Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dressing Up Our Living Room Walls

Welcome to What's on Your Wall Wednesday! This fun event is hosted by Barb at http://gritsglamour.blogspot.com/ so be sure to visit her to see what's on her walls and to check out what is on every participant's wall?
Let me begin by showing you what's on our living room's 3 bigger and 2 small walls. This oil painting is hanging above the sofa. It's quite big (36" x 48" unframed) and can you believe that I painted it all by myself? I came home from a trip one day and dh surprised me with a craft cabinet and table and this huge canvas sitting on a huge bamboo easel. Well, I did not want to waste the canvas so I went to work. I went on Google Image to search for a picture that would appeal to me and that would be easy for me to draw, something that would look good above the sofa since the wall was empty at that time. And this is what I came up with.

I have a pair of these hand painted ceramics that are held by strapped brown leather. I found them on Ebay and they are made in England and I really like what's painted on them. I placed them on either side of the sofa, above the end tables.

This is an oil painting of my father's family and my childhood home in the Philippines. I lived there (in the province) with my grandma (my grandpa passed away when I was 5 years old) until I was in 4th grade, while my parents and my other siblings lived in the city. Even after I moved to the city, I would still spend all my summer vacations there. A pastor from Oakland, CA who is originally from our hometown, painted it and gave it to me. I love this painting that is why it is the focal point, placed on top of the fireplace.
Here are photographs of the same house. It has a lot of history behind it. My grandpa had it built in the 1930's and it was used as a Japanese Garrison during the Japanese invasion.

It is a tradition in the Philippines that every Nov. 1st, which is All Saints Day, Filipinos go to the cemetery to light candles on their loved ones tombstones. I often wondered why the maids lit candles in the basement of the house and in the vacant land next to the house. I was told that if they did not do that, they would hear moans coming from the basement. I believe the basement was used by the Japanese to torture and kill people. I would never go down there by myself. For as long as I can remember, candles were always lit on Nov. 1st, maybe that's the reason I never heard such moaning.

The roof of the tower flew during an earthquake in 1991. I was already residing here in US then but my cousin told me that the tile roof came all the way down without a single damage. It was as if someone had taken it off and laid it carefully down on the vacant lot right next to the house. It came from a very high place and for it not to break into pieces is pretty amazing. My cousin also said that neighbors were all watching it fly while praying and hoping it would not land on their houses. My grandma and her children were very religious. We have a life size statue of the Sacred Heart and St. Margaret inside the house that they take out for processions every year. I believe They protected the house and the people during the earthquake.

The tower was built for my aunt who suffered from tuberculosis and passed away before I was even born. My late grandfather believed that the breeze blown freely through the tower would give her the fresh air to help her breath easier. Of course, this was before cure for TB was ever invented.

Today, the house still belongs to our family and we get to go and stay there when we visit.
We have a pair of these oil paintings on wood, framed in handcarved wood scroll and painted in gold. They are hanging on either side of the fireplace.

Here is a close up.
This is the wall across the sofa and I hung an Indonesian mirror, encased inside 2 doors. I added a wooden elephant family above it.
Two smaller walls frame the entry to the living room and on each side, a wooden wall shelf is hanging. Do you see my Scarlett O'Hara dolls wearing 3 different costumes, including the green one made from the drapery? Under each shelf is a cherub and mom plaque.
Here is what's on the other wall. A wall shelf with a Nike sculpture I bought from Athens, a small bunny painting, a vase an ex-co worker gave me before we moved from Florida and other knick knacks.
a close up of the plaques
I hope you enjoyed the tour of our living room wall. Thanks for coming and thank you, Barb,for hosting this wonderful event.


prof en retraite said...

Hi Christine! You have so many interesting things on your wall! I had no idea that you are so talented! I love your painting! And the history of your family home is fascinating! Great post!...Debbie

mbkatc230 said...

Christine you always show us the most lovely things. How special that you have the painting of your family home, I'm sure it makes you smile whenever you look at it. And I'm so impressed with the painting you did, it's lovely. Thanks for sharing! Kathy

Shelia said...

Oh, Christine, this is a wonderful post! I love the painting and you did it! You're an amazing gal! Not only beautiful, can decorate but now I find out you can paint too! Let me sit down! lol Oh, the little ceramics from England are so beautiful. never seen anything like that before. The painting your pastor did of your old home is amazing, too! Oh, you just bowl me over with all your wonderful things. I just love coming to you blog!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Carrie said...

Your painting is amazing. It was interesting to hear about your family home and to see the pictures. Your artwork is very beautiful...each item seems to be one-of-a-kind.
My post is up too. I just shared one wall in the guestroom: http://oakrisecottage.blogspot.com/2009/02/whats-on-your-wall-wednesday-eclectic.html

Bo said...

Your family home is absolutely beautiful! I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your living room walls...you have so many lovely things..
and the painting you did is very pro looking!
;-) Bo

pammiejo said...

What a great story about your former home. You have such meaningful things on your walls - I like that. Things should have meaning to you - not just be "decorating" choices. PAM

ann said...

You are quite the artist my dear.Do you still paint?You haven't mentioned it.I love your new lamps and those cherub plaques are awesome...Ann

marty39 said...

Christine, you're a fabulous artist, I just love the painting you did. The picture of your childhood home and the story about it is just so fascinating. What a great post, love it. Hugs,Marty

Queenie~ said...

You are a wonderful artist Christine...that painting is beautiful...all of the other art work is beautiful too...and the history of your homestead is interesting...amazing how the earthquake gently set the roof beside the house in the empty lot. It sure is a beautiful home...I bet it feels wonderful to go back and be able to stay there.
Oh before I forget...Does Suesuesays know about your blog? If she doesn't I will have to email her and let her know about it. Something tells me that she probably already knows. If she doesn't...She would be delighted to visit you here...I'm sure. It's alot of fun here! Hope you have a great day...thanks for visiting me!
Big hug,

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Very pretty, Christine! You're such a talented artist, and I thank you for sharing your talent with us...


Sheila :-)

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

You have such neat stuff! First of all, I'm in awe of the painting you did....love it! And the plaques on teh leather strap are soo unusual...I've neevr seen anything like them.

And your family's home...oh my goodness, it's awesome! So cool that you can stil visit it.

Happy To Be said...

GM Christine...now girl you know I loved the painting of your home and the history that went with it...as I really am in into family history...and WOW!! a great painting you did..you are so talented my dear...thanks for showing more of your great home..I bet John loves it...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

Yes, I so enjoyed the tour, You are very gifted and talented, I so envy people who can express themselves on canvas. Keep using you talent.
Thank you for coming by and your sweet comment.

Kim Chalfant said...

I really liked the story of your family home. And that you have a painting to remember it. But I have to say that I loved the cherub plaques the best (I love cherubs!!!). Thanks for sharing.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Christine, no wonder you are afraid of ghosts! Love that painting of your family home. You have such beautiful treasures on your walls. What a nice story about your husband setting up a craft table and canvas for you. Enjoyed your posting. laurie

Kathysue said...

Ok thats it! now I find out you can paint also.Is there anything you can not do?You just keep impressing me,Christine.Lovely pieces on your wall and I loved hearing about the family home in the Phillipines,it was so interesting. Great post,thank you for sharing,Hugs Kathysue

Cindy J. said...

Christine you know I believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Here is the proof, just pick up a brush and paint a picture! How sweet of John to encourage your inner artist. I love the story and history of your family home and sad that some terrible things happened there. Beautiful treasures every one. Love, Cindy

Nicole ~ said...

Christine, I did not know you were an artist too... You did a great job on the painting.

You have a wonderful piece of art that reflects your family history, and what an amazing story behind it. I always enjoy visiting your blog.

KBeau said...

How wonderful that you have the painting of your Philipines home. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Your paintings are beautiful! I love the one you painted! You know I have a weakness for them!

Cass said...

I am so impressed by your painting that hangs over the sofa. It's lovely! And the story of the painting from the Phillipines home is charming; thank you for sharing! Cass

Glenda said...

I think you might have hinted once before that you had an artistic bent, but I wasn't expecting this. I am so glad that you have the talent to express yourself this way. It is truly a gift.

Likewise your previous pastor also has a gift, and because he does, you have a lasting remembrance of a place where you spent part of your youth. What a blessing that it still remains in your family and you can visit from time to time.

Your walls are filled with treasures that I feel sure bring you daily pleasure. This was a very beautiful post. Thank you.

xinex said...

That was very nice of you to say that, Glenda. I love hearing from you. Thanks!...Christine

Envoy-ette said...

I LOVE the story about your family's home! What history! Like your taste too on the other items! Beauty never goes out of style.

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