Monday, December 13, 2010
I'm in the Holiday Mood
Since I wasn't busy Sunday morning and the wonderful Natalie was watching the shop, I got to visit a couple of the artists that are on our Countryside Artsians' Tour. Ann and I stopped at Claire Howard's amazing homestead and studio. A turn of the century Victorian farmhouse greets you as you make your way up their tree-lined drive.
The unusually shaped structure was once a cistern but has since had a roof put on.
I want a cistern like this! Not only for it's inherent charm but also for water. Our droughts are becoming longer and drier and I have lost so many plants to lack of water.
We were lucky enough to get a tour of her house. Claire has a knack for using vintage pieces for purposes that they were not intended. Like those beautiful 10' double doors that used to be the entry to a general store. And on the floor is a very old green propane stove top that's used for dog food and dog water. Their dogs are old and need to have their bowls elevated. Clever that! Her wine rack is one of those old wooden shoe racks that stand about 4' tall and have 4 shelves. Perfect for wine.
Claire's studio is housed in what used to be a chicken house but does not even come close to resembling that now.
This window frames the view that Claire looks at while painting. Her burshes are set up on the table and when studio tour is over, she's back to painting at this table.
Claire paints with a pallet knife, scenes around our rural area.
Alden Farm is a favorite place of mine, especially in the spring when owner, David, chooses unusual perennials for his garden center. David also makes these amazing stone sculptures.
His gift shop/barn is filled with garden-y items and also great jewelry, cards and what nots.
On the way to Chartreuse, a once-in-awhile sale shabby chic filled barn, we passed my favorite old general store in Bear Branch. Not in service any longer, it still has the whimsy and charm of those old places. Someone has taken to decorating it for the seasons and I have to thank them for making me smile when I see it.
Chartreuse is housed in an old dairy barn, now sectioned off in 10' booth areas, each area run by a different owner. There is a cohesive theme though. I see it as upcycled, recycled, vintage fab, mid-century modern meets industrial chic. You can find old wooden drawers and wire baskets, old game boards, rusty display racks, bright, shiny crystal chandeliers, door knobs, and stars. Fur coats and fun boats, scented soaps and hand sewn totes. "These are a few of my favorite things!"
This is a must-see stop for me to propel me into the holiday spirit. Fanciful displays abound and I always get good ideas. Like take an old silver or pewter platter, paint the flat part with chalkboard paint and write "Happy Holly Daze!" in white chalk. Love that!
I'm a sucker for these old game thingies. Sometimes I wish I had a big loft space to fill with whimsical and totally unnecessary finds.
May your Christmas season be filled with sparkle and glitter and happiness. smile