My Southern Apartment

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I can't even begin to tell you how refreshed I am feeling this year. 2012 is kicking ass so far. Fuzzy and I are rocking out our organization and cleaning project, and part of that is putting art on the walls. We've been in our apartment for 4.5 years, and I am just now feeling like we are settling in and the place is feeling homey and cozy. I love it.

I want to share 2 new amazing pieces of art that we have in our apartment. The first one has a little bit of a back story. My uncle Carl (my Dad's next oldest brother--Dad was the oldest of 4) used to have a rubber stamp business back in the day. We used to have Reid Rubber Stamps all over the house, and it used to be that when you would go to the bank drive through (well, when Mom would...I was a kid), you could see all the Reid Rubber Stamps that they used in the window. SO- cut to Christmas Eve, when we were hanging out in the yard at Memaw Reid's house, and Carl, Fuzzy and I went into his old shop, which is now my aunt's husband's "man cave." There on the wall was this big wooden Reid Rubber Stamp sign--the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. I gasped, pointed and exclaimed "I want that!!!" Carl was like "Really?" and then ripped it off the wall (It was mounted in there) and said "It's yours." Turns out he's been wondering what to do with it for all these years, so he said it was meant to be mine. I love it so much! It is hand carved and hand painted by Carl, which makes it even cooler.  After he gave it to me, he proceeded to then tell Fuzzy and I all sorts of stories about my dad and how he used to prank Carl, etc etc. It was awesome, and so special. We carried it on the plane, and then put it in our hallway so that I can always see it and it can be a focal point of our hallway.

Reid Rubber Stamp

The sign--that's exactly what the stamps used to look like.

Reid Rubber Stamp

Here is a photo of it for scale. It's really big! (sidenote: all of our rooms and walls in our apartment have a theme. The hallway/ entryway's theme is art about Fuzzy and I, or family photos. That's why you'll see in this photos those awesome paintings of Mustapha by Kate, a portrait of Fuzzy by his cousin, and our engagement photos.) (I am also happy to report that all those VHS tapes are not stacked up there anymore. Instead I have awesome framed photos of family and friends. Progress!)

Perhaps my favorite Christmas that I received this year is one that came a few days after Christmas. Fuzzy worked from home the week between Christmas and New Years, so on the 27th, while he was home and I was at work, he crafted up a special amazing gift--a bottle tree for our sunroom!!! I've wanted a bottle tree for YEARS. I love them so much. For those of you who don't know, a bottle tree is a Southern folk art/ folklore tradition--you put colorful bottles on a "tree" (which can be metal, wood, or an actual tree). The bottles are supposed to attract and catch any evil spirits that might be near your house--once they are trapped, they can't get out! Or they are destroyed by the sunlight in the day. Etc etc. You see bottle trees all over the South--Christopher and Katie even had one! So, I get home from work, and Fuzzy hands me a bottle of Reisling with a photo of a smiling sun on it. The bottle was blue, and the sun had a word bubble on it that said something like "I hope you enjoy drinking this wine, but when you are finished, I'd like to go live in MY room." Meaning the sun room. I froze, trying to not get too excited, but Fuzzy told me to check out the sunroom. There, in the corner, was this amazing, wall sized, bottle tree, which he carved and made by hand! He fastened all the dowels and everything! I burst into tears. It is so beautiful!

Bottle tree!

We've been filling it out right now with mainly old beer and liquor bottles that we like, but we will slowly replace some of those with more colorful bottles as we get them. I can't tell you how happy it makes me! Just more evidence that Fuzzy is the greatest man on earth, and I am so lucky to be married to him. Now all we need is some warm weather so we can really enjoy it!

I've been desperately needing Chicago to feel more like "home" lately. And I am happy to say that with these Southern touches, my new mantra of "slow down," and the organization project, I am feeling like it is again. It feels great.

1 Comment

The rubber stamp looks great on your wall. I loved making stamps. Sorry it didn't work out. And if I find a colorful, interesting bottle, I will keep it for your own bottle tree!!!
I am glad you are feeling better and getting things done. It makes me happy!!