Wildflowers around the gazebo

Flea Market Gardening

Wildflowers around the gazebo, is one of my all time favorite photos in my career. The gazebo is at The Millstone Meadow Daylily Farm( other posts on my website about the farm) here in NC. A spectacular place for weddings and photo opportunities. You can visit the farm website by clicking on this photo……

 

Millstone Meadow Daylily Farm

Haint Blue Porch Ceiling at Freeman Pottery

Haint Blue Porch Ceiling at Freeman Pottery with Flea Market Style Gardening

Judy Freeman Foushee went to college to take a painting class and ended up in a pottery class. Judy works the clay in a family farmhouse that goes back 5 generations. You first notice the haint blue porch ceiling at Freeman Pottery. Judy says it’s been that color since as far back as she can remember.

Judy is the first person in her family to choose being a potter as the other 4 generations chose farming. The farmhouse with it’s one main chimney serving 3 fireplaces is just one of the charming features she tells me about. The 1800’s 4 porch structure is framed by its 12/12 pitch roof and recognized by the heart vents on each gable.

The front of the house has two porches with one for the kitchen and one for the living area. Haint blue porch ceilings ward off insects it is thought by Judy and I explained to Judy the folklore surrounding the color. I wrote another story on Haint Blue at this post and explained the theory by some that the color allows haints or spirits to escape up to the sky instead of getting trapped. Once trapped the spirits are likely to enter the house. Judy assured me that there were no spirits at this house and that generations of her family have been Christian.

I can imagine that during the 1800’s it wasn’t easy to craft hearts in the vents on each gable. Makes me think the owner must have loved his wife very much to allow this crafted detail. I too want hearts on the vents of my future farmhouse. I may just build a house exactly like this floor plan. It was very functional and fun. It’s a 3 bedroom home with two additional back porches that help protect from the hot Seagrove climate. It is said that the first owner loved the back right porch the most due to the breezes that flowed there.

Judy is known for her pottery miniatures. She has the largest selection. They are numerous in style and design. Some are face jugs depicting personalities in government and some just down right funny buck toothed creations. Judy is witty and hugely talented at adding character to each piece. No two are alike.

She has a drunken man’s jug where any handle can be grabbed easily. She has the traditional Rebecca’s pitcher from the story in the bible. But her signature pieces are those fashioned in a style called sgraffito. Sgraffito is the process of layering different colored clay then sculpting scenery from those layers. She is most known for scenes of barns, hillsides, trees, and fences. She depicts her scenes in both winter and summer.

Her pieces are hand turned and she fires them herself right there in the little farmhouse built in the 1800’s. Sitting on a pretty piece of land with nothing around much but farmland and quiet neighbors who are used to hearing Judy at her wheel.

Judy says there isn’t much traffic down her way and that you still look up when a car passes. You most likely know the driver. You most likely have known them your whole life.

In 2005, Judy thought up Vezzel puzzles which doesn’t surprise me after meeting her. She’s the type person who has the sort of conversation that makes you smile the whole visit. Her Vezzel puzzles are a grouping of small pottery pieces that will only fit one way on their tray. They come with a photo of their proper placement and pitty the person who loses the cheat sheet.

Judy is a natural flea market style gardener. She has small flower beds dotting the property that are home to discarded pottery pieces and old farm implements. Some of the roses and ornamental shrubs that grow on her property were planted by her mother or grandmother. It’s an attractive mix of memorabilia. The old tobacco hook above was used on the farm when Judy’s family farmed tobacco.

If you see something you like here, you’ll have to contact Judy directly.

Freeman Pottery
Judy Freeman Foushee
PO Box 283, Eagle Springs, NC, 27242

Yellow roses at Raffaldini Vineyards, North Carolina

A View From Raffaldini Vineyards in North Carolina

Even on this cold blustery day in April, you can still see the beauty in the view from Raffaldini Vineyards in North Carolina. On any other day, the view would be clear for at least 50 miles. Our seasons seemed t have been reversed. Winter was warm and spring is cool which the roses love.  The driveway is lined with millions of yellow rose blooms and here you can see the purple irises making their splash.

Grapes grow just as they would on the hillsides of Italy. You can see that the Yadkin River Valley consists of rolling hills and larger mountains in the background. This valley is in the Piedmont of North Carolina that hosts a semi mild winter and hot dry autumn…most of the time.

Raffaldini Vineyards is part of the Yadkin Valley Wine tour where you can sample some of NC’s newest variety of wines and take a stroll through the gardens. Below my friend Jennifer is smelling one of the blossoms.

Jennifer has been visiting me this week and we’ve taken in the best that NC has to offer. One of them being the vineyards. NC has had a long history of producing grapes until the prohibition came along and then came the decline in this industry. Today it’s back in full swing since big tobacco got sued and a trust was set up as part of the settlement that will help tobacco farmers plant alternative crops like grapes. Those farms that have been in the family for generations are laughing a bit. The government made them stop growing grapes in the 1920’s and now they are paying them to grow once again.

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Come visit North Carolina and tour the Yadkin Valley Wine tour.

country breakfast

A Country Breakfast

Sunny yellows and blues welcome guest to a hearty breakfast at The Baird House in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. Deede Pope prepared comfort foods like applewood bacon, scrambled eggs, hash brown casserole, and country-style biscuits with fruit preserves. Good food that sticks to your ribs and sustains you through a day of treasure hunting and sightseeing in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Every now and then, I think a person ought to have a big country breakfast. You need to set the table with napkins and pretty place mats. Eggs are easy to fix and biscuits come frozen these days with a quick pop in the oven for just like grandma made.

Pick a sunny place and add shouts of color in the serving pieces. You won’t believe what it will do for your happy gauge. Make sure there is an activity planned afterwards or you’ll drop off to sleep till evening.

If you decide to set the table and serve up a bountiful breakfast, come back and let me know how it changed your day. If you have a breakfast recipe you’d like to share—I would love hearing about it. Just leave a comment for me.