I broke down and ordered a couple of antique grain sacks from Ebay. Out here in the middle of the prairie, I've discovered that you don't come across many antique European textiles... and I really wanted some! I've been mildy obsessed with checking Ebay and trying to decide which sacks I wanted to order (just ask my husband!), and I finally settled on two, both with blue stripes.
The first one has a nice cobalt blue triple stripe, and ended up as a pillow on my couch.
The second one, with three fabulous thick dark indigo blue stripes, is perfect as a table runner on our small dining room table. I considered opening up the side seams to make one extra long piece, and laying it all the way down the length of the table, but I just couldn't quite bring myself to do it. I know people chop up grain sacks all the time to make pillows, upholster chairs, and make long table runners... but I can't. At least not with this beautiful sack. So instead I laid it across the short side of the table, creating a nice intimate table setting, just right for two. And since I only keep two dining chairs at our table anyways, I think it works out just perfectly.
The new table runner also inspired a new centerpiece, using some of my favorite ironstone, stoneware crocks, and wooden kitchen utensils. I love the simplicity of white ironstone paired with old wood, and combined with the grain sack, the whole table has a rustic french farmhouse feel.
A small, primitive, stoneware salt crock with a wooden lid keeps coarse sea salt handy at the table.
An antique stoneware marmalade jar from England holds a handful of well-worn wooden spoons and a butter paddle. I love the way that the grayish stoneware and aged white ironstone look together.
I also did a little furniture rearranging and moved the antique shelves full of ironstone from the opposite side of the living room into the dining area so that it creates a nice backdrop to the table.
Let it be known, however, that while "a little furniture rearranging" sounds easy, it is in fact back-breaking work when it involves moving a pair of bookcases full of hundreds of books, and a super heavy antique cupboard filled with ironstone. Decorating is a hard job, but the payoff is so worth it...
I paired the "Meat Market" sign that I painted this fall with the cute old black and white wooden pig sign, and hung them both above the ironstone cupboard. A trio of antique baskets on top ties the whole display together, and finishes off my dining room make over.