They began their existence as everyday objects, but in the hands of Bancroft Award-winning historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, fourteen domestic items from preindustrial America–ranging from a linen tablecloth to an unfinished sock–relinquish their stories and offer profound insights into our history. In an age when even meals are rarely made from scratch, homespun easily acquires the glow of nostalgia. The objects Ulrich investigates unravel those simplified illusions, revealing important clues to the culture and people who made them. Ulrich uses an Indian basket to explore the uneasy coexistence of native and colonial Americans. A piece of silk embroidery reveals racial and class distinctions, and two old spinning wheels illuminate the connections between colonial cloth-making and war. Pulling these divergent threads together, Ulrich demonstrates how early Americans made, used, sold, and saved textiles in order to assert their identities, shape relationships, and create history. Paperback 512 pages
The Huffington Post's "Let's Bring Back..." columnist, Lesley M. M. Blume, invites you to consider whatever happened to cuckoo clocks? Or bed curtains? Why do we have so many "friends" but have done away with the much more useful word "acquaintance"? All of these things, plus hot toddies, riddles, proverbs, corsets, calling cards, and many more, are due for a revival. Throughout this whimsical, beautifully illustrated encyclopedia of nostalgia, Blume breathes new life into the elegant, mysterious, and delightful trappings of bygone eras, honoring the timeless tradition of artful living along the way. Inspired by her much loved column of the same name and featuring entries from famous icons of style and culture, Let's Bring Back leads readers to rediscover the things that entertained, awed, beautified, satiated, and fascinated in eras past. Hardcover 256 pages
Discover a new and unexplored dimension to the life of popular 19th century gardener, poet, and personality Celia Laighton Thaxter, in this visual feast of her hand-illustrated books, watercolors, and painted china. "One Woman's Work" is the first study of her hand illustrated books, sketchbooks, watercolor paintings, and illustrated correspondence and provides a well-rounded study of Celia Laighton Thaxter. Color photographs throughout. Hardcover. 200 pgs.
Life-long Maine resident Mildred Cole Pèladeau has delivered a fresh and scholarly look at a century of rug hooking in Maine; she demonstrates the significant role non-woven rugs have played in American decorative arts. True Waldoboro rugs are explored in detail and the myth of “Acadian” rugs is explained. Edward Sands Frost manufactured preprinted burlap rug patterns in the mid-19th century that spawned competitions across the country. By the 1890s, summer visitors helped organize cottage industries that turned Maine’s rug-hooking talents into income-producers. The Arts and Crafts movement in America led to new and exciting styles of rug patterns in Maine, and by the early 20th century, artists pushed the craft of rug hooking into a fine art, with Marguerite Zorach’s designs among the prominent examples. This lavishly illustrated book has over 250 color photographs that highlight the extraordinary story of rugs created throughout Maine and eastern Canada, including popular maritime designs by men of the seas.
Thanks to the authors outstanding research, an intriguing piece of downeast Maine history has been brought to light. This book is about rugs, yes, but it is also a remarkable story of community, art and hard living - a witness to the strength of the human spirit. Color and black & white photography throughout. Paperback. 121 pgs.
In this moving account, Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. Though not a "how-to" book in any sense, Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular and the satisfaction of creative work in general, to understand their essential nature. Paperback. 179 pgs.
In this facsimilie reproduction of the original 1838 edition, the "Lady" illustrates the proper method of making children's clothing, bed draperies, baskets, and anything else you would ever want to make from the 19th century. She also has a section of recipes for the care of the household, from stain removers to homemade ink. Highly recommended for anyone interested in studying or recreating the 19th-century household. 2002 (1838) paperback, 304 pages.
Zilpah Wadsworth (1778-1851) was born in Duxbury, Massachusetts, the daughter of General Peleg and Elizabeth Wadsworth. She made this sampler in 1786, the same hear she and her family moved into the newly built house that is now the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, part of the Maine Historical Society. This sampler was almost certainly made as a school exercise, although whether eight-year-old Zilpah was sent out to school or tutored at home is unknown. Zilpah married Stephen Longfellow on January 1, 1804, in the parlor of her family home. Zilpah and Stephen are the parents of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born in 1807. Zilpah's original sampler still hangs in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House in Portland.
This sampler kit includes: a chart, instructions, cross stitch fabric (your choice of aida cloth or linen), a tapestry needle, a Zilpah sampler postcard, and a short history of samplers in the 18th and 19th centuries.