House walk

On Saturday, our home was part of a local house walk in the neighborhood featuring small, well-designed spaces. I have spent the last month getting the house ready, and yes my knitting has suffered terribly. We re-created the paneling in the Dining Room specifically for this walk, and it turned out beautiful. I had replicas made of the original columns that separated the Dining room and Living room, and pieced together what the 1/2 high dividing wall would have been. The originals had been stored in the attic, and I sent them off to be matched. There was too much repair to do to them, and the top was missing on one of them. I did, however, keep the original ones, and put them back in the attic. We put lights on top of the columns, and I did my best to guess what they would have looked like. This is a photo of the room as it was staged for the walk.

As part of the staging, I took down photos of the kids that lined the plate rail, and replaced them with copper plates and accessories.  You would have thought that I had kicked them out of the house, and disinherited them.  They were very sensitive to their imprint being removed, if only for 2 days.  I really got it when I moved the ceramic faces from the kitchen, which I quickly told my daughter were being put above the bathroom door.  They don’t seem to like change, especially Ethan.

Jayne Thompson, wife of former long-time Governor Jim Thompson, grew up in my house.  A friend had suggested inviting them to the walk, but I had not idea how to reach them.  When I mentioned it to my house captain a week prior to the walk, she said that she used to work for Gov. Thompson, and had a friend who worked with Jayne’s firm currently.  Well, she was able to contact Jayne, and she came with Gov. Thompson and her daughter.  We were here to meet them, and she spent about an hour in the house.  Jayne is planning to come back next month when her sister is in town.  She said that it had been 26 years since she was in the house.  The one room that had not changed was the bathroom (except for the new low-flow toilet).  She found the workbench in the basement that her father had made, along with the same pencil sharpener.  The wonderful magnolia tree that we love so much, was planted by her father when she was a child.  I told her about our annual magnolia party.  All of the “improvements” that we have made to restore the house apparently predated their tenure.  She did remember all of the lovely art glass, and said that her mother always just wanted to rip out all of the wood.  It got painted, but thankfully most of it was saved.  It will be great to have time without all of the other people touring the house to really ask questions about what the neighborhood was like, etc.

Here is the wonderful poster/graphic that Andrew created for the walk.  It was very well attended, and people sincerely enjoyed the event.  I hope that they raised a good amount of money for the Day Nursery.