Don’t hide your crazy! History, that is.

Do you ever browse through the history section of Pinterest? I do. All I have to say is, there have always been crazy things going on in this world, there just hasn’t always been as many of us in it. When you find something that has survived through a lot of that crazy history, it deserves a little respect, doesn’t it?

You would probably assume since I like antiques, that I would also be interested in history. It’s true. I am interested in history and I have an appreciation for it. It’s so fascinating to me what particular antiques have actually survived and made it through to modern times.

I currently have a gorgeous vanity dresser available. This drop-center dresser was made circa 1850. It’s an early Victorian, pre-Civil War piece. Can you imagine what this dresser has “lived” through??

Solid marble is used for the surfaces in this drop-center vanity.

This dresser has been around through 32 presidents. When it was made there were only 31 states in the United States of America. The phone and the television were not invented. It made it through the Civil War, both World Wars, and Vietnam. This dresser was around during the time of Emancipation, Prohibition, Segregation, Women’s Suffrage, and human kind entering outer space. And it survived. Amazing, isn’t it?!
 


Talk about “made to last!” Check out those dovetail joints and the wooden locks on the drawers. I wonder what would have been locked up in them?

Ooooh! A secret drawer on the bottom!

A final reminder of just how long ago 1850 was: these shelves for a candleholder were necessary since electricity was not in homes yet.

XOXO,
Abby

***UPDATE*** Thank you for all of the interest in this piece. However, it has sold and is no longer available.
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Dresser’s Victorian Ornamentat (Google Affiliate Ad)

Keep Calm & Share Ideas

A friend overheard me sharing my “chalk” paint recipe and couldn’t believe it. Why not share? I’m not trying to sell paint.

 
 


I don’t mind sharing my paint recipe. If you bother to ask me, I’ll bother to tell you. The paint is super easy to make. What comes after that is the hard part. I believe in helping people get started. I’m not trying to sell paint. If you take that recipe and figure out how to use it, well, good for you! I want you to know that you can do this. There’s nothing special about me that you don’t have.

Here’s the thing though: Don’t make the mistake of thinking that because the paint itself is easy to make that the process and finished product isn’t valuable. The process of using this paint is lengthy with multiple steps involved. While it doesn’t require that you spend a lot of time prepping the surface to be painted, that doesn’t mean that the piece didn’t need repairs first. The paint needs to cure in between coats. Once the final coat is dry there are at least two more steps.

 


I was recently participating in an antique fair and I listened as one woman oooh and ahhhed over one of my pieces and her friend proceeded to talk her out of buying it. “Oh, that would be so easy to make. You could make that. You could have your husband do that. Don’t pay for that.” I’m absolutely sure that she could make it. I’m positive that her husband could, too. But I’m am 99.99% certain that they wouldn’t. She left that day without buying the piece that she admired and stood in front of for 15 minutes. Do you think she went home and made it? I’d be surprised if she did.

These pieces aren’t found on a whim. I research and drive, and drive, and drive some more before I find anything decent to buy. Yes, buy, as in purchase. I buy the materials: paint, brushes, rollers, LOADS of sandpaper, plaster, repair materials, and many times new hardware. That doesn’t include the cost of gasoline and my time. And just imagine, I actually want to make a profit on top of that.

I’ve decided that every time I blog about a piece I’m going to list at the bottom the amount of time it took and the amount I spent on basic supplies, not including the price of the piece. You can do this. And I hope you do. I want to inspire you to paint your own furniture and create your own decorations. But, please, please do not belittle the time, knowledge, and money that I have invested. And please, for pete’s sake, don’t come up to me at a fair while I’m trying to sell something and ask me how I made it. Not the time, folks.

P.S. Y’all rock!
XOXO,
Abby//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

I "garden" at Publix.

I really, really want to be good at gardening. The planting part is easy. Next when little plants germinate and poke their green heads out of the ground there is a huge feeling that something wonderful and amazing just happened. Then comes the growing part. Things happen then. Strange, gross, frustrating things.

We have blueberry bushes. The thing about blueberry bushes is that they take a few years to really get going and produce fruit. Within that time there won’t be a single bird in your backyard.

You will know when your bushes are going to explode with berries, because the year before that you’ll notice one or two birds. You will proceed to Home Depot and buy a scary looking owl to keep the birds away. It will work.

The following year your bushes will literally have dozens, even hundreds of green blueberries just waiting for the sun to ripen then. But the birds will come, and they will land on your owl. And they will poop on it. They will steal your blueberries. All of them.

If it’s not the birds, then it is bugs. I don’t even know if “bugs” is the correct term, because half of the time I cannot even identify the alien looking creatures crawling out (yes, out) of the food I am growing. Imagine my excitement when tomatoes actually start growing and butternut squash spring off of the vine.  And then I find this on a squash:

It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s gross. Nothing within 12 inches of where this was found will be eaten. I may even (once I get the nerve up to put my hands back over there) pull up the whole plant. Why? Because it’s gross. And we don’t eat Gross for dinner.

Hi, I’m Abby. And I garden at Publix.

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Patriotic Mantel Ideas

When I see stars and stripes, I think of summer: Fireworks and fireflies, Red stripes on flags and stripes of red ketchup on hot dogs. I love combining summer décor with patriotic décor in my house to create a look that lasts all season long.

Beginning with Memorial Day and then through Flag Day and Independence Day we can find red, white, and blue in everything from snow cones to beach towels. It only makes sense to bring those colors inside as well.
 
Flags and stars are obvious choices, but a patriotic feel can also be achieved by grouping red, white, and blue objects.

Antique red books, white seashells, and blue jars help create a more interesting take on the colors of our flag.

“Shop” your own home to find red, white, and blue objects to create a unique look. Once you have colors in mind, walk through the rooms of your house and objects will jump out at you. Don’t you just love this patriotic banner? I found it at World Market. (love them!)

I also love this clock from Kohl’s, don’t you?! 

 
 </div> <div style=”text-align: center;”>  </div> <div style=”text-align: center;”>  </div> <div style=”text-align: center;”> I’d love to your patriotic décor ideas!</div> <div style=”text-align: left;”> XOXO,</div> <div style=”text-align: left;”> Abby</div> <div style=”text-align: left;”> </div> <div style=”text-align: left;”> </div>

Antiquing Vacation (Mom’s "vacation")

What’s the difference between a trip and a vacation?

A trip is with the kids, a vacation is without. 😉

There’s a down-side to vacationing on a non-commercialized beach. Ask any mom stuck in her beach rental on rainy day, and you will have your answer simply by looking at the blank stare she gives you. So close, and yet so far away. See kids? Look at the beach! Look, but don’t touch!

Historic Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, Florida  

  We just got back from our family vacation to the lovely and oh so quiet Amelia Island, where there is only so much one can do on a rainy day full of thunderstorms. (Gee, thanks, Tropical Storm Andrea!) The nearby theater has 3 movies. Hangover 3 is not an option for 8 and 11 year olds, thank you very much. And a family of four can only stroll around Target for so long before it gets a little awkward with the employees. Nope, I really don’t need help finding anything. Just staring at the “ground beef” you’re selling because the thought of going back to the condo and being hen-pecked to death made me break out into a sweat. (Target sells “meat”?!?!)

A little piece of paradise on Amelia Island, Florida

The thought crossed my mind to dole out heavy doses of Benadryl and load everyone back up into the car in the middle of the night. Surprise! We’re home! Mommy’s not on “vacation” (i.e work outside of the home) anymore.

Sensing the desperation in my eyes, my handsome and hunky husband suggested that we do a little “work.” Yeah for me, treasure hunting! Boo for the kids, they know this routine. ;P After a little “researching,” off we went.

The kids really are pros and troopers. We made about a dozen stops. I love the thrill of the hunt, but there is a reason why it’s called “work.” Because it is.

Don’t judge. It was storming. I was tired. And the hat was definitely necessary.
My favorite find of the day is this jadeite Santa cookie jar. Isn’t he lovely?! Much to Ken’s surprise, I’m going to part with him. I do love my jadeite, but I know there’s a jadeite lover out there that will appreciate him just as much.

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The moral of the story? Even a rainy day at the beach is better than a day away from the beach!
XOXO,
Abby

This is currently for sale in my Etsy shop. Click “Etsy” for a link.

Southern Easter Traditions

Does your family ever play “remember when?” “Remember when Momma and Dad would take us to see Santa Claus every year at the mall?” “Remember when we would drive around looking at Christmas lights?” Traditions are important. Most families, regions, and countries have traditions that feed the culture of its people. The South is no different.

Easter is a special time in the South. For generations every good and respectable family in the Bible Belt belonged to one of the town’s many church congregations. UMC, FBC, A&E, or Presbyterian – it wasn’t just a church. It was and is a community centered social gathering place. Easter being the most holy time in the church, Easter is also a time for Southerners to entertain, socialize, and carry on with traditions.

  • New church clothes are a given. Girls get new dresses. Always. And sometimes a sweet hat, too. Boys get new suits. In the South we love seersucker and bow ties. That’s as southern as it comes. 
  • Egg dying is done every year. Now there are kits to glitter and glitz your eggs or wrap them in camouflage shrink wrap. But egg dying used to be an art form that took hours, even days to complete.
  • Easter baskets that the Easter Bunny hides are essential for the kids. A chocolate bunny, jelly beans, and a sweet stuffed rabbit are most likely to be found in one of these.
  • Egg hunts are an opportunity to socialize, show off your Easter finest, and take priceless pictures. If you’ve seen the movie Steel Magnolias, you have seen what a true southern egg hunt is like.
  • Easter dinner. In the south we feed you. We’ll feed you at every opportunity. We love you with food. Easter dinner is a tradition all in its own. For more details on that check out my post here.
  • The highlight of Easter is our time spent at church. Families bring flowers from their gardens to add to the cross at church. Sunrise services are popular all around the South.

 I hope that you will feed your family with tradition. Feed their memories and “remember whens.” But also important, I hope that you will feed them with the meaning behind the traditions and why it is important to keep our traditions and culture alive.

Hoppy Easter to you!
XOXO,
Abby

P.S. Here is one of my favorite things to bring as a hostess gift! If you’re celebrating Easter at someone else’s home, don’t forget to bring them a little something.

Photo Credits:  

The Southern Easter Menu

I love Springtime. If I could only find a sunny spot to sit in and let the warmth sink into my bones, I would. But this season of gray simply will not go away. Groundhog stew, anyone?

Here it is time for Easter, and all of the Easter dresses are sleeveless, the sandals are open-toed, and the suits are made of thin cotton seersucker. Oh, where are you warm rays of sunshine?

I wanted to share the traditional Southern Easter menu with you. Homes across the Deep South, as well as homes that long to be in the Deep South will spread these tried and true dishes on their family dining table to celebrate the Resurrection.

Ham – The star of the show, try this wonderful Brown Sugar – Bourbon Glazed Ham from Southern Living.

Southern Potato Salad – You simply must have this recipe in your back pocket for everything from Easter dinner to family barbeques. What makes it “southern?” Check out the recipe from Add A Pinch.

Deviled Eggs – The perfect solution for what to do with all those dyed Easter eggs! The folks at Mr. Food have an egg-cellent recipe. There are so many ways to prepare deviled eggs. In addition to this traditional recipe, this year I’ll also be making some with hummus and some with guacamole.

Ambrosia – Ambrosia literally means “food of the gods.” But if you ask me, it means “South in Your Mouth.” This traditionally southern food can be found at Easter dinner, picnics, barbeques, and bridal showers. Like so many of our southern recipes, this one varies from table to table. Here is a great version at The Country Cook that is simply lovely.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – Don’t be fooled. The ambrosia was not considered your dessert. But a pineapple upside-down cake is! One of our family favorites and requested almost as much as banana pudding, here is a recipe from Southern Living that you can pass down to generations.

Sweet Tea and Lemonade – Don’t forget to quench your thirst with these two southern staples. Return to Sundays Supper has a sweet (pun intended) recipe for lemonade that can’t be beat.

Most of these dishes can be prepared in advance. If you are attending a church service, plan ahead so that you can come home and enjoy a beautiful stress-free luncheon.

Hey Y’all, if you like this post and found it to be even the teensiest bit handy, would you please “pin” it? Please and thanks y’all.

XOXO,
Abby

P.S. If you are taking deviled eggs to a dinner at someone else’s house, you really must have a deviled egg plate. Those suckers are slippery and won’t be pretty when you arrive. I like this one:

Easter Mantle Ideas



 I’ve decorated our mantle for Easter. And, as always, I’ve used a mixture of new and old. That’s the best way, don’t you think? If everything was vintage or antique, we’d be missing out on some of the great new decorative items out there. And I love shopping way too much to do that. 😉


I like how effortless it looks. A lot of it was pulled from “shopping” in other rooms in the house. The only things that are always on the mantle are the antique mirror and the clock, everything else was borrowed from other places in the house.



Here you can see how I combined new and old.
What’s “old?” The Fire King hobnail milk glass vase, the Brush-McCoy robin’s egg blue egg & dart dish, the picture of my great-grandparents.
What’s “new?” The garland, the eggs, the rabbit plaque, and the picture frame.



Sometimes when I am putting together a vignette or mantle, I simply walk around the house looking for certain colors. These old books were the perfect spring time color for the mantle.

Here are some other mantles that I found on Pinterest. I think they’re lovely, don’t you?

This one is from marthastewart.com. I like that it uses different shades of just pink and blue. 

This one is from Tattered & Inked. I love the mix of natural wood and burlap with the bright colors of the eggs.


Here is another one from Emerald Interior Design. It’s fresh, simple, not too busy, and it will definitely carry past Easter and through Spring.



Finally, this was was too bright and cheerful to leave out. It’s from Positively Splendid, and it is. Positively Splendid.



I hope you’ve been inspired to create a beautiful Easter mantle of your own. I found all of these lovely ideas on Pinterest. Join me there!

XOXO,
Abby








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Drop Leaf {Table} Like It’s Hot


I love marking things off of my “list.” And this table has been on my to-do list for wayyyyyy too long. I have procrastinated doing this table like nobody’s (I’ll get to it) tomorrow.

I paid more than I thought I should have. (We left it in the garage.)

I thought it was going to be very difficult and time consuming to fix. (We dumped stuff on top of it.)

I thought the existing finish was going to be stubborn. (We never even completely unwrapped it.)

But you’ll never guess what happened. It’s the first piece that I have been able to refinish 100% on my own. As in, no one had to move it for me. No one had to hold it up while I did anything to it. I did it all. On. my. own. Oh, how glorious it is to say that. I hate asking for help. For anything. (Do you know that about me yet?)

I sanded the top just to rough it up a little bit for some “tooth.” “Tooth” means something for the paint to grab onto. Chalk paint isn’t supposed to need priming or sanding, but like I mentioned, I was worried about the existing finish being stubborn and difficult. I didn’t sand anything other than the top.

I make my own chalk paint. I used Martha Stewart Living in “Duck’s Egg” as my base.
After that I used Valspar Glaze in “Mocha.” 
Lastly, I used Krylon UV-Resistant Matte spray finish. I didn’t use a wax as I normally do because I didn’t want any sheen (shine), however I did want some protection on the table top. The trick to using this spray and having it be truly matte, with no spray marks, is to hold it at least 12 inches away from your surface. If  you hold it much closer than that you won’t have an even finish. As the directions on the can say, wait at least 2 minutes in between coats to avoid “white-ish” spots.

It’s more green than in this pictures. Don’t know why this came out so much lighter.

This table is perfect for our house. We like to have big family meals with the whole family, which is 15 and counting. If we open this up with the two leaves and combine it with our other dining table which seats 8. there will be plenty of room for everyone.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

XOXO,
Abby

Functional Push Pins.

I like it. I don’t like it. 

I want it up. I want it down. 

It motivates me. It irritates me.

The sun is shining. The sun is not shining.

Life changes. I change my mind. Sometimes. A lot. Every day something new inspires me. Colors, People, Quotes, Photos. I needed a way to be able to actually use my bulletin board that I made in yesterday’s post.

Typically I put the bulletin board up, and then I pin some things onto it. And then those same things stay pinned up onto the bulletin board for 3 (or 11) years, while the little things that I use every day stay on the surface of my desk.

What if there was a way to avoid looking lazy improve the functionailty of my bulletin board? When I really thought about it, the reason that I wasn’t using my bulletin board as an organizational piece on a day to day basis was that I was constantly needing to pin up, remove, and repin what I was using.

For example, a paint chip. Found one I love: pin it up. Want to hold it next to something: take it down. Lose the pin. Leave paint chip on the desk. Need to take the paint chip to the fabric store. Can’t find the paint chip.

Example No. 2: Put up a fancy-schmancy quote to inspire me throughout the day or week. Get used to the quote being there. Stop looking at the quote. Stop being inspired. But leave the quote up because if I take it down, it’s going to get lost on my desk and wrinkled. Then I’ll have to throw it away and that will hurt a tree.

Solution: Pins for my bulletin board that are also…CLIPS. I’ll let that sink in for a minute.

Pin once. Clip over and over and over again. Clip several things together. Switch them around.

The best part? NO. PIN. HOLES. *gasp*  So simple to do:

Both from Walmart in the Office Supply aisle. Next to all the cute Post-It Notes. You could use flatter push pins, but I like these.

Glue Gun. You’ll need one. Also found at Walmart. Craft section.



Life changer.

Functionality.

And don’t forget. You’re a Peach.
XOXO,
Abby