Looking Back, #2

I never could find anymore of my photos from the first book, “Homestead.”  But in the next couple of days I will get the book out and scan some more of them for you.  Tonight I have some great homes from my second book – “Settlement.”  This was a great big book – filled with such wonderful folks and homes,  and I loved every minute I worked on it.

In this book I thought I would share a couple of folk artists that I admire, with you. First out was Anne Childs. Anne and her husband John live in Arkansas and it was funny because I had known Anne and John for quite awhile but they had never mentioned their home to me, and surprising – neither had anyone else. I’m not even sure if I knew they lived in a log cabin, but I might have. At any rate, I was totally under the assumption I was going to photograph a few of Anne’s amazing paintings and head to the next shoot. LANDS! What a surprise I had in store! I walked in the door to the most amazing, big log house I could ever imagine! And it was filled with wonderful, early things – all displayed by the eye and hand of an artist of course! Literally within five minutes I asked them what they were doing for the rest of the day AND tomorrow because this suddenly turned into a house shoot! What a great day and surprise that was! That has never happened since. Anne and I had such a connection over so many things that unfolded over that trip and boy we had an awesome dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant too. I’d have to give that trip a TEN! And I know you’ll agree when you see these!

John was a landscaper when he and Anne met and he has done amazing things with their property.

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Steven Stout and Robert Strauss live in Ann Arbor, Michigan and their house has been photographed by countless wonderful publications. You can see why! They both have a keen eye for the very best early American antiques and also have a shop in their home.

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They love all the things I do – mortars, hornbeams and brooms!

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Back in the day, I used to do a show down in Texas at my friend Dawn Hodges. Cheryl and I used to do Round Top together and we’d set up over at Dawn’s farm at the same time. Dawn’s show is still going strong and bigger than ever. She fills the grounds will lots of wonderful dealers. Although Dawn’s show is a big claim to fame – her real talent is COOKING and loving on people. I don’t know how many people in her church she cooks for every week – and I will honestly tell you that she is the BEST COOK I KNOW, hands down!

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Needless to say, she’s a pretty awesome collector and decorator too!

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Also in Texas are my friends, Jean and Roy Doty. They live down on the coast in Beaumont. I met this wonderful couple also doing a show – the Dolly Johnson show in Ft. Worth. They were my neighbors and they kept me entertained with wonderful stories about their home and collections. Both so knowledgeable about early things – I learned a lot from them when I visited.  We’ve been good friends ever since and I’m proud to say they are dealers at our Days of the Pioneer show too!

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Across the Red River, over in Oklahoma, I found myself at the home of Don and Pat Gaddy. Lots of you probably have a wonderful item in your home that was made by them. They have a Picture-Trail site where they sell their handmade reproductions that are the very best. They make amazing treenware , wonderful lighting and so much more – but you have to be fast because when they have an update they sell out within minutes. I had a wonderful, wonderful time with them in their home outside of Tulsa.

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So that’s going to do it for the home tour this go round. I’ll be back in a few days with lots more!

I wanted to share a quick photo of our cabin progress. It’s been too cold to chink the past week but a little bit has been done here and there.

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Also, I wanted to give you a chuckle – a couple weeks ago I had dinner with my friend Ken Reid while we were in Illinois for the shows. Prior to leaving home he sent me a curious email asking me if I liked chocolate. That was and easy answer! ha!  So when we met up for dinner – he gave me this beautiful little bag all tied up with pretty tissue paper and told me to open it later – that it was from a local Chocolate Company in New Hampshire who were quite famous for their candy.   We went in and had a great dinner and I kind of forgot about it. The next morning while sitting at the show I found the bag and opened it … and THIS is what was inside!

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Yes indeed – those ARE Chocolate MICE! They even had the prettiest ribbon tails. Ok … so maybe ALL mice aren’t bad !!!

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Looking Back …

My publishing career began about eleven years ago with my first hard cover book – Homestead. Wow, that seems more like 20 years ago sometimes and yet, just yesterday at other times. It has been a wonderful journey through nine books and seven and a half years of magazine publishing. I’m very blessed to share in the lives of the greatest homeowners in our industry and they make every day a great day to go to work.

So over the next several weeks I’m going to be looking back over my career and sharing some stories with you, along with some of my favorite photos from each book project and each magazine issue. Sadly, I don’t have all of my Homestead book photo files, but I’ll be posting what I can find over the next week. Tonight I’ll start with these ….

On the cover – the home of Carolyn Thompson.

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My time with Lisha Holt in Kentucky was great. For those of you who know Lisha, you know how much fun she is and we had a lot of laughs that day. She has an eye for detail like no one else I’ve ever met. It might be time to revisit Lisha soon for the magazine! What do you think?

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I went to Iowa to photograph Steve and Rita Carnine and I remember being so nervous! Now Rita is one of my dearest friends and I love her and Steve like family. She has the absolute best vignettes – more of which were in my Fragments book. I’ve been thinking of doing a Fragments Two – get ready for me Rita!

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This is the Missouri home of Vernon Reeves. Since that time, Vernon has sold his log house and moved into St. Louis where we featured his townhouse in an issue of A Simple Life. Vernon’s log house was really special – just like he is.

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Vernon’s good friend and neighbor, Joan Lucas also lives in a log house, which is currently for sale. Joan was the first person I called when I was considering starting a magazine to get her thoughts. She has been a wonderful friend ever since I photographed her home all those years ago. I love you Joan! I will be looking for more photos from her house in the coming days, but this is an “iconic” Joan Lucas shot!

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Steve and Sharon Clymer from Paducah are co-owners with Lisha at American Harvest Antiques. One of the greatest early American and primitive antiques shops around. Sharon and Steve are truly two of my most favorite people on the planet!

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I’ve always loved this vignette of miniature books and tiny treasures in Sharon’s entryway.

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This was my buttery in our house in Texas. All of the things in this photo have long since been sold, but tonight I’m kind of wishing I had that red dry sink top back! Whoever has it – call me!

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And this last photo is from Carolyn Thompson’s home in Ohio. Carolyn has been a leader in our business for many, many years. I will find more photos from Carolyn’s wonderful home soon.

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So join me again, over the next several weeks for hundreds of more photos and homes to come – documenting the last eleven years of Homestead Publishing, Inc. !

Birth of Spring

A sure sign of spring in Galax, Virginia: baby calves. Five were born in the last two weeks for a total of twelve so far. More should be coming in the next few days. Seeing lots of “white” this year, which I call “chrome!” ha!

This is my cow, Saird Luckett, and her new heifer calf.

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This is a bull calf that was born a few days ago – a Panda!

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The two newest “cousins” love playing together!

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These babes are a few weeks old:

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We raise Simmental’s and have pretty much switched over to black but we still have a few red cows who have occasional red calves (a red cow can have a black calf too if bred to a black bull.)

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It’s going to be in the high 70’s today with a chance of setting a record, but back to freezing temps for the weekend! I think most of us are experiencing these crazy highs and lows this year.

I’m headed out tonight for the Homesteaders on the Prairie Antique Show in Arthur, Illinois! Five great shows at seven venues in the area this weekend! Come out and see me!

Friday Night Gig

The Earls of Leicester were performing in the Historic Earle Theater in Mount Airy, N.C and I was fortunate enough to be in the house!

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Ya’ll already know how much I love the Earls – I’ve posted about them before. They are the 2016 International Bluegrass Music Assoc. Entertainers of the Year. The founder of the group, Jerry Douglas, is the IBMA Dobro player of the year, Barry Bales is the IBMA Bass player of the year, and my dear friend Charlie Cushman is the IBMA BANJO PLAYER OF THE YEAR! A much deserved accolade. As you know, Charlie is the banjo player on our Simple Life CD – “Out of These Mountains.”  He also played guitar and bass for us, and although he is a master banjer picker – he plays guitar on all the old “Sacred” songs for the Earls too.

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The Earls will be performing in my hometown of Galax, Virginia at Houstonfest, June 9th and 10th.  They will also be at Homecoming this year at the Museum of Appalachia in October.  If they are performing anywhere near you – make the trip to go and see them, and tell Charlie I said Hey!

 

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Recent Travel Photos

Good Evening! I wanted to drop you a line and reassure you that I’m still going to post photos from my recent travels and upcoming magazine sneak peeks! I feared you might just quit me, thinking you have to see my mug being silly on video for the rest of your lives! ha! Naw …. while that is a fun way to communicate when I’m on the road, I can still be serious too, and give you lots of eye candy to look at, book recommendations,  and links to music and other fun things you might enjoy.

SO – while I was in PA, Lynne and I made a quick trip over to Washington’s Winter Headquarters in Valley Forge. What incredible hallowed ground that is. The home he stayed in was built in the 1760’s for Issac Potts.

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General Washington was encamped here with the Continental Army during the winter and spring of 1777-1778.

Some of his army stayed in various cabins on the farm. If you’re ever in the area, this is a much needed visit.

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This past Monday while on my trip to Michigan I had the distinct pleasure of visiting Jane Reed and photographing her incredible home. Last summer, Cheryl had been there photographing her gardens and she will be featured in the upcoming Summer issue of A Simple Life.

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I had to share a photo of the wonderful spring basket of flowers that were waiting for me when I got home from Michigan. My dear friend Ginny Curry sent them from Ohio to surprise me. What a heartfelt blessing they were to receive! I love you Ginny! I’m not sure I have ever smelled anything so heavenly!

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On a separate subject, I’d like to share a video link with my fellow Ralph Stanley fans. It’s about an hour long, so get settled in your chair when you have time and enjoy this wonderful tale of Ralph’s life. I think you will love it as much as I do!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by for a visit with me! I’m so fortunate to have such awesome friends to share my journey down life’s road with!  Until next time ….

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