Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's Finished! It's Finished! The Studio is Finished!!

Hi Everybody!  Yes, the Fursdon House Studio is finally finished.  Well, at least its finished to the point where I think I can actually find things now and - more importantly - begin "work" (aka:  creating and having fun!).  This kind of "work" I don't mind at all!!  Here are the photos, even though I have to admit I've already moved some things around.  This is a woman's prerogative, you know!  It's right up there with changing my mind! (Be quiet, Nigel!! No one asked your opinion! Ha Ha)  So here are the photos!!  Let me know what you think!

Upon entering, you see one of my most prized possessions in the studio - my mother's jelly cabinet that my grandfather (Pop) handmade for her and which she very graciously gave to me for my Ribbon Cabinet!  I plan to alter it very slightly by adding a few more shelves inside and it's great because now when I want a whole spool of ribbon out, I don't have to take the other spools off the rod I previously had them hanging on! 

Another gift from Mom (ever generous that she is!!) is the Singer sewing table!  It was black, but now painted the white you see.  Isn't it beautiful?  I vaguely remember my Dad's mother, Grandmother Hoffman, using one when I was young.  Dad and Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman would all be very pleased to see the stitching I've done these past few years!  I even have a picture of my Grandpa Hoffman sitting and stitching at an old Singer Sewing Machine!  Apparently he was quite adept!!

The pink stool belonged to my Mom's mom, Gran (who is my granddaughter Isabel's namesake).  Gran LOVED pink (I'm sure she still does, come to think of it!) so I enjoyed painting it with a fresh coat of pink and recovering the seat in a floral pattern.  It's very sturdy and the perfect height to use as a seat!

This photo has a better picture of my Cabinet Dolls House.  I talked about it in an earlier article.  I decided to bring it into the studio because I figure that's the only way I'll eventually get around to completing it.  It needs a "rooftop garden".  And I may even talk Nigel into putting electricity in it!  Poor man!

The plastic bins on the left are full of color-coded fabrics I plan to use in a crazy quilted throw for the living room - in my spare time! Ha Ha  

Here's a great idea I got from a magazine, though I can't remember which one.  Clear plastic hanging shoe bags!!  They make a great storage area for small bits and pieces.  Although I've seen some lovely ones made of fabrics, I prefer this one because you can see everything in it!

On the left as you enter are these wonderful metal shelves from Home Depot!  They have adjustable shelves and are extremely sturdy.  On them are another favorite of mine - tiered trays!  There so elegant, but very useful too because they can display many items in a relatively small space!

Hanging above the shelves are other favorites (It's so nice to have a place to display most of my favorites in one place, ready to inspire creative thoughts!)  There's my "Wreathus Bulbous Maximus" made from vintage glass balls I've collected over the years (this one is about 10 years old and going strong, while another newer one was broken beyond recognition.  Ouch).  To the right of it is the Christening Gown that both my daughters, Laura and Liz, wore as well as my granddaughter, Isabel, at their Christenings!  Hard to imagine them fitting into something so small and delicate, but I've got photos to prove it!  The gown was a gift from Nigel's Mom, Valerie, from her fabulous antique shop, Valerie Fursdon, Inc.  If I remember correctly, it's dated about 1910 (Edwardian) and is from England.  The photo we have of Isabel is rather tongue in cheek because we're holding up the hem to show her little white pair of Keds canvas sneakers!   To the right front of the shelves are one of my wire mannequins (compliments of T. J. Maxx, another favorite store), dressed with an apron I decorated with various important dates and names.

Proceeding with the left side is the desk that once belonged to our girls when we first moved here to Madison.  It was in natural wood tones, but I painted it white and distressed it.  Poor Nigel hates "distressed" or painted wood, but I'm a BIG fan of it. Behind the desk is another of Nigel's handicrafts for me - peg board!  It's wonderful stuff, very neat looking though he painted it again.  Even though it was already white, it wasn't bright enough and the edges weren't painted.  Did I mention Nigel was also a perfectionist?

The chair behind the desk is another piece my grandfather "Pop" made, by taking pieces of several broken chairs and putting them together to make one!  Creativity runs on both sides of our families!  All I did was paint it - what else - white!  Then - what else - I distressed it!

Here are the wonderful wire shelves we decided on rather than the wooden ones Nigel was originally going to build.  I'm very happy with our decision.  Although it cost about the same (due to Nigel's perfectionist tendencies), these were much easier and faster to put up.  And they're not closed in so I can see everything at a glance, while it all remains neat looking!

Beads and buttons and furbelows.  Papers and trims, ribbons and fabrics.  Glues and paints and everything else in between!  In short, everything a woman needs to create to her hearts content. nothing at all except look at it, absorb its beauty, breathe deeply and peacefully, and know its all there for another day!

But......there must be music!  Lovely lyrical music to get things going and carry things through to fruition!  So here you see my stereo on the - yes, it's PINK - file cabinet!

Well, that's it for now!  I'm pooped just showing you!  But I wanted to share it all with you because it felt like such an accomplishment!!  Next up is the wooden ladder (Nigel is building that too) and candles for the chandelier (after Nigel cuts off the metal tops of the "holders" which are designed to have light bulbs screwed into them).  Then Nigel wants to finish the rock on the concrete steps.  Hey, it isn't me who insisted on all these lovelies!! Nigel's precise words were:  "If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right!"

Till later than! Love and Blessings to All!  Jan

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Great Friends!

Hi Everyone and Happy Tuesday!  March is almost over and the trees and shrubs are in lovely bloom!  Of course, my sinuses are in full rebellion, but it's worth it to see such beauty every spring!

We had a lovely visit last week from our good friends, Doug and Renee Minteer, from Eldora, Iowa!!  Doug and Nigel are "old Army buddies from way back" who thoroughly enjoy each other's company.  Of course part of the charm lies in the fact that when they're together, they both get to relax, which neither of them do very often!  At least sometimes they relax.  Nigel is visiting them in May to help Doug build a deck!  Always something to do, isn't there!?

Isabel was quite put out by the fact that their daughter, Dana, didn't get to visit this trip because she was away on another trip with her school.  Even though Dana is 14, she made great friends with Isabel on their last visit here, so I promised Isabel that I'd put Dana's picture on the blog.  And here she is!!

Hi Dana!  Hope you're checking out the blog!!  I still can't believe how grown up you're getting!  Of course I'm not getting any older myself! Ha Ha

Well, that's all for now! Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather! And for those of you who haven't had that pleasure yet, here's wishing you a speedy arrival of it!

May God Bless, Jan

Monday, March 14, 2011

Precious Princess Penelope Patience Penwater Returns to Madison, Alabama!

Hi Everybody!

Remember my precious Princess Penelope Patience Penwater?  Here she is before her world travels.

And here she is, having just returned to me this evening from travels to Louisiana, Kentucky and Australia!! She's been in beautiful fields of flowers, seen the lovely ocean blue, been lovingly cossetted, quilted, beaded and crowned, and she even received her very own little bell!!

She's quite exhausted, but very happy to be home.  I've sent her to bed, but I look forward to hearing of her wonderful travels to Auntie BeeBee, Auntie Suzanne and Auntie Sue.

Happy Goat Herding Everyone!  Jan

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring is Springing!

Happy Spring Everyone!  And Daylight Savings Time (which sounds weird considering we just lost an hour! Phooey!)  Wanted to share photos of my flowering weeping cherry trees!  What do you think?

Isn't it amazing? I didn't help Nigel select these, plant them or raise them, yet I told everyone they were mine!  Oh well, I'd let him take credit for them if they hadn't turned out okay! It's the least I could do! Ha Ha!!

We have three of these in the front garden, but my third photo didn't turn out well!  The branches go all the way to the ground if we let them!  And they look lovely at Christmas, with their bare branches!

Stunning!  I think I'm going to make this my desktop background! 
Yes, spring is definitely springing!  Hooray!!

Love and Blessings to All! Jan

Isabel in Mommy's Dress!!

Hi Everyone!  Just wanted to share some photos of Isabel wearing a dress that belonged to her Mommy, Laura!  It was always a favorite of mine so I saved it on the chance that one day I'd have a granddaughter!  And voila!  Here she is!!
So grown up!  I need to find the photos I have of Laura in this dress!!
Then you can see how much the two look alike!  It's uncanny!

Isabel LOVES the camera!  And quite frankly - with the advent of my blog - I've never taken so many photos in my life!! Interestingly enough, I used to HATE cameras!!  Come to think of it - I still do when they're taking pictures of me!!  But if I'm the one behind the lens, I'm quite happy!!

Taking a candid shot takes a lot of patience because as soon as Isabel sees the camera come out, she starts smiling like the cat that ate the canary!!

Isabel's new Nancy Drew Scrapbook!  It's based on the first two or three books of Nancy Drew.  Isabel also started reading the Nancy Drew series and she likes it.  For some odd reason, I never read "Nancy Drew" myself. I know! I'm weird! But if Isabel continues to enjoy them, I'll start reading them myself!

Great news everyone!!  My youngest daughter, Liz, is engaged and getting married on 18 June 2011.  She's asked Isabel to be a Flower Girl!  Isabel is extremely excited, dancing through the house, singing "I'm going to be a Flower Girl! La La La La La La!!"  Then she came up to me and asked, "Gummy, what's a Flower Girl?"  Doesn't matter though; Isabel is still happy as can be!  And so are Nigel and I!  Yikes!  June is just around the corner!!  Gotta run!!  Love and Blessings to All! Jan