Saturday, November 30, 2013

Old Vanilla, Cream, and Ivory

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was. My daughter hosted this year, and in addition to all the traditional fare, we had bonfires and homemade ice cream in the country. And now the season is officially upon us. . . .

 A recent find, this old ironstone pitcher fits my white theme and launches the decorating in the dining room. It has the same appealing variegated and aged tones of old paper, and so a new wreath is the backdrop here. Done with different materials than the last, the details are shown a little further on.

But first I'm enjoying the vanilla creaminess of this sinuous English ironstone pitcher with its interesting detail and crazing to give it depth and character.

The old silver Christmas balls mix well with the tones that I am loving this Yuletide. The colors have morphed over time into a sort of platinum hue. Or champagne.

The crafting continues, and believe it or not I have yet another tissue paper wreath method still to show you in an upcoming post. But here, the newer wreath is shown below the earlier, larger one. The pages are a little heavier than tissue paper and are more brittle. You can see the difference in the aged colors well here.

I found an old dictionary in this condition. Except for the first few pages, the rest are smooth and ready for crafting. The pages are about 6x9 inches, and I used a smaller than standard size wire clothes hanger. Since the paper is more brittle, I was only able to give each page a half twist to secure it. Even so, I lost a few. But I love the look of the darkened edges of the old paper. (If you missed the directions they are posted here.) 

We pretty much leave shopping off of our Christmas list each year.
(That's the best gift!)
 But I'm loving doing up Christmas this year.
 ( And for me that's not always true.)
 I hope that you are too!


Join me at
Thanks so much to Kerryanne for featuring my post from last week!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Just Getting Started

My Christmas decorating just evolves as the season goes on. I get ideas, and sometimes get time to do a few. I wanted wings for my Santo this year but haven't found any yet. Making them probably won't happen. I knew I wanted a crown. This one is a paper cupcake wrapper. I made the wreath from floral picks just twisted together.

I'm wreath crazed this year and plan to make a simple one (or two, or three) from seeded eucalyptus. In the meantime it looks and smells fabulous in a flower bucket, and there's tons that you can do with it..

I saw these skinny trees everywhere last year and think it's perfect for our small sitting room. I'm going to keep adding things to this corner.

A window pane for hanging and displaying things on.

Tucking things into the painted cupboard. When I like the way it looks, I'll show you.

One of my favorite inspirations. *sigh* (That's the fluffy scarf that I knitted last year underneath.)

Just getting started. . . 
but play time is all over for a couple of days! 

 Wishing you a delightful Thanksgiving!


Join me at

Sunday, November 24, 2013

a few christmas bulbs

Once I finally did it, it was a wonder what took me so long. I potted some narcissus bulbs. I don't mean finally this year. I mean this life.

Go ahead and laugh. Remember when Lady Sibylle learned to boil water on Downtown Abbey? Well, I guess it's like that. Mrs. Hughes and Daisy were delighted at the absurdity of it all. In this case, you plant them. They grow. You don't even get your hands dirty.

I had to hunt up containers that I liked that had no drainage holes. (Now that's just the opposite of what is usual!) And no soil, just rocks. And really no planting. Just setting. (confusing! haha!) And of course I had to find pebbles I liked too. Add water and a sunny window, and keep the pot topped off to just root level at the base of the bulb as time passes. And wait for time to pass.

Now who can explain the joy to be found in a little green sprout? I picked this container thinking the handle will help to support the growth. You may hate it, but I love the rust. And so earthy! It feels like spring all over again!

I am also happy to report that my angel vine still lives! I just read how easy it is to train into a topiary. Oh the wonders of nature! 

So I am learning about the mindfulness of keeping houseplants. It's not unlike keeping toddlers. Never let them out of your sight, and keep an eye on what they're doing! 

I'll keep you posted on the developments . . .

Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Join me at

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Thanksgiving Table

Our Thanksgiving table has a winter theme this year. A couple of white bottle brush trees in milk glass vases join a twig cone tree for a no-fuss centerpiece. Votives warm things up, and a shiney crowned bird adds a little theater. (It's a new purchase from the shop Rue De Lillie that I posted about recently here.)

I have chosen white embossed plates, the Rose Point pattern by Steubenville, with antique transferware salad plates on top. The brown transferware dishes were manufactured before an identifying mark was the standard for china, so without a back stamp I don't know the pattern. I just know I love them. I'm using mixed vintage silverplate flatware. I like a substantial napkin for a feast, and these super soft striped cotton ones from Pottery Barn fit the bill. They also balance out the more delicate linens on the table. (The men like them, and they're perfect for kids.)  

Once I choose the place settings, the rest is easy. I don't over think the serving dishes. Most of what I have works together. But I did select these vintage pieces that I found thinfting this year.

I have my two favorite tablecloths here. One under the laid table, and another folded, standing by. Even if the second one never gets used for dessert it looks sensational and adds to the leafy themes happening on the tabletop, and I like the suggestion of a crossover between the fall and winter seasons.

I pulled this tablecloth straight from the dryer and smoothed it out on the table without ironing. It had been covering the dining room table for a while recently and needed freshening. But I had also actually accidentally splattered green ink from a felt pen on it yesterday when I was trying to shake the ink down into the tip. It was a real YIKES moment. I whipped it off within seconds, sprayed it with Resolve, and soaked it immediately and overnight in Oxyclean and COLD water. Success!

I like the suggestion of snowflakes on this pretty napkin covering a cake stand. 

A quite old mix and match of ironstone china. . .

 I appreciate the literal stock taking that begins at this time of year. The counting of plates and settings. . . . The taking out of the heirlooms. . . . But Thanksgiving is also a natural time of reflection. Of evaluating our position in life. Of gathering family and friends, and taking note of where each one is on a special day. I hope it's a rich Thanksgiving for you!  


Join me at