Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Monday, April 30, 2012

A new beginning...

I have so, so much to share with you all, that I don't even know where to begin!  Friday brought a bunch of awesome surprises, Saturday at Junk Jubilee left me me broke, and Sunday...  Well, I'll tell you about Sunday.  I'll save the rest for tomorrow and Wednesday.  

First of all, I have to thank each and every one of you for your kind and uplifting comments that you left on my blog on Friday.  I simply just haven't had a chance to respond to you all, but I will definitely be sitting down and responding to each of you personally.

I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.  

You all touched me in a way you wouldn't even believe.  :)

Secondly...  My husband.   The unwavering support and belief Scott has shown in me and my dreams the last few days has had my eyes welling up with tears a few times (SssshhhDon't tell him.  LOL) and utterly speechless a lot.

Especially this...

This is soon to be the new home of Prairie Patina by Our Prairie Home.  

We've had lots of ideas for this little space over the last couple of years:  Storing equipment.  Storing firewood.  Turning it into a wrestling/weight room for the boys.  In fact, we were pretty firm on that last idea up until last week...   

Scott asked me while watching me wax the china cabinet, 

"If I turned the barn into a workshop for you, would you use it?"  

No hesitation:  "YES!"

However, we had a huge hurdle.  The mess we had let accumulate inside for the last five years.  Like, HUGE mess.  GINOURMOUS mess.  TITANIC mess.  

Now, don't judge:

Pretty much every single thing that we've ever thought we should save while redoing parts of the house was just thrown in here... Along with lots of other junk.  Tons of it.  You couldn't even walk in it without taking the risk of stepping on a rusty nail and winning a quick trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot.  

Its our stash spot.  

And the other end still had straw, chicken poop, goat poop, chicken wire, and nesting boxes from the chickens and goat we had a few years ago.  I just groaned and stared when we went outside yesterday morning to look at it.  

I try to forget the mess exists.  LOL

Scott had already done quite a bit of work to it before we let it go to heck in a hand basket - raised the ceiling, which he had to stoop to fit under (People back in the day must have been SHORT) and putting plywood along half of the north wall.  Its been wired for electricity, has plumbing for running water, and we also ran heat to it from our boiler system.  Its been re-roofed; new plywood and new shingles to match our house.  So, we have an awesome set up.  

Personally, I think this was the Lord's plan for it all along, as if all the small decisions we made for it up to this point were working toward His bigger plan for our future.  The more I think about it, the more in awe I am of His awesomeness.

Don't you just love it when He does things like that????  

Like when Scott decided to pour a concrete pad, put this roll up door in, and widen the entry... 

Perfect for moving in large pieces of furniture.

So, long story short we worked like crazy yesterday.  


And this is what it looks like this morning:

We sorted out all the stuff from the kitchen and barn remodel 
that was worth keeping:

Sorted through all the lumber and wood 
that had been stashed in there over the last hundred years 
and kept the ones that showed potential.

Although where we're going to put it, I have no idea, since Scott has some huge plans for me and my space.

He never ceases to amaze me.

I was tickled to death with just the idea of having a large working space.  He's making it into a complete studio.  Yesterday, he comes rolling in with this, when I thought he had gone up to the house for a really long break:

His idea?  

Galvanized metal roofing for the ceiling with barn wood trim and a sheetrocked and painted staging wall complete with replacing the west doorway with a floor to ceiling window.  

He put up a few pieces to I could get an idea of what it would look like.  He was so worried that the metal had started to oxidized and rust in some places. 

I was like, "Its called patina and I LOVE it!"  

There will be barn wood trim at the point where it begins to angle down and then the sides will be sheet rocked.

Knock me over with a feather.

He's re-siding it.  Has already lined up someone to come in and blow in insulation into the walls and ceiling.  AND will be installing an air conditioning window unit.  I had to stop him when he mentioned pouring a new concrete floor.  "Scott," I told him, "I'm going to be painting in here.  I don't want to be worrying about getting paint on the floor."  LOL  He did, however, talk me into a barnwood floor in the staging section.  Just thinking about it, I am LOLing.  ;)

Today along with finishing putting up the metal, this is our job:

Installing the rest of the plywood walls inside and out, so its ready for insulation tomorrow.  My carpal tunnel is still flaring up from yesterday, so I hope I can be a decent helper.  Data Entry was a bad job to take when I was twenty.  :P

But I'm so excited, I don't care.  Although I may have to "borrow" some pain meds from my mother-in-law.  Last night it had me in tears.  Y'all must think I cry an awful lot.  I really don't.  Promise. HA HA HA

In the end, my new space is going to be absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to get started working in it.


Especially with all the stuff Scott bought me at an auction Friday night...  But I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  

Stay tuned because you are not going to believe all the pieces he picked up for me.  :)


Friday, April 27, 2012

What If?

It is not often that I talk of matters of faith and religion.  I certainly don't want to be accused of "shoving my beliefs down my follower's throats", so if you are offended by such, you may want to stop reading now.

I have spent a lot of time on my knees this morning 
and have cried a few  a lot of tears.  

Not of sadness or pain, but tears of joy and a profound thankfulness that my Father knows my heart.  

Its a pretty rare thing for me to feel so moved and overwhelmed that I find myself on the floor with my head bowed.  

This morning was one of those times.  

And the only thing I could utter while sobbing was, "Thank you."

Yesterday, I delivered the china cabinet (kind of hard not to say "my" since it has a new home now).  I admit, I felt a little pang when I saw the empty corner when I came home, but it was mingled with pure unadulterated joy over actually selling something.

I spent the entire day yesterday doing nothing but designing estimate sheets, invoices, business cards, and such because I have a feeling deep inside that a humble start...

might just be the beginning of something new...

and exciting that could change my life.

This is something that has been in my heart for a while.

And the amazement and gratitude that I feel for my Heavenly Father leaves me without words.

How He knows what my deepest desires are and answered a prayer that I never even uttered.

Because I was scared to even speak it.

Yesterday, as I frantically worked on

I fought the idea of calling the buyer and telling her I couldn't sell it to her.

Not because I didn't want to.

Not at all.

But because I was afraid.

I had a gazillion doubts running through my mind:

What if she thinks it doesn't look as good as the picture?

What if she thinks I do terrible work?

What if it doesn't look as good as I think?

What if she tells me she doesn't want it?

What.  If.

I'm not a professional.

I'm a stay-at-home mom for Heaven sake.

I literally was sick to my stomach.


Because with one tiny inquisitive e-mail my mind began to 
open to  possibilities.

What. If?

As I worked, my mind wandered back to a recent conversation I had with my mother.

The devil is the doubter.

God is the encourager.

Satan says, "You can't."

Your Heavenly Father says, "You can."

So I did.

And she loved it.

I came home last night with two custom painting orders.

Signed.  Contracts.

And another lined up.

And possibly a sale for my mirror.

If  I can decide if I want to part with it.  ;)

But more importantly...

by the time Scott and I left after four hours of laughing & talking

with my first client and new friend...

my thoughts bloomed from fear into 

full blown hope for

a line of repurposed, custom painted furniture, and crafts. 

Or as my catch phrase reads:

"Pottery Barn & Restoration Hardware style without the price tag."
for northeastern Iowa.

What.  If.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rocking Chair Flair {Reveal}

On Monday, I posted a picture of my next little project that desperately needed a little TLC, Our Prairie Home-style.

This rocking chair is one of two that came out of my Dad's business office.  They had been there for years, even before my Dad's company was located there.  When the association moved the office my Dad brought these home, where they sat in the garage for a couple of years before my parents had them refinished.  As you can see, that's been a few years.  The stain was wearing thin in some places, dry rot was beginning to attack the wood, and the cushion is faded from sunlight.

Like with everything in my house that's wood (much to Scott's dismay with his manly stained wood fetish), I've been eyeballing it, wondering what I could do.

Yesterday, I stopped procrastinating and just went at it knowing that if I didn't, it would be relegated to the attic since it doesn't fit in with color or style I'm going for in our home.  

Honestly...  The colors are depressing.  

Sorry, Momma.  ;)

Since I ran out of ASCP with the china cabinet makeover, I whipped up a quick batch of homemade using "Cotton Balls" by Benjamin Moore.

What a difference.

And you know me with "making things look old", as my little Eva calls it.

Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with adding a little...

to emphasize a piece's lines and give it a little character.

I mean there's BAD wear and tear, like so...

that makes you want to stick it where no one can see it.

And then there's wear and tear with style...

that can be achieved with a little paint and a light waxing.

One thing I've learned over the last year is to:

Because when I saw a pretty umbrella displayed at Walmart on Monday, I wondered if there was possibly a cushion in the outdoor section to match it.  Who cares if its indoor/outdoor fabric?  

That'll just hold up better to the 
beating my kids are sure to put it through.  

And who says pillows in the bedding section must be used in the bedroom?

And in the end it's such an utter improvement that it just makes me want to...

Or maybe do a little happy dance.  :)

xo y'all,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The China Cabinet Scoop

Yesterday, I revealed the makeover of my china cabinet while guest blogging over at Fox Hollow Cottage with Shannon.

Just in case you missed it, I thought I'd show you some bits and pieces here with a few pictures that didn't make the cut for the guest post.

This was the before:

And here are a few pictures of the during, that I didn't use.  Scott helped me A LOT and for that I'm super thankful.  He may be taking FOREVER to do the wainscoting and trim in the dining room, but he's always great in a pinch for helping with quick jobs that I don't have the patience or knowledge to tackle myself.  ;)

Not only did he apply the paper shelf liner to the back of the cabinet, but he also took out and then replaced all the glass - and was the one that took the razor blade to the gaudy gold scroll work that was on the pieces of side glass.

I really had a lot of fun transforming this piece.  Its one thing to have an idea in your head about how you think its going to look, but another to actually see it happen.  Even Scott admits he was wrong about the grief he gave me about bringing home a piece of "ahem"...  Well, you get the picture.  ;)  I love proving him wrong. LOL

And it was even more fun to shop my house and go thrifting to find things to fill it with.

The bird and blingy candle came from Hob Lob.  I just couldn't resist the texture of them.

This candle is also from Hob Lob, while the blue plates were thrifted from GW for a buck each.

The white plates?  The Dollar Tree.  And the small tureen...  Thrifted from our local thrift store for $5.00.  Its actually pretty aged and is crazed some.  I just couldn't get that to show up in the pictures.

 Knob?  Half off at Hob Lob.

The wicker baskets were from Eva's nursery and used to hold diapers, powders, and lotions.  The linen napkins and rings came from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

As did these gorgeous blue placemats.  I made the little basket tags by handpainting numbers on the burlap. Then I threaded jute twine through the wicker and used the tips of scissors to open a little hole in the weave of the burlap to thread it through the burlap.  Tying into a quick bow, I was done.

I am loving the end result.

The combination of colors just relaxes me.

And its such a bonus that the light still works to light up the interior.

Its a little big for the wall I planned to put it on, so I'm thinking about selling it.  I've got about 20 hours in the makeover process and a lot of $$$ in the paint and wax.  THREE COATS OF PAINT TO GET GOOD COVERAGE INSIDE AND OUT.  Ugh.  But it was soooo worth it.  I admit, I'm a little attached.  The more I  look at it, the more I love it.  Its just the perfect compliment to our dining room.  Now...  If I can only get Scott to work on that wainscoting.  I might just have to post his number on Facebook again.  LOL  ;)


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Visiting at Fox Hollow Cottage

Today, I'm visiting with Shannon, y'all.

You know Shannon, don't you?

The wonderful and awesome lady that donated her hair to 


I'm there.

Revealing the China Cabinet.


This one?

Yep.  I'm finished with it.

So, click on over to visit me at Shannon's place.

You can find me HERE.

See ya there, y'all!