Saturday Spotlight: Life Behind The Blogger

Susan from Must Love Junk, and myself wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.

Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Susan's and my blog. 
April 19
Theresa from The Old White House

I would love to introduce you this week to a lovely lady in blogland.  She shares my love of whites and chippy.  Please enjoy meeting and getting to know Theresa from The Old White House.

First of all I want to say thank you to Kris for inviting me to be featured for Saturday 
Spotlight  among many bloggers that I admire.  I am truly honored.  My name is Theresa 
and my blog is The Old White House.  

I have been married to my wonderful husband for 28 years and we have 5 awesome 
children with age ranges from 11 to 27.  

These people are my life.

...and we live in a very old white house.

I have spent what seems like my whole life making things.  I am the second oldest of a 
family of 12 children and we spent a lot of time creating our own fun. 
 My mom was a teacher and always had something up her sleeve to keep us busy. 
 Even when we went
camping she would bring along paints and we would paint on rocks
 or go on a tour of a factory to see how things were made.  
Which is most likely the reason that most of my 
brothers and sisters are also creative in one way or another. 

I started following a few blogs years ago and then one day in a moment of pure panic 
pressed the ‘publish’ button and well, here we are!  It gave me a place to share what I was 
creating besides at the dinner table with my family, who quite honestly was thinking, find art 
friends and share it with them!  
I am drawn to history. I see a garage sale with two old men standing in the garage and my 
heart goes pitter patter, it’s okay my husband understands.   It’s just that they have all the 
best old junk that I love to add to my work.   

After years of creating primitive dolls and other fabric creations I moved on to mixed media 
altered collage and assemblage pieces.   I felt a freedom of using more and more vintage 
treasures and letting my inhibitions go wild with the photos of strangers and their past that I 
love to use.   

This piece is a wax collage that I created a few years ago.   I had been saving the photo for 
just such a project.  The men in the photo were so intriguing to me, especially the one right 
up front with the bow tie.  I used him in a few creations before I finally used the original 
photo in this piece.  I have a thing for bow ties too.  

…. and birds.  Seriously, ‘put a bird on it’ was a theme that I ran with for a while!  I love
them, I think they are a combination of fragility and strength along with their resourcefulness 
that I connect with.   

(put a bird on a wreath too!)

I loved creating mixed media altered pieces and all of the history that I could use in them, 
but my life took another turn when I created our line of natural lavender laundry and cleaning 

I no longer had time to create large scale items (and clean up the mess that I made while 
creating them!)  because we started going to farmers markets and craft shows on a very 
regular basis.   

This is a labor of love for us.  

 It began with our laundry soap.  Like many,  I found a recipe on pinterest for laundry soap, 
and then I tweaked it to make it my own, one that did an amazing job cleaning the huge 
piles of laundry that a large family accumulates along with smelling beautiful.  I then made 
our organic lavender dryer sachets and lavender linen & room spray to go along with the 
soap.  We now have a full line of natural lavender cleaners with more on the horizon.  This is a family business, I no longer do it on my own.  'My husband, Duane, now makes many of our products and attends every Saturday market with me and is the salesman extraordinaire.'  Our children help with every aspect of it,
from the youngest two still at home helping to make and package the products and selling 
at shows with us, to the oldest three who live on their own and contribute by giving us 
marketing tips, finding stores that would carry our products, investing in the company, and 
sharing news of our products to people they meet in their new communities.   Their support, 
love and belief in this business fills my heart with joy beyond measure.  

Every week you can find us at a farmers market or two now, and the response from our 
customers has been overwhelming.  I feel blessed to have met so many wonderful people 
that are on the same path that we are on as a small business. At the farmers markets that 
we attend there are so many folks creating products that are good for the earth and healthy 
for your family’s well being, and even more that are looking to buy those products that 
embody that philosophy for their family.  The conversations that I am able to have with both 
sets of folks fuels my passion for our business more than ever.   

Along with making all of our products in our home, I still had the urge to fill that piece of me 
that NEEDS to create art.  I no longer had the time to create large pieces so I have scaled 
my artwork down and now make repurposed assemblage art jewelry.  Plus I wanted to add 
some art to our booth, and it seemed like a good way to do that. 

This way I can still use treasures of the past that I love, but on a smaller scale.  ( I do still 
however make a mess and I would like to say on a smaller scale as well, but my momma 
taught me to tell the truth, and I am pretty messy when I work!)
 I started with soldering, making tiny collage art and encasing them in nice thick glass 
wrapped in lead free silver solder. 

Once I started adding rosary style beading to them, I was hooked on becoming a jewelry 
maker.  I threw myself into it and it has become my go to ‘art therapy’!  
I find it relaxing as I work and exhilarating when I complete a piece,
 it’s a win­ win!   

(there's that bird again)

My days are long, and mostly consumed with getting products and jewelry ready for the next 
market, but I would not want it any other way.  I love what I do and I know that that in itself is a 
blessing.  I try to blog as often as I can, but after looking back through the blog for photos to 
use for this feature I realize how much I miss blogging like I use to be able to do.  As soon 
as I would get a project finished, waalaa it was on the blog.  I am going to make it my 
mission to do that again, I hope you will stop by for a visit and take a peak! 

Thank you again Kris, for inviting me here today!   

Now that you have gotten to know Theresa please visit her blog and also hop over to Susan's blog today to learn about another wonderful blogger Christine from Little Brags.

Up Date and Thank you for all the sweet thoughts and prayers

Just wanted to say thank you to all of you that have been saying prayers and sending 
get well wishes for my hubby Terry's Dad that has been critically ill in the hospital these past few days.

Terry's dad is on life support to help let his heart and lungs rest and heal.  So the machines and medications have been keeping him alive until they can see if his own heart and lungs will work efficiently on their own.

We have had many ups and downs these past few days but yesterday we got some positive news on one of his tests so the doctors are cautiously optimistic he may be able to survive.  He is still very ill and in critical condition but stabilizing.  We are praying that in the next 48 hours they will be able to start the process of weening him off all life support measures and his own heart will begin to work again on it's own.

Your well wishes and prayers have helped me so much.  This has been a very difficult time and I thank all of you for being such kind and caring angels.

I believe in the power of prayer and know it works so thank you for your loving prayers and heart warming emails and comments.

I want to wish all of you a wonderful Easter with family and friends.  I hope to be able to post on my trip out East and meeting up with the other bloggers soon.  Thanks for your patience.  I have been spending 12 to 15 hours a day up at the hospital with family.  We live almost an hour away from the hospital so it makes for long days and evenings and a long commute.

Thank you again for all your loving thoughts.

Be sure to come by on Saturday.  Susan and I have a couple of great bloggers to feature that I know you will love getting to know better.

Happy Easter.  Enjoy your family and friends.


I know I promised a post today on the At Home With Whites Show and meeting up with wonderful bloggers but  life is calling for our attention.

My husband's wonderful dad has taken very ill.  It is 2am and we just got home from the hospital.  The doctors took extraodinary measures and worked hard today to save his life.  The next 24 hours are critical for him.  Please say a small prayer for this truly beautiful man.

I will be spending time with my husband and family over the next few days and will have a post on my wonderful trip soon.

Thank you for your prayers and healing wishes.


At Home With Whites Show, our trip to Boston and meeting blogger friends.

Wooooo Hooooo I had the best week end.  It was sad to get back on the plane today and head home.  The weather in the Boston area was gorgeous all week end and the hubby and I just had the best time.  

I will start with where we stayed.  It is the Old Proctor Mansion Inn right in Wrentham, Ma.  It was built in 1861 by a wealthy industrial man and his wife.  It has been through 4 generations of family  and for a while was left very neglected.

A great couple bought the Mansion in 2007 and restored a lot of the damage to the property from it being left neglected for so long.  Now it has been restored to it's original beauty.

They left a lot of the Mansion and decor to the original way.  They feel it gives the house it's well deserved integrity.

The wallpaper, architectural features and decor and furniture are original to the time this home was built and well loved.

Isn't she grand.  They still have the old horse and carriage hitches out front.  

These front doors just say Welcome and Please come in.

Look at all that architectural salvage goodness.

Front and side view of the Inn.

It almost hit 80 on Saturday and after a great day we came back and sat out at this little romantic table and had a glass of wine.

This is the old carriage garage.  I would so be making that into a wonderful and romantic guest cottage.
Can you imagine in a month or so all the beautiful gardens filled with blooms.  I forgot to take a picture out back of the house and beautiful gardens.  I bet she is so gorgeous when summer arrives with all her pretty blooms.

We had a very romantic and lovely stay.  Sunday night we were the only couple left at the Inn and we had the whole mansion to ourselves.  It was wonderful to think about life back in the day and owning this splendid place and raising a family.

Now on to the inside.
They had a wedding in the Mansion on Friday night so our first morning breakfast was in the ballroom on Saturday morning.  The tables were still up from the wedding the night before.

They had fresh cut flowers on the table and fresh squeezed OJ and a wonderful breakfast casserole and fruit cups.  It was so yummy.

This is one of the fireplaces that are in each room in the mansion.  Gorgeous architectural features.

Beautiful stair case that lead up to your room.  This mansion had a beautiful back servants staircase that was beautiful too.  I forgot to get a picture of that.

We stayed in the Peach Room.  It was gorgeous.

We had a beautiful claw foot tub in our bathroom.

Front sitting room.

Main Dining Room.

This was the old farmhouse sink in the kitchen.  The cook preparing breakfast said wait I will clean it up before you take a picture.  I said no we keep it real in blog land.  Real shots are the best.
This was one of many beautiful old churches in town.  This one was right across the street from the Mansion.  I loved that it chimed every hour the time of day it was.  Very beautiful.  In the morning I would wake up to the chiming and know what time it was.
 Ok so you are not on picture overload I will end this post here.  Wednesday I will post pictures of the fun I had meeting Sandi (a cottage muse) and Susan (evelyn and rose) and Michelle (petite michelle louise) while out at the At Home with Whites Show.  You are going to love the pictures of the show.  It was so fabulous.  So tune back in on Wednesday to see the show pictures and all the fun with the girls.

Happy Sunday. Simple Spring Mantel

As we head into Easter Week I wanted to show you my Spring Mantel.  I kept it really simple. With the old  chippy mantel and windows.  Just wanted it to be simple to go with the flow of the mantel and old windows.

I used the simple wreath and nest I got at the flea market last week end.  Then added some birds I had and little nests.

I had this nice Blessings sign about family and added that to the mantel.

Just some little ceramic birds I had around the house.

I liked that they are chippy and white like the mantel.

Just a quick little mantel vignette to start Easter Week.  I have the whole gang at my home for Easter.  We have so much fun  together.  Hoping for nice weather for Easter  so we can do an Easter Egg hunt outside with our granddaughter Abby.

Have a great start to the week.  If you are getting ready for Easter wishing you a nice week end ahead.  Enjoy your family, friends and love ones.

I will be heading back from my trip to Wrentham, Mass.  tomorrow.  Hope to share some pictures of the trip and meeting up with Sandi (A Cottage Muse), Susan (Evelyn and Rose) and Michelle (Petite Michelle Louise).