Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Still Making It My Own

We moved to the new place in June and as I've said before on this blog, I've been anxious to transform it. This morning, a big piece of the puzzle fell into place, the shutters . . . ahhhhh . . .

I LOVE plantation shutters. They are like a piece of furniture in your window and when they are closed, they really block out the light. They saved us from baking in our old house with the sun beating into the tiny family room during the summer.

Here is a "before" of the new house. I had the outside painted a color called Antique Tin by Beher. The neutral stucco and brow trim was boring and had zero "pop". (The landscaping will be a huge summer project).

It took me a try or two to get the color right. Here is Light French Gray by Beher. It looked great on the chip, but when I got it onto the stucco, it was baby blue. Not right for this style of house.

I decided to go in the opposite direction and went with a very dark gray which looks nice against the white trim and gives the "pop" I was going for.

Those washed-out garage doors really stand out. I live on a busy street and have gotten lots of compliments from neighbors and walkers about the improvements. I don't think anyone noticed this house before and now between the new paint, shutters, and all the crazy garden stakes, it's bound to get some attention!

I was thankful to have window treatments when we moved in, but I think these must have been original to the house built in 1973. They had a way of entrapping flies and ants that made them a pain to clean; I had to stick the vacuum inside of them. The man who made and installed the shutters told me he had seen these types of shades peppered with dead insects. Gross.

They were some kind of synthetic nylon and had gotten dark and dirty over the years.

There are also some homes in this subdivision with these fake window panes. I loved them in my old house where they were original and real, but these were stuck on the inside with metal clips and were painted brown on the side that faced the street. They had to go.

I use a guy named Mike Goodrick in Kansas City for my window treatments and he is a pro. He did the wonderful Austrian valances in the Midland downtown.

The blades on the shutters are beveled and this adds some wonderful detail.

What a difference!

And the tiny shutters for the sides of the front door.

Tahh dahhh! Beauty and functionality since I had nothing over these windows before.

And I drove by the old house the other night and for the first time in six months, I felt nothing. I think I'm putting my mark on the new one, making it mine, and identifying with it. The old house is sure cute, but now it's just somebody else's.

Welcome Baby Kiran

What an amazing holiday season. As if it weren't great enough to have my brother and his wife here from Chicago, their baby, Kiran, decided to arrive a little early! They were supposed to leave on Sunday and I got a call that morning that they weren't going anyplace but the hospital! We didn't know if we had a boy or a girl and it just added to the excitement of the situation. Congratulations, Kahn and Kavi, on your gorgeous son!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Should Know Better

I should know better than to go to the antique mall to find a Dirty Santa gift . . . I picked this great pincushion doll for just that purpose, but she looks too cute on my foyer table.

I think she's going to have to stay.

I did not buy my cherub tonight, I just thought he looked so cute next to the table. I bring him inside for the winter where he will be nice and toasty and NEVER in the garage!

I put my older chalk kewpie with no arms, not to be confused with my newer chalk kewpie with no arms, on the mantle with the antlers I found tonight. I've been wanting some antlers for a very long time and these were perfect. There was another one and I'm afraid I will have to return to the mall to take it home.

I always make a b-line to Beth Leintz's booth at the Mission Road Antique Mall (where I got the pincushion doll) and felt my heart beat faster as I walked up tonight! Not one, but TWO great boudoir dolls! Many of these dolls are French are were made between 1920 and 1940 not for children, but for grown up ladies to adorn their beds. Now I'm not sure Jason will go for that, so I have put them on prominent display in the family room. My mother-in-law is going to flip OUT!

Isn't she lovely against my newly papered shelves?

And I put this wonderful doll on an old English military chest. Dash asked me why her face was, "all cracked up". Doesn't he get it by now?!

Her little shoes appeared to have been made with wood and paper. How excited am I?

And I posted a pic of a shallow little wooden bowl I found at Savers a few nights ago and here it is all done up in pinks, grays and black. I got this great pin in St. Joe at the Rusty Chandelier.

I think the button came from a bag of goodies I bought a long time ago, again from Beth's booth at the antique mall.

Look at the gray and white china toward the bottom of the bowl. It was a print with old castles.

I kept the inside as-is, not wanting to paint over the wood. And below, I papered the bottom with an old pattern. This bowl will be making its way up to Iowa soon to be with Sharon at the Junk Asylum. Now off to the studio to make more!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Good Ol' Fashioned Birthday

Some people like to go to a nice restaurant and maybe see a movie for their birthday. I like all of that, too, don't get me wrong, but I had been dying to see the Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joe, Missouri for a very long time and that is how I celebrated my 40th with Jason and Brendan. The State psychiatric hospital was founded in 1874 and the museum houses some "oddities" such as this artistic display of over 900 items, mainly metallic, found in the stomach of one patient.

Here is the list of contents that the patient managed to swallow.

In the 19th and well into the 20th century, treatment methods were often cruel and unusual by today's standards. Patients were put in a warm bath via this hydrotherapy tub. I mentioned to Jason that a nice warm bath sounded good to me, but he did point out that it didn't look like this bath was designed for a spa setting.

This "fever box" contained dozens of bulbs and was designed to get hot enough to kill the syphilis virus.

Electro shock therapy machine.

Reminds me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, of course. (One of the best movies of all time if you ask me).

What makes these displays even more interesting is their use of old store mannequins. This one looks unusually relaxed. Alongside this display was information about coma therapy; they would use insulin to induce comas in patients and give them a shot of glucose to bring them back. WOW.

If you click to enlarge, you can see the pills that are entitled, "Modern Tranquilizers" and the nasty looking clubs used back in the day for a similar purpose.

Restraint made right at the hospital in the sewing room. Not only did patients sew, they farmed the fields and tended the livestock used to support the facility. Amazing.

More restraints.

I thought this antique glass urinal was interesting.

At one time, all medical needs including surgeries, dental and eye care, were performed in the hospital. Now those services are contracted out to community providers.

Tranquilizer chair often used to restrain patients for activities such as blood letting.

Blood letting equipment.

They used boxes such as these to restrain patients. The hospital provides information about the history of the treatment of the mentally ill, I don't know that equipment such as this was used in St. Joe.

They had these weird dioramas of various treatments.

This piece of "art therapy" was stitched by a schizophrenic patient.

One patient was caught slipping a piece of paper into the back of a TV and when the electrician was called and opened up the back, hundreds of notes poured out that the patient had been inserting for quite some time.

One patient thought if he saved enough empty cigarette packs, the tobacco company would provide a new wheelchair for his ward.

And alongside the Glore Museum was a Native American history and African American museum. The items they displayed were impressive including these pipe stems and pipe bag, items very central to Native American life.


There's a lot of interesting history in St. Joe.

We went to the house where Jesse James was shot.

The hole to the right of Jason was once thought to be left after the bullet that killed him exited Jesse's head. Some historical accounts dispute this as it is thought that there was no exit wound. The hole is now huge because over the years, people have taken pieces of the wall around the original hole. There are also gouges in the floor where blood stains were chipped out and stolen by people. On a side note, the wallpaper in this house was fabulous (not original, I am sure).

And right across from Jesse James' house was a junky antique mall that I could have spent a couple more hours in than I was able. I did find two treasures, including this chalk kewpie. The booth looked like it belonged on an episode of Hoarders. I had to call someone who worked there to extract this from a case.

I bought the kewpie above in Kansas City a year or two ago and paid three times more than I paid for the one today, so I felt like I had struck gold!

I also found this little wooden chippy table that will be perfect next to the French settee I'd like to have for my living room. I can't wait to get back to St. Joe. They have a wild west museum I'd like to see and I didn't spend nearly enough time in the antique mall. What a great birthday!