when biscuits get vicious.

Whenever I travel, I like to look up local brick and mortar shops that carry the products I like to use such as Dixie Belle Paint, or I.O.D. or re.design with prima transfers.  If a shop carries those products, they also tend to have other things that appeal to me.

So when I was planning our trip to Charleston, I visited the ‘find a retailer’ pages on the Dixie Belle website and the Iron Orchid Designs website.   I ended up finding a shop in Summerville, South Carolina called A Brush of Color that carried the I.O.D. stuff, and another called Antiques & Artisans Village that carried Dixie Belle products.

In addition to that, one of my lovely readers, Victoria, lives in South Carolina and when I asked her for recommendations on things to do she suggested eating at a place called Vicious Biscuit.  I looked them up online and found that they had a location in Summerville as well.

Then I did a little more research on YouTube and learned that Summerville has a self-guided historic homes tour and that you can get a guide and map at their Visitor’s Center.

Well, it seemed like a day trip to Summerville was a no-brainer.  It was also easily accomplished because we had a rental car.  It’s about a 40 minute drive from Charleston, so a car was necessary.

Our first stop in Summerville was Vicious Biscuit so that we could fortify ourselves for the day.

Having lived in the south for a decade or so when I was younger, I developed an appreciation for a good biscuit.  So I was super excited about this place.

There was a bit of a line to get in when we got there, so we knew it was going to be good.

I ordered what I consider one of the quintessential southern breakfasts, and also one of my personal favorites, biscuits and gravy with a scrambled egg on top.

Yum, it was delicious!

By the way, for those of you who have always wondered about the Dixie Belle paint color called Sawmill Gravy, this is what it’s named after.  The sausage gravy that goes over biscuits.

Mr. Q ordered the Vicious Beignets.

He was a little disappointed that these weren’t authentic beignets, but instead were deep fried biscuit dough.  But once he got over that, he loved them.

All I can say is that it seems to be a good thing when biscuits get vicious!  Thanks for that recommendation Victoria!

After filling up on biscuits, we headed to the Summerville Visitor’s Center to grab that historic homes guide.  While we were at it, we picked up a couple of other visitor guides as well.

As it turned out, we had missed their Flowertown Festival by one week (it was the previous weekend).  Judging by the number of porta-potties they still had in town, I’m guessing we dodged a bullet there.  I’m not sure we would have enjoyed dealing with those crowds.

Instead, we pretty much had the place to ourselves for the self-guided home tour.  And that was just fine with us.

All of the homes on the tour were built in the 1800’s including the one above which dates to somewhere around 1885.

One of my favorite houses on the tour was the William Prioleau House.  This house was built in 1896 in the Queen Anne style.  I just love that metal roof, although I’m guessing the rusty-ness of it is probably a bad thing (I’m sorry, but the practical, accountant side of my brain is now thinking how crazy expensive it would be to replace that roof, if you could even find someone willing to tackle the job!).

The Oliver House (below) is well known for its mansard roof and the distinctive circular wrought iron gate leading to the front walk.  It was built in 1888.

The Samuel Lord/Elizabeth Arden House (below) was built in 1891 and is considered more representative of Charleston homes.

This house was purchased by Elizabeth Arden in 1954, and that red door is the door that inspired her Red Door perfume.

I was a little confused when Mr. Q read from the guide and told me this next house was a crack house.

It seemed like a strange thing to put on a historic home tour.  But no, it’s actually the Kracke House and was built in 1886.

The Blake Washington House (below) was built in 1862.

This is a typical plantation style house with wide open porches both up and down that wrap around the house.  I am green with envy over those porches, wouldn’t they be fun to furnish?  If you look closely you might be able to see that the ceilings of the porches are painted in a pale sky blue.

Painting your porch ceiling blue is a southern thing, and I’ve heard two explanations for it.  The first, more pragmatic, reason is that it confuses wasps and/or birds into thinking the ceiling is really the sky so they don’t build their nests there.  But the second explanation I’ve heard is that painting your porch ceiling the color of water was supposed to keep ghosts away because spirits can’t cross water.  In fact, this color is called ‘haint blue’ for that reason, ‘haint’ being a Gullah term for a ghost, or more specifically, a restless spirit.

So, hey, that explains another Dixie Belle color, Haint Blue.

And as a sidebar, my own porch ceiling is painted in this color because I always loved the blue porch ceilings when I lived in the south.

Little did I realize that I was also keeping restless spirits at bay.  It’s a win/win.

After checking out the historic homes, we headed to the first shop on my list, A Brush of Color.

Just from the setup outside, I knew this shop was going to be right up my alley.

And just inside the door I knew I was in the right place.

Doesn’t that look just like something I would do (for those who don’t recognize it, that is a portion of the IOD transfer called Label Ephemera).

And isn’t this buffet gorgeous?

That is the IOD Midnight Garden transfer, and since this shop sold Annie Sloan chalk paint, I’m sure those are Annie Sloan paints.  But you could create a similar blended look using Dixie Belle’s Collard Greens, Kudzu and Spanish Moss.

The shop owner here was super friendly and welcoming.  I chatted with her for quite a while.  Unfortunately her shipment of the newest IOD release hadn’t come in yet, so I wasn’t able to find the newest paint inlay that I am obsessed with (I did order it online when I got home and you’ll see it here eventually).

After checking out a couple of other shops on the main street of Summerville, we hopped into the car and headed to the second shop on my list, Antiques and Artisans Village.  I neglected to take any photos of that one.  It was your typical strip mall location with a big space divided into ‘booths’ for various vendors.  It was mostly antique dealers, which I only enjoy in very small doses (high prices, lots of knick knacks, etc).  They did have a fairly good selection of Dixie Belle products though.

One last thing before we leave Summerville.  I just had to share this …

We saw this near the park, and I have to admit it brought a tear to my eye.  What a sweet gesture and a lovely way to remember a beloved pet.

After drooling over the window boxes, taking the hidden alley tour, walking around south of Broad, and visiting Middleton Place and Summerville, the last half of our Charleston vacation was spent at the beach.  I’ll have one last post next week about that, so stay tuned for that.

Typically in the past when I’ve traveled I’ve brought home something to give away here on the blog, but I neglected to do that this time.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t still have a Charleston themed giveaway!

It was easy to find lots of options in the Dixie Belle paint line that were appropriate.  I debated including Haint Blue, Sawmill Gravy, or Collard Greens but I ended up with these three colors; Kudzu, Antebellum Blue and Spanish Moss plus one of their flat medium brushes.

The rules:  Simply leave a comment on this blog post letting me know what has been your favorite post about Charleston to be eligible to win.

Your comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Sunday, May 15, 2022 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $95, if the prize is not claimed by Friday, May 20, 2022 another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for providing the paint I’m giving away today.

84 thoughts on “when biscuits get vicious.

  1. I lived in summerville for 3 years! I’m now in Florida. I miss southern! I’m from Tennessee and Florida isn’t very southern! Living in summerville and working in Charleston was amazing and I miss it!

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    1. I lived in Forida for a few years myself, and I agree, it’s not terribly southern is it? I bet it was fun living in Summerville, it was a cute little town.

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  2. Today’s post was the favorite as you shared how you plan your day when visiting new places, the gorgeous homes and the sweet tribute to Wilson! Charleston is a lovely place!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post has been my favorite, I love old houses and your photos of them were so enjoyable! And the marker for Wilson was the best part ….thanks for sharing 🙂

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  4. Oh my…so hard to decide….I just love all the houses you saw…made me feel I was with you on the tour!!! Thank you for one of the few blogs I can’t wait to open!!! I am anxious to do some painting with some new colors. Many thanks!

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  5. This would have been my favorite part of the trip. I love historic homes & would love to tour them. The southern breakfast looked delicious too. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. SO excited that you visited our beautiful corner of the world! You did a great job sharing about Charleston and Summerville. We are so grateful to call this place home! Please come again – maybe we will run into you at our favorite place to eat in Sville – Lowcountry Fish Camp! Can’t beat the fried shrimp and hushpuppies!

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  7. Loved the post. The homes are drool worthy and a breakfast restaurant that is themed with biscuits and gravy, yum. The good boy Wilson tribute is also so touching. Thanks for the travelogue- I’d love to visit. But only in the spring or fall. Summers are humid…

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  8. I have really enjoyed your Charleston trip posts and I even learned something – I have lived down south for over 30 years but never heard the “keeping ghosts away” explanation for blue porch ceilings nor for why the color is called haint blue”. And Mr. Q’s vicious biscuit breakfast looks divine! What an awesome trip y’all took!

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  9. Love the inspiration of the window boxes. I’m building a pair of boxes for a back garden chicken palace. Your photos are a grand source of ideas.
    Thank you!
    Biscuits are our barometer of a good eatery when we travel…yum. Vicious Biscuits is on the list.

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  10. Can I just say everything-it looks like a very charming area. I must say the tribute to “Wilson” tugged at my heart and is lovely.

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  11. I have always been a fan of blue porch ceilings. I never heard about keeping saints away. I convinced my son-in-law to paint the ceiling on their (1840 house) porch blue. He thought I was crazy. My favorite part was the tribute to Wilson! Thank you for sharing your trip to Charleston.

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    1. You gotta love a blue ceiling! And actually, my living room, piano room and q branch all have blue ceilings as well. I’m definitely not taking any chances with those restless spirits!

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  12. You absolutely amaze me! Your vacation travelog has been wonderful. You must take really good notes along the way. No way I could remember all of that! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks so much Barb. I do take some notes, but I also bring all of the various guidebooks and brochures back home with me to refer back to. I’d never remember all of those details about when the houses were built and so on, except in a very general sort of way.

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  13. I think this one was the best (though hard to choose). I have a thing for porches (don’t have one and so wish I did). The houses were right up my alley and loved looking, and wishing to see the insides.

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    1. Even though I have a three season porch on the front of my house, I really wish I had a big wrap around open porch with protection from the rain because I’d love to furnish it!

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  14. I live in SC and have visited Charleston many times but have not been to Summerville. Now that is on my list of places to go! Love your travel blogs!

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  15. Since I am not a traveler myself, I enjoy reading about your excursions. Your posts of Charleston are enough for me to feel like I’ve been there. My most favorite Charleston article was the window boxes. There were so many beautiful combinations to drool over. I want a window box someday!
    I have to say that the buffet at A Brush of Color is a true work of art. There are some of us that paint furniture, while others are true artists.

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  16. THIS! This was my favorite post! A restaurant review, antique store shopping and a home tour that includes a few historical fact – what could be better? Well, gardens and flowers too, but having a black thumb, myself, I can appreciate the flora but absolutely LOVE architecture and design!
    Thank you for sharing this trip. I imagine that writing about it reinforces the memories of each place you visit, so that’s lovely for you.

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    1. You’re on to my little secret Kimberley! I like to blog about my trips so that I can go back any time and take a trip down memory lane. I no longer keep physical scrapbooks so now my blog is my ‘scrapbook’ 🙂

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  17. Wow! What a wonderful adventure you had with Mr. Q! Dixie Bell paints are by far my favorite now. Sawmill gravy being one of them! Thanks for sharing your trip! I’ve always wanted to try antebellum blue. Either way I will definitely have to get some. It’s horrible but I often purchase on Amazon for my paints. I need to stop being lazy and go and enjoy the shops that offer the paints. They just don’t have them in town so it would take a bit of travel in time. But seeing your travels and enjoying the shops definitely encourages me.

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    1. You and me both Wendy. I tend to order online most of the time as well. I’m not even sure what shops near me sell Dixie Belle paint. I should probably check that out in my own home town!

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  18. I always look forward to all your posts. My favorite on your trip to Charleston was definitely the window boxes. It was an escape from our far too long winter this year. Lots of inspiration!!

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  19. As a Connecticut Yankee, transplanted to Maine, I have to say your breakfast looked amazing, I adore grits, collards and my limited exposure to real Southern cooking. I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed to win your generous giveaway. Thanks!

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    1. Those biscuits were amazing! I also had some really delicious shrimp and grits at Eli’s Table in Charleston that I neglected to mention in any of my posts 😉

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  20. Your post with the gorgeous window boxes was my favorite! But I love all your travel posts and learning all the interesting tidbits of information you include.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I enjoyed all your posts on Charleston as it brought back memories of a visit during our honeymoon 40+ years ago but my favorite was the Hidden Alley tour post. I am already planning a follow-up visit because of your posts! Thank you.

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  22. Well while I’ll pass on the biscuits but the houses are wonderful. Charleston and Savannah are on my list so I’m glad for your travel log😊. So enjoy your work, both writing and painting.

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  23. I enjoy reading your posts! I am a South Carolina native. I live about 30 miles from Summerville. I appreciate your tour of homes.
    I have never eaten at Vicious Biscuit but I do enjoy a good biscuit too!

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  24. All of your posts are wonderful! You have a wonderful way with words that leaves us readers wanting more. I enjoy your vacation posts since I don’t get to travel like that. I can at least live vicariously through your experiences. Thank you so much.

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    1. Sometimes I think armchair travel is so much easier than the real thing, I’m a fan of it too. I’ve always wanted to take a cruise down the Nile, but maybe just watching a documentary about those Egyptian pharaohs is close enough.

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  25. Have enjoyed these posts so much. We are leaving a week from today and you have helped immensely. My fave was the hidden alley and we are going to do that tour also! Thanks for sharing your travels!

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  26. I love the way you explain places and things- it makes me want to travel and explore where you’ve been. Of course, I’ll have to learn to take better photos!

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    1. Just practice … a lot … and take lots and lots of pictures so that you can toss the 95% of them that aren’t that good. That’s what I do 😉

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  27. A few years ago we took a walking tour of Beaufort South Carolina (where some of Forest Gump and Prince of Tides was filmed). I loved all the little alleys and nooks and crannies where they had beautiful flowers growing. Love your pics❤️

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  28. Thank you for the tour, I enjoyed that and will have to put Summerville on my to-do list the next time I’m in S.C. I literally teared up reading about Wilson. 😢 Who’s a really good boy? 🎾😢 And that picture of the painted buffet gave me an idea, need to be on the lookout for loose old croquet mallets or sets at the thrift stores for a potential t2t upcycle DIY. 😜

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    1. I tend to see old croquet sets, both at the thrift and at garage sales. Keep me posted when you complete your project, I’d love to see it.

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  29. I loved reading your blog today! I am totally enamored of old houses and this blog really caught my eye! The best part was the remembrance to “A really good dog!” As a dog lover and owner, that brought a tear to my eye too!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Charleston Window Boxes was probably my favorite post. As soon as I read it, I texted my aunt and told her to read it and suggested we take a girls trip to Charleston! Michigan winters are so long – dreaming about flowers and gardens and planning the flowerbeds starts in February. Thanks for sharing 🌸🍄🌼

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    1. Charleston would be an awesome girls trip! It’s a great way to kick off spring before it gets to our part of the country (a.k.a. the north) 🙂

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  31. Even though we live up north, I painted my porch ceiling Haint Blue years ago because I loved the story behing it. So far no ghosts have been seen around our 1902 house. I loved this post with the houses and shops tour…plus Mr Q’s breakfast looks scrumptious!

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  32. My favorite things about your travel posts are the pictures. My itch to travel to the south has been ignited again, so many things too see. Also, your porch is wonderful, definitely has that southern feel.

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  33. Love the buffet, but I don’t think that I have the talent to be able to paint like that! I’m always inspired by your posts, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Thank you for all the wonderful pictures! I never have an opportunity to travel so it is greatly appreciated! The houses are all so spectacular, and who doesn’t love the look of moss hanging from trees?!

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  35. I especially loved all of the beautiful window boxes. I don’t have window boxes so I’m also a little jealous. It’s too hot and dry to maintain them here in Texas. I would have to use so much water to try to keep them. I love your blog!

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