Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Christmas in July Tree Shopping!!

Christmas in July sales are everywhere and I am in the market for a new tree.  We currently have a 12 foot Christmas tree for our family room and believe me, it is a monster!  I would like to downsize a bit to a 9 foot tree.  I have to tell you that I have been drooling over Balsam Hill trees for years!!  My household suffers from live Christmas tree allergies; therefore, we only have artificial trees at Still Woods Farmhouse!  In my mind, Balsam Hill is the leader in realistic, artificial trees.  They also have a great sale going on until July 31. Eeks!! That only gives me a few more days to make a decision.  By the way, I am not getting paid to endorse their products.  Balsam Hill doesn't have the slightest idea I exist!!  I'm just a fan of  beautiful, well lit, artificial Christmas trees! After much deliberation, I have narrowed my exhaustive search to a few trees.  Tell me what you think!

My top choice has been the Brewer Spruce.  I love the beautiful shape of this tree, especially the tips.  It looks like it was freshly cut in a forest.  A tree that is gorgeous without a single ornament must be a fabulous tree!  The Brewer Spruce is 69 inches in diameter for a 9 foot tree.  I also have the option of selecting clear and color lights combination.  I am a clear light girl, but my hubby loves the colors.  The ability to have both would be terrific!  The 9 foot tree with the clear/color combination has a light count of 2100 lights!  I love lights!!
(Photo Credit Balsam Hill: Brewer Spruce)
Another contender is Nordmann Fir.  According to Balsam Hill, the Nordmann Fir is regarded as the most prized Christmas tree in Europe.  The 9 foot tree is 66 inches in diameter while the 7 1/2 foot tree is 60 inches. This tree is packed with lights!  The 9 foot with the color/clear combination has 2300 lights.  I bet it is absolutely beautiful!
(Photo Credit Balsam Hill:  Nordmann Fir)
My Sweet Savannah blog used the Nordmann Fir in her bedroom.  Love the way she placed the tree in a basket!  I'll have to file that idea away for future decorating!
I also selected a few narrow choices.  The Silverado Slim is a beautiful tree!  A 9 foot tree is 50 inches in diameter has 4298 tips and 800 lights.  The slimmer profile would allow several options for placement in our home.
(Photo Credit:  Balsam Hill Silverado Slim)
Another narrow choice is the Norway Spruce.  The 9 foot tree is 57 inches in diameter and comes with the clear and color combination for lighting with a total of 1800 lights!  I really like the tips on this tree.
(Photo Credit by Balsam Hill: Norway Spruce)
Now if I could purchase TWO trees, I would love to purchase this tree just for my Reading Room.  I think it would be adorable tucked into a corner and decorated with miniature books!  The Cathedral Fir is 38 inches in diameter and has 700 lights for this slim tree.  Two trees are definitely not in my budget, so I will have to dream of this one until next year!
(Photo Credit Balsam Hill: Cathedral Fir)

I must admit that just blogging about my Christmas tree dilemma has helped me eliminate one of the trees on my list!  Now... if I can just make a final selection.  I can't wait to share my new Balsam Hill tree with your during my December Open House!  Which one do you like?  Merry Christmas in July!!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Laundry Room Make-Over

It was time.  Our laundry room needed a major re-do.  When we first moved in, I couldn't decide if I wanted cabinets installed at the top of the room.  As a temporary solution, we put in a long shelf for storage.  I made a toile curtain to cover the storage area and hide what I "stuck" up there. While it worked well, it also made the room appear top heavy.  Another obstacle was my grandmother's clothes press.  It seemed at home  in the laundry room, but it took up a lot of space.  So here is what my laundry room used to look like. I know...it's definitely cluttered.  In fact, I did an entire post about this crowded room...ugh!  Old Laundry Room
We also had the upper section of one of our china cabinets on top of the counter while the bottom of the china cabinet was moved upstairs to house DVD's.    The top of the cabinet was a great place for my collection of Christmas china.  It fit perfectly and I thought it was a pretty clever idea! The only problem was there was never enough room to fold clothes.
Needless to say, I couldn't stand it anymore.  My beloved clothes press seemed to be in the way, the toile curtain was oppressive and the top of my china cabinet was taking up too much room (and was missing its bottom).  So this is what I ended up with and I love it!
I shopped my own house for baskets and picked up a few at my favorite stores.  The baskets contain all the items that were loose on the shelf.  Now I know exactly where everything is located.  An added bonus!
I have room to fold clothes and still have space for little Luke Bailey's food.
We brought down the bottom to the china cabinet and put the two pieces back together.  They are happier that way!  The clothes press was moved to another location and the slimmer, Christmas china cabinet took it's place. I love seeing my collection of Nikko Christmastime Christmas china all year long!
I also tackled the storage drawers and organized every little inch of the place.  It's amazing how much room you have when you organize!
Lastly, decorating with the things I love makes this room a happy place to do laundry.  I still have my vintage laundry signs above the washer and dryer.  Other items in the room include this bottle of blueing which belonged to my paternal great-grandmother and the skirt hemming tool which belonged to my maternal grandmother.
Another favorite sign hangs above my farmhouse sink!
I bought the Mason jar and vintage iron at an antique store in a small, Amish town in Pennsylvania.  I collect loose pocket change in the Mason jar.  Maybe one day I'll have enough to buy a pair of shoes! The jug belonged to my maternal grandfather.
This sweet, little cross stitch sits on the china cabinet.  Love the saying...just wish there were more cool breezes blowing our way!  It's been awfully hot!
So, how does the new and improved laundry room look?  Here is a side by side comparison looking into the room.
I'm happy with the results.  I have one art project in the works for the laundry room and hopefully, I can share that with you later.

Blessings from Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Help! Kitchen Nightmare!

Our youngest son recently purchased his first home.  He has a "just starting out budget" and we knew improvements would be required.  Our son lives four hours north of here.  Since I am now officially retired, I am excited to be able to lend a helping hand.  Our son closed on his home a few days before his dad had knee replacement surgery.  We had one weekend to move him in and get as much done as possible prior to surgery!

With the help of a friend and her two daughters, we tackled the kitchen.  Pulling out previous shelf paper, giving every inch a thorough cleaning, putting in new shelf paper, and setting up the kitchen was my priority.   This mama wanted her boy to have a clean kitchen, clean bedroom, and clean master bath before heading home. Mission accomplished!  Now let's take a closer look at what updating is needed on a shoestring budget.

First thing my guys did was to take down the "faux whatever" above the counter to the left. Notice the lovely (not really) ceiling fixture in the kitchen.  There are two of them.  For now, we just cleaned them.
After the guys tore out the "faux whatever" in the kitchen, they went into the neighboring room and tackled the mess on the wall.  Before you knew it, all that was gone too! See that drink on the counter!  It was the real deal...sweet tea...very sweet tea!  The kind you can only find in the deep south.  I needed it!
In case you are wondering about the paint color, yes it really is tangerine!  This is a shot from the kitchen into the kitchen eating area. Please forgive me if you have tangerine on your walls.  It's just not the color choice for me and mine!
The formal dining room was also gifted with the lovely tangerine.  See that chair in the corner?  The previous owner left it for us.  I touched the arm and it fell off and then the other one fell off!  Now I know why he left it! 
Here is what I love about this house...it's almost everywhere.  Sadly, the white molding was painted brown. Soon it will be white again!
We were exhausted by about 6:30 pm Saturday night, so we headed to the local cafe for a yummy dinner.  I don't usually order meat, but this girl needed a good dose of protein! We were a mess too.  Thankfully, they serve great food and are non-judgmental about dirty appearances and cobwebs in your hair. 
Before we left on Sunday, my boy's kitchen looked a little better. I knew that every inch had been cleaned and given a dose of Mama Love!  
So what's on the agenda for moving this 1960's home into the present?  After trying out a few color choices, a paint has been selected.  Sherwin Williams Olympus White is slated for the walls.  It's a nice, soft grey which will brighten and freshen up his home. All the moldings are getting a nice, fresh coat of white paint.
We also know he wants a crisp, blue front door as opposed to the current dreary brown. I'm really liking this color from On Sutton Place.  My son's bricks are about the same color.  
As soon as my hubby, now known as Mr. New Knee, is able to function on his own, I am headed up to tackle the kitchen cabinets.  They were white at one time, but had been sanded down and varnished (not so well in some areas).  I would love to remove them and start over, but that is not in his budget.  So friends...this is where I need you!  What are your thoughts?  Have you tackled a kitchen cabinet make-over job?  Looking forward to hearing your great ideas!

Blessings from Fixer Upper Mama aka Lynda at Still Woods Farmhouse

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Yankee Doodle Dandy Table Decor!

Can you believe that it is already July?  Our June was jam packed with activities, a Disney vacation with our adult children...loved that...my retirement after 33.5 years...moving our youngest into his first home...and on Monday, my hubby became the proud owner of a new knee!  I have gone from being a psychometrist to a nurse in just a few days!  No matter what is going on, I am ready to set out the red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.  I am scaling down our decorations since it will be a quiet 4th, but patriotic table decor is a must. I can't have Mr. New Knee climbing on the upper roof hanging the bunting this year!  If you are looking for inspiration, here are a few ideas for your own table!

Let's start the tour with my home. I am using my Reading Room table for my tablescape.  It's a cozy setting and the dark navy walls add to the patriotic decor!  I have the table set for a scrumptious 4th of July breakfast.  Everything on the table I grabbed from around the house.

The table is set with red chargers, Pfaltzgraff Heritage white stoneware plates, Cape Cod blue glasses and plates and American Fostoria juice glasses (love those!).  We collect nutcrackers and Uncle Sam always shows up for the 4th of July.  Next on the tour are ideas I found on the trusty internet.

Pinterest abounds with ideas like this one.  Love the daises!
I want this red truck!  A Charming Affair has a delightful, rustic table set.  The red truck lends a nostalgic note to this adorable setting!
I love the blog Between Naps on the Porch.  She has a gift for setting a beautiful table.  This one is set with solids of red, white, and blue.  The tall lanterns also lend a patriotic flair and really make the setting cozy.
I love the entire setting in this photo from The Gathering of Friends.  The house and yard photograph beautifully.  Those red chairs really pop! Looks like a great place to entertain and watch fireworks.
Tampa Homebody has incorporated some of my favorite glassware into her table setting.  American Fostoria and blue Cape Cod glass make this a festive display.
Doesn't this make you want to pull up a chair?  The centerpiece is simple, but quite lovely.  I am crazy about checkered prints.  Super cute from Stone Gable!
This is just precious.  Croquet anyone?
An Accomplished Woman has combined polka dots, solids, and plaids for an adorable patriotic tablescape.
Isn't this centerpiece adorable?  The Style Sisters have incorporated a red trike into their centerpiece.
Hands up...who thinks this is a winner?  What a great way to decorate a table! I can imagine guests lingering over the decorations before picking up a plate and hitting the buffet line.
Not everyone will have patriotic dinnerware, but Between Naps on the Porch has a terrific set.  I like her attention to detail.
Here is another sweet table setting.  I like her use of transferware along with an interesting white under plate.
I hope I have given you a little inspiration for your own patriotic table setting. If you look around your home, you probably have wonderful pieces that can be incorporated into a patriotic tablescape. and without breaking the budget. The main thing is to enjoy family and friends and to thank God for His many blessings including our precious freedom.