Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Free Samples

I am a consultant with Affordable Mineral Makeup and we are now offering a free sample with every order! This sample is chosen at random, so you will receive a surprise with your package....and remember, no matter how big your order is, you will only every pay $5.00 for shipping!

Thanks!

MJ

Website System Upgrade

I just wanted to let everyone know that our webhosting company is planning a major upgrade on March 6 & 7, so our webshoppe and email service will not be available those two days. They assure us that we will be up and running March 8. If you need to reach me during that time, contact me at my other email address amaquilter@yahoo.com.

Thanks and hope to see you all soon!

Mary Jo

Saturday, February 24, 2007

So what is primitive?

Many people who are not familiar with the idea of primitive decor or primitive country may not "get it". Some may say, "How can you love something so much that is so worn out"? I say, "HOW CAN YOU NOT!" hehehe.....

Primitive to me is simple things, a simple life, no frills and everything from your family to your belongings is well loved. Think of the things from the past....that old doll that was so loved that it is now threadbare....that is primitive! How about that old kitchen chair with the rungs so worn from all those feet resting on them....that is primtive! I absolutely love chippy paint on an old cupboard, the idea that life back then was so tied up with daily tasks on the farm that no one had time to repaint it and keep it fresh....that is primitive!

I remember back when I was in grade school and we were not in the consolidated schools as they are now...each town had their own school. Being in the country, my local school was about 10 miles away in Harford, PA. This school was very old and still had the separate entrances for boys and girls....and this was the school that my own parents attended as their high school and started dating! Anyhow, I will never ever forget the old wooden stairwell leading to the second floor. It was very wide, and the middle of each step was worn down smooth. I loved those steps, and even though I was only 7 years old, I appreciated the thousands...millions of steps it took through the last century to wear those stairs down. That is the earliest recollection of my love of primitives and anything old.

I feel that primitive country is the love of the past and appreciating all that was sacrificed for us to live as we do today. I love feeling a wooden piece of furniture, running my hands over the smooth and worn surface, just thinking of the families that sat at that table to say Grace, or the mother that rocked her children in that rocking chair, and so on. Amazing how I can be instantly transformed back in time with a simple touch to furniture. To me, that is primitive country.

I strive to create items that would bring back memories to us or show signs of wear from too much hugging through the decades....I love the stained dolls and clothes that look as if it was sitting in a hope chest from one generation to the next waiting for some little girl to rediscover her and bring her out to love once again.

I hope that you learn to love this "lifestyle" as well. Whether you consider primitive decor to be sparsely furnished homes or those crammed with cherished heirlooms in every nook and cranny, it is "Fine Country Living" either way! LOL!

Until next time, Blessings!
Mary Jo

Monday, February 19, 2007

Good morning! I just wanted to post that I have some new items on my web shoppe. I've designed an adorable fabric sheep that is covered with real raw sheeps wool....he is curly, soft and oh so prim! He is laying down and has a black face with his little black ears poking out from his wool...and around his neck is a rusty jingle bell on a jute string. Wouldn't he look fantastic tucked in among your primitives on a cupboard or windowsill?

I also have a new line of treenware including a great primitive bowl that would be perfect for displaying your fruit or needfuls. I also have brought in some Spring berry items such as wreaths and candle rings. These products were brought in thanks to a suggestion from one of my customers.....I do listen, so if there is something you are looking for or would like to see added to my site, just let me know!

I will also be heading to Lancaster County, PA, to stock up again, so if you do have any suggestions, please let me know within a week or so because I'm hoping to be there the first week or so of March.

I am also proud to be a consultant for Affordable Mineral Makeup. This make up is made from the Earth's minerals....it is pure and good for your skin....no fillers or additives in this stuff! I absolutely love it, and have used Mineral Makeup for about 2 years now. I started with the brand that you see on QVC and the infomercials....you know, that big name brand out there? Well, it's pretty pricey, and if you want to order an eyeshadow, a blush, a lip gloss, you have to pay shipping on EACH item! Yikes, that's like an extra $15 for shipping alone! Not here ladies, your ENTIRE order, no matter how much it costs or how many you buy will only every be $5! Yep, only 5 bucks...I think that's great, and you are getting an amazing product that is high quality and is all natural! This is perfect for your daughters who would like to experiment with makeup because it is good for their changing skin, you can't make mistakes, it is natural looking so they won't look "made" up, AND IT'S FUN! Take a moment to check it out and as always, if you have any questions, just email me at maryjo@finecountrylivingprimitives.com!

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I'm off to do some sewing and going to an estate auction tonight with my girlfriend up the road, so wish me look on finding some treasures!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Well folks, here we go! LOL!

This blogging idea is so new to me, I thought "What the heck, I LOVE to talk, so why not give it a shot?!" So literally, hold on and here we go!

I guess the best way to start things off is to give a little history of how I've gotten where I am. First of all, I'm Mary Jo, I'm happily (yes, really) married to a great guy (yes, really) Russ and we have two small boys, Seth and Samuel (a.k.a. Sammy). We live in a VERY small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania of (I'm guessing) about 350 people...now that's small, right? hehehe Anyhow, I started painting oil on canvas about 7 years ago. Since then, I discovered the wonderful way of painting primitives using acrylics....this is an almost instant gratification because they dry soooooo fast, I can be done in a few hours if I want! While doing all of this, and having my kids along the way, I began selling my maternity clothes and infant clothes on ebay.....well, it was there that I discovered that I could sell the things I love the most (other than my family that is)....primitives....on ebay! That's where I really started taking this little business of mine off. Well, I also always loved sewing and started sewing again when I became pregnant with Seth. I fell in love with antique quilts, and primitive ones at that....the more tattered and well worn and loved, well, the better! I also collect antique fruit jars, a.k.a. "Mason Jars", and have 70 displayed in my kitchen alone....no duplicates! Love the bubbles in the glass!




Let me jump ahead to when we bought our house here in Susquehanna County. After doing some research, we found that it was built in 1827 by Albert and Eliza Beardsley. Albert Beardsley and his wife were both school teachers in Connecticut and also here in Springville. Mr. Beardsley also became an Esquire and a local Justice of the Peace and Magistrate (we can only imagine how many couples were wed in our home!). We were extremely lucky because this was well documented at our local Historical Society and we had the exact year the house was built was in black and white. Not only that, the Historical Society had the name and address of the original owners GREAT grandaughter, Mrs. Keck, who was still alive and living about 3 hours away in Lancaster County. She was 101 years old (just amazing)...so I mailed her a letter never thinking that I would here from her. About 6 weeks later I received a telephone call from her caretaker telling me to speak loudly (God Bless her). I was shocked....here I was speaking to Albert Beardsley's GREAT grandaughter..I was in tears! She told me that she remembered visiting her Grandmother, Mrs. Jessup (Albert's daughter) when she was a little girl. They would take the train into Montrose and travel the 15 miles to Springville by horse and buggy! Amazing!



She told me that she remembered the grand staircase that was in the foyer of the home with a beautiful banister...unfortunately, I had to tell her that this had since been torn down, but we re-installed a temporary banister. She didn't remember much else but just knew that she had pictures somewhere, one of which was her father as a young man on a bicycle in front of the porch. I thought that was great, but I never thought she would find them. Well, wonderful Mrs. Keck surprised me again when a few weeks later, I received a package from her great nieces husband with copies of pictures inside. Reality set in...I had a package from Albert Beardsley's GREAT, GREAT niece....and they were fantastic pictures of the house as it was in the 1800's! One of the pictures shows Mrs. Keck as a one year old sitting on the knee of her Grandfather, and one was THE picture she remembered of her father on his bicycle! I can only hope that I am this cognitive when I'm over 100 years old! LOL!!!

I am so glad we bought this home....we feel the presence of the Beardley and Jessup families that began the history of this home in the 1800 through early 1900's. It has, unfortunately, been "remodeled" in the 1990's when it was turned into a duplex rental (yes, this fine historic home was a RENTAL) and was nearly destroyed by tenants who just didn't seem to care. My mother told me that she thought Russ and I had lost it when we bought this house....she, and no one else, for that matter, could see past the bright pink sponge paint, the awful panelling, and the peeling linoleum/rotted floorboards to see the real "primitive beauty" that sat before us. We have worked hard and long for the almost 4 years we've lived here and have totally transformed the downstairs...we've re-exposed the plaster walls, the hardwood floors and the hand-hewn beams in the ceilings. It was this home that we found our true love of primitives. This home is now showing the dedication, talent and hard work of the craftsman who made this a home that a family should be raised in.....not rented out to.

I think I've said enough for my first blog entry.....didn't I say that I love to talk! LOL!!!! Maybe next time I will let you in on how I started making folk art dolls, the secret our house holds and the link between the two!

Blessings,
Mary Jo

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