Thursday, September 29, 2011

Where are we going, where have we been?


My last post was a week ago, and even that was kind of a non-post.  The reason?  Well, crazy busy is one.  The other is that our reality at the Apple House has been a bit hard to deal with recently, and I have been avoiding writing about it.

In just a few weeks the Wright family will be leaving our log cabin in the orchard and heading to another community that is also rich in agriculture, just not in our backyard.

Just as we didn't plan to move to an apple orchard 50 miles south of the Canadian border, we also were not planning on leaving the orchard just under a year later.  Life happens, and lately, life has been happening a bit too much to our family.

So, we are headed to the Willamette Valley,  in search of, well, greener pastures.  Because while September is an idyllic time to live in an orchard, the work situation in this particular valley has been more like a nightmare.

I'm certainly looking forward to several things about our new home.  We will be close to Portland.  I will live withing a few minutes of any convenience I could want.  We will live close to family for the first time in eight years, and we will be living in a modern, warm, sheet-rocked house.

However, I know that there is a great deal that I will miss about this house and this community.  Of course I will miss the space this house provides, a large workshop and a craft room, along with a play room and a huge kitchen are not luxuries we can afford in the city.  (However, I will be thankful for less space to clean.)  It is harvest season, and I have all ready canned over 100 jars of fruit, none of which I payed for, all of it harvested from the trees in our yard and in our neighbors' yards.  I doubt that will ever happen again.  I will miss the walks with my boys through the orchards, and I will miss my chickens who will not be coming with us.

Most of all, I will miss the people.  The friends we have made here have left a deep impression on our hearts and it will be hard leave them.  Last year as I drove out of Seattle, with only my eight month old baby as a travel companion, I cried.  Leo will be my lone passenger again, but at 19 moths old, I will have to wait until he is napping to let my tears flow this time.

Several people have asked me if I will continue this blog, if I will rename it, if I will continue my business.  I will continue blogging here.  It has become an excellent platform for my business as well as a place to share my love of vintage and crafty goodness.  I will continue my business in Oregon.  I'm excited to find new venues and meet new clients. I also expect that having a much larger potential customer base will benefit my growth.  I will not being changing the blog's name or my business name.  I want to honor where this whole thing started, in a crazy log house, 50 miles north of nowhere.  I want to remember that out of cold and dark and depression and loneliness something beautiful, profitable, productive and creative was born.

I'll be scarce for a few weeks, but I'll check in with some posts about all the yummy things I've been canning.  Most crafting will be halted until we are moved into our new house, but I will be holding a furniture painting and refinishing workshop here before I go and I will try to remember to take pictures!

So, here we go, on another adventurer.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Charlie's Soap Winner

Congratulations, An Ordinary Mom!  (Whom I happen to know and love!)  This will be perfect for sprucing up your new house!  Email me your new address and I'll get the information to Charlie's!

For everyone else, you can order Charlies from Amazon (subscribe and save for a great deal) or directly off their site.  Sign up for their emails.  A couple of times each year they have amazing deals (that's when I stock up!) 

It also sounds like they are just days away from launching their new site!  Can't wait to see it!

In other news, I'm working on a difficult to write post about why things are going to be a little skimpy around here for the next two months.  Hopefully I'll have it up tomorrow. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vintage Love - Old Scale Love

What is it about old scales?  Why do we like them so much?  Is it because they were once (or still are) functional?  Is it because we associate them with delicious and fresh things to eat?  What ever it is, I'm completely charmed by my new addition.  Rusted just the right amount and in all the right places.

What vintage objects make your heart smile when you see them?


Don't forget to enter Apple House Revival's FIRST GIVE AWAY!  Tomorrow is the last day to enter!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Audrey and Helen

These lovely mid-century twins are enough the same to turn heads and just different enough to not fight over one gentleman.

They are extremely well built, including springs under their seats, which makes them very comfortable.

They are red, lightly distressed, with a black glaze.  I think the color and finish give a modern pop to these vintage ladies.

The polka dots and flowers weren't really intentional, just the two black and white print fabrics I happened to have, but I just love them together.

These sophisticated ladies are for sale.  They are $70 each of $125 for the pair.  Email me at applehouserevival at gmail dot com if you are interested.


Don't forget to enter AHR's first give away for one of my favorite household products, Charlie's Soap!

I'll be sharing at:

Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday. 
House of Grace: Twice Owned Tuesday 
Primitive and Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


So, it might surprise some of you to learn that despite all the crazy harsh chemicals I use in refinishing furniture, I am very very careful about what I use in my house and around my children.  There are no harsh chemical cleaning agents in our home.

I am also a total nut about laundry.  I know most people sort their laundry into whites, colors, brights.  Right?  Not me.  Here is how my laundry sorting breaks down.

  • whites- underwear
  • whites- not undewear
  • brights - reds, yellow and oranges only
  • darks
  • pastels
  • jeans (and colored socks)
  • white socks (socks are too nasty to be washed with anything else)
  • towels
  • linens
  • kitchen towels and wash cloths
  • rags
Yes, I am a little bit insane, I recognize this.  This partially comes from my mother, who also 'over' sorts her laundry and partially it comes from the fact that I rarely buy new clothes so I need and expect my clothes to last a long time, and I feel like I have to take extra care with them to accomplish this.

So, what does someone this OCD use to clean her laundry, expecting it both to do an excellent job AND be gentle and non toxic?  And did I mention that Leo and I both have super sensitive skin that reacts to EVERYTHING?

Well, I'm sure my blog title gave it away.  I am a super fan of Charlie's Soaps.

On their all purpose cleaner is says "Cleans everything from diesel engines to false teeth," and it's true.  I've yet to find something that I can't clean with one of Charlie's four products.  Yep, they only make four products, and those four products will clean anything.  (Here's a secret, in fact, I only use two of them.)

They offer

1. Kitchen and bath natural cleaner
2. Indoor/outdoor surface cleaner
3. Laundry detergent (in powder or liquid form)
4. Laundry pre wash

They also offer a laundry booster for people who live in areas with especially hard water.

Our family uses the Indoor/outdoor surface cleaner and the powdered laundry detergent.  We dilute the surface cleaner for our everyday cleaning jobs and even us the laundry detergent for some cleaning jobs, like cleaning our stupid plastic bathtubs.  (Does anyone else have those?  Someone who never has had to clean one clearly sells them!)  We also use the surface spray for our stain treatment on our laundry and for seriously difficult jobs, like cleaning up after our plethora of animals (if you know what I mean!)

What? I never throw up random mouse parts!  (ICK!)

Recently I added a scoop (about a TBLS) of laundry detergent to a bucket of water and John Henry and I used it to wash our car.  It did an AMAZING job, and that is actually what led to me wanting to write this post.  When we were done John Henry wanted to wash is wagon.  I had no issues letting him wash and play to his heart's content with the water that had Charlie's Soap in it.  It has no lye, phosphates, bleach, dyes or perfumes.  I fell confident that it isn't going to hurt him, unless, of course getting clean is harmful to a three year old (he thinks it is, I disagree!)

I scream like a banshee when my mama tries to wash my hair.

I also feel really good about supporting their company.  Charlie's Soap is a small, family owned company that was started by two men with $200 who saw an opportunity and ran with it.  You can read all about it here.
I also love how important customer service is to them.  They have PDF's that you can download (at the bottom of their products page) that provide you with information about the best ways they have found to clean specific items with their products.  I also saw a woman comment on their facebook page who was having a hard time getting some stains out of her laundry.  Within a few minutes someone at the company had commented telling her to call their 1-800 number and someone would talk her through some techniques and trouble shooting.  How's THAT for awesome!

As I prepared to share with you my favorite way to clean everything, I thought that it would be fun to offer one of you the chance to try Charlie's out for yourself.  In the "never hurts to ask" spirit, I emailed Charlie's and asked them if they were interested in doing a give away.  Well, just one more reason to LOVE this company. . . Sherry emailed me back within a few hours and said they would love to offer one of you the chance to try TWO of their products, a bottle of their Indoor/Outdoor Cleaner and a bottle of their Kitchen and Bath cleaner.

See. . . AWESOME!  

OK, OK, enough of me blabbering on about how much I love this stuff.  (Seriously, I do.)  Here's how you can enter, up to three times, for a chance to win this awesome stuff.

1. Follow Apple House Revival either via my RSS feed or LIKE my facebook page and then leave me a comment letting me know you do.

2. LIKE Charlie's Soap on facebook and leave me a separate commenting telling me you have.

3.  Share the give away love via Twitter or on you facebook status. . . and, you know it, leave me another comment letting me know you've let your friends in on the fun!

I'll randomly select one comment on Friday, the 17th.  Comments will be accepted through Thursday the 16th at midnight.


Disclosure.  I was not paid or perked in any way to write this review.  I approached Charlie's Soap about offering a chance to win their product, they did not approach me.  My opinions are 100% my own.

*** This give away is only open to US shipping addresses.

Monday, September 5, 2011

John Henry's Custom Bed

When my son, John Henry, was ready to move out of his crib, I wanted him to have a special bed, but after looking around at what was on the market, I found that everything was either crumby quality or out of our price range.  Well, of course I did what any 'rational' DIY-er would do. . .

I built him a bed.

I was only blogging at Yarnnation at that point, and since it wasn't made of yarn, even though it was awesome, I never blogged about it.  This means that I can't show you the process because I didn't photograph it, but I can show you its parts and all its functional awesomeness.

I made the bed to fit a standard crib mattress.  I can easily remove the mattress and the side rails and the platform becomes a train table or a place to build with blocks or legos.

The platform lifts up to provide additional storage.  In our old house that was key.  We kept the kids' off season clothes under there.

In the Apple House (notice the crazy log wall there) we have plenty of storage, so now we just keep cats in there!

I upholstered the frame, first covering it with two layers of batting and then with a sturdy home interior fabric.  I love the dots!

The side rails are also plywood with large L brackets screwed to them.  When the mattress sits on top of the horizontal part of the bracket it holds the rails securely in place.   I can say that with confidence.  John Henry has tested them in 'extreme' circumstances!  (He inherited a propensity to wander around his bed in his sleep from me.)

To upholster them I sewed two pieces of fabric together to make a slip cover of sorts, and after covering the plywood in batting, slipped it over the top and stapled it to the bottom.

I made one short rail and one long one.  In our old house there was one on each long side of the bed.  In this house, where the bed is against a wall, the shorter rail acts as a headboard.

And here's one more shot of the whole bed.   Don't mind the big blank wall above his bed.  This isn't actually where his bed goes.  I moved it so I could photograph is against a plain wall instead of a log wall, which always makes the pictures look orange.   If his bed DID go there (instead of Leo's crib) I would put a big areal themed map up there.  Hmmmm.  I think I feel another crafting project taking shape!  :)

If you like this project, check out the rest of my blog!  We do LOTS of furniture renovations.  Follow along w/ us as we embrace our adventure.  Find us HERE on facebook.


I'll be sharing at:
Between Naps on the Porch's, Metamorphosis Monday. 
Primitive and Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Angry Bird = Happy Boy

There isn't anything that can make me feel like a better mom than to see my kids delighted over something I made for them.

John Henry and I have been playing Angry Birds on Google Chrome together for a while now.  He can't manipulate the touch pad on my computer well enough, so he comes and snuggles up nest to me while I'm working on my computer and asks, "Mommy, can we play Angry Birds together?"  How this works is that I launch the birds at the place that he directs me.  Then we celebrate every 'hit' with high fives and "ALL RIGHT"s  Well, yesterday we beat the last level (3-20) on the free version and I was kind of sad.  I really loved my 15 minutes of Angry Bird time with John Henry.  I decided that I would preserve some of the fun that we've had in a different way.

Oh yes, my friends, I whipped up this Angry Bird last night.  John Henry helped me stuff him this afternoon when Leo went down for his nap.

John Henry was so excited.  Nothing makes me happier than this smile!

And nothing makes me giggle more than his "Angry Bird Faces!"

After taking pictures, we got to the real fun!


YES!        ALL RIGHT!       HIGH FIVES!

Just a bit about how I made it, in case some other 'almost 4' year old NEEDS an angry bird pillow.
  • I used four washcloths and some scraps of black fabric.  I thought the terry cloth would make it look more 'feathered'.
  • I cut out a "W" out of white for the bottom, again to make it more bird looking.
  • The beak is the corner of the yellow wash cloth, cut at an angle to make kind of a diamond shape.
  • The eyes were cut from the white wash cloth using a spray paint can lid as a template.
  • Irregular black rectangles from the black scrap made the all important eye brows.
  • I sewed each piece to the right side of one of the red washcloths using black thread.
  • Big black plastic buttons completed the eyes.
  • Last I sewed the other wash cloth to the first one, right sides together on three sides.
  • Clip the corners and turn it right side out.
  • Stuff and hand stitch the remaining side closed.

That's it, what more could you want?  Well, except an adorable boy to give you a kiss and tell you that you are 'his best mommy!"

Oh, and later in the day, John Henry climbed up next to me, snuggled against me and said, "Mommy, let's see if we can get THREE stars on all of the Angry Bird levels." Man, I love this kid!

OK, friends, I'm entering an awesome competition called Crafting with the Stars over at Sew Dang Cute.  Go on over, check out the projects,  and while you're there it couldn't hurt to leave a comment telling Tam (the blogger) that the Angry Bird Pillow is the most awesome thing you have EVER seen!  ;) 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Frittata, Custard, French Toast. . .

Every person who loving holds one of these,

and watches, delighted, as they grow into one of these,

has been very patiently waiting for the day that she sees. . .


Tiny, beautiful, perfect little eggs.  Seven of them in the last two days!  I feel like I have been waiting YEARS for my girls to start laying!  I even watched one of them lay her first egg yesterday.  She was a bit confused, but I gave her some pats and she happily went away to scratch for some treats, leaving me with her tiny little present.

This gives you an idea of how small the first little eggs are.  The smallest one on the left is the first tiny one my girl 'Twinkidink' left me yesterday morning.   The middle one is the largest of the seven eggs and the white egg is a large size grocery store egg.

Aren't they adorable?  What do you all think?  What should I make from our first precious eggs?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lulu's Bench

This little bench makes me so happy, just like my little niece, Lulu!  Girly and cute with a TON of spunk and attitude!  I especially love the yellow ruffle.  It's a little hard to tell, but it's a yellow gingham.  It is sewn to a piece of elastic and I found a whole roll of it at a rummage sale.  I LOVE it when I find two things at different places and I'm able combine them to create something super cute!

This bench would look adorable at bright red or yellow dressing table, as a dressing bench in a fancy walk in closet, or how I have it used here as a dainty ottoman or side table.  

Lulu's Bench is for sale for $40.  Email me at if you are interested.


I'm sharing at:
Primitive and Proper's Piece of Work Wednesday

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Look

Hey friends, if you read my blog in a reader click through and check out my new look here on the blog.  It's a little simpler, incorporates my logo, and has a feel that is more in keeping with the business image I am going for.  Let me know what you think.  I know it's a big change.  Do you think it's too bland?

Monday, August 22, 2011


The critters here at the Apple House are all growing up and getting bigger.

The chickens are now old enough to start laying eggs,  We've only had one egg to date, but expect bunches of them any day now.

The cats are no longer kittens, even if they aren't full grown.  Abner has three mice under his belt and Sadie has one.  They both recently started climbing trees, an activity they clearly enjoy, as they run up and down, from one tree to the next.  It's a good skill to have when you live in an apple orchard. (no picture of Sadie, she wasn't hanging around while the camera was out.)

And of course my baby. . . who isn't much of a baby anymore.  We call Leo 'the giant baby,' but soon will have to change that to 'the giant boy.'  He is wearing 2T and 3T clothes, walking everywhere, getting into everything, 'talking' constantly, and generally charming the pants off of anyone he meets.

Yes, fall is approaching.  Harvest season is approaching.  Spring is over and my babies are all growing up.  Sigh.  If they weren't still so cute I would sob, but who can cry looking at all these beautiful critters and how much they've grown.
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