Huntsville’s Old Harrison Brothers Hardware Store — Dusty Wood into Vintage Treasures

The other day, I posted Huntsville’s Old Harrison Brothers Hardware Store — Part I.

Here’s the second part of the story, where I turn dusty wood into vintage treasures!

Before….

The Project

I first brought all those wooden treasures home in the back of my car. It drove me nuts, because they bumped and jangled all the way home. (Because bumping and jangling stuff in my car drives me nuts.)

I didn’t stop to shift the wood because I was too excited to slow down, visions of my Flea Market Flip-esque project dancing in my head.

Once at home, I dragged Lefty (my left-handed, left-brained husband) and Princess Buttercup (my adorable daughter) out of the house to see what I’d bought.

They were over-the-top excited for me.

I made that last sentence up.

Before…

 

Cleaning up the Wood

My first step was to sand the dusty wood. Sanding went a long way in cleaning up that wood.

I pulled out rusty nails with Lefty’s hammer, nicking my left palm in the process.

(Stay tuned for my Lock-jaw post to be posted in a week or two!!!)

Next, I went to the store and buy wood cleaner. Except, I couldn’t remember what the stuff was called.

“May I help you, Ma’me?” asked a man at a computer.

“Yes, I would like wood cleaner. I know what it looks like, but I don’t know what it is called.”

Interesting wooden drawer, now cleaned up.

The man typed in “wood cleaner.” His two colleagues were punching each other behind his back. I wanted to say, “Hey, boys! Knock it off! I’ve got an amazing DIY project on the line, here!” But I maintained my southern manners and bit my tongue.

“Do you mean,like, hardwood floor cleaner?”

“No. Nevermind. Thanks anyway.”

I’d seen that stuff before. I’d used that stuff before. As much as I hate hunting for stuff, especially in one of those big warehouse stores, I decided to search on my own.

I finally found it! Murphy’s Oil Soap!

Back to the house I went, purchase in hand.

Anyhow, after the wood dried, I tried to paint it with acrylic paint.

No good. It looked like a Kindergartener’s work.

Wood Painting Class at University Pickers.

But here’s the good news…Today I signed up for a sign painting class at University Pickers! I’m well on my way to creating beautiful home decor with sweet quotes and Bible verses for Sweetgum House!
More to come on how I turn dusty wood into vintage treasures from Huntsville’s Old Harrison Brothers Hardware Store…

This is what I want my sweet home decor signs to look like.  I got it at Mill Clothing Company.

More Home Decor Ideas.

I got a lot of terrific suggestions about how to turn my dusty wood into vintage treasures.  What do you think so far?

Dusty wood crate into wall art.  I haven’t hung it yet.  I’ll have to get Lefty to put it up for me if I can figure out the best place to hang it.  Or I may turn it into a coffee table.

Dusty wood crate into fire wood box. I got all the firewood from the forest at Sweetgum House.

Advertisements

Simple and Sweet: How to Decorate Your Mantle for Christmas

Merry Mantle

Your fireplace mantle is likely the focal point in your room.  Here are some easy ways to keep your design simple and sweet as you decorate it for Christmas 2017!  And BTW, I cheated a little bit by adding candles instead of a real fire.  Lefty is the only one who knows how to turn the thing on!

Farmhouse Chic

Some say that Farmhouse Chic is on its way out. I say, “No way, Dudette!”  Even if you’re not into the farmhouse style, try to add different textural elements to your display such as wood, stone, metal, and fabric.  My favorite part of my display is how the straight lines on the picture frames come together with the organic texture of the swag that I bought from Hobby Lobby.  I’ll let you in on a little secret:  home decor trends may come and go, but this farm-raised girl from rural Alabama is always going to be about distressed, flea market-esque, farmhouse chic!


Simple farmhouse design Christmas mantle.

 Have Yourself an Earthy Little Christmas

What would Sweetgum Life be without the sweetgum balls? For my natural elements, I went out back and filled a cylinder with sweetgum balls and twigs from the sweetgum trees. To keep the twigs upright, I cut open a Gatorade bottle and stuck the twigs inside.

Mad for Christmas Plaid

Princess Buttercup thought that my display looked too earthy. She suggested that I add a pop of red. Plaid is trending like crazy in north Alabama! From Pottery Barn to my beloved Hobby Lobby, I’m seeing plaid everywhere. Like I said, I’m not really a trend-follower, but this red plaid ribbon speaks to my Scottish roots. BTW again, I bought the ribbon and the swag at Hobby Lobby. I probably got some of my Santas there, too.

 

Simple farmhouse design Christmas mantle with Great-Grandmother's rocking chair.

Add a Little Traditional Christmas Decor

I’m not much of a collector, in general, but I do love my Santa and Snowman collections. I’ve had these little guys for years. Here’s something critical to keep in mind–only display the ornaments that bring you joy. If your late Aunt Dossie gave you an ornament back in the 80’s but it’s not your favorite, let it go. Or at least pack it up to give your kids one day.

My Santa Matryoshka Family

Lefty and I bought these little Santa matryoshka dolls in Germany one year, so they’re pretty special. When she was little, Princess Buttercup used to play with them so much that they rarely stayed put as a display.

Baby Santa Matryoshka

So what do you think?  Is this a perfect-for-Pinterest Christmas Mantle?  Pin or Pitch?  I love hearing from you guys, so please post in the comments.  I promise I’m not selling your email address to a 3rd party.  I don’t even know a 3rd party! 😉

Tinsel Trail, the Greene Street Market at Nativity, and Harrison Brothers


Baby, it’s cold outside, but a trip to downtown Huntsville to play with my Nikon was definitely worth getting out in the big freeze.

Yesterday I bundled up and went to take photos of Huntsville’s Tinsel Trail that Huntsville has hosted for the past 6 years. The trail is lined with beautiful Christmas trees decorated by local businesses and organizations in town. The organizers give the decorators specs on how they can decorate. For example, the ornaments and lights all have to be weather proof for the 30 days that they remain outside.

There are about 250 trees out there, or at least that’s how many they expected to host this year, according to their web site.

My favorite tree was the one that had the Grinch stuck halfway inside of the tree. I also really liked the one with the festive tree topper.

Afterwards, I went to the Greene Street Market at Nativity to warm up a bit. The market is located beside the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, which I like to photograph a lot.

The doors to the Episcopal Church of the Nativity.

The market features locally-grown food and gifts that are hand-crafted by artists. They have got so many cute gifts!

The market features locally-grown food and gifts that are hand-crafted by artists. They have got so many cute gifts!

I also visited one of my favorites, Harrison Brothers. It used to be a hardware store located on the courthouse square. Now you can find all sorts of gourmet foods, relishes, and jellies made by local artisans. There are gifts crafted by local and national artists that you just can’t find in a department store. And it’s pretty cool to walk on their old wooden floors that sqeak now and then and to see Mr. Harrison’s desk encased in glass at the back of the store. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday for a few hours, you can go buy architectural goodies in their basement, which is run by volunteers of the Historic Huntsville Foundation.

Window display.

I want these!

I want these, too!

Christmas Cat.

Tomorrow is Open House at Harrison Brothers! It’s the perfect time to go make your footprint on the floors that we only wish could tell their story!

From their web site:
Holiday Open House
Location: Harrison Brothers Hardware, Huntsville AL
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016
Time: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

“We will be offering free gift wrapping, hot cider, light snacks, and some exciting sales and deals.”

*** BTW, I received nothing for blogging about Harrison Brothers and the Greene Street Market at Nativity. I just love their stores!

Southern Small Town Style

Art Studio

Art Studio

I recently took these photos from the small north Alabama town of Athens. I composed them with the idea of just giving you a little sample of elements of the town’s style. Feel free to use them if you wish, but I would really appreciate if you give me the photo credit and link back to http://www.thewritesteph.com.

Traditional small town atmosphere juxtaposed with high-tech aerospace company.

Traditional small town atmosphere juxtaposed with high-tech aerospace company.

lion

This drug store serves up delicious coned ice cream for visitors, young and old.

This drug store serves up delicious coned ice cream for visitors, young and old.

Potted Lantana brings curb appeal to busy streets.

Potted Lantana brings curb appeal to busy streets.

Classic. Southern. Character.

Classic. Southern. Character.

entrance
Traditional Greek revival style court house.

Traditional Greek revival style court house.

Lichen on post.

Lichen on post.