Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The house of "ewe" know "hooo"

Just finished this mixed media piece of my house on Jasmine Avenue. I love our little gingerbread house. It's small but it's cozy. We live in the Downtown Historic District—which basically translates to, "we can't change anything on the outside of our house without going through a bunch of red tape". That hasn't stopped us from renovating the inside though.  I'll post some pictures of the inside later this week.

A little history on Tudor style: For those who didn’t have genuine British roots, the Tudor house became a symbol of cultural and economic aspirations. If you were newly arrived in the moneyed class, and wanted to proclaim your cultivation and good taste, an English Tudor house provided an instant veneer of respectability. Many of the new rich, who earned their wealth in the booming markets of the 1920s, built an English Tudor Revival house, hence the term “Stockbroker Tudor.” The style quickly faded from fashion in the late 1930s but had a somewhat modified second revival in the 1970s and 1980s.

Essential elements include:
  • Round arched entranceways
  • Tall, narrow windows
  • Steeply pitched roofs, usually side-gabled with decorative half-timbering
  • Exterior walls clad with brick, stone or stucco
  • Massive chimneys, commonly crowned with decorative chimney pots

We bought this English Tudor (circa 1925) seven years ago in the early stages of the real estate boom, when houses were selling like hotcakes Downtown. We had seen it earlier in our search, but there was a contract on it already, so we marked it off our list. Then, while I was away visiting my ailing grandfather (Papaw, God love him), the contract fell through. Chandler called me and said he looked at the house and promised I would love it. We had looked at lots of other houses but didn't act quickly enough and they sold out from under us. We needed to put a bid on the house a.s.a.p. or we would lose this one too. 

When I was on the phone with Chandler debating whether to buy the house or not, Papaw told me, in so many words, to go for it. The brain tumor had taken over so his speech was garbled, but he took my hand and gave me an approving nod. He just wanted us to be happy. So, I gave Chandler the go-ahead sight-unseen. And we got it!

To all those who knew my Papaw, he was a huge positive influence in my life. His motto was to have a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) always. He collected all kinds of PMA materials from Dale Carnegie and  Zig Zigler to Tony Robins and always shared them with me and the rest of the grands. So I thought it would be nice to include a little bit of Papaw in my painting. I found one of his old Dale Carnegie books ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") he had given me and used some pages from it for the house. 

It makes me smile.


  1. this is such a cool piece Melanie! all the texture is amazing! and it's great to hear a little of your house's history and specialness :)

  2. Saw this in person the other day and it TOOK MY BREATH away! It's the cutest, coolest, most adorable thing I've seen in awhile. Just can't stop thinking about it. You need to do a class Mel and help several of us make these with our own homes featured. Let me know when we start!

  3. I LOVE the house. Well, both the art and the real one, but I was talking about the art. Magical! I have a thing for houses. I really love how you used meaningful book pages that are part of the story of the house. So much love in that piece.

  4. Thanks ladies for all your wonderful comments. I really had fun with that piece. Makes me want to paint another! Amber, I love the houses you create too! Sooo "ewe"nique :)



Related Posts with Thumbnails