A Fallen Tree Becomes Repurposed

It was a first…at least for me—a white Halloween! Rather than listening to the crunching and crackling of the dried leaves being stomped upon as enthusiastic trick-or-treaters ran from door to door, a quiet hush embodied the early evening of this years’ hallowed eve. We experienced an early snowfall, one that coated stark white flakes upon the brilliant hues of yellows, reds and oranges of the traditional fall showing. From an artistic point of view, the clean white frosting offset the rich fall colors, like the perfect white paint on window trim enhances the richness of wall color.

However, it’s not always only about art, although, I wish it were. The weight of the snow on the leaf covered trees brought with it a tremendously weighty burden. Branches snapped. Trees were fallen. The cry of a storm often can be heard days later in the voices of the buzz of saws and the grimacing grinding of stumps. Although I would not commit to being certified as an official-card-carrying member of the tree hugging society—I admit, I am always saddened by a tree fall. The space the tree once occupied seems overly empty to me.

After the Halloween snowfall I scurried to the yard to halt the saws and to make a request.

“May I please have some slices made?” (Asking nicely should help?…)

The response was a look of confusion bordered upon annoyance, which is not particularly uncommon for me and my requests. I continued with my request;

“Yes. Slices. Slices of tree, please. About this thick (as I held up two fingers with a 2″ space between them.) Circles. Yes, I want flat circles. Five should do, I like odd numbers (for design).”

Then came the reply I hoped to hear, “You heard her…make tree slices!?”

I knew what the next question would be,

“And what are you going to do with your tree slices? Never mind, just tell me what you want me to do.”

Ahhhhh, asked and answered. Good man.

“Clear coat. Lots of coats. Waterproof them.”

To date, the tree slices have been platforms for displays, platters for appetizers and one tree slice serves as a cutting board. With the addition of felt slides on the underside of the wood, the are easily slid onto tables and counter tops without the fear of scratching.

We’d like to thank Pottery Barn for the candlesticks, a gift from my sister (shout out!) Williams Sonoma for the rooster embroidered hotel napkins, a gift from my Mom (shout-out!) I guess it’s not that bad having a Christmas-time birthday. The tin back-splash was purchased from American Tin and we’ll have more on that at a later writing!

Additionally, we are pleased to share with you The Rooster Ridge Collection of Antique Mashers and our Arts and Crafts Antique Wooden Rooster.

And so it goes. Life at Rooster Ridge—where we recycle, repurpose and (hopefully) redefine design and the appreciation of all things artistic! Art Lives!

Post-Mommy-Blog: Vol #1: Issue #1

While taking photographs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge for yesterday’s blog entry, The Sign Says… I found myself taking photographs of an open cupboard filled with ceramics which were made by my children. Made—as in past tense, at least fifteen years ago—they are “vintage pieces.” (Open numbered cupboard – Pottery Barn) http://www.potterybarn.com/products/cubby-organizer/

As I reflected, I realized that I certainly could not become a part of the successful team of “mommy-bloggers.” If I was to be considered anything in the realm of Mommy-dom, I guess I would be referred to as a “Post-Mom.” Yet, I still resonated with all of those Mommies of young children—we were, for all time, kindred spirits.

I had the opportunity once to stay with an Amish family. Our worlds were complete polar opposites, as you can well imagine. Yet, within the first five minutes of  meeting the “Mother” of the home, she asked, “Is ye a Mother?” with my affirmation of “Yes, of two.”—she began to share the story of the loss of one of her children. We were forever bonded at that moment—as two Mom’s, who, loved their children to an extent that I believe only other Mom’s fully understand. We lived in different worlds, yet in the world of the love of a Mother, we were identical.

I love speaking with new Mom’s, current Mom’s and Mom’s to be. I have weathered the storm of the empty nest syndrome, although at Rooster Ridge it is considered an empty roost! Having spent years defining myself in part, and—at times, in whole as “someone’s Mom” I have managed to emerge fulfilled and with a feeling of purpose. I do not want to sound too proud, as it was rough at times and I did not arrive here necessarily as gracefully as I would have anticipated.

I can remember having little children like it was yesterday. I can close my eyes and feel the joy, the love, the worry and concern. I remember at times feeling very much alone in the process of being a Mom. I will also admit, having young children was the best time of my life—even when it wasn’t.

So I refuse to completely let go of Mommy-dom! I believe those of us who have traveled the path of motherhood have valuable insight and lessons to pass on—or understanding, compassion or just a view from further away in the timeline of life. It seems fitting within the heading of Symbolism Abounds, at times, it is appropriate to reflect upon the cherished path of motherhood. Thus the creation of Post-Mommy-Blog: Vol#1: Issue#1. More to come!

Friends, family and guests who visit the Cottage at Rooster Ridge always pause and examine the ceramic collection. Those who are familiar with the artists often ask which pieces belong to which artist. Often, some are blissfully carried back to a yesterday as they recall the ceramic jewels they were once gifted. At times stories are shared and always, the ceramic pieces are appreciated and bring joy, as did the children that created them.

Display your young artists’ work in your cottage, even when they are no longer young!