Jan 7, 2020

HAPPY NEW YEAR - 2020

 I am sharing some photos of my farmhouse Christmas decor as I chat, rant, and publicly share my thoughts today. First off I want to say - Happy Happy Happy NEW YEAR to y'all. All is going well here in the Appalachian mountains where I am for the most part, cozily tucked into my little mini (560') vintage farmhouse.




Today, (seriously)... I remembered I have a blog. Yeah, I know,, crazy - right? You probably wonder how someone can actually forget that she has a blog, but yes, I actually have not thought about blogging in months, until I got some snail mail from a friend.  Don't be concerned, it is not that my mind is slipping it's that I  haven't had much interaction with  my computer over the past several months. Y'all know I am a low tech girl. I see it as a good thing, for myself anyway. If the grid went down, I would be just fine and not miss a beat.


During winter months I tend to hibernate. I consider myself a happy loner and while I am not at all shy and am very chatty it comes as a big surprise to many that I identify myself as an introvert.
Introvert Definition: The definition of an introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. Introverts tend to feel drained after socializing and regain their energy by spending time alone. ... In other words, if you're an introvert, you were likely born that way.




Chilly darker and shorter days of winter give way to more time curling up near the fireplace and appreciating the opportunity to be still. Yes, I guess that comes with being more mature or in other words (older).  Mature sounds so much better...don't cha think? I didn't  slow down and chill out  when I was younger. I was always a hyper active kid and considered myself a human doing instead of a human being.  I only truly relaxed when I was alone, with animals or in nature. I feel blessed to have never experienced being lonely. As a child of God I realize I am NEVER alone.





 Tiny white lights are covered with white garland to give a faux snow effect. I enjoy the sparkle of light they give off and quite often leave them on during the darker days of winter. Snow flakes are on my trees and hanging from my chandelier as well as in my windows. I have always loved snowflakes.







 Decorating the farmhouse with Christmas lights and trees makes the winter months more enjoyable.. The twelve days of Christmas ended this past Sunday but I intend to leave my decorations up through this month of January. By now you must have figured out that I totally march to my own drummer. It is not like the decor police will come a knocking on my door.





 I really like these farmhouse window grids. They can be a pain to wash and dust but the fact that I can decorate each little sill  over rules the washing and up keep  part. The charm and cute factor over rules practical IMO. Maybe in 20 years I will change my tune on that. Sometimes I use cafe curtains or vintage dish towels on the lower half. Old chippy ceiling tin makes a great awning. I took apart an old chandy to create crystal fringe for the awnings. Not the norm, 'I know' but again this is how I roll.



 If you have visited here before and read any of my posts you know I tend to go on rants about technology on a pretty regular basis. So many people get upset and irritated with me because they are SO used to being in instant contact with everyone else they know.  I am out of their loop because for the most part, I'm a  technology rebel.. One of the few who has never sent a text and who does not use a cell phone. Heck, I don't even use, or carry a purse. I would have no idea what to put in it. And for the life of me I don't know why I would carry a tiny computer (phone) on my body to be in constant communication with anyone, not even a significant other. Hey, It works for me just fine and life is good this way in my humble opinion. Don't ask others though, they get irritated with my choices.




The past few weeks of cold chilly weather as well as more gray days than I like have given me flash backs to my life in WA State. YUCK... Some love it there and thrive, but for me the PNW.... not so much, actually not at all.  I so dislike dark gray dripping drizzle days and am forever thankful that we only have a couple gray days in a row before we have sun breaks, Bright blue sunny  winter days brighten my spirit. They are much needed for a gal who gets SAD (Seasonal affect disorder).



I recently had lunch with a freind and she told me that  I am in big denial of a sunny, simple lifestyle. That is my motto to help me keep on track for a peaceful life.  She lovingly tells me I have way too much stuff and well, I probably do. All right I DO have to much stuff in my little home. I just get so bored with looking at the same old same old and like to change things out now and again. However some things are in place for many years to come due to the size and layout of my little farmhouse. I mean where else can I put my sofa or the kitchen table? I am limited here but the feel of being mortgage free vs having a big home to shuffle things around works out much better for me.


 My friend has a beautiful farmhouse and prefers a minimalist home style. She tells me that I "romance the ordinary". A cute way of defining my style. I rescue what others toss out and add a new touch to re purpose many items. I have in my farmhouse cottage.





Did you make any New Years Resolutions?  I didn't officially make any but I do hope to be warrior like in my 5 to 1 rule. For every new thing I buy for my home 5 things have to be donated. This self imposed rule worked pretty well last year.  I am so very thankful that my friends are finally on board with not sending me stuff that adds clutter to my home and stress to my life. I have more than I need..



Dual or multi purpose items work great for tiny or small space living. I do not think you have to give up changing out decor or completely restrict your desire to decorate your small home for different seasons. I bought this little truck and it was originally yellow. I spray painted it white and I have used it for so many things. I have used it as a candy dish (before I removed refined sugar from my diet). I have used it in my bathroom to hold guest soaps. I have used it on my porch to hold tiny succulents.
This year I mostly used it on my kitchen table to hold the salt, pepper and Tabasco. And of course here it is this Christmas under a vintage style silver faux tree.



I have not purchased any new Christmas decor for many years now. I don't think that I will ever need to either. I put up four Christmas trees this year in my little cottage. And I have a couple in storage that I have yet to bring out. Maybe next year?  I opt for ornaments that are tiny and reflective as well as flat ornaments such as my snowflakes which store away easily in minimal space.


 This old hand made vintage cabinet (above) is a prized possession of mine. I adore the untouched original patina and the mis matched hardware. It dates back well over a century. I was thrilled that it fit on this wall within less than one quarter of an inch. Once I measured it, I knew she was coming home with me.  Back in the day they used a LOT of this green paint color.


My farmhouse is mostly dressed in shades of white, off white, greige and gray except for this vintage piece. IT is sort of a sage green which is a calming color to me and works well in my home. The vintage scale is the same exact color. For winter I have a Hot Chocolate station.





 This little hand made snowman or snow woman was purchased at an art and craft show many years ago. It fit perfectly on this little Victorian shelf this Christmas. A thrift store scrabble game was a deal at just fifty cents and allows me to add messages in the tiniest of spaces.



Tiny trees from the dollar store line the top shelf.  I like using small shelf's in the farmhouse. They allow me to change them up as often as I want, with out adding nails to hang things.



I don't blog for months on end and then post a picture heavy update. I won't share my bedroom or front room holiday decor because..well because that would take a whole other post and you guys know how I roll by now. However, I am sharing a few photos of my tiny 42' sq bathroom dressed up for Christmas. Am I the only blogger just now blogging about Christmas? Ah, life is good in the country. 



When living in a tiny home, one must get creative when it comes to decorating. The bathroom window has a deep sill that holds seasonal and everyday items. Another 'Dollar Store' Christmas tree  keeps company with a sweet tiny vintage oil lamp that actually works and is used quite often.




What is this you ask? When my forty two square foot tiny bathroom was remodeled , I requested a built in spot for my toilet paper rolls. Actually one can be stored on top but why waste a great nook to decorate. I always say.. cute rules over practical. A vintage itty bitty nativity fit this nook perfectly.



A bit of shiny bling bling surrounds a faux silk rose. This spot is just above my claw foot tub.





Ah,, I so look forward to soaking in my tub at the end of the day. A perfect place to relax IMO.


Thanks for popping in to visit my corner of the world. I am looking forward to spending time this month sifting through my favorite blogs and catching up on what is new in your life. I hope this year finds you in good health and surrounded with blessings.

As always I will  not let a blog post go by without letting you know that - It is never to late to have a happy childhood. Many of us as children as well as adults have experienced hiccups, neglect, and dysfunction as well as early childhood trauma. We can choose to listen to the inner child, honor our inner child and re parent that hurt, angry, abused or neglected child.. Be kind to yourself and know that you are made in the image of God and he adores you just as you are now today. Blessings-

Should any reader desire prayer please do not hesitate to ask. I will not post your request publicly but will honor your privacy and hold you in prayer, just please request to not have your comment go public. If you care to have your comment go public so other believers can also lift you up in prayer that is also fine. Make your request for privacy or your comments will be public. Other believers in the Lord JESUS CHRIST-please hold up others in prayer. Prayer is powerful. Please visit back to share what God has done in your life as you see fit.

 God restores and turns ashes into beauty. He heals and I truly know that while I am a blessed child of God, I know that I am not home yet. I am a pilgrim in this land.  The JOY of the LORD is my strength and may it be yours.

                                                                   Love, Tonita

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
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