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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS

As I have been doing a little bit of fall cleaning and decorating the past few days, I thought I would share a few of my favorite things with you.  My husband does not like a lot of clutter; in fact, if he had his way there would be nothing at all on the walls and only the bare necessities in the way of furniture.  Having been married for 14 years, he has learned to compromise, and I with him, and luckily, our styles are the same...we like old stuff, and we like blue.  His stuff and my stuff blended together perfectly.

Our furniture for the most part is stationery and can not be moved as he built the rooms specifically to be arranged a certain way.  For example, our tv has to sit in the corner so he can see it from his "kingly" position at the head of the dining table as well as from his favorite seat in the livingroom, and our bedrooms were built with the position of the beds to be in one place so all other furnishings are centered around them.  In the beginning that was kind of hard for me as I moved furniture almost monthly in my past life but I have learned to adjust.  He has learned to accept the fact, that I like my pictures on the wall, and I like my "pretties" sitting around.

Most everything I have accessorized our home with is keepsakes I have treasured for years.   I like looking around our room for when I look around special people and memories are always close at hand.   Our home is truly a reflection of us...nothing fancy, just plain and simple country folk whom treasures their family and memories.

The front entryway-
My ex-husband and I made the jelly cabinet many years ago.  He constructed it from recycled wood back in the 80's.  I made the punched tin doors and painted it slate blue with a little distressing.  The black iron hinges and door pulls added a  farmhouse look to it.  He made it for me to store my homemade jams and jellies in but today it stores our dvd movie collection.
 
I love the big fuzzy tall grass I picked off the hillside a few weeks ago.  I don't have any idea what it is but it grows wild on the hillside here in the holler. It is standing in a large Mason pickle jar that my husband got from his sister when she was working at a local convenience store/deli years ago.  He empties his change into this jar each day.  We have never filled the jar completely with change but the last time we cashed it in, we had over $800.00 saved in it!

My brother gave me the Ken Holland print many years ago as a  birthday gift but I did have it reframed once.   The lantern was my husband's Father and is exactly like the one in the artist print!  The smaller prints sitting on the cabinet were a Christmas gift to me from his sister one year, and I painted the little wooden houses, as well as the little man and woman which are pecan resinware, many years ago.  The little gold cross on the other side of the closet door was a gift to Pap from our Grandson Isaac, and down the hall, you I have family photos on both sides.  The rusty old milk can was a find at the local flea market many years before rusty, old things were chic, and both the braided rug and fruit basket in the foyer were my Mothers.

The smaller prints hanging on the right, I really like.  I was fortunate to get a set of six from Ebay, newly framed and matted for only $9.95.  They depict different vintage tea cup and saucer sets and doilies, and are matted in a dark brownish/burgundy color with gold frames exactly like the frames on my other prints in our livingroom, so I really love them.  And then the last of these photos, are our fur-babies.  Master Theodore Gaylord Lynn, aka Teddy is a registered shih tzu given to us from his niece when he was eight weeks old, and Jax is  a Silky Maltese we rescued shortly after we got Teddy.  Teddy will be two years old in December, and the vet estimated that Jax is one year older.  My husband forbade me to have any pets in the house before we got them, and now he loves his boys, and is glad he finally "gave in" to my request for pets for they certainly have added much to our family.


As you can tell from the above picture, our dining room and living room is an open area with the kitchen just to the left of the dining area.  I do have  blue seat cushions for all of the dining chairs like the one in the picture but I have put them up for repair as Teddy and Jax chewed on them a little and began pulling out the stuffing.  LOL  Roosters, sunflowers, old jars and tins are displayed all above my oak kitchen cabinets ( no pics of those today), and the cabinets are filled with old dishes and bowls.  Nothing fancy nor expensive but vintage just the same.  I have a large collection of blue Currier and Ives dishes, which I use as my 'every day" dishes, and several Pyrex bowls, as well as lots of my Mama's blue Cornflowers corningware.  I have several cast iron skillets, including one that survived the fire that destroyed the home of my ex-inlaws many years ago.  They lost everything but in the ashes we found the skillet which had belonged to Grandma Staples.  The handle was broke off of it but the skillet itself was still usuable after clean-up, and I use it every time I make homemade biscuits.

I did some bartering with one of my sister-in-laws several years ago for the hutch, and I love it!  I really like the worn, distressed look of the wood but I did remove the dated metal  strips that were on the inside of the glass doors so my dishes would show up better.   Some day, I may paint it and the chairs black but that is not planned for any time soon as I would have to then change our kitchen counter tops as well.  On top of the hutch are our old soda pop bottles and insulators which I have collected over the years, as well as a few pieces of enamelware and tin pieces, such as the milk strainer which was my husband's Father.  He used to sell his fresh milk and eggs to various people as he delivered mail on horseback many years ago.

My brother found the old canning labels at an antique store in Louisville.  He made the frames himself and gave them all to me for Christmas over 25 years ago.  The old butter churn belonged to my Mom Kiper (Daddy's mother) and I then inherited it from my Mother, as well as the other large crock which now holds my small collection of rolling pins.  It originally belonged to Grandma Stewart (my maternal grandmother).  The cast iron bean pot was my Mothers as well.

All of the baskets I purchased at various mills when we lived in North Carolina back in the 80s, as well as all of the old bobbins.  The basket on the hutch holds my collection of old kitchen utensils (I especially love anything with red), and the vintage Mason Jars were found at various flea markets.  The Bromwell flour sifter was a wedding gift to me in 1974, and the large baking soda tin, I found pushed back in the kitchen cabinets of the Caneyville Truck Stop before they tore it down several years ago.  I am sure Gertie used from it years ago to make her biscuits for the truckers ever morning.

I have a small collection of old cookbooks: The Betty Crocker Cook Book was my Mothers, and I remember when she got it with her S & H Green Stamps she used to save from Houchins Grocery Store.
I also have her old cookie press set that she got with her Green Stamps.  My brothers and I used to get so excited when she had saved enough books of stamps  for something special for that meant a special trip to Elizabethtown to redeem them, and we always went to the big "5 and Dime" store on the square there as well for the special Brachs candy they sold by the pound.  Simple pleasures but great memories!

In the hutch, I have various other collections:  the blue Bicentennial Staffordshire china and the vintage Blue Onion pieces.  I used to have a large collection of vintage dishes with pink roses, and Rooster & Roses dishes but I gave them to my daughter-in-law, and then eventually they will be passed on to my Granddaughter Ava Rose, so the blue dishes I now collect and will pass them on to my sons some day.  I recently began collecting the red Cape Cod glassware from Avon and the gold Brockway glasses that my Mom used to collect from Duz Laundry Detergent, as well as the clear star-cut glassware pieces, all things Mama used every day in her kitchen.  Back then, I never gave them much thought but the older I get, the more I love to find things that I know Mama had in her kitchen.  So if you ever want to get me something special, anything old for the kitchen will always be treasured...hint, hint, hint...Christmas is just around the corner :)


The fall arrangement sitting on our dining table, I made several years.  Most of the time, you will also find a computer, my husband is working on sitting on our table as well. :)  My sister-in-law Jackie gave me silk flowers just the other night, so I made a pretty fall arrangement for the living room as well.  When I pull out the Christmas decorations, I will bag them up and put them back into the closet for use again next year.

I use my desk top as a mock mantle in the center of the far living room wall.  There I have displayed my kerosene lamps filled with lamp oil and new wicks, in case, of a power outage this winter, and the new wooden plate my brother brought back to me from his trip to the Tennessee Mountains a few weeks ago.  I also have a few vintage pieces of pink roses china, and the brass candle sticks my brother gave me as a Christmas gift in 1974.  I also treasure the crocheted name doily the mother of a co-worker and friend made for me when I married Gary in 1999.  I have it matted in burgundy with a gold frame to match the other artist prints which were my Mother's and and now hang on each side of the large picture window in my living room.  Mauve tassels and cords, pink ribbons and lengths of tiny white beading  with silk ivy twine around the pieces sitting on top of the lace 'mantel scarf'.  Actually, it is the insert valance to the lace curtains I use in the kitchen but it works perfectly to dress up the top of my desk.

The small blue cabinet with the chicken wire door is another piece my ex-husband and I made and it is home to some more vintage doilies and rose china pieces. The child's rocker was mine.  Originally it was red when Papa Kiper gave it to me on my first Christmas.  My brother refinished it and made the new twine seat for my Mother several years ago.   When she passed, the rocker once again became mine, as well as another child's seat which sits on the other side of the dry sink.  That chair came from the nursery of the church I attended as a child; my Mother acquired it when the church renovated several years ago.

The small shelf was in the house we had in North Carolina but I painted it the same slate blue as my other pieces when we came back home to Kentucky in the 80's.  Atop it are the brass candlesticks I collected then as well.  Another sister-in-law gave me the glass votive cups for the candlesticks and since taking this picture, another friend has gifted me with two more matching votives so now all seven are perfectly matched.  I must remember to buy some candles for all my votive cups the next time I venture to a store.

The house plants were given to me by another sister-in-law this past summer, and I love the way they tie everything together in the living room by sitting on each side of my pine dry sink which my ex-husband bought for me as a gift years ago when we lived in North Carolina.  The fish tank, again a gifted to me by a friend, currently sits on top of the dry sink.  Oh yeah, the Santa Hat is one of Jax's chew toys :)



As you have now seen, there is nothing fancy about our small house, or us.  A small home he built for just for us...with room to live, yet small enough we can lovingly manage to take care of as we grow old and feeble, together.   Happy Fall to Y'all from Granny and Pap In The Holler :)


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