Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Great Day in the Morning!

This is Ann. Her Blog:  She wanted to see the cow creamers.

   It is a great day here at, My Old Historic House. Not only is a free day, as Feb. 29th, 2012 is a leap day and because of that, that gives us one day we usually do not have. But, the sun is shinning here in Middle America, Clarksville,Mo. and it is 65 degrees. What a beautiful day.
   This day is special in other ways as well. First off, I had a visit from one of my  Blogger friends. Ann, from A Sentimental Life and 3 of her friends made a trip to visit me, Sissy, My Old Historic House and the shop, Richard's Great Stuff.Ann is from Illinois, right out side of St.Louis. They traveled a few hours to get here. It is always so exciting to meet the person behind the blog. No matter how many pictures we post and share it is always better in person. You can visit Ann's Blog here. Ann has a wonderful garden house, and  that was one of the reasons I was attracted to her blog. Then to learn we are almost neighbors, makes it even better. It really is a small world, some of her friends grew up in Louisiana, Mo. 9 miles up the road and another works with my cousins.

This picture of Ann's Garden House is what made me visit her blog for the first time. I am so jealous, as I want one so bad.

   The other exciting thing that happened today is the new addition of Victorian Homes is out and I am featured once again. It is the second time in a year. The first spread was  12 pages, this one is only 3. It features my bed rooms . I am very proud this has happened. I have copies for sale. If you have trouble finding one and would like to buy one, just email me. They sale for $6.00. I understand they should be on the news stands by March 5th.

The April 2012 addition of Victorian Homes Magazine with a feature about, My Old Historic House. 

A centerfold in the April 21012 issue of Victorian Homes Magazine with my blue bed room featured.

My purple guest room that is featured in the newest issue of Victorian Homes magazine.

    I some times get down and worry about the smallest of things. But then I have days like this, where I am truly blessed. I wish all of you could come by for a tour.  You are welcome anytime. I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. She sure will, Ann got a big jump and a kiss ,on the nose, as soon as she walked in the door.
   I hate to say Spring is here. I wish is was. But today it sure seems like it might be. I know we are all ready for it and anxiously waiting. I hope you are having a great day, just like I am.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Doll House Presents.

Perfume bottles and lamp from Andie at Divine Theater Blog.

Wing Chair from Nancy and Globe from my niece Linda.

Clock and statues from Andie

    Just to re-cap I bought myself a doll house for Christmas. It was at a local antique mall here in Clarksville,Mo. I have wanted one for a long time. I would see them here and there, but the price usually keep me from jumping in and buying one. Of course I would want a Victorian style house. The one I found is actually a replica of an 1870 Second Empire Style. It has a mansard roof and a tower. I always wanted to own a house with a tower. Don't ask me why, they are a complete waste of space. I also always wanted to paint a house pink. When I lived in New York state there was a Gothic Victorian house there and it was pink. There was a sign in front with the name Rose Cottage. It was my favorite place to go by and watch the seasons change. In summer there were scads and scads of climbing pink roses. Latter I learned that that house actually belonged to the famous Interior Designer, Sister Parish.It was featured in a book, which I found by accident one day in a book store. Before I get totally off the subject, I digress. I have been showing progress on the doll house ever since.

Back of house showing inside rooms.

Outside of my PINK doll house.

   This month I have been very lucky as friends have helped me with my doll house project by giving me gifts. I guess I could actually call them Valentine presents. What ever, I am so thrilled to get them.
   Yesterday in the  US Mail, I got a small package. I had not ordered anything and could not even know what might be inside. When I opened it, there was no card, so it was a mystery. Inside were several small doll house treasures. A clock with a glass dome, a pair of blue and  white statues, a hand painted gone with the wind lamp and 4 sweet perfume bottles. I thought, who ever sent these,, knows me well. I loved them all. I just could not imagine who had sent them. I went to the doll house and placed them and kept saying, I wish I knew who to thank. Latter I got an email from one of my blogger girl friends. I have a lot of them you know. Almost 300.  Where they are all special, there are a few that I really feel close to. Turns out these doll house treasures had been sent by dear friend Andie and her daughter Gracie. Andie's blog is full of wonderful French things that she has been gathering for her new home. Gracie has a doll house also and Andie posted pictures of it, after I did my first doll house post. You should go and check out Andie's blog, I am sure you will love it.

The attic Shabby Chic bed room.


Dining room with French Empire theme and chandelier, a gift from Sissy Dog.

     My friend Nancy, whom I have mentioned many times in my blog, gave me a darling white wing chair for Valentines Day. I wanted one for the library and she had one in her shop. She has Kate's Attic and Mini Mall in Louisiana, Mo.It is 9 miles from here and a fun place to shop. She had gotten a whole lot of doll  house stuff at an auction and I have been making far  to many  trips there to shop. Nancy and I often run off on day trips. We go to antique shops, malls and other fun places. We always seem to get into trouble and usually buy way to much. She has a truck, but last time, even with a truck, we had to have some things delivered.
   My niece, Linda, who helps me a lot with house tours found this darling world globe and she brought it to me last time she came for a visit. It is actually a pencil sharpener, made of metal and the globe turns. Perfect for the library.
  I found this little chandelier and I say it was a Valentine gift from Sissy Dog. I look at doll house chandeliers on the net and they are so expensive. I was so lucky to get this one. And how perfect, it is a French Empire style, just like the house. It is now in the dining room
   I hope you enjoy my new doll house treasures. I know I sure do. I love them all and every time I add one more item the little house gets better and better. I wish you could come some time and see it for real. I will leave the lights on  and Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a kiss. The doll house is at my shop for now. I am waiting for some carpet and things to come so I can finish it before I  take it home. I want to put it in the library ,along side my rocking horse and antique German and French dolls. Mr. Elgin, the original owner of, My Old Historic House, had a son and a daughter. I would like to think they would have had toys much like  these. If they did, the library was a perfect place to play with them.
    My friend Blossom was right. When I first bought the house she said, a doll house is like a real house, the expense never stops and it is never done.

My friend Larry brought me this real marble urn from St.Louis
PS. My friend Jim, just came from St.Louis to spent the weekend at his house here. He always stops in and he gave me this darling Victorian Rococo parlor chair. He says he has a sofa and another chair too. It looks like Belter. I am the luckiest man alive.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quest for a Lambrequin

   In late spring of 1861- Richmond, Virginia, became the Capitol of the Confederate States of America. With that title came responsibilities to have a new congress, government offices and  a President. Jefferson Davis was elected to do that job. Davis and his wife, there children and various members were housed in the newly purchased Confederate White House, at the corner of 5th and K Street. The previous owner had just added a third floor and redecorated the interior of the home. He sold the house and the furniture for $43,000.00. to the Richmond City authorties - which then rented it to the Confederate Government as an executive mansion. Davis and his 35 year old wife, Varina and there children made this there new home for the next 4 years. The house was made into a museum in 1890, only a few years after the war. Mrs. Davis was of much help with this project. Today it is one of the most intact Historic Homes in America. I used this house as my Bible when restoring ,My Old Historic House.

Mrs. Jefferson Davis
The Confederate White House mantle and Lambrequin made by Mrs. Davis that inspired me to make mine.
The  Confederate White House.
Another  Lambrequin, made by Mrs. Davis at the Confederate White House.

     When I  visited the Confederate White House Museum many years ago, I  was taken by the wonderful needlepoint Lambrequins that were on the fireplaces. They were all hand stitched by Mrs. Davis and were still hanging there after all these years. To make a long story short, I wanted a Lambrequin for my house. So I went on a quest to find one. I looked in antique shops, on the internet,called pickers in Europe, but was not able to find any. Luck was with me, when I went to an antique show in Chicago and  found an old clock shelf Lambrequin. Being affordable, I bought it and decided to use it as a pattern and make my own.
   For those of you who do not know what a lambrequin is: Webster Dictionary defination is: a kind of pendent, scarf or covering attached to the fireplace to protect the mantle  from heat and smoke. An ornament or short decorative hanging from a shelf or fireplace mantle. Sometimes known as a cornice, pelment or valance.
    Opulent Victorian Houses of the Antebellum period had such decorations on there mantles, most often hand made by the house owners. They would purchase a pattern or design ,from a mail order source, usually in Europe and needlepoint was the most often used method used. Some were made from fabric that matched the rooms curtains and  furniture.

The antique clock shelf Lambrequin that I copied to make my Lambrequin.

   For my Lambrequin, I drew the pattern on graph paper, using the piece that I had found as a pattern. I made a chart for all the colors and worked them one at a time.  Much like counted cross stitch is done.The background was all done last. After weeks and weeks of counting stitches, the Lambrequin was still not long enough for my mantle. I could not force myself to do one more block. So, I decided to make the middle one different. When all the needlepoint stitches were done, the edges were finished out with black bias tape, turned under and hand stitched to the back. I used a black cording to finish it off and highlighted it all with tassels. I did the needlepoint using the basket weave  stitch, it does not distort the canvas so much, so very little blocking was needed.

The center block that I designed and made different.

    Someday, 100 years or so from now, I hope some one will be inspired by my Lambrequin , like I was by Mrs. Davis's. I hope it will be still hanging on the mantle, I made it for. I know as long as I own this house, it will be,
    My Lambrequin is on the mantle in the Gentleman's parlor. I designed the curtains for this room to match. They were all hand made by my dear sweet sister. I used the same pattern for the overall design and hand  trimmed them  with satin cords and tassels.
    I wish you could come by sometime soon for a tour and see the Lambrequin.I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a Kiss.

Close up of the needlepoint Lambrequin I hand made.
The center block I made and altered the pattern from the original I found.

The curtains I designed, made by my sister, to match the Lambrequin.

A view showing the Lambrequin on the mantle and the curtains in the Gentlemen 's parlor.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Old Historic House Makes Paper

    I had a very nice Valentine Treat ,because  a local newspaper did a feature article about, My Old Historic House. Clarksville, my home town and when my house is, is really kinda in the middle of no where. It is 70 miles one way or the other to the nearest large city. On one side is St.Louis and St Louis County where there are millions of people. On the other side is Quincy, Ill. Quincy is a rather small town ,by a lot of standards, having only 40,000 people. It is often called," The Gem City." Quincy is a river city ,setting high on the banks, of the Mississippi River. It was a wealthy town in the middle 19th century and a lot of that wealth came from stove manufacturing. There are many beautiful old mansions there, several open for tours, mostly being ran by Historical Societies or the state.Quincy is the county seat of Adams County, Illinois. It is the 3rd largest city in Illinois. Forbes magazine once listed Quincy as the 8th best place to raise a family.

   You can see how pleased I was when the paper, Quincy Herald Whig, came to me to do a feature story. And to have it appear in the Valentines Day paper, made it all the better.I know I have done post in the past about being published, maybe it is not such a big thing, but, I can't help but be excited every time it happens. I am very grateful for the free advertisement. I  open my home for tours when any one calls for a reservation. It sure helps to maintain the old place, play the utilities and feed Sissy Dog.Being privaly run, My Old Historic House, can be very expensive. This article should be really helpful as the town of Quincy is not so far away. When the house was featured in Victorian Homes Magazine, most of the readers were from  such a great distance , very few have gotten to come take a tour. The  Quincy Paper   also serves several  towns close by, one being Hannibal, Missouri,. Hometown of Mark Twain. Hannibal is a major destination for many tourist each year.So you can see why I was so thrilled and excited about this article.

   I hope you can come take a tour soon. I always leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will be there to meet you with a jump and a kiss. If you read the article you will see that she was  mentions too. In the mean time you can go to- and read the whole article and see a short video of the second floor.
   We had snow but it is almost gone. Supposed to have warmer weather again. I know it is only February, but I am so ready for spring.  See you soon and remember, I blog for comments, so please leave me some. I love reading them and  I  will always give  you one in return.Have a beautiful day.


      PS. Have to brag a little more. Just got word from the Editor of Victorian Homes magazine, and the second feature of my Old Historic House is coming out and will be on News Stands ,March5th. I have ordered copies, if you have trouble finding one, I can send. I will post on that when I see it in person.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine Couples and Trivia

I have one pair of red and white Staffordshire dogs. They live in my kitchen window.
I think they are very much in love. Watch as they steal a kiss.
    In three more days it will be Valentines Day. A real Christian Holiday,invented  to celebrate several Saints, with the name of Valentine. Somewhere, through time, it has become a Holiday for lovers. Much like other holidays, it has taken on that commercial  feeling. As soon, if not before, Christmas is over, all the Valentine stuff hits the shelves in our retail stores. It used to be mostly cards, then came flowers, thanks to the floral industry, and then candy, again thanks to the candy industry. I see things that are very tasteful  and taste good, others  are in very bad taste and even down right scary. To each his own, the words of my dear mother. Who's to say? I am sure what I like, would mean nothing to the next man. Some men will give there wife's or girlfriends candy, flowers, a night out ; where others, might chose a pair of naughty underwear or a tattoo.I fear the worst: but to them, it is the best.

Prince Lepold from Austria and his bride.
Life size bisque bust.
Dining room mantle.
Rumor was they were very much in love.  

    When I was in grade school, I loved  Valentines Day. My mother would buy me a box of Valentines at the dime store. There was an assortment. I would carefully go through them and seek the best one for the girl I liked best. Usually they were addressed and taken to school and on Valentines Day, there would be a party. Our room mothers made a cake, candy and punch. My teachers always had a big decorated Valentine box that all the individual cards were placed in. One person got to hand out all the cards. They were opened one by one as we enjoyed the refreshments. I kept my cards for years. In the fourth grade my teacher had a drawing at the end of the party and gave away the big Valentine box..I won it, and it was the best thing that had ever happened to me. The next year I took it back to school and let everyone else enjoy it. For years I kept that  box and all my Valentine cards  in it. When my mother passed and we cleaned out her house, I found that old Valentine box. I had a weak moment and threw it out. I wish now I had it to share with you all today.
Italian ceramic,"love doves." In the summer they  are on the screen porch. I have lots of wild doves and the sweet sounds they make seem like they are coming from these two.

   In the spirit of the Holidays,
   I looked up a little Valentine Trivia to share with you today.

A German couple in Court Dress. Down River Parlor mantle.

   Teachers receive the most Valentines cards, followed by students, mothers, wifes and then, sweethearts.

   Children ages 6 to 10 exchange more than 650 million Valentine cards with classmates, teachers and family.

    Approximately one billion Valentine Cards are exchanged on Feb. 14th, each year.

    This is the largest seasonal card exchange next to Christmas

One of a pair, English Pink Bristol vases, Down River parlor .This pair of love birds seem to be at odds. Or else, she is playing hard to get?

   Hallmark cards have over 1330 different Valentine cards to chose from.

   110 million roses, the majority red, will be sold and delivered with in three days time period for Valentines

   The red rose was a favorite flower of the God Zeus and the Roman Goddess of love.

German, Meissen Court Couple. My favorites. They are so elegant and seem to be so refined. Ladies Parlor mantle.

   Red rose stands for strong feelings

  The state of California produces 60 percent of Americans roses. But, the vast number used  for Valentines, 
   will come from South America.

  15% of women send flowers for Valentines
  73% of men send flowers for Valentines

  More than 35 million heart shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentines

Romeo and Juliet, most famous lovers of all.

   70% give cards, 49% call on the phone,7% go out to eat, 33% give candy and 30% do all these things

   The city of Verona, Italy, where Romeo and Juliet lived, receives 1000 letters addressed to Juliet each
   Valentines Day.

A French couple in love. Sevres. Ladies Parlor pier mirror shelf.

   3% of pet owners give there pets Valentines

   The most fantastic gift of Love ever given was the Taj Mahal in India

    Two towns in United States are named Valentine. Valentine, Nebraska, pop. 2842  and Valentine,Texas
     pop. 185.

This couple, in love, are in the Master bed Room.

     My funny Valentine is a very popular song written by Chet Black

     Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet  and so are you. Most famous Valentine verse written

A romantic Couple. he is giving her a song bird. They are French bisque . Ladies parlor.

      As we all prepare for this special day, keep in mind, what you are trying to say. If it is just a friend or family member, lover, wife or husband, mother, father, sister or brother, it is very important to say, " I love you!" One can never hear this enough. It makes us smile, feel good and want to love back. . I hope you all  get lots and lots on Valentine card. I hope you send a few in return. Remember, to get, one has to give. We never, never, can do enough to show how much we care.

RS Prussia, hand painted bowl, with a swan pair. This is the most romantic of all. Library book case.

   Please come by soon for a tour of, My Old Historic House. I will always leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you at the door with a jump and a kiss. Get out there and buy those cards, candy and flowers. Share the love and, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.

         .Cherubs have always been a big part of the celebration of Love and Valentines Day.

French Severs Couple on a lamp in the ladies Parlor

May I have this Dance? Library

Hand Pained german Ice Cream bowl with two couples on a picnic. Dish pantry, dining room.

Napoleon's wedding to Josephine. Old Paris Vase. Master Bed Room.

            This French Brass fireplace screen is the most romantic of all. Two cherubs are building a fire.
                                                                     Gentleman's parlor.

    My shop neighbor and good friend, Marcia, is having a kissing booth  to raise money for stray dog care. This is her Grand Dog, Shotgun. Sissy will go take a turn after a bit.Kiss,Kiss!