In the early 1920’s Ernest Landry found his way from Canada to Berlin, NH.  There he met a Berlin, NH native, Anna (aka Annie Lessard, whom he sooner than  later married. During their courtship he escorted her to a local carnival.  I’m guessing that he played one of those ball toss games.  Anyway,  he won a prize for his  sweetheart!  The prize: Hiawatha Indian Bust – Chalk Ware. 

 Can you remember a time when you won a prize at a carnival, or when someone won one for you?  My recollection is only seeing others win and it was usually a stuffed animal, and some were gigantic.  A smile crossed my face whenever I saw someone win one of those gigantic stuffed animals. I would smile at the thought of them now trying to lug that thing around.  For a before-driver’s-license teen age boy, on a date, that probably meant lugging that thing around the park to show off what was won.  That’s OK, but then comes walking home the date with “Monster Fluffy” in tow, and to top it off she lives at the end of the world!  
This brings me back to Hiawatha with a smile on my face. My grandfather, Ernest, after winning a prize for his sweetheart, Annie, had to lug around Hiawatha, a near life size “breakable” Chalk Ware Bust.  Certainly nothing that one can comfortably snuggle under the arm.   Not sure that the streets were paved and I’m sure he and Annie were hoofing it back in the day.  She was probably beaming with pride and maybe he was so love struck that he didn’t give the awkwardness of Hiawatha under his arm pit a second thought.  
The moral of this story and the real prize for these two sweethearts was the experience, the memory of it and each other. . .

Summer time, carnival time!  Do you have a carnival story to share?  Please do!
Some call this a Cigar Store Indian Figure, but not this one! This very good to mint condition bust/with a story is available for your Native American/South West Theme Décor at Four Corners Brick House in Gilmanton, NH - For Sale by Oomph Redesigns -
Here is my latest find and inspiration!  What is it?  It  is an antique mirror harp.  What's an antique mirror harp, some of you may ask?  It is definitely not musical, but its name has to do with its shape. It
is how a mirror can be attached to a dresser.   Some mirror harps are plain and some are ornate, such as this one.  The harp is attached to a dresser and the mirror is attached to the harp and allows the mirror to be tilted forwards or backwards and positioned as one likes.

As soon as I spotted it, I pictured it hanging upside down with a
wreath of greens attached to it and mounted on a wall. I love wreaths of greens, as they blend and enhance any color theme.  This Mirror Harp would be stunning over a mantle; over a long buffet/sideboard; in a bedroom over a bed; over a table in an entry way/foyer or over a shelving unit or credenza in a study or office.  This is truly a one-of-a-kind in the world!  The “once upon a time” sheen finish is completely worn away with age, featuring its wonderful, naturally grayed wood grain.  This only adds to its one-of-a-kind beauty, and that does not even take into account that it is REPURPOSED into a one-of-a-kind wall décor.  Had I not spotted it, it would probably have made it to a fire pit.  Phew!  A piece of historic beauty is saved!  

Have you repurposed something?  Would love to hear about  

This One-Of-A-Kind Mirror Harp Wall Décor by Oomph Redesigns is looking for a new home. It hangs proudly at FCBH – Four Corners Brick House in Gilmanton, NH

Antique Fascination

My paternal, Great-Grandparents’ New England style house was bequeathed to my Grandmother, as she and my Grandfather cared for them in their final years.  This house was filled with old pieces that always fascinated me, such as a mantle clock in each room that chimed on the hour & half hour, which made for quite a sound. When not chiming, you could hear the “Tick – Tock”, “Tick – Tock” throughout the house. My first collectible from my Grandmother was a simple, elongated gold brooch with a single deep blue, rhombus, aquamarine stone that was an engagement gift from my  Grandfather. Coincidence, or not,  my birth stone is aquamarine.  The second item was a lamp with a unique oval, scalloped shade.   It belonged to my Great-Grandmother.  I followed my Grandmother into the cool, low ceiling cellar and patiently waited in great anticipation as she unwrapped and handed me the lamp. I distinctly remember the smile and look of wonderment and joy on her face, as she witnessed my appreciation and excitement over the perfect lamp for my “Flower Child” bedroom make-over. Yes, its gold, ornate base, eye dazzling, three inch multi-colored glass bead fringe that hung from the orange lined shade, covered with a sheer, ivory, mini pleated overlay that was so old, and fragile that it crumbled to the touch, was perfect! That lamp today has been rejuvenated; given some “Oomph” with a new shade and sits proudly in my family room. The value of the brooch and lamp is in their stories, at least to me. I hope you enjoyed reading a little about the beginnings of my antique fascination.

Tell me, do you have an item from the past that is near and dear to you?  I would love to hear about it!

1947 Columbia Military Bicycle - A "Tribute" to the Mighty Generation!
How I came up with the Oomph Redesigns’ Business Name -

. . .continued from “About the Oomph Inspiration” page:

“Let’s give it a little Oomph!” Mom would say as she would  embellish an outfit. The “Oomph” word comes out of the 1930’s, from the  beginning of a mighty generation of substance.

Until recently, I missed or bypassed all the calling  signs to start this business venture for whatever reasons: socio economic  environment, culture and timing, self-confidence, life in general.   For a couple of years I have been on a search with a desire to create,  but create what? Tired of feeling stagnant, I pledged to make a change in 2012. Laugh if you like, but in January 2012, my daughter turned me on to Pinterest .  I was bitten  hard; sucked in.  The, “I can do it,” creative juices started flowing with my pinner and blogger discoveries;  such talent out there and an inspiration to push me.  “Thank you,”Pinners and Bloggers!

 My love of decorating, re-arranging furniture (thank you, dear husband), looking at something and turning it into something else decorative and/or useful (current day word: REPURPOSED) goes way back to my childhood.  I recently reflected to my days of “playing house.”   A neighbor had an old, large shed/play house that was probably not a safe place to play.  Now picture this: I was the mother, the neighbor boy was the Dad and his sisters were the children.  As the Mom, I would send  the children off to school and the Dad off to work, while I swept, and re-arranged crates/ furniture to my heart’s content (and sending them away when they returned too soon).  I’m not  sure what they did in their imaginary role, but I had fun!

 . . . to be continued in next blog post, when the fascination of
Antiques began.

 My favorite childhood, imaginary role play was teacher/school, house and dress-up.  When some boys were involved, it was usually Cowboys, Zorro or Army, and yes, with swords and guns!  We had fun and no one turned into violent criminals, as adults.  I’m curious, what was your favorite  childhood pastime, imaginary or otherwise?