Archive for the 'Photo Stories' Category

Freshen Up for Spring

Friday, February 17th, 2012

I just got my shipment of Early Homes magazine. It has all kinds of interesting ideas, patient plus 44 sources of historical paints, see stencils and wallpaper. Primitives too! This is a wonderful magazine, but it only comes out twice a year. I have 12 issues, only $6.99 a copy, including shipping, so don’t miss getting yours.

Have you noticed the birds chirping, it sounds like Spring already! Did we have a Winter? We had no snow this year, maybe an inch, but that’s it. It wasn’t bad at all, was it, but it didn’t seem to put much of a dent in my heating bill. Nothing changed there. Springtime always motivates me to freshen up my house. I need to paint my kitchen and laundry room, but dread having to take everything down off the walls and shells to prepare for it.  It’s a great feeling though, don’t you think, after it’s all completed? Everything feels so clean and fresh.

Thanks for stopping by friends.



Mid 19th Century Hair Work

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

In the mid 19th century, hospital hair work was a popular drawing room pastime. It was as fashionable as knitting, tadalafil and crocheting. After ladies became knowledgeable about this art, and much practice,  young ladies were able to create hair braiding of beloved friends and family members. The heart shaped braiding in the photo below might be a mourning keepsake of a loved one. Notice the 2 braided hearts. The dark blue ribbon is original to the piece.

The photo below could also be an example of a mourning piece or maybe just a keepsake. Original ribbon is attached, along with a Dresden decoration. Dresden, is a hard paste used in the early 19th century, and was often used in the making of pottery.

School girls often braided pieces of their friend’s hair. They made albums with these tiny braided keepsakes of friends and relatives. This is an example of an early page, probably from a school girl’s album,  done on early lined school paper. I am reminded of when I was a young girl. We had something called a Slam Book. Inside there were pages and pages about classmates and my friends. Everyone wrote about one another. It was a treasured procession of mine, wish I still had it. We also had autograph books. Do you remember those? All your friends would write in it something about you. Maybe this is the the equivalent of those, because there are names written under each braiding.

If you have any interest in any of these items,to see them soon, click on this link Carole’s Country Store , and it will take you to my website.


Spring will be coming soon. Hang in there!


The Simple Life Magazine Are Here

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

I have 12 issues. Don’t miss yours! Click on this link Carole’s Country Store to get your copy.



Peaceable Kingdom

Friday, February 10th, 2012

A couple of months ago, rx I commissioned a Peaceable Kingdom painting from my friend and artist, cialis Carole O’Neill. Yesterday, while antiquing in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania, and while I was in the area I stopped by her house to pick up the painting. I think it’s just beautiful, don’t you? Many of Carole’s painting are sold in a gallery in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I am excited to offer one in my, American Artisan store this weekend.

Peaceable Kingdom paintings were originally done by the artist Edward Hicks. This is his first painting done in 1826.

Edward Hicks was born in his grandfather’s mansion in Langhorne, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on April 4, 1780. His father was a Loyalist, who was left without any money after  the British defeat in the Revolutionary War. His mother died when he was 18 months old. A close friend of his mother raised him as her own. She taught him the Quaker beliefs. At age 13, in 1800, he apprenticed as a coach painter, but soon became unhappy with his life, and gave it up. It wasn’t soon after that he began attending Quaker meetings.

In 1812 he became a minister, and by 1813 he began traveling throughout Philadelphia as a Quaker preacher. In order to meet his expenses for traveling, Hicks began to expand his trade by painting household objects, farm equipment and even Tavern signs.

Ornamental painting was upsetting to the Quakers, it contradicted the plain customs that they respected. By this time he had married, his wife expecting their 5th child, so he gave it up and tried his hand at farming. He soon realized that he didn’t have the experience he needed, so he returned to decorative painting for an income.

Hicks’ work was influenced by a specific Quaker belief referred to as the Inner Light. This “Christ in You” concept was derived from the Bible. Hicks depicted humans and animals to represent the Inner Light’s idea of breaking physical barriers, working and living together in peace. Hicks used his paintings as a way to define his central interest, which was the quest for a redeemed soul. Many of his paintings were depictions of Native Americans meeting the settlers of Pennsylvania, with William Penn among them.

In his lifetime, Edward Hicks was better known as a Quaker minister, then a painter. It was not until 1960 that his first major exhibition took place in Williamsburg, Virginia.

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about Edward Hicks, I know I have. After reading about him, it has given me a whole new appreciation for his charming paintings. I think I am going to have to talk to Carole about another commission, maybe for me this time.



The Mysterious Stone Books

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

I recently read an article in Early American Life magazine about stone books. I was excited to see the article. There are lots of pictures of a wonderful collection belonging to a woman who lives right here in Wilmington, sovaldi Delaware.

The reason I was so interested in the article is because I own two stone books. I bought them because I loved them. There was something about them that was so irresistible, healing they are such tiny little treasures. I love the way they look next to my early leather books.

You can see how small they are when sitting next to a pair of early reading glasses. They only measure only 1-1/2 inches high. Some are known to be even smaller, less then one inch in height! No one is really sure why they were made. It is rare to find one that is signed. Some say that they were practice for gravestone carvers, just learning the trade. Most of these little stone books were carved to look closed, but a few have been found that are open, those are the rarest of all.

Stone books were poorly documented. I have not been able to find anything about them on the internet, and I have read that only a few printed references exist. I wish I knew which ones. If you love them, I just might put them for sale soon.



Two Early Hand Sewn Dresses

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The other day I was out visiting a friend. It was so nice to get away from my normal routine, prostate one which I have to say, sick I do love. Anyway, stuff we had a  wonderful visit. On the way home I stopped at a little antique shop that normally I never visit. I just never find anything there. On this day something was drawing me inside. Nothing caught my eye, until I spotted a dress hanging in the corner of one of the booths. It was this lovely early young girl’s dress! 19th century, maybe earlier.

I have looked this dress over completely, and discovered that it is sewn completely by hand. The workmanship on this dress is amazing. Full of the tiniest little stitches. Don’t you just love those beautiful sleeves! All the gathering of fabric at the waist and shoulder area. Then I discovered that the entire bottom of the wonderful dress was done in crewlwork, all wool. So perfectly sitched!

Isn’t it beautiful. I have always loved crewelwork. Many years ago when I was in my 20′s I made some crewelwork Williamsburg reproduction pictures. I still love them today and I still enjoy looking at them.

On a  recent trip to Ohio I purchased a piece of 18th century crewelwork. It’s gorgeous, and it has renewed my interest in this beautiful art of stitching. Gosh, maybe I already showed it to you, but in case I didn’t here it is again.

Along with the girl’s dress, I found a young child’s dress. It too is completely hand sewn and very nicely done. I read somewhere that these little white dresses were referred to as “lawn dresses”. This one will be for sale Carole’s Country Store soon.



Early Leather Books

Friday, January 6th, 2012

My most recent passion is early leather books. I can’t seem to get enough of them. My most recent purchase was this early 18th century leather book of common prayers.

It’s not that big, health measuring 6 inches high and 3 inches wide. It has the best patina. You can almost see how it was held by the wear marks on the cover. The spine is embellished with a lovely design done in gold. Besides it being so beautiful, it has a bonus! Early writings on several pages.

This is what is written on one of the pages, including spellings. Sufanna Crow har Book God give her grace Therin to look not to looks But understand learning is better house and land when house is gone spent then learning is most exlent. Jan 12 1747

In the 18th century and before the letter f was used instead of the letter s.

On the page before this one, is another writing. It says, Laurence Crow Ann Tomini 1722

Stel not this book for fear at him for her douth stel the owners name

This “Book of Common Prayer” is all original, even the inside pages. The colors are so beautiful. It’s done in a flame stitch design. Some of you might have this pattern on a sofa or chair. I wonder if the idea for the flame stitch fabric came from these early books? I have sold many early books on my website, and will continue to look for more for those of you that love them like I do. I’ll be doing some antiquing this weekend. I’ll keep my eye peeled for you.

This is another favorite. Love the inside writings, but can you imagine my delight when I turned the pages and found this wonderful ink and watercolor drawing, signed and dated, Sarah Jane Hughs 1831!

My friend suggested that the 8 on this book marking was a dollar sign, and suggested that it said $15.. It does look that way, but there is a 1 in from of the what looks like a dollar sign. Later that day I gave more thought to what she said. This book was printed 1815. Do you suppose that James McKnight was a wealthy man, and for fun he dated his book 1815 using a dollar sign? That must be it, don’t you think?

Consider the next time you give a book to someone, write something personal and date it too. I am so glad that the former owners of these books thought to do that. One day it will be very special to someone that loves collecting old books.



In the Spirit of the Holidays

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Before I went to bed last night, sales I watched a special on CNN called Heroes Everyday People Changing the world . This morning I awoke at 5 a.m. Maybe for a reason. I found myself thinking about that show. I could not get back to sleep, cure so I went downstairs to put a pot of coffee on. I flipped on the TV, which is never on that early, but I wanted to break the dark morning silence. I turned to the c-span 3, American history channel. There was an author on by the name Ted Gup. He was telling all about his Great Depression era book titled “A Secret Gift”, and I found myself completely immersed in one of those genuine American holiday stories, so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

“A Secret Gift” is the story of author Ted Gup’s grandfather. He was a generous man who set out to help anonymous neighbors in Canton, Ohio during the hard luck Christmas season of 1933. The unemployment rate was 25% back then. There was no safety net. People starved. Begged. Died in the cold. The story is told mainly by letters written by strangers seeking help from a generous stranger.

Mr. Gup ran a modest ad in the Canton, Ohio newspaper  promising to help those most needy during the holiday season. The book, A Secret Gift, is based on a treasure trove of these Depression Era letters that poured in to Mr. Gup asking for help.  Yellowed letters unearthed years later in an old suitcase. The tales they tell are heartbreaking, for times were far worse for so many more back then. These are stories of shoeless children, starving families, hard working able bodied men, and women, broken by extreme and unexpected poverty.

One letter, an exception, was from a formerly wealthy Ford dealer who lost it all in 1930. A man with three houses, a yacht, and a socialite wife. All the trappings of the American dream reduced to begging in the streets in just one single year. His bank accounts, insurance policies, and real estate, were all just swept away. Back then, of course, before bank accounts were insured, people lost all their money when a bank failed. There was no FDIC, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and no unemployment benefits. No Social Security. No food assistance. It was what we would now consider Third World poverty.

The most touching letters, sadly came from the children. Many asking for food for their brothers and sisters. They asked for shoes, and coats to keep them warm. One man tells the tale of how he and his wife were reduced to selling dandelions door to door. Also picking, and selling seasonal fruit. He tells of his wife climbing to the upper reaches of fruit trees, something he was unable to do as he was “lame”. Yet still, with all the effort. they found themselves in the bitter cold with cardboard lining the bottom of their shoes.

These stories give real meaning to the word poverty. They are touching stories of the Great Depression, stories that can easily slip from our memories. They are touching stories, stories that I think are perfect in spirit for this particular holiday season.

After watching this show I ordered the book. I can not wait to get it. It made me look at the early antiques we all love, with an even greater appreciation. I thought about these early American treasures. They are not just things, they carry with them our link to generations past. The true grit, and determination, and all of the suffering of Americans who were here before us. The hands that touched the objects. The souls that remain within them. I am so thankful for our wonderful young men and woman coming up, who work hard to make sure each generation has a brighter life. After listening to this show, I am reminded of the great progress we have made since then, and I truly believe we will continue to do so, but we must remember our fellow man.

Maybe there was a reason I woke up so early this morning, and turned the TV on.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday, everyone. May you also have a healthy, happy, and prosperous new 2012!



Early 19th Century Linens and Civil War Era Shoes

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

On a recent antiquing trip to York, check Pennsylvania, remedy I found eleven pieces of early linens from around 1810-1820. Most of them are pillowcases and one lovely show towel. I’m going to keep 2 pillow cases for myself because they have my daughter’s initials on them, but I will be selling the rest in my store soon.

There is a lovely show towel with an embroidered design in blue and red. You can see part of it in the first photo. There are names stamped and embroidered on them like Sarah, Phebe, Lucinda, Polly, and Martha. I was thinking how nice they would look hanging over a bedroom chair with the Civil War era show on the seat of the chair, or maybe on the floor.




Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

It’s a busy time for all of us. I know many of you are busy shopping and getting ready to prepare a Thanksgiving feast for family and friends. I just wanted to take a few minutes to say how much I appreciate everyone who takes the time out of their busy schedules to visit my blog, purchase as well as shop in Carole’s Country Store. Some of you are new customers, health some have been with me from the beginning, but all are most appreciated.

Now back to work to prepare new offerings that will hopefully be in the store for Black Friday.

Wishing each and every one of you a blessed Thanksgiving day~