• Ironstone,  Uncategorized

    Ironstone How To Find It Love It And Display It

    I don’t know if everyone is as obsessed with Ironstone as I am, but let me just say, I am so obsessed I would knock over an old lady in a thrift store for a piece of the beautiful stuff. 

    I came across it probably much like you when I saw an article in a magazine. There was this beautiful display of the white creamy Ironstone in someone’s fantastic kitchen. I read the article and learned a bit of what it was all about but to tell you the truth I gleaned through the article and went straight to the pictures. I was hooked. 

    I read enough to know kind of what it was, but honestly it was just pretty white china to me. I began to scour the flea markets and thrift stores as well as the online shops just like the article suggested. I soon learned it wasn’t just white dishes. I made many purchases of white ceramic china thinking I had arrived at Ironstone. However, I loved the look of those and kept them in my collections as well.

    A piece of pottery mimicking Ironstone to a T

    The above small pitcher is one of my “almost Ironstone finds”. Turns out it was an old imposter. I don’t mind it is beautiful and displays well. 

    When I learned what it really was all about I become intrigued.  Following a definition as found on Wikipedia 

    Ironstone china, ironstone ware or most commonly just ironstone, is a type of vitreous pottery first made in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century. It is often classed as earthenware[1][2] although in appearance and properties it is similar to fine stoneware.[3] It was developed in the 19th century by potters in Staffordshire, England as a cheaper, mass-produced alternative for porcelain.[4]

    There is no iron in ironstone; its name is derived from its notable strength and durability.

    Just imagine this, in the beginning it was a cheaply mass produced item, but as popularity grew it became more beautiful and much more intricuit in design.

    In the beginning of my Ironstone journey I thought I just needed white china. At first I had a hard time identifying the real thing from white ceramic counterparts. There are many copies for Ironstone and they are sometimes hard to spot as a counterfeit. 

    To tell the real stuff from simple ceramics is very difficult, sometimes it is marked a lot times it is not. Not all makers marked their Ironstone. Sometimes because they were small companies that could not mark them  due to cost and they only worried about getting them out, sometimes because only the first piece was marked and the rest just mass produced. There were also “lunch time Pieces”, the workers were allowed to make pieces on their lunch hour for them selves or for practice. These were not marked but they were put out. Ironstone does have a unique look and feel and once you get used to it you can spot it. 

    Ironstone is usually heavier than it looks, it has a glossy luster, and a creaminess. There are really old ironstone pieces that have an almost blueish greyish hue. This is a marker that you have something old and great.

    My first real piece of good old Ironstone

    The piece above was the first real piece of real Ironstone that I purchased. It is made by Powel and Bishop in the mid 1800’s and is the pride of my collection. It has that blue/greyish hue. It may not be the most sought after piece of Ironstone but it was my first and my most beloved. That could just be because it was rare and truly old. 

    Above are some “real” Ironstone pieces and every piece came from thrifting and estate sales. Ironstone is found everywhere you just have to look. 

    These days the most popular pieces to collect are: Pitchers, tureens, anything pedestal, and large sugar bowls. I love bowls I mean large bowls, mixing type bowls. I use them, I display them. Actually I use all of my plates, cups and dishes. I don’t believe in just hoarding stuff. With that said, I do not use my Powel and Bishop pitcher. That baby is just for show and tell and for bragging rights. 

    Ironstone Butter pats

    Above are my almost favorites. Ironstone Butter Pats. The pure white are hard to find and are expensive. I just love them though. I don’t mind if they are pure white or a transferware. I cannot get enough.

    You will find that the makers of Ironstone changed hands constantly. Meakin, Johnson brothers and several other’s shared molds. They also bought each other out a lot. Some Ironstone like Gibson for instance was still being created into the 70’s as real Ironstone that is. They just changed hands a lot.

    Now, I don’t really care how old, who made it or anything like that. If I love it and can afford it I buy it. 

    This I think is a nice display on the buffet in our dining room. A mix of white and transfer ware Ironstone.

    Above are some of my pieces, I use all but the pitcher on my table, not every day but at least a couple times a month.

    I love to create little vignettes and display around my home. Here are some examples of how to display. 

    I think Ironstone is to be loved and treasured. Once made for the masses of England as a cheap alternative to porcelain in a hard economical era. Who knew it would be so popular that even the French and Japanese artisans would copy it. Think Blue Willow and Limoge if you will. They gleaned from England and England from them. Than in 1905 America would enter the Ironstone making business. look to Homer Laughlin, the most sought after maker of restaurant ware and finally the maker of Fiesta Ware. 

    Ironstone is timeless, beautiful and worthy of collecting. It’s not just the look or design but the appreciation of things old and beautiful, of things lost and found. Find it today. I promise you will not be sorry. 

    If you enjoyed this post please let me know in comments. If you have pictures of your collection I would really love to see them and share them with other readers. 

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    Thanks for stopping by,                                                                                                  Kathy

  • Uncategorized

    Easy Rustic Christmas Ornaments You Can Make Cheap

    I have got the cutest Christmas ornaments to make and go along with your farmhouse theme. Well actually you don’t have to have a farmhouse theme you can use these ideas with any theme, maybe just need to switch a few things.

     

    All of these costs me 1.50 or less to make, some costs nothing. I have been doing a rustic farmhouse tree for a couple years now. I have a 7′ tree so that is a lot of ornaments. If your decorating a large tree the ornaments cannot be too small or they get lost.  I usually buy a few each year.  However, the cheapest I have found is aroung 2.00 and to be honest I’m not that impressed.

    The cuties above were so easy and so inexpensive and they take a few minutes to make. You can look for items around your house or go to thrift stores for some of the items like the pitcher and cow creamers, I paid .99 for the cows and 69 for the pitcher at Goodwill.

    The Crate  I bought at Hobby Lobby for .99 and took a Christmas floral pick apart that I purchased for .50 at Joannes. The buffalo check ribbon I used a lot was a piece of scrap material from and old shirt I just stripped.  the metal bucket was .59 at hobby lobby I just added a chalkboard sticker. The dear head was 2 for 1.00 at the Dollar Tree. The dear head is mounted on a piece of wood left over from trimming an oak tree in our front yard. I didn’t want to do the usual old circle piece so I grabbed one cut from an end on an angle.

    My favorite of all of these is the corrugated metal monogram letters. I purchased the letters at Hobby Lobby for .97, again just a snip from a flora pick and some buffalo checked ribbon. These are going on my tree and I will use them on packages. K for Kevin  my favorite nephew, (my only nephew).

    Beautifully Bleach Pinecones

    Bleached pinecones are so beautiful and unique. they can sit in a bowl or you can add a nice ribbon and hang on the tree. They also make a pretty package decoration. 

    The pinecones are beautiful and easy. Middle picture is simply a little blue bow glued to a longer piece of ribbon than glued to the top. Next a simple poinsettia glued down than glue the bows finally the bell, And the most obvious put some in your favorite vase or jar.

    I want mine to “turn” quickly and be very light so I use more bleach than most. in a 5 gallon bucket or large plastic or glass container pour 1/2 gal. of bleach and about 1/2-3/4 water. place your pinecones in and put something on top of them as they will want to float. I put an old dinner plate on top of them and a weight on that. It takes about 1 week depending on desired color. However, when they are wet they will stay closed and you cannot tell easily. I do about 1 week anything past 2 weeks and the pinecones start to disintegrate. When you are ready dump them out choose a safe place. Not on grass or near plants. I do it in the driveway. rinse them good and set in a sunny location. Keep them in the sun until they open. Your gonna have to watch for rain or snow.

    Once they have dried you can add them to a bowl, in a clear jar, tie on a package or hang on your tree.

    Here I have some tips for tree decorating. I have a large artificial tree, 7′ also it is very full. I like to use something different for my “tree stand”. this means I put the tree stand inside of something unique. One year it was a large square basket, I’ve done a galvanized bucket, I bought my galvanized bucket for $20 at home depot, if your stand is too wide for the bottome turn it over and cut out the bottom or set on the bottom and cover with skirt to hide your tree stand. An old crock and an olive bucket. I also try and have a tree in all of our common areas like kitchen living room and family room as well as small one in my bedroom. Yes, I am crazy for Christmas.   First thing I do is but the bottom half with the stand in my choice of tree I put it up fluff the branches than let it sit until the next day. You may not notice it but the tree branches actually settle a bit more. Once I have it fluffed the way I like it I begin the decorating. Lights first, don’t just go round and round the tree, go up and down the branches as well. I know this is a lot of lights but the sparkling beauty is worth it. You might have a pre lit tree, I have one and I still add some lights.

    Start at top come down the tree in a round and round fashion and go up and down most of your branches, I do every other one. 
    3 balls tied together with a floral pic placed behind and tied

    When the lights are all settled I add the Garland or ribbon. I like to do the ribbon in a round and round fashion. If you are not using garland you can use tinsel or large poinsettia all over the tree. However, garland, ribbon or flowers fill in the gaps and really add some pizzazz. 

    Taking 3 balls and tieing them together with ribbon looks so much better than just one ball. If you do use one ball it will look much better if you tie a pretty ribbon to hang it from. Make the balls stand out more.

    I find that a tree with really bare spots looks undone. However, using the “filler” helps a great deal. By filler I mean garland, bows, flowers or anything unusual you have. 

    I hope you enjoyed this post. If so please let me know in comments. Also I would love to see your Christmas decorations so please upload a photo.

    Also, please subscribe by email so you don’t miss a post

    Happy decorating,                                                                                                           Kathy

  • Uncategorized

    Make Amazingly Easy, Impressive And Unique Party Bites

    Well folks this is not your momma’s recipe for sweat and sour meat balls. Oh don’t get me wrong, I love them. However, I think I have had those and cocktail weenies at every gathering I have ever gone to, haven’t you. Now w are going to create some unique and tasty recipes that will make you a super star party queen.

    Now we will have one or two throw backs just because they are sort of impressive and folks love them, but we will change things up a little with the oldies. Below are some recipes for foods that do well with finger foods and hor deorves fare. A couple are taken from older recipes with a little bit of whimsy  added to them.

    I lined the upside down letter with foil than leaf lettuce, just add your veggies and a dip and voila!

    Cruditie tray in galvanized monogram letter wall hanging

    shrimp cocktail: Store bought cocktail sauce 2 shrimp and sprig of parsle

    Shrimp Cocktail Change it up with an aperitif glass

    Bacon pineapple wrap: wrap bacon around pineapple chunk secure with pick pour teriyaki sauce on top back 350 for 10-13 min. 

    Bacon pineapple wrap
    Cheese Board: Swiss, cheddar, pepper jack, Colby, gouda and cream cheese and chive spread (cream cheese with chopped chives. nuts grapes and apples

    Teriyaki beef skewers: At least 1 lb of skirt steak, measure about 1/8 -/1/4 lb. per person, but not all will eat them. bottle of store bought Teryaki sauce, cup of crushed pineapple chopped onion bunch of cilantro and sesame seeds. slice beef about 1/2 inch thick by 5 inchs long, place in crock pot the  bottle of sauce on med for about 2-4 hours or slow cook on stove on low with tight fitting lid for about 2-3 hours. You will just have to keep testing doneness. When cooked through skewer the beef, plate and drizzle some of the dripping over, do not drench. Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds over skewers. You can do with chicken or pork as well. 

    Teryaki Beef Skewers

    Waffle and fried chicken  slider: Store bought waffles and chicken tender from deli, cut waffle in quarters, sandwich chicken, plate and have warm syrup self serve

    Smokies and cornbread cups: 2 box’s of Jiffy cornbread mix make according to directions, 1 package precooked smokies, pour muffin mix into mini muffin tin, press smokie down in the middle laying down, bake according to package directions, Serve with spicy brown mustard to dip

    Mini cornbread muffin smokie’s
    Philly Cheese Steak Sliders

    Mini Philly cheese steak Slider: small rolls of your choice 2 lbs. thinly sliced skirt steak, onions, Velveeta cheese oil and butter. pan fry onions in butter and oil, when golden add steak and cook through, place steak and onions in rolls and top with 2 tbls. of Velveeta cheese, you can add peppers or mushrooms if you like. Figure 1/8 -1/4 lb. meat per sandwich, not everyone will eat one so you just have to estimate how much you will need. 

    Fruit cups in sweet dip

    Fruit cups: In clear plastic cocktail glass place fruit of your choice, I like pineapple, a melon like honey dew or water melon, grapes, strawberries. For the dip: block of cream cheese, 8 oz. of Marsh Mellow Whip combine, spoon in bottom of cup and than add fruit. place a small skewer inside as you would a fork, or use a plastic fork. 

    Have bags of chips and dip, pretzels some nuts and your table is plentiful. It’s a cocktail party not a Smorgasbord don’t worry about not having enough food. 

  • Uncategorized

    Best Holiday Gathering A Time for Joy and Friendship

    Who doesn’t enjoy holiday parties and get togethers? It’s a chance to catch up with friends old and new. A chance to share your home and a good way to let your mad entertaining skills shine.  Oh, you don’t need mad skills really, you only need to plan, have a date and a computer. This blog post is chock full of easy tips and tricks to make the most of your affair.  Follow some of my idea’s and your sure to pull off the best holiday gathering. Also, please remember that your friends and family want to share time with you and your family they aren’t going to notice anything off. Your going to do great and be the talk of the circle.  Remember this is in my farmhouse styled home so you will see hints of that everywhere. For instance, metal bucket for the chilled wine, beer in a galvanized tub, crudité tray in a galvanized initial of our last name, lots of wood, an other natural elements. Now if your party is during the holidays your home is probably already decorated so serving area’s are the only place to worry about.

    The only plan that fails is a plan not written down

    PLANNING: I guess the first rule of thumb is the planning and the selecting of a date. I think a holiday gathering has the months of Nov. Dec. and Jan. Consider times that are already booked or hard for folks to get away. For instance, the week of the major holidays of those months are probably bad dates to have a party.  I always get myself a little notebook to keep track of items like guest list, date of event, things to order and when, purchases to make,  like paper goods, serving pieces, drinks,  food shopping, decorations, and more. You want to schedule time for you like hair and nails and choosing an out fit. Don’t forget about what goes to the cleaners.

    When I do my inviting either by invitation or by texting or calling I always add the following:  We wont be able to have designated drivers here but will have some cab and uber driver numbers. I hate saying it to them but you must. It gives them a little hint to make arrangements or tells them your concerns and that you will have a safe way home. The good news most folks today are a lot more careful than years ago.

    FOOD: Your food selections will be simple and easy finger foods. My rule of thumb for ease and simplicity is this. I only make appetizers and hors-d’oeuvres  that can be eaten by fingers a toothpick or a short skewer.  I have about 7 different hors d’oeuvres, a sandwich platter that I usually buy at my grocery store, a vegetable tray, something unique,  cheese tray, a couple dips.   Go here for unique and creative recipes.    https://urbanfarmhouse.net/2018/11/04/make-amazingly-easy-impressive-and-unique-party-bites/

    Galvanized metal Monogram upside down and lined with foil filled with veggies, awesome!

    BOOZE: I don’t have a ton of booze. It’s very expensive and I don’t want people getting too festive if you know what I mean. I set up a liquor bar and I have a rum, a bourbon, a vodka and a gin. I never serve tequila as it has been know to bring out the party crazy. I have several mixers, lemon and lime. We love to make a “house cocktail”, my husband likes to come up with these. More about those in a minute.  We do a wine/beer bar and a coffee bar. soft drinks are with the liquor bar.  On the wine/beer bar I have usually 3 kinds of beer. A dark beer, a light (regular) beer and a “light” beer. I like to go for Samual Adams for the dark, budwieser for the regular beer as it is popular and either Michelob Ultra or Coors light for the lighter side of things. If you are a beer connoisseur you can choose more if you like.

    See my blog for 7 Amazingly good easy Cheap appetizers for your gatherings on my blog Urbanfarmhouse.net  https://urbanfarmhouse.net/?p=181

    My wine and cheese bar is my favorite while I’m not a huge wine drinker I enjoy the classiness of the wine bar. I will have a red, white and a blush or pink and a bottle of champagna. I select about 5 different cheeses and I base this not on just what is cool looking but what will actually get eaten.

    The coffee bar will obviously have coffee tea and coco. Make sure you have these things on the bar,  milk, 1/2 and 1/2, sugar, artificial sugar like Splenda and sweet and low.  I have the desserts close to the coffee bar. Other than that just some Cups/mugs, spoons and napkins.

    I have a blog post dedicated to recipes for easy entertaining here     https://urbanfarmhouse.net/?p=181

    I don’t do any fried foods as they should be done right before guest arrive and the house smells of oil, plus there are a lot of last minute details like getting myself ready. No one misses them anyway. 

    A breakfast gift to go

    This is something I really enjoy doing and with just a small casual gathering it’s doable. I have something for all my guest to take home. Believe me, in the morning they do appreciate it. Each guest goes home with a fresh bagel some cream cheese and coffee to make a pot and some nice tea. I put all in a cute gift bag and believe me, they love the effort and you and your gift are a party hit. I mix cream cheese with chopped chives and a spritz of lemon. I put it in a small mason jar, garnish the top and voila! A artisan cream cheese spread. The jars are about 7.00 for 4 at Walmart. I put about 4 scoops of ground coffee in a small bag, pinch of cinomon and a pinch of chickory. This makes 1 pot. I just purchased some celestial tea to add to the gift. 

    Well I think that about covers it. Don’t forget to go to my other post, ” 7 Amazing and Easy Party Eats That Are Sure To Please”. All that is left is for me to wish you happy holiday’s and enjoy your fabulous get together.  Please leave me some feedback in comments and don’t forget to subscribe by email so you wont miss any other great posts.

    Kathy

  • Uncategorized

    Farmhouse Collectables How To Display Your Treasures

    Ironstone Soup Tureen

    Oh how I love to collect things, too many things I’m sure. It starts out innocently enough, You see something you really like or someone gifts you something wonderful. The next thing you know, you realize there are others. Other wonderful objects like the one you have but a little different. You decide you need all sizes shapes and colors. Welllllll, this isn’t so bad as long as you can keep it under control somewhat. If you don’t and your “collection” starts to take over the house and isn’t quite decorative anymore but rather resembling a basement in need of shelving, than you might be a hoarder. I was a hoarder, I know that stigma. I learned I could stop being a hoarder and instead be a savvy collector.   You don’t want to be a hoarder.

    I absolutely love a cloche. They are beautiful. Originally used to cover small plants or seedling to protect them from the weather. Called cloche, pronounced clo sh they are named after a ladies hat which it mimics it’s shape from. Woman also used them long ago for tucking little treasures inside to keep them safe and hidden. Today, you can use them for just about anything. I have several. A few are shown above. I decorate them for holidays and seasons I have put my babies things in one. You’ll notice tht front right is full of scucculents, (artificial) the one on the metal pedestal houses some Ironstone butter pats, a wee one with some tiny pumpkis and of course the one in the middle with the antique books and clock that is broken some old pages from an old book and a quail. This one is in my husbands office. On the far left is a type of cloche with a metal housing. I do a pretty Christmas scene in this beauty.

    My problem is how many collections I have going at any given moment. I don’t know if it is because I grew up in a house with barely a book or knik knak, but I love stuff. I used to be really bad about it I will admit. I have tried to do better and making sure it looks like décor and not a nasty basement.

    I found an easy way to tame the clutter. First of all I try to use whatever I collect. We actually eat off my Ironstone, I will use my French Enamelware coffee pot as a vase.  Linen napkins, I use them. I don’t like having something and not really enjoying it. Now when my grandsons come over they don’t use expensive linen napkins. I don’t use 100 year old Ironstone. I use the pieces that are safer. If something breaks while it might break my heart it wont break my life. And life is something I want to get pleasure from.

    Old and new linen napkins in front from Target

    Another trick I do is rotate. Yes rotate, you see I would never have the room to display every piece of every collection. what I do about every six months or for holidays sometimes is rotate my pieces in and out. My husband built a couple shelves in the garage for me. I keep my things there that aren’t being used. Except that is for my crystal barware and glasses. I choose a day for decorating and I start making displays or decorating around the house setting things up here and there, (don’t forget the bathrooms).

    What I do is keep about half of that collection, or whatever doesn’t fit in the house out on the shelves. Than I just rotate them in and out. Really it is kind of fun it’s like getting new stuff all the time. This is also a good time to do that heavy dusting and cleaning. It actually makes the dusting a little easier to do. 

    Maybe you don’t have a garage or you do but cannot put your things in there or don’t want to. Here are a few other ideas I have used in the past. If you have a good one I don’t mention please comment about it. 

    Also think about gifting things you no longer want or use. Goodwill, Salvation army and others like this would love to have them and I would love to find them there. 

    Under beds: you can buy Rubbermaid or card board totes that slide under. The under bed shoe organizers are great as they already have sections, great for glass. Ok this one is a little weird I admit. See that large enamelware pot on my cabinet? It is full of birds nest, birds and things for the cloche collection. Think about things you could fit something into like hat boxes etc. Don’t forget suitcases, you rarely use them right? Hide some things in there. I just hate being told I cannot keep treasures around my home. These are things I love. I do understand too many things that are not displayed properly can look bad. But, put some thought into it, only get what you love, keep it organized and enjoy. 

  • Uncategorized

    Warm friendly lunch for 2 gals on the farm

    What’s on the menu?  Fresh from the garden green tomato’s fried to perfection, decadent French onion soup.  Friendship, laughter and lots of love.

    I had an old friend over for lunch recently, we had not been together for a long time. I decided since I had tomatoes growing and several perfect for frying I would make some of those and some soup. I remembered she loved French onion and since that is pretty easy the menu was set. 

    I’m not sure what to discuss first how to grow these beautiful tomatoes or the recipe for how to create these crunchy on the outside juicy on the inside Fried Green Tomatoes. Let’s talk eating first shall we.

    I was raised in the South and I have eaten many of these wonderful tomatoes. However Im telling you I have never had any as good as these. Now, Im not wanting to brag but this is the best I have ever tasted. One of the things I don’t like about Fried Green Tomatoes sometimes if all you can taste is tomato, just a warm soggy tomato with a bit of breading. Or one that is all breading and barely any tomato flavor at all.  If you don’t find that balance it’s just another wet fried tomato. Another problem is a tomato that is too green. They have to be harvested at the perfect moment. Green yes, but with barely a touch of orange starting to come out. Not rock hard, not soft either. I would describe it as firm.   I found the recipe I will share and made it a couple of times. It was ok but I wanted to try a few things and although they are very simple tricks they really made a difference.  So here is the recipe I put together and below is my tricks for growing huge tomato plants that produce some of the sweetest juiciest tomatoes I have ever grown.

    Oh, I don’t want to forget to tell you about my ironstone. I have a nice collection of Ironstone China, I absolutely love this creamy white glossy stuff. I use mine. A lot of folks don’t but I figure what the heck. If Im going to enjoy it I’m going to enjoy it all the way. Now, a 100 year old piece I don’t use. One that is fragile and about to explode I don’t. But in good condition I do. You see I have my tomatoes on an Ironstone platter and my soups in the Ironstone lion bowls. 

    This world can be a pretty ugly place sometimes. So why do we put the linen napkins and the nice dishes in the closet. We don’t know what’s around the corner so enjoy today, celebrate your pretty things.  Whatever is your best be it antique china or a dish from Walmart. It doesn’t matter, make every day as beautiful as you can. On those days you are tired or just don’t feel like making a fuss, use the paper plates for that day, they are your best right. 

    Fried Green Tomato’s

    I pick about 4 large green tomatoes, firm not hard of soft. Green but with a very slight sign they we turn soon

    •   FOR THE TOMATO’S
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 cup Jiffy Corn Meal Mix
    • 1 tbls. fresh chopped parsley
    • 1 tbles. fresh chopped basil 
    • 1 Cup of whole milk
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper for flour mixture and salt and pepper to taste on the tomatoes before the milk soak. 

    slice tomato’s approximately 1/2″ thick, push out a lot of the pulp, you don’t have to get every bit, but most so they are not too soggy.

    Salt and pepper tomatoes and let sit on paper towels for about 20 minutes this draws out excess moisture. Meanwhile mix egg into milk and mix well. Dip tomato’s into wet mixture than dredge in flour mixture. 

    Fry in 325 degree frying pan for 4-6 minutes each side. Check the tomato for color before turning, you want that golden brown. Lay on paper towels to drain off some oil. 

    Zesty Dip:

    • 1 cup mayo
    • 1 tsp. horse radish
    • 1 stsp ketchup
    • 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
    • Mix together and refrigerate until needed

    1 cup whole milk, salt and pepper to taste and about 2 inches of oil in bottom of whatever size frying pan your using. 

    5 -6 foot healthy tomato plants:

    The most important part of growing a tomato plant is the hole. Tomato plants get heavy with all the toamato’s and the have long stems that need support and planting them the correct way ensures a healthy hardy plant. Start: dig a hole 2 ft. In the hole place in this order, fish head or whole fish (bait stores will have this), 3 crushed asprin-controls blight and acts as an immune booster. Crushed egg shells at least 6 eggs, this provides needed calcium.  About 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt tomato plants are usually low in magnesium. Used Coffee grounds, acts as fertilizer. No need to mix it up. Just leave it. 

    Make sure this hole is 2 feet, otherwise predators like racoons will smell fish and dig it up. I haven’t had it happen but I always dig the hole deep. I have heard of others taking the short cut and getting the racoons playing find the fish head in their garden. 

    Also, tomato’s need to be buried pretty deep. Put the plant right up to the bottom leaves, if you have to pick them off. The stems will hold lots of weight later on so you need to bulk those up now. 

    The only other thing I do is when I first start the garden I clean out my fire pit and mix the ashes with the soil, helps balance ph. When I clean the chickens, rabbits or quail cage I throw the droppings shavings and all in a large Rubbermaid tub, fill with water cover and cook. Let sit for a week than stir and water your plants with this a couple times a week. 

    Before they are grown get your supplies together for staking. Start this as they grow. I use cages for ones that will stay small and for the tall guys I like to use 3 bamboo plant stakes for each plant and I tear of an old soft cloth for ties. Don’t use string it will cut into the stem. Some people use old pantyhose. Tomato’s need at least 7-8 hours of sun a day. When you plan your garden remember to place tomato plants where they will not block sun from other vegetables and plants when they get big.

    There is a very busy time of year coming up. Dare I say it. Thanks Giving and Christmas. Watch for lots of fun ideas here. Recipes, dinners, gift making cookie making/swapping, wrapping, entertaining/cocktail parties, football get togethers, kids idea’s decorations and What the heck do I wear. A guide to awesome holiday outfits cheap on the wallet with mile high style. See you soon.

  • Uncategorized

    Farmhouse, Flea Markets And A Truck Full Of Treasures

    The above pictures are from my flea market booth. Loved those wonderful old treasures.

    What draws us to the Farmhouse way of life? Is it reminisant of yester year? Does it give us a feeling of comfort and familiarity? Yes and Yes.

    I believe that is a large part of being drawn towards a life filled with ship lap, hardwood floors and flour sak dish towels. I also think that it’s familiar and pretty easy to accomplish. We don’t realize that Farmhouse décor has been around for decades. I think the Farmhouse design evolved from the Country decorating, the primitive style and the rustic style. The farm house has brought a more modern cohesive and clean look to the older décor.

    Fabulous display at a flea market. I could stay in here all day. See anything you would like?

    I love the modern farmshouse look, I have tried many styles and always come back home to the Farmhouse life style.

    It’s not just the aesthetics I don’t think, I think its the fun and funky things there are to find, old jugs, buckets and kitchen gadgets. The many ways you can use old ladders or one of a kind wall hangings from that old Tabaco basket you found.

    A beautiful example of a modern farmhouse living room

    This is the best time of the year to hit the road for a road trip. The festivals and flea markets are teeming with cool farmhouse finds. I like to hunt down the big arts and craft festivals that come to town every year and I always am up for a flea market trip. You can look on line for festivals and flea markets near you. Almost every town has a nearby flea market, ours is only about 6 miles away. It’s not huge but it has around 250-300 venders any given weekend. I also have sold at flea markets, that is a whole other blog and some pretty funny stories. I collect a lot of things, my favorite is Ironstone China, when I have too much and need to pair down I have to sell some. How else would I buy more. Online and flea markets is a great way to get rid of extra stuff. I like the market as I can meet people online you never even speak. 

    When I go to the markets or festivals one of the many things on my radar is out door items like garden supplies. Galvanized buckets, old watering cans, tools etc. These are really unique and a great addition to outdoor decorating. Once I found a very old wire chicken egg basket. Well since I have chickens it was  a no brainer. I actually used it for my egg collecting. But, they can be used in doors, for just about anything.  I have pictured below my egg basket and I couldn’t not show you my favorite chicken Truvey, and she is wondering why I have all her eggs in one basket. 

    Kids Garden tools look cute in my flower bed

    I love the flea markets, I always come home with a bunch of fun finds for little money. Don’t be afraid to haggle, they expect it just be fair. Most mark their prices up just a little because they know people will haggle.  The junkier the better too. I will rummage through that junk like a squirle looking for his hidden acorn.

    If you love yard things too but don’t have a yard, maybe an apartment balcony is all. Don’t fret, there are lots of thing you too can do. I’m going to show you some of the things I have gotten from the markets and how you can use them in and outside the house. 

    Old chippy red tool box will make a herb planter

    I just love red and this old red toolbox is perfect for my herbs. This green metal piece I believe whet to an industrial piece like a tool box or something that held small items as part of a large organization piece. I love it, anything industrial/outdoors like this is what turns me on. For this one I use it to store seeds. I can keep them nice and organized. I harvest a lot of seeds so having somewhere to keep them all together is invaluable and how cute does it look.

    Olive buckets, hard to find where I am so when I saw one I dove across the booth for it. step ladders and oldstools are another favorite find. At one time I had so many I had to give some away, They are perfect inside or out. There are many, many ways to use them. Plant stand, book holder, slide a board from the front to back runs and it makes a shelf. You can use them in the bathroom for towels or put some baskets on them to hold your bathroom items. These can be painted so easily too.

    I call it picking, that is when I go to flea markets, tag sales garage sales and just pick through everything. I have found some pretty old china, irosnstone and all sorts of great finds just by picking through the piles.

    This is something my husband and I do together. We were always looking for a fun activitie that was affordable for us to do, easy to do and something we both enjoyed. We even find a flea market when were vacationing or visiting family. All you have to do is get on google and you can find them everywhere. Below I listed some I am looking forward to going to and a couple links for some very popular ones. What a great way to see the country right.

    These are the Flea Markets on my list of markets to go to:

    Brimfield in MA, Roundtop TX, and those that I have provided a link for below. The link below is for another blog site I am not affiliated with but Im sure they don’t mind my sharing.

    Next post on Urban Farmhouse: 

    Farmhouse Collectable’s: Ironstone, Enamel ware, Mason Jars and much more. We will talk about collecting vs hoarding, (theres a difference?)