Wednesday, December 31, 2008

this New Year's Eve.......

I hope you dance......

Circa 1950's Palizzio Lizard Stiletto Heels

Monday, December 29, 2008

This New Year's Eve - if you can't.....

be with the one you love.... love the one you're with.
Fortunately, I'm with the one I love!

From the archive of New York City photographer, Richard C. Bray

From the study "Found" Found Kiss on a Napkin, NYC 1979

For more photographs visit the archive website Richard C. Bray

Friday, December 26, 2008

Black and White design - vintage style

Classic, clean, sophisticated, modern - black and white makes a bold design statement. The two contrasting colors always produce strong graphic results in a room and naturally draws the eye. Over the past few years black and white has become a popular decorating trend and many home furnishings stores, such as Pottery Barn, have offered a broad range of furniture and accessories to complete these rooms. But for us, it's out with the "new" and in with the "old" - yes we said that correctly. Our love for vintage pieces has us out looking for black and white in vintage style. Recently we found these amazing salesman sample signs from the 1930's. The sign painter, from NYC produced these samples to show his ability to produce trade signs to his prospective clients. Hand painted on board the small signs measuring 7" x 7" look stylish when matted and framed. We have them hanging in a group of 4 on our dining room wall. You can have these 1930's sample trade signs in your own home. Visit our website rescripted to purchase these amazing vintage signs. They are featured in the category Urban Design.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A piece of Christmas past

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod, magi (wise men) from the east arrived in Jerusalem saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."

African American Wise Man, Circa 1930's
Made for a Christmas play at an African American church
Tupelo, Mississippi
Oil on board, rhinestone crown, remnants of leather strap shoes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pigeon barn re-design .....

Ok guys - for Mark and all of you, including myself, who prefer a simple urban sophistication in your holiday decor, here is a different take on the pigeon barn that was shown in a garden setting last Friday night. We were inspired by a post last week at Eddie Ross entitled - No Wire Hangers! (well, maybe just one). We created our own miniature interpretation.


The story of the Snow Angel Christmas Tree.. a tale of inspiration

Just imagine how beautiful life would be if we could just look at it through the eyes of a child. In their innocence children see beauty in ways that we never imagine. Especially during the holiday season we adults get all caught up in trying to make everything so perfect - the perfectly decorated Christmas tree, the perfect holiday meal, the perfect gift, a perfectly clean house.

A few days ago, my 5 year old grandson asked me why I didn't have a Christmas tree. I explained to him that I had given all my special ornaments to his mother so that she could put them on their Christmas tree - I just didn't have time to go out to look for antique ornaments at this late date. So, therefore, I wasn't going to have a Christmas tree this year. He looked very puzzled by my response and then he looked at me with that sweet little face and said - "I can make some ornaments for you - snowflake ornaments - I know how to make them and they are really pretty. Then you can have a Christmas tree." At first I was a little apprehensive, wondering what this tree might look like. But, then I started to get inspired. I imagined that the snowflakes would bear the same sentiments of all the framed artwork that I had collected from his pre-school days. I thought about how unique that would be - I love folk art by the untrained hand and have collected it for years. This was a "perfect" idea! Folk art snowflakes made by the most special little boy in the world.

While Riley cut snowflakes from copy paper we talked about what kind of tree we should get - large, small, spruce, cedar. I went out to the workshop and pulled out the vintage yard angel and brought it in to show to Riley to see if he had anymore ideas. As he snipped and cut away, his little 3 year old sister, and 8 year old cousin joined in. Soon we had lots of wonderful ornaments for the tree. Using the angel and the snow for inspiration we decided to call it a Snow Angel tree and since snow falls in nature we decided that the tree should be natural too - with barren winter branches. It was decided - we had our ideas - now for the tree. As with all ideas that we have around here it is up to David to make it work. He went down the road to a fence row and cut the tree, then spent hours wrapping each branch with 900 lights. The yard angel became our tree topper and we love how the blue lights on the bottom of the tree make her stand out. Then we took spray snow and sprayed all the branches for the look of new fallen snow. Riley, Lila, and Athena were so excited to add their artful interpretations of snowflakes. We topped it off by throwing bags of loose snow all over the tree (and on each other, and all over the room). It was great fun!! And, when we were all finished we stood back and smiled - Riley, Lila and Athena were gleaming with pride. It was an amazing tree, made out of the love and imagination of a child who never imagined that it would be anything put perfect!


Friday, December 19, 2008

an update to the rescripted pigeon barn

My friend, Mark wrote to ask how he could use this pigeon barn in a more sophisticated urban decor - of course we have a wonderful simple design idea for using it that way too. We'll post the new look Monday night on our next scheduled blog post.

the rescripted home of the carrier pigeon

I remember learning about the carrier pigeon when I was in kindergarten (which just happens to be one of the most memorable times of my life). Mrs. Brown knew about all kinds of interesting and unusual things (like the Easter Bunny, but that's another story for another time), and the carrier pigeon was one of the best! I thought it to be so mysterious how a bird could leave his home, travel many miles away, and return - all without the use of a Tom Tom. You might say the little creatures were the first to invent overnight mail - and Fedex thought it was their idea! The delivery of messages (called pigeon posts) during WW I and II was largely the job of the carrier pigeon. I wonder if any soldiers ever sent a love note via pigeon express? Messages were written on thin paper - sometimes papers used for rolling cigarettes were used - then banded to the foot of the pigeon. The pigeons were transported in barns such as these and while they have retired from their days of being the first messenger service, they are sometimes still used in the sport of racing.

We recently discovered this vintage pigeon barn on a old porch along the Tennessee River in West Tennessee. It brought back so many memories from Mrs. Brown's class. Made of zinc, the piece has a wonderful aged patina. I haven't seen one of these in years, and on the way home my mind was swirling with all kinds of ways to "rescript" the home of the carrier pigeon into my own home. It was very simple in fact, we cut some boughs from a couple of pine trees, pulled some grapevine from the fence down the road, added a couple of early 20th century cement pigeons from a collection that I have - for warmth and charm we threw in a few candles in vintage tin tart cups - sprinkled in a little snow for the season - and in a matter of minutes we had a fabulous redesign for the holidays! Later it can become a great sculptural piece on a table.

If you're digging this pigeon barn as much as we do, it's available for sale on our website - rescripted and don't forget to check our blog update on Monday night - our Christmas tree is a must see!!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the ever versatile, often rescripted blanket box

Blanket boxes of various forms and sizes have been a part of American design since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. In its simplest form, the box, (or chest as they are often referred), was a large wooden box with a hinged lid. It's function was primarily for the storage of clothing, linens and valuables but in harder times the piece served as seating as well. Many blanket boxes were constructed with the ability to move around easily - and not just within the home. The boxes seen here are often referred to as a "squatters box" - earning its name from the squatters who often loaded their wagons and moved clear across country. Most chests of this type are flat, and have handles for lifting or moving. They were easily loaded onto wagons with the belongings inside.

Over the past few decades, the blanket box has become a favorite form of furniture among designers looking for a transitional design element for the home. These versatile pieces are often seen as stylish coffee tables, bathroom pieces, and side tables as well as fulfilling their original function as a storage piece at the end of a bed.

It's stylish, simple form lends the use of the blanket box to many decors, from country, to modern, and even as a nice design element in a contemporary home.

The white box pictured here is circa 1880-90's and has dove-tailing and square nail construction. The white paint was likely added in the early part of the 19th century. It has the perfect worn patina.

A smaller example of a blanket chest likely made for a child. Circa 1900, original blue paint.
I love this in a bathroom. It's small size is perfect for a smaller space.

"Rescript" these blanket boxes into your home. The two boxes shown here will be available for purchase on our website for the Friday night update (12-19-08) at 8 p.m. c.s.t. rescripted

Monday, December 15, 2008

designing with the masters at the FlowerSchool NY

Master Floral Designer Michael George

For 14 months last year, I had the honored pleasure of studying with master floral designers, Michael George and Felipe Sastre, as well as a few other master designers in the city, at the prestigious FlowerSchool NY in New York City. I'm sure that you've heard the name Michael George mentioned many times as he is not only the designer to rich and famous celebrities, but he is somewhat of a celebrity himself. He is seen frequently on Martha Stewart, Good Morning America, as well as numerous other popular programs and has appeared in many shelter publications. His list of clients, (and here it is very brief), include Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Vogue, VH1 and numerous record labels and he still finds the time to lecture several floral design classes per week and author several books. He is an amazingly funny man, with an incredibly warm personality wrapped around all that talent. The designs taught at the school are non-traditional - more of an architectural precision - often simple yet very, very beautiful. "You can go as far as you like", says Michael. "Beautiful design doesn't have to be overwhelming, unless you want it to be." Each class begins with the selection of flowers, always the best ones from the large flower market in the city, and how to care for them to achieve longevity. Then the fun part begins as Michael or Felipe (another master designer who teaches some of the classes) explains the design and how to achieve it. All the help you'll ever need is right there with the masters to create a stunning arrangement. In the end, you get to take what you've created home!! We traveled to NY sometimes twice a week during the 14 months and I always took the flowers, hidden in a large bag, (which always got me funny looks from security), back home to Tennessee. The school, located in the Tudor Place neighborhood, was a 45 minute brisk walk from our hotel (The Paramount) - I always teased David that he was walking me to and from school - and yes, he always carried my books.

one of the many stunning designs taught by Michael George
the mysterious master designer - Michael George
always "to die for" flowers to work with
Felipe Sastre - another amazing master designer


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the photography of Richard C. Bray

Photographs of the famous Rockefeller Center
Christmas Tree in New York City
The top photograph was taken in 1971
and the bottom photograph taken in 1977.

Richard C. Bray was born September 26, 1929, the grandson of a NY Congressman. He received his doctorate in Philosophy from Columbia University in 1961, where he became a faculty biochemist. His work at Columbia left him unfulfilled and his longing to devote his life to photography led him to leave his position to follow his dream.

He traveled obsessively, covering every state in the U.S. and 16 countries abroad. In a letter dated 1951 he wrote that he had stayed in 186 hotel rooms and hitch-hiked in 1025 cars. When he wasn't traveling he spent his days walking the streets of New York photographing ordinary people in urban life, and documenting the city's landmarks, beaches, architecture, and neighborhoods. It was often his goal to seek out and produce photographs in similar subject matter which he referred to as "studies". His style includes various photographic approaches from abstracts to experimental to street photography.

Richard was reclusive, not in the usual sense, but more in his inability to tolerate people in society. Therefore he literally lived out his life through the eye of the camera. His peculiar nature left him with no desire to sell or publish his work. The archive, spanning from the 1950's until his death in 1993 was recently discovered upon the death of his wife.

We are so fortunate to have found the entire life's work of such a unique individual. As we have sorted through thousands of photographs the true personality of the artist has emerged. He found beauty in so many things and when beauty was expected (such as the tree that millions visit each year) he went even farther to make it his own. It is now at this time of the season that we appreciate the work of this amazing photographer - and to see the tree at Rockefeller Center the way that Richard C. Bray saw it.

To view more of the Richard C. Bray archive visit the website.

Monday, December 8, 2008

a definately rescripted scissor lamp

This fabulous scissor lamp ranks among one of my most favorite finds of all time. I bought it in NYC from a great dealer, Judith Milne at the Pier Show last November. It fits beautifully above my comfy leather chair and always gets lots of curious comments. It's a perfect light when reading all my favorite shelter mags. I love to take what once was - and recreate it to what's now. You might be surprised to learn that in its former life it was used in a hospital. Yep - that's right it is a surgeons lamp. It mounted to the wall in the operating room and the scissor function allowed for placing light over the patient. Pretty high style for back in the 1930's! The lamp is made of chrome and the handle that you see on the front allowed for the placement of the lamp for the surgeon. Its form is amazing. I love the handle and the large bell shaped top. The lamp lends itself to many styles and decors - I call it Urban Design - great for a loft but perfect in my home too. Don't forget to check out our new website. It went live last night
Our next blog post will be Wednesday evening, December 10. Till then.....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

the rescripted house .....

Once upon a time, in the year 1890 to be exact, Gran & Callie Williams built the house of their dreams atop a beautiful grassy knoll amidst giant mossy oaks. Using wood cut from their 98 acre woods, the couple meticulously constructed a home unique for the tiny town of Newbern, Tennessee. Demo begins on the front porch just days after purchasing the house.

Today the 98 acre woods is a beautifully manicured golf course and the home, which overlooks the playing field has undergone a major transformation. We knew when we bought the house we would have tons of work to do, but we didn't mind. We had fallen in love with it even before it was for sale. We drove by the house everyday on our way into town and often commented on how it would be a dream come true to live there. David always laughed and said we could never afford it even if it was for sale. Then one day while driving into town, I noticed a bright orange sign sticking up in the yard as we approached the house - FOR SALE - I could hardly contain myself! I immediately called and arranged an appointment to see the house that afternoon.

Fast forward 3 years - NO, three long, hard years - that's how long it took to do the renovation. We had to "rescript" this house to fit a 20th century lifestyle and design. And, we had no "real" idea of the condition when we purchased the house - the very nature of old houses, they have many hidden secrets. The house has gone from, literally, falling apart to the return of its grandeur in 1890. David did most of the work alone - spending 14 + hours a day, his work lovingly and meticulously executed. If one were to uncover these walls and floors I'm sure you would find evidence of hard labor sweat stains on every inch. The transformation included opening up rooms to create a flow for maximum light and space. The color palette is neutral white walls with a sparse use of objectified color. The plank floors have been ebonized giving the look and feel of being in a metropolitan city.

A 1950's bad design project of the side/back porch yielded unsightly results. Glad this is gone!!


The grand stone fireplace. We LOVE IT! We can't wait for the Carolina Jasmine to start climbing the post and cover the top!

View of the golf course lawn from the pavilion. And, we don't even play golf!!

Out back the view of the golf course was so lovely that we constructed a 30 x 30 tin covered pavilion with a grand stone fireplace. This outdoor living space has been one of our favorite places for entertaining or just relaxing on hot summer days and especially this past fall season with the warmth of the fire. After a year the blooming plants finally took off and we are "almost" finished (is anything ever really finished) with the exterior of the house - not counting furnishing the porches and pavilion, of course - that's another design project that we will tackle this spring.

For now, it's time to go inside to design and "rescript" each room. With the color palette in place, our blank canvas is ready to become a masterpiece. We hope that you will be a part of this transformation. We'll take it room by room and ask for your suggestions on style, objects, placement, etc - all things that make a room a home. We'll post a "blank" room when we are ready to begin. So, keep watching. In the meantime, we'll post design tips for "rescripting" old or vintage things into your own home - included mixing styles and periods, interviews with collectors and dealers, show and shopping reviews, posts on some of our favorite things to collect, along with cool vintage stuff to wear, and sometimes just how our own life is "rescripted" from day to day.

We will post 3 days a week, faithfully - Monday, Wednesday, & Friday evenings. We are also very excited about our new website that will go up tomorrow night (Sun., Dec. 7). Be sure to check it out - here is the link - we think you'll enjoy shopping there. It's still a new beginning so don't get discouraged because we don't have lots of things on there yet. We have lots to add and will update the website each Friday evening and will have it full soon. If you want to get reminders of the blog and website updates just let us know.