Friday, July 26, 2013

my wild kingdom

The rabbits are practically tame this year. 

Luke and I saw three of them playing ring around the rosy.
We really did.

  I feel like I'm living in a Beatrix Potter book.

Lily and butterfly. What else is there to say? But hey, I saw a black bear last weekend. Before I could take a picture a motorcycle came along and frightened it away. 

Yesterday I took a day trip to the shore
and this guy warned me that a hard rain was coming. It did.

I asked Aji to wash the windows. She was up there anyway.

She gave me the We were worshipped by the Egyptians cat look. You know the one.
We don't do windows.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a country kitchen floor

There are plenty of falling down barns around the Catskills, and if I'd had time I would have designed cabinets made of old barnwood. But for reasons beyond the scope of this blog, there wasn't much planning time. I insisted on reclaimed wood floors though, and in my (internet) travels discovered mushroom wood.

Soft woods--hemlock and cypress usually--are used for mushroom bedding bins. Enzymes from the mushrooms break down the wood and give it an aged look. So it's not old, but looks old. And it's much less expensive than traditional reclaimed woods or new hardwood floors. We got it from The Hudson Company, and its rustic look is perfect for our house in the woods.

It goes well with the terra cotta tile in the rest of the house. (You can get a glimpse in the above picture.) And it has an interesting back story. Some mushroom wood comes from old coal mines in the Appalachians that have been converted into mushroom growing facilities. It has a lot of character.

Pictures of other mushroom wood projects here and here, and more about mushroom wood here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

flowers in the country house

Country lane wildflowers:

daisy, forget-me-not, crown vetch, queen anne's lace and birdsfoot trefoil.

Forget-me-nots--tiny perfect blue with yellow center.

(like starry nights and  Cinderella)

Birdsfoot trefoil, warm yellow, delicate and charming.

 I had to look it up-- 
I thought it was in the pea family, and it is. 
What I didn't know is that it is high quality grazing feed for livestock.

Pretty and useful.

Is the cat grazing?

Yes, I love the new country kitchen.

Ferns in a mustard color jug started in the dining area.

Then moved to my bedside table.

Ferns are a non-flowering plant,

but Jane is open-minded and
I don't think she'll kick me out of Flowers in the House.
Go see for yourself.


Friday, July 19, 2013

be cool

 red and green, hot and cool


paint rag




 I've added ice cream to the stay cool repertoire: 

Orange Italian ice (bonus points: it last a long time)

Lemon ice cream (bonus points: local creamery and vitamin c)

Vanilla ice cream with peanut butter mixed in (bonus points: calcium and protein)

All those bonus points negate calories and sugar, right? 
I mean they're practically healthy.

Also, a big bowl of fruit salad every day:
watermelon, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries.

Hope you find ways to stay cool this weekend.


Monday, July 15, 2013

green & white & green

What came home with me from Brimfield?


metal egg basket and vintage juice glasses 

(the other glasses are wrapped up in the egg basket)

book, published 1900

Aji wonders where the flowers are,
and if we're getting chickens.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

brimful of Brimfield

Brimfield Massachusetts Antique Show
Three times a year, 21 fields, more than 5000 dealers.

plenty of whimsy

vintage pottery

big green cupboard, old map, and night crawlers sign 
(I'm moving in)

plenty of painted, chippy, shabby, cottage, garden

sweet white and green tete a tete chair

duck hunting boat

best industrial fan

so many great old windows

plenty of reproduction signs, but I think this is the real deal

one more look at the perfect hybrids of cottage charm and industrial salvage

Based on one visit, I think the best way to approach Brimfield is like an anthropological expedition, or perhaps a carnival---fun, weird, and try not to spend all your money on ring toss hoping for the life size teddy bear. There is high end, low end and everything between. Worlds collide--mint julep v budweiser, hot dog v. lobster roll, Neiman Marcus v Old Navy...

 It's fun to just wander. Fields I'd been told were the best were kinda disappointing. Fields I'd never heard of were interesting. There were nice dealers and snooty ones. Prices seemed generally fair--not bargains, but not outrageous. Beware of reproductions. Wear comfortable shoes.

upcycled potting bench

Nice surprises: Good industrial and architectural salvage at reasonable prices. Well done upcycled furniture. Prices on old painted cabinets, pie safes (especially at the end of the week). Kicking myself for passing up the big wideboard cabinet in old pink paint for $200...

I'll show you what I did buy in my next post.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

true love?

Today I went to Brimfield (largest outdoor antique show in New England--thousands of dealers and yes my feet hurt, as does my head). I'll share more next week, but for now I want to know:

Are these the coolest things ever? 

Cabinets from a sandpaper factory. With soapstone tops.

Original paint and hardware. 

Wouldn't they be great kitchen cabinets in a cottage or farmhouse?

They were pulled right out of the factory. There's still stuff in the drawers.

You could put them back to back to form an island.

Those colors.

I'm so in love.

Or is it just infatuation---a summer fling?

Thursday, July 11, 2013


When I go to the country I spend as much time outside as I can--walking, wandering, wading, gazing, daydreaming.

As though I'm trying to memorize it--the endless beauty, fascination, variations, permutations, the magnificence of nature--and carry it within.

As though somehow I will learn from it, become closer to the person I want to be.