Aug 14, 2019

RUSTIC BARN WOOD HOODIE

 Two posts in the same month. I don't think that has ever happened here.  Today I'm sharing how I dressed up the area above my stove. The idea for this barn wood hood was inspired by other women before me who used barn wood to fashion a range hood for their own kitchens. This homemade  hoodie was built from local very weathered barn wood. It hides a basic generic and inexpensive range fan and light combo. I  have often considerd painting it white or maybe white washing it. Not sure - what do you think? Paint it white, whitewash it or leave it alone? 


                                                               

Sealed, rusty, chippy vintage ceiling tin serves as my farmhouse kitchen backsplash




The cabinet next to the stove was retrieved from my root cellar and revived and repurposed


Vintage rusty ceiling tin adds visual interest


A lamb keeps watch over my stove top


A boxwood wreath adorns the lambs neck


A thrift store votive candle holder works great as a crown for this little critter


The front of the hood lifts up to reveal a storage area


Farm critters can be found in one form or another throughout my little cottage in the woods. At least 12-15 lambs can be seen in this cottage on any given day.

 I also have a few dozen crowns scattered around the house. Many of the critters sport crowns over here in the little farmhouse. Did I mention that I am not a tiny home minimalist by ANY means. I am still in the midst of downsizing my belongings and have a goal to live a more simple life each day. I am not there yet.. but I am on the way.


Crowns always remind me of my Lord and Savior - JESUS. King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Jul 31, 2019

HIDING A REFRIGERATOR in a 570' house.

Resurfacing once again to connect with my blog and my dedicated and VERY patient readers. Oh, how I love this time of year. I am a sunshine girl for sure and thrive in the glorious warm summer months. I hope y'all are blessed and making time to be barefoot and taking some time to play, no matter your age.

How did I ever live without a covered porch? It is my favorite place to be on warm, yet very comfortable summer nights. Oh and to sit out there in the morning as the hummers and other wild birds come to enjoy a free breakfast and offer a song in exchange. I enjoy watching the cows, bulls and many calves as well as the beautiful horses just outside my front door, as well as the occasional black bear who wanders through the woods behind my home. The deer and wild rabbits are an almost daily sight.  As much fun as I have nesting and fluffing the homestead, I am really an outside girl. Gardening..not so much. Rafting, hanging out at the river, hiking, driving country back roads.. picnics on mountaintops, activities with my dogs, porch dwelling...YES please. More time for learning to be still and less time doing. YES please.



When I was younger I had zero interest or appreciation for anything vintage. It's funny how things change. I now SO appreciate quality craftsmanship in both architecture and furniture. Back in the day furniture and homes both, were built to last. It seems funny that today with the onset of a bajillion laws, regulations, codes and inspectors that there is still a huge void of quality workmanship. Common sense has been mostly replaced by NON sense and a general lack of integrity in the trades and in life in general in my humble opinion.

on another note.. but it all ties in (to me anyway)...I can not express how irritated I am at the advancement of technology at every turn and corner of life. I feel that much of it has turned people into stressed out idiots who are not able to be present with the person or task at hand. I am  opinionated, proudly NOT PC, and well that is totally how I roll. Sorry..  I forget to say "Welcome back" if you are visiting. Any hoo.. I can not change others nor do I care to. How does this all play into this blog post about my refrigerator, you ask? It does, bear with me as I travel this bunny trail.It's been awhile and I am making up for lost blogging time here.


I am of an age where I watch how cell phones and social media are destroying SO many relationships because people are not able to leave home, work, drive, or live without them. Always some excuse.. In my experiences and IMO as I observe people, most technology does not invite folks to be present with whom they keep company nor to fully be present where they currently and physically are located.

People are over the top busy these days and it's as if it is award worthy to be on a non stop merry go round. I know.. I used to be on one for many years. Over the years things have intensified as far as folks being so over the top busy and totally stressed out with never enough time in one day. It is almost like you are not important if you are not scheduling every minute of your day and staying busy. It is the new norm for folks to be stressed out day in and day out. I can see that now.

Vintage items remind me of a more simple lifestyle and a time when folks were not so stressed out.

 I thought technology was supposed to make things easier? I guess it has for many and for many NOT.  When I am around people I am very engaged, and chatty and then I come home and crash and am sapped. This by the way is how you can tell if you are a true introvert or an extrovert. IF people for the most part energize you, you are said to be an extrovert. If for the most part people drain you, then you are probably like me.. a TRUE introvert. Okay.. I have expressed my rant, thanks for bearing with my chatty loner side. I am now finally getting to how to hide a refrigerator in either a small or large home.

My little farmhouse is my nest, my refuge and place of peace. If you have ever visited this blog, you probably can tell that I embrace a mix of interior styles such as Farmhouse, French Country, Vintage, Thrift store and dumpster style decor. Okay.. throw in a few items from Etsy and Wally world too.

Birds and critters adorn my little farmhouse cottage shelves and nooks year round

I totally embrace all things chippy, rusty and well- you know.. all those beat up and well worn treasures that beg to be repurposed instead of thrown in the dumpster. Ahh.. and the treasures one can find at the dump. With these interior design and style choices it allows me to relax more and keep within the lanes of a more simple and frugal lifestyle. Minimalist I am not. No apologies. I surround myself with what I like. My friends remind me I have yet to attain a simple life. What can I say.? Each of us has their own idea of what simple means to them. I don't equate minimalism with simple. I am always in transition and open to change so well see. I am at the point of not wanting, or needing one more material object to have and to hold. I shop the house and rotate items for change ups.


When I decided to buy this little funky 570' farmhouse I knew I wanted to hide or camouflage all things electronic as well as completely hide my refrigerator and create an old timey vibe as much as possible. That sort of vibe or decor style transports me to days gone by when technology was non existent and folks were okay that way. A more simple time when people seemed (to me) to be more civilized, less angry, less confrontational, less stressed and generally happier. Life was not as complicated and fake with 'like's and friending and unfriending. IT seems so insane to me...I guess I am out of touch and I enjoy it this way.

I still enjoy dialing, yes you heard that right. I still enjoy looking for the number on my old dial style home phone. I place my finger in the little round hole and dial it all while pulling the combination of numbers out of my head where they are stored in order to reach someone.IF the grid goes down, no worries.. I know your phone number.  It slows me down. It calms me down. I enjoy it this way. And about half of my viewing audience is saying "what the heck is she talking about"?
Ah,, the good old days. Ahhhh- the simple ways.

My fav sweet but since passed away roo, Rudy

Now-don't get me wrong.. I am totally happy to have a refrigerator as opposed to keeping things in the farmhouse root cellar just behind my house.  I am also thankful for an inside bathroom which was not the case for the generations of families before me. Oh, and the electricity and running water .. no complaints at all and very thankful for both. 

 One neighbor who purchased this farm house in the sixties told me it was hard for her to walk up the hill to the out house when she was eight months pregnant, especially when it snowed. It was also not the most fun to draw her daily water from the well under my current patio. She also shared stories of how she hand washed the baby diapers in a drawn buckets of water and then hung them on the hand rail to dry and they would freeze in winter months and she brought them inside to heat by the fire. So...No- I would not want to live the Amish type lifestyle..even though I often ponder it. I like my running water, electricity and refrigerator but I don't take them for granted and feel totally blessed. The farmhouse vintage vibe reminds me to be thankful for life today. So...on to the refrigerator story.



The original bathroom that still stands

Hiding this big new hideous hunk of metal, aka; 'the frig' (below) was a big deal to me.I had in mind to make it appear more like an old farmhouse cabinet or broom closet once it was in it's disguise.I wanted it to blend in instead of stand out. And of course I wanted to keep on budget for this project. I don't now remember what the wood cost, but it certainly was the most expensive part of this project.

Before photos of the metal beast in my farmhouse kitchen


Find out how I hid this beast - Read on


A one inch thick piece of lumber was used. It was bead board on one side and that is the side that  faces the kitchen. The same style wood was used on the side of the frig and a piece on the top of the frig was used to form sort of a three sided rectangle box to in close the frig. The top piece was attached directly to the wall as was the newly built door. I did leave an open space by not fully in closing it along the top of the frig so it could breathe.Important to remember should you build something similar.
                                                                     

I wanted this faux refrigerator cabinet to look like it was a free standing piece so a separate piece of lumber was cut to mimic legs and attached on top of the base wood. Another separate strip of wood was added along the top to balance it out.


Next step was to distress the frig door. I used pebbles, rocks, a chain, nails and other tools to scuff up, beat up, bang and scrape this new wood and turn it into a vintage looking cabinet / closet.
                                                                                   

                                   Beat it, hit it, scrape it, scratch it, kick it and just have fun.
                                                                           

My (most of the time) go to chalk paint is Anne Sloan paint. I used Old white and dark wax to distress it. I wanted the knots in the wood to show through so I did not make any effort to conceal them.


On several ares of the door I slopped paint on and left it thick and chunky. While it was still damp I added some crackle paint to give it a layered and aged look.


 Adding dabs of AS dark wax and mixing it into the AS clear wax allowed crackling glaze to stand out.




I am happy with the results of the paint and wax distressing technique. I left a darker wax near the area of where the handle was later attached. Remember the days when we wiped stains off of walls and furniture and now we put them there on purpose.. well some of us do anyways... LOL.



The above picture was last fall. I have since then added a little strip of wood with pegs that allows me to hang different items from, instead of adding hooks and nails to the door each time I want to change things up. Not that a nail would mess it up... It just is nice to use this wooden thingy that makes change outs fast and easy. I think I bought the wooden peg rack (below) from Ikea some years back?


                     Rusty old hinges and a seriously old metal door knob complete this project. The farmhouse floor is not level so I might need to add a hook so it closes up tightly. But for now it works.

                I am happy with the outcome and think it works well with my farmhouse vibe. I like that I  can hang old but useful vintage utensils on the side of the frig cabinet where there might normally be magnets. Every bit of space is useful in a very small home.



               From the creaking of my old front porch screen door to the old and original pine planks to all the little nooks and crannies this place makes me smile. I have never not one day regretted selling my home in the Pacific North West and sight unseen buying this home online and relocating here about four years ago. The people here are beyond the nicest people I have ever come across and mountain country life just suits me well. I feel at peace being here in the Appalachian mountains and can not imagine life anywhere else. 

Just an FYI.. because many people notice the smallest details in a not so good photo. Yes you do see something on my ceiling near my frig. It is an old vintage ceiling tin that is concealing some holes in the ceiling where someone may have been trying to run wire and did not have any tools available to do it correctly? That's my best guess. I can only imagine by the look of things that they proceeded to drill many holes and then gouge out a snake like pattern in the wood plank ceiling. Oh, yeah.. there are a couple of those sweet spots in this little farmhouse kitchen. I decided long ago to pick my battles. In keeping it simple and low cost I just covered those mini messes with vintage ceiling tins. People look at them and it then creates a whole new conversation.

       
Isn't that lovely? sigh....



A frame had to be built to hold this 3 dimensional ceiling tin. It was then attached to the frame and attached to the ceiling

Another ceiling tin conceals a farmhouse ceiling blooper

That being said, it is time to go sit on my porch and play with the pups.
Many blessings, and of course I can not close without saying this-
It is never to late to create a happy childhood. Please let your inner child out every now and again and go play.
 

One of my neighbors
 
Thanks for visiting.
Tonita

Apr 1, 2019

SHEEP BALLS

I'm SO happy, happy, happy that it it's finally spring time. With a most welcomed change of seasons, I've come out of hibernation to re connect with other living beings at this wonderful time of the year. In shifting into the Spring swing of things, lots of cleaning is going on here at the farm charm cottage. Even the dogs have been enlisted to hunt for stray popcorn kernels  hiding under the sofa which were left overs from those long lasting cold winter days, where we did lots of snuggling under piles of vintage quilts near the blaze of  toasty and welcomed fire here in the little cottage.

You are probably wondering what the heck my title "Sheep balls" means. Not short on words and one that is known to go down a bunny trail or two or three, -  let me tell you a story about them. On a cold winter day, while reading a favorite blog, called Junk Chic Cottage, I ran into these adorable little laundry sheep balls which are named Little beau sheep. You can read that post right here. And while you are on Kris's blog take a look at her beautiful home, and her not to miss - shabby decor on her current Easter post. Any hoo the little sheepies were set to be shipped to a new home once she picked winners of her give away. For me, it was love at first sight, and I knew they would be a perfect addition to my tiny, laundry room that also serves as a pantry and mud room all rolled into one itty bitty space. I feel so blessed to have won them. These Little Beau Peep laundry balls are both adorable and functional and are a perfect addition to compliment my vintage farm charm cottage decor.

 As promised (better late than never)  in the comment section of her giveaway I said if I was fortunate to win the give away that I would do a post about them and tell of an old cowboy story about sheep balls, or as they are properly called - sheep testicles. You will soon see just what I mean, read on.

Mouth method: A shepherd castrates a sheep with his teeth in the TV show Dirty Jobs - these are not the two men who fell ill
Old fashioned cowboy way to castrate sheep

                                                                  
I have a dear friend and true cowboy named Marvin. Nearing his 100th birthday he is never short of amazing stories from his past. I remember him telling me that back in the day on the ranch he would use his teeth to castrate sheep. I listened intently as he described just how it was done. I had never heard anything of the like and figured he was just 'pulling my chain'.  I asked the next old timer cow boys I came across if Marvin's story was true. I was afraid they would laugh and look at me thinking I was the most vulnerable person they had ever met. As it turns out, yep it's da true real deal story  as verified by several old timers and sheep ranchers. This method was also featured on the popular TV show called Dirty Jobs. Should you want to learn more about this method of castration of lambs or see a video that explains how shepherds used their mouth to get a better grip check out YouTube or read more about the 'slippery' testicles here on this link. .

Image result for rocky mountain oysters are they from sheep
Fried rocky mountain oysters












 Rocky Mountain Oysters are enjoyed by people from all over the world? They are actually not oysters at all. They're mammal testicles and most commonly come from bulls,bison, pigs, and sheep. Marvin loves them breaded and fried with a squeeze of fresh lemon and  then topped with Tabasco.  Ah, I will pass on this delicacy
 this time around and stick with fried green tomatoes.  

And now...ta dah... Here is what ya'll  been waiting to see. Meet my flock of sheep that reside in the little farmhouse laundry room.



    Rocky on the left, Mountain in the center, Oyster on the right.






My little flock of laundry room sheep




Resting before my Aussie herds them into the dryer
For those of you who don't yet  use dryer balls, I hope you try them out. They replace dryer sheets and fabric softener. That's right.. they do the job of both while saving you a lot of money. The most important thing is that they don't add those nasty cancer causing chemicals to your home or laundry. While they bounce around your loaded dryer they allow the air to circulate and therefore your clothes dry faster. They don't have to be designer ones like these. You can pick up the plane Jane ones at Walmart or on Amazon. Just pop them into your dryer to experience the difference. Three to four for medium loads and up to six for large loads.



Oh where, Oh where did my little sheep go? 
If you like your laundry scented, just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to each ball and then pop them into an empty dryer and turn it on for a few minutes so that the essential oil soaks in to the ball and does not stain your future loads of laundry.  I like lemon or lavender scented sheets.

Okay... you don't have to go into the dryer just yet.
Hey goof ball, I mean sheep ball - how did you get out of that basket?




I so regret buying a front loading machine. From the beginning it had a tiny drip. It takes forever to wash clothes and it is just way to high tech with a thousand options, even connecting through some sort of app to a smart phone. What is a smart phone anyway? I mean really? Who needs a washing machine that talks to a phone? NOT ME!  I still use only a home phone and most of the time one that still has a cord  into the wall. So the new front loading machine is a BIG regret. I love the simple older ones with hot or cold, heavy or light dirt options. They are simple, easy and do a great job. Sigh. See that glass wash board? I use it on a regular basis, not in the river but in my cast iron farm sink. Works better than my fancy washing machine. Does anyone out there still use a washboard?



My front loading washing machine and dryer are hiding behind the burlap sacks

A vintage wash tub holds soap, clothes pins and other laundry necessities






Small laundry folding area


Looking at this tiny laundry room area you might assume it needs to be updated. This is the updated version of my tiny laundry area. When I purchased new appliances I wanted them hidden behind burlap sacks to keep this room in a vintage farmhouse vibe. I built a counter above the washer and dryer out of old barn wood. I added upper open shelves for easy storage. It felt really closed in so I replaced the glass with a mirror in the center of the window to catch more sunlight and give the appearance that is a bit bigger space.  And of course, everything got a fresh coat of white paint.


 Back in the day many decades ago, this little room was just a covered back porch. The farmhouse had no running water or electricity, therefore no washing machine or dryer. In fact, just under the counter where my washing machine sits, was a water well. The family that lived here at the time used a rope and bucket to draw water from that well for all their daily needs. One of my neighbors remembers that he was the skinniest kid out of his nine siblings and he was chosen by the owners of this house be let down by a rope into the the well to scrape out sediment at the bottom of the well. He got paid a nickle for his work and was thrilled to make that kind of money back in the day. So yeah, this is the updated version of the laundry room. I do have some before pictures but choose not to show them as I was trying to stay on topic here...okay.. I took a bunny trail on the way.




So there you have it, a story about sheep laundry balls that are darling, useful and also remind me of my dear older gentleman cowboy friend as well as a sweet lady who braved the ridiculous icy roads and beyond cold, and definitely freezing record breaking temperatures in Illinois to get these three little sheep in the mail to me. 
Thanks Kris and many thanks Marvin for the great stories you shared with me. I will never forget them or you.

It is a wrap folks...

Reminder - It is never to late to have a happy childhood. Go play. 
XO
Tonita


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