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Wednesday, February 27

A Family Tradition



Gerald & Joan offers vintage-inspired design, events and styling, but the cornerstones of the business are family, heritage, history and classic design. These two images are of Gerald and Joan and their families. Gerald is the second from the right in the top photo, and Joan is on the left in the bottom photo. Gerald, his brother Larry, his mother Elzie and his stepfather Mr. Brinkley are in front of their home in Mississippi with the family car. Joan, her brother Robert and her mother Elsie are in front of their car, presumably in their driveway after church, in this photo that was taken in Euclid, Ohio in 1949. Although I don't know the date of the photo of Gerald and his family, I would presume it was taken in the early 1950s during the summer. The bottom photo was taken during the winter months.

When I look at these photos, I see me, Jonathan, my mom and his dad. We have created this business as a way to honor our grandparents and our great-grandparents and keep the things that were important to their generations alive -- the handwritten letters on beautiful stationery, the intimate tea parties with family and friends and the welcoming homes that feel lived in and special.

Does anyone think we need to name our unborn daughter Elsie/Elzie? What are the odds that our great-grandmothers share the same name?

To see more of our family photos, click here.

Monday, February 18

Sunday Afternoons...

Sunny Sunday afternoons are a favorite of ours. We love it when we don't really have an agenda -- we've been to church and the gym, had lunch, and now we have the rest of the day to enjoy.

That sort of super-organized Sunday doesn't happen often, but when it does and the weather is fine, we head outdoors...

Porter is a big fan of these afternoons, especially when frisbee throwing is involved.

We had a little frisbee time. Porter was a happy boy.

We also cleaned out the garden and flower beds, which made us excited about tomatoes, lettuces, peppers, cucumbers, eggplants, herbs and roses.

Then Jonathan built a seat for our chair that I painted last summer. We've had this little chair for several years. Our neighbor gave it to us. She had previously used it to hold a planter. We always knew we'd add a seat someday, but it took us a little while.

Nice, huh?

We're also going to build a farm table, so I can sit work outside on pretty days. I have high hopes for al fresco dining. Of course it's easy to dream in February when the bugs are at a minimum, so we shall see about that.

Once the table is built, we're going to stain and seal the seat and the top of the farm table. The table's legs will be painted white like the chair. We like that classic look.

Hopefully these projects won't take another six months. I have faith that we'll make them happen in the next few weeks.

Fingers crossed. All we need are a few more sunny Sunday afternoons and a little inspiration.


Porter has faith in us...


Wednesday, February 13

Notes for the Next Year


An excerpt from my mother's high school journal. 

I'm not sure who wrote the quote, but it seemed appropriate for today.

No work, worry or fear allowed on these grounds. 

Within these limits dwell love, romance, faith, hope, mercy, peace of mind and courage. 

Take a drink from the cup that runneth over. For here you are loved for what you are and all that you can become. 

Enter with joy and know that you are free and at peace with yourself and the world. 

The atmosphere and spirit belong to you. 

It is yours to possess.

Gerald and Joan's website is live. We're also on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you'll be our friend!

Tuesday, February 12

D-Day, or V-Day if you prefer....




After dragging my feet for a few weeks, I have decided tomorrow is the day I will launch the website. I'm not sure what I've been waiting for -- maybe the nerves have finally started to set in. Sunshine and warmer temperatures would definitely do me some good. I feel guilty for saying this when the temperatures are hovering around 40-50 degrees, but I may have a mild case of the February blues. I apologize in advance, my snow-covered pals in the Midwest and Northeast!

For now, my design work has been minimal, and I've mostly been taking photos of objects that set the tone for Gerald & Joan. I think these pictures do just that. The locket was a vintage treasure of my Grandma Joan's, the old roses are from my wedding bouquet and a past Valentine's Day, and the tea is served in Franciscan 'Desert Rose' china -- the very same pattern my mother and great-grandmother loved before me. Jonathan and I registered for it on a whim, and ironically received more pieces of it than anything else. It served as the original inspiration for this blog -- the Painted Pink Roses.

Monday, February 11

Love, Love, Love

As silly as Valentine's Day is, it has special meaning for me and Jonathan. It was our first real tradition that we created after a not-so-romantic first V-Day in 2004 (white lettuce and rubber chicken was involved). Ever since then, we've cooked at home. For our second Valentine's Day, I cut out lots of tiny paper hearts and bought heart candles and a red table cloth. Our cheesy pink and red loot is still going strong eight years later, and it serves as a reminder of just how far we've come together. We were college kids who barely knew how to cook when we first started our V-Day meal. I recall trying to make croutons and burning them badly. Next month marks our fifth anniversary as homeowners, and we make much of our own food now, including bread and chocolate. I do still burn things on a regular basis though. Oops.

I'm not sure what's on the menu this year, but as usual Pinterest provides some romantic inspiration to set the mood whether it's Valentine's Day or just a regular day...

Thursday, February 7

Always Dreaming...

For the past few years, Jonathan and I have been going back and forth about where we see ourselves living in five or 10 years. Sometimes we want to continue our life in the city, and then other times we think we'd like to live on the outskirts of town in a farm-like setting. We've also considered the beach, but we don't want to be far from our families. Family always wins out. :)

While we're not sure which direction we'll go, we know we are not the sort of people who want to move to the suburbs, although there isn't anything wrong with the suburbs! They just don't inspire us, and we like to feel inspired.

My friend Erisa lives on a farm in the middle of the state, and her story has me envisioning a funky Victorian farmhouse on a few acres of land. I'm picturing a barn, a vegetable garden, fruit trees and a big porch. Rachel Ashwell's The Prairie has also gotten under my skin and put me in a dreaming mood. We could open a B and B guest house next door if it were situated in the right area...maybe the sort of place for weddings and photo shoots? It definitely fits with the Gerald & Joan vibe. 

And of course, we would have a funky old Chevy truck, a VW Westfalia camper and a Shasta RV, just for fun. 

I think Porter would be a big fan, don't you?



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