Inspiration… Everywhere!

Hi Friends!

Early Saturday morning we drove out into the countryside ~ passing lush, green fields, tidy, white farmhouses, and faded red barns. We were both looking forward to being outside in the morning sunshine and soaking up inspiration. As we pulled into the quiet, little town of Morris, our car knew the way to our usual out-of-the-way parking place. (The perfect spot just in case we wanted to carry some inspiration back to the car!)

It was 8 o’clock and Canalport Park was already filled with people. The friendliest people gather at the 3 French Hens French Country Market very early on the second Saturday of each month, from May through October. Everyone is seeking their favorite kind of inspiration!  Young and old, couples, singles, and families with pups on leashes wander through the park in search of antiques, upcycled art, handmade jewelry, artisan soaps, fresh-baked pies and breads, flowers of all kinds, and so much more.  Locally grown produce and a variety of tempting, hot foods and cold drinks often inspire a spur-of-the-moment picnic in the park, too.

As always, my husband and I started off together looking at the tables and displays filled with antiques. Before long, we each ventured off in search of our own favorite types of inspiration. I am drawn to antique furniture, vintage dishes, antique teacups, and interesting stoneware crocks, enamelware pitchers, and Mason jars to hold bouquets of garden flowers. He is drawn to antique books, old tools, and historic memorabilia.

Before long, he will walk across the wooden footbridge crossing the historic I & M Canal ~

to find inspiration

in a quiet walk in nature.

 

He enjoys hiking the wooded path to the Illinois River

to observe the local fauna and watch all kinds of boats on the river.

This was my Saturday morning ‘Artist’s Date’ seeking inspiration for our home and garden, as I nourished my creative heart and soul.  I have been truly smitten with Farmhouse Style decorating lately. Fresh, white beadboard, walls covered with wood slats, natural wood finishes, and pops of color and natural textures have been calling my name. Old and rustic, yet simple and fresh! What better place to soak up that Farmhouse feeling than in a lovely park in the countryside! I have always been drawn to wooden signs ~ the words, the lettering styles, the rustic textures, and the soft colors. Walking through the 3 French Hens French Country Market felt like I was walking through my favorite Pinterest boards, with inspiration everywhere!

Come on along… so I can show you a few things that caught my eye on Saturday morning!

These muted colors and different textures made my heart sing!

Everything on this table could find a place in our little ‘nest.’

Bunting makes every day feel like a little celebration!

Hand lettered signs add just the right touch of warmth and coziness to any room.

I love the brush lettered style (especially bouncy brush lettering!).

I think I’m going to need some old, rustic barnwood! 🙂

This ‘Artist’s Date’

surrounded me with inspiration… everywhere I looked!

Lettering inspiration embellished

fluffy, white pillows,

embroidered, straw hats,

and more weathered barnwood!

As I walked along the edge of Canalport Park, I came upon something that stopped me in my tracks. Right before my eyes, a Tractor Parade turned slowly onto Illinois Street. Vintage farm tractors and modern tractors of every color and size passed by very slowly. Most of the tractors displayed American flags and many had shade umbrellas, too. A local artisan told me that farmers love to parade through small towns on Summer weekends in their beloved tractors, gathering for breakfast together in a small cafe. I just had to stop and watch…  🙂

This parade brought back such wonderful childhood memories of riding in antique car parades on Summer weekends. My dad drove our Model A Ford Coupe, that he had lovingly restored, blowing the ‘ooh-gah’ horn often. Dad and Mom rode inside the car, while my brothers and I waved to the parade watchers from the rumble seat! 🙂 

It’s such a wonderful thing when people discover their ‘tribe’ of kindred spirits ~

car people, tractor people, boat people, train people,

readers, gardeners, runners, cyclists, collectors, crafters,… ! 

Inspiration is everywhere, if we just take the time to look for it.

More lettering inspiration ~

on rusty metal and rustic paper!

 

These signs were lettered on upcycled kitchen cabinet doors. What a great idea!

One of them just had to come home to our cozy, little bungalow.

Can you guess which one?

It’s a good thing our perfect, out-of-the-way, parking spot was nearby!  🙂

After two inspiring hours, my husband came to find me in the park.

We had just enough time to look for inspiration in the nearby vintage shops ~

before driving one more hour through the peaceful countryside

to spend a lovely afternoon with our dear family.

♥♥♥

Thanks so much for visiting today!

Where do you find inspiration on a Summer weekend?

 

Perennially yours,

♡ Dawn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Autumn Treasures

CelebrateAutumn

Hi Friends!

We are celebrating another lovely Autumn weekend here in the Midwest! The leaves are just beginning to show their colors. The next two weekends should be prime time for leaf peeping in our area. Midwesterners are making the most of our nice weather.

Perhaps you can guess why we left home very early on a chilly Saturday morning to drive out to the countryside…

As long as I can remember, one of my very favorite pastimes has been antiquing. I have such sweet childhood memories of tagging along with my parents at outdoor antique fairs, learning about the fascinating things that were part of daily life for our ancestors. As I grew, so did my love for the old ways and the simple things that make a ‘Home Sweet Home.’

Now at a vintage age myself, I still love the anticipation of the hunt and the thrill of learning more about old, well-worn treasures. You just never know when you will find something that sparks joy! It’s always a treat to find inspiration for new ways to use my own antiques. From time to time, a tiny treasure or two might even come home with us!

This pretty park sits along the peaceful, historic waterway.

This pretty park sits along a peaceful, historic waterway. The small town of Morris is just a one hour drive from Chicago.

On Saturday, we visited the last 3 French Hens French Country Market of the year, held in the small town of Morris, Illinois. Over 140 vendors set up their booths in Canalport Park, along the banks of the historic I & M Shipping Canal. I practically danced into the park! There is always so much inspiration here… I could just feel it in the air!

DSCN5941It’s so interesting to peek at the upcycled items ~

especially signs made from old barn wood, vintage doors, or tobacco lath.

I always take time to admire the fonts, the time-worn wood, and the sayings on each piece.

DSCN5939Vintage frames were in abundance at this month’s fair.

Some were turned into chalkboards. Others held chicken wire and clothespins to create display boards.

DSCN5952There were so many memories here, too!

While growing up, I played at a small, wooden, roll top desk that was passed down through our family.

The red handled rolling pin looks just like the one in my kitchen today.

I can remember a Charles Chips cookie tin at our house, too.

It’s always a happy stroll down Memory Lane!

DSCN5943Vintage wooden ironing boards were popular.

Old doors were definitely trending here!

They were repurposed into hall trees with bench seats, book shelves, coffee tables, and chalkboards.

I was thankful to see the original hardware preserved on each door.

DSCN5947Autumn’s gifts were everywhere!

Bittersweet bundles were cut from roadside plants in Indiana.

Farmers brought their fruits, vegetables, and honey.

DSCN5945Pumpkins and gourds were everywhere!

DSCN5950Our search for the perfect pumpkins and gourds

always leads us to Anderson Pumpkins.

These expert growers harvest over 102 varieties on their

farm in nearby Newark, Illinois.

DSCN5949It’s fascinating to learn more about pumpkins and squash from them each year.

We learned that pumpkins will be more scarce this season

due to our cool, very wet June.

(Insider tip straight from the grower ~

“If you buy canned pumpkin for Thanksgiving baking,

it’s a good idea to buy it extra early this year. Supplies could be short!)

DSCN5810The blessings of Autumn

were everywhere we looked at the

 3 French Hens French Country Market.

Beautiful chrysanthemums, long bundles of dried wheat,

bales of hay, and bouquets of bright, orange Chinese Lanterns

were a celebration of Autumn in the Midwest.

A few bits

of holiday magic

were sprinkled in, too!

DSCN5956The most wonderful time of the year

is just around the corner!

DSCN5955What a wonderful Autumn morning!

There were little treasures that

sparked joy ~

a small, silverplated ‘Bride Basket’ plate (made in England) for holiday tea parties,

a bar of handmade ‘Ocean Sunrise’ soap, scented with peppermint, lemon, and eucalyptus,

and small pumpkins and gourds to create Autumn centerpieces.

Best of all, my heart is filled with inspiration!

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We bought delicious fare for

our picnic lunch

and headed off

further into the countryside

to our afternoon destination…

This beautiful place is really old!

It’s an original ‘antique’

dating back

 10,000 years!

Can’t wait to share… next time!

I’m so grateful that you made time to stop and visit today.

Wishing everyone bright, colorful Autumn (or Springtime!) days ahead!

Sending warm Thanksgiving Blessings to our friends in Canada!

Cherish today!

♡Dawn

P.S.  What Autumn activities have you been enjoying lately?

3 French Hens

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Hi Friends!

It was my favorite kind of day! We jumped into the car very early on Saturday morning. I could feel a touch of Autumn in the air and excitement building as we left behind the busy suburbs, near the bustling city, and headed southwest to the friendly, little town of Morris, Illinois. Time moved at a more leisurely pace, as we drove along fields of golden corn and yellow, roadside wildflowers, under beautiful, blue skies, accented with puffs of white clouds. It’s the kind of drive that just begs for country music on the car radio. 🙂 If only I knew the lyrics to those country songs, I would have been singing along!

Our destination was the 3 French Hens French Country Market. This popular event, held on the second Saturday of each month, from May through October, draws visitors from near and far. The friendliest vendors and shoppers gather here in a quiet, little park early in the morning… and the excitement begins!

The historic I&M Canal, in Morris, Illinois

There was a nip in the air, as we walked to Canal Port Park, along the banks of the historic I & M Canal. Over 130 booths of antiques, upcycled vintage treasures, and beautiful, handmade wares filled the park. Inspiration was everywhere!

Join us for a stroll through the market…

'Fall' bunting with rosettes

Signs of Autumn filled the air on Saturday morning!

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Amy, at Plaid Umbrella Studios, displayed beautiful handmade wares. Plaid Umbrella Studios is a cooperative of antique dealers and artists who run pop-up stores each month. One of their treasures just *might* have come home with us!

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Angela, of 13th & Olive Designs, followed her passion for flowers as she created beautiful pendants filled with pressed flowers. Her work was truly lovely!

Angela's passion for flowers makes her beautiful pendants one-of-a-kind treasures. I really enjoyed talking with her about her flowers and meaningful text.

Angela’s one-of-a-kind pendants can also be custom-made with meaningful words and pressed flowers from life’s cherished moments. I really enjoyed our conversation about our shared passion for flowers, their Victorian meanings, and old book pages.

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Signs of Autumn were everywhere at the 3 French Hens Market.

Gorgeous mums and yummy baked goods from Shipshewana, Indiana were very popular!

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Finding a patch of sunshine warmed us up,

as the brisk winds filled the air with an early morning chill.

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A cup of Pumpkin Spice tea was also a warm welcome,

to both hands and heart,

as we wandered among the antiques, vintage treasures,

handmade jewelry, herbal soaps,

c0lorful Autumn perennials,

baked goods, and farm fresh produce.

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Anderson’s Pumpkins shared a wonderful variety of locally grown pumpkins and gourds. We look forward to ‘picking’ our pumpkins at their booth in a few weeks, during the October market.

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Have you seen anything that catches your fancy?

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Jennifer, at Olde Farm Creek, brought her popular signs stenciled on tobacco lath.  Check out the large Scrabble tiles! Olde Farm Creek is also featured in Country Sampler magazine.

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There were smiles around every corner at the 3 French Hens Market!

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So happy that you could visit the market with us today.

We are already looking forward to

another morning in the country

at the 3 French Hens French Country Market,

in Morris, Illinois,

on Saturday, October 10th.

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I am always filled with inspiration

after spending a morning here with all of the creatives, makers, and doers!

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Heartfelt thanks for taking the time to visit today!

Where are you finding Autumn inspiration?

I love, love, love your comments…

Cherish the day!

♡ Dawn

3 French Hens

A wonderful place to find treasures!

A wonderful place to find treasures!

Hi Friends!

What a lucky break in the weather! After a week of rainy days, we woke up early on Saturday morning to delightfully dry weather. All week we had been looking forward to a relaxing day in the country. We were on a treasure hunt and my husband and I each had one small thing on our ‘wish lists’ for the day. Oldies on the radio, sunshine, and blue skies made the hour-long drive fly by. By 8 o’clock, we arrived in the small, friendly town of Morris, Illinois.

This pretty park sits along the peaceful, historic waterway.

This pretty park sits along the peaceful, historic waterway.

It was time for the 3 French Hens French Country Market. This popular event is held on the second Saturday of each month, from May through October, in Canalport Park along the banks of the historic I & M Canal. It’s always one of our favorite antiquing destinations!

Vintage Ball jars line the stairs of an old step stool.

Vintage Ball jars line the stairs of an old step stool.

Saturday’s market was bustling with happy shoppers and friendly vendors when we arrived for the 8 o’clock opening. There were 143 booths filled with antiques, vintage treasures, flower-filled baskets, farm fresh vegetables, artwork, and repurposed one-of-a-kind items.

...

An unusual upcycled bench caught my eye at one booth.

There were several growers selling flowering plants.

Of course, I couldn’t walk by without stopping to admire the colors of summertime!

..

These hanging baskets were filled with showy annuals in lovely combinations.

Painted furniture of all kinds filled the park that morning.

...

A chippy door supported this repurposed piece of furniture.

I love looking at all of the vintage tins and wooden boxes.

Oh, my! Take a close look at these boxes. (I guess there is something for everyone here.)

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Vintage wares fill a primitive shelf and a quilt-covered table.

Red, white, and blue were definitely trending

on a hot, June day in the Midwest.

Here are just a few of the patriotic displays that caught my eye.

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After looking at all of the displays, I walked back to buy what I had come in search of  that morning.

I bought a vintage, enamelware colander. It’s exactly what I need for a special project!

Can you guess how I will use this old colander?

I promise to show you soon…

My husband was happy to find some old Greek drachma coins.

He made a very unexpected discovery that morning, too!

He took a walk down the wooded path (while I took one more walk past the vintage treasures).

Right there, in the middle of the path, he spotted two very large hens meandering ahead of him!

Perhaps they were on their way to the French Country Market, too!

It certainly was a good morning to hunt for treasures!

..

The shady, wooded path along the I&M Canal was cool and welcoming on a hot, sticky morning.

It was time to explore the path along the peaceful canal.

DSCN5319The I&M Canal, in Morris, has an important history.

While today this sleepy canal is a quiet, peaceful place, for many years it was the busy 96-mile long Illinois & Michigan Canal. Irish immigrants, working under very dangerous conditions, dug the canal by hand from 1836 to 1848 to create a water highway. Water was pumped into the canal from rivers in the area. Towpaths were constructed on both sides of the canal to allow mules to walk along and pull barges through the canal.

The I&M Canal helped to connect the The Great Lakes to the Mississippi River and on to the Gulf of Mexico. This made Chicago a great inland shipping port and helped agriculture flourish in Illinois. Later replaced by larger man-made waterways, railroad tracks, and highways, the I & M Canal closed in 1933. Although much of the canal has been filled in, portions of the canal have been preserved in this historic corridor. Today footbridges and the walking path along the canal remind us of  the canal’s long history.

We walked beyond the canal to see the fast-moving water of the nearby Illinois River. Recent heavy rains have made the river swell beyond its banks. Trees surrounded by water showed the flooding conditions on Saturday morning.

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The Illinois River, at Morris, overflowed its banks engulfing trees in its raging water.

We walked through downtown Morris exploring the shops and had a picnic lunch nearby. Then it was time for the next part of our adventure. We drove to the small town of Wilmington, on historic Route 66, to visit a big antique mall. As we wandered amongst the antiques and vintage treasures, we saw so many memories of our childhood. Have you noticed that your childhood toys and family housewares now fill the antique malls? We have become very trendy ~ Mid-Century Modern!

Dark, threatening skies overhead soon told us that it was time to end our adventure and head for home. Saturday evening, rainstorms brought over 5 more inches of rain to the Morris area! Flooding along Illinois River has grown much worse since our visit yesterday. We are thinking of the people living in all of the small towns along the swollen rivers. I really wish we could send them some dry, sunny days!

Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend filled with some of your favorite activities!

I’m looking forward to another busy week in the garden, in between the rainstorms.

Can’t wait to get started on a fun project using a vintage colander!!

Think sunny thoughts!

♡ Dawn

3 French Hens

A wonderful place to find treasures!

A wonderful place to find treasures!

Hi Friends!

Brrrrrr! It was such a chilly Saturday morning! Just after sunrise, we drove through the countryside to the quaint, little town of Morris, Illinois, ‘leaf peeping’ along the way. It was time for the final 3 French Hens French Country Market of the season. This popular event is held on the second Saturday of each month, from May through October, in Canalport Park along the banks of the historic I & M Canal. It’s always one of our favorite antiquing destinations!

The 3 French Hens French Country Market attracts the friendliest people ~ antique dealers, artisans offering their handmade wares, gardeners selling colorful Chrysanthemums, bakers displaying their delectable treats, local farmers selling freshly-picked produce, and treasure hunters galore!

One of the delights of the October market is… pumpkins!! We had such fun talking with the grower of Anderson Pumpkins. Valerie shared tales of the pumpkins and gourds they grow on their farm. Each variety has a wonderfully descriptive name. Just imagine the fun of naming each variety of pumpkin!

Anderson Pumpkins, in Newark, Illinois, grows so many wonderful varieties of pumpkins and gourds!

Anderson Pumpkins, in Newark, Illinois, grows more than 50 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds!

Rather than carry a heavy pumpkin through the market, we picked out a variety of small, unique gourds to fill a basket on our dining room table. Passersby smiled as they watched us picking out several ‘perfect’ gourds to take home!

Scarecrows are popping up all over the Midwest this month. We stopped to enjoy scarecrows of all sizes and shapes. Although we haven’t made our scarecrow yet this Autumn, we found so much wonderful inspiration here on Saturday morning!

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A friendly scarecrow stands watch over a garden of colorful Chrysanthemums.

We met Kathy Pribble, a talented artisan who creates the most wonderful scarecrow characters. Each one of her scarecrows has a name and a unique personality. So much creativity…

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Kathy Pribble wil be selling her delightful scarecrows again next weekend, at the 3rd Sunday Market, in Bloomington, Illinois.

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Scarecrow children riding a tricycle. {Created by Kathy Pribble}

Wouldn’t it be fun to take one of her unique scarecrows home for the front porch? Maybe someday…

With cups of steaming, hot pumpkin spiced tea and hot apple cider to chase away the early morning chill, we continued our treasure hunting. There was so much more to see!

There were treasures everywhere!

There were treasures everywhere!

'Dave and Jayne's Furniture Fix', from Wilmington, Illinois, offered pretty painted and distressed furniture.

Dave and Jayne’s Furniture Fix‘, from Wilmington, Illinois, offered pretty painted and distressed furniture.

Caroline, from Paperjack Studio, offered her repurposed furniture, vintage finds, and painted letters.

Caroline, from Paperjack Studio, offered her repurposed furniture, vintage finds, and painted letters.

Caroline also had unique ideas for holiday celebrations yet to come!

Caroline also had lovely ideas for special holiday celebrations yet to come!  

What a perfect Saturday morning! The friendly people always make the 3 French Hens French Country Market extra special. We had nice long visits with a soap maker, a pumpkin grower, and a baker. It’s wonderful to find so many talented people from so many walks of life gathered together in a pretty park in the heartland.

A wonderful place to find treasures!

A wonderful place to find treasures!

We were so fortunate to visit the 3 French Hens French Country Market three times this year ~ Spring, Summer, and Autumn. We are already looking forward to coming back again next year. In fact, we have decided to spend the whole day in Morris next time. There are so many interesting places to explore in town. On Saturday afternoons, the streets fill with hundreds of vintage cars for Cruise Nights. It would be so nice to stay for the fun! Every single time we visit  this little town, surrounded by farms in America’s heartland, we always have the same conversation, “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a small town one day?”

As we walked through Morris on our way to the car, we listened to  the crunch of leaves underfoot. We were filled with inspiration and happy memories of a lovely morning of treasure hunting. We brought home some small treasures that hold big memories ~ a bag of unique gourds, fragrant bars of handmade Lemongrass/Mint Goat Milk soap, and shiny, silver charms to add to a necklace. The best memories of all weren’t carried in our bags ~ they are carried in our hearts! Warm memories that will last through the cold winter months ahead.

Next weekend, there will be more ‘leaf peeping.’  Yellows, oranges, and brilliant reds are just beginning to show their colors here. The green leaves will soon perform a spectacular symphony of Autumn colors. The following weekend, there is sure to be another popular Autumn activity… leaf raking!

A few leaves from our 'Autumn Blaze' Red Maple have begun twirling down.

A few leaves from our ‘Autumn Blaze’ Red Maple have begun twirling down.

 Autumn is the perfect time for making memories!

Happy Autumn days!

♡ Dawn

P.S.  What are your favorite Autumn activities?

3 French Hens

A wonderful place to find treasures!

A wonderful place to find treasures!

Hi Friends!

We hit the road very early on Saturday morning! My excitement just bubbled over, as I wondered what treasures were waiting to be discovered at the 3 French Hens French Country Market. This monthly market, located in the quiet, little town of Morris, Illinois, completely fills a pretty park, on the banks of the historic I&M Canal.

The 3 French Hens French Country Market is held on the second Saturday  of the the month, May through October. It’s good to arrive early, as the little town quickly fills with visitors! Everyone is headed to Canalport Park in search of antiques, handmade wares by talented artisans, and repurposed treasures. We’ve been going for the past three years. It’s always a delightful place to spend the day, in the Spring, Summer, or Fall.

This pretty park sits along the peaceful waterway.

This pretty park sits along the peaceful waterway.

As we drove past vast stretches of farmland,

my great anticipation was tempered with the unsettled feeling of not knowing exactly what I was looking for…

Antique dealers and talented artisans display their wares in the park along the sleepy canal.

Antique dealers and talented artisans display their wares in the park along the sleepy canal.

Over the years, my antiquing trips have always been most successful

 if I have one or two treasures on my ‘wish list’ for the day.

Don’t you find it easier to know what you are searching for?

Alas, on Saturday, I really didn’t know…

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It was such fun to look at everything!  Treasures upon treasures, all waiting for new homes.

Olde Farm Creek offered a nice collection of vintage inspired farmhouse treasures.

Olde Farm Creek offered a nice collection of vintage inspired farmhouse treasures.

It was fascinating to talk with the artisans about their handmade pieces. These primitive signs were made from tobacco lath and the beautiful canvas bags were stitched from worn tent canvas. The lovely, old patina of the materials added a special touch of the past to each newly created piece.

 

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Roseberry Farm Primitives brought a touch of Autumn to the market.

 

The 3 French Hens French Country Market always draws big crowds of the friendliest people! Live acoustic music drifts across the park. Wonderful smokey smells from the food vendors whet the appetite for a picnic lunch.

But it was much too early… and there was still so much to see!

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Local farmers bring their fresh-picked vegetables and fruits to the market. Bakers bring homemade pies, breads, and cookies. Freshly canned jams, marmalades, and salsas make it easy to take home the tastes of summertime to enjoy throughout the year.

 

My husband and I continued exploring, looking through all of the treasures of the past, and laughing as we came upon so many toys from our childhood. He is always attracted to vintage books, old photographs, and antique coins. I’m always drawn to peek inside old painted cupboards, to touch antique quilts in soft colors, and to admire vintage Mason jars sparkling in the sunshine. It was a perfect way to spend an August morning!

 

Suddenly, I saw it! I discovered what I had been looking for all morning…  inspiration!!

My heart just leapt when I saw the beautiful antique school desk! It looked so nice displaying old books on its seat and vintage treasures on its desktop.  It was just the right inspiration… at the right moment!

‘Back-to-School time’ is  just around the corner…

Jessica, from Tattered Accents Old & New, and I talked about fun ways to use an antique school desk.

Jessica, from Tattered Accents Old & New, and I talked about so many different ways to use an antique school desk.

Many years ago, a friend gave me an antique school desk. I’ve been saving it in our basement, thinking that one day it might look nice in the garden holding baskets of summertime flowers, or on the front porch holding vintage boxes filled with winter evergreens, pinecones, and holly. But today there is new inspiration! Maybe it’s time to bring the old desk upstairs to hold some vintage school memories.

It’s such a great feeling to discover new inspiration for a treasure that you have loved all along!

(My husband certainly agrees!)

Truly a perfect August morning!

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Carrying inspiration back to the car is so much easier! You can take the scenic path… holding hands! ♡

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Since ‘Back-to-School’ days are just around the corner…

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H A P P Y   N E W  Y E A R !!

Today is the perfect day to celebrate

all of the wonderful, creative, dedicated teachers

who share the gift of learning every day in their classrooms!

You truly do make a difference!

Here’s to a happy new school year… and all its promises!

To all of the retired teachers everywhere,

who have given a lifetime of learning and inspiration,

we honor and thank you for making our world a brighter place!

Look back with love and gratitude,

and cherished memories,

as your students carry a part of you

in their hearts…  forever

Scatter sunshine!

♡Dawn

           P.S.  What is your favorite back-to-school memory?

3 French Hens

Hi Friends!

There were just two antiques on my wish list this weekend ~ a small metal flower frog (to hold a handmade card as I photograph it)  and a small table for our front porch (just big enough to hold a crock of garden flowers and a glass of iced tea).  I knew it would take some searching! Would these timeworn treasures be there waiting to be discovered? We knew where we could search… and I was so excited!

We left very early on Saturday morning and drove through beautiful farm country to the quaint, little town of Morris, Illinois. It was time for the 3 French Hens French Country Market. It’s always a fun-filled day, enjoying antiques, handmade wares by talented artisans, repurposed treasures, flower markets, live acoustic music, tempting homemade foods, and the friendliest people anywhere!

A wonderful place to find treasures!

A wonderful place to find treasures! The 3 French Hens French Country Market is one of the top-rated antique markets in the Midwest.

The 3 French Hens French Country Market is held on the second Saturday  of the the month, May through October. It’s good to arrive early, as the little town quickly fills with visitors! Everyone is headed to Canalport Park, on the banks of the historic I&M Canal. We’ve been going for the past three years. It’s always a delightful place to spend the day antiquing, in the Spring, Summer, or Fall.

This pretty park sits along the the peaceful waterway.

This pretty park sits along the the peaceful waterway. The footbridge is part of a shady walking trail.

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There was so much to see on Saturday morning! Antiques of all kinds…  I knew you would want to take a peek…

Tables, toolboxes, baskets and more.

Antique tables, toolboxes, baskets and a beautiful trunk.

Treasures from the past filled with charm!

Treasures from the past filled with charm!

 

Hmmm! Do you like the white one...

Hmmm! Do you like the white one…

Or…  do you like the black one better? We stopped to help a friendly shopper decide. I think she was very lucky to buy either piece!

Or… do you like the black one better? We stopped to help a friendly shopper decide. I think she was very lucky to buy either piece!

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Repurposed planters made pretty container gardens.

The French Country Market was filled with les fleurs! There were bedding plants, hanging baskets, unique container gardens, and charming ways to display colorful flowers. (We’ve been through such a long, hard winter. We all need flowers!!)

Flowers galore, just in time for Spring gardens!

Flowers galore, just in time for our Spring gardens!

Delightful for a front porch!

Delightful for a front porch!

Vintage plate add a special touch to a flower basket!

Vintage plates add a special touch to this flower basket.

It was definitely a perfect Spring day to look for treasures!

It was definitely a perfect Spring day to hunt for treasures!

Wonderful acoustic musicians added the perfect accompaniment to our morning. Beautiful  crabapple trees in full bloom added to the magic of the day!

Talented musicians added the perfect accompaniment to our morning. Beautiful crabapple trees throughout the park added a festive touch of Springtime!

We made our way to the 3 French Hens’ lovely display.  These talented women organize the event and offer unique wares. Vintage charm filled every nook and cranny of their display ~ chandeliers hanging from the trees and bunting, made of vintage lace, draped from tree to tree.  Take a peek at some of their garden signs…DSCN2538

 

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What a wonderful morning filled with inspiration! I came home with so many creative ideas to add a bit of vintage charm to our garden, front porch, and deck. The timing couldn’t be more perfect! It’s time to plant our Spring containers and turn the front porch into our Summer living room. Oh, remember the two antiques on my wish list?  Halfway through the French Country Market, I found an old metal flower frog that will hold a handmade card just perfectly.

A bit later, I realized that I had made a big mistake by passing up the cutest pair of floral garden boots! They weren’t even my size, but  they were perfect to stand by a big pot of flowers on the front porch. My sweet husband went back to find them. Imagine what the lady thought as he came to buy flowery garden boots! She smiled as he explained that his wife really needed these boots!  Happily, my husband found a special treasure of his own ~ a very old Greek drachma coin. Treasures come in all sizes!

As I was walking back to our meeting place, guess what I spotted? There it was… a  shabby, white table just large enough to hold a crock of garden flowers and a glass of iced tea! It was a perfect ending to a perfect day!

 

Happy Springtime!

♡ Dawn

P.S.  What treasure have you been searching for? We’ll all keep our eyes open… Maybe we can find it!