Archive for Family Heritage

Winter Blues

winter blues

In keeping with my theme of displaying the things that I love, I wanted to share a couple of pictures of my winter display of blue glass in my kitchen.

blue glass display

I started with this framed metal piece that used to hang in our previous house. I never found a place for it when we moved, so it has been sitting on a shelf in our basement.

These 3 Ball jars were passed on to me from my mother and were collecting dust in our basement as well. Some of the blue bottles had been in my kitchen and I collected other pieces from around the house.

Again, just seeing this cozy collection of things each day, makes my heart sing. Hmmmm, what should I work on next?


winter blue glass


Displaying, Rather than Storing, Meaningful Items

winter mantelI have a lot of great stuff . . . in boxes . . . in my basement. Can you relate?

After taking down Christmas decorations last month, I was faced with an empty mantel. The thought of putting my tried and true items back in their place seemed like drudgery.  I wanted to mix it up a bit, and that set me on a mission. I began casting a new vision for different areas of my home.

I have had several items tucked away that once belonged to my parents or grandparents. I really love their look, but have always told myself that they didn’t fit the decor of my home. I have dreamed of displaying them somehow, somewhere, but in the basement they have remained.

So now I’m taking bold new steps and creating ways to get them out in the open where they can be enjoyed. And I have started with my mantel.

Here’s a view of our parlor with my newly created winter-time mantel.

parlor with winter mantelI started this arrangement with a framed print that was being stored in our basement–because I needed a large enough piece to cover a couple of large screws that had held the previous painting that hung over the fireplace.

Then, with a nod to both of my grandmothers, and a neutral palette, I began arranging other meaningful items on the mantel.

heirloom mantel

wedding dress boxI included this box, which at one time, held my grandmother’s wedding dress, her eighth-grade graduation dress, and two little outfits that her children wore as babies. She wrote a list of the box’s contents on the outside. I have always cherished this box, but had never before considered displaying it. So glad it came to mind now.

heirloom mantel2Some other items I chose to display here included a checkerboard I remember from my grandparents’ house, old books, a pin cushion, a vintage hat, a wooden storage box and this little porcelain plant holder.

I like this look. And I like the way it makes me feel when I see it. What do you think? Do you have any interesting ways to display your favorite items?

I’ve got another little project I hope to show off soon.


This Old House

Pratt Family Home

This is where my family and I spent this past weekend. Honestly.

See the upstairs window on the right? That’s where Ken and I slept.

Our kids slept in the upstairs room on the left.

And my parents slept in the room behind the lower window on the left.

That’s where they always sleep, because they have lived here for over 10 years now. My paternal grandparents lived here for decades before that.

My grandfather–George Marshall Pratt (the third, although that title was not a given part of his name)–was born in this house in 1906. The above picture shows his mother and five of his siblings. He and his older sister had not yet been born.

We are not sure when the Pratt family moved into the house, nor who built it. Unfortunately, it seems that anyone who could answer those questions is no longer on this earth, and we didn’t think to ask them when they were still here.

This is the front of the house in a shot that I took this weekend:

Pratt family home

It actually looks quite alive and inviting when my mother’s flowers are in bloom, but this picture, from a cold spring morning, makes for a good comparison with the one taken over a century ago.

Here is the same house a few years after the first picture above. My Grandpa Pratt always stated that he was a newborn in this picture and was in the bedroom with his mother, I believe behind the curtains in the bottom left window.

George Marshall Pratt home

{I have to wonder–who took these pictures?! Was there a traveling photographer who made his or her way around the countryside with a wagon carrying old-time camera equipment who would take a picture of the family homestead for a fee and then move on? I just have to wonder.}

Through the years, my grandparents added a couple of enclosed porches to the house, as well as a kitchen, an additional bedroom and expanded their basement (to include indoor plumbing!). Eventually, they added a bigger kitchen, turning the previous kitchen into a dining room, and built a bathroom on the main floor.

This photo shows what used to be the front of the house, which is now an enclosed porch that my parents have used as a wonderful playroom for the grandkids.

Enclosed front porch

This is what it looks like on the other side of that wall–from the inside looking out to the enclosed front porch. This is one of the original rooms, which I believe was used as the main living area.

Inside of original Pratt home

My parents have been able to make some interior changes to the house and have also built an attached garage, a large dining room and a mudroom/pantry area.

Here is a side view of the house today, but you can still see the original portion of it which was built so many years ago.

Pratt home 2014After we enjoyed our good night’s rest this past weekend, we stripped the beds and Ken  helped my Dad move the big furniture into the newest bedroom. There it will remain until the walls and ceilings in those two old rooms and the stairwell are gutted to the studs so that new electrical wiring, insulation and drywall can go in.

This is the original stairway leading upstairs. Generations of kids and grandkids have played on these steps! 🙂

grandkids in the stairway

The walls and wallpaper will be updated, but the original stairs will remain.

I hope to post some before and after pictures once this latest project is complete.

It’s exciting to anticipate the changes, but I also love the stories and memories that this old house holds for me and so many others.