announcing the 13th annual tredyffrin historic house tour on september 23rd!

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Travel back in time … If you love history and architecture, you will not want to miss the much-anticipated 13th Annual Historic House Tour. The beautiful homes and gardens of seven historic homes featured on the 2017 Historic House Tour will be open from 12 Noon – 5 PM on Saturday, September 23 rain or shine.

Truthfully, I make absolutely NO secret of my delight and love of this September event put on by my dear friend Pattye Benson and the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust 

With regard to this tour, and I am a Patron Sponsor. I also photographed the houses on the tour for Pattye for a few years. This tour is quite exclusive, and it is a manageable number of houses and historic structures, so you can indeed see everything!

 Party for Preservation’ Preview Party ~ Sunday, September 17, 2017  6 – 9 PM

13th Annual Historic House Tour ~ Saturday, September 23,  2017 – Noon – 5 PM

CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

 

The 2017 house tour features historic homes and gardens in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships. As an added bonus, the Main Line Antiques Showis generously providing two tickets ($30 value) for its show on October 7 and 8, with each historic house tour ticket purchased. The only antiques show on Philadelphia’s Main Line, all proceeds benefit Surrey Services, which helps older adults to live with independence and dignity and to continue as active members of the community.

To celebrate historic preservation, the public is invited to attend Party for Preservation, the 13th Annual Historic House Tour Preview Party on Sunday, September 17, 6 PM – 9 PM  at the historic Duportail House in Chesterbrook.  An evening of fun with live music, food and drinks, join us to celebrate the homeowners and the homes featured on the tour and allow us to thank the generous individual and corporate sponsors who make the annual tour possible. Attendees will get a sneak preview of the beautiful homes featured on the 13th Annual Historic House Tour!

The annual historic house tour would not be possible without the generosity of individual and corporate sponsors.  Click 2017 House Tour Sponsor Packet for information about how you can be a sponsor and receive complimentary tickets to the house tour and the preview party.

This is a magical day always in Chester County and the preview party is a lot of fun!  I hope you join us!

small art

Small art is anything but. They are a little jewel boxes of works of art that you can tuck into small corners in your home. You can even tuck them into bookcases.

My friend Sherry Tillman, who is an artist and owns a store in Ardmore, PA called Past*Present*Future used to have an artist show hang in her store occasionally during First Friday Main Line events called a "Square Deal".

This "Square Deal" was a show that always intrigued me – it was a show of literally small art as in inches big that was affordable to everyone, and helped spread the principle of art in unexpected places and didn't intimidate people. Because that is the thing about art – it shouldn't intimidate people but it often does.

A lot of people when it comes to the art in their homes are hung up with names and value. To me it is more important to have something hanging that you love to look at, versus an actual monetary value.

Nothing is worth anything if it does not bring you pleasure when it comes to art. And beautiful art can be sourced from all sorts of places and doesn't have to cost a lot.

For example, one of my favorite pieces in my home has no real value and I found it quite literally on a trash pile before a home in Haverford, PA was demolished years ago near the Haverford School. It had meant something to the occupants of the home at one time, but it wasn't anything that would ever have resale value so after the property was sold the house with everything that was left inside of it was demolished. This one piece was left propped up with bags and bags and boxes of trash and I happened to see it walking my dogs. So I took it off the trash pile, and had it reframed.

Again, nothing valuable, I just like it.

And that is how I have chosen my art. Do I like it when I see it? Does it evoke emotion in me? Do I think it's pretty?

I have never forgotten those "Square Deal" art shows. They have made me mindful of the beauty of small pieces, so when I see ones that I love I don't pass them by.

Recently I found three very small pieces. Not expensive, in fact so inexpensive you might term them "cheap" yet there's nothing "cheap" about them.

These pieces are Chester County scenes and they are literally inches big. None of them are signed that I can determine, but I think they're beautiful.

I just tucked them into little spots around my house. And there they will hang, bringing me pleasure.

I have written before about how you can find art all over the place. You can find artists hanging art at local fairs and festivals. You can find art at garage and yard sales and even estate sales. You can pick art out of barns, and find it in thrift shops and consignment stores. The piece just above this paragraph is a little winter scene oil painting. I paid six dollars for it. It is about 3" x 5". Tiny and I love it.

You can also find reasonably priced art of lesser known artists at local galleries. It doesn't have to be expensive – the most basic of rules (again) is you just have to like it.

The only person you need to impress with your art choices is yourself. Art is a very personal thing – just ask any artist who creates. And don't forget as we grow as human beings, often or tastes will change or evolve. So you don't have to be wed to pieces. You can swap things out.

Twenty years ago I would've looked at people like they were crazy if someone mentioned to me how cool small art was. Today, I totally get it and appreciate it.

Experiment with small art. And always remember you can source local art probably more inexpensively wherever you live then the fake art canvases you will find at stores like Home Goods or TJ Maxx.

When you find yourself a piece of local art it ties you to where you are from no matter where you move in the course of your life. Small art is portable. And to me the other thing that is important to me is someone actually took the time to create it, it just wasn't an image transferred in a factory onto a canvas.

One of the great things about living in Chester County is the fact that there is a thriving arts scene. You can find beautiful quality pieces hanging in local galleries and shops, festivals, fairs, and so on. And one of the things I love is the abundance of small pieces out there that you can buy to experiment with.

Small art. It's a good thing 😊

Thanks for stopping by.

chester county history seen through…postcards

I was hunting for a Chester County book on eBay recently and came across by accident some really cool old postcards about Chester County.

No, I did not buy any, these are just screen shots. But these little postcards are like snapshots of our county’s history! I think it’s pretty cool so I decided to post some of them. Long before a text message and selfies on social media, we had post cards.

I have a couple of friends who actually send postcards to friends and family still today when they travel. They are as still as fun to receive today as when I was a child.

Postcards and handwritten letters are almost obsolete in today’s world. I think that is a shame indeed.  

Anyway, I hope you enjoy looking at these old postcards!


converse auctions

I was going to antiques shows before I could spell “antique”. It was something in particular my late father loved to do, and for years my mother was a volunteer for the Philadelphia Antiques Show, and even I volunteered for a couple of years in the 90s.

Antiques shows and sales and auctions are just things I love. Even if most of the time I am just looking and not buying.

Many many years ago before there was a Public Storage at 55 Lancaster Ave. in Malvern, there was a local auction house – Josie Narcisi Auctions. I remember they used to run ads for “absolute auctions every Friday!”

Anyway I first bid at an auction at Josie Narcisi’s. When I was much younger (as in still living with my parents) my elderly neighbor and his housekeeper took me to my first auction. My neighbor was a real and serious collector of beautiful antiques and taught me how to bid at my first auction.  I still remember what it was I bid on – it was a box a lot of mixed items for $25.

Today it was like coming full circle when I went to pick up a small porcelain box I won in an auction at Converse Auctions….at 57 Lancaster Avenue in Malvern.

Converse Auctions is the business of Todd Converse, whose father is Gordon Converse of Antiques Roadshow fame.

I stumbled across the notice for the recent online auction somehow – Facebook maybe – and decided to register.

I never in a million years thought I would win anything because most of everything that was in the auction was out of my price range. But there was one little tea caddy box that I thought was lovely so I bid on it and for $60 it became mine. That is the fun thing about auctions: you just never know.

Anyway it was a totally fun experience, and for those looking for places to consign better antique items, they accept consignments for future auctions!  And every Tuesday they offer free appraisals during   business hours – just contact them for details.

Find Converse on the web at http://www.converseauctions.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ConverseAuctions

And while we are talking shows and auctions one of my favorite shows is coming up – The Chester County Antiques Show!

The Chester County Historical Society (CCHS) is widely respected as one of the Commonwealth’s premier history museums and educational centers, playing an important role in history education, cultural diversity and economic impact for the Southeastern Pennsylvania region. In its 35th year, the Chester County Antiques Show is CCHS’s largest community and fundraising event.

Chaired by Francis “Fran” B. Jacobs II. and Chuck & June Piola, the show will be held from April 7-9, 2017 at the Phelps School. The Phelps School in Malvern is a unique facility which features accessibility, spaciousness, and natural light that will create the perfect setting for the vendors and all of their antique items.

The theme of this year’s event is Botany. The show attracts visitors and collectors every year to view its variety of items and furniture. We invite you to support the 35th annual show by becoming a sponsor of this one-of-a-kind Chester County tradition.

Friday, April 7 – Preview Party – 5pm early admission ($200 per person)
6pm regular admission ($140 per person)
Saturday, April 8 – General Admission from 10am to 6pm – $15.00 per person (Lectures included)
Sunday, April 9 – General Admission from 11am – 5pm – $15.00 per person. Children 10 and under FREE.

ccas

psssst? want to hear a secret?

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My friend Janet just broke the news and I had to share.  Clover Market is coming to Kennett Square in the Spring of 2017!  I think I may actually know something coming to Kennett before my dear friend and fellow blogtress Tilda Tally-Ho.

So you might not have ever heard of Clover Market, but trust me those who seek vintage, antiques, local art and high end curated crafts and handmade jewelry….Clover is a gem.

I have been a Clover Market fan since it started in the spring of 2010.  As a matter of fact I was one of  the many people who went to meeting after meeting in Lower Merion Township until Janet got approved.

Opening day for the very first Clover Market in April 2010 was a smash!  (And yes that is Miss Patti La Belle with Janet – my photo)

So Clover has been a hit ever since.  2017 will be Bryn Mawr, Kennett, Collingswood NJ, and Chestnut Hill. Chester County save the date!

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christmas crisis averted


I have this amazing Christmas tree skirt that I bought at a church fair easily 20 to 25 years ago. It is lined and hand needlepointed on cotton piqué with bright red trim. (see photo above.)  This Christmas tree skirt was vintage when I bought it.

So I have started thinking about Christmas and which Christmas tree skirt I was going to use on the tree this year – I have like four skirts I think at this point. I thought about this one in particular because I haven’t used it in a few Christmases now.

I got the skirt out of its storage container and noticed it had some dirty smudge marks on it and the white cotton background looked a little yellow with age.

So I thought I would soak it in Restoration,  which is a fabric restoring granular wash. I use it on all my vintage linens and even quilts. It is also septic safe. It lifts the yellowing right off the fabrics and gets out more stains than anything else I’ve ever used.  Literally restores the pieces I use it on.

So I soaked the Christmas tree skirt for the 6 to 8 hours and Restoration, and everything rinsed clear. I put it on a drying rack to dry and everything looked perfect.

I came back the next day to put it away figuring it had ample time to dry and yes it was dry but the dyes from the needlepoint yarn had run all over the white cotton! 

It looked like it was glowing the way the color had bled on the white. I was horrified!

So back into Restoration and water it went. I repeated the exact same process. The exact same thing happened again.

They say three times is the charm. Luckily for me it was. Once again on the third try, I put it in Restoration. Once again it rinsed clear after washing it in Restoration. 

Only this time I did things a little differently. I did another rinse/soak in white vinegar and water – something I remember from batik and tie-dye. Once again it rinsed clear. 

But I did not put it on the drying rack to dry. It took over an hour and a half but I ironed it dry between old bath towels on the ironing board.

The picture at the beginning of this post is what it looks like now after taking those extra steps. It’s a little damp still but I am hopeful that it will dry the right way this time and I won’t have the yarn dyes running all over the place.

I’m putting this into a post because it’s a cautionary tale of dealing with vintage linens. I’m pretty good about restoring them but this one really flummoxed me for a while.

The reason I like to hand wash a lot of my linens is the modern dry cleaning process will cause them to yellow sometimes. But I learned once again the valuable lesson that not everything can be hand washed with ease.

But I love this Christmas tree skirt so I’m glad I think I found a solution to my problem.

Thanks for stopping by!