I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Little Things

Good Morning! It's already mid-January, imagine that! Today feels like spring---cold, grey and rainy---instead of the crystal sharp brilliance I expect of a January beach day. This quiet time of year is, for me, a time of enjoying, of noticing, the small pleasures that brighten each day.
A cup of tea or a new bergamot scented candle. (Bergamot-peppercorn, Bath & Body Shop)

I also treated myself to a small Mrs Meyer's Lemon Verbena candle here

... and her new laundry scent boost, also Lemon Verbena. Lovely for towels and sheets that will be stored until summer. here
One of my favorite things, on sunnier days than today, is getting up early and as I go to the living room to let Mo out, each day I am thrilled to discover the rooms filled with tiny rainbows. You all know how much I love rainbows.

In the fall and winter the sun is low enough to shine in my big beach-facing windows.

I like to hang these prisms to catch the sun and create rainbows in unexpected places.

I find these gorgeous old cut crystal / glass  chandelier prisms at the flea market and I often sell them in my etsy shop rewired with hangers as Christmas ornaments.

Vintage diamonds cut crystal set of 2 ornaments

But now and then a few get detoured and are hung on my windows. And they create the many little rainbows on sunny days. They make delightful suncatchers.

My mother had a small collection of cut crystal c.1950s ashtrays in our living room in Illinois when I was a little girl. She wasn't a smoker, but she loved the rainbows the crystal ashtrays created. She'd spin the little bowls, and the rainbows would also whirl like a kaleidoscope for our fascinated childish eyes.

Sometimes even Mo is rainbow colored though he wouldn't let me take his picture.

Here he is playing with his gifted hand crocheted Jelly, a jellyfish toy made by Mel. It's stuffed with crinkly something--fascinating! And I can insert small treats to add to the attraction. Mo is thrilled, though I fear Jelly may be loved to death and need refurbishing soon.

The snow melted, then returned on Saturday and Sunday. Our ''snow showers'' forecast ended up being 3 inches! This did not deter Mo, who actually made me sit out on the deck to sew on Sunday afternoon. Oooh, cold fingers, but he was so happy. [I lasted maybe 20 minutes, mostly because of the fast fading light.]

PS My potato soup came out good. It was a kit from my snow day stocked pantry, just add water and simmer. I added sauteed leeks too. It made gallons of soup! I froze it in portions and will make:
 1-bacon corn chowder & 2,-Mel's kielbasa-cabbage soup.  Maybe clam chowder? Just add a can of clams?  It's comforting to know the basic soup is there waiting.

Have a great week. Soon we're starting our indoor bulbs! Did you buy any last October?



gone to the beach...

 not Mo. Yet.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Chinese Coins Quilt

Hi! I wanted to share this antique/ vintage quilt. It's a flea market find, but not a ''rescue'' as it is in very good condition.

I had it out for my red and white Xmas decor and took some time to photograph it. With  help of course!

I call this pattern Chinese Coins, which may or may not be right but makes it a fun ''good fortune'' themed piece for the new year and upcoming Chinese New Year. Other than in my imagination it is in no way an Asian textile. Instead it's an interesting collection of what I estimate to be late 1800s  dress/ shirt/ apron prints.

I find this quilt interesting because it truly seems to have been made from someone's scrap bag. The prints all have a similar style [and are not exactly beautiful! Utilitarian would be a better word.]

Lots of checks and plaids, and the occasional part of a Nine Patch or sawtooth strip is thrown in.

Paisley, indigo:

A lace print, ticking stripe, ''moon'' or circle prints, turkey red solid:

I'm very fond of little sprig prints, especially warm brown with pink or red leaves or buds:

The scraps form strips, alternating with a cranberry calico that is also used on the back. [This is the type of quilt that is sometimes taken apart, and the antique yardage sold on eBay. I'd never disassemble a good piece though.]

It is actually not a quilt, but a summer coverlet, despite its dark winter-y look. There is a pieced front and a solid back but no batting or quilting. It's held together with simple string tacked knots here and there. It has never been washed so the fabrics look  pristine and pretty.

I always have fun poring over old scrap quilts, wishing, wishing---"Oh that one would be perfect, for...!" And then I find repros, of course---but too often they are modernized and miss the mark, especially color-wise. Do you notice that? Anyway, according to Barbara Brackman, if I understand her recent blog writings correctly, repro fabrics are ''going out of style', and will soon be much less available.
OMG, girls, let's stock up! 
Like Heidi Klum says on Project Runway, ''One day you're in, and the next day--you're out!'' And so it goes with any commodity that is based on the whims of fashion or fad. Once upon a time, circa 1895 these prints were, perhaps, the height of fashion!?


We've had a few beautiful days, the snow has melted! Mo is back in his chair on the deck. He was pretty upset that I didn't want to join him. He does a "Lassie'' thing, comes and gets me and leads me where he wants me, lol.

The blue fabric is out there still. I'm trying to age it so it works better for my favorite blue rescue quilt's someday repairs. So far the blue cotton from Kona  has withstood six months of weather, still looks brand new.

Have a good weekend! Stay in stay cozy... I found these old pictures of pot pie I made! Doesn't that look delish?

And I'm going to make potato soup. How about you?



gone to the beach.....