Posts Tagged ‘House and Farm’

House Cozy

October 20th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

The kids room is a constant work in progress. I tend to shift things around pretty often to reflect their latest passions.

Trains seem to be OUT but music is WAY IN.

Baby dolls sometimes, books all the time.

I had been wanting to make some forward facing book shelves for quite awhile but got lazy and bought these Bekvam IKEA spice racks everyone is talking about instead. Installing them proved to be a giant pain in the ass and of course they are not all level (Virgo’s avert your eyes)! If they actually manage to stay on the wall, as I have asked them quite politely to do – I like them.

If they fall off – I hate them!

But IKEA I forgive you because you invented this most wonderful fabulous toy —- that we L O V E! And I do mean love. Swinging indoors is oh so fun.


We Do Cloth

October 16th, 2011 by zoe 5 Comments

Around here, we do cloth. Don’t even get me started about how much I love cloth diapers especially these!!  My sister actually packs her own paper towels when she comes to visit, which kinda cracks me up. Cloth napkins at the table are lovely. BUT, setting the table with a new round of napkins for each meal was proving to be a washing CHORE.

This post from Amanda over at SouleMama proved to be just the sort of big family table advice I needed to find  balance. Napkin rings — huh, not something I would have ever thought of…. but you know when each family member has their own special ring they can use a napkin for more than one meal and it really cuts down on the washing. Plus, children love rituals and jobs.  I love having them be part of the household by setting the table and helping prepare the meals. Win Win!

I had a bit too much fun finding antique napkin rings on Ebay. After way too much computer lusting…  Oliver my jumper has a kangaroo and Emmett my little bird has a chick. Big Dada has a very plain classic napkin ring,  just they way he likes it. I am still on the hunt for my own napkin ring identity —- out in the studio I have a bit of silver that might evolve into something perfect, someday.

Oh, and I did not make these napkins, I splurged and bought them at Target. I really hate ironing and the thought of making all those mitered corners makes me cringe! I am a big fan of no sew fringe edge napkins made with Kona Cotton fabric which can be found at just about any fabric store. Elmers our local breakfast joint uses single layer raw edge napkins and they work just great.  And if you missed it, here is a little tutorial I shared a few weeks back for a super quick school lunch napkin using the same technique.

Click the Captain Crafty project sheet, save to file and print.

Painting Upholstered Furniture!

October 4th, 2011 by zoe 8 Comments

Sometimes, partly due to my  Pinterest addiction, I get super caught up in the beauty and esthetic of things.

Yes, it’s inspiring to see so many cool things.

Yes, it’s a blessing to have access to so many beautiful images, places and spaces.

But sometimes I have to remember to just stay real — yes I can buy a white sofa, but NO I can not expect that sofa to STAY white. Yes, I can gussy up my house – but, NO I will not be able to give it an effervescent glow seen in the latest design magazine nor can I erase the evidence that two four year old boys dominate the interior design landscape around here!

I am always inspired by beautiful design and totally heart the latest  Styled online magazine, drool! I just try to make sure the inspiration is inspiring me rather than immobilizing me.

To keep myself in check I only buy fabric or supplies for ONE project at a time. No, I don’t have a fabulous stash of gorgeous fabric waiting to become several new quilts. And no, I did not buy every single color of glitter & chalk board paint from Martha Stewart’s updated craft line when I was buying the fabric medium for my latest project. Trust me, I wanted to!  But, aside from the simple truth that I can’t afford it – I also try not to overwhelm myself.

Obsessions are great if they propel you in the right dirrection and don’t make you (too) crazy! Speaking of obsession, I saw this tutorial and just HAD to try painting an upholstered chair!

Obsessed? Stay up all night painting a chair – crazy obsessed!

Here is what I started with …..

and after about $14 in paint, and a couple hours here is what I wound up with.

The arms  need another coat of paint and I’m still contemplating sewing a new cover for the cushion but overall I am crazy psyched with how it came out!

For the most part I followed the tutorial at Hyphen Interiors.

I did need quite a bit more paint because the color change was pretty dramatic. I bought one 6 oz. bottle of Martha Stewart Tintable Fabric Medium but if I were to do it again I would buy two. Also the fabric was a textured pattern so I found myself misting the chair with water heavily to get the paint to completely saturate the grooves in the fabric.

Who would have thought you could paint upholstered furniture!











Apple Pie and Pancakes

October 2nd, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Holy cow am I busy right now. Still,

I manage to get into a bit of mischief because whenever I am supposed to be doing something I inevitably have SO much fun doing … something else.

It’s been a week of perfect pancakes and apple pies.

Sewing, sewing, sewing and more sewing while sitting on my newly painted and upholstered chair.

Sewing and sewing some MORE under the light of my newly painted and hung studio light, a gift from my talented  friend Carla Caruso. So much better than a bare bulb!

Scheming about when to harvest the grapes from the grape arbor and turn them into Grape Jam.

Oh, and having a bit of fun with Modge Podge.

I hope in all your busy busy you find time to get into a bit of fun mischief too!

Out in the Backyard

September 27th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We live in a tiny little town, what it lacks in population it makes up for in pride.

September brings apples, fall leaves and …. The Ashfield Film Fest. Yocals young and old are invited to create a 5 minute film that celebrates life in our little village. Entries are judged and awarded prizes at the big film fest shindig held in the old town hall.

This little film was done in our backyard and my little guys definitely steal the show.

You Don’t Have To Go To Colorado

It’s a big backyard. We bike, run,  ski and snowshoe there.

We make the most of this country living by adventuring right out the back door. Over the years the Mr. has built several miles of trails that wind through the woods with a few bike stunts too! Trail building around here borders on obsession, now our friends and neighbors have started to build trails and link them together. We love living in the woods and try our best to enjoy all it’s adventures.


My boys have been hiking out there since they could walk. Now they ride their “run bikes” on the trails and get into the action with the rest of us. I think these bikes have been their favorite toy for the last 2 years and I can’t say enough about how fantastic balance bikes are for little ones. There are lots of brands out there to choose from – wood ones, metal ones, super posh designer ones. My boys ride Strider bikes and they have worked out wonderfully for us.

Everywhere we go folks ask us about them and now all their little friends have them too! Some of the features we really dig about these particular bikes is they are super adjustable so a 2-year-old and a tall 5-year-old can ride them, they are metal and can take a rain storm without worries and they are CRAZY light making them easy to maneuver for small kids but also helpful if … your little rider has a full throttle melt down miles from the car and you wind up having to carry their bike(s)! I am not super into product pushing but we seriously LOVE these bikes. Even now that my boys ride two wheelers they still use their Strider bikes for trips to the skate park, mountain biking and fun at The Kingdom Trails pump track.

So many trails, so much fun to be had in the big woodsy backyard!






Green Today, Autumn Tomorrow

September 21st, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Here in New England we are teetering on Fall. The trees have caught a tinge of color -  pops of orange and red can be seen here and there.

Mama cow is telling little Dahlia Doodle to eat all the green grass she can hold because Winter is coming.  Little Dahlia  is a Summer calf, she has no idea about Winter. She hears the birds flying overhead in their great V’s, they too are squawking about Winter, so she figures Mama cow must indeed be right.

Our spring chicks are plumping up and look like real chickens. The big seasoned hens are telling them to eat lots of grubs and get cozy up on the roost because winter is coming. The young chicks wonder a bit but do just as they are told.

Here in New England  the hills echo with the sounds of chain saws. Winters wood must be stacked… and stacked… and stacked.

Tractors are circling the fields harvesting the last cut of hay. Quick, before it rains.

Hay balers are spitting out perfect cubes — more stacking,and stacking and stacking.  Whole barns stacked high, full of sweet summer hay.

Our caterpillars are emerging, transformed, from their chrysalis. We are whispering in their ears, to listen to the wind, Mexico is calling.

Summers bounty is being harvested, canned, frozen and preserved.

We are loving the sun and the green but Fall is here with its undeniable message.

” Winter is coming and you best be getting ready!”