Thursday, February 27, 2014

Loving Cups in the Cupboard

I've been hitting the markets lately, as I've been sharing in my last few posts. No sooner did I get this old pewter tankard into the house than Mr. Cottage coveted it for his own. Loads of character in all it's misshapen charm,and a lovely inscription to go with it which reads, "A Brother in Spirit if Not in Blood." Great for celebrating a pint on St. Paddy's Day! 

I found a pair of small loving cups to go with it. I love their winged handles, and of course it's such good Irish luck to find a pair!

You can see them up on my mantel with a few other glinty things. But the metal industrial tray in the foreground that I recently found was what I am meaning to show. It's terrific for stashing all my necessaries of cords, remotes, pens, glasses, etc. on the table.

All the book piles from before have been stowed, so there's a bit more breathing space for now. I have finally come to understand that I have made this room my office, if I have one at all.

A crochet throw dresses up the sofa, as I am transitioning away from the wools for a new season. I love the gorgeous texture. I usually photograph with the shutters closed over the sofa, but since they are almost always open, I try to keep the view presentable.

A  bit more pewter and zinc round out the metals on display in the cupboard.

I think it's time for me to polish some old silver while I'm in the mood. I hope you have something a little more fun planned for  your day!

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Finding Spring

I visited no less than six junk markets this weekend. We had beautiful weather for kicking around in, and I had a bit of spring fever. Amazingly, I found the goods to support the theme in a colorful assortment of things.

I'm always on the lookout for old baskets like this nice big hamper. I also encountered a small stack of these pieces of vintage fabric in a yummy dusty pink. They are soft and hemmed. and would make wonderful enormous napkins for a country picnic. I've been tossing them over everything! 

A darling little side table. . . 

I couldn't resist this antique French platter that I had seen in a local shop weeks ago. It was reduced by thirty percent when I visited this time.

An antique transferware jug was my most astounding find. Fittingly, the name of this pattern by Doulton of Burslem, England is Spring! 

Such wonderful and unusual details . . .

I love the rusty yellow nozzle of this small vintage watering can that turned up for the occasion. 

I would never think to myself that I wanted a mix of indigo, mustard yellow, and pink! But it's all so "spring cottage" and cheery together!

I hope that you're finding a little bit of spring too!
Have a great week no matter what you do!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Nothing Flowers & Fabric Can't Transform

When making a purchase at a fleamarket I'm often asked, "What are you going to do with that?" Does that ever happen to you? (Probably.) I hardly ever have an answer except, "I don't know yet!", or "I have no idea."

I only know that there are some things that must not be left behind. . . .

These pale pink roses may be from a three piece anti-macassar set. (If you have never heard that word, I am not surprised.) Macassar oil was once used to dress the hair of men in the Victorian and Edwardian age. In order to protect the upholstered furniture from the oil, some clever woman devised a way to decoratively solve that problem.

I'm showing them on my chair for you, but these pieces might also have been a dresser set from the thirties (more likely) that had varying heights for drawers and top. The cloth would protect its surfaces from scratches and cosmetics. That use is more likely because of the materials used (later era) and because the runner is long, and finished on both edges.

But I won't be using them either of those ways. And very few people these days would. . . .

So the question remains. . . .

But there's plenty of time and inspiration out there to come up with something.

Like this book from Kathryn Ireland, for instance. (For some of you right now, thinking of summer might be just as exotic as thinking of spending it in France!) Fortunately I am an expert armchair traveller.

photo from Summers In France

Make or decorate a pillow, perhaps?

I think I'll knock off and dream about it for awhile. . .
 After all it is Friday!

I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Foray Into Farm Country

We took the opportunity of the long weekend to visit family in farm country, and of course we always try to make time to poke around the countryside for whatever is out there waiting for us.

This time around it was a wonderful old seed sack with the shipping labels still attached found inside a little roadside shop in the hills that had a sign out front saying "We're Open When We're Open." (And we brake for junk shops!)

Nice and clean, and a much lower price than expected.

These two medium sized pitchers I actually found locally at a great price before we left.

Pitchers and jugs seem just made for displaying together don't they? The old large jug was a thrill to find a little father afield.

I also nabbed a handful of varied old wood and wire hangers, but this is my favorite. Seems like someone needed a souvenir from Surrey quite awhile ago! 

This little wire handled jar was the going rate, but holds lots of charm for me.

But here is my prizewinner of the weekend! An English caneware jug. I'm still learning about caneware, but I love the look.  

Invented by Wedgewood, caneware  has a chalky exterior glaze on the outside, and a smooth one inside. It often has a cane motif like this bamboo one, and shares nature themes like more highly glazed and colorful majolica. This sample has a grapevine handle design, with leaves and grapes on the body. It's often found tan and soiled looking from heavy use. I already cleaned off the light soil that I found on this jug.

But a new batch of old pegs pleases me as much as anything! Haha!

So I'm starting off the short week feeling a little like I've been lolling in the English countryside all weekend (I wish). Isn't it funny how you find a few fun things and all you want to do is go find some more!? Ah, but it's back to business for me. 

I hope you're off to a great start too!
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