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

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monday Mix - Flags, Flea, and Christmas

Hi everyone!
First I'll show you November's Flags quilt blocks. (Flags of the American Revolution by Jan Patek).

This is the second Eagle block. These tight curves were what damaged my hand, back in September.
I sewed the eagle , my friend appliquéd the stars. We both initialed the block. I didn't add the second cream colored layer to the eagle's ribbon/ banner because I love this red print, it looks like moiré or a ribbon itself. I didn't think the white on top added anything.

And here are two of the three assigned Star spacer blocks.

I made them very scrappy and each had to be made alone, no mass production here. So I only got two done, sigh. (I was so sure I could finish all five, but No.) I may wait to make the rest of the stars, maybe they should be red / blue/ cheddar?)

I'm looking forward to seeing what Lori has for us for December!
Now the flea--- It was good! And warm, almost 60*!  But I can't show you everything because some of my finds are future Christmas presents or etsy offerings. I did find this very interesting flow blue/ Staffordshire transferware plate, c.1820.

I always have wanted a seashell bordered piece for my collection but items with this border tend to be very expensive. Here is a similar plate for a whopping $795.oo! here
Here are closeups of the shells:

Shell motifs are old and rare; most transferware has floral borders.

My plate is badly damaged, though the odd green splotches seem to be under the original glaze. I guess it was a ''second"? But pretty enough that it has been treasured and lasted almost 200 years. And it's definitely not a high value piece. I love the naturalistic shells...and so it came home with me. ($4.00)

Below, I lightened the photo so you could see more details. The color above is accurate.

This plate dates from the 1820s and has an impressed E. [Enoch] Wood mark.

It commemorates Commodore MacDonnough's victory over the British, on Lake Champlain, during the War of 1812. I guess the English businessmen who ran the potteries were more interested in milking the American market than they were sulking over a major military loss.

I didn't run it through the dishwasher yet. It might be brighter once cleaned.

Then---it's December! Over the past two days I've undone all my Thanksgiving decor and have changed the basics to red and white for Christmas.

rare 19th century handmade tin cooky cutters
 in old bowl
[scissors, fox, camel, turkey, fish]

New display of red and green transferware in the plates rack, red toile pillows on the sofas. Red quilts.

I dug out a dark toned dhurrie rug---red, blues, tan, grey, which will replace the bamboo mat under the coffee table. The wooden rug is much chewed now by Mo. In fact I think I'll hold off on the new rug till closer to Christmas, so that it has a chance to survive.
Here's a fun little snowman quilt I found in the quilt cupboard.

Here is Mo in my blogging chair. He got a turkey shaped doggy cooky for Thanksgiving.

And below, a few more pix of the Big Day. "Light the candles! Pour the wine!"

The turkey was wonderful! All the dishes were finished at the same time, and all the food was hot when served [a pet peeve of mine, cold food]. But sadly, no leftovers.

Over the coming weeks I'll add more decorations. We don't do our tree til until weekend after next, because we get a fresh cut tree. Mo and I already saw many Christmas trees in people's windows, last night when we had our evening walk. So early! I bet those people didn't cook for Thanksgiving!
When do you put up your tree? Real or fake? White lights or colors?

I wish everyone a fun and stress-free holiday season! Enjoy.



gone to the beach



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiiving

I'm making' a list, I'm checking' it twice---nope not my Christmas list but my Thanksgiving holiday prep list.

Hi everyone!

I love Thanksgiving. I have my children and closest friends at my table, celebrating our blessings and spending festive times together.

I have vivid memories of so many Thanksgivings...the year I made acorn people place card holders...I was about 8? One of the figures was a mommy acorn pushing a walnut pram with a teeny tinyacorn baby inside it. The acorn cap formed the baby's bonnet! We packed them carefully and put them in a shoebox, for the drive across Ohio to my grandparents' house "Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house we go." [my mom liked car ride sing along. My poor dad! We're all very tone deaf.]

And Thanksgivings in Cape Cod. My mom was so efficient she'd have everything under control by lunchtime and we'd pile in the car and take a very long drive to all the Pilgrim sites nearby: First Encounter Beach, Corn Hill Beach, Pilgrims' Monument in P-town, the old Puritan church in Orleans on the windswept moor overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. My mom was so good, she actually trusted the oven timer to click on as planned and we 'd arrive home to a fully cooked meal. Awesome.

And even though I complain, I enjoy all the preparation...making the menu, with dishes both old and new. delegating the wine choices and seeing what appears [rose' this year].

I love choosing one of my heirloom tablecloths. This is my favorite, a great grandmother brought this from Switzerland in a wicker trunk. That branch of the family was brought to America by Kraft, to make Swiss cheese.

I like to choose the table runner, iron the napkins---no, the blue napkins didn't "work".

I enjoy polishing the silver, my designated chore since childhood.

Even the turkey plates are fun to see; we greet them like old friends who visit this one day only.

In recent years I've been using mercury glass...with candles and gilded pumpkins and squashes.

I never know how the table will look until I get started. I set the table the day ahead while the pumpkin pie is baking. Oh it smells sooo good!

I do a huge Fall cleaning, usually in October , sometimes not til November. Seeing the house all fresh and sparkly clean makes me so happy. I can feel the tension in my shoulders slip away, I can breathe again. Mess and mini sand dunes, our version of dust bunnies, makes me very nervous, lol.

Snacks are very light, because the meal is so big.
Cranberry encrusted goat cheese
Apricot white Stilton
crackers/ sliced homemade bread
red or white wine
Mixed nuts
1st course:
 Italian -style mushrooms stuffed with garlicky ricotta and spinach,
real crowd pleaser, this dish is always made by a friend.
main course
Turkey with gravy
Stuffing [cornbread, wild rice, bacon, chestnuts, dried cranberries]
roasted Fall veggies with apples and nutmeg
creamed onions
braised Brussels sprouts with garlic and lemon
rose' wine
Pumpkin cheesecake
[I try a new dessert recipe every year. I love to bake, hate to cook.
Wish me luck with the cheesecake.]


This is Mo's first Thanksgiving! Shall we sneak him a drumstick?

or let him eat clogs?

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you for being my friends!




gone to the beach............


PS FOUND!  in the wine cupboard, LOL!

PSS Snow, what snow? Note the temps.
So far as I know, it cannot snow when itis 49* out?