Monday, November 26, 2012

Plaid Stocking with Vintage Linen

My daughter was reading one of  my favorite blogs Confessions of A Plate Addict, and loved this post on making stockings.

My daughter's version is:

She used a tablecloth from Home Goods, ($7) and raided my vintage hanky drawer for two monogrammed hankies.

Don't you think they turned out great!   It's not bad for an emergency room doctor who is better at sewing up people.   I did teach her how to cross-stitch in the 3rd grade.  I guess that gave her life skills!

Later in the day, we spotted these at Williams Sonoma

I like the homemade ones better!  Be sure to follow Debbie and her cat at Confessions of  A Plate Addict for more great projects.  Thanks Debbie!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Table

The table is set.  The silver is polished.  The turkey is in the oven.  Pies are baked.   Guests are coming!!

There are 17 people coming.   We have two tables set.

 I used Spode "Woodland".  Each plate is different.  Grampa gets the turkey, Grandma gets the spotted pony, Erica the newlywed niece gets the cougar, her hubby gets the white horse, Kirsten gets the snowy owl, because it is cute with big eyes, like her.

Off to finish working!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sit by the Fire on a Black Forest Chair

It's winter in the Northwest.  Stormy weather, winds clocked at 98 MPH, major highways closed, 6  inches of rain in Nehalem.   It's just an ordinary winter storm here.   Gearhart, Warrenton, Astoria, Cannon Beach have 3/4 of the people without power.

In Portland, freeways had with water standing on bridges (how does that happen?).   My umbrella lasted about 2 seconds, and I got drenched in about 20 seconds.   Our local paper doesn't even give the storm a headline.

 So I was happy to get back home, crawl under my wool Pendleton blanket, and sit by the fire.   Oh yea, that was after putting out buckets and plastic waiting for the storm to subside.

Thankfully the firefighters jumped out of the truck and survived.

Sitting by the fire, I realized I haven't shared my Black Forest Chair.  It is likely Austrian-Swiss.  

Black Forest Chair with Edelweiss, dogs and deer
The chair back is really fancy, with carved branches, flowers, and then an inlaid scene of a dog.

The chair makes me smile.  The seat is hinged and has storage underneath it.  It's sort of funny, don't you think, a secret place to hide a treasure.

I don't always use chairs for sitting.  They're great places to stack books and magazines.

Tomorrow I head down to California - flying - on the busiest day of the year - to get ready for Thanksgiving there with family.  I can't wait.  I'll have a post on that pretty table I'm planning!

When I get back, it will be Christmas.  I'm ready. 
My little wooden nutcrackers - an $11 estate sale investment look cute on the mantel.  I especially like the wood grain on the large one.  Reminds me of the Williams Sonoma nutcracker from last year

2011 Williams Sonoma Nutcracker
You can still pick them up on Ebay.  I saw one for $189...    I think I like mine better!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Regency Silk Embroidery Pictures

A couple of weeks ago I went to two antique shows, two weekends in a row.   The first one was a junk / antique show mix.   It had enough booths to make for fun hunting.   I found enough things to keep me on a permanent antique "fix".  

The second show had me scrambling.  I had one hour to view the show and make my purchases.  There were many lovely items there (The Hillsborough show in Calif), however only two made it home with me.

Shepherd entertaining his dog and sheep!

Alright, I confess.  Anything with sheep in it has a special appeal.  I don't know why, I just enjoy it!

Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus
Doesn't this one seem perfect heading into Christmas.   I will hang it above my other religious needlework.   Many of the early needlework items had religious subjects, and I'm delighted to have two lovely examples.
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I am getting ready for Thanksgiving.  How about you?  I have been working on my tablescape, can't wait to share it with you next week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1788 Invitation from an Ephemera Collection

I am in the midst of planning my daughter's wedding.  Being the collector of everything antique, I really wanted something unusual for her wedding announcements.  I've started out by using an old invitation from 1788 for her "save the date" card.

When I first heard the word "ephemera", I didn't really know what it meant.  I had to look it up--it means documents that are intended to be thrown away after use.   I am so glad that ephemera has survived.  There are people who collect all kinds of ephemera.  I seem to be drawn to the English trade cards used in the 1700's. However, trade cards really weren't large enough to adapt to this use, so this card seemed to be a perfect starting point.

 The card was tough to clean up, took me hours. However I did work on it, and then I modified it to match the couple, and appropriateness for the SAVE THE DATE announcement.

The end result below. I tried to block out some information so my poor family can have some privacy.

If you are on the hunt for announcements, there are tons of options available to you thanks to the internet.  You can find many things on Etsy, but I had an idea and I couldn't find anything that satisfied me.

I wanted a colorful envelope liner, but didn't want a plain color.   The photoshopped flowers below reflect the joyful excitement I feel about the wedding.  I also love the juxtaposition of the old graphic against the colorful flowers.  So I to a photograph and made color copies, cut and glued them in myself.  You can find Martha Stewart Youtube how-to instructions.

The envelope liners look great!
Below I made a custom flap for the envelope.  The rabbits in the invitation are a whimsical touch, because we live on "the bunny farm" according to my daughter.  We're overrun with jack rabbits, and you can always see a half dozen when you look outside. The shield has an early german woodcut of a couple in the regency style known as "the proposal".

I love the pop of the colored liners against the black and white print. The letterpress work really looks nice.  It made a beautiful flap on the envelope, and the card was superb.

Below is a sample of an envelope using computer calligraphy.

The address above is fake, but thought you'd like to see the beautiful script I purchased online.  I decided to cut cost by printing the envelopes myself, and they look GREAT!   I am very happy with the printing, it is hard to tell that it is not calligraphy, which can easily cost $4 each.  The custom stamp matches the envelope liner.

OK, now I'm happy!  Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the project.   I've been working on this for a few months and am happy to check something off the list.  I toyed with edging the announcement in a fuchsia pink.  We decided against it, thinking it would be just a bit too modern.  The reaction from the recipients has been great.   My brother said that the postman hand carried his to the front door to make sure he got his beautiful envelope!

The next project is the invitation.  It is even more awesome -- everyone expects it to outdo this card.   I must find a DL or monarch size envelope.  Ideally I need an 7.5" x 3.75" card.  I can find the envelope, but I'm out of luck getting an inner AND outer envelope.   Help!   Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, October 22, 2012

My Sideboard

I was looking at my sideboard this morning, thinking I want to change things out for the upcoming Thanksgiving.   Before I do that, I'd like to share a photo of what it looks like right now.  
Colonial Williamsburg Sideboard

The oval mirror over the sideboard came from an estate sale (surprise).  It was a bargain price of $50.  I found an old eagle that used to be on a federal mirror, it looks nice watching over the activities in the dining room.

Mirror fragment of an eagle
I have alot of items that have eagles on them.  They always catch my eye, and I'm delighted to find them in any form, but wood carved are the favorites.

On each side of the mirror, I have 19th century plates, a Royal Crown Derby Imari pattern called "Kings", and two Imari vases.

I like the little wall brackets with oromlu "ribbon" swagged.  They are the perfect size for the Imari vases.   Imari has wonderful colors that look so great.  The coral and the blue complement each other perfectly.  The plates are older, probably 1850's.

I don't have alot of Imari, but I do enjoy it.  You can find lots of Imari on ebay for really great prices compared to the high end shows around the country.

The American Brilliant cut glass pieces, made from 1880-1910, are a Hawkes flower center, Pairpoint candlesticks, and a Libbey water set.
They are all engraved.  The water set is cut and engraved cherries, the flower center has carnations and the candlesticks have daisies and swirls.

The last statue is something I've always liked.  I have no clue as to its age or who they are.  I just like the look of them on the sideboard!

That's the story on the sideboard.  I hope to come up with a fall-scape in time for Thanksgiving.  Moving on, weekend antiquing was fun.  I found a wonderful piece of embroidery, with gilt metallic thread.

 I left the photo large so you could see the detailed work.   What would you do:  hang it up as is, or cut it up and make pillows?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Barge Ware Teapot

My friend Beverly had a Barge Ware teapot sitting in the center of her kitchen table.   It had an Alice In Wonderland look to it.  I love the lid finial--another teapot.  I have other pieces of brown pottery called Rockingham ware.   There are U.S. versions, made in Bennington factories.

The teapot was produced at Measham in England.  They were produced from 1870 to 1914.   It is called barge ware because people would bring their boats past Measham to the factory and order these.  These teapots were produced by William Mason, a South Derbyshire potter near Church Gresley.  They are referred to as Measham Ware, barge ware, and motto ware.  The lid is quite secure, I can see why they were popular to use on a barge.

Barge ware teapot
Living on a barge must have been tough.  I can see where a teapot that says "HOME SWEET HOME" would be popular.  I love the brown  teapot on my ugly granite counters.  It also feels like fall to me.   It was time to change my lavender wreaths for acorns.  I think the teapot is the perfect addition to my fall "island-scape".

The teapot is 12" tall to the top of the final.  It may not look too giant, but it really is.  I'll have to find my brown Rockingham dogs.  It would be a great match!  

It is always amazing to me to find something 100 + years old, and find it in good condition.  I'm not sure that I'll collect a lot of barge ware, but this is definitely my favorite form.  Do you have any barge ware?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Beverly's Collection of Everything, Part II

The last post was about my friend Beverly's collection.  She passed away, and sadly all her wonderful collection was sold and dispersed to other collectors.  I thought it would be interesting to show how many different collections she had, and in part, how she displayed them.   My photographs were taken during her estate sale, so they are not the best, and don't always show how a room was decorated, but it is still interesting as it was not completely dismantled for the sales.

Previously covered were the entryway, living and dining rooms.    I'll go down the hallway to the left of the entryway which leads to two sitting rooms and her bedroom.

Sitting Room #1 
This room held a french sofa, a couple of chests, a center table, and a screen.  The two sitting rooms were "blue rooms".

Sitting room #1 had a wonderful carved french sofa, and a collection of blue transferware.
I never understood the wallpaper in the background.  She covered it up with this blue screen.
The needlepoint on the demilune table caught my eye.  It's quite lovely.

Wonderful piece of needlework.   I don't think I've ever seen a nicer patriotic needlepoint.
English game table was used as a center table.   I love the piece of old toile underneath the table.
Some of the items on the center table were loners in her collection.  I don't think I saw another piece of wedgwood-- see the lovely cheese dome.

This room held a few interesting mirrors, and my favorite chest.  You can see papier mache trays tucked here and there also.

William & Mary chest with bun feet

Intriguing mirror.  I love the bellflower drops on the sides.
Venetian chair had its original upholstery.  Bev used tacks to cover the tattered upholstery.
 I thought it was interesting that Bev didn't recover her venetian chair.  She used glass tacks to "recover" it, while leaving the original intact.
Beautiful french sofa had an ornate wood carved frame
Most of the blue and white transfeware was displayed in this room.  Some of the pieces are featured below.

Davenport Transferware
Blue transferware with wonderful hunt scene border

Blue transferware with a pastoral scene.  Who can resist anything with cows on it!
blue transferware with deer.  I love the prancing deer!
Transferware and a jasperware cachepot with horses on it.

You see some of her Bennington (Rockingham) brown pottery mixed in with the blue and white.

Sitting Room #2
This room was right next to her bedroom, and was entered through the previous sitting room.  She had a courtyard in the center of her house, and the two sitting rooms along with her bedroom flanked it.  This was the second blue sitting room.  It had more of an american flavor to me with the bird fabric, where the previous room felt more english (and french)  to me.

Across from the door that you entered, you had the view of this wonderful cabinet. I'm not sure of the history, it had so many little drawers in it that I thought it might be some kind of a cabinet made for a shop.

To the left of the cabinet, you can see a display shelf holding blue and white export china.  The doorway you see goes to her bedroom, a tiny room built off the original bedroom.  I think she did this when she was caring for her invalid husband.

The photo below shows the cabinet loaded with more blue and white export china.

Lovely quilt complements the blue and white export china.
Beverly collected portraits.  I love this picture of a chubby chinned royal.   I'd like to have her visit my house.    There is a papier mache tilt-top table set up for viewing.  Lovely!  In the photograph above, there is a mirror resting against the cabinet.  It is wonderful!

Fabulous 18th century antique mirror
To the right of the table is an old cheval mirror with a paw-foot stool in front of it.

Cheval mirror with attached candleholders.
The placement of the mirror was nice.  It was to the left of a sliding door, opposite from the entry door into the room. While it was a small room, it felt more expansive.  A good note here is that you don't have to decorate a bedroom as such, you can use it any way you want.
Paw-foot stool
Sorry about the blurry pictures.  I thought you'd still enjoy seeing all the wonderful things.

To the right of the door, you see this vignette.

Blue and white room with collections of chinese export porcelain and staffordshire dogs.

At one point, there were so many dogs underneath the table, you had to giggle.   They were darling.  Only a few remain here.   I love the bird cage on the table to your right.  That chair was comfortable to sit in and read.  I think the drawers on the table are from a desk.


This was a tiny little room, almost felt like a sleeping porch.  There was a single bed here.  Missing is a beautiful embroidered wall hanging.   Wish you could have seen it.  I only show you this because it is possible to take a narrow room and make it cute.   The embroidered tapestry had dominated this part of the room.

Quilt collection on the bed --along with a toile throw I made for her. 
I really like her blue and white quilt collection.  The one in the previous room, circle around a star, is my favorite.

Love the star in the center of a circle quilt.  I don't know what it is called, but I like it!

Looking past the foot of the bed, you had this lovely view. You could see her courtyard beyond.  Hanging in the window are wooden cherubs.  The wall cabinet houses santos figurines and retablo religous paintings.

Now, this always struck me as odd, as Beverly would tell you she wasn't religious.   Maybe she just liked the artwork.  In front of the window is a papier mache sewing cabinet, with a Baccarat bottle set on top.  I love the sewing table, adds a black item to the room.  That's something that helps give a room depth.

Santos, retablos, cherubs, candles, baccarat, and sewing table in the bedroom.

Close-ups of some of the collection items:

Darling mirror with 3 Baccarat dresser bottles
Papier Mache Sewing Table is to the right of the Venetian Chair
There were many retablo items.  Beverly said she got alot of them in Mexico early in her marriage.  Retablo refers to a latin america devotional painting on board.  It is often on tin.   They are themed catholic art, most likely.

retablo Mother Mary & Baby Jesus
retablo from mexico

There are a few santos sprinkled in too.

Grouped together, it made a lovely display.   I don't have any photos of the cherubs, but they looked great in front of the window of her bedroom.

I will continue with some more specific collections in a future post.  I hope you enjoyed this post.  I wish my friend were still here, consider this a tribute to her, as her collection meant everything to her.   She was very depressed one weekend posted cancer-surgery.  She was supposed to be in bed.  I called her up, and took her out on a Sunday to an estate sale.  She had so much fun and was so excited because she purchased a period table for $45 that everyone else missed.   I am so happy that I stopped by that day.