Thursday, September 24, 2015

Antique Needlework and Printing Pictures

Hello dear readers!

It is a lovely fall day here in the Shenandoah!  The sun is shining and the birds are chirping - it is a little warm - but in my world it is perfect!

Unfortunately, I have been a little under the weather the past couple of days.  Hubby brought home more than the bacon last week (hehehe) and I was the lucky recipient of his crud.

Since I have been trying to take it easy, I took the time to start organizing my pictures - the ones ON my computer.  The digital age has been great for taking pictures; however, if you are like me, my pictures rarely get PRINTED.  That is a shame.  So, I have been trying to get my pictures organized so that I can print them in some sort of orderly and efficient manner.  I am trying to not get overwhelmed - I have digital pictures that go all the way back to

It has been a lot of fun looking back at my pictures - and I have stumbled across some really fun photos!  One really caught my eye and I knew that I just had to share here on the blog!

In 2011, hubby and I went to Williamsburg for our anniversary.  We just love Williamsburg but we also love taking the ferry across the James River to Surry and Smithfield.  These places are so very rich in history.  We stumbled across Smith's Fort Plantation during our first trip in 2009 but it was closed - on our return 2011 trip the house was open for tours!  And what an amazing tour!  If you are in the Williamsburg area, I highly recommend taking the ferry (it is free!) to Smithfield/Surry County and visiting the Smith's Fort Plantation!

Here is a brief history -

The site is just across the James River from the original Jamestown site.  It is called Smith's Fort because Captain John Smith began construction of a second fort on the land where the house sits.  The land was also a land grant wedding present to John Rolfe and Pocahontas!  The house itself was built sometime around 1751 - and what a beautiful house!  It is one and a half stories tall and while it is not huge, it feels like a home.

I was in awe of the house but the upstairs revealed quite a spectacular surprise.  On top of a simple chest was the most beautiful needlework bible/book cover!  My eyes found it and I immediately asked the tour guide about it.  Unfortunately, the lady did not know much about it other than it was purchased by the Rockefeller Foundation (the foundation that restored the house and all of Williamsburg) and dated to the late 1600's possibly early 1700's.  The cover was in a protective case (which was good because I am sure my drool would have found its way onto the precious needlework had it not been protected) so the pictures do not do the cover justice.  It appeared to be stitched on silk gauze with silk thread and glass beads.  Simply.  Stunning.

Here are the pictures that I took inside the house - I will start with the book cover - it is glorious!




 These cabinets were built into the wall - what a great idea!  And they make for interesting room furnishing.  Much more aesthetically pleasing than a plain wall.

 Here is a good picture of both cabinets flanking the fire place.  So simple, yet so beautiful!



 One of the bedrooms - I love the blue toile!
This baby cradle was so lovely.  If you look closely, you will see the bottom rocker is smaller/thinner  than the top rocker - that is because the wood has been worn down by the centuries of feet rocking the cradle - probably while the mother was in her chair working on her needlework!
 This remarkable table dates to 1709!!  Look at the beautiful wood work/carving!

This is a wooden dough bowl - it was excavated at the Smith's Fort Plantation site.  They believe it is hundreds of years old.  It was used to mix dough and then allow it to rise.  There was also a wooden roller made from the same wood.  The picture does not do it justice - that bowl was HUGE!  At least 2-3 feet wide!

Well everyone, I hope you have enjoyed your tour of Smith's Fort Plantation.  I know I did! 

Till next time - keep stitching!
Valerie



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Going through stash....

Hello dear readers!

It is a cool, breezy, early fall evening here in the Shenandoah.  We had almost 2 inches of rain yesterday and today - and I am thankful for every drop!  It has been so dry recently - to the point that I have been worried about the fall leaves becoming "blah" due to lack of water.  But Mother Nature has hopefully rectified that situation!

Thank you for all of the kind emails from my previous post.  It was so nice reconnecting with many of you!  I am still slowly working my way through my emails - so if you have written to me over the past several months, I promise - I WILL respond very soon!

I have been slowly going through my stash - and I have quite enjoyed the task!  It has been like a walk down memory lane.  Fond memories of so many lovely fabrics and threads; not to mention the patterns!  Whew!  I had no idea that I had collected so many!  As many of you know, I have an affinity for the BIG projects.  I have been pleasantly surprised to find that I own a lovely collection of smalls patterns and I can feel them calling my name ;-)

The ornament that I posted in my last post is, unfortunately, still in my stitching basket - but I have not forgotten about it!  As of late, my life has consisted of long work days and by the time I get home the only thing I have energy for is pulling the lever on my La-Z-Boy recliner!  But a girl can dream.  So until I can get myself snuggled in with my needle and thread, I have decided to share some of my favorites from my stash.  Hey - if I am not stitching at least I can DREAM about stitching!

One of the smalls that I came across and fell in love with again was this little beauty...

JBW Designs
Rose Motif Sampler

Isn't it lovely and elegant?  I love the pink color - the pattern calls for WDW Strawberry Fields or GAST Hibiscus.  I did not find those colors in my stash - so I guess that means a trip to my LNS in the future!  

Thanks so much for stopping by - I promise to find another oldie but goodie to share soon!

Hugs,
Valerie