My House in Maine



Believe it or not, during the 19th century, this house was dragged by a team of six oxen, to be re-positioned nearer the road from its original site far down in the field. They dug a boulder-lined cellar, still extant, under the center rooms.  

For a few years in the  early 1900s, an extra side room, now my children’s book library, was The Roque Bluffs Post Office with a post office sign above the front door. The first picture you see of the outside is our driftwood crocodile in the flowers under the window boxes. 

The driftwood crocodile in the garden under the window boxes.

My Upstairs Studio

This upstairs studio is the expanded attic of my 200 year old Roque Bluffs cottage. We doubled the attic space by expanding the slanted roof and adding skylights and wall to wall windows on the  back. The space is flooded with natural light and looks out over the State Park, the pond, woods and sea beyond. 

Here are my tools of the trade, vintage toys, charcoal sketches of students in Art class, pastel chickens and pleinair studies in oil, and various picture book incidents in process..


My mother’s doll house, loved by four generations, has pride of place. It came  from FAO Schwartz in 1913 with furniture so well made it still stands up. Never mind that a silk parrot of yesteryear no longer sits on the tiny brass swing, or the tin perambulator is missing its wheels, the velvet sofa is still elegant and the iron stove is indestructible. Amity Bones, my picture book doll, lives with a vintage  table and rocking chair in her illustrated hollow tree house. 

The stairway to the upstairs studio is narrow and steep and the steps are uneven. I’ve been climbing them like a monkey for 25 years. Patty Geel, the beloved woodworker and mason, revered in Washington county and beyond for his expertise, told me never to replace the stairsteps. “Remember, Starr, these stairs are 200 years old.”

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