Wednesday, December 19, 2012

N.H. CHRISTMAS-Kathy Schoemer


Christmas.  The word alone evokes intense memories and emotions.  And now, as my husband and I discover what our 70's are all about ( age, not the decade! ), simple celebrating returns along with a whole different cast of characters. 
Our children and grandchildren are all over the USA, and, what with a dependent and loving group of animals in our care, we stay at home here in Acworth,N.H.  We love home.

Our family is a blended one - two children each from earlier marriages.  Early on - 30+ years ago - the other parents were pretty set on having the respective kids for Christmas, and Eno and I developed a little tradition of having Christmas dinner at one of the many old inns in the vicinity.  That meant Christmas dinners at the old Bird & Bottle in Garrison, NY;  the Horse & Hound in South Salem, NY, which at that time was furnished in the 18th c manner with old tavern tables and rickety Windsors; The Old Drovers Inn, Dover Plains, NY, in the ancient tap room, preferably at the table for two, nestled in a cozy corner, seated on a early settle, protecting us from a blazing fire on the hearth.  Not too shabby !!  We quietly didn't complain about being kidless for Christmas Day and had special Christmas Eves or St Stephen's Days with our kids.  We had each come of age in large, noisy Italian families, with towering piles of gifts and groaning boards of massive amounts of food.  The dawning of the quiet Christmas in a  very old setting was a welcome change.

Fast forward - the millennium and a triumphant and daunting move to a town of 800 people in southwestern NH. We started with a tiny feather tree at our new, very old farmhouse, sparsely furnished, but full of love, alone again, this time in the old north country, surrounded by woods and fields, with winter birds at our windows.  Going back in time is our Christmas tradition, but now we have traded the inn for our own cozy hearth, in a little village with 18th and 19th century houses all around us, and candles flickering in every old window.  We are all home here in Acworth and that is how we a want it.  No hoopla, no box stores, no tacky fake decorations, but a venerable Meetinghouse and a dear old brick Library forming the cornerstones, and, of coarse, the graveyard just down the road, bringing all those long and recently gone Acworthians to mind in the season of seasons.  We gather greens from our woodlots and deck the halls.  In this rural village  we savor the foods "put up" in the fall on our Christmas tables. 

We gather  Bartlett pears from the Kniceley's dooryard tree and make lots of spiced pears for savory accompaniments, or to bake into old fashioned desserts. 

So from the days of young families with children squealing with joy after Santa's visit, to the North Salem years of peace and inn-hopping, we find that our final spell is here in this place, surrounded by friends we love, spending Christmas in the real countryside.  
We celebrate each other and the life we have forged together,our families, dear friends, our sweet , loyal dogs and cats, and…..we celebrate timelessness, and the babe of Bethlehem - fruit of Jesse's lineage.

"Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung.
From Jesse's lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
He came a flow-ret bright
Amid the snows of winter
When half-spent was the night." *

Merry Christmas to you, dear reader. 
Please visit Kathy's website at:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Note:Lori's home can be seen in the current edition
 of Country Sampler magazine !

Karen asked me about collections . . .  hmmmm where to start?  Does a “bear maker” collect teddy bears? You would think, and I have a few nice antique ones, as my heart has a very soft spot for old and worn toys, especially mohair ones and those on wheels.

 But, my main passions fall in the “pretty much everything antique” category!
They say if you have 3 of something, you have a collection . . . I have lots of 3’s & mores!
A grouping of “Face Jugs” or “Ugly Jugs” lines the fireplace mantle. They make me smile and I love those with words or sayings on the back such as one made by a descendant of a black slave potter, on the back it says “No more chains” . Those simple
words hold so much emotion.  Another says “The curse of the nosey is the truth” ! 

I have a penchant for blanket chests and all that they can hold, I especially love early painted finishes in warm colors. When I re-married 10 years ago we bought a home with more contemporary lines and 2 story room means we can stack those blanket chests right up the wall! 

Early step-back cupboards and pie safes catch my eye, and many rooms hold one or two, and yes, I consider cupboards something to collect! 
With my work I also love antique sewing items and textiles, including coverlets and quilts many of which are displayed throughout our home.

 Baskets hold unfinished projects footstools come in handy when stitching.
Finally the “quirk” factor comes into play  . . .  as in my “Foot” collection.

It started with a small carved wooden boot , before I knew it I had a collection and an antique sign to “boot” . . . pardon the pun!

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the delights that surround our everyday life.  Bless my husband for his patience . . . He has come to appreciate (or tolerate) the “old stuff” . .  and yes, he has a room of his own - “wink” ! 
And thanks Karen for allowing me to share!

Lori Ann

Monday, December 3, 2012


A few snaps from Sunday's
 Christmas in West Brookfield

THE most fabulous carved wooden bowl made by Frank White of Hollowoods 
Mr. White uses the natural "flaws" in the wood to great effect !

Monday, November 26, 2012


One of

It is NOT just because I am a native New Englander but this is currently my favorite candle.
Great scent throw in this buttery maple candle made by Doreen Piechota of Ye Country Mercantile in West Brookfield, Ma.

Saturday, November 24, 2012



 I have been collecting antiques all of my married life (38 years and counting….) and a rug hooker for the last 25. 
 My husband and I built a 1750’s Connecticut reproduction home in a suburb of Atlanta , Georgia 13 years ago, and it gives us the perfect backdrop to display and evolve our collections.

This house has seen some changes in the last few years, as I have entered my minimalist stage.  I don’t want to see clutter, and I don’t want to dust it.  So I have sold off half of my collection, and I am much happier with a “less is more” philosophy. 
 With online shopping, it  is so easy to put an entire collection together in a matter of weeks, and I found myself addicted to the whole concept...  Not anymore!
  Selling can give me the same high as buying used to, and I love the money going back into my wallet as well as a 
cleaner look for the house.

Another thing I recently did was change my rooms around.
  The old living room is now the dining room, the dining room is now a small visiting/keeping room, the living room furniture went into the family room, and the family room furniture went out the door~! 
 Just because a room is to “be” the living room or dining room doesn’t mean it “has” to.
  By re-designating my rooms it gave me a new interior design without ripping down walls or having to move.

Here is the old living room, now the dining room:

 And my rug hooking has taken on a different look as well.
  I sold kits and finished rugs at the folk art shows in the Midwest and East Coast for years, and some of you may have hooked my kits or own one of my rugs.
  More than likely it was a pictoral ~ a house, an animal, a tree.  But these days I only like to hook geometrics.  I think it’s a control “thing” ~ every loop I pull up is in a orderly, repetitive pattern in a geometric, and this is also reflective in my current decorating style.


Yes, my decorating has definitely evolved into a simplistic style, but my love of early samplers, stoneware, and small painted pieces is still evident in all of my rooms. 

 Will this new simple look carry me through my collecting years I have ahead of me?  My husband certainly hopes so, as it’s very user friendly on the checkbook~!
(Sue's hooked rugs have been featured in Early American Life magazine)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


If you haven't picked up your  copy of 
Winter/Holiday 2012 
please do!

Along with some wonderful country homes decorated for the holidays you will find four articles written by one of our esteemed dealers
"The Unexpected Gift"
"Christmas  Thoughts on a Celebration"
"Candle Dipping" &
 "Good Night Sleep Tight-A Handbuilt Rope Bed"

We are blessed at The 1800 House to have so many talented dealers, writers, painters, and artisans !

Friday, November 16, 2012



I am a hopeless romantic so I collect items that give off feelings. I have always felt this way about my antiques. Somehow they speak to me either thru their form or their condition.  

 I have purchased, collected and sold may items over the past 45 years. My deepest passion reflects items of simplicity and so I love early country/primitive items with original surface and repairs.  There is a strength of character, of a life lived, of ingenuity in design and function. Something that worked 150/200 years ago and still works today and has only added character and strength thru its use.

 My collections range from:
Early Staffordshire, worked and painted mostly by children in 1800's England
All forms of early candle light, iron and wooden pieces with extreme functionality

 Early Treen with original surface. This is a big one for me because it ranges from bowls, trenchers, storage containers, wooden work tools. The list goes on and on because I always come across something that I haven't seen before. Just recently I found a treen meat board with little pieces of wooden picks that would hold the roast and the drippings and juices go into a trench around the perimeter. So cool--had to have it. All hand hewn.

 I know I can't take it with me and I don't want to. But I do enjoy it while I am here and can still experience the search, the people, and that ultimate high when you find something that speaks to you. Enjoy your treasure hunting and always be thankful!

Note: Joanne is a dealer at The 1800 House and we thank her for this post !