Saturday, May 30, 2015

Furnishing & Decorating the Farmhouse

When CountryBoy and I decided we wanted to retire on a small farm we had hoped that the property we ended up purchasing would also have an old farmhouse on it.  And, even if the property ended up having a newer house we knew we wanted to furnish it with antiques and give it a rustic flair.  So, we sold or gave away most of our furniture before moving which, pretty much, left us with a dining room table and chairs, an upright freezer from the early 1950's, a curio cabinet, our Sleep Number mattress, a roll top desk and chair, and two rocking chairs.

Well, as many of you know, the twenty acre property we bought has a 100+ year old farm house on it.  Yay!  So now we are searching for just the right furniture pieces and decorations to fill it up.  And now that the weather is nice and the kitchen is just about done we are taking some time out of the weekends to hit the flea markets and antique stores.

Today we were on our way to a town south of us to a large flea market but never made it there.  We decided to stop in a shop close to home and we left with some awesome finds!

An antique dresser in excellent shape...

an old drawer that I will use in the mudroom...

a Reese ash bucket to use with the wood-burning insert (that will hopefully be ordered and installed in the near future)...

and an antique sewing machine and table...

I have been looking and looking for one but am always a day late and a dollar short.  Someone is always there just ahead of us and snatches them up.  I was told he buys them, takes them apart and uses the pieces to make other things such as vanity tables, lamps, end tables, coffee tables, etc.  Well, today, we found the guy!  He owns the shop we went to.  We also found his workshop in the store where this table was along with another table/machine.  CountryBoy asked if those were for sale and we were told they were not.  I told him that we were looking for one and that we always missed out because he beat us to them.  He grinned, we chatted a bit more then we continued looking around the shop.  A little later he found us and said he would sell us this one if we were interested.

After seeing it, we were definitely interested and the price was right.

 Just look at those curves!  Gorgeous!

The machine is a Minnesota which I've not heard of.  And, it does not work.  But, that's OK as I have plans for both the table and the machine.  The machine will be taken out and displayed in my sewing room whenever we get around to that room.  We will cover the hole with wood and I will use the table with my 1938 Singer Featherweight.  Super excited about that!

What a cute, tiny drawer!

It needs a good cleaning, and de-cob-webbing.  Is that a word?  Well, it should be.  We've been doing that a lot around here lately, wink! And, I think I'll leave the table as-is for now.  Oh, and it needs a few metal braces put back on and some nuts and bolts.  Very minor work compared to some of them we've seen.

After we scored these awesome finds, we headed home with plans to hit the other flea market another time.

The other day I ran across some old, wooden spools at another shop...

These are very large and heavy.  They will also be on display in the sewing room.  (I decided to get them when I found them because we have discovered that when we are looking for a certain item we can never find it.  So lesson learned - get it while you can!)

We also found a great berry-pickin' bucket...

This would've been nice to have when we picked our cherries but we'll use it for pickin' blackberries here in the upcoming weeks.

A few weeks ago, we stopped at a thrift store to pick up some childrens' clothes for a couple of scarecrows.  This store doesn't usually have very much furniture but we decided to check anyway and we scored this dresser.

CountryBoy cleaned it up, gave it a light sanding and re-stained it.  It looks great now!

Last week, we checked out another shop and found this old, hand-crank ice cream maker.  We both love ice cream so making our own, with wholesome ingredients plus the exercise of cranking it is a win-win.  Yum!

I also snatched up this homemade ladder.  My intent was to put it in the bathroom and hang our towels  on it since the towels currently hang on hooks in the shower and sometimes get wet before you even dry off.  But, I ended up putting it in our bedroom to hang my clothes on at night.  Now that we have the dressers I may put it back in the bathroom. 

At another shop we like to visit when we go to town we picked up these items...

a china hutch, an old sewing box, a half-gallon blue Ball jar, a mug holder (the green depression glass is our collection), and a pair of rain boots for me.

A few months ago, we bought a brand new couch, rug for the living room and upgraded to a king size bed.  CountryBoy built the coffee and end tables out of salvaged barn wood from the old chicken coop.

We gave our sectional couch to some dear friends of ours and in turn they gave us this antique rocking chair and desk as well as an old military trunk that needs a bit of work.  It was a win-win for both of us!

(Pardon the 'stuff' beside and on top of the desk.  It will all be going in the mudroom once it is done.)

And, last but certainly not the least, we found a 1985 Ford 4000 tractor for sale one day while we were out sightseeing and looking for antique shops.  She runs like a champ and was a very good deal.  Now, we are pricing bush hogs (to mow the waist-high hillside), a tiller, and down the line, possibly some equipment for cutting and baling hay.

Bit by bit we are finding furnishings, decorations and necessary equipment to reclaim this farm and farmhouse and trying to make it warm, cozy and inviting.  And, we're loving every minute of it!

Till next time,

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Garden Sprucing Up

As the days are getting warmer we have found ourselves outside working on various projects.  One of those projects is fencing off the front portion of the small garden.  It was fenced on three sides already and metal posts were in place along the front but there was no fence.

CountryBoy tilled up a good part of the garden where previously there were raised beds that had rotted.  We've planted a few things in there but the rest of the garden is waiting for the seeds to sprout that we've started indoors.

Meanwhile, the cats have discovered the loose dirt is great for a litter box which is not the kind of fertilizer we want in the garden, wink!  So, it was time to fence off the rest of the garden.

We scrounged up some fencing from around the property and began installing it on the wire posts.

Since we were reusing fencing from around the property one of the sections was used in the dog kennel and had been attached to a 2x4 with thick staples.  Rather than trying to undo them we decided to use it as it was.

I took some wire flower pots down from the side of the well house.  They were being taken over by vines.  I will get some larger clay pots and plant some herbs in them.

We still need to move this gate (that is currently on the left side of the garden as you face it) to the front. It's such a cool gate.  We'd like to see it when looking out the kitchen window.  Plus, we'd like to walk straight to the gate from the back door rather than walk to the far side of the garden.

The posts are cemented in the ground so it will take some doing to get it out.

Another item we are reusing is an old claw foot tub that was in the front yard lying on its side.

We've moved it to the corner of the upper part of the garden and will use it as a compost bin.  I am going to paint the outer sides to dress it up a bit and I'm reusing a horse feed bucket for compost 'tea'.

I'm also using the bird bath we used when traveling as a bee watering station.  Since the water was evaporating too quickly I put a ceramic flower pot base on it, filled it with gravel (so the bees don't drown) and added water.

It is positioned beneath the cherry trees which, when in bloom, are loaded with bees buzzing around.

We have quite a few cherries forming.  We're not sure what kind of cherries they are but we're hoping for a good crop.

There are some pretty yellow Irises planted around this tree which is inside the garden.  I will be adding more flowers as I learn which ones pair well with the veggies we are planting in there.  This should help keep pests at bay and make it pretty at the same time!

Here is the large garden a neighbor plowed up for us the other day.  He came back a few days later to till it but it was already tilled.  Here's the mystery... we have no idea who tilled it for us.  We thought he did it while we were in town but obviously it wasn't him since it was already done when he came by.  We think it might've been another neighbor at the end of our road but we haven't seen him yet to ask him.  Tis a mystery for now!  I do know that we have some awesome neighbors though!  So helpful and willing.

CountryBoy spent yesterday and today picking the rocks up and then tilled it again using our small tiller.  Very soon we will plant some potatoes, corn, okra, watermelon, cantaloupe and purple hull peas in there.

And in the small garden we will plant tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, peppers, garlic, onions, basil, green beans, limas beans and who knows what else, ha!

Bit by bit.

We are close to finishing the kitchen renovation but with the warm weather and planting season among us we are working outdoors and sprucing up the gardens.

Till next time,