About My House

Winter 2008

The White Silk Purse

What’s in a name?  Identity and a sense-of-self.  A name is the first gift bestowed upon a newborn and provides a clue to the world about the bearer.  I fell in love with naming a home the first time I read “Anne of Green Gables.”  We call our house, "The White Silk Purse."  It even has a sign that hangs on the porch announcing the name to the world.  I gave my husband the sign for Christmas the year after the major part of our remodeling was complete.  He is a builder by trade and has built some fabulous homes, but none I like any better that my White Silk Purse!

Have you ever heard the old expression, "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?"

Definition: (old-fashioned) something that you say which means you cannot make a good quality product using bad quality materials To make chairs that'll last, you need good strong pieces of wood. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

This age-old expression has been proven wrong by my husband in his brilliant remodeling of our home over the past many, many years.  August of 2012 marks our 19th year in this home, but it is hardly the home with which we began.

Here is the BEFORE:

We *think* this photo was taken in the fall of 1996.

Here is the NOW:

This photo was taken in the springtime 2011.  It's hard to get a good shot of the house when the leaves are completely unfurled!  These same trees were small enough for me to wrap with my thumb and forefinger when we moved in.

I hesitate to call the NOW photo the “after,” because as anyone who is married to a builder can testify, the work is never done. We still have many hopes and dreams for our home, but like everything else, time and money are of essence.

The original home was built in 1893, and was the original (first) farmhouse on the block.  It was home to the builders until they felt well-to-do and built a new brick home next door.

We have loved (and hated) living through the changes as we turned our “sow’s ear” into a “silk purse.”  I wish I’d been diligent with the photography during all the many changes this little house has undergone, but alas, it isn’t so.  I will post those I do have, and there will be many “after” photos, but future projects will be more fully covered.


  1. Dana, Your Blog is wonderful! You do so much. I love your folded books and your recipes and your beautiful White Silk Purse home!--Elizabeth

  2. I'm having a hard time commenting! I hope you got my last comment but it might have been deleted. Just wanted to say--I Love your Blog! What great things you are doing and what a great writer you are!

  3. What a beautiful home! God has certainly gifted you and your husband with wonderful talents! So thankful to have found you here.


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