Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Using All Of Your Resources

It's early, and the light is bad. But I am putting perfectionism behind me for awhile today, and have lit a candle for courage.

Maybe you have read a bit lately of the "hygge" concept. If not, here's a nice link to clue you in. I thought about the idea a lot this morning, and think it's a great notion for our times.

There is always so much to share, and so little time. My big idea moment of the day is often first thing in the morning when I am just waking up and starting my brain going with a nice cup of something and a browse.

I used to get energy and inspiration from magazines first thing, but the internet has augmented that these days. (For good or ill.) In a lot of ways these resources are still finding themselves and their relationship to each other, but it seems that for now decorating magazines have turned heavily to blogs for sustenance.

A while back magazines weren't faring so well.  But they have had such a resurgence that you can't keep up. I mean, there are so many now that no one can afford to! But I am limited more by common sense than money these days where that's concerned. I subscribe to no more than two publications now, and cherry pick from the rest. I spend a lot more time making my selections than ever before, and buy a mere fraction of what is offered, yet I still seem to get a ton.

We dish out for a single issue now what we used to spend for a book, so I choose more carefully. I also pass on the issues that I am finished with, and hang on to piles of all the rest. That alone presents challenges of its own. Where to keep all those magazines!

This issue is one of the very few that I chose for fall. They can all end up looking the same to me.

(The title was hard to read above, so I zoomed in.)

Notice that it is "the best of", so you may have already seen some or all of it. And not cheap.

I enjoyed the whole issue, but this article caught my eye enough to look up the artist, David Arms.

I could tell by this book room that we have a few things in common.

I always read with a magnifier, and you would be shocked at how much more detail that you pick up.

Besides the whole aesthetic of the family rooms, one of the things I liked best was the magazines stowed behind the couch!

And one click on the David Arms website was all I needed to see that I was going to love a lot more. Just look at his adorable looking workshop in Tennessee! His FB page is also a treat. (His "about" page reads like this..."David Arms was born on a cloudy October day in 1956 in the rolling hills of East Tennessee.")

He loves what we love. A lot of bird themes, transferware, and wonderful quotes.

There is original artwork for sale, but I won't be investing in any yet. Fortunately there are greeting cards and other things for sale that you can have for a lot less! But just looking over the website will feed your soul.

The website feels similar to one of your favorite blogs, and the intro offers this advice:

"Now tune in some classical music, fill your space with my "studio" scent and come on in." So I lit a favorite scent of my own, and did just that.

Stop by the site and tell me what you think!

These days I always read a magazine with my laptop at hand to look things up. Lots of our friends are in magazines lately too. I don't think that I will be giving up the printed page anytime soon. Now all I have to do is figure out a few more strategies to deal with all my past issues!

Hope you're enjoying a great day!
Thanks for popping in!


P.S. I wanted to leave a word of thanks for all of the wonderful words of encouragement I got in the comments and in email after my last post. They warmed my heart, and I am still getting back to many of you. Thanks so much for all the love!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

What I Have Been Up To

I've been really stressed out lately, as many of you have. And by "lately" I probably mean most of the last year. I have often felt distracted from enjoying things like posting on my blog, and haven't been feeling very creative. Sort of slogging through in slow motion. I think I have started to unload on you here! But all I mean to say is that there are parts of my life that are constant in the chaos, and I want to keep sharing them with you because they are a solace and a help to me.

Besides the obvious things that folks turn to, like faith and family, I also turn to simplicity, and the ordinary joys and beauties that can bring a small lift in a dark time. I'm pretty sure that this is where the tradition of giving flowers comes from. 

But one of my big soothers is working with freshly laundered linens, and ironing. It gives me a way to reorder the world. And you might also be surprised at how calming going through the motions of it can be. Cooking, knitting, gardening, or writing might be what does it for you.

I have also been cleaning out closets for a long time now, and giving stuff away. These are some of the linens that I have had tucked away for awhile. They are a small cache of antique monogrammed towels that have been kept from use over generations of time. Still in new condition. I am sure that for some of these samples, mine was the first washing they had ever had.

Some I will give away as gifts, but there is so much pleasure in using old linens in exactly the way they were originally intended, that I will keep some for use myself.

Here is a stack of three hefty linen towels with my own first two initials on them!

I also take pleasure in the hunt for interesting old vintage things. I bet that's a stress buster for a lot of people! These old shakers are a nice homey addition for my pretend farmhouse kitchen.

I recently went looking for new fall decorations for the shop, and found silk flowers half off at the hobby shop. I don't keep many faux flowers at home, but I was surprised to learn how much these imitations cheerily fooled my eye! I have them plopped in an old vintage florist's basket.

 I know that white doesn't do it for everyone, but white is my high energy and peace color.

Silver is also a fall and winter thing to me, and I was happy to find a pretty new vintage ladle for all of our cold weather soups and stews. The platter is perfect for the holidays ahead, and I had been searching for one just like it. The vintage pewter candlesticks will never even need a polishing! All recent finds.

So that is about as creative as it gets for me these days. On one hand, it is about as shallow as life can get. On the other, it is about sharing some of the upside, and the good things in life that could easily be taken for granted. About keeping on, and keeping contact. Keeping connections in a sometimes seeming disconnected world.

So I will share what I am up to these days even if it is nothing very special, and I hope that you do too.

Keep sharing the beauty!


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Vintage Cutwork Embroidery and Transferware China

I am a summer lover, and so this time of year is a little bittersweet for me. I was born in August in desert country. That might explain why I love light, sun, and don't mind a little heat! But I have come to realize that a lot of what I love in the way of collections lends itself more to autumn. Brown transferware is a case in point. 

Although I like to keep things light in all weather, fall lets me bring in more detail, dark colors, and the texture that I love during the cozy seasons.

Instead of the daisies that I wanted in the market for my arrangements, they had big wonderful bunches of baby's breath, and I had nearly forgotten how much in love with it I am! I am also partial to dried bunches of weeds (which I almost never seem to know the variety of). The plate designs with the flora give that Brambley Hedge feeling I'm so fond of. All warm and woodsy and wonderful at this hour of the occasion.

But my aim is really to show a couple of marvelous examples of embroidery that are new to me this week. I found this cutwork runner in one of my "unlikely" markets. Sometimes vendors in these places have a much lesser appreciation for what I am looking for than I do, with a price to match. What a cheery day when THAT happens!

I don't own nearly enough of this type of hand work, and hoard the few pieces that come my way. I think the workmanship is best shown on a darker surface like this to show off the details.

I always seem to see my collections in a new light when they are put away for awhile. Some things lose their charm, while others become more endearing to me. I just may be buried with this platter clutched to my chest! Haha!

But pitchers and platters will always be present somewhere in my personal landscape.

For me, these are the quiet colors of late summer and early fall.

This second embroidery sample, found in the same place, appears to have been worked by the same hands. The patterns and stitches are similar, with only the design being different.

The linen is unbleached, and the piece is smaller with less cutwork. But it has the tan threads which I enjoy and have so much of in the embroidered tablecloths that I tend to collect. It is a nice addition for me.

Of course I love hunting and gathering all year, but it's lovely to have things come together in a new way when the seasons change. There is still so much ahead that seems to rush in too early for me. I want to savor September as the last few sweet drops dwindle away into another autumn.  

I hope you are able to savor these last few days of a waning summertime too.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Burlap and White on the Table

I have pulled a few things from the shelves together to make a centerpiece today. Fresh flowers are always nice, but I never seem to have exactly what I want on hand when I'm ready to roll.

I have sort of a rustic garden theme going on, with a late summer tone. 

We don't have much fall color happening yet, and I prefer quieter colors anyway. The antique wood mortar and pestle holds a sprig of dried hydrangea to round out the grouping I have chosen.

I picked up a bunch of these small burlap sacks a year or so ago at a very small price. I wasn't quite sure what I would do with them, but quickly realized they were the perfect size for a place setting. So they finally made it to the table!

I always have plenty of white embossed plates to select from. I paired them with brown transferware for the last tablescape, but this arrangement needs as much white as I can give! The napkins and rings are both old season Pottery Barn. I love old painted pots, and things with script. And the lettered pattern blooming out livens things up. 

Some old casual cut glass adds a little sparkle. Vintage stemware like this is found in nearly every thrift store around. (As most of you already know . . . ) I used to have a ton of it.

That's Rose Point china by Pope-Gosser on top, and the American Traditional Ironstone by Cannon Pottery Co. underneath. Both make my heart go pitter patter. 

An Old World mood does not suit every occasion, but it gets me going in the right direction for the weeks ahead. I took a liking to the hard apple cider bottles that appeared over the holiday weekend and put them to use too! I hope they will get some daisies in them soon.

 The place cards are from our local lavender farm. They seem custom made for the theme.

I guess I am feeling downright domestic! Seems like it's been awhile. But fall coming on does that to me.

Happy almost fall to you!


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