Thursday, December 8, 2011

Victorian House Tour Part 3...

Today we continue our Christmas House Tour of my brother Tom and his wife, Nina.

Day one we toured the outside of the house--if you missed it, you can see that here...

Day two we toured the dining room and kitchen--if you missed that one, you can see it here...

Before we leave, Kim @ Cheap Chic Home has requested a closer view of the light over the dining room table and I am happy to accommodate!  So here you go Kim!  You can click on it to make it larger.  It has birds, twigs, beautiful blue ornaments, pearls, iridescent snowflakes and TONS of ribbon!

Now, on through the kitchen (grab some cookies and punch and wave goodbye to Nina!) and we will head to the living room.

You see what looks like a window with dishes displayed and the doorway?  Well, the window looking thing was actually the door originally and the doorway was a window that looked out to, well, 
uh nothing--the mud porch.

So, to get out to the back of the house, you had to step down into the kitchen and back up into the mud room.  The flow was off so Tom switched them.  Makes more sense now and gave more room in the kitchen without the extra door.

Oh, uh, why is there still an area that looks like a window?  Uh, seems there was not enough wallpaper to cover that section so he did the display.  hehe...

You can see their victrola there and you can tell Nina is really into angels too.  There is a cross stitch of roses to the right of the flow blue dishes--that was made by their daughter--who Nina likes to say is so careful that the back looks as good as the front!

I actually never noticed that the flow blue plates hanging above the little "window" look as if they came from the 1904 World's Fair.  Hmmmm...  I learned something new today too!

You can see another little tree behind the settee.  

You're gonna love this...

A group of ladies came to view the house and two of them didn't feel they could do the stairs, so they decided to stay downstairs while their friends went upstairs.  I asked if they would like to have a seat on the settee and they looked really startled and asked, "You can SIT on these????"  

Uh Yep.  Even the two labs have been known to sit, uh, lay on it.  HeHe.  Nina says she does try to keep the lab sitting to a minimum though.  LOL

See the coffee table?  Keep that in your mind...

And more of the carpet from my niece's house...The room in her house was large
enough to get two nice sized area rugs for this house!  Great huh?

Across the doorway from the "window" is this huge desk.  I know they have a name--my grandmother had a HUGE one.  I want to say they were lawyers or accountant's desks because of the large bookcase above.  At any rate, isn't it GREAT????  I totally love the way that the part that folds over the work area is curved.

The china in it is the hand painted floral china with the gold edges and stuff.  This is MY kind of china!  I love to look at the flowers...

The candlestick telephone works--it's a reproduction but looks cute.  (NOTE from TOM!!!!  That phone is NOT the reproduction!  It is an original candlestick phone that Tom found.  He had to drive 150 miles in thick fog each way (300 miles round trip in fog!  Ick!) and when he got it, it was totally black with gunk which he had to work a long time to clean off and then polish the metal and had to put new guts in it so it would be usable!  It turned out so well that I didn't even realize it was an original!  It works too!)

See the gout stool in front of the "lady's chair"?  My son found that for Nina one year for Christmas and it matched the chairs!  

See the little table that the lamp and phone are resting on?

Well perhaps you can see it a little better in this one.  Not much but a bit.

Anyway, this little table and the coffee table were purchased by Nina's mom who saved the Eagle Stamps to get enough books to "buy" them!  She said her mom only shopped at Kroger so she could get the stamps.  

Do you remember those and S&H Green Stamps and I seem to remember one that was like Gold something or another--it was gold with red I think.  Remember how when you purchased
laundry detergent you got glassware or towels?  Oh and my older brother, Terry, got green glasses when he purchased gas at a certain (I want to say Gulf) gas station!  

But I digress...

Those tables are a great keepsake from Nina's family and will go to her daughter...

You may have noticed Tom's derby and cane in this picture.  He actually has a collection of canes you will see when we get back to the hallway.

And the little Eastlake chair sitting in front of the armoire.  Is that armoire magnificent or what????  

This houses the electronics--TV, stereo, yadda yadda yadda.  I can't remember if this is
one that they scored in Kansas when they came to visit or not.

You spied the window I am sure and this is what is in it.  It is recessed and while not really a bay window, it is cantilevered out and is the perfect place for the nativity.

See all of the angels????  My favorite is under the table on the right hand side.  It is little and has a pointy hat on.  I was telling Nina how much I liked that little angel and she said
she found it at the dollar store.  Boy am I cheap or what????  LOL

Across from the window area and next to the victrola is the stove.  Do you just LOVE the nickel plating on it?  They had a candle in it since it was plenty warm in the house with the people coming through.

Next to the stove is...

The Fairy Garden!  That was my fish tank.  I was happy (Oh SO VERY HAPPY!!!) to donate it to the cause when Tom built this for Nina after their trip Asheville, NC to see the Vanderbuilt mansion.

Would you like to see a closer view of the inside of the fairy garden?  Let's...

If you click on the picture you can look inside and see the waterfall with little fairies cavorting
around.  See the butterfly on the left?  Nina found it perfectly preserved in her greenhouse.

On the right hand side just in front of the little wire gazebo you can see a dragonfly.  It was also
perfectly preserved in her greenhouse.

In the middle, just to the right of the little arched gate you can see a little disk with another dragonfly.  I found that one perfectly preserved in my little camper when I was cleaning it for our son's visit at Thanksgiving, so I carefully picked it up and took it to Nina for her fairies...

With that, lets head to the hallway.  This is the opposite end of the hall from the Bride's Basket display.  So, this is the visitor's entrance.  See the hall rack?  There are some of Tom's canes and some old umbrellas. 

See the beaded purse hanging down by the poinsettia?  It is truly exquisite!  So much work!  And much heavier than
you might imagine! 

Those are the high school senior pictures of my niece and nephew (Tom and Nina's kids).

Next to that is a piece of garden statuary surrounded by lights and tulle.  Isn't it pretty?

Above the angel in the frames are pictures of my dad and his brother (still in short pants and dresses--any of you
familiar with that???) his mom and dad, my dad and his brother in their ball uniforms and in the gold frames are
pictures of my grandfather as a young boy.

Have you noticed the Wainscoting in the hallway and stairs?  This is not original to the house but has a really interesting story.

Tom has a trucking company and he drives this rig delivering steel.

While hauling from a warehouse in Granite City, IL, the warehouse that was built in the 1800's needed more room.  

They removed their wooden heart pine posts and replaced them with steel I-beams to carry more weight.  

Tom asked what they would be doing with the wooden beams and was told they would be throwing them out.  Tom asked if he could have them and they said "SURE!"  

He loaded them on his semi and took them to a local Amish Sawmill where they were sawed into boards for him.  Each one was 12-16 feet long and beautiful 100+ year old heart pine!

Tom brought the boards home and ran them through his planer, put the beads on them and cut the tongue and groove into the boards.  This all became the wainscoting for the whole hallway both downstairs, upstairs and up the staircase!  Didn't it turn out great?????  

He's good like that...

Now to the Parlor which is located in the bow front of the house.

As you come in you see this little vignette.  Isn't the oil lamp neat?  I LOVE the extra tall chimney on it!

You can see more of Nina's ladies.  That is a mirror.  You fold it out and there are mirrors on the other side of the lady portraits.

And then there is the pickle...

This is the German Christmas Pickle Ornament...

I purchased one for them years ago because it is an old German tradition.  You hide the pickle on the tree and the person who finds it gets a gift or an extra dessert or gets to eat first or whatever special prize the parents decide on.  The one I purchased for them was burned in the fire when their first greenhouse, garage and part of their camper burned.  Nina found this one this year and it is finally replaced.  There will be a pickle on the tree again!  :)

I know it is silly, but I just LOVE the pickle story!  :)

In this picture you can see the little table.  The photo on the bottom of the table is Nina's mom when she was a youngun...

Next to the little table is a settee that I could not believe Nina even looked at twice when she bought it.  It was SO incredibly BAD, broken down and looked like something had NESTED in it!

She brought it home and used Kramers on the frame, Tom glued the joints to make it sturdy again and then they took it to Herman and had it upholstered.  Didn't it turn out beautiful????  She's good like that!

You can see more of Nina's angels above the settee, and next to the settee you can see their other victrola.  They are obviously some of the yuppie Victorians with TWO Victrolas--don't you think?

Across the room from the settee is this pump organ.  You sit on the really uncomfortable stool and put your feet on the pedals and pump for all you are worth while playing the thing!  I mean to tell you, it's a workout--and it DOES work.  

They found this on a trip to visit me and Gman when we lived in KS.  It came from Cowtown in Wichita where it had been used in a playhouse.  The lacquer on it had turned black with age when they got it and Nina sat night after night stripping (the organ!) and cleaning it.  I think her labors were rewarded!

You can see some of her lady vases and hanging on either side of the organ are stone lithographs that they found.

The pink chair is a pedestal rocker and you can see the zither on the floor by the organ.

This is her collection of carolers and little family photos and china.  The cabinet is original to the parlor.  You can also see the fireplace.

The fireplace sports a little parlor stove that Tom found on Ebay.  It was in Illinois.  

Here...this is a better shot of it...

It is also nickel plated.  This is the original mantel, covered right now with a wicked cute lace mantle cloth, but the fireplace had been closed off for some time so Tom & Nina decided on black marble for the part where the firebox would have been.

It is flanked by a pair of Eastlake chairs and an Eastlake mirror.  More of her cupids and beloved portrait plates
are in residence here along with a camelback mantle clock.

And now for the BIG part of the Parlor...

The Christmas Tree surrounded by Tom's "It's A Wonderful Life" Christmas Village!

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?????

This year the tree had a little accident.  One of the screws on the stand that hold the tree up was rusted and decided to give way!  Ack!  The tree came down...

On the village!!!!!

Luckily, only a couple of ornaments broke and there was some minor damage to a couple of pieces of the village, but it could have been MUCH worse!  

See the angel at the top of the tree?  Tom got that when he was five years old.  All he wanted for Christmas that year was an Angel and he has had her ever since.  They call her Tinkerbell...and she survived the fall!  Yay!

See the light in the middle of the room?  Tom gave that to Nina one year for Christmas.  

He hung it on the ceiling--which looked like this at the time!  

Also at the time, the walls were all down.  

This is my dog Charms walking through the wall to see Tom--Doors?  We don't need no stinkin' doors!  LOL  You can read more about the restoration on Tom and Nina's website here...

Tom did the design on the ceiling and you can kind of see that there is a strip of mahogany running through the floor that mimics the ceiling.  Isn't it neat???  Tom's good like that...

Let's take a closer peek at the village shall we?

I love this main street with the Merry Christmas and bells across the road.  I so remember that from the movie!

And over here is the train which goes around the track.  You can make what they call the three favorite sounds--chugging, the whistle and the crossing signal.  I LOVE playing with that!!!!

See Mr Potter's house up there all by itself?

If you look closely on the upper left of this picture, can see a lighted piece that is next to the bridge where Jimmy Stewart was going to jump but Clarence jumped in instead.  

Coming this way from the bridge on the left is the car that he wrecked into the tree.  There are so many things to see in this village!  Tom has been collecting it for YEARS!

This concludes the tour of the first level of the house...

Tomorrow we will head up these stairs (see all that glorious wainscoting????) to the second floor...there is a lot more to see...

See you then!!!!!


  1. Beautiful walk through. My kids remember trying to find the pickle ornament on our
    tree -- so they could get an extra present :-)

  2. dr momi--I have not known anyone else who did this! That is wonderful! Isn't it fun?