Monday, October 29, 2012

Visiting Nantucket

Old Farm is a ten minute ride from the ferry to Nantucket, my favorite place to visit, especially in September and October. It is still warm and peaceful with all of the beaches public, and plenty of places to rent a bike and visit easily. Here are some photos I took while touring through the historic fishing village of Sconset. I find so much inspiration in these early, small, and individual cottages.

The core of the above house named Auld Lang Syne is thought to have been built in the 1670’s, which predates Nantucket’s “Oldest House” The Jethro Coffin House (another fun place to bike to) built in 1686. The older cottages in Sconset were built when it was an early whaling station.

This cottage is covered with Sweet autumn clematis, which I've just planted on Old Farm's fence. In early fall it's starry flowers have a lovely sweet fragrance which hangs in the air and drifts across lawns.

I am planning to put lattice like this on the back walls (and roof) at Old Farm; then plant New Dawn climbing roses.

I also like to bike around the Middle Moors (on the way to Sconset from town) where old Indian trails can lead you to Altar Rock, a high point in Nantucket. Here you can see opposite shores and above the harbor. My favorite place to rent a bike is "Young's" near the harbor where you can pick up great island maps, the best B & B is the Union Street Inn which is near town in the historic district, and a romantic place to dine is the Company and the Cauldron.

A scenic place to bike to is Sanford Farm whose lands and wide trails stretch from above town to the more remote beaches on the far side of the island. Nearly half of Nantucket land is preserved open space and the trails here include a large parcel. Below is a painting Leif made while visiting, which reflects the moodiness of the sky this time of year...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Dressing the Drive

My project for September at Old Farm was to cover the circular drive with over fourteen ton of Cape Cod stone. I started by pulling all the weeds I could, and treating the rest. It took three days to shovel the stone and spread it by hand (below you can see five ton yet to be used), but I loved seeing all of the different colors of granite in every shovel full. The drive looks so much larger and inviting now, while I was able to save some stone for the outdoor shower foundation we will do someday...

Refinishing and Refurbishing

Wicker and Wood

This antique wicker chair was covered with many coats of peeling white paint (it was used on the outside porch in Hopewell for several years) which were all taken off by the local stripper. I decided to leave it natural since the weave of the chair is so noticeable now.

The wide ceiling, wall and floor boards in this photo are all considered "King's Wood" which were boards wider than about a foot. Early colonists could be hung for using them if not part of a windfall on their property (felled by a storm verified by a minister). England was in desperate need of the old growth trees here, and any 24" wide and more were marked as the King's for ship building. Later, boards wider than about a foot were heavily taxed if found in the first floor of a colonist's home - the King's inspectors were not allowed to examine the upstairs of a colonist's home, so most of the widest old boards can be found there. The use and taxation of "King's Wood" was as much a cause of the American Revolution as the taxation of tea some believe.

Only one roof board upstairs at Old Farm nearly measures 24" and the rest are less wide. The wide floor boards downstairs were either taxed or part of a windfall perhaps, as the original land parcel was large? We believe Old Farm was built by Benjamin Lewis, the grandson and son of original Pilgrims George Lewis senior and junior, respectively, who both came from England in 1630.

The new knee walls above, Bill built using old "King's Wood" found stored in a shed at a nearby lumber yard. We plan to use more of it to cover the walls in our small foyer after the stairs are revised...eventually.

Thrift, Flea, and Consignment Shops

I waited three months for the price to drop to its’ lowest, for this antique Irish dresser at the “Decorator’s Consignment Shop” in Hopewell. It needed some trim re-attached, besides sanding and buffing after several coats of clear Briwax. (The two deep drawers are nice for this room.) The mirror was added to a $5.00 flea market frame and the mirror-pink glass vase is from the local church thrift.

Tea Time

This is where I sit and have my tea in the morning; next to the lawn faucet which I consider the watering faucet.  I fill buckets here to water my new plantings, as well as hose beach sand off the Jeep, and rinse my hands and face often while working in the yard so much lately. The sun rises on the garden in front of this spot and sets below it which is lovely.

Can you see the new Black-eyed Susan's in the background I planted to brighten-up both sides of the house now? I have added two varieties; one tall with many small flowers, and the other short with big fat flowers. They seem to be an essential Cape cottage garden flower here.

Beyond Beads

I found this wool needlepoint seat cover at the flea market for $2.00. Before cutting off the big square brown background, I added Swarofkski crystal beads, glass fish, silver metal butterflies and a brass frog…had it blocked and then made into a round box pillow. The duck reminds me of the family of mallards that cruise our lake beach when I go for a swim and don’t mind sharing the cove with me.