Decoration Day

Within the ephemera collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we have two patriotic postcards honoring American soldiers which have lost their lives to battle.

One uses the original name of what we now celebrate as Memorial Day, which was previously called Decoration Day. This day of tribute began as a way of honoring fallen soldiers that had lost their lives in The Civil War; predominately women went to the grave sites of soldiers and decorated them.

The post date on this Decoration Day postcard is dated 1909 and has a U.S. Postage Stamp of one cent. The poem which is depicted on the front reads;

Though more than forty years ago,

In Freedom’s cause he fell,

While facing furious, Gallant foe,

He is remembered well.

The second postcard uses the more current and familiar term of Memorial Day also has a U.S. postage stamp of one cent and is postmarked from  San Francisco, California—May 30, 1911. The hand written inscription from the sender is perhaps as poignant as the occasion and the beautiful artistry. The inscription reads;

Dear Lena,

Will you see that my grave is kept green.

Pat

The Vintage Postcard Collection at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is small, we have only eleven in our collection! The world of ephemera is extensive and rich with history as well as gorgeous artwork. Our attraction is to both aspects, however the artistry of the pieces always become the most important element for the selections we have made.

We keep The Vintage Postcards within reach and are openly displayed on a postcard rack encouraging the study of them. We find a profound connection when holding one of these hand selected, hand written and hand stamped relics and now, some one hundred years later, once again are being held and read. Most of the postcards are embossed and the image has a three-dimensional quality. Often, the most collectible pieces are ones which have not been written on, addressed or stamped.

At The Cottage at Rooster Ridge we prefer those which have been held, and with thought written upon and sent on a journey to another person. It is the communication from person to person; and the attempt to experience a connectedness, when doing so was not as simple or immediate as dialing a cell phone. That fact that art was a vital element in the process of speaking to another person resonates to the very depths our souls at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge!

Art Lives!


Vintage Pine Sideboard—RePurposed!

The Cottage at Rooster Ridge loves the original form of recycling—which we refer to as RePurposing! This concept is easily adapted when something is used in a new venue, a completely new purpose or an adaptation of the original use is put in place. In the case of The Vintage Pine Sideboard we took this piece of furniture and cut it (literally) into 2 pieces and, in twist of fate and good fortune sent the new use further back in history! Say what????

The original Vintage Pine Sideboard, for the most part, was a display piece, and indeed this wonderful Vintage Sideboard did so beautifully. These are photos of the Vintage Pine Sideboard back in the day (not the original day—these photographs are a mere twenty-five years old.) Back in the day—as in before the Sideboard became four RePurposed creations.

During the renovation of The Cottage at Rooster Ridge one of our primary goals was to try our best to avoid placing any cabinetry in the kitchen area. The plan was to utilize furniture in places where cabinetry usually serves an important function. The kitchen sink obviously is one of the mandatory items in the world of kitchen needs.

The Vintage Sideboard had sadly lost its home with the new space configurations which were occurring. While studying the sink-space that was available in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge and studying the Sideboard—I began to make a quick sketch. I imagined using the lower portion of the sideboard as a place to house the farm sink we had planned to purchase. Measuring ensued. Would the sink be at the right height? There was a window in this wall, would the Sideboard fit under it? Was the length of the Sideboard able to fit on the wall?

Yes, yes and yes. (Enter good fortune.)

The Pine Sideboard had two marble inlays; removing one created the beginning of the space required to hold the sink enabling a visual inspection! Removing one of the three drawers created a hollow opening. The rest, as they say, was up to the saw! Maybe they don’t say that—but you get what I mean!

What to do with the top portion? The thought of discarding this wonderful Vintage Pine (not) a Sideboard was never a discussion as this Sideboard had been loved (wax on, wax off) for many, many years. The two black iron cup racks were removed creating more of an open shelf appearance. The top of the Sideboard was affixed to the wall, placing the top snugly against the ceiling which brought about a feeling of crown molding. That sounded so easy—right? Okay, there was sweating involved. (Not by your author.)

There remained two last pieces of the Vintage Pine Sideboard—thinking cap time (my version of sweating)—how could the last two items be RePurposed?

I know! First, addressing the section of marble that had been removed to allow for the sink to be installed, we realized the marble could be transformed into a little counter-space between the stove and the refrigerator. How to hold the marble in place became the next quandary, underside support brackets seemed so, well, boring. A newel post! As it turned out (enter fate) the original mahogany newel post from The House at Rooster Ridge had been resting in the attic for more than twenty-five years, now at long last this newel post was able to be back in service! Note to self; always keep solid mahogany newel posts.

And, in case you are counting, what was the fourth RePurposed item of the Vintage Sideboard? The fourth piece requiring RePurposing is the drawer that was removed to create the space for the farm sink. (Thinking cap was still on.) The drawer—lined with heavy plastic and with holes drilled into the bottom to allow for drainage—a charming outdoor planting box was created, knob and all!

One beloved Vintage Pine Sideboard when embraced with love and allowing ourselves the freedom to have a vision— “ta-dah!” transformation occurs! We hope to inspire you—to think outside the box, or Sideboard—please continue to join us at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge—where we find joy in sharing artistic thoughts, designs and dreams!

We have found in RePurposing—the original artistry and craftsmanship continues—to live!

Art Lives!


The Love of Color—GREEN!

The color green is used in the design of The Cottage and The House at Rooster Ridge as an organic and grounding accent color. There is an intrinsic relationship between all that grows and lives in the wonderment of nature. We find introducing green into the interior creates a cohesiveness between our exterior world and our inner sanctuary.

This post began as a pictorial study—entitled “Outside—In.” The venture seemed interesting and clever enough to warrant a read or more directly in this case, a view.

As the post was coming together frustration settled in, this was not due to the lack of beautiful green subject matter in the interior—the issue became, everything, and I mean everything paled in comparison to the green presentation outdoors. To that end, and with the utmost honor, respect and gratitude, our pictorial tribute to green remains outdoors where the most perfect design is available—nature.

Just as the leaves of the fern gently unfurl, our intention at The Cottage at Rooster Ridge is to gently inspire. To present design—and the thoughts which created them—to encourage others to follow their own inspirations, interpretations, visions and tributes to what brings them joy.

We have found, during the times when inspiration is lacking, all we need to do is quiet ourselves and allow the spectacular design that rests before us in nature to move us forward.

Art Lives!


Re-Purpose—Vintage Industrial Work Table!

The Cottage at Rooster Ridge has a small kitchen area and our intent was to create a working kitchen without the use of any built-in cabinetry—as used in current day. The dish wear is stored in a Pine American Folk Art Cabinet and the retro white farm sink was placed into an existing Re-Purposed English Pine Sideboard—more about those another time!

And, the center island was fashioned from a Vintage Industrial Work Table.

The original industrial green which was only minimally visible along the edge of the steel top was left intact as an excellent and unusual accent color to our plan of painting the legs a distilled barn red.

The cast iron top was covered with an overwhelming and bewildering array of paint, rust, bolts, holes, grease and dirt! The good news—we could see the beauty hidden beneath it all!

Enter elbow grease and stubborn tenacity (Steven) and an equally stubborn vision. (Jeri)

After what seemed like— f o r e v e r —the sanding, grinding and bashing ceased and we were left with a raw cast iron table, just waiting to—RUST!

Quickly the base legs were painted as the imminent danger of RUST hovered nearby! The quandary we discovered ourselves in was what to do with the top surface. We wanted this Vintage Industrial Work Table  to become a functional addition to the kitchen as well as a style statement. Research led us (Steven) to a two-part epoxy resin as the solution. The epoxy resin would seal the steel top—preventing the metal from rusting. Equally as important, this resin top would provide a sanitary, washable surface to work on.

With the freedom to feel comfortable drilling into this used table—as it already had plenty of hammer marks and holes—we affixed our first Vintage Paper Cutter.

The Vintage Paper Cutters have become a household go-to for a multitude of uses and tasks! If you haven’t yet read about the them—here are the links for Part One and Part Two!

http://bit.ly/xy8VhK

http://bit.ly/xhcgqq

The addition of baskets on the two “shelves” which are created with the cast iron cross-bars furthered the usefulness of this industrial piece for storage of small kitchen items.

Re-Purposing is the ultimate in recycling and we are proud to join the ranks of many whose efforts at being green is a priority.

Through this Re-Purposing a solution to a small space—which required a functioning piece was obtained. After all what is more functional than an industrial work table! The richness of the history which came with all of the nicks, bashes and scratches was a bonus—and the industrial style is of course, Stylin’!

Art Lives!

Post Script; If you are seeing the dried Hydrangea arrangement on the Vintage Industrial Work Table for the first time—here is the link to that post! Enjoy!

http://bit.ly/HDI6I2


The Art of The Collection—Victorian Indian Clubs

The Art of The Collection continues—as we share the collection of Victorian Indian Clubs from Rooster Ridge! Most often we are asked if we are fans of bowling—an inquiry born from the curiosity of why we display wooden pins on the landing of the staircase.

Just for fun—this photograph was taken of ten of the Victorian Indian Clubs in the official-bowling-pin-positions. Yet, we must report these pins are not awaiting the arrival of a large ball that is rolling towards them!

If your assumption is that these are bowling-pins, well—we simply say, “Strike!”

A clue for you—

The Victorian Indian Club is a piece of  exercise equipment.

From Wikipedia; Indian Clubs were exceptionally popular during the health craze of the Victorian Era used by military cadets and well-heeled ladies alike, and even appeared as a gymnastic event in the 1904 and 1932 Olympics. Gymnasiums were built just to cater to club exercise groups. The popularity of the Indian Club waned in the 1920s and 1930s as organized sports became more popular. Regimented exercise routines, like those requiring Indian clubs, were relegated to professional athletes and the military, who had access to more effective and modern strength training equipment.

Although strength training is a healthy and worthy endeavor our appreciation of The Indian Club rests in the art of these pins. We love many aspects of these Victorian Indian Clubs—the beautiful wood that was used to create these pins is just one of them.

We enjoy the rich patina that has been created from the lifting, dropping, swinging and tossing that these clubs have endured. One can imagine the resonating echos of the multitudes of hands which have held them—for over a century.

The simplicity of this sculptured form—the graceful lines growing into the bulbous lower portion and the seemingly whimsical top button—captivate our attention.

We recently discovered a first for our collection—a mechanical Indian Club—Patented March 2, 1897.

This new design (of the day) has a steel rod inserted into the center of the pin, which can be released with the set-screw.

By extending the rod  to various lengths the leverage drastically changes—increasing the resistance and subsequently the difficulty to lift, swing and rotate the club. The rod is adjustable creating multiple successions of difficulty!

At Rooster Ridge we love the artistic display of these Vintage Victorian Indian Clubs, the tribute to history and the subsequent walk with the past—adding an additional healthy aspect to strength training!

Art Lives!


The Love of Color! WHITE

At Rooster Ridge there are many signature design genres—the Re-Purposing of Vintage pieces, the (attempt) to achieve meticulous attention to detail—and The Love of Color!

Of all of the design elements available in the bounty of gorgeousness—pattern, scale and texture—and all of the inspirational surfaces— wood, tile, metal and stone—if forced to choose just one (design purgatory) COLOR would be our selection!

Color has the ability to transform, to alter, to enlighten, and to create emotion. Color resonates life and beauty.

Painting walls, trim and furniture in—vibrant, soft, interesting, poignant, peaceful or dramatic colors is a worthy investment of time and resources!

As I approached the concept of writing about The Love of Color I soon discovered the possibilities were as endless and astonishing as color itself!

Rooster Ridge is rich with color, currently the dining room in The House at Rooster Ridge is painted deep eggplant. The various wall colors in The House and Cottage are vibrant with; vintage-red, historic-green and warm-yellow.

In the Cottage at Rooster Ridge there is a single pumpkin-orange wall  which is enhanced with mahogany french doors! We believe the white trim that separates the pumpkin-orange and brown-red mahogany is the key ingredient!

The thought to address The Love of Color in “color specific segments” was intriguing! “Where to begin?” became the question.

WHITE became an ironic and interesting place to begin—the seemingly colorless white!

White is far from colorless—as there is a literal rainbow of whites in the color spectrum!

What we appreciate most about the simplicity of white is the kind of partner it becomes.

We view white as having the ability to assist colors in remaining authentic. “White helps colors hold their value.” (quoting myself!)

Every color is impacted by what surrounds it—light, as well as the color of light—has one of the most profound effects. Another significant outcome of color use is the impression created by the colors resting nearby. The coupling of colors creates a reverberation of the tone of color.

Our tribute to WHITE is also apparent in the design element this pure entity can provide—geometric shapes, the clean lines of trim, mill work, moldings and patterns presented in white are spectacular!

White, in its seemingly simple purity, creates a juxtaposed aspect to design—developing contrast and a basis for comparison.

When designing your cottage—we encourage you to delight in the wonder of white!

Art Lives!


Update—Vintage Tin—A Celebration of Color!

Our previous entry of “Vintage Tin—Re-Colored Beautifully” spoke of the plan (aka the hope & wish!) to have Re-Colored Vintage Tin panels traveling down the wall of the staircase in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge.

Since that writing the design concept has come to fruition. (Yay!) We are thrilled with the visual feast of color and pattern that now delights the eye—and soul!

We forgot about design rules— the placement of each tin panel was not choreographed or planned. The concept of having precise separations of spacing between the various panels was—abandoned!

This presentation became about the freedom of exploring and enjoying the art of design and expression!

We relished the various shades of reds—the deep burnt burgundy

and the contrasting, effervescent and emotional pink!

The addition of two different shades of green in this pink, purple and red explosion of color created an organic balance. The greens became the stocks and leaves of this burst of flowery color.

In this experience of artistic expression the Vintage Tins became our palette!

Although our legs may be tired as we prepare to climb this quaintly steep—yet charming staircase—the soul is rejuvenated with the expression of emotion and color!

Art Lives!


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