The Idyll-A Revelation

When I started talking about The Idyll, I thought it was for me. I thought it was the dream forever home for me. I had an inkling it wasn’t but it wasn’t until people commented on our rescuing of dogs and prairie dogs that it sort of got more purpose. But still there I was in the thick of it.

Then it hit me over the weekend. The Idyll isn’t about me or for me. Not at all. Ok, so it is in the sense that it has all of my grand plan and love of learning all over it. But, instead it is a place–still either real or not so real–for people who need to find a way, escape from where they are and bloom, to have the time and space to be themselves and to heal.

It has become a sort of college that isn’t a college. A place to learn a trade or find one within. Or just the hobby someone needs to keep them from losing their thread here on earth. Sure, the writers will still have their places to have a place to finish their books. But instead of being a sort of BlogHer village, it will be a protected college of real life. A place to think or not think. A place free of the apocalypse outside the gates. The Idyll will welcome the abused, the rejected, the rescues and the strays. The Kinderhaus school will teach their young to love to learn again.  It will call the people and nurture them and let them go when they are ready. Or provide them a permanent home and they can mentor others.

I will talk more of the infrastructure…but for now…know that there is more to the it than just a playground for my dreams.

The Idyll–Art and Craft Mini-Village

The Idyll has had a crafting “street” pretty much from the beginning. It morphs and changes a bit. First it started with the Fiber House. Then I realized that there was more to it. So I will start talking about them.

  • The Fiber House.
    This will be an amazing space. It will have just the right spaces for knitting, for learning to knit, for spinning wheels and looms. There will be a fireplace to gather around and knit with friends. A sunshine filled room with adjustable sides so you can knit in the fresh air. Plenty of comfortable places to knit, a place to sit your drinks, lighting, and lots of cubbies for yarn, places to store needles and more.Then there will be a paper crafting area–from making paper to scrapbooking to crazy paper projects. Tables of the right height, room to spread out, all those cutting gadgets, good paper scissors, supplies, tape, markers, pens, stickers, glitter, whatever. Bookbinding tools and areas.
    Then the sewing areas. A nice big cutting table. Sewing machines. Layout tables and walls. Ironing areas, a press. A room for a quilting frame. Places to cross stitch, embroider, hand sew. A long arm quilting machine. Plenty of light.

    Of course, there will be a kitchen with coffee and snacks. Closets/Cubbies for personal projects and supplies. Shelves. A library area for books and booklets related to the fiber house activities as well as some tech to follow patterns online (and places in the seating areas to rest a tablet, a pattern, etc.

  • The Pottery and Ceramics Studio
    This one has been a weird daydream of mine since I was a child. Our neighbor, Mrs Moss, was a potter. At first she had a place in the garage where she kept clay and her wheel and other supplies. Sometimes she’d let me and her son play with the clay. I loved it. I loved the slip, the clay. I never progressed much beyond making snake rolled bowls.  I also loved her kiln in the back yard–especially the one made from specially shipped bricks. We often considered slipping one out and peeking in. Strictly forbidden. In any case, I love the idea of a studio with all sorts of things for ceramics and pottery. Slab rollers, all those fancy tools, pottery wheels. Kilns of all sorts. An area for glazing. An area for painting. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of shelves. (same deal with the kitchen/snack bar/drinks/closets/lockers for personal items)
  • The Glass StudioThis would be a place special built for playing with all things glass. From stained glass to blowing glass. Mosaics. Making glass tiles perhaps? I want to learn these things, do these things.
  • The Carpentry StudioFrom building cabinets and shelves to furniture to frames to tiny magic boxes. Tools. Space.
  • The metal works
    From my father’s welding and his forge he built in the back yard–metal work fascinates me. This might not be a first building. I don’t know anyone yet who could help me learn.
  • The Fix-it Shop
    A combo of a place to fix things with all tools and a place for restoration of vintage items and turning them into something new. A bit mix media,  a bit based on my father’s garage.
  • Arts and CraftsA painting studio, a place for beading, stone carving, shells and re-purposing.
  • A Scented Studio--room for making soaps, candles, lotions, all things scented. Room for curing, wrapping, worktables, wet areas, all the tools needed.

Somehow I need to sort out the distance and arrangement. The quieter craft studios should be away from the louder ones. The fire dangers will need to be addressed. I am sure I am forgetting something just now.

All of them will have appropriate storage, lockers, coffee machines/tea kettles, kitchenettes, snack areas. What else do we need at the Idyll. What Art and Craft studios do you desire?

The Idyll–Christmas

A post about The Idyll at Christmas…and for the holiday season.

On Thanksgiving–we shall gather together all and sundry–the alone, the lonely, the poor, the ones needing family and have them for a meal in a home. That way I can justify a big turkey, pies, cake, table settings, multiple stuffings, a vegan entree, red hot jello, multiple cranberry sauces, sweet potatoes, cranberry bread, dozens of wonderful rolls, cornbread, biscuits, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, fruit fluff. We  remember and share the bounty we enjoy, the harvest, the things for which we give thanks, the things which we must share.

After Joseph’s birthday or Thanksgiving–whichever comes later–the decorating commences. The Flamingo House Idyll has a beautiful tall green tree in the curved window nook made just for the observation of the tree in the front sitting room. (ok–the rest of the year there will be a curved window seat) It is be decorated with all the sundry family ornaments. All those ones that mean something to each of us. Every childhood project, every vacation souvenir ornament, every gifted ornament–all of them. The tree slowly rotates so all can shine. There will be room underneath for a child to crawl under and gaze up through the tree lights at all the magic. Multi-color lights, some bubble lights, the angel with the feathered wings at the top. The front sitting room has, of course,  a fireplace for Santa. There stockings hang by the chimney with care.

A candle on a timer (or magically turns on at sundown) will shine from each window of the house. Large green wreaths with red ribbons festoon the front doors. Garland on the banisters and on the mantles.  In the dining room–Elizabeth and my nativity will hold court–though I am tempted to have a special table made for it and for it to go in the foyer or sitting room.

In the music room, a train runs around the tree there. (though maybe the train runs around the family room tree–decorated with wishes and kind words for each and every one in our lives) The Nutcrackers will march down the halls.

In the community center/recreation center–there is an aluminum tree with a spinning spotlight and retro space age Christmas decor throughout.

In the family room, the forest of all the different colored trees decorated by Denise. I suspect the mouse advent calendar hangs on the wall here.

There will be a holiday brunch. It will be my Mama’s classic holiday brunch–open house like. There will be Crock-pot eggs Benedict and seafood Newburg. Shrimp Noodley Stuff, Toast points. Fresh baked goods. Curried fruit. Ambrosia. Christmas Cookies.  Fruitcake and rum balls. Champagne Punch, Coffee, Eggnog (both dry and liquored.), a punch for the children.

There is a fancy holiday ball in the ball room. Fabulous evening wear, caterers passing delicious treats and drinks. A buffet full of beautiful foods–enough for dinner or light snack between dances. Punch. Egg Nog. Coffee.  Candlelight, chandeliers, a bit of mistletoe. A balcony to step out on for some fresh air. Some lovely seats to rest in or chat with others. There will be a band–but not so loud that one can’t converse. Dancing–reels, waltzes, lovely things.

Outside there is a nativity–I am unsure if the figures are ceramic, cement, or wood. Some of the farm animals will join them in the stable.

One magical evening there will be snow–confined to a sledding hill and an area to build a snow man. Twinkle lights through the woods, perhaps a bonfire and hot cocoa nearby. An ice skating rink? Horses drawn carriage rides through the woods.

The dance barn will have a more country Christmas decor. Strings of cranberries and popcorn. Burlap decorations. A tree for the birds. Each outbuilding will call its own decor or not. The buildings tell the occupants how to dress them for the days of darkness to which we bring light.

After Christmas Eve service in the chapel–a simple service with the birth story of all birth stories and much caroling, the family will gather in the sitting room and open their Christmas Eve pajamas from me. Then we will double check that Santa has a Coke and cookie waiting. There will be a locking and if the kids would like–booby trapping of the doors to the sitting room.

The next morning we will gather on the stairs outside the sitting room. Pictures of the children in their pjs. Pictures of the grandchildren in their pajamas. Pictures of all of the above and whoever else is spending the night as part of the Flamingo House Family Christmas in their Christmas nightwear on the stairs.

Outside the sitting room door, there will be a table with a carafe of coffee and a carafe of hot cocoa. I suppose perhaps some hot water if we’ve tea drinkers that year. There will be mugs for each person.

Then the doors will be checked for tampering. Then unlocked. Did Santa come? Yes! But how? Down the chimney of course. Magic. Don’t think too much of the secrets of the Idyll. A bit of glitter. A bit of magic.

I light the fire laid the night before…with the magic salts that change the colors of the flames. Then the stockings will be tackled. The Santa bags gathered from the hearth. They sit there unmolested since no pet can disturb them overnight. The unveiling of the Santa gifts. Then opening each of the other gifts. Homemade gifts from one to another–carefully thought out and decided upon. Meaningful. The quirky gifts. A game. A puzzle. A book for each.

To be continued…

The Idyll-Early Main House Thoughts and a Preview

There are all sorts of things about the main house (for lack of a better word. It sounds so feudal or something.)  Maybe I will call it “The Family House” or just lapse into “The Flamingo House-Idyll location”Actually I think I will go with that. The Flamingo House. This one will be as showy as a flamingo…though not pink I don’t believe.

I am torn with what style. There is Victorian Gingerbread (which I love), Greek Revival (Which Michelle Loves), A colonial Charleston Single house style . I am actually leaning toward something rather like the The Douxsaint-Macauley House. Southern. Pretty. Oh dear–it is for sale. Practically perfect in every way! Forget the artist colony part. Forget the extensive acreage. I love the renovations in this house (with the exception of the bathroom sinks) Hmmm.

The only problem are the carriage tours and the noise I suspect. In any case, I’ve decided. It will look like that. But not in Charleston proper. (Though Charleston…Maybe I could just buy the house and Rainbow Row? That would work)

Important rooms for more discussion:

  • Master Bedroom Suite
  • 6 bedrooms for six children–all with en suite bathrooms because sharing a bathroom? Horrifying–especially in The Flamingo Idyll. (Note: Yes, I know. The children are nearly all adults now and will have homes of their own but I want them to have a place of their own when they visit or need time to regroup)
  • Across from the six children bedrooms will be a group of nurseries, night nursery, play nursery.
  • A children’s wing tv room where the grown children can watch tv together or whatever.
  • Family room
  • Formal Living and Dining Room.
  • Card room
  • Ball room
  • Library
  • Conservatory (with integrated hot tub that blends in with the rocks, trees, and plants
  • Kitchen
  • Office
  • A mother-in-law apartment–very wheelchair accessible. Maybe two.
  • A special room for the dogs for while we are out of the house or when they want to hang out in their own space–with their crates, beds, toys, food, water, a dog door to a fenced play area with a sunning deck.
  • Secret passageways
  • A magic attic
  • Lots of places to hide out and read
  • Amazing amounts of hot water
  • Lots of coffee pots

Hang in there–those rooms will get more description. Then will come the various outbuildings–which will include various artisan studios (Pottery, Glass, Woodworking, Fiber arts and Mixed media, perhaps metalworks, an apothecary–with first aid, OTC conventional meds, herbals, and such., a recreation hall, and so much more.) and cottages, tiny houses, a place for your gypsy caravan/varda (or you could build one with help in the woodworks and metalworks), maybe a yurt or two. Dream with me.

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