Friday, February 21, 2014

Farmer Country Club

I have done so many fun projects with architectural salvage. It's crazy to me that I haven't done a post on each and every one! I guess I can do a quick roundup. I have built 7 houses, renovated 1 and am in the process of renovating the second, oh and building another! It's a hobby and a business. My husband is the best land/lot finder in the state of Alabama. So, if you are in the market to build a house, he can find you a piece of property that will knock your socks off! Or you can just let us find it, build a house on it and then you can buy it from us!

Our first home was built in 3 months. Basic floor plan and not many extras. High gloss trim, maple cabinets and oak flooring. Don't get me wrong, it was great. We even had a bay window in the kitchen that overlooked the woods and it was perfect! Emma was born there and when she turned about 3 months old, we moved into our second home. The lot was bigger, the house was bigger and I got crazy with the paint colors. This was a big open floor plan, but again, not a lot of extras. John Connor was born here and a few weeks later, we moved into our third home. We had built-ins in the living room, slate in the kitchen, we even added on a bonus room so there was a cool, brick wall! All of these houses were build as quick as possible, live there a few years and find the next "best lot ever". The fourth house. Oh, that fourth house. I still think about the pool and the tennis court. You can see a little of the front of the house here

But, it was the antique bricks from Chicago, the beams that were milled into 5-6" wide heart pine flooring and the trough from France in the powder room that make me miss it. 
This trough was from France. We had a metal base built as a stand. 
As you walk in the front door, you see one of the beams that the we used to mill the floors. This one had a lot more paint on it and they talked me into sanding most of it off. I learned early on to go with my gut on things I like. The contractor for this new house will probably hate me. (wink) Those are the bricks from Chicago. You also see one of my favorite things to collect, foundry patterns. 

Walking into the living room, you will see a wall of doors that open onto the back of the house, but turn around and you will see the other side of that brick wall and John Connor's first deer hanging above the mantel. The ceiling was clad with hickory planks. You can see a smidgen of walnut trim that we used on both sides of this room. It was from a house built in the late 1800's. The mantel was a piece left over and you can see the gorgeous detail that goes all the way across. You can see a few more pics here.

Moving into the kitchen, we pulled out all the stops. The cabinets were custom built from hickory and we used a red stain for the top cabinets. I love the lead glass across the top, too. The bricks were split to create a veneer for the backsplash. You can see a small piece of red granite that was amazing. It is surrounded by terra cotta tiles that were in boxes in the bottom of a church basement that was being cleaned out. (jackpot!) We used the same hickory for the bottom cabinets, but used the bead board side for the doors and just a clear coat to enhance the wood. Our kitchen table was a piece of granite attached to the island. Lots of homework and creating happened at this table!

 The keeping room, where we lived ALL the time holds lots of memories. We sat in front of many a fire in this stone fireplace with that old beam as the mantel.

Ahh, the back of the house. We lived out here. The doors you see open up folding to one end. My kids were always in the pool and that swing? My husbands grandfather, Papa, built it for us! This is the best place in the whole house!! There is antique brick framing the arches and I can't tell you how many times we refinished that floor. It was not wood that should be outside!!!

 My bathroom. Oh, this place was a close second to favorite places in this house! That copper tub? Yes, please. I could sit there and read a book forever! The best thing about this tub is the water NEVER got cold! We used the hickory for the cabinets and the bead board on the ceiling. I love that crown molding, too. This color is a lot brighter in this picture than it was IRL.

 These pictures were from Instagram, so I apologize for the grain and the words! Our bedroom was 4 steps higher than the main floor of the house. I took this picture in the "sitting area" of the room that was level with the rest of the house. The banisters were literally found on the side of the road. Metal and the perfect patina. I had the railings made at a local ironworks shop.

John Connor's room was so fun!! We pulled out all the stops in here. The tin was from an old barn that was torn down from our camp house. We designed it around the size of this hand turned bed. 

I will have to dig up more pictures from the rest of the house. It was a lot of fun to build and I'm really looking forward to working on MoonGlow!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Day We Almost Died in the Exumas

April and I didn't want to waste our last day at Fowl Cay and we decided to go down to the beach for a few hours. She wanted to master standing on the paddle board. I was going to paddle around and look for sea turtles.

The water was a little rough. The wind was blowing in from the east and it made little, tiny waves in our little cove of water. It didn't look too bad, but on the paddle board it wouldn't have been easy. I suggest we get in the kayaks and go around the island. It's not big. The kayaks are easy. We will go with the current and maybe, just maybe the current will be the same all the way around!

I totally talked her into it.

She thought it was a good idea…at the time.

We start out and are smiling and talking about how we can't believe we have to leave. It's so amazing and the water is so gorgeous. We see JR, April's husband, at our place and he waves. April tells him our plan and he smiles and nods…she actually said, jokingly, "We are kayaking around the island! If you don't see us in a few hours, send someone to look for us!" She was joking….

We get to the first set of little jetties. Cute little rocks piled up. The current will change when we go over them, but it doesn't look too bad. The kayaks are so easy. I'm sure we can make it and when we get around the corner, the current will probably change again…or it will be all smooth and lake water like. I'm sure of that. Smooth water will be right around the next corner.

Wait. What is that? April, are those white caps? Are we about to be in the full on fight of white rapids right here in the bahamas? Ok, just keep calm. It will be fine. We can do this. It's too late to turn around now. We are so close. Look, there is the inlet and we will be back to where we started.

Hey April, "Are you moving? I'm barely moving! This current is strong!"

I'm in my mind telling myself that this is great exercise, I'll probably be sore tomorrow, I can't wait to get to the shore. Will we ever get to the shore?

We have to go all the way around, there isn't a beach on this side. It's all rocks. Keep going, we've got this.

We finally make it to the pass. The problem with the pass is the current is meeting in the pass. There are boats that come through the pass….with motors. There are waves. Big waves. The waves are pushing us where we want to go, right? Wait. I'm turning around backwards. April is tipping. DO NOT TIP IN THE PASS!!! Get out of the pass! If we get really close to the rocks, we can sneak through. If a boat comes through, we ram into the rocks. What do we do. Get away from me! If we bump each other, we both go in. OMG, I'm nervous. She's panicked. She's using her panic words. Just get out of the pass!!!

She thinks it's a good idea to go to the pier. Hello? How will we pull this heavy kayak up onto the pier? I can not do that! There's a little piece of sand over there and what looks like a smooth concrete area that is just big enough to pull up a kayak. I'm sure that's not what it's there for….until today.

She pulls right into the right spot. I am 10 feet down the bank where there are lots of sharp rocks. I keep slamming into the shore and start to worry that the kayak will be damaged by the rocks. What if I damage the kayak? I would feel terrible! I finally get out of the thing and start dragging it across the rocks that I'm also walking on with my tender feet. I look up and April is out. Her kayak is out. She's pulling it up onto the driveway and I'm still not sure I can get mine up there. She comes down and grabs it and pulls it onto the land and then goes back to get hers out of the way. I FINALLY got it out of the water.

Now what? We are both in our swimsuits, wet hair and no shoes. We have to tell them in the office. We go in and tell Grant our brilliant idea of kayaking around the island. We're laughing and smiling…he's not. He asks how far we made it and he's jumping up out of his chair with the radio in hand. I can get the guys to get them (panic), where are they? We proceed to tell him that we got them out of the water and onto the land. His whole face and shoulders relax and he smiles this really big smile. He thought we left them in the water and they were just floating along in the caribbean!! We saved the kayaks and our lives! We didn't die and the kayaks are on the shore! Celebration!!! Then we walked all the way back to the beach with no shoes and only our swimsuits on. We were alive.

Look at this picture…do you see the current out there? That's where we almost lost it! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Always Have a Party Favor

I remember going to a birthday party in elementary school and receiving a party favor for the first time.

It was Jolie's party. The little bag was darling, you know, the plastic kind with a pretty design like balloons or candy or a clown on the outside? We were given the gift as we left the party. I vividly remember climbing into the backseat of the car and couldn't wait to see what was inside. I opened the bag and it overflowed with gum, candy, jacks, bouncy balls, so many tiny, wonderful toys and kindnesses. Someone was giving ME a gift?  I will never forget that. Since then, my favorite thing about planning a party is the party favor.  My children have had "themed" birthday parties. You know the ones, the cake matches the invitation, there were treasure maps and trunks full of gold, bags filled with beads and gems and gold coins. Everything matched..right down to the what we wear!

 Now, I have the joy of designing jewelry. In my Lucy Lockets jewelry line, I have a prism that hangs on a leather string. It's not fancy and can be worn with anything, seriously…..anything. A t-shirt and shorts or your favorite little black dress, from a picnic to the prom. Wear it anywhere. I was invited to a Blogging Get Away Weekend on Tybee Island hosted by Mermaid Cottages and Mary Kay Andrews. I had to take everyone SOMETHING! There were care packages for all of us and I just slipped my little stamped burlap bag in for each and every attendee with a prism necklace. They loved them!

I found everyone wearing them at different times and to different venues. On Saturday, we made our way to Savannah to shop and visit historic homes around the city. My absolute favorite was Alex Raskin Antiques on Bull Street and West Gordon Street. The home was built in 1867 and I couldn't get enough of the chipping plaster and wallpaper and imagining the stories those walls could tell. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted and asked if we were with the blogging group. This wasn't on our planned tour and we were taken aback that he would ask two random girls that question. Did we stand out that much with our cameras in hand? He recognized the necklace!!  Someone had been in with one on earlier. He knew we were together because I had given everyone a party favor. I was thrilled with that little bit of branding I had accomplished in this intriguing town of Savannah! So, if you see someone walking around with a prism necklace around their neck, ask them if it's a lucy locket and if they are a blogger. There are a few…..

all over the United States!

If you are interested in browsing my jewelry or know of a store that might be interested in carrying Lucy Lockets, let me know! My etsy shop is called Lucysinspired.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Covering Walls with Paper

I know wallpaper has been making it's way back for the last year or so. I love it. I can remember helping my Mom hang wallpaper at our house when I was younger. It was not easy! Then trying to remove it out of our first home! We don't have fond memories of hanging or tearing down wallpaper.
It's everywhere now!! Very glam and in small spots, wallpaper can be an easy update! I don't have plans for wallpaper for moon glow, but I'm sure it will show up in a closet, on a ceiling or in a powder room!!

One thing I found at market that I can't quit thinking about is 8x10 pieces of paper that could be used as a wall covering. It had the perfect vintage look and even had texture, like old, european texture. I wanted to try a piece of it, you know, bring it home and play. I'm buddies with the VP of Sales for the company and he said, "NO WAY!!".  Apparently, the cost is pretty substantial. I may call him and see how much they ended up selling, maybe he needs me to sample it and show how fab it could be somewhere in my world!

Thinking about it tonight, it reminds me a little of the booth I created for the Sloss Holiday Shop in December. I had a Lucy Lockets booth for the Friday night and Saturday show. I was looking forward to hanging out with my buddies from Digs Design. We kinda hung out a lot in the local shows for the season!

My brother helped me build these walls and Ashlee helped me cover them in old books, sheet music and an old wallpaper sample book I found at a house that was being torn down! OH MY GOODNESS, this little book was from the 30's and the wallpaper was priced between 12 and 18 cents a roll! I loved how on the back of each sample, the company would tell you the perfect use for the particular pattern or color.

The frames I have hanging are just for looks, they weren't for sale, but they were salvaged wood that was pulled from the home with the wallpaper still attached. I had it made into frames and I LOVE them! There's a floral pattern and looks like kraft paper with the simple flower design repeating.

These are a few pictures of the whole booth. It was a cold and rainy weekend, my booth fell over, but as usual, I had a blast!

What do you think? Have you been too scarred by wallpaper? If you have used it in your home, I would love to see pictures!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Gardens of Hansel and Gretel in the Snow

This house. I can't begin to describe how much joy I get out of this little cottage in the woods. Right now it is full of clutter and there are coats piled on top of blankets piled on top of theater seating and cherubs and jewelry and corbels…ugh. It's full!

Tuesday, Birmingham may have gotten a little snow storm. It may have only been 2 inches, but people, it shut this city DOWN! I was lucky enough to get my kids and a few others home to my house before the traffic got dangerous. There were so many that were not so lucky. Some that spent the night in their cars or walked miles, serious miles, in the snow. uphill. both ways. They can totally tell their grandchildren that story and not be exaggerating!!

I look outside after I got a phone call out of the blue that kids were getting out of school early. I had no idea. This place, what I call Hansel and Gretel, looked like a winter wonderland! It was gorgeous!! I was walking to the car snapping photos with my iPhone left and right. I just couldn't get enough! After the debacle of getting home and calming my nerves, I got out the Nikon and got some up close and personals.

Here is the tour of the Hansel and Gretel Gardens in the Snow.

This antique gate is from New Orleans. It is the entrance into the front gardens of Hansel and Gretel.

I could eat the patina off of this gorgeous gate. 

Upon entering into the front cobblestone walkway, you will see several characters that were here when we moved in. The angel at the end was my addition and I love the way she is looking over our home! 

This cutie was here and can't you tell she is a flirt? She's always smiling! 

This bike was featured with a bow for the Holiday issue of Fresh Style Magazine last year. 

Here's an upclose of that gorgeous angel. I know she is praying over our home.

When you pass her you come into the courtyard at the front of the original part of Hansel and Gretel.
The snow is covering the antique bricks that are in a gorgeous pattern surrounding the fountain.

This tree overlooks the courtyard and holds the twinkly lights in place. It is truly magical at night!

From our steps leading down into the courtyard, you see the front of the house. Kevin Palmer took an awesome shot of that red door and doorknob when he and Layla came by a few weeks ago. You can see some of these same spaces with no snow!

I just love these icicles hanging on our little cottage!

The back of the house was a true winter wonderland! 

The Magic Barn….I should have styled it for Christmas for next year with the snow.

We don't get very much snow this far south. I enjoyed it while it lasted…3 days! If it ever snows here, it usually melts within hours!