Category Archives: Family

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

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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!

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Filed under Family, 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!

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage

Rose Cottage Cooks!

a simple supper to save sunday

(read on for a tasty supper dish from Rose Cottage!)

Do you ever have one of those weekends in which the “fast forward button of life” is stuck on–you can’t shut it off, find the pause button or the batteries are dead in the remote? That’s this weekend — I have the most noble (and mildly ambitious!) intentions of finishing an organization project sprawled on the dining room table! The Project: neat stacks of lovely pressed antique linens, vintage fabrics and assorted one-of-a kind French trims waiting to be tucked carefully away in the cupboard. . .

saturday morning

The Very Best Sweetie (TVBS), coming down the stairs and pausing next to the stack of lovely linens on the dining room table says carefully and quite sweetly: “What are you going to do today?”

Me responding cheerfully and confidently from the kitchen: “Don’t you think today is a great day for me to finish up The Project in the dining room? Maybe, we could invite some family over for Sunday dinner? Wouldn’t that be fun? Do you want an espresso?”

The VBS makes a quiet comment, and walks to the kitchen for his espresso.

Me: I decide it has been way too long since I have spoken with my dearest friend and kindred-spirit from nursing school in Chicago. She has been on my mind every day the past several months! Time to pick up the phone. I wonder if her number is the same. It has been how long since I called My Dear Friend? We pick up where we last left off a few years earlier, and get caught up on every detail of our lives!

saturday afternoon

(Where did those extra stacks of linen come from?)

The Best Sweetie (TBS) walking through the dining room (again!): “What are you going to do this afternoon?”

Me (a little less confident, but very cheerful after the long chat with My Dear Friend): “I think I might work on the linens in the dining room. Are you hungry for a little lunch?”

After making lunch, I move-in to tackle The Project–still chattering on about my conversation with My Dear Friend. Oh…I think I have a great idea for some of the embroidered linens! What if ….

saturday evening

The Sweetie (TS) stops in the dining room and stares intensely at the stacks of starched antique linens, lovely vintage fabrics and French trims. TS takes a very deep breath and cautiously asks, “might you work on getting some of the stacks of stuff taken care of later tonight?”

Me: replying rather weakly with something that sounds like: “Maybe…”

We are off to a dinner party across the river.

later saturday evening

(Is it my imagination or are those starched linen stacks a little taller?)

The Husband (TH) deliberately walks into the dining room. Stops. Engages in a stare down with The Project and then asks: “Do you think you will work on this tomorrow?”

ME: I am off to bed.

sunday morning

ME: To surprise TH, I get up early thinking that I will get started on The Project before TH wakes up. I walk into the dining room. I am sure, those stakes of linens and fabrics are looking much taller than last night! I decide to read a book so not to wake TH with all the noise and rauckus that results from organizing linens!

TH: “Good morning! I sure could use an espresso! Do you think you can make me one?” TH walks through the dining room with a slight glance at The Project out of the corner of his eye, but TH does not stop.

ME: “Sure! Do you want two cups this morning?”

TSH gently asks: “What are you going to do today?”

ME casting a sideways glance in the general directon of the dining room: “I would really like to work on The Project.”

The phone rings. It is My Best Girl from the NW. We talk and talk and talk!

sunday afternoon

TBS asks if we should have some family over for dinner. “We could eat in the kitchen. It is so cozy at the pennisula after all, isn’t it?”

ME: “I have just the thing to make for our Sunday supper!”

TVBS is so encouraging, doesn’t mention The Project and says: “That will be perfect!”

(The linen stacks don’t look so very tall after all.)

Here is the recipe that is enjoyed at the Sunday supper:

Pappardelle Pasta with Broccoli Sauce

¾ pound of dried pappardelle or linguine pasta
(seasoned pasta is exceptional – I like to use tomato cracked peper)
 
6 flat anchovy filets, chopped coarsely
½ cup extra-virgin Italian olive oil
½ bunch fresh broccoli, cut into 1-inch florets or aspargus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly cracked black pepper
Sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup freshly grated Romano

 

1. Steam the broccoli until al dente.

2. Heat olive oil and anchovies in skillet over moderately high heat until anchovies combine with oil; use wooden spoon to

dissolve the anchovies. (I know, anchovies sounds odd-but is the secret ingredient in this pasta dish!)    

  

Broccoli in a Pan

Broccoli in a Pan

3. Add broccoli and black pepper and saute over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Check and adjust salt if necessary.

4. Cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).

Pasta just added to kettle - be sure to keep the water boiling

Pasta just added to kettle - be sure to keep the water boiling

 5. Drain thoroughly and return to pot cooked in.

6. Add butter and toss lightly. Add the olive oil and broccoli mixture and toss again.

7. Add the cheeses, toss once more and serve immediately along side a salad dressed with a light vinegrette.

(Serve with grilled salmon for a wonderful dinner.)

Pasta with Fresh Vegies

Pasta with Fresh Vegies

I hope you enjoy!

It is still winter at Rose Cottage. Will you leave a comment below to brighten our day?

It is still winter at Rose Cottage. Will you leave a comment below to brighten our day?

 

 

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happy, happy birthday!

Winter is back in the north, but not for two special people living where the sun shines! Today is my dad’s and godmother’s birthdays! If today is your birthday, happy birthday, too!

Happy birthday to you! happy-birthday

Wishing you sunshine and flowers on your birthdays!

Love to you!

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romantic millinery magic

a still life with a bouquet of flowers

The skies are gray at Rose Cottage, and winter’s uninvited chill is lingering a bit too long. Snow is once again in the forecast. I am longing for warm sunshine again! Are you feeling this way, too? Wouldn’t you love to walk out to the garden and bring in a huge bouquet of freshly-picked flowers…spicy sweet pink roses, armloads of fragrant peonies and stately blue bird delphinium…into your home?

Maybe, a bouquet that is somewhat reminiscent of famous sumptuous Dutch oil paintings from the 17th century, such as Jan van Huysum’s Still Life with a Bouquet of Roses and Other Flowers? I can almost smell the old rose fragrance of the bourbon roses in that painting!

a reinvented 3-D still life

There aren’t any van Huysum’s and, in the middle of below freezing temps, the gardens are not in bloom at Rose Cottage! (Sigh!) So I envision my own version of a still life using a bouquet of millinery roses and other flowers. My still life will be a curtain tieback on the bedroom raspberry red buffalo check silk curtain. But, I will need to gather a lot of flowers–it needs to have the feel of a van Huysum!

Some of the bouquet’s elements are carefully wrapped in tissue and tucked away in a vintage hatbox. Other elements are currently in service in another small arrangement; time to “re-purpose” that one.

Lovely Vintage Millinery

Lovely Vintage Millinery

Realizing there aren’t quite enough millinery for the voluptuous bouquet of my dreams, I am off to Rose Mille–just up the river, to pick more flowers for the still life. Mi has fabulous millinery to add to the bouquet!

The white silk rose from Dulken and Derrick gathered at Rose Mille is spectacular with the gently rolled petals!

Vintage Millinery Trio

Vintage Millinery Trio

 

 

 

Mi has a gorgeous small vintage piece of  “drapey” black velvet–perfect for the base of the bouquet!

 

 

For a bit of the unexpected, I decide to use a few pieces of vintage spun cotton fruit gently sprinkled with fairy dust–glass glitter.

Some Gathered Millinery and Spun Cotton Fruit

 

 

 

 

Some Gathered Millinery and Spun Cotton Fruit

creating millinery magic

Now, it is time to create some millinery magic! Some of the little beauties need a gentle freshening. Mi glady shares a tip with me: simply hold the flower over a steaming tea kettle, and the petals will unfurl right before your eyes! It takes only a few minutes to liven up more than 50 pieces of millinery.

The black velvet is cut the length and width of the tieback needed for the curtain. I decide to use some pellon as a stabilizer between the front and back of the black velvet. Two six inch pieces of black silk cording are cut to serve as the hooks, and each are looped at each end of the tie back. The black velvet is stitched with the fronts facing, leaving a small opening. The velvet is turned right-side out through the small opening. The tieback is gently steamed, and the opening is whip-stitched closed. Now it is time for more fun!

Romantic Millinery and Great-Grandmother Myrtle's Needlecase

Shades of White: Romantic Millinery and Great-Grandmother Myrtle's Needlecase

The millinery is laid out in a design that balances size, color and texture. The first step is to create a base with the vintage black and green velvet leaves. The leaves are carefully handstitched to the velvet.

Starting at the inside end (opposite of where the tieback hooks to the wall), the roses, apple blossums, flower buds and spun cotton are carefully stitched to the tieback.

After careful stitching, the romantic millinery magic is done! Time to see the results on the raspberry silk curtain.

Romantic Millinery Tieback (2)

 

 

 

 

Romantic Millinery Tieback (2)

 

What do you think about this still life of romatic roses and other flowers?

Can you leave me a comment below about how you have created millinery magic? Or just let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by for a chat!

 

Woman Making Millinery Magic (c.1893)

Woman Making Millinery Magic (c.1910)

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Filed under Family, Home, Sewing, Uncategorized, Vintage

Mailer’s Malady

a postscript note to Valentines

I have to come “clean.” I am afflicted with with a deep-seated disorder–“Mailer’s Malady!” Never heard of it you say? Maybe, you have it too? Mailer’s Malady affects everyone–men, women and children, young and old and rural or urban dwellers. Mailer’s Malady knows no boundaries, and it can lurk anywhere.

Vintage Sealing Wax and a Red Rose

Vintage Sealing Wax and a Red Rose

The symptoms are unmistakeable and emerge throughout the year. Although, there are certain times of year the symptoms are more evident and difficult to conceal, such as Christmas and other celebratory days. 

Inside one of the drawers of my beloved Grandmother’s secretary is additional evidence of the ailment: stacks of the most amazingly beautiful cards and stationary carefully selected and purchased to pen off words to those I love and care about. Some of the pigeon holes in the desks even have addressed cards and notes in sealed envelopes with 21 cent stamps. How long ago was that?! Yes, at one time 21 cent stamps were in vogue and used by some!

There are gentle reminders around Rose Cottage patiently telling me to post a little note to someone dear every time I pass them throughout the day.

Victorian Paper Mache Writer's Desk (c.1880)

Victorian Paper Mache Writer's Desk (c.1880)

 A lovely Victorian paper mache writer’s desk with delicate inlaid mother of pearl encourages me every morning and evening…but I look the other way and the confounding malady afflicts its grip on me once again. 

Tucked inside a well-worn address book are words of wisdom from the past to encourage me to overcome this desperate condition. The words confront some conceivable reasons for not writing…

Time…

“A letter not be long to be welcome.” ~Emily Post

“A line is enough for memory.” ~Old autograph album

Money…

“Good words are worth much, and cost little.” ~Geroge Herbert

Not sure what to say…

“I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks.” ~William Shakespeare

“Begin at the beinning, go on until you have finished, and then stop.” ~Anonymous

however…

“Love in a letter endures forever in our memories.” ~Emily Post

and

“Blessed be letters–they are the monitors, they are also the comforters, and they are the only true heart-talkers.” ~Donald Grant

Today, I resolve to send a long-overdue note to a friend

who has been on my mind…after I find some stamps!

Will you send me a comment below and let me know what you think?

Will you send me a comment below and let me know what you think?

 

 

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