Sunday, February 26, 2012

Home away from Home

Sorry I’ve been so quiet post wise the last two weeks but work has kept me hopping, the hardships of owning your own business huh? Sometimes as much as I don’t like it my blog has to take a backseat to life. I’m here now and ready to show you something every man needs…a space of his own.

This image shows the backside of our carriage barn before we renovated. The lower part is mister man’s workshop and as you can see it had a lot of water damage along one wall not to mention it had one tiny window for light.

It was a drafty dank and dark little place with one light bulb but my man was still able to carry on with woodworking projects.

This is how it looks today all finished except for the floor, he hasn’t decided what kind of flooring he wants yet. The walls and ceiling were covered in a wide tongue and groove board and left natural. The only original wall is that back wall and it had to stay it’s twelve feet thick with boulders and holds the mountain back on the outside. Every once in a while mister man has a chipmunk that pops out of the wall for a tasty treat of sunflower seeds.

Mister man has a nice doublewide window for natural light and since he built the other outside stonewalls from Belgium block he’s guaranteed to stay high and dry.

Guess what he’s working on right now?

Mister man’s workshop is also the perfect haven for all those little things that are never making it across the threshold into our home. This little gem is something he and Dylan dog found on a hike in the deep woods one-day, half a moose jaw bone with teeth still in it. Do men ever grow up and stop bring things like this home?

He found a pair of deer antlers, doesn’t get more real then these. He also found this outhouse seat at Brimfield that has a place for Dad, Mom and child. Mister man thought we could hang it in our bathroom…NOT!

He has a place for everything including this football helmet he won in third grade. We’ll ignore the fact he’s a few decades older and has grown a bit and will never get his helmet on his head again!

Mister man is always working on several projects at once mainly due to the weather. These pieces are for the last three screens he’s making for the windows on our home.

Some of the screens mister man has made. The screens had to be made since we have a antique house and the windows aren’t standard size. The screening we used is bronze and will patina down to a nice deep dark shade.

Anyway remember the pedestals mister man made for me last summer…..

Well he’s finishing up a smaller second pair to use up in my studio. Trust me there is nothing like having a handy husband about!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy life to its fullest!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Come on Spring I have work to do!

A few weeks ago I showed you a post where Dylan dog and I found an old stone to use in the patio for my secret garden here. Well today was moving day for that old stone and I couldn’t be more excited!!! While the day looked gorgeous it was absolutely freezing out with blowing winds. The cold makes the ground harder and since this 300-400 pound stone had to be wheeled a ways hard ground is better then mud.   

Dylan and I found the stone in our old barn area out near the middle. We call this area the old barn area because a barn used to sit on top of the stonewalls. The barn unfortunately was struck by lightening and burned to the ground in 1900. Mister man has brush piles in there now waiting to be burned and then we’re going to have the area graded for more lawn and trees. Mister man had to really work to get that stone lifted up out of the frozen ground and into a wheelbarrow…I was along for moral support…;)

Once mister man wrestled that stone into the wheelbarrow then came the hard work of wheeling that beast uphill. It had to go out the far side of the barn because of the opening in the stonewall. You can see the opening on the far left side of the picture. It had to go all the way around the barn area and when something weighs 300-400 pounds it gets heavy.

At least mister man had a scenic route and he had me along to cheer him on. I was like a dog with a bone so excited about moving that stone up leading and cheering my man on! Hey its not like I was able to move the wheelbarrow.

Almost there and see it is a pretty trip. This is about where I stopped cheering since I was getting dirty looks and someone was starting to struggle a bit.

This view is behind the carriage barn where my secret garden is going. Out yonder is the old barn area hopefully you get the idea of how far that stone had to come.

The stone has two straight sides and will make a perfect corner. It’s much wider then we thought but that’s ok mister man is very good about making things work. I’m so excited it’s almost in its new home!

The other piece of exciting news is gates! You see the closest tree there on your right and then you travel straight across the there’s a short stonewall on the left…well I bought or am purchasing a pair of gates from Mona over at providence ltd to go there. The gates will be the entrance to my secret garden and will sit at the top of a small hill. We’ll be putting in stone steps leading up to the gates.

The gates look fabulous and just my style simple but elegant and the best part is I think you’ll be able to see them from the road. If you’ve never visited Mona’s shop you’re missing a real treat. I’ve purchased several items from her and couldn’t be more happy with everything.

One thing I will need to do is build up this small retaining wall and I say me because I actually can build too I just can’t lift 300 pounds.

Finding stones to beef up that wall won’t be a problem because they’re everywhere in our soil, almost like we grow them in New Hampshire. All you really need to do is look down and there they are ripe for the picking.

So how about you any projects you’re waiting on nicer weather to get started on?

Enjoy your week everyone!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Everything Old is New Again!

Elle Decor, December 2011

Now for something near and dear to me TEXTILES! Have you ever come across a fabric design that somehow just looks old? Well chances are it is and lately I’ve been seeing a lot of old patterns rediscovered and modernized for today’s fabric lines. The velvet on the dining room chairs above is such a fabric taken from a 300 year old Turkish Ottoman design. The flowers in the middle of the backs are stylized carnations and symbolize the heavenly gardens of paradise.  

Velvet yastik, Turkey, 16-17th Century

Last year House Beautiful featured new fabrics that are coming out with ancient Ottoman designs.

Silk velvet fabric, Falk Manor by Scalamandre

Scalamandre one of the America’s leading fabric producers has one of the largest textile archives in the world spanning several centuries and even has their own museum for them. One of the fabrics they produce is the one above they call Falk Manor. Fortuny even used this pattern in the 1920’s and called it his climbing leaf motif, taken from a 15th century Italian renaissance design. (Yes, the pillows below are mine and for sale if you’re interested)

My image of Fortuny pillows

Traditional Home, November 2011

See the chair with its back almost to us with the blue cut velvet on it that design was taken from the 15th century as well. While my fragment below is on a linen ground I’m guessing the fabric on the chair has a cotton ground for more strength, linen stretches. My fragment has the silk velvet outlined in a tiny metal cord something that would be to costly today let alone the comfort factor.  

My Image
Traditional Home, November 2011

I tried to see if I could get that chair closer so you could see the fabric, trust me it’s to die for but I wish I knew who made it…does anyone know?

Even Diane von Furstenberg is using 17th century Italian designs for her line of rugs. Designers don’t copy the designs of anything exactly no matter how old since copyright laws still come into play and you never know who might own a certain design. It’s simple enough to get around all you really have to do is change a dime size part of the design and it’s considered new.

Italian, 17th century design

I could show you this stuff all day long since it’s my passion but I need to get back to work. It’s amazing how many old patterns I see everyday in new designs. Like they say: “everything old is new again”!


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