In the meanwhile, I spent a lot of time just studying the layout and the details of the house before deciding what I would retain and what I would change to make the house more to my taste.
For example, the ground floor's staircase was very compressed and steep to fit in a small space, and the kitchen's Victorian wainscot was coated with blu-tac adhesive blobs that would never come out...
She was a collector from her childhood and accumulated an amazing collection of artisan furniture, the highlight of which was her outstanding collection of handcrafted furniture by Eric Pearson.
Many of my houses are displayed in one room where I painted a Rufus Porter-style mural around three sides of the room.
One wall is copied from the mural that appears in the Tynietoy mansion while the other walls feature scenes from the Delaware Valley landscape, where I live with my husband and troublesome cat on the north side of the Musconetcong Mountain.
Gretchen's son found me on the Internet when he read my comments on this site recounting my introduction to Gretchen's inspiring collection back in 1976.
I had corresponded with Gretchen during the last years of her life and I knew she had parted with most of her collection, but I was surprised to learn from her son that she had kept one house and it had been gathering dust in his basement since her death in 2011.
Her son also gave me her set of photographs and slides of her collection - they brought back an avalanche of warm memories for me!