Welcome to my blog....

here I will be musing about my passions in life which include all things vintage, baking, decorating, gardening, my family, faith........

oh, and promoting my shop on Etsy.....

NaNa's Things a collection of vintage items I have treasured for over 30 years and also wonderful new old finds from local thrift and estate sales.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Pumpkin Bread or Cake? 3 Ingredients!

Have you seen the recipe for this pumpkin cake/bread that's been going around the blog world and Pinterest since last Fall? I first heard of it from my daughter Jena who said it was only 3 ingredients and really, really good.

I am particular about anything pumpkin I make so I was a skeptic. A box cake mix? Not for this from scratch girl. After all, I had been making the same pumpkin bread for over 30 years and it is all I'd make....until I tried this!! It is more than really, really good. It is stupid good (what exactly does that mean?!?).

There's the 3 ingredients.....spice cake mix, 15 oz. can pumpkin and 1/2 bag chocolate chips. I bought the mini chocolate chips by mistake but it turns out I like them better in this cake.

Preheat the oven according to the box for the pan you will use. Mix just the powdered spice cake (without adding water, egg, oil), the whole can of pumpkin and about 1 cup chocolate chips in a mixer till all combined. Spray your pan, spread it out and bake it for about 25 minutes (according to the cake mix box). Done!

No need to frost.

The texture is cake-y but with a sweet bread consistency. It is a pumpkin cakey bread. It is so much easier and so delicious that I have retired my 30 year old pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe. So sad.


AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:

Make It Pretty Monday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Treasure Box Tuesday
Coffee and Conversation
Tasty Tuesday
Wednesday's Adorned From Above Link Party
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
A Little R & R Wednesday's Link Party
Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Oh My, What a Difference a Coat of Paint Makes!

There is always painting to do around an older home, isn't there? My house dates to 1870 and it seems to be settling a little bit too. I add extra paint in those areas to cover it all up!!

Long overdue was the painting of the side porch steps. I could not do it over the past 3 years as I have had both total hip replacements done and my husband is not allowed to paint! With some of the wood starting to rot I had to get to it this year and cover it all up.

Wow, what a difference a coat of paint makes! A new pretty Victorian door and freshly painted trim helps a lot too! Still working on the trim as you can see by my  painters tape!

Even longer overdue than the side porch steps were the back door steps. They were down to the bare, bare wood. I never took a before but found this picture of them under the gorgeous blooms of my Orange Blossom tree.

Oh my, what a difference a coat of paint makes!

I also didn't take a before of the front porch floor but this little glimpse of it to the right of the stool pretty much sums up what the whole front walkway to the front door looked like. Faded, grungy and peeled with the primer showing through. Oh, there was bare wood too!

Oh my, what a difference a coat of paint makes!!

 I found this chair on the side of the road. Ugly color, unevenly painted, but I could not find anything wrong with it in the 15 seconds I contemplated taking it! It was clearly in the garbage but I thought, why not! I did find a break in the frame later, hidden by the woven seat but it doesn't affect the use of the chair. I decided to paint it and use it as decoration on my front porch.

I have been loving the color aqua so much lately that when I saw the aqua chalk paint at JoAnn's I grabbed it and started painting. The color name is Cascade and it is a new line of paint that JoAnn's carries called FolkArt Home Decor Chalk. With my 40% off coupon, it was quite inexpensive. It is an Ultra Matte acrylic paint. I love the way it went on, how easy it was to distress a little and then I finished it off with a brown stain and paste finishing wax.

Oh my, what a difference a coat of paint makes!

See that brown wooden shelf with the green chalkboard? It is also reflected in the mirror! That is the only before picture I have of it but I wanted to share it because I love the after.

I used the Oatmeal chalk paint from FolkArt Home Decor Chalk that I am loving from JoAnn's. I also distressed this a little bit and then finished it with a light wash of a brown stain and paste finishing wax. The flash from the camera does not show the distressing details but the coat of paint just made a huge difference. It now hangs as an information center at Impact Theatre, the community theatre my husband and I run.

Oh my, what a difference a coat of paint makes!

After I posted this picture on a recent blog post about my kitchen, I was horrified at how bad the color of the stool legs and the bottom of the island looked! I knew that I had chosen the absolute wrong color 15 years ago, but it looked right in the store! Very Violet? What was I thinking for a cobalt and white kitchen?

I went straight to the paint store in town and got the right color, called Glory, to finally redo them. Amazing how you can live with something for 15 years and then one day, it just doesn't work anymore!

Early morning light...my favorite time in the kitchen!

Oh my, what a difference a coat of paint makes!

The weather is getting too cold to be doing anymore outdoor painting....oh darn! Come next spring I will have some finishing up to do and probably re-touching to do after the inevitable harsh winter.

As a last reminder of summer, my lone sunflower bloomed today! Isn't she sweet?

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these fun blog parties:
Anything Blue Friday
Strut Your Stuff Saturday
Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Amaze Me Monday
Make It Monday
Make It Pretty Monday
Cottage Vintage Style
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
Treasure Box Tuesday
Coffee and Conversation
Before and After Wednesday
Showcase Your Talent Thursday

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Few Vintage Finds for My Kitchen Update

I just found this fun sounding blog link party and so I decided to do a kitchen update post so I can join in.

Nancy over at A Joyful Cottage has a month long link party called Every Room in The House Party. This month the room is your choice.

I have been putting off re-painting my kitchen (it was done 15 years ago....still looks pretty good!!) so I thought a few new vintage items would lift mine and it's spirits!  Little by little I have found things I just had to have for my cobalt blue and white theme.

I just had to get on board with the whole chalkboard in the kitchen thing but I don't have a lot of wall space in there! I bought an ornate gold frame at Goodwill, some stick-on chalkboard paper and made my own to fit on top of my cupboard. I painted it two tones of sage green glaze and gave it a brown wash. It compliments the grape leaf wallpaper on the top half of the walls. I use it for my weekly menu so that my son and husband don't have to ask me "what's for dinner?"! The footprint picture is an enlargement of my sons feet when he was born a preemie at 1 pound 10 ounces.

Last summer I started collecting vintage, rusty kitchen items like the colander, grater and strainer. I hung them above the window and besides all my trinkets and collectibles on the small shelves, I decided it needed more. The metal chicken basket has been mine since the 80's and the cobalt blue enamelware teapot is a new find that hangs on the soffit until it sells in my Etsy shop!

This small little space of wall between the stove and my "office" door is the magic spot of the kitchen. Anything I hang on the lower nail that is for sale in my shop, seems to sell from there. I include a picture of the item hanging there in the listing so maybe it just looks so good that someone has to have it! The white colander with cobalt trim is a new find that I am keeping. I paid too much for it from a hard bargaining elderly lady that knew it's history and worth. She won and I had to have it!

I got this red Cosco stool at Goodwill, fully intending to sell it. I put it in this corner till I could find a box big enough for it. The next time my 3 year old granddaughter Chloe came over to visit she climbed right up on it and it became her chair. It works perfect pushed up to the island so she can eat her lunch. I found the toile cushion at a garage sale. The only other red item in the kitchen is on the other side of the room and it is my Kitchen Aid Cinnamon Stand Mixer. I felt they balanced each other out!

I have a thing for stars (my front hall is full of them) so when I saw this rusty washed out blue metal star on our vacation, I had to have it. It's not vintage, just made to look that way.

I have had a really nice white wood and glass curio cupboard on this tiny wall between two doors (yeah, there are 5 doors in my little kitchen and small strips of wall in between each!) for a long time and it was filled with my keepsakes and trinkets. When I saw this old kitchen cupboard drawer at a sale recently I bought it to sell and started to list it. It already had a hanger on the back (the brilliant idea to hang it was not mine!) so I had to try and see how it looked here. As you can see it fits perfectly in the small space, as my cobalt blue collectibles do in the openings.

This rug is my newest find. A sweet lady at a yard sale crochets these rugs out of a really soft, cushy fabric. It was the right color and the right price so I had to have it for in front of my stove. With some thick padding underneath it fits perfect and feels good too!

At the same yard sale I spotted this scale on the table as I was checking out. She gave me a great price for it, worried that it was too high. I grabbed it and debated whether or not to keep it for myself. The turquoise enamelware pan is listed in my shop but sits on my kitchen island for now. I put the scale in there and then put the aqua colander I had to have from Goodwill (not vintage!) on top with some veggies in it. I love the whimsical look of it stacked together and there it will stay till something sells! I did list the scale in my shop.....reluctantly!

Those are my updates and I am happy with them enough to like my "new" kitchen for a while! Still want to paint again but luckily I used oil-based paint the first time and it has stood up to 15 years of wear!

Here is the full kitchen from two views!

Those are granddaughter pictures on the door!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great parties:

Every Room in the House Party
A Bouquet of Talent Linky Party
Make It Pretty Monday
Masterpiece Monday
Treasure Box Tuesday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
The Scoop
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Adorned from Above
A Return to Lovliness
Vintage Inspiration Party
Thursday Favorite Things
Share Your Cup Thursday
Treasure Hunt Thursday

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to Make My Day

A fellow New Yorker and blogger has so honored me by featuring my blog and Etsy shop on her lovely blog today. She is Diana and her blog is Adirondack Girl @ Heart.

Doesn't this banner just make you want to click away?! Please click on the link to check out my feature and also to have a look around Diana's blog. She features a different vintage blogger each week, which I think is just so nice! She does a wonderful job of it too. I am thrilled with mine!

Thank you Diana, for making my day!!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties:

Treasure Box Tuesday
Adorned from Above
A Little R & R Wednesdays
What's It Wednesday
Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends
Weekend re-treat Link Party

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

One for You and One for Me

I have been thrifting and picking for a LONG time. At first it was to decorate a 100 year old farmhouse and I filled it with primitives and charming country items.

Now I thrift mainly for items to sell in my Etsy shop.

I realized after accumulating some really fabulous pieces to sell, that I had lost that zeal for decorating my own home with newly picked  items because my focus was all on my shop. I live in an 1870's Victorian now and it is a mix of primitive, country, Victorian and shabby chic!

I had been reading lots of decorating blogs and was so drawn to the ones showcasing all white rooms and chippy painted items. I looked at my home with new eyes (us pickers have eagle eyes!), and as my decorating taste changed, so did the items I began offering in my shop.

I have evolved from loving the primitive and country reproduction kind of look to not being able to get enough of the rusty, shabby, chippy painted look that comes naturally with age.

This stool and planter is a keeper!

So, this post is about the great vintage finds I am keeping for myself (sorry!), some I WANT to keep but have no room to put, AND about the duplicate items I found so that there is one for you and one for me.

I cannot resist most things red, so when I saw the larger red metal 1960's lawn chair I couldn't resist. The $8 price helped too! I thought about selling it but when I put it in my garden behind the Hostas', well, there it stayed. It was too big to ship anyways!

So, don't I find a child's size metal chair very similar....in red! I paid the same price but I totally intended to sell this one. Not too big to ship, desirable, great condition. Until I put it in the garden next to the Mama chair. Yeah, these fall under the "keeping" category!

I used to cross stitch samplers so I know the work involved in one this size, 11 x 14. This one is gorgeous! It would go so perfect in my cobalt blue and white kitchen. I found a chippy wood frame in turquoise that just frames the other colors perfectly. How cute is the saying? I have to part with it though, so for a closer look, it is available here.

If you're a thrifter, maybe you can relate to this. You know how when you walk up to a yard sale and the owners are elderly? You figure they don't know much of the value of their old things these days. Well, I got this particular spunky little lady wrong! I tried talking her down for this fabulous white and cobalt blue colander. She knew her stuff and wouldn't budge. She told me that it is pretty rare to find that color combination in a colander, and she's right! I paid her price and knew I was keeping it. Did I tell you my kitchen is cobalt blue and white?!

When I saw this tulip light in a thrift store I immediately thought "yuck, gaudy" and passed by. On my second trip around the store (I always take a second look while picking) I looked at it with renewed interest and saw how unique and really fabulous it is. It is in great condition and although it would go great in my cranberry and pink parlor, I have to part with it. For that retro, 70's look, it can be all yours here!

Before my head was totally wrapped around my Etsy shop and buying goodies for it, I found this fabulous hand painted Ransburg cookie jar at a barn sale. I grabbed it not knowing, or caring, where I would use it in my house. I used it for awhile on the front porch for a plant but then, because of it's Fall color palette, decided to make it a permanent part of my dining room, which is decorated in Fall colors. I thought about selling it but, NAH!

Then, at another barn sale I found another cookie jar almost identical. Same maker, age and pretty hand painted look.The colors are a little different. Since I am trying not to be a hoarder, I knew I had to sell it. Find this beauty here.

I never intended to keep this cute, 1950's rooster metal tray. Until I set it up on the top of my cupboard while looking for a box to ship it in (it's 19" in diameter!).  I loved it there and there it stayed. I really like how the gold trim and accents go with my cupboard and how the red just makes it pop off the wall.

I kinda stopped looking for a large enough box for it until I found another tray exactly like it recently. I grabbed it for my shop and now there is one for you and one for me! As of this posting I have not found a box so it is not listed YET, but it will be there for you soon I hope!

This final item is a keeper for me although I really did intend to sell it when I found it. It is already hung in my kitchen!

I actually took all the photos for the listing and set up the page to fill in the description. I went into the kitchen for something, looked at the glass curio cabinet hanging between the two doors and that is when my mind started to work. "Hmmm, I wonder how that fabulous, old kitchen cupboard drawer would look hung on my wall filled with the same things that are in my cabinet?" I thought. I shared my thoughts with my husband and asked if he would help me find out. Within a few minutes, it was hanging and I love it!! It is helping to create the look of that all white, vintage clean look for my kitchen. Well, cobalt blue and white since I won't be changing the tiles anytime soon!

It is getting harder and harder to resist keeping things that I find but space and common sense helps with that! I have over 430 items in my shop and the space to keep them alone is running short! I can't help it though, I've got the bug and I can't stop myself from hunting for that next perfect vintage item.

Will I keep it or sell it? Or will I find two so that I can share....one for you and one for me!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up to these great blog parties:

Adorned from Above
Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party
Vintage Inspiration Party
Anything Blue Friday
Freedom Fridays with all my Bloggy Friends
Pink Saturday
Vintage Inspiration Party
Make It Pretty Monday
Treasure Box Tuesday
You're Gonna Love It Tuesday
A Return to Lovliness

Thursday, August 14, 2014

August is....

In the Finger Lakes area of Upstate New York, as I am sure is true in your part of the world, there are telltale signs that a season has arrived or is winding down.

The beginning of August is the best part of summer here. The local vegetables are ready, the garden is in full bloom and the warm, sunny days are more abundant.

Here is a pictorial view of August in my part of the world.

This is the "new" view of my garden from the side porch. I will always remember that it was this August when we got our new Victorian style screen door. It is a slammer. You know, no catch or turning knob, just push it open and let it slam shut. Brings back memories of the cottage I visited summers growing up.

Sunflowers are abundant and in bloom. These are the pollen-free variety from a local farmer at the public market. So happy my daughter Jena found these for me....usually I can't have them in my house because of the pollen.

Fresh picked tomatoes from the garden sitting on the window sill to finish ripening.

Local gardens, like my daughter Candice's are overflowing with zucchini, cucumbers green peppers and jalapeno peppers. The zucchini in this picture are considered small and the cucumbers are extra large!

Fading flowers (day lilies and bee balm) and newly bloomed flowers. August is the time for black-eyed Susans.

Fresh local raspberries to pick. Another round of picking happens in late August, early September.

A second blooming of my Marguerite daisies. If I am diligent and get out there to deadhead this patch, I am blessed with another pretty show.

This August has been very rainy and chilly at night. I actually saw a tree where the top leaves have already turned orange from the cold. My poor hens and chickens are living in mud. The lawn is doing great though, almost needing to be mowed twice a week!

August is also the time for camp. This will be my son's 7th year at Camp Onseyawa. In a few more years he can go back as a counselor. The camp is sponsored by a local Rotary Club that uses a campground on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes. 

It's going to be a cold one this year sleeping in these!

It just wouldn't be August without fresh corn. There are cornfields everywhere but not many roadside stands in my town. This one is in an odd place.....a future construction site, just all by itself, no cornfields in sight! It has the best sweet corn, large tomatoes and other local veggies. Best part is that it is about 2 minutes from my house!

I haven't been in a few years to pick blueberries but it is addicting! It is peak season here right now. My son and I went to get a few pints one day and found rows of blueberry bushes with an abundance of large berries on them. We couldn't stop picking (or eating them while we were picking!) and went home with enough to eat in a bowl with honey for breakfast and make blueberry pie. 

And, one of my most favorite signs of August is the blooming of the Hosta. I just love Hosta and have several varieties around my garden and house. These are my favorite for the trumpet style white flowers that bloom. They are very fragrant too. They run along the front porch by the driveway.  I will have to move those someday closer to where we can smell them more!

Summer is winding down and then I will start thinking of all my favorites of Fall. There is not a blog page big enough to list them all!

AnnMarie xoxo

I am linking up with these great blog parties: