Posts tagged Middleburg Folk Art Studio

Help us Pick the Next Wedding Cake Topper

What do you think happens on February the 14th the most…? Now get your minds out of the gutter and really think. Engagements! It is THE most popular day to get engaged. I love seeing all the jewelry store ads that are slathering the TV the weeks before. As if a man doesn’t know where to get a ring.

For those of us who are married, I bet it doesn’t even come up on our radar anymore. But wedding season is almost upon us, some would say we’re already in it but I see a tsunami coming.

It is really romantic to think there is a whole season for this part of life still. So everyone needs to think back to those lovely days of dating and the pet names you use to call each other. Did you call each other sweet animal names, funny silly names, or super sweet names you go yuck to now? Even if you’re not married join in the fun.

We at Middleburg want to come up with some more wonderful cake toppers, but with so many ideas and so little time, we need your help to narrow it down.

Just to kick the ball off, I have been thinking about a cute rabbit couple, paws up, facing each other touching noses. Two little blue birds sitting in a tree. A pair of frogs sitting on a lilly pad. But I have said to much…your turn.

Here’s where you come in:
We need you to tell us what you think most describes the wedding cake topper you would like (or would have liked) via comment here, include your name please and an e-mail address.

We will then take the most popular suggestions, put them in a hat and pick out the winning suggestion on Thursday Feb 18 at Noon, ETS. And as our Thank You for all your hard work the winning suggestion will receive a $35 gift certificate to our Middleburg Etsy Shop. Its really IMPORTANT that you leave me an email address in the comment section as well, otherwise we won’t have any way of contacting you.

You may also DM or Tweet me an idea, for additional chances to WIN ! @MiddleburgFAS

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Lots Going on at the Ranch

Well I’m taking a minute out to write because my shelf’s are being installed on my side today, have to be away from my desk. So I thought I’d tell you what’s been happening here around the ranch, or farm.

We survived our first really bad storm the other night. The wind was incredible, took the siding right off the back side of the house, all the way up the chimney. Then neatly stacked it up, no kidding. Saves us the work of doing it this summer. Also, it has lovely clapboard underneath. Could feel the room sorta moving, as the chimney I thought must be swaying. It’s a huge chimney, two story, its one of the two that flank the 1910 portion of the house. It did break out the storm window in our bedroom at 3:30 am, needless to say we didn’t sleep much. Kept thinking about what my Dad would say, “a tornado sounds like a freight train coming”, I kept thinking, does that sound like a commuter train, or a freight train, or maybe a touch of a Chicgo EL train? Anyway, no tornado warnings, Greg got up looked all over the internet, so we just tried to lay there. But when we got up I looked and turns out there was a tornado in Goldsboro, which is about 13 miles, West of us, OMG!

Paint is Happiness, and doing a lot of it:
The kitchen has gotten a beautiful color, sorta a yellow green. It was blue, and the ceiling still is, but it looks good, we’re considering painting the ceiling the same color but just a freshen up. Everything in the house was either blue or peach, kinda makes you want to urp.

The one parlor on the north side of the house we did in a color called Smoked Oyster . For numerous reasons, as this is Greg’s parlor and he loves oysters so we thought what a great color and great name. And let me tell you it is a great color. It’s warm and sophisticated, and very gentleman like.

Went to real country auction:

Friends from down the road took us to an auction in a barn Saturday night. Kinda fun you sit in old wooden movie theater seats, all with miss matched cushions on them. They auctioned homemade peanut brittle, as the first thing and everyone snapped it up, sorry I did not buy two bags. It was airy like sponge candy, but the peanuts were roasted, it was great!

Then the fun began, imagine the way a true auctioneer calls an auction, then add a heavy southern accent and the man had to be in his 80’s who was calling it. Took an hour just for my ears to keep up with him. Then we started bidding, but most of the time were out bid buy what I learned later were antique dealers. I did snag a couple of fun things. Like 4 vintage flower frogs, a pair of george and martha mini pictures.

Do you know what this is? I did the minute I saw it, but no one else must have, because I took it for a steal. A pop up picnic table! It’s as cute as can been. I’m taking it on a picnic as soon as I can.

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No squirrels, no rabbits, but birds by the thousand, Ok maybe an Owl.


You would think we were doing a remake of Hitchcock’s “The Birds” here and holding auditions. We are surrounded each day with hordes of black birds. They love what is all left in the peanut fields. It kinda adds life to the place, they are either in the trees or flying between the fields, the cars going down the road honk to make them move. Our pug dogs chase them, and Gigi the little black one jumps up like she will fly away with them. After all she is the right color, lol.

We have been enjoying lots of movies as of late, we have been streaming them via Netflix on-line to the tv, it is really cool not to have to go to the store and get a DVD or even wait for it to come in the mail any more. So with all the birds in mind, we let our 13 year old daughter watch the Hitchcock, sci-fi thriller. But I told her to cover her eye’s during the scene when the farmer was found, it is just too gory of an image. If you haven’t seen it in a while, sit down and take a watch, it’s such a classic. And you don’t have to sit there and say “do you think that part was CGI?”

Got to love Tippi !

Here is the newest bird in my life. My daughter say “she’s so cute”, should I tell her it’s a Boy?

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Uncle Harry’s Button Trees

Uncle Harry's Button Tree's

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34150631

Inspiration comes from so many places, sometimes it hits like a ton of bricks. During some recent unpacking I found a drawer full of horse show ribbons my son has won over the years. The big guy is a sophomore in college now and the ribbons are a little harder to win at the collegiate level. But he and his horse have been working there tails off, (LOL, mommy humor) to pull in some ribbons, which translates into team points for the college. So to honer these two fellows I have decorate one of our new tree sets in horse show ribbon rosettes, the boys have recently brought home. Made up of alot of reporspused mens suiting fabric, I thought the double rounds with vintage buttons remind me of that drawer full of rosettes. They also remind me of my father’s suits, he was a big suit wearer.
Greyson and Harry

A little side bar, Country Living magazine had a fabulous display idea for ribbons. A local gal from the Wayne, Illinois area, my old stopping grounds, framed her ribbons. It’s a very cute idea, I think I’ll surprise my rider with one of his own for his new room here in North Carolina.
Country Living Oct 2009

So a funny little tidbits about the trees names, my sons horse is named Harry as in Harry S. Truman, but around the barn they just call him Harry. So hence Uncle Harry’s Button Trees, enjoy and heres to a Happy Christmas and the boys bringing home more ribbons.
Greyson showing Harry S. Truman

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Middleburg’s Discoveries in North Carolina: Barbecue

Pig Sign

A guest commentary by: Greg Morris ( the hubby)

One of the many things we love since we’ve come here is our ongoing search for the best barbecue, we mean pulled pork. We fell in love with the stuff in Middleburg Virginia, well actual it’s Aldie, Virginia at a place that used to be called Doc’s Barbecue. You could order a bull or heifer (isnt’ that cute!) sandwich pilled high with pulled pork and all topped off with cole slaw, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Virginia barbecue is done with red sauce. Eastern North Carolina barbecue is served with no sauce or with a light vinegar sauce on a bun with the cole slaw on the side if at all, but a lot more vinegar.

All barbecue restaurants offer typically offer pulled pork, fried chicken, cole slaw, banana pudding, hush puppies and all the sweet tea you can drink, this is where McDonald’s got the idea. When you’re at any of these places, the sides are also as good as the barbecue it’s self. That’s where the local flavor can be found, collard greens, green beans, hush puppies, and yams. These sides are in just about every mom and pop restaurant in the south and you can make a meal on just those alone as Susan will sometimes do. Susan is also not a real fan of the vinegar barbecue, she is a red sauce gal at heart.
bbq
Below is a quick survey of the restaurants we’ve discovered as of this blog posting. Try one when your in the coastal North Carolina area, you’ll love it!

The Barbecue Lodge, Raleigh–Four Stars
The name threw us at first, we thought it was going to be a total dive but it was the first place recommended by our concierge at the Hyatt. When your drive up, it looks like your going to a refurbished Chinese restaurant. We were given our own pitchers of tea, mine sweet, Susan’s unsweeted. We ordered off of the menu, two pulled pork sandwiches with cole slaw an hushpuppies. The food was awesome, especially our banana pudding and peach cobbler deserts which we took with us and ate in the car on the way home.

Parkers Barbecue Restaurant, Greenville–Three Stars
No ambiance, really, non, it’s like eating in a high school cafeteria. I mean really, there are picnic type tables. You order at a counter and wait for your food to come up, then you go sit down. If you want more sweet tea, just go back to the counter. They also offer fried seafood like fish, oysters and shrimp. We haven’t tried these yet, we can’t get past the barbecue.

Strickland Dale, Snow Hill–Three Stars
This is not really a barbecue restaurant but it does offer pulled pork on Thursdays. This is the closets restaurant to our new studio. Unlike the other restaurants, this is an “All-you-can-eat-buffet”. Along with my pulled pork, I also LOVE their fried chicken, which is truly the best in the area (or anywhere else) that I have ever tasted. I think their secret is the batter.

There are more barbecue places in the area that we’ve tried but these are our top picks. More to come on this subject soon!

G+S

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Yankee Moves South

Driving Miss Daisy Movie
Ever feel like a nobody, well this week I sure was. You feel like can’t do a single thing in North Carolina with out a Social Security card. I lost mine 30 years ago and have gotten along fine in Chicago for all this time, can you imagine! But in NC you can’t get a new drivers license, open a bank account, and one thing rolls into another after that. So as of right now I’m just like Jessica Tandy in “Driving Miss Daisy”, sorry could not help the southern tie-in. Mr Greg, who now has his NC license is doing all the driving. And as a side bar to this whole thing, when I did go in to get a new SS card, the lady behind the bullet proof glass… say’s “so do you really want Havens on your new card? And I say “of course my legal name Havens-Morris”. And to try and add levity to the monument I said ” It was all the rage in the 80’s” and she looks back at me and says, “well I guess I’m not that liberated, being a plain jane was fine for me”. Lets face it one does not go to Social Security office for a boost in self confidence.

That’s all from the back seat right now!

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Middleburg has moved to the Coastal Carolina Plains!

Our Nehucky Farm

We are pleased to announce the big news in the world of Middleburg. We have moved South! Yes, 1000 miles away from Chicago, to a lovely old farm house in North Carolina. We bought the house in September and have been here now just about three weeks. My son will point to an old house every now and then and say “Mom, that looks like a fixer-upper for you.” Well honey, let me tell you, I got one of those. We have always wanted to fix up a house, I love the idea of bringing back something to it’s original grandeur.

The house, called Nehucky Farm was originally built circa 1880 as a simple 3 room structure. Over the years, it’s been added on to up to its current size, a 3000 square foot, two over two, 20th Century American farmhouse. It was the main house for a prominent local planter that at one time owned over 2000 acres.
What a girl won't do for a wood floor!

Today I’ll only tell you the pluses: Great high ceilings and big rooms, we are only 4 hours from our son in college, we look out on endless fields, we have huge pecan trees and great old boxwoods, two great barn/out buildings plus two others and 6 fireplaces. We have DSL in the country and don’t have to dial area codes any more! What more could a gal want…

And with all this, I forgot to say my husband Greg, who was born a southerner, has now joined the team full-time since July. He is a huge creative help, one of the few people who’s creative opinion that really matters to me.

I hope to add more soon about my Southern experiences, I’m really having a lot of fun. Oh and did I mention the weather is great? It’s been in the 70’s and 80’s all this past week!

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