Archive for June, 2010

An 18th Century Embroidered Coat of Arms

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

We are all  familiar with samplers embroidered by usually  young school girls in the 18th century, case  but did you know that wealthy New England schoolgirls often displayed their stitching skills by making elaborately embroidered coats of arms? I read an article yesterday about this embroidered piece, search thought to be from Boston, viagra and dated between 1790-1820. It is now in the collection of the Winterthur Museum, right here in Wilmington, Delaware! The surface of this beautiful piece is elaborately embroidered, but in one location the word “Gold” has been written, NOT embroidered, on the silk fabric, partly hidden between the shield and the garlands.

It is thought that this word, GOLD, was a color instruction for the embroiderer, and was provided by the artist that painted the design. Research done on these embroidered coat of arms suggests that designs were chosen from a book, then a sign painter or artist was paid to reproduce and transfer them to the fabric using paint. That word gold must have been exciting to find, don’t you think, considering so little is known about how the color instruction was given. The article went on to say that for this embroidered piece, the dark fabric was most likely a combination of lead white and gum water was used to transfer the design. This kind of paint is much denser than the embroidered threads used to cover the design.  In some cases a print or watercolor of the design might have been used. This appears to be the case in another coat of arms in the Winterthur collection, embroidered by Sally Putnam, which has a corresponding watercolor, apparently used for the color instruction. Isn’t it just amazing that they have survived in such beautiful condition?

X-radiographs were used and that process revealed that there was drawing on the fabric on the first shield I showed you. It gave color directions as well. The word gold was probably instruction for the shield, garlands or background area, where the writing was stitched. The x-radiographs also revealed thin metal strips woven into the selvedges that were thought to have been brown yarns. It is now known that these strips contain copper and zinc, which proves them to be brass. It is not known exactly what that means, but in the 15th century Italy, similar techniques were used to indicate where the cloth was woven, and it’s grade. This practice might have been carried into the 18th century. Isn’t modern technology wonderful!!



New Doll Artisan Kim Sivak

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Today I want to welcome Kim Sivak to my American Artisan Store. Kim is a most talented doll maker, sickness and her work speaks for itself. Her dolls are all hand sewn from mostly early antique fabrics. She creates other original items, mind made from her own patterns, tadalafil including amish cloth animals, rag stuffed using 19th century snips of quilts with seeded cotton batting. Kim’s meticulous detailing, her charming sense of old, makes her a most welcome addition to my American Artists & Artisans. Her dolls and animals are now available  in my artisan store.

Welcome Kim!

San Marzano Tomatoes

Monday, June 28th, 2010

I am enjoying my little vegetable and herb garden so much this year. It’s so fun coming out each morning and checking to see what changes have gone on over night. I can’t believe I have eggplants growing, doctor and peppers and squash, cialis but the most exciting thing for me are my San Marzano tomatoes. I love making my own red sauce and I always use the Cento San Marzano tomatoes. They’re a lot more expensive but in my opinion they make the best sauce.

When I found the plants at my local nursery, capsule I was so excited! Now I have my very own san Marzanos growing in my garden!! This tomato plant is not nearly as tall as the rest of my tomatoes plants, but it’s a much sturdier plant, and I can see my little tomatoes starting to grown. I was curious and wanted to learn more about the region where they grow in Italy, and the history of this tomato. This is what I learned.

The story goes that the first seed of the San Marzano tomato came to Campania in 1770, as a gift from the Kingdom of Peru to the Kingdom of Naples, and that it was planted in the area that corresponds to the present commune of San Marzano. They come from a small town of the same name near Napes, Italy, and were first grown in volcanic soil in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. The volcanic soil is believed to act as a filter for water impurities. Compared to the Roma tomatoes, with which most people are familiar, Marzano tomatoes are thinner and pointier in shape. The flesh is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is much stronger, more sweet and less acidic. Many people describe the taste as bittersweet, like high-quality chocolate, that’s good enough for me!! Because of their high quality and origins near Naples, San Marzano tomatoes have been designated as the only tomatoes that can be used for Vera Pizza Napoletana, true Neapolitan pizza.

Maybe next year you might want to try growing them too. I think you’ll love them like I do!

Happy gardening!!


Beaches and the Gulf Coast Disaster

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

I took my daughter back home yesterday. She was here for a weekend visit. From there I drove to Rehoboth Beach for a short stay. It’s the first  time down this year. As I drove down our street, viagra the closer I got to the beach, and I thought about how blessed the people of Delaware are to have these beautiful beaches. From my home I only need to drive 2 hours to get here. It’s a lovely place to be. I thought about what we watch on the news every day, viagra on the Gulf coast, I can only imagine what that must be like. It’s so heartbreaking watching those beautiful pristine waters turn into a disgusting thick, sticky, smelly, sludge. Birds trapped, struggling to escape muck, but to no avail, and the oil just keeps on coming! The responsible party, British Petroleum.  Have you seen their CEO Tony Hayward saying,”he wants his life back”. Hey, Tony, what about those 11 men that were killed, whose bodies were never recovered. I’ll bet they’d like their life back too. How about their families, and countless others whose lives have been destroyed because of this horrible catastrophe. Generations of fishermen who will never ever fish in those waters again. The businesses and jobs lost. I have never been to that area of our country, but I know that those waters and wetlands were pristine and lovely, and now they are being destroyed, and Tony Hayward says he wants his life back!!!! I’ll tell ya, that makes me sooo angry, and for what it’s worth, I just had to voice my opinion today.


Today is Flag Day

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Did you know that today is Flag Day?

In the United States Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, site which happened that date, treat by resolution of the second Continental Congress in 1777.

In 1916, President Woodraw Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day, and in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an act of Congress.

I know that so many of you fly your flag all year long, but if your one of those that does not,  and have forgotten that today is flag day, I hope you’ll go get your flag right now, and fly it proudly all week long, better yet, all year long!



I Have an Idea

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

I think I have some of the best customers ever. I am always so appreciative  that so many of them take the time to email me to let me know how excited they are with their purchases. One gal sent me an email the other day, decease telling me that her rye basket had arrived, cialis and how it looked  just perfect on her table, how carefully it was packaged, and how quickly it was shipped. I love hearing from my customers, and I save every email, they make me smile.

This morning I had an idea. If you have purchased items from my website, Carole’s Country Store, and would like to share some photos of how you are displaying them, I would love to hear from you. If you like this idea and I get enough photos, I’ll ask my webmaster if he would would design a spot on my website, so that we can all see and enjoy one another’s ideas. I think it’s so fun to see how others decorate, don’t you? No wonder books and magazines that show homes filled with early things that so many of us love so much. So please, don’t be shy, send me your photos, and send as many as you would like, to  I’ll be waiting. This will be fun, don’t you think?



Welcoming Angela Hillstrom to my American Artisan Store

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Today I am thrilled to welcome Angela Hillstrom to my  American Artisan Store. When I first saw her dolls and animals, patient I fell in love with them, healing and I knew my customers would too.  I asked her if she would consider becoming an artisan in my American Artisan Store, and to my delight, she accepted. This week I will be offering this wonderful early looking doll and   horse, both one of a kind, signed and dated. Angela’s dolls and animals are made with such loving care. Each one is completely hand sew, made with all early fabrics. Most of Angela’s life has revolved around art, in one form or another. About ten years ago it evolved into doll making. Angela received a gift, the doll pictured below,  from my dear friend Sandi…an early rag doll with a faded brown dress. This doll became her  inspiration, and the love of this doll continues to inspire her today.

As time went on she became very involved in the history of early Folk Art dolls.  She is especially inspired by 19th. century calicoes and homespuns in threadbare condition. She loves the early and soiled, hopefully giving these treasured pieces of cloth new life! Her favorites are Black Folk Art Dolls,  these are her specialty. Angela reproduces the early style by studying 1800′s dolls. Most of her work is done from photo’s of early dolls and interesting people from that period…famous or not. Angela had the honor of being chosen for the directory in Early American Life for 2009 and 2010, and I’m not surprised that she has. I hope you love her work as much as I do.

Welcome Angela!