Posted in Crafts and Skills

Organizing the Good Life

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I encourage people to follow their dreams and to live a simple life.  A busy life, but on their own terms.  We aren’t quitting our jobs to sit around and watch television!  We do a lot of things to make ends meet and have a little change left over to play.  We farm, we make medicines (though the bulk of the retail aspect I sold), we teach, we write.  We take care of animals, start seedlings, answer emails, promote our farm, and kiss baby lambs.  It’s rough work, I tell you.  But we could easily get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.

The office supply section at the store is adorable and fun to look at but those bulletin boards and mini-dry erase boards will fill up what I have to do in the next two hours, let alone the week!  And they are quite pricey.

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I have done a few posts about black board paint.  If you want to learn how to create it, click here.  Here is yet another idea for the blackboard wall (or door, or table, or whatever).

A large section of the kitchen or office, or living room for that matter, wall can be taped off, four layers of black board paint added, let dry for four days, and tada, a charming country organizer has just been made, at a fraction of the price, may I add.

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You could add milking schedules, what the kids need to take to school, countdown to quitting your job, grocery list, to do list, honey do list, menu plan, anything you need to keep organized this week!

We might be really busy, but we are doing what we want, and having a grand time of it.  My uncle passed away yesterday and he led an interesting and fun life, always teasing, always had a glint of mischief in his eye.  May we live our lives to the fullest.  I love this saying below.  It encourages me to live, play, rest, and work hard…and indulge a bit.  Life is short!

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Posted in Crafts and Skills, Farmgirl Decorating

Decorating a Farmstead Kitchen (and making a chalkboard wall)

The kitchen is the heart of the home, where the fires are burning, where memories are made, where the cook stove will stay warm and where  at the breakfast nook near the warm stove we will play board games on snowy winter days.  Where sustaining food is prepared and the baby plays at my feet while I make a pot of tea.  The kitchen is my favorite room.

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In this kitchen I have a bit of space.  Usually my friends crowd around and chat while we all put finishing touches on drinks and food and inevitably a few are pushed out due to lack of space.  In this kitchen I have seating for four and places to mill around.

This is how I turned an ordinary kitchen added on in the early seventies with peeling linoleum into a culinary oasis.  I take inspirations from Amish, Italian, Pioneer, and Country kitchens.  Combined seamlessly together into what my extended family would call a “Katie kitchen”.

Before
Before
After
After

I do not like overhead lighting so twinkly lights are employed to add charm and light to the house.

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The horrid florescent lamp (those always give off a light similar to horror movies in my mind) was covered with a quaint chicken valance.  Another valance was placed above the window in the kitchen.  Doug installed the curtain hardware eight inches over the window so that plenty of light could come through.

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A sunny place to play cards or have a cup of coffee and read.

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An old cabinet piece that I have had a long time is the base for a bookshelf to make a larger cabinet.  My friend, Nancy’s, chicken tea pot, pitcher, and cookie jar stand among pioneer cookbooks and wine glasses.

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Every nook and cranny, every drawer, every cupboard if filled.  I cannot bring one more thing into this kitchen!  Everything in its place is the mantra here now.  My aprons displayed on a vintage hanger along with Maryjane’s apron invite folks to put one on and start cooking!

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The top of the fridge is always a void of inspiration for me.  This whimsical wind catcher and a pretty enamel bowl fill the space with a little fun.

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The unique part of this room is the chalkboard wall.  Simply tape off a section that you would like to use.  Paint on four coats of chalkboard paint, letting dry in between coats.  Let set for two days.  Peel off tape the first day so that it doesn’t become a permanent frame!

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I added my favorite picture to the board by hanging it on a nail in the middle of the chalkboard.  If this little girl was a blonde, it would be Maryjane.  Maryjane loves her chickens!  Notes or menus can be written on the board.

It is easy to add small touches to any kitchen without spending a lot of money.  Any kitchen can benefit from vintage furniture, whimsical touches that bring a smile, and flowers….and a chalkboard wall.