Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cyber Monday Coupon Code

I'm holding a Cyber Monday sale over at the Harmony Farm Candles Etsy shop starting tonight!

Simply enter the code


at checkout and receive 20% off your entire order!


This offer runs through 12 noon EST on Tuesday, November 29

::buy handmade or local this holiday season::

Happy shopping!

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Good morning...

Hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

We actually celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday this year since it was easier for a few family members who were working or already had one or more Thanksgiving dinners to attend on Thursday. And honestly, I really liked doing it on Friday.  It gave us an extra day to prepare and since we're not Black Friday shoppers, we didn't have anything else to do that day. :)

Between my side of the family, my husband's family, and some friends, there were more than 15 people squashed gathered in our house.  An additional table and seating were very necessary since the dining room table only comfortably handles 6! And this is what I came up with in the living room...

The picnic table and bench were Craigslist finds from earlier in the fall that I painted Navajo White with my paint sprayer.  (A second bench came with the set, but I didn't use it here.)  They're meant to be used on the screened-in porch in warmer weather but they sure came in handy for this gathering. 

The tabletop decorations were kept ultra-simple with a linen table runner sprinkled with fake leaves, then topped with a small fall centerpiece. 

The three bistro chairs are from IKEA.  And the two blue chairs at the ends of the table were $5 yard sale finds painted in ASCP Duck Egg, lightly distressed, then waxed.

I really {heart} these blue chairs.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I can really begin to think about Christmas. Yay!  I'm one of the few that doesn't put up the Christmas tree until December is actually here.  Does anyone else still do that?  :)

And speaking of Christmas, many of you have already begun your Christmas shopping. If you're considering giving the gift of handmade candles, check back here later tonight...I'll be posting a Cyber Monday coupon code for my Etsy shop!  

Enjoy your Sunday,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”
-W.T. Purkiser 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Harmony Farm Candles Giveaway Winner!

Thank you, everyone, who entered the Harmony Farm Candles giveaway this past week to celebrate the grand opening of my Etsy shop!

 I wish I could send each of you candle for all your sweet and encouraging comments.

Now, without further ado, the winner of the giveaway is...

Kirstin Joy @ Burlap and Buttons

Congratulations, Kirstin Joy!  I'm emailing you right now...


Friday, November 18, 2011

House Tour: The Kitchen

Don't forget about the Harmony Farms Candle giveaway now through Sunday, November 20th!  Click here for your chance to win three holiday soy candles, handmade by yours truly.

Everybody ready for the weekend?

Mine started early with a midnight showing of the latest Twilight Saga movie, Breaking Dawn, last night.  I'm by no means a Twi-hard, but I read and enjoyed the books well enough.  It was my middle sister's 30th birthday, so she wanted to see it, plus it's become a thing for me, my sisters, and my friend Sara to watch the Twilight movies to laugh at the bad dialogue and at how constipated Robert Pattinson, an otherwise very handsome man, looks when playing Edward Cullen.  Anybody else know what I'm talking about?  :)

As far as the Twilight movies go (and mind you, they have fairly low production value with the bad wigs, white pancake make-up, and cheesy CGI, so this comparison is very relative), Breaking Dawn wasn't half bad. Probably my favorite of the series so far, particularly due the advancements in the storyline and lack of teenage emo-ness.  Kristen Stewart (Bella) showed genuine emotion in this installment and didn't mumble too much. (And she is stunningly gorgeous in the wedding scenes!)  And Taylor Lautner (Jacob) wore his shirt for most of the movie, which is a departure from the previous movies. Now I'm ready for the final movie next summer where (SPOILER ALERT!) Bella kicks booty and takes names as a vampire.  I think that'll be the best Twilight movie yet!

Okay, I know you're not here to read about teenage vampires and werewolves--I blame the above rambling on the major lack of sleep last night--so let's get on with the next room in the house tour: the kitchen.

Our house has a galley kitchen, not my first preference in kitchen layouts, but it is--as gallery kitchens are--a very efficient space.  Since we do a lot of cooking and baking around here, that's a good thing from an ergonomic perspective.  But I do dream of having a spacious country kitchen one day, where a farm table sits in the middle of an L- or U-shaped space.  'Til then, I'll make the best of what I have.

A local cabinet maker built all the cabinets for an exceedingly reasonable price.  He delivered them to the house while we were building, I painted them, then he installed them.

Now, these cabinets have been painted twice.  The first time, I painted them in Sherwin Williams Alabaster, freaked out at the starkness of the white, then glazed them to tone down the brightness.  That worked for awhile but then the glazed finish just looked dingy.

When we installed beadboard in a few places in 2010, and painted it a barn red, that ultimately exacerbated the dinginess.

Icky, yellowy cabinets right before getting a new coat of paint

The barn red beadboard before the update--oh so dark.

So, this summer, I repainted the beadboard a light gray and the cabinets in Benjamin Moore White Cloud. 

Laying on the first of two coats of  white paint to hide my glazing mistake--the glazing in the grooves of the beadboard made the doors look particularly dirty...bleck!

The change in cabinet color is subtle but it truly did brighten up this space--which has a tendency towards being dark as the only two windows open to a screened-in porch...which backs into woods.  Yeah, not a lot of natural light happening in this space much of the time.  White cabinets and light-colored walls were definitely needed.

The countertop is soapstone--not something you see very often in homes in the South.  We liked the farmhouse feel of it and the fact you can sit hot pots and pans directly on the counter surface.  It's what chemistry lab counter tops were/are made of (it's been awhile since I was last in a chemistry lab!) Soapstone does require routine wipe-downs with mineral oil to maintain the even, dark color you see here.

To further the farmhouse look, we mixed in open shelving...

These shelves are between the wall oven and refrigerator

Curtains in lieu of cabinet doors in some places...

Beige and cream ticking fabric skirts the farmhouse sink while drop cloth curtains disguise the contents of the peninsula

And bins and baskets provide more texture and storage...

This cabinet, which we use to store spice jars, is one of my favorite pieces in the kitchen.  We bought it at the Liberty Antiques Festival while building the house in 2007.  The panel in the door is a reproduction but the cabinet is made of salvaged beadboard.

Karan at Spruce Antiques and Interiors in Hillsborough, NC, gave me this idea to use rusted vintage wire baskets mounted on the wall above the cooktop for storage. I like the juxtaposition of the logs next to the lines of the metal.

So, there you have narrow but functional farmhouse kitchen. :)

Have a great weekend!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Announcement and Giveaway!

I've briefly mentioned a few times on this blog that I make candles.

Beautiful aromas--particularly florals and clean fragrances--elevate my mood, help me relax and simply make me happy. And that's why I started making candles, first for myself, then ultimately friends and family.

What started as a hobby became a small business--Harmony Farm Candles--earlier this year as several lovely shops in my area (and even a boutique in Colorado) began carrying the soy wax candles I make right in my kitchen.

And now, I'm pleased to take another step in my cottage industry by opening an Etsy shop!

Made from all-natural, American-made soy wax, the dye-free candles are hand-poured into 8 oz. glass jelly jars. Topped with zinc-colored lids, they have a simple, vintage aesthetic that fits seamlessly into many styles of decor.  Fragrances range from florals, to clean and citrusy scents, and several seasonal offerings. And most importantly, they smell wonderful!

With the holidays coming up, these candles make wonderful presents, hostess and teacher gifts, and even stocking stuffers!

To celebrate the grand opening of 
the Harmony Farm Candles Etsy shop, 
I'm excited to hold a candle giveaway! 

The giveaway features three candles befitting the fast-approaching holiday season:  Pumpkin Pie, Mulled Cider and Wintergreen.

This giveaway runs through Sunday, November 20th at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

The winner will be announced that night, contacted by email, and the candles will be ready to ship on Monday so they can arrive (hopefully) in time for Thanksgiving!  I'm sad to say this, but due to shipping limitations, I can only ship candles at this time to U.S. addresses. I'm sorry, all you lovely readers, who live outside the U.S. :(

Now, the nitty-gritty of how to enter:

1. Though this isn't required to enter, I would love for you to become a follower of Carolina Country Living or subscribe by email.  If you already do this, leave a comment saying so for one entry.  If you become a new follower or subscriber, please also leave a comment for one chance to win.
2. For an additional entry, visit Harmony Farm Candles on Etsy, check out all there is in the shop, and heart your favorite candle. Leave a comment here letting me know which candle in the shop most strikes your fancy!
3. For a third entry, blog about the giveaway and leave the link to your post in the comments section.
4. For a fourth entry, spread the word on your Facebook page and link back to this post.  Then leave a comment letting me know you've done this.
5. Finally, for a fifth entry, Tweet about the giveaway, then leave a comment here.

Please make sure that if your email address is not attached to your profile, you leave it in your comment(s) so I have a way of reaching you should you be the lucky winner.

Good luck, friends!


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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Back Home Again...and the Next Stop on the Home Tour

Handmade soy candle GIVEAWAY 
now through November 20th! 
Click here to read about my new Etsy shop and enter for up to five chances to win a set of holiday soy candles!

Well, hello there!  I slipped out of town last week for a trip to Kentucky with a couple friends to attend the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs in Louisville, and to spend some time in the Lexington area visiting horse farms.

When I returned home earlier this week, I was greeted by two surprises...

My husband and brother-in-law bought this tom turkey while I was away...and, yes...he's going to be Thanksgiving dinner. :(

The second surprise came later when I checked my blog email account: I was stunned to learn that I won The DIY Club's 31 Days of Painting Contest!  With nearly 100 seriously outstanding entries, I figured there was no chance I'd make it to the top 10, much less win the grand prize of two free gallons of paint from Dutch Boy.  Thank you DIY Club and Dutch Boy!

My winning entry was the cane back living room set I painted and then had reupholstered in drop cloths for my English-inspired reading nook.  I shared with you guys the before and after photos earlier this year, but here's a quick refresher.

And with fresh paint:

However, when I posted the after pics, I still had many more plans for this space.  Since this room is now finished, it's the next stop on the Carolina Country Living home tour!

This loft is just 8 feet wide and runs 15 feet long, and it overlooks the living room and dining room below.

I imagine when my son gets older, this will be his space as it's adjacent to his bedroom. But for now, I've co-opted it and have tried to inject a bit of vintage English country flair, inspired mostly by Cath Kidston fabrics.

Since finishing the furniture set, which was an auction find, I polished the room by white-washing the horizontal tongue-and-groove boards on the back wall with Minwax's Pickling Stain.

Envelope-style pillow covers made with Cath Kidston fabrics found on Etsy adorn the sofa and side chairs.  The larger pillow is covered in Provence Rose in Light Blue.  The smaller pillow is covered in Summer Blossom in Light Blue.

For an easy-peasy tutorial on how to make the pillow covers, visit Restoration House
This tutorial changed my sewing life!

This darling little pillow is a new arrival courtesy of Etsy shop Cornflower Creations.  The aqua ticking, hint of red gingham and the ditsy floral spiced up with the polka dots made me melt!  After seeing this pillow, I think I need to work more polka-dotted fabrics into this space. :)

In addition to all the floral pillows, there are three linen pillows on the sofa.  Two round ones with a button detail hide behind the blue floral Cath Kidston pillows below.  And a bolster that was recovered in linen by my upholsterer sits in between.

A pair of gorgeous yellow French Provincial tables from Spruce Antiques are a fun, colorful counterpart to the subtle hues of the cream and grey-painted furniture and drop cloth cushions.  They pick up the hints of yellow in the Cath Kidston pillows and further brighten the space.  The vintage hooked rug is a neutral backdrop to this sassy table.

Simple curtains sewn from fabric found at Hancock Fabrics dress the four windows.  I have no idea the manufacturer of this semi-sheer, quilting fabric, but it reminded me a little bit of the linen and faded floral fabrics made famous by Cabbages & Roses, another iconic English company.

For a romantic but frugal touch, the fabric panels were hung on $2 tension rods, then gathered, balloon style, and tied up with ivory grosgrain ribbon.

In between the windows, over the sofa, hangs a scrap of Cath Kidston stationery in an IKEA frame repainted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg.

The floor lamp was a purchase made by my husband in his bachelor days.  A quick coat of white spray paint on the base, and white pom-pom fringe hot glued to the beige shade, spiffed it up in a whimsical kind of way.

Milk glass adds to the vintage feel of the room. Here I cut a circle of fabric from Lecien's Flower Sugar line to provide a little more contrast between the white glass and the tinned candle, while adding another dose of this happy shade of yellow.

This wood tray was a thrift store find that I spray painted in Krylon's Cornflower. I like to keep my British home magazines here, since it only seems fitting!

The non-matching chair in the room is a slipper chair that came from my childhood bedroom.  Reupholstered in Waverly's Rose Sonata in Robin's Egg, and a coat of paint added to it's turned wooden legs (capped in casters!), I think it adds an element of older English style.   

Bright flowers--in this case, dried strawflowers--look sharp on a yellow table.

The only thing missing from this picture is me, stretched out on the sofa with a book in hand! :)

Thanks for coming along for the latest stop of the house tour.  We'll continue with the kitchen next week!

Hope you're having a great weekend,

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