Final Look Back at the “Settlement”

Good Morning!

This is our final look back at the Settlement book, published a few moons back – early in my publishing career. It’s been such a joy to go back and relive each of these photo shoots and to fondly remember the day I spent with each homeowner. It reminds me again and again how truly blessed I am to have the job that I do – well not a job – a JOY of traveling and meeting such amazing collectors and then calling them friends.


I want to start with the home of Fred and Sharon Matson tonight, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. The one question I get asked most is, “What is your favorite house that you’ve photographed?”  My response is usually, “Whatever one I’m standing in at the time,” and that is the honest truth! Because for that magical day, I get to share in an amazing home with a wonderful homeowner, and seeing it with fresh eyes for the first time is always the best! But secondly, after that, I often add that Sharon and Fred’s home is certainly in my top five.

The Lord called our dear Sharon home a few years back and she is greatly missed.

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The day I visited the Kansas City home of Tom Pryor was a first … and I hope a last! ha! I had scheduled a three-and-a-half week trip photographing homes – something I have never done again! And near the end, it caught up to me! I was terribly sick and woke up about 2:00 am in Kansas City in the hotel prior to meeting Tom the following morning and just had to tote myself to the ER with strep throat.  With a tight schedule and not wanting to disappoint Tom after all his hard work preparing for me to come – I went the following morning at 9:30 and found myself sitting in his dining room in a comfortable wing back, sipping hot lemon tea and getting pampered, while I heard his journey of collecting.  Tom and I have shared a bond and long friendship ever since.

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I wanted to share this photo of Tom’s two dogs who I fell in love with during my visit – Maggie and Lois. Tom is the biggest dog lover I know and has such a compassionate heart. He just recently lost Lois, (on the left) and she was 20 years old! My heart bled for him.

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I made a trip to Hazard, Kentucky to meet Sally Spaulding and to photograph her home, and early log cabin shop.  Sally is a tiny little spit fire and gracious southern belle. She is a school nurse, so it’s too bad I wasn’t doing her house during my strep throat incident! Ha! I remember driving to Hazard and going up, and up, and up a mountain thinking I may never get there. But it was worth every mile!

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I mentioned in an earlier post that in the “Settlement” book I wanted to feature a couple of my favorite folk artists – so of course that means Norma Schneeman! I knew about Norma long before I had the pleasure of meeting her. She is a dear friend of my mentor, Charlotte Merrill so I was buying some of Norma and Jennifer’s folk art as an early collector in New Mexico. Norma is truly hands-down the very best doll maker in the business. And her heart and passion for all things early match her amazing skill with a needle too! I love Norma!

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Next is the amazing home of Don and Sue Vanderford. What made this photo shoot twice as nice is that it was in my own backyard! Remember I was in Texas back then and traveled many a mile to get to most of my destinations. But Don and Sue lived in Corsicana, and it was a day trip for me! Add to that an incredible home that you would swear was in New England, and the wonderful company of the nicest gal you could ever hope to meet and it all made for a day I won’t ever forget!

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It’s funny sometimes what you remember about a photo shoot. I actually think of Sue nearly every time I go on a trip because she taught me the little trick of putting a large paper clip on my seat belt (up near where it comes out) to hold it off your neck. When you’re short like me – this is invaluable because most of the time it is strangling me! ha!

So I hope you’ve enjoyed looking back at the “Settlement” book as much as I have. One of these days we’ll tackle the “Homecoming” book!

This morning I’m setting out on another adventure. I’m going to Fishersville, VA for the 60th Annual Shenandoah Antiques Expo where I’ll be hanging out with Lynne Oppenheimer from Ivy Hill Antiques, Friday – Sunday. She sets up in the Sheep Barn so I hope you’ll come see us! Then from there I’m headed north to Maryland to spend a couple of days with James Cramer while we do some work on the upcoming SPECIAL CHRISTMAS ISSUE! Fun days ahead! I’ll catch ya’ll when I get back!


The Raid at Martin’s Station 2017

Those of you who have been following my blog since the beginning, know all about the Raid at Martin’s Station in Ewing, Virginia. I wrote about my amazing experience last May and talked about counting the days until the 2017 event. If finally arrived this weekend and my friend Josh and I were again among the spectators. We’ve vowed to make it an annual event! This year did not disappoint and we had a wonderful time with good friends.

For those of you that don’t know about this event – “…more than 300 living historians re-enact life at Joseph Martin’s frontier fort. Two cultures clash and the flames of war are once again ignited on Virginia’s frontier.  Set among the most authentically re-constructed frontier fort in America, Virginia’s frontier comes alive each May. The original Martin’s Station played a relatively short but significant part in the history of southwestern Virginia and the early settlement of Kentucky. The station takes its name from Joseph Martin, who was born cir. 1740 in Albemarle County, Virginia. Following a somewhat restless early life which included service in the French and Indian War, Joseph Martin became the overseer for a wealthy relative who was closely connected with Dr. Thomas Walker. This connection with Dr. Walker proved valuable for Joseph Martin, who would eventually be selected by Dr. Walker to lead an expedition into the Powell’s Valley, where there would many Native American and British soldier attacks.

I didn’t get quite as many photos this year as I did last – so feel free to scroll down on my blog to the story and photos surrounding the 2016 event. Here are a few I was able to capture yesterday:

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Friends, I just can’t stress enough how much you would love this event if you put it on your calendar now for 2018! It is purely AUTHENTIC in every detail.

Here is a link to a wonderful video of the 10th anniversary Raid at Martin’s Station.

Thanks for your visit with me tonight ! This week I will try to get back to sharing photos from the last ten years of Homestead Publishing, Inc!