I found myself in Peterstown, WV once again for a lunch rendez-vous with my buddy Pete. My cousin has a restaurant that he frequents daily so this is our meeting place when I come into town. Pete is a one of a kind guy. So much so, that recently he was honored with the 35th Star Award by Governor Joe Manchin himself at my cousin’s restaurant, the highest honor bestowed on citizens of WV by the governor. Pete is now considered a Distinguished West Virginian, although I knew that already.
I blogged about Pete in a previous post so to read more about Pete, click here.
Anyway, during one of our conversations, of which there were many, I was telling him about my trip to Paris back in January and the famed couturière Madeleine Vionnet exhibit I went to. His eyes lit up and that meant only one thing: a great story was about to be told! And sure enough, it was. He began recounting to me that at the tender age of 8 or 9, he was up in the attic admiring one of his aunt’s dresses, wondering with fascination at how it was made. It was many triangles sewn together.
Downstairs, his mother and aunt were entertaining and one of the guests happened to be an Italian seamstress. So he decided that the only way to make a pattern was to cut the dress up. Just as he was about to cut into the dress, he turned around when he heard a gasp. It was the seamstress and so the dress was saved. And the dress he was about to cut up: a Madeleine Vionnet. He figured his aunt wasn’t going to wear it anymore since it was in the attic! His mother and aunt had several of her dresses back in the day. It was this dress:
And I saw this dress in the exhibit so I knew exactly what he was talking about.
After we finished lunch he proceeded to tell us that a half hour down the road in Union, at the Monroe County Historical Society and Visitors Center, was an exhibit of the Ladies Fashion Dolls that he makes. Since we had nothing better to do, we parted ways and my husband and I followed the road to Union. So glad we did! Pete told us that if the log house was closed, we were to tell them that he told us to visit. Sure enough, when we got there, the lady told us the house wasn’t open for tours. When I told her I had just lunched with Pete, a set of keys were handed to me and we had the house all to ourselves!
This is the Clark-Wiseman house circa 1810. It is a more sophisticated town house of the period and Mr. Wiseman was a blacksmith, gunsmith and silversmith.
When you first walk into the house, one of Pete’s dolls is there to greet you. You can get a sense of the size of his fashion dolls as I am 5’2″ standing next to this lovely lady.
This next room is the main room of the house downstairs with another Lady of the day.
This is the upstairs bedroom with a fireplace in which the parents slept and an adjoining bedroom was before it at the top of the stairs. Notice another Lady in the corner.
This is the kitchen of the house directly behind the Clark-Wiseman House. It is the Owen Neel House circa 1790. This was a house that was a step up from the one room pioneer cabins of the day.
This room was the bedroom with stairs leading to the attic to a smaller room. Again, one of Pete’s Ladies graces the corner.
After we toured the house and I saw Pete’s work up close, we decided to get something to drink. It was unbearably hot and humid. When I looked across the street, I noticed there was an antique/coffee shop. It’s a new shop that just opened up and the owners are great to talk to! As soon as I get more info, I will link to them so whenever you are in Union, WV you can stop in at the Silver Birch Coffee House and tell them Tammi sent you.
I love to look at antiques and so we went in to browse because you just never know……..I was giddy because inside this shop I found an antique French book from 1892! It’s one of those books where each page has the sentences numbered in sections of 5 and in the back there are definitions of sentence structure and a dictionary.
And after I purchased this book, I turned around and went into another room and found this:
a silk wall hanging with all my dining room colors in it!
I took this picture with it laying on my Pergo floor. I think it will match the buffet we inherited from my French mother in law very nicely too!
I’ve decided to hang it in place of another piece of artwork using my custom hardware line of La Finials, 1/2″ rods and brackets. The finial will incorporate the soft pink, rust and golds from the tapestry which will also tie in my soft pink sofa, rust and gold draperies and the furniture. Stay tuned for the finished look………..