Friday, July 28, 2017

A Medieval Touch in Gloucester, Massachusetts


On a recent mini-vacation to Rockport, Massachusetts, we made a side trip to the nearby, picturesque town of Gloucester.



There, we experienced one of the most fascinating tours of a lifetime, namely,  a jaunt through Hammond Castle Museum.




Construction on this true gem began in 1926 by John Hays Hammond, Jr.  

An incredible tidbit is that the castle was a bridal present for his wife, Irene.

Imagine getting a castle as a bridal gift!





The Hammonds moved into the castle three years after construction began, according to literature distributed at the museum.

 It opened as a museum in 1930.

Mr. Hammond, who was born in San Francisco in 1888, was just a boy when his family moved to England in 1898.  

It was there that Hammond "fell in love with castles and life in earlier times,"  according to the information sheet.  

So the seed for his interest in one day building his own castle had been planted early in life.



Mr. Hammond was quite the inventor, with more than 800 inventions to his credit!



Some of them included "synchronization of motion pictures, radio dynamic controls, and the dynamic amplifier (today's stereo)."

He also worked on the "radio control of boats."

The photo below is what is seen behind the castle!



Anyone who loves all things medieval would thoroughly enjoy Hammond Castle Museum.



I loved the sculptures, the nooks and crannies, the elegance and courtyards.  What a place!  Wowsers.


It made for an extremely fascinating afternoon.

I was so glad it was too overcast for the beach in Rockport because we would have missed this self-guided castle tour.


Guess what?  

We'll show you more photos of the inside of the castle in an upcoming post so, if interested, stay tuned!

HAVE YOU EVER TOURED A CASTLE?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Old-Fashioned Beauty


Everyone's decorating style is different.

Mine tends to favor anything old-fashioned, as in Victorian.




When I found the "peacock" fireplace cover folded-up in a thrift shop, my heart skipped a beat.

Unhooking it, it fanned out in rather intricate splendor. 

The original post on it, which ran seven years ago, can be seen here.





It's one purchase I have never regretted.



All summer long, it covers the fireplace, adding a bit of old-fashioned charm to the living room.

NAME SOMETHING THAT YOU LOVE AND  HAVE USED FOR A LONG TIME IN YOUR HOME OR APARTMENT. TELL US ABOUT IT.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Tea Party Prettiness


There is something about planning and carrying out a tea party for little girls that fascinates.

It's one of the most fun things adults can help children experience.


Recently,  there was a special tea party planned for two little girls.

We made heart-shaped peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwiches, heart-shaped egg salad, and carrot sticks with ranch dip and chocolate chip cookies.



Of course, there was chocolate milk "tea" and hibiscus/berry tea for the big people.


One of our guests brought a lovely bouquet of flowers, picked from her garden.


Even though we have a stack of tablecloths, it was impossible to resist buying a colorful one, for the big table, that made me happy just looking at it.


The tea party provided a nice pause in summer's busy schedule.

DO YOU ENJOY GOING TO TEA PARTIES?

P.S. Note to all beloved blog peeps.  On Wednesday, I'm taking a rare blog break! In the eight years since Writing Straight from the Heart started, there have been very few breaks. So I'm going to unplug for a day.  See you on Thursday! 


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