Frank Lloyd Wright @ the Victoria & Albert Museum

Finding wonderful examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s furniture while traveling in London was a surprise.
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1955 high-back chair designed for John Rayward House (“Tiranna”), New Canaan, CT. Philippine mahogany, vinyl-cloth upholstery.

FLW Table
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High backed chairs
 The greatest surprise was that the museum had purchased this office whole and shipped and reconstructed it as an exhibit.  The work was very fine, the lighting not so much.  My husband thought they were attempting to preserve the color of the wood by limiting the level of lighting in the displays.  It was a nice feeling of home for an architect abroad.
Edgar J. Kaufmann Office, 1935-1937, Pittsburgh, PA
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Frank Lloyd Wright designed this office for the owner of one of his most famous designs, Fallingwater, client & owner Edgar J. Kaufmann.
The Edgar J. Kaufmann office seating, desk area, wall paneling detail below.
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This office is now on public display as part of the Victoria and Albert Museum in England.
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Cover of Time Magazine from the period from whence these designs were created.
Fallingwater in Winter
Afterwards I went hat shopping
London hats
Later we stopped for lunch
Dan London lunch
The view at lunch
London rooftops
Merchant Prince & Master Builder, an article published in Inside Carnegie magazine (Carnegie Museum) which explores the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and his patron, Edgar J. Kauffman.  Apparently, he was the owner of a department store in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   The office pictured above was a part of Fallingwater itself.  For more information, and a few pictures of the Kaufmann family, including one of Kaufmann in the office itself: Explore PA History website.  This last site is a good, concise single page post.
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It’s So, So Green at Toad Hollow Today …

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Cuttings (later)

This urge, wrestle, resurrection of dry sticks,
Cut stems struggling to put down feet,
What saint strained so much,
Rose on such lopped limbs to a new life?
I can hear, underground, that sucking and sobbing,
In my veins, in my bones I feel it —
The small waters seeping upward,
The tight grains parting at last.
When sprouts break out,
Slippery as fish,
I quail, lean to beginnings, sheath-wet.

Theodore Roethke


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Teaser loves to check out what’s going on down on ground level…


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While we call our home Toad Hollow, it’s also been called the house of the entwined cedars.  Behind the Aurora Dogwood is an enormous Douglas Fir.  Just beyond them up hill is a Stellar Pink Dogwood, shown in the very next photo.


Entwined Cedars & Aurora Dogwood


There is an Eddies White Wonder Dogwood in the foreground, and to it’s left is the Stellar Pink. Look at that Rhododendron color!

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The Rhododendrons are blooming one by one, we’ve bought different varieties with differing bloom times to extend the time we get to enjoy them.


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The Clematis have been blooming in successive waves and growing and growing and growing like never before up the posts that support our deck.


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My editor demands that I upload a photo of him too…


Firecat the OS Editor


There is so much to do.  This began as 15 square yards of 4-way garden soil.  It seems that we haven’t moved much of it yet …


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“Since childhood, since childhood!

Childhood is a toad in the garden, a

happy toad. All toads are happy

and belong in gardens. A toad to Diana!”

Excerpt from Romance Modern

William Carlos Williams 

FOR LOVE OF A GARDEN: Autumn Leaf Color Even in Summer

 “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of
strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something
infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature— the assurance
that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”

Rachel Carson

Dan replanted this minature lace leaf Japanese Maple the second Spring after we moved to Toad Hollow because it wasn’t in a good location.  Now it’s size and color contrast with the enormity of the Douglas Firs, Cedars and Alders that grow here naturally.  We love that contrast found in the Fall, its bright, clear red against the deep greens of the needles, the grey brown of bark and the brighter greens of the moss.  That color contrast is our inspiration for many of the plants we continue adding in recent years to the garden.

Tiny lace leaf red maple

Just yesterday, I helped Dan, a little, to plant one of these Emperor 1 Japanese Maple trees in the front bed with the enormous, shiny leafed Rhododendrons.  Emperor 1 turns bright red in the Fall and will stand out against the brown shingles of our house.

Emperor 1 Red Maple

We live on a corner lot.  The mailboxes for our neighbors are congregated in front.  The trash and recycling bins are collected just around the corner of our lot from those mailboxes, also in front of our house.  This is what we see from our front window on Tuesday night through Wednesday when the trash is collected.  So we need screening.  Already we have a beautiful lilac and Forsythia that we planted there the first year.  They were bareroot plants and it took them some time to get some size.

As I get older I don’t think I have so many years to wait for things to grow.  I have moved on to 1 gallon to 5 gallon potted shrubs in hopes of seeing a beautiful multi-colored screen of plants such as this Golden Ninebark, which will grow to be about 8 to 12 feet high eventually.  Love the color!

Golden Ninebark

We also planted a Diabolo Ninebark, and a Black Lace Elderberry as well, an example is shown second below.  When I buy plants in pots I still need to research their eventual size and I search the internet for pictures so that I can imagine how it will work out in the future.  The pictures I am posting here are all but the very first, examples from my research.

Diabolo Ninebark

This is the type of Black Lace Elderberry we planted along with the two Ninebarks.  I am hoping it’s branches will arch out over the others gracefully.

Black Lace Elderberry

The first year we were here I planted two of these Sutherland’s Gold Elderberry in a fairly shady area of the garden and we planted Rhododendron and Azalea beneath them.  The color is a standout, especially in the low early evening sun.  I added two somewhat shorter Black Beauty Elderberry just adjacent to those a couple of years later.  These provide both a backdrop to the garden and some colorful, taller structure.

Sutherland's Gold Elderberry

Black Beauty Elderberry

 The type of Ninebark below is called Coppertina. She is progressing very well near a Karmijn de Sonneville Apple and an Australlian Pear tree since we planted her last year.

Coppertina NinebarkIn the perennial garden I added Euphorbia and Spurge, which are really from the same family and are often noted for their crazy neon green flowers.  This low growing, ferny leafed variety really appealed to me.  I also got another variety that has striped leaves, red, yellow & green, with similar neon green flowers.  Nice addition to the garden for being a bit unexpected. The various Rudbeckia will look wonderful alongside these.

Spurge or EuphorbiaIrish Eyes, My Favorite!

   Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia Goldstrum   “If you have a mind at peace, and a heart that cannot harden,

Go find a door that opens wide upon a lovely garden.”

Author Unknown

Toad Hollow in Summer

From our front porch:
Toad Hollow House RulesIn case you can’t read it, “this is the exact center of the universe which explains why none of the usual rules apply here.”
Another view:
The Rules 2
Toad Hollow 7/2011
Coppertina Ninebark
Coppertina Ninebark
Blackeyed SusansBlackeyed Susans (Rudbekia  )
Sutherland's Gold Elderberry  Sutherland’s Gold Elderberry
  4th of July Breakfast on the Sunny Deck
4th of July Breakfast on the Sunny Deck
Toad Hollow Garden 3
Toad Hollow Garden 4

  Prayer Lady

Shade Garden

Shade Garden2Shaded Sculpture Garden

Hummingbird in the Bee Balm

Hummingbird in the Bee Balm

Early Spring

And it all started in the Spring with quite a lot of bare dirt.


For a larger view of these  photos and more visit Flickr 

Fireflies in the Garden 

By Robert Frost 

Here come real stars to fill the upper skies,
And here on earth come emulating flies,
That though they never equal stars in size,
(And they were never really stars at heart)
Achieve at times a very star-like start.
Only, of course, they can’t sustain the part.
Firefly

Life With an Architect: Thanks For The Laundry Room

Our laundry room used to really suck.  I am not an ungrateful person.  I had a laundry room.  I didn’t have to go to a laundrymat unless I was washing the blankets or quilts that fit our King size bed.   I thought it sucked that we had all that space and no place to fold or hang laundry as we got the job done.   It is still the same long narrow room.  It no longer has a recycled plastic accordian door, unpainted drywall.  It’s just not at all ugly anymore.

I don’t really like to fold clothes in the rest of the house, but I couldn’t really do much in there about folding and hanging the laundry.  We moved into our house five and half years ago.  So I did wait for this remodel for a while.


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The cabinets are recycled.  They were once in the kitchen as upper cabinets, but they weren’t convenient for me so we took them down and saved them for this project.  Dan refinished them and created the network of shelving that wraps around the corner and the panel that covers the plumbing behind the washer.  He has a little more trim to put up on the shelf beside the washer.  This is because when he got close to having figured out and refinished all those cabinets and had built the shelves, our 5 year old Maytag DIED a cruel and expensive death.  So after much research of rebates, efficiency, repair frequency and pricing, we bought this hot metallic red number.  The slight difference in size and configuration caused a bit of trouble in fitting everything.
Now I have good storage for my vases, the laundry detergent, bleach and all that other stuff is behind closed doors within reach of the washer.  Nice. So Nice!

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Since we first remodeled, we painted that door red and added better storage. See pictures below.

After all that work with the vertical grain fir cabinets was accomplished, there was the building of the folding surfaces.  We used a two sided plastic laminate from the Ikea, and with the help of the gigantic equipment our neighbor has in his cabinet making shop Dan fitted the entire design to the wall, attaching it in the back and leaving space for a laundry sorter beneath the table plus other additional storage.  The main table is six feet long.

Did I mention all the painting!  There is no window, so the sunny, but not too bright yellow keeps it modern, bright and clean looking in here.


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The shelves are also from Ikea.  The brackets are the same design as the wall hooks we put up over head for dividing our hanging laundry for each person.  Some of the track lighting that Dan installed to bring light to every spot that we need it while doing laundry shows in this photo.


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Here’s a closer look at the cabinets & shelves.  It’s so nice not to have to cram vases in here and there wherever I could find a little space.  Now when I bring flowers into the house I know exactly where the vase I want is located.  One more little instance of suffering has been averted!

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The laundry room is on the bottom floor of our home at the foot of the stairs and is just beyond the Field of All Buddhas.   Of course, it seems appropriate to me since it is as if it was the Compassionate Buddha, or was it that fat, laughing Buddha, as Dan that ended another minor source of my suffering (in the laundry room) and it is he who I have to thank for this indulgent wonderfulness.


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To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.

Albert Schweitzer


Thanks Honey Bunny!

More About Remodeling Toad Hollow

Life with an Architect: Why Dan is THE Man

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.                                        Ernest Dimnet

I asked Dan to hang this chandelier in our entry hall for my birthday.  It had been in the garage for two years.  There were other projects that came first, it was not his fault!  But one thing leads to another and now he has refinished and repainted the walls (twice) after having replaced some of the drywall because he found some mold that had been painted over by prior occupants.

The window and door trim has been sanded down and is being refinished and one of the doors is fitted and being finished to match.  The tile is almost ready to grout.  But geeze, he had to break out a lot of heavy, old, poorly installed tile and haul it out, level the floor so that it matches the room next to it for future tiling, and really, it turned out to be quite a lot, but, it is becoming more and more beautiful.    When I bought this chandelier to match the other two and the rest of the lighting I had no idea what would transpire …

Chandelier & New Beam

Like this project, which came first:

Chandelier in the Dining Room

Or this one, where he custom built a deep pantry cabinet with pull out shelves and built in microwave, which meant he had to run wiring and made it possible for us to store more than you can imagine:

Pantry & Microwave cabinet

 Or later when he installed this lighting in the kitchen:

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The kitties like to keep track of what he is doing:

kittyboys supervise

That door is new and will be stained to match the stairs and trim.

The tile is almost all in:

Tile no grout There are just a few to set on the risers and then the grouting will begin.  That is a cat door he built that goes to the kitty boys private latrine.

Cat door Dan never has any projects.  Really.  So while he missed getting the entry hall done for my birthday on November 6th, I have no complaints.  If you hear me complaining, slap me, please.

I nearly always agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson, but in this he is wrong:

“Art is a jealous mistress, and if a man has a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture or philosophy, he makes a bad husband and an ill provider.”

Monday 11-16-09 Update:

Risers tiled 111609 This is a really messy process, but all that mortar does clean up with water.

Wood trim The wood trim takes multiple steps of measuring, cutting & mitering,  sanding, staining, finishing, sanding, finishing, sanding, finishing and finally nailing and filling the nail holes so they disappear as much as possible.  I am thinking that this will be done sometime this week.  I hope.

Appetite, with an opinion of attaining, is called hope; the same, without such opinion, despair.                                     Thomas Hobbes


Results FIRST posted 05-24-10

Skylights at dusk


Entry


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One of the reasons we wanted to remodel this area was so that we had a place that was worthy of this painting.


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Click on any of these photos below to enlarge your view.

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More About Remodeling Toad Hollow