Monday, November 8, 2010

Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun Connecticut Tour!

We had such a great time on our Connecticut trip!  Becky and I joined forces with two of our "ghoul friends" - Barbara and Beth - and spent seven days in Connecticut, visiting samplers and needlework at museums and historical societies all over the state!  On several occasions, we met up with Lynne Anderson of the Sampler Consortium, and we just had the best time!  Here are a few highlights - we will give you all the grisly details as we go along, but we came home with thousands of pictures to wade through, edit and cull, so it will be awhile before we can do much in-depth description!  Right now, we are busily putting the finishing touches on a big order for the Swan Sampler Guild, and don't want to stop production for the blog.  So here are a few "teasers"...

It was the week leading up to Halloween, so we definitely had a bit of "ghoulish laughter" during the trip.  After awhile, we started referring to ourselves as "The 4WW" which meant something different each time, it seemed - four Washington Women, four witchy women... whatever struck our funnybones!

Here's our itinerary and a few "slice of life" pictures...

4WW at the Prudence Crandall House

Wednesday, October 27th - Middlesex County Historical Society in the morning, and Prudence Crandall House in the afternoon.  At both places, we'd made appointments to see the needlework.  On the way "home" to Hartford, we stopped at a beautiful cemetery with some wonderful old tombstones.

Dinner was in Hartford at a wonderful restaurant the Trumbull Kitchen - and the food was so pretty I had to take a picture!  (Gasp!  I'm turning into one of those bloggers, aren't I?)

Thursday, October 28th - Morning at the Litchfield Historical Society (Litchfield Female Academy) where we'd arranged to see some of the schoolgirls' pieces.  In the afternoon, we headed to the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, where we had another appointment!  We found that all their samplers and many others from the area are available on their website to look at and study. They have the most amazing button museum on the their third floor, and then we wandered a little bit in the town.

Button detail

Friday, October 29th - In the morning, we headed to the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London.  We were a little bit early for our appointment, so we spent a little bit of time looking for acorns - we're going to make them into pincushions...

The grounds were beautiful!

In the afternoon, we headed to Old Lyme to see the amazing exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum - absolutely stunning!  Afterwards, we wandered the grounds delighting in their scarecrow exhibit!  Each scarecrow represented a different artist - it was such fun to try to guess which was which.  Here, Barbara shares a bench with Salvador Dolly.

That evening, we stopped in at the Penny Lane Pub, where Beth asked the bartenders to make her a "signature drink" for the bar she recently built in her home!  Here she is with the result - a Copper Penny!  John, who concocted the drink for her, is on the left!  

Saturday, October 30th - This is the day we planned the rest of the trip around - a one-day seminar at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford, held in conjunction with their exhibit .  There were several speakers, and we'll give a detailed accounting of their talks later on.  

The keynote speech was by Susan P. Schoelwer, describing the familial links between the makers of the samplers and other needlework in the exhibit.  She was fascinating, and you can see for yourself, as it's all documented in her book, "Connecticut Needlework: Women, Art, and Family, 1740-1840"

One of the highlights for us was to hear Glee Krueger again.  She spoke of her personal collection, and it was such a delight to see her!

The room where the symposium was held had antique tavern signs all over the walls - so great to see these wonderful pieces of American folk art.

That evening, we headed off to the Mark Twain House for a ghost tour of the house.  Such fun!  And of course, Becky got into the spirit of things!

Old Sturbridge Village was next on our Agenda - all day Sunday, October 31st we toured this wonderful living museum!  Being Halloween, there were some special surprises for us.  This woman is holding the forerunner of our Jack O-Lantern - a carved turnip!  The tradition started in Ireland, according to this lady, and when Europeans came to America, they found the much larger pumpkins that are the familiar Jacks today!

Monday was our last day, and we were off to Mystic Seaport where we wandered through the historic village.  It was a bit nippy, but what a beautiful sunny day!  

Dinner, of course, was at Mystic Pizza!  

We had a wonderful time and can't wait for the next adventure!

Becky and Julie


  1. How wonderful of a trip you ladies had. Thanks for sharing with all of us. Can't wait to see and hear more. I love to travel and would love to go to Connecticut some day.

  2. You should! To us in the west, places like Connecticut seem impossibly picturesque and filled with history with a capital H! We have our own history, of course, but they do have a two-hundred year jump on us on the east coast!

  3. What a nice trip you made to Connecticut, it's good that here in Holland I can enjoy the foto's. I hope that the pincushion is already arrived, but I'm scarred that's not happened.


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