Archive for the ‘My Home’ Category

the pie safe

Hello Friends!!

As we progress on the building of our home, we have had a few set backs.

Mainly, hubby had to return to an actual paying job,  which has slowed down work here considerably! With winter baring down on us (temps reaching into the teens) and one week before the first snowfall, we moved out of the camper and into….

the almost finished daylight basement!

Now, anyone who has built or remodeled in the past knows,

you never



move. in. before. it’s. done.

Which brings me to my pie safe.

IMG_1692 picnik2

It’s pictured here in our previous home.

I purchased this piece over 20 years ago for a specific purpose.

To hold my dishes in a temporary kitchen. My husband balked at the $300 price, while I justified it. Instead of spending on something we would rip out never to use again, this piece has traveled with me and served me for many years!

Vintage pieces in the kitchen add a sense of history and patina that a new home lacks.


And I just like them :)

vintage by nina ~ kitchen storage

pie safe

Needless to say, the downstairs does not have a kitchen.

And we are still working on the kitchen….

So the “T” word was thrown around..

You know….


galvanized cart~cotedetexas

So my ‘ol trusty friend, the pie safe, has come full circle.

After being a homeschool center for planners, teachers manuals and books…

A design center for books, magazines and catalogs…

kitchen cart

white kitchen cupboard

wire doors

Back to holding the few dishes that were being housed in the camper.

white cart cupboard

I also placed linen behind the screen doors…

because like everybody else

I hate to dust too!!

curtain on doors

Although I am looking forward to my new kitchen and all my “stuff”..

pie safe lower

white with plate rack

Simply paring down to a few essentials really lets you know how much you can do without,

and I am extremely blessed.

I feel a serious purge is going to take place before I move anything  into the house.

Dear Pie Safe,

Thank you for being so practical and beautiful too!

You have served me well, and you continue to keep my life in order.

Yours truly,


all images via pinterest

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Hello friends!


The very word conjures up images of stress, chaos and exhaustion.

I have moved a few times in my lifetime, and hopefully learned some tricks along the way.

{ Some more random inspiration photos…just to make you ( and me) happy :) }

front door with windows

Lesson one:

Start early!

Unlike my mother, God rest her soul, I learned to not wait until the last minute. She disliked change to the point of, when we moved to Montana as a teenager, my father said “the truck is here….you better pack!”

Lesson two:



I don’t just mean label the box.

I have a key.

I number the box, and on a 3×5 card (wired together as a pad) I write everything that is in the box.

Sometimes I will include where it came from (upper cupboard, left of the stove) and pack as much as I can together. This comes in very handy when you are wondering….where is that bowl that was, you know, next to the stove over there in that cupboard. It is extremely important when everything you own is in storage.

And it is.

cozy nook

I had a date. I had a timeline. I had one storage unit for household and another for French Grey. I had boxes staged to go in last, You know….last in, first out. I had shelving units at the front for things I knew I would need, which leads me to…

Lesson three:

Throw out lessons 1&2 when, due to a technical error, I had to move out one week early!!

How does it go? Pride goes before a fall! Yes I had planned, packed and labeled, and sure enough the last day was..




Does that word even look right?


 I know there is at least one boxed packed with no identity. Within that box there are things I need, I just know it! I need them even more because I’m not sure what they are! Lets see……hmmm…I know it was on the kitchen table.

Which brings me to…

Lesson four:

Be ready for an adventure!

Because that is what I am in for!!

Did I mention that we had the hair brained idea to live in a RV while we built our house??

I didn’t??

We are not, I am sad to say, super camping people. Yes we went a few times as a family, and weathered the well, weather. We have tents and coleman stoves and all the usual paraphernalia  that goes along with camping. But when it comes right down to it, I like my bed. And showers. So here we are cramming 30 years of camping into one summer!


And I must admit, we couldn’t have picked a prettier camp site than our own property! (Which the above picture in NOT my fire pit!!)

You really get a sense of the lay of the land. Views you want to highlight, and some you want to hide.

Also, when I am not needed I am….


Uh, planning.

So, for all of you planning to go camping this 4th of July holiday,  I will be there right along with you!

Happy camping!


Ps. I have grain sack pillows in my camper:)

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It’s true.

I have a confession to make.

I have a woodstove.

It has been a love/hate relationship from day one.

It is quite possibly is the best heat source you could have if you live in a region with winter. However, it is a decorating/design nightmare!!

So imagine to my surprise finding images on pinterest of living rooms with a woodstove!

My number one issue with a wood stove is trying to decorate the mantle! You always see lovely vignettes atop a fireplace mantle but with a wood stove that big black pipe is hot to the touch and quite frankly, ugly, right smack in the middle of everything.

This one below is a nice compromise, still allowing a mantle to decorate.

This one is off to the side of the room and not the focal point….. which is a little better.

Although I like the texture and warmth (no pun intended) of firewood, this stack would be definitely regulated to the outside shed and not something I would stack in my living room!

Glass doors do allow the mesmerizing flicker of flames to radiate throughout the space.

And here is the pitiful display of my wood stove :( and I have tried to make the best of it. We originally planned to put in stove insert with an actual fireplace surround, however, when we went to pick it up the cost did not include doors (really????? we have to pay extra for doors??) not to mention several other “added” costs.

Also, on a sadder note, we had just received news that my brother-in-law had passed away while at the store, and we had to rush to the hospital.

So there it is….. at 10% of the cost this little stove came home with us that day, we had waaaaaay more important things to do and think about than how pleasing to the eye this would make the room look. And that’s the plain truth. Some things don’t really matter at all. We love people and use things, and not the other way around.

So, with Thanksgiving approaching, I am grateful for my family and all the good memories we have had, and will continue to have, around my humble hearth and home.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His face shine upon you!

With sincere thanks,


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white and wood

Hello friends,

Yes, it’s me.

I have been MIA in the blogging department, and I could offer you some long list of lame excuses….. but I won’t.

I have however been working my booth at the Montana Antique Mall, going on some wild buying trip adventures, purchased my first can of Annie Sloan Chalk paint ( the closest store is 200 miles away) and succumbing to my autumn nesting instincts! And….

I am embracing the fact that I have a lot of wood and some white in my home.

I love all white rooms, but my paint is linen white which is a little more yellow than I really want. On decision day I picked off-white windows instead of white and now I am stuck with them.

We have wonderful pine floors throughout the house (no carpet please) and lots of wood furniture. I am embracing the ‘old world’ feel and fighting down the urge to paint everything white or grey.

Well, mostly.

In a perfect world I would love my floors to look more like this…. with a washed finished.

I would like all my wood finishes to have that washed grey look, however mine are more like this cool wood industrial cart island..

Here are a few more images from pinterest that are helping me be content with what I have! Why fight what cannot be changed! Pinterest is for inspiration, not condemnation that our homes do not “measure up” to the perfectly decorated, perfectly styled and perfectly photographed!!

The warmth of wood can help things from looking kinda sterile, but still fits in with the tone on tone effect that I find so appealing!

I found one of these round French bread/cheese boards and I am afraid it may have triggered a collection, nay, an obsession with the French farmhouse look!!

Of course, white and wood would not be complete without linen.

Now I know very few people can actually go out and purchase everything they want to decorate their home all in one shot. Most of us have accumulated furniture and accessories over time, or make a few big purchases a year and pick up stuff here and there. And, if you love vintage style, what you can actually find will dictate what direction your overall “look” is headed.

Which brings me back to wood and white.

If you will excuse my “un-perfect” pictures ( I am having camera issues….but won’t bore you with the details!!) I will share some of my recent finds and changes.

The bread board and French style bottle rack.

And my cupboard did succumb to the paint brush this summer!!

Here’s the before….

I was actually taking a picture of some of my ironstone, but you can see the primitive cupboard in the background.

So…….as you can see, there is a wood and white theme going on, but like everybody else, I have a vision of what I would like to work towards. To me, the thrill of the hunt, the refining of style and taste is the fun part of the journey, and what makes feathering our “nest” so satisfying!!

Hope y’all enjoy your autumn and the changing of seasons as we head into the holidays and embrace your hearth and home!



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the two shall become one

Hello Friends!

Well, a lot has been happening around here, but by far the most exciting thing has been getting ready for my son’s wedding!

And it is going to be at the beach!

This former beach bum has been living in the mountains a long time, and I am uber excited to not only be at the ocean, but to watch that “once in a lifetime” moment when a groom beams as his bride walks down the aisle!

Here are some inspirational photos to share in the excitement!

Have a great weekend, I know I will!!

Oh, and I now have a booth at the Montana Antique Mall!

More to follow, but for now, it’s family time!



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With Mother’s Day approaching, what a perfect time to take out those special items that make a table beautiful!

And what a better way to celebrate Mom, than bringing out the things she loved.

Blue and white Staffordshire ironstone, always a classic, handed down from my Mom. She actually gathered it piece by piece from our local grocery store when I was child. When I see it in antiques stores I think “sheesh, it’s not that old…. and neither am I”!

A European grain sack for a table runner is one of my favorite things to use, giving the table a French farmhouse feel and adding a layer of texture.

Sterling flatware. I appreciate the fact my mother thought of future generations when she purchased this, even down to the detail that the maker is my maiden name. With so many inexpensive options these days, we have lost the art of creating  a heirloom to pass down to our children. The modern version of standing stones.

By mixing both high and low together, like the galvanized tin pots with the heirloom sterling silver, it achieves that “casual elegance” aesthetic I find so appealing. A melting pot of styles, so to speak.

Being an avid gardener, I like to bring the outdoors in whenever I can. This time of year local greenhouses are abundant with blooms, and by using bedding plants in arrangements you can plant them in your yard afterwards.

I love that!

The gathering of family objects, like a mother hen gathering her chicks, evokes a sense of security, warmth and happiness. It truly is the sentiment of the tangible that reminds me of the beauty of the person. She may not be here, but that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate her, her life and my love for her.

What special items or traditions are you using to celebrate your Mother?

Happy Mother’s Day to every Mom out there!



Photography by Sherry Chidwick

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Hello Everyone!!

It’s been a while!

I was feeling a little guilty for taking off on a road trip when I should have been working here…

These were taken a few years ago and I am glad to report my neighbors have removed all the cars…..and the trees and shrubs have matured as planned…… to provide privacy.

Anyways, instead of staying home and working, I figured I would jump at the offer, and ride to Texas with my good friend. I’m always up for a good gallivant.




Yes, this has been  a constant word in my vocabulary. I may have passed on the gallivant gene to my children. Nature vs nurture, the debate goes on.

We stayed just outside Jackson Hole, WY and had my morning coffee here…

Now, as ya’ll know, that teeny tiny coffee maker in the hotel room is only enough to wake you up for the REAL coffee, right?

Ya’ll and ma’am.

I think I’m officially adopting these phrases. Ya’ll because it’s friendly and casual, and ma’am because it is just plain polite! We can learn a few things from our fellow Texans, and these two are on the top of my list.

I love this Italian restaurant and winery. It’s in a beautiful vineyard in the Hill Country of Texas.

The courtyard garden is gorgeous, especially the fountain!

Rose topiaries…

It has a real European feel, with great garden design combining both formal and casual elements.

More potted topiaries ….

And some lantern love…

Now, I had hoped to blog while traveling, but neigh, it did not work out that way! I will leave you hanging about the high point of my trip…..

The Country Living Fair in Austin, TX!!

Hope you have a great weekend!



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