Friday, February 27, 2009

Just received word...the COUNTRY LIVING FAIR IS ON!! The dates are September 18, 19, and 20th 2009 at the Ohio Village in Columbus, Ohio!!!

YEAH!! It was looking a little sketchy there for a couple of months. With Nancy Soriano leaving the helm of CL and a brand new editor in charge our previous confirmations became "unconfirmed". But all is well now! New editor-in-chief Sara Gray Miller must know we mid-westerners need a show of this quality and decided to keep it here. THANK YOU SARA AND CL TEAM!! Hopefully, this year we won't all feel like Dorothy and the Tin Man in the middle of Kansas! (Wondering what this means? See my blog posts from September 2008.)

Mark your calendars! Save your nickles! See you there! In the meantime check out this 1920's farmhouse in Fredericksburg, Texas. Love the quail eggs and they just arrived at urban farmhouse!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Candlelit Garden Gathering, Welcome Spring!

You are cordially invited to attend a candlelit
Garden Gathering at Urban Farmhouse
to welcome the upcoming spring...

TUESDAY evening, March 3rd
5PM - 9PM

the celebration will continue
Wednesday through Saturday
March 4th through March 7th
10AM - 5PM

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cupcakes bid farewell after Saturday...

Sweet tooth alert!!! This is the FINAL week for urban farmhouse rose and peony cupcakes! My Vanilla Bean Buttercream Cupcakes will bid you all farewell until February 2010...get them in-store while you can! ((Price is $2 each, please limit purchase to 4 or I'm up all night like the Dunkin' Doughnut man.))

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring Dreams...

I literally dreamed about lilacs last night. I was driving down a road and kept seeing purple and white clusters hanging from some of the roadside trees. Of course this was a dream so they were a bit Suessical in form. I pulled over into a muddy and gray area of this road to further inspect the purple puffs. As I walked closer the intoxicating fragrance surrounded me, I didn't need to go any further. I turned around, got back in my truck and drove off. Spring IS coming. So is our annual Spring Gathering...mark your calendar now, Tuesday evening, March 3rd 5PM-9PM, Wednesday March 4th through Saturday March 7th, 10AM - 5PM...more to come on this.

The first flowers we will see around Ohio will be those of the Forsythia, a hearty deciduous shrub. Flower buds form in the fall and then when the spring temperatures reach about 55 brilliant yellow (mimosa?) flowers emerge. Forsythis is not picky about it's soil but climate is crucial, below freezing temperatures are a must, not usually a problem in Ohio. The branches are perfect for forcing inside since the buds are already formed. Try some in a tall clear vase to add some early Spring to your home.
forced forsythia from House Beautiful March 2008

Forsythia was first introduced to Western gardens from China and Japan in the 19th century. Forsythia fruit is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds and viral infections that are accompanied with a fever. It's most often combined with honeysuckle flowers in honeysuckle forsythia fruit, which is possibly the most widely used traditional cold remedy in mainland China. Typical preparations are steamed and dried to be used in teas, infusions, capsules and extracts. It is also native to Korea. William Forsyth, an English horticulturist, brought the first shrub from Japan to England. It wasn't until 1833 that the group became popular as a garden shrub. For more history visit this site.

For those of you wondering, I am still working on the cupboard and wil post some photos as soon as it's done. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. I so enjoy reading all the suggestions and the "please don't paint it!!" comments. Feel free to keep the ideas coming...

Friday, February 13, 2009

For my dear friend...

This week a dear customer (and friend!) endured the loss of her mom. While her passing was not unexpected this is never an easy loss for anyone and my heart goes out to her and her family. My friend and her two adult daughters are very close and all seem to have a love for mixing old with new and gardening. So to honor their grandmother and mom I put together this arrangement for them to enjoy. A large blooming lavender plant hugging a collection of 3 tarnished silver pieces, tied up with vintage lace. Two engraved with "Grandma" for the daughters and the top one engraved with "Mom". I covered the plastic container with a vintage cotton doily. Our prayers with you and yours my dear friend.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Before & After

I am currently working on updating a cupboard at the shop and thought I would share it with you and even ask for your ideas and input. As you can see the cupboard is very rough and primitive. While it appealed to a few of our men customers most women have not given it a second look, so I did.

I decided it needs a huge update and started thinking about what I could do. I remembered a box of 1930's sheet music I had in the basement and knew the inside would look beautiful papered with the "tattered and tarnished" sheets. Here are a few pictures of the process. On the outside I am thinking of maybe trimming out the top and bottom, changing up the hardware and most certainly a coat of paint.

So what do you think...what would you suggest? Just Mimosa. It might be Pantone's Colour of the Year for 2009 but it's a little too full of energy for me. Although, maybe that's just what I need? More energy?
I would LOVE to hear your suggestions by clicking on the "# comments" below. Check back for the "After"!

In response to where the inspiration came for this project, lots of places. Haven't we all been repurposing (now it's the green way!) artfully for years. The walls in the bathroom in the house I was raised in were covered with "newspaper" wallpaper. In first grade my mom and I "Modge Podged" wooden boxes with paper cut outs. Hers was barn shaped with animals and mine was cadet blue with a mouse and lady bugs. She attached handles and voila, purses! When my now 15 year old son was 7 he was very into maps. I used some of my vintage National Geographic maps to makeover his dresser (again with Modge Podge), very beachy and coastal looking. Last year I covered a vintage dress form with torn and twisted pieces of brown paper bags from Kroger to form a "trashy" bustier.

Sometimes I get bored with the plain white walls behind the built-in shelves in the shop and we have applied similar treatments using fabric, vintage sheet music, vintage botany images, etc. My husband's grandparents encased one entire room with their National Geographic map (one came in each monthly issue), and when I say encased...I mean it. All five walls! Fifth wall = ceiling!! In the winter 2009 issue of Artful Blogging ephemera is everywhere as are vintage fabrics. It would be really cute to cover some shelves with hand woven vintage linens. So I guess my inspiration comes from my life and the creative people I am blessed to be related to.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunny Side Up

In the past few weeks I have been asked several times about what the new colors are for 2009. This isn't something I ever really pay attention to, I buy what appeals to me in a specific moment and it's based on more than color. But I thought as a retailer maybe I should pay a little bit more attention to the "color trends". So I went on the internet hunt for answers to several questions:

  1. What are the "new" colors for 2009?
  2. Where are these colors showing up?
  3. What is the influence behind these colors?

According to the Pantone Color Institute (yes, there is an institute for color) the "new" colors for Spring 2009 are: Fuchsia Red, Salmon Rose, Palace Blue, Lucite Green, Super Lemon, Dark Citron, Lavender, Vibrant Green, Slate Gray, Rose Dust. It's not difficult to figure out that colors for spring are inspired by the season itself, new beginnings, growth, sunshine, freshness. What some of us may not realize is how much the economy and politics affect this list. Pantone chose Mimosa, a champagne infused orange juice shade of yellow, as the 2009 color of the year to represent the sentiments of the voting public. Americans are craving hope, joy and optimism. Words spoken consistently by our new administration. "Yellow is the color of change, of hopefulness, of warmth and of good cheer," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Now some of you may be thinking current economy = doom and gloom so why aren't the colors brown, black, and maybe even red for the profit and loss reports. But those colors wouldn't translate to promoting products and we as consumers want to feel good. When I asked my 11 year old daughter to describe yellow her words were "summer, exciting, perky, cheerful, and happy." She's right on target.

So where will we see these colors? Of course they will appear in the fashion arena but also in home d├ęcor and graphic design. It will be interesting to see how the colors are infused into the products presented to us as consumers. But hey, if Mimosa makes everyone feel sunny, bright and reassured (like there's a bright yellow light at the end of the tunnel), then I'm all for it.


Fuchsia Red

hand knit lavender filled heart by "handmedowns" on etsy

Salmon Rose

Palace Blue

Lucite Green

Super Lemon

Dark Citron


Vibrant Green

Slate Gray

Rose Dust

(this beautiful hat is from Amy Hamilton's Spring/Summer 2009 collection)

So tell me what you you like these colors? Will you incorporate them into your closet or home and how? Click on comments and let me know.