Tuesday, March 31, 2020

At Home Riding Apparel - Tops

Since we won't be horse showing IMHO before July, at the very earliest, I am using this time to work on the basics - transitions, equitation, the dreaded sitting trot.  You know the drill. But that doesn't mean you can't look good and fashionable riding at home, at your barn, or in a riding lesson.  There are so many choices today in riding apparel.  Here are some of my favorites.

We have a Dover Saddlery where I live so it gets visited frequently.  I love the Dover brand for tops.  Their sun shirts are a great value and I highly recommend them.  Currently they have these in pastel colors for spring and summer.  Mine are orange, deep aqua and a bright green.  They hold up well.  See the new ones here.

Ariat also makes a very good sun shirt. I have a deep navy blue one that is the most comfortable shirt I own for riding.  You can't beat the Ariat quality and price either.  See the new ones here.

If you prefer patterns, then try the Kastel Denmark shirts.  See them here.  The Dover store in Lexington, VA has this one in stock.  It's not on the Dover website but they have it there.

I also go to golf wear for my riding tops.  Most of the golf clothing is made for an active lifestyle (wicking) and it often more stylish. I love this top from Vineyard Vines.  You can golf in it, ride in it, wear it for running, running errands.  See it here.

Also love this top from Vineyard Vines, also made for an active lifestyle.  See it here.

Another source is Peter Millar.  Love this top, also made for golf.  See it here.

And I love this Keeneland pullover from Kaeli Smith.  See it here.

Monday, March 30, 2020

More Vintage Equestrian on Etsy

Now is a great time to decorate and there's no better source than vintage Etsy.  Here are some recent finds.....

I'd use this old J.G. Hook scarf as a table runner. 

Love these old pictures.  Perfect for a small corner in the house somewhere.

Love this vintage horse tablecloth.  See it here.

Also love the decanter which almost has an art deco feel to to.  See it here.

Another great horse print. See it here.

And these.....

And this one.  See it here.

Love, love, love this enameled box!  See it here.

Great old brass hook.  See it here.

And lastly, this vintage horse needlepoint kit.  Wow!  See it here.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Life on the Farm

I admit there's some guilt this morning as our life on the farm hasn't changed much during the pandemic.  Sure, we don't go out, but we don't go out that much in normal times.  I work from home already although hubby is furloughed.  But we aren't sitting in a 1500 square foot condo in northern NJ with three kids and two dogs.  I count my blessing every single day.

Maybe this episode will force us all to make changes to live a better quality life.  We made the conscious decision to live where we wanted to live about 17 years ago - the sudden death of a loved one changed the direction of our lives forever.  It was not an easy thing to do - we had to make it work and there were times when life was difficult and I questioned our path, but it was the right journey for sure although it took many years to finally get here.  We had to find work in a place where there really isn't much work - but we found a way.

So how is life on the farm?  It's busy.  It's a lot of work - you need a very strong worth ethic.  There's no time for lounging on the couch binge watching Netflix unless you are deathly ill or have a broken bone (yes, seriously).  It's not for everyone. 

The mornings are early - every morning.  No sleeping in.  The cold doesn't care.  The snow isn't a roadblock.  Even sickness is not an excuse.  The animals have to be fed. Laziness is not allowed here.  Getting dressed at noon never happens.  Manicures?  Not if you live on a farm.

Improvisation is key.  When we lost power for almost two weeks (and thus our water) during an unexpected storm, we made almost daily visits to a local spring to get our water.  It was hard work (and we now have a generator).  At some point soon, we may need to use this skill again. We'll see.

There's no "down time" except maybe in the dead of winter.  In spring, the "honey do" list is quite long and never gets completed one hundred percent. Yesterday I weeded and cleaned the patio, mucked stalls, dug-up and replanted ivy, weeded the driveway, clipped a horse, cleaned out beds by the driveway, cleaned out leaves from under my boxwoods, cooked dinner, rode one horse and planted herbs.  Today - will finish clipping, will ride two horses, will drag my ring and set-up jumps, will start working on my garden, will muck stalls, will vacuum my car, and maybe will have an hour or so to stitch.  We'll see...... My fitbit registers 5 digits almost every single day.  Yesterday about 20,000 steps.  Two weeks ago my all-time record for one day - 31,000 when I re-seeded a large horse pasture on foot.

But the rewards are great......

Be safe!

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Needlepoint on Etsy

Believe it or not, Etsy is a good source for needlepoint projects.  Small vendors sometimes sell their canvases here and there are a few stores that sell more mainstream canvases.  Since these all handpainted, it makes sense.  Here are few ideas for projects if you find yourself stitching like made at home.....

Love this Triple Crown winners' belt...

This would make a great pillow.  The DMC thread can be purchased at Wal-Mart, fyi.

Another great Derby canvas.

Love this bunny.  Comes with threads but not the needle. Very reasonably priced too!

If you are a dog person this is a must have.  Love it!

Love this one too!  See it here.

Love this rabbit.  See it here.

This is also very cute.  See it here.

If you want to cheat a little bit then you can buy this vintage canvas.  All you need to do is fill in the background.  You used to buy needlepoint like this many years ago.  You don't have to tell anyone that you didn't stitch the horse.... See it here.

Love this bunny!  See it here.

Love these belts.  See the Etsy site here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

My Farmhouse Guest Bathroom

I don't usually share photos of my own house on this blog but decided to show my very small guest bathroom at the farm house.  My house is very old (1800's).  When we renovated (and it was a total gut renovation) my goal was an old house with modern bathrooms and kitchen but with old world charm.  I did not want the bathrooms to look new. 

The guest bath is at the top of the stairs, is very small, on the front of the house facing south and is rarely used. It is L-shaped. 

The walls are tongue and groove wood (we added) which was painted a very vibrant green and then antiqued. At the last minute I decided to make the wood go in opposite directions (see it in the photo above).  My master bath is also tongue and grove but is much larger.  The floor and the tile in the shower is marble.  The vanity was custom built for the room.  The top is also marble (a remnant).  Fixtures are Kohler.  I believe the lights are Visual Comfort (not 100 percent sure about that).

I had the roman shade (it's a tiny green check) made and I stitched the Susan Robert's rug for the room.

The antique tavern sign is very old and was purchased locally.

The towels came from Target and I had them monogrammed locally. It is often the small details that make a room - the art, the waste basket, the towels, the flowers. The dried flowers came from a store in WV that had the most wonderful and reasonable dried flower arrangements.  These are close to 20 years old.  The magazine holder is a brush box that I won at a horse show. I have one in my powder room too (different horse show).

I never get tired of this small bath and want it to be cozy when we do have company (our guests usually stay at our cabin, three miles from the farm).  The sink is very small and we had to find one that would fit in this space.  This is not a sink you'd want to use every day but for guests it works fine.  This picture was purchased in London and was framed here. The one in the silver frame was purchased in Santa Fe years ago.  Good art is important to a room.

Originally this bath had sky blue tile (from the 1970's I believe) and the shower leaked into the entrance hall below.  My entrance hall had shocking pink high-low carpet that went up the stairs. It was lovely!   My house has come a long way!

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