Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alex Arranges the Fireplace Mantel

My little sweetie niece helped me with housecleaning. In reality, she reorganized all of my junk displaying places. She's six years old and LOVES art and color and design. I had a copper "hope" ornament hanging somewhere else in the house. When she spied a large white Fransciscan platter that I had with other china she put them together on the dining room table and said, "I think this should be here"...in the middle of the table. So, that's where it is. Believe me, I need the reminder to have hope. She has further filled this out with crystal S&P shakers and a metal bird.

Alex went searching in the garage for other items to put in the house and found a really old electric fan. She cleaned it all up (yes, she's 6) and took it out to our covered deck. Here's what she came up with. The child even went out to a garden to get the daisy's. She liked the daisy's because they pointed every which way and that they looked like the other stuff out there. By this she could've only meant simple or vintage. Those 3 metal stars were here and there, she stacked them and leaned them against the house like that.

The mirror below had been on the mantel. I took it down to clean and when she saw me pick it up she said, "You're not going to put it back up there are you"? I asked why, and she said, "I think that it should go by the door. It has hooks, people could hang stuff on it when they come in.". Believe it or not, as much junk as I have, there was nothing on this wall to the left of the double front doors. Perfect. This was a chippy old buffet mirror found in my grandmother's cellar (the one who owned the aqua Franciscan china), it was going to the trash heap...thank God for my intervention. It's very heavy and I'm the one who added the hooks.
Below is the mantel that Alex did. She chose every little thing and where it went. One of my projects is to paint the bricks...so much painting, so little time...I have six year olds to play with! The two little cat planters were found by my older son on a walk in the country....trash heap. Anyway, regarding that, Alex said, "you know, like hickory dickory dock...cats, mouse!".

She saw this Monet print that I'd just bought at the GoodWill. It's one sold in museum gift shops and large...11x14 I think. She picked it up, put a finger to her chin and closed one eye saying, "Hmmmm, I kow what this is......IMPRESSIONISM"! I stood there staring at her and calmly said "yes, it is". It's not just an impression, I know that she's awesome".

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Unexpected Designer

We have a 6 yr. old niece who spends large parts of her day outside swimming, playing with other children,her dog Bo, and obviously wildlife. Here she is pictured with a toad that she kept for a few days as a pet. But, when she's not outside, she's in the house creating art. Up until last year, I couldn't get her to color with me. Now she is into BIG art projects and they have size and dimension and perspective and whatever else budding artists do. She tapes paper together and makes practical murals...uses pencils, markers, pastels and whatever she can get her hands on.

I'm not much of a decorator but, when I clean house, I often undecorate the glass shelves and fireplace mantel and rearrange it. Alex was over (she loves to do things with me) and she started making suggestions on what I should do with the things after I cleaned them. I'll show you the glass shelf area today.
She wanted the picture frame put on the top shelf because it was big and then, she wanted the smaller picture frame put in front of it so that it "looks like it pops out". Yes, describing a 3-D look. (the picture frame was a gift and I haven't put anything in it yet).

She put the mirror on the bottom shelf (well, I did...it's heavy), stacked the books, put the word GRACE in front as, "then you have the reflection and IT looks like it pops out too". Oh my gosh too cute. And what's fun is her large vocabulary.

This is kind of my favorite. I had the little planter sitting there and then she said, "get the planter down" and she put the two glass insulators in it because, "it looked too empty". And then she wanted the round black wrought iron piece to the right of it with the mirrored star in front of it so that it "popped out". I could just eat her up!

Well, there you go. Alex's Design!

In the next post or two, I'll show you what she did with the word HOPE that I had hanging in that empty black frame to the left.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Retro Table Setting if My Grandparents Were Here

On days like Father's Day, I can't help but think of my Grandparents, especially the ones that lived in the town where I grew up. My grandmother wanted me to have her china. It's the Franciscan Coronado pattern in matte aqua. I have a huge collection, 27 place setting. I've put a 6 place setting away for each of my sons. Since I love to antique and junk, I've picked up many pieces of the other colors: white, yellow, rose...mostly matte, but I do have a few gloss.
So, since we only had 15 people coming for supper, I had time to goof. HA!

I set the old farm table in our kitchen as if they were coming for lunch. If only they were.

While I was setting the table, I was thinking of the type of things that my grandmother served. She always had bread and butter on the table. Grandpa, being the German that he was, was always served some stinky cheese. She served milk for the drink, and they always sat down at a set table to eat, even when he was gone and it was just her. Meatloaf was big, a vegetable and potato. She always had vegetable gardens, so this time of year, she'd have the neverending bowl of cukes & onions in vinegar. Sigh, I miss them so.
I remember stopping by one afternoon when she was 90 or so, she was working in her lawn. She had a shower cap on and was wearing one of my grandpa's long sleeved shirts ..and a pair of work gloves. It was kind of a warm day but, she was smart. I'm the gardener that she was but, end up covered in scratches and itchies after yard work. She sometimes cut flowers and brought them in but, mostly enjoyed them outdoors...she had about an acre, with many gardens, me too.

Above is the type of glassware that my former inlaws had in the 50's. It's called frosted grape and is real common. But, I like it for it's nostalgia. The "runner" on the table was an estate sale find. It has 'Barney Cafe' embroidered on it. But, it's sewed in a loop so, I believe it was hung on a dowel for use.

Last but not least, I bought these retro decorations from Olive Rue. If you saw the rest of my 60's kitchen, you'd get why I have them. My sister liked them. We all had a big laugh about the parents on "Everybody Loves Raymond" and their kitchen with these.
I hope everyone had a good Father's Day. We had 6 fathers here. My Dad, my two brothers, brother in law, husband, and my first husband. It was a terrific day that ended with a campfire thanks to my 21 yr. old son. Good Times!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Painted Buffet

I bought this little buffet last week at a garage sale for $5. I imagined it painted white. Also, I thought it'd be perfect on our covered deck to replace a couple of crates that housed a lamp and such .

I had one of those common brass lamps from the 80's, and spray painted it white. I put this picture on facebook and a picture of the lamp with a wicker shade. It was a 50/50 vote. But, even the red voters thought that the wicker was more appropriate for outdoors and went with the 1950's sort of look. The red adds so much to this corner but, there is a lot of other red out there.

Ah yes, the fun turquoise interior. I just can't help myself.

This is a good place for the aluminum this summer. I actually use this stuff when I entertain. Last summer I had 5 girlfriends from HS over. Everyone brought a bottle of wine and snack, I provided iced tea and iced water which was served in the aluminum. This summer, the top of the buffet could be used for the wine serving which would avoid some of those big wine spills. One of our friends is an actress and singer, she talks with her hands a LOT. And every single gathering, she knocks her glass over. I'm not kidding. At a party the month before that one, she broke 2 glasses. Which was really funny to all of us as we're 50 and were not having a "Partay". Needless to say, I was at Target shortly after that and saw that they sold acrylic wine glasses. I bought one just for her and of course, when she knocked it over at the party with the 5 of us, we laughed til we cried. SO! the buffet will make that cleanup easier as part of the stuff will be on there and not the table. OK, you know this mess that I just wrote, I talk like that. It may annoy you, but, that's one thing my friends like about me.

So, this is how it looks for now, but I will change it through the summer depending on the occasion and my mood. I really like all of my vintage stuff and like to rotate it around. Have a great weekend! We're having a family reunion here on Sunday.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cautionary Tale about spray paint!

Good morning! It's a beautiful day here in Nebraska. Since I'm an impulsive and fast moving person, I always have cautionary tales. This is my latest. On account of it, I have a new system. I'm keeping the spray paint lids, writing on them with a sharpie the Brand, type, color/finish, and what I used it on. Lots better than keeping 100 cans around...besides, it's hard to find a place to write on with the cans. Oh, I'm sure some of you have actual files or something. Doesn't work for me...too impulsive.

Just so you know, there is a lot of difference between these two paints...and colors. Heirloom white was in my head because I use it a lot so, needed more to change or add to my last project. But, my memory was wrong! See below!

I'd actually used the Painter's touch, yikes!

See the pretty auqua interior? I'd painted that middle divider that color and changed my mind as it looked weird!

I'll finish this job correctly and do another post on how I'm using this little buffet on my deck. Having fun now!

By the way, it was so hard to choose but, below is my favorite post of the week! Awesome! Wish I had a shabby cabinet like she shows in her blog!

Southern Hospitality: The Shabby Cabinet

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Leigh, Nebraska...a family reunion of sorts.

My great-great grandfather's name was Joechim Rolfs. He and Able Huch had 5 children: Jochin, Claus, Christian, Peter Louis and an only sister Wilhemina. My paternal grandfather, Louis Peter, was the 5th born child to Peter Louis, who was also the youngest. My great great grandmother died 3 weeks after his birth of blood poisoning. This was in the year of 1900. Normally, a local aunt would've taken my grandpa to raise him. But, the closest aunt (Wilhemina) had a bad year in 1888. Three and 1/2year old Mina died, so did Dora-2 1/2, 9 month old Maggie. In 1885 she lost 1 yr. old Louis T., and in 1897 six month old Bennie died. So, having lost 5 children to that point, she was VERY heistant to take little Louis Peter. So, that's how my grandpa ended up 70 miles away in the town we're from now...Elkhorn, Nebraska. The story doesn't end there though for my great great aunt Wilhemina. She and her husband Peter N. Glandt lost their 8 1/2 yr. old Peter J. in 1901 and 5 1/2 yr. old Chris B. in 1906. BUT, they'd produced 14 children SO! There were 7 surviving children. I'm sorry for the crazy writing here but, you're lucky you don't have to have a conversation with me. That's even worse. Now I'm curious and need to do sort of a table on births and deaths here to really SEE the difficulty that they had.
Wilhemina born 1860 married to Peter N. Glandt who was born 1859
Born to them were:
1883 Christina born (d. 1933)
1884 Mina born
1885 Dora born
1887Maggie born
1888 Lena born, (d.1973) &Mina, Dora, Maggie die@ 3 1/2, 2 1/2 & 9mo
1889Elsie born (d. 1941)
1891 William born(d. 1962)
1893 Peter J. born (d. 1901@ 8 1/2)
1894 Louis T. born
1895 Louis T. dies@ 1 yr.
1896 Alvina born (d.1987)
1897 Bennie born and dies at 6 months.
1898 Josephine born (d. 1977)
1901 Chris born.
1902 Florence born (d. 1995)
1906 Chris dies@ 5 1/2 yrs.

So, what's the big deal? Well, this family reunion that we went to that was called "Rolfs-Glandt" Reunion...it only had Glandt decendents. Only people who descended from the one sister, Wilhemina, were there! My sister, niece and I were the only Rolfs there...at least anyone descended from any of the brothers. It was SO much fun there and I was amazed...with our love for geneaology we were able to give them some good information. We assemble again in 2 years. My job is to make a visual family tree...which will be fun. God willing my Dad will be with us then. He had every intention of going but, found out out of the blue that he'd had a heart attack at some time or another in the past couple weeks and needed a quadruple bypass...which was today! He's doing really well as of this writing.
After the Reunion, we went to the local graveyard in Leigh and walked up and down the rows. Yes, we're fans of the cemetary...any old graveyard around and you'll see us stopping there. So, here's a couple of photos! These are taken in the Lutheran Cemetary in Leigh Nebraska.

This is a unique marker of a child's grave.

His Name is August, he died June 11, 1888 att he age of 1 yr. 10wks. 6 days

Little representations of child's shoes and stockings on the top.

Here's a picture of us below...taken at the reunion. My sister is on the left, my niece Alex and then me on the right. One of the ladies there was teasing us when we first arrived. I was questioning...how are WE related as everyone there had the name Glandt somewhere in their family tree. She said, "oh! Are you here under false pretenses?". We laughed and laughed. Later whe she saw me she inquired again if I'd figured it out and I said, "I think that my sister, niece and I are the only Rolfs here...that we're the only ones descended from a brother". And again this funny woman turned to me and said, "we try not to let too many of them in". Her name was Nadine and was in her late 70's and hilarious. I'll never forget her and look forward to the year 2011 to meet again. Meanwhile, we have each other's e mails!
Forgive my kookoo blog today but, I'm pooped from spending the day at the hospital.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Shopped at a Garage Sale, Something new for me!

You all have inspired me to actually go to a garage sale and browse with an open mind. I've normally been a GoodWill/Antique Store/Estate Sale sort of person. I've always felt like I was somehow eavesdropping at garage sales. I changed my mindset, went thinking, "these folks want to get rid of their stuff...and they want money for it. I want stuff and I have money." So, today I spent, $13.50 on the things pictured below.

The rug is for our covered deck that I've posted about. I've already put it out there and really like it! Pictures of that on a future post.

This little cabinet was $5. I can see it painted some shade of white. I may put it on the deck instead of the two crates that I have out there. I have a lamp and radio on them right now.

The garage owner said whoever owned this metal thing used it in the bathroom to hold things. I might line it with moss and use it for a planter OR paint and use in one of our bathrooms for washcloths and towels.

This little tray will go well on that newly painted deck, as it's summery, blue, white and turquoise out there!

Ok, this is a door stop I think. At .50 cents, I'm painting it white...
So, all in all, that was fun for me and I got better deals than I may've at a thrift store! Thanks for the inspiration all!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June is here!

First of all, this is the most lush and aromatic that this shrub has been in the three springs we've lived here. I LOVE it! We think it's some sort of a honeysuckle plant. I spent so much time pruning and cleaning it up last fall. I thought, "well, it may be rough next spring with all that I've done to it, but will be better in the long run". Well, it's better in the short run, we didn't have to wait!

Last spring I was at a garden center. You know how they have the area where the plants are super pathetic because they were missed in watering or are just root bound or something? Sometimes they're free, or a dime, or quarter. That's how I got these two lupine plants. I LOVE every thing about them! I like the leaves and the colors are fun.

This is the purple lupine. I like it even better than the fuschia one. To the best of my memory, I think that each plant was a quarter!

My sister's family has a new member. His name is Bo. They got him three days ago. A co-teacher of hers has a toddler and new baby and just can not give him the home they think that he deserves. Those people got him last year from the Nebraska Humane Society. What is sad to me, he was already 3 yrs. old then! So! He's lost two homes! Poor Bo! I'm announcing right now, if my sister and her family gets rid of him, he's mine...I'll be his forever home! He's 4 yrs. now and a mix of beagle and basset hound. Yesterday, she brought him out to meet his canine cousins.

So, pictured here is my husband Jim, My dad Delmar, My folk's Lab Brie, Bo and our Lab Zoe. Bo had a great time with his new cousins...at times yesterday we were all laughing 'til we cried. It was a joy seeing this "Lost Pup" have a renewed zest for life in his new family which includes other dogs. We're one of those familys that are also each other's friends. So, our nieces and nephews have sibling relationships with their cousins. In spite of addictions and alcoholism, our lives are good and worth living with the tools of AA and Al Anon. Amazing what a year can mean to us all of us after just a few are in recovery. Life is great!