Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Let the Itty-bitty-teeny-weeny patio make over begin.


I've decided to stop waiting for actual honest-to-God summer weather to arrive (and stay) here in the Pacific Northwest, I'm going for it.

My Barbie Condo has a patio and back yard made to scale appropriately with the size of my little home-sweet-home, which is to say that it is...miniscule.. inky-dinky ...almost non existent....cozy in size. The good news about this is that it makes it pretty affordable and easy to decorate.

I fell into a steal of a deal on a darling reproduction French bistro set (anyway that's what I'm calling it.) Originally a Christmas green table with stop-sign red chairs, I am midway through re-painting the entire set a shabby white, and it's gonna be sue-weeet when it's finished, baby.

My potting table will double as a buffet server, and I think the mirror adds a much needed touch of foofiness to the area, don't you?
I am even adding a thrifted army cot for lazy day napping. (Who am I kidding? I won't have time for a nap, but I know a certain yellow dog that's already got his eye on it....)

I'm picking up more flowers tomorrow and planning on hanging the rest of my old white outdoor Christmas lights on the overhang this weekend, and since  the weather guy is (once again) promising sunny weather all weekend, I just may need to break in the new outdoor dining area on Sunday...."After" pictures to follow!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Very Pinterest-ing.

I am guessing many (most?) of you have by now heard of, and now are using Pinterest. I myself am a little late coming to the party, but I am here now, baby.
My daughter (Carter and Coen's Mama) first told me about Pinterest a while back and I checked it out but I was too busy to really poke around too much. (...or maybe I was just not really "getting" it fully.) case you didn't know...

Pinterest is a Virtual Pin-board.

It lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pin-boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes....the possibilities are endless! For..well, what seems like forever, I have been grabbing pictures online from my favorite blogs and websites and saving them in Word documents and such to find inspiration. Now, not only is that unnecessary, we can all gather our photos, organize them by topics we choose ourselves, and share them with ...everyone!

 I'm not at all sure how Pinterest began, or how they make money, but I am quite smitten with the entire concept, and I'm thrilled to be able to save (and share) so many cool pictures of inspiring things.
If you have a Pinterest Page of boards, I'd love to check them out, so let me know! 
If it's new to you, and for any reason you have trouble joining, send me an email and I can send you out an invitation. It takes a few hours or so before you get a reply, so be patient....the wait will be worth it!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The part where I finally decide to lighten up.

I asked your opinion a short while back about re-painting my buffet-bookshelf piece, and I have made a decision at last. Not only am I going to paint the big black piece, I spent a portion of my Sunday beginning to re-invent my dining room as well. 

I'm not entirely sure I am even going to keep the round pedestal table, as I have a rectangular table upstairs in my work room that I am considering moving down. I'll know better once the round table is complete and I have both tables in the same room to play with...hopefully by Wednesday of this week. (I know. I am eternally optimistic about time management and the hours I have in each day....)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crafting with a Rock n' Roll twist.

Oh, my.

Something struck me this past week when my mind was wandering to creating crafty projects for my Rock n Roll buddy's band. 
I think this officially makes me a full-fledged groupie.(...or as some guy referred to me last week at a band gig...the "Band Mama".)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ridin' shotgun.

Mmm hmm. I think Moose loves my new ride as much as I do.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Barnhouse. BarnHouse? BarnHouse!

I glanced at the calendar last night as I was doing a rough inventory of bigs and smalls in my garage and all around my Barbie Condo. Hmmmm... Six and a half weeks till the Big BarnHouse ...45 days give or take. (Can that be right?!)



I can hardly wait. I've got some of the coolest pieces I've ever had lined up for this show and I am anxious to show it all off! 

The boys are changing things up a bit for this show, and it's gonna be even more fun than last year. They have changed the name of this incredible event to...

The BarnHouse Vintage Marketplace & Music Festival
music out on the grass by  
(so make sure to bring a lawn chair and maybe some cool drinks to take a break from shopping and just enjoy the day!)
Oh yeah, baby. It's gonna be a don't-miss party for sure. (check your calendar...what are you doing at the end of July???) They've got more parking, and hotel lodging nearby, so maybe some of you out there that don't live so close should think about a road trip?????

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

East peasy strawberry lemonade. (that looks fancy-schmancy)

With all of the grey days and never ending rain this year across the country (at least here in the Pacific Northwest...)I am longing for some warm sunshine-y weather and outdoor activities, like barbecuing and riding around in my cute lil' bug with the top down.
While I wait for the weather to fully cooperate, I thought I'd share a great recipe that takes no time at all, and makes things just feel a little more summer-like...
You can make this yummy-summer-time drink in no time at all, and it's dee-lish, as well as pretty.
All you need is a blender, a large basket of fresh strawberries (wash and top of the stems) or a bag of frozen strawberries, two cans of frozen lemonade concentrate, and water. (Optional cutie-patootie straws, sugar to rim glasses, and fresh strawberry garnish if you like to foofy things up a bit...)

Make lemonade by following the instructions on the can.(Usually it's 1 can of  frozen concentrate and 3 cans of water..)
Drop the fresh or frozen strawberries in the blender and whip 'em up. add a bit of the lemonade to thin, whip some more. Repeat.

Pour into a nice tall glass, put on your sunshades, and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Runnin' down a dream.

If you're reading this and you're under...let's say 35 or so, you might have a different view, but way back in the 70's when I was a newly married girl (and I think even before as far back as when my parents married in the 50's...) the "American dream" was to own a home. That was it.

Men (and lots of women) got a job out of school and worked till they retired, whether they liked the work or not, and end justified the means. There wasn't any a whole lot of emphasis on following your bliss, or your passion or whatever you'd like to call it.

Times have changed, and very much for the better I think. These days, a lot of us view success as being truly happy with what we're doing, and not simply saving life for the weekends. The folks out there that have realized what their passion is, and have fond their own personal sweet spot are living the new American dream. 

So...........last Saturday evening was spent with my Rock n' Roll buddy at what has become one of my most favorite places to visit; Birkenfeld Country Store. (which, by the way,  is now becoming much more commonly and fondly referred to as "The Birk")

To refresh your memory, (if you missed the post about the Birk, click here.) I kinda struggle when I try to put into words the feeling that being at this magical place conjures up. All I can say is it feels like coming home after being away for a while. You know that feeling...Warm and welcome, giving off a familiar and comfortable vibe, but with a sense of impending celebration.(I said before it was like a cross between  John Mellencamp's Little Pink Houses and the barn dance scene in Footloose...remember that?)
Yeah, just like that. (...except no one ever wears a ruffled tux shirt or a bow tie.) Friendly, genuine people who aren't afraid to let their hair down and have a good time, regardless of age, style sense, or the level of dance skill.

Okay, I got a bit side tracked there...(I just cant help myself. The atmosphere is unlike any other. I can't say this enough.)

Maybe it's my overly romantic view of life, but what I wanted to share in this post was a thought that struck me this past weekend about the evolution of the American dream and how it has morphed into something beautifully abstract, (and in many ways, so much bigger than ever before) as opposed to simply being the holder of a deed to a brick and mortar building.

At the very heart of the Birk, are owners Wendy and Mike Ingraham. Extraordinary hosts, these two Rock-n-roll-lovin'-Harley-riding-sweethearts-livin'-in-the-heart-of-small-town-America people make everyone feel like family from the moment you walk through the old wooden screen door at the Birk. With great food, (those burgers!) awesome music (the bands are all good, although I may be just a bit more partial to one three piece in particular...) and cold drinks flowing, the Ingrahams know how to throw a crazy good party.

Watching Mike and Wendy in action, you would think that they'd been doing this all of their lives, but you'd be wrong. You see, they have only owned the Birk for the past seven years or so. They both worked, and retired from the phone company before making the Birk into the jumpin', rockin' slice of heaven on earth that it is today. They are (to me, anyway) the epitome of living the new American dream. They are goal driven, (in a really good way) and they are passionate about what they do. They focused on their dream (and continue to do so) and it's paying off for them doing what they love. (which makes work not like work at all in my mind)

Their love of good music has even lead them to create their own event, a music festival coming up August 12th and 13th, called "Birkfest". It's going to be a two day outdoor show (kinda like a mini Woodstock, if you are old enough to remember...) with food, drinks, vendors and even a bike and hot rod show. (Wow, talk about following your bliss, and the new American dream!)

At some point in time Mike and Wendy plan to move to a less wet climate (Arizona?!) so they'll have a longer Harley riding season, and recreate what they are doing at the Birk here in the Pacific Northwest. In the meantime, they'll continue to do what they do best, runnin' down their dream, right here.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cute as a bug.

...well, isn't it?!

I've been driving some sort of SUV for the past three decades as my main get-around vehicle. With gasoline prices edging up towards the ridiculous side of higher-than-high, and the fact that I won't be schlepping large furniture down to Camas Antiques after June (we use a UHaul truck for shows like BarnHouse....) I started thinking it just might be time for me to get something more economical...and fun.

So, for about about a month...I thought about it.

And, for another month...I thought about it some more.

Loooong story short, last weekend I (and by "I" I mean my Rock n' Roll Buddy) listed and sold my big ol' rig. I then came full circle back to the first car I ever owned...only now they make 'em way cooler, (way more cool?) with heated seats and power windows, and a really slick automatic convertible top that even I can work with ease.

Oh, yeah baby. I'm lovin' it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Shifting gears, finding balance.

Okay, maybe not finding balance entirely, but I am closing in on it.

 A couple of weeks ago I shared my quandary about having....ehem...a little too much on my plate. After a ridiculous amount of whining  discussing things with friends in the same boat, making ginourmous Pro-Con lists, and endless soul searching,  I had to make a decision. I simply could not continue to have a booth space, participate in shows, blog, hold down a full time job, and have any sort of time left for family and least not if I wanted to keep my sanity.


I will be giving up my booth space at Camas Antiques at the end of June.

I know. I still kinda can't believe it myself. It has truly been a dream-come-true being down there. So many amazing vendors...a gem of an owner to work with.....So many good friends....such inspiration..but I had to face the bottom line, and that was the fact that, although I love every aspect of having a booth space, it hasn't been financially worthwhile for me for the past several months. For the life of me, I cannot figure out just why this is, but since so may other vendors in the mall are doing just great while I am not, and while at the same time I seem to do amazingly well at shows, I feel like it was a message to me, loud and clear from above. Landing my new full time job back in the field I left pushed things to a point that I knew meant having to make some adjustments.

Once I was still and listened (okay, and once my daughter asked me just how many more signs I needed...) I knew this was the right thing to let go of, and not try to force things. I feel my booth space, with all of the time, effort and money for inventory and supplies invested in it, is the thing I need to step back on, for the time being at least.

The stress all this was bringing on, worrying and wondering about my sales, and having my little Barbie Condo looking like some crazy version of Santa's Workshop 24-seven made something that was so much a part of my bliss...notsomuch. Like my Rock n' Roll Buddy always says, "Stop doing something when it isn't fun for you anymore."

Of course I will still frequent my most favorite of my favorite shops, and share pictures on my blog of the fabulous window displays, (in fact, wait until you see what Julie has done in there now!) and always be a huge fan of Camas Antiques, and all this this jewel of a shop has to offer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

How Grand are these babies?!

I know you were expecting this. (Yes, it's another shameless Gramma Brag post)
I didn't get to take near as many pictures as I would have liked, due to the time being short for our visit, but here are a few shots of my sweet lil' grand daughter., who I caught in a pensive moment, and my youngest grand son (he will be one next week!)
Oh, they are so precious that I could just squeeze the stuffin's out of them!
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