Archive for February, 2010

Coming Soon, Julie Bailey Dolls

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

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So many of you have written me asking when I will have more Julie Bailey dolls from her “The Face of the Queen Anne” series. There will be two new dolls available soon.

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Julie’s dolls sell very quickly, malady so if you have been waiting for one, advice be sure to look in my website in the next day or two. You will find them in the American Artisan Store.
Happy Day
Carole

The Quintessential Windsor Chair

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

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Don’t you just love Windsor chairs! If you’re like me and you love that early look for your home, find a Windsor chair is a must have. Not only is it beautiful and graceful to look at, but it is functional and comfortable as well, surprisingly so for an all wood chair.

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I bought my first Windsor chairs over 25 years ago, and I have never tired of them. Did you know that the first Windsor chairs were made in the British Isles in the 1700′s? They were brought here by the colonists, and in it’s nearly 300 year history, this chair has always been in use in America.

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They can be seen in our history as part of our country’s beginnings, and in our Continental Congress they were used by our nations founders, and today they are highly valued as antique objects.

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Did you also know that in the early 20th century Wallace Nutting was the first builder of reproduction Windsor chairs? The quality of his construction is what gave him the reputation of being “simply the best”.

Even Martha Stuart included a white Windsor chair in her line of furniture sold at Ikea.

Original Windsor chairs, from the 18th Century, are still amongst us, many receiving daily use. Their value has been sky rocketing recently.

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A quote from the Maine Antique Digest of March 2003, states the selling price of original Windsor Chairs and the purchase price in 1930’s and 40’s, can you imagine what they sell for today!: A white-painted SACK-BACK, way back then, sold for $51,000 cost $80.00 in 1940. I had to look up to find out what a sack-back Windsor was. I don’t think I have ever heard of a Windsor being called that. Apparently covers were made to go over the backs of the chairs to keep drafts away.

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A Philadelphia low-back Windsor armchair, also painted white, which sold for $42,000, cost $150.00 in 1932; and a red-painted Philadelphia comb-back, which sold for $66,000, was $200.00 in 1933. Remember these are prices from 2003.
Wallace Nutting’s reproduced Windsor’s from the early1900’s are as much as $5,000 to 6,000 dollars and they are merely 80 years old!
Even reproductions are pretty costly today. If you don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars and if you’re good with a paint brush, you might want to try painting and antiquing an unpainted piece. Be sure to wax it if you do, that will give your chair a nice finished look without too much of a shine.
Happy day
Carole

Stepping Back In Time

Monday, February 15th, 2010

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Saturday afternoon, and I drove back in time. I visited Susan M. Tunnicliffe, no rx at her charming home. Susan is the artist that makes all the lovely silhouettes and spice boxes, pipe boxes, mirrors, etc., which will ALL soon be available in my artisan store. Susan lives in one of the oldest houses in Philadelphia, built in the late 18th century. A couple of blocks over, is the Old Swedes Church. The Swedes arrived in Philadelphia before William Penn. They built their church out of bricks, and built themselves log homes. Independence Hall, where the Constitution of the United States was signed on September 17, 1787, is about 20 blocks away. The streets are narrow, and some were very icy, and it was a bit unnerving, but I did it, I made my way to her house.

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When she opened the door, the smell of cinnamon, cloves and orange filled the air. I was taken back in time, and it was wonderful! The house is tiny, but oh so sweet! This type of early house is called a Trinity house. Three rooms, one on top of another. A living room, bedroom, and kitchen, which is in the basement. A life time resident of the area, one of Susan’s neighbors, mentioned her house still used an outhouse, instead of an indoor bathroom, until the 1960′s!, when a woman and her son lived in the house. Yikes, with all this snow, that would not be fun!!

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Each room has a working fireplace. Susan lives in this house with her 3 cats. She does not own a television, and has not had one for 30 years. Her time is spent creating lovely things.

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One of the first things that caught my eye was a small pile of wood under her Chippendale sofa, just waiting to be cut, sanded, carved and painted, then assembled into something wonderful, made to look like they came straight out of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Susan rarely looks at an actual item as a starting point, she just starts working on a project, and just like some doll makers I know, the materials just start to speak to her. Scrap wood is never wasted. Small pieces are used for small projects. With the exception of the silhouettes, many of Susan’s designs are very limited in quantity.

One of her beautiful silhouettes sits on her mantel.

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Her hand made pipe box hangs on the door.

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In the corner was a lovely old cupboard filled with early Canton, and as I walked past the Chippendale wing chair, one of her cats gave me a gentle tap on my arm, with her little paw, as if to say, I want to be noticed too.

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I could have stayed all day, but I didn’t want to wear out my welcome. Susan, has so many ideas for new things, but one can only do so many things in a day. Hopefully I can return again in the Spring, and watch her as she makes those wonderful cement ornaments for the garden. I’ll be sure to bring my camera!
HAPPY DAY
Carole

A Note To My Customers Waiting

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

My apologies to my customers who are waiting for their Susan Mackey Tunnicliffe purchases to arrive. The snowstorm has really made things difficult. Susan lives in the city, see and the roads have been impassable, so I will be picking up everything today and if all goes well, orders will be shipped on Monday. Thank you so much for your understanding. I an also having a problem with my emails, so hopefully that will be solved soon too.
HAPPY DAY
Carole

It’s Over Until Monday!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

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It’s over. Thank goodness my fears were not realized. The electricity stayed on. The sun is shining brightly and it is a winter wonderland. The sounds of snow blowers fill the air! The snow is so heavy, capsule so many of my bushes are almost touching the ground.

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This photo was taken from my second floor window. All that snow in the foreground is on my sunroom roof!

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With all of this sunshine and white, it sure is bright in my house!

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Monday we are expecting more, but only 3-6 inches. Oh cares, that’s nothing!!
HAPPY DAY
Carole

Here We Go Again!! It’s A Blizzard This Time

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

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WOW, find this storm is worse then the last one! I feel guilty as I sit by the fire, with a couple of my favorite friends, as my husband has decided to get a head start on the storm, so here we go again! I just heard the postal service has been canceled. That’s bad.

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I am really worried I’ll loose my electricity. A lot of my bushes are leaning over from the weight of the snow. It’s very heavy this time and we are expected to get wind 40 miles an hour. I better gather the oil lamps and fill them. I hope you enjoy the photos. It’s beautiful to watch, just as long as I have electricity!

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HAPPY DAY
Carole

OUR AMERICAN INDIANS NEED HELP NOW

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Storm Relief – Emergency Assistance
A project of SOUTH DAKOTA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

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I learned about this from Keith Oberman on MSNBC and I felt compelled to mention it on my blog this evening. As I am writing this, pills we are getting another huge snow storm. Now I am a bit worried about loosing my power. It’s coming down so heavy and the worst is expected tomorrow with winds up to 40 miles an hour. I have to say, unhealthy it’s fun, but it’s also a little scary.

The need for assistance on the Cheyenne River Reservation grows each day as the temperature continues to drop well below freezing. After suffering devastating ice-related storms over the weekend of January 22, 2010, electricity and water have been non-existent or scarce. Over 2,500 utility poles are currently on the ground in this remote, rural area. Power has been out in several communities and for thousands of residents for several days. Below zero temperatures and no electricity, heat, water or gasoline has created devastating results.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is working to porivde emergency services and meet the needs of area residents. Through the establishment of shelters with emergency power generators, the most vunerable have options, but there are thousands of residents suffering through the cold and scarcity in substandard housing.

The South Dakota Community Foundation, with a generous $25,000 dollar-for-dollar match from the Bush Foundation, is accepting donations on behalf of the Cheyenne Rive Sioux Tribe. Now is the time to step up and help South Dakotans in need. We encourage you to consider a contribution while these matching funds are available to us.

To learn more about the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and their recovery efforts please visit to see what you can do to help. Please send anything you can. Thank you.
Carole

The Huge Snowstorm

Monday, February 8th, 2010

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The headline in our paper this morning was, generic “Digging out begins, case more misery on the way”. We had a huge snowstorm in Delaware, cialis starting overnight and ending late on Saturday. We got 24 inches and now they are saying there is more on the way tomorrow night, maybe 10 inches!! This photo of my husband was taken during the storm. I can’t get out my back doors to take any photos of the back of the house, so I took this one through the screen door, while the snow was still coming down.

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This one is looking through another screen door, into the entrance of my herb garden.

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We have quite a few steps leading to the next level of our property, and there is a stone wall in front of these burning bushes. The snow is so deep, you can not walk in it.

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I feel sorry for the poor little birds. I don’t have any birdseed left to give them. I think I’ll throw out some pieces of bread. Of course the birdbath is frozen. Poor little guys.

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I’m glad I have enough to keep busy while I’m stuck in the house, but I’m sure cabin fever will set in soon, but it is nice to be inside and looking out. It’s nice to walk outside. The air is so crisp and the sun feels warm on my face.

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The snow is so beautiful, but I have to admit, Spring can’t come soon enough for me!

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Thanks for stopping by.
HAPPY DAY EVERYONE
Carole

Beautiful Silhouettes

Friday, February 5th, 2010

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The art of the silhouette cutting started in Europe in the early 1700′s. Silhouettists, clinic as they were called, were hired as an amusement for the royal class. The artist would attend the extravagant balls and cut out the profiles of the lords and ladies, capturing the profiles of the fashions and elaborate wigs. In the 1800′s silhouettes became extremely popular. Many silhouette artists became famous and rich catering to American politicians and the wealthy.

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Silhouettes remain extremely popular today, and in fact they have become one of the most collectable art forms.

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These lovely silhouettes were made by American Artisan, Susan Mackey Tunnicliffe and will soon be available for purchase. Feel free to email me if you have an interest in any of the ones shown here.

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We are expecting a huge snowstorm here in Delaware, starting today. I know the stores will be really crowded so I better get there before they do. I hope you enjoy that little bit of history about the silhouettes. I always appreciate that you visit my blog and as soon as the weather warms up again, and Spring has sprung, I look forward to writing about my day trips along the country roads.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Stay warm, and as always-
Happy day
Carole

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

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Saturday morning I decided at the last minute to go to the Designer Craftsman Show at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, diagnosis Pennsylvania. My girlfriends and I have been going to this show for the past 20 years. We usually go to the preview on Friday night, tadalafil but I had a busy day, ampoule and I didn’t feel like going out again, especially at night, besides it was freezing cold outside, so staying home by the fire seemed the way to go.

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By Saturday morning I couldn’t stand to miss it, so I got dressed and drove to King of Prussia, about 45 minutes to an hour from where I live. I am not used to driving there, for me it’s like driving in the city, so at times I was white knuckling it. There is so much traffic and when your not used to it, it can be a little tense, but I made it just fine and couldn’t wait to get inside. The first person I talked to was Tess Rosch, the editor of Early American Life magazine. We had a really nice conversation. What a nice person she is.

These baskets were just gorgeous.

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I have always been so impressed with K. William Kautz. I think he is one of the most talented folk artists in America. The photos above are some of his work.

Family heirloom weavers makes wonderful early looking textiles. They’re booth is always fun to visit.

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It was hard to take good photos. The show was crowded and I didn’t want to be in anyone’s way, and besides I wanted to enjoy the show and stop and talk to familiar faces. Gregg Shooner and his wife Mary are always at this show. Their shelves were almost bare, no surprise. It’s always good to see them, they are just the nicest people. There were 60 artisans, all juried, which means they have to pass strict standards.

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There was a home show as well. If you own an old house or if you want to make your new house look old, everything you need was there. There were a couple of woodworking demonstrations too.

It’s a wonderful show, and I am so glad I went. I am hoping to have some of these artists wares available in my artisan store this Spring, I’m working on it. You’ll be the first to know if I do!
HAPPY DAY
Carole