Food Locker

100 years ago, or so it seems, we started to paint the kitchen cupboards.  Actually, we started in March and by November we were finally finished with the cupboards and countertops.  The walls still need painting and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with the space above the cupboards.  For now, the shining star of the whole adventure is the bookcase which is now my food locker.

I find her beautiful, practical and oh, so useful!

It is truly amazing what a little paint, a handy husband and a lot of patience can produce.  Before the transformation, when I was much younger : ) I spent hours trying to decorate the open shelves with seasonal displays and books and dishes, etc.  Then, when I got a little older, I got tired of digging in the bottom cupboards by the sink for the canned goods.  My brilliant idea to put the foodstuffs on the bookcase created a "poor farmer" decorating style all my own...

I think my decorating style had a great deal to do with the fact the first cupboard doors hubby made were put on the new food locker.

Of course, since the food locker looked so nice, I had to do something with the rest of the wall.  I got rid of the red paint, replaced the old dry sink (which I really love, but just didn't fit with the "fresh farm" decor) with a bench seat and decorated the top of the foot locker.

Since there is no such thing as remembering to take a picture of the kitchen when it is clean and everything is in its place (more like there's no such thing as everything in its place in the kitchen) here's a peek at another part of the kitchen after the facelift.  I love the new faux beadboard cupboard doors and hardware.  All total, hubby made 23 doors!

It is really hard to believe how scared we were to paint everything white...

The change has been wonderful... but some things never change.  I still don't like to cook!  

Hopefully my creative juices and ambition will kick back into high gear.  I've missed being away from blog land.  Even though the kitchen still needs a lot of paint... we're already toying with the notion we will redo the bathroom this winter.  You might say we suffer from DIY ADHD!


More of the Dow House & Events

I do believe the Dow City Christmas extravaganza, A Christmas Carol was a big hit.  I was able to get more pictures  of the Dow House all decked out for the holidays.

The Dow House
The structure itself is beautiful, inside and out.  The grounds are well kept year round and the carriage house is an attractive addition.

For sake of simplicity, here is a collage of highlights from inside the house.  There were so many wonderful things!  The chandeliers were probably my favorite.

There were activities for everyone all day long and into the evening.  The cookie exchange had lots of goodies including these adorable little melting snowmen.

The Christmas Market Place is where I spent most of my time... debuting my candles (finally)!  I was pleased with the results.  My Kenny - well, really my daughter's Kenny - was a great help.  And so was Mardi.  Hope they had as much fun as I did!

My favorite Street Guy:  Ye Olde Popcorn Vendor!

The grand finale of the event was a lighted Christmas Parade.  Wow!

I believe that is Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past.

And a lighted Christmas Tree in the middle of the street.

God Bless Small Town America!


Old Fashioned Christmas

This year I jumped at the opportunity to join the talented gals in Dow City, Iowa, in decorating the historic Dow House for Christmas.

The Simeon E. Dow House is a beautiful two-story, 13-room red brick house that was built in 1872.  The locals have done a wonderful job at preserving the vintage originality.  

I was assigned the Maid's room.  I headed down the dirt road for inspiration, knowing a Maid in the late 1800's would not have any money for lavish decorations.  Much to hubby's chagrin, I returned home with his pickup loaded with all sorts of ditch goodies for my project and filled the garage with greens and weeds.

But what wonderful weeds they were! 

One of my favorite finds, a little difficult to appreciate in the picture below, is the Sunflower stem... it dries to resemble (at least in my mind) shepherd hooks that worked perfect for hanging tissue paper snowflakes for an interesting and "poor Maid" creation.

I was delighted to be able to incorporate some of my past projects into the room... hand-dipped candles, antiqued rag dolls & mittens, Christmas stocking, etc.  The most elaborate item in the room was the fruit basket, designed to be a gift from the Dows to the Maid, complete with nuts in the shell and three Silver Certificates for her faithful service throughout the year.  (They're fake, of course)

Oh how divine the aroma of those orange slices & cloves!

My room, of course, pretty much pales in comparison with the rest of the house... pictures of which I hope to take and post soon as the decorating wasn't finished when I left.  

So today... I'm off to join in the festivities in Dow City... and debut my candles at the Christmas Market!