Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Nudging Toward Spring

Sometimes it doesn't take much to inspire me. This little chamomile bouquet is enough to do it for today.

Such a cheery bloom! And just perfect for "cottage."

We have emerged from the latest cold snap, and it has me thinking of spring. That, and all the newest magazine covers. Have you noticed how gardening always turns up as a theme in January? But even this month is already over!

I've been paring things down and getting rid of stuff. Do you find yourself doing that too at the start of the year? But in my case, that often means just making room for something new.

I'm still gravitating toward a simpler farmhouse style. Still loving ironstone, textured linen, and grain sacks.

I am living with fewer accessories. (At least I am telling myself that!) And I no longer collect little vintage embroidered dish towels like this one. Except when I do! Haha!

Just too charming to pass up. It takes me to some place that I doubt exists in the real world anymore. (If it ever really did!)

But "china" is one of my other inspirations, like this set of old mixing bowls I recently found. (One of the things to make room for.) I find that these hefty old things hold up better than anything new that I buy.

So lucky to find a set of four, even with all the signs of wear. . . .

A turn of the calendar can leave me feeling energized. 

Ready to take on something new.

But then again . . . , maybe it's only the chamomile talking! 

What's inspiring you today?

Hope it's a great new month for you!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Winter Mantel

Hello friends! We are well into the new year already. And I did finally need to look at something new. 

I like how much a little snippet of linen can change a room. A few of the same elements are still here, but the look is a little more crisp than the ecru lace I had on the mantel for Christmas. 

I am thinking of garden themes already, and I know I am not alone. I'll be pulling in a few vintage garden objects as time goes on. 

I'm thinking of what I want to fill up my cement garden urns besides the obvious. (I'm not so great with live house plants even though live green is what I prefer.) For the moment, I have a few fire starters tucked in.

I also kept my nests out as another hint of spring. That's about as fussy as I want things to be for now.

I can hardly seem to keep the days straight!

 But I hope you're having a great weekend already.

So nice that you stopped by!


Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter Cottage Life

We have just enough snowfall overnight to give us a little winter cheer! Ours will all melt off by noon. But it gives everything a beautiful softness in the early morning light while it lasts.

We will get a nice fire going to cheer us, since the house has gone quiet. The last of our house guests have only just left. I have spread fresh seed for our resident yard birds after seeing tiny tracks in the snow. It is the coziest winter day we have had yet.

I love the cocooning of winter days. It always makes me want to take up a bit of knitting and see something productive take shape stitch by stitch, bringing its own kind of winter softness.

My little brown bear sports a small white handmade sweater that I found once at a thrift store and couldn't help rescuing.

I'm always thrilled to ponder its neat and orderly pattern done by some unseen loving and expert hand.

This is more my style. A little useful square of wool to satisfy my instant gratification. There is already plenty of waiting for things ahead in winter! Haha!

I always have my eye out for bits of wool in my thrifting forays as well.

I snatched up these skeins of mohair so fast it would make your head spin!

Just enough to make a fluffy scarf.

Even Miss Helen has her own version of an Irish Fisherman's knit sweater. I had the pleasure of stitching a couple of these when my children were small.

Finally, here is a larger version which I also salvaged from a thrift store rack.

Beautifully made by Barbara Grant whoever she may be... Well done!

First warming the stitcher as it lay across her lap while in progress. Then the one who was fortunate to wear it with great care. And finally, warming my own admiring heart. 

This lovely white afghan throw was another thrift store find. (Should I be feeling embarrassed instead of lucky?) Oh well, I say, as I snuggle down for awhile, ready to read a cozy winter tale by the fire.

I hope you are enjoying these first quiet days of the New Year too!

Happy Friday!