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,


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Regrets, I've Had a Few

Another birthday soon and other factors have brought "old" more to mind these days. Mention that you're old and often people want to say, "You're not old! You're just (dot dot dot... fill in the blank).

An old crone. What IS that exactly? I looked it up. Turns out it is either an ugly, unpleasant old woman, or a woman of wisdom and power, depending. Anyway over fifty. FIFTY!! Haha. 

I came across a fun, enlightening, and somewhat irreverent article about the subject from the Telegraph in the UK that I guarantee will make you laugh at least once. If you want to read it  CLICK HERE. But I digress....

In perusing old blog posts I occasionally come across lovely things that, as a long time vintage dealer, I no longer own. I have only small regret for letting go of this double wicker bottle shown above, for example. Conversely, the fabulous vintage frame on the wall was originally gold and never sold. I brought it home, painted it white, and can't imagine living without it! So wise.

I lean more to romance in summer. Flowers, lace and linen, and wicker in particular ring all my happy chimes, inside and out.

And white can really be dressed up to the occasion! Think June weddings. Though I think a lot of tradition has gone by the wayside this year, and maybe without regret on the part of some....

Another wicker bottle I no longer own above. (But I try not to think about it.)

This old Lloyd Loom chair still haunts me a little. I loved it so. I can't remember why I didn't keep it!

It was a big part of a few romantic summer lawn parties.

Strider, our most adventurous and entertaining guest at the party is now also gone. (Deep sigh.)

But I'm so glad I never missed the most astonishing room at Vignettes in San Diego the summer we visited there. I thought I would faint!

And maybe I regret a little not snatching up one or two of these pillows from there at the time. (Probably wise.)

This wicker settee sat in my shop for rather a long time before I made it mine forever. Wicker is not much of a New Mexico thing, you see. It was painted an Adirondak brown and mustard which I loved. But after the paint job in white, Oh lala!!

This crochet throw fits the cushions perfectly and reminds me so of Jeanne D'd'Arc Living Magazine. (I had an online subscription for awhile and think I may now regret letting it lapse.) So romantic!

The linen shams were from an ecstatic trip to Canton and LaurieAnna's in Texas for the first and only time. And I regret that I have not yet made it back!

It lives on my covered patio now.

I still own this lovely Heywood Wakefield wicker table even though it has always been just a little impractical for us. But I am regretfully sure that few others in this town would adequately appreciate its true value.

That little round table cover had to go though. Too fussy and formal for me, even though it was custom made for an umbrella table. 

Now linen and lace indoors is a no brainer! And you can never have enough. I don't mind owning up to being a linen hoarder. Try to take my stashes away and you just might see a little "ugly and unpleasant" alright! Oh me.

Old crone, your cover is blown.

I hope you're all putting some vintage love into your summer!



Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Soft Side of Summer

I always feel like a little celebration is needed at the summer solstice. And maybe this year more than ever. We are learning to appreciate the purpose of simple celebrations that originated during the hardest of times. 

We have been lucky to finally get a visit from some of the people we hold most dear. Something that has become rare and in itself cause for festivity. But somehow the parting again is harder than ever. 

On the upside, the season still feels fresh in this town that can be so hot in summer. The fields and trees are by some means holding onto a springtime hue of green. The sizzling days to come always pass too quickly for me.

It's strange to enter the height of languorous days when there have already been endless weeks of uncommon stillness. At times at least. And, by contrast, dis-ease and unrest at others. But these are our times. Our own days to shape as the moments stream by.

As for me, I am seeking the softer side of summer. I have never been the sunny beach type, though I love how early the sun rises in the morning, and how long it lingers 'til night. I already regret the shortening of the daylight hours again.

So I am holding close the summertime hours. Hugging them tight before they depart again. Knowing they will end as all things do. Basking in the brightest of days of the year before they meander on.

Wishing you many soft summer days to come!