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I've loved old houses for all of my life and have lived in several of them. My husband and I have restored old houses in Michigan, Vermont, Oregon, Ohio and back again to Oregon. Our oldest house was built in 1833 in southern Ohio. The next oldest is the one we're in now, an Italianate Victorian built in 1888 and then moved to its present site around 1910, hence a more turn-of-the-twentieth-century front porch, which is historcally revered here in Oregon City. This house is on the National Historic Register and is the first house we did not have to personally restore! We merely moved in and placed our furniture. One might think that because we lived in Vermont, that would have been where our oldest house was, but we never managed to score a house there that was built prior to the late 1800s.

Our Italianate home in Oregon City, Oregon, was built in 1888. The wrap-around balcony you see is just off of my Art Room, which is to the right and toward the back.


We have two polygonal bay windows. This one is in the dining room and faces south. The path sown here leads to the front garden. A brick courtyard is in the back. Here you can see a bit of the brick.

Oregon City is where the Oregon Trail officially ended, about a mile from where our house stands. San Francisco was platted in early Oregon City, as this little town was the oldest incorporated town in the west. Our house was built by Judge Harvey Cross for his beautiful wife, Oona, and their dear children.

It's located on a ridge of solid basalt. Yards in our neighborhood have boulders as well as large chunks of basalt rock from when the basements were created through blasting in the late 1800s. As a result, our house sits amid a large rock garden. It's difficult to grow most plants because of the lack of topsoil, but the moss-covered landscape is both beautiful and unusual.

One of the polygonal bays; this one is in the dining room and has a southern exposure.

This is a part of the front porch. My flowers were only beginning, ahem. There's my pink hose!

Here's the side of the front porch where I enjoy the 'faerie' garden. Our kitchen has a side entrance which makes it more amenable to procure a refreshment for sipping and relaxing.

Our elegant entry hall wooed me from the get-go. I have a little of the primitive, and a little of the old, greeting all who enter, for these are what make us tick.

Antique Hannah, a genuine 1858 Greiner, in the wicker chair.

Inside the house

Here's a corner of our dining room. To the left are the pocket doors to the parlor. To the right is that polygonal bay window. My Hannah dolls are inspired by this very beautiful antique Greiner doll sitting serenely in a pretty, green, wicker chair that graces the front porch in warm weather. Albeit, not with Hannah on it.

'Tis a Victorian ebony pier glass standing near Hannah's chair.

Our three youngest grandchildren ~ one, two, and three years old ~ just love to open and close the pocket doors. I as a small child thoroughly enjoyed my grandmother's beautiful, Victorian house in Spokane, Washington, for it too had wonderful pocket doors. My siblings and I would close ourselves into the parlor and play scary games in the candlelight. Of course the games weren't really scary, but they were delightful and we stayed up late, at least until 9 o'clock!


Front parlor with fireplace and stained glass windows!

More of front parlor with an eclectic mix of Early and Victorian antiques.

My Chippendale dining room ensemble; timeless and usually draped with linens and cloths and other beauteous textiles.

Beautiful polygonal bay window and dollies peeking.

Upstairs hallway with a couple Nicol Sayre primitive dolls guarding it, along with a couple Gail Wilson dollies. Each made by moi from the respective patterns.

Sleeping spot, serene and restful, and assuredly, those two pictures are now closer together and that will have to show in another photo.

Dolls to be made, paintings to be painted...

My Studio

Here are some of my girls awaiting their outer clothing.

A number of drawings and paintings, such as those found in Godey’s Lady’s Book, have inspired many of the patterns that I created. I pay particular attention to selecting dress fabrics with historically accurate colors, textures and designs. Whenever possible and appropriate, I use genuine antique fabrics for my dolls' apparel. But I also enjoy using many of the wonderful, new reproduction fabrics. Some of the vintage fabrics are simply too worn and fragile, and so, I then might only use a tiny piece of one just for the sake of that special touch of old.

Clothing varies according to the type of doll. Some wear simple dresses. Others are more fully adorned with petticoats and pantalets, a chemise, or an apron. My dolls often have fancywork accessories, including pincushions, reticules and floral bouquets, all made by me and based on patterns from the mid-1800’s.

Dolls waiting for their dresses, each with my painted-on emblematic pansy for remembrance.

Sewing near the balcony and Ipod, of course!

Doll busts in need of being painted as well as in need of bodies and clothing.

Dolls, dolls and more dolls.

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