Saturday, July 20, 2013

Welcome Indoors

  Welcome Indoors

Colonial yellow fireplace surround  
   The weather is hot. The Lady-of-the-House has been indoors. Phew, how thankful she is for air-conditioning. Other years she’d been without it. Then, all the cooking for the day was done immediately following breakfast. 

     All week the Lady-of-the-House has had her nose in books and her fingers to the keys. That writing will be shared later. Today she invites you to take a leisure stroll with her in the cool of indoors – or should she say scroll? 

     In springtime the Man-of-the-House bought his wife a faux rose bouquet. She had her eye on it when they walked through the tourist shops of Lancaster on their wedding anniversary.

     When she returned home she placed the flowers on the fireplace mantel. The Man-of-the-House also bought her a pineapple, a real pineapple. He is good at slicing it into pieces with a menacing-looking kitchen knife. He does this often for her even though he himself is allergic to this delicious fruit.

     Coming down the stairs in the mornings the Lady-of-the-House can snatch a peek at the historic sampler of Sarah Tobias. The original was probably stitched in red. The cover of the cross-stitch book by Blackbird Designs shows the original antique. It suffered years of light damage and so is a very faded pink and tan in its present condition.

Colonial blue stairway

     With the staircase painted blue the Lady-of-the-House decided to stitch the sampler in three shades of blue, brown and white Gentle Arts Threads. She enjoyed improvising the colors of the funny little “spots.”

Sarah Tobias sampler in blue

     She must have been drawn to stitching this sampler because Sarah lived in Pennsylvania, a neighboring county, as a matter-of-fact. That was nearly two hundred years ago.

     The Lady-of-the-House added her own inscription to tell that it was “respectfully reproduced in 2009.” Later, in a local antique store she spied some old bed linen with a few of the same decorative spots all in red.

     In the front hall, at the bottom of the stairs, is a picture that was given to the Lady-of-the-House. She was forward enough to drop a hint for it – out of character. It hung in her daughter’s house.

Colonial blue entrance hall and split staircase

     “That picture is darling,” she told her daughter when she was visiting.
     “It’s my most recent find at the corner charity shop,” her daughter said proudly. “Can you guess what I paid for it?”
     “I can’t think,” her mother said.
     “Two dollars.”
     “Yes, really.”
     “Hmm, it would look good in my house,” her mother mused.
     “Take it.”
     “Honestly?” her mother said brightly.
     “Yes, take it.”
     Giving-in halfway her mother said, “Okay, I’ll borrow it.” It’s been borrowed two years. But it must be known that the walls of her daughter’s house are adorned with pictures that were once hung on her mother’s walls.

     Cutting fabric for piecing was done here and there over the winter. Squares were cut into triangles. Triangles were made into pinwheels. Pinwheels were sewed together to make a pillow. It became a birthday present for her daughter.

Folded star pincushion in Colonial reds

Antique pie safe

     “I have enough fabric to make another one just like it.” This idea occurred to the Lady-of-the-House when she wanted to see what the finished pillow looked like on a chair, before it was slipped into a gift bag. It matches the country style and colors of the family room, she noticed.

     But alas, she got swept up into other projects.

(You can see the "Charlotte Mason" sampler framed over the pie safe.) 

pin wheel pillow piecing

     For another married daughter’s birthday the Lady-of-the-House made Madelines.

Madelines homebaked

     Madelines are a buttery finger-food dainty enough for a tea party. They can be served with fresh berries or a spoonful of berry preserves (not shown). The painted border of blackberries on the birthday girl’s Brambly Hedge plate had to suffice for that afternoon.

Madelines on Brambly Hedge plate

 Come Again,

Karen Andreola 


  1. I've missed being in your lovely home Karen!

    We've been staying cool indoors too! Lots of painting projects getting done!

    I have some sewing to do this next week, hopefully.


  2. Oh I did enjoy my 'scroll' with you today Karen! Your cross-stitch is always an inspiration to me as are your other creative endeavors! I love your blue stairway - very pretty.

  3. What a beautiful house! I always enjoy getting a glimpse of it. It looks so peaceful and interesting - full of character! I live in a farmhouse that's over 100 years old and just love it.

  4. I was in Upstate NY this past week and yes it was hot. I enjoyed looking at your sampler. The blue hues you "re-created" for it are lovely.

  5. How fun visiting your home,indoors today.I love the blue on your stairs,and the yellow on the mantel...a beautiful home....indeed. Blessings

  6. Your home is so lovely. I love all the historic things. Thank you for sharing.

  7. This is a very nice post, Karen!

    Your decorations are so nice. I also like the picture. The colors and decorations remind me of Muzzie's (paternal grandmother) house. My grandmother specialized in primitive antiques as a antiques dealer. She is unfortunately suffering from dementia and in assisted living facilities.

  8. We are enjoying a lovely rainy day here today. This is a nice reprieve as we too have been hiding in the house. My mother and I were remarking about the oppressive heat just last week. We chuckled as we remembered last years summer that boasted three digit temperatures/heat indexes for weeks on end. This summer has been quite mild in comparison with plenty of rain as well. I'm already anticipating autumn, my VERY favorite! It should be spectacular after a rainy summer...

    I always enjoy e-visiting with you, Karen.


  9. Dear Karen,

    Thank you for the tour of your home, and for all the creative ideas you give us! Thank you, as well, for dropping by and leaving birthday greetings for my little lady. :)

    I think ALL of us are grateful for air-conditioning this year, aren't we? I keep telling myself that July is the hottest month, to cope with the heat.



  10. It's very hot here in Idaho, too ~ yes, having air conditioning is a wonderful blessing!

    It was very nice visiting and seeing the lovely handiwork and various warm, vibrant colorful displays around.

    I admire your piecework and the pretty choice of fabrics used for the pillow (as well as for the sweet pincushion ~ please correct me if i'm wrong ~ I am assuming you made it as well?).

    Very loving anniversary gifts you received. As for those birthday dainty delights, I imagine there was a delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen!

    Looking forward to visiting again soon~

    Warm regards,

  11. I would love to visit your beautiful home!

    You made me smile many times in this writing for we share a love for samplers, madeleines, and daughters. :)

    I "borrowed" a vintage electric fan from my daughter. She was looking at it when they visited in early June, saying she will take it back when all of her kids are old enough to know better than stick their fingers in a fan!

  12. You have a pleasant dwelling place... I've known this ever since my first visit here with you. Thank you for what I am hoping is part one of the tour.

    I gifted someone with a madeline pan just last year for her birthday. Her parting words to me, "You may borrow it whenever." Maybe I should consider it and try making some, they seem such a ladylike food.

  13. Dear Karen,

    The colors of your home are bright and cheerful. So nice of you to invite us all in:-)

    I always enjoy close-ups of your samplers.

    I'm happy to know you are staying cool in this heat. This will be our first year with no air-condition. Mrs.R invited us in to her home last week on a hot afternoon after checking the mail. I had to refuse because I knew that I would welcome myself in and never want to leave with her air conditioning! We had water on the porch instead and she gave me a gallon of cucumbers yesterday. to can some pickles.

    Have a lovely week!

  14. That picture has hung in my parents' home since before I was born. I always associate it with "home." When my daughter (now 16) was a toddler she used to sing a little song about it that she made up. One day I was at a flea market and saw a tattered print of it in a box for 25 cents. I was so excited! I put it in a decent frame and now I have that little slice of my childhood home. Thank you for sharing the picture and the story.

  15. Ladies,
    Your comments brought some needed feminine touches to my week indoors - on subjects my menfolk politely acknowledge with a "yeah" with that faraway gaze of a split attention. I do the same when the subject of aliens or computer technology arises.
    How unseasonably cool it's become since our summer thunderstorms - with welcome breezes through open windows.
    I should state that our "Georgian Blue" is paler than what the camera shows.
    Yes, Yolanda and I made a batch of Folded Star Pincushions (one year before she was married). I received one as a gift and thought it the cutest little thing.
    How fun to find that the girl with the white cat is on the wall of one of my readers and that it is a special memory.

    Getting my next post polished for you,
    Karen A.