Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pool Noodles & Burlap

I've hopped on the Pool Noodle Wreath bandwagon.

What a fantastic idea! 

And since I've really gotten away from doing crafts and mainly have just been working on furniture, 
this simple and easy craft was an awesome instant gratification pick-me-up.

Just the way I like it.

Couple of hours.


Shannon from Fox Hollow Cottage 
along with 
Debbie at Debbiedoo's 
Jessica at Mom4Real 
Debbie from reFresh reStyle 
are all hosting a Pool Noodle Wreath Party next month!

I hope I'm not breaking blogging etiquette by revealing this so early, but I loved it so much that 
I just simply couldn't wait.  

I have no will power.  :P 

Fox Hollow Cottage

This is enough motivation for me!

(Especially since I've been a bad blogger friend and have never linked up to one of Shan's parties.)

Be sure and link up, peeps!

So yesterday, I got the pool noodle fevah (as Shannon puts it) and got to work.

I won't go into detail of how I did it, since I straight-up copied Shannon 
and you can find her tutorial HERE.

Pretty much, I just grabbed stuff I had laying around the house, after I purchased my pool noodle from Wally World.

A wreath is a GREAT spot to show off 
your most favorite things all in one spot.


hydrangeas, ribbons, and cloth rosettes made from an old bed skirt.

And of course my go-to:  blue Ball Jars

Add in a little decorative nest...

and a vintage spoon Scott found in the ground while taking down trees at his parents, paired with an antique tag that I found while cleaning out the "potting shed".

Throw it all together and glue with a glue gun and you wind up with my interpretation of the famous...

Love it.

And so simple to do.

That's the best, isn't it?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Our Little Piece of the Prairie

The past few days I've been working out in our yard.

 Believe me, yard work isn't my forte.  

I usually leave that up to Scott.

But its just been missing that little piece of femininity.

Know what I mean?

So last week, I got to work.

As a little reminder, this is what I started with:

Pretty blah, eh?


I know.

Believe me, when I started out I had no clue what I was going to do.

I just don't do flowers or outdoorsy stuff.

Never have.

But surprisingly enough, I found out that I really enjoyed it.

Must be something that comes with age.  ;)

Truly, I didn't even know where to start.

So, I just decided to surround myself with things I love.

And this saying just really speaks to my heart
being I'm a southern transplant in the midwest.

After all my rearranging, I wound up with a little vintage potting shed.

I don't know why I never thought of that.

Even though it makes a perfect one.

Wonder why I never realized that before?

Just many little garden vignettes...

that make up the whole.

All of which are made up of items I love like...

blue Ball jars, jute twine, barn stars, and little 
southern spanish moss to make it feel a little like home.

And y'all know how I love my blue Ball jars.

And vintage grains sacks.

And since I can't seem to get away from my east coast upbringing...

And what could be better than eating outside?

with some nice fresh herbs for your cooking...

After being cooped up all winter...  


And somehow it all came together and reminds me of old times.

When things were simpler.

And a lot less hectic.

When you had time to sit and drink a Mint Julep and just breathe.

It just makes me sigh a little.

And the best part about it is, my only cost was the annuals and herbs.  

Everything else, I already had on hand through yard sales, auctions, and thrift shops. 

I just needed to use a little repurposing.

And THAT is the best feeling EVER.

Stay tuned throughout the week and I'll share a few of the transformations - like the barn wood sign, the repurposed washstand, and the crab pot buoys.

Until then...


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty (kitty,kitty,kitty, kitty, and kitty)!

Lots of excitement in our house last night and this morning! 

The much anticipated arrivals of kittens occurred! 

Not quite a year ago, we got sister kitties, 
Miss Marley and Lucy-Kitty from an ad on Craigslist.

We knew they were both female and despite popular opinion to the contrary, 
we decided to let them each have a litter before we had them spayed.

And within twelve hours of each other they had both given birth.

Miss Marley went first, with a litter of  three, last night.

I was kind of surprised because Lucy-Kitty was so much bigger 
and I thought she had gone into heat earlier.


After an all out house search, we found Miss Marley's under the bed in Eva's room - 
on her hot pink froo-froo shabby rug.

Bye-Bye Rug! 

Miss Marley had a tortie, a tabby, and a black with white paws.

Then, this morning, not to be outdone, Lucy Kitty gave birth to five.  

She was just finishing up when the kids got on the bus.


What a trooper!   

She never made a sound! 

Her birth room of choice?

The dirty clothes hamper in the boys' room.
(Okay, its more a pile, but what can I say?  
They're boys.  
And I stopped fighting that battle a looooong time ago.  :P)


And even though I have hooked her up in a large crate, 
she keeps insisting on moving them back there.  

Bad idea, Lucy-Kitty.

But after her trying to move them back there three times, I give up.

She gets her way.

She gave birth to three black and two tabbies.  

And one of the blacks is SOLID BLACK. Not a bit of white on it.  
Noah is going to want to keep that one.  :)

So, we're all so excited and looking forward 
to tripping over some babies here in the next month! 

I kind of bugged her for a little while, 
so I could brag on her babies.

Even aloof Miss Marley stopped by for a visit 
and to offer her congratulations.

They are sooooo cute! 

I just had to snap off a couple...  hundred.  ;)

And not to leave Miss Marley out, just because she's the more stuck up of the two and Lucy-Kitty sleeps at the foot of our bed...

I'll brag on her babies too.  

Lucy-Kitty returned the favor 
and stopped by to check out Miss Marley's babies...

Is there anything better than a teeny-tiny kitten?


There's not.

Well, maybe puppies.

Or colts and foals.

And baby calves are pretty cute too.


And now I'll leave you with a sneak peek of what I did yesterday, 
what I'll be working on further today (if the weather cooperates), 
and what I'll be showing you tomorrow.

Make it a great day, y'all! 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Break Is A Good Thing

Sometimes, ya gotta take a break.

Do something a little different.

Walk away from the pressure.
 (Otherwise known as the growing heap of furniture in my shop.)

So yesterday, I did.  

I've been working the past few weeks on 
either the workshop, pieces to sell, or custom pieces.

I finished up the custom pieces 
and decided to walk away from the other stuff for a couple of days.

Plus, with all this gorgeous Iowa weather, I wanted to enjoy being outdoors.

Scott got me motivated 
by gently persuading me to help him mow grass first thing yesterday morning.
(Read: Staring me down through the windows every time he rode by, while I was talking on the phone.  LOL  Yes, it was a little creepy.  HA)

And once I was outside, I wanted to stay there.

Enter:  The Well House.

(suspenseful music cue)

I like to ignore said well house, and pretend like it doesn't exist.

Kind of like I did the barn.

I really good at that, by the way.

Here's a pic of it, shortly after we bought our house back in '08.

Before we coated the foundation of the house.

Before we replaced the windows.

Before we ripped out steps, cut down trees...

Well, you get the point.

Too bad the siding is just as hideous, if not worse.  



Its been pretty much just there and the boys use it as a jungle gym.

Well, technically I ignore it, unless I need to stash something in it.

So, needless to say the interior looked as bad as the barn.

We won't revisit that picture of that unholy mess.  ;)

It was bad.

Really bad.

This morning though, it looks like this:

I love seeing all the little bits of history in it, 
like the handprint and date on the floor.

Or on the water storage tub (for lack of a better word - maybe mini-cistern???), the name of the very first owner and builder of the home, etched in the concrete.  

I didn't even know they had concrete back in 1905.  

Did you????

 Can you believe, I've never really stepped foot in here in five years???  

For real.

Well, unless I was tossing something in there to get it out of the yard.

See?  I keep telling you I'm a stasher.

So, yesterday I unstashed.

And lugged.

And sorted.

And burned.

And threw away.

Then, I pulled weeds.  

Cleaned up the beds.

Cursed the Hosta for dying in a dumb spot.

Rolled our huge pic-nic table that we won three years ago through a local radio auction 
for $245.00 from clear over on the other side of the yard.  

That was fun, let me tell ya.  

That sucker is heavy.
(Thanks for the help, Noah.)

And now we have a nice, clean, relaxing area to hang out and enjoy the summer evenings.

Its definitely not magazine worthy or HGTV-ified for that matter, 
but it looks TONS better.

Even Scott was surprised when he came home.

And now has plans for a deck/patio area.

Good Lord.


We just need to pull out the ginormous concrete clothesline poles 
that he's been wanting to do for five years, but I wouldn't let him.

He was right.

They need to go.

All in all, I really like how its coming together.

I'm canoodling an idea for the pallet with some flower pots.  

And of course, I need some flowers.

So, guess where I went last night?


Bought flowers.

Petunias and Dahlias.

Salvia and  Dwarf Celosia.

English Lavender.

Vinca Vine and Dracaena.

And because I have promised myself to provide my children with some good home cooked meals this summer, I bought...

Cilantro and Sweet Basil.

Sweet Mint and German Thyme.

So, today I'm going to be filling some empty flower pots.

And crossing my fingers that I don't kill every last one of them.

I have what I like to call a black thumb.

Unlike my Momma, who waves her hands over her yard 
and causes flower to magically burst forth in 
color and bloom.  :P

So, that's what I'll be up to.

A nice little break.

Enjoying the fresh air.

And praying my flowers don't keel over and die the minute I lay hands on them.


Until next time...


Friday, May 18, 2012

The Blonde and the Spider

Have you heard the one about the blonde and the spider?


Well, today is your lucky day.

Dumb Blonde
Yesterday, I cleaned out the northwest corner of our barn.

That's where we had shoveled all the straw, chicken poop, goat poop, and what not that had been in the back half of the barn.

Why has it taken so long?

Its not fun.

And trying to bribe my kids into doing it, wasn't getting it done.



I got it done.

Then I rearranged the southwest wall and put the stuff that I wasn't sure what to do with on the northwest wall where the pile of junk used to be.

I'm not sure exactly what this accomplished, except for the fact that it made it look like I actually did something.


And here's your blond joke of the day:

I then attempted to pull off the two remaining boards 
that were still nailed to the west wall in the southwest corner.


Couldn't budge 'em.

There was some debris in between the outer wall wall and the  boards, so I reached down, pulled it out, and tossed it on the pile in the trailer.

Doing so unearthed a large, nasty looking spider that crawled halfway up the wall, which I'm almost positive was this:

Brown Recluse
Which, immediately struck fear in my heart for Scott and the kids. 
(Just thinking about it makes the hair on my neck stand up.  I HATE spiders.  HATE.  THEM.)

So what did I do?

I jab at it with a scoop shovel.

And missed.

Which sent it scurrying back into the depths from which it was hiding.

So, what does the blond do?

I grab the leaf blower, stick it in between the walls, and try to blow the sucker out.

And this isn't a half-hearted blower.

Its a Stihl blower from their commercial line.

We don't play around when it comes to equipment.

Immediately, I was showered in dirt, cobwebs, and splintered wood 
that had fallen in between the walls over the last hundred years.


Wait for it.

You know what's coming, don't you?

{Do I hear you laughing?}

All of a sudden I realized that I might have blown that nasty thing on me along with everything else.

{Are you laughing at me?}

This resulted in an epileptic fit of me screaming while tearing at my hair, my skin, and my clothing, trying to 


{It's REALLY not that funny.}

And because I knew stuff had probably blown up my shirt and my shorts, I immediately stripped down, frantically hitting at every part of my body I could reach.

{Are you still laughing because there IS karma, ya know.}

So what if I was half-naked in my barn?

Its not like anyone could SEE me.

I think.

And so what if I considered for a fraction of an second 
running outside and rolling around on the grass 
to get it off my back?

Because when I reached the roll up door, it hit me that they were still putting up the electrical lines on my road and someone might drive by and see a 
half-naked fat lady rolling around on the ground.

And they'd be scarred for life.

{You really should stop laughing now.}


{You KNOW you would have done the same thing.  Don't lie.}


{Except you WOULD have rolled around in the grass.}

That was the highlight of my day.

So glad I could provide some amusement for you.  ;)

On the bright side, that corner is cleaned out.

Oh, and I didn't get bit by the spider.

That's a bonus.

And I probably scared the spider to death with all the screaming and commotion.

And I found out that Scott had the right idea about the wire spool and the island top.

And today, I've got to figure out a way to get out that pile of shingles and concrete.

 Except I'm afraid the spider is in there.

Maybe I should take the blower to it first?  

Or maybe not.