Vintage Fan and the Violas

Hi! Can you come for a walk with me? I’m just walking around the block. I want to show you the Violas.


First a short-cut down the path, past the old church and then into the neighborhood.




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I want to show you this old bed of Violas. At first, it is just a bunch of tiny flowers, but look closer.


Aren’t they exquisite?


Okay, Happy Face, we see you!


Now a short walk home and back to work.


The owner of this house, our village president, went to the trouble to find new roofing shingles that look like they are original. He also built a new garage that looks like it has been there for one hundred years.



I am re-juvenating an early 1960’s aqua blue fan today. It is just for my own use in the kitchen. The top was rusty and it is too much trouble to try to match the paint and then cover all the knobs so they remain paint-free. I decided to sand off the rust and cover the box with a band of fabric. I cut this fabric, from the same era, with my pinking shears so it wouldn’t unravel. After spraying adhesive on the wrong side, I worked the fabric around the control knob and made a handle using the original twill handle inside to give it strength. These handles are screwed on which makes it easy.

Just click the picture to see close-up details.



United Electric (Adrian, Michigan) began making the Eskimo line of fans some time around 1920. They can be easily found and I appreciate that the grills can be removed and washed under a faucet.

Aren’t those funny little Viola faces a joy to see in the spring? They are perennial and have recently been found to carry many important antibiotics.

23 thoughts on “Vintage Fan and the Violas

  1. What a beautiful neighborhood you live in!!! It would be a daily pleasure to stroll that pathway!!!

    The violas are so pretty and happy! That’s the beauty of the warm weather months…flowers with all the color and personality you can possibly stand!

    I’m very impressed by the home with the original-looking shingles AND your box fan makeover! It’s very fancy now!!!

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!


  2. Thank for inviting us to take that lovely walk with you. With a neighborhood like that I’d be motivated to walk EVERY DAY..chuckles. Those homes are absolutely beautiful..I’d want to take a peek in every window. I love the violas ad you did a fabulous job showing their exquisite beauty.. And the fan – a major “Thumbs UP” !!


  3. What an enjoyable stroll through your neighborhood. I can just smell the fresh air! I’m always blown away by the detail when you look closely into the center of any flower. Love the violas. Love the aqua fan with the red flowers, one of my favorite color combos! ~Ann


    • Ann, I am with you, aqua with red is a color match that speaks to me with all sorts of memories of spring mornings, hot summer days and even a basket of apples sitting on my grandmother’s enclosed porch in fall. It is a color combination that returns a lot of memories for someone in my generation.


  4. You live in such a cute town! Did you grow up there?

    I love your fabric selection for the fan! It looks perfect with the existing color. I have never seen a fan where you could remove the cover for washing. So cool – wish they still made things the was they did back then.


    • I know, I have to throw out the window fans I buy every year because they can not be cleaned. No, I didn’t grow up in Richmond, but it reminded me very much of the town where I did grow up, Northbrook, Illinois. When I came back to Illinois from a twenty year stay in northern Wisconsin, I couldn’t afford a building in pricey Northbrook, and Richmond felt like home. And, yes, I wish you and I could hang out and go to some auctions together, that would be fun!


  5. There is nothing more inspiring and energizing than the spring. It brings a feeling of youth for some reason. You always brings such charm with your photos. The fan project is creativity to the max. Love it! Denise Starcher


    • Hi Denise,
      Thank you so much for stopping by to see me. It wasn’t until someone coming down the street and stepped over me that I realized I was on lying across the sidewalk with my head in the violas!


  6. I love how your area is called a “village.” It gives the beautiful pathways, historic buildings and homes and certain feel — the title fits. Beautiful images.

    What a great way to spruce up an old fan. The fabric design fits the old paint color perfectly! Hmmm, I know I have a couple of old box fans in the attic…… :)


    • Hi Joanne,
      Please let me know if you work on any of the box fans you have so I can put them on my Pinterest page. We’ll start a whole new trend! I think it has something to do with the way they are set up. I’ve lived in the Village of Glencoe, the Village of Northbrook, etc. and now the Village of Richmond. Villages have presidents instead of mayors, I know that. I must have missed that day in Civics class!


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  9. Lovely! I love all flowers and these Violas are exquisite. Fabric designers get their inspiration on color from nature. Instructors use to tell us…”go take a walk outside and come back with something beautiful”. :-). It never failed. Love the charm of your neighborhood. If you get a chance read a poem I wrote titled “Promise”, your post reminds me of it. Love the picture of the bridge and path. Ok, the fan…Love it!


    • Linda, I think most of our inventions and patterns come from nature. And it can’t be an coincidence that we wear the color of flowers in the spring and summer, then switch to wearing the colors of autumn leaves in fall. That is a thesis right there.Like some animals, we change our colors according to the background. I can’t find your poem on your site…help me find it.

      Liked by 1 person

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