F Simple and Serene Living: July 2011 09 10
Saturday, July 30, 2011

the shaker influence in america

I am off visiting the family in Atlanta, so you may have noticed my postings have been sporadic. But, as they have taken a little trip to Target for school supplies, I thought I would try to get in a Saturday post.  I have always loved the Shaker influence in decorating. There is nothing better than their simple pure lines, and as we have a Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill in Kentucky, I like to visit and and enjoy lunch at the Shaker Inn as often as possible.

So here is a quick look at some Shaker decor.

A lovely Shaker bench from ShakerStyle

a typical Shaker bedroom via Apartment Therapy

shaker pantry boxes via country living

some sweet Shaker baskets via basketsnprims

a shaker dining room via apartment therapy

I'm thinking that most of us would not want to live quite as austerely as the Shakers did, but their timeless furniture and accessories are beautiful additions to most any decor.

Have a great Saturday. I am getting ready to ooh and aah over some new backpacks.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

upcycled vintage ladder decor

A couple of weeks ago at the auction, there was an old vintage ladder that I wanted to bid on. Unfortunately, I left the room for a couple of minutes to get a bottled water and missed it when it came up for bid. It sold for *** $5.00 *** and I have been kicking myself ever since. (note to self, take bottled water with you) 

So I am on the lookout for another one as I think they are fabulous as home decor items. Here are a few ideas.

repurposed as a bedside table from care2

as a focal point decor piece from nibsblog

I've always wanted one for a pot rack in the kitchen from merrimentevents

or to hold some baskets from pinterest

to display some vintage textiles from glitterandpearls

perfect for the bathroom from pinterest

Now I'm really wanting one, or two, or....

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

just sitting on the porch

I don't know about you, but the extreme heat we have been enduring recently has left me a bit lethargic. I have all these ideas for things I want to do, but my get up and go seems to have gotten up and gone. I love sitting on the porch, but only the early mornings seem to be a good time for that right now, and since I don't have a big porch where I am living now, I thought I would look at how other people are decorating theirs. That way, when I do get a big front porch, and the weather is cooperating I'll be prepared.

I love this vintage country decor porch from Barn Owl Primitives. The sweet pillows can be purchased from Little Miss Momma on Etsy.

This looks like a simple place to relax. I love rocking on the front porch while watching the traffic go by. Photo from Serving Him At Home

Even if the traffic is just a few chickens. Photo from redstickranch

I've always wanted a sleeping porch, and this one is a combination of fancy and primitive. Just my style. Photo from redstickranch

Love this wonderful Adirondack porch swing. I could while away a few hours here. Photo from visualphotos

Adding a simple farm table seems like a good idea. A place to share a meal with family and friends. Photo from 
Cabin Creek Farm

or this one. Photo from junkgardengirl

Enjoy your Saturday and stay cool.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

proud etsy mom

blue blossoms orchid from Winsome Hollow

Like the majority of moms, I am proud of everything my daughters do. Both of my daughters are very talented textile artists and have businesses on Etsy, where they sell their beautiful handmade creations. My youngest daughter, Katy, has a shop called winsomehollow, where she sells her stunning creations inspired by nature. 

textile rose stems from Winsome Hollow

Katy is currently featured as the Best of Etsy artist in the fall issue of Better Homes and Gardens DIY magazine. We are sooo excited and she has been visiting this week, so we have been able to be excited together.

Katy thrifts for vintage finds, which she combines with her beautifully made textile pieces to create stunning floral creations. ( the kind that even those without a green thumb can maintain)

So congratulations, Katy and now the proud mama has to find the perfect vintage frame to show it off.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

a vintage white wedding

White is the traditional color for a wedding and nothing is lovelier and cooler than a summer white wedding. Vintage weddings are very much in vogue now so I thought I would share some images of vintage inspired weddings.

vintage inspired dress via weddingbellsblog

vintage veil via pegasus vintage

vintage white wedding car

vintage white wedding boots via weddings by color

vintage inspired wedding table via aileen tran

a traditional wedding cake via you and your wedding

Have a lovely white Wednesday!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

honey blueberry muffin recipes

photo via maggiefoard

  It's blueberry season.

I love fresh blueberries and homemade blueberry muffins are the best, but I don't like refined sugar, so I thought I would search out some recipes made with honey. 

I found these recipes on cooks.com 

This first one seems fairly basic and would be great for an early morning summer breakfast.
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
4 tbsp. honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. blueberries
1/4 c. melted shortening
Sift flour with salt and baking powder. Combine milk, honey, egg, blueberries and shortening. Add to dry ingredients, stirring quickly just long enough to moisten dry ingredients. Fill greased muffin pans half full. Bake in 400 degree oven for 35 minutes or until browned. Yield: 12 muffins.

If you're like me and prefer whole wheat flour, you might want to try this one. 

1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. blueberries
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tin and muffin cups. Beat egg; stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients except blueberries just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

I think I might try them both.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

junk decor

How many of you recycle junk into your decor. I am so impressed by the creativity of people and how they  make wonderful decor pieces from  "stuff" " that may have ended up in the dump. What a great way to help save the earth and to use great old finds. 

Here are a few photos I found while browsing the web.

a great hanging light fixture.

photo via Nate Berkus

Okay, this has to be the ultimate in recycling. RV's turned into apartments.

photo via diggerslist

old metal bins make great planters for the garden.

photo via the gardenerseden

love this paper towel holder

photo via atticmag

drawers made from old suitcases.

photo via homes@8

Have a great evening.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

tips for buying antique furniture

I recently had the pleasure of discovering West Egg Interiors. West Egg Interiors is a small company located in the United Kingdom and run by a lovely lady named Louisa Blackmore. West Egg has an online shop selling restored vintage furniture and accessories.

Their tagline is:
"selling an inspiring collection of unique furniture and decorative home accessories that are simple, charming and good quality. Every piece sold by West Egg has been carefully sourced and diligently restored. "

Louisa recently wrote an article on her blog on her top 10 tips for buying antique furniture and has been very kind to let me share it with you.

Top 10 Tips For Buying antique Furniture

  • Be Prepared! If you're visiting antique fairs or auctions and have a piece of furniture in mind, say a chest of drawers, make sure you measure the area it is supposed to fit before you go. Useful things to take with you are a tape measure, camera, notebook and pen. For early morning antiques fairs you should definitely take a waterproof jacket/coat (if you don't it will rain, every time). Also a good tip is a hot flask for tea or coffee - it is very cold at 5am even in the summer months. 
  •  Unless a piece of furniture has been hidden away under a shroud of blankets in a country mansion for donkeys years, you should expect to see certain signs of everyday wear and tear that the hustle and bustle of life inflicts on furniture over time. Always look to see if the wear and tear on a piece of furniture is convincing and consistent - you would see normal wear on arms, legs and handles. Also, any screws, nails, handles and corners should have small patches of discolouration around them. 
  • The patina and colour of a piece of furniture is acquired by a hundred years of exposure to light, daily use and regular polishing/waxing. You would expect to see marks and scratches over a long period of time, if not it may mean the surface has been stripped back and re-polished thereby losing the wonderful patina of 100+ years of use. 
  • Never pick a chair up by its arms, always hold it underneath. Chairs are most liable to loose joints or broken legs so always check the joints carefully. You don't want to be left holding the leg and the rest of the chair crumbles around you
  • Always check the proportions of a piece of furniture and ensure that each of the drawers were made in the same way and of the same wood. 
  • Painted furniture was popular from the mid 18th century to the early 20th century and often pieces were repainted to reflect the fashion of the day. Fake antique painted furniture is often convincingly replicated because it incorporates a realistic distressed effect. Always closely examine the paintwork - there should be obvious layers of paint with dirt in between each layer. Dark wax is used to copy this effect and you may be able to smell it if recently applied. 
  • Unhappy marriages in furniture can usually be spotted straightaway by looking at any variations in construction, proportion and colour-matching. 
  • From unhappy marriage to divorce! Many pieces of early antique furniture were cut down to fit a smaller room size. These pieces are more difficult to spot but always look for unusual fading or other inconsistent marks. 
  • With tables always check the table top and base are made from the same wood or veneering and check there aren't any unusual marks underneath. 
  • Finally, watch out for the 19th century revivals of certain styles - you can spot a reproduction piece if it has exaggerated details, is made of exotic timber or the decoration is a mixture of styles. 
If you are an old hand at buying antique furniture, I hope this will give you a few new tips. If you are a beginner, I would suggest printing this list and taking it with you as a reference.

Thanks again to Louisa and be sure to check out her blog and online shop HERE 

photos via West Egg Interiors

Have a wonderful Thursday. I am heading off to an auction and hope to find some great goodies for the shop.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

beach cottage white

this hot sultry weather has made me nostalgic for the beach. so thought i would share some lovely white beach photos today. i think white evokes a feeling of coolness and serenity. 

a cottage living room.

photo via home design decorating

this sweet beach cottage brings back lazy day memories of summer vacations by the sea.

photo via vintage pretties

some simple white touches on a table.

photo via andrea nay creative

love this idea of painting some old worn luggage pieces white to place by your cottage bed.

photo via re-nest

add a touch of whimsy to your cottage table with some white washed beach finds.

photo via sally lee by the sea

rustic charm  combined with simple elegance makes for a perfect meal on an ocean front porch.

photo via bella casa

i guess since i can't be at the beach right now, it's nice to dream of those days. i think i am going to search through my shells for some perfect finds.

for more beautiful Wednesday Whites check out Faded Charm


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