Friday, April 27, 2012

The Needlepoint Project

Hello my friends! I am happy to report that I have learned a new skill. It all started when I was at an estate auction and saw this piece of furniture and knew I had to have it. A predicament that I get into often, need I say! Because my son puts his big ol' size 14 foot on my Victorian needlepoint side chair I bought it for him to use for his footstool. Well, he didn't like it. It's a little high. When I saw it at the auction (the same auction I bought the gold china cabinet from-dining room post) I thought it was maybe a sewing bench because the top is hinged and opens up, kind of like a piano bench.
Do you have any guesses as to what it is? Anybody? 
It's a slipper bench! How cute is that?! So once I found that out, I knew it had to go in my bed chamber (trying to sound Victorian)! Inside the bench, written in pencil is the date Dec 7 1881, made for Mrs. somebody, paid currency $6.25, Made at H.P. Burdett , Ills. 

By the looks of this photo I need to dust it again!

I think the sides are so neat.

Here it is with the top opened up.

Okay, I know what your thinking...where does the needlepoint part come in? Well, I got this piece off of eBay because the size was perfect but only the flowers are completed, not the background. So a good friend of mine, who is the queen of needlepoint, taught me how. She suggested that I buy wool needlepoint yarn. Well do you know how hard it is to find anything needlepoint in the stores anymore? My goodness!

After thinking I was going to have to use acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby, I happened to find this box flat of 100% pure virgin wool yarn at an estate tag sale! For $8! And there is enough of the khaki color for the piece that I have. Yay!

I have been working on it now for 1 week and that's as far as I've gotten! Wow, how tedious! But fun.

These are the other needlepoint pieces that I have. The black pillow is my favorite, I love the rosebuds! The bell pull and L pillow were given to me from my friend Linda who taught me how to needlepoint. She actually gave the L pillow to my daughter Lydia. I thought that was so sweet of her. From one L to another!

The next two photos are the needlepoint sidechairs that I mentioned earlier.


Now that I have learned how to needlepoint I have found a few other things in my house that I think need a needlepoint piece in them.
Like this wall pocket/magazine rack...

And this towel rack. This one might actually need a beaded needlepoint piece instead. What do you all think? Mirror or needlepoint (or beadwork)?

Well, that is it for today. I hope you enjoyed it and thankyou so much for visiting! Let me know what you think. I will show you the finished product when the time comes. Have a great week!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Dining Room Transformation

Hello, my friends! It is time to get back to the house tour! And boy do I have the before and after photos for you! You know how I love those before and afters!
So far we have toured the foyer and living room/parlor area, now let's move on into the kitchen/dining room area. I had always said that in our next house (which is this one) I really wanted a foyer and a dining room. Well I got both but I had to settle with the kitchen and dining room as one room. It is a fairly long room so it works, just wish it were a little wider. AND, if I could I would have switched the two spaces, the dining area would have been here and the kitchen to the back of the room, so when you come down the front hall or through the parlor you would not see the island and appliances before anything else! The photo below is how it looked when we moved in 5 years ago. Too light and not enough color!!! And the box light had to go!!!

Please click on to any photo to enlarge it.

This is what it looks like now...
Although, you still see the island first!! This is looking at it from the dining area.

Housed in the corner (of the above photo) is a brides basket in its holder that I bought at an auction several years back. I bought the plateau mirror later at an antique mall. I thought they looked pretty together. 

And this is the before dining area (looking from the kitchen).
Not very exciting at all!

Below is the room after my husband installed the new flooring. Notice how it made the light colored walls look darker. And yes, the box light is STILL there! Now remember, my hubby is not a Victorian wanna be so he didn't see anything wrong with that hideous light!!!

Here it is with some color! I wallpapered and painted it myself. My husband put up the chair rail for me. Isn't he a sweetie?! 

Below is what it looks like today. Notice the new (antique) cabinet to the right! Yay! So, because of that I had to move things around a bit! I'll tell you about that further down in the post. 
AND, did you notice?!!! The box light is gone! I finally talked hubby into getting rid of that thing. So, to go with the rest of the room, we added the same recessed lighting. Even though I don't care for that either, too modern. I would much rather have an antique chandelier hanging over the dining room table. Which some day might just happen. But I think it would have to just hang their and look pretty with no electricity because hubby said he wasn't changing that! Can you believe that?

A closer view of the dining area.

A cruet set that I bought several years ago for only 30 dollars! It was missing one bottle, I have replaced it with a different one that really doesn't match. But oh well.

My stepback cupboard that I bought several years ago at  my favorite antique shop in Perry. It is a very small town here in Missouri and the shop is called Lick Creek Antiques. I bought it to replace the oak hoosier cabinet I used to have (at our other house). It barely fits in an 8' room! I was lucky!

The detail work up close.

Below is another view of the dining area. The fruit picture I got at a different antique shop in Perry. It was in a plain walnut frame that I didn't care for so I put it in this gold one. The print is dated 1906 and titled "Watermelon".  The two pictures on the other wall are embossed game pictures. They are also early 1900's. The one on the left is titled "Partridge and Woodcock" and the one on the right is "Wild Goose and Golden Plover". I bought them at an auction, there were 4 of them but I sold two of them. And I'm even thinking about selling these two and putting some other picture there... that I don't have yet! What do you all think? Should they stay or should they go?

Several years ago I bought this set of 6 chairs at an antique shop in Mexico, my home town. I recaned 5 of the 6. The 6th one really didn't need it but lately I have noticed some cane breaking! Oh no! It takes forever to recane one chair! I'm going to hold off as long as possible.

How's this for a bird? I thought it looked kind of real and like a canary. It doesn't make any messes!
The cage is brass and has Osbourne Mfg. Co., Hudson St. New Jersey on it, so I don't know if that is special or not. My mom had it out in her barn and it was painted green, so I stripped it!

And this, my friends, is my latest furniture purchase!!  It makes me so happy because it is SO fancy and I love fancy! And see that space there? That was the space I was saving for my walnut marble top sideboard. And then I saw this beaut! I knew I had to have it, so after I brought it home I moved the furniture around a bit... just to make sure I would still have space for the sideboard whenever I find just the right one!

Now this piece almost caused my hubby to divorce me, but then we had a heart to heart talk and I'm still here. Here and happy, needless to say! (I really don't think he would actually divorce me though ;-)  )
I had had my eye on this, out at the auction house, for 3 weeks! So I had lots of time to think about it. So on the day of the auction I made the decision to bid up to $400 and that was it, so if I didn't get it I just didn't get it. It had lots of broken pieces (the gold pieces) off of it in a box sitting inside the cabinet and someone at one time had tried to make new pieces for it but didn't do a good job. So I had that going for me, I knew that I could fix it where someone else would not want to or know how. 
SO GUESS WHAT?! I got it for $400 exactly! Can you believe that? It was heck trying to get that thing loaded in the truck! There was no place to hold on to it without more pieces breaking off and let me tell you, more pieces did break off! I was about ready to tell the auctioneer that I didn't want it after all! My hubby was about to divorce me and pieces were falling off  right before my eyes! What a "to do" it was!

After days of glueing pieces back on, breaking off the pieces that someone else had attempted to make, making new pieces and brightening up the gold a bit, here it is! (I wish I would have taken some before pics of it before I started working on it). Isn't it gorgeous?! Look at all the detail! The auctioneer thought it was a 1920's piece but I think it's earlier. What do you guys think?

The birds are my absolute favorite thing about the cabinet. 

Especially this one!

And this little one on both sides of the cabinet.

Here is a close up of what I have in it. I really like how the colored glass looks in it. I'll have to find some more of it sometime.

Here is the little painting that is on the inside of the door, near the bottom. I thought it added a little "sweetness" to it.

Well, that is it for today. I hope you enjoyed the tour and I'll meet with you all again next week. Thank you so much for visiting and have a great week!

I am joining A Joyful Cottage with Nancy, please come check out all the other dining rooms.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Remembering the Titanic

Let me rephrase that...Remembering the PEOPLE on the Titanic.
When I think of the Titanic, I am ashamed to say, it is the beauty and grandeur that I see...the floating palace that it was, the ship of dreams. When my son thinks of the Titanic he sees the ship of dreams on the ocean floor where bacteria are slowly devouring the steel making it almost unrecognizable. (He would love to someday go down and see the wreck site before it is gone.) What do you see when you think of the Titanic?
What we all should really see when we think of the Titanic are the people. Especially the people who perished.
At 11:40 p.m. on April 14th, the Titanic's side swiped the iceberg and at 2:20 a.m. on the 15th, the Titanic disappeared into the dark Atlantic Ocean. It took only 2 hours and 40 minutes. But, for those poor souls on board, that no doubt must have been the most terrifying 2 hours and 40 min. of their lives.
Because of all the movies that have been made it is so easy for us to think of it as just that...a movie and we forget that this tragedy really did occur. There were 2,208 passengers on that ship, and out of those, 1,496 did not survive. They came from all walks of life. Whether they had only a penny to their name or a million dollars to their name, one thing was for certain, at that fateful hour they all had one thing in common, the will to survive. And unfortunately, many did not survive due to the lack of lifeboats and/or the lack of status. The majority of those who perished were the ship's crew and 3rd class passengers. Who are we to think that we are ever better than the next person? Jesus tells us we should think of others as better than ourselves. Wow, if we could only have that mindset all the time how much better of a society of people we would be.

Somehow around the age of 4 my son became fascinated with the Titanic and would spend hours with his toy Titanic boats. One of them when placed in water would actually start filling up with water and would soon after break in two and sink to the bottom of the bathtub. We have tons of books about the Titanic and he drew many pictures of the Titanic and this is the one I would like to share with you.

A couple of weeks ago my kids and I went to the 100th Anniversary Titanic Exhibit in Kansas City where we got to view some of the original artifacts that were found at the wreck site. The below image is the picture on the brochure that I got while there, I thought it was so pretty that I wanted to share it with you.

When we got there we got our boarding passes ...

Another favorite antique postcard of mine. This is how I wished I was dressed when I boarded the Titanic...

But instead, this is how we were dressed! Don't you love how we stick out in our modern clothing?! But, of course, everyone else did too! Check out the ghost of Capt. Smith on the left side. One of the employees there took this photo in front of a blank wall and this is how it turned out! With the Grand Staircase behind us! Isn't that cool?!

Once inside the exhibit we weren't allowed to take any pictures. :-(  And as neat and fascinating as it all was I still had to remind myself of the many lives that were lost that night.

So once we got to the end of the exhibit, guess what was right there before my eyes?! The Gift Shop!!! Yay! I had been looking so forward to that! Ohhhh...what to buy! After some thinking, my son and I decided to buy 4 reproduction 10" White Star Line First Class Dinner plates (they are actually the breakfast and lunch plates) so we could set our table in remembrance of the Titanic (and people!) every April 10th-14th. So this got me really excited because that would give me another reason to DECORATE! This prompted me to get the movie out and look closely at how the dining room table was set. I didn't want to go out and spend a ton of money to accomplish this, since we kind of paid a lot for the plates...yikes!!, but I wanted it to look good. So I headed out to the Thrift Stores and Goodwill and found some white table linens for a couple of bucks. Moved some things around to get sort of "the look", and here we are! It is not quite as fancy as I wanted it to be but is the best I can do right now.  I wanted a pair of tea light lamps with those cute little shades but couldn't find them anywhere! What's up with that?! So I used just plain old glass candle sticks for now. Maybe some day when I'm not looking for them I'll find just the right ones at just the right price. And I would also like to get matching salad plates to place on top of the dinner plates, but that means going back to the exhibit (before it leaves in Sept) and spending more money! Sometimes I just get too into things, do you all ever do that?!
Okay, after all of that rambling on let me show you my table.

I didn't have 15 different forks and spoons to lay out, so it looks kind of plain.

I moved the gold urn from the parlor to here because it reminded me of the newel post lamp on the Titanic's grand staircase. And the picture was hanging in my son's room for many years, I had painted the frame the same colors as the Titanic, so I brought it down to hang up for the occasion.

Check out this menu! Wow! I have to say that I won't be cooking a first class dinner around here!!! Tonight we are having Taco Salad, how's that for fancy?!!  lol

The First-Class Menu
As served in the first-class dining saloon of the R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912

First Course
Hors D'Oeuvres
Second Course
Consommé Olga
Cream of Barley
Third Course
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers
Fourth Course
Filet Mignons Lili
Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci
Fifth Course
Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Duckling, Apple Sauce
Sirloin of Beef, Chateau Potatoes
Green Pea
Creamed Carrots
Boiled Rice
Parmentier & Boiled New Potatoes
Sixth Course
Punch Romaine
Seventh Course
Roast Squab & Cress
Eighth Course
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette
Ninth Course
Pate de Foie Gras
Tenth Course
Waldorf Pudding
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
French Ice Cream

I want to end this post with a excerpt out of a book called "Heroes of the Titanic" written by Anne Marie Welsh.
The Titanic's fateful voyage is a tale of opulence, tragedy, and heroism. There are many stories of those who survived-and of those who perished-to remind us that life can take unexpected turns that we can't control. Those stories also show that, when times are at their most difficult, each of us has the opportunity and the capacity to become a hero. 
Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Friday, April 6, 2012

He is Risen!

Happy GOOD FRIDAY! Wow, how did the saddest day on earth come to be known as a good day? It is good my friend because Jesus went to that cross out of love for us and to become that ultimate sacrifice for our sins. And, this year my birthday just so happens to fall on this day. :-)
EASTER! What a glorious day we have to celebrate our risen Savior! And what fun it is to decorate for that special day!
EGGS! How I love eggs! I have a weakness for eggs just like I do for chairs! At Easter the egg/chick  becomes a symbol of new birth/new life for the believer. My prayer is that you too, have found new life in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I want to start out by showing you a few of my favorite antique Easter postcards.
The first one is of the Trinity...God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (the dove). I find this card interesting because it actually pictures God. (or at least that's who I think it's suppose to be?)
Please click on to any photo to enlarge it.

Look at the Easter bonnets on those chicks! Are those cute or what?!

Look at those darling little Victorian girls. I like the simplicity of the colored eggs. 

A basket of marble eggs.

The basket and the contents below are all Hallmark and I got them several years back when I was in High School and worked at a store that sold Hallmark. I like them so much that I have never sold them (like a lot of other things that I did sell from back then).

The eggs in the basket are all tin eggs that had candy in them once upon a time and because the tins were so cute I just had to keep them. The two eggs outside of the basket are reproduction victorian paper mache type eggs. They have a cute little pattern on the inside that looks old timey!

Here is my Easter egg tree. Since I had so many egg ornaments I needed something to hang them on! Some of the eggs are just plastic, some paper mache looking and some are real eggs that have been blown out and hand painted (they are my favorites). The crosses are Sunday School craft projects that my kids did when they were little. Very dear to me.

Here are my two very favorite eggs, they are both real eggs.  The eggs really aren't as big as they seem, it's that my hands are so small!

And now...I want to show you my dining room table antique Easter egg display. Many of you know Richard from My Old Historic House, well let me tell you, his amazing decorating ability really inspires me! When I first discovered his wonderful Blog and saw how he had used his antique glass eggs at Easter I knew that I had to copy it. I know, I am being a copy cat! At the time I only had 2 of those eggs and had them for quite some time but could not figure out what to do with them AND I even considered getting rid of them. So what I figured out from Richard's post was this...that 2 eggs aren't enough for anything! What I needed to do was BUY MORE! Yay! So over a period of several months I bought 10 more! Enough to make a very small version of Richard's grand version. So before I go on I want to show you the inspiration picture...You can see more and read more about these eggs at Richard's blog  on his April 24, 2011 post called "Easter Dinner and a Flood" and on his April 21, 2011 post called "Which comes first - the chicken or the egg?"
And if you think this display is great then check out his display of eggs that he just posted!!!! WOW!!!!!!!

This photo is last years and the one below this one is this years!!

This is Richard's display for this year!

You will see two different displays, the first on is the one I played around with at the beginning of the week (when the lilacs were in bloom! and before Richard gave us his nifty florist tips!) And before I added two more eggs and the candy.

The photos below are what it now looks like. Now remember, it's a small version of Richard's and I didn't have enough flowers blooming to cut enough without leaving my garden bare! Bummer, because I think I really need those flowers! I changed the color of the grass also, the lighter green seemed to match the wallpaper better. (the lighting made the grass look a little brighter then it really is though) So I don't know, which grass do you all like better? I debated on whether or not to use a table cloth and finally decided against it. I need to get some Spring/Easter colored placemats. I'll work on that for next year. And more eggs!! Richard, look what you started! ;-)

The back view, and now I'm seeing that I should have turned the two smaller bunnies facing this way so that there really wouldn't be a back side and besides this is the view from my side of the table! I don't want to be looking at the backs of those bunnies. Silly me...

The egg pictured below is my favorite one. It is the only one with a scene on it, the others only have flowers. Can you see the little yellow chick, the white bunny and the pink and the blue egg? The paint is pretty worn but I still love it. I am pretty picky with my eggs, if the paint is too worn off I won't buy them.

This egg is my second favorite because the paint is so nice.

I have several silver plated pieces, I like the one's with any kind of a figure on them. So this one might be an egg cup?

This one is a toothpick holder.

And this one is a napkin ring, it has the name Josie engraved on it and is dated 1899.

So there you go, that's it for my Easter posting! This Sunday let us celebrate that empty tomb and know that because of it we can have hope beyond the grave. Have a Happy Easter!!