Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Name?



Hello everyone,

Considering it has been some time since my last post and whilst I have actually been working on our Dollhouse, I have not been able to take any pictures since a certain little someone fiddled with my camera and I have to wait to get it fixed.

In the meantime I thought I would show you this picture of the Tabby Manse in Beaufort South Carolina. I came across the Tabby Manse whilst looking for houses with Architectural similarities to our Dollhouse. Not having a great knowledge of architecture, at the time I was surprised to find that our DH was not in fact English Georgian as we first thought but actually Colonial Georgian as I'm sure you would all know. This put me into a head spin initially because it was not what I had in mind, but the fact that our DH has windows with shutters, pillars and a porch/veranda I had no choice but to embrace the idea.








Once I thought about it I realised that I had had a long time fascination for Southern Style architecture and the beautiful landscape it sets itself in. It holds a sort of mystic romanticism, with the long languid days and balmy nights. I have dreamt of sitting on a porch swing, sipping lemonade whilst gazing upon cool green grass and beautiful old oaks dripping with spanish moss. I don't know where this imagery was born or why I was so impressed with it, I suppose many a movie has created such a seen which has obviously left an impression of tranquility. I do know, that after my Mother died this setting was firmly implanted in my mind and for some reason, in the process of trying to process my grief, I would meditate and imagine sitting on this porch swing with my mother. I would talk to her for a while and then wonder on to the cool green grass, touch the oaks and the spanish moss then down to a little jetty on the shores of a lake where I dipped my toes in the refreshing water. Once realising that the Southern architecture had a special meaning it all made sense, perhaps I subconsciously chose this style of house. After realising, I had visions of grandeur and once this house was done I would create the Southern Plantation house I had imagined.........

Back to reality Fiona!!! You haven't even finished the first floor!!

Reality is, that our Doll House looks a lot like the tabby Manse but the colours are completely different, the out side is painted a pale Naples yellow, with white window trim and pillars, slate blue shutters and roof. It was originally chosen because it went with the decor of Mia's room at the time, the plan is to change it to look like the Tabby Manse and eventually adding the basement with the sweeping steps to the porch. Given the speed in which I work I can't see it happening any time in the near future......; )




Now to the name. 

I have taken this post to a much more personal level than I intended but as you know I do tend to go off on a tangent, but now that you understand the inspiration, the name will make more sense. Given it is not a grand house, although it is set in South Carolina, it is not a Plantation house but a Place, a place of femininity and creativity, and of heavenly fragrance, a place to go back in time or hold time in place, a place of beauty, imagination and eternal youth.

Our House will be named Ambrosia Place.


I hope you like it the name and understand the degree of sentimentality, maybe one day I will build the house of my imagination but for now I hope Ambrosia place will hold echo's of my idea. The magnolia was my mothers favourite flower and also grows beautifully in Southern carolina.

Happy minis every one.

ML Fi xx


P.S This P.S is for John, I know exactly what your thinking, ( re slaves in the South ) as I did the same as you so Ambrosia Place is set in my imagination where no such thin existed. xx


27 comments:

  1. Your writing provokes such visuals. I live in South Carolina although I am not orginally from the South. How did you get to appreciate the beauty of S.C. from Australia?
    You and I both love to photograph landscapes.

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  2. Hi There,

    Thank you for your kind words. How lovely to be living in Sth Carolina. I am sad to say that I have only learnt the beauty of SC through the wonderful world of film. One day I hope to go and see for myself but it seems to translate so well in movies and novels. One thing I did mean to do (I normally do) was mention that these beautiful photos are the work of someone else and i got them from the internet.......: (

    Now I know who to ask when i need to reference some facts, lol

    Fi x

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  3. I could have used some cool green grass and mossy oaks sitting here in the 106F this past week here in Atlanta, GA! It sounds like your dollhouse will be amazing when it's done.

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    1. Hi Kristin,

      welcome to my blog. I have just had a look at yours and found it very interesting, what a great way to share stories of your family history.

      Ah yes 106 is hot! It gets to those temperatures here but it always seems so much more romantic in someone else's county.

      Fiona

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  4. Hi Fi,
    It looks like you have joined John and me with dealing with the past here: “slaves in the South”.

    Almost all my dollhouses are set in Virginia—my sister’s and my favorite state. We also have family in Virginia and spent many summer days there. The past cannot be changed, but what we can and must do is to insure a better today and future days. My houses are set in current day and are peopled by little people of all types who have learned something that we all have yet to learn: respecting and living in peace with others.

    I will always remember those lazy, hazy, hot nights in Virginia: the smell of honeysuckle in the air and (when I was old enough) drinking Bee's Knees, a delicious drink with gin, honey, and lemon juice. I remember other things, too, to try to come to terms with.

    I love your South Carolina house. The photos tell so much. I can’t wait to see more of your beautiful dollhouse, and your thinking is right about its “setting”.

    Have you tried looking on the Library of Congress site or checked the Historic Register in South Carolina? There is an amazing amount of fascinating info. One of the houses I want to build is a Williamsburg, Virginia colonial ca 1792. I found floor plans, interior pictures, and biographical and anecdotal information.

    Warm regards,
    Iris

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    1. Hi Iris,

      I'm so glad we're kind of neighbours!! It is great to have you here to verify my thoughts. That Bee's knees sounds like something I would love to try.This is what is so wonderful about blogging - having these connections from different parts of the world. Any input you have will be greatly received.

      I have been looking for information, there is a reasonable amount of historical information but it is difficult to find photos of the interior as it is a private residence now, I'm always looking though!

      Hugs, Fi xx

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    2. Back again Iris,

      I just wanted to sincerely thank you for directing me to the Library of congress where I have found some incredible historical photographs of not only the exterior but the interior as well. To my delight they are very detailed to the point of spying a porcelain magnolia on the mantel in the drawing room!!!

      Thank you again!!

      ML Fi xx

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    3. Oh Fi, a magnolia! How wonderful! This house is definitely "yours".

      I am glad the Library of Congress had good things for you.

      I can't wait to see how this house develops.

      Cheers and Happy 4th of July! (I know you don't celebrate the holiday, but now that you have a house in South Carolina?)

      Iris

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    4. Oh yes, the 4th of July, I must get into the swing of things, I should have put a flag out! Well I guess I'll know for next year!

      Happy 4th of july!!!

      Fi xx

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  5. Hi Fiona! I read your post and was touched by your story. It is not sentimental to write like this: this is how you feel and you are free to write it down, my dear. I was touched by the fact you told us about your mom and how you felt in that time. There are a lot of good memories in your mind: thank you for sharing.
    MY first thought, when you wrote about the name Ambrosia Place (you said: it is a kind of magnolia?)was ever to give it a try to make such a flower in miniature! I love the name, it is elegance and it "tastes" good, if you know what I mean (my English is too bad to really tell you what I mean, I think you understand).
    I'll follow the progress on your dollhouse.
    Warm hugs to you, Ilona

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    1. Hi Ilona,

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I thought it important to share as it makes it easier to understand my motivation behind it.

      Can I say Ilona, that I only wish I could speak Dutch half as well as you speak English, I think you are a lot better than you realise! Ambrosia is from Greek Mythology. It is food from the gods for eternal youth and beauty and it is highly fragrant. The magnolia is for my mother, as it was her favourite and also very fragrant, I will definitely, as you suggested try and follow your lead and make a magnolia, that would be just perfect!

      I do understand what you mean and I am touched by your thoughts. xx

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  6. Hi Honey
    I love the name and get the meaning behind it. I also get the bit about non slavery - remember how poor John agonised over it, bless him.
    I love the pictures you have uploaded, they really give a an idea of the style, look and history of how you want you house to look. I am ashamed to say that I wouldn't have know the difference between British and Colonial Georgian.
    Hope your camera is up and running soon
    love
    Simon xx

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    1. Hi Darlin',

      Yes I do remember Johns post and it was right about the time I had discovered my house was Colonial Georgian so it was very meaningful to me at the time.

      It makes me feel better when you say you didn't know the difference either and I'm glad you like the name. I will be happy when I can change the outside to look like the tabby but you know us Gemini's........fits and spurts.....; )

      ML Fi xx

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  7. Fiona, darling, what a touching post. It brought a little tear to my eye, which hasn't happened since 1978. But seriously, writing from your heart will never fail you! I guess all our dollhouses exist on a higher plane, where the past is re-imagined, re-defined, wrongs made right.

    Ambrosia Place is a beautiful, fitting name. It's perfect.

    Love to you and your family,
    John

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    1. Hey there my lovely,

      I wonder what the little tear was for in 1978......can have a little guess?

      Thank you for your sweet words, I'm so glad you like the name, it means a lot.

      Family's all good.....; )

      Love always, Fi xx

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  8. Fi - Andy told me you have a new post - and such a beautiful one too! This all looks very GONE WITH THE WIND to me! Fiddle-de-diddle-de-dee. But your way of describing the scenery here as "mystic romanticism" is perfect. I love mystic romanticism. In fact, I am the ultimate mystic romantic myself! I'm probably on that swing with you too!

    Much love

    David

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    1. Ah yes David, no doubt Gone With The Wind has left an impression on me, along with many other movies, I once saw a perfect miniature of Scarlet in the green and white frock she wears in the first seen of the BBQ, I was very tempted to get it............Alas, my Ambrosia Place is a far more humble dwelling but with no less romanticism and a little more mystic I might add. Now, if I was to think of a friend that was the ultimate mystic romantic, you would be the very first that came to mind and that is why when we chat next we should visualise our selves sitting side by side on that swing gazing out onto the green grass, and the lake beyond, but perhaps you would prefer Tea rather than lemonade?

      Much love,

      Fi xx

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    2. Tea or lemonade - either would be delightful. Iced tea, perhaps. Or a pot of Earl Grey and some delicate china cups. I think we'd be on that swing all afternoon, don't you? Especially if Andy brought along some fairy cakes!

      David

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    3. You know earl Grey is my absolute favourite!! And, I call well imagine the afternoon would disappear very quickly, especially if Andy bought along some Fairy cakes.....; D

      XX

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  9. Hi, Fi! Ambrosia Place is a Beautiful name... filled with Beautiful associations and feelings! Thank you for sharing the story of how you came to that choice.... these feelings we have for our beloved Houses are real and deep and sometimes Mysterious! I Love the Imagery you have evoked.... somewhere in all of us is that memory of a cool green lawn leading to the water.... so soothing and timeless... Thank you!
    Your description of the difference between a Georgian and a Colonial House made me realize I had not thought of that difference.... we call the houses of the Georgian era "Colonial" to emphasize the time that we were colonies and followed the styles of the homeland with some obvious differences! The colonial homes were still on the edge of wilderness and so the shutters were there on the outside to protect the expensive glass windowpanes from storms or attacks from hostile parties ( whether Native American or European!). In the Northern Colonies the houses almost never had porches let alone pillars! It was too cold for most of the year for sitting outside at leisure.... the doors opened directly to the outdoors! I had not thought of those differences as "Defining" the House as North American or Colonial!
    Anyway, thank you for making me aware of that difference! And I Really look forward to seeing your Ambrosia Place take shape! (As soon as you get the camera fixed, of course)

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    1. Thank you Daydreamer,

      I'm so glad you like and understand my meaning behind the name. Our Houses are such special places to us as you say. It was only the other I turned on the lights as i had to put my house away for a period of time and to see it lit up again, even though it is no where near finished, filled me with joy.

      I purely stumbled across the difference between the styles whilst trying to find my direction. As I was looking for English Georgian I couldn't find any Houses that had shutters and pillars for veranda, the only ones I could find were Colonial and you know the story from there. I am very interested to hear you weren't aware of the difference either. What is also interesting is the reason for the shutters, of course that makes sense but we don't always think of the obvious. Australian Colonial is completely different again,we have houses with verandas all the way around, to keep out the sun. Our last house was colonial and was made of blue stone which was often used to keep it cool. A lot of the houses in the north are on stilts that are decorated with lattice or filigree. This allows the air to flow underneath and thus helping to cool it down. It also helps in the case of floods which occur up there. We call them old Queenslanders, perhaps I should do a post about them, they really are lovely homes.

      ML Fi x

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  10. Dearest Fi,

    I couldn't think of a more suitable name for your dolls house than Ambrosia Place, it is perfect! And such a beautiful name too, it does have a certain poetry and symbolism about it. The food of the Gods of course, which is probably why it puts in my mind those tins of rice pudding and Devonshire custard my mum always used to buy when we were kids! Ambrosia I mean, not your dolls house!

    You have mentioned Tabby Manse to me before, and I thought it looked wonderful, a great inspiration, I love the shutters and a nice big porch to sit in too. I love magnolia trees too, we have one in the garden, which flowers in the spring time.

    History is filled with rotten, awful things. While it is important to acknowledge these things, and remember them, they don't need to be part of our miniature hobby. It is all part of the fantasy we are creating I suppose. Slavery and exploitation, poor health and bad sanitation, poverty and dispair, they belong to the real world, not the miniature one! I refuse to have blackamoors (carved images of moorish or black servents in fancy dress, often used as tourcheres) in my dolls house for this reason, I wouldn't want them in real life either!!

    Anyway, beautiful name Fi, I love it!!

    with love
    Andy xxxx

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  11. Darling Andy,

    It is always so good to read your reassuring words, it is important to me that you like the name, you know me, I've been nervous for a while about putting it out there but feel much better and more inspired by it all.

    I must look out for some wicker furniture to put on the veranda, although its not that big, I think i would only fit two small chairs and a table. Perfect spot for tea and cake hey Andy.......; )

    I can just imagine magnolias in your beautiful garden, what a perfect setting. They are so elegant but bold at the same time. The deciduous varieties look so striking with their leafless blooms. Ilona suggested making one and when i looked through the library of congress as Iris suggested I found some amazing pictures of the interior, and what do you think was placed on the mantle, a porcelain Magnolia!

    I'm so glad you love it,

    Love always,

    Fi xxxx

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    1. Hmm tea and cakes!! David and I had tea (with out cakes) in the Summer House this afternoon!

      Making a miniature magnolia is a great idea! And a porcelain magnolia would be even better, get your FIMO out Fi!!

      much love

      Andy xxxx

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  12. I bet that was glorious!

    I can't wait to give the magnolia a go!

    xx

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  13. Dear Fiona, I just red your story about Ambrosia Place and your mother's favorite flower; the Magnolia. The way you describe your meditation, in which you sit down with your mother, talking to her, really touches me. You are a very good writer and the images just pop up in my mind the moment I read your words. In your writing, you take your reader almost immediately along with you, this happens in a very natural way. I am going to read all your posts, for I like to see how Ambrosia's Place will become reality, in memory of your mother. xxx Liduina

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