Weekend Trips

Stories and images of our weekend trips exploring the towns around the Farmhouse. Often visiting junk stores in search of items for my next project

Last weekend The Mister and I went to McKinney TX.  They have the best town square of any town I’ve visited.  Great shopping, great music, great restaurants and great people watching if that’s what you prefer.   I was in search of Christmas decor (early, I know) when I came across a fabulous new (to me) store!  It’s called Doozie’s Corner and it’s a collection of boutiques.

I noticed it from the corner.  The buildings architecture is enough to make you stop but when you look inside the windows, you HAVE to go in.

Entrance to Doozie's Corner in McKinney TX

Look at those old floors and that ceiling and those fun chandeliers.  There are stairs on both ends with booths up top.  If you need farmhouse decor, they’ve got it.  How about unique clothes or floor mats or vintage gift tags?  They’ve got that too.

Window display at Doozie's Corner in McKinney TX

I found several things for my wish list.  Like the fabulous pendant light and metal reindeer in the picture above.  Aren’t they wonderful?!  I’d like to get those reindeer and display them with ribbon and sprigs of greenery around their necks.

I didn’t get a chance to ask about the white mantel in the window. Usually when I find something I’ve been looking for it always has a Not For Sale tag on it.  I’ll make sure and ask/beg/grovel next time I’m there though!  And did you notice the white mesh curtain?  Check out the price. 🙂

Advent calendar found at Doozies Corner in McKinney TX

Besides the pretty churches, I thought this tree shaped Christmas Countdown Calendar was adorable and huge!  Looking for a tobacco basket?  There it is.  And check out the  layered wreath on top.  Pairing it with the beaded wreath can carry your decor all they way through winter.  I picked up 3 of those giant pinecones.  I’ll use them on my front porch light fixture this season.  You’ll see that next month in a Christmas home tour.

Light fixture found at Doozies Corner in McKinney TX

Speaking of light fixtures… this one is a small version of the one I made for Navasota.  You can see it here in this post.  I’ve not thought of adding twigs and branches but that would certainly add to the fall decor.



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Booth inside Doozies Corner in McKinney TX

Y’all if I had a place for this bench, I would have called the Mister and said back up the truck!  I LOVE IT!  Do you remember the antique iron fence panels I mentioned in the last post?  This is what I was talking about!

I’m adding a couple of those pillows to my wish list as well.  Great quotes and great prices.  Want to make a cute Texas impression this gift giving holiday?  How about a Hey Y’all tea towel?!  Yesum, I’ll take two please.

I also purchased a white table leg for $5.00!  It’s chippy and perfect and already has a purpose.  I’m making something super cute and festive with it and will show that off in a future post.

Friends, this is just one fabulous store in McKinney TX.  I strolled into so many and came out with so much.  If you go, let me know – I want to go again.  We could enjoy the music and have lunch or dinner or linner! 😉

Doozie’s Corner * 208 E. Louisiana, McKinney, TX 75069, 214-491-6191, www.dooziescorner.com

No this isn’t a paid post… I just loved this store!

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Back in 1848 when the Melrose Mansion opened, I’m positive the property didn’t look like it does now.  The out buildings have been well preserved, many trees planted and grasses grown but as we toured the grounds and I was in awe of my surroundings, I felt a sadness.

Melrose Mansion Part 2

Back view of Melrose Mansion and Dairy and Laundry buidling

The picture above is the back of the main house.  The building on the left was the dairy and laundry building.   The first floor was the working area and the second floor housed slaves.  There is a matching building on the opposite side of the lawn that was the kitchen and again rooms for the staff on the second floor.  These slaves worked for the family and took care of the main house.  They were also called “dependencies”.   If the slaves were called that because they were so needed, you think the family were called “the lazy’s” behind their back?  Hmm, something to think about.

Large oak behind Melrose Mansion between the out buildings

The tour guide/Ranger (how cool is that) said it was mostly dirt and small trees back in the late 1800’s.  Now the trees are gorgeous and master of their domain.  They tower over everything and definitely demand respect. Just look at them!

Tree with bench at Melrose Mansion in Natchez Mississippi



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The Slave Housing and a Little Insight:

There are two cabins about 70 yards from the main house with one shared cistern in between them.  The staff that were responsible for the property, the carriages and animals lived inside.  Each cabin has two rooms; one for dining and the other for sleeping.  We read each one held up to 17 slaves.  It seems awfully small for 17 people and it certainly couldn’t hold that many beds.  In the exhibit, one cabin is furnished and has interactive slavery exhibits.  The exhibits aren’t just about slaves as a whole but give insight to the people that lived and worked at the Melrose Mansion.

Housing for the gound and animal slaves at the Melrose Mansion

View of slave housing at Melrose Mansion in Natchez Mississippi

One of the exhibits has this sheet below from Charlie Davenport.  He was one of the children born and raised as a slave at the Melrose Mansion.

Letter from a slave that lived and worked at the Melrose Mansion in Natchez MI

 

The Barn, Carriage House and Garden:

These areas are on the self-guided tour so we didn’t hear much about them.  The barn was a bit of a surprise to me.  I believe the large groove in the floor was for easier cleaning of the stalls.  It slopes to the back which makes sense if they are washing away the yuck-genius!

Inside the barn at Melrose Mansion in Natchez MI

Animal barn at Melrose Mansion

Carriages houses at Melrose Mansion in Natchez MI

It’s fun to see carriages I’ve seen in old movies.  I began to wonder what it was like to ride in one behind a smelly horse; hearing the clippity clop of the horseshoes.  Then of the conversations the chauffeur may have heard while taking them places in the big black covered carriage.  It was probably reserved for the more exciting excursions and the other less fancy carriages for the more mundane trips.  You start to think you understand how they lived back then but the reality is we will never understand what the slaves really went through or how they felt.  Never.

This is the view of the side yard and garden area from the Melrose Mansion main house

Why do you think the gardens were so far away from the house?  Was it their excuse to get out and walk?  I would have thought they had had enough of that in the 15 thousand square foot house.  Maybe they wanted everyone to see the fabulousness of the estate?  Maybe it was cooler under the trees or being out there had more of a breeze?  Who knows.

The garden off Melrose Mansion Natchez, MI

Front lawn of the Melrose Mansion in Natchez Mississippi

Street view of Melrose Mansion at the front gate

Either way you slice it, the entire place is remarkable.  Next time y’all are out and about in Natchez Mississippi drive by, take the tour and take cash.  They don’t take credit cards but it’s only $10.00 per adult.  Oh bonus!  The house is now air-conditioned.  So even if it’s 100 degrees with 90% humidity, you’ll enjoy it.

If you’d like to learn a teeny bit more about the McMurrans, click on this link.  If you’d like to read more details about the Melrose Mansion, here’s another link. Or if you missed Part 1 – you can read about it here.

Hope you liked the Melrose Mansion Part 2 – the stop is seriously worth it. 😉

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Some of you know I was at Haven a couple of weekends ago in Atlanta GA.  That’s the Blogger Convention of all Blogger Conventions and even though I learned so much and brought home so much swag it filled up the back of the car, I won’t bore you with the details.  What I will bore you with (just kidding) is our stop over at the Melrose Mansion in Natchez Mississippi.

There was so much to see I’m going to separate it out into two different posts.  Part 1 is on the main house.

Melrose Mansion in Natchez Mississippi

Melrose Plantation Main House in Natchez Mississippi

This place was magnificent.  Declared a historic landmark in 1974, it was well preserved and taken care of and had a family living in it up until 1988.  Melrose sits on 80 acres and the homes is 15,000 square feet of beauty and sad stories.  Doesn’t every mansion have a sad story though?  Someone dying, something burning down, slaves – something?  You can read about that here.

Foyer at the Melrose Plantation with handpainted wall paper

We were told John T. and Mary Louisa McMurran spared no expense constructing the mansion.  The doors, windows, cornice moldings, stairways and floors were all the best you could get back then.  The wallpaper was hand painted and the canvas floors were the same.  They ended up selling it because of financial problems due to the Civil War and because they were grieving over the deaths of their daughter and two grandchildren.

Lavish formal living room inside Melrose Mansion

The picture above is the lavish living room.  Check out the gold!  The picture below is the formal dining room.  They must have had every meal in here because they certainly weren’t going to eat in the kitchen with the slaves.  The tour guide mentioned the family wanted everyone to think the house just ran itself without slaves.  I don’t actually understand that one because who was the person pulling on the rope over there in the corner to fan the family and keep flies off of the food?  He or she wasn’t invisible.  Different times back then – sad and different times.

Formal Dining Room inside the Melrose Mansion in Natchez, MI

Mouldings around the staircase inside the Melrose Mansion in Natchez MI

Now this staircase is more to my liking.  Simple and detailed at the same time.  The picture below is the handrail with an ivory button for an added touch.  The floor is the hand painted canvas I mentioned earlier.

Handrailing to the stairs in the Melrose Mansion

Upstairs housed all of the bedrooms.  This is the master bedroom.  I thought the little bed may have been for a child who maybe had a bad dream or something, but nope.  It’s in case you wanted to take an afternoon nap.  Once they got up for the day and a slave made the bed, you weren’t supposed to mess it up – goodness gracious.  Below are a couple more bedrooms and play rooms for the children.

Son and DIL's room inside the Melrose Mansion

Play area in bedroom of the Melrose Plantation

Canopy bed in the Melrose Plantation

The house actually had an indoor bathroom and even though it had a chandelier and a pretty fireplace, the rest was yucky so I’m sparing you of that grossness.   I’ll say this, touring this mansion certainly makes me appreciate being born in the 1960 somethings with showers, flushing toilets, and air-conditioning.  Even now I must have a little fan blowing on me when I get out of the shower.  That could be because of my age (insert rolling eyes) or just the humid hot summers here in Texas.  Either way, what in the world did the lady of the house do back then?  I’m sorry but that poor child standing in the corner pulling a rope to fan me wouldn’t have done it.  No way, no how.

Back stairs used only by slaves



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There were a couple different sets of stairs used only by the slaves.  All of the dark green shutters weren’t used to keep the sun out, they were used to hide the slaves from coming and going.  Remember, out of sight out of mind and the house ran itself?

Outside back stairs only used by slaves at the Melrose Plantation in Natchez MI

Bell used to ring for slaves when they wanted service at the Melrose Plantation

The picture above is one of the bells that were hung along the back of the house.  If someone wanted something, they pulled the string and depending on which bell rang, the slaves could tell from where in the house they were being beckoned.

The Melrose Plantation view of the grounds from the front gate

In Part 2, I’ll show you the grounds and the out-buildings!Save

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Repurpose a Vintage Milk Can

A couple of weeks ago, the Mister and I thought we’d head to Gainesville, TX to check out Lavender Ridge Farms.  By the time we got there, we sat on the road to enter about 20 minutes just barely inching up.  We finally rolled down the window and asked someone going the opposite direction what the hold up was ahead.  She told us that from the point we were sitting on the road we’d have about another hour of waiting before we got to the gate!  What the monkey man.  No lavender farm is worth an hour and a half wait on a dusty road.  We hadn’t had lunch yet and we had no provisions!

So we turned around and decided to check out the local square instead.  Walking thru we heard lots of people saying they turned around too.  This made lunch options dismal.  We finally found a place that could seat us called The Main Street Pub.  Even though it wasn’t my first or fifth choice, I was glad to see it.  The air conditioning was working, they had empty tables, sweet tea and the food and service were great.  You could tell they had been swamped and a little overwhelmed by the crowds but I give them a 2 thumbs up rating for sure.

Now that our bellies were full, we checked out a few antique stores and came across one that was closing down.  The only thing I found I really wanted was a vintage milk can.  It didn’t have a tag on it so I was going to pass.  I totally hate having to ask for a price on things.  If you don’t know this about me, here it is, I hate disappointing people.  If the price is too high I’ll have to say no which I feel disappoints them because they want a sale.  I know, it sounds ridiculous but I cannot help it.

   Rusty vintage milk can before painting

vintage milk can handle with rust before painting

Anyway, Mr. Wonderful swayed me into asking.  It took about 5 minutes to get up the courage but I did.  She walked outside to see what I was talking about and said it’s $20.00 so you can have it for $10.00.  I said with a big cheeky grin – I’ll take it!  The rest of the day, the Mister kept saying – aren’t you glad you asked?  Yeah yeah, enough already.  I’m glad, I’m glad.



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It had several dents and a ton of rust but it had potential. After a good cleaning I used a Rustoelum spray paint to act as a primer.  Then after drying I used the left over Fat Paint in Mountain Haze.  Same paint I used on the DIY galvanized table in this post.  That stuff really goes a long way!

Vintage Milk can after primer paint

Here is what the vintage milk can looks like now.  I could have sanded it or used a steel bristle brush to clean it but I like the added texture.

Vintage milk can after using Fat Paint

The mouth on the can is large so adding a tray and using it as a side table was ideal.  It holds my magazine, popcorn and lemonade perfectly.

tray used for a side table on vintage milk can

There are so many ideas for using a vintage milk can.  I’ve listed several below and hope you can find inspiration on repurposing one for yourself!

Ideas for repurposed vintage milk cans:

Hope you can find a vintage milk can one day and turn it into something fabulous!

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An afternoon spent in Bryan, Texas

My daughter and I decided to spend an afternoon in Bryan, Texas and get a little shopping done.  First of all, don’t go on a Monday.  Most of the antique stores were closed but we enjoyed it anyway.

I think the Bird’s Nest Gifts and Antiques was my favorite.   They have old stuff, new stuff, great stuff made from vintage stuff, rusty, chipped and galvanized stuff.  It was a virtual Disney World of fabulous finds.

Interior view of The Bird's Nest Antique shop in Bryan, Texas

 

Look at this revamped lamp made with a vintage hat!  I can totally see that in a little girls room or on top of a bookshelf or vanity.  Those crocheted cups and saucers would give a different look to a retro Christmas tree, don’t you think?

Vintage lamp made from vintage hat found at the Bird's Nest Shop in Bryan, Texas

 

Something else that spoke to me was this kitchen towel… You can see why for yourselves and I think it makes a perfect birthday gift.  😉

Kitchen towel found at the Bird's Nest Antique Shop in Bryan, Texas

 

We could have stayed for hours and not seen everything.  One of my purchases was a large galvanized bell.  There’s one hanging on the left side of the super cute mantel below.

Interior glance of the Bird's Nest Store in Downtown Bryan, Texas

After leaving there we wandered over to Market 1023.  They also had unique finds.  Like circa whenever-the-first-computer-came-out computers, perfect condition retro dresses, lamps made from vintage fans, handmade wood and pipe tables, and repurposed items like this bed spring which I can see hanging over a bed like a canopy.  So fun.

Repurposed bedspring made into bed canopy found at The Market 1023 in Bryan, Texas



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Look at these frames hanging from the ceiling like artwork.  Wouldn’t that be a distinctive idea in your home?  All you need is an old frame, a bottle, string and chain to make this awesome statement.  I actually think this would make a cool room divider!

Frames with bottles found at the Market 1023 in Bryan, Texas

All this shopping made us hungry so we moseyed over to Caffe’ Capri for some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had.  I’m not one to take pictures of my food- sorry.  You’ll have to trust me – it was delicious.

Extras:

I hope you get down south to Bryan/College Station sometime.  It isn’t just filled with college students, Aggie fans and people that seriously bleed maroon.  The Downtown area has history, culture and beautiful architecture like the Carnegie Public Library .  When was the last time you’ve been in one of those? There’s the Lasalle Hotel built in 1928 where you can stay with your pet, an open air theater called The Palace with live concerts, several antique/gift stores, a theater called The Grand Stafford or one identified as The Queen  and more places than you can eat at in a week’s time.

After all of that gallivanting, contact me and I’ll direct you to Navasota, TX  so you can visit us.  But give us a couple of hours to fancy up the place, make a new batch of sweet tea and bake a pie (a la mode with Blue Bell Ice Cream of course)!

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