Category Archives: Inspiration

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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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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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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The 25 days of Craftsmas: An ode to Pinterest

If you have not yet discovered Pinterest.com, let me give you a quick rundown. Pinterest is an online bulletin board, where people attach links to things they love. It varies from pictures of attractive men to instructions for ingenious DIY children’s Halloween costumes. What you find there changes with the season and the closest holiday, and I love it. You can spend an hour there, you can spend 30 seconds there and you will be entertained either way. Some people choose to simply browse, other take a more proactive role and pin things they find there or add their own from the expanses of the internet. I am somewhere in the middle. I have several cork boards, including a knitting one, a food one, a home organization one and a home inspiration one. While I frequently repin things I find there, I rarely create my own. I haven’t a clue why I do it that way, it’s just the way I prefer. Another beauty of pinterest. Be as involved as you want to be.

I pin and pin and pin, and yet I have to actually make one of the projects from Pinterest. Granted, some things I won’t be able to accomplish until I actually own a house, but a lot of them don’t have any such caveats. So I’m setting myself a challenge. This Christmas season, I am going to make some of those pins a reality.

Now, I won’t pretend like I think I can make 25 crafts in December, because I would definitely get behind, so my goal is going to be 15. Also, they will not all be Christmas projects, because I just think I would get a little tired of that and then I would have to put all of my heard work away in January. Budget will be a big factor, with an emphasis on reusing and recycling things I already have. Also, I am just going to start now. There’s the challenge with some fast and loose rules.

And, while we’re at it, if anyone wants to join me in this challenge, please do! Comment on this post with your goal for number of projects and any other rules you’ve set for yourself, and I’ll feature you and your projects on the blog!

Happy crafting!

 

p.s. if you’re curious: http://pinterest.com/loveinindy/

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Living room revamp

I’ve been dreaming for a while now about updating the chairs in our living room. The ones we had weren’t a matching pair, but they were the right color for my living-room-color-scheme and I thought they worked well enough for the room. Especially since we already had them.

Our mismatched-already-had-them living room chairs, very early in our living room set up

They also were comfortable, though we honestly rarely sat in them. We mostly just sat on the couch, and after we got the rug I started to sit on the floor more.

I had kind of been drooling over this guy for a while, but the price tag stopped me from pursuing it. It’s Crate & Barrel’s Klyne collection (http://www.crateandbarrel.com/furniture/chairs/klyne-chair-and-a-half/s237445) The plan was to try to find a similar chair and a half in a similar color. I have been trying to incorporate a burnt orange into the room for a while but haven’t found anything quite right. I also love the couch with chaise in this collection in a lovely gray color, so maybe it’ll stay on the list for future major-living-room-upgrade some time in the future when we can afford to spend money on things like awesome furniture. (Greer and I actually went to Crate and Barrel a while back to check if the thing is actually comfortable, partially in hopes that it wouldn’t be so I could stop pining for it. It’s amazingly comfortable. So now I want it more.)

When Paul’s grandfather passed away a few weeks ago, we went to Wichita. The day after the funeral, we went to his home with a U-Haul and our three families (My parents-in-law, Paul and I and Paul’s brother Keith and his wife Emily) with the goal of taking home a few momentos. While we were there I kind of fell in love with this green velvety chair in his living room, and Emily and I decided it definitely needed to be in my craft room. Turns out, it had a mate in another room, and so one chair that made me happy turned into a total revamp of 4 (yes, 4) rooms in our house.

Most of those rooms are still not ready. In two cases, time is the problem. In the third, I’m just not coming up with a great way to rearrange the furniture that is in there, but I’ll talk more about those later.

For now, here are some shots of our new-and-improved living room.

Changes:

New-to-us green chairs replaced mismatched brown and tan chairs, while also adding a really awesome pop of color which is something I have been craving for quite a while. We already had those brown throw pillows (Mom gave them to us, she had relocated them to her basement then passed them along when they matched our living room.) The brown ottomans came in a set with the longer brown ottoman that used to sit under the window(also from Mom, a Christmas gift). The chairs are in great shape and are really comfortable, especially with an ottoman to prop your feet on! I am thinking about relocating that sewing machine cabinet and plant, but haven’t decided for sure yet. I think the plant for sure has to go elsewhere, just because it is too crowded. We also plan to hang a clock or a shelf with a clock on it above the sewing machine cabinet. My search for a clock has not gone well. I’ve actually been searching for months and haven’t come up with anything quite right.

That art on the left wall is also something we brought from Wichita. It was done by a Wichita-local artist and has a whole list of shows that it has been in on the back, but we haven’t done much research on the artist herself. The green blanket on the couch is actually a shawl, but it’s the right color.

That radio cabinet (in front of the window, between the green chairs) is also something we brought with us from Wichita. It’s very cool and everything still works, it has a turntable and a radio. Paul and I did a little bit of radio-surgery to fix the tuner, which didn’t work when we brought it home. The string that made the tuner work had broken, and it took a few tries, but we were able to replace it. (We ended up using light blue embroidery thread. The light blue makes no different, the embroidery thread seemed like it would be strong and hold up well. Also, I already had it.)

On top of the radio are a couple of other neat mementos/heirlooms. On the right there is an old handguide for Electrical Engineers (which is what Paul is) that we found in his grandfather’s bookshelf, and on top of it is a tiny spy-cam that we found in a closet. On the left is another very cool old camera. Still not sure if they work.

The vase of flowers is actually something I am very proud of. Those artificial yellow glads were hanging on the posts around the dance floor at our wedding, and I’ve had them in a bag upstairs ever since, hoping to find a good use for them. I thought they would look great in a tall vase, but wasn’t sure where to put them. Once we put that radio under the window I knew that was where I wanted them to go. The vase was a wedding gift from Paul’s aunt and uncle who live near Wichita. The glads were a little too tall, so I cut them down to size and filled the vase with glass marbles (mostly white and clear with a few yellow ones mixed in) so it wouldn’t tip over.

That ottoman that was under the window is now next to the TV(the entrance to the living room is just to the left). The wreath hanging above it was a gift from my parents in memory of Paul’s grandpa. I also added the tiny basket with the yellow liner to the right to wrangle Netflix DVDs and library movies. Also to add some more yellow to the room, since that is supposed to be one of the room’s accent colors and it wasn’t around much.

This is what it looks like standing in the kitchen looking into the living room.
Paul’s grandfather also had some awesome old suitcases in his basement, and they were also in just the right color.

That round white one on top? Guess what it really is.

Think of something crazier


It’s a hairdryer!

This lamp is also something kind of fun that Paul really wanted from his grandpa’s house. It’s actually meant to be hanging, but we couldn’t decide on a good place to hang it, and while we were standing in the living room with Paul holding it up, a light went on! (har har)

Ok. If we’re totally honest I wasn’t completely sold on it at first. But it does look great when it’s lit up (I had only ever seen it off) and he really wanted it. So what was I to do? Part of what was also throwing me was coming up with a place to hang it. In the end, this looks pretty cool, the shelf look pretty awful beforehand and we didn’t have to screw 5 holes in the ceiling to find a stud! (like we did with the pot rack in the kitchen) I would definitely like to have it hanging over an armchair in a cozy little corner someday, but said cozy little corner doesn’t exist in this particular house. Someday! Someday the lamp will have a perfect home, and we’ll be glad to have a little piece of LaVerne around.

An overview of the other half of the room:

So that’s how one room has shaped up! Three more are in the works, including what I was afraid was going to be a super daunting project. Luckily, that project worked out easier than I thought it would, but more on that later!

In the meantime:

Tucker in a t-shirt! (Sorry it's blurry)

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Knitting!

As some of you know (and maybe most of you don’t) knitting is a huge part of my life and I hope for it to be a really huge part of my future. I have been writing a few patterns and trying to build up some items to start my own Etsy shop and have a knitting pattern book in the works as well as a children’s chapter book that has a little something to do with the culture of knitting in the past (loosely). Actually, most of you probably don’t know that. I’m pretty self conscious about my goals for my future as well as my abilities to accomplish them, so I often hide them. If I don’t tell you, you won’t know if I fail at them, right? Well, it’s time for a new attitude! It’s time to express my goals so that all of you can tell me how great I am and how I am going to achieve them :). Just don’t ask me how they’re going or I’ll turn red. (joking. about the don’t ask part. not about the red part.)

So I just thought I would share with all of you the debut of my knitting on a mainstream (in the knitting world) blog!

http://mochimochiland.com/2011/07/tiny-gnome-at-the-beach/

I took that photo in Florida while we were on our honeymoon. (Yes. One of my goals for my honeymoon was to get an awesome photo of a tiny gnome on a beach. This blog has a competition every year for the best photo with one of her patterns in it with some pretty sweet prizes.)

The writer of this blog, Anna, is pretty much my hero and I aspire to be her some day, though I may not focus solely on knitting toys like she does. But she is just so good at it! And some of her pieces are truly works of art, and are displayed as such in galleries worldwide. It’s very cool.

Hope you all enjoyed this “Insight into Sarah.”

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Is it too early to start a Christmas list?

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The weather here is just wet wet wet, but yesterday was nice enough to have a few people over and grill.

I apologize for the long delay, but I have a couple blog posts planned this week! In the meantime, a little sunshine in the form of a swing built for two!

(Swing is from Lowe’s)

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