March 31, 2014

Design Challenged and In Need of a New Couch

Sitting smack dab in the middle of the longest wall in my living room is an explosion of flowers.

These flowers would look stunning in a vase, but sadly that is not the case. These flowers adorn the couch that I purchased over fifteen years ago.

Each morning as I walk down the hallway towards the kitchen, the first thing I see is the flower and stripe couch. Were flower couches in style back in the 90's? 

I have decided that the couch will go into the basement, also known as the dungeon of doom, so that the grandchildren will have somewhere to sit, and probably would jump on while playing with the toys.

I have been looking  for a new couch. I haven't had the need to enter a furniture store for many years, perhaps fifteen, and was surprised by all of the styles that were available. 

I had decided that I would like a leather couch, but family and friends were quick to point out that leather was cold, and a poor choice with five grandchildren and another one on his way.

My oldest daughter thought that a sectional with a chase on the end should be the way I go. We never seem to have enough seating in the living room when we are all together.

So my dear blogger friends I would appreciate if you would sound off about couch styles and fabric, it appears that the only taste I have is in my mouth.

The leather couch is easy to clean if a spill happens, I am the grandma that lets the kids eat and drink in the living room. It's a big enough couch to lay down on to take a nap and watch television.

This is a sectional is called a cuddle couch, notice the left side of the sectional is angled and provides a nice little area to snuggle into.

Both of these choices allows me to select a fabric of my choice for my finished couch. 

While walking around the showroom I stumbled upon this piece of furniture that I immediately fell in love with for my kitchen.

This is a rather small wall that sits between the back door entrance into the kitchen and the entrance from the living room to the kitchen.

I can envision this piece in my kitchen adding a pop of color and extra storage.  What do you think? Too much pattern, is the color too much?  Will this piece become another flowered couch for me? Any and all suggestions are very appreciated.

Today is my cousins Ruth's birthday, she is the author of Dian's Timpanalley blog, if you have a chance stop by and wish her a Happy Birthday.

March 30, 2014

A Celebration, A Clock and Memories

We sang louder, squeezed our hugs a little tighter and hung on a little longer, as we wished my brother-in-law a Happy Birthday on Saturday. My niece Kathy put together a fabulous luncheon for the family members who could drop in and wish Gene a Happy Birthday. As I have told you before Gene has been diagnosed with dementia and is also fighting the good fight against cancer.

As you can see from the smile on his face he enjoyed being surround by his family and the grand dogs.

I always admired the clock my sister has sitting on her shelf just off of her dining room, it belonged to my grandparents.

My grandparents owned a large piece of property with their house and the rag rug factory sitting adjacent to the house.  After the rug business folded my father renovated the factory into a house, where I lived until I was married. My sister and brother had the pleasure of living next door to our grandparents and two aunts. 

My sister and brother would talk about how wonderful our grandfather was, but they also said he required them to do work that the other cousins weren't asked to do. Picking up the apples that fell from the tree was a task that they did not enjoy.  I never had the delight of meeting my grandparents, my grandmother had passed before I was born, and I was only a few months old when my grandfather left this world.

Sitting on top of a beautiful wooden wall unit in the kitchen sat the clock. My sister tells me that the clock was a wedding gift to our grandparents and that the clock came with them from Poland as they made their way to America. All of the cousins have memories of our grandfather carefully winding the clock, which chimes loudly on the quarter hour, half hour and hour. 

The clock continued to sit on the wooden wall unit chiming loudly and was lovingly wound by my Aunt Stella, that had continued to live in the family homestead well into her eighties.

My sister was given the clock and it has been in her house ever since. While the clock is in working condition my sister does not wind it because of the extremely loud chiming.

While making new memories during the birthday celebration, the clock brought back memories of old for my sister and myself, and gave us the opportunity to again share our clock memories with our children, and my grandchildren. Perhaps whoever receives the clock will continue to pass on these memories of the clock.


March 27, 2014

Ear Rocks

On Monday afternoon,  I went to the dentist for my six month cleaning and checkup. While sitting in the examination chair, two phases of dizziness came over me. They appeared and disappeared just a quick. I drove home without incident, after arriving home the dizziness reappeared, and stayed with me for two days.

This little corner of my office/playroom is where I have spent most of my time. The Papasan chair allowed me to snuggle down comfortably while holding my neck and head in place to prevent dizziness. 
Diagnosis - loose crystal or ear rocks in my inner ear. Vertigo.

Northwestern University

Today I am feeling much better with a minimum of dizziness. I certainly hope that I don't have to experience vertigo again.Photobucket

March 25, 2014

Sounding Off

I must be getting cranky because I am having a hard time understanding why, in God's green earth, people wear pajama bottoms out and about in public.

Men- women, and teenagers walking around the grocery store, big box stores, and at the thrift stores in pajama bottoms.

Pajama bottoms with Christmas designs in the middle of March, dog or cat hair stuck to the fleece, often with visible food stains on them.

I realize that there are reasons that someone might have to run out of the house wearing pajama bottoms, I can understand a parent running late and driving the children to school in their pajamas or a person going to the pharmacy to pick up medication for an ill person in the middle of the night.

Caddo Parish in Louisiana has a commissioner who is proposing an ordinance that will prohibit wearing pajama bottoms out in public. Good luck with that.

I realize that I live in the United States and people have the freedom to dress, however, they see fit, but I don't understand it and never will. 

March 24, 2014

From a Framed Picture to a Pillow

My mother produced beautiful needlepoint, crewelwork, and embroidery I wrote a blog post about a crewelwork piece she made for my father if you are interested you can read it here.

When I'm thrift shopping and see someones handiwork for sale it tugs at my heart. I know how much my mother enjoyed doing her handiwork. I also know how much time, patients, and talent it takes to produce a finished piece.

In February I found a beautiful piece of embroidery, removed the frame and washed it. You can read and see more photos from my original blog post here.

My sister can do handiwork as my mother did me not so much, sad but very true. So I asked my sweet sister if she would turn this piece into a pillow for me. My inspiration came from Scarlet at The Finished Article, if you haven't read her blog take a few moments and visit her. 

My sister used muslin for the back of the pillow, which was almost a perfect match, and I purchased the fringe on sale. I think it turned out beautifully.

Looks so nice on the bed in my guest room.

Thank you my sweet sister for a job well done.

March 21, 2014

The Beauty Inside the German Pharmacy Museum, Heidelberg

While, in Germany, I had the delight of visiting the Castle of Heidelberg, located on the grounds of the castle was Deutsches Apotheken Museum, in English the German Pharmacy Museum. The price of the castle ticket included a visit to the museum.

This museum was established in 1957 on the ground Schloss castle.
The museum's collection has over 20,000 items on display. From a scientist, to a pharmacist, or a museum lover like me you will enjoy the history of the pharmacy.

This painting titled Christ as a pharmacist, Austria, 1st half of the 18th century is among the first items that you see when entering the museum. The plaque that explained the painting reads. . .

Worldly medicine may be able to help the mortal body of man, but real healing and salvation can only be found with Christ. This is the message of the picture, presenting Christ as a pharmacist in the heavenly pharmacy. The soul balance indicates the Last Judgement, the three Christian cardinal virtues faith, love and hope are symbolized by chalice, heart, and anchor on the prescription table, and numerous further soul medicament's are depicted on the left. In the background, Jesus is healing a blind man.

The rooms are filled with Chemist's shops through the ages, I was awestruck at the beauty of the apothecary bottles that were used.

This chemists table was made in the early 19th century, is made of cherry wood, and was originally housed at 'Crown Pharmacy' in Ulm.

Pharmacy vessels used in days gone by.

Scales, spoons, crushers all items used to make medicine.

This pharmacy vignette came from the Ursulene convent, Austria, circa 1730.

The table in the center of this vignette was used as the pharmacist work table, customers were not permitted inside the pharmacy to collect the prescriptions. Notice on the upper left side of the photo the silhouette of a woman in the window? This was the pickup window.

These beautiful vessels with vivid colors were one of my favorites.

The Deutsches Apotheken Museum, was a fun place to browse.


March 20, 2014

Bedframe Redo

A forgotten treasure was lurking in my basement (aka the dudgeon of doom) for over fifteen years. While I was carrying items from my three bedrooms, down into the basement during my remodel, my eye caught sight of the post sticking up behind a dresser. I set my boxes down and scooted the dresser away from the wall. I had forgotten all about the full size four post bed frame.

After a quick look I realized why it was shoved behind a dresser against the wall in my dudgeon of doom, it was in bad shape. 

My third bedroom is small and is used as a guest room and a dumping ground. The small room had no style or flair. A twin bed on a metal frame, no headboard, a small dresser, and a small ladies sewing rocker. 

I mentioned to my daughter that I saw the frame in the basement, and she suggested having it refinished for the guest room. We all know that I do not possess a DIY gene, my heart and head are willing, but disaster seems to be attached to every project I attempt.

One afternoon with my camera in hand, I stopped in at a refinishing shop in my town. I showed the man my photos and was given a quote of $500.00 for the head board, foot board and two side slates to be pickled white. I left feeling defeated because in my mind,  I already had decorated that room with the four poster bed the focal point.

The painter was three days away from finishing his painting and the carpet layers were scheduled the morning after he finished. The end was in sight, and I was anxious to return home, I stayed at my daughters for two weeks during the final stages of the remodel, but the bed frame was still stuck in my head. My daughter suggested I ask Frank the painter if he would spray it white. With a sigh, Frank easily agreed, but the schedule had to be pushed back by two days.

See the transformation that happened.

I was not the only person who was thrilled with the way the bed frame turned out, Frank was very proud of his work and rightfully so. Frank would exclaim that it looks better than something from Pottery Barn. The cost Frank charged me for sanding and spray painting was just pennies on the dollar. Thank you Frank it turned out beautifully.