Window Molding

Window Molding


I think there is a myth about old farmhouses that were built in 1918.

I think it was started in 1922 by a farmer who really wanted to sell his farmhouse.

Somehow the rumor got started that old farmhouses are full of moldings and decorative details and beautiful old trim.

Uhhh.  Negative.

Now maybe there is a farmhouse built somewhere in a land far far away by an overly exuberant farmer with a fine decorative eye who was light years ahead of his other farmer friends.

But he sure didn’t live here.

I think our farmer was too busy….well….farming.  You know….milking the cows, feeding the horses, cutting the hay, checking on the crops and all that.

Which didn’t leave much time for crown molding.



But you see, we don’t farm, or milk cows, or cut hay.  So we have plenty of time for moldings.

Crown moldings and door moldings and ceiling moldings and floor moldings.

Let’s just say….we never met a piece of molding that we didn’t like.

And after the house was all “moldinged up.”  I was so happy.  Which made my husband so happy.

Because he thought we were done.


He should have known better.

I was just getting started 🙂

I mean, we hadn’t even begun to address all the empty spaces over the windows.




If you have ever priced out molding, you know how expensive it can be.  Especially 10″ window moldings.

Really?  We have four children to put through college one day.

And n the world of molding two key things to remember are (1) paint is your friend and (2) a little plywood goes a long way.


So here’s our $22.00 molding solution.



(1)  We had Home Depot cut down a sheet of 1/4″ plywood to 8″ strips.

(2)  My husband cut down the 8″ strips to 36″ in width (you would cut it to whatever the width of your window is) and then he nailed them above the 5″ piece of pine that was already on the window.



(3)  Next we added 3″ crown molding to the top.  And then noticed all the gaps.


When you are built in 1918, nothing is ever level.

And there is always an extra space here and there.



(4)  So no worries.  We just added picture molding to cover the gap.

(5)  Then we caulked.

(6)  Then we primed.



(8) And painted the moldings with one coat of glossy white paint.

(9)  We let it dry and painted it again.



(10)  After you finish the project, add burlap curtains, count your pennies and buy a milking cow with the money you saved.


I think it’s a lot of window drama for only $22.00.

I wonder what that farmer would think of his front parlor windows now?

Probably not too much.

He’d probably just shrug his shoulders and tell me the plywood should have been used to patch up the barn 🙂


PS  For some incredible pictures of mountains and big skies and a barn that doesn’t need any extra plywood check out Muddy Boot Dreams’ post here*sigh*  Truly beautiful.

PPS  I am partying over at Addicted 2 Decorating  and Kim’s and Funky Junk today.

PPS  Thank you to Debbie over at  Bungalow for the incredible feature!  You made my entire weekend!

I Would Walk 500 Miles

I Would Walk 500 Miles


I wish you could meet my sister, Whitney.

Simply put, she is amazing.

She knows every line to every Seinfeld episode ever written.  She has run a marathon without breaking a sweat (okay…..maybe she huffed and puffed a time or two), adopted a dog refugee from Hurricane Katrina and left home to star in an off-Broadway play.  She makes lampshades out of old photography slides and boxes out of record albums and covers soap with felted wool and occasionally creates an embroidered tray or two.

So when Whitney called me to ask me to pin where I walk…..

                      ….who was I to argue with this Seinfeld-loving-soap-making-lamp-shade-creator sister of mine?



Here’s where I walk.

On a gravel path down by the lake near the rocks and the beach.

With the sailboat marina in the distance and tiny little fishing boats dotting the horizon.

And my playlist set to “I Would Walk 500 Miles.”

With super cute pink tennis shoes.



So we salute you, Whitney, my pink tennis shoes and I.

And your Walk It. Pin It. Win It. contest.

I’m happy to participate.

I just have one quick question.



Do I get extra credit if I walk with lipstick on ? 🙂


PS  Here are the details on Whitney’s contest (she’s the Digital Communications Director for a division of The American Heart Association).

PPS  Let me know if you take a picture!  I would love to pin them to my Walking Inspiration Pinterest Board.

PPPS  I Instgramed these photos.  I truly heart Instagram, but I think I’m saving my infatuation for another post.


Walk It. Pin It. Win It.


In honor of National Walking Day (April 4, 2012), we’re launching a contest on our Pinterest page.  All you have to do is pin a photo of where you walk and you’ll be entered for a random drawing as a chance to win one of five iPod Shuffles and a $25 iTunes Gift Card. Need more info?  Follow the directions below.  Want to know more about National Walking Day or get tips and info for your health?  Find your local Facebook page here: or follow us on Twitter:

Contest Guidelines

1.       Take a walk and snap a pic of your favorite path. 

2.       Pin it on your Pinterest account and add #walkit in the description.  Then tweet us your username @heartsouth or leave a comment on the contest post on our blog ( and we’ll find you and re-pin it to our Walk It board.

3.       You’ll be eligible to win one of five prize packages (iPod Shuffle-4th generation and a $25 iTunes gift card to buy some new walking tunes!).

4.       Contest runs 4/4/12 – 4/25/12, winners selected in a random drawing.

Don’t know where to walk?  Check our walking paths app to find a path in your area: All entries must be uploaded by Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:59pm EST. Happy Pinning!

My Macaroni and Cheese Kitchen

My Macaroni and Cheese Kitchen




Welcome to the kitchen here at thistlewood farm.

Now….I wish I could tell you that there were yummy smells coming from that freshly scrubbed oven.


Just a lot of “hot dog pot pie.”





With four children there is always plenty of activity going on in the kitchen…..

……plenty of glitter and tiny scraps of paper and dried glue and a few Cheerios stuck to the floor.


And a complete and utter absence of any gourmet cooking.


Remember….macaroni and cheese is my favorite recipe.

(And really…..does that actually even fall into the recipe category?)



Now, don’t get me wrong.

I don’t have anything against gourmet cooking.

I would love it if Giada from the cooking channel and I were best friends or the Barefoot Contessa stopped by for tea.

I just don’t think it’s in the cards.





So for now, I won’t concentrate on what I should or should not be cooking.

I’m just going to work on making it pretty.


No worries about gourmet dishes or fancy foods or puffed pastry shells made from scratch.

I’m just going to be content with my macaroni and cheese kitchen.





And concentrate on my displays for the hutch in the kitchen with white plates and white platters and a cloche tucked in with plenty of milk glass.

And that iron piece over the hutch that came off of an old house.

And my vintage toolbox filled with book page flowers.


I mean….who cares about cooking when you have book page flowers.

And a yard sale find or two.





Now I’ve got to go.

You see, the academic team is on its way.

And soon they will descend on the kitchen to celebrate their win and eat  tiny little puffed pastries and homemade lemon meringue pie cookie cake from Kroger 😉

And really…..who doesn’t love a cookie cake?


PS  If you liked the kitchen, you might enjoy my house tour.

PPS  If you are interested in the light fixtures in the kitchen….click here.

(please note that this is an affiliate link)

The View From Here

The View From Here


Do you remember the Village People?

I sit out here on the back porch sometimes and think about them.

I wonder where they are and what they’re doing and if they are still wearing cowboy hats
and Indian headdresses and staying at the YMCA.  Did they end up starring in their own videos or
ABC movies or start an exercise craze or maybe become CEO of a leather chaps company?

Or just join the Navy?



And sometimes I feel like the Village People live here.

Except instead of cowboy hats and construction gear they are wearing pearls and high heels and a tutu or two.

Or a pair of knee-high water boots.

Or they are carrying a skate board.



But there are so many projects and plans and inventions and tiny pieces of paper floating around that it wouldn’t surprise me if
one day my “villagers”  formed their very own group and took it on the road….tutu skirts, skateboards knee hight boots and all.

The other day I sat on the porch and watched as my husband calmly directed the antics and general pandemonium of our “village people” starter kit.



In one corner someone was starting  a wildlife sanctuary with cardboard boxes and “natural habitats” for a frog and a daddy-long-legs and
a turtle.  There were heaps of grass for the residents to eat and a few dead bugs and fresh water and I think one of the twins even gave their brother
a chair from the dollhouse for the turtle to sit on.

I know the Nashville zoo would have been proud.



Over here another “villager” was constructing the longest genealogy chart known to man.  There were grandparents and great-great grandparents
and cousins and second cousins and eighth cousins twice removed.

All on a lime-green chart.

That stretched from one end of the porch to the other.

In Spanish.


You heard me.  Spanish.

He definitely likes a challenge……that miniature genealogist of mine.



So there I sat.

On my back porch.

Drinking tea.

As my husband directed the egg project and the skateboard ramp and the wildlife sanctuary and went and looked up how to say great-great -great-
great-great grandmother in Spanish.

All the while looking so handsome and calm and collected and generally in charge of all the village people  goings on.

And my heart smiled.



My heart smiled because I knew that one day, when the village people had their reunion tour.  The would never forget these
carefree days in the backyard and the gift of the ability to create.



Then they would remember when they could feel the grass between their toes and the wildlife sanctuary looked like it had great potential
and they could speak Spanish and there were all the pieces of paper they could ever need or want to for any project.  Ever.

And as my husband stood there in the midst of such utter pandemonium, our eyes met and I saw that twinkle that made me fall in love with him and I couldn’t help but tell him….

“You look just like a CEO.”



He looked back at me with a grin and laughed the laugh of a father who has seen it all…..

…..standing in the middle of that green field with the sun shining and the wind blowing and the birds chirping.


Then he shrugged, winked and without missing a beat replied,

“The CEO of chaos.”

And turned his baseball cap around and walked away to once again, direct the pandemonium.

Chaos.  Hmmmm.

The CEO of chaos.  Maybe he’s right.

But from where I’m sitting chaos looks pretty wonderful to me 🙂

PS  Thanks for all the sweet words about the new website.  It has been a work in progress with a few bumps along the way.  Unfortunately,
I lost all the e-mail subscribers from the other feed.  If you want to continue to read about the village people and wildlife sanctuaries and
turtles and the people who love them, please sign-up on the sidebar in the e-mail box 🙂

PPS  I am linking this to Rhoda’s Porch Party.

Recipe Wall

Recipe Wall


Plate-Rack - Copy


If you own a level and you actually use it.  Stop right here.

This post is not for you.

We have plenty of other posts here at thistlewood.  We have posts on old Christmas decorations and posts on why people were late to book club and even a post or two on simply nothing at all and a variety of other scintillating topics for all our level-owning readers.

Take my advice.  I’m not really sure you can handle this one.

You see, this post involves painter’s tape, scissors, a plate rack and a vinyl maker named Greta.

Not a level in sight.

However, if you like to wing your way through home decorating projects with a shrug of your shoulders and a flip of the hair and a throw-caution-to-the-wind type attitude…..

……start taking notes.




Recipe Wall


1.  Start the recipe wall project by reading blogs.  Read a lot of blogs.  Get inspired by said blogs.  When you are reading these inspirational blogs, stumble across a project where someone has put a recipe on a wall behind some plates.

File the idea away.

Wait two years.

Start planning your recipe wall and try to remember where you saw it featured, so you can give them credit for the original idea.

Keep thinking.


2.  Call Greta or your own vinyl maker or plug in your Silhouette Cameo.

If none of the above apply, read this tutorial on how to make your own vinyl letters.


3.  Dust off your plate rack and choose your favorite recipe.

(Unfortunately, I didn’t use my favorite recipe.  I couldn’t use it because my favorite recipe is found on the back of the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese box and only has four ingredients).

And it’s not really cute.

And a recipe wall always starts with a recipe that looks cute.

Or maybe just tastes good.  That trumps cute every time.


4.  Once your vinyl cutter has finished your cute plate rack recipe, cut it into strips and attach it to the wall with painter’s tape.  Tape the entire recipe to the wall.

Stand back.

Decide you don’t like the layout of the strips of vinyl and take them all down and tape them up again.

And again.

And again.

5.  Repeat step 4 as many times as necessary.

Do not use a level.

Remember….you have thrown caution to the winds all while shrugging your shoulders and flipping your hair.

You are a care-free project maker.

6.  When you are satisfied with your vinyl placement.  Pull off the backing and attach vinyl to plate rack.

Add plates.

Position the plates to hide the places where your vinyl placement might have benefited from using a level.

This step may require a lot of plates 🙂


7.  Stand back and stare at your plate rack.  Think how great it is to be a carefree, shoulder-shrugging project creator.  Think how much time you saved repositioning those letters over and over and over again instead of just using a level.

And then start saving your pennies to take Greta to the Caribbean 🙂


PS  If you want to see how I made the plate rack click here.

PPS  If you want to see the actual recipe….click here.

A Note of Thanks

A Note of Thanks

Dear March Madness Organization,

Can we talk?

Just for a moment.  It won’t take long, I promise.  I know you are busy and all, what with big game tonight.

See that television in the corner?

That’s where we have been watching the tournament for the last month.

On these couches.

In this living room.

And I just want to say thank you.

I couldn’t let the tournament come to a close without saying thank you for allowing McDonald’s to sponsor the March Madness Games.

And not just as a once-in-a-while sponsor,

with an occasional commercial, where you might only see it now and then.


I wanted to say thank for allowing McDonald’s to sponsor every segment of every game on every channel each and every night.

And play that incredibly witty and overwhelmingly enticing Shamrock Shake commercial.

You know.

You know which commercial I’m talking about.

The commercial where the girl walks up and she stares at her boyfriend or husband or significant other.  And then she sniffs him and tells him that he smells like mint and then she tells him that she doesn’t like him and then he brings out a shake and she says she loves him.

Kind of like a mini-romantic comedy.

Brought to you by McDonald’s.

And that Shamrock Shake.


I might have seen the commercial a few times.

Right here on these couches.

Watching this television.

Staring at that coffee table and all of its freshy decorations.

Wondering how fast I could get to McDonald’s for a Shamrock Shake.

So March Madness folks.

I’m glad it’s April.

And McDonald’s has quit selling the Shamrock Shake.

And I have a treadmill.

However, I did see yesterday that they have a new Strawberry Shake coming out.


It never ends.

I truly hope they aren’t sponsoring the world series 🙂

P.S.  Go Wildcats!

P.P.S.  All pictures, freshy or otherwise were taken by RTM Connect.