Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Art Chair Project.

This is the chair I did. I chose to wallpaper it with paper from the entrance hall at, My Old Historic House.I felt it would represent the museum best that way.

The 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum, aka, My Old Historic House.

  My blog, My Old Historic House, is all about my home, the 1845 Historic Elgin/Cottrell House Museum. It is an adventure that I have been on since 2006. I started the blog adventure late 2010. Mostly it is about the old historic house,but often I include home town events and shopping experience. Today's blog is a Home Town Event. I live in Clarksville,Mo.It is a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi River. We have 490 citizens, give or take. It is a tight knit community where every body knows your name. A few years back a couple of of more concerned and energetic citizens worked hard to re- build most of our historic riverfront buildings. Part of there plan was to encourage artist to come live and work here in Clarksville. It worked and today we have a strong group of artist who make Clarksville there home and they all have studios and shops in the historic buildings. The artist work hard and have formed a guild to help promote the Arts and Clarksville. One event they have twice a year is, "50 Miles Of Art." You see there are 3 towns on this river that all have a strong art population. Clarksville, Louisiana and Hannibal. There is 50 miles between the three towns. So this celebration of art was born. This weekend is the Spring Art Studio Tour. All the shop owners have worked hard to do window displays, re- stock,put on demos and send out notices. Along with the event this year, the artist have come up with a special art project. I have dubbed it, "The Art Chair Project".We have a new artist, of which we are very proud. She and her husband have bought a church here in town. The membership was off, and the church had closed. We were all concerned about the building. But, it is in good hands now. Mary, the new artist, had a brainstorm of an art ideal. In the church was a group of chairs. She gave one to each artist and asked them to paint, decorate or create a design that represented there studio. I was luckily included. I wallpapered my chair, with paper from the Elgin/Cottrell House. The chairs are all on display this weekend in front of each shop or studio. The chairs are offered for sale, and the money will go toward advertisement. We had a beautiful day yesterday. The sun was shining and there was a gentle breeze. People came from far and near to view the art. People were happily surprised to seek out the chairs all about of town.

This chair was hand painted and beaded by our own DiAnne. She is a Drum Painter by trade. This chair was designed after a Native American Rug weaving. Love the beads.

This chair was by our ceramic artist. It has hand made ceramic decorations.

This is for Clarksville Sun Flower Days. made by Trish at Clarksville Glass Works.

    The chairs are of many media and designs. Some were embellished with hand made ceramic ornaments. Others had had beading. One was wrapped with wild grape vines and decorated with Sun Flowers. You see, the Art Guild also has a sun flower festival.One chair had a skirt, mine was wallpapered,one was painted  with a Eagle.( Clarksville has Eagle Days in January, where people come to watch the nations bird fish in the Mississippi.)One chair  was purple and had a child's theme and  came with small decorative note books. All in all the chairs were a special delight and a big hit to the Studio Tour.

This one from  Cool Beans Coffee Shop.

Bent Tree gallery

Mary ,our newest artist

    I am sharing the chairs with you all today. I only wish you could be here in person to see the town, studios, shops and tour, My Old Historic House. The house was open yesterday and many people came and had a tour. We are at it again today. I hope we have lots and lots of tourist and people buy all the chairs. I know there are people with they eyes on several. Come soon and have a visit. We will all leave the lights on. Almost every studio or shop has a dog. So like Sissy Dog, they will all meet you with a jump and a kiss. In the mean time, Support The Arts. With out them, life could be rather beige.

Another Mary Original

DiAnne made two chairs for her gallery, Earth's Heart Beat. Old Yellow looking out.

Caron from the Windsor Chair Shop.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lady in Red!


                                                     MY OLD HISTORIC HOUSE
Is a Blog about the 1845 Elgin/Cottrell House Museum  in Clarksville,Mo. I am the owner, writer and curator. My name is Richard Cottrell. I live in the old mansion along with my faithful dog, Sissy the Beagle. I purchased the house in 2006 and spent the last 6 years restoring it to it's original splendor. The house has been featured in many magazines, such as Victorian Homes, newspapers and TV stations. I offer tours of the entire house with  a reservation. I ask they you call at least one day in advance and have a least two people. I do charge for the tours, the fee helps me maintain the property. 573 242 9688. or email. The old house was built in 1845 with a 1860 addition. It was built on land that was given to Samuel Elgin from President Manroe. Mr. Elgin's son, Hazakeiah, built the house. The bricks were hand made on the spot,by slaves. Because I am only the 4th owner, the house has stayed mostly in tack.I have used reproduction materials that represent the time period of 1860. The house very much reflects the American Ante Bellum period of history.( before the civil war.) The houses has a vast collection of antique furniture, accessories and portraits of that period. Call soon to make your appointment to come and visit Sissy and me.  where I personally guide the tours.


Richard and Sissy Dog. Kitchen


               Today the  blog is about a Lady in Red. She is one of my many ,"store bought relatives." my family never had money to have portraits painted, so when I started making some money, I bought me some relatives. I have named this lady, my rich cousin Julia. I call her rich because of her velvet dress with fancy lace trim and her gold, ruby and diamond jewelry. I had a lady friend named Julia. She was from a very well to do  family, that's where I got this ladies name. Who she really is? I have no ideal.

   This painting is done with oil on canvas. Her cloths, jewels, hairstyle and background, all indicate that she was painted around 1850-1880.She is beautifully done, especially the velvet of her dress and the lace. She has a beautiful, kind and sweet face. When she sat for this portrait she wore all her jewelry, and it is very fine and beautiful.She must have been a real lady of means.

    Julia hangs in the Up River or Ladies parlor at the Elgin/ Cottrell House. She always gets lots of attention, as do all the other portraits.That is why I made up the story about, store bought relative. People always chuckle when I say that and it seems to make them happy, as I have no real ideal who she really is.
    I wish you would consider coming for a tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. If you can't come today, maybe soon. You all are always welcome.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Doll House Update.

Yes. there is even a Sissy Dog on the front porch!

   For now, the doll house is finished. All the painting, wall papering, carpet. floors, curtains and such are done and in place.Most of the  basic furniture is there as well. Who's to say, I will not change it around, add to it ,or take away? It still needs lots of art work and accessories. These will come with time. That will be the fun now, finding a small treasure to fill in the gaps. It has been so much fun. I am excited now to get it home ,where it will live in the library at, My Old Historic House. Next pictures will be of it in the library. If you are just starting to view my blog, be sure and scroll back and see the doll house progress. It sure has come a long way from when I found it the day after Christmas 2011.
   I hope you enjoy the pictures. Please come time soon for a real tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. I hope you are having beautiful spring weather like we are. It is something else, first of March and all is coming alive. I only hope that the weather does not turn on us and hurt it all. Happy early spring. Richard and Sissy.

The attic shabby chic bed room.

The attic store room. Real wood floors.

The Blue Master Bed Room.

Library with real wood floor.


Dining Room. Notice the ceiling detail.

Second floor hall landing,  notice the ceiling detail.

Parlor detail

Monday, March 5, 2012

Please,Have a Chair in the Library.

    It is Monday morning. The sun in trying to shine. We had some snow last night here in Missouri. I just noticed that I have a jonquil blooming in the garden. It was 32 degree yesterday and going to be almost 60 today. No wonder, with this stupid weather, half the country is sick. I have been fighting something for weeks. I am not sure if it  is a sinus something or a cold. What ever it is, I wish it would go away. While I am at  it, what's up with all the new confirmation words on blogger comments. I thought we were through with all that? These are so bad, all messed up, hard to read. I don't like it. I don't even begin to understand what it is for. How can this be security? I say, take them away!!!!! Why make something that is fun, difficult? Now that I have ranted and raved, on with this post.
   Many 19th century Victorian Homes had Library rooms. Most of them were on the second floor and above the dining room. You see, the dining room was considered a man's room. After the evening meal, men would stay behind for a dink and a smoke and tell a few, off colored stories. The library, also considered a man's room, because men would retreat in there to read the paper and  do book work .The Library of a Victorian Home  was kinda like a man cave of today??? Well that's a stretch, but, kinda. True to form, my Library is above the Dining room.

   I have two wonderful antique needlepoint chairs in my Library. Those chairs are the subject of my post today.  I love needlepoint, in fact it is one of my biggest passions. I have it all over the house. I found these chairs and felt they looked very much like a chair that  might have been in and 19th century Victorian Library. The one chair is a real French chair and it has it's original needlepoint. The chair is oak and most likely of the Louis XVI vintage. I found this chair in Chicago. I had it for sale in my shop. I never really wanted to sell it, just like so many other items I buy for sale. maybe that is why ,I am not the most successful antiques dealer? My house does not lend itself to this style of French furniture. But I threw caution to the wind and took it home to try.And, I like it. The needlepoint is wonderful. There is a French court scene with a man and a maiden. The colors are perfect for my room, so it has been there ever since. The second chair is actually an American Rococo Revival chair. it is made of walnut around 1860. The needlepoint is much older, dating back to the early 1800's. One can tel from the type of wool used for the stitches. This needlepoint must have been taken from another piece of furniture, most likely French, and adapted to this chair. I saw this chair in an antique shop window in St.Louis. It was in the evening and the shop was closed. I stopped the car, went to the door and left a note, saying I wanted this chair and please not to sell it to any one else. I knew the shop owner. I had a hard time sleeping that night and first thing the next day, I was off to that shop to get the chair.To my very delight, the chair was only $150.00, so it came home with me. I could not believe the wonderful needlepoint and the colors went so well with the other chair and the Library. Sometimes I get lucky, and this time was one of them.

    Needlepoint seems to last forever. It just does not wear out. It is made on a linen canvas with wool thread. What an invention this was.Needlepoint pieces have been found in the Egyptian Tombs. It has been around as long as man kind. It was once considered a pass time of rich ladies, and has been the pass time lately of almost anyone. Rosie Gear, the famous football player was a passionate needlepointer.  I have in the past done a few pieces of my own.  But,I really love the older so much better.
    I  wish you could come by sometime for a tour and we could set a spell in the library. These chairs really are quite comfortable. I will leave the lights on and I am sure Sissy Dog will jump in the chair with you and give you a big kiss.
   Have a wonderful day. Remember the new issue of Victorian Homes magazine is out and I have a 3 page feature. If you have trouble finding it, I have copies for sale here at the shop. And Oh Yes, get rid of those word confirmations, they just ain't  right.