Saturday, September 5, 2020

Cozying Up To Fall

There are so many small beautiful changes in the season! Fall in New Mexico holds so much richness and fullness to enjoy, as is probably true everywhere. And I so much appreciate all of you who left such kind words in the comments of my last post as well. As hard as it can be to keep on sharing when all is not right with the world, there can be such a gift in the simple exchange of thoughts and expressions of sympathy. So thank you so much for touching my heart.

Autumn is the coziest of seasons. And it seems like fall is the perfect time to feature this vintage apple shaped cutting board. I love the warm wood tones against all the white.

This little lace doily is a new find. I don't imagine I will ever give up collecting something so unique and pretty that gives so much delight!

Rearranging a shelf top vignette is a sort of rite of passage when the weather changes, and I think more of us are using what we already have. Although, these small tallow berry sprigs are new to me this season too.

I have so many things tucked away, like this birdie transferware plate, that don't seem to get much prominence of place for some reason. I really love bird motifs in everything.

I was lucky to find a few small linens at the fleamarket recently for an amazing price! This hefty linen piece was the prizewinner at under three dollars. (The little doily was .50!) 

I like using table coverings with a substantial weight and feel. And that perfectly creamy color is just that extra something added!

Embossed white china is always high on my list of delights as well, and I have a bit of a collection of mismatched pieces that I have accumulated over time. 

The mix of textures brings a surprising warmth to a mostly white display.

The tablecloth underneath everything is from the Jeanne d'Arc Living collection.

The postcards are from the art of Helen Buttfield. They came from a book of tear out cards published in 2000 that I have had for some time, but she has botanical art still around and available to buy if you are interested. I collected a few different versions in the past. They make for interesting insertions into vignettes, and of course you can send them too!

I used one of her designs in this shadow box display made from an old wooden clock case that can be changed up for different occasions.

I also pulled out this biscuit jar for fall that doesn't usually get seen much either. (I actually keep little cookies squirreled away in these as was their original intention! But, shhhh!)

So these are some of my first moves toward decorating for fall. I'll be on the lookout for dried leaves and sprigs to use while out on my walks these days. How about you?

You may have seen this poster around lately of the Beatles song. There are different versions I've seen. This one is large poster size and we have it hanging in our front hall for now. It made us both cry. Good therapy. I love the tree drawing, and the lettering. The song goes around in your head all the time. Can you hear it too? It seems like a good autumn thing too.

Thanks so much for visiting!

I hope you are enjoying some fall pleasures too!

Happy September!


Monday, August 31, 2020

Slipping Into September

Summer is still thundering outside as I write this. The summer months can bring a lot of drama instead of rain during our monsoon season. Yes, they call it that in New Mexico, even though a fifty percent chance of rain can only mean that someone's windshield in town will get dirty sometime during a hot afternoon when the sky clouds over. If only we did have a real shield from the wind!

One cannot leave an unattended sun umbrella up, or a plastic wading pool on the lawn without risking it ending up in a neighbor's yard while you are not keeping an eye on it. We even lost a tin shed forever one turbulent afternoon long ago. But we never have hurricanes. Or tornadoes. At least almost never.

I know it's no joke. My heart goes out to those suffering disaster during our times. Our times. Our times make each turning season into more than it would otherwise be. And now, an unfamiliar seeming September has arrived.

On the one hand I am numb. There is only so much one can do about the World except regarding what lives in your garden or sits in your own pantry. We have been careful in our community, and many conveniences are available again, since we have always had everything that we really needed anyway. And we have also become accustomed to some of the new realities.

I usually rebel against pumpkins in August, but this year it seems just fine! I know its all going to pass in a blur anyway. And white pumpkins are so smooth and pretty and fine.

My son just came in to announce that there is enough rain falling now to get things wet out there! Well, adios to another lovely but sizzling August! It is a fine way to say goodbye.

You may remember a line by Karen Blixen in Out of Africa when she becomes ill and trials befall her. (What an archaic word, befall!). She says, "...the earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road." Slipping into September feels that way to me. Just sliding into yet another day on the calendar. And another. And another. Small enough chunks for me to manage.

My dear man is sick, and we have hard days ahead, as so many of us do. I have a very sad heart like Gladys Taber did when she wrote of September in The Book of Stillmeadow. "I felt the earth turning under my feet," she wrote, "and I felt the goodness of life above and under all the sad things." And it is our moment now to feel these things too if we can. And I hope we do.

The short rain has now finished for today. And there will be a cooling dusk before the day is done. And tomorrow brings September.

From my heart to yours,


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Looking Back

Hello Friends! I reverted to the Blogger Legacy format for this post because I wanted to see if the thumbnail showed up on the sidebar again. I am already familiar with the new format which is fine except for the thumbnail not showing. Why'd they have to change that? Oh well, it's still free. 

But welcome to August! I often look at old posts for inspiration at the new month and am including links to some of them for you. These photos are from a post called "August Days" in 2015. Here is the link.

A lifetime ago now. Yes? I have included a lovely quote from that post here too:

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses on its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless. and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color." --Natalie Babbit, "Tuck Everlasting"

It is indeed motionless and hot so far...

The next post is from the same year titled "Taking Time For Pretty." I chose it because besides being pretty, it has a wonderful passage from Gladys Taber's "The Book of Stillmeadow."  Included here below. I am finding as much a need for pretty words as pictures these days. The whole post is found here.

I found the inspiration I needed today in these words.

Another post from 2013, "Seedy, Weedy, Woodsy, August" has old Victoria covers which are my favorite in the year.

There is a tablescape with a nature theme and some of my favorite china too! Here is the link for more.

Finally we end with "Bittersweet August" way back from 2011. It's a bit philosophical, the photography is from the early days before I learned about photo editing, but it has a soft look at the china and a handful of elements that I still love after all this time. The link is here.

I'm thinking of you all with the turning of another page of the calendar. Wondering how things are going for you.

Thankful for all you share.

Wishing you goodness in all the August days ahead.


P.S. The thumbnail did indeed appear on my sidebar!  Wish the new format had an easy fix.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Keeping Calm

Keeping things simple used to be my defense against the chaos. A kind of comfort zone. I like collections, but I don't enjoy clutter in a bedroom or a living room. There is too much energy generated in it for me. That is also probably why I live with so much white. I am drawn to the serenity in it.

I am turning more inward with my thoughts these days, and I am not alone. Where else is there for thoughts to go in these times than in one's head or on a page? Too much time spent away from friends and family or even strangers. Yes, there are fixes, somewhat. But "simple" has kind of now joined the stress side of the equation.

I used to have writing ambitions when I was a very young person, and then I suppose life became too fulfilling for that. For me, that kind of expression was a substitute for having the right people to relate to in my life. But now the too large world has become too small again all at the same time. The complexity of living rises higher with each passing day. 

I have not thought so actively on how to stay sane in a long time. But we took a recent break into the woods and camped out a couple of nights AFTER the 4th of July and in an undeveloped camp site. There are of course a few sacrifices involved in doing this. And really sleeping well is one of them. There are also fire restrictions, and so a campfire is not allowed.

But there was the amazing fragrance of the Ponderosa pines that had been lost in time. The sound of birdsong and other wildness in the summer night on a mountaintop. It was deliciously cool. There were small lakes and the call of red winged blackbirds. We encountered an active Osprey nest with both parents present. One river hawk was thrilling enough, but turning toward the lake we observed another clutching a large fish in its talons heading toward the perch high overhead.

This is only a skimming over of a few of the highlights. And not a single photo was taken. But the emotional boost was like taking a pill, only better. I can't wait to go back.

For now I am focused on being thankful. It's a rich field to mine.

I haven't shown any ironstone here for a little while. It is one of the things that I have decided to relax about. Meaning it may be one of those things that my kids will have to deal with when I am gone. Linens, ironstone, and books. I think they can handle it!

This small grouping is in our sitting room which never has the right light for photographs. A professional could tackle the lighting I'm sure, but this is what we have.

Lined up like little soldiers, my pitchers take good care and offer up good cheer.

These barrel shaped water pitchers are always the last to be offered up in the shop. They are so sturdy and each with its own character. They are my favorite to collect. I have several, and rarely if ever turn one down at a good price.

A snippet of handmade linen and lace makes a good foundation.

Some folks think of brown transferware for fall and winter, but it is a year 'round thing for me, and I am not done collecting it either. Whenever, that is.

I like this "durability" mark on the back of this "Hanley" pattern platter. A good subliminal message for all of us. It's my version of "keep calm and carry on" for now.

Another Monday...

 Take good care out there in the trenches my friends!


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