Hooked on Family Heirlooms

by hookedonhouses on July 30, 2009


Welcome to Hooked on Fridays, a blog party I host at the end of each week to celebrate the things that make us happy. Today I was inspired by the “Heirloom Party” happening at the blog Emma Calls Me Mama to post my own favorite family heirloom. I don’t have many, so it was easy to choose.

See this old Story & Clark piano? It was my grandmother’s. My mom and her sister learned to play piano on it. Years later, so did I.


After I got married and had a home of my own, my mom asked me if I wanted it. Yes! I couldn’t bear to think of it leaving the family. When it arrived at my house, I opened the bench and found stacks of old sheet music–complete with little gold stars and scrawled notes from piano teachers (“Needs more work!”).


My husband is a musician, and he plays this old Story & Clark much more than I do. Dave was actually in a rock band when I met him, with spiky hair and an earring, but he’s mellowed out over the years. Now when he rocks out, it’s with the “family band” as he calls his sessions with the kids.

Do you have any family heirlooms that make you happy? Visit Marie’s Heirloom Party to see what everyone else has to show us today.


P.S. Be sure to check out Melissa’s Beautiful Life party, too!

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you’re hooked on today! If you have something to share with us on your blog, then add your link below. Just please be sure to:

  1. Add the permalink to the specific blog post, not your general blog address.
  2. Include what you’re hooked on in parentheses after your blog name. Ex: The Red Cottage (antiques)
  3. Link back to the party from your post so that your readers can come and see what everyone else is talking about today!
  4. Visit as many of the other participants as possible and leave comments! That’s what a blog party is all about!
  5. Double-check to make sure your link works and goes to the right page so it doesn’t get deleted! If you come back and see your link is gone, re-read these rules and try again.

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The Blushing Hostess July 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm

I truly love stories like this. My table post was also an heirloom discussion so we are on double duty here this week!
.-= The Blushing Hostess´s last blog ..JayCox Reinel: Inviting Architecture =-.

Kate July 30, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I’ve played my entire life, and know how special a family piano is! Amazing, despite age, how they tune up so beautifully.
.-= Kate´s last blog ..Heirlooms… =-.

Tina July 30, 2009 at 7:54 pm

I LOVE the piano, what a sweet heirloom!! And how great is it that you have someone to play for you!!??
.-= Tina´s last blog ..Heirloom Party =-.

Olive Rue July 30, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Hi Julia,

Your heirloom is gorgeous. It looks so pretty sitting there with the old music book. Looks like we have something else in common. My husband is a musician/songwriter. So I know all about rrocking it out, lol. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
.-= Olive Rue´s last blog ..Tybee Island on My Mind! =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 30, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Beautiful piano! I love that your husband is able to use it too. :) I have several family heirlooms that mean a lot to me: my dad’s banjo on my wall, a small doll’s trunk that was my grandmother’s, and a painting of two hunting dogs that my great-grandfather painted. :) I love to display my heirlooms!
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Thrifty Thursday: It’s Chic to Be Cheap {22} =-.

Amanda @ Serenity Now July 30, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Oops…meant to say THANK YOU for hosting again! :) I love the Hooked On party. :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..Thrifty Thursday: It’s Chic to Be Cheap {22} =-.

DesignTies July 30, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I never learned how to play the piano, but I really wish I had. Yours is beautiful and such a wonderful family heirloom :-)

Hopefully you’ll be able to pass it down to one of your kids and they can continue the tradition of family jam sessions :-)

.-= DesignTies´s last blog ..Meet abstract artist Matt LeBlanc & see if you won our giveaway!! =-.

Kelee Katillac July 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

So happy your saved your family member!!!! That lovely piano…..

Jane @ Beach House July 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Apart from ones I made that may or may not become heirlooms I have a desk, a hand mirror and some china tucked away…
.-= Jane @ Beach House´s last blog ..Thinking positive =-.

Mary Peterson July 30, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I love that piano! My Grandmother had that EXACT piano in her living room and after she passed it was handed down to my mom. If I’m lucky, it’ll one day be mine to cherish! I have many memories of my Grandpa and her sitting and playing hymns and ragtime… thanks for bringing those memories back for a short time!

Terry Kearns July 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Our Story and Clark – that my mom played and my brother, my children and I learned on – is right behind me. I never really thought of it as an heirloom. Thanks for jogging my memory.
.-= Terry Kearns´s last blog ..Faux Painting the Patio =-.

Marie July 30, 2009 at 8:50 pm

Hello Julia – thank you for joining the party! Your piano is so beautiful. I love the spindly legs. And how neat to have the sheet music too! My hubby was in an Orange County punk band when I met him back in the 80’s. He also had spiky hair (mohawk) and was the singer. LOL. He also plays in the “family band” today.

.-= Marie´s last blog ..Heirloom Party =-.

Christy July 30, 2009 at 8:51 pm


Your family piano and the way you have created such a warm vignette must really add a lot of charm to your home. We are moving the family Wurlitzer into our home later this year…I hope ours looks as cozy as yours!
.-= Christy´s last blog ..A Summer Tote… =-.

Struggler July 30, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Our ‘family’ piano was actually bought for me as the first player in the family, but it’s over 100 years old and I wouldn’t dream of parting with it. When my husband and I moved from London to California, we sweet-talked his company into shipping the piano for us. 2 months later, it arrived at its sunny new home looking and sounding just the same. It was a drama for the poor guys tasked with getting it into our second floor apartment, though. :)

Otherwise, I must admit there are a couple of things at my Mom’s house that I have my eye on, but I need to ask tactfully about them!

Thank you for hosting, Happy Friday!
.-= Struggler´s last blog ..Style inspiration for August =-.

Kayjay July 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Wow, what a surprise to see my old piano and hymn book on your blog! I was 8 years old when my parents bought the piano and brought it home. My Mother played “by ear” and could entertain like a pro. It provided us with a lot of good times and wonderful memories, and I’m thankful you’ve kept it in the family.

Angela @ Imaginecozy July 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I love your arrangement with the piano, the pot with the fruit and berries and the painting look fabulous. What a wonderful way to display your heirloom.
.-= Angela @ Imaginecozy´s last blog ..Redesign into a Cottage Victorian Feel =-.

Ashley July 30, 2009 at 9:01 pm

The colors on that hymn book are so pretty!
.-= Ashley´s last blog ..A Few Family Heirlooms =-.

Susan July 30, 2009 at 9:06 pm

My family heirloom piano bench houses the sheet music for my Mom’s 2 songs she knew how to play: “Pistol Packin’ Mama” and “Orange Colored Skies”. Yea, she was complex. 😉
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Best of Summer 2009 (so far) =-.

daily decorator July 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Thanks for the party! Wish I could play the piano!
.-= daily decorator´s last blog ..Hooked on Herbs =-.

Sares July 30, 2009 at 9:16 pm

What a great piano. My family inherited a piano from a friend of the family, but none of us ever had lessons unfortunately. It has a beautiful sound to it too. My sister has it now and uses it to display family photos! She wants to learn to play one day! Have a wonderful night.

Sares @
Loveleigh Treasures

Jenny July 30, 2009 at 9:18 pm

That is awesome that you have the piano. I cherish everything that my Memaw made. She did lots of craft painting and I have stuff for every holiday!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Picnic Table Talk: Jump, Skip & Hop! =-.

Atticmag July 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

love the part about notes from the teacher on the sheet music. What fun! Jane T.
.-= Atticmag´s last blog ..Recipe – Lemony Peach Cobbler =-.

Shannan July 30, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Isn’t everything better when it has a story? I can never help but thinking that those of a strictly modern sensibility just miss out on this…
.-= Shannan´s last blog ..Going Out on the Loveliest Limb =-.

Debbie July 30, 2009 at 10:53 pm

Julia! Hi. What a wonderful post. We have my hubby’s grandmother’s grand piano and I love to play it. It is wonderful having something that precious passed down. Hopefully your kids will find an interest. We made all 3 kids take lessons for a couple years just to learn the basics, but our middle son really took to it and plays in a college music band and is on a worship team. And it all started on the piano that was passed down…
I love your Hooked on-parties. I always attend and am happy to be part of it this week.
Have a wonderful weekend!!!!!
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..Easy Vintage Chair Covers/Kitchen redoing…. =-.

Porch Days July 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm

You are lucky to have the piano. Those family items are a real treasure. I have held onto family pieces through many moves. My husband and children have been ready to throttle me as they moved my great-grandmother’s or mother’s or aunt’s heavy furniture. They’ll come around. I’m not giving up a single piece!!

I am enjoying the blog party!
.-= Porch Days´s last blog ..Sunshine =-.

Jen July 30, 2009 at 11:20 pm

I really wanted to participate in the Heirloom party but don’t have anything. My mom has all of the family heirlooms at her house. I love music and think that any heirloom that has to do with music is automatically beautiful.

gayla July 30, 2009 at 11:29 pm

i think i have that exact blue piece of beethoven sheet music on my piano right now! how funny! beautiful piano. =)
.-= gayla´s last blog ..family heirlooms. =-.

Jill@Housewears July 30, 2009 at 11:45 pm

Your piano is wonderful, Julia. I don’t have many heirlooms, but when my grandmother passed before my children were born, I was given her favourite rocker.
It is special to me, I almost feel hugged by Grandma Loretta when I sit in it. It’s significant to all of my children as well. Thanks for sharing!
.-= Jill@Housewears´s last blog ..Outdoor Rooms- The best seat in the house may not be IN the house! =-.

Heathahlee July 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm

The things that make me the happiest are family heirlooms, whether they are from the past or will become heirlooms for the future. Love this post!
.-= Heathahlee´s last blog ..Hmm…what now? =-.

caren July 31, 2009 at 12:55 am

I love your piano story! I have posted about my Mom’s piano too!

Janmary, N Ireland July 31, 2009 at 2:31 am

I too was given our family piano – no-one else wanted it then, now I think my brothers wish they had expressed more of an interest!

My husband (!) and my daughters are all attending piano lessons – I rarely play now.

Ours is a Carl Otto piano from Berlin, and is over 100 years old. I blogged about it a while back.
.-= Janmary, N Ireland´s last blog ..Kid craft – painting pebbles – WFMW =-.

Why S? July 31, 2009 at 3:27 am

You’re very fortunate to have the piano. We didn’t have many heirlooms in our family, but I still use and treasure a glass powder box, topped by an elephant, that belonged to my great-grandmother. To have had such a thing in a small Texas town must have seemed very exotic at one time.
.-= Why S?´s last blog ..Franz Marc and The Yellow Cow =-.

Puna July 31, 2009 at 4:51 am

I have a lot of family heirlooms. I love them all, but it’s a challenge to decorate with in my little home. Thanks for the tips!
.-= Puna´s last blog ..July 31, What’s Your Play no 56 =-.

Dagny @ Beautiful Living July 31, 2009 at 5:09 am

I love my family heirlooms! Great post! :)
.-= Dagny @ Beautiful Living´s last blog ..What would you do? / Hva ville du gjort? =-.

Things That Inspire July 31, 2009 at 5:18 am

Wow – I am late to the party this week! Do you ever lose track of time during the summer, where you don’t even know what day it is? That happened to me this week!

I always love to see a piano in a home, it is becoming rarer and rarer these days. We have a beautiful grand piano as we have three children who all take piano lessons, and my oldest is one of the top ranked in the state and practices 2 hours a day. So, not only do I get to appreciate the look of a piano in my home, but I also get to appreciate its beautiful sounds! Do any of your children play?
.-= Things That Inspire´s last blog ..Inspirational Architecture: William T. Baker & Associates =-.

Eileen July 31, 2009 at 6:14 am

Beautiful post! I love hearing that things are handed down in the family, really priceless treasures, from fine china and silver, to a much-loved and tattered teddy bear, they are equally priceless in my eyes.

Claudia July 31, 2009 at 7:01 am

I love your piano – if you come visit me, you’ll see I show my piano, which was my grandmother’s, too! I about flipped when I saw the music book – My Own Hymn Book – Ada Richter. I had that book, and lots of other Ada Richter books when I was a young girl taking piano lessons!

So happy to have met you and to see your cherished piano!

Astrid July 31, 2009 at 7:05 am

Fun heirloom! We bought our piano used many years ago. I don’t play but my husband does. I love having a piano in the house…and letting my girlies tinker (bang) on it.

One of my most prized heirlooms is a Kitchenaid stand mixer that was handed down through the family. Originally it came from my husband’s great grandmother. And it still works!!!! I use it a lot!
.-= Astrid´s last blog ..Got Summer Squash? =-.

Laura Ingalls Gunn July 31, 2009 at 8:12 am

What a precious gift you have been given! It is truly a beautiful piano.

m July 31, 2009 at 8:39 am

How lucky you are to have something so special!!!

m ^..^
.-= m´s last blog ..My Sister’s China Hutch… =-.

rue July 31, 2009 at 9:21 am

You play the piano Julia?! Talk about being full of surprises! The piano is beautiful :)

.-= rue´s last blog ..Heirlooms… =-.

Pam Kersting July 31, 2009 at 9:42 am

We’ve just bought our very first piano. Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if it too, becomes an heirloom one day!
.-= Pam Kersting´s last blog ..Porch Rails. They’ve come a long way, baby. =-.

Carolina Mama July 31, 2009 at 11:37 am

Julia, you’re speaking my love language. We’re a musical – piano family! Love this post. I”m hooked!

Bromeliad July 31, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for hosting this every Friday.
.-= Bromeliad´s last blog ..The pouf makes Apartment Therapy =-.

The Stylish House July 31, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I enjoyed this story about your husband Dave! Time certainly passes much too quickly, but this piano connects you to your past and has become a great family heirloom. Have a great weekend.
.-= The Stylish House´s last blog ..Create A Perfect Guest Room! =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace July 31, 2009 at 2:30 pm

This is a wonderful story! How great that you were able to keep that piano. Thank you for sharing this with us. I love the mental image of your husband playing with his new “band.” Funny how we mellow over the years, isn’t it?

Like you, I have very few heirlooms, so it was easy to choose one for the Heirloom party: a deacon’s bench from my grandmother’s church. I remember going to church with her; I can so clearly see a deacon sitting on that bench!

Have a great day!
.-= Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..Heirloom Day =-.

Tricia July 31, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Hi Julia.
That piano is such a treasure. What a great surprise to find it filled with all of that music from the past. Giving it a new home must feel great!
.-= Tricia´s last blog ..Family Heirlooms =-.

Caleen July 31, 2009 at 7:53 pm

What a treasure for you. How lovely to find Music that your Family had played.. How special. It looks lovely in your home. Thank you for sharing. Have a lovely weekend.

sandy toe July 31, 2009 at 9:22 pm

My kids play the piano and I love to hear them practice!!!
It looks wonderful in your home~
sandy toe
.-= sandy toe´s last blog ..Getting over my "painting" fears! =-.

stephanie July 31, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Hi Julia, great blog list today!
I have some sheet music that my grandmother used to play and sing to me when I was very little.
.-= stephanie´s last blog ..Personalize Your Walls With Your Words? Geezees Words on Canvas =-.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality August 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Those are some sweet things to have, Julia. I love how you have that piano decorated.
.-= Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality´s last blog ..Queen of Hearts Antique Mall =-.

Amy at The Red Chair Blog August 1, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Musical instruments make great family heirlooms. I loved your comment about the scrawled notes from piano teachers. I had my share of those!
.-= Amy at The Red Chair Blog´s last blog ..Grandpa’s Violin =-.

Rona August 4, 2009 at 8:34 am

What a beautiful gift.

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