Sunday, February 28, 2010

Things to do at the Jarvis House when you are snowed in!

These are signal flags from the historic lightship, the Nantucket.  On the right are the numbers, and on the left are the letters.  They needed some hemming and repairs for the return of the ship to Boston later on in the month.

A week before the snow started, 

I washed them and 
dried them outside.

I used the Charles Chapman book, Piloting Seamanship and Small Boat Handling, 1963, to identify the flags,
and then checked off the flags on a printout from the Internet.
I replaced and made uniform the lines and clips and wooden toggles, some of which
I cut from dowels and sanded, then
hot glued and hand sewed to the lines.
I reinforced this Coast Guard flag, but kept the original ragged edge inside the mended portion.

 The lines were threaded through the bindings and reinforced at each end with hand sewing.  Fortunately I had a spool of very strong thread.  Wind can really do a destructive number on ships' flags.
While I was repairing signal flags I alternated with the repairs to items that I am bringing to the Greenlawn-Centerport antiques Exhibit.  Here are drawers to a really nice chest.
I rewired and polished brass vintage desk lamps, and 
 primed and re-painted wrought iron garden pot holders, and

plant stands, which I painted white later.
With so much snow all around the garden, I had to sweep it away so that the winder birds could get at food.

I cube whole wheat bread loaves, and
fill up the suet baskets and seed holders.
This silly arrangement actually works very well.  It is the wrought iron bottom from my metal birdbath, and a large plastic planter dish.  The seeds are kept off the ground and the Cardinals and squirrels love to sit inside the dish and stuff themselves.
Seasonal creeks and ponds appear in the Jarvis House Garden. 
In the mud room several pairs of boots, which I got at a tag sale, are alternated as they dry.  The corn broom is really perfect for sweeping off the snow from the back stone steps, and for bopping the 100 year old boxwoods, releasing them from the unusually heavy snow.
Sorry this was so long, but a lot has been going on around here.  The groundhog was right.


JD said...

My God! I am exhausted just from reading your lovely blog.

JD said...

My God! I am exhausted just from reading your lovely blog.

JC said...

You have been busy. I'm amazed that you are doing the flags.

willow said...

You've been a busy bee, Lori! I love those signal flags.

Willow said...

You have been keeping very busy! The flag project looks so very interesting. Is it also somewhat tedious to do all that sewing? If you are looking for more work, I have plenty of mending I could send you :)

Lori at Jarvis House said...

Thanks, but no thanks Willow. Did Betsy Ross get requests like this after she made the colonial flag? This started because I made a huge Liberty flag for one of the first Tea Parties in the US, last April. Who knew! Google Northport April 2009 Tea Party.

Pieces of Dreams said...

Hi Lori! My friend is coming in on Monday the 8th and I plan on making your cake (the one with the vanilla - Vegan) for her arrival. Also, I love what you offered this time! You are obviously very busy and your planters of winter over plants look like ours! Needlework can be very tedious! I am working on crochet and fillet crochet that I set down and am now reviving! Talk about being lost in space!

My Best, Karen - Pieces of Dreams
Karen's Garden Cottage


What a tour de force! The flags are beautifully maintained by you! A very interesting read of your work at Jarvis House. It so happens my post is of a flag today. Thank you for being a follower!