Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Born at the wrong time?

I always thought of myself as a modern girl. My favorite store for a long time has been IKEA. Loved those "clean lines." Then we rented a house that was built in the 1930s and it had character, something you don't get in new homes without a lot of work. I started to really like the look. I painted the living room a kind of mustard yellow color to warm it up. Then, my husband's aunt redecorated her home with lots of crows and I started looking into this primitive style. My first purchase was one of those weeping willow trees. The town we were living in at the time has yearly peddler days, basically a town-wide yard sale. I picked up a wooden shelf with a star cutout (that still hasn't made it into the house) and a tin sheep cookie cutter. I still wasn't aware that I was slowly changing. lol. I discovered the joys of ebay and purchased a framed sheep poster/sign by David Harden. After all I was just decorating to match the house. : )

There was a big hole in the kitchen wall near the ceiling that had been covered up and I often wondered if there was a wood burning stove in that location, how hard it must have been to cook that way, and how easy we have it now with just a flip of the switch or press of a button to warm up our meals. This house also had heating oil and well water, two things this city girl was not happy about. The guy delivering the oil for the first time must have had a chuckle after he left since I met him in the drive and wanted to know all about this oil stuff and watch him fill up. Was it safe, did I need to be home for him to deliver, what if it leaked in the basement while he was filling up???? lol.

Fast forward a few years and we have been in our own home three years. It's a 1930s bungalow that has been added on to a few times in the 80s. It still has a little character in the two front rooms, but the additions are more "modern." That leads me to the purpose of this post. I was at a friend's home yesterday and she has a new wood burning stove to heat her home. Since I live in the suburbs, this is new to me, but it really got me thinking. We have a fireplace that we never use because I know it needs to be checked and cleaned before we do and for some reason a regular ol' fireplace scares me. I did a bit of googling and discovered you can get wood burning stove inserts for your fireplace! Woohoo!! We are currently on heating oil and due to the fact that the house has been added on to (and I don't think insulated well), those additions are cold. The fireplace is in the addition and so I was thinking that would be perfect for a wood burning stove. I don't want to heat the whole house (I don't think it's possible with it being added on to in such strange ways and two stories) though it would be nice.

So my questions to you all: Do you have a wood burning stove (insert or free standing)? Do you prefer one brand over the other? Do I just have stars in my eyes and it's really more work than it's worth? And lastly, does anyone use it to just supplement a few rooms and not heat the whole house? I need all the help I can get convincing the hubs that this is what we need to save for.

I love watching re-runs of Little House on the Prairie on Hallmark Channel. I never read the books, but I think I might want to look into that as I love to read and haven't done so in a very long time (besides craft and decorating magazines!). I know life was hard in those days, but they spent their days on things that mattered: taking care of their fields, feeding and tending to livestock, working hard, feeding their families, and a little stitching by the fireplace at night. lol. I used to think it would be great to live in the 50s, but I do think the late 1800s was my time. I would be so content to sit by the fire in the evening with my stitchery. I know it wasn't all fun and games, but to live without the distractions of "modern life" is very attractive. Don't get me wrong, I love my cell phone, computer, and modern appliances, but sometimes things that are supposed to make our life easier tend to just junk it up.

I've fallen in love with wool and stitching, and feel very "at home" while browsing prim blogs and websites. There is just something so warm and inviting to it all. Thankfully the hubs is open to this style of decorating as long as I don't take it too far "country."

Did you make a 180 in your decorating style or have you always liked the "country" look?


Deppen homestead 1862 said...

Hi, Michelle

I am a farmgirl<>but I enjoy looking & seeing all different decorating all pretty, just different!
I love little house on the prairie, grew up with it, had all the books, and turned the books over to my niece, so she could carry them on!
I love the simple ways!
have a great simple evening,

Country Prims said...

Enjoyed reading your post-I was trying to work out when my country/prim style emerged. I was never a mod girl with decorating and from I started stitching it was the plaids/checks, muted colours got me, so my decorating followed to match. Like yourself, I love wool applique......and yes, love Little House in the Prairie only I like to stitch as a hobby, not because I HAVE to-such hard work they must have had.

Not sure how to help re woodburner-we have a free standing stove-provides great heat for living room and heats water. Lovely feature too:)

Hope you get it all sorted,
Shazy x

acorn hollow said...

First the wood stove, we have had a wood stove in all three houses that we have owned. The one we have now is big and ugly but it is in the unfinished part of the basement no one sees it. On the good side it gives off a great amount of heat and with the price of oil it is a great saver. You will never feel warmer than with a wood stove. now the down side,it is messy and a lot of work and if you can't cut your own wood you have to buy wood and if you don't want to cut and split it it is more expensive. We lose power off and on and the wood stove is a life saver. I wonder if a pellet stove would be more to your taste? My daughter and her husband have one and they really like it and no mess. and about 1/4th the work. I think I have always loved country I thought I could do victorian at one time but got sick of it.and all this white that is going on now I like a bit of it but I love the deep rich colors of country. I have uncluttered it a bit over the years but I guess I have always been country

Kim said...

OMG I am laughing about Little House on the Prairie. My grandmother banned it from being watched at her house because we always cried at some point in the show. She thought crying over TV was ridiculous when there was lots of real life stuff to cry about! Still makes me giggle to think about it.

Michelle~Sugar House Creations said...

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments! I just love getting comments. :)

Cathy, when I mentioned this to the hubs he said he had thought about a pellet stove. We do not have access to wood and even if we did I doubt we would cut it. lol. Right now we are overwhelmed at the cost ($1000+ plus installation and the cost of whatever we decide to burn). I think it's a necessity though since we are spending a lot on oil and electricity (the master bedroom is an addition onto the living room addition and has an electric wall heater that I run too much because I'm a freeze baby. :) )

Michelle~Sugar House Creations said...

Kim, I tell ya, never thought Little House would make me cry but it does! LOL! Must be the hormones we women have. :)

Kindra-At Home With K said...

We have 2 fireplaces but don't use them. They are very open, so I'm afraid my 3 year would just get too close. He's a dare devil! But we had a free standing wood burning stove in our old house and it warmed the house so well and we had a big house. So hopefully we can get ours going in our current house when the boys are older.

Cabin Fever Primitives said...

You are not alone Michelle. I think most of us Prim Gals feel we are living in the wrong era, that is why we try to preserve the past.

I was always Victorian Country gal until we restored our Colorado Cabin in 2001. Since then I have felt connected to the past in ways far beyond comprehension. Our cabin is at 9000 feet and totally off the grid.

I see you are a follower, thank you. Check out the Cabin Page and my posts dealing with the cabin. I personally love to dress the part when I am at the cabin. Like I state, these old walls whisper to me, the aurora of the ghost towns people wisp in the wind and I am always ready to invite them in.

I love "Little House On The Prairie". Since we live in southern Missouri I have had the opportunity to tour Laura's last home in Mansfield, Mo. Attend Laura Ingalls Day and even made outfits for my 2 grand daughters which they wore to the festival. If I can find a pic I will post it. You need to watch the "Love Comes Softly" series that Hallmark runs from time to time. You can also purchase the DVD's on Ebay. The cabin shots are so unique and primitive and historically correct. I watch them over and over just to view the background.

Prim Blessings, Love your Blog. I have blogs that I follow and blogs that I watch. I will now follow....