Hart Square

Fun times this weekend at Dr. Bob and Becky Hart’s – Hart Square festival in Hickory, N.C.  One day a year Hart Square comes alive with hundreds of interpreters among  100 log structures. Certainly a day we look forward to all year long and it never disappoints! A gorgeous fall day laid out before us and the leaf color was beautiful.

Getting some delicious pumpkin soup made over the fire  was one of our first stops.


And here is the recipe for you to try!


Probably my favorite demonstration this year was making straw bales in the apple orchard. This gentleman and his rare baler hail from Denton, NC.



Interesting people at every turn …


And log cabins, smokehouses, spring houses, barns, corn cribs, churches, and everything else you could possibly imagine abound.

Out of so many incredible log structures, I always find myself falling in love with this pig barn each visit. It truly is my favorite at Hart Square and I hope to recreate it here on Walkers Knob.


And at the end of the day – who doesn’t need a hornbeam drinking fountain?



Christmas Time’s A Comin’ !

Lands, as fast as time flies by, Christmas really will be here before we know it! And “A Simple Life” is ready! Our Winter issue will be shipping approximately November 1st! I got my bulk copies yesterday and I’m so excited to share it!


We visited three wonderful homes for this issue and I want to thank our awesome homeowners! Nancy and Don Hellweg hail from Lawrenceburg, Indiana and built a beautiful saltbox home. Then Nancy filled it with wonderful primitive antiques. It is even homier at Christmastime!

Tom and Candy Looker live in the farmhouse that Candy grew up in in Fredericktown, Ohio.  Candy is an amazing artist and also a wonderful decorator so her house is always filled with awe inspiring primitive vignettes and room settings.


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Welcome to the Cape! Mike and Jerrilyn Mayhew make their home in Sandwich Village, Massachusetts – the quintessential setting for a charming Christmastide!


This issue is filled with holiday inspiration! Begin planning your menu with one of Cheryl’s delicious recipes!


                         And then join us for inspiration on how to set your holiday tables!


If Santa is wondering what to get the antique lover on his list – how about Anniversary Tin!


And if you’re looking for some holiday decorating ideas, Amy Schoonover has lots of inspiring things for you to try in your own homes!



You won’t want to miss this warm and cozy Christmas filled issue! It will be coming to a mailbox or shop near you in just a couple of weeks!

On the Road Again…

Yes! I’ve been here and there the last couple of weeks! LOTS of great homes coming your way in “A Simple Life” in 2017! I had the pure joy of visiting my friends John and Bettye Wagner in Alabama recently. Everyone knows Bettye – she is an icon in our industry. She had a shop in Marietta, GA for many, many years beginning in the 80’s, and never looked back.  She sold incredible American Country antiques there and at all of the best shows, as well as selling everything you needed for your home – custom curtains, her own line of custom upholstered furniture and fabrics, etc. She also styled many, many homes that have appeared in countless magazines over the years. She and John restored a wonderful 1800’s Virginia Tidewater brick home, and have just recently retired near Muscle Shoals. Bettye is a treasure and we had so much fun the day I visited her!











The next leg of my journey took me to everyone’s favorite decorator and stylist – James Cramer. Jimmie is a dear friend who has become like a brother to me. I was telling Todd yesterday that when I am with Jimmie I can laugh and laugh, relax and just totally be myself. We have so much fun. He is a rare and precious gift in my life. He was telling me that it has been 20 years since the book,  “Seasons at Seven Gates Farm” came out! Can you believe it?  It is certainly time to revisit it !



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Of course we always have to go antiquing when we’re together and he took me to his “source” for old lye soap. Of course I bought the brown and he bought the white but because we are always acting silly we had our picture made and Jimmie said, “You’re making me go brown and I’m making you go white!”


Our travels together always include a visit with our friend Patsy Martin up in Pennsylvania. Patsy is so good to always take us to all the great spots near her and stopping for ice cream from the Amish Creameries is always a must!

Since we featured Patsy’s home at Christmas a few years ago, she has redone all three of her upstairs bedrooms and we will be bringing you those great additions in a future issue next year. Take a peek ~




The week ahead looks to be just as much fun because Cheryl and KC and our friends Lynn and Ruth are all coming down from Michigan to go to Hart Square on Saturday – Dr. Bob’s log cabin museum in Hickory, North Carolina for his festival.  Yipppeeee!

Stay tuned because I’ll be sharing sneak peeks from our upcoming Winter issue later this week as well!

For my book loving friends – here are a couple more good reads to add to your list!


“The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara


Also a good choice:

“Cane River” by Lalita Tademy, and the follow up novel, “Red River.”

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