Behind My Red Door

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I love our home...

I love our home. I am not trying to be conceited but I needed to say that because I guess I have said so many times that it is not my dream house that I gave a few people the wrong impression. Honestly, I really don't think many people live in the exact style or size house that they would if they had free reign and an unlimited check book. But that doesn't mean we don't LOVE our HOMES. I love ours. Even though compared to many in our town, even some just up the hill from us, our house is very modest, I know how incredibly blessed I am to live here. I also know that compared to many in the world, I am INDEED incredibly blessed. I realize that being able to live in a 3 bedroom home, with an eat in kitchen with modern appliances of my choosing, and a formal dining room and living room, and huge family room with a fireplace, and 2 large bathrooms and lots of closet space and a big 2 car garagTe and a large yard bordered by a brook in a wonderful neighborhood in this awesome town alone makes me incredibly blessed. But to also have the ability to furnish this house the way I have, and to make it into a home that greets family and friends with open arms, that shelters them in times of need and celebrates all the milestones of life, is just the icing on the cake. Please know that I NEVER ever take it for granted. So when I say this is not my dream house, it doesn't mean it is not where our dreams come true. Because they do and I know I am blessed to live here. Some might even say we are very lucky to live here but my DH will insist that the harder we studied in college the first time around and then the harder we worked and saved (MY ENTIRE PAYCHECK for over a year) and gave up as newlyweds(no fancy honeymoon for us) , and then the more we studied when we went back to college as young parents (studying when everyone else went to bed) and then worked harder still - the luckier we got. Yes, we are blessed and lucky!

Do remember when I blogged about Early New England Homes and I shared some pictures from their website? Well any one of those could be my dream home and my friend Jill and I got to see the model home in person yesterday.This red kitchen - well if you ever get to have a red kitchen - go for it. After seeing this in person, I want one!
And if you ever get to have a fireplace like this, go for it!And if you ever get to have this much open space, go for it!Yes, I could easily call this my dream home. But in the meantime, I will make this one, the home of our dreams.
Of course to do that, a girl needs to do some shopping. And I am determined to do my part to help the economy and support American businesses. And I did just that this weekend. Jill arrived Friday afternoon after doing her part as well. She spent the day at the Brimfield Antique and Flea Market about 40 minutes from here. Luckily for me, she arrived with some hostess gifts for feeding her and putting her up overnight Friday. I love this antique grater she found for me. I found the little tin shaker next to it on our shopping trip on yesterday And she surprised me with these old spectacles, the Declaration document and the old blue book in the back ground.
We started out bright and early in the morning and I drove as we headed southwest to Bolton, CT where we stopped first at the model home shown above. After touring the home and decided we'd each take one, we headed next door to Tessier's Changes of Thyme. Girls, if you are ever in the area, this shop is a must on your list. I have seen many nice prim and colonial shops in my day and this is right up at the top of my list. I am saving my pennies for my next chance to shop here. These pictures are from their website. Start holding your mouth closed now.Jerrie and Norm Tessier have the nicest colonial and primitive items to furnish a dream home. Furniture, red ware, stoneware, pottery, pewter, art work, lamps, bedding, dishes, towels and so much more!

Want to see more, check out the link above. I had decided that even though we had several stops to make, that from now on, I would rather come home with a few quality items, than many small things that would go out of style in a few years. I used great restraint and I got just 2 things even though I saw hundreds I would like. I found a great pillowcase from Family Heirloom Weavers to coordinate with my coverlet. And for all you bloggers who want to see my house in it's every day look - here you go. Wrinkled sheets, alarm clock and phone in plain view even - just for you! This is how I make the bed every day. Some of you may have noticed the peg rack over the chair wasn't there the last I took my pictures of our bedroom. And the chair is different too. My mom gave me this old chair and I love it. Thanks mom! And now that my Christening dress is on the peg rack, you are wondering what my dresser looks like now. I should say FOR NOW because who knows how long it will stay this way... I also bought this gorgeous piece of redware from Pied Potter Hamlin NOT Turtlecreek as I mistakenly posted earlier - I have always loved this piece and admired it in other homes. It joins my other redware in the dining room. More about that in a bit. Back to the trip! From there I entered 114 Danielson Pike, Foster, RI into the GPS system and we headed to Things Made Wonderful. This was an interesting store. Many imports and country items downstairs so not my favorite but they had a great supply of curtains and linens so I was able to find the coverlet style valance my friend Carolee from Autumn Mom Patches of Godlight wanted. Upstairs there were several antique and craft booths and that is where I found my little tin shaker. Jill, who had shown more restraint at Tessier's, found some great treasures. A jug crock, a yarn winder, and a child size rocking chair. When we left there we found our way to a few more shops and before heading back to MA we stopped at Toadally Country in Cumberland, RI. I will be honest and tell you that I almost did not add this shop to our itinerary because of it's name. I planned our trip partly on the listings in Country Register and partly from recommendations. I decided to check the store website and shop pictures and was pleasantly surprised. And when we got there, we were not disappointed either. These pictures are from the website.

I found this great quilt in the perfect shades of tan, gold, reds and black. It is just what my deacons bench needed. I really love how it pulls in all the colors from all this end of the house. It was a really fun two days with Jill. She enjoyed trying some of my favorite salads and it was fun to cook for her. We are now thinking of a trip to PA together sometime in the future. Aunt Daisy's here we come!

A few of my blogging friends asked me about my redware and what it is exactly. "REDWARE, also known as terra cotta, is a variety of earthenware whose body of soft porous clay turns red, orange, or brown when fired due to its high iron content. Pieces of European redware were among the household goods of the earliest English settlers, and redware was imported commercially throughout the colonial period. Domestic production in America started as early as 1625. Most, but not all, redware was covered with a glaze, either clear or colored. Particular glazes were sometimes associated with particular wares, such as the distinctive blackish-blue glaze used on English "Cistercian" ware. Further decoration might be added through a variety of means including painting, sgrafitto (in which lines are scratched in the body of the piece) and slip trailing (in which designs are "drawn" with a liquid clay mixture of a different color). The widely-traded 17th century German redware called Werra-ware combined all these techniques to great effect. " Taken in part from Julia Smith Redware.

I have been collecting redware since we first moved here in 1986. Many but not all of my pieces come from PA because the red clay earth is so readily available. A friend, Tracy Cogan, owns a store in Bethlehem, PA and she first taught me about redware and and I found several pieces when we would go to the Lancaster area on family vacations. For those who wanted to see more of collection, is scattered around the house so here are some pictures of just part of it.

My pieces are made by a variety of artists including Ned Foltz, Stephen Earp, Hendersons, Wilz, Turtle Creek Potters, Lester Breininger, Eldreth Pottery, Wisconsin Pottery and Greg Shooner. They each have a different method to sign or mark their pieces. I especially love the marking from my large platter made by Greg Shooner. This was a gift from my school staff in 1995 when my sister and DH gave me a surprise 40th birthday party so it is a treasured piece.
This is the back of it... it is almost as pretty as the front!
Well that is it for show and tell tonight. Before I go and watch Survivor, I'd like to give a shout out to Audrey from Ashby, MA. My friend Bonnie said she met you at the craft fair on the common in Townsend and that you read my blog. How cool that you met a friend of mine! Thanks so much for reading my blog!

If you any of you are looking for more great blogs to read, Rue over at Rue's Peanut Butter and Jelly Life has compiled a list of recommendations from her readers. Rue's blog alone is worth visiting. And her home new old home is darling! I have already found some fun new blogs to read and I am sure you will as well. And I am honored that my blog was recommened to be on the list. Thank you so much. I know this is a long post and I hope it doesn't disappoint. Next time I come back, I have some more dream homes pictures to share and I will answer another request of a faithful reader. And just maybe, Momma Duck will have some ducklings - we think it is close to the time!

Until Next Time - Hugs, Linda