Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Being Southern.

This is as close to a column as I have, but if your pretend, you might think you were in New Orleans. 

Great Southern Homes cherish there Old Paris Porcelain
My Banana trees are  not so great this year, with out the rain.

   No, I never grew up in the South. No. my parents or grandparents are not Southern either. Yes, it is true I never have lived in the  South. I have visited it many times, I love it, want to live there and wish and dream to be Southern. Most of this started with the movie, "Gone with the Wind." a great epic of Southern greatness. There were others as well, like Beguiled, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and endless others. All created that Romantic Southern life that I have longed  for and dreamed of. That life does not really exist. It is mostly in a novelist mind or the vision of a screen play writer. Oh some of it is real, there is a  Southern drawl, the manners, the proudness and most of all ,that  sugar slopping sweetness. Well I grew up and live ,  North of the Mason Dixon, but I still feel, claim to be  and am, a Southern.

My Niece and her son all dressed up to help give tours. 

I built this to hide my neighbors garage.

My Pride and Joy, the two  Magnolia trees in the side yard.

     Honey, I'm fixin' to tell you something about being Southern. Being Southern doesn't mean that I'm not educated. I may say, "ain't and "Y'all" and call you,"Sweetie" or "Bless a lot of Hearts" and might even ,"piddle around." I'll greet you with a big -  Ol'- "Hey" and a hug.I'm polite and say,"Ma'am." and "Sir" and if you hear a Southern say, "Oh hell no!" You better run! And if you don't know where yonder is, you probably are not Southern. Well all the above are in my realm. It's my everyday world. I add a little expression or two, like,, "Set  a spell", have a glass of sweet tea and "Y'All come back now."

Hitch your horse and set a spell.

A Little Romance in the garden.

The family , very important

     I don't believe you have to live in the South to be Southern. I know a lot of Southerners don't like the picture that a lot of us paint about there culture. Believe me, it is all good ,as I love it and live it.There is nothing that can compare to there graciousness and generous hospitality.
    In the South we see giant Magnolia trees, there prize big white blooms are the envy of gardeners every where They keep there leaves all year, and provide flowers most of the summer. I love them in vases for any season, but especially Christmas when in the dead of winter, greenery from the garden is a welcome sight.Gardens smell of there blooms in a gentle breeze. Columns line the countryside and lawn jockeys are at every curve. Gardens are divine with statues, trellis, banana trees and hanging moss. A cool breeze invites a visitor to linger and enjoy. Houses are full of the finest, Old Paris, Silver, Portraits and carved furniture. A true Southerner, spares no expense on there home.
   The South that I know and love is full of Romantic stores, plantations and gardens. There are endless homes to tour, tea rooms and garden cafes to spend the hours in. I have tried to add a little bit of the South in my home. I know it is in the  North, but if you close your eyes, one might think they are truly in the South. I do, and I love it ,because for now, dreaming of the South, is the best I can do.
    Come visit me some time for a real tour. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a Kiss. I'm just down yonder a spell and around the bend, right on the river bank. Hear the frogs and waves? Set a spell while I fix us a glass of tea.
A group of ladies tour, My Old Historic House this morning, we had sweet tea on the porch after.

A Southern Belle and her child and pets in needlepoint

The 1845 Historic Elgin/ Cottrell House Museum. A little bit of the South  in the North.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anatomy of a Room

Ladies Parlor at, My Old Historic House.

This was the centerfold of the June 2011 issue of Victorian Homes Magazine.

     I am not sure that getting the anatomy of room is something that can be taught. In my experience, it is a God Given talent and something that can come along after many years of trying. One of my favorite teacher ,in college, taught me a little thing to do when decorating and it can really help. When you think you have a room done to perfection, look at it through almost closed eyes. If you see the room as a whole at first, and not one thing jumps out at you, it is right. After the first look when the whole picture is a unit, then one should see  single items. All colors should blend and no object should out shine another. This is true to every element, wall color or covering, floors, art, drapes and so on. This is especially true with the decorative accessories. No matter how fine and important they are, they should never jump out at the first glance of a room. It's the entire picture we are looking for.

A mixture of elements make up a great room. This is a French 19th century bronze candle stick

Hand painted decorations on a ruby glass luster

A 19th century formal portrait of a man, notice the reds in his face, pick up on the other reds in this room

    The anatomy of a room contains many layers. Just as important as the other, each one makes for the final picture. Never consider a product, such as a carpet, for it's price tag, but for what it can add to your rooms final look. Never consider a carpet because you already own it, if it is not right, it would be better to leave it out, so the final picture is perfection. If a carpet is needed to create quiet, warmth or some other reason, it should as well work in the final picture of the completed room. The same goes with wall covering. Paint color can be one of the hardest things to pick. To me it never looks the same on the wall as it does on that small sample. If you are in doubt, it probably is wrong. Buy a pint and try it out, before painting the entire room.I often pick colors for fabric or something I plan on using in the room. Most paint stores today have computers that can match the color to your item with pretty good results. Wall paper is far easier for me to pick than paint. It is a challenge as it is an all over pattern, floor to ceiling and can influence what other patterns you might be able to use in a room. I love wall paper and can not imagine a world with out it. I once wallpapered a ice box, that was in the 60's. need I say more.It is not for everyone, and it has a tough time in today's world. I am not afraid to mix patterns, to me it is second nature, but I have to admit, it is not easy for every one.

The yellow paint color for this room came from the wall paper boarder. 

Cranberry glass is a common accessory in this room

   The making of a great room does not have to mean spending huge amounts of money. I have to say, it usually helps if there is a big budget. Most people think they need expensive crown moldings and trim to make a great room. It doesn't hurt, but is not an absolute rule. The same effect can be made with paint, wallpaper or other fun products. The result is usually more eye catching and every one remembers it far longer than the do crown molding, which, to me, is as common as dirt. Sorry, if I said the wrong thing, that is just my thoughts.I like mixing low budget items with expensive one. The expensive ones make the cheaper things look better. No one can see a price tag when the walk into your room. To me a great room is one that looks like you have been collecting things and living in it for years. A few family treasures are always some of the first items to be noticed. I have a few T J Max and Home Good items in my house and no one, not one person, has ever said that looks like  Home Goods. Now if the whole room is from that store, they probably will say that ,as it is an advertisement for that store. Too much of any thing can be bad. One has to learn when to stop.

Cranberry glass continues in the chandelier

    A beautiful room will be layers and layers of things. Starting with the bones of  the room. The walls, floors and windows. Then comes furniture. There is nothing worse than furniture that is too big or too little for a room. Scale is a major thing. You will learn scale with experience. To me it comes natural. I also have a good rule I follow. If it is a small room, instead of a lot of small stuff, I like to use a few large pieces. This is tricky, but can be done and makes the room seem bigger and more important. I never thought that I would ever say this, but too much  stuff, can mess up a room faster than bad art. You have to learn to trust yourself to say, 'that's enough." And speaking of bad art, if that's all you have, don't use any. Bare walls are better than walls full of bad. And family pictures have there place, if you want them in a formal space, go ahead, but make them an accessory, not a focal point. No one loves your family like you do.
   Today decorating has taken a change in pace. Most rooms in most homes are void of color and lack excitement. Accessories are cheap resin and an after thought. Beautiful carved wood has gone away and big over stuffed pieces has taken it's place. I do admit they are comfortable, but have we no sense of beauty and wonderment left in  our lives??? I do not look at many magazines these days, all the rooms look alike.  Even the homes of the rich, have no desire or excitement. They are all off the rack and boring. Gone are all the great decorators that I used to dream about. Mark Hampton, Sister Parrish and many others. Oriental rugs have been turned away for uncomfortable sea grass and jute. Have you ever walked bare foot on that stuff?

A fancy wall treatment of today's choice is ragging. People are in love with decay. What's up with that. I worked all my life for prosperity, I want my home too reflect that I have it.
    There is no real ending to this post. I could write a book. I am sure I have stepped on some toes. I am sorry in advance. I am only saying what I feel. My  mind means very little to others. If you like my thoughts and they help in any way, I am glad. Please come by some time for a real tour of, My Old Historic House. I will leave the rights on and Sissy Dog is always at the door with a jump and a kiss.I have been away from blogging for awhile. I was busy opening my new antique mall. it has been doing pretty good. I also neglected, my home. Yard work is endless and so is dusting, especially dog hair. Oh well, that's what's next. I might have more time to blog in the winter.I just want to say thank you to all my sweet followers who have emailed and asked about me and Sissy. Some of you also said they missed the blog, so that's what has made me come to the computer today. Thanks and I love you all.

The accessories are all very romantic, suitable for a ladies parlor

Lots of gold leaf carvings add to the regal look

Even Sissy, the queen Beagle, fits right in.

Another snap shot from the June 2011 issue of Victorian Homes magazine. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

OPEN FOR BUSINESS , You-all come see us here!!!!!

My new sign.

This is the view out the front door looking toward the Mississippi River.

  Well it has been a long hard battle, but I think I won. I got the keys to my new space May12th. After many days of pulling nails, patching holes, painting and cleaning, the new, "Downtown Antique Mall," in Clarksville, Mo. is finally open. I had a soft opening on Saturday June 2nd. It was the regional Chili Cook Off  here in Clarksville and I wanted to get her open to take advance of the crowds. Well it was well worth it as we had a great turn out, made sales and surprised many old timers as they saw the shop for the first time. I have some wonderful dealers and there spaces look amazing. I have one dealer who was delayed in her move in, so now we have something else to look forward to.They were all so good to get moved in and get there booths looking amazing. I am so proud and happy to represent each and every one of them.

My friend Nancy gave me these beautiful flowers for by the front door.

  Of course Sissy Dog was challenged through this ordeal. She did not know what to make of all this moving.  I worked before I opened the old shop in the morning and after I closed it at night. She was in and out of the two shops and didn't quite know what to do with her self. Finally we are settled and her chair is in place and she has made her self at home. Bless her heart. What would I do with out her? The other night I was so tired, I thought I might die and Sissy Dog ran out the door .Well, when she does this, it is a real challenge. She got on the trail of a rabbit and with her head to the ground she paid no attention to me, so I sneaked up to her and dropped right on top of her. The challenge was cut short, thank goodness and I could go to bed.
    We have had some pretty hot weather here in Missouri during all this move and that makes for a lot tougher job. I have learned that for a old F---, I can get the job done. I  cleaned, painted and moved, mostly all by myself. I have to admit, I had  some nice towns people who offered a helping hand, but with my time frame, it was just easier to do it by myself. I have my own methods of doing things. I like to move an item or two and put them in place. If there is a big pile of stuff I seem to freak out. Of course if the truth be known, I tend to freak out a lot.

The entrance to the River Park is right outside my shop door.

     My Old Historic House, seemed to be neglected during all this. I have to devote a week to it now. I still am having tours almost daily and I just hope they don't see the dust and dog hair that seems to have gathered in the absence of the broom and dust cloth.

    I wish you all could come and see the house, take a tour and shop in the new Mall. I will leave the lights on and we can open any time. Sissy Dog will always meet you all with a jump and a kiss. I might even take ya for a sweet tea next door at the darling Farm Cafe.
   I just want to thank all of you out there on the blogs for being so patient with me and my blog. I hope to get back on track soon and give you all the comments you deserve, I so appreciate you all. Come see me now, you here!
My area  is in the center of the new mall. 

Nancy's booth to the left

A basket of deer horns 

Sissy and her chair, Finally she can settle down and do her thing. Sleep!