Category Archives: IndyAttractions

2014 Parke County Covered Bridge Festival

In 2012 and then again in 2014 I was blessed to go to southern Indiana’s Covered Bridge Festival with my mom, aunt/godmother, mother in law and, in 2012, another of my aunts. It’s a tradition we probably wouldn’t have started had I not moved to Indiana, but I hope it’s one we continue for years to come.

The Covered Bridge Festival is actually a collection of festivals in small towns throughout southern Indiana. The common theme of these towns, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, is that they all have these great old covered bridges. If you ever have a chance to go, I highly recommend it. We always go on a Wednesday to Thursday to avoid the rumored crowding on the weekends. As I’ve never gone on a weekend, I can’t say whether it’s terrible, but I’ve heard horror stories. It features great food, arts, crafts, antiques and great food(did I mention that already?).

Both years we have spent our first day at Bridgeton. We like Bridgeton for it’s abundance of crafts and antiques. There are definitely many unique finds here and it’s a relatively large venue. We can spend the entire day walking around and not run out of things to see. All of the sites usually  have a few venues selling what we usually refer to as “junk,” and by “junk” I mean inexpensive things ranging from bras in a bag to goofy T-shirts to toys to scarves to kitchen utensils. Junk really isn’t a fair misnomer, because you can’t beat the deals you can find on great gifts like scarves or blankets or things you may want for yourself. I bought myself a scarf with little blue anchors and this super cute headband. Grand total for both was about $15. Worth it! But Bridgeton seems to have a relatively low number of these and the antiques and arts definitely far outnumber them. We speculated that there may have been more mass produced stuff there this year, but all in all it was worth spending an entire day exploring this site.

When we went in 2012, I looked at these and decided not to buy one since, you know, I knit. Well, two years later I hadn't made one so I decided $4 was worth the investment. I wear the heck out of this and, added bonus, it doesn't squish my curls.

When we went in 2012, I looked at these and decided not to buy one since, you know, I knit. Well, two years later I hadn’t made one so I decided $4 was worth the investment. I wear the heck out of this and, added bonus, it doesn’t squish my curls. Maybe I need it in another color …

My favorite finds are always the unique things you’ll never find anywhere else. I bought this cute little stepladder, perfect for holding plants that I’m rooting. This batch of airplane/spider plants is for a few of my cousins.

Plant Stepladder

I also bumped into this little guy early in the trip and, well, he just had to come home with me.
Metal Goat Statue

He and Tucker became fast friends. Who knew a little metal goat and a cheeky pit bull could be such a perfect match? (The little pincushion was a cute find at one of the flea markets at Rockville.)

In 2012 we went to Mansfield on the second day. This was also a very large venue, but we thought it had more in the way of inexpensive mass produced things and less of the arts, crafts and antiques. Or at least we felt that Bridgeton’s ratio of unique to mass produced was better.

This past year we decided to try Rockville on our second day. Rockville was nice because most everything is set up in one giant tent that goes around the courthouse, and the weather that day wasn’t gorgeous (actually, the weather was pretty terrible both days. Hooray for rain boots and ball caps!), so it was nice not going in and out. The square is super cute and features a lot of antique shops and flea markets, so they’re a natural addition to the festival. There’s also a cute little yarn shop on the square, although I will emphasize that it was little and yarn was definitely not their main focus. They sold a lot of looms and some fabric as well if I remember correctly. Rockville’s square would be a neat day trip even if the festival isn’t going on. An added bonus for me was that I could take Highway 36 all the way back into the city and enjoy the stunning fall foliage. Rockville felt much smaller than either Bridgeton or Mansfield, but for our second day that was nice. A little less walking, a little longer lunch and the day ended a little earlier, considering everyone else had to drive a few hours to get back.

We had lunch at the Thirty Six Saloon which was delicious. Their menu features a variety of things from whole roasted chickens to pulled pork to hamburgers. Aunt Ann and I both got a big sloppy Hot’N’Wild Burger with cheese and jalapenos and both agreed it was delicious. They’ve got an extensive outdoor seating area, so I imagine this is a great place to go in the spring and summer.

I’ve been daydreaming for, well, a long time about upgrading my dining room situation. I love this farmhouse table from World Market and I love the combination of seating in this Crate & Barrel photo.

In one of the antique shops around the square, I stumbled upon this lovely little set of farmhouse chairs.

Farmhouse Chairs

Well loved and well used, they were the perfect combination. They match the blue already featured a few times in my great room, I needed three, they have that well loved character only years of use can provide and, while they are very similar, they are actually three completely different chairs. I fell in love pretty much instantly and, while there was absolutely zero intention of buying furniture when the trip began, I knew I’d regret not taking them. Even better, Aunt Ann overheard the owner say she had to vacate the store in a couple of weeks and was very  negotiable. At the $12.50 apiece they were marked, they were already a steal, but I figured I’d try my hand at bargaining. I offered her $20 for the lot, fully expecting she’d come back with a counter and knowing I would willing pay full price if that was what she wanted. After a moment of thought, she agreed and they were mine! We got some odd looks walking down the street carrying dining room chairs (and a couple of comments about how we were really thinkers, bringing our own seating with us), but I gotta say I’m pretty thrilled with my purchase. My home is very much a reflection of me and my personality. It might seem random and eclectic, and it’s definitely a work in progress, but finds like this really bring that unique flair that I want.

They lived in the garage for a few months, then on a warm day in January I took them outside, brushed them off well and scrubbed them with some hot water and some Murphy’s Oil Soap. They will need a clear coat, as the paint is delicate and I know it will chip if it’s not sealed and who knows how old that paint is. That will have to wait until spring. I don’t have a new dining table yet, anyway, so they live in various places around the house for the time being.

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I came home with a few treasures to be sure, but there was also a wealth of inspiration, from DIY projects I’ll actually do to daydreams that, let’s be honest, are unlikely to ever happen.

This was another find at the antique shop where I purchased my farmhouse chairs. No, this didn’t come home with me (but it did go home with someone else it would seem) but I definitely fell in love with it. For a long time I’ve daydreamed about having a “studio,” a little building in the backyard surrounded by garden where I keep all my knitting and sewing type things and that has space for doing projects, building things, etc. A sink in this space would be incredibly handy for dying, blocking knitting projects, washing hands after staining, cleaning paintbrushes, etc. The entire thing took shape in my mind when I saw this sink. (Hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Craft Room SinkThis table also inspired me. It seemed like the perfect thing for keeping next to a favorite chair. Little drawers to hide away knitting tools, plenty of space to set a cup of coffee and materials, patterns, etc. But I’d probably want to paint it, and it was in gorgeous shape and I’m sure I couldn’t have brought myself to paint it. If I remember right, the price wasn’t perfect, either.

The Perfect Knitting Side Table

This might be a great DIY challenge, though. Can I find a set of drawers and a table that I can somehow marry? Can I build the lot? Maybe not drawers … All thoughts to keep in the back of my mind. Who knows, maybe some day I’ll find just the inspiration for recreating this little guy with my own flair.

I encourage everyone to just go with their gut feeling when choosing things for their home. At the end of the day, your home should reflect you, your interests, your personality. Just as we are all in progress, our homes constantly evolve.

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. William Morris

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Filed under IndyAttractions, Inspiration, Pinterest Inspired, Room updates

Home Sweet Home

As many of you know, Paul and I recently purchased our first home and moved!

Here is just a quick photo tour of the house, pre-move in. Our House

Sorry that picture is so tiny. I yoinked it from the realtor’s website and, well, right now it’s snowy and cold and I don’t want to go take a new one! The house is essentially one big circle. The tour will be given clockwise. So, imagine you came in the front door and then went to your left.

DSCN1504This is the front room of the house (See the front door in the upper left corner?) This room got a biiiig makeover. More on that later.

DSCN1505The hallway (on the right) leads to the three bedrooms and one of the bathrooms.

This bathroom is down the hallway to the right, affectionately called the “blue bathroom.”

Blue Bathroom

Across from the blue bathroom is the blue room/craft room /Spider Man room.

The blue roomDon’t anyone dare for a second think this is a Cubs room! Just don’t do it! This is my new craft room. I ditched the red curtain, but the Spidey lightswitch plate is still there. Maybe it will grow on me?

At the end of the hallway is the pink room.

Guest Room

What? You don’t looooove the mauve carpet? New carpet or refinishing the hardwoods (we hope are) underneath is a project for the “someday” list. This is our new guest room.

Down the hall to the right you will find the master.

Master from hallwayThe forest green wall would be a lovely bluish grey now, except, when I was taping off to paint I realized that there is evil wallpaper underneath the paint. Damn. So, being who we are, we have to “do it right,” if you will. So the wallpaper needs to come down before the paint can go up. That will happen sometime soon, but for now we are focusing on unpacking and a few other projects.

Master from bathroomThis view is of the master bathroom from the master bedroom.

DSCN1515This is the view of the master bathroom from the bedroom. As you can see, it has two doors, which is what makes the house a big ole’ circle. (The walls are less lime than they look here.)

DSCN1516View from the hallway looking through the master bath to the master bedroom. Someday that floor tile will probably go away and become lovely white penny tile with grey grout (same for the blue bath). Another thing for the “someday” list. And the tile baseboard (yes, that’s painted tile) will become unpainted (if we’re lucky) or painted a different color (if we’re reasonable.)

If you look at the photo two above this (bathroom picture minus toilet) you will see that hallway leads into the kitchen/great room. On the right in that hallway you will find the laundry closet. (I don’t know if it qualifies as a “room” persay.)

Laundry ClosetThis room has taken great strides since we moved in. More on that later.

When you leave the short hallway from the master bath to the great room, the kitchen is in the corner of the room directly to your right.

KitchenSquare footage wise, I think this is a bit smaller than our old kitchen, but the storage is much greater. Also, brand new no-one-has-grossed-up fridge! Yes! Gas stove and mounted microwave/hood are also on the “someday” list.

And now for what is probably our favorite part of this home. The greatroom!

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This view is actually from the doorway that goes between the the front room and great room. The breakfast bar/kitchen are to the left. This room. is. huge. So what did we do the first weekend we owned the house? We bought a sectional couch. An L-shaped sectional that is approximately 8′ in one direction and 10 in the other. Want to come over? We will have a place for you to sit (couch tentatively expected to be delivered between April 9 and 11)! You can see some of the deck and the .33 acre yard through the patio doors on the left.

Also, another of the great features (I’m definitely not biased) of this home is out that door. The Monon Trail is an Indianapolis park that extends about 10.4 miles from downtown all the way up to Carmel (northern suburb) but it joins with a couple of other paths as well. What used to be a rail corridor is now a trail used by approximately 4,000 people each day (according to Wikipedia.) And we have a gate in our back fence that opens onto a small stair that leads right to it. We can hope on our bikes and take a 15-minute bike trip to our favorite Broad Ripple restaurants. We can walk up to the ice cream shop just a few blocks north. We can people watch (oh yes, the Monon attracts all types.)

If you want an idea of how important the Monon is to this city, take this example. Today we (like many other regions) are supposed to get 6 to 10 inches of snow (to quote my dear friend Amanda, go home March, you’re drunk.). A salt truck drove by this afternoon. On the Monon. Later in the day when it was raining ice pellets? Runners, joggers, bicyclists and one odd man in a trench coat went by. And we are so excited to have it at our back door. Now we just need summer (or, at the very least, spring) to show up so we can enjoy it in all it’s glory …

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Anyway, Monon gush over. Back to the great room. Our office space is in the upper right corner of this photo. The garage door is also immediately to the right. That door in the middle of the photo leads to stairs which lead to the basement. Most of this room and a small, finished basement were added on in 2001.

I forgot to take a picture of the basement. It’s pretty much a finished room with a storage closet and a small sump pump/radon system closet. It also has theater-style lighting. Ooo. Ahh.

Since I have taken these photos we have moved all of our stuff in and jumped into some projects. I’ll try to be a bit better about keeping up the blog. 🙂 Cause I know you’re all dying to know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under IndyAttractions, Moving Craziness, Room updates

My Library Card Catalog Placeholder

Ok, so I told you we didn’t leave Midland empty handed, and that is definitely true! While we didn’t find a library card catalog, some of you may have cleverly spotted something similar in one of yesterdays photos…

Printers cabinet – I also love printer’s cabinets but definitely don’t have enough tiny stuff to fill up one of those. This one was reasonable priced because it was missing a few drawers. I’m not an antiques connoisseur by any means, but there weren’t many things that I balked at the cost of (except that monkey lamp). They may have been expensive, but I could see the value.

Do you see it?

How about now?

I decided this cute little drawer could hold off my desire for a library card catalog, so home it came! For a mere $24.07.

I am not really sure what “special trips” means or what tiny things special trips involve…also, I was having a really hard time getting my camera to take an image where the text was sharp. Bah.

Now, I could have just filled it up as it was, but I thought it might be nice to have some dividers for tiny things and some bright colors, too. So I worked on it for a while, and here is my new storage:

With a pop of color

It isn’t quite filled up yet, but I’m sure I’ll find a few more things to put in there as I work in my craft room.

As of now there are some stamps, some weaving supplies, some tiny clothespins…and lots of happy color!

Owl bookends approve

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Filed under DIY, IndyAttractions, Inspiration

Midland Arts and Antiques

Midland Arts and Antiques is a place I’ve been wanting to check out for a while, but for some reason haven’t made it there yet. Greer and I went on a double mission. I have been wanting a library card catalog for a very long time. These are often very expensive, and I am very far from the $600 these popular pieces of furniture usually bring nowadays. I spent most of the end of last week super excited because I bid on one on ebay with a less traditional shape and whose starting bid (and bid until the last hour of it’s auction) was only $20. It would have taken a 3 hour drive to get it home, but Greer and I planned a Sunday road trip adventure and it was nothing but excitement. Until the last hour of the auction, that is, when someone outbid me. I’m not sure how high they bid, but at the last minute I upped my top bid from $50 to $75 and that wasn’t enough. Someday I’ll have one, when they are less popular and I have an income that is large enough to support furniture purchase that are more than $50.  🙂 Oh, and Greer was looking for a bed side table, something that was solid wood that she could either use as is or refinish to match her (adorable) white bedroom with bright pops of color.

We didn’t find Greer’s table or my library card catalog (persay) but we did see some awesome (and occasionally scary) stuff.

Such as:

Scary exhibit A: There is another clown face on the other side. So weird.

Strange Exhibit A: This monkey lamp can be yours for only $350! Really?

Printers cabinet – I also love printer’s cabinets but definitely don’t have enough tiny stuff to fill up one of those. This one was reasonable priced because it was missing a few drawers. I’m not an antiques connoisseur by any means, but there weren’t many things that I balked at the cost of (except that monkey lamp). They may have been expensive, but I could see the value.

Any manner of outdated furniture

Any manner of outdated furniture

Greer!

So many lamps

Bunnies (After I took this photo a woman took the little one like she thought she needed to make sure I didn’t take it first. One persons oddity…Although in hindsight they might have looked pretty awesome spray painted yellow…hmm…)

Creepy Exhibit B: I have no words for this one.

Right before we found this creeper Greer was like “Hey! You want a really old clarinet?” So I looked at it. Yep. Exact same one I own. Nice.

Giant table legs! Cause, you know. Why not?

There was every manner of neat, outdated, odd (table legs with no table? marble countertops with no cabinet?) and amazing item there. At the end, it was a little overwhelming. The place is two whole floors of a huge factory that used to make sashes and doors. We both felt like, if nothing else, it held a wealth of inspiration.

All in all, a really neat place and definitely a place I know I’ll be returning to!

But have no fear! We didn’t leave empty handed! More on that tomorrow…

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4th of July Weekend – 1 year wedding anniversary and Barbecued Buffalo Beer Can Chicken

As many of you know, July 3 was our 1 year wedding anniversary! To celebrate, we ate at Oceannaire, an absolutely amazing seafood restaurant in downtown Indianapolis. I definitely recommend this place if you are into seafood. They have a raw oyster bar, with oysters from several different places. They have specials that change frequently (possibly daily) and all their seafood is flown in fresh. They also went all out for our anniversary, giving us an anniversary card, personalized menus and a free flaming ice cream dessert. It is a bit expensive, so maybe best saved for special occasions.

After dinner, we ate our cake top. The outside was a bit stale, but the further toward the center you got, the better the cake got.

We also went to the Ball & Biscuit, a really neat Mass Ave. establishment. The drinks there are also a bit expensive, but they only use top shelf liquors and the drinks are fairly strong. The high quality of the liquor make the strength not only tolerable, but enjoyable. They have quite a few signature cocktails, which are their specialty, and they make all of their own syrups, so everything tastes great. One drink at the Ball & Biscuit is worth more than 3 drinks at a cheap college bar and the decor and vibe are really great, too. We also got a couple of the cheeses they offer, which were also amazing.

For the 4th Paul and I decided it would be fun to grill, as is tradition, but weren’t in the mood for hamburgers and hot dogs. Instead, I made up this recipe, and it turned out pretty awesome (if I do say so myself) so here it is! The breasts turned out a little dry, but I’m going to go ahead and decide to blame the dead battery in our meat thermometer for that one (because it’s my blog and my cooking and therefore I can do that).

Barbecued Buffalo Beer Can Chicken

Rub whole chicken with spice rub made with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, a bit of nutmeg for good measure and a touch of brown sugar. Rub the mixture under the skin. Also pour some Frank’s between the skin and the chicken.

Cut the top off of a beer can and pour out (or drink) about 1/4 of the beer. Put the beer can inside the chicken.

Cook the whole chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes in a hot grill with the lid on. Baste with buffalo sauce (1/2 cup Frank’s and 1/3 cup melted butter) around 45 minutes in. Use about 1/2 cup to baste and the rest to dip the chicken in when it is finished.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Food, Indy Restaurants, IndyAttractions, New recipe