Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cozy by the fire

Well, The Old Homeplace is truly beginning to feel like home.  I just finished building my first piece of furniture for the shop. After all, what makes a home more cozy than a fireplace? I seem to spend most of my free time searching the county for old barn wood. I have a passion for barn wood that I can't explain. Well, I guess that isn't really true. I find as I get older that memories from my childhood are the foremost in my thoughts, and some of my fondest memories are of my parents and our home in Tennessee. I didn't live there for very many years, but I am inclined to believe that those few years were my happiest. I fondly remember our old house, the land and barns. To look back at pictures of our homeplace now you would have thought we were poor. I think that poor must be a matter of perception, for I never felt that way. At any rate, in those memories someplace came my love for old wood. Tobacco barns are one of my favorites. I still remember my father and brother hanging tobacco at the top of what seemed like a huge barn. I was too young to help at the time so I sat in the back of my dad's old pick up truck and watched on many a hot summer day. Ah, the memories are sweet. So as I work around my "new" Old Homeplace, I enjoy every day the warmth of the old wood that surrounds me. Making me feel like I may have just come home again.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Looking through the windows of time

       
   Morning friends, as I was walking around the new shop today, I took the time to reflect for a few minutes on what went into building our new place. I just love the looks of The Old Homeplace, it is so cozy and welcoming. Old barn wood and rusty tin cover the walls and even the ceiling of our new place. The majority of our building materials were salvaged wood from barns and buildings in our area. I had so much fun scrounging around in barnyards and old building sites for this wonderful primitive wood. Most of this has been collected over the last few years, but many years before that this whole project had a start before I was even aware of it. I truly believe that God puts opportunities in your path and sits back and just watches to see what you do with them. He has a funny sense of humor that way. I honestly believe this was one of those challenges. One summer day a friend of our contacted us and told us that the old Bourbon Pharmacy was scheduled to be torn down soon and would we be interested in salvaging from it. What an exciting opportunity we thought, what would it be like? What will we find there in that wonderful old building  we wondered.  According to a friend of ours, her mother remembers going to the pharmacy when she was just a child growing up in Bourbon over 84 years ago. As far as we can figure, this wonderful old building  has been standing here for over 100 years. We were excited to see what this old building was like,  so off we went to check it out. Wandering around the old pharmacy was quite an experience and we had fun thinking of all the possibilities. We didn't have any plans for them in mind at the time, but when we were offered the windows from the front of the pharmacy we jumped at the chance. We collected 3 large windows, each with 20 panes in them, so each window measured 5 feet by 8 feet. Now that is a window!
              We carefully packed them away in the barn and they kind of went to the back of our mind. But as the years went by the Lord put more and more opportunities in front of us until we finally came to the conclusion that it was time to build our next building. As we started collecting materials we remembered these wonderful windows. There they were, safely tucked away in the barn just waiting to be put to use. As we started designing the new shop we found that we would  actually have to build the shop to fit around  that old wavy glass from so long ago. As we set the windows into their new home, we couldn't help but notice that the view in all directions is almost breathtaking . In the summertime the sunflower and dappled willows swaying in the breeze catch your eye. As I stand in the warmth of the sun and gaze out across the fields I can't help but wonder what sites these windows have seen. 100 years ago, the sidewalks were still made of wood and the streets were mostly unpaved. Horse and buggy was still the way many folks got to town on Saturday afternoon . Did the pharmacy have a place where the old men gathered and talked or played checkers on a warm summer day? Did children stand and peek over the counter at jars of penny candy and tiny wind up toys? I can only imagine what these windows have seen.
                As the sun warms me through these wonderful old pieces of glass from so long ago, I thank God for putting them in our path so long ago. I hope that if you stop by The Old Homeplace, you will take the time to stand and enjoy the view, feel the warmth of the sun and appreciate the many things these windows have seen.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Place to Linger

Well Friends,
              Things are going along well for the new shop, The Old Homeplace. I just can't wait. My goal has always been to make my shops a place where folks will want to linger, wander and just sit for a  visit. We have finished up all the walls in old barn wood that has been begged, bartered and scrounged from every corner of Marshall County for almost a year now. Two walls are done in barn wood and two are done in wonderful old tin. I just love this tin, it is a soft gun metal blue with just the right amount of rust to it. It really makes the place cozy and warm looking. We are working now on putting tin on the ceiling and I have to say, this is the hardest part yet. Holding 9' pieces of tin above your head long enough to get it screwed on is to say the least....challenging. But I have to give most of the credit to my wonderful husband Bob. He has been behind me on this project and beside me everyday. We have so much to do here on the farm that every couple of days we put down our hammers and nails and have to finish up on other chores. Last weekend I really put him to the test I think. Every fall we walk the fields surrounding our home and pick up all the corn left on the ground after the farmer has finished in it. So we set off for the field  last Saturday morning, one of those mild fall morning with just a misting of rain. Now rain and fog are two of my favorite things, so this was like the perfect day. We spent about 5 hours in the field and picked up what we figure is about 10 bushels of corn. Now that is a lot of corn! The horses will thank us every day. So after a short afternoon nap to warm us up a little after walking in the rain all morning we headed back out to the shop. Working on insulating the ceiling and starting to add the tin we worked until dark. I must say we were feeling very satisfied with how much we got done. But as I am sure I suffer from some form of adult ...ADD I, of course I  wasn't finished yet. Did I say "suffer"? I'm not sure that would be the right word to use, I must say, I do get a lot done during the day. But poor Mr. Bob was looking forward to sitting down and putting his feet up for a while. It was already dark by then and the rain was still coming down, I swear it was calling to me. So being the wonderful man he is, he got up off his warm chair and took me for a walk in the rain that evening, something we have done since we first met almost 14 years ago. See what I mean....he's a great guy!
               So to say that I am truly blessed to do what I love to do and share it with my favorite guy, well it doesn't get any better than that. Check back for further updates on The Old Homeplace, opening in May 2015.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fall is in the air

Hey friends, looks like fall is here. The leaves are blowing, pumpkins are everywhere and the nights are made for snugglin. Our days have been filled with building and decorating and all kinds of exciting things. We are looking forward to spring when our new shop "The Old Homeplace"  which will be open for business, spring of 2015. We have repurposed and salvaged all the wood and old tin we can find and it is coming together so nicely. Warm and cozy and oh so primitive, I can't wait until you see all we've done. Filled with farm house furnishings, farm tables, dry sinks, pie safes.....do I need to say more?  We even hope to host "girl parties" in our new digs. You know what I mean, if you have a gaggle of best friends who love to get together and spend the day making stuff, we would love to have you here. We have front porches just right for gathering and spending the day, roaming around the gardens, sipping tea in the shade just and having fun. It's a great place to wander. Keep checking back on our progress.

Monday, September 8, 2014

My New Baby

Well Friends, Meet my new baby.....and my baby daddy. My new baby is our newest shop, "The Old Homeplace" and my baby daddy is my husband Bob,  Affectionatly  known as Mr. B.  We have been working all summer and it is finally  beginning to take shape. Windows, Doors and a Roof, Whoohoo!! Soon to be the home of all the farmhouse furnishings I am always stumbling across. I have been fortunate enough to collect farmhouse tables, great wardrobes and pie safes. Ohh, I just love old stuff don't you?  We expect to be finished by early spring and we are planning to have our usual Folk Art Show this June. Keep up with all the news on the shop, check back often. I'll see you soon. Watch our new baby grow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Beautiful Day

Good Morning Friends! Another beautiful day at The Briar Patch. Work is coming along on the new shop, The Old Homeplace. So excited to be adding another building to our little village out here. We are looking forward to adding more farmhouse furniture to our collection. Dry sinks, pie safes, old farmhouse tables.....ohhhhh can't wait. In celebration of our newest venture we would like to spread the joy a little bit. In memory of my mother, Lulu Pearl who has been gone from us for so long, but still lingers in our hearts every day, I would like to offer a bouquet of beautiful zinnias to your mother. Bring her on out to walk around the gardens and enjoy a day in the country, and we'll send her home with a handful of posies. Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Loving Piece of History

Hello friends,
              It's another beautiful day here at The Briar Patch. I wanted to share with you this wonderful quilt I found at the auction yesterday. I just knew it needed to come home with me. Isn't it beautiful.  The material is weak and worn and a little stained, testament to the years it has seen. I can't help but wonder, what loving hands made this wonderful treasure. Did they give it to the honeymooner's moving into their very first home? Did it cover them gently on cold winter's nights, swattle  a new born child snuggled against their mothers breast? I can almost hear the stories it has to tell. I think I am meant to have it. It's time has come to rest here on my shelf so I can hear it's whispers. I hope in your day you take the time to listen to the whispers of the aged, they have so much to tell. Please come by and visit us, there is always a treasure to be found here at The Briar Patch.