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Apr '14

At Russell-Cooper

Good Morning from Mt. Vernon, Ohio.  Although I am really in Ohio for a 3-part rug hooking event that won’t start until Thursday, I decided to come in a couple of days early because it would allow me the opportunity of visting Mt. Vernon, the town that provides the setting for the Brenna Rutherford Mystery Series that my daughter Ann writes.


Since I wanted to soak up as much of Mt. Vernon as possible, I decided to forgo modern trappings and stay someplace historic.


It is hard to get more historic than the Russell-Cooper House.  Built about 1830, the home is family seat of 2 notable Ohioans:  Dr. John Russell and his son-in-law, Colonel William Cooper, attorney and civil war colonel.


Owned by the same family for 5 generations, the home is intimately tied to many major historic events associated with Ohio and the US.  Besides appreciating all that history, I show up, of course, with an eye looking for a little bit of artistic inspiration.


And, for what it is worth, my eye couldn’t get past the dramatic decorative top knots featured prominently in the front design.


They anchor each corner


And bring an extra dash of drama to the front entry porch.


If subtle is more your style, then all one has to do is look down instead of up.  Even the front sidewalk  next to the street provides a stunning feast for the eyes via these old glazed pavers.  I was astonished to find an entire sidewalk made with these.  Appartently, they were made locally and show up at other historic sites all over town.  They are wonderful.


I do believe there is a rug design here …


As one would expect in a “high Victorian mansion,” the downstairs rooms are formal and elegant.


With layers upon layers of design elements typical to the period.  There is a lot to see.


That did not stop me from quickly finding IRgC central, the spot I staked out in the dining room for my computer hookup home away from home.  The only thing needed to make it a little better was a chair with a little extra padding … which I sneaked over from another spot in the room after I got to business.


As expected, the house is full of several period bedrooms.


I decided to stay in the Colonel’s Bedroom.


Each is a little different


But all are full of period pieces, many of which are original to the home.


From an artistic standpoint, I found the downstairs ballroom to be particularly interesting.  Not too long ago, when some work was being done to this room, the original hand painted ceiling was discovered.


Since then, it has been painstakingly uncovered and restored.  I was quite fascinated with the delicate lines and shading in this design.  Of course, as you might expect, I was very happy to see a classic Greek Key design as a prominent feature.  It never gets old … even though the design is ancient.  As is often the case, once a good design gets going …


It starts going off in new directions in order to make things more interesting.


Obviously, the original artist had plenty of tricks up his or her sleeve.


It is a good lesson for us about layering design elements together.  It is also illustrative as to the additional interest or perspective  that can be achieved through the use of values.  Just look at the interior teal “frames.”  By changing values as the artist depeicted those bands of color, it heighten the perspective of the design element.


Take a look at the use of both light & dark sections and light & dark lines in the construction of this Greek Key.  This also brings in that perspective punch.


Aren’t you glad they uncovered this 4 Seasons homage?  I wonder who in the world covered over it in the first place?

The entire home is full of artistic eye candy.

Since you can never get too much eye candy, I will show you a few more examples of things to look at.


Somebody went to a lot of trouble to make this stunning steam bent, curled and woven screen and its counterpart over the next door.




If you look long enough, you are certin to find a style that suits your design fancy.





Here is a simple, yet effective border idea illustrated by the white/red jagged ripple – the colors being divided by a rich gold line.  It is sort of an odd take on the puzzle border I use in Miss Weigle and other dsigns. While I would never do it in red, white and gold, I think the idea has merits.

z24Color –  symmetry mixed with asymmetry – highlights & shadows – it get’s a person’s artistic mind going.


I even liked the curtains!  After all, you just never know what might ignite your design meter down the road.


Lest you think all I am doing on my down time in Mt. Vernon is wondering around looking at things, you would be wrong.  Here is my hooking space at the Russell-Cooper house.  I brought my nylon project along because I intend to have some free time here and because one of my events later in the week is a evening hook-in where I need something to work on and demonstrate.

*** Since I have a new video ready on hooking nylon, I had Buddy put it up on the IRgC today so you can hook along with me if you want to.  To see it, just go to the video section of the IRgC and click play.


While I am not exactly smelling the roses on this trip, I am enjoying the crocuses.  Come to think of it, I don’t even think I have seen real crocuses for 20 years.


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