabeth said. “He dressed the part of a gentleman. I think he was a solicitor.”
“You can hardly expect a butler to wear his black tie when travelling. Take my word, the man is a servant, one who holds much too high an opinion of himself.”

“But, Mama, think upon it. What sort of person sends a servant to make those types of inquiries? Who would run the household during his absence?”

“Are you never to tell me of what you are speaking?” I finally said. “What does this man and his lists of acquaintances have to do with my guardian?”

Elizabeth gave her mother a look that plainly asked if she was satisfied now that I was upset. “Well, we were not supposed to mention the visit.” She glared a second longer at her mother. “Three months ago he arrived, stating he’d come to make certain Mama was a suitable chaperone for a visit.”

“Very rude, he was, too. I should not have thought there was such a rude man in all of England.”
Elizabeth took a sharp, annoyed intake of breath. “He gathered the names of all our acquaintances—”
“He dared to ask what we required as compensation for keeping you here for a month or two. The very idea, expecting to be reimbursed for keeping Lucy’s child! He made it sound as though you were living on—” Mrs. Windham stopped suddenly and eyed the patch on my threadbare dress. The tinkling of the wind chimes was the only sound filling the space for a half minute.

“I heard nothing about this visit,” I said, forcing an even tone. “Pray, did he happen to mention the name of my guardian?”

“No, indeed. This is all very strange.” Mrs. Windham spooned more sugar into her tea. “I think your guardian must be very ill-mannered. What sense can there be in keeping one’s identity hidden, I ask?”
She paused, eyeing me for all she was worth. But I had no suitable answer. I no longer even wanted to know about the man who’d been sent here. His visit only increased my unease, making it harder for me to find the nerve to do what I must. If I succeeded in accomplishing my goal, then this Simon or Simmons person mattered little.

" A soft knock on the door interrupted us.

"Yes?” Mrs. Windham sank back into her chair, glaring. “What now?”

“I beg pardon.” Their stout housekeeper managed to open the door and curtsy at the same time. “Only the room’s ready, and Miss Lizbeth asked me to come fetch her.”

“Thank you, Hannah.” With undisguised relief, Elizabeth stood. “Mama, poor Julia must be exhausted. Surely you will excuse her.”

Mrs. Windham waved me away with her handkerchief. “I have no wish to talk further regardless, what with her upsetting the household. My poor heart is pounding after such a distasteful tea. When you wake, I insist you write your guardian. Tell him this whole affair upsets my digestion, and that you wish to be transferred into my care. For I cannot conceive he wishes such vexations upon me. And—”

“What shall we do about a lady’s maid for Julia?” Elizabeth had the mercy to interrupt. “Betsy scarcely has time in the mornings to arrange our toilette, much less someone else’s. What about that girl Nancy?”

“Yes, yes, anyone will do,” agreed Mrs. Windham, picking up her teacup. “I am quite certain Julia shall not mind.” 
Born of Persuasion - Tyndale House, Sept 2013
Twitter: @jessicaDotta

Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Prims and a Vintage Grain Mill

Last week the weather was absolutely beautiful. . . .Our temps dipped down in the 50s at night. . . .The days were cool with a northern breeze. . . .almost like Fall. . . .very unusual for the Delta in August. . . .Normally, August brings the hottest temps. . . .with heat indexes over 100.

I took the opportunity to do more clean-out. . . .ended up in the breezeway for an entire day. . . .where it occurred to me that I'd never shared two of our Prims with you.

You've seen them before in the background. . . .Now for a closer look. . . .a Prim Dry Sink and a Crock Shelf. . . .

I'm not sure how old the dry sink is. . . .but, it's been around for at least 100 years I'd think. . . ."She" was one of our first purchases when we moved back to the Delta from Virginia. . . .for only $50. . . .In Virginia we'd sure have to pay much, much more!

I like the fact that we bought her here in the Delta. . . .and was able to save her from the dumpster. . . .Yes, that's what I said. . . .the dumpster. . . .If we hadn't bought her, the owner said she was going to the dump. . . .In fact, the owner wanted to give her to us. . . .but, we insisted on paying something.

Our dry sink is definitely a prim, with all the dings and patina of a 100+ years of use. . . . the door sags. . . .the original closure is missing a part. . . .the hinges squeak when you open the door. . . .Lots of personality. . . .I love it!


The Prim Crock Shelf was bought around the same time. . . .another piece from the Delta. . . .Can't you imagine this sitting on the back porch of an early farmhouse?

Simple construction, open shelves, and multiple colors of paint. . . .It's held my crock collection for many years. . . .I do use them, too. . . .Can't run a farmhouse without crocks!

The shelves are narrow enough that it fits perfectly behind the door. . . .I think I paid $20 for it. . . .Another great find.

The newest addition to the mix is this rather large Vintage Grain Mill. . . .After eight years sitting in John's shop to be cleaned, it has finally found it's home. . . .It was a house-warming gift from a friend--so many years back that I'd almost forgotten about it. . . .I spotted it in the farm shop when I was looking for the Thrifty Farmhouse Cupboard.

Isn't it a beauty?

John gave it a thorough cleaning and oiling. . . .The paint is original. . . .The patina is wonderful--once all the grease and grime came off. . . .We weren't sure what we'd find. . . .The color is almost a perfect match to the dry sink. . . .It was meant to be. . . .

Our Two Prims are working pieces. . . .not just for show. . . .In the Summer, the dry sink holds enamelware, garden gloves, tools, jars--whatever we need to grab quickly on our way out the door. . .  .

The crock shelf is not as full as in the Winter, since I'm using much of the pottery for processing fresh garden veggies and fruit. . . .A few hold dried herbs and flowers. . . .

Before you ask about the numerous jugs, no--we don't make our own whiskey or spirits of any kind. . . .although John's threatened to try his hand at Grandmother's Muskidine Wine! . . .Strictly medicinal, you know. . . .

By the way, do you know what a 'breezeway' is? It's an enclosed porch that connects two structures. . . .In our case, the house and the garage. . . .Traditionally, windows and doors were placed on both outside walls and opened in the summertime to 'catch the breeze'. . . .I'm not sure if that term is used anymore. . . .Since our farmhouse was built in 1930, we chose to call our back porch the 'breezeway'. . . .

I can remember my Grandmother sitting in the breezeway of her home, churning butter and looking at a Sears Roebuck catalog. . . .She kept with the old ways for much of my childhood. . . .It was much easier and convenient to buy butter at the grocery. . . .but, she said it wasn't the same.

I'd show you the rest of the breezeway if it weren't in such a mess. . . .One thing I love about blogging--finished projects are all you see. . . .In a couple of months--when we begin to use the open hearth fireplace--the wonderful wicker settee and chair will be moved out here. . . .Maybe then I'll give you a peek at the rest of the room. . . .(grin). . . .It's one of my favorite places. . . .

But, Fall is some time off for us. . . .The temps will soar again this week. . . .and we'll be sweating under the sun. . . .Wish I could bottle some of that heat and use it in the Winter! . . .For better or worse, though, I do love Summer in the Delta. . . .

. . .from my farmhouse to yours. . .

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