Sunday, August 28, 2011

This Place Matters!

Historic Preservation can mean many different things to different individuals. Sure, it's about preserving, restoring and rehabiltating historic structures, it means saving our high style as well as our vernacular architectural history, it's even associated with economics and sustainability, but I think even more importantly preservation should be about community.  Without our historic places, our landscapes, our memory of the stories of who and what came before us, our communities would lose much of their value and would lack a sense of place.

We as citizens need to be instilling in our young folks a sense of pride and place in our communities, and we need to be teaching children the local history of our communities in order that they may value what is there and perhaps someday stand up and fight for the places that face the wrecking ball. I see so many young people with an apathetic attitude towards history in general; a dangerous outcome in my mind. Our nation's history is certainly important to learn, but I believe our state and local history is crucial to solidifying the bond that we often form with our historic sites.

As a tribute to our local historic sites and the architectural gems in our communities, I want to introduce you (if you don't already know) to the National Trust's This Place Matters campaign. This effort is geared towards drawing attention to the historic buildings and places that matter to us personally. To participate all you have to do is print off the This Place Matters sign from the National Trust website, take a photo of yourself with it in front of a historic property whose history matters to you, and upload it to the Trust's website.

former Sellars Manufacturing Company textile mill, now rehabilitated and adaptively reused, Saxapahaw, NC

I would love for you to send me your "This Place Matters" photos ( and feature you here on my blog. Just be sure to provide a brief description of the place or building with your photo and why it matters to you. If you work in a historic building that is receptive to this message, all the more reason to post a "This Place Matters" sign up in a window. Don't forget about special mid-century buildings from our recent past-- they are equally important. In order to win even the smallest fight, we must advocate for the importance of preservation in our communities. So, with that said, get out and start finding and learning about those historic places that matter to you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Antique Side Table

I received a beautiful ca. 1840s cherry side table table recently for my birthday (Thanks, Mom and Dad!). It has such a pretty time-worn patina to it and I just had to give it a little feature here on my blog.

The table has turned legs, a small drawer and a solid board top that is pegged. We desperately needed another little table we could use as a night stand. Our bedroom has so many doors and windows with little solid wall space that we might have to rearrange the furniture to be able to fit a night stand and this table on either side of the bed. Oh well!

the drawer is joined by a wide dovetail crafted by hand
notice how the bottom of the drawer is beveled on either side.

you can see and feel the hand planing work used to create the beveled
edges of the underside of the drawer 

the top is constructed from one solid piece of wood; notice the pegs on each side.
I love the patina of the top despite the scratch marks.

Here it is shown in our bedroom. I kind of like it in this spot even though it will be more functional as a bedside table. Do you have a favorite little table in your home? Or do you have any creative ideas for unconventional bedside tables? In my guest room I use a wooden filing cabinet as a night stand and I've stacked decorative boxes before as well to serve the same purpose.  But now I'm happy to have a wonderful antique bedside table to call my own.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summer Garden Update and a Cold Frame

Hello from the Roost! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Truth be told, I can't wait for fall even though I enjoy the harvests from the summer garden. We have been very busy this summer, but here is a quick peek at what's been going on around our little homestead:

we are letting the lettuce seedlings dry out so that we can save them for next year

produce from the garden: heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes,
yellow crookneck squash and a red pepper

A wonderful couple that goes to our church made this amazing cold frame for us with some old windows and leftover scrap wood. We are so grateful to be able to start seeds in the late winter or very early spring next year!

Our new cold frame

Our southern peas exploded despite the chickens helping themselves to bites out of the leaves.  We
 have enjoyed these peas cooked with green beans, onion, bacon and seasonings in the crock pot. 

We planted heirloom pie pumpkins for the first time this year!

This is a random HUGE mushroom BJ found growing in the yard.
Anyone know if it's edible? 

I hope all is well around your homestead and that you are enjoying the late summer's harvest. We are so grateful for blessings this time of year.  Coming soon- I received a pressure canner for my birthday along with the book Canning and Preserving with Ashley English. Stay tuned for a post on canning vegetables from the Roost!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Cherry Pie

Today I made my very first from-scratch cherry pie. It's not the most beautiful pie, but it sure tastes good!  Next time I make a pie I'm going to try a more stylized crust- perhaps with lattice work or pretty heart cut-outs. We'll see.

To me, fruit-filled pies and cobblers like this one are one of the sweetest parts of summer. I prefer a piece of pie over cake any day. Soon I hope to make a blackberry cobbler with locally picked berries- yum!

I got the recipe for this cherry pie from The Farm Chicks cookbook. It is a wonderful resource with classic country kitchen design tips, family recipes, and good stories. This particular pie has a crumb topping instead of a crust.

Well, I'm going to enjoy my piece of pie now. Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Entry

Hi, there! Hope everyone is having a happy Monday. Today I thought I'd join up at Cottage and Vine's Room by Room series and let you have a peek at my entryway. The entry serves as a welcoming avenue into the home, and I like to keep mine simple, functional and inviting.

Since we have such a large entry, I moved this antique sideboard to serve as extra storage and a drop off station for mail

If you live in a historic home like me, it is important that you retain and preserve the original entrance door to your home as much as you can. As the architectural styles from various eras are distinctly different, likewise so are their front doors. So, for example you wouldn't want to take a salvaged door from a Queen Anne style house and use it on a Craftsman Bungalow, or transfer an entry door from a Tudor Revival style house to an early twentieth century North Carolina Triple-A farmhouse. If you are unsure of what style door would be appropriate for your historic home, consult some architectural history books from your local library or contact a local architectural historian who can point you in the right direction.

The antique sideboard provides extra space for dishes and glassware that
cannot fit in my china cabinet

Sometimes I like to display my husband's great grandfather's antique highball
set in the window sill above the sideboard.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Farmers' Market Goodies

This morning we visited the locally famous Carrboro Farmers' Market and came back with some colorful, tasty veggies and beautiful flowers.

We have only picked one of our heirloom tomatoes to date (I am letting it ripen in the window sill above the kitchen sink), so I wanted to stock up on the gorgeous varieties of tomatoes from the market in case our plants don't produce too well this year. I bought pink heirlooms, mini cherokee purple tomatoes, and sungolds.  Along with the tomatoes I decided to pick up some little orange sweet peppers and banana peppers.

The flowers were also home grown and look wonderful on my new farmhouse dining table.

Have a wonderful weekend!