Monthly Archives: December 2013

Country Bumpkin Christmasi, C. early 90’s

In yesterday’s blog post,

I went down memory lane to my country bumpkin Christmasi of the past.

Here’s the building I bought way back in 1993,

to house my country bumpkin retail store,


heart in hand

Christmas 1993
Oregon, Illinois

Just a few years after this,

we built a home upstairs for me, my boys +

Susie, our beloved miniature Dachshund.

christmas -- ben + jon + susie + fireplace

Ben, Susie + Jon
seated on an old bench
I bought at auction when I was 19 or so.

I splurged on that gas fireplace

+ am currently obsessing about doing said-same

in our current re-do.

Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, check out my delightful red woodwork

+ my dozens of Santa’s!

christmas -- apartment -- fireplace

* * *

Now let’s back track just a bit, to the BEFORE:

christmas -- living room before

Whoa!  Kind of looks like a bomb went off, doesn’t it?

* * *

Here’s the same shot, AFTER:

christmas -- apartment -- living room with windows

Currently, I find myself wanting old school shutters like these
for the bottom halves of our Dutch colonial’s windows.
Stay tuned, part II!

My then-beau, an upholsterer, covered my couch

in that awesome coverlet-style fabric.

It was the height of country bumpkin awesomeness

at the time!

Also noteworthy: the original pressed tin ceiling

+ my hand-stenciled border!

* * *

Imagine that — back then, I was even less skilled

at photography than I am now,

but this does show that pressed tin ceiling:

christmas -- apartment -- living room diagonal

Here I am in ‘mid-decorating mode’:

christmas -- apartment -- kay in squalor living room

I hosted open houses of our pad, all decked out for Christmas,

during our town’s annual Candlelight Walk.

Good X’s.

* * *

My beloved floors were new, wide-plank pine boards,

secured with square-head nail look-alikes.

Here’s a nice view of it:

christmas -- apartment -- susie #1 + max

Susie the mini Dachsie
with my upholsterer beau’s dog Max

These days, I find myself wanting light wood floors like this

for our Dutch colonial fixer.

Stay tuned, part III!

* * *

The main living spaces were all together.

Here’s a photo of Ben, seated at the dining table.

He’s facing the living room + those front windows,

with the country bumpkin kitchen in the background.

christmas -- ben at dining table in apartment

Oh, please note the skylight — 1 of 3 (another splurge).

I’m still loving the large buffalo check wallpaper

+ am thinking about using said-same NOW!

buffalo check

YUM + stay tuned, yet again!!

But I digress.  Back to my old kitchen:

christmas apartment kitchen island

Wow, this photo’s bad,

but it does show my antique red workbench

that I thought made the most perfect kitchen island.

* * *

Let’s head down the hallway

to our very country bumpkin bathroom!

christmas -- apartment -- bathroom patchwork shower curtain

I super loved that homespun wallpaper.

There’s the patchwork shower curtain that I made

by sewing together antique 4-Patch quilt squares.

It was always a crowd pleaser during my open houses.

christmas -- apartment -- bathroom

Loving the shelf above this door, behind which

we’d tucked in a stackable washer + dryer:

christmas -- apartment bathroom washer-dryer

Just say NO to the tunic-length sweater when one is 5’0″!

Look!  I still clasp my hands together like that in photos:


Ditto on the unflattering blue top, for some reason!?
Somebody call a stylist!
I “keed” (a little!)

* * *

But I digress.  Back to our apartment.

It contained 3 bedrooms.

Each boy had his own, but for some reason,

there are no photos of said-same.

Here’s mine:

christmas -- apartment -- shaker bed

I seriously wish I still had that pencil post bed,

but NOT those swag + jabot curtains.

I did love them at the time (Country Curtains catalog).

Another of my splurges: the wood-clad, vaulted ceiling,

with its (not shown) skylight.

* * *

Isn’t it funny that, while I poke fun of my fondness

for the country bumpkin décor . . .

. . . there are still quite a few things I did here

that I am considering doing again, TODAY!

Stay tuned!


Less-Is-More Christmas Decor

My motto for Christmas décor always used to be:

the more, the merrier!

Not so much now.

While I still super love Christmas,

I’ve scaled way back in recent years.

Instead of a houseful of yuletide happiness,

we’re now down to this tiny tree

on our enclosed front porch:



I bought the tree years ago at the old Eddie Bauer Home store.

Remember those?

They had everything my then-country-bumpkin heart desired!

At one time, my little Eddie Bauer tree was one of 3 or 4 trees

I’d have up + running throughout the house.

Our kitchen would often get its own tree

decorated with old tin cookie cutters, like this one:



Or this:

cookie cutter heart in hand


Since the business I owned in the 80’s + 90’s

 was called Heart-in-Hand,

I collected cookie cutters with that motif.

See?  Here’s my logo:

heart in hand signage

My hand-stenciled store sign (1988)
+ my framed business cards.

Here’s the front of the building I bought

for my retail store (+ later, our home, upstairs):

heart in hand

My retail store,
Christmas 1993

* * *

But back to this year.

Our tiny Eddie Bauer tree looks great

inside this old wooden box that I just bought:


Don’t you love it?

I bought it at our town’s French Hens Holiday Market in November;

I blogged about it here:

It came from Jeanine Burkhardt of (very quaint) Cedarburg, WI,

whose cool blog is a MUST-READ:!

If you live in the Midwest, you’ve got to catch her booth

at one of her many shows.

* * * *

But once again, back to my Christmas:

I kept the rest pretty simple,

sticking to a red + gold color scheme, which I love:


Those primitive mustard stars

+ that red, wooden bead garland

are both relics from my country bumpkin era.

Then I added some fairly plain Jane red + gold balls

+ forced myself to stop.


A few other country bumpkin favorites

also made the cut this year:



My friend, Alan, gave me that sled years ago,

our neighbor, Scott, gave me the old water cooler,

+ our birch tree surrendered a few branches this year

‘for the cause’.

Oh, here’s my Pottery Barn Santa pillow,

out on the front porch, as well:


And, finally, just outside the front porch:


Does that vest make me look ‘fat’?

Here are G.O. + me,

with just a few other yuletide accents,

like my favorite electric candles in each window.

* * *


while I have gone way less-is-more at Christmas,

what little decorating I did do made me as happy as a school girl!

Hope you’re feeling the same way!


Christmas Cruising

All I want for Christmas . . .

red woody

Mid-Century Modern Christmas

I’m ashamed to admit that we have NO Christmas decorations

up + at ’em here at our house.

How’s that possible?

Meanwhile, my more ambitious friend, Alan, just completed his.

Here we are in front of his late, great Chicago antique store, PATINA.

alan + kay in front of patina

Let’s take a look-see at Alan’s + his partner, Keith’s, wonderful mid-Century modern house,

all decked out for the yuletide!

alan's christmas tree

Like many mid-Century modern house plans,

Alan + Keith’s house is designed with privacy in the front,

 + with the main living spaces + lots of glass facing the backyard.

alan's dining room

Alan’s said he’s never met a hide rug he didn’t love;

I think this zebra might be new.

Loving the Eero Saarinen tulip table, the George Nelson light fixture,

that tabletop easel + the ginormous fig tree.

alan's living room wide shot

Here’s another shot of that living room with its diagonal fireplace.

Note, please, the awesome wood ceilings + beams.

Hey!  There’s more hide happiness — a rug + a pair of chairs!

alan's roaring fireplace

At one time, Alan wanted to tile over the brick of the fireplace,

but I did everything I could to dissuade him.

I love the mid-Century modern-ness of that original brick!

It’s also on the exterior of Alan + Keith’s home.

alan's living room with papillions

Interesting original artwork, no?  That’s a charcoal drawing, I think.

Please notice Alan’s recycled wood Swiss cross artwork,

displayed on a wall with an antique, wooden clamp!


I also love a metal medical cabinet, but not as much

as I love those adorable Papillons — Sophie + Frankie.

alan's tv room

Here’s the warm + cozy TV room.

I’m a fan of wreaths in windows, aren’t you?

That signage is uber cool, as is the dark wall color,

striped rug + all those pillows!

* * * *

Wasn’t that fun?

I might be visiting Alan + that groovy house before Christmas.

We want to go see the movie, American Hustle, together!

Stay tuned!

Dash and Albert Rugs

I love area rugs.

I love the ones we have now, but I’ll admit, I’m getting a little tired of them.

For the new house, I think I’ll spring for something new.

Have you heard of Dash and Albert Company?

If you have a few minutes to be inspired today, check out their blog.


Hola, fun seekers!

I wish to join the 21st C. by actually incorporating prints into my next décor.

That’s not so easy when you’re a plain Jane like me.

First up: huge buffalo checks somewhere.

Note to self: hang plates in the new hacienda, too!

I’d share more, but it’s (past) time to sew like the wind

+ maybe finish Christmas shopping online.

Hope you’re enjoying the season 1/2 as much as I am!


I just realized there are just 22 more days until Christmas!


surprised boy

I’m spending my days sewing like the wind,

making pillows as fast as I can

for the galleries + shops that sell them for me.

Like this, for them:

pillow -- l.a.

Co-op 28 Handmade + Vintage
1728 N. Vermont
Los Angeles, CA

* * * * *

Meanwhile, I steal a few moments at the bozoputer when I can,

as I’m trying to handle Christmas online.

Look at the old-fashioned gift stickers I ordered from an etsy seller,






People.  I am mad about their slightly industrial, retro office style — aren’t you?

My plans include using these with some kraft paper gift wrap

+ lots of red + white baker’s twine:

baker's twine

Speaking of etsy + baker’s twine, I also ordered some small cookie bags:

christmas gifts - the bakers something bags

I know!  How adorable!

Maybe we’ll bake Snickerdoodles

from my 60’s 4-H cookbook.

Stay tuned!  I could possibly take some photos + share the recipe!

You’ll thank me.

* * * *

Back to shopping.

Here we have the swell banner-style return address labels

I ordered for our Christmas cards, from another etsy shop,


christmas gift -- pumped on paper return address banners

Aren’t they wonderful?  They wrap from the front to the back of the envelope!


For our monogram, I asked for OK, which is kind of our ‘trademark’.

Get it?  Ole Olson + Kay?

* * * *

Last but not least, I ordered myself an early Christmas gift yesterday,

+ the UPS boy dropped it off at our porch just this afternoon!

Hey, look!  More baker’s twine!

Barr-Co. apothecary candle K. Hall

apothecary candle
K. Hall Designs
St. Louis, MO

Of course, I wanted this candle because of its vintage apothecary style,

+ because they’re made in my beloved St. Louis.

The good news is that the scent I ordered — their new Fir-Grapefruit — is beyond divine!

In fact, the November ’13 issue of  Lonny magazine named it their SEASON’S BEST SCENT!


lonny magazine cover -- november 2013

You have heard of Lonny magazine, haven’t you?

It’s online.  It’s free.  It’s the BEST THING, EVER!

Go there now + thank me later.

lonny magazine cover

You’re welcome!




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