Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rosalie asks - "Are your Floorcloths washable?"

Absolutely!  To care for your floorcloth simply mop it as you would your floor, using any gentle cleaning product that you dilute with water.  DO NOT USE alcohol or ammonia based cleaning products,  If unsure, blot test on the reversed glued edge.  If you spill liquids or your pet has an accident, the floorcloth should be mopped immediately or the liquid may create water spots on the piece.  Once you have cleaned your floorcloth, make sure that the floorcloth is dry before placing any furniture on top of it.

Here are a few other tips for extending the life of your floorcloth -
Regularly rotate your floorcloth like you would your mattress.

To prevent uneven wear patterns on uneven floors, ie: slate, brick, etc... place newspapers under your floorcloth.

If your floorcloth tends to slip on the surface on which it lays you might try using double stick tape (carpet tape) or a thin mesh pad to keep it in place.  We have several floorcloths in our own home and find that we don't need anything underneath to keep them in place, especially if furniture rests on top to keep them in place.
If you just purchased a custom floorcloth that was created specifically for you, please be aware that the paint is still "green" and will need 3 to 4 weeks (or longer in humid conditions) to completely harden.  Aggressive cleaning, heavy furniture, high heels and animal urine are some of the things that we know can and will damage an un-cured floorcloth.  We recommend letting your floorcloth rest in an out of the way spot or if needed sooner, at the very least make sure you place felt pads under any heavy furniture that will rest on top of the piece, until the curing has taken place.

Over time, your floorcloth will need to be refinished.  All types of flooring start to wear eventually.  We use water based varnish applied with a 4" foam brush.  Clean your floorcloth first before varnishing to prevent dirt from being trapped under the varnish.

We hope that these tips help to extend the life of your floorcloth.  If you have questions regarding your existing floorcloth or if you planning to purchase please feel free to call us at 888-887-1820.

We look forward to hearing from you
- Noel & Verge

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tappin' The Maples

It's that time of year again & the folks from Goranson Farm have been collecting the sap that has been flowing from our Maple trees for several weeks now.  Once collected it goes to the Sugar House to be boiled down into the very best Maine Maple syrup.  We can't wait to have our Maple Syrup drizzled over Vanilla Ice Cream or to sweeten up a nice Ham in the crock pot.  If you have a favorite use for Maple Syrup we'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

For a preview of how Maple Syrup is made, check out this short video clip from "Goranson Farm - An Uncertain Harvest,"  a documentary made about our local organic farm here in Dresden, ME.

This year's Maine Maple Celebration at Goranson Farm takes place on the 23rd & 24th of March.  For more info visit their website, call  (207) 737-8834 or email at

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bee Balm in bloom

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Note from Noel and Verge

Hello Friends ~
My, my how quickly time flies!  Where did the first half of January disappear to?   With the Holiday Season officially behind us we find ourselves once again enjoying the start of a brand new year full of optimism, hope and promise!  We were thrilled to hear from so many of you last year via our blog and facebook page!  With so many questions and comments we took the time to think about how to enhance our social media connection with you this year.

What better way than by providing practical, useful and inspiring content that covers topics that enhance our homes and lives while complimenting your interest in Circa Home Living.  We continue to believe its important to reinforce our connection as friends by sharing interests, stories, advice, opinions, information, inspiration, encouragement and a laugh or light hearted moment as needed.

As you might know, we are both passionate about 19th century styled homes and period wares, and as you might expect it takes time to realize the potential of any home.  Whether it's lighting, mouldings, furniture, floor treatments or finding the perfect coverlet, choices and decisions are at every turn.  A home is always a 'work in progress', an ongoing investment of time, patience and money.   We might not have all the answers but we have lots we want to share with you this year and hope that Circa Home Living provides the inspiration you are looking for!

Here's to a Happy, Healthy 2012!

Ever your friends,
Noel and Verge (Elphie too!)

P.S.  Be sure to "like" our page on facebook by visiting here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Sampling of New Items to Share

   Every year at this time we're bursting at the seams with new products and can't wait to share them with you!  We give careful attention to each and every item in our 48 page catalog and make every effort to offer you inspirational pieces, and in many cases, exclusive items found only through Circa Home Living.  We're proud to be able to work with many talented artisans that share in our vision - a commitment to quality products Made right here in the Good 'Ole USA!  We hope you'll find to your liking a small sampling of some of our NEW products shown below.                   Enjoy! 
                                          Ever your Friends ~ Noel, Verge and Elphie

Garlic and Cheese Dishes 

Our Pewter Garlic Holder and whimsical Mouse Covered Cheese Dish are fun, great for entertaining and certain conversation pieces!  Made of lead-free polished Pewter, these make great gifts for the cheese aficionado and garlic lover in your life!
United We Stand 
Table Square
This beautiful Table Square is patterned after a circa 1800's original.  The corner block reads: United We Stand/Divided We Fall.  Reversible with fringed edge.  Available in Red or Navy, both with Linen background.  32" Square.

Gourd Birdhouses 
                   and Bee Skeps
For the backyard and garden we couldn't pass these by.    Bring any outdoor setting to life (literally) with an added touch of whimsy and charm.  Gourd Birdhouses come in assorted shapes and sizes with drainage holes and jute hanger. Bee skeps are made of lightweight cement composite material, can be used indoor or out and come in three sizes perfect for collecting.

Wood Bin
This attractively aged and sized Wood Bin holds an ample supply of wood and provides storage for all those fireplace accessories and decorative touches to boot.  A great organizer of all things around the fireplace or woodstove.  Aged Mustard over Black.  23"w by 42"h by 16"d. (8"d at top.)

Tin Floor Lamp
Elphie truly admires this new Tin Floor Lamp!  Makes a statement in any room.  Features a weighted cone base.  4 candelabra base sockets are rated for up to 40 watts per socket. Primitive Aged Finish.  57" high with a 12" diameter base.

For more - visit our
To request a copy of our print catalog please click here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

From Printing Press to your Mailbox

the 2012 Circa Home Living Catalog
your pathway to the American Country Home

We are thrilled to present a selection of new offerings that are sure to please.  
Our excursions this past year were filled with exciting discoveries of new artisans and innovative hand-made American products, many of which are exclusive to our catalog.    Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and browse our online offerings or request a printed copy of our catalog with our new handy dandy catalog request form here.   Of course you can always call us toll free at 888-887-1820 with your mailing address if you prefer.

Adorning this year's cover is a beautiful watercolor image painted by our friend Karen Hillard Good.
This framed watercolor print is available in our new catalog.

Check our website in the coming weeks for more spectacular watercolor framed originals by Karen.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Behind the Scenes: The Making of a Catalog

In anticipation of the 2012 Circa Home Living Catalog debut we thought we'd give you some insight and a behind the scenes look at what it takes to put it all together.

Planning for our yearly catalog is an important and ongoing process.  From the moment our catalog is printed and shipped each October we take a short pause and then start anew working on ideas for next year.

Cropped & Elphie approved
for the new catalog
Setting up the shot.
We begin in January researching and scouting the country for new products made by American artisans with our customers in mind.  As sample products are received they are photographed using our period 1800's home as the backdrop - giving our customers a feel for how the products can be used in their own homes.  We then measure all products, write short descriptions for each along with any pertinent information that we feel may be useful for our customers.  When all of this work is complete we then move to the design and layout phase where we pay careful attention to grouping like items together so that they can be easily located in the catalog. 

Printing is then done locally where we are hands on in the process every step of the way to ensure that the colors printed are as accurate as possible.  After a few rounds of careful proofing (Elphie gets finally say with her 'two paws up' approval) our catalog is mailed direct to tens of thousands of customers here in the USA, Canada and as far away as Tasmania! 

Color proofing at our local print shop.
It's a long process with an extraordinary amount of time given to the details but ultimately what makes our catalog debut such a rewarding and special time of the year here at Circa Home Living.

For our existing Circa friends, check your mailbox over the next few weeks for the new 2012 Circa Home Living catalog - filled to the brim with exciting new products.  If you're not currently on our mailing list and would like to request a catalog fill out our handy dandy new catalog request form here or call toll free at 888-887-1820 with your mailing address.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Ever your friends - Noel & Verge 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Attention ~ Old World Pewter Collectors !

We've recently acquired a wonderful, hard-to-come-by selection of pewter plates, candlestick holders, pitchers, trays, peppermills, canisters, measures and more ~ all from the talented folks at Old World Pewter.

We invite you to browse our newest offerings by clicking here or by visiting our website and clicking on the pewter category.  Many of the items shown have very limited quantites available.  We are expecting more pewter in the coming weeks so be sure to check back.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating May

May is one of our favorite months here at Circa. The life-giving rains of April have done their job famously, coaxing the trees and flowers to burst forth in a Broadway-worthy cabaret of multi-colored hues. 

It’s a grand time to celebrate! And if the warmer weather and eye-popping performance of Mother Nature itself isn’t excuse enough for you to throw off the comforter and kick up your heels, then mark your calendar with the following dates which are certain to inspire a bit of well-justified merrymaking.

We invite you to check in with us periodically as we’ll be taking a closer look at a number of these events as the merry month of May tap dances her way through our hearts.

May 1st is Mother Goose Day (how fun!) and, of course, May Day.
Every year at Circa we delight in gathering a bouquet of early posies from our garden and place May Baskets anonymously on doorknobs throughout our tiny village. It’s a simple gesture but we guarantee you’ll take as much pleasure in doing it as anyone who receives one does! (See our previous blog for suggestions on how to create your own May Day treasures to share.)

May 2nd is National Truffles Day (the mushroom variety, not the candy kind) and May 3rd is National Raspberry Popover Day. (Now that’s more like it!)

Cinco De Mayo, May 5th, is the ideal time to celebrate with a lively Mexican Fiesta. Bring on the Guacamole, Carne Asada Tacos, Rice and Beans and perhaps, if you’re feeling a tad naughty, even a Margarita (or two) might be in order. Feeling even more adventurous? Might we suggest inviting some of your favorite Senors and Senoritas over to the homestead, clear out the rugs, push back the furniture and have the local dance studio in to give Salsa dance lessons in your living room. Talk about kicking up your heels. Ole’! 

Artwork by the a-may-zing Geninne Zlatkis, from the whimsical website .
Be sure to visit Geninne's etsy store at

May 6th is Nurse’s Day and May 8th is National Teacher’s Day, both worthy dates to keep in mind.

The second Sunday of every May is Mother’s Day. Whatever you do, mark this date! And remember~ candy, flowers and cards are nice, but nothing beats the gift of time spent together. 

May 11th is Eat What You Want Day (we’re serious~ whoopee!) and May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Day. (Can it get any better?)

May 13th is National Apple Pie Day, taken very seriously in our neighboring state of Vermont.  I.E ~ “No. 15, effective May 10, 1999, apple pie is designated the official State Pie. When serving apple pie in Vermont, a "good faith" effort shall be made to meet one or more of the following conditions: (a) with a glass of cold milk, (b) with a slice of cheddar cheese weighing a minimum of 1/2 ounce, (c) with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream. ~ from the Office of the Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory.”    Way to go, Vermont!

  Noel's makes the most delicious Apple Pie - hands down!

 May 18th is National Museum Day and a trip to your local museum with the kids or grandkids is surely in order. Let’s teach our young ones early on that learning can be fun.

 A fun day with our god-niece Elsa at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Boston.

May 23rd is National Taffy Day (it just got better!) and May 25th is National Escargot Day. (Umm~ to each his own.)

Memorial Day is May 26th in the United States, a time to reflect on the brave men and women who died in service to our great country. Perhaps a quiet picnic in the park today?

May is also Asparagus Month, National Book Month, National Better Hearing and Speech Month, National Nursing Home Month, Flower Month and, one of our favorites, National Barbecue Month. It’s been a long, cold winter here in Dresden and we’re more than ready to throw a few shrimp on the barbie to celebrate the month away. 

Lastly, but certainly not leastly (is that a word?), May is National Strawberry Month, and a fruit more worthy of such an honor would be difficult for us to name. After all, strawberries are known to be low in calories (excellent news!) and high in Vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants and may reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Further, research indicates that these plump, little powerhouses may help improve our memory. (More strawberries~ please!) Besides all that, they’re delicious.

Here in Maine, as in much of New England, we can’t expect to pick our strawberries until June, but we find them so irresistible, we just can’t help but push the season a tad. After all, is there any better way to finish off a good, old, belt-loosening barbeque than with batch of home made Strawberry Shortcake crowned with oodles and oodles of whipped cream? 

In the Circa kitchen, tradition dictates that in lieu of cake, these crimson beauties rest their heads on a pillow of biscuits fresh out of the oven.  We’ll be posting a few of our favorite biscuit recipes (even one that’s gluten free!) in plenty of time for strawberry picking in your area.  

Yes, it’s clear to see that May is simply a-may-zing, so join us, if you will, as we find reason to celebrate this glorious month, week after week after week. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy May Day!

The tradition of the May Basket, or “Bringing in the May”, can be linked to the ancient Druid holiday of May Day, a celebration of spring and the forthcoming pleasures of summer.

Surprising a friend or neighbor on May 1st by anonymously hanging a flower filled May Basket on their doorknob is surely as much of a heart-tickling delight now as it was in days of yore.

Fashioning May Baskets can be as straightforward or as involved as one wishes the process to be. Here at Circa we rarely allow our imaginations to be bound by ritual, choosing, rather, to embrace simplicity instead. Thus, the traditional basket might be substituted by an old canning jar, a clay pot or perhaps, even, a porcelain tea cup~ whatever might be at hand that we deem suitable to hold our May Day offerings.

Gather containers, colorful Spring ribbons and fresh posies.

Select an appropriate ribbon, and then tie it around the container,
leaving enough on the ends to form a loop to hang over doorknob.

Arrange flowers in a pleasing manner.

Address a tag with the recipient's name or nice sentiment. We use simple shipping tags which can be found at most office supply stores. Tie sentiment tag on container.

Hang your May Basket on the recipient's doorknob, knock once,
and then vanish like mist in the morning sun.

With that said, spring flowers might be substituted for little trinkets, sweets for a child, or perhaps a pot of honey for a tea aficionado. If our offering proves too cumbersome for the doorknob, we place it before the threshold. We hold firm to the notion that it’s not the offering or the way in which it is presented that counts, but rather the thought.

We encourage you to enjoy the process, be creative, and elaborate at will.

Happy May Day, One and All!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dying Eggs the Circa way

Here at Circa, Easter marks a very special time of year. The moment we spot the first limey-yellow buds of the forsythia we know it’s time to rub the sleep from our eyes, throw the windows open wide, and breathe in the clean, crisp air of spring. It’s time once again to run outside, sweep off the steps, prune back the roses, drag out the hoses, and rake up the yard. Time to head to the potting shed and scrub out the old clay pots that have been waiting patiently to accept a whole new gathering of cooking herbs and annuals. Time for morning tea on the terrace, a walk in the woods, a long overdue visit to a neighbor.

But amid all the cheerful hustle and bustle of revival, we never loose sight of what the Easter holiday truly represents, and whether it be religious, as it is to certain of our friends, or chocolate bunny oriented, as it is to others, adorning our home with an array of festively colored eggs to celebrate is a yearly tradition we anticipate with relish.

Each year at about this same time we prepare a passel of eggs and stir up a whole new batch of our natural dyes. We adore the way these subtlety colored eggs (primitive, some might say) look tucked in amongst the leather bound novels in our library, placed in a pewter bowl in the parlor, and laid in an old woven basket in the foyer.

Inevitably, visitors ask for our recipe for the natural dyes we use and we’re always happy to share.

If you’d like to compose your own symphony of naturally dyed eggs to celebrate the season, here’s how we do it~

1) First and foremost put some music on. Every project is better with the soothing strains of Beethoven or Jack Johnson or Barbra Streisand in the background.

2) Next, hard boil as many eggs as you’d like. We've found that white eggs from White Leghorn chickens works best, but don't let that stop you from experimenting with brown eggs as well. The depth of color achieved with them can prove marvelous.

3) Allow the eggs to cool, then wash them in warm, soapy water to remove any oily residue and dry them.

4) Place a good handful of dye-stuff in a pan. (You’ll find a listing of some of the materials we’ve used in the past below.) The amount of organic material is up to you. Let trial and error be your guide and all will turn out fine. Remember~ this is not a perfect science. Nothing is a mistake. In point of fact, some of what we've initially believed to be 'mistakes' in the past have turned out to be the most enchanting in the end. Everything in life is a process, and patience is a virtue which we can all use a little more of.

5) Add water to about an inch above the dye-stuff. We figure roughly a cup of water to each handful of dye-stuff is adequate.

6) Bring water just to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low.

7) Allow the fusion to simmer for 15 minutes or more, even up to an hour, until you gain the depth of dye color desired. When the color is to your liking, remove the pan from the heat. The deeper the dye color, the richer the egg color will be. Keep in mind, however, that your eggs will rarely be as dark as your dye.

8) Pour the hot dye liquid into a glass measuring cup, or strain through cheesecloth if necessary.

9) Add 2 to 3 teaspoons of white vinegar for each cup of strained dye and stir, then pour your dye into a vessel deep enough to completely cover your eggs. Use whatever is at hand. We've used ceramic bowls if we're dying several eggs at a time, or even coffee mugs and wine glasses for individual eggs.

10) Carefully lower your hard boiled eggs into the warm dye and allow them sit until you’ve achieved a color pleasing to your eye. This may take awhile. Enjoy a cup of tea. Thumb thru a magazine.

(~ Side Note~ Ofttimes, instead of hard boiling the eggs, we'll blow out the insides which helps these little treasures last much longer, often for years. Or until our dear godchildren visit with over-inquisitive hands. Or Elphie, our cat, decides they're loads of fun to roll around the floor.
As eggs will float on top of the dye you must turn them regularly to realize consistent color all around. We've also found that the greatest portion of the color 'takes' when the dye is warm, so if your decorating tendencies lean toward consistency, be attentive at this stage. Us? Not so much. We take great joy in diversity.)

11) After a time, check your eggs. You may wish to remove them after only a few minutes, or you may want to wait. We like to vary the times to create a rainbow of soft colors. Indeed, we've even kept some of ours in dye overnight. The longer each egg soaks, the richer the final color usually is. Have fun. Let your creativity flow.

~ Important to note~ if you're working with hard boiled eggs and intend to eat them, accomplish any long term dying in the refrigerator.

12) When your eggs have achieved their desired richness, lift them out of the dye with a slotted spoon and allow them to dry on a rack or egg carton. Handle them carefully for the dye has not 'set' at this stage and may rub off. Then again, if you’d like a textured look on your finished creation, dab them with a sponge or paper towel before they thoroughly dry. You may even wish to scratch friends and family members names in them now and use them as place markers for your next spring dinner party!

As we mentioned earlier, naturally dyed eggs will boast a subtle, matt finish, which we like, but if you prefer a glossier sheen, rub them with mineral oil or cooking oil after they’ve dried.

And that’s all there is to it!

Happy Easter everyone!
Noel & Verge
The Boyz from Circa Home Living

Below is a list of the natural materials we’ve used to varying success.

Red Onion Skins (Boiled. We recommend using a good amount of these.)
Pomegranate Juice
Canned Cherries
Black Cherry Juice (If we're working with juice, we simply heat it and then add the vinegar. No need to dilute with water~ unless you want to, of course.

Beets or the Juice from Pickled Beets
Cranberries or even Cranberry Juice
Red Grape Juice

Blueberries (we've even used canned!)
Boiled Purple Cabbage leaves
Purple Grape Juice

Lavender or Violet
A diluted portion of Purple Grape Juice
Boiled Red Onion Skins (again, a goodly amount seems to work better.)
Red Zinger Tea
Red Wine

Turmeric works well.

Boiled Spinach Leaves

Greenish Yellow~
Boiled Peels of Yellow Delicious Apples

Boiled Yellow Onion Skins

Boiled Orange Peels or Lemon Peels (use lots for these to produce a very subtle color.)
Chamomile Tea
Green Tea
Boiled Ground Cumin or Ground Turmeric

Monday, April 11, 2011

Three Cheers for Spring!

Hip-hip Hurrah!
Hip-hip Hurrah!
Hip-hip Hurrah!

If you’re at all like us, you’re surely bubbing over with delight about the promise of spring. Winter is wonderful~ for awhile~ but spring; spring is truly spectacular. It’s another magical renewal, causing us to rejoice and give thanks to our dearest love of all, Mother Earth.

Here at Circa, Winter’s blanket has receded (finally!) and all about, Spring is taking hold. The robins have returned from their seasonal retreat, bob-bob-bobbing through the orchard and across our lawn in search of tasty treats. Crocuses are starting to smile in yummy shades of purple and blue and sun-drenched yellow, the buds on the lilacs are beginning to swell and beneath their twiggy bower, the rich, green spires of daffodil leaves are pushing the oak leaves aside and bravely breaking through.

 Spring is here!
 Hip-hip Hurrah! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Gingerbread men!

The preparation & anticipation is half the fun - M.K. Moulton

Wishing all of our followers a delightful holiday season filled with festive family traditions.
~ Noel & Verge ~

'Twas the night before Christmas...

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, - not even a mouse:
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there....
~Clement Clarke Moore

Photo by M.K. Moulton - taken at our home.

Friday, December 17, 2010

We're Dreaming of a White Christmas!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Having a hard time choosing a gift?

Our Gift Certificates take out all the guess work while still bringing joy to your loved ones this holiday season! Available in any amount. Order online or call toll free at 888-887-1820.
From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another,
the warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other.
~ Emily Matthews ~
The holidays are upon us, and that means that our homes are decorated and all "spruced" up.  Poinsettias make a festive decoration during the season, their beautiful red flowers lend themselves to the traditional color themes of the holiday.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumnal foliage

Although the leaves have now fallen here in Maine, we couldn't resist sharing an image of the beautiful fall foliage taken just a few weeks ago.  The leaves just come and go so quickly!  The old wavy glass throughout our home gives the impression that the images were captured in a pool of water. 

It's such a wonderful time of year- the temperature cools, the pace of day to day life begins to slow and preparations for a cold winter begin.  Fall is a special time of year here in Maine, where a feeling of transition and transformation takes hold.

We hope that you enjoy your weekend!

As Ever - Noel & Verge

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2011 Circa Home Living Catalog!

We're pleased as punch to let you know that the 2011 catalog has mailed!  You will find a great selection of original artwork, woven textiles, hand crafted wooden furniture, lighting accents and lots of whimsical accessories!  If you haven't received your copy, please let us know.
To request a copy you can email us,
or call us toll free at 1-888-887-1820.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Simple Greens, Simply Country

There's a chill in the air, and we've just received the highly anticipated book by Judy Condon, Simple Greens- Simply Country. It's here just in time to inspire you for the holiday season! If your looking for a way to "spruce" up your holiday decorating, then this is the book for you. This is the twelth book in her best selling "Simply Country" series.

Judy explains that historically, decorating with greens is as American as apple pie. For hundreds of years, people have been using natural resources to beautify their homes. Decorating with natural objects has become a time honored tradition, going back as far as the beginning of our civilization. It has been a way to connect with things from our past, while teaching our children about nature and tradition.

Judy takes us through some of the most beautiful homes, decorated with simple and elegant greens. It's as though you are taken on 11 home tours, from the comfort of your very own home!

Click here to order Simple Greens and here for Judy's other books.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lost followup – CHL is found!

For those who missed it, here are a few images from “our” episode of LOST.  As you can see ~ the Oval and Round Sconces and Skillet Candleholder were used in several scenes.  We believe that we spotted an oil lamp as well  but the scene was so dark that we couldn’t get a good screen capture of it.  Thanks to all who watched and a BIG thank you to Carol – one amazing set decorator!   This was one of the BEST episodes ever!

Lost1Lost4Lost13    Lost6 Lost7 Lost9 Lost10