November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving~


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The fireplace in our main room~See much more Our annual 'Early New England Christmastide at the Old Brown Cape' photo gallery~
will be up on our website on Thanksgiving.
We're having a quiet day at home on Thanksgiving with our yorkie girls. We'll be working on getting our 7th annual 'Early New England Christmastide at the Old Brown Cape' photo gallery up on our website for the big debut at about 6 PM---We think we've taken some glorious photos of our Christmas season here in our old home.
This photo was taken today, the day before Thanksgiving---A perfect picture postcard day~
We'll have a fire in the 'main room' fireplace and eat at our 17thc. refectory table only by candlelight, just the 2 of us.
We decided to cook our special meal together, and that it would be something we like way better than turkey. When we found the last couple of lamb shanks on sale at the store, we knew we had to have them. The store almost never even sells them for some unknown reason, and we love, love, love them. We're slow baking them in red wine, beef stock,  a bit of brown sugar, herbs, and garlic among other things, and serving them sitting regally on a mound of our favorite mashed potatoes---an 18thc. recipe that includes onion, bacon, nutmeg, parsley, and chives in it.
Yum!
We'll make a nice green salad of baby romaine with some fresh orange pieces in it as well as toasted almonds, dried cranberries, pomegranate, onion, and topped with a simple homemade dressing of my own creation, a delicious concoction of olive oil, an egg yolk, fig balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, and a smidge of honey...
For dessert we decided to make 'Sorted Food's' quick and easy take on English Bakewell Tart, (but one notation if you decide to make this heavenly sweet---DO NOT bake it at the temp they give, which is about 350---make sure you bake it at 400 for about 20 min. or you will have a disaster on your hands.)
For a starter,  this morning I've already made the best, most creamy and delicious homemade chicken liver pate ever, and we'll have it tomorrow afternoon on warm slices of crusty homebaked artisan bread.
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Later I'll be making stock with the lamb bones, and a large pot of homemade Scotch Lamb-Barley soup, and freezing some. This will be supper for us for at least 4 or 5 days. I am also making my delicious homemade 'Apple Hearth Bread'---a long-time favorite I've been making for more years than I want to say, and a savory, salty-sweet bread that has apples and olive oil in it along with a touch of honey and coarse salt all over the olive oil glazed top. This will be eaten with the soup for upcoming dinners.

We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving no matter what your plans, and hope that you will visit our website tomorrow evening and step back in time, sharing an old fashioned New England Christmastide in our 18thc. home with us~
We add new photos now and then through Christmas~  
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Email us if you like our gallery~
thecountryladyantiques@yahoo.com

November 18, 2014

We'll be in 17thc. clothing to greet people at the 1690 Sherburne house at Strawbery Banke Museum's 35th Annual Candlelight Stroll~


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The 1690 Sherburne house is just one of several historic houses open to the public at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth New Hampshire~
We were hired to be at the Sherburne house in 17thc. attire on both Saturday and Sunday, December 13th and 14th to greet guests attending the annual holiday Candlelight Stroll~

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Saturday and Sunday, December  6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014
Saturdays from 5:00pm-9:00pm & Sundays from 4:00pm-8:00pm
CandleLightStroll2013-17
35th Annual Candlelight Stroll in the "Holiday Capital of North America"

For December 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 2014
Stroll through life in a simpler time as 350 years of American history, winter traditions, and holiday celebrations unfolds around you in New Hampshire's oldest waterfront neighborhood.

  • Historic houses from four centuries with decorations hand-crafted from natural materials 
  • Hundreds of wood and glass candle boxes lighting the lanes and landscape
  • Live music and holiday entertainment for all ages
  • Horse-drawn carriage rides
  • Holiday decoration demonstrations
  • Traditional barrel making demonstrations
  • 18th century holiday hearth cooking
  • Tinsmith demonstrations
  • NEW! Ice skating on Puddle Dock Pond

TICKETS ALWAYS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR.

PLEASE NOTE: Same day online ticket sales close at 3 pm.
Avoid lines by purchasing tickets in advance! Tickets can be purchased in advance in person at the Strawbery Banke Visitors Center at 14 Hancock Street up to the date of the event. To purchase tickets in advance, click here. Tickets are $23/adults, $11.50/children (ages 5-17), and $58/family. Group and corporate rates are available. Purchase tickets by November 30, 2014 to receive $2 off each ticket. 
http://www.thecountryladyantiques.com/
We're looking forward to greeting tourists at the 17th century Sherburne house on the evenings of December 13th and 14th~ 
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The '7th Annual Early New England Christmastide at the Old Brown Cape' photo gallery~

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The cob bake oven we built ourselves in the garden last summer, decorated for the season~ 
Visit our annual Christmastide photo gallery on our website 
Thanksgiving night at 6:00 PM. 
Enjoy the warm ambiance of a colonial Christmas in our 18thc. home with photos set to period musick. 
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November 9, 2014

High Tea, 'bangers and mash', 18thc. finery, a video of us period dancing, and a picture gallery of a very special day~


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We were asked by our friends, owners of the wonderful Clipper Merchant Tea House in Limerick Maine to come and be a part of the Limerick annual 'Snowflake Trail' event on Friday, Nov. 7th. They asked that we come have tea in our 18thc. clothes and talk to the guests, pose for pictures for them,  and then do a period dance later across the road in the 1803 ballroom in the Custom House Antiques Gallery.
 
Here is a video of us dancing 'The Gay Gordons' in the 1803 ballroom. 
We did it over 5 times that day for several groups of people.
*(The kind lady who filmed this apologized for the voices---Those were the spectators commenting!)
http://www.thecountryladyantiques.com/products-gone.php  
We now have a gallery of photos of our fantastic day up on our website. We hope you will enjoy visiting and seeing all our photos of the day while you listen to the period musick piece we danced to, 'Scotland the Brave'~
THE GALLERY is only on our website, and only for a short time~
http://www.thecountryladyantiques.com/products-gone.php

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Visit the gallery HERE or at a link above~
**NOTE~This gallery will only be up a short time. The next gallery will be our 7th annual 'Early New England Christmastide at the Old Brown Cape.'
http://www.thecountryladyantiques.com/products-gone.php
______________________

COMING TO OUR WEBSITE ON THANKSGIVING NIGHT AT 6 PM~ 
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October 15, 2014

A 17thc. 'guest bedchamber'~


 
A box we made from period wood to hide the laptop! See more about this below~

We have finally been able to get around to DIY (of course) re-making one upstairs room in our 18thc. cape into a most snug and welcoming "guest bedchamber"---(aka computer room, sewing room, etc.)  This room was the pits when I was alone and bought the 1700's house 16 years ago, but so was the entire house. There was a seemingly endless list of priority 'to do's' before I could ever consider working on it.
The window we put in ourselves in the 'new' old bed chamber. The lantern is old,  delightfully crooked and rusty. It was a $17. 'find'. We electrified it.

Because early capes are a story and a half, the 2 upstairs rooms have short knee-walls and charming sloped ceilings. The larger, which I always knew would be the 'guest chamber' went up in a peak, following the roofline. The original hewn beams added a lot of character and warmth. Unfortunately, someone in the 50's or 60's had covered the entire room with that nasty 1 inch thick, 8 inch wide board knotty pine paneling that seems to have been the rage back then, and a 'country look' to some well-meaning but warped minds. The boards glowed with the golden light of the hideous shiny varnish slathered all over them, calling attention to each and every knot. There was also awful, dirty, once-cream wall to wall carpeting on the floor. That was ripped up early on when all 3 of my fireplaces had to be rebuilt from underground to new chimney.
I had hoped to just have the original old floorboards, and although they were there, as is so often the case in early houses in New England they were pretty wonky and uneven, and worse, there were big patches here and there of funky pieces of 'modern' wood. Yankees used pieces of whatever was around---ugly old painted doors, etc.
---A new pine floor would have to be laid, and left unfinished to age .
Back in 1999, I painted the knotty pine paneling off-white, and had to content myself with that for many years until this room could be moved up on the priority list. (So virulent was the varnish, that even with 4 or so coats of KILZ primer and multiple coats of a good paint, the knots still 'bled' through.)

In the sloped ceiling, on the back of the house in this room was a fairly recently installed skylight, adding lovely light to a room that had only one window, at the gable end. It was nice enough and did not leak, so I kept that. 

Fast forward many years. Something HAD to be done with that "upstairs room". Adam and I painstakingly tore down every board of that knotty pine paneling a couple years ago, then hauling every one to the dump. This was a grueling job. The boards were over-nailed, as if someone expected a typhoon to blow through. Mouse poop would fall on our heads from the nether  regions between insulation and the boards. It was a miserable job.

I won't go into every remodeling detail here. We envisioned a period room, done in the 17thc. style we both love, and our efforts of the past couple of months have exceeded our expectations!
As usual, we had our stash of free salvaged/garbage picked materials.
It has been a lot of hard work. We've removed and rebuilt a window casing, installing a dream leaded glass casement window in that gable wall. I have hand plastered the entire room, and all boards and beautiful beams are exposed.
I have just now finished 'aging' the walls, and they look mellow and authentic. We love them so much, I have now also done it in our own bedroom downstairs.

We came up with an ingenious way to hang rods for bed curtains on a sloped ceiling, and I made the hangings from bittersweet-orange wool.
A lucky 'find' was the headboard only of a 17thc. bed.
Someone gave us 2 thick 18thc. boards, and even though we had never done anything like it before, we made the bed rails and bottom posts from it ourselves, even managing to match the finish on the ancient headboard!

We were able to get new, 12 inch wide pine boards for a bargain, and we laid the floor ourselves, face-nailing each board with reproduction rosehead nails, and then beating it with antique iron chains to distress it. (It will 'wear' and age over time and look like those we put in our kitchen a couple years ago.)

There were many other things we creatively came up with and then worked hard to create the upstairs dream room, and it was done without spending very much money at all.
UPDATE, NOVEMBER 4~
We have now completely finished our room and the photos are up on the TOUR page of our website!
We wove a wattle shutter for the skylight ourselves, even cutting down every sapling to do it! The shutter is hinged at the top of the skylight with period iron hinges and swings up and out as a cage bar would, hooking onto the ceiling just opposite when not in use!
This is one of our favorite things, and looks "so medieval, I love it!", as Adam says.

SEE OUR FINISHED 'GUEST BEDCHAMBER' HERE~

The 2 of us even made this bottomless custom box from a wide 18th century board we had salvaged for free, to hide the laptop computer. There is a little notch at the bottom-edge-back for the cord.
Adam hand carved the decorative groove and our initials on it in 17thc. script.

SEE MORE OF OUR PROJECT HERE~
 
 We have several of these early huge 'summer beams' we were able to salvage for free from an old house that burned just down the road from our home. We love the one we added to our 'main room' so much, we've just put up another spanning the existing beams in our own bedroom. 
 It's nice to re-purpose a little piece of local history.
 ...Adam carved our initials in this one as well~ 
TAKE A TOUR OF OUR PERIOD HOME HERE~


October 6, 2014

Why we hate Pinterest


*UPDATE, NOV. 2014
This copyrighted blog and our website do not allow 'pinning' to Pinterest.


My first homemade concord grape pie of the season!
(See the end of this post)

Pinterest.
Inane, stupid, silly---and a lot more unflattering adjectives I could say but won't waste my time.
(I admit I am not a fan of social media, period, and we don't participate in any of it.)
Pinterest is a regrettable venue for the completely self-absorbed and mostly shallow and insipid.
In my opinion, if I had so much free time that Pinterest was my choice for occupying it I would want to jump off a bridge.
Reading, listening to the birds outside, chatting with a real honest-to-goodness friend...Literally anything and everything would be more rewarding and worthwhile than Pinterest. It truly is an all-time low in the social media world.

Now, I am sure there are a lot of Pinterest 'fans' out there who will not like what I have to say, and they can stop reading now if they choose to. They are entitled to their own opinions, but so am I.
And this is my blog.
And I have good reasons for mine.

I am not a member of Pinterest, but I would have to be living under a rock not to be aware that literally hundreds of photos of our house and of us have been "pinned" onto countless Pinterest member's "boards".
I guess we are supposed to be flattered. We don't need or want that for validation.
No way.

How they can do this is still a mystery to me. Our website was designed by us. Every photo was taken by us and each one is of US/OUR HOME.
Still, until now I didn't spend my time thinking about it much.

Imagine our suprise recently when we happened across many photos of our home on several Pinterest boards, EVERY SINGLE ONE BEARING THE CAPTION:
"ITEMS IN NORTH BAYSHORE ANTIQUES STORE ON EBAY"
---(whose owner, one Steven Jebo supposedly of Delaware, evidently thinks it's o.k. to try and make a buck anyway he can, without letting a pesky concept like fraud trouble him to any degree.)
Seriously?!
Not only that, but when I clicked on MY photos, THEY DID NOT TAKE ME TO OUR SITE; THEY TOOK ME TO THIS SELLER'S EBAY PAGE!
~Not one single photo this person purloinged mentioned that this was taken from our site, www.thecountryladyantiques.com, or mentioned us in any way.
We were gob-smacked. 
We were furious.
We were disgusted.

I don't have a car. I work from home. I am an antiques dealer. I have spent 25 years building my little business, started with nothing, and not a dime from anyone. We struggle because of a job loss several years ago, and a current job that we thought would be a blessing but ended up breaking contractual agreements, and paying such an insultingly low salary that it doesn't cover both food and heat.
I have to sell to help my family survive.

Not only that, but I am quite proud of my home---an 18thc. cape in New Hampshire. Those of you who have cared to follow my blog know that I was the widow of a suicide when I moved from the midwest to New England alone 16 years ago. I bought my little house, which was the pits---a real mess. I had no money to speak of. I worked for almost 8 years alone to DIY restore it before meeting and marrying Adam.  We have both worked together for another 8 years making it what it is today.

I have NEVER, EVER BOUGHT AN ANTIQUE FROM "BAYSHORE ANTIQUES STORE ON EBAY", nor will I ever! 
I had never even heard of them before seeing that they had 'appropriated' photos of MY home, splashing them all over the internet, and leading everyone to believe that they were of THEIR BUSINESS/HOME.
This must not be legal. At best, it certainly is completely unethical, not to mention sleazy, sneaky, self-serving...
I could go on.

Everything I have, everything we've done here, we did the hard way, ourselves, on a tight budget and with countless hours of hard work, ingenuity, creativity, love, and a commitment to history, to the past, to preserving old ways.

Are we now supposed to sit here and passively accept some losers out there taking credit for OUR WORK?---For efforts that took 16 years of MY LIFE, and let them get away with implying that our antiques were purchased from THEM, while also taking business from me by allowing people to think our photos represent their merchandise or business?

No way.

OUR ANTIQUES WERE GOTTEN FROM OUR OWN SOURCES AND OUR OWN BUSINESS, AND WERE LOVINGLY COLLECTED OVER MANY YEARS.

Here is another example of what we dislike about Pinterest---There happens to be a woman on there who I don't know personally at all and never met, spoke to, had business with, etc.
'CB' haunts our website, obviously visiting it almost daily.  She  incessantly tries to copy numerous (and I do mean numerous)---things we have done in our period home, (with truly cringeworthy and terrible results.) I reiterate, this is not a rare occurrence---it is continual and it is obsessive.

She has no compunction about 'borrowing' whatever of OUR ideas strike her fancy, but here's the rub, and the truly distasteful part; Even though she knows nothing about me she viciously gossips about me to others, even as she attempts to pilfer our ideas.
She spouts all over her Pinterest account about how she is such a devout "Christian", when in fact she is a jealous, nasty, hypocritical phony---

And she is not the only one.
'ME-OW'!
There are a few women who have blatantly and shamefully 'appropriated' direct ideas from me (and others).
They splash their photos all over Pinterest, letting other people think they are the ones who came up with them!

I consider myself a pretty creative and smart person with a lot of artistic flair. My home has always been about my own personal expression, and on a miniscule budget to boot. To see people claiming my own ingenuity as their own is sickening.

These women have serious underlying issues in my opinion, not the least of which is tremendous insecurity.
They are also so consumed with envy that they take the successes of others and try to pretend they are their own.
Some say 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' but I disagree.
These women are obsessed and their jealousy is so blatant and out of control that they resort to what amounts to hate-mongering---
This catty bunch maliciously spread their outright and made-up lies about me and others, even though they know nothing about me whatsoever,  behaving like a bunch of pathetic  8th grade 'mean girls'.

Just one example of the lame, eye-rolling shenanigans that go on on Pinterest---I described in detail on our website, how we were hanging an early antique cradle from the sloped ceilings in our newly completed 'guest bedchamber' upstairs, even to detailing the little bedcurtains I had made for it.  Within a few days of my description ( my photos are not yet up!), 'CB' had decided to make her own version of "hanging cradle" (as she also referred to it) shown here---a ridiculous basket hanging in front of a picture window.

This kind of thing has happened to me many times over many years, and these kinds of people are so pitiable and absurd that I just keep on 'doing my thing' and normally never give them a second thought. I know others who have been the victims of this kind of insidious and undeserved backstabbing, and so I decided I would address it here---once---None of them deserve any more space or thought. Life is too full of good things and wonderful friends to dwell on bottom feeders like these women.  I think there is karma out there. I believe that people such as "Bayshore Antiques Store on Ebay" and 'CB', 'CG', 'MA", and a few 'bad apples' will get their comeuppance in due time, and will eventually pay for their complete lack of integrity.

---As for Pinterest, UGH! The fact that they allow this kind of stuff to go on makes us sick. I don't want anything to do with them, and we have no desire or need to see any of OUR PHOTOS splashed all over a myriad of their user's "boards".
*(We have contacted Pinterest about Bayshore Antiques Store and hope they will do the right thing and put a stop to it. Sadly, even if this person removes their 'pins', the same photos with their erroneous caption are still all over Pinterest on hundreds of other people's boards. The damage is done.)

 Our home, "the old brown cape" in New Hampshire is our long-time labor of love. 
All ideas our OURS. All antiques are OURS. All our efforts and creativity are OURS. 
We are grateful for the lovely and kind emails we have received over the years from people all over, who have loved our website---Our photos of our house and of us, the antiques we sell, and of our adventures. 
Everyone is always invited to visit us HERE~
 On a happier note, it's that time of year again---Time to bake homemade concord grape pies while the grapes have their short season! Although they take a little time, these pies are just delicious and so different from all others. I have to say, I think they are my favorite of all.
It starts with my own secret shortbread piecrust recipe. The grapes are peeled. This takes a little time but is not as awful as it sounds---You pinch each one and the innards quickly slip out of their skins, later to be heated through and strained to remove all seeds. When combined with their skins and other delectable but simple ingredients, you have the most heavenly of pies!
Early this morning I baked my first one of the season, dreaming of a cup of tea and a slice later tonight after dinner.
It's sitting just outside the door cooling now~
Decorated with pastry fall leaves and grapes, my pie is cooling out on the porch.

 





July 17, 2014

'The great 17thc. outdoor beehive bakeoven-building experience'---A summertime adventure to remember~

THE BACK YARD 'PILGRIM BAKE OVEN PROJECT'

WE HAVE BUILT AN AUTHENTIC PERIOD-STYLE COB 'BEEHIVE' BAKE OVEN IN OUR BACK GARDEN. THE TWO OF US BUILT OUR OVEN WITH NO MONEY, USING HISTORICALLY CORRECT MATERIALS FROM OUR OWN PROPERTY, THINGS WE HAD OR HAD SALVAGED MONTHS OR YEARS BEFORE,  AND CLAY THAT WE DUG UP ON OUR LAND. 
We decided to build our own period-correct (17thc. style) cob bake oven in our back garden similar to one at Plimoth Plantation~
This project was not about money; it was about keeping the 'old ways' alive by making something with your own 2 hands, and investing hours and days or weeks in something worthwhile to enjoy and to remember, and to recreate a little bit of the past of our ancestors.
The biggest allure of the project was not only anticipation of wonderful homemade food we'll make in it, but the fact that we did every bit of it ourselves, and with materials we already had, had salvaged, or dug up ourselves,---Just like the first-comers at Plimoth. 
We have used our own resources, as well as all of our own best efforts.
We're pretty proud of what we have done, especially since we had never done anything like this before.
It was great to learn new skills but most of all it was like taking a trip back in time to recreate something our pilgrim ancestors made. 

***(SEE MORE ON OUR 'PROJECTS GALLERY PAGE' OF OUR WEBSITE~
WE NOW HAVE THE~
  'BIG REVEAL' PHOTOS OF OUR FINISHED COB BAKE OVEN ON OUR WEBSITE.

We've had a blast building our oven~ 
WE APPRECIATE HEARING FROM THOSE OF YOU WHO VISIT OUR WEBSITE---
SO MANY PEOPLE DON'T TAKE THE TIME OR TROUBLE TO EMAIL COMPLIMENTS, BUT TO ALL WHO DID, AND WHO LOVED VISITING OUR STEP-BY-STEP PHOTO GALLERY OF OUR ADVENTURE WHEN IT WAS UP, WHO WERE GOB-SMACKED BY OUR EFFORTS AND OUR OVEN,
~THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR KIND WORDS~WE APPRECIATE YOUR COMMENTS SO VERY MUCH.
http://www.thecountryladyantiques.com/products-gone.php

*(The step-by-step photos from our
have been taken down now
but see us bake pizza in our oven! Photos are now up on our website~
***( Our galleries are up for a limited time. They change periodically to reflect our 17th/18thc. life and adventures).