Saturday, January 11, 2020

Antique Corner Cupboard and New Years

Right before New Years Eve hubs and I went to an auction and bought a cupboard.
Not that we were planning to or even going for anything in particular.
It was a spur of the moment decision.
 I did mention to him that this auction had antique firearms.  
Hehe, I knew that would catch his interest and sure enough he wanted to go! 
But what surprised me most was how much other stuff caught his interest.  
 While I had quickly looked around and settled into my seat to listen to the auctioneer,
hubs was walking around checking everything out in great detail, 
 then coming back to me to ask did I see this thing or that?  
 He was on a hunt and it turned out he was interested in anything bronze.
 Statues that is. See him looking down over there??
 He was checking out these cute Corgi dogs, a bronze statue by artist 
Elizabeth Leary Strazzulla of Orleans, Massachusetts.
And then he asked if I had noticed the enormous life size Indian and eagle statue.
WHAT?? Why in the world do we want or need that I wondered?
  Where is that going to go?
In New Hampshire at the lake, he replied....
ok... well I guess I could try to imagine it....
and that was only the beginning.  
We would have to wait for it to come up and then bid on it,
and hope it wouldn't be too high.  
I had noticed things like this old tin weathervane which I could imagine
going on the top of our not yet built barn/garage. 
I guess one gets attracted to things for whatever reason....I was 
still processing his attraction to all the statues.
Then I rounded the corner and saw it. 
 The enormous and old corner cupboard. 
 The listing said it was "an important early 18th century 
cabinet" and it certainly was important looking to me.
It looked very old, with lots of carvings and the interior 
was painted with a turquoise color that was appealing.
I can bet Martha has cabinets like this in her homes!
I thought to myself, no one will want this thing.  Its too big!!
We will get it for the lake house!
 So I sat and waited for a few of our items to come up on the auction block.
Finally the big cupboard was up!!
Hubs whispered... Oh please. Don't.
 I continued to lift my paddle until I won.
Oh yes!! I won!! 
And that was that. It was coming home. 
 We went home with all the big things, 
like the Indian statue (bronze but painted white).
And some French barstools, and an antique fish service, 
some big blue and white transferware platters.... 
 And the enormous cabinet!!

 When we checked the measurement of the cupboard I was nervous to see that the cupboard 
was the same height as our ceiling. But it fit like a glove, with the help of our son Justin.
It was meant to be...for now. It belongs at the lake, and in that house our ceilings will be 
a foot higher, so it will fit without any worry at all.
 We bought a few tables, a game table, a dresser, the corgis, 
and another crazy big statue too....
This pretty demilune table with gorgeous carvings came home with us.
Y,a we bought a lot of antique stuff!! And it was sooo much fun!!
These are full size bronze statues out of a Malibu CA estate that someone painted.  
Why my husband wanted these is something I can't answer, but I can tell you it was
very funny when he was bidding on them.  At least I thought it was funny! 
I whispered to him, we are going to be known as "those people" when our neighbors
at the lake see these things on our property.  Haha. I will do my best to hide
them in the shrubbery or behind trees. 
 For now our auction treasures are in our Massachusetts home, waiting for the lake.
Its been so much fun to fill the cabinet with my antique collections
of majolica and transfer ware into the cabinet.
 It was all part of what turned out to be a very fun way to ring in the New Year. 
Before we headed out, I learned how to saber the champagne,
which means cut the neck off the bottle with a "saber" or knife.
You use the back of the knife blade, not the sharp part.
It cuts it clean off!!
 There are a few secrets, and one is to put the champagne
bottle upside down in the ice bucket to freeze the neck first. Then reposition the
casket around the cork to above the bottle ridge neckline, and as you cut it off,
to move the saber up the bottle along the molded glass line of the bottle. 
 It was thrilling!
We had reservations to enjoy dinner
in Boston's historic North End with our youngest and a good friend,
 then headed to Ciao Bella in North Square next to the Paul Revere house
to meet Justin who was working to celebrate some more.
 We capped the night off with more champagne and oysters.
What a treat!
In closing I hope you all had a nice New Years Eve.
We usually spend NYE low key, so this was especially fun and memorable.
 Wishing all a great 2020!! 
 Our family looks forward to many changes this year. 
Building a new home and then moving to the lake 
as our youngest (who, might I brag, just got straight A's in his first senior term)
graduates from Boston Latin School and then heads off to college,
leaving us as empty nesters for the first time. 
The next phase of life has arrived for us Chalmers!
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Thursday, December 26, 2019

Our Merry Christmas Roundup

 Christmas 2019
Christmas morning arrived to a fairly quiet household.
The pups were ready to open their fur stockings filled with toys and bones.
Mr. Maison Decor and I lingered with Snickerdoodle coffee and Swedish coffee bread
until our youngest woke up and my mother in law came over for presents.
That gave us time to get a Christmas portrait with the dogs...
 Our Christmas was low key, but enjoyable.  My 90 year old Mother in law
 arrived with batter to make us all a breakfast of Swedish pancakes before we unwrapped gifts.
However because both my husband and myself were under the weather from head colds,
 our Christmas Eve party planned the night before was canceled.
However that didn't stop us!
 I felt a bit like we were in  Whoville after the Grinch tried to steal Christmas.
We celebrated together in style, dressing up anyways, and enjoying champagne
and a steak dinner together. This, our 15th Christmas together and that is worth celebrating!
Christmas Eve was always the dress up dinner party at my house growing up.
And hubs family had an equally big affair at his aunt's home with a big dinner and 
Santa arriving with a sack of gifts for him and his older brother.  They sang carols around
the piano long into the night.  We both have fond memories of our childhood Christmases.
The lead up to Christmas was strong this year.
 The early and often snowfalls really got me in the Christmas spirit quickly.
 Reeve and I made her first snowman, Olaf, after a good storm.
When I popped in the eyes and the carrot nose she cheered in delight!
 We also made Christmas cookies, which was a fun but messy undertaking.
I don't recall making cookies during my childhood Christmases, but I love the idea of
that tradition, and want to begin it with my granddaughter. 
 Another fun thing I did was to order a felted needlework kit made by Bucilla company,
featuring the Twelve Days of Christmas.  It was really enjoyable to sit and do some crafting.
I don't consider myself a crafty person at Christmas as I am more into the decorating at this time of year.  But this was so much fun!  It is kind of a throw back craft to the 60s and 70s, but they really are beautiful in a vintage kind of way. It will take months to finish this collection.
 Yes, lots of decorating, and I was in high gear for adding bits
 around the house including the kitchen.  I have this red Swedish candelabra
 that had me adding red velvet ribbons to my copper molds by the kitchen window. 
Lots of cooking and mess making, and it all felt so festive!
And then there is the three hour process of 
Swedish Coffee bread making!
Holidays always includes the family recipe for Swedish Coffee Bread,
someone I know from Sweden also calls it Cardamom Braid,
as it has Cardamom seeds and spice. Delicious!
 Greenery was sprinkled through out our house...
 The family Creche set that was made by my paternal grandmother 
was handed down to me this year as a gift from my 90 year old father. 
 I know he wants to see it continue down the family line,
 and I think I know who will receive it next.
 In the days leading up to Christmas, Reeve and I had such fun doing
 Christmassy things like making ornaments, cookies...
and those old fashioned paper rings for the tiny feather tree.
 I love making a book for Reeve capturing the moments of the year past.
And this is the third year I have made our family highlight book.
These are great for capturing and remembering all the big and small moments
throughout the year, and something I plan to do as long as I can.
Look how cute Reeve's Swedish dollhouse looks nestled under the tree.
The Seven Swans a swimming was the next ornament...
All sequined and hung on the tree! Only ten more to go....
Our big boy Colby...I think you can spot the Two turtle Doves
and Seven Swans ornaments on the  tree behind him. 
And suddenly it was December 24th.
 All those Christmassy moments led to our big night...
and even though our big party was dashed, 
we had a romantic and quiet party mostly to ourselves!
 A brief visit from son 
Brandon and daughter in law Mimi
and then we were back to our dinner. 
Son Justin and family were in Maine, 
and son Colin was in Thailand with his new fiance Rachel, 
and youngest son Scott was off to a party at his maternal grandmothers home.
We hope your Christmas was merry and bright, as was ours!
Lastly, one more tradition we have to share with you...
our Family Photo Christmas Card with dogs!!

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