Friday, December 23, 2011

Graduation and Holidays

The Gnomes and I are very excited.  My daughter, Sarina, just graduated with a Master's in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland.  Here she is right after getting her degree -

But even more exciting than graduating, she is moving back to Granite Falls to implement some of her ideas in her final project, "Bridging Preservation and Economics in Granite Falls, Minnesota."  She has a job working with Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization and CURE . Sarina will also be living in and restoring our old church building. 
We are spending Christmas in Virginia with her and our other daughter. So the Gnomes have Holt House all to themselves, hope they clean up their Christmas feast when they're done! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Celebrating community and preservation!

I was going to brave the cold and go down to the new completed K.K. Berge Building in Granite Falls, take some pictures and do a posting.  But one of our group members did a video of the downstairs, our Chamber of Commerce director, Nicole Zempel, says it better than I can.  More of my own pictures to come later.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting Ready to open our Bed and Breakfast

Since buying this old octagon house in 2000, it's been a dream  to open a B and B.  We started in earnest 2 years ago with redoing the upstairs rooms, adding a new a bathroom with a jacuzzi tub.

We converted the upstairs hall room to an extra dining room or game room for guest use, including a small frig and microwave.
 But our plans were delayed by well problems.  We dug a new well that didn't have enough output, so now we are solving that problem with the addition of a storage tank in the basement.   The final touches are getting done by the electrician and plumber this month.  We plan to open in January, 2012 with two guestrooms and a 3 course breakfast.  I'm very excited to start welcoming guests to our 1884 octagon house!

Monday, November 7, 2011

My Favorite Tree

I love all trees and don't want to make the others on my property jealous.  But my favorite one is the big oak outside of my living room window.  At least I think it's an oak tree, I'm not very educated on tree species. 
Fall used to be my favorite time of the year growing up in Minnesota.  After moving back here full time, I find that it is again.  Last year, the colors were disappointing.  The leaves blew off the trees very early in the season.  I think my tree knew I wasn't happy about that and is making up for it this year.  It's November 7th and my favorite tree is still full of glorious color!  Below is the view out my window.

The gnomes have their very own entrance.
My tree provides shade for a sitting area in front of the house.
Thank you for a perfect end to a perfect fall in Minnesota!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You Should Meet: Patrick Moore | News Cut | Minnesota Public Radio

You Should Meet: Patrick Moore | News Cut | Minnesota Public Radio

Calumet Hotel, Pipestone, MN

The Minnesota Grove Gnomes, my husband and I decided to leave the valley and visit the cute old town of Pipestone.  I love staying in old hotels and this one was great! Making it even better was the special deal with included room, dinner for two and continental breakfast for only $89.  Our room was furnished with gorgeous antiques. 

 The old bar is original, the friendly bartender told us ghost stories about the basement where there is another bar.
 I love the large murals depicting Pipestone in bygone days.
 The open stairway is topped by a skylight.
 Across the street is the museum. In the summer they have weekly ghost tours of downtown Pipestone and there was one the night we were there since it was Halloween weekend.
 Along the way we passed Buffalo Ridge windfarm with over 200 windmills.

A trip to Pipestone is a great weekend getaway, they have a couple of great antique shops and also the Pipestone National Monument where you can see the Native American quarry and actual peace pipes being made. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Art Meander Kick Off Event in downtown Granite Falls

Poor blog, You've been ignored all through the dirt digging, sunbathing, camping and traveling season.  So now that fall is here and we're back to finally opening Holt House Bed and Breakfast, I'm back to my blog.  And no better way to start again than with our wonderful event in downtown Granite Falls!  Together with other members of Granite Falls Riverfront Revitalization and the Chamber of Commerce, we've been working on organizing this all summer.  We had hoped the K.K. Berge Building would be completed, but it was done enough to have it open to the public with sales of food, wine and beer and wonderful art displays. 

We had a wonderful turnout, below are members of the Upper Sioux tribe performing.

The best part was a poetry reading while members of the community of different ages and backgrounds walked across the historic footbridge.
 I didn't see any gnomes but I'm sure they were watching from the other side of the Minnesota River!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hudson Bay Bound: Upstream on the Minnesota!

Hudson Bay Bound: Upstream on the Minnesota!: "Hey everyone! We got to New Ulm today after paddling around 150 miles upstream on the Minnesota since our departure from Fort Snelling on..."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Road Trip

I've spent the last few weeks with my daughter in Florida with no way to upload my photos.  So now that I'm back along the Minnesota River, I'll share some highlights from my trip - which usually include old buildings!  One of my favorite places in Florida is St. Augustine.  We spent a nice afternoon there and walked by some gorgeous Victorian homes.  The two photos of the house directly above is for sale and has a pool right on the water.  We could tell it was empty so we peaked inside, my dream house and dream location!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring has sprung, Gnomes and Bunnies are hopping!

Even though that mean weather man says it could snow in the next couple of days, the signs that it won't stay around long are here!  My tulips are up!
and so is the rhubarb, can't wait for some yummy desserts.
The big storm window covering our front door is stored away in the garage so the entrance to Holt House Antiques is the front screen porch which I've decorated with springy things for sale. Everyone gneeds a Gnome and every Gnome gneeds a Gnome Home!
More things by the front walkway entrance - 

These two have survived the whole winter in that pot, they're ready for some flowers to join them!

Inside Holt House Antiques, the bunnies are ready for Easter.  A few other stuffed animals have joined them in their Easter baskets! My favorite is the chubby Gund teddy - $12 in my shop. The straw stuffed pink bunny is listed in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My house on Old House Dreamer

We decided to list our house for sale after investing all of our savings - and more - in a bed and breakfast that still doesn't have a license because of well problems. Thanks to Old House Dreamer for featuring our house on her wonderful blog.  If you love old houses, I highly recommend it!    So if it sells, we're on to our next project restoring the Old North Church which I've named after it's first minister - Ole Lokkensgaard.  There's enough room in that wonderful old building for living quarters in the front behind the altar - including 3 floors - and an antique mall.
Currently we have antiques for sale in a couple rooms of our octagon house, the granary and metal building.  But we're a mile from town on a road that's not all that busy.  So the church would be a much better location!

Spring has finally sprung in Minnesota, so I've been busy cleaning the shops outside, ignoring my blog.  I'd like to thank the wonderful Etsy sellers - Horse and Hare - for my great pair of vintage earrings.  I have a huge collection of my own and wear them often. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Attic in an Octagon House

My wonderful old house has a wonderful old attic!  It's big enough to create another room with it's neat octagon shape.  But for now it's just a storage room. My daughter needed pictures of the corner brackets that used to decorate the outside, she's nominating the house of the National Historic Register. So I went up there to photograph them and decided to look around at some other cool things up there.

These smaller ones were probably on the porch or bay window, I'm going to paint them and put them on the corners of the bay window this spring.

There are four old doors there, not sure if they are from downstairs where arches are now?

They have the original knobs and key holes!
My great aunt used to live in this house, so I know these stairs used to lead up to a trapdoor or possibly widow's walk or flat area on the roof.  With the new shingles, we closed it up. It would make a really neat spot for a skylight if we ever decide to create a room up there!

I have one item for sale in my antique shop that came from the attic, I have no idea what it is or what it's for, but it would be neat as a wall hanging or just displayed on a shelf , they're about 7 inches in diameter and I have  price of $8 on the pair-

What's in your attic? 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Robins here at last!

Snow is melting, I see grass at last and the first robins of spring are hopping around outside! I even see some signs of green on some of the plants.
I'm sure members of my Minnesota Magic Etsy team feel the same way, so I've decided to feature some Springy Minnesota Items they have for sale.

Powers of Love has this wonderful crocheted scarf, the same shade of green as the new leaves of the trees which should appear soon. Use coupon code SPRING for 20% off!

JewelryKaleidoscope's fabric strawberries have me looking forward to my strawberry crop in June!
Al Ternative Creations has a wonderful bracelet to go with your new spring dress!
Our newest member , Jim Guy, has some great photography in his Etsy shop.  I love this one of the Minnesota landmark, Minnehaha Falls!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Antique Books for World Book Day

I didn't know there was a World Book Day until a friend asked me to change my status on my facebook page to the nearest book to you, page 56, sentence 5.  It turned out to be my antique book about my antique house, "A Home for All or The Gravel Wall and Octagon Mode of Building." It's one of my treasures!
At Holt House Antiques, I have quite a few antique and vintage books for sale.  This one below is in another language, so I have no idea what it is!  The other one is "Touchdown Pass" by Claire Bee from 1948.  The beautiful bookmark was a prize from Etsy shop Unraveled Revelry. She makes all kinds of wonderful upcycled fabric items! Beth's blog is A Self Made Life.

The bottom shelf of my living room antique shop is filled with old books, To celebrate World Book Day, I think I"ll list some for sale on Etsy today!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Signs of Spring -- at Last!

Winter has gone on long enough here in Minnesota.  This year was the first winter we've spent in our old house and one of the worst for cold and snow.  In 17 days it will be officially spring and today it feels like it actually could happen, a balmy 32 degrees!  We went and bought tomato and flower seeds to start, our growing season isn't long enough to plant some types of vegetables and flowers in the ground.  It's so much fun to open a packet of seeds, like little drops of magic!

Another sign of spring is the coming of Easter. My cute old bunny, Pinky, was featured in an Etsy treasury

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dragons in an octagon house.

Dragons just seem to fit in with my love of all magical creatures, in this case I can only hope they're imaginary! Yesterday I purchased a new addition to my collection on Etsy.  It was hard to choose which one, I love all these items at Innovative Stone Art. 
He'll look great on my wall or even in the garden as a stepping stone.

I've been collecting dragons for a while now.  We just moved back to the USA permanently and shipped items from the Middle East, my favorite and most expensive is the dragon themed, hand carved, walnut table. It arrived with no damage though the glass top got broken. The seller said it was made in Kashmir, but other people think it might be from Thailand or that area. 

I do have it listed for sale in  my antique shop. But at the price of $4,000, I'm hoping nobody comes along to buy it! Right next to this wonderful piece is another imported guy, he did get his teeth broken off but I glued them on again.
I think they like living in an octagon house and help the gargoyles outside protect the place.
 The purple one who hangs by my window would certainly scare anybody away, even though she must be a girl with that color!  She was a gift from my daughter. The brown dragon below is a stuffed animal, he also came from overseas, a Christmas gift. He sits on my sofa in the bedroom and keeps an eye out the window there.
I hope they're all happy here, wouldn't want to upset them! Writing this I realized they all need names, any ideas readers?