Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Feed sacks from the old country store...

There is something about this time of year that brings out my love of family, home and...the country. Maybe it comes from living in Washington DC and Atlanta after growing up here and moving away. Whatever it is, the mountains of North Carolina are home and always will be.

My grandparents owned a country store. In fact, my great grandfather first operated the store in the early 1900s. He came from Virginia after hearing about how beautiful the area was.

Balfour and Betsy Edwards Farwell

David T. Knight was an educated man and had married one of the finest ladies in Danville VA, Miss Emma Evelyn Edwards, a first cousin to the Langhorne sisters, one of whom became Lady Nancy Astor.  They settled in here in Balsam, NC.

The store was a source of income for my great grandmother when her husband passed away at a young age. She was a school teacher, so her sister and brother-in-law ran the store for her.

George Knight

It eventually passed to my grandfather, then to my uncle. It has been closed for years and stands untouched.

In the 1990s my grandmother made a little sachet of Balsam pine needles for me fashioned after a feed sack. I kept it all these years because she made it and it still smells so good...

Naturally the fascination people have for feed sacks would rub off on me eventually, but I wanted to use them in a more personal way. Luckily, my grandfather was very fastidious. He took his feed sacks and folded them very carefully and stored them in a large can in the old smokehouse. My father pulled them out some time ago, and I knew I had to do something with them. I just wasn't sure what! I was finally inspired to make a table runner out of a couple of them and set a table that reminds me of the old store. Now, my grandmothers would roll over in their graves if they thought a feed sack was on the table, but I love how they turned out. I think my grandmother would smile too because she was always taking something others would throw away and making something beautiful out of it.

I put two feed sacks running in the opposite direction so the print would go toward each end. I added some yardage on each end with a ruffle to give it a feminine touch.

I used Mikasa "Italian Countryside" dinner plates, Hull "Brown Drip" vintage luncheon plates, and a red salad plate. I used vintage "Old Williamsburg" Imperial Glass goblets in amber along with my "Italian Countryside" flatware. 

The napkins are the same ones I used last week that I made from the check fabric. They are so durable for everyday and I love the country look!

I love the colors in these sacks and there were several matching ones. I soaked them in vinegar before washing to keep the colors from fading as they are meant to be bleached white.

My mother let me borrow this enamel coffee pot when our power was out so much. I love it and I hope she forgets I have it. 

If you have visited me much, you know I have an affection for...weeds. This time of year they are just abundant with vibrant color, and I couldn't pass these up! Love them in the vintage brown and cream pitcher.

I also discovered this old coffee can in the smokehouse. Naturally, I asked my dad for it. My mother does not know I have it yet.

What actually inspired all this country flavor was the corner cabinet my husband is making for me. We have been working on it for two years, and we have gotten it this far. It still needs doors, though. In the meantime I am using it for much needed storage. I really wanted that country store feel so I got out my brown and cream pottery, some old photos and some things that might have been used in an old store.

The photo below is of my great grandmother when she was a "May Queen" at Trinity College, which is now Duke University.

I love this rooster cookie jar...

The trim on the cabinet was in my grandparent's house. We are using several pieces of it to finish this cabinet as I love recycling and repurposing old things.

I hope you enjoyed my country store table with the feed sack runner! What a fun way to remember the past but bring it into the present. Are there things in your house that remind you of loved ones and family members? I encourage you to get them out and use them. There is nothing so comforting as using something that you know generations of your family has used. I know it makes me feel like I'm safe at home.

I will be joining "Tablescape Thursday" at BNOTP


Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
 so be sure to go by there. 

Thank you so much for visiting!! I have enjoyed so much the wonderful comments from my outdoor post yesterday, and I cannot wait to get around and visit everyone! 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When the Frost is on the Punkin and more...

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"
James Whitcomb Riley 1853–1916

When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,  
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,  
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,  
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;  
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,         
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,  
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,  
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.  

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere  
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—  
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,  
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;  
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze  
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days  
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—  
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,  
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;  
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still  
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;  
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;  
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—  
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,  
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps   
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;  
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through  
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...  
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be  
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—   
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—  
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

That is one of my favorite poems from childhood. My grandmother gave me a book of poetry that I read until the cover was worn off. I always think of this one in Fall, and it brings back so many wonderful memories of autumn past. sigh:-)

Now on to the porch...I was "inspired" you could say, by an episode of "Curb Appeal" to put some color on my porch. My husband thought I was crazy, and you might also. He actually loves it now, my mother--not so much.

By the way, the sign was on my great grandfather's house here when he bought the property in the early 1900s. My father let me have it. My mother has not noticed that I have it yet. I sprayed a coat of marine varnish on it to keep it from weathering. It's been hanging outside, though, for 100 years.

Yes...I did it. Red barn and fence paint on the french doors and the post trim. It looked great on the house on Curb Appeal so I wanted to try it. I really get tired of white. 

We decided to do the mullions black, and that I really like. I'm thinking the trim needs to be black too, but not sure about that.

I bought this wreath years ago at a local nursery and decor shop, Savannah Farms. I really love it! I bought several of their Christmas items and they hold up so well year after year. 

We also did this door, which is technically the front door, but we use the french doors more often.

Well, we are loving it and it is definitely different! We would like to replace the railings with black iron, and hope to someday actually add a great room here, so all this would go eventually. However, in this economy, I'm only dreaming of a new great room:-)

Thanks for stopping by!! I hope you are enjoying beautiful Fall weather like we are here in Western North Carolina. The children and I had so much fun gathering all the corn stalks from my parent's garden and dressing them up! This is my favorite time of year, so I try to soak up every moment of it. It is gone all too soon.


I'll be joining:

Outdoor Wednesdays


 Wow Us Wednesdays


Vintage Inspiration Fridays

so be sure to stop by!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Roosters for Fall!

Finally, a new post:-) First, a big thanks to all of you who listened to the first single from our soon to be released EP of Christian music! I was really blessed by the comments and emails I received. We are finishing the very last song, so it should all be up on itunes within a few weeks. There is lots of variety--everything from R&B gospel to acoustic piano/vocal, so we hope you will check it out!

On to the new roosters! I searched and searched for some square rooster plates to use with these square rattan chargers I love so much. I also wanted something I could use with the Mikasa "Brava Rooster" I already have. I finally decided on these  Geoffrey Allen "Lille Rooster" plates by Certified International, and I could not be happier!! I bought them from CSN (Wayfair), 4 dinner plates for $33! You cannot beat that!

You can see I have made a few changes in here, which I will blog about later...

I made a creamy matelasse runner, which I just love and used hydrangeas from the garden in my 100-year-old basket.

The rooster salt and pepper belonged to my grandmother.

I love how these plates go so nicely with my Mikasa "Brava Rooster" mugs. I can also use the matching salad plates and bowls.

I stumbled on this fabric at a local fabric store and it has been fabulous for everyday napkins. It does not wrinkle, and the texture is just perfect for a napkin. These are the same bamboo napkin rings I use for everyday from BBB.

These pumpkins were the most awful shade of orange and brown ever, so I painted them a creamy white and used green and brown for some detail. I just love how they turned out!

These plates come in blue...



and green.

I desperately want to paint these doors black or really dark brown. What do you think?? The white is just looking so unfinished to me.

I love these plates, and so does my husband. You never know what they will like:-) They are still available on the CSN, now Wayfair, website so go over and pick some up!

I'll be linking up with Susan's "Tablescape Thursday" at BNOTP so go by there and see some beautiful tablescapes!

Thanks SO much for stopping by:-) I have enjoyed getting around to all of you who have left comments, and I'm almost caught up. See you soon!!