Saturday, February 23, 2019

Margaret Macdonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Where does inspiration come from?

All artist would should agree that their greatest inspiration comes from other artists.

Impressionists would agree that Impressionists influenced each other. Modernists the same. Influence is not confined to a lifetime. Traditionalists who studied Renaissance Art in school learned their techniques. Picasso acknowledges his debt to the Paleolithic cave paintings of Lascaux, France. After a visit to Lascaux, Picasso said, “They've invented everything.”

Stickley Furniture introduces the Highlands Collection, modern, tapered, and light, inspired by the work of Margaret Macdonald and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Stickley's Highland Collection features design elements from Charles Rennie Mackintosh, well-known for Willow Tearooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland. The Highlands Collection included carved motifs and pierced slats, crafted in solid oak and cherry wood, wood that is sustainably harvested in North America, with rich hand-rubbed finishes.

For Charles Rennie Mackintosh, inspiration came from his wife to whom he wrote in a letter, "Remember, you are half if not three-quarters in all my architectural work ..."

Then, to friends, "Margaret has genius, I have only talent."

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh was herself a renown artist and influential member of the Glasgow School and the “Glasgow Style” it inspired. She and her sister Frances went to school at the Glasgow School of Art and later established the Macdonald Sisters Studio at 128 Hope Street, Glasgow. Their paintings reflected the growing liberation of the young woman at the fin de si├Ęcle and early 20th century, art prominently featuring women in elongated stylized drawings. Margaret herself was strongly influenced by the 19th century phenomenon of Japonism or Japonaise, and its influenc on Impressionists like Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Margaret Macdonald also drew on earlier stylized Gothic architectural motifs.

Thus, when Charles Rennie Mackintosh was given the commission for The Willow Tearooms at 217 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland, it is not surprising that his friezes incorporated the art of his wife. Or that the furniture utilized the cutout motifs that she used in her metal sculptures.

Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh’s influence was not restricted to her husband. She also influenced and was influenced by British Arts & Crafts designer and author William Morris. In America, Elbert Green Hubbard and the Roycroft community of East Aurora, New York followed similar design trends. Across the country, architects and furniture designers Charles and Henry Greene, employed the use of cut-outs in their furniture design. Architect and furniture designer Harvey Ellis, who worked for Gustav Stickley for a short time before his early death, was also influenced by her work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Get Stressless and Save

When is a chair more than a chair?

It was songwriter Burt Bacharach who wrote - a chair is just a chair if you are not sitting there. But a reclining chair by Stressless is so much more if you are sitting there.

Stressless has developed the patented Glide, Plus, and ErgoAdapt systems to ensure that Stressless seating delivers the ultimate in comfort every time you take a seat. The Glide System consists of a patented set of adjustments that allow you to adapt a Stressless recliner to your body's height and weight.The Plus system is a functional skeleton of springs that interprets your body’s movements as you change positions to provide increased lumbar reinforcement. While the ErgoAdapt™ tilts a sofa seat to just the right angle the moment you sit down.

How do you know?

In his discussion of Forms, the philosopher Plato asked, "When we see a particular chair for the first time how do we know it is a chair?"

If it is Stressless we know by sitting, relaxing, and experiencing the comfort that is Stressless.

Get Stressless and Save 

Now though January 14th, donate $50 to charity and save $200 on any Stressless, or $400 off the Mayfair recliner and ottoman in all Paloma leathers. 

Visit Traditions Furniture in Downtown Overland Park or Traditions Home in Wichita for details.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Uncle Sam Vintage Wood Sign

uncle sam vintage wood sign, red horse signs

One can't wave the American Flag too much. Celebrate the Fourth of July year round with Terri Palmer's patriotic salute to Uncle Sam and America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.

Traditions Home celebrates the holiday year round at Robyns Lake House, a getaway for all our woes and cares. Vintage sign by Red Horse Signs.

Visit Now 



Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The Stickley Difference

The Stickley Difference 

At Stickley, skilled artisans create timeless works of art from nature with loving hands, careful attention to detail and an eye for everlasting beauty.

The process is a long.

It reflects Stickley’s adherence to the ancient Flemish maxim, Als ik kan, to the best of my ability, and the more ancient Roman proverb, Ars longa, vita brevis, the art is long, life so short, which is often interpreted to mean that the artist's skill is long to learn and his life too short.

The art of building beautiful furniture stretches from beginning to end. Wood is carefully selected, cut, and kiln-dried. Time-honored techniques are used by artisans. These techniques include pinned mortise and tenon, dove-tails, lap planking, tongue and groove, and plank matching, techniques long lost to most manufacturers. Finally, each piece is finished in one of Stickley’s hand-rubbed rich stains.

Stickley selects natural wild cherry from the Adirondacks, wood that ages beautifully and takes on a rich patina. Many of Stickley’s Mission pieces are made of native white oak, quarter-sawn to generate ray flakes and bind more solidly the wood’s fibers, creating a sturdier and more beautiful piece of furniture. Stickley Mahogany Classics are made of mahogany from Honduras, cut so that the environment is protected and nourished.

View all the Stickley Collections


The Difference

Unique Stickley design, painstaking craft and attention to detail and construction, a unparalleled history, this is what makes the Stickley difference.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

What is a beautiful thing?

What is beauty, does it exist and why? 

 Shop for floral prints online

A florist finds beauty in a floral arrangement, a lover in a single rose, a naturalist in the smell, a child in a fresh picked daisy, the old find beauty in the daffodil as pokes its yellow head through the snow, the forlorn find beauty in the dainty violet pressed between the pages of a book, a cynic says its crazy, that we find beauty at all.

For beauty is not something we can not touch and must be something to behold.

I confess I love to walk in the park in early spring and if by chance I spy the tiniest violet in bloom along the side of the path I walk, I smile. It is a thing of beauty, to be appreciated for its own sake, and for no other reason.

'Twas John Keats who said, the sylvan historian, who can't express a flowery tale more sweetly than the rhyme knows, 'Truth is beauty, beauty truth,' and that is all we know on earth and all we need to know.

So ignore the cynic and the scientist who try to reduce it to mere words. Beauty is a thing we feel and know.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

What Will the New Year Bring?


The first week of the New Year has passed and it is time again to ask, What will the New Year bring?

Donna Fargo

Donna Fargo?

As I sit down to write, the words from Donna Fargo's 1975 hit of the same name prances through my memory, "This past year was good to us the one before just a little rough. The one before that was an awful thing what will the new year bring? The past year was good to us." Call me country, call me corny, but I love Donna Fargo. I love songs about mistakes and tomorrow and forever, and walks together through life with the one you love.*

Old friends, New friends

Here in Overland Park we saw the departure of two employees, Missy went home to Oklahoma to be near her family, Alex took a great position in another field. That was rough for us, but we managed to find three new employees who add their own special charm to our staff.

In a week they are off to Manlius, New York to brave the snow and attend the Stickley Dealer Training seminar. We hope they stay warm while they learn all about Stickley including its new Studio by Stickley Collection.

See it now.

Studio by Stickley

It is new to us. It is an eclectic mix of styles - Modern Loft, Shackleford, Feng Shui, Mid-Century,... , in mixed materials, oak, ash, walnut, and metal, with a great selection of new finishes.


2018 Stickley Collector's Piece

Stickley is calling the new year the Year of the Dragonfly in honor of its new 2018 collector's piece, a Harvey Ellis Drop Front Desk with dragonfly inlay. It is stunning, available in cherry and oak and with all the beautiful Stickley hand-rubbed finishes. Plus there is a slat-back upright chair to go with the desk, again with the remarkable dragonfy inlay.

See it now.

Stickley Road Show

I have to mention Mike Danial's return to Overland Park and Wichita for the Stickley Road Show in February. Always entertaining, always informative, Mike is our favorite speaker. The event is limited so call the store for details.

What will the New Year bring?

One doesn't really know what surprises are in store, but that is what makes life exciting and interesting. We hope you will join us.

And we wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year!


* Looking forward also means looking back. Donna Fargo was born in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, fictional home of Andy Griffith's Mayberry. She had an unlikely climb to stardom, but in the 1970's if you were alive, you were singing along to one of her many hits, including the Happiest Girl in the Whole USA, which launched her career. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Another season is ending

Another season is ending, we know because Labor Day is just around the corner. 

the end of the season


One last vacation and a dip in the lake.

One last trip to Whitefish, Montana, then south towards Missoula, where fires still burn in the forest, (the locals say it always burns in August in Montana). Stop along Flathead Lake and watch fire suppressing helicopters load up with water to douse the flames.

Bigfork, Montana

Then stop at Bigfork, where in a quaint bookstore I find a used copy of Bright Orange for the Shroud, a Travis McGee novel by John D. MacDonald, and the store owner and I talk of pottery, which is his passion. Everyone has time to talk in Montana.


Then down the road to the Raven for brisk swim in the cool lake, a beer and lunch. The smiling guests are talkative, the beer cold, the food nourishing, and the swim in the lake exhilarating.

Where are you from? I asked.

Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Georgia, even Paris, France came the replies. And scattered among the hundreds who came and stayed, are a lucky few born and raised in Montana.

Happyland, I renamed the state for everyone seems to smile.


Only a fool would leave.

I love Kansas

Don't get me wrong. I love Kansas. It is a great place to raise a family, but mountains and cool blue lakes, it has not. So, I must travel and extol the virtues of Kansas elsewhere. Ad astra per astra. Hard work is okay, and hard work gets me to Montana where I like to play.

Raven, Bigfork, Montana
Flathead Lake

Now, imagine my pleasant surprise when coming back to find the Kansas weather in the 70s and 80's.

If I close my eyes, I imagine I am still in Montana sitting at the Raven beside Flathead Lake, near Bigfork. A smile comes to my face.

Flathead Lake, Montana