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Ino Schaller

Thoughts from Laurel Ridge

Shop Downtown and All Around

Barbara Crozier
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... all around the town!  For years and years it seemed Laurel Ridge was always the first on the block to decorate for the holidays, but a quick trip through our downtown and it obvious that is no longer the case.   The Main Street team and city employees have been busy at work, and it shows.   The old-fashioned lights strung across our city streets make me think of Bedford Falls and listening for George Bailey.     

   Call me sentimental, but it really is a wonderful life!   It’s a wonderful opportunity to be part of the downtown revitalization of our historic little city by shopping and supporting the new and established businesses of downtown Gonzales! 




Wow, what a season!

Saturday, January 09, 2016


Happy New Year!


So... for everyone that makes a New Year's Resolution, here is mine... be better organized when the end of the Year craziness comes around!


 Laurel Ridge F M Fly House Gonzales In January


(Laurel Ridge today, post-Epiphany)


 Laurel Ridge F M Fly House Gonzales during Christmas


 (Laurel Ridge decorated for Christmas!)


You may have noticed that I just took a near-on 4 month hiatus from the blog, due entirely down to the intense demands of the store during the final months of last year! It was frantic and wonderful, and we all thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. We are hugely blessed to be able to share our treasures with you all year, and when everyone steps up their shopping game in preparation for Christmas, it is fantastic to see and speak so many delightful people.


Now, with Epiphany observed and the Christmas decorations down, we have set to work sorting, and sorting, and sorting and... well, you get the idea. It never ceases to amazing me, that whenever one clears through that which one has been putting off ('One' in this case is not just me!), something wonderful is inevitably unearthed.


Michael Vintage Cards 


 (Cards Laurel Ridge carried that I received when I was just a little dot of a girl, found in our 'January Sort Out'!)


This year, that 'something' has come in the form of 'Vintage' cards, unused. I remember as a small girl having been sent those same cards, from Laurel Ridge, and the images on this stationary holds joyful nostalgic memories of early Christmas celebrations.


In addition to these wonderful memories, I also found what the Art Historian in me believes to be the 'most amazing cards in the history of forever'! (Or Christmas has made me a little delirious! A possibility!) To the casual onlooker, they are a replica of a beautiful classically realist painting, but on the inside, dry, almost British, humor! I LOVE THEM!


Gossip Vintage Painting Cards OutsideGossip Vintage Painting Cards interior


(The most amazing cards in the history of forever! (In my opinion, of course!))


So as Barbara and I are planning what this year and the future holds, and choosing all the stunning 'adornments' for Laurel Ridge (Watch this space for more 'personal adornments', they are coming and they are amazing!) we will also be reflecting on that which has, in years past, given us joy, and will be sharing it with you (And of course, feel free to share with us!).


Delightful Desks

Monday, August 03, 2015

Something amazing happened on Saturday. I was away from Laurel Ridge, spending the day with my mother, who has been visiting from England, and when I came back to the store in the late afternoon, Barbara had waved her magic wand, and a beautiful 'new' (although actually antique) desk had appeared in the Dining Room!


 Rosewood and Satinwood Rococo Revival Desk

(Lovely Rococo Revival Desk)


I was rather taken a'back with how lovely it was, and it got me thinking about the cyclic nature of fashions and trends. Take leggings, big in the 80s and then again thirty years later, worn a different way but still, bang on trend.  The same is true for furniture, as is evident in the revival styles that were typical of the American craftsmen of the 1800s.


Rosewood and Satinwoon Rococo Revival Desk Top 

(The top of the Rococo Revival Desk)


However, we now have a different cycle being added into this wheel, usability. Antique writing desks, which for a while had become functionally redundant, due to the large sizes of computer monitors and towers, are now perfect once again, as our small laptops and tablets have fueled a revival in the popularity of beautifully designed and made, high quality antique desks.


Rosewood and Satinwood Rococo Revival Desk Writing Surface 

(The writing surface of the Rococo Revival Desk)


This part of the trend cycle makes me particularly happy as I look at this beautiful piece, and wonder who will end up with it in their home or office, and what life will it lead from now on. Antiques, be they furniture, art, jewelery, crystal, china, or any other antique sub-category, are intrinsic parts of our history, that yearn to continue being part of our future.

Gorgeous Glass

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

 Prairie Floor and Table Lamps

 (Prairie Glass Floor and Table Lamps at Laurel Ridge)


The glass at Laurel Ridge is something that everyone who walks through the door, admires.


From the glass Christmas Ornaments (Radko, Old World and others) to the beautiful Waterford and Period crystal, to the stained glass panels and lamps, our glass pieces are a collection which garners attention.


Although we do have a few Antique pieces of stained glass in their original wooden frames, these are not the pieces that take center stage in the windows of the house. We proudly hang stained glass made today by a subsidiary of the Tiffany Company, using the original designs from the early 1900s, and it is these same original designs that are used in the beautiful glass lampshades and bases of our floor and table lamps.


 Stained glass filled window in the front room at Laurel Ridge

(Stained Glass filled window, in the front room at Laurel Ridge)


These stained glass panels have been a god-send. Barbara was completely right, the Texas sun does make it hard to see and the rooms hot, so having these beautiful pieces of stained glass in the windows not only is aesthetically pleasing, they are also hugely functional, blocking out a large portion of the light, and making the rooms pleasant to be in. Love a good multi-function piece, like a 'spork' for the windows!


Lighting at Laurel Ridge is an art form. Barbara has an innate ability to have the right light, in the right place, with stunning effect, and the glass lampshades of our  floor and table lamps are intrinsic in that process, casting a beautiful muted light on the surrounding area. My current favorite glass shaded lamp is this lovely Victorian oil lamp that was converted to electricity in the 1950s. I adore the reverse painting in the shade, which has a subtlety not usually found in Victorian pieces.


 Victorian converted glass shaded floor lamp

(Victorian converted Glass shaded Floor Lamp)


Glass at Laurel Ridge, truly remarkable.

Appreciating the Stories behind each piece

Saturday, July 11, 2015

 Rococo sterling silver and cut glass cruet set

(A beautiful Rococo Sterling Silver and Cut Glass Cruet Set...)


In my opinion, the most wonderful and exciting part of being around antiques, are the stories that are coupled to them. Appreciating the provenance of a bed, or a painting, for example, makes the antique more than beautiful old furniture, paintings or jewelry. An interest in the tales that are part of these pieces makes them into snapshots of history, and creates both a mystique and an understanding of nuances of the particular historical period, and of those who owned the piece.


We have recently had the pleasure of accepting in some silver pieces (pictured) from a fascinating lady from San Antonio, who, after the Blitz Bombings of Central London during WWII, bought several pieces of silver from the London Silver Vaults, and brought them back to San Antonio with her. It is an understanding not simply of the historical period that a piece was made, but the individual life it had in the proceeding years, that gives antiques such a wonderful allure.


Georgian sterling silver and cut glass cruet set 

(A stunning Georgian Sterling Silver and Cut Glass Cruet Set...)


 Victorian Lion's Head silver plate punch bowl

(A lovely Victorian silver plate Lion's Head Punch Bowl...)

What is it they say about Diamonds?

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


 Antique Lavalier Necklace 18K White Gold with Diamonds and Pearl Pendant

(Antique Lavalier Necklace 18K White Gold with over 1 carat of Diamonds and hanging Pearl Pendant)


So it is truth time.... I am completely obsessed with jewelry, and in particular, Diamonds. I get the fascination, I really do. Of course I love other gemstones, Sapphires being a personal favorite and what is in the center of my engagement ring, which my husband and I designed together with our jeweler, but there is something about diamonds... big, small, single, clustered.... they are entrancing.


So when Barbara walks into the store last week, with a "Look what I have!", I became as giddy as a little school-girl! From her "English Jewelry Man" she had brought the store a whole bag full of AMAZING antique pieces of jewelry, and the diamond pieces , including an Antique 18K White Gold, Diamond and Pearl Lavalier and a Half Carat Diamond 14K White Gold Pinkie Ring, were just sensational.


 14K White Gold Half Carat Diamond Ring

(Deco 14K White Gold and Half Carat Diamond Pinkie Ring)


I have been a kid in a candy store, choosing each day what new piece of jewelry I am going to wear with the outfit of the day to best showcase the jewelry, and today I went back to the Lavalier and the Pinkie Ring on one hand, and a beautiful 2 and a half carat Deco 14K White and Yellow Gold Ring.


 14K White and Yellow Gold 2 1/2 carat Diamond Ring

(14K White and Yellow Gold 2 and a half Carat Diamond Deco Ring)


Maybe it is the colorless, go-with-anything quality, maybe it is the sparkle, but one thing is for certain, I am now, and always will be, a fan of DIAMONDS!