Monday, October 22, 2012


So ..... it all started here, or perhaps I should say.... ended here.

 With this grand event my life took a different turn and the inspiration to post on Hill Country House faded. Not intentionally - it just did.

Design, architecture, decorating, art, antiques, all that great stuff that I love  - well, sitting down to post about them just took a back seat to other things during the month of May.....and then June, July, August, September......

 Our family became immersed in the wonderful business of high school graduation and all that it entails, family celebrations, family vacations, college orientation and move in.

 It's been a fast ride and one full of joy, tears, challenges and lots of goodness.

I ran into one of my blog readers the other day at an antique show where I was set up.
(I have managed to keep up my business, a little.)

 She said the kindest and dearest things to me.

 She told me that she had worried about me since I had not posted in such a long time.
 I was touched that someone noticed.

She told me that her husband had been very ill.

She said that sometimes in the middle of the night when she can't sleep she reads my blog.

When I apologized for not posting in such a long time, she said

"That's okay, I read your old posts and look at old photos."

 "You take me away." 

"You take me places that I can't go right now in my life."

"You show me art and antiques and interesting things that I can't travel to see right now."

She touched me in a way I can't quite describe.

 We bloggers measure ourselves on the number of comments we receive. how many readers and how many followers.......

 We measure ourselves and our blogs on how creative we can be, how original and interesting our posts are.

In the back of my mind,  I have felt some sort of failure at not posting in such a long time. 

Yet in my heart I know I have been taking care of what is most important to me.

My surprise and my blessing is to have heard that I have brought joy to one person, at a time in her life when she needs to be fed, to be inspired, to be distracted.

 Her words meant more to me than any number of comments on a blog post, any stats on how many people read a post.

 Her candidness about her life and her feelings touched me in the deepest sense.

She reminded me of how often we are so absorbed in our own lives, what we are doing or not doing......that we don't realize or even think about what others are experiencing.


Thank you, thank you so much for opening your heart to me.

I am "awarof" you, my sweet friend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ART - America Martin

I LOVE the art of America Martin. 

See her new show currently at Wally Workman Gallery in Austin.

If I could, I would describe to you why I am drawn to her paintings.
 Her use of color, and her broad, simple strokes are magical.

 Clearly they capture my love of color, and people and life... in a big way.

Beyond that, though,
it's difficult for me to put into words why certain work appeals to me.
 I just respond, emotionally and visually.

I feel it.

I just know when I love a painting, a sculpture, a piece of art.

America does a much better job of describing her work here for you.
 Take a minute and watch the video.  

Isn't she a doll?

All photos mine, taken at Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland. Maine.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Modern Farmhouse

Posting on my blog is waaaay down on the priority list these days.

 I've got a graduating high school senior, and this month and next are crazy busy. 
 We are frantically enjoying every busy minute and I know great design and design blogs will be waiting for me when life slows down and I have an empty nest in a few months.

  Meanwhile, I  received a notice from Garden and Gun today and love this modern farmhouse in South Carolina featured in their latest issue.

Take a sneak peak here, and then move on over to their site for a full look! 


Monday, April 2, 2012

Lover's Eyes at the Birmingham Museum of Art

The Look of Love Exhibit, at the Birmingham Museum of Art , showcases a collection of antique lover's eyes collected over the years by a couple from Birmingham. 

I have written before about Lover's Eye's here, and continue to be intrigued by them.
 I became aware of them in the paintings of one of my favorite artists, Fatima Ronquillo.

Fatima has recently completed some new work, adding lover's eyes sometimes boldly, and sometimes in subtle ways, as in the ring of this beautiful creature below.

Fatima's work (and images shown here) can be found at Wally Workman Gallery in Austin.

Lover's eyes are hand painted miniatures of single eyes, given to loved ones as tokens of affection and/or remembrance.

Some sources claim the tradition was inspired by the Prince of Wales when, in 1785, he proposed to Mrs. Maria Fitzherbert, with a miniature of his own eye. 

There are those who believe otherwise.
 Read more on the website of Candice Hearn, romance novelist, here
She  gives a really interesting history.

The exhibit showcases the collection of ophthamologist , Dr. David Skier and his wife,  Nan, of Birmingham. 

The couple began collecting these little gems when they stumbled upon a lover's eye at an antique show in Boston. 
They were captivated by it and the rest is history, as they say!

To learn more about the origin of Lover's Eyes,  check out the Five Minute Museum

If you live anywhere near Birmingham, Alabama, check out the exhibit for me!

Friday, March 30, 2012

49th Annual Dolly Johnson Antique Show Follow Up

Well, the month of March has come and almost gone and a lot has happened around Hill Country House. 

   First things first.
 It's only right that I follow up on the great antique show I did in Ft. Worth, the
 Dolly Johnson Antique and Art Show.

Before I begin I want to say thank you to a few folks.
 The first morning I was sitting in my booth and two women came in to look around.
One asked "Are you Ann Williams?" When I replied yes, she said "Well, we read your blog and your kitchen turned out just great!"
 I was so surprised - I am not sure why, because of course I know anyone can read what I put out into the wild blue blogsophere - but I think more than anything, I was so humbled.
I am not a prolific blogger.

 I write when the spirit moves me. I know I have a few readers, but more than that, I have kind friends who read my blog.
 I do not think of myself as someone who has a big readership, though.
 So, I want to say thank you to those women in particular, and I am so sorry I did not ask your names!
The fact that you came by my booth at the show and mentioned my blog and my KITCHEN,
(which I am still loving sooo much!) meant so much to me.
So to the sweet ladies who came by that morning,  please leave me a comment here so I can properly meet you and  thank you!
Now, on with the show.......................

I might remind you here that I began as a passionate collector of antiques years ago.
 I loved and still love all kinds of folk art.
 I love ethnic things, colorful things, textiles, and quirky handmade objects.
 I am crazy for the patina of things well loved.
This is important because I think there are those who love old things and those who don't - it's just as simple as that. 
 I love OLD things.
 Over the years my collections began to take over my houses and my bank account. 
I needed to sell - sometimes to upgrade, sometimes to simply edit, and sometimes to move on from a particular collection completely.
I began by selling a few items in my friend, Barbara's, booth at Round Top a number of years ago.
Gradually, I filled her booth with more and more items, and she had less and less. 
She began to do more design work and less antique shows, and I began to do more antique shows. 

So, here we are today - I do shows and she sells a few items here and there in my booths!
Does Barbara still love antiques? 
Do we still have fun antiquing together? 
You bet!

I have loved this old handmade truck from North Carolina for years. 

My husband loved it too, and for a long time did not want me to sell it.
 He, too, realizes that we can't keep everything we love.....especially if we want to continue hunting treasure.

 I had a collection of fruit still life paintings for a while.
 This one was one of my best.
 Fortunately it went home with a friend.
 It's always good to know our favorites go to good homes!
 These old cigar tins crack me up!
 Of course, "between the acts" refers to an intermission of a live performance, as in a play or musical of some sort.....but some find an implied humor of other sorts in them. 
 I have also sold them to stamp collectors for the stamp that seals the box.
 I had three of these folded books on hand at the show, each folded in a different pattern.

The couple who bought them was going to use them at the table of their daughter's wedding. She was getting married in an old library and the table was to be decorated in flowers and old books. What a lovely idea. 

I was thrilled that they appreciated this old paper folding art form.

I began collecting old Mexican pottery many years ago.

 My best pieces were all found in the United States, as the pottery was made for tourists and many folks brought entire sets home from their travels back in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
 These folky pieces are from Tlaquepaque, near Guadalajara,  Mexico and are very recognizable by their scenes of every day life of the Mexican people.
The pattern is getting more and more difficult to find, and the large serving pieces are really rare, especially those in mint condition.

I love the pottery, but over time have realized that if I don't have room to display and enjoy my collections, I may as well move them on and let someone else enjoy them.
 I only sold a few pieces at the show, but interestingly, those who really expressed an interest in the pottery,  LOVED it, and already had large collections.
 One woman bought one special black bowl for her house in Santa Fe, where she already has every other piece in her collection.

 I fell in love with this white top hat in my friend, Stephanie's booth.

Why yes, so in love was I that I had to buy it!!
 The only person who would love it more is my daughter, who has been on the look out for a cool top hat for quite some time!

 Perfect for her 18th birthday, don't you think?

 I never could catch this dealer in his or her booth, but it was so amazingly clever and creative. These bracelets were made from baseballs!

Yes, baseballs!!
Aren't they so fun!

 The fun of this show was in the variety of objects shown and in the creativity of the booth set ups!
 I passed by this giant horn every time I walked to the front of the building and it made me smile every time!
 LOOK! there is my friend and neighbor at the show, Janet, of Talk Sweet Talk blog.
She is working hard back there in the corner, probably writing up sales tickets!
 Janet is one of the most clever dealers I know. 

She has the world's largest collection of word flash cards and picture flashcards, plus the best ironstone, butter pats, tea cups, dress forms, man forms, jewelry (more on that in a sec) .....just you name it, if it's clever and fun, Janet probably has it in her booth!

Incidentally, Janet took all the great photos of my booth that I have shared here!
 With  all the things I had to remember to get to Ft. Worth for the show, wouldn't you know my camera would be the one thing I'd forget!
Thank you Janet!

See the precious little girl statuary? 
She is holding a ton of ironstone butter pats. She had to unload them at some point on Saturday, though, because she sold and was going to a home in Dallas to live in a girl's bathroom. 

How cute must that be!??
 Can't you see the bowl filled with soaps and shampoos and other girl stuff?

The large cream pitcher, probably an advertising piece once upon a time, used to be mine.
It sold too.  It went to the same home as the concrete girl holding the bowl. 
 I wish I could see that house, filled with such unusual and fun treasures!

This, kind blog readers, is the piece de resistance!! 
Janet makes these charming necklaces and sells them individually at her shows. 
I walked into her booth during set up and fell head over heels in love with the whole lot of them!! 
All stacked up on the neck of this wonderful old dress form....well that thing  happened  where I can't help but grin from ear to ear,   smiling with humor and joy and excitement and  saying without even thinking  "I want it, I want it ALL!!"

Spoken like a true addict collector!!

No, I did not buy it all! 
I did not even buy one, thank you very much. 
But, I still think about the little coffee cup,  the whisk broom and the little green chair - after all, these are some of the things I love.......I think I should have them, don't you ?


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