Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashback Friday: Gold Medal

My great-grandmother was born in 1880 and lived to be ninety.  As a child, I adored her and the two of us spent many happy hours together. 

I inherited a few of her possessions; the gold medal she earned for recitation when she was fifteen and her elocution textbook are an interesting pair of heirlooms.     

Elocution textbook, published in 1889.
My great-grandmother's name penciled inside.
She attended school at the Piedmont Institute in Rockmart (here's a photo).  Elocution lessons were an extra $3.00 a month but it looks like they paid off!

Her medal, earned in 1895.  
She was quite proud of her medal, as evidenced by the fact that she's seen wearing it years later.  In the photo below, she's wearing the dress she married in (I have the velvet belt and collar, saved all these years!) AND the medal.

Carrie and Luther Wright
Alma Kate Wright
January 18, 1903
Hughey Family Reunion
This photo of her with her daughter, Alma Kate (my paternal grandmother), was probably taken around 1914.  Yep, still sporting the medal.

Alma Kate Wright  ~ Carrie Lee Davis Wright
Now I wear the medal, but only on special occasions.  It's a lovely piece of jewelry, but more than that, a cherished family heirloom.

Just for fun, here is a tintype of her as a child.  Precious, huh?

Carrie Lee Davis c. 1885

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time for a Change

I've been on a mission to scan some of our photos from the pre-digital era (I hope to finish before they come up with new technology!).  In the process, I've come across some that show how our home looked in the past. This one of the mantel (and why is it spelled that way instead of 'mantle'?) from eleven years ago struck me because, frankly, it could have been taken very recently.

mantel 2001
(no idea what's up with the purple glow)

The 2012 version is missing a few items; I put the silver baby cups away a few months ago and I think that blue and white plate on the right ended up in pieces.  Seriously, I can't believe how little difference eleven years has made.  I don't know if it makes it better or worse that all of this comes off each year to make room for Christmas garland and stockings only to go right back on after the holidays.  I think worse!

mantel 2012

The day after I noticed my lack of changing-it-up, I read this post by Donna.  I knew I had plenty of junk and had just cleaned up the antique scale, so it was a sign!  I raised the tapestry a bit and started playing.

mantel 2012 junked, for now

Although unfinished, I'm liking what's up there so far.  Also?  I promise to change it before another eleven years go by and it's 2023 (is that right?  eleven years from now will be 2023?  yikes!).

Or is this better?  The scale went back to the front hall along with a few other tweaks.  See, I'm already making good on that promise to change it up before 2023!

the next day

Or this?  I added my foiled box and bronzed ballet shoes (they are vintage now!).

and the day after that

And now for a somewhat unrelated close-up.

my well-worn ballet shoes, which my mama had bronzed

couldn't resist pointing how just how much I loved
these as a child; see that hole?

Really.  I'm leaving the mantel alone for now and moving on to another project...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


If you spend any time on Pinterest, you know there is so much inspiration. One idea really intrigued me; first I saw this.  Then I saw this.

I didn't have a piece of furniture to cover, plus I didn't want to get too involved in case it was a disaster. I had this box and thought it would be perfect for a trial run.

I also had heavy duty foil, Mod Podge, and glaze, so why not?  Love when a project does not require a supply run!

Ended up with this and it will be fun to find just the right spot for it.

I liked the effect so much (although it is SO hard to photograph) that I did another version.  You can't really tell from the picture but the 'before' consisted of a framed photograph hanging in the center of an empty frame. The two frames didn't match and it was a temporary fix.

This one involved (besides the foil, Mod Podge, and glaze) the two frames, wallpaper border, foam board, and some other creative repurposing (because I was doing this without spending a dime).  I'm not saying I'm completely through, but at least it's on the wall and not the kitchen island (my go-to workspace)!

after                                       before
much better!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Edwin and Emma

This side-by-side of my paternal grandfather and granddaughter Emma just makes me happy. Granddaddy was born just days before the end of the 19th century, more than 111 years before Emma arrived last May.

Edwin Fairbanks Cavaleri, Sr.                      Emma Wright Bowers

Friday, January 20, 2012

Flashback Friday: Shaw Family

This somber group is the family headed up by Stephen Franklin Shaw and his wife, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Riley. The young girl in the white dress on the far right is my mama's mother, Susan Inez Shaw.  I love this picture; it is one of just two that I have of her (the other and more about her can be found here).  
Shaw Family c. 1898

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Ooh, the steps!
What do you mean, I'm too little?
Completely innocent. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Flashback Friday

Yeah, pretty sure we'd get hurt if we tried that now!
when you have no dining room furniture,
you have room for this
August 1975

Thursday, January 12, 2012


When we were nearly home from her well-kitty checkup, I let Miss Scarlett out of her carrier.  Who needs a hula dancer when you have a co-pilot as cute as this?

Oh, and for those of you who have noticed how chunky she's become, she has more than doubled her weight since last March's homecoming!
"My tiny brain will not let me understand."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Town

Kate and Jay in 
Our Town magazine

Friday, January 6, 2012

This Side of the Border

The border is gone and the last of paint applied (and I have to say that until now, I've never fully appreciated how impossible it is for wall paint to translate to a computer monitor)!  

Wasabi by Valspar
Susan Inez Shaw and Olin Watson Minick
are back in place.
ah, much better

On to the next project...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

On the Border

This border in the powder room was put up shortly after we moved to our home at the end of December, 1990.  I blame the lingering influence of the eighties for my bad taste.  The fact that it was still there when 2012 rolled in, well, I have no excuse!  

a border way beyond its expiration date

It gets worse.  I let someone else have a say in the original paint color but I'm pretty sure his choice of dusty rose can be blamed on the eighties, too!  At least I didn't let THAT linger; Monsoon by Sherwin Williams was a MUCH better look.  I still like the color and that's probably what let me ignore this border for decades.

buh bye border

Just in case you want the full effect of the dusty rose...

ready for the rose to wither

I knew that I needed to prime to cover any residual wallpaper paste and to make sure that pink didn't come shining through.  To be honest, I almost just painted the border area to match the moulding but I knew that would bother me, so....on to priming.

primer is NOT an exact science


By the way, this scaffold is one of my favorite things, ever.  It folds up and takes up about six inches of space and has made every project I've done since E.W. gave it to me so much easier.

from my Valentine!

Oh, the color is Wasabi, by Valspar.  It's quite green when compared to the former color but I doubt anyone will even notice that it's a different color.  Both are really such a neutral (I know it's hard to tell in a photograph, though; it's looking like a bright lime on my monitor!).

I love the moment when you are DONE painting and ready to get a room back together.  I am sad to tell you that it won't be happening here until a second coat is applied.  Boo.

Ugh.  Did NOT want to do a second coat.

Yeah.  That second coat is NOT going to happen tonight. 

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