Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Williamsburg inspiration at Brayton Homestead

Christmas at the Brayton Homestead is inspired by my recent trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. It started with a gold tone metal ornament holder in the shape of a tree that I purchased years ago.Although  a bit dated it seemed perfect for my house this year.It has been an incredibly exciting year; topping off the events is Fifi O'Neil coming to style my house then the homestead featured in Country Sampler magazine.
The snowman ornaments that I made  accompany a mix of tartan bows red apple ornaments and green icicle ornaments.

More Williamsburg inspiration on my kitchen fireplace mantle;.simple greens flow up and around my watercolors of fruits and vegetables. I collect interesting artificial fruits whenever I find it. A vintage French etching of a rooster centers the mantle arrangement.   

A peak of my paper mache snowman on my counter. Been been making them for years and love putting them out each year. Love that I can leave them out all winter, especially with our Massachusetts weather!

The idea of putting a candle in a wrought iron holder was something I saw while shopping in Williamsburg. Theirs was a lovely red lantern, but I improvised and really like it was. 

Merry Christmas from all at the Brayton Homestead. 
to you and yours.

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy Labor Day

Have a wonderful Labor Day. 
This is my friend's front porch with flags and flowers! Annuals and perennials all mix beautifully. 
Here are more of my  favorite finds and photos of the week.

My companion at all times, Krumpet. 
One can never be down with him around. Look at that face! 
The painted checkerboard floor  I painted that was featured in 
Country Sampler article about my homestead.
See the left column top pic that was published.  

and this graphic from Graphics Fairy for labels that I am crazy about!

Cool enough evenings to light my outdoor fireplace, oh so fun, next time marshmallows! 
I have had it for years and it still works and makes the side stone patio look inviting.. 

New changes coming to my Brayton Cottage shop, here in rough form. Stay tuned to my new collection of skirts " BRAYTON HOMESTEAD COLLECTION"

Busy at work on my computer, using the Mona Lisa mouse pad made my friend  made me :she sells them on Etsy. 

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Country Living Fair finds adorn my Guest Bathroom

I have posted pictures of my guest bathroom before but I wanted to share two items that I purchased at the Country Living Fair and added to the room. This small bathroom was originally the bourning room when the house, the Brayton Homestead, was built in 1796. 

The fair was so fantastic!  I have not stopped thinking about all the lovely antiques, jewelry and crafts I bought and all the incredible things I did not. A black lidded mason jar soap dispenser completed a long search for just the right vessel for my favorite ginger hand soap and there it was at the fair.   

Behind the doors on the right are a washer and dryer with shelves above; so easy to get laundry done. Another shutter door hides a shower. The bathroom project came out better than I expected and offers so many uses. 

Has been a few months since the CL Fair and getting things placed. The black and white hide was the other new addition to the room from the fair.

Louver shutters are repeated on the windows, top and bottom. They offer many configurations for season and light changes. I like to use shutters  on client work for that same reason. Will share more finds from the Country Living Fair. Enjoy and thanks for visiting!

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

my Tutorial to make a Patriotic table centerpiece

Happy Fourth of July from all at the Brayton Homestead. 
It is an especially fun holiday to decorate for. This season it started with the bottom half of my dad's
rusted tackle box. If you do not have a tackle box, a wood box, ceramic dish or white
ironstone tureen would be great.

I have held on to that box for decades! A few pots  of pansies right in their plastic containers went in first,  white then red then white, 3 square pots in all.  

Then I added dollar store flags in each pot. Not liking that I could see the plastic of the pots, I cut a strip of read check gingham cotton fabric and places it around all three pots, tucking it in a bit but not enough to get wet when I watered it.

I forgot to mention that I took a few plastic cups of rocks from my stone driveway and placed them in the bottom of the tackle box. I would recommend using clean rocks, white or grey, available by the bag in many craft stores. 

The homestead, circa 1796 begs to be dressed with red white and blue, and is easy to
decorate. A small addition of color as in this tackle box patriotic arrangement could fit in any room in your home.

Hope you enjoyed...
Linking with these great blogs:

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Monday, June 9, 2014


I attended the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck New York this weekend. What a fantastic time. 
Got to meet and chat with the Cari Cucksey, the Star of Cash and Cari.  Their show features appraisals of items someone's home and then selling right on the property, a cool selling it in a  Her show She has a line of paints she was selling and demonstrating. I bought a great color pink and will share my project soon. So wish I had bought every color!... 

One of many fantastic booths. The styling and items all fantastic. So many incredibly talented artists and craftsmen. It was so more than I though it would be.

Yes, quite exhausted at the end of each day. Memories and items to last !

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day at the homestead

Greetings from my homestead! 

I have been so busy for the last few months. It has been a whirlwind of excitement since my home was featured in the Home Tour edition 

My Memorial Day weekend was quiet but nice, mostly planting flowers and getting ready for a season of outdoor entertaining and fun! My decorating this year was very simple. My favorite woven planter on the ed 
front door with all white petunia flowers. All in one pot, placed easily in the wicker basket.

My old buggy/ sleigh seat that usually goes out only in the winter months found it's way on the front steps.

My copper trim under the door is aging with a great verdigris patina. Because the
 original base trim is 216 years old and cannot be removed I covered it with copper
to protect it. The trim is partially underneath the original door frame and would be very 
difficult to take out, and of course I would not want to. 

Have a great week!

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter Wishes

Many Wishes for you and your families this Easter weekend. I took this picture in a restaurant while traveling on business. It was the end of a hallway. It seemed cheerful and exuberant; it reflected the renewal of spring's landscapes and this holiday weekend.
Enjoy and give thanks...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Layering items on my Bookshelves

I love bookshelves and I love books! Here in my living room I have a set of shelves in oak, live the barrister bookcases. I had only books on the shelves. It seemed boring to me so I stated to layer items. First I added the basket on a few books laying down then added my vintage basket.   

Why not add some of my favorite items in front as well? My collection of velvet Victorian what nots where tucked away and deserved to be shown. They fit perfectly in front of the books and had room for a few paperweights. As most of the subjects of these books are England. London and royals the Victorian era velvets remind me of Doyle's Sherlock Homes books. Watson, I need the perfect magnifying glass to finish the display.

Thanks for visiting the Homestead,

Monday, January 27, 2014

OLD JARS/ NEW LIDS= NEW LOOK and organized!

In my last post I had started on my New Year's  resolution to organize my homestead kitchen.My latest strategy is to reuse a mix of old jars that were hidden in the cupboards and make them pretty to be on the kitchen counter.


The canning jars are a bit different as are the lids and tops.
I bought these lids after Christmas,  on sale. 
 They came in a  set with other designs.  

Using the jars to hold different tea bags, handy! Love the way they look with my red appliances. A simple red and white check cloth napkin pull it all together and easy to clean up. I painted the brick in a creamy white paint and aged them with a tan glaze. Very easy two paint colors and brush.

When not being used, the jars line up on the top of the toaster oven.  I really do not use that appliance much, except to reheat pizza. It keeps it from getting soggy.

I  would love to find the perfect tray to bring the teabags to the table for serving..

Working on other easy and inexpensive ways to organize my kitchen and make it look great as well. Looking for ways to store my dry spices that looks good and takes up less cupboard space.
thanks for visiting the Homestead,


Friday, January 10, 2014

New jar labels-2104- Organizing my Kitchen!

Do you love my new chalkboard tags on my vintage jars?
The shelves above my fridge have always been a handy place to hold odds and ends. Know it is even better. I bought these vintage jars a few years ago at Brimfield antiques and I love them. 

When I was preparing muffin batter about a year ago,  I thought I had added sugar to the batter but it was salt. Listen, I have a salt addition but even I could not eat those salty muffins!

I have been careful since then.  I think these labels will help! I found them at Target while Christmas shopping. Similar ones can be found online but for me the red border around the black label, meant for Christmas, are perfect for my kitchen where red abounds! 

Now I am looking  for  places to put  labels, think it is addicting.I used actual chalk to write on the labels and I love the effect but there is also a pen that writes like chalk and is permanent. 

 Humpty Dumpty, the stuffed guy I made, sits on the middle shelf. It was made by first sewing a egg from cloth and then drawing on it with black marker. Kind of a an egg thing going on in my kitchen. 
Come back for my more organizing ideas from my homestead. 
I love my labels and no more mistaking ingredients!

Thank you for visiting the Homestead,

Thursday, January 2, 2014


 A New Year with many thanks and a few wishes..

Ok ,really more than a few wishes. My family and I have had more than a few challenges this year. The economy has effected jobs, health issues and relationships have ended. But 2013 brought many reasons to smile!

My loved ones are still happy and for the most part healthy. That is the most important thing to me. Material things seem so meaningless sometimes do/t they? We had  lovely gatherings this year with family and friends,. Favorite times often are just sharing a pot of tea. Did not want to add a review of my blog but did add my favorite blog pic of a my post  featuring a tea gathering  of friends and family.
 This picture is from one of my favorite posts from 2013.

The little pic that is tucked in a much loved jewelry box that used to be my Mom's hold a picture of my twin brother Kevin and I. Mom is still around, she is 91. She resides at a nearby nursing home and is still a beautiful, brilliant gem.  My dad dies when I was 13, he was 52 so the fact that Mom is even more incredible to me everyday... 

A most fantastic event occurred when the one and only, Fifi O/Neil contacted me and then visited my house to photograph the homestead! What a treat. I am still a bit shocked about that. I am crazy for mu house and love living in it. Decorating is so easy here. Will have more news to share about that soon.  
pic is from the Paris Flea Market- I could just live there, my ode to Fifi...

I wish for continued happiness and health for all and a trip to Paris for me! Been years now!  I have gotten back to making my  one of a kind recycled jewelry pieces, mostly necklaces and started making  recycled  
upscaled skirts as well, so fun too make...

Will be adding new pieces to my shop, Brayton Cottage soon, thanks...

Hoping you had a lovely Hoilday season. Christmas time is always a favorite time at the homestead. 
Seems the perfect place to celebrate the holidays.

Have a list of things I want to try this year. Skating, making sushi, get more organized,
more photography and drawing and as mentioned traveling. 

What is on your list for 2014?
Make it great and may it be magical!
*All photos -Brayton Homestead Interiors