Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Pet Parade: Past pets #1

This post was inspired by my friend Carol. We got to talking about the best pocket pets the other day. She had sent me an email with pictures of the cutest tiny baby hedgehog you have ever seen. Google: baby hedgehog if you want a dose of extra cuteness! We talked about hamsters (been there, done that) ferrets (no thanks) mice (too small) and gerbils (too hyper). I told her the best small pet we ever had (next to my son's garter snake, Carter, who his 3rd grade teacher accidentally cooked by placing his cage too near the heater) (We forgive you Mrs. Small) was dumbo rats. UGhhh, Rats! you say.....Well, YES!! My son picked out a adult dumbo rat at the pet shop. As I was paying for "Daisy", we remarked on how chubby she was. The lady says," She may be expecting...I am not sure". I reply, "And when can we expect babies if she is???". "Oh, not for a couple of weeks". Within 24 hours, my children and I got to experience the miracle of birth. 7 times. One died. We had 6 little red, squirming blobs. Daisy was an amazing mom. She was always wonderful with us and let us handle them as much as we liked. Soon they turned into the sweetest little babies you could imagine. Look at those faces........We ended up letting the elementary school keep Daisy as a pet and we kept two of the babies. Hoodsy and Macy. They were wonderful pets. Rats are not nocturnal like most rodent pets. They sleep at night and WANT you to play with them during the day. They can be potty box trained and are pretty clean. Their tails are not funky....they are covered with the softest peachfuzz ever. They love for you to play games with them and learn to come to their own names. They are really more like dogs!! We would still have rats today except for one thing. They have become so inbred, etc...that they are extremely susceptible to cancer. Both Hoodsy and Macy came down with horrible tumors on their feet. There was nothing we could do for them and ended up putting them to sleep when they were almost 3 years old. Very sad......We decided we could not get any more and see them suffer too. Now we have BUNNIES....but that is another post!
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Friday, March 27, 2009

Collections around my Kitchen

Firstly.... I want to thank everyone for their kind comments on my Kitchen Redo. They were greatly appreciated! Now I wanted to show you some close ups of little collections in my kitchen. This first one shows my vintage Hamilton Beach mixer. It came as a white chipped up mess. Now I know a lot of you would have loved it as I found it. (got it at the Habitat for Humanity store btw) but I knew it was begging for a coat of red paint. Now, I have painted LOTS of stuff and am NOT afraid of a spray can, but......I was intimidated by this project. I knew it would need to be taken apart and the pieces painted, the inside cleaned and oiled and then the whole shebang put back together. I have no problem admitting to NOT being a rocket scientist and doing this myself made me feel a mess. Soooooooo I started to beg the men in my life to do it for me (WHY do we do that??). My Dad was not interested and Hubby......well, lets not go there. Sooooooo I said, like the Little Red Hen....I WILL DO IT MYSELF! And I did..I took out all the little screws, cleaned all the parts, painted what needed it, greased the mechanism, put it all back together and TADA! It works good and looks even better. I can not say how proud I was to have done it MYSELF!

Here are some of my old gadgets. I LOVE old gadgets...I have a box with LOTS more. When I get moved, I am going to paint all the handles to match my NEW kitchen....I don't know if they will need to be pink, red or robins egg blue.

I HAD (notice I bought the cutest one I could find, heehe!) to buy this scale when I had my shop. We used this on our candy counter. It now adds just the right amount of red to the top of my frig. I could totally buy every Bailey's face cup I find, they are adorable!

Yes, I do love my Mary Engelbreit! I am still sad I won't be getting any more "Home Companion" magazines. I have many of her books and calendars etc...Her art just cheers me up!

Here is my collection of yellow birdie S&P shakers. It all started with the set on the right of the 3rd shelf down. I had them sitting on my microwave for a long time and they just made me so happy every time I saw them. So their family grew.........Don't you just love big families!! I also collect the vintage potholders. The colors and patterns amaze me since I have never learned to do knitting or crocheting. Maybe someday.....
Thank you for stopping by to peek at my kitchen collections!
Blessings~ LillySue

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feathering my Nest: The Kitchen Redo

Well, after weeks....make that MONTHS of work, the kitchen is DONE!! Yipee!!! Our house has actually been for sale since last July. When we listed it, it had 10 year old sage green and white gingham wallpaper. I put it up when we bought the house the first time TEN years ago....yeah, I said the first time.....that's a whole 'nuther story. Anyway the wallpaper was very worn looking. I decided (for some insane reason I am still not sure about) the wallpaper had to GO. It took forever to strip it and get all the gooey stuff off the walls. Then I textured them. That was kinda fun. I just used regular old drywall mud and a plastic putty knife and went to town.

After the drywall mud dried, I did a layer of primer. But what color to paint?? We had planned to put in updated counter tops to improve the look before we listed it. Boy, is that expensive!! We decided to do ceramic tile....I thought....Soooooo I plug away at it thinking we are putting in white tile. First I tried yellow paint like in the living room. That didn't look very good. Ooohhh, red would be wonderful.....I could not get it to be a solid enough red...had too much show thru. Ok- My dream kitchen color......Pink!!

So it was pink thru the holidays and I LOVED it! But it looked horrid with the natural colored laminate. But we are going to tile them right??? Hmmmm....I guess not. DAMN!! I guess I had just better paint it sage green to match the family room, Sigh.......

Here it is all done. I do love how the red pops against the green. I am happy with it now. I hope it looks appealing to folks house shopping. If you take all my frufru stuff out it is a basic nice kitchen you could make almost any style.

This shot is looking in from the living/dining room. Just to the right is the opening into the family room and my studio etc... back to the left is the living room and foyer. I am standing in the dining area. I put up the shelf over the entry to the kitchen and I try to put big stuff up there since the ceiling is so high. Stop in again tomorrow....I am going to post close-up pictures of the collections in my kitchen. Thank you so much for coming to visit!
Blessings- LillySue

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cheerful Kitchen Projects done!

I like to change my decor around with the seasons and do have my Christmas things out from October till February. Yeah, I know....for most people that is a little too long, but it all makes me really happy so 3+ months is just right!!
When Valentines day is coming and Spring just after that.....I want something bright and cheerful. I have been seeing a lot of cupcake themed items that are sooo cute. I am more into pie myself. I decided to do a whimsical bakery theme.
You can click any of the photo's to make them bigger...I think!

The puppy in the above one is actually licking his lips in anticipation of a piece of pie!
Those two pieces were so fun to do, I may make some more in different colors to sell in my upcoming Etsy shop.

Here is the little shelf all foofed up! Red paint just seems to make everything better. Or white paint....just depends!!

You get a little peak at my finished kitchen in this shot of the towel rack and the one below of the spice rack. I was so happy to put the plastic paper towel rack in my Goodwill box. This one really makes a huge difference in that spot.

I know this is a bad photo of the spice rack, but it is all I got. It is pink and red with robins egg blue glitter letters that say "Spices" of course. I haven't decided yet if I should distress the towel and spice racks yet.....what do you think??
I will post ALL my kitchen redo photos tomorrow. It was fun getting it all styled and photographed. I drug my antique standing lamp in from the living room to use for extra lighting. Please come back to see what you think!
Blessings- LillySue

Projects for my Kitchen

WooooHoooo~ Last week it finally got warm enough (above 50*) for me to do some spray painting outside. It has been spitting flurries today but the painting is DONE! This little shelf I found at a yard sale. It looked pretty bad. I sanded and cleaned it. I did hit it with some primer before the paint. I could see it would be a sweet little shelf to put pretties on by my kitchen. I have a wall just crying out for just some such thing.

I found this at the Goodwill along with the paper towel rack pictured below. I actually like it the way it has been and it was up in my laundry room for some time. was time for some changes in my kitchen and this guy needed a face lift.

This had obviously already put in years of service to a family somewhere. I have hated the plastic paper towel rack we hung since I bought it. It was the best I could find at the time. My Dad has a really cool antiquey cast iron one I have always loved. When I found this, I knew I could fix it up and give it a happy new home. I also had some decor wall hangings I thought needed updating to match the new look in my kitchen so I spent the last two evenings giving them a do-over. It was SOOOooooo much fun! Scroll up to the next post to see the results!!

Blessings~ LillySue

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Starting To Look Like Spring?

Well, not too much Spring going on outside yet, but things are starting to bloom inside! This little fella is a Dept. 56 chickie. He is one of my favorites. He is next to a vintage pot with silk flowers in it. I have read on a few other blogs that silk flowers are supposed to be "outdated". Well, I guess I am just not with it, because I L*O*V*E my silk flowers. Where we live in Central Oregon, it is hard to grow lush flower gardens so a lot of my blooms are "grown" inside.

Kinda like this antique coffee pot full of hydrangeas. My son gave me the froggy last year for my birthday. Isn't he funny and cute! I like how he blends in with the rock on our woodstove surround. I ususally don't do monochromatic but I like how the gray of the rock, pot and frog all look together. That splash of pink really makes this spot cheerful.

This little robin is kinda lonely because one of my naughty kitties bumped the nest and her mate was broken. She does like having more room in her nest now though. I love finding real unoccupied nests and bringing them in to use for decor. I hope your house is starting to bloom about now too!
Blessings- LillySue

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Refeathering My Nest: The Cookbook Redo!

Since discovering blogging this year, I have been inspired like NEVER before. I am always looking for new ways to make my home more cozy. Being able to see all the wonderful homes of my blogging friends has given me sooo many great ideas to use in my own Nest. This cookbook redo started because blogger Karol redid her kitchen hutch and showed off all her wonderful cookbooks. Right away I knew some changes were needed on THAT shelf in my kitchen. I also had run out and bought the totally awesome FarmChicks cookbook that was newly released that week and discovered one of the projects in it was recovering your cookbooks....Talk about an Ah~ha moment!

I have been collecting pretty papers for some time and I had just the right stuff. It also gave me an excuse to go to Michaels and buy letter stickers, heehee! I am just finishing up a kitchen redo and PINK is IN! Come back later this week to see the WHOLE kitchen. I am just about done with it.

This is what one old cookbook looked like before I started. Kinda ratty and worn looking. I had some floral paper I loved and once that was on, I knew I was channeling my bloggy friend Karla from Karla's Cottage when I dug out the glitter letters to finish it off! I did go around the outside of the letters with a marker so they would stand out a little bit more.

Now it is one of my favorites... I know I will think of Karla though, everytime I cook with it! Do you have any ugly, dirty cookbooks you could give a facelift?? It was easy and fun!

The shelf is right over my stove. Whenever I walk into my kitchen, my eyes are drawn up to it because it is such a happy spot now.
Blessings- LillySue

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pixie Dust Cottage: Dreams really do come true!

First I want to thank everyone who left comments after my last Post......I am glad we share that dream ! Now, this post is about a dream that did come true! Ever since I was a little girl, my fraternal grama.....Granny Ruth and I talked about someday having a little shop together. She was a stubborn, fun, opinionated, exciting, creative woman. She became an artist in middle age and even had her own separate "Art Studio" where she went to paint and give lessons. She was a huge inspiration to me even though we never did get to have our little shop together. She passed away some years ago at 85. The dream of having my own little shop continued to grow over the years. We live in a quaint little town in Oregon. It has lots of shops that tourists seem to enjoy. Several years ago, after noticing a sad, little empty shop right on the main drag, I decided I just HAD to do my shop there. I did some research, and tracked down the owner in Hawaii. I was able to afford the rent and got on the ball! After lots of hard work, great helpers, mass buying, and prayers......Pixie Dust Cottage opened!! It was a children's boutique, candy store, etc......

The inside walls were painted periwinkle blue with yellow as the accent color. Everything looked so cheerful. I hauled furniture from my own home to use as display pieces. I found lovely companies to order from, made stuff, and redid second hand stuff.

My son was 11 at the time and having inherited my sweet tooth, he insisted we have a candy counter.

You don't know how hard it was to not eat candy the whole time we were working! I, of course, had all my favorites sitting right there on the counter in big jars. Liquorice pastels, (can eat a pound by myself) smooth Melty mints (heavenly) Swedish fish (do I need to say anything??) and Hot Tamales!! Frodo's friends would come in to buy their stash! Lots of samples were given out!
I had found some of the most adorable vintage baby clothes. We had sweet diaper bags and lots of Carter's. Stuffed animals were scattered throughout. We also carried the Disney Faeries and lots of other faerie themed items. I met soooo many wonderful people who loved my shop and gave me such nice complements. It was a lot of fun but was also a lot of work and meant a lot of time away from home. Unfortunately, the economy started to take a downer and I was just not making enough money to stay open for more than one tourist season and had to close. It was a hard decision to make since you always put so much extra money into an operation the first year. I was sad to close but realized I had been successful in making a dream come true. I also felt successful because people loved my shop and merchandise. My kids learned a lot that summer being shop keepers with me. We have wonderful memories...(and serious credit card bills, sigh...) But overall I feel it was definitely a positive experience. I am now heading toward opening up a Etsy shop. I still have stock I need to get moved and lots of ideas I want to make. Maybe someday I will have a little coffee cafe/books/antiques/vintage kitchen & baby/handmade stuff/organic produce shop. I can dream, Can't I ??!!
Blessings- LillySue

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet Little Cottage in my Heart

This is where I my heart. We currently live in a large (2,400 sq.ft.) house in central Oregon. It is for sale. This is a picture of where I want to live. Of course it would be in the Arkansas, Ozarks. I am not sure where I got the photo. If it is your house, God bless you! When I go to sleep at night, I visualize myself all cozy in this sweet little cottage. The stone fireplace has a crackling fire, the bookshelves are holding all my favorite books and pretties. My kids are all tucked in their beds, secure and happy with purring kitties. In the summer, our peach and apricot trees will be full of sweet ripe fruit. Arwen and I decided yesterday that we wanted to make homemade ice cream with our soft, ripe apricots when we get some! Of course, the cream will come from our own little Jersey( named Daisy). The eggs will come from our own little flock of hens living in the cute, red chicken house out back. Can you see us sitting on the back porch, passing the hand-crank ice cream maker back and forth, anticipating the wonderful treat awaiting us?? I would run in to my vintage style kitchen and get my glass, old fashioned ice cream dishes to serve it all up in. After we finished the treat, my Dad would get out his banjo and my Uncle, his guitar, and we would have bluegrass music while the kids caught fireflies. I feel in my heart that a call for simpler times is here. I don't need a big house full of electronic gadgets. (except for my computer, scanner/printer, digital camera heehee!) I am ready to hang my laundry out on the line and willing to dig my garden with a shovel. I do love watching a good movie and listening to some Jack Johnson, but I would be just as happy if not happier to hear my Dad play his banjo or guitar and to read a good book. I also want to get a three wheeled granny bike. I won't be a granny for a while but I could toodle down to the market on one of these and bring back my goodies in the big basket on the back. I long to get up in the early morning and after feeding all the critters, make a hearty breakfast with everything produced by our own little farmette. Does anyone else feel like your soul is calling you to more basic living?? I know it is not glamorous and is a lot of hard and dirty work, but that has never been something that bothered me. When I get own little cottage on a little farmette, I will invite you all for homemade ice cream. And I will make sure my Dad brings his banjo over!
Blessings- LillySue
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Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Morning Of Magazine BLISS

AAaaaahhhhhhh.........This is a Blissful morning! I spent last evening running around town with my 16 year old daughter, her bestest bud, and my 14 year old son. We hit Michaels first. After every new goodie in the store was paroosed, I walked out with some new scrapbook paper so I could cover some boxes to store artsy stuff in, some sale ribbon in a beautiful rose print (score!), some stickers (I am soooo addicted), and one block of sculpy clay (to make crowns of thorns for my Redemption tree). We had actually dropped Frodo off at Target because he knew he could not stand an hour at Michaels. When we went to pick him up, the girls decided they had better get some soft pretzels in the cafe' to tide them over till dinner. They knew once we hit the Goodwill, I would not be distracted till I was DONE with my looking. We actually popped into Joanne's first because it shares the parking lot with Goodwill and Arwen wanted to look for something. Well, I got outa there with some wood letters that spells BLISS, some cardboard scrapping letters and a few stickers (I got it bad). Then...On to Goodwill! I went in there hoping to find some vintagey cookbooks with beautiful pink covers. I am currently in cookbook envy from viewing the beautiful hutch of my blog friend Karol at . Make sure you pop in there to take a peek at the kitchen hutch she refinished. The post is "To age or not to age". She has the most wonderful cookbooks with pinky binding. Well, there were NONE to be found at Goodwill. I was just flabbergasted. Shelves of cookbooks and NO pink bindings!! Wasssuppp with THAT!! Soooo being the one to Never Give UP..........I started to think about "How am I gonna git my pretty pink cookbooks, darn it!!". I finally figured, most of them just have pretty slip covers. I can make them!! (DUH!) Heehee!! I do have several ugly cookbooks (with yummy recipes inside!) and I do have LOTS of pretty paper! Don't you just L*O*V*E those occasional creative epiphanies! So I get out of Goodwill with my few new cookbooks, a old wood handled kitchen utensil and a oak cd rack. We were all pretty hungry by then and made straight for "Double Happiness". We love Chinese food and this is the place to eat it. After dinner was consumed and fortunes read, we went on to Barnes & Noble. They kicked us out at 10pm. We stopped to pick up the mail on the way in (ours is delivered to a central station in our community) and I had received the new "MARYJANE'S FARM". This magazine is my new favorite. My old favorite "MARY ENGELBREIT'S Home Companion" has been discontinued, sniff,sniff along with a TON of my other favorites. I have a need for magazines. The photos feed my starving artsy, decorating soul. The articles feed my need to hear other peoples stories. Arwen is in the kitchen making Crepes Bananas Foster again and just asked me if I wanted ice cream or whipped cream in mine. SIGH.......magazines and crepes....does Saturday get any better than this???

Another favorite that they had discontinued for years but brought back again, YES!!

Such lovely photos in this one....Lots of decorating inspiration to be found here!!

If you like artsy stuff, this is the company for you....Somerset has several different magazines all to fulfill your creative soul!!

Here is a magazine fix for all those farm gals! Lots of useful information in our quest for self-reliance. I hope you have as blissful a morning as I am!!
Blessings- LillySue