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Monday, March 22, 2010

Daughters, Dishes, and Bumbershoots

On our Pennsylvania jaunt on Saturday, my daughter Anne and I saw many of those wonderful old fieldstone Pennsylvania houses that line Route 202 in Bucks County.

We got no pictures. What were we thinking?
We may have been too busy singing Woody Guthrie songs. Really.

By the time we were heading home, we remembered we had a camera in the car.
Anne snapped this wonderful example of vernacular Keystone State architecture:

It's an eatery, where you can have your shot-and-a-beer while watching
ladies dance in naughty outfits. Or lack thereof. We didn't stop.

Do you think they bought the paint from the leftover $1 a can pile at the hardware store?

It's Monday, which means Mosaics! Thanks to Mary of Little Red House, for hosting Mosaic Monday. Go visit; you will be glad you found her blog, and have fun seeing what others have done with their mosaics and collages.


So much for our architecture pictures in Pennsylvania: one naughty bar. We crossed the Delaware River from New Hope to Lambertville -- both towns were so packed with people you could hardly navigate -- and toodled up along the Delaware River, on the New Jersey side, to the hamlet of Frenchtown.

Frenchtown is where I want to live if I grow up to be a hippie.

It's a wonderful little town, charming shops, and block after block of unspoiled Victorian houses.
Carpenter Gothic has survived in all its glory in Frenchtown!

Some details of a few of the houses:

And a few of the houses themselves:

A day spent on either side of the Delaware River, exploring Pennsylvania or
New Jersey's small riverside towns, is a day well spent.
But come to New Jersey; we can use the sales tax revenue.

We did our spending in Pennsylvania, though.

At an antiques shop along Route 202 in Bucks County, I found something for $5.00:

I don't think I've ever bought anything for only $5 at a real antiques shop.
Especially something as practical as this . . .

It is an umbrella stand.

Made of wood, and painted in what I think of as 80s cottage colors, it will hold Howard's bumbershoots in the sunroom. He has a habit of dropping them on the carpet behind the loveseat and thinking I don't notice.

But I do.

The design is sweet, but it is due for a makeover. What do you think?
Black? Rusty brown to blend in with the leather loveseat? White to match the sunroom trim? A damask stencil? Decoupage?
Suggestions welcome!

I would ask Anne for her suggestions, but she and I do not always see eye-to-eye on design.
This is good; daughters should not copy their mothers' style. Of course, I am right . . . .

Case in point: I bought dishes on Saturday, from a woman near Philadelphia. 12 dinner plates, 11 cups, 12 saucers.
I saw them on Craigslist, and had to have them. Anne says they are hideous. Of course, she is wrong . . . .

Here's a hint of what they look like:

Tomorrow, the dishes revealed in all their glory.
Or hideousness, depending on your point of view.

Meanwhile, thank you so much for your kind birthday wishes for Mr. Dion DiPoochy. He is sleeping right now, because it is raining and the only sensible thing for a sensible dog to do in the rain is sleep. If he were awake, he would thank you himself. -- Cass


  1. What a wonderful day trip!
    Looks as though the weather held out and gave you a good day.

  2. Cass, great mosaics and I love that umbrella stand. Wonderful victorian homes. Glad you had a good day with your daughter.

  3. I love the pictures . Even the dirty bar one. :) Can't wait to see the dishes and the redone umbella holder. Any of your choices will be great.

  4. Bumbershoots??? Cass, do you really USE that word on a daily basis???? You are cracking me up!!!

    Hey- - - it's pouring outside, where's my bumbershoot?????

  5. Sounds like you had a good time in my lovely State. Looking forward to seeing the umbrella stand when you have it all done up.

    Becky K.

  6. Cass..
    Darn it..why do so many miles have to separate us?.. I could just see the two of us rambling over the countryside of the Delmarva, getting into so!
    but alas.. in Denver I'll stay..
    and you and the negative daughter will continue to sing..while enjoying each other's company!
    great post.. love the Victorians..
    sunshiny smiles..

  7. You are such a tease -- I need to see those dishes! Don't you love Lambertville? Have you been to the flea market there on Wednesdays, I think? Great bargains there... :) Thanks for sharing, Cass! :)

  8. Well, if I'd known about that town I think I would have settled there as a hippie girl too!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  9. I just found your blog and I enjoyed taking a tour. I love old houses - actually, I live in one, but it is only 101 years young! Great mosaics of such glorious old homes. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  10. Oh, how we love Frenchtown & another beauty is Cape May in NJ. Those old Victorian homes are so breathtaking.

    Have you thought about doing a jaunt down to MD for our blog ladies first gathering on April 17th. We have them coming in from AZ, VA, MD, PA,etc.
    If you are interested write me ~

    Happy spring.
    Have a beautiful week.
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  11. Cass, I tell Allie every day- Mama is ALWAYS right! Of course the dishes are gorgeous! She's making faces at me, but we all know it's true
    xoxo pattie

  12. Hi Cass:
    Great post of the beautiful houses. I will be anxious to see all the dishes though.
    I'll be back tomorrow.

  13. Thanks for the tour of the old homes. Sounds like you had a fun day trip. If I bought something my daughters did not like, one would probably say "what are you going to do with it", and the other one might say "if that is what you want". Then no telling what they would say behind my back. :-D

  14. I've never been to Frenchtown so thanks for the tour!

  15. Those Frenchtown photographs are beautiful! It's so lovely to see such distinctively American architecture being lovingly cared for. Near where I live, there are a good few buildings like that, but they're all falling to pieces or are abandoned.

    It's a shame to have such an important chapter in the history of American architecture crumble away like that, so it warms my heart to see those piccies, thank you!

  16. What gorgeous homes...and the striped one is rather colorful.

  17. Sooooooooo jealous at the thought of New Hope and Philadelphia and antique shops and charming stone houses.
    Yes I think that the umbrella stand could use a makeover - I vote for a lovely red.

  18. Love the umbrella stand! How about black with a dry brushed gold harlequin stencil?

  19. Love the umbrella stand! How about black with a dry brushed gold harlequin stencil?

  20. Sorry, I guess I'm repeating myself! LOL!!

  21. Which antique shop on rt 202? I met a friend in Lambertville & hit the Rt 29 flea market, have you been there? great day for a tour, love love love Frenchtown.
    Maybe white with a monogram or black with numbers, great buy!

  22. THe houses were cool--can't wait to see the dishes AND I think black or brown with a stencil.


  23. What outstanding Victorian gingerbread detailing on those old homes - porches really add so much to a home! Thanks for taking us along!


  24. Wow ! My dream houses. thanks to share and thanks for stopping by my blogs and for your comments.

    Hélène Glehen - France

  25. Those houses in Frenchtown are gorgeous! I love the color schemes. Thanks for showing them!


  26. Great Pics , I loved the House tour !

  27. I like all those houses in Frenchtown and I'd like to live in any one of them! :-)

    The umbrella holder was a good buy. I like the idea of matching it to the chair.

    The dishes look beautiful in the mosaic. Green is one of my favorite colors.


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