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View Full Version : My new favorite room (other than, of course, my shop)



Malcolm Schweizer
04-04-2019, 1:06 PM
I wanted to share this latest project. I brought back some very special items to me from my family's estate, and I have created a sanctuary of sorts where I can sit, have a cup of coffee, pray, and relax. I am really happy with how it came out.

The centerpiece is the painting of my great grandmother, and below it is the chair she is sitting in, which was recovered to match the original fabric perfectly. Above that, I built a shelf and painted it to match the frame for the painting. (** Please note that this house was built to fit the lot, and so the walls of my house are not 90 degrees. The walls angle out to the right of the painting, which makes everything difficult!) Sorry that I took the picture before touching up a few patches in the wall, which are now fixed. On the shelf are the boat that my grandfather helped with in the late 1920's and the owner gave him the architect's model to thank him. Also one of his boat racing trophies from 1927.
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Ugh, I did rotate these images in my computer before posting, and they still show up sideways. Sorry.

Also in the windows are two stained glass windows that were made by Bill Baxtrom in Columbus, MS, who trained me in stained glass making, and my father bought a number of his work and had it stored in the attic. The very first piece I ever made was a tiny version of this window with a much simpler fleur de lis that Bill showed me how to make because it uses a lot of elements- inside curves, outside curves, straight lines, and leaded glass. Mine was unfortunately stolen years ago. Both of these windows were made by Bill for a lady and she changed her mind about the color, so my dad bought them way back when- probably in the 1970's. Bill passed away many years ago. In order to hang the stained glass windows, I made some steel brackets that bolt to the sides and wrap around the bottom of the window so that they support it from the bottom- very important with leaded glass windows. The brackets extend up about 1" and have a hole into which the hanging strap is attached, and at the bottom (not yet installed when I took the picture because stupid me bought the wrong size of fastener) will be check straps to keep it from swinging in the wind. The one on the left has them, the one in the closeup doesn't yet because I bought two of the right size and two of the wrong size. :-)

To the right of the chair in the below picture is also a table that my grandfather built out of cherry. On the table is a cranberry water decanter and a bud vase that were favorites of my mom. We both collected cranberry glass and I gave her that decanter long ago. The bud vase currently holds a cutting from one of Amy's orchids. Growing orchids is one of her passions.
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In the adjacent corner is the Celtic harp that I built out of cherry, which my grandfather always used in his furniture building. Above that is a porcelain figure that my father brought back from Europe and my grandfather made an oval frame for it.

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My wife and her mom made the sheer panels for the windows to let in light but keep out mosquitoes.

I'm sitting in this room as I type, and I am so relaxed and so happy with being surrounded by these things and able to look up at any one of them and feel like I gave the artisan proper tribute, which is very important to me, and I figure a lot of you feel the same way about certain pieces, so I thought I would share my new favorite room.

By the way, my daughter had commandeered this room as hers when she outgrew the crib, and now that she is 6, we upgraded her to a "Big girl room" which is why I just now was able to retake this room and give it a makeover. The bed in her new room is also very special- my father flew in a B-26 as bombardier/navigator during WWII. He was one of the lead squadrons on D-Day. After the war he stayed in Europe and promoted to very high ranks. He bought the posts for this bed, and being a ranking officer, he was able to put them in the plane and fly them back... not sure if it was the B-26 that he flew them back in, but I seem to remember he said it was. He did this before in Africa, flying back a huge brass table top, and said his crew thought he was crazy. The story is that he was only able to bring back the two ornate posts, and my grandfather turned two headposts to match, and they match the shape perfectly, but don't have the carvings on them. This was actually common for beds to have only the footposts ornate, because often a curtain was tied around the headpost and it wouldn't be seen anyway. Reluctantly, I'm letting my daughter have the bed, but not without a very stern talking to about the history, and that she is not to jump in the bed, put stickers on it, or write on it. I think she got it- and she really appreciates it, which is why I wanted it to be hers. (Please don't tell my wife, but I just snapped the photo without prettying anything up. Keep in mind it's a 6-year-old's room.) I am kind of jealous because I love how the frame holds the mosquito net and doesn't let it sag. Our house is open air, although we do have mosquito panels in the windows- a few get through, and a net is not just decorative.

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So that's what I've been up to this week- not shown in the "sanctuary" on the other wall is a bunch of shelves I built and my desk is now on that wall. At time of photos, it was just covered in tools.

Cheers!

Malcolm

Malcolm McLeod
04-04-2019, 1:36 PM
So many people get caught up acquiring more 'things', but like you've done, it is inspiring to be surrounded by the 'things' that made us who we are, and are small reminders of why we should be proud of it. Well done!

(My father too brought home (via Germany) some odd things - - a large brass table top from Tripoli and marble fruit from Italy. I know the fruit rode in the ammo cans of a T-33, but I've no clue how he got the tray into the cockpit of the F-86D.)

Malcolm Schweizer
04-04-2019, 1:53 PM
So many people get caught up acquiring more 'things', but like you've done, it is inspiring to be surrounded by the 'things' that made us who we are, and are small reminders of why we should be proud of it. Well done!

(My father too brought home (via Germany) some odd things - - a large brass table top from Tripoli and marble fruit from Italy. I know the fruit rode in the ammo cans of a T-33, but have I've no clue how he got the tray into the cockpit of the F-86D.)


I married a minimalist. If it were up to her, we'd be living on a boat with no furniture at all and minimum belongings. Actually, if it weren't for my woodworking and need for a shop, I'd be cool with that!!!! She told me for everything I bring back, I have to get rid of something. Out with the pressboard dressers and in with the ones my grandfather built. Out with the immitation sleigh bed, and in with the four poster. We also ended up rearranging the whole living room and downstairs bedroom and reading nook, and in the end, we have MORE room than before I brought all the stuff back!

Dad brought back a number of things from Germany, including some cool beer steins, some of which have glass bottoms. Talk about fancy beer goggles!!!

Jim Becker
04-04-2019, 10:02 PM
Wonderful things to keep in the family!

Wow...that harp is exquisite, too!