Monday, December 19, 2011

Yellowware at Christmas

On the premise that everything looks Christmas-y when you surround it with evergreens, the collection of antique yellowware bowls on my kitchen shelves got their own small dose of holiday cheer. I just love the smell of fresh-cut Christmas greenery... It reminds me of Christmases when I was a kid, and my mom would bring in armloads of fragrant trimmings from the pine trees that surrounded our house, and tuck them into every little nook and crannie of every shelf and mantle and chandelier around the house. Sadly, my greenery is artificial. And I only have four sprigs of it. Oh, well... At least the yellowware is festive.

I recently struck a deal with my mom and traded her for this wide-banded bowl (above) . I've admired it in her house for months, and last time we were home I had something along that I used to bribe her into parting with it.  I had bought a primitive antique wood checkerboard on the road trip there, intending to sell it in my shop, but it looked perfect on her livingroom coffee table. So we made a deal!

Here is an (iphone) picture of the checker board in the shop. It is so charming and obviously handmade, with separate blocks of wood cut, carved, and painted just right so they all fit together to create the game board. I had to drag myself away from that fabulous green blanket chest, too. So many gorgeous things that don't fit in our little car... Sigh.

But, speaking of road trips to Ohio... it's time to get serious and finish up the laundry, pack up the last few orders that are going out tonight, and get ready for another loooooong drive home. But for Christmas, I wouldn't have it any other way!

Merry Christmas from my home to yours!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Few New Ironstone Pieces

My cousin got married this fall in Ohio, and since hubby couldn't make the trip, I flew in for the wedding and took the opportunity to spend a little extra time back home. I was home for a total of 9 days, and most of those were spent antiquing with my mom - she's one of the few people I know who has almost the same stamina for shopping as I do! I found dozens of new ironstone pieces for my collection, from stacks of little butter pats to big beautiful pitchers, tureens, and platters. Sadly, most of it had to stay in Ohio until we drove back for Thanksgiving. But it's all finally here...

One of my favorite finds was this tall ironstone pitcher. I've been keeping my eyes open for one that I could afford, and this one fit the ($20) bill perfectly.

I also found this covered tureen, which perfectly matches an under plate that I had bought earlier this year at a garage sale...

They have the same design, the same color and amount of crazing, and they fit together perfectly - a  perfect match.

The view from the dining "room" into the living room. They are really the same room, so I like to keep the same blue, grey and white color scheme in both spaces.

A pair of towels and a linen apron hang on a pegboard behind the table.

My blue china cabinet got a fresh load of new ironstone finds too. I like when cupboards look layered and filled to the brim, and I'm finally getting there with this one. Of course, there's always room for a few more pieces - a couple more platters to add to the stack, another small plate or two propped up in the back, and a few more piles of butter pats should do the trick.

I've come to love white on white embroidery like this vintage monogrammed towel, which I picked up for a couple dollars. It adds a touch of softness to my white collection.  


I have my eye on a couple of antique European grain sacks on Ebay right now... I'd like to open up a sack with dark blue stripes and use it as a long table runner on my table. That just might be my next project!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winter Living Room

For the last month or so, my blog has taken a serious backseat to the Christmas rush of online shopping. Not my own shopping, mind you, but I've been busy from morning to night wrapping soap, stitching towels, packing orders, and helping a host of my lovely customers get their Christmas shopping done early. 'Tis the season...
But in the midst of all the packing and shipping, there's still been a little time for decorating. With all the traveling my husband and I do over the holidays, I don't go all out with Christmas decorations at our little house. It just makes the beautiful trees and lights at our parents homes in Ohio that much more special next to our own undecked halls. But with a few wintery touches here and there and a couple of wonderful new finds from my last antiquing trip, our livingroom has a fresh winter look in blue, white, and grey that is perfect even long after the holidays are over.  

One of my favorite new-to-me antiques is this blue and white coverlet. I've always admired woven coverlets like this, but authentic early ones in good condition are few and far between, not to mention expensive. But on our Thanksgiving road trip a couple weeks ago, we took a minor detour to stop at one of my favorite antique malls in Shipshewana, Indiana, and I spotted this beautiful blanket almost the moment I walked in the door. It was in excellent condition, and I flipped over the price tag without much hope. But at $80 it was literally hundreds less than I was expecting, so I bought myself an early Christmas present. (There, see, I have done a little shopping after all).

The color and texture that it adds to the white slipcovered couch are wonderful, and the bold pattern works so nicely with all of my french striped pillows.

The wooden bowl on the coffee table got a touch of the holidays with a handful of natural pinecones and a stack of antique books with dark blue covers. My husband loves reading old books and buys them regardless of what they look like - I pick out my favorites from his collection and decorate with them...

My absolute favorite is the tiny leather-bound hymnal from 1854 (on top of the stack). Not only does it have perfectly aged pages and a handsome pattern pressed into the old leather cover, but the hymns inside are some of the most beautifully penned words I have ever read, proclaiming the truths of scripture with a poetry and depth that is seldom heard today.

As I've told you before, I am in love with these mosaic mirror candle sconces, and I found this one for only $15 at an antique shop in Ohio this fall. It adds a festive touch of sparkle to the simple rustic room, even without a candle (don't worry, I'm working on it).

My TJ Maxx french chair gets a little primitive white stool to rest my feet on (which I am actually doing right this minute as I write).

The chippy white table in the corner holds a pair of antique crocks with pale grey glaze and a crinkled wire antique basket the I picked up recently here in Nebraska. It's one of the things I bought to sell in my Etsy shop, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Sorry...

Pillows... I love pillows.

A few sprigs of (fake) Christmas greenery nestle around another antique crock and my little gray duck.

Even the TV gets some holiday love, with a bowl of reproduction mercury glass ornaments and more greenery.

And the icing on the cake...?

We had our first snowfall on the day I took these pictures last week, and we've had a thick blanket of winter wonderland ever since. Merry Christmas from Nebraska!

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