Monthly Archives: March 2009

Gathering Roses

Won’t you come into the garden?

I would like my roses to meet you.

     ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816)

rose of sharing

I am learning that one fundamental aspects of writing and reading blogs is creating community by sharing with one another–whether it be experiences, ideas, information or stories. By sharing, I learn more about creating a beautiful, inspired and simple life at Rose Cottage. There are some roses I have gathered and am sharing with you on this fine early spring day.

Bouquet of Roses

Bouquet of Roses from Camrose Hill

rose of remembrance

If I had a rose for every time I thought of you,

I’d be picking roses for a lifetime.

                                                                                                                  ~ Swedish Proverb

How have you “gathered roses” by creating memories?

Rose in My Garden and Other Flowery Vintage Music

Rose in My Garden and Other "Rosey" Vintage Music

 

Rose in My Garden and Grandmother Ione (c.1925)

rose of creating

{Rose} gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint,

and the soil and sky as canvas.

                                                                                                 ~Elizabeth Murray

Bright and early Saturday morning,  Mi and I linger over a three-hour breakfast at the charming Savories European Bistro in the historic river town north of Rose Cottage. Our conversation is filled with ideas for some new projects sprinkled with generous helpings of laughter. I treasure this time well-spent with one of my most creative friends. Later, I gather a few vintage rose treasures that are just too sweet to pass by.

Vintage Moss Rose Creamer, Sugar Bowl and Teal Cup

Vintage Moss Rose Creamer, Sugar Bowl and Tea Cup in Dawn's Light

 Sixteen (yes–16!) vintage moss rose tea cups are gathered, along with moss rose berry and soup/salad bowls. Perfect for a spring tea party or luncheon to share with family and friends! Plus, there are a  few more treasures to share for creating  future memories…

Vintage Moss Rose Tea Cups with Moss and Roses

Vintage Moss Rose Tea Cups with Moss and Roses

Vintage Creamer and a Rose

Vintage Creamer and a Rose

Vintage Rose Chintz Creamer with Pink Roses

Vintage Rose Chintz Creamer with Pink Roses

 

rose of anticipation

A {rose} garden really lives only insofar as it is

an expression of faith,

the embodiment of a hope and the song of praise.

                                                                        ~Russell Page

Believe: April Showers Bring May Flowers

April Showers Bring May Flowers

 

rose of planning and doing

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may,
Old Time is still aflying,
And this same flower that smiles today,
Tomorow will be dying.

                                                         ~Robert Herrick

Getting Ready to Gather More "Roses"

Getting Ready to Gather More "Roses"

What are the roses you hope to gather this spring?

Advertisements

17 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Home, Uncategorized, Vintage

Awake! It’s spring…time to get organized!

Awake, thou wintry earth –
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!
~Thomas Blackburn

tip 1: a place for everything

Do you sometimes feel “weighted down” or dreary during March even though the signs of spring are emerging everywhere?

Signs of Spring: Roses and Peony

Signs of Spring: Roses and Peony

Signs of Spring: Bird's Nest

Signs of Spring: Bird's Nest

Do you look around your home and wonder “where did all this stuff come from?” I do–tell me I am not alone!

For me, spring is a perfect time to help renew and refresh my spirit by organizing a closet, corner or a room. When organized, I am free of the burden of wondering, “where did I put…” and am not spending countless moments looking for something! I remember one of Grandmother Ione’s sayings, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Spring is a great time to be reminded of not giving clutter a chance to form.

Time for a Little Spring Tea

Time for Spring Tea Joined by Grandmother Ione's Mother (Myrtle Maderson)

tip 2: quality over quantity

At Rose Cottage, there is a closet under the stairs that is a catch all–it is Fibber McGee’s closet! Get a quick peak at the closet by watching the video. Time to tackle that closet–even though the mere thought is colossal! With my Very Best Boy’s help–yes, the same one as the cinnamon roll baker on the “Home Alone” post! We take EVERYTHING out of McGee’s closet. Soon there is only a path through the living room and the dining room!

Please tell me that someone else has a Fibber McGee’s closet!

tip 3: don’t put it down {put it away, give it away or throw it away

Living in a small 1880’s cottage with very limited storage for nearly thirty years, requires on-going organization. Asking, “how will I use…this year?” can help reduce the quantity of “stuff” that gathers over the winter months. Next, it is time to make decisions about what to do with the stuff!

tip 4: pile, don’t file!

…that is, pile so that “stuff” can find new homes! Soon piles grow destined for recycling, tossing or giving away. My Very Best Boy decides there is some “stuff” he can use at his house away at college! I decide in order to have a more beautiful and inspired life this year, I need to simplify and have less quantity. There is a lot of accumulation over the winter!

Do you have a proliferation of “stuff “over the winter, too?

tip 5: spring forward!

Time at last for all the piles to move out the door. Bags, bags and even more bags (too many to count!) are dropped off at the Good Will. Going off to the GW is not without risk of bringing stuff home. I come home with just a just a few vintage treasures for spring nest fluffing from some favorite shops!

Sweet Velvet Bunnies Making Spring Deliveries

Sweet Velvet Bunnies Making Spring Deliveries (from Rose Mille)

Vintage Moss Rose Finds, Millinery and Bird Frame

Vintage Moss Rose Finds, Millinery and Bird Frame

For more about getting organized, Melissa over at The Inspired Room has some stylish ideas and tips to help you getting started on fluffing your nest.

Fluffing the Nest at Rose Cottage

Fluffing the Nest at Rose Cottage

Won’t you leave a comment and tell me how you are fluffing your nest this spring?

17 Comments

Filed under Family, Home, Uncategorized, Vintage

Home Alone

“Haven’t you ever wondered what I did while alone?”

Mom or Dad: do you have a son or daughter that you sent off to travel the far corners of the earth or to pursue studies at college? If so, you know what it is like to wonder {read: worry!} what your son or daughter is doing and if he or she is OK. Each day, you pray your “child” is safe, makes good decisions and remembers all your pearls of wisdom! Right?!

Today, I receive an email from my very best boy–a senior at college living away from home. The subject line says: “Haven’t you ever wondered what I did while alone?” Immediately, my heart starts to palpitate. I pause for a second or two before opening the email. I finally find out one thing that my very best boy does after his studies are done! This is what he writes:

“Now you know,
 
This is what happens when I am left alone…”
Rolling out homemade cinnamon roll dough

Rolling out made-from-scratch cinnamon roll dough

 

Cutting dough into rolls

Cutting dough into rolls

 

Cinnamon rolls on cooling racks

Cinnamon rolls on cooling racks

 

"It is only good when it is fresh!"

"It is only good when it is fresh!"

 

A perfectfully executed work of art!

A perfectfully executed work of art!

 So what am I worried about?!

st-patricks-day-woman-rose-pc3

13 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Family, Uncategorized

Time in a Bottle

Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey.

It reminds us to cherish each moment,

because it will never come again.

What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

                                                                                                               ~Jean-Luc Picard

springing forward…reluctantly!

Today, I am taking the leap! I am setting my watch an hour ahead for daylight savings time–yes, it is the Friday following the change to daylight savings time! “No kidding! But, I haven’t changed the time on the clock in my car…I want to save all the time I can! What is that you say? I won’t really save time by not changing my clock? Ah…well…!

Thinking About Time

Thinking About Time

cherish is the word I use to describe…

Cherishing moments I have with my VBS, children, family and friends is something I am thinking about a bit lately. Cherishing is the fundamental essence of living the beautiful life that Melissa writes about on The Inspired Room –whether it is cherishing a family keepsake, finding a long-forgotten treasure, making our homes lovely or spending time with loved ones!

What do you cherish the most to create the beautiful life?

Each spring as my watch is set ahead, I think how quickly time passes! How is it that it is just a blink and our babies grow into amazing adults that we want to be around! When the babies were…well, babies…it seemed like they were always going to be little, sitting next to the table in their high chairs during meal times, climbing into their cribs at bedtime or asking to have just one more story read…”ohhh, pleeeeeeease, Mama!” In reality, there are only a finite number of times to enjoy shared meals, bedtime stories or sunsets…but usually we treat these as inexhaustable!

Taking time for the Inspired and Beautiful Life

Taking Time for the Inspired and Beautiful Life

What are the moments that you want to treasure with your children, family or friends?

Because time is not limitless, it is important to “stop the clock” for a minute or two and think about what is it I really want to do or pursue. Then, I consider how to prioritize or balance time between numerous responsibilites and ever-expanding interests of things to do, make and see!  This year, one of my goals is to write the Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm blog as a way to connect with family and friends–old and new. I am using the posts as one tool to think about how to create a beautiful life, and how to resoucefully, creatively and intentionally live in that beautiful life.

clock-at-rose-mille21

one moment {month} in time

I am so grateful that you are stopping by for a chat today, and to share your kind words and support in this journey! You see, today marks the completion of one month in the blogsville! It is so wonderful to meet you here—to pause the clock for a moment or two and share a bit of our lives. I want to bottle up all this time we spend together and save it for a rainy day!

Finding Time in a Bottle at Rose Mille

Finding Time in a Bottle at Rose Mille

 

I would love if you would take some time to send me a comment!

I would love if you would take some time to send me a comment!

Thank you for your visit and a little chat!

10 Comments

Filed under Family, Home, Uncategorized, Vintage

Inspired by Red

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies.
~Christopher Marlowe

it only takes a spark

I wake up on a Saturday morning thinking, “red might be a fantastic color for the bedroom!” I quickly quench the idea for a simple reason…I don’t like the color red! The thought persists, and I keep dreaming about red!

Dreaming about Red Inspirations

Dreaming about Red Inspirations

Surprisingly, I hear my own voice asking, “why not? The splash of red might be just the spark needed to renew our spirits!” I am becoming convinced that red accents along with soft yellow walls will give the room a warm, French-inspired feeling. Maybe, it is just what we need! The notion gradually grows and takes hold: “I MUST have red accents in this room!”

What color must you simply have in your home?

A few days later, I spot a fantastic buffalo checked silk taffeta in raspberry red–perfect for the window treatment! The taffeta curtain is layered over a creamy lace curtain, and sweeps across the large window with a black velvet tieback made with vintage millinery posies. Oh, it is so romantic! Read more about romantic millinery magic! But that’s not all…

 Romantic Millinery Tieback

say it in red

Next, a little red is needed to set off the cream bed linens. Victorian layover pillow shams, made using a single color in an outline stitch on cotton called redwork, will fit the 125 year-old Rose Cottage. Even though simplistic, the stitching on a crisp soft-white cotton using red embroidery floss can capture the center stage of the room. The “Good Morning” and “Good Night” shams are added to the pillow collection on the antique brass bed.

Victorian Layover Shams in Redwork

seeing a bit more red

Having a penchant for antique and vintage textiles, I search through the linens stashed carefully away in a dresser. I find some lovely woven damask linens, Italian redwork, a penny redwork square of a single rose, and a treasured woven red shaw/throw from an Italian adventure over a year ago. My favorites are the antique French red bird toile–I just can’t get enough of it! There is a fabulous Tuesday Toile party going on at Pretty Organized–don’t miss out if you are smitten with toile!

While there are variations in the reds, it all works and the reds play very nicely together.

Redwork Damask with Monogram P and 6 Inch French Lace

French Linen with Monogram D

 

 inspirations from red

 1. Red is one of those colors that a little goes a long way. Just enough red adds energy, inspiration and warmth to a room, too much red…well…it is just too much.

2. Surprise yourself — do something unexpected to create joy in your home and for those you love!

3. Be open to new ideas and inspirations from unexpected things or places.

4. Simple changes helps see everyday things with new eyes.

5. Using slight variations of a color or a theme can add more interest.

What are your inspirations or insights when you step out of your “decorating comfort zone” and try something new?

The French-inspired look is dreamy and amazingly romantic. Though fabulous for cold winter months, the bedroom will need to to feel lighter with softer colors and fabrics for the warm summer months that are just around the corner.

red-bed-and-settee1

This gives me another idea as a creative frugalist: two season decorating–switching up the colors and textiles so rooms have a new look based on the season. Now, it is time to start planning the warm weather look! The perfect place to start is a luxurious antique silk and damask bolster pillow from Rose Mille to create a summer “bed of roses!” 

10 Comments

Filed under Home, Uncategorized, Vintage

A is for {Grandmother’s} Amazing Aprons

remember when…

grandmothers wore aprons throughout the day… especially when they were in the kitchen? My grandmothers never kneaded homemade bread or rolled out a pie crust without first securing the apron strings of a bib or half-apron. Some of my most treasured keepsakes are Grandmother’s aprons. There is something special–almost magical–about Grandmother’s aprons! The aprons transform me back in time and bring back sweet memories…

The Kitchen Workshorses

The Kitchen Workhorses

As they were for our grandmothers, aprons are a great “tool” to help with multi-tasking that we often do throughout the day. They are true “workhorses.” An apron’s large pockets are perfect hideaways for an amazing array of necessities and are holders of collections of all sorts gathered during the day: a freshly-pressed linen hankie to wipe a tear (yes, I still iron my hankies!), a tube of lip color (to apply as needed–you just never know!), beans freshly picked from the kitchen garden, rose petals deadheaded on a quick garden walk-through, green and brown eggs gathered from le palais de poulet, a treasured postcard from someone special or even the cell phone.

 What kind of things collect in your apron pockets?

a little more looking back

My grandmothers had numerous aprons for different purposes. All were handmade–often from a gingham or cotton floral print. Sometimes, a feedsack cotton or “repurposed” curtain was given new life as an apron! (Grandmothers were very resourceful!) Among my favorite aprons are those with a simple cross-stitched pattern in the small checks on a gingham fabric. As a young girl, I often had an apron that was a miniature version of Grandmother’s gingham apron. How I loved to wear aprons to be just like Grandmother.

Vintage Aprons

Vintage Aprons

Some of Grandmother’s aprons were decorative to coordinate with their dresses when they hosted a party. The decorative aprons were often made out of organdy, felt, chiffon, neeting or lace and showed off grandmother’s needleart skills. One of most treasured is a white linen expertly trimmed with an insert of hardanger the width of the apron skirt. Each year, My Best Girl wears the hardanger apron for the Swedish Christmas Eve celebration at Rose Cottage.

Hardanger Apron

Hardanger Apron

true confessions of a creative frugalist!

I LOVE aprons! I wear an apron every day because I am sentimental and practical. My homey aprons give me a sense of connectedness with the women who came before me.  When I wear an apron, life seems less complicated. But I confess, I usually wear an apron because I’m a messy and often spill.  It sure is much easier to launder an apron than an entire outfit! Most of my every day aprons are of the utilitarian type and are indispensable. You know the kind–heavy, durable cotton–usually, not a pretty sight after baking or cooking all day in the kitchen! 

So when spotting the large bolt of vintage green and white woven fabric at Rose Mille on the bottom shelf in the back room, I just had to get some yardage to make some pretty aprons. Rose Mille’s checked fabric is not the kind of gingham most often found in the fabric stores now, rather it is a true “homespun” woven textile and has some weight and density. If you love homespun cottons you just have to get some!)

Green and White Woven Cotton, Vintage Ticking and Trims

Green and White Woven Cotton, Vintage Ticking and Trims

Ribbons might also be added to my dream aprons to add another touch of beauty. Melissa over at The Inspired Room has more ideas about creatively using ribbons to beautify your home in simple ways…Maybe, I will be hanging my new-yet vintage-aprons in the pantry on a pretty hook using ribbons…

How are you bringing beauty into your life and home while being a “creative frugalist?”

The Old Becomes New for the Creative Frugalist

The Old Becomes New for the Creative Frugalist

Now, I am dreaming of several new aprons… Each of the six new aprons will have a different bib front using a Bella Notte linen fabric sample, vintage trim or carefully selvedge crocheted lace edging from a troseau pillow, and vintage bakelite or celluloid buttons. Isn’t this a creative and fun way to be a frugalist in the 21st century? Certainly an interesting way to recycle, repurpose and resuse!

Vintage Red Glass Buckle and Trim

Vintage Red Glass Buckle and Trim

 

Two of the homey aprons will each have a fabulous vintage glass buckle. These glass buckles are just too lovely to pass up from Mi’s stock at Rose Mille! The red buckle is a perfect accent on the red gingham. The blue glass buckle will be used on the second apron. Then, there is the apron with…so tell me,

What would your dream apron look like?

Grandmother's Amazing Apron

Grandmother's Amazing Smock Apron - Cheerfully, helped to make many batches of blue-ribbon caramel rolls!

18 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Family, Sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage

A Perpetual Astonishment: Spring (Ellis Peters)

greeting spring in the garden

Even though it is still wintery at Rose Cottage, the signs of spring are starting to slowly emerge! Yesterday, I received the best “spring is just around the corner” gift–the sweetest little herb garden for the kitchen window!

Hint of Spring - A Little Kitchen Herb Garden

Hint of Spring - A Little Kitchen Herb Garden

The fragrance of the rosemary, oregano and thyme just made my fingers itch for the rich, dark soil of the kitchen garden-even though there is over a foot of snow on the beds! Ruth Stout captured my sentiments when she wrote, “I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.”  Where do you like to greet spring?

little signs of spring

The signs of spring have been hinting everywhere the past few days. Have you noticed the sun is a bit higher, the sky more blue and colorful bundles of tulips are blooming at the local markets? When I start seeing these signs of spring, the winter blues slowly melt away and I have renewed energy!

Alpine Flower - Lance-Leaved Springbeauty

Alpine Flower - Lance-Leaved Springbeauty

Melissa from The Inspired Room has posted 20 Little Things to Look Forward to In Spring. Besides hearing  the sweet song of Jenny Wren and the soft, deep-throated call of the bluebirds each morning, feeling invigorated again is one aspect of spring I anticipate most. 

more…20 more things to look forward to in spring

1. hanging linens on the clothes line (smell of fresh sheets-the best!)

2. watching bluebirds nesting in the dovecote

3. filling window boxes with all sorts of pink flowers

4. laying on carpets of soft green moss in the woods

5. wearing sandals

6. leaving the windows open at night and watching the curtains sway in the breeze

7. cutting fresh garlic chives from the kitchen garden

8. sitting on the porch swing with my VBS

9. grilling freshly-picked aspargus

10. watching the daffodil bulbs emerge from their slumber

11. listening to Jenny Wren sing a “good morning to you” song

12. collecting more turquoise and brown eggs from “the girls”

13. weeding

14. picking violets–especially “freckles”

15. listening for the hot air balloons overhead

16. planting early peas

17. smelling all the “earthy smells” as the ground comes out of hibernation

18. going to the farmer’s market on Saturday

19. tasting fresh maple syrup from the sugar bush

20. hearing the laughter of children

Alpine Spring Flower - Yellow Cinquifoil

Alpine Spring Flower - Yellow Cinquifoil

What would you add to YOUR list about “little things to look forward to in spring?”

Spring Flowering Moss

Spring Flowering Moss

And Spring arose on the garden fair,

Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;

And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast

rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Awaiting the Arrival of Spring

Awaiting the Arrival of Spring

(Photos taken at Hurricane Ridge in Washington.)

How are you awaiting the arrival of spring around your home?

Happy Spring!

22 Comments

Filed under Gardening, Home