Wednesday, October 22, 2014

And Then My Head Exploded

Dear Mom,
On a recent visit to the Kansas City area to spend several blissful days with a dear friend, we gloried for hours, soaking in the inspiration of Florilegium.

beads of every shape and color imaginable

This area was off limits to customers. It is The Owner/Artist's Studio area.

This display is just small selection of the beautiful ribbons available.

Everything is displayed to perfection.

This case greets you as you step in the door.

This Enchantment is beaded embroidery on a window screen!

And one display case was filled with samples of ribbon embroidery.

In addition to the ribbons and beads I've shown here, there was roving, and wool for embroidery or needlepoint, buttons, art yarn, hand painted yarns, and thousands of ideas. Gretchen, the owner, and Cathy, her employee, were extremely generous with their time and ideas, with no hesitation to demonstrate a technique or describe a creative process. We left with our heads spinning. My only regret is that Florilegium is 9+ hours away. Lucky for ALL of us, they ship orders every day!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Estate

Dear Mom,
A long time ago, not at all very far away, a grand country home caught the eye of a curly brown haired girl, riding in the back seat, behind the driver, as her family took a Sunday drive through the country. That little girl was I.

I think the whole family loved our country drives. And probably all four of us kids were hoping with all our might that the drive might end up at Dairy Queen; but until we either returned home or pulled into the DQ parking lot, I leaned my head against the window and looked out and day dreamed.
On one of those summer Sunday drives, as we drove past a full spruce tree near the road, a remarkable number of rabbits shot out and scattered across the lawn of a large brick house. Daddy, who loved to tease, announced that this was where the Rah-bots live. The name stuck. For forty years I've thought of that house as The House Where the Rahbots Live. And for forty years I've admired that house. I still live within a few miles of that house.

The house has History. It is 150 years old and started out as the home on a 100 acre horse farm, Two Gaits Farm. Eventually, the home was donated for use as a rectory and then one of the parish priests purchased the home. The horse farm was sold off bit by bit and this grand house is now surrounded by the the newest sections of my neighborhood.

Not too long ago, as my hero and I were driving past - either heading to the hardware store or for a dinner out- I saw a For Sale By Owner sign in front of the house I've been dreaming of all these years. I grabbed paper and pen out of my purse and wrote the contact info down. I knew in my heart that this was an unrealistic dream, but I was going to make that call.
And I did. The house is way out of our price range and it needs a hefty investment of time and money to get it in shape, but in my conversation with the estate agent, I was told that there would be an estate sale to sell off the contents of the house. I noted the dates on my calendar, knowing that this may be my one and only opportunity to step inside that house.

The estate sale was impressive. I felt like I was in a museum, surrounded by fine antiques, depression glass collectibles and a barn filled with glass lamps and lamp fixtures. I didn't necessarily go there to buy anything as much as spend time in the house, satisfying so many years of dreams. I did manage to find an interesting solution for my laundry detergent. I've been wanting something prettier than the Tide box to keep the detergent in- something that would be fun and functional. What I found is absolute perfection! It is the vessel that would have once been used to empty a chamber pot!

This beauty holds a huge amount of Tide detergent and I keep a pretty little tea cup with a detergent level mark on the inside of the cup to scoop the detergent out and into the washing machine. I am thrilled with this purchase. I also found a delicate, petite-sized cake stand with a glass dome. Not necessary, but too pretty to leave behind.

What I really really REALLY wanted, but was intended for sale with the house, was this sign. I took a photo, knowing that my picture would be the next best thing to having it. I have so many childhood memories tied up in the name of this farm, and in this sign. And yes, it should stay with the house, where it belongs.
The Estate is still on the market. I won't wonder or dream about living there anymore. I am happy to stay here, in My Home, but I will be keeping an eye on The House Where The Rahbots Live, hoping that it can be a home again to someone who will love it. And maybe even to someone who dreamed all her life of living in a house just like this one.