We love to have visitors come and stay in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. The anticipation of their arrival often fuels our desires to hurry along with projects, take a fresh look at displays, review conveniences and of course head into the garden for fresh clippings of flowers and greenery. During winter visits the fireplace is stacked with aged and dried wood and a basket of kindling is at the ready. Simple arrangements are a signature style allowing the glory and the source of the beauty to be the flowers.
There are two claw-foot tubs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge which also serve as showers, each is outfitted with the traditional three-way exposed water piping; the tub-fill, the telephone-hand-held and the daisy-shower-spray. Each tub has a brushed nickel hanging basket for soap and supplies. One of our signature greetings is placing flowers inside the shower area. This cheerful greeting always receives a smile and often we hear comments regarding the fun of bathing or showering with fresh flowers!
There are suspended curtains which surround the tub to create a shower; we often opt to tie them with rope, ribbons or greenery—depending on the season and occasion!
A peek into the downstairs bath shows the spirit of welcome with the assistance of our retro-metal Hotel sign which has been painted an aged patina white.
The Royal 1937 Vintage Typewriter is awaiting use by our guests with a note of welcome and encouragement waiting to be read. The note usually reads something along the lines of;
Welcome to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge.
Please feel free to wander to yesteryear and type on the 1937 Royal.
Special stationery has been designed especially for this use and is waiting for you— as well as Rooster (of course) stamped envelopes.
The 1937 Royal does not have an exclamation point, please read with much exclaiming.
On the second floor we have an advent calendar that we enjoy so much—we refuse to put it away after December! The little wooden numbered doors are opened to display the date of the arrival of our guest. When guest are not coming we use this as a daily calendar—after the 25th of the month single doors are opened to create the remaining days of the month.
Flowers are placed next to the bed and often if the herb garden is available—sprigs of rosemary, thyme and basil are added to arrangements creating a lovely blend of floral and herbs scents.
Notes and signs are a way of communicating which we enjoy—reusable glass water bottles are filled and labeled and stored with chilled glasses in the refrigerator for a night stand placement!
On the landing of the charming staircase which leads to the second floor we have hung a tin shelf with a wire mesh door—hanging within are the keys to The Cottage and to each room—tagged and ready for use. In the envelope-slot compartment is our guest book which we ask all guests to sign—creating a keepsake for us!
Our morning greeting is this Good Morning sign which hangs next to the coffee-maker.
Our goodnight wish is painted on the tiny and charming stairs—
We hope you have enjoyed this little visit to The Cottage at Rooster Ridge! Perhaps you will become inspired to welcome your guests in new ways to your cottage!
Please come again—
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!
After (finally) completing the post; Brick by Brick (1206 words—sorry!) the story of the Vintage Bricks at Rooster Ridge and the kitchen floor in the The House at Rooster Ridge—we would be remiss not to mention one last detail!
The process for utilizing the Vintage Bricks for the kitchen floor involved creating brick tiles—as we needed to keep the height of the floor consistent to the adjoining rooms. The depth was not available between the sub-floor and the required floor height to be able to use whole bricks as we had in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. A wet-saw was used to slice each brick horizontally into thirds. (imagine red and orange clay dust everywhere!) The center section was removed and the two outer slices were now “tile thickness” for installation. By using the exterior pieces only, each tile was complete with the desired patina depicting the history of the bricks.
Many of the bricks had the molded name of the original brick-maker which was a goal of ours. The names were then carefully choreographed into a seemingly haphazard pattern in order to create a multi-directional view. The final step was sealing the Vintage Bricks. After a somewhat long and arduous process we had, at long last, arrived at the outcome we had aimed for. The warmth and comfort of the Vintage Brick floor was now complete!
The next step we took might surprise some—what did we do next?
We cut two 12 inch circular holes into the bricks! Crazy? Maybe.
I’m uncertain exactly what came over us—oops—I mean to say…we were deeply inspired—when we decided to install two Vintage Water Meter Caps from the streets of New Orleans.
The (newly installed) Vintage Brick floor seemed to beckon the need of, well, an indication that a water pipe was vintage-ly running under this floor!
This quirky detail adds interest to the eclectic appeal of the kitchen in The House at Rooster Ridge, and if needed—the Water Meter Caps often serve as a conversation starter!
We encourage you to allow the beauty of your personality to resonate within—and in the walls (and floor) of your cottage.
In the unique design of each individual person, we find that—
The intention of writing this post was to share the natural beauty of Vintage Bricks. Somehow the story evolved and seem to grow, brick by brick. Curiosity, thoughts and learning became the bricks—the foundation and information in building this post. Hopefully you will enjoy the building of this meandering story of Vintage Bricks—Brick by Brick!
The expansive range of color variations—light peach to red and every subtle nuance in between embrace the essence of warmth. There are even purple bricks—we will be on the look-out for those! The color is based upon the natural clay that is available to be used to make the bricks. At times, the method of baking the bricks, as well as the source of the fuel, such as wood or coal, which has been used to heat the ovens contributes to the end result and baked-color.
Color is just one of the fascinating elements of Vintage Bricks. These bricks are Re-Purposed and often there are visible remnants of the previous life of these salvaged bricks—aged mortar stains, chipping paint and tar from streets. Adding into the design mix are the names which have been molded into the bricks which creates a dimensional texture in a color-on-color pattern. As huge fans of Vintage Bricks, we have installed them in the interior of The Cottage and more recently, in the kitchen of The House at Rooster Ridge and subsequently outside Rooster Ridge in paths and patios—I found myself wondering;
“How old are these bricks anyway?”
The question continued to gnaw at me (Stop it! Go away thought—you know what this will lead to…) I wrestled with the curiosity of the age of these Vintage Bricks while I simultaneously desired to efficiently complete this post in a timely manner. My hand hovered over the cursor of my computer the little arrow inviting me to finish—and select the publish icon!
“Clicking” on the blue rectangular icon, with its soft rounded corners and the word Publish neatly printed within its boundaries is the moment of knowing—I have completed my task… I wanted to experience that feeling, if only briefly, the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. I have achieved! (trumpets sound!)
I have come to learn—and I continue to work on—accepting the understanding that writing a blog is a task as ongoing and seemingly never-ending as some domestic chores—such as washing dishes or doing laundry. The moment, the very moment, you complete the job at hand, a sound emerges jolting you from your fleeting moment of revelry. A faint noise, the almost inaudible clink of a glass being placed in the sink or the whoosh of a towel falling into the hamper as the terry cloth replaces the space where air previously resided. And with that clink or whoosh—you hear the taunting translation in your mind;
“Not so fast missy, you’re not done!”
Despite my wish to complete the post as efficiently as possible—curiosity won—and I began at first glance what seemed to be a cursory research into the age of the bricks we had Re-Purposed. This brief glance resulted in a Monday post being posted on Wednesday. Curse you curiosity!
This brief stroll into the age of the bricks had led me to discover the historic journey of the brick making industry in New York along the Hudson River. The salvaged bricks we are fortunate to have as a mere design aspect of Rooster Ridge date back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As I write this I feel an urge for a new collection being born—and yes, I did print out the 112 page Hudson River & New England Brick Collection and Identifier which I discovered while on my history lesson route.
I am starting to become aware—that for every item—there exists a collector or a collecting group for each category and that is—just lovely! Everything deserves the attention of a collection!
Our first very small experience with using Vintage Bricks required a mere 30 bricks during the renovation of The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. The symbolic hearth of the home or cottage in this case, seemed to request the warmth and charm of Vintage Bricks. In this small space the focus became all about the names which declared the brick-maker-company and as I am now learning the subsequent fascinating history of the brick-makers themselves.
In this initial search for such a small quantity we found ourselves in the back of a building of what at one time was the Cascadian Bottling Works in Grand View, New York—beautifully overlooking The Hudson River. Indeed the view was grand and the cohesiveness of the aptly named town emerged gloriously. A natural spring still travels down the cliffs of The Palisades spilling into a small, lovely pool of crisp, clear spring water. At the time the current owner of the building was selling Vintage Bricks by the piece. As we required such a small amount of we were afforded the opportunity to hand select them—Brick by Brick. It turned into a bit of a competitive scavenger hunt as our objective became to discover as many variations of names as possible. As we shouted out each new name discovered with glee, and at times, to regretfully hear the response, “Got it!” Thus the competition. In addition to lettered names of the brick-makers we also found symbols used to identify some of the companies.
On our Vintage Brick Hunt, unknowingly at the time, we were embarking upon a (delayed) fascinating glimpse into history. Note the triple circle symbol in the center brick.
Little did we know at the time our selection of Vintage Bricks with the name ROSE embedded upon them would turn out to have a wonderful history. This brickyard began in the 1890’s and at its peak sold 400 million bricks worldwide. Architects and builders recognized the superior quality of the Rose-made bricks. Rose Bricks were used in the Ansonia Hotel, The Customs House, The Empire State Building, The Stock Exchange and the Waldorf Astoria!
The symbol of the arrow represents The Arrow Brick Company which has a interesting history as well. I’ll stop myself from sharing.
During the renovation of The House at Rooster Ridge we were presented with the opportunity to replace the wood floor in the kitchen and introduce a new surface.
As we had experienced the enjoyment on our practice project we were ready to commit to a full brick floor in the kitchen of The House at Rooster Ridge. In this installation the names are turned in different directions to avoid a “right side” of viewing as well as creating an orchestrated haphazard pattern.
The Vintage Brick flooring delineates the kitchen area whereas previously the wood flooring blended in with the other rooms. We like this sectioned feeling creating a homey and warm kitchen aura.
We’ve yet to discover a brick with a rooster molded into it, however, on our first hand selection Brick by Brick journey we did find one brick stamped with a—heart. Look closely, middle brick!
And so it rests symbolically at the heart of the home—the hearth—where food is transformed into meals and warmth is always available.
Just as the Vintage Bricks have, this post truly came together, day by day and Brick by Brick.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Ephemera are transitory written and printed matter not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.
And yet, for some wonderful reason—these paper treasures lasted!
Ephemera can be anything—postcards, labels, magazines, theater tickets—according to the Ephemera Society (yes, there actually is a society!) there are over 500 categories of collecting.
Similar to most collectibles—the range of expense, sophistication and knowledge is vast. Often the high end of a hobby or interest is the only version we are easily exposed to. Unfortunately, that glimpse can be the cause of a door closing, rather than the wonderment of a door opening! Often an interested person may feel that collecting is “out of their league financially” or that the required education of the topic is lacking.
Collect pieces that move you—your collection does not have to become a significant or important item in a famous auction to have value—the value is in the joy you experience in looking, selecting and cherishing each piece and your collection!
The history lesson which is often accidentally stumbled upon, as was the case in the purchase of The Decoration Day Greeting postcard (pictured above) can inspire us, while connecting us to the past—assisting us to be mindful of the lives and the events that have come before us.
Hoping to achieve inspiration for designing an invitation to our Memorial Day—Parade-Viewing—Breakfast (the name is a mouthful) I discovered the postcard for Decoration Day Greetings. I came to learn, prior to the holiday becoming Memorial Day, the original name was Decoration Day, as this was a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. The artwork of this postcard is so beautifully touching—I love the American flag dress the artist created and the sorrowful expression on the woman’s face. The background is a lovely landscape depicted in soft blues and greens. Printed on the gravestone in gold metallic ink is the year 1860 as the year of death. Indeed, I was inspired.
Dated May 28, 1909 and stamped with a one cent stamp, the poem reads;
Though more than forty years ago,
in Freedom’s cause he fell,
While facing furious, Gallant foe,
He is remembered well.
The Collection of Vintage Postcards at Rooster Ridge is small and has only just begun. I found this new-Vintage-style postcard rack and it sits at the top of the stairs in The Cottage at Rooster Ridge. Our collection of Vintage Postcards is inexpensive—purposely—to encourage holding, picking up, exploring and touching—admiring, dreaming and reading. The dated and handwritten messages on the cards from the original sender are a peek into bygone days. The addresses are interesting and often contain minimal information, studying the postcards is similar to a film set in a specific time period—these period pieces are a mere snapshot!
The inscription of one card dated 1910 reads;
Received the socks this morning. Thanks immensely. They are fine for the purpose.
Another dated 1909 reads;
Please excuse me for not writing sooner but mamma and paw both working every day and don’t have much time. We will write a long letter later. Your friend, Maude Mitten
The Campbell’s Tomato Soup Advertisement is from The Ladies Home Journal dated October 1926. With the significance of the historic soup kitchens just a few years later, there is subtle irony in the wording which proclaims;
WITH THE MEAL OR AS A MEAL SOUP BELONGS IN THE DAILY DIET
12 cents a can
Advertisements and labels from boxes and cans are often—simply put—beautiful art—which can become unique pieces to be framed and used in decorating.
Join us as we delight in the beauty, the history and exploration of the
My dream of owning a Vintage Typewriter; Check!
As an author and as a writer—as well as a lover of—all things Vintage what better way to coalesce the two than owning a Vintage Typewriter. I love to communicate via writing—it is, quite honestly, my most comfortable comfort zone—in the arena of interacting with others. Although I struggle at times with the process of placing my thoughts and feelings into formatted sentences in print, without the pressure (aka fear) of diction, correct pronunciations and of distraction (causing me to lose my thought) the written word is my preference. Graciousness flows effortlessly when thoughts are presented in a well-crafted sentence, which is not always guaranteed when the words are spoken. And, the person speaking is given time to think. I like that.
Granted, while writing Lessons from the Trumpet Vine, the ability to effortlessly move words, sentences, paragraphs and at times—entire chapters from one location to another made the experience far less taxing. I cannot fathom the one-letter-at-a-time approach to an entire manuscript, and yet I am humbly aware that many such manuscripts, which still stand the test of time, were born of that method.
There is something organic in the physicality of typing on one of these relics of the past. The keys need to be struck; firmly and succinctly. To achieve an even distribution of ink from letter-to-letter, a consistency of striking those keys is desirable—a flow needs to be achieved. Writing on a Vintage Typewriter creates a musical rhythm of thoughts, tapping one key-strike at a time. The manual movement of the carriage as you gently press the lever—and slide—as you advance to the next line creating a feeling of accomplishment as you are physically moving to the next group of words. Job well done, time to pause, and your next thought?
Then, of course, there is the ding. DING! The lovely bell chimes a calm alert to you, as you are about to approach the end of a line. Pay attention now, please.
I also experience a kind of connectedness to the legions of women who came before me a generation or two ago. Depending on the era of the typewriter, I believe, most often it was women who sat before these machines. Multitudes of letters, contracts and invoices which most probably, almost always, began with Dear Sir. Women were just entering the work force (outside of the home) and were infrequently business owners or property owners. The times have changed—I thank my sisters of yesteryear for the hard work they did, bringing us to this point of having far more options.
I also feel a closer relationship to the person to whom I am writing to—as if we will share a common place once the paper is held within their hands. Handwritten notes of course provide the most intimate of written communications and I do love handwritten notes. However, similar to the spoken word, the handwritten word has a set of obstacles; penmanship, ink smears and straight lines come to mind. All challenges to this writer.
The Vintage Typewriter with its iconic print speaks volumes simply through the choice of using one. The reader, if they wish, is able to imagine the scene of the writer—sitting upright, as they work to combine the individual letters together to form a message to the reader.
I have brought all of my self here, to this place—my mind, my thoughts, my heart and my hands as I to write this to you—
I love you.
postscript: Thank you for the wonderful gift St.
The farm table in The House at Rooster Ridge is richly illuminated with a trio of lights—creating a visually interesting balance to this long rectangular room! The two lights placed on the outside end of the trio are composed of a unique pairing—designed at Rooster Ridge!
We began with two vintage brass and copper ship lights. Commonly referred to as a “fox lights” these lights were positioned several feet above the working deck area and were only used during loading and unloading operations. The beauty of the beehive design, the rich color and sheen of the copper and brass is wonderful! The lights have a latched glass lens which once protected the internal electrical components from salt and sea creating an industrial feel.
Rather than hanging the “fox lights” directly to the ceiling by suspending them from a chain or a using a pole extension an unusual pairing was made with a Vintage Iron Pulley. A theme was loosely interpreted by connecting the two with heavy rope, a standard in the world of ships and remaining authentic to the original use of a pulley! A natural fit for a unique pairing!
With our ever present desire to remain vigilant to the attention to details two additional nuances were addressed. With a cheeky irony, the hooks attached to the ceiling to hold the lights are mermaid hooks! The other detail is the wire we used, we researched vintage style wiring and selected a gold cloth-covered braided wire. We agree with the adage; the whole is the sum of the parts, we believe it is the attention to the smallest of details that creates an overwhelming design.