Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Clean Slate...

We have a family tradition in our house usually the day or two after Thanksgiving, like many of you all. My husband hauls in my many boxes of CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!!!! Yes, this really is my FAVORITE time of year. However, this year...I haven't been able to do it yet. I am really chompin' at the bit to get them in. Instead, I have gone through and taken every mirror, picture frame and clock off of our walls. We are getting a nw roof...what a mess! As I have sid before, we live in my husband's grandparents ranch home on the dairy. The roof had years and years of feed, hay and dirt caked in it. Needless to say, the majority of it fell through and into MY KITCHEN!!!!!!!!!! It sounded like a warzone in our home yesterday. Crashes, bangs and booms along with hammering, pounding and the occasional #$@% bomb from the roofers. Miraculousy, our 1 year old STILL took her morning nap and afternoon nap right on time and just as long. (Amazing!) My almost 4 year old and I were busy working on Christmas orders. We had a few shipments to Texs, Maine and Florida.
Christmas win sacks are the erfect holiday party "hostess with the mostest" gift! We were also working on a huge order of table runners and napkins, in my vintage inspired red ticking stripe, headed to Texas.
On the bright side...my walls, shelves and mantle are clean slates. Perfect for giving a good scrub down and decorating for Christmas! Find us on Facebook...www.facebook.com/thevintagebarn Check out all of my new stuff at www.thevintagebarn.etsy.com

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Well, I was on a roll....UNTIL MY NEW LAPTOP DIED!!!!! About a month ago, my dinosaur of a laptop died. No problem. I had her for about 7 years...she did her job. So, I happily purchased a new one and was going along just fine until I was having problems with Windows 8. UGH!!! So, a couple days later...and I finally have a new laptop with Windows 7 and NO PROBLEMS!!! So, I missed a couple of days but...I was super busy filling orders before the Thanksgiving holiday. I LOVE Thanksgiving. I am not sure if it is the family, the food or just the feel of it??? It has to be all three. I thought I would share with you this morning, a little bit about my family. I have a fabulous family. My mom and dad are hard working people who have built there own business from the ground up. My parents both, work very hard and I have always admired that. Growing up in a hard working household, always made me want my own business as well. I have one sister, who is married and I finally have a brother...in law! She is a labor and delivery nurse. Let me tell you how comforting it was both times delivering babies (WITHOUT an epidural, thank you!) to have your sister the L&D nurse there double checking every move.
My husband and I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary on November 17th...hard to believe.
He is a third generation dairy farmer and we are lucky to live right on the dairy. Living on the dairy is a fabulous way to raise children.
We have two girls, our oldest is almost 4 and the youngest just turned 1. We spend our days walking on the dairy, checking in the maternity barn for newborn calves and visiting with the milkers in the barn. It is definitely a fun way of life. Finding the time to paint and sew can be challenging with two little ones. When our oldest is in preschool, the baby takes a pretty good morning nap. That is when I knock a lot of it out. There is not enough time in the day. Well, it is time for me to head back into the kitchen and finish up our Thanksgiving treats. I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! Love and Junk- Julie

Monday, November 19, 2012

Up and at 'em! Laundry going, checkbooks balanced and I am going to share with you some fun things I have been working on before our girls get up.
"Necessity is the mother of invention." So true in so many ways in my life. I wanted to be a stay at home mommy and raise our girls...so, I started selling some of the furniture I refinished and buying more. Thus, The Vintage Barn was born. Another example...I love decorating and swapping out my living room d├ęcor for the season. Well, purchasing pillows was starting to add up. They can be so expensive (and poorly made.)
So, I took one sewing class with a friend of mine and was hooked. My mom came over to help me navigate my way around my machine. I was a total rookie...still am, just making things that look a bit better now. I was only making pillows for myself, I had just repainted our room a deep, rich chocolate brown and wanted new pillows on our bed. Done. Then another girlfriend of mine asked me to make some similar for her. Done. I thought, "I already have an Etsy shop. Pillows are MUCH easier to ship than furniture." So, it was a no brainer. I haul my furniture with me to my local shows and just sell it locally. No more late nights in the garage with my husband trying to box/crate a vanity to ship to Florida! (Nightmare!) I bought an authentic French Grain Sack a while ago. Learning all about the different stripes/patterns/colors and how they represent the various farmers. Much like a brand on cows. The two gentlemen were very nice that my mom and I bought the sacks from...they went on to tell us more about really looking at the way the bag was sewn will tell you if it is French, German or Austrian. Very neat!
So, I came home and started making some grain sack inspired pillows...LOVE THEM!!! I have even gotten into the Christmas spirit with them and made some red ones. Most of the pillows have a canvas front and back, some have a vintage inspired ticking stripe fabric on the back. Just so simple...yet, so cool!
This last one is a grain sack wine sack...perfect holiday party hostess gift!!! Have a FABULOUS day...love and junk, Julie

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Okay....so this time when I say I am going to stick to it....I AM GOING TO STICK TO IT! Blogging, that is. I am being realistic though. My husband (we just celebrated 5 years of marriage yesterday, WOO HOO!) and I have two beautiful little girls. Our oldest is almost 4 and our baby just turned 1 a week ago. So, for me to try to blog daily...is going to be a goal. I have just finished a FABULOUS piece that a friend gave me. It is a beautiful, solid oak buffet/hutch. I wasn't sure how I was going to refinish this...what color? So, I will take you back a few weeks. All summer I was going back and forth with trying to decide whether or not I should venture out an buy a quart of that much talked about chalk paint. I didn't. All summer and early fall I painted with my good ol' standbys. They did the job. A good job, too. Then on a last minute getaway to Santa Cruz, I found a cute little vintage shop that carried the famous chalk paint. Coming off of a very "good" weekend for me the weekend before at a show in Clovis, I decided to "invest" in my business and get a quart. I told myself I was investing...but I really just wanted it. I wanted to try and see if it really lived up to all the hype...so I went home with 2 cans and the wax. SPLURGE!!! Once we got home, that next day I started on my project. Was this really going to be "life changing?" I prepped my piece simply by wiping it with a clean cloth with a little bit of TSP (cleaning agent) on it. I let that air dry and then dove right into one coat of chalk paint. I only did one coat on this project because I really liked the grain of the wood and wanted to make sure I could still see it in certain spots.
Next step, wet rag and wipe where I wanted the distressed look. Are you kidding me? I have been going crazy with my sander, getting sanding dust everywhere and eating up expensive sand paper (and always running out and not having what I need when I need it!) Really? Wet a cloth and wipe? Yep...and it was pretty easy. A little more elbow grease in some areas than others...and it was done.
I have to say, I wasn't even finished with he project and I knew I was sold! I LOVE this chalk paint and will be buying more. It also went a long way...just like everyone said. I painted this huge hutch and I would say there is a little more that 3/4 of the quart left. That is great coverage!!! Here are some pictures of it...and stay tuned for my next piece. I am redoing an old library desk that my husband's fraternity brother gave us. It is HUGE and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do much with it. But, I have a couple quarts of chalk paint and I have a plan! Stay tuned...and don't forget to check out my Etsy shop www.thevintagebarn.etsy.com.
Love and Junk, Julie