Thursday 1 December 2016

Season of Simplicity

Hello again friends!
It's been quite a while so I thought it's time I posted something new!
We have been SUPER BUSY with our c.1863 farmhouse restoration project! Not much spare time at all!

With our farmhouse being new to us I am testing out the waters as far as some exterior décor ideas. I LOVED my simple fall décor so much and the thought of decorating the farmhouse for different seasons makes me happy! I do NOT have much time to put into decorating at the moment, so good thing I really love a SIMPLE FARMHOUSE!

 I have added some simple fresh greenery to our front entrance. I would love to add greenery to the windows as well. I love infusing natural elements around my home. What would they have used back in 1863? No plastic store bought items that's for sure! I would also like some white lights but for now its extra simple! Really because I can't FIND my lights at moment! LOL but Hey! I'm just getting started!
 I love adding fresh natural greenery inside as well. I've added some dried white tallow berries to the mix. I LOVE the look!
 I've dressed up our dining table with fresh greenery in my large wooden dough bowls.
 My household is a busy one having 7 people and pets. We have a lot of STUFF and I can tell you that kids STUFF can be quite colorful! IT BURNS MY EYES! so I have been toning down my décor to a more neutral palette over the last several years as it actually helps balance the business of the home to add a more calming effect and is so simply pleasing to the eye!
A simple bunch of fresh natural greenery tied to some white stockings gives a very festive look.

OK!! so I really just wanted to share an idea we have for the front entrance and give a tiny snippet sneak peek into our c.1863 farmhouse restoration project!

As you may have noticed in the above photos the front entrance of our farmhouse has a rather ugly large cement pad that we will eventually remove and I would like some simple large stones as the step with some flagstone added as the walkway. Here are a few examples of stone steps. I just love the look and I think will look really nice!
 I found the above photo on pinterest and it is from
This photo above was also found on pinterest and is from

And this inspirational photo below from has FABULOUS stone steps! LOVE!


                                                       FARMHOUSE KITCHEN:

A great inspiration to me is artist/designer/author Terry John Woods. I just love his use of ironstone pitchers above this bridge wall faucet so much that I had to find a way to incorporate that into our farmhouse kitchen! Isn't this simply beautiful!? You can visit Terry's brand new inspirational site here

The kitchen window area (see photo below) is unique as the window is much lower than the countertop height. so there is a bit of a box with a small ledge. At one point I added a wider board and sat my herbs on it and I could envision the same type of set up as the photo above. So I thought it would be a great spot for this style faucet! I wanted that ledge for herbs and other pretties like these ironstone pitchers!

Terry also had something that I have coveted for years...sitting right below his kitchen faucet...a soapstone apron front sink!! So guess what will be replacing the stainless sink that was here??

THAT'S RIGHT!! I am SO excited!!
 A craftsman made Barocca soapstone sink made to my specific measurements. Many people oil or wax their soapstone which will turn it black but I will leave mine as is and let it age naturally with use.
MORE photos of my farmhouse kitchen makeover coming soon!

.....or what is most commonly referred to as the bath-room!
....but Mel's Spa Retreat sounds way better to me! 
Here is a photo of my beautiful daughter painting our farmhouse bath room! This room really needed a brighter coat of paint to freshen it up! Here we are using BENJAMIN MOORE BATH & SPA PAINT, that we got from our FABULOUS restoration project sponsor MY PAINT & DECOR. You can read about WHY this particular bathroom paint is so great HERE!!

We chose the color HORIZON. It is a pale grey that can either look warmer or cooler depending on lighting. In this room it has a slight hint of blue which I thought was nice for our claw foot bath retreat!

And for the bath floor which was a mix of both raw and previously painted wood which we sanded slightly, we used Benjamin Moore Floor & Patio Low Sheen in the color NIMBUS. It is a neutral greige (grey-beige) color which will also change with lighting which I love. Sometimes it seems warmer beige and sometimes a cooler grey. You can read more about this FLOOR paint HERE
 Photos of this complete fresh makeover COMING SOON! Until then here is a sneak peek at my FABULOUS claw foot tub & hand held shower wand faucet!
NOW do you see why I call it MEL'S SPA RETREAT!?
Pretty dreamy farmhouse tub right here!
 Simple farmhouse style!

Well friends, I hope you have enjoyed my simple farmhouse décor and little sneak peek update.
With Christmas right around the corner I am wishing you all the BEST this holiday season and hoping that Santa brings you all health & happiness this Christmas!! xo

Monday 26 September 2016

Fall at the Farmhouse

HELLO AGAIN FRIENDS! ...and HELLO FALL!! My favorite time of year!!
Sweaters & flip flops! lol
Remember, I am Canadian!
 I was itching to decorate for fall so off I went with the plans of finding white pumpkins! and then I saw these guys! and I fell in love! Just that little bit of color but with a faded look. so pretty!
  and yes I did end up buying a couple white gourds & pumpkins but that's because too much color burns my eyes!
 I wanted to keep my decorating very simple! Simple enough that people will know that I'm participating but not so much that it starts looking like I might be selling the stuff!

 It's always nice when you don't have to go far to find some fall décor. Like right in your own flowerbed! Really, these hydrangeas are nice ALL year round!
This is an extremely chaotic time for our family right now, I am not finding that extra time to 'blog' at the moment. Once we get through this chaotic stage we are in right now and I have accumulated enough photos I will be posting updates for sure! Updates on what we have done, what products we used, how we dealt with temporary fixes, and much more. I have been dealing with health issues and trying to find out what's going on and this was not your average house purchase. OH NO it certainly was not! I am not only trying to run a household of 7 but also acting as the official dealing with the county for the farmhouse severance, and basically general contractor for the project. My husband works full time continental shifts and just sort of does what I tell him he needs to do. It's a LOT of weight for one person!

 I will tell you that a LOT has gone on and will continue to go on with regards to our farmhouse restoration. And I can tell you I feel wonderful about it! Lots of smiles over here. I am sure what I am feeling is hugs from that old girl because I have such a feeling of comfort in it!! There is still a lot of work-years worth of work to do but we have to try to prioritize those jobs as well. I have a lot of WANTS but we have to work on the NEEDS first as my husband reminds me!

 (I hope you are enjoying my simple fall décor!!)
 My mom in law said WHAT ARE THOSE!? referring to my strange form of cabbage. I don't know WHAT kind it is, I just like the looks of it and it was cheap! $10 for the 2.

Time to bring out those comfy blankets & quilts!
 My kitchen plans have changed-I am not having open shelving now, I am using some cupboard sections that we already had instead of open shelves. The cupboards are actually made from an antique upper cabinet that had been cut in 2! one half has a screened door so I assume the other had a screen door at one time. So on one side of the window the cupboard will be basically open shelving because there is no door and the other will have the screened door.
 I have been keeping in contact with Robin Stubbert the photographer who did my other photo shoots and we plan to do another in the future! OH! and she also said the the INTERIOR PHOTOS of the fall shoot we did at my old house may have been chosen to be featured fall 2017. Of course I will keep you posted about that!

I have also been busy creating items for my etsy shop RusticFarmhouseWares.
you can visit my etsy HERE
I use antique & vintage textiles to create my handmade designs all with that simple farmhouse style! Due to the nature of the fabrics some items may have slight discoloration & imperfections which only add to their character. I will be listing more aprons, pillows, stockings & other goodies asap. Let me know if I can custom make something for you! I will also list the occasional vintage item. 

 I've been stock piling some lovely grainsacks and linens and have been creating some cute lavender sachets and pillows. I have some orders to fill but I will continue to list more items as soon as I can.

So a couple years ago I made these vintage grainsack & ticking insert style pillows (below) and they have been pinned over 21,000 times! I guess you could say they are quite popular!
If you go on pinterest and type in 'grainsack pillow' they are right at the top!
So I decided to design some MINI PILLOW lavender sachets  
they are made in the same style as those ticking insert pillows!

 And YUP! its that time of year again when I start working on Christmas stockings! I bet I run out of supplies sooner than later!
 Below are the textiles I am using to put together a custom order of 5 stockings. They will be so cute!
Well friends, I hope that this update-about not giving updates constantly is taken well! I love having all you wonderful followers and I don't mean to disappoint anyone but I just have to do what feels right for me. Just know that everything is going good.
Phew! I am in much need of a nap but I must start some potato soup and get the laundry done! Take care all! ~Mel

Tuesday 2 August 2016

Harvest Table Makeover

Hello again! We've been very busy with our 'rustic farmhouse' restoration. In the meantime, every day LIFE and the TO-DO LIST still need attention. A few of us took turns sanding our pine harvest table top. Those pine boards were given to us by my Father in law and are well over 100 years old. About 10 years ago we had a table made from them, the boards were 8 feet long but we had to shave off a couple inches to square them up. And before anyone cringes at the thought of all that patina being sanded off, it really did need it! It had YEARS worth of slopping, drooling, eating, drinking, colouring (with permanent markers), being used as a catch all, spilling glue & glitter, name it!

 And no all that stuff couldn't just be washed off, it also had a layer of stain and varnish worn off in some spots and not in others. It's like going to the hair dressers and saying "I only want a half inch cut off" and she replies "Yes I understand that ma'am, but you NEED about 3 inches cut off to remove all these dead ends!" and I may or may not be speaking from personal experience. I did't want to sand it completely flat, it has always had dings and chips and cracks and holes which gives it character and I don't want to remove that BUT I do want to give it a new look. A makeover.
Right now it is raw with a little stain and varnish and unrecognizable things left in the cracks and dents, the low spots. So I need to find a product that will get in there and gently wash it away. I will then need to FINISH it! I recently made facebook and instagram posts regarding this and I have had many suggestions and I am leaning towards WAX as it is more natural and let's face it one of the oldest ways of protecting furniture! I have seen some great photos on pinterest of tables coated with lime wax which adds some white in the crevices. I see that there are also colored waxes as well, which only confuses me more. I am also concerned about water marks being left behind.  Maybe some newer waxes don't leave water marks??
 Here is a photo of the table with it's warmer finish. OH! I just love this photo by Robin Stubbert for Prairie Style magazine. Oh what great memories on that farm! We are still living in the country on a parcel of land just shy of an acre. Just enough for the kids, dogs and eventually chickens to run around and I have plans for another nice garden and fire pit! Can't wait to make more great memories at our new place! I would LOVE to hear about your personal experience  with table top finishes and always open to suggestions! Thanks!

Thursday 30 June 2016

Our feature in PRAIRIE STYLE Summer 2016!

 Hello Friends!

As you may remember we did a photo shoot a while back of our old farmhouse & orchard. The exterior shots will be featured in the upcoming issue of Country Sampler's Prairie Style Summer 2016! It was so fun working with Interiors & Lifestyle photographer Robin Stubbert again, I love seeing her work her magic! It's amazing the way she can capture a moment. When taking photos inside you can create lighting if need be but when working outside however, it's a race against time! I knew Robin had limited time to get some specific shots as the sun seemed to be going down quickly and I was in a panic! I remember trying desperately to get ALL of my family to do what they needed to do for the camera and of course when I had 5 of them doing it the 6th person wouldn't be, or someone would be missing all together and have gone back into the house! KIDS!! Oh it was a crazy night! Total chaos! Lots of fun though looking back! LOL       

                                                  link to Robin's website Robin Stubbert

I had made caramel & pecan apples and they kept melting and I was so upset that they seemed so sloppy! I wanted the perfect candy apple! Once I saw the photos though I realized how perfectly imperfect they were just they way they should be because this was really just another little glimpse into my world and everyone knows that's just how I roll in the kitchen! At the end of the evening, when it was all said and done we were really happy with what was accomplished in such a short period of time. We just sat at our table and smiled. It was late into the evening and we realized we were starving! We already had the fire going so my husband threw some chicken on the grill. They got a little charred but we ate it anyway! My family is used to (my) char but poor Robin!  It was the first time she had ever experienced anything like that, the combination of working with such time restrictions and all that chaos of such a large family.

In the end some amazing exterior (and interior!) shots were taken and I am forever grateful for such keepsakes and memories. Thanks so much to Robin for her amazing photography and also to the fabulous Fifi O'Neill for choosing to feature photos of my home & family not once but TWICE in Prairie Style magazine issues. Interior shots from this shoot will hopefully find a home soon and when they do I will be sure to let you know!
Visit Fifi Fifi
Order your early copy today!  Prairie Style Summer 2016


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