Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 Must Have Tools #9

I hope you enjoyed my #10 post.  Maybe even some of you have gone out and bought the Kobalt Multi Bit Ratchet Screwdriver...I'd love to hear how it's working for ya!

On to #9!

#9.  Ball Jars

Yes, old Ball Jars!  Not just the blue ones, and they don't even have to be old.  New ones work just as well.  Now I know what you're thinking.  "What in the world is she doing with so many jars?"  Well, lots of things!

1. Store all that hardware in a large mouth clear jar.  Tighten lid and store filled jar in the drawer of the piece the hardware came from.  You'll never get to the last drawer and find you misplaced the last pull!

2.  Store all those left over screws in.  I like to keep a jar of flat head screws so if I have lost misplaced one from a previous project, I have a jar I can go to.  Having all the same hardware and screws adds value to a piece. I'm all about the details, and having matching screws is one of my quirks...

3.  Glazes!  What do ya do when there's just a smidg of glaze left?  Store it in a jelly jar!  Same goes for custom created paint colors and washes.  Use an address label to mark what's in it and it's recipe.

4.  Store your brushes upright in an empty jar.  Save those bristles from bending!

5.  Ever left a brush out for...oh say 6 months...with latex paint?  Yeah....well, if you should ever do just that, pint jars are great for soaking that ol brush in (dare I say...) brush cleaner.  It's glass, so it will clean up beautifully!  It's no need to go overboard and use the whole bottle on one brush.  It's won't melt like some plastics.  It's the ultimate recyclable!

These are just a few examples of how and when I use glass jars.  Again, they don't have to be the antique blue with the bale.  They can be the small mayonnaise or jelly jar that you were going to pitch in the trash.  Remember?  It's the ultimate recyclable!

Just wait till you see what #8 is!

Oh yeah!  Don't forget!  Tomorrow night at 11:59 pm I will draw for the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Give-A-Way basket!!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just an update!

With just 2 days till Christmas, I thought I should give an update post.

First, I would like to say Merry Christmas to you and your family. I pray you have found time in the busyness of cooking, shopping, creating, and fellowship-ing to simply take a long moment or two and enjoy your family.  I look at my 13 year old daughter and my 14 year old son, and try my best to embed their crooked little smiles into my brain.  Oh how time has changed them and though I wish I could turn back the hands of time to steal a few more moments, I know that wouldn't be fair to them.

Secondly, my Top Ten Must have Tools series took a back seat when I received word of the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Give-A-Way.  It will return next week with an unbelievable #9!  I'm sure you won't want to miss this series!

Third...It has been so exciting to meet so many new blog friends and in person too!  I truly understand the hesitation some of you feel when contemplating your first purchase of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint....I too was in your shoes!  But seriously, I am as cheap frugal as a person can get and I wouldn't endorse, promote, chat-up a product if I truly didn't think it was all that and a box of chocolates!  I'm positive whom ever wins this will feel the same way!

And finally,  not that it's all that important..but I've been working on a new website and blog design...more so the website...I hope to have it finished over the next month.  Please bare with me during these changes...I am probably the most technically challenged person alive and I'm trying to do it myself ;)  I may cave though...some of this tech babble is SO hard for me to wrap my mind around!  UGH!

We will have a whirl-wind of Christmas celebrations over the next few days.  As excited as I am about seeing family, enjoying yum-e food, and watching new memories being made, I'm most excited about spending Christmas Day with Mr. Cottage, Son Cottage, Bitty Girl, and Holly-Olly our furry 4 legged child.

From my home to yours, may you have a very blessed Christmas!
The Carter's

Saturday, December 17, 2011

NaDa Farms Simply Christmas

Many of you remember visiting us, and sharing in our story of Anne Marie's "A Very Prarie Holiday".  I can still feel the tingle on my skin of excitement from that beautiful event!  The adrealin rush of moving all of our furniture, treasures, and paint and the customers and flash bulbs that seemed to flash like fireworks.  It was an exciting time for me and the shop.  What I've always remembered most about Anne Marie and the event was her constant inner peace.  Thru all the little hiccups, Anne stood tall and calm.  Nothing truly seemed to rattle her nor her lovely family~

I often say, "Tis' the season.."  followed by for chaos, excitement, or stress.  No, I'm not a downer, just a shop owner.  I see every disappointed customer, child, and frustrated mom and my heart aches.  I know I can't fix, find, or have everyone's every want.  But even knowing that doesn't mean I don't feel the disappointment also.  This is supposed to be "The most wonderful time of the year!"...but we often don't slow down and embrace the amazing gift we could ever get. 

My mind quickly is reset from that thinking when I read Anne's blog and her new e-book.  Her simple yet powerful message of simple holiday traditions brings a calm peace to me.  When I flip thru the pages and the beautiful photography greets me, it warms my heart!  Her recipes are mouth watering and her projects are family inviting. 

Anne Marie's E-book is "46 pages about slowing down this holiday season and enjoying simple traditions…
from our farmhouse to you!"  To purchase, please visit

Happy Christmas & a Merry New Year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Annie Sloan Give-A-Way & Tour!

This is the BIG ONE!  THE give-a-way you simply can't miss!  And did I mention, Stockists all across North America are giving away over 100+ Chalk Paint® Baskets between now and December 31st to kick off the Annie Sloan American Tour?!  That's right! 
Basket FILLED with ASCP!
 Our basket will include :
2 Fabulous pots of Chalk Paint®
1 tin of Soft Clear Wax
1 tin of Soft Dark Wax
1 Ultimate Wax Brush
1 Glazing Brush
2 Chalk Paint Brushes
1 sheet of Ripple Cloth (for buffing)
1 Color Chart of all 28 Colors (not pictured)
The Painted Kitchen  Book
Creating the French Look Book
 & Quick & Easy Paint Transformations Book
 Basket prize value over $250!!

Books, Brushes, and Wax!
Want to see Annie in Person?

In addition to the Chalk Paint® Giveaway, a lucky winner of the Chalk Paint® basket from each shop across North America will be entered for a chance to win a $350 gift certificate from Annie Sloan Unfolded. This certificate can be used towards your Annie Sloan American Tour registration or spent in Annie Sloan Products! The big winner will be announced on Annie's Blog on January 10, 2012.  Tour date for Chicago/Oak Brook Illinois is March 24th!

Wax & Ultimate Wax Brush
Sound Good? Nope!  Sounds AWESOME right?!  For each task you complete, you will receive an additional entry to win our basket!  The winner of our basket will then be added to the drawing for the Annie Sloan American Tour $350 Gift Certificate.
1. Become a follower of Annie Sloan’s Blog  and comment with "American Tour 2012".

2.  Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment. (If you are already a follower, leave me a comment too just so I know :)

3.  Like my Facebook Page Carter's Cottage  and leave me a comment here

4. Pop in my store and introduce yourself! :) 
209 E. Lincoln Hwy. DeKalb, Illinois

5. Grab my button and post the Tour & Giveaway information on your blog!

There are 5 entries to increase your chances to win BIG! Winner will be drawn December 31st.  So let's kick off this tour and let the entries begin!
Best of luck to everyone!
No purchase necessary to win. Sweepstake Rules for the Annie Sloan American Tour.
ASCP Eye Candy from Whimsical Perspecitve

A Ruffled Nest ASCP Kitchen Cabinets

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Top 10 Must Have Tools

This is my Top 10 Must Have tools that I work with nearly every time I head to the workshop.  Yes, some of these are somewhat unique and expensive..but remember, I'm WAY TOO CHEAP FRUGAL to buy a tool just because it's cool.  It must serve it's purpose, and in many cases have more than one purpose.   And just to enforce how cheap frugal I truly am, some of these are SO inexpensive, you'll probably question me if I actually use it.   Go ahead...ask! :)
So, here's #10!

 #10. Kobalt 13-in-1 Multi Bit Ratchet Screwdriver available at Lowes.

This is the best screwdriver BY FAR!  The reason is simple, see all those bits...they store in the handle!  I simply hate when I'm removing hardware with a flat tip only to find the next drawer has Phillips screws!  Off I go running back to the good ol tool box!  Per Mr. Cottage, I must return a tool to receive another...I hate this rule even more because inevitably the very next drawer will be back to flat tip screws...and off I go again.  (I'm sure you get the picture :)

I love how this handy dandy screwdriver ratchets.  With a twist of my wrist, I'm tightening or loosening screws in record time!  The 13 bits, which did I mention store in the handle (AWESOME), include 4 flat tips, 4 Phillips, hex & torx bits, and a magnet.  No more running back and forth searching for 2 or 3 different screwdrivers!   

Have I mentioned it's price?  It's under $10!  Perfect for a stocking stuffer!  I keep one in the kitchen, one in my car, one in my workshop and one in the laundry room.  Yes, I am totally addicted to this product. Oh and no, Lowes nor Kobalt are paying me to say any of this! :)  

Stay tuned to see what's next on my Top 10 Must Have Tools!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Virtual Christmas House Walk

A friend of mine, Jen Rizzo, is hosting a Virtual Christmas House Walk and I must say, it's spotlighting some of the BEST Blog-Homes EVER!  Today is day two, but really go back to day one!  You won't want to miss all these wonderful Christmas ideas from great friends like Anne Marie of NaDa Farm, Jeanne Oliver of Jeanne Oliver Designs, Heidi from Dreams Intertwined, and of course Jennifer Rizzo! lol~

Hope you enjoy the beauty found during this most wonderful time of year~

Stay tuned for the Tisk it, A Task it, an 
Details coming SOON!