Friday, September 26, 2008

Meet Eleanor

Let me introduce you to Mz. Eleanor (with Chi-Chi the Chihuahua)....

You've all heard about Grandma Eleanor and her little cottage house that will be up for sale soon, so I thought I'd show you around their house, where she lives with Peter's mom, Barbara. They've been living together for about 5 years now and they both moved from full houses, where now they are sharing. And that means, all of the stuff that each has accumulated over the years ended up here. They live in a nice new brick ranch garden home in the outskirts of Birmingham. I went up to the attic and took some pics of all the stuff that's stored up there. You've seen the aqua chair, now I'll show you what else is up there. It's a treasure trove.
Pretty little side table, I really like this too.
A few old vintage chairs line one wall.
Original artwork going up the stairs. Eleanor has been an artist all her life and has painted some really pretty things. She has given us a few pieces of her artwork and I have them hung at our house. These are unfortunately wasted in the attic.
More original art. She also has some very nice pieces from her former instructor, who is well known here in Birmingham, from what I understand. That one sitting on the floor was done by him. I have one watercolor painted by him of pears in our kitchen and I love it. Eleanor did the one on top.

An old coat hangs up here and I spy some sort of dresser with mirror way back against the wall in here. I spy her old sewing machine too. You can just see the top of the aqua chair here.
Other side, with a French Provencial dresser and lots of other stuff. So you see, some people really do have treasures in the attic. No one else I know, but definitely Eleanor does. I'd love to really dig through this whole attic and see what else is hiding. We'll go downstairs now and I'll show you some of the pretty things in their house.
This looks to be a Victorian folding screen. Eleanor said her aunt gave it to her. I imagine this is quite old. I love this piece too.
Peter's mom brought this Oriental screen with her. They've both been collectors of antiques for a long time.
As well as this cute pair of chairs by the frontdoor. I of course, love the black and white polkadots on this. I told Barbara I'd love to have these chairs one day. Check out the matching teddy bear. Grandma E also has an obsession with teddy bears and they are all over the house.
Another Eleanor original hangs over the sideboard in the diningroom. I told you Eleanor has a LOT of stuff. Much of it is in the diningroom. Lots of glass and dishes. She doesn't believe in getting rid of anything.
It's sitting on the floor, cause there is no more room to put this stuff away. There is no telling how much valuable stuff she has, as well as a lot of junk.
Every cupboard is stuffed with things. See all the original artwork just leaning on the floor. It's all over the house like that.
Blue and white china and another corner cabinet that is full.
Another screen behind the sofa with yet more leaning artwork. This is Eleanor's art gallery. No more room to hang things on the walls, so it leans....everywhere. And this is ALL original art, not prints.
More art....
Sofa and chair are old Baker pieces that she picked up 2nd hand years ago. Baker is very good stuff. That's a Pembroke table in between.
Another pretty pair of side tables flank the other sofa. Eleanor also loves gardening and is always cutting her roses and bringing them inside.
An old washstand is in the kitchen. So that's a few of the pretties at their house that I thought you might enjoy seeing. My hubby told me his family was colorful when we got married. And boy, he was not kidding?! LOL It's always a circus over there. Our families are polar opposites in every way.
Here she is giving it to Peter about what all she is going to do with HER little house. She wants to go over and spend some time in her little house and she'll decide when to sell it. Yada, yada, yada...you can see he looks really worried about it, ha-ha. Eleanor is very hard of hearing now and wears a hearing aid in one ear, so it's a challenge to communicate with her. She's got a very nice house to live in, so she certainly doesn't need to move over there or stay over there for that matter, but convincing her is useless. Peter's pretty good about keeping her in line though. I'm going to get over there more often now that her car keys have been taken away, to get her out and staying active.

The first time I met Eleanor she told me the funniest story about my husband, Peter. She was keeping him while his parents were out one night. He was 3 years old at the time and she asked him to go and pick up his toys before his parents got home. He looked at her with the defiance of a three year old and said in his little boy voice, "Gammah, I gonna beat yu a$$". Can you imagine...wonder where he heard that one?! I laughed my head off. I can totally see him saying that to her and she has never forgotten it. He still doesn't like to be told what to do.

Like I said, Eleanor is a character.

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Jan and Tom's Place said...

A Character, Eleanor certainly is!! What a lovely house full of "treasures".

So many items there that I would just love to find here...

Leigh said...

That certinaly IS a treasure trove. Elenor is a very talented artist, some gorgeous pieces there!

Inspired Kara said...

What a fun post. I just love family treasures!

My favorites were the little barn painting leaning up against the blue couch and the washstand.

Best of luck to Elenor! What tallented artist.

Joanna said...

Those are some great art pieces! She is so very talented. I love the peek inside. It reminded me so much of my late great aunt's home. Treasures and "junk" all over. She never got rid of anything either. *smiles*

Anonymous said...

Hi Rhoda,

What stuff huh ??? And that story about Peter when he was little is too funny...I think he takes after Grnadma :)

I feel for Eleanor; the artist types are free spirits and her wings have been clipped...not driving anymore and not being in her own home with her "things" must be hard for her. I bet that is why she keeps her paintings all over so she can see them.

We'll all cross that bridge one day, I am happy to hear you are going to take her out.

Nice post Rho,
Kathy :)

Melissa Wertz said...

That place is a treasure trove indeed! Rhoda, mama's house was like that. No place to put anything. Literally a rats maze. Furniture, dishes, stuff. Fine stuff and junk. Mama does not throw anything away. Just part of that era. And collects everything. Or wants to.

nikkicrumpet said...

Not only is she a character...but she's a great collector! Just look at all the wonderful things she has in that house....it's like a treasure trove! It was fun meeting her and I'd love to see close ups of all her great art!

Kristi said...

So, it would take a week to go through all those treasures. I am in love with the French screen... so you have first dibs? :)

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Kathy, oh let met clarify...Eleanor is in her own home with ALL her things. That's the problem, too many things! She & Peter's mom decided to consolidate their 2 houses 5 years ago & bought their current home together, so don't feel too sorry for her. She is in a very nice house (much nicer than that little cottage home that needs a lot of work). She is just a typical older person & is remembering her old house with fondness, probably too much so. She is much better off where they are now.

Brown-Eyes said...

Thanks for introducing us to Mz. Eleanor...I believe she's discovered the secret to longevity and that is to stay surrounded by the things you love...be it people, pets, gardens, home or the things in it (cluttered or not)...
I like that philosophy! ;-) Bo

Jerri Lynn @ Southern Sassyness said...

What a pretty lady, with some pretty things. Wow! I love all of her little ditties...such fun to see them!

Aunt Mimi's Creations! said...

What treasures and wonderful talent Ms. Eleanor has!

Rambling Girl said...

WOW so many beautiful treasures she has in her home. Lots of stories I am sure of. Thanks for sharing about Eleanor. Love her paintings!

Blanca said...

What a character! And that story about you husband when he was little is eerily familiar. I just did a post a few days ago about my 4 year old doing something similar to his grandma. Too funny.

Bonita said...

That is truly a treasure filled home! Such lovely things. Her artwork is gorgeous and really needs to be hanging somewhere.

My little tea-loving eye spied some teapots amongst the other treasures. Pitter patter goes my heart. Does Eleanor collect them or does she actually take afternoon tea?

Loved the childhood story about your husband. Seems like "characters" run in the family.

paintergal said...

Oh my gosh! Treasures galore!
I would kill for that rug. ;)

Fran said...

There are treasures all over the house! Eleanor is such a talented artist. I know you love looking at all these great things and imagining just what potential each piece has.

You will certainly add to her life by taking her on adventures. And I am sure she will add to yours!

Fran

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

And this is exactly why I love the South! Your story is priceless, Rhoda, and I got so tickled about your hubby and Miss Eleanor. What a scream!

She really is a very talented artist and has some nice things. Did she paint in both watercolor and oil? It would be neat if you could get someone interested in doing a show of her work while she's still alive. If not a gallery, then maybe an antique shop or antique mall? I think that would be fun for her and for you.

Will stop now. Thanks for the tour and the formal introduction to Miss Eleanor. She sounds like my kind of person. I hope I'm gardening at 90!

Sheila

Ms. Tee said...

What a place full of treasures! I love that dresser in the attic. You're right - there's just no telling what's up there.
It's really sweet of you to keep her out and active, and what a funny story about your husband!
Hope you have a great weekend. :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

How funny!
I bet she has a story for each and every treasure.

Valarie said...

She is a treasure to all of you I am sure. They do have some great stuff. :)

Kat said...

WOW! Thats a lot of stuff! The amount of art alone is staggering.
I enjoyed seeing the pictures of Eleanor. Obviously she collects things and doesnt want to part with any of it. You have a big job ahead of you.

Mabry's gamma said...

Eleanor certainly does have lots of wonderful treasures.

I think Peter was trying to keep her in line back then at the tender age of 3, what a cute story, how funny.

AJ said...

Oh my gosh! I could spend hours looking through all of her belongings! Saw so many things I would love to have:) What great treasures!

Rose said...

OH MY GOODNESS, what I wouldn't give to come root around in all of that stuff! FUNNNNNNN man what some pretty treasures she has!!! And I'm like you, no telling WHAT treasures you can't see! If I were asked to come go through all that to see what I might want, I wouldn't be able to sleep the night before, I would be sooooo excited! LOL
Thank you for sharing all that with us! WOWWWWWWWW you GOTTA keep us posted and show us what all you get for your home. This is just so cool! I don't have any family treasures and I guess that's WHY it's SOOOOOO exciting to me!

A Hint of Home said...

Thanks for letting us meet Grandma. She sounds like a character. I love some of her pieces. Someone will be lucky to have them.

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Ok, so was everyone else thinking of what they could do with every single piece as a new picture showed up? We all have everything refinished, painting or re purposed....just let us at it.

salmagundi said...

So many beautiful treasures! I love that Eleanor is still dreaming about her little house even though she is comfortable where she is. Gotta love it!! Sally

The Berry's Patch said...

It's nice to meet Eleanor. Her house is a treasure trove of beautiful things. How fun to go through the attic. No telling what you could find up there. I'm cracking up over her story of your husband. Too funny. :-)

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I love all the treasure in her house! I can't believe it...so tempting to want to use it all in your house, I am sure! :)
Carrie

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Rhoda,
Eleanor sounds like quite the colorful character. All that original artwork is amazing!

Looks like she has quite alot of other treasures too!

I think it is so sweet that you and your husband are spending so much time with her!
Have a nice weekend,
Diane

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I think Miss Eleanor is my new idol. :-) And your story is priceless...I really hung of every word of this post! And can we talk about the amount of *original* artwork she has?! Wowza. To get my little paws on one tenth of it. That spindly back chair…that Victorian screen…ahhh…I can go to bed a happy woman tonight for having glimpsed at Grandma’s treasures!

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Oh my goodness. Grandma Eleanor's house looks like some Estate Sales I've been too. . . stuff everywhere, tables, floor, etc.

What a talented artist though.

Blessings,

Sher

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...

Rhoda,

I forgot to tell you yesterday that Grandma Eleanor's dog looks a little like our two. Ours are Min Pins. Another reason I like her! ;-)

Sheila

Ann said...

She is a talented lady, her artworks really look nice. It must have been a great positive factor in your lives to have known her.

Courtney said...

oh.my.word. that attic - and everything in the house - is like a dream come true! oh to be able to shop that attic! the chairs and artwork alone have me drooling!

Jillian, Inc. said...

Oh my heavens...the stuff! And I love the story about your hubby. Sounds like a certain almost-3yo little boy I know. I like spelling it a$$

Brenda said...

That has to be the largest treasure hunt I have ever seen in one spot.

FrenchGardenHouse said...

The real treasure is Eleanor, but yikes! That Victorian Screen is to die for.
xo Lidy

Rue said...

Hi Rhoda :)

I'm just now catching up with you and I had to comment on this post. I just love Eleanor stories :)

That home is filled with all kinds of things I am drooling over and you especially had me at Baker.... drool....

Off to read more ...
hugs,
rue