Nestled in a recent purchase of several boxes of sheet music was this incredible find, a first edition of Claude Debussy’s “Children’s Corner” Suite, circa 1908 printed in France by A. Durand & Fils. The cover has a beautiful ‘Art Nouve’ styled motif and shows an Elephant holding a “Golliwog” balloon, the golliwog (typically a doll) was a favorite of Debussy’s daughter Chouchou. But I have continued finding other first editions; namely 2 more Debussy’s, his ‘Preludes’ and ‘Douze Etudes I’, Maurice Moszkowski’s ‘Trios Arabesques’, Maurice Ravel’s ‘Gaspard De La Nuit’ and ‘Feux d’ Eau’, and the London edition of Paul Hindemith’s ‘Ludus Tonlis’. Actually I have a stack of about 40 pcs. that bear further research. The collection which totaled about 200-250 pcs. had evidently past hands as a whole group starting in the late 1800’s by a German artist then added to by other pianists, one in London or New York, then Tacoma, where a substantial number of pieces were added in the early 1900’s. Many of the pieces are signed by the original owners (starting in 1894) and even includes one book of compositions by Mendelssohn that had been published and purchased within 40 years of his death. m.
Regarding Squirrels… today I had a friend with some customers ask me about the Squirrels?, is it a “Hot trend?”, “Your latest design motif?” and “What’s up with the $1,300- Squirrel Topped Biscuit Jar?” I’m at a loss… now admittedly I did buy a vintage cement Squirrel a month or so ago and another climbing a trunk… but then they just started showing up… In cabinets, on tables and under chairs… the latest being the Squirrel Topped Biscuit Jar, which oddly enough brought along it’s own tag! I’ve been over run… and can only assume I have some friends who think I’m “Nuts” and must enjoy the company… m.
(In the photo… please note another Squirrel in the upper right corner)
It’s been a few years since I’ve done a mirrored console but it’s high time that I pulled a few old tricks out of the bag and reintroduce some of my previous furniture lines… I’ve also completed a mirrored cabinet recently, but it’s already found a good home, so another is in the works and also a few (three) side tables, can anyone say ‘Coffee Table’? why not… quite soon it’ll seem like I’ve lost myself in a hall of mirrors at the circus. m.
The Oak & Ash Grove at the far western end of the field is perhaps my favorite place at home, decades ago when my parents purchased the property there stood the shell of a cabin that had been built years before, it in turn was taken down piece by piece and used to build the barn lower in the field. The trees mostly Oregon White Oak are around +150 years old, I counted the rings on the last one that fell down in a wind storm in the late 80’s. The tall lush grass has many wild flowers, Ox Eyed Daises, Camas Swale lilies, Columbine, Tiger lilies (Daffodils in the spring, from the old homestead) Wild Mint and Nootka Roses which grow up around the bases of the trees. Dad mows the grass where he can get the tractor around the trees in the early summer. The dappled light has a quality all it’s own… what this place ready needs is a bench swing, hmmm… gives me an idea. m.
Another tree being cleared for the garden area that I’m interested in is a Pacific Yew Tree, these posts which surround the barn are of Pacific Yew Trees, a hard wood that can last for many decades after being cut. My brother found in his creek, across the valley a number of these trees which appear to have fallen 80-100 years ago and are still solid, he extracted one such 40 foot log, beautifully worn & grooved which is now in his garden. The Indians in the pacific northwest often used the durable wood for bows and canoe paddles. As you can see from the lushness of the grass surrounding the tree (below) this spot west of the barn has very rich soil. I’m hoping to make floor lamps from the trunk segments and patio benches from the limbs.
About a month ago I had a phone call from my Mother… “Your dad is cutting down that tree…” Ugh! to make a long story short, Dad & I “agreed” to cut it down together… (I guess it’s the same with parents as well as kids… once they’ve grown up there isn’t much you can do with them) anyhow I want to use the tree trunk for table tops and felt I should be there to do most of the work, but he has left me the base to start cutting up into segments. The tree, a Big Leaf Maple was next to the barn near a garden area and from the looks of the rings approx. 120 years old. m.
I did manage to do some work today… in between swimming & napping. A few of the apple trees in the orchard need to be thinned, the weather and late frost set back a lot of the trees but some were starting to bear so heavy that if left alone the branches would break. Many branches had 10 to 14 apples per foot, which should be thinned to about 2 or 3. An empty robins nest can be seen nestled in this apple tree.