Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's almost time!

please note: the shop will be closed Wednesday November 11 and during the day on Thursday November 12 while the elves work their magic! We will open at 6pm Thursday evening.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What are YOU collecting and what makes your heart go "pitter patter"?

We all know Lauri from 2Chippys squeals when she finds another butter pat. I think her count is near 260! I would LOVE to hear what you all collect, search high and low for or get crazy giddy over. In other words, what makes you squeal like a little girl when you find it? Currently (and this could change tomorrow as I am so easily distracted by something pretty!) I search for Victorian, monogrammed, silver-plated napkin rings, souvenir shell napkin rings, and ironstone plates and cups. My dear husband is so very thankful I am now a recovering cupboard addict. (We have 6 in our humble little abode - with one almost 8 feet wide)

Knowing people find beauty and joy in simple items of days gone by makes me smile. No matter the price tag, most of mine are in the $10 and under category, each of these finds has had a life and could tell a story. By bringing them into our homes and lives we become their guardians and another chapter of that rich history. These treasures are truly priceless.

So here are a few of the latest additions to my collections....and one particular item, recently acquired, that sends my heart racing! I'll save that picture for last.

Two hand painted napkin rings, one from "Thousand Islands" and one from "Niagara Falls"

Not a napkin ring but I just couldn't resist! A darling souvenir purse made out of a shell! Complete with clasp, hinge and chain. I "discovered" this gem at fellow shop owner Rosie Ullman's French Cottage Antiques in Delaware, Ohio.

Two mini ironstone cup and saucer sets I found in Linda's tent (Willow Nest) at the Country Living Fair last month. Darling as they are, more delicious was the conversation with this kind and creative soul! Oh to have more time with this wonderful woman!

Now this one is nothing I collect. I only have one other and it was made for me personally. During summer vacations on a lake in Canada I spent many an hour barefoot and knee deep in the swamp not far from our cabin. Yes, I said swamp, complete with leeches, but it was so full of frogs! Glorious frogs in all shapes and sizes! From small quick ones to huge ones with bulging bellies worthy of being entered in the celebrated Calaveras County Contest. Catching them and making new homes for them out of moss and mushrooms (redecorating even then) occupied several hours a day. One summer our neighbors in the next cabin admired my frog catching ability and began to ask me for buckets of them, offering to buy them. I declined the money, thinking they were frog admirers too and that they just weren't quick enough to catch them. I was totally focused on the fact that someone noticed and appreciated my lightening fast reflexes. I gladly obliged...never considering the fate of those poor frogs. When we were packing the car to head home they presented me with a tree fungus much like the one below. They had used a wood burner tool and "etched" into the face "Lisa, World's Best Frog Catcher". It still makes me feel guilty. So, for some unexplainable reason, when I stumbled on this one I wanted it. I have never seen another besides my "trophy" one. This new one is a tad older than my circa 1977 fungus. The one below is dated June 29, 1898.

And current favorite and a return to my cupboard fetish. Only this time it's just the front of a cupboard (husband nervously smiles wondering if he is going to have to build something). But she is gorgeous enough and can certainly hold her own. Eventually she will make her way into the store, everything does. Right now she is leaning up in the corner ("Nobody puts Baby in the corner!"). Once we get our living room repainted she will hang proudly on a wall surrounded by my collection of mirrors from the 1920's (add those to the list of things I collect!). So here she is...a five foot tall 1889 European, folk-art decorated, built-in wall cabinet face. I am going to have to come up with something to put on the wall behind that little door!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Les Confitures à l’Ancienne (huh?)

It seems no matter what you say with a French accent it sounds good right? Well translate the above to English and it's just as good..."The jams of the old one". They are a new item I will be carrying for the holidays. When gearing up for a season opener (holiday open house) lots of products (new, vintage & antique finds)are squirreled away until the "big reveal" night. Oh but ladies and gents, I cannot contain my excitement for these delicious finds and there's no way I can bring myself to hold them until the November 12th weekend! I am a foodie to the core and these are oh so yummy! All natural, old fashioned French jams, cooked in copper basins with whole selected fruits, cane sugar and lemon juice. Coco Passion, Pear Vanilla, Red Currant Raspberry and Chestnut Cream just to name a few.

After watching my daughter in the marching band this evening (poor the POURING rain) we came home wanting to dry off and warm up quickly! Mugs of hot spiced cider and plates of crusty, buttery toast would have done the trick...but...a slathering of chestnut cream jam topped with delicate slices of brie would do the job even better, and did it ever! A decadent treat on a rainy Friday evening. Can't wait for morning coffee and dressed up English muffins!

Lots of other goodies arrived this week too like cranberries cooked in wine, perfect served with roasts or hearty winter fare, pumpkin cake, cranberry orange bread mix and the BEST cider mulling spices. Stop in for a sample and take home a bag full! Perfect for watching the game whether in the "shoe" or on your couch. Also, 20% off all Halloween goods is going on now!! What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thornville Lions' 35th Annual Country Fair

urban farmhouse will be open this Sunday, October 18th from 11AM - 5PM during the Thornville Lions' 35th Annual Country Fair in the streets. Over 150 exhibitors of primitives, crafts and food will be on hand for you to enjoy. All fees and proceeds raised by the Lions go to their extraordinary charity efforts. Admission is free! Looks like it is going to be a beautiful day, hope you join us! (Rain date Oct. 25th)

Friday, October 9, 2009

No insignificant moments...

As you probably have noticed I don't post much here in the way of personal stuff. This blog's purpose is to keep those interested in urban farmhouse informed of new/old goods and events we are involved in. However, our community lost a giant, a young giant, in a very tragic way and the following, written by my husband, needs to be shared.

~*~*Above is Gabrielle and friend Tyler...Gabrielle passed away last week as a result of a car accident. Please include her parents, sister and brothers in your prayers.~*~*

No Insignificant Moments - Perry Maughmer

I was listening to Jim Tressel’s weekly press conference last week when they asked him his thoughts on the Stafon Johnson incident earlier in the week. The young man had been involved in a freak accident in the weight room and had dropped 275 pounds on his throat while bench pressing. Thankfully, he is projected to make a full recovery. Well, Coach Tressel thought for a moment and then said the most profound thing I had heard in some time, “It shows us that there are no insignificant moments.” I was glad (and not at all surprised) that Coach Tressel had taken this opportunity to expand the conversation far beyond football. He turned the conversation into one about all of us and shared something we all can and should think about.

I am also quite certain this hit me a bit harder due to an event that had happened that same week in my small corner of the world. A young lady who had graduated in 2008 from the high school my kids attend had lost her life in a car accident. She was life-flighted to the hospital where they operated for her internal injuries but the injuries to her head were too severe and it was determined that she would never recover. The family prayed and determined that if it was God’s will for the young lady to survive, she would do so without the aid of machines. They also honored her wishes to be an organ/tissue donor and she gave the gift of life to 8 people that day. We returned tonight from calling hours and I was touched by the number of people standing in line to offer their condolences to the family and to each other. The most profound scenes were the young people consoling each other, sharing stories, and trying to laugh through their tears. This young woman touched so many people with her smile and uplifting outlook on live. She most definitely added to anyone’s life she came in contact with. A counselor from her college said she had the kind of smile that made you smile back.

I read somewhere once that human beings cannot recall pain after the event. We can remember that it did not feel good but we cannot recall the intense agony that accompanies a sprained ankle, broken finger, or a broken heart. This is obviously a good thing because if we could, we might limit ourselves to only those things that are safe and that would be a miserable life.

The one thing we can do is make sure that we do not allow “stuff” to get in the way of our lives. We can’t become so pre-occupied with bills, appointments, work, etc. that we forget that the quality of our lives will be directly proportional to the quality of our relationships. As I write this, I could provide a very personal example of how worries about finances and my job search have adversely affected my relationship with my wife. I have allowed my focus to move away from continuing to nurture my relationship with the lovely woman I have shared the last 19 years with to fault-finding and nit-picking about insignificant issues.

We cannot allow this to happen. There is a friend of mine that has shared the following story in our men’s group. He was talking to his dad on the phone one evening about selling some raffle tickets and closed the conversation with “I’ll talk to you about it tomorrow.” Those were the last words he said to his dad as his father died of a heart attack during the night. I am not proposing that we treat every moment as if it were our last as that would not be practical. I am asking you all to think about how you do things more so than what you do. To put it simply – where ever you are, be all there. Honor those you're with by giving them your full attention and really engaging. Make each person feel like they are the only person in the room. Isn’t that the least we can do?

Remember, what may seem unimportant to you may mean the world to someone else.

-Perry Maughmer
(((((Give the gift of life, 8 very grateful people and their families know Gabrielle was a giant, a hero in life and in death.)))))

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hallow's Eve is fast approaching!

Peek inside for some hauntingly good finds!
A new addition and making many new fans this spooky season...the majestic IllumiNoir Halloween candle. Sleek and lavishly fragranced, it is filled to the brim with a premium soy blend wax and the highest concentration of fragrance available. IllumiNoir candle is housed in a stylish matte black glass container and is creatively presented in an elegant box with a clever magnetic seal. The box is topped off with a perfect holiday scene of buzzards in front of a shiny moon...where darkness falls and danger looms.

I am loving these newsprint wood signs with hauntingly good Halloween salutations scrawled stylishly across them. They pair perfectly with our hobnail mercury glass compotes...elegant spookiness indeed.
White wax jack o'lanterns inspired by the 1950 versions from the Gurley Company. Ours complete with a battery operated t-lite.

Hands down an absolute customer favorite! Our spooky tree bottle light candle! Looks great while burning and smells even mulled cider, yum!

Strand after strand of flying black lace bats complete one of the haunted windows. What fun hanging from a tree in your yard with a strobe light during trick or treat or maybe a curtain of them for your party guests to walk through or even a colony of bats flying (draped) around your chandeliers?
How many ghosts can you feed at a 12 foot table? None! Ghosts don't eat! But you can feed 14 hungry guests who just returned from trick or treating (and what about those upcoming holiday feasts?).
My lovely parchment roses, what were so beautiful with the sea fans and player piano music paper at Country Living. But now, you are "Drop Dead Gorgeous" in these ghastly gray urns with dripping moss accents. How dreadful!
Looks like heads have rolled

White sheet like things floated, they looked just like ghosts
But the skeleton with bones clacking, it scared me the most
Down to my last 4! Better hurry in if you want one of these gothic looking black wax skull candles.
"The angry owls and their piercing eyes perched high in the leaf bare trees, the gaze following me all the while. Then suddenly through the mist filled air, a shape appeared with long gray hair."
Of course it's not all Halloween, there is the autumnal season to celebrate. Apple stems, hydrangea & acorn arrangements and our 3 fabulous Farmhouse teas to warm you up on those chilly mornings and evenings.

Our Heirloom Pumpkin candles in a beautiful bronzed leaf bowl.

My absolute favorite piece in the shop right now! I love this and will hate to see it leave but I don't think I will get to enjoy it very long. Two customers have already measured it for spots in their homes (count me and that's three :-)!
urban wire crows nesting in these lichen branches
One of my beloved fall favorites, the Cinderella Pumpkin or ‘Rouge Vif d’Etampes’ is a beautiful French heirloom pumpkin. It first became available in the U.S. in 1883. The Rouge Vif d' Etampes has a thick, sweet flesh that is moist and custard like. They are beautifully piled in this 1930's European baby bathtub.
But what would Halloween be without the famous Haunted photos? Add to your collection or start one today.
Did that picture just move?
And so much more...there always is!