Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Strawberry Cross Stitch

I just finished this primitive strawberry cross stitch. You can find it listed on Etsy in my sidebar menu or by visiting my website

Apron Giveaway Reminder

Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter the apron giveaway.  The winner will be randomly pick and it will be announced tomorrow! Good Luck to everyone who is already entered.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Room Makeover

As many of you know, my Granddaughter is living with me and as she’s growing we need more space for her. I never planned on raising another child at this stage of my life, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 40 some years is that you can always expect the unexpected. Hailie is a wonderful gift and blessing from God and we all love her very much :) Sometimes the unexpected gifts in life are the greatest treasures.

She is eight months old now and has been sleeping with me in my bed since November. I didn’t have any other place to put her so she got the big comfy bed with Grandma while Grandpa slept on the couch. She’s very lucky to have such an understanding Grandpa!  But now that she’s moving around in her sleep more, I’m terrified she’ll move right off the side of the bed. So it’s time for her own room!

Our house is small and there are only 2 bedrooms. One for my daughter and one for us. When my oldest daughter lived with us, the girls shared a room but she is living on her own now.

The only option we have for a room for baby is to makeover the laundry room.
Here are a few photos of the process. It’s a tiny room but it does the trick. Now I just need to get her to sleep in it! That’s a whole other project in itself. This morning was the first try – her 9 am nap and she did NOT like it! She fell asleep at 10 and only napped 20 minutes.  I can see this will be more work than the makeover…LOL

Before photo – after we removed the washer and dryer.
Needs a lot of work and patches to the wall where the vent and hook-ups were.
Applying the paintable wallpaper bead board – Martha Stewart line purchased at Home Depot. So easy to install!
My youngest daughter painting the wallpaper
I chose a gold/mustard color for the paintable wallpaper border. This stuff is amazing and so easy to use.
Border on. New baseboards stained a deep walnut and put in place.
Not much room but at least she has a bed now.
This is a photo of it all closed up as we didn’t have enough room to add new walls. The folding shutter doors are under the curtains. I hope that with the doors and thermal curtains that it will help muffle some of the household noises while she sleeps.
Not a perfect solution but a solution none the less – at least until we can afford a bigger place.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lasagna for fussy eaters!

I hate to admit it but I’m the fussy eater in my family. Always have been and probably always will be. One of my goals is to try new foods this year. I haven’t yet, but the year has just begun right?

Here is my own recipe that I modified by omitting all the things I didn’t like from the recipe it was based on. I’ve made it this way for years and always get compliments on it. It’s your basic noodle, cheese, and meat sauce lasagna.



1 package of lasagna noodles
1-2 lbs lean ground beef (depending on how much meat you like)
1 large block mozzarella cheese
1 medium jar Prego spaghetti sauce

Boil noodles in large pot. Brown ground beef in skillet then add spaghetti sauce and simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.  Meanwhile, slice cheese and set aside. Drain noodles and rinse in cold water. In large lasagna pan, add a layer of noodles so bottom of pan is covered. Spread a layer of meat on noodles and top with cheese. Repeat for as many layers as you want. I usually use 15 noodles and that gives me 3 layers. Cover with foil and bake in 350 oven for 20 –30 minutes.

Serves 6-8

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Farmhouse Utensil Rack

I’m slowly adding more and more primitive pieces to my home. I’m transforming from country to primitive decor one piece at a time so my family doesn’t freak out. When I was making this last night, my daughter said “Mom, you’re making our house look old!” and although I didn’t say it out loud, I was thinking “And that’s a bad thing?” LOL

Actually she’s been pretty supportive and helps me a lot. Hubby doesn’t seem to mind so much either and Grandbaby just likes watching me work.

I was tired of looking at the shiny silver utensil rack by my stove so yesterday I did something about it. Daughter, Grandbaby, and I headed off to Home Depot and purchased a 1x4x6’ pine board. I had the other supplies I needed at home already. The board cost $8.46 – Wow, wouldn’t want to build a home out of this stuff! LOL

I cut the board to the desired length, painted it black, sanded it and primmed it up, then sealed it with a couple of coats of varnish.  I added some old nails that were removed from a 100 year old barn in Kentucky. I think it’s so much better now!

Notice the antique muffin tin hanging on the wall? – it’s from 1912 and was a wedding gift to a young bride.  I bet the muffins tasted so yummy cooked in an old wood stove. Items like this are incredible to me – I wish I knew the history behind every piece I have collected so far. Whenever I’m at a sale of any type – yard, garage, estate, auction, etc... I always ask if the seller knows anything about the history of the item and I keep track of it so when I hand it down some day it will be complete with it’s own unique story.

Here is the Before rack…


and here is the after rack…


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Apron Giveaway!

This is my very first giveaway. I worked late last night to finish it up and I hope you will all think it worthy of a giveaway.  I chose a nice blue spring color and the pocket is a floral print in the same shade of blue.  I’ve added 2 blue decorative wooden buttons too!


There are 2 ways to enter – 1 is easy as pie and the other you’ll have to work for a bit :)

1. Become a follower of this blog. If you already are,  you’re already entered. This gives you one chance.

2. Leave a comment with a handy hint, tip, or trick for country living. This can be anything from gardening, cooking, decorating, crafting, etc…something that can help all of us that are living the country lifestyle and loving it! Please remember to leave your contact info too! After the winner is chosen, I will compile a list of the handy tips and add it to my blog for all to use. By submitting a tip and entering this giveaway you give permission for your hint, tip, or trick to be used on this blog.  This gives you one chance.

A Random Number Generator will select the winner Wednesday March 31st and the lucky winner will be announced April 1st.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Primitive Pantry Towels

I’ve listed a couple of Pantry Towels on my website and Etsy. I’ll be listing more in many different prints and colors over the next few days. I don’t know about you but I can never have enough towels!

towel1   towel2

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Helper & Happy Spring To ALL!

I was working on my latest makeover project last night and  asked my youngest daughter if she wanted to help by painting a star on the peg rack for me. She said sure and asked if she could paint on an emo star. She’s recently been drawing more lately- especially stars and star balls so I knew what she meant by emo star.

She was worried about making a mistake on it and I quickly assured her that even if she did, it wouldn’t matter as it was primitive and primitive items have all kinds of “oopsies” and “oh no’s” on them ….it’s what gives them character. While she was painting  I asked if I could take a photo for my blog thinking I would get the same response as always…NO WAY! I hate having my picture taken. – She’s exactly like me in that sense. But instead of the response I was waiting for, she surprised me with a yes! She even put the phone down so I could take the photo! Who knows, maybe she’ll catch the creative bug by helping me out here and there and whether we call them barn, primitive, or emo stars, I call it a great opportunity for bonding with my teenager.
Here’s the finished product. I think she did an amazing job!

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Waltons

I love the TV show The Waltons. I have all seasons on DVD. All 9 seasons + the very first pilot episode – The Homecoming and also the new special Reunion episodes DVD.


My oldest daughter had no interest in watching them – she found them boring and old fashioned. I’m thankful that my youngest, who will be 16 next month, has enjoyed watching them with me. I’ve seen all seasons by myself at least twice and I believe we’re on the 7th season of watching them together. I’ve even put on an episode when my Granddaughter and I are in the living room in hopes that someday she will take an interest in it as well. So far she just likes the music and looks to the TV when Elizabeth talks.

I remember waiting all week long for it to come on TV when I was a little girl. I loved it then and still do. Of course when I was little I think I loved it because of the large family and now I love the values and the lessons that every episode teaches. I also love the house with it’s wonderful front porch!


The children had respect for their parents, elders and each other. They understood the value of hard work and if they wanted something they had no choice but to work hard for it. Although it was based on life during The Great Depression, they had enough food, a warm house, and each other to see them through.

My parents lived through the Great Depression – they were little but still remember it and recall how tough it was on their parents. I asked my Mother one time about how the Waltons had electricity and indoor plumbing in their house when most people didn’t. She said “The Walton's would have been considered well off during The Depression.”

It’s a goal of mine to visit Schuyler VA which is the hometown of Earl Hamner who is the author of The Waltons and is portrayed as John-boy in the series.

Here is a link about Schuyler

In the meantime, I’ll continue putting it on TV while Hailie and I are playing, in hopes that she will find it interesting some day and enjoy a good quality family show instead of the um….*crap* that is put on TV for our children today.

Anyone else have a favorite TV show from the past?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lucky Day!

It’s been a good day for me so far. I was the lucky winner of the giveaway over at Old Glory’s new blog. I won the signed copy of The Settlement by Jill Peterson! I can’t wait to get it! It ‘s the first giveaway I’ve entered. I’m gonna have to set aside at least an hour for myself to peruse it. Wooooooohooooooooo!!!


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Monday, March 15, 2010

Cobwebs and Dust Bunnies

It’s that time of year again when the sunlight peeks through the windows lighting up the house, filling it with warmth, and revealing all the cobwebs that have collected over the winter. I’ve always wondered how that happens when spiders are supposed to be in hibernation. Of course with the mild winter we had, they could be as confused as I am but none of that mattered today – I was on a mission!

I grabbed my trusty broom, ready  to tackle the ceilings and corners to rid them of the webs and if you’re anything like me, one simple job has a way of turning into a whole cleaning project. It all started like this…I had to get a ladder in a certain corner and to put it in the spot I needed, I had to move a few items on the floor. That’s when the dust bunnies appeared. Now, the dust bunnies I can understand. I have an actual lop eared bunny that lives in our home and he sheds, so the dust bunnies that appear behind furniture, on baseboards etc…are actual balls of real bunny hair. Hmmm…I wonder if there’s a market for that? Would anyone buy a REAL dust bunny???  So after getting rid of the cobwebs, the dust bunnies had to go too.  Then the floor needed to be swept and mopped. The shelves needed to be organized and dusted – bunnies up there too??? Winter coats, skates, hockey sticks,  mittens, hats, boots, all had to be moved to storage in the basement…I’m sure you get the idea.

4 hours later I’m able to sit down and take a break. The room is clean, the cobwebs are gone, but I still have one huge dust bunny that I’ll have to live with.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Makeover time

If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would love the look of painted wood, I would have told them to go jump in the lake! Lake Nipissing to be exact – it’s just down the road from me.  All wood needs to be stained. There’s no other way.

Well, times are changing and so are my tastes. I’m starting to really like the look of the distressed painted wood and now have several items in my home. My decor is slowing changing from country to primitive. I say slowly because there aren’t too many primitive shops where I live. I do most of my primitive shopping online and it can get expensive when you add in the shipping charges.

In 2007, we took a road trip to Georgia to visit  hubby’s family for Thanksgiving. We made a lot of detours to places I wanted to see too. I even got to spend one night in the heart of Charleston’s Historic district.  I plan to win the lottery and live in one of those 300 year old houses that survived the Civil War, earthquakes and hurricanes.  If those walls could talk! 


Anyway, on the way back from Georgia, we took the scenic route so I could visit the Ohio Amish area – something I’ve always wanted to do. I love everything Amish. I have a great admiration for them and the way they choose to  live. More on that later though :)


There were so many wonderful shops in Ohio but this one was exactly what I wish we had more of up here. When I walked in I almost fell over – I grabbed a wall for balance. Everything I had seen online, in catalogues,  wished for, dreamed about, drooled over, was in this store. Hubby and daughter said my eyes were like saucers. I was the proverbial deer in the headlights.


We got there on a Saturday night 15 minutes before closing and it was closed on Sunday as most businesses are in Amish areas. I was like a kid in a candy store I tell ya! I was running around grabbing up everything I could hold and filling up the arms of dear daughter and hubby! They were laughing at me and kept asking where we would put all of it. Our car was full inside and we were lucky to get the trunk closed from all our luggage and treasures we had already purchased along the way. Oh how I wish I could go back to that little store with a huge U-Haul truck! If someone had the money to open a bunch of stores like this all over Canada, they’d make a fortune.

Wow,I didn’t mean to get so off track. I stopped at Value Village the other day looking for treasures and found some. I have been looking for a long time for a set of wooden bowls to paint. I didn’t find any…I found wooden plates. Just as good and the price was even better…..50 cents a piece. Here are the before and after shots and I must admit they look better than if I had just simply stained them.



Now I just need one of those gorgeous bowl racks! Time for another road trip to Ohio I think :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Great Giveaway at Old Glory’s new blog

Win a signed copy of The Settlement by Jill Peterson! Click on the photo to go to their site and enter.

YAY! My very first follower! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I was beginning to think I was talking to myself on here too! You see,I do that at home… a lot. Daughter thinks I’m crazy. Grandbaby just smiles and babbles along with me.

Note to new follower – please don’t let this post scare you away.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A couple of primitive pillows - She looks well to the ways of her household & Winter Blessings

I love pillows, bowl fillers, ornies – whatever you’d like to call them! I have them tucked in bowls, baskets, shelves, and just about every nook and cranny in my home. I enjoy making them almost as much as displaying them :)

To purchase visit my website or Etsy.


To purchase visit my website or Etsy.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

First words, a wild hair-do and a toothy grin!

Her first words were uttered last night as she waved goodbye to my parents. We all couldn't believe it but she kept saying it over and over again as she waved bye bye. "Bye bye" plain as you or I can say it! She's been saying it all day today too! How precious and early - she's only 7 months. I bet she'll have a lot to tell us in no time flat! Here's a cute photo that she will probably hate in a few years, but I'm allowed...I'm Gama! I can't wait til she says that! There's actually 2 bottom teeth but one is hard to see in the photo.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Crafts I’ve been working on

Spring has arrived already? I'm still waiting for winter! I think Mother Nature is just playing with us and we'll probably get the 2 or 3 feet of snow that we usually have this time of year!

I thought I would share a few pics of some of the crafts I've been working on lately. The first one is a doll I finished for my GrandBaby. I wanted something safe that a 7 month old could enjoy and chew on. This way I know it's made with safe materials and has no choking hazards. I chose the gingerbread fabric because she just loves my gingerbread apron I wear all the time. When I gave her the doll, she smiled and gave it a big hug...too cute!


The next one is a couple of signs that I made for my kitchen. I wanted some smaller signs to go on the wall above my counter top and they turned out great! I made a mustard colour Milk one too after I took this picture.


This is a Primitive Easter pillow that I have finished and listed on ebay. Just click on the photo to go to the listing. It's based on a Terrye French Design. She's an amazing artist!


And lastly, another item listed on ebay. This little guy is so cute with his rusty nail arms and legs.


I hear the baby waking so I must go for now. I hope you all have a wonderful sunshiny day!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Outdoor skating rinks

Outdoor rinks are everywhere in northern Ontario – especially in the rural areas. There are a few in the cities but most are in the smaller towns, villages, and outlying areas.

Here is a photo of the outdoor skating rink across the road from our house.

In December they replaced all the boards with brand new ones, replaced the fencing behind the goals and levelled the ground so the ice would be nice and smooth - something that has needed to be done for a long time. They had men working there for weeks and they finally finished it in January while all the neighbourhood kids waited patiently.

The kids managed to get a few good weeks of skating and hockey time in and then we had a thaw – no more rink for a while. February turned colder and was pretty good until the past few days – another major thaw!  Now, all that's left is a huge melting puddle and a bunch of sad looking faces! Hopefully it will freeze again for the upcoming March Break and they will get a few more days of winter fun before they hang up their skates and put away their sticks for another year. 


I grew up with outdoor rinks and have never really given much thought to them until my in laws came up from  Texas last fall. My MIL took some photos of the rink and that’s when it hit me that not everyone has the luxury of walking down ( or across in my case)  the road to skate or play hockey whenever they want. Some people never get to experience skating outside while big white fluffy snowflakes fall all around you. That’s the best!  And when that happens, everyone grabs a shovel, forms a line, and they work together to clear off the ice.`

I considered myself very lucky as a child because my parents bought a cottage on a small lake which we remodelled into our year round home.  All I had to do was put my skates on and walk across our front yard about 5o yards to a patch of ice that we cleared for a rink. That’s where I learned how to skate but always enjoyed going to the many outdoor rinks with my friends. Most of the rinks had a small shed or attached building that housed a few wooden benches and an old woodstove in the corner. The shed was always a nice warm place to take a quick break. The smell of the maple logs mixed with the aroma of hot chocolate is burned in my memory forever. There was always adult supervision and  kids of all ages.  It was as much a social gathering than anything else – something to do on the long winter nights that seemed way too long when darkness started at 5 PM and you only had 3 TV channels to choose from.

My skating days are pretty much over now and I don’t take my girls anymore because they are old enough to go themselves. In a few years, my Granddaughter will put on her first pair of skates and I’ll be glad to take her and help another generation learn the enjoyment of going to an outdoor skating rink.  Until then I’ll be content just listening to the *boom* of a slap shot echoing off the boards and watching the crowd of skaters from my kitchen window.

Hugs from Connie!

Another Penny Rug Christmas Tree

Just listed another one on Ebay. Off to make a couple more for my craft sale!