26 December 2013

Farmhouse Christmas

Christmas has come and gone, again, and it feels like it all happened in the blink of an eye. I didn't get to decorate as early as I'd hoped, but I still got two trees up, the porch decorated, the hallway decorated and stockings were hung. It was a lovely Christmas here, just the two of us and the two doggies, and it was very low key and simple. I have lots of pics to share but let me start out with this one first:


Yes! This happened this past Saturday night at a local resort here in Asheville. After a really nice dinner, the man told me he wanted us to have our picture taken in front of this huge tree by the professional photographer, and much to my surprise, once we were in front of the tree and the photographer was busy snapping away, the man dropped to one knee and asked for my hand in marriage! Completely SHOCKED, as if you couldn't tell from the look on my face. lol 

Now, on to the holiday decorating pictures. My white office tree which is primarily decorated in minty pastel shades of green, blue and pink, with lots of vintage ornaments mixed in. 



 

 I've always had a 'themed' main room tree -- for several years it was blue and silver, then in 2008, I switched to copper and aqua and browns and that was my plan for my main floor tree this year until the man expressed his desire to have a colorful, non-matchy tree, which kind of gave me palpitations at first since I'm always so matchy-matchy on the main tree but after some thought, I decided why the heck not. I mean we live in this beautiful old farmhouse, so a mismatched, retro style theme would be perfect. 

Unfortunately, I requested my mom to bring my aqua and copper ornaments for the main tree, thereby leaving all of my retro, brightly colored ornaments in SC in their garage, but I scrounged up enough extras here that I've been hoarding for crafting purposes that I was able to pull off a retro themed tree!! I ended up loving it SO much that I doubt I'll go back to my formal-ish tree until/unless we move into a much bigger house that has a formal living room! 

 







Once I had the tree decorated with all the brightly colored Shiny Brites and West Germany and Poland ornaments, I figured I'd continue the vintage theme and use a vintage Christmas tablecloth as my tree skirt. I used one on the table too and filled my Tom and Jerry punch bowl with vintage ornaments and tinsel garland. 


 I've wanted to make a wreath like this for several years but never got around to it until now. It is huge and I love how it turned out. I used over 50' of vintage tinsel garland and over 70 vintage light bulbs. It is perfectly kitschy and I am tempted to hang it up inside year round! 


I continued the retro Christmas theme on the banisters of the stairs in our hallway. I put up green garland and then put ornaments every couple of spindles, hung from ribbons and topped with bows. I decided red and green was a good, old-timey look that went with the retro theme.




And I decided to hang up this vintage Santa Mail felt creation from 1957 by the door. I bought this thing back in 2011 at a rummage sale at an assisted living facility while I still lived in MD. It cost me a dollar but it is priceless to me. I love it so much!! It's holding all of the holiday cards I received this year! 


In our bathroom I put up my small tabletop tree and used pink and green ornaments on it. It's my tacky flamingo tree! I ended up putting the majority of my flamingo ornaments on the main tree because they are too heavy for the branches of this little tree but I still love it, even though it's mostly just the ball ornaments. I used some doilies I found last month at a thrift store to make a tree skirt for this one. 


In my office I have a couple of shelves above my desk that usually hold my spaghetti poodles and other dog decorations but I took those down for the holiday and put up my Gurley candles in their place. 



Despite not having children, we were still up by 7:30 yesterday, thanks to Mr. Marty. I don't know how he knew that it was Christmas, but he did, and he would NOT go back to sleep. He sat by our bedroom door, whining, until we got up and told him we'd go see what Santa brought. He was so excited. He sat right by the fireplace waiting for us to get their stockings down and pull out the goodies. Santa brought him and Scarlett 2 new toys each, some cookies and some sausages for puppies. And then they each got new fleece material for their beds. Marty got 2 bow ties and his sissy got a new coat, since she's always cold. 

As you can see from the following pictures, Scarlett was not at all interested in being awake at 7:30, nor was she interested in gifts. Marty played with the toys and then took a nap. That was how the day went, actually. We opened gifts, ate breakfast, took naps, ate lunch, took more naps and generally were lazy like sloths! It was the perfect day. I said last Christmas that this year I hoped to be in the mountains having a nice, quiet, low key Christmas and that is exactly what happened!






I am so excited for 2014 and all of the wonderful new beginnings we'll have. We are planning to wed sometime next year, though we have no idea where or when. The man starts a new job in January, for which we are both very thankful and excited about. After several really depressing years, I have to say that this year has been amazing and I know 2014 will be even better. 





 

22 October 2013

Leaf Peeping and Farmhouse Organizing

When we moved to NC in early July, we were in the middle of one of the wettest summers on record. I think that first month we were here, the rain topped 20" for the month. August was pretty wet too, and we had hoped that despite all of the torrential downpours, that the leaves would still be brilliant this fall. Well, sadly, they aren't that spectacular. In fact, the leaves that didn't just fall off while still green are spotted with fungus and mold and the colors are pretty muted this year. 


Having said all of that, leaf peeping even ugly spotted leaves while living in the mountains is still pretty awesome. My mom came up this weekend and we took a short break from house stuff on Saturday afternoon to take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Some of the mountains were still really green, while some were completely naked already but there were some patches of color here and there. The views were awesome either way!! 


I am still in the trying to get everything organized and put away phase of this  move and while I'm mostly done, I am waiting until it's all complete before taking pictures. It's been a slow process and I had hoped to be all done by now but life happens. 


I have been busy getting both Etsy shops back up and running, concentrating mostly on my Christmas shop, since it's only 2 months until Christmas. I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by!! I am excited to bring all of my Christmas decorations up from SC in the next few weeks and get busy decking the halls. It will be the first Christmas since 2009 that I've really been able to decorate the way I like. I don't think I did anything in 2010 (separated from the ex and I think he may have put the tree up) and then in 2011, I was living in the small apartment so no decorations. I did put up my white tree last year in my office but that was it. This year? Yeah, I am going all out!! There is room for my white tree, the main room tree, a mantel, a huge front porch with tons of rails. I know the man is going to think I've lost my mind but hey, it's what I do. lol 






 


01 October 2013

My Someday House, Finally!!

Guess who is living in a nearly 100-year old farmhouse? That's right -- this girl right here. Hi!! I have been MIA for nearly 18 months after my move to SC and lack of anything of interest to write about but I am back. And I am living in a new-to-me farmhouse and I am in love. Both with the house and with a really nice man. I'm also in a new state, living in the mountains of NC, which I have always wanted to do and life is going amazingly well. 

Soooo, long story short, I met the nice man in March, while we were both still in SC. We fell head over heels, madly in love and when July rolled around, he was offered a job here in the mountains of NC so of course, we both up and moved, quite unexpectedly I might add. One thing led to another and we ended up borrowing my parents 34' RV camper and spending the summer in an awesome little campground, ran by the sweetest ladies, while we got acquainted with the area and looked for a house to rent. 

Finally, after nearly 3 months of living in the camper, we found a suitable house and put in our application and waited anxiously to hear if we were accepted. Thankfully, we were, and within 2 weeks, we were signing the lease and preparing to move in. That happened this past weekend. The man had to work Friday so I drove down to SC, helped my parents load up the trailer with all of my worldly goods that have been sitting in their garage for the last 18 months and then Saturday morning, we made the 3.5 hour trip back up here. Spent a couple hours that afternoon unloading and finished up Sunday morning. 

Needless to say, I am in the middle of unpacking hell but it's all coming together nicely and much quicker than I thought. I have a huge (to me, anyway) office and I am sooo ready to get everything put away and get my business back up and running. 

So, our 100 year old farm house sits on a hill, on 2 acres of land and has an amazing view of the surrounding hills and mountains and we have cows for neighbors. It is so quiet and peaceful here and even though the house is only 1500 sq ft or so, it's got plenty of storage and feels much larger, especially after sharing 300sqft with the man all summer long! 

I have to get back to unpacking but I leave you with some photos of the new place. It is so me -- from the wooden walls to the built in china hutch to the painted floors. It's truly my 'dream house' even with its quirks! I hope to get back into blogging on a regular basis once I've unpacked and organized. I'll need to warn everyone that there will be lots of cow pictures. I'm completely in love with our bovine neighbors!! 






04 March 2013

A Year of Catching Up!

Hi! Remember me? I used to post awesome pics of lovely vintage finds and then I moved to SC!! The last year has been a depressing time of non-existent thrift stores, crappy yard sales, and an Etsy store filled with cobwebs!

I last posted on this ol blog almost a year ago. I wish I had something really exciting to write about that would explain my absence but the truth is that life in SC just isn't that much fun.

As I mentioned earlier, thrifting is impossible unless I go out of town, which doesn't happen as often as I'd like. When I do go out of town, I'm spending one day trying to hit as many stores as possible in hopes of finding lots of treasures. There is no more Monday and Thursday thrifting expeditions to numerous local thrift shops like I did every week in MD.

I miss my old lifestyle in MD but I am thankful to be around my family again. My ex-husband is still in California and is deploying to the Middle East soon, so any good thoughts and prayers for him would be appreciated. Marty and Scarlett are doing really well. They enjoy living with Nanny and PaPa and have settled in nicely!! I am still living at home (omg!) but after having a close call with a house-buying experience late last summer, I am thankful that I am here. I was days away from writing an offer on my someday house and met a guy that asked me if things with him progressed, would I be opposed to relocating. That made me pause and give a lot of thought to whether or not I wanted to buy a house here, in Florence,and the answer was no. Then I would feel obligated to live here for at least 5 years or so.

Thankfully, things with that man didn't work out, but in the end, I am super happy that I put the brakes on buying any properties here because the truth of the matter is that I just do no like living here. It's small, flat, hot, and most importantly, boring. I am looking for job in other cities right now and hope to find something suitable by the summer.

I have really missed blogging and reading blogs and hope to get back into both soon!! I also hope that since spring is around the corner, I'll start finding lots of good vintage junk at garage sales!!


20 March 2012

Home Sweet Home

Well, the move finally happened and I am back to residing in my hometown. Unfortunately, what should have taken one weekend ended up getting dragged out for 2 additional weekends because someone (uh, Dad!) underestimated how much stuff I had and the trailer he brought to Md wasn't big enough to hold all of my possessions. 


It's been so weird being back in this town and I'm still trying to acclimate to things like flat land and scorching heat and having 95% of my crap in boxes in a garage. I miss having my own place but I am so so thankful that I no longer have to walk the dogs!! 


The last load from MD is still sitting in the trailer in the backyard here at my parents house and I really need to get that unloaded sometime this week. I hate living out of boxes and I especially hate that my Etsy shop has been closed for over a month. I am dying to reopen and get all of these linens listed. 


Our house-hunting has been depressing. I fell in love with this brick bungalow with tall ceilings and a fab screened in front porch and stalked the websites daily to make sure it was still available and wouldn't you know that the minute I'm actually on SC soil, someone else comes in and grabs it?! So, I reluctantly looked at this hideous brick ranch house and then fell in love with the super retro bathrooms. One was pink (tiles, tub, sink, toilet) while the other was minty green. I mean it was like a match made in heaven!! It was on a half an acre of flat sunny land and less than a mile from the 'rents. We set an appt with our Realtor for me to go see the inside of it and half an hour before our showing, the Realtor called my mom to tell her it was under contract. 


That afternoon, I found another house that was a 'maybe' and it too had a pink bathroom, so of course that moved it up on the list a bit and then I realized it had a huge finished basement which is super rare here in town. I was envisioning my Etsy stock all organized and having room to spread out and all sorts of things and lo & behold, that damn house went under contract too. It was only on the market for 4 days!! UUUUUGH! I am sensing a pattern!! I am trying to be patient but gosh it's hard!! I have criteria that has to be met though and I'm not just going to rush out and get a house. I'm hoping with the end of school around the corner, more houses will come on the market. I'll be glad to get into my own place and get settled but in the meantime, I have enough crap here to keep me occupied!!


I'm so glad that it's spring (well, not technically but whatevs!) and that I'm not dealing with the usual spring thaw and flooding basement this year. Everything is blooming and it's just gorgeous. I spent my lunch yesterday sitting in my car (pollen is driving me insane!), eating my yummy Greek salad and admiring all of the beautiful azaleas at the park here in town. It was so relaxing!! So, while I'm attempting to get myself settled and into a routine, I'm also just enjoying some downtime - lunch in the park, daytrips to Charleston, visiting family. It's nice being local again and not having to cram all of that stuff into a 5 day visit twice a year!! 

25 January 2012

11 Months til Christmas! Are you prepared??

Haha! Just kidding. Well, technically, it is only 11 months til Christmas but let's not dwell on that, okay? 


It is, however, only 29 days until I pack up my life and move to SC!! Yes, there is a definite move date and the only thing that would stop me would be a repeat of Snowmaggedon 2010. 


I am nervous and excited and anxious to get back to my hometown and get on with my life. I'm so sad that I'm having to leave my honey here in Maryland though but it is what it is and I have to do what is best for me. Hopefully in time, he'll find a job in SC and can join me. 


Those that live in the DC Metro area can attest to how wicked expensive it is here. I've talked about it ad nauseam for years but here's the major reason I can't wait to get back to SC:


Our rent on a 2 bedroom/1.5 bath apartment with a 'den' is $1465 a month. Now, this is a basic, run-of-the-mill apartment, circa 1970 that has had a few upgrades but nothing to make you think it's 'luxury' by any means. 


And, in SC, you can BUY A HOUSE for less than $75,000. In fact, my parents are being extremely generous and are looking to buy a house for me to live in and 'rent' from them. There aren't a lot of suitable rental homes in their town and the few that are available are either too expensive or won't allow pets. Speaking of pets, pet rent in this apartment is $600/year. That is RIDICULOUS!


One of the houses they are currently looking at to perhaps buy, the mortgage would be less than $200. Yes, TWO HUNDRED dollars. 


You know, for pretty much my entire life, I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown. I wanted to move north, to experience life in a bigger state and a bigger city. I was SO tired of the heat, the humidity, the small town that didn't have a Target. 


Well, thankfully, the town has a Target now, and lots of other necessary retail shops (plus a drive through Starbucks!) but now that I'm older, I completely understand why people never leave there and/or so many people MOVE there. Because it's AFFORDABLE!! 


Sure, it's hot as hell during 8 months of the year, but the fact is that people can afford to live there. You can make an average salary and have enough money to live in a house, take vacations, have a life. I can't do that here in MD. I am barely scraping by month to month here. Barely. If it weren't for the generosity of my parents and my Etsy gig, I would be flat broke and eating at the soup kitchen and living under a bridge!! 


So, within the next couple of days, I get to start boxing up  my life. A lot of my stuff is still in storage at my bff's garage but the things we've been living with for the last 9 months have to get packed away. I am stressing out over the details. Since the bf will continue to live in this apartment until his lease is up at the end of April, he'll need to acquire pretty much everything - dishes, furniture, etc. Everything in this apartment, minus a tv and a crockpot, belongs to me and they have to come to SC. 


Trying to nail down the logistics of all of this is proving to be a huge stress but I keep reminding myself that in 60 days, I'll be living somewhere that I can afford, surrounded by my family and finally moving forward in the life I wish to create. I'm so excited to have my very own house that I can decorate how I wish, with a backyard for the puppies, with family close by. Now, I just need to get through the next 30 days without freaking out every step of the way. 



02 December 2011

Vintage Gurley Candles

I found a large glittery Gurley tree this week!!! My first Christmas Gurley of the season. I was so excited to get my paws on that little baggie of vintage goodness. 



It goes great with my other Gurley Christmas candles: 






And a few weeks ago, I had the extreme pleasure of finding an entire baggie of Gurley Thanksgiving candles. I have never ever found even one Thanksgiving Gurley's in all my years of thrifting so this thrilled me -- 3 turkeys and a pilgrim  boy & girl! So excited to add them to my collection. 






And last but not least, the giant jack o lantern I found the other year. I ::heart:: it so much! 




I still haven't decorated for Christmas -- probably won't. Don't feel like digging through my bff's garage for all of the stuff. 

And, I think after the first of the year, I'm moving home to SC. I haven't decided if it will be in January or in April when our lease is up. I am incredibly homesick and so tired of living up here away from  my parents and sister and niece. I will miss the thrifting opportunities here but it's so much more affordable to live there. I never in a billion years thought I'd *want* to move home but the fact is that I want to live somewhere that I can afford to maybe one day own a house, somewhere that's affordable enough that I can go on vacation a couple of times a year, somewhere that doesn't cost $1500/mo just for a stupid apartment with no yard and a lease that allows the landlord and maintenance 24/7 access to your house with no warning and no courteous call beforehand. 

I am praying that the honey can find a job there and will consider moving but if he chooses to stay in MD, I will understand. I just feel like I've given up so much over the years by being a military wife and having lived so far from my family and it's time to think about what will make ME happy. So much weighing on my mind but I think this is what I need to do. It doesn't have to be permanent but I've lived away from my hometown for over 8 years now, five of which I've been stuck here alone in MD so it's time to go home.