Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mrs. Mary's Christmas Tree

 The tree is finally in place and fully decorated!
 Close up of some of the details... a Kodak Brownie camera with its box.
 The purple hat is a favorite, along with the completed globe ornaments.
 Hat box with a shipping label addressed to Mrs. Mary.
Tree skirt waiting on some presents and treasures to be added.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

One last sneak peek at the Mrs. Mary Tree

 The ensembles were all painted and assembled into groups. Later they were embellished and prepared to be hung on the tree.
Here is a blue suite on the tree. Looks pretty great! Hope Mrs. Mary would have liked them.

Friday, November 20, 2015

2015 Burt Stark House Christmas Ornament now available

The Burt Stark House is proud to announce that the 2015 BSH Christmas ornament is available for a ten dollar or more donation. All donations will help fund the restoration and improvements to the flower beds and the grounds here at the Burt Stark House. Ornaments are only available at the Burt Stark House. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays 1:30 - 4:30, and will also be available at the Business After Hours Christmas celebration December 7th from 5:30 - 7:30pm. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Camellia Sasanquas take bloom

Around the grounds several camellias have begun to flower. This early in the year the camellia sasanqua are the first to bloom. 
 This pink sasanqua is just the right of the steps to the Old Kitchen.
 Here is a closer look. Lots more flowers to come based on the buds visible.
 On the North Main Street side of the house two white sasanqua flank the side steps. These photos are close ups and make the blooms large, but the true size is much smaller - half dollar sized maybe.
 Forgot to give this a sniff but they are gorgeous!
There was a cold stunned bee that staggered away from this bloom as it was moved for this photo. Definitely need to air layer and propagate more of these bushes this spring.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Globe Ornaments for the "Mrs. Mary" tree

 This is the near end product. The "Mrs. Mary" tree will be filled with many different elements one of which needed to be globes to represent the travels the Stark families took. Lack of mini globes lead to creating globe ornaments. 
Pinterest showed an ornament covered in gift wrap paper, that lead to this idea. Glass ornaments were sprayed to match the background color of this antique world map. Shiny cap for the globes were even sprayed to match this subdued color scheme. 
 Eight copies were printed for the eight ornament globes.
 Tassels and tags will add sophisticated finishing touches.
The printed globes are carefully cut out, slashed so they will wrap the ornament, and glued down bit by bit.
 Ornaments were left to dry. Note the painted top and tassel.
 The final product. Still considering painting the light areas with a sienna glaze.
What do you think?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Crafting Time at the BSH begins

Now that Fall is here and garden chores are few and far between the time has come to begin crafting for the Christmas Decorations at the BSH. The idea was proposed that each board member create and decorate a Christmas tree for somewhere in the house. 

This idea is to build a "Mrs. Mary" themed tree. Fine ladies hats and hat boxes, matching ladies shoes, top hats and a hat box for Dr. Thomas Lyles Davis, passports, globes, cameras, etc. all reflect an image of Mrs. Mary as a glamourous world traveler. 
 Plastic containers will form the top of a collection of chiffon hats. Cardboard will provide the brims.
 Small party favor shoes will be spray painted to match the hats and form little ensembles.
 Here is a sneak peek at how these hats are going to look.
 Here is the beginning stages of several different hats. The tall containers with the thinner brims will be gentlemen's top hats.
 Here is a close up - I think these are going to be superb.
 A small fortune has been purchased at various times from our neighboring hobby and craft store.
 Some teacher friends have also donated supplies such as ribbons and laces. There are plenty of possibilities of beautiful things to come. We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


South Carolina recently had a tropical storm flood much of the state with weeks or months worth of rain in a day or two.  Here in the upstate we were fine but we did have a casuality. The Dipper Gourds were blown over in the heavy winds and rain. The vines snapped and died. Six gourds were harvested and were hung up to dry out over the winter. Next year a much stronger support system will be needed for these vigorous vines.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Real Dipper Gourds

 The heat and rain the last couple of weeks have helped the gourd plants grow leaps and bounds. The top vines are about 12 feet off the ground and cannot be reached without the step stool.
 One twisted gourd has a long handle forming.
 Here is a smaller gourd that promises to grow and become a prized water dipper.
This is the gourd from the last post. It was moved higher to see if it will stretch down and lengthen.

Would you be willing to donate to our garden fund in exchange for a cured gourd? The gourds may be offered this winter to those who tour the house and grounds.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

After three good hard rains

After three good, hard rains the dipper gourds have doubled in size from yesterday to today! 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Restored Urn finally in place

The final step to finishing the restored urn was to build the small 
plinth to raise it up and make it permanent and more visible. 
 The hole for the base was dug 
 The concrete base was poured, leveled, and smoothed. 
 Early one morning construction began on a six tier column. 
 Halfway there...

The bricks were scrubbed and the restored urn has a permanent home. 
A new symbol for our garden restorations. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Baby Dipper Gourds

 The Bamboo TeePee is full to the top with long twining gourd vines. In this drought I have watered it with the sprinkler about every other day for the last two weeks.
 On close inspection you can find thumb sized dipper gourds beginning to form.
It is very exciting to watch them change day by day. I hope to have enough to sell and raise money for our garden restorations.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The 1900's Kitchen Addition

This summer we decided to clean and update the 1900's kitchen addition. The room has only one original detail so historical accuracy is really not an issue. In the late 1950's or early 1960's the kitchen was given the "dutch blue" kiss.

The ladies had already pulled most of the wallpaper. Everything that was painted blue needed to be painted white - it took a minimum of four coats on all surfaces! The walls were unprimed wall board, so they had to be patched, primed, and painted. The ceiling and baseboards were painted - and the windows had to be repaired and then painted which took 2 weeks. 

Before - refrigerator wall

Before - oven wall 
This photo shows the one original cabinet (now painted black) with its original marble countertop. 
Hope you like the end result as much as we do. This room was not original it just needed to be freshened up and cleaned.