Wednesday, January 30, 2013

a giveaway AND a new house

 I'm happy to share a couple of things with you all today.  First up is a GIVEAWAY!  The fabulous folks at Ramsign contacted me about hosting a giveway and of course I jumped right on that offer... some lucky winner is going to have one of these fabulous house number signs of their very own.

And it's going to be an easy to enter one.... Just head on over to their website and take a look... then come back and leave a comment here, on this post, telling me which one is YOUR favorite.  You don't have to be a follower (although I'd love to have you!), but be sure I can contact you if you're the winner!

And while you're out and about, perhaps you would like to check out their Facebook page as well?

 In case you were wondering, and I KNOW you are, my personal favorite is the Lighthouse series... something about that red lettering!

Again, the rules are easy... any house number sign (1 to 5 digits) and leave a comment on THIS post.  Doesn't get any easier than that!  The deadline is one week from today (February 6th) but don't delay!

And the new house teaser? With this giveaway being "house related" and all about sprucing up your home, well I thought it was time to tell you what is in the works around Red Gate Farm... a new house!  Nope, we're not moving but we did purchase another house to fix up and rent.  You may remember the Peach Palace?  Well now I give you (drum roll)......  Kermit's Kastle!

It might not actually be a Kermit green in color but ya gotta work with what you have!  Hopefully this project will be a bit quicker than the 5 months at the Peach Palace, but we'll have to see.  This beauty is located in the same little town as the Peach Palace and was built around 1915.  I'll be sure to share some more photos as the project progresses.

Wishing you luck in the Ramsign giveaway....  as long as you wish me luck with Kermit's Kastle!

Monday, January 28, 2013

free & easy

Don't you love it when something comes together... and at zero cost?  First, I have to admit that I just FINALLY got all the Christmas stuff put away a week ago.  I know, I know we were 3 weeks into January but when you have a front porch that is enclosed, not heated, it's 26 or 27 degrees out at night AND is where the tree and multiple bins of other stuff is still located... well it's pretty easy to just SHUT THE DOOR and forget about it!

Finally on Sunday (the 20th) the sun was shining and I got busy and finished packing up the Christmas holidays.  I don't know about you but I never seem to get my other stuff back exactly like it was... I'm always tweaking or fluffing something and the front porch was no exception.

A couple of years ago I came across this free wicker frame in the "freebie" box outside of my local thrift store... I quickly snagged it and put it in my trunk.  When I got home it somehow got buried in my sewing room closet.  When we were making chalk boards for the wedding I searched high and low for this frame but since I didn't actually EMPTY the closet I never found it.  One of my "little" fall (aka multiple day) projects was tidying up my sewing room and cleaning out that closet... of course I found that free frame.  I hung it up as is for a couple of days before deciding what I wanted to do with it.

And of course, the chalkboard idea won out (again).  This time was a real cheat.  Since the frame was so light I used a piece of cardboard, some Annie Sloan chalk paint (because I didn't want to dig out the actual chalkboard paint) and my trusty chalk marker.  Oh... and my hot glue gun as well.  I traced and cut the cardboard, painted it up with black ASCP and hot glued that baby to the wicker frame.  Easy peasy and most of all absolutely FREE!

I copied a cute holiday saying using my infamous cheating chalk art technique... I was going to do a little post and use this for my Christmas Wish list post but never quite got around to anything except taking a few pictures and brainstorming a list that never got published.  (Fortunately I still got a few gifts even without a list!)

Now one thing you may not notice... is that the "chalk art" is crooked.... not the frame but the actual art/chalkboard IN the frame.  I had traced my image before gluing the cardboard to the frame.  My image was straight on the cardboard but somewhere between art and glue I managed to attach it crooked.... so I knew this wasn't going to hang around after the holidays!

Fast forward to last weekend and I broke out my paint and painted over the original image (since chalk marker doesn't wash off of painted cardboard)... leaving it in the frame this time.  I had decided I wanted to hang it in the front porch were I still don't have much on the wall... this time I used regular/real chalk and just free handed a little something special to me...

Red Gate Farm, of course!

I'm pretty happy that it's finally not looking like a crooked sign...

And on a bright and sunny afternoon...

It's a great place to cozy up with a good book... perhaps a Nancy Drew?

As long as you've got a blanket that is,

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Friday, January 25, 2013

a pinterest project.... easiest ever, valentine garland

 Finally... something I've pinned on Pinterest has actually been made!  I've made a recipe or two...but actual projects?  Not so much.

I found this pretty little inspiration a few weeks ago and pinned it to my "valentines" board.  I even knew EXACTLY how I was going to recreate it...
Source: via Red on Pinterest

A couple of years ago I found this set of cards, over sized cards.... and I'm talking about 4 x 6 or so over sized, at my local thrift store.  They were $.49 and the box was pretty trashed.  I picked them up thinking that some cards were probably missing but could use them in some fun way someday...

Much to my surprise the only card missing was one of the Jokers!  I guess the joke was on me now.  Since all the cards were still there I didn't want to punch holes in the cards like the inspiration garland.  What to do, what to do.... So along with my salvaged, left over, cut up bits of Christmas ribbon....

I picked up two boxes of super small binder clips to use instead of punching those holes!

And these ones are mini... really teeny tiny.

Of course, I was only using the heart cards for this Valentine project.  I attached two binder clips to each card... the Ace through 10.

Then with a piece of white seam binding and an extra card for spacing, I laid all my cards out.  I decided that since the back of the cards was also a red design, well I would do have facing forward and half facing backwards.

A little fussing and finagling and this is what I ended up with.

I used extra ribbons, including some aqua satin ribbon, on the ends.

One of my dogs sat and watched the process... I'm sure she was wondering what in the heck I was doing now!

 I didn't like that the binder clips were visible... so I used some leftover Christmas twill ribbon and strung it through the little wire tops of each binder clip... I think it hides them pretty well now.

 I'm really liking the addition of the aqua to the red and white of traditional Valentine's Day decor.

I did realize when I was finished and taking these pictures that I had managed to start the "ace" on the right.... I meant for it to be on the left and then they would be in ascending order... now it's like reading backwards!  Oops!

 But still pretty cute and very, very easy....

And since I have my grandmother's old set of cards... missing a few AND with fabulous roses on the backside... well I think I'll be recreating another version before Valentines Day but with the actual hole punch this time.

Enjoying a fabulous sunny day in the Pacific Northwest,

Friday, January 18, 2013

Step right up.... for a baby shower

It's baby shower time again at Red Gate Farm... well actually it will be at my sister's house but since I came up with the theme and have taken over all of the decorating am responsible for decorations I think that we can still call it a Red Gate Farm baby shower!

And this shower will be double the fun and double the babies!  It is a combined shower for my niece that had a baby boy just before Christmas and my cousin's daughter that had a baby boy just after New Years.  These two mommas grew up together and they themselves are just a few days apart in age... so a joint party it will be!

The invitations will set the stage for the invited guests.  With bright colors, a cute font, a red striped big top tent, candy and tickets.

So have you guessed the theme?  Well step right up... to the circus/carnival/parade/zoo!  But mostly circus... I just can't help finding a few extra vintage items that aren't quite circus but I couldn't resist.

Last fall I found these fabulous books at an antique-craft show that my mom and I attend every year.   These are handmade journals... made out of old books and re use the covers along with a few pictures inside!  I found a cute Berenstein Bear book "C is for Clown" and another Disney book "The Mice and the Circus".  I plan to have guests write their addresses inside along with anything else they wish to include.  I thought they would be wonderful little memories of the special day.

Of course, there will be food and prizes.  I've collected a number of fun recipes on Pinterest... even a caramel popcorn that sounds fantastic.  Perhaps these vintage popcorn or peanut bags will be favor bags filled with that popcorn and some salt water taffy?

And decorations?  Of course I've been collecting all kinds of goodies...

I found this vintage board from an old board game.  It is actually a zoo but it inspired the vintage circus/carnival idea... and who can resist a box or two of animal crackers?  I've found a couple of tins with the Barnum's Animal Crackers design and plan to incorporate them into the design somehow.

Here's a closer look at the board game and the elephants... cute huh?  I love how one is stealing an ice cream and the other is picking a little boy up by his britches!

But the best find?  Well I found it just today at our local antique store.  Just $12 with 20% off!  Do you know what it is?

It's actually a "billboard" from an old train set and lights up!

I'll be sharing more on the planning over the next couple of weeks...and hopefully... the shower will live up to it's billing...
as the greatest show on earth.



Monday, January 14, 2013

little brothers...

Little brothers... some of us have them... some of us even ENJOYED them.  Last week I came across a little brother of another kind at the local thrift store.

Like many of us as we grow older, he had some lines... some wrinkles... and even a little break or two from the past.

But the price couldn't be beat!  Just three dollars and the only "work" I plan for him is a little repair for the seat that is cracked.

He's now in my dining room with his big brother, this stool from my grandmother.  See the family resemblance?

Big brother holds a stack of vintage linen and lace tablecloths and runners.  I'm planning to put a little something on top of him... but with our big dogs it needs to be unbreakable.  I'm thinking something metal perhaps on top of little brother?

And speaking of little brothers... well that girl with the birthday a few days ago?  Well she too has a little brother... one with a birthday just 3 short days after hers... Two years and three days apart in age that is.  He  had a big year in 2012 as well.  You may remember he purchased his first house in January and moved in after a little cosmetic work... Creating my "empty nest".

His little bungalow got a paint job this summer.  Pale green with white trim.  Of course being a newly turned 23 year old little brother living on his own... well the place could use a few things still... like curtains!

The big sister realized her little brother cleans up pretty well...

But I think he prefers this look a little more...

Sweatshirt, work pants, a hat and a tractor that is.

So a little belated birthday wish from me... to my son.

And little brothers of all kinds.

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