Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Grain Sack and Ironstone

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.


  1. It all looks so great! I feel the same way about my grain sacks..I dont want to cut mine either!! Your cabinet full of ironstone is awesome!!

  2. Oh, that looks amazing. I just love that cupboard. The sugar bowl is so sweet. I would have lots of fun playing with your dishes.

  3. It is so nice to see someone enjoy decorating as much as I do. Only those that enjoy it can appreciate it. The grain sack is beautiful. I can't wait till May when we head to Brimifield Antique Show in Massachusetts. There is a vendor that has hundreds of grain sacks. I stock up...you can never have enough.

  4. How pretty and soft everything looks!

  5. Your home and collections are just lovely, and you photograph them so well. I'm a new follower.

  6. You're hard work definitely paid off! Love your grain sack table runner and your centerpiece ~ the little salt crock is so cute! I like how you paired the pig with the 'meat market' sign but I'm not sure how piggie feels about it : ) !

  7. Your cabinet with the white dishes looks incredible. Your table runner looks fabulous with the platter and wooden utensils. I love using wooden and bamboo utensils when cookings. It's pretty much all I use now.

  8. What a beautiful collection you have Ellie.
    Love the ironstone cupboard with baskets and adorable wooden pig ♥

  9. Just found your blog and love it! I especially appreciate your showing a photo of the redecorating process - piles of books and ironstone waiting to be re-displayed. It is truly inspiring to see that it is not all effortless. It does take a little (or a lot) of elbow grease to get the look you want. But you sure pulled it off! It is simply beautiful.

  10. I just came across your blog and it is so lovely! These photos are fantastic, and your home looks so beautiful!



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