Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nashville Antique Show Review

 A number of years ago I bought this old furniture store sign at the Heart of Country Antique Show in Nashville. It was in the booth of Missouri Plain Folk, and stopped me in my tracks. It just spoke to me and if you are reading this blog, it probably speaks to you too!

It has hung in various spots in two houses since I bought it, and I still love it. I think it must have hung outside as it looks like it used to have a light in it. Maybe one day I will have it rewired to light up - that would be fun!
Currently it hangs in a window of the bar area off of my entry hall. You can see the porch outside and the door leading to another part of the house.

I had the pleasure of visiting my daughter in Nashville this past weekend, and a little time to run through several of the shows going on. Of course, I hit the Heart of Country show again, and it never disappoints.  I want to share a few of my favorite booths from this year's show.

While my post is general in nature and is only meant to highlight some of my favorites, click on the links to learn more about some of the fine, authentic antiques I saw. 

By far one of the prettiest booths was that of Raccoon Creek from Oley, Pennsylvania. My photo does not begin to do it justice, so here are some detailed shots.....

 Again, my photo does not do it justice, but this bentwood folk art basket on the wall looked to be in mint condition and the red, white and blue paint on it was wonderful!  I think it goes beyond it's original function as a basket and is a true piece of folk art.

                                                   Photo from Racoon Creek Antiques

 A charming  hooked rug of a dog with a triangular colorful border,  with good age on it, and the wagon box below it, were the most tempting for me in this shot, although each piece is fabulous. 

The blanket chest from Berks County, Pennsylvania, is about as charming as it gets. The paint is classic Americana. While this is called a country show, any of these pieces would be stand outs in a contemporary house. The detail, the craftsmanship and the colors are outstanding examples of hand made, history at it's best.
This hooked rug of the flowers is so fun and almost could be a contemporary painting. The Vermont Mule chest from the late 1700s has been painted in a style called "vinegar grain" and is spectacular. The simple lines of the chest make it a piece that would fit any style home. 

I love the gallery settings in which these antiques are shown. The hooked rugs mounted and hanging on the walls raises them to the level they should be, as true pieces of art. Can you even imagine working by hand to create a rug, only to toss it on the floor and have people walk on it!?
The pictorial hooked rug of a Cape Cod house is folk art at it's best! I love the oversized chickens and the large flower. Scale, or rather lack of realistic scale, is something in folk art that I find utterly charming.

The tinned sheet iron sconces with oak leaf crests are fabulous! They are American and were handmade in Pennsylvania by a tinsmith during the mid to late 1800s.  To me these are an example of good design is good design, regardless of when it is created.

Next on my favorites list was the booth of Dennis Raleigh from Wiscassett, Maine. OH!! I could take everything in this booth home with me!! Seriously, I could not wipe the grin off of my face as I strolled through this space, taking in each and every fine and quirky antique. What can I say - this stuff just makes me happy!

 Where to start - I love the hooked rug with it's happy bunch of flowers, I love the large glass canisters which I wish I had gotten the info on, I love the cat andirons, I love the old game board, I love the cat portraits...................
This little piece is exquisite.
It is a folk art carving from the 1920s, depicting Jesus and the two thieves.

 This apothecary chest was in the booth of American Spirit Antiques from Murphy, North Carolina. I had the nicest visit with Jay, who owns the shop with his wife, Carole. This piece was so, so wonderful and I wish I could have afforded it. The yellow paint covers the blue, but the person who was stripping it back to the original blue stopped after she finished the bottom row of drawers because she liked it this way. I do too!  It is very, very old and just a treasure!

Jay and Carole also had this lovely corner cabinet with old paint. I guess you can tell I like color, and especially original paint!
 Speaking of fabulous apothecary pieces, this one with the gorgeous blue paint really caught my eye! The shape is highly unusual and the detailing is fabulous.

I took two photos so you could see the beautiful booth set up and then also see the blue piece straight on. Sorry about the glare of the lights.

Loved this funky little bird house in the booth of Douglas R. Wyant, from Cassopolis, Michigan. I don't think it is really very old, but it has great color and great graphic style.

I also loved this funky hooked rug in Douglas' booth. If you know anyone named "Damon" you should tell them about this rug - so quirky and great colors!

 This was a very cool booth with lots of industrial pieces. Great  form and color, too!

Very clever and good looking table made out of old metal something!

 Here are some random shots taken as I walked the show on my way out - love the mix of industrial, folk art , garden statuary and fountains.

Love the old scrolly iron pieces and LOVE the blue grain painted trunk - gorgeous blue!

Kitties and hitchin' posts.....

 Old, wonderfully old, signs and such.....
what a treat to see so many good things under one roof.

Hope you have enjoyed your tour of the "heart show".

Sadly, I did not get to take photos of the Tailgate and Music Valley shows. I walked through them  but was pressed for time. They were great too, and maybe next fall I will get to take photos.

Coming up this weekend, The Boerne Optimist Antique Show and I am setting up there! Gotta get to work pronto - come see me!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Amoroso Cottage - A Special Hill Country Retreat

I love discovering that someone you know, or thought you knew, "wears a different hat" than you might have ever expected. 

My opthamolgist and friend, Martha, is just that person. 

While she is an excellent physician and highly respected in her field, it has been great fun to see her and her husband, David, browsing through the antique shows that I do.  They both love old things and rarely miss a show around the area. 

One day she told me excitedly that she and David had purchased an older home in Fredericksburg and were re-doing it to function as a bed and breakfast. They call is Amoroso Cottage and it sits on a quiet street in the historical neighborhood, just a short walk to Main Street, shops and restaurants.

The house is classic old Fredericksburg, with two doors opening out onto the front porch. I am not sure why they had two doors when they built these house. Perhaps it was for the use of a boarder who might want his or her own entry. The door closest to the rocker is the official front door, and the other ones enters into a bedroom.   I am sure this is a bit of house history I should know!

 Martha and David have added a beautiful stone patio with stone fireplace in the back yard of their house. They also had a gorgeous rock wall built along the front border and incorporated some beautiful iron work as well.

 The entry is simple, with no strong hint of the charm and wonderful decor to be discovered upon entering!

  The parlor, or living room, is right inside the entry. I took my photos during the Christmas  season so as you can, Martha and David were expecting holiday visitors!

                                 Every room is filled with vintage finds and comfy furnishings.

The view from the kitchen looking back at the parlor and front door.

The kitchen has a full dining table so lots of people can enjoy meals and good times here.

 The kitchen is quaint and homey, filled with every necessity for staying here comfortably, and has a ton of charm !

 Martha found the iron fixture at Pottery Barn and filled it with vintage cards.

(Hmm....another thing to hunt for at shows and flea markets. I think she may be hooked!)
Very clever and very creative!

 The pewter collection evolved when Martha started noticing it at antique shows and then decided to decorate her cottage.
Funny how we first begin to just stumble upon things at shows and then before we know it,  we begin to hunt for them!

                                                      Wonderful vintage canister collection.

 I am crazy about this chest, and how Martha stacked the smaller painted chests on top! It sits in the hallway downstairs between the bedroom and the bathroom.

       The master bedroom is downstairs off of the kitchen. There are two more bedrooms upstairs. Martha hung the beautiful tapestry behind the bed to cover the second door I referred to. 
Clever, and it makes a beautiful headboard!

                                                         Don't you love the old staircase?

 Both bedrooms are cozy and inviting. Clearly Martha used her talent to create colorful and comfortable rooms for her guests.

 Love the way the vintage and the new are mixed to create just the perfect balance in this wonderful old fashioned house.

What a fun spot to sit at the end of the day. 
A fire in the fireplace, friends sitting around in the Adirondack chairs swapping stories from their day,  add a glass of wine and some snacks ........makes for a great time!

Beautiful iron gate entering the back yard.

If you are interested in learning more about Amoroso Cottage, 

You can find out details, prices and availability. Go now, though, because come spring time in Texas we get very busy. Lots and lots of folks love coming for a weekend to see the bluebonnets in bloom and enjoy our beautiful hill country!

Friday, February 11, 2011

What a DEAL!!

              Remember when I posted here about the antique shows coming up this season?

 Tailgate Show, Nashville last year - my photos

 Well, the fun starts this weekend with the Nashville Antiques and Garden Show, and next week Nashville kicks it up a few notches with three different shows!
One of my favorite blogs, Style Blueprint, is offering a GREAT DEAL on tickets to the Tailgate show at the fairgrounds, starting next Thursday, February 17.

Go HERE for the deal!

The gals behind Style Blueprint are the best. 

Knowledgeable about style in every sense of the word, they promote all good things, from restaurants to shops to museums.

They have hearts of gold as evidenced in their posts about some of the people they know and how the huge flood in Nashville affected them last year.
 (If you don't know about the flood, read here for a profound statement about the flood and the city of Nashville, by Patten Fuqua.)

My photo from a tour downtown - there is a little bit of everything in this town!

So, if you can't tell, I am a huge follower of this blog and if there was ever a blog I wish I could be, it is Style Blueprint
 for more reasons that you want to read today!

If you want to go to the antique shows next weekend, go now to Style Blueprint and get your DEAL!!
Me?  I am already packing for my trip to Nashville!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tropical Weather Fantasies

So, after all the cold, icy weather and all the talk about the Super Bowl and how cold it was in Dallas, (yawn)  I am dreaming of a warm day with a nice breeze, perhaps a good book, and more interesting a pool with a nice drink...sound good to you? 
Come along.
                                                             Fantasy Number One

I have no idea where this pool is.

(These are all images I have saved in my files, so forgive me for not giving credit for them.)

In my dreams, this is my backyard, maybe in town on a quiet cul-de sac. The house is not too big and not too small, and of simple but perfect design.
Mike and I will live here happily ever after.......watching the sun set through the trees and welcoming our friends and family often for good food, conversation, fun, and laughter.

Fantasy Number Two

This house is in the country, just outside of Fredericksburg.

You can see the beautiful, scruffy hill country through the doors. We are able to sit out by this pool at night and see a billion stars because we are just far enough from town for the lights of the city not to interfere with our view. 
Oh, and all those native plants and fruits and flowers - I grow them because I have an amazing green thumb! (It's a fantasy, remember?)
P.S. While I am dreaming, there are no mosquitoes or flies, ever. Period. They do not exist at all.

                                                            Fantasy Number Three

Now this pool is in Maine. Yep, in Maine,  on a big lake, but not too far from the coast. 

We swim in the pool, ski and fish on the lake. We can get down to the beach in about ten minutes, though, if we feel like a clam bake? Hmmm......does it work that way? Can you just run down to the coast for a clam bake? Clearly, I have some things to learn..... and the house?

Well, it is a classic Maine cottage with a mud room that looks something like this....


Image from Garnet Hill

         and maybe a bedroom that looks like this.....

Please remember, this was all a dream. Back to reality and the chores of Monday. 

What are your dreams today?


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