I was going in a totally different direction with ‘stacked’ until I folded dishtowels to bring to the kitchen and decided to do..tah dah, kitchen stacks 🙂 I think the yellow and white tea-for-ones are clever in that the yellow one has a flat top for the rounded top one to sit on.
This is my wall of Vineyard counted cross stitch projects. The Vineyard map in the upper left hand corner was the first one in 1993. Tisbury in the bottom middle was the last one in 2011. There were other non-MV projects done in between the Vineyard ones and I also did eight more of the Vineyard maps during that time too.
These are not the only Vineyard counted cross stitches I’ve done though. The one closest to my heart is the Tabernacle designed especially for me by my daughter Deb. (please excuse the glare).
The Tabernacle is my favorite place on the Vineyard for many reasons and so this picture means more to me than I can ever put into words.
This is my counted cross stitch masterpiece. My daughter Deb took a photograph of the Tabernacle… blew it up to an 8×10 and charted it by hand on graph paper. There might have been computer programs for that but this was the early 1990’s and she didn’t have one and I’m not sure we even had a computer!. She also bought the material and my daughter Patty bought the threads and that was my Christmas gift that year. All I had to do was sew it. People always ask how long it takes to do projects so I kept track. Over the course of 3 months I sewed a total of 138 hours… every inch of the picture is counted cross stitches… even all the blue sky… and there seemed like endless amounts of that. After it was finished we took it, along with the original 5×7 photograph and had it framed. For a couple of years I just wasn’t happy with the frame though so when I had my other MV counted cross stitches framed I gave this picture a new one. I also added a little plaque at the bottom that says The Tabernacle, Oak Bluffs – Martha’s Vineyard.
But I had said I couldn’t do it… ever… I would never be able to do counted cross stitch. Too hard. Too boring. I had too many excuses. Then my daughter Deb saw the counted cross stitch of the map of Martha’s Vineyard and the rest is history. We figured if I was ever to do counted cross stitching surely something Vineyard related would get me started. She even said that if I hated doing it she’d finish the map for me. Sounded like a good deal and so I began. One X after another… counting, counting every single stitch… but then it started looking like MV and I was pretty impressed and proud of myself.
We even got written up in the Vineyard Gazette… June 21, 1996
Kingscote, our final mansion.
George Noble Jones, a southern plantation owner constructed this Gothic Revival style summer cottage in 1839 along a farm path known as Bellevue Avenue. Designed by Richard Upjohn, the house is an early example of the picturesque Gothic Revival style, with its irregular and busy roofline. Kingscote was one of the first summer “cottages” constructed in Newport. It was owned by the King family from 1863 until 1972, when it was given to the Preservation Society of Newport County.
According to the Preservation Society of Newport County: Today, Kingscote is a rare example of a Gothic Revival house and landscape setting preserved intact with original family collections.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our mansion tours, we had a lot of fun.
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)
The Elms was the summer residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Julius Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Berwind made his fortune in the coal industry. In 1898, the Berwinds engaged Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer to design a house modeled after the mid-18th century French chateau d’Asnieres (c.1750) outside Paris.
I think the Elms might be my favorite…I mean they’re all beautiful in their over the top ornate way but somehow the Elms seems to be more cozy if that’s possible. Or perhaps it’s the fact that this piece of history came within weeks of being torn down !
The Elms was the summer residence of Edward and Sarah Berwind of Philadelphia and New York. In 1922 Mrs. Berwind died, and Edward asked his youngest sister Julia Berwind to move in and become the hostess of The Elms. In 1936 when he died he willed the house to Julia who lived there until she died in 1961.
This according to Wikipedia: Childless, Julia Berwind willed the estate to a nephew, who did not want it and fruitlessly tried to pass The Elms to someone else in the family. Finally the family auctioned off the contents of the estate and sold the property to a developer who wanted to tear it down. In 1962, just weeks before its date with the wrecking ball, The Elms was purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport County for $116,000. Since then, the house has been open to the public for tours. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.
Let’s take a look around the house and gardens before heading off to my favorite part of the tour !!!
The conservatory… I could spend all my time in here…
Julia A Berwind, sister of Edward Berwind.
According to Wikipedia: Edward asked his youngest sister Julia A. Berwind to move in and become the hostess of The Elms after his wife died. In 1936, when he died, he willed the house to Julia, who was well known in Newport. She would invite children from the nearby Fifth Ward (a working-class immigrant neighborhood) to the estate for milk and cookies. She had a love for cars and would drive around Newport every day in one of her luxury cars. This was somewhat shocking to the rest of Newport society where it was considered “unladylike” for women to drive themselves.
Now let’s get around to my favorite part … the Servant Life Tour. It’s 82 steps up to the 3td floor. A balustrade around the roof of the mansion hides the entire dormitory-style third floor where single female and male servants lived in 16 rooms with 3 bathrooms. Married staff lived offsite. The back staircase kept the staff very much behind the scenes as they went about their duties,
There was also access to the roof and a beautiful view of Newport..
From there we headed back down the 82 steps to the basement to view the coal-fired furnaces and the tunnel from which the coal is brought into the basement from a nearby street, there’s a little coal in the corner to give you an idea of how massive this coal storage area was. Seen here is also the laundry room and kitchen.
That concludes the tour of the three mansions we visited. But that’s not all so stay tuned for more. In the meantime let your imagination take you away to a midnight stroll in the garden… happy dreaming.
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)
The Breakers – if you only have time to see one mansion/summer cottage, this the THE one to visit.
From wikipedia: ” The Breakers is a Vanderbilt mansion located on Ochre Point Avenue, Newport, Rhode Island. The Breakers was built as the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. The Breakers is the architectural and social archetype of the ‘Gilded Age’ a period when members of the Vanderbilt family were among the major industrialists of America. Vanderbilt was the President and Chairman of the New York Central Railroad, and was the grandson of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Commodore made the family fortune in the steamship and railroad industries.In 1895, the year of its completion, The Breakers was the largest, most opulent house in the Newport area.”
CLICK HERE to read more….
This was the original Breakers which was destroyed by fire in 1892. A modest summer cottage…
Vanderbilt commissioned famed architect Richard Morris Hunt to rebuild it and insisted that the building be made as fireproof as possible and as such, the structure of the building used steel trusses and no wooden parts.
And this is the Breakers in 1895… somewhat different from the original, wouldn’t you say.
Great hall …
Around the ‘cottage’… 2 sitting rooms – music room – library – bathroom – dining room.
In the library the fireplace, taken from a 16th-century French chateau bears the inscription “I laugh at great wealth, and never miss it; nothing but wisdom matters in the end.”
‘The kitchen, unlike others in the time period, was situated on the first floor away from the main house to prevent the possibility of fires and cooking smells reaching the main parts of the house.’ You can understand why after the original Breakers burned down that they’d want the kitchen further away. This kitchen is gorgeous, it could even tempt me to whip up a cake or something. Maybe.
The grounds … you never know what you might see out there 🙂
The Breakers is amazing… not just in its beauty and opulence but in the thought and foresight that went into building it.
Just a few more pictures, really, just a few 🙂
If you haven’t been to the Breakers I hope you get to go. In the mean time CLICK HERE for the Breakers and HERE to find out more about Cornelius Vanderbilt II.
Coming next … what mansion came within weeks of being torn down !!
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)
As you may have guessed from the clues in the previous post ‘April Road Trip’.. our trip was to Newport, Rhode Island to visit the mansions of the Gilded Age. And gilded they were.
Mansion #1- Marble House.
According to Wikipedia : “The mansion was built as a summer “cottage” retreat between 1888 and 1892 for Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt. It was a social landmark that helped spark the transformation of Newport from a relatively relaxed summer colony of wooden houses to the now legendary resort of opulent stone palaces. The fifty-room mansion required a staff of 36 servants, including butlers, maids, coachmen, and footmen. The mansion cost $11 million ($260,000,000 in 2009 dollars) of which $7 million was spent on 500,000 cubic feet (14,000 m³) of marble.”
The tours are audio guided which lets you progress at your own speed… also now photos are allowed with smart phones. You can use SLR’s without flash with written permission when you get there. I used my SLR digital camera as well as my smart phone. Let’s step inside now and begin the tour of Marble House…
Foyer and staircase….
Around the house..
Alva was big in the Women’s Suffrage movement, you can find this ‘Votes for Women’ china in the gift shop.
One cannot leave Marble House without walking around the grounds and visiting the Chinese Tea House on the back lawn.
This is only a sampling of the many pictures we took. This house, escuse me ‘summer cottage’ is incredibly beautiful and interesting. To read more about it and the original owners, William Kissam Vanderbilt and his eclectic and interesting wife Alva… CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE
Coming next… the ultimate ‘summer cottage’. Can you guess which it is ?
(photographs by my daughter Deb and myself)
Part 3 of our trip into the past to visit the Myles Standish Burial Ground and the John & Priscilla Alden House.
Our first stop in the charming and historic town of Duxbury, Massachusetts was the Myles Standish Burial Ground, the oldest maintained cemetery in the United States.
It’s not a large cemetery, only 1.5 acres. It is the resting place of several of the original Mayflower Pilgrims including Myles Standish and John & Priscilla Alden. I felt a kind of peacefulness as I meandered around. I felt respectful and humbled, it moved me more than I anticipated.
Second stop in Duxbury… the Alden House Historic Site… CLICK HERE
We arrived at the house only to find out that tours had stopped at the end of September so unfortunately we weren’t going to be able to go inside the house !
We wandered around and took some pictures but of course it wasn’t like being inside.
As we were leaving we noticed two cars in front of the administration office so decided to walk over and say hello. We were SO glad we did. Not only were the two young women pleasant and smiley and full of information but… they said they’d give us a tour even though the house was closed. Golly, wow. So off we went… back into the past into the house of John & Priscilla Alden. I don’t know what they a actually looked like but I like this painting of them. He was 21 and she 18 when they married. They had 10 children.
Our tour guide (Trish) was terrific, she peppered historical facts with humorous family stories. Why wasn’t history like this when I went to school… it was all about names and dates and not about people’s lives and adventures.
For instance the reason for wall paper and newspaper on the walls in this small closet, or as they called it, a clothes press. The walls were covered with newspaper to protect clothing from getting snagged or caught on the rough walls. Later on someone covered the newspaper with wall paper. I believe our guide said the newspapers were from the time of the War of 1812.
We did some quick gift shopping and Deb joined the AKA (Aldin Kindred of America) while we were there. We hated to leave but we alas we had to come back to the 21st century.
🙂 🙂 🙂
This concludes part 3 of our trip and I thought this was going to be the last installment… but no, there’s a bit of ‘this n that’ still to come !!
(pictures are mine and Deb’s)