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.

Blog Sharon 1

Blog Sharon 2

blog Sharon 3

blog Sharon 4

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.

blog Tom 1

blog Tom 2

Blog Tom 3

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.

blog Tom 4

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!

Blog Sally 2

Blog Sally 3

blog Sally 1

Blog Sally 4

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!

Blog Norma 3

blog Norma 4

Blog Norma 2blog Norma 1

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!

blog Sue V 1

Blog Sue V 2Blog Sue V 4

blog Sue V 3

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!


4 thoughts on “Final Look Back at the “Settlement”

  1. Very sorry to hear Mrs. Matson has passed. I can feel she loved life…just look at the love put into her home. Even the beautiful cover of the Settlement is from the Matson home! How many times have I stared at the photo (you shared) from page 7 of the book and the photo on page 8? I believe pages 7 and 8 are halves of same room…perhaps at a back door. I can only imagine how many times they entered that door leaving the outside world behind…enjoying the peace, beauty and comfort of home.
    It was so generous of them to welcome us in; we are forever grateful.


  2. Hello Donna! You are so right and true with every word my friend. Sharon was a bright ray of sunshine and when it came time to chose the cover – it was an easy decision. You too, Donna, are a bright ray of sunshine in my life!


  3. Gosh, I sure wish the Settlement book was available again to purchase! Will you ever have it reprinted again??? These photos and stories of the home owners are beautiful. You are so lucky to be able to meet these people and get the details of their life’s work and commitment to American history. WE are lucky that you share all of those visits with us in ASL and your books! Without your work, people like me would never know what these families have done to preserve and share a life style of the past. Thank-you!!

    Enjoy your visit this weekend in Fisherville,Va. I bet the weekend is going to be grand with so many visitors and vendors.

    P.S. A big thank-you for getting out my order from The HomeMade catalogue out so quickly!! I am sure the tea you sent will be fine as it was my second choice anyway. And that Crisp Apple soap!!!! Now, you know how I absolutely LOVE all things apple, so this little bar of soap smells fantastic. And of course, my second time to order Aunt Cory’s Apple Butter candle is going to be enjoyed for many hours. I was thinking of saving it for September 1, which is when I officially start Fall just like the meteorologists,however, when I took a deep sniff, I know I will be lighting it next week when we get home from Baltimore! I can’t wait!


  4. These photos are absolutely amazing! Homes like these always take my breath away. And I am heartened to see one in Kansas (well, Kansas City anyway, not sure if its in MO!) as someone living out here in Oklahoma, early american style can sometimes be hard to find out on the prairie! Love seeing all the portrait art too in these homes…..these old time folk portraits are something Im wanting to paint more and more of, I am so drawn to them. Wonderful post! And hugs to my friend Winnie here, who has pampered me with a subscription to the magazine after she found out I couldnt get it anywhere here in OK! She is the sweetest!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s