Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shop Update

Well friends, just wanted to give you another update on The Old Homeplace. We just finished the tin ceiling, isn't it great. I love the way it is all coming together! You would never guess that it is parts and pieces from so many places. There is a story that goes with every little bit of it. The windows came from a pharmacy that was built almost 100 years ago, the wood is from barns that were built about the same time. Just imagine that if the barn had been up for 80 or 90 years, the wood is much older than that. After all it takes about 40 or 50 years to make a tree big enough to make beams from. It just blows my mind. I have climbed over rubble and ruin to find this barn wood and it is so special to me. Every time I go into the shop I fall in love with it all over again. So at this point, we just have to finish a little bit of trim and put up the ceiling fans and Shazam, we have a shop! Yippee. Be sure to stop by the first of May when we open our doors for the first time. You can wander around the grounds and look at the gardens, choose some perennials to add to your own little cottage garden. Check out the little shop, The Settlers Cabin, complete with the old rope bed I made this winter. Can't wait for you to see all the changes going on here. We have so much going on around her, we are members of the Barn Quilt Trail, the Art and Earth Trail and new members of the Primitive Traveler. We are gearing up for our Annual Folk Art Gathering to be held here on the grounds on June 27th. Whew! Lot's going on, come on out and check it out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It started with a dream

It all started with a dream here at The Briar Patch. My husband Bob and I built this little cabin in the back yard over 10 years ago. A perfect place to get away from the phones and just outside of the horse pasture where we can watch out horses romp, it became a favorite place to go after a long days work. There we talked about our plans and dreams as we just we starting our life together. That summer as we built our little cabin, we realized that we both had a passion for working with wood. Building and dreaming we talked about where we could go with our life. What would we do with our land? We have just about 15 acres out here and the possibilities are endless. We do raise our own hay and work about 5 acres for that, the rest is mostly pasture land. At the time we had only two horses to care for and didn't really need all that land in hay so my husband, being the dear sweet man he is, gave me about 5 acres of my own to do with whatever I wanted. All my life I had wanted to have a small business, something that would allow me to stay here on the farm. Working in the dirt is a passion of mine that I just can't seem to outgrow. So I decided to start my own business, selling perennials . I figured that I was going to be working in the garden anyway, so I might as well share the love.  So we spent a few years, building more buildings, making more gardens and growing our little business. The Briar Patch has been here for 8 years now, and many changes have gone on in our little part of the world since those early summers on that little cabin porch. Along with our 2 horses, we now have a rescued cow named Baby. Not much of a baby now, she went from a tiny 3 day old calf, to a gentle, playful cow that gives the horses a run for their money in the weight catagory.  The cabin from so long ago, is now a playhouse for our many grandchildren, 11 at last count. From the oldest at 18 to the youngest at 8 months, it has seen a lot of use. Together we have built 3 buildings on the grounds now. The latest, The Old Homeplace will be finished in early spring and open for business in May. This will be our 8th year for our annual Folk Art Gathering here on the grounds. Every year in June, we invite folks to spend a whole day here to walk through the gardens and visit with our many vendors. We have vendors from the surrounding states and counties showing and selling their wares. Garden items, birdhouses, and so much more. There are so many great things to see. So be sure and save the date, June 27th.  I hope you will stop by and visit us. We are planning  a Grand Opening in May of 2015 for the opening of The Old Homeplace. Filled with primitives and farmhouse furnishings there is always something to see here. Purposeful clutter we like to call it. You just never know what you are going to find here. Walk through our perennial gardens and just make a whole day of it. Can't wait to meet you!

Winter at The Briar Patch

Hello friends, It's winter here at The Briar Patch, but that doesn't mean it isn't pretty. Out for a walk with Gus our farm dog this morning , this caught my eye and I headed right back to the house for my camera. This was a shot I just couldn't pass up. The snow softly settled on the garden and made such a pretty show this morning. It makes even the plainest things pretty. Don't you just love this old wagon? It seems right at home in our garden..don't you think? I just love old stuff, it seems like the older it is with all it's scratches and patches, the more I love it. I guess I always have had a soft spot for the underdog, the thing that seems to be everyone else's castoffs. So the worn and worn out have a special place in my heart. This old wagon has been around here for a lot of years, moved from place to place and has finally found a comfortable spot in the garden. Guess it's here to stay, which is just fine with me. Enjoy your tour around The Briar Patch in the next few blogs, I hope you will come out and visit us in May when we open for the summer. You won't want to miss the Grand Opening of The Old Homeplace!

Friday, January 2, 2015

A Briar Patch update

Another update on my newest project. I told you girls can do things too! I am always looking for something to do, I think I mentioned my adult ADD in a previous post. Anyway, here is my latest project, a sweet little rope bed. I love nothing more than finding something to do with pieces of wood I find in my "stash". I must say, I horde wood like squirrels horde nuts. I just can't seem to burn a perfectly primitive piece of wood.  The posts are made from some old 2 X 4's we had in the barn, they are just the perfect faded gray color. The foot and headboards are wonderful old barn wood, pieces just a little too small to use for anything else. The headboard has gnawed places I teasingly told my husband looked like some child teethed on it. Actually I think I said.."hey Pa, the chilren been chewin on the bed again". (Tee Hee). Anyhow, I love the way they look. After an afternoon of routing out all the joints and measuring and re-measuring, sanding, and measuring some more, we were almost done. We stood there, admiring our work when my sweet, wonderful, always helpful husband turns to me and says"do you think we should put a couple of screws in it to help stabilize it?" WHAT???? My head swiveled around so fast it almost knocked me over and I know for a fact that my eyebrows shot straight up! No, I didn't spend all this time making this thing look as old as all this to put SCREWS in it. Silence filled the shop and I tried not to glare....Deep breath....Don't glare....ok, as I gathered myself and  tried to figure out what to do next, I thought, ok there has to be something  we can do. So we went to plan B. I always have a  plan B somewhere in the back of my mind. So straight to the basement I went to my second "stash". Now I just have to tell you, if you can't find something any place else, it's probably in my basement. As it happened I had a jar full of masonary nails that I found at Habitat. In case you don't know what those look like,  they have these great wide flat heads that look like old square headed nails. So we drilled a pilot hole (to keep the wood from splitting ) and pounded them in. They look positively primitive. I have to say, I just love the way it turned out. I'm almost sorry we're finished, but then...I can't wait to find another project! I hope you will come out for our Folk Art Gathering that we are planning for June 27th this year. I can't wait to show off my new shop and all the fun stuff we are making. Keep checking back for more updates.