Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Siberian Fairy Tale

From this article....one of my favorite abodes I've ever seen.

My favorite picture in the entire house, below:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mary Ann Harris and Charles de Lint's Country Cottage-Bus

Over at the Facebook group for Domythic Bliss, there was a recent discussion about the fact that all the locations I've featured so far have been brick and mortar homes. I assured them, and assure you, I do have plans to do posts on the incredible romance of moving homes such as Vardos, housetrucks, buses, and boats.

I received a message from Mary Ann Harris, the lovely wife, "first editor, business manager, and creative consort" of Mythic Fiction author Charles de Lint. She is also a wonderfully talented musician and artist. See more of her work here!

She thought, and I definitely agree, that we would enjoy seeing the beautifully quirky and cozy romantic cabin they used as a country cottage. The location is phenomenal, truly. But the house itself is charming too, created as it was from a cabin and a bus melded together into one space!

I'll let Mary Ann describe the place herself...

For 17 years, Charles and I had this funny 1950s bus/shack as our country "cottage" in the wilds of Quebec. Sadly, it deteriorated over time, but we loved it for all that time.

It was already a bus + cabin when we bought it. It was horrendous ... The family who put it there had somehow cut off the front of the bus, and left the under-carriage, which provided a partial support (footing) for the pressboard shack. The bus was yellow and it still had the bus seats as furniture and the pressboard ktichen was painted brown and it was just nasty. But we painted the exterior green, put pine tongue & groove on the kitchen walls and I sewed little cottagey curtains with floral fabrics and vintage drapes.

We could have done far more, but it was just a funny little place we used during the summer months and we didn't have extra money to spend on it. All furnishings were garage sale items. Anyway, it certainly had its charms and I cried like a baby when we had it hauled away (just two years ago).

We now have a real building there. We kept our old Moffatt stove as a decoration in the new place.

I'm a sucker for a good fence with cottage flowers spilling out around:

The view from the front porch:

Bus and shack meet, fall in love, and never part again:

What a front yard!

What a view!

The bus portion of the cottage. The "furniture" used to all be made from bus seats:

Looking toward the bus portion:

Cozy kitchen space:

The snug bedroom with a door that says "porte d'urgence"

The cottage was located near the white dot on the far end of the lake in this picture:

Kitchen window view:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Signatures of Domythic Living: Day 7, Statues

There are some things about Shabby Chic decorating that I don't agree with. But one thing I can wholeheartedly get behind is the use of garden statuary as interior house decor. Well...indoor OR outdoor.

Busts can be so lovely draped in jewelry (like Parrish Relics perhaps?)

Or draped in greenery and wreaths:

Or just plain:

I'm pretty much obsessed with finding garden statuary like this, since I can't seem to find it anywhere around here in Central Ohio.

Here's an example from my own home of a bust from Hobby Lobby wearing an amazing headpiece by Linden Sidhe:

And here's the ultimate example. The never to be replicated Mucha bust.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Signatures of Domythic Living: Day 6, Words

I'll admit, straight-out...this post is a repost from my personal home blog. But it's so true. Wordplay in decor is a huge way to help your home inspire you.

One prominent repeating decorative theme in Arts & Crafts decor was incorporating words and text in furniture items and decor. Yes, the concept definitely pre-dates the modern vinyl wall clings and stencil kits you can find online! But I love this tradition not only because it is a classic feature of the style, but also because it suits my romantic images of what a home should be. To someone who grew up with a love affair towards reading and the beauty of words, I understand how just a few words or lines of text as part of a living environment can help transform an object, a room, a space, into part of a living and breathing story.

Life, to me, should be a fairy tale. And by that I don't mean we should all expect constant happily ever afters with no trials. Rather, I mean that we should each seek to see every day, every space, every inch of how we live as part of a tale that can include journeys and trials, magic and enchantment, fear and haunted forests, and happiness and love. Wrapping words around the every day objects with which we live helps transform those objects in our minds and our hearts.


Wightwick Manor is one of the greatest examples of a fine British residence transformed by William Morris and the Arts & Crafts Movement. In the image of the great hall, you can see that lines of text have been painted directly onto the wall. (to either side of the tapestry) In a book I have read, there is an image of this space in which one of these lines on this wall can be read. It says

When Orpheus strikes his trembling lyre
the wolf and lamb around him trip
the bears in awkward measure leap
and tigers mingle in the dance.

Of course, frankly, the manor needs very little to make it enchanted, but to me the words still add an extra dimension.

Thanks to the amazing website of British antique dealer Puritan Values Ltd. for all of the below examples of text used in Arts and Crafts furniture.


One of my favorite Arts & Crafts quotes/mottoes on this firescreen: