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!


Thursday, July 2, 2020

A Vintage Fourth

A little goes a long way when it comes to color. And fabrics can do so much to change up a space. I was excited to get out a couple of lovely old quilts that I don't show very often here that I thought would do the trick. Turns out I had lots of options to choose from to accessorize once I got into it.

The east patio is a cozy place to set up a light feed for a small number of people, as our gatherings certainly are lately. And just the right size for setting up a little something festive.

I pulled out these denim pillows from RL that I have had for ages and that are often part of our camp set up. They are ageless after all, and set such a casual tone. The quilt is a family heirloom. 

A nice red vintage cloth underneath everything makes a big statement.

A few metal artifacts for interest. I love everything that old painted mailbox represents.

I am always looking for practical uses for my chamber pots. Here it holds some fluffy ruffled napkins and silver service. It's one more punch of white amid all the strong color! These are old salad plates from Williams Sonoma.

I have used this vintage piece of handmade lace trim for bunting before now and then. So jaunty! It seemed a bit lonely all by itself so I added a strip of torn fabric as a festoon. Just the thing.

Now how cheery is that?

Fresh herbs nearby always smell so good!

Well, that was fun! 

And just what I needed.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend my friends!


Monday, June 29, 2020

Romancing Garden Antiques

I am missing poking around in shops. Aside from linens, my next favorite thing to collect is garden antiques. Can anyone explain to me the almost universal appeal of metal flower frogs? They are now used for many things, but almost never for arranging flowers.

And almost any old metal container looks charming with plants plopped in. Who would have dreamed, back in the day, that a simple milk can would be so desired an object in the future? 

But it isn't just vintage garden objects that have charm for me. New earthy pots do too. Even (or especially) in white. I really love the ones that Magnolia does. Their Abby Ceramic pots with numbers and lettering figure very big in my garden object fantasies.  You can see them here. The one above is from a visit to G. Wolff pottery in CT.

Lately I have struggled to keep all of my potted flowers and herbs alive since the really hot weather hit. Why can't my geraniums look like the ones I saw all over Italy? Enormous! I don't have a disciplined watering schedule, which is of course essential. I only have a dalliance with gardening, not a committed relationship. (That little cement urn above is one of my insane favorites.)

As for plants, I have to stick to the tried and true. Ivy. Rosemary. But even these need the love. I do keep full watering cans and buckets everywhere that get topped off at the end of each watering session. This saves the inevitable plant desperate for a timely drink of water when I happen to saunter wincingly by.

I can't tell you how many angel vine plants I have tried to keep. I should have them close by on a leash at all times.

I staged this display at our front gate one day in the name of garden romance. This wooden gate and the ivy covered wall often inspire me to fanciful thoughts of other times and places. 

In fact, this view may have had undue influence over our decision to choose this home in the first place.

As for other times and places, these old goods will have to serve as muse for the time being. But vintage objects seem to meet that purpose very well.

Are you finding inspiration? 

Such a need to escape these days. 

I hope you are indulging a few small pleasures.

Peace to you,


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