MONTHS ago Gadora and Sandra set about Austin with a few bucks and a mission: hit up some garage sales and blow our wad. We had a ball, and late in our day we hit the mother load. A lovely lady was selling the farm and we scored a funky rug for $5 and four ladderback chairs for $2.50 a piece. That’s practically free, we thought.
4 ladderback chairs…
They sat in the garage all of the fall and most of the winter. Staring at me, sometimes I stared back. Once in a while I’d give them a close inspection. No markings, they appeared to be handmade. A little wonky, the front legs were longer than the back. But they’d make someone a nice set, and surely we’d recover our $10 investment.
The seats were tightly woven jute, soft and pliable, and in really great shape.
Name: Ellen, Sarah, Sandra, Billie and Butchie
Location: Cherry Creek, South Austin
Size: 1,370 sq. ft., 4 bedrooms, 2 baths
Artist Ellen Tanner’s home, nestled in the heavily-treed South Austin neighborhood of Cherry Creek, oozes with creativity. A consummate artist, Tanner has filled her space with well-edited items she and her wealth of talented friends have created over the years. Luna L’Amour (above) is a shadow-box homage to “voluptuous burlesque gals” that Tanner created in 2002.
Her painted ode to lighthouse keeper Ida Wells shares the same space on the home’s original stone wall hearth. To the untrained eye, it’s masterfully entertaining. Not her favorite piece, she let me snap it anyway, the other paintings still in her possession have been rounded up for a gallery in Houston.