Thursday, August 21, 2008

Birthday Bounty: Boots and Boxes

Mr. Blandings treated me to new planters for the front step for my birthday.  It was a married kind of birthday present.  I did want them, but he wanted them first.  In fact, a friend of mine had seen them originally and been on the hunt; her permission had to be procured before the purchase.

The old ones, a sort of faux something, had a great grey color, but were deteriorating quickly, crumbling on the bottom.


These are metal, both the frame and the liner, and powder coated, so they should hold up for the long haul.  Which is good, because even half-filled with styrofoam peanuts, dirt and yews they weight about 50 bagillion pounds, or so estimated the youngest.


Being a lover of presents, I have no problem buying one for myself.  I emailed Hollister Hovey recently as I had become fixated on riding boots.  Real ones, not, say, J.Crew.  Which is funny, because this is just the kind of thing I would usually abhor.  Safari jackets for explorers, diving watches for divers, riding boots for equestrians.  But Hollister has captivated me with her style and I simply had to have them.


One friend warned that dress boots are not made to walk in necessarily and hinted they might not be so comfortable in dashing about town.  Undeterred, I headed out to CM Tack.  Oh, the wonder of a spot like this, unparalleled by even hardware and art supply stores.  A most delightful woman patiently helped me.  I had to have zippers as I am a bit claustrophobic and the pull on models were giving me the heebie-jeebies.  I also learned that I have "healthy calves" a new euphemism to apply to my aging parts.  

I brought them home and wore them around the house.  The initial fit revealed a lot about the evolution and practicality of the goose step.  In addition, I now understand why those WASP-y and elegant riders appear in photographs sanguine with legs outstretched and carelessly crossed at the ankle.  If you think I returned them to their over-sized box you are wrong.  After an hour the leather was already beginning to soften and give and, frankly, they had captured my heart before I'd even pulled them from the box.  

Form over function you say?  Perhaps, but I say "Hurry up Fall."

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not sure which present I like best...the boots or the planters. It was a splendid birthday!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

The planters are lovely, but there is nothing better than a new pair of riding boots!

Anonymous said...

Two for one!!! I love my X planters with large cones of box in my backyard but have to paint constantly. Were these an arm and a leg? And speaking of leg....I just retrieved my fathers riding boots from the early thirties. He was in a riding group in college. I just adore them propped in a corner of my sitting room. Love your wit, Ginny

Visual Vamp said...

You are going to look dashing running around town doing this and that!

erika @ urban grace said...

planters and boots! a girl after my own heart... love them both!!!! happy birthday! BTW, i adore the rug in the photos, i have used in a project in blue and always coveted the camel/taupe version... is that your bedroom!? lovely!
ps- I'm ready for fall (in Florida that means 'slightly lower temps and fewer tourists!')

linda said...

Happy B-Day !! Love the planters and the boots.

pve design said...

Planters, a gal after my own heart. I would love to see boxwoods in them. You could shape them to suit your fancy and the season. Boots keep calling out to me for fall.

Style Court said...

Happy Birthday!

Tall boots are on my short list of all-time favorite things and yours are just perfect.

Always love seeing the Blandings home. Envious of those planters -- just love them in black.

teaorwine said...

The Chippendale style planters are lovely as they flank both sides of your front stoop. I also am admiring the ironwork railings. Are they original to your property? Love the curvature.

Ivy Lane said...

Both gifts are wonderful!!! Now you can put holiday lights on those trees this year ..would look really nice! By the way, I love that chair and charming little foot stool you have the boots posing on!

Mrs. Blandings said...

Ginny - they were on sale at Webster House here in town, but I am not sure they have many/any left. They are dear - @250 on sale, but the others were over a hundred and did not hold up. Also, I think these being on feet - off the ground - will help considerably.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Erika - Thanks! The rug is actually in the office. It's wearing so well with the boys and Rosie. I hope you are not drowning today.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Patricia - I think when these yews go (they look a little thin, no?) boxwoods maybe next.

Mrs. Blandings said...

T&W - thanks, the railings are original and I adore them as well.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Ivy - the stool is from Christopher Filley's here in KC - he has three rectangular ones in the shop right now - they are fabulous.

Anonymous said...

I cannot get enough of your medallion shape wrought iron light cover/s (are there 2?)
A pair flanking the door?
Is there a name for them & are they original to your house?
Lovely boots, Mrs. B.....(my staple with skirts/trousers/jeans all fall & winter)....you'll covet those kicks even more when they patina.......
Cheerio! Alison

Anonymous said...

Having broken in numerous pairs of boots over the years, I can pass along a rider's tip. Slip in a pair of gel heel lifts. It raises you just enough to eliminate rubbing at the back of the knee until the leather softens. Hope you enjoy! Now, I'm off to the barn.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Alison - just one. I don't think it is original to the house as it does not appear in a picture that I have from the 40's (the house was build late 20's/early 30's) but it has been around a while based on the layers of paint, etc. The original globe is missing, and while I have tried a million, I have not found one to compliment it yet.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Anon. - Wonderful advice - thanks!

WallysMama said...

Just found your blog...many thanks to Erica! Love, love, love it!! What fabulous birthday presents, by the way! :)

Teacats said...

Many Many happy returns of the Day! What splendid examples of perfect birthday presents -- one for the show -- and one for the toe ......LOL! LOVE them both -- and the perfect colors too!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage (who turned the dreaded 50 on the 14th -- sigh)

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Happiest of belated birthdays Mrs. B.! Don't dash about anywhere, run or walk either... be driven in your wonderful new boots.

Mrs. Blandings said...

That would be the life. Frightfully, I will acquire a driver in about five years. I fear I will be clutching the door handle and peeking between my fingers, boot firmly stomping the non-existent brake on the passenger floor.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday and thank you for mentioning CM Tack. I live in Florida and wanted paddock boots "just like the ones I used to have" and they carry them and they just came in the mail today.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oy...If you could only see how many pair of those boots we have in all sorts of different states of wear and tear...also a saddle or two and lots of other stuff I only know as "horse stuff". My daughter rides. The boots ARE tres elegant, though (sans mud).

Your planters are lovely...your house looks oh so cozy!