Can’t Get Enough of Green

With sincere apologies to Kermit the frog…It’s beautiful being green…

As I look back on my history of painting vintage furniture it obvious I just can’t get enough of green painted furniture.

These next nine pieces shown below all painted in various shades of green shown some of are my own projects. They were all bought, restored, painted and waxed by me and all were done the first year I was painting and selling my chalk painted pieces.











Then this week I read on Houzz that forest green is a “trending” color right now.

These photographs below are from my Pinterest file titled Green Furniture. I love, love, love these vintage pieces shown below…





At the Small House green is the new black!

Small House Big Sky Homesteader, Donna

Vintage Vibe Magazine Holder

By now you have figured out I REALLY have a thing for vintage furniture.

And today, I finished another vintage piece, this time a magazine holder. Today I waxed the green on green vintage magazine holder I’ve been slowly working on.

It’s been several years now since I began this piece but it for some reason it got put on the back burner. This piece sat in my studio for a couple of years half-way painted but never finished. No real reason… just a lack of time, energy or motivation I guess.


The magazine holder, “after.”

I’m thinking of decorating the front with something special, probably using a stencil and gray or black paint but I’m not sure exactly what stencil yet.


Not this exact stencil but something simple and similar in feeling to this. 

When I found myself missing the painting gig this winter, I began to make time to work on a few unfinished projects still in my studio. And once again green chalk paint has really become my thing.


I forgot to take a “before” photo of the magazine rack but this one is similar.

When I bought this piece it was painted a shiny red and black and quite frankly, it was ugly! But I’ve painted enough ugly pieces over the year that I knew that with some paint and TLC it could be made pretty again. Although my paint stash is running low and my choice of chalk color paint is quite limited, I did have enough Michigan Pine green left to complete this project.


Another magazine holder from a similar era found on Pinterest. 


Light green and dark green paint make a subtle but pretty contrast.

It took multiple coats of green chalk paint to cover up that bright red glossy paint, but it worked. I really adore the dark green with light green accents and the contrast this had made. It is really a pretty combination in my opinion. I especially I LOVE the turned legs on this piece that reminds me of the spindles on the Jenny Lind bed I bought for my son’s when they were babies.


Another view of the contrast between the greens.

This piece also sent also me on a hunt for similar magazine holders on Pinterest and I found a lot of them; both tall and squat, on legs and with no legs, painted, decopaged and decorated and more. I have saved over 100 versions of the painted magazine rack on my Pinterest board titled, Vintage Magazine Holders. Feel free to visit that!

In fact, I noticed today that I have four different boards, with the title Vintage in it!

Although this piece is technically a magazine holder, I imagine it could can be used to contain numerous other items like maybe holding towels, linens, platters, a laptop and more. What else do you think this magazine holder might hold?

I find there is gracefulness to these older pieces that makes them lovely to look at as well as still functional.

Viva la vintage!!

Small House Big Sky Homesteader, Donna

Why we Left the Middle Class

This copied piece came up in my news feed today (see below.) The main theme of the conversation was about why the middle class still matters. This set me to thinking. This also set me to writing this piece. “Why I Choose to Leave the Middle Class” and sharing this with Frontline.


Our simple country style pool and pool shack.

What’s the state of the American economy? What are the forces shaping it? And where do you see yourself in it?

Last March, FRONTLINE, APM’s Marketplace and PBS NewsHour joined forces to investigate America’s economic reality in a series called How the Deck Is Stacked.

Over the past year, we’ve crisscrossed the country, producing short films, radio reports and written stories that explore how a sense of economic unease has persisted for many people, despite an unemployment rate that’s below five percent and other positive big-picture indicators.

As this year-long reporting effort draws to a close, explore some of the stories we’ve told:
  • For years, interest rates have been down to stimulate economic growth. Now, under President Donald Trump, they may be set for the most dramatic rise we’ve seen in eight years. Here’s why.

Thank you, as always, for watching, reading and listening, and for letting us know what you think.

–  Patrice Taddonio

Assistant Director of Audience Development, FRONTLINE

March 1, 2017

Dear Frontline Editors:

I watched you recent program titled How the Deck is Stacked. I have some thoughts and experiences to share with you.

My husband (age 72) and I (age 67) are retired and the due to my autoimmune illness two of us are living on basically on one retirement. We raised and educated our four children from our first marriages. We were both divorced at mid-life, remarried each other starting over at ages 50 and 45 and like many in our community we are struggling as we age.

The only reason we are surviving is because 15 years ago I predicted that we were going to have to become more self-reliant if we were to survive during our retirement years. We moved from the city (with high taxes and ever-increasing prices) to very rural Allegan County, MI (the largest agricultural county in our state and began to homestead with few sevices and lower property taxes.)

Forr nine of those years my husband made the long drive into the city for his job while I stayed home and renovated our old home, began a small home based business and started our garden. My job was to create a comfortable and healthy new life for us here.

We keep chickens for eggs, raise vegetables, DYI whenever possible and buy our food that we can’t grow directly from the farmer (at wholesale) and our clothes and household items from Goodwill, auctions or a flea market. Here no one cares what we wear, or if our hair is cut and colored in an expensive salon with a $120.00 price tag or by our $12.00 per hair gal in her home-based shop. For us silver is the new black.

Our entertainment is working in our garden, playing with our chickens, walking our dog in the Allegan Forest or picking in-season fruit and freezing it. We read, we birdwatch and we listen to music or NPR on the radio. We have no Smart Phones, no Cable TV, no big screen televisions, no air conditioning, no vacations, no new vehicles and keep our life as simple as we can. We have not been to a movie theater in over 15 years. We still watch DVD on our ancient DVD player. Our one big splurge is our once a week $9.00 yoga class.

Our biggest expense now is trying to pay for our out-of-pocket health care needs and healthy organic food. We paid out over $12,000 alone in out-of-pocket medical costs in 2016 and had to draw out our savings and retirement funds to do that. Maintaining our aging 1950’s home and 5-acre property is a constant challenge too as we age. In spite of these challenges I try everyday to maintain a positive outlook and be grateful for the small things in life.

Our primary values are to live our life now as mindfully as possible, is to make choices that benefit the land, the birds and our health. We believe in sustainability, living simply, protecting the earth, the air, the water and above all people over profits.

We left middle class America by choice. I felt it was our only option to survive.

Donna Allgaier-Lamberti