Friday, July 22, 2016

A Day at Edsel and Eleanor Ford House

After being absent from my blog four days this week, [I was submerged in Titanic research for a presentation this Sunday],  I'm back to share an activity that transpired a week ago, on Thursday, July 14th, when my daughter, Lori, and I toured Edsel and Eleanor Ford's mansion in Grosse Pointe Shores, MI.  I have toured the mansion several times, and never tire of seeing it. We had a wonderful docent [a former history teacher], and there's always something new to learn with each visit.  

Below is the Gate House and main entrance to the estate [photo taken through car windshield]. It is located at 1100 Lake Shore Dr.  The mansion became public in 1978 after Eleanor Ford's passing in 1976.

The 60-room mansion [containing three stories and a basement] is listed on the Michigan State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.   The mansion, which is now a historic museum and cultural center, is visited by 50,000 people a year.

Construction of the mansion began in 1926 and the family moved in Christmas 1929. Unfortunately no photography is allowed inside the mansion, so I only have exterior photos to share.  

We arrived at the Visitor Center and purchased 12:30 p.m. tickets for the tour.  I purchased tickets for the 3:00 o'clock Afternoon Tea in the Cotswold CafĂ© online.

A shuttle picked us up at the Visitor Center and drove us to the mansion. The estate originally consisted of 87 acres, but is currently 44 acres. 

Below is the main entrance to the 20,000 sq. ft. home. Edsel and Eleanor traveled to England to get architectural ideas for their home, and liked the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire best.  The mansion looks like a small village of Cotswold cottages built closely together.  The exterior is Briar Hill sandstone from Indiana.

Under the peaked roof is the Gallery - the largest room in the house - where the tour officially began.  The Ford's used it for parties and it was a favorite room at Christmastime. Our docent said Henry and Clara Ford's 50th Wedding Anniversary party was held in this room with 500 guests in attendance, as well as their daughter, Josephine's, wedding reception.

Alcove of windows in the gallery. 

Side view of the mansion.  In the distance is Lake St. Clair.

~ Apple Court ~  

The room on the lower level is the Drawing Room, and above [with the small balcony] was Edsel and Eleanor's bedroom.

Below are the new life-sized bronze sculptures of Edsel and Eleanor, commemorating their 100th Wedding Anniversary in the nearby "Meadow".

[Me next to the Ford sculptures]

Another side view of the mansion - lower level Drawing Room, and upper level Edsel and Eleanor Ford's bedroom.

Below is a back view of the house where the loggia [porch] is located off the Main Hall.  The other first floor windows are where the Morning Room and Dining Room are located.  The Library [not visible in the photo] is to the left of the loggia. Mrs. Ford used to host Afternoon Teas in the Library, although her daughter-in-law [Martha Firestone Ford] stated Mrs. Ford herself was not a tea drinker.

The house is not air-conditioned so the second floor was particularly warm to tour, even with open windows facing the lake. The docent said the Ford family spent summers at their home, "Skylands", in Seal Harbor, Maine [now owned by Martha Stewart], so the lack of air-conditioning was not a problem.

When Mrs. Ford was home, she walked the grounds of her estate every day [rain or shine] until her death.

~ Swimming Pool and Pool House ~

We walked through the Rose Garden [containing many pink, yellow, and white tea roses, but no red ones, because Mrs. Ford didn't care for red roses], and the New Garden, en route to Josephine's Play House.

Josephine Ford's playhouse was a gift from her grandmother, Mrs. Henry [Clara] Ford, on her 7th birthday.  The four bedroom playhouse [kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom] has working electricity and plumbing.  Our docent said Josephine was a tomboy [she had three brothers] and loved dogs, so she didn't use the playhouse much.

Photographs were allowed inside the playhouse.  Below is the living room [furniture isn't original] with real fireplace.

~ Bedroom ~

~ Child-size Bathroom ~

From the playhouse, we walked to the South Cottage to view the Century of Love exhibit: "Down the Aisle - 100 Years of Ford Family Weddings" featuring 14 wedding gowns throughout four generations of Ford women.

~ Walkway to South Cottage [a former Ford employee residence] ~

We only had time to view a few wedding gowns, then it was time to leave for our Afternoon Tea reservation.  A shuttle picked us up at South Cottage to take us back to the Visitor Center for the tea [next post].  After the tea, the shuttle took us back to South Cottage to finish viewing the wedding gowns [which will also be included in my next post].

Friday, July 15, 2016

Teacups and Summer Salad

A couple of Sundays ago one of the ladies at my church greeted me with a gift bag containing two teacups.  She had seen them at a recent garage sale, and when she showed an interest in them the lady asked if she was a teacup collector.  My friend told her no, but her pastor's mother loved tea and teacups.  The lady said since she was the only person during the sale to give the teacups any notice she wanted her to take them and give them to me. 

What a nice surprise, and a person can never have too many teacups!

The teacup below is bone china, made in England.

The floral chintz teacup doesn't indicate that it's bone china, but it's very pretty nonetheless.

During these hot summer days I'm drinking iced tea more than hot tea.  Recently I saw a picture of a refreshing summer salad on Pinterest that I decided to recreate myself. I had the fish plates to serve it on, and the salad made a wonderful summer meal.  I'm sharing a photo of my recreation, in case you'd like to make it too.  With tomato and hard boiled egg wedges, avocado slices, shrimp and ripe olives on a bed of romaine lettuce, it's very healthy. I served it with Thousand Island dressing on the side, and a couple of slices of French Bread. Yum!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unique Tea Strainer

I rarely go on Ebay anymore because I already have enough "stuff," but I accidentally stumbled upon a unique tea strainer recently that I couldn't resist.  It was only $6.99 plus $2.54 shipping, so for less than $10 I now have a new tea accoutrement.

It was described as a 'swivel' tea strainer.  Ever heard of or seen one before?

The handle is silver plate in the Vintage Floral Reposse pattern.

Have you found any new tea treasures lately?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A New Teacup Carrier

I blogged about my three teacup carriers pictured below in February 2015.

But I was recently gifted with another one that's a completely different style.  I love that it's in blue toile fabric.  Isn't it lovely?  

The giver even put a linen napkin and teacup inside!  The saucer sits on the bottom of the carrier, and is covered with a round piece of padded fabric that is removable.  Notice the little pocket on the side for a teabag.  I love it!  

~ The teacup ~

~ Made by Hammersley & Co. ~

What a thoughtful, unexpected gift.  It made my day!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Purchases at Plain and Fancy

The end of last month I was in nearby Rochester, MI on business, and afterwards I stopped in at one of my favorite shops, Plain and Fancy.

[Internet Photo]

While there I purchased a cute blue jacket that I thought would be nice for cool nights. It resembles a denim jacket from the front, but the back has a lace inset with a gathered peplum. 

I also found a cute set of four tea-themed ceramic coasters by Mary Lake-Thompson, Inc.

After I got the jacket home I decided it would be fun to embellish it with a lace teacup and teapot applique set from a vendor [Zoey Story] on Etsy.  I didn't realize until after I placed my order that the vendor was in China, but to my delight the appliques arrived very quickly.

I machine sewed them on right away, and wore the jacket to the riverboat dinner cruise that I've already blogged about.  The appliques are perfect for a tea lover, and I like their addition to my jacket.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Garage Sale Time

My street's annual garage sale was last Friday and Saturday.  I haven't participated in a couple of years because the timing wasn't right, but I was able to participate this year.

Jerry and our youngest son set the tent up over our driveway when he and his family were here over the 4th of July.  Then I got busy sorting and pricing items for the sale.

We began placing tables under the tent at 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning in readiness for the sale. The sale wasn't scheduled to start until 10:00 a.m., but people came much earlier. Our residential street is off a busy main street, so we have good visibility and good traffic.  

It was very hot and humid on Friday, and sweat literally rolled down my face while I worked in the garage.   True garage salers come regardless of the weather. 

Below is Allura, the little girl across the street who is the same age as our granddaughter, Isabella. Jerry told her she could set up a lemonade stand under one of the wings of our tent. She opted to sell chilled bottles of water instead, along with some of her books. Her waters sold quickly on Friday, and she happily made over $20 - a budding entrepreneur!  ;-)

While everyone was hoping for rain [our visibly parched grass attests to the drought], Mother Nature held off during the daytime when the garage sales were in progress, but gave us much needed rain both nights.

I emptied nine storage totes and five large boxes of "stuff" for the sale, but still have more sorting to do in the basement, so there'll probably be another garage sale yet this summer.

Most everything went in this sale, so I was not only pleased with my profits, but the purging as well.  Have you had a garage sale this summer?