Thursday, October 31, 2013


It's amazing how fast the weather changes. Only a month ago we were in the 70s and sunny every day. This week we wake up to snow and frost each morning. The frost and fog give the land a quiet, muted feeling. Covered in tiny crystals, the grass becomes the most amazing shade of minty green. It is beautiful, that's for sure, I'm just not ready for it. Another six months of summer would do just fine for me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sneak Peek

Just a small sneak peek at a few items coming to the shop this week...

48 star flag  / antique hand painted toy horse  / mid century swivel desk lamp  /  world globe  / bullet planter  / vintage children's book set  / handmade South American wool blanket

Friday, October 25, 2013

Putting the Garden to Bed + Happy 200th Post!

While I was in Boston for six days, winter descended on our tiny town in Vermont. Boston is a few weeks behind Vermont, and the foliage is still close to peak down there. I took the photo below from the parking lot of a grocery store, of all places. Fire red leaves against a bright blue sky get me every time.

Back home, the branches are bare and we woke up to a small flurry this morning.

And so we decided it was time to put the garden to bed today. The kale, swiss chard, pumpkins, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower are still going strong, but the tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, squash, pole beans, corn, basil, and morning glory covering the arbor have long since dried up. We pulled down twisted vines, cut wilted stems, removed tomato cages, and turned rotted fruit into the soil. Five heads of cauliflower and four sugar  pumpkins were cut from the stalks, and our brussel sprouts will also be harvested soon. We'll let the kale and swiss chard go as long as we possibly can.

We also finished laying the bluestone on the covered porch today and installed the railing. Sealing and grouting comes next. We are racing against winter at this point, as much of the work cannot be done in freezing temperatures because of optimal drying temps, etc. I will take some photos in the next few days to share.

Tomorrow we are off to the hardware store first thing to see about a wood plank facade for the foundation and ask some questions about the best way to waterproof and insulate the covered porch ceiling. So much still to do, but we are finally in the HOME STRETCH!

In other news, this is my 200th blog post! I wanted to thank you all for following along on our journey and leaving comments here and there along the way. Your kind words and encouragement make my day/week/year. This blog keeps me going in ways I don't often go into, so I wanted to stop for a moment and say thank you. The interactions that happen here make more of a difference to me than you probably know!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Todd Farm 10.20.13

Another perfect fall day at Todd Farm. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

I also liked this pretty little art deco cabinet from Anntiques. Ann had me promise to credit the piece!

The people at the flea interest me just as much than the antiques, but I have a hard time taking pictures of people without feeling like a creeper. I'm not yet skilled enough to get stealth photos that turn out well. I attempted a few today, and find myself wanting to get better at this type of photography. I'm drawn to the old guys in raggedy flannel with Santa beards. They seems like the real deal to me.

A few other randoms that caught my eye.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sturbridge Village

We are in Boston visiting Josh's family this weekend and yesterday we visited Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, MA. Sturbridge Village is a living history museum set on more than 200 acres of land, where folks in period garb make like it's the 1830s. Lots of butter churning, apple cider making, book binding by hand, blacksmithing, sawing wood with water powered blades, and the like. I am a sucker for anything old timey, so this place was right up my alley. I understand it's not of interest to everyone, so I won't be offended if you click this window closed right now.

Almost all of the buildings are original to the period, and many of them were painstakingly moved from various locations around Massachusetts to make up the little town. The stone blacksmith shop was of particular interest, as it was completely disassembled, stone by stone, then rebuilt at the village.

And now without further ado, let's step back to 1830...

The pottery studio

The giant kiln used for firing the pottery.

Handmade shoes in the cobbler's shop.

An old barn.

And I will leave you with the lovely little pond.

Tomorrow I am off to Todd Farm and then will stay in Boston for a few days to thrift and take care of a few errands. I'll be back tomorrow with photos from Todd Farm. Until then!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Latest + A Question

Lately we've been doing a lot of winter prep around the house. A family is building a home up our road, and when the electric company came to run power lines to their house a number of our trees had to come down to make way for them. We decided to take advantage of the downed trees and split them for our winter cord wood. The largest tree was an Ash, which can be burned immediately without seasoning. In the end our downed ash and birch trees produced about 4-5 cords, which will heat our house and barn workshop through most of the winter after a lot of sawing, splitting, and stacking.

We are also rushing to finish the covered porch before winter. Yesterday Josh built railing sections to install along the edge of the porch and today I gave them a few coats of paint. Below, one of the unpainted sections is propped up for critique. We will install the painted railings after the bluestone has been installed on that part of the porch (hopefully tomorrow).

Our goal for tomorrow is to finish the bluestone on the top of the cement slab and if there's time install the railings. The doors will also go back on.

Question for you all ---

We have been going back and forth on what to do for the concrete block foundation on the front side of the house. It's ugly and needs to be addressed, that's for sure, but the process for adding bluestone to it as a facade is complicated by the fact that the concrete pours over on the top of the blocks (see image above showing the railing on the porch), making the surface very uneven. We would need to do some kind of parging to even out the surface before we could apply the bluestone, and as neither one of us has done plaster work before, let alone the bluestone as a veneer, so we are unsure whether attempting it on our own will be a huge mistake. Hiring someone to do it for us is a very last resort.

And so my question is this: Does anyone know of good options for covering a concrete block foundation that has an uneven surface? I've considered painting (not drastic enough), covering it with a lattice, parging then painting, and parging then adding the bluestone veneer. As info, the section is just along the front side of the house and about 20' long x 7" tall at the shortest end and 14" tall at the other. The fact that it is not the same height all the way across makes it more tricky. I guess we could dig out the lower side or have more gravel dumped on the higher side to even it out, but I am trying to avoid additional projects like this because Josh's head will explode. Anyone ever dealt with this type of foundation successfully? Any tips are appreciated!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Putney School Harvest Festival

Today Josh, the dogs, and I traveled to Putney, VT to visit with family friends at The Putney School's annual Harvest Festival. My jaw was on the floor once we got to the place. The Putney School is  a progressive high school set atop a beautiful hill overlooking a valley. Among other things, the school focuses on applied work and the arts, and the art studios there are like something out of my dreams. Our friend snuck me off to peek into a few of the studios while the fair was going on, and I got to tour the weaving, metalwork, screen printing, ceramics, and woodworking spaces. Most students live on campus, and the buildings run the gamut from charming old barns to a state of the art, eco friendly fitness center. There's a real juxtaposition of old and new, innovative and traditional. Below are a few shots from the day (and there was so much more I didn't get to see).

Long range views from the campus.

The school uses solar power energy, and the panels sit in a field adjacent to the campus where cows, alpaca, and sheep graze.

The school has a lovely pond and working barn where livestock are housed.

The wood carving and metal working studio.

Student wood and metal work.

The painting and screen printing studio.

And last but not least, the weaving studio (btw, I've been talking to my teacher about resuming my weaving classes now that the wedding is over. I took a break for a few months to focus on getting our remodel done before the wedding).

The students were out and about showcasing farm animals, playing fiddle music, square dancing, and serving delicious food, some of it grown on campus. The place is like some kind of made up magical fairyland for granola crunchy artsy types (and I mean that in the best way possible).

The last building we saw before leaving was the gallery and performing art center. Hundreds of people were gathered inside signing along with an orchestra as they faced a giant window overlooking a gorgeous long range view. I wasn't able to go in for the signing because I had to stay with the dogs outside, but I did get a quick peek at the school's gallery space.

How many high schools do you know of with gallery space like that? This place actually made me wish I could go back to high school and do it all over again, and that is something I thought I'd never say. If only they had a place like this for adults...