We've been on the farm for nearly two months now.
And I'm starting to feel like we're settling in.
We haven't painted yet (something I'm really looking forward to), but we're making it our own just the same.
I thought today that I'd show you around and share some of my favorite corners. Not the big picture (because there is nothing big about this little house!) but just a few favorite little touches.
Aside from a second-hand shelf or two we haven't added anything new. I am working on a few small pieces of art that the house is calling for, simply using what we have on hand – old maps, driftwood, calendars, and stones.
Otherwise we're just finding new uses for what we already had. And it feels good to see our old things in a new context.
This little collection lives in our upstairs hallway. It is a favorite corner for me.
The barn papercut was picked up at a rummage sale for 50 cents. The barn line drawing was also from a garage sale ($4). I bought them when I was focusing my energy on manifesting our own farm, so it's delightful to see them on the wall here.
The rose is a painting Sage made for me when he was small, painted on a decaying board we took off of our garage in Viroqua.
The woodblock of the snowdrift is from a marvelous local artist, also part of my country-manifestation-experiment.
And my favorite, the thrifted vintage shelf arrangement I put together one quiet morning here on the farm. I used an old vocabulary card, some Lake Superior stones and driftwood, and chicken feathers.
See? Pretty can be cheap or free!
Our bathroom is home to the art that once hung in our playroom. (Remember this?) I wasn't sure where it would fit in this little house and wondered if they would have a place here at all.
But they do brighten up an otherwise dull, windowless space perfectly.
Fabric hoops are the easiest art ever. Quick, cheap, and satisfying. (Second hand hoops run about 50 cents each.)
And the family room now hosts our nesting doll collection.
After putting most of Lupine's and my matryoshka dolls in the bye-bye box during the pre-move purge I had a change of heart.
Because I love them.
So I scored a sold wooden shelf at Goodwill (My big decorative spend at $6) and the dolls became art as well.
(You might recognize the kids' bed sheet curtains from the old house too. Use what you have is clearly a theme.)
The children have also set to work, carving out their own space in their bedroom. I often hear the tap-tap-tap of Lupine's hammer as she hangs another piece of art in her room.
Resisting the urge to be in charge of how their room looks is important work for me. It is their room, so I've relinquished the cute vision in my head of all that I could do to make it lovely to my eyes. Because it isn't mine.
And besides, they're doing great.
(The spool necklace rack was Pete's gift for Lupine on Solstice a year ago. It matches the music box I made for her. I know. It's completely rad. He's one crafty papa.)
I also framed a couple of vintage maps of Wisconsin – of both the Driftless (where we live) and the North Woods (which we love).
The maps came from a 1960's atlas of Wisconsin at the local church thrift store for 50 cents. I almost hated to cut it, but now we enjoy it every day. The rest will be used for decoupage.
If you thirft even occasionally you can find nice quality frames for a couple of dollars each. I had the frames on hand for another project but the map project trumped!
So there you have it. The artsy tour of our house. Sure, we still need paint (and curtains, and to rip out that old linoleum floor, and…) but progress is being made.
Adding these simple touches was truly the moment when our farm started to feel like home. What a difference a little art can make.
I'd love to know: what is your favorite way to beautify your space without buying new?