Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bit of Sunshine needed!

After last weeks temperatures hovering around the eighty mark this week has been a real eye opener as we were slammed right back into winter like weather with rain and ice this morning. Our daffodils are top heavy since they’re double blooms and were laying over so I dashed out in pajamas and scissors in hand, I know don’t run with scissors but it was more like a really fast walk, and rescued the open blossoms.

Aren’t these daffodils pretty and I love the touch of green on the leaves. These are such reliable bloomers and come back year after year without fail I only wish I knew what kind they are. I bought them one fall when a store was having a late fall sale and grabbed them and stuck them in the ground forgetting all about them until they came up the following spring.

So if anyone out there knows what type they are share please!

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Ultimate Monogram

I love crests or should appropriately be called coat-of-arms. Coat-of-arms is a heraldic design with smaller motifs on the shield that are unique to a person or family for achievements. I like to think of coat-of-arms as the ultimate monogram since they’re unique to the bearer of the arms. Only men received coat-of-arms since typically women didn’t go to war or participate in governing bodies.  Lately though they’ve been popping up all over in design and been turned into a focal point as this amazing coat-of-arms above.

The Pucci family coat-of-arms has been proudly displayed in Laudomia Pucci's living room on her estate just outside of Florence, Italy.

Tara Shaw

Tara Shaw used some unique coat-of-arms, the one above the fireplace and on the base of the coffee table. I just love this room!

Kathy Rousset

Kathy Rousset Antiques used a coat-of-arms for the back of this newly recovered chair. (I have the other mate to this coat-of-arms for sale if anyone is interested.)

This picture was taken in Kathy Rousset’s living room where she proudly displays two chairs covered in tapestry that display coat-of-arms.

I love banners that display coat-of-arms and this one is amazing and lucky you is still for sale on 1st Dibs.  

This unique coat-of-arms belongs to Greet over at Belgian Pearls . I love it so much it has become a design idea for me in my studio.

My image

This coat-of-arms is very unique given the fact it’s so big at four feet by three feet wide. It dates to the 16th century and represents the marriage of Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain in 1469. The design on the shield represents the joining of two lands. If you look up in the upper left hand corner you’ll notice a smaller coat-of-arms that is more typical size for a pillow. Lucky me I have two arms this size each with different shields. I have enough 18th century silk I think both coat-of-arms are going to be stitched down to look like Greets banner with thick cording along the sides. I know the silk is torn but trust me everything can be fixed!

My image

While not a coat-of-arms it’s still a great example of very early monogram, it's getting made up into a pillow.

My image

My image

A tapestry piece with coat-of-arms depicting crabs and symbolizes great strength and power in gripping and holding. You think that was tough to figure out for me? I haven’t decided what I’ll do with this piece but you can be sure it’s going to be for an interior.

My family was made up of peasants so I’m not holding my breath that we had a coat of arms-of-arms. Anyone out there who knows what his or her family coat-of-arms might be? I’d love to hear!

Our warm spring weather has passed and we’re back down in the 20’s-40’s range but there’s great promise for warmth soon. I hope you all have a wonderful spring week!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Word over at The Enchanted Home

Good morning everyone, I know you’re shocked I’m posting during the week. I wanted to let you all know that Tina of the awesome blog The Enchanted Home  invited me to join in her One Word series. It’s a Q&A series where you answer questions with one word, I know tough for bloggers since the whole point of blogging is we’re a chatty bunch.

For those of you that may not know who Tina is, I know impossible but it happens, she has been blogging about the building of her amazing dream home.

Just a glimpse of her new kitchen and her beloved Golden Retriever Teddy and if you think she has a lot of storage in those stunning cabinets you should see her pantry! I know I’m green with envy, in a good way, over the storage Tina has in her kitchen.

Tina also has a new online store called The Enchanted Home Shop where she sells the beautiful accessories she uses in her personal home. How much better can it get? Not only does Tina have amazing style when it comes to her decorating but she also shares by way of her shop. So if you haven’t been this is a must stop! I just purchased some olive trays and can't wait to shop more.

I hope if you find time in your busy day you’ll come on over to The Enchanted Home if you would like to know a little more about me too!

I hope you’re all enjoying your week!


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Moving Day!

It’s the kind of spring day that dawned crisp and clear and warmed up to a balmy 72 degrees…in March, in New Hampshire…unheard of but just the sort of perfect day meant for getting outside chores done.

First up uncovering my roses and as you can see they’re already putting out tons of new growth…in March, I don’t think I’m going to get over that soon.

The daffodils are pushing their way skywards….

And then it arrives carrying one of my Christmas presents……my stone for in front of my studio French doors. Yep, even on a Sunday they deliver around here.

Upward he comes carrying well over a ton of weight let alone what the truck weighs. Can’t wait to see what this will do to the lawn.

It’s a long trip up and around to where my stone needs to go (The guys didn’t want me hopping around backwards squealing over my stone for some reason.) so mister man is leading the way.

So Dylan dog and I raced around another direction and I squealed from here!
(The guys secretly loved it I could tell!)

My stone step being gently lowered into place…..yeah, see the ruts Rob has already made with his tractor, Mama ain’t smiling but it’s for the cause!

Now comes the easy part of moving my step into place and our ever-helpful Dylan dog is stepping in to lend a paw.

A little grunting and groaning…..

And voile, it’s home! Ok maybe not that easily but you get the point. I couldn’t be more thrilled with my new/old stone step. I even know where my stone came from it used to be part of a foundation on an 1800 house that was torn down last summer here in town.

Mister man and I even moved another stone we found on our property up and around for the patio.

In case you missed it this is what the finished stone patio will look like in my secret garden.

The antique gates I purchased from Mona at Providence Ltd Design arrived this past week and I couldn’t be happier they’re exactly what I need for the entrance to my secret garden. If you haven’t shopped Mona’s yet you’re missing a real treat!

image pinterest

I even found this amazing image over on pinterest and I’m thinking of copying this hedge. Thanks to Debra from 5th and State she helped me with the names of the plantings…thanks Deb. I love our blog world there are so many wonderful, talented and helpful people about.

So we’re making some small progress on my secret garden and with any luck it just might get done this summer. Thankfully mister man is chomping at the bit to lay my patio.

How about you, anyone out there planning a summer outdoor project?

I hope you all have a wonderful spring week and be well!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

A few treasures I’ve picked up…..

 French silk tassels, left is 18th century with chipped gilt header, the right 17th century

Most of you probably know I’m an antique textile dealer and as such I collect a lot of things related to the textile world.  One of my collections that I’ve previously shown is my collection of antique tassels here .

metal and silk cord wrapped in raw linen with handmade embellishments

I collect the unusual and rare items such as this handmade 18th century trim. We dealers have a tendency to keep the very rare if not the best of things. 

18th century French silk trim with silk and metal needlework

Because I can sometimes collect at an astounding rate and to save my checking account from bankruptcy I started looking for items I wouldn’t be able to collect quickly. Things so unusual that even I had never heard of them until I stumbled upon them.

While on a trip one time I found a couple of unusual 17th century Dutch lead cloth/textile seals. Cloth was one of the most valuable and highly regulated and controlled materials in the 17th century. The tags showed the cloth was guild approved, payment of custom taxes was paid and these seals actually served as tamper indicators. It is not possible to shorten a bolt of fabric without disturbing the seals.

In the British Museum

Coat-of-arms can be found on cloth seals such as this Calvert arms and serves as ownership identifier tag rather than a custom duties tag.

Another fun little item is this piece of bone used for stamping out bone buttons.

How about ephemera or paper goods, these are 19th century French linen export tags fronted with the lightest covering of real silver. As you can see some of them are starting to patina down and take on a more tarnished look. These would have been used on linen bolts indicating the yardage. (Sorry these are very difficult to get a good picture and show detail at a distance.)

Do the French ever do anything wrong in how they label things? To see other examples of English and Irish tags go here. Considering this was a throw away item once the cloth bolt was cut into it's amazing that so many wonderful examples still exist.

18th century prick & pounce vellum

I love this item it’s 18th century French and used for transferring a design on fabric for embroidery. A design would be drawn onto a thick piece of vellum and then pricked through with a sharp instrument leaving tiny holes. Then the vellum would be placed on a piece of fabric and pounced all over with powder that filters into the tiny holes, leaving tiny dots on the fabric. An embroider would then follow the dots to create their embroidery.

You can see how thick this piece of vellum is and would not have been thin enough to use for paper. Old vellum is animal skin whereas modern vellum, used for things like blueprints, is made from vegetable vellum.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few of my unique textile items in my collection. So now it’s your turn do you collect anything unusual or unique?

I hope you all have a wonderful week!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow Day!

Old man winter has finally decided to show up this year and he waited until March 1st! We already have six inches of snow down with up to ten more inches coming. I have to admit I’ve missed seeing the snow this year but all at once…really?

Trust me I know how fortunate I am to live where I do, the air is clean, the beauty breath taking and this is just outside our kitchen window.

 I dashed out to the front porch to snap these lovelies feasting, a Common Flicker and….

Mister Cardinal…..

Who suddenly got camera shy!

A typical morning chat over coffee around here…..

This little guy didn’t stay in his polka dot coat for long and wasn’t at all sure about his first snowfall.

Instead he grew his own coat and loves the snow.

There’s no getting this bear inside during a good snowfall. Trust me he's all hair and that coat is going to start falling out all over our house soon but that's life with a Golden and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

I hope everyone is having a beautiful day!


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