Category Archives: Homekeeping

Fall Nesting {summer in a jar

The late summer garden has a tranquility

found no other time of year.

                                                              ~William Longgood

time for change

September is my favorite time of the year . . . the air is crisp, clear and fresh . . . the early morning and evening lighting is more enhanced as the angle of the sun changes . . . and fall colors are starting to emerge on the trees. Just this week, glimmers of vibrant reds and golden yellows sporadically dot the sugar maples and sumacs along our river town. The colors are promising to be a gorgeous contrast to the vibrant greens enjoyed throughout the summer.

Amur Maple FAV

I think about September as a time of change. It is a time of change in that new creative ideas and goals for the months ahead can be made. One way of change is to decorate for fall — simple ideas that make a home feel welcoming, warm and cozy. Jenny Wren needs a little update to celebrate fall around one of her many houses at Rose Cottage. Don’t you think her nest looks quite autumnal bedecked with broom corn?

Wren House and broom corn FAV 3

What fall decorations are you adding to welcome friends and family to your front door?

time of preparation

September is also a time of preparing and preserving the summer garden produce for the months ahead. I really feel that I am “nesting” as I put fresh vegetables and fruit in jars to be enjoyed in the months ahead or give as gifts with family and friends.

Marybeth shared a few of her antique canning jars with me — some are from 1858! I think about all the women (and men) who “put food up” for the winter months in these amazing hand-blown glass jars. I wonder what their lives were like as they began their fall nesting . . .

Ball and Jewell FAV

Canadian Jewel FAV

Green Ball Jar and Strawberries

Jewel lid FAV

While the dark olive green Ball is perfectly beautiful and rare, and the Canadian Jewel is a real treasure, I still am quite drawn to the lovely blue canning jars — all in various shades from a robin’s egg blue to cobalt. 

 Four Blue Canning Jars

1858 MASon and other antique blues with roses

EZ Seal Antique and Cobalt Blue FAV 1

1858 Mason FAV

Nov 30 1858 CLOSE FAV

While preserving and “putting food by” is a bit of work, it is immensely satisfying to see the glimmering jars of golden peaches, red tomatoes, perfectly sliced pickles, and an array of  jeweled jams and jellies lining the pantry shelves.

Pickled onions and bird FAV

Jeweled Raspberry Jelly FAV

Sweet Baby Crock Pickles

Crab Apple Pickles

Best Ketchup EVER FAV

Sometimes, I go down to the pantry cellar, turn on the overhead light and just admire the gifts of summer. 

Strawberry Jam

For me, canning or preserving is like putting summer in a jar to enjoy when the north winds howl and temperatures are well-below zero — just a few months away!

Peaches

Do you put a bit of summer in a jar? Do you have a favorite to preserve?

Perfect Seal and Brown eyed Susan FAV

You may also enjoy reading Beautiful Berries and Brambles and Antique Mason Jars {before and after.

This is also posted at Twice Remembered,  The Inspired Room,  A Southern Daydreamer and Designs by Gollum.

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Filed under Cooking, Gardening, Home, Homekeeping, preserving

Vintage Artisan Bread Bags {les sacs de pain

If thou tastest a crust of bread,

thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.

                                                               ~Robert Browning

tasteful simplicity

Frequently, the most satisfying meal features a simple loaf of freshly-baked bread.  What says “welcome home” or “I am so glad you are here for dinner” more than the heart-warming aroma of  bread that greets your family and friends at the door? Sharing a freshly-baked loaf of artisan bread is a wonderful and honorable hostess gift, too.

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what is vintage is fresh

It is the end of a very busy day and I stop at a  favorite shop to visit with my dear friend. Knowing it was a long day, Mi graciously invites My Best Sweetie and me to her home for a serendipitous meal. A quick call home and it is all arranged. The aroma of a home-cooked dinner and fresh-baked bread warmly welcomes us at the door just 20 minutes later.

After a lovely dinner, our creative spirits are refreshed and we start designing in Mi’s well-stocked studio. Her studio is bursting with amazing inspiration–including one of my favorites–vintage millinery and trims. The guys discuss the latest projects in the woodworking shop–they are deep in conversation. 

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Mi has a new collection of vintage linens. We start brainstorming projects with the new finds. One thing leads to another…soon the idea of creating bread bags for storing artisan breads or for gift-giving a warm loaf of bread to a friend emerges–les sacs de pain. I think we are inspired by Bob’s artisan bread served during dinner!

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We select several embroidered and vintage printed linens. I scour the fabulous old-fashioned wood and glass front drawers in a tall, wood cupboard that was re-claimed from a shop in England. The well-organized drawers are filled with millinery from around the world. Dreamy…

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Our imagainations are bubbling over with an endless succession of ideas! Soon, two les sacs de pain are created–one is perfect for a baguette and the other a boule loaf. The designs for several other bread bags are laid out ready for assembly on another day. I am reminded of the five-word acceptance speech at the recent Webby Awards given by Biz Stone:  “Creativity is a renewable resource.” Are spirits are renewed with all of our creativity. Do you have those moments when the more you create the more you are inspired?

BreadBag3_stripe_gold_0509

fresh is best

When I bake bread, I hear Mom’s voice saying, “It is only good when it is fresh!” This saying is particulary relevant for artisan breads–crusty breads are best eaten fresh–usually within a day. Breads baked at Rose Cottage usually don’t last beyond 24 hours!

Often, we bake several loaves of bread at one time so that we can share with others. It gives us great joy to bring a still-warm crusty loaf as a “thank you” for dinner hosts or to share a loaf with a neighbor or two. What fun it will be to share some fresh artisan bread with another in one of the vintage les sacs de pain like the ones Mi and I made!

No matter how large or small it is, sharing is one way that helps to create a beautiful life at Rose Cottage. How do you create a beautiful life? For more ideas about creating a beautiful life, visit The Inspired Room.

Don’t miss all the fun! Julia is hosting a hooked on Fridays post party — visit Hooked on Houses.

BreadBag6_millinery_0509

(Thanks, Mi, for sharing the photos!)
What is your favorite kind of bread that makes you feel like you are tasting “all the stars?”

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Filed under baking, Cooking, Homekeeping, Sewing

Blissful Lavender Pomanders

Lavender, sweet-briar, 0rris, here
shall beauty make her pomander,
her sweet-balls to lay in clothes
that wrap her as the leaves the rose.
 

                                           ~Katherine Tynan

a creative moment

Sometimes, all it takes is a brief moment…an inspiration…to use a few vintage finds and treasures in new ways. My Sweet Girl and I decide we need a simple and fun project to top off the fabulous weekend together. We spend a few hours combing through recent vintage finds tucked away in all sorts of nooks and crannies at Rose Cottage–some treasures find their way into My Sweet Girl’s (and her hubby’s) suitcases bound for Seattle!

Then, we have a great thought! We decide to make pomanders using deliciously fragrant French lavender..the kind of fragrance that just makes a girl swoon. There just happens to be a very ample supply in the old pie safe…

lavendar-in-a-bowl

Now, a pomander is most often thought of as a sachet-type ball that is placed in a drawer or closet to sweeten linens or clothes. We decide to broadly interpret the definition of pomander to include any type of container that is filled with a mixture of dried flowers or herbs to provide fragrance. So what shall we use for the containers?

Going through the cupboards again, we find a pair of vintage seven-inch shakers and a single four-inch crystal shaker–all past their prime. Soon, these shakers are about to be given new life as embellished pomanders!

lavendar-shakers-flowers-on-plate

We find some fantastic vintage metallic French thread in bronze, silver and gold that we will use for attaching the embellishments.

lavendar-metal-thread-spools

Just a few more things that serve as inspiration for the pomanders…tiny jewel box keys, heart lockets, hand-painted rose buttons and sensational silk ribbons.

lavendar-keys-and-flowers1

 

magnificant millinery

We gather up some lovely vintage linen, cotton, silk and velvet millinery from our favorite shop, Rose Mille, just up the river from Rose Cottage. I just adore the soft-blue velvet forget-me-knot millinery, don’t you?

The millinery is so lovely! What shall we pick out to use? Lately, neutral tones are quite appealing…cream, latte,  soft ivory, subtle taupe, antique apricot, olive and soft blue…all show off the texture and design of each piece of millinery so well!  

lavendar-millinery

Some of the millinery needs a bit of freshing. We decide to  create “magic” by using steam from the whistling teapot using a trick my friend, Mi, told me about. More about this on the Romantic Millinery Magic post.

lavendar-steaming-flowers

The petals unfurl, and the millinery is refreshed after just a few seconds held over the steam from a tea kettle.

lavendar-steamed-and-empty-shakers 

making happy memories

Next, we fill the crystal and glass pomander containers with the fragrant French lavender. It just makes us swoon and feel so relaxed–just like being at the spa!

My Sweet Girl and I talk about how wonderful it is to create memories together with our last few hours before she and her hubby jet back to Seattle. It’s simple mother-daughter times like these that make me happy. I tuck this happy memory into my heart! (Visit The Inspired Room for more about what creates happiness.) What are simple pleasures that bring happiness to you?

lavendar-bowl-funnel-spoon1

lavendar-filling-shaker1

lavendar-filled-shakers-and-steamed-millinery2

 

viola!

With just some pieces of silk ribbon, metalic thread, millinery and embellishments we are finished! The blissful lavender pomanders are dressed up and ready to provide their fragrance in the powder room and boudoirs. 

lavendar-lge-shaker-best1

 lavendar-lge-shaker-closeup1

lavendar-two-shakers-on-mirror-4

My Sweet Girl is head-over-heals with the turquoise and cream striped millinery ribbon she adds on her pomander, and just has to show how gorgeous it is! Did you see that she added a swap of antique chandelier  crystals?

lavendar-rebekahs-shaker-3

lavendar-rebekahs-shaker-1

 

lovely Spanish lavender

There are several variety of lavenders–some fragrant, some culinary and others just breath-taking in the garden. Spanish lavender is not very frgrant, but is stunning in the garden border. Bees and butterflies find it amazing and are in blissdom, too! These lovely lavender photos are from My Sweet Girl’s home.

lavendar-1

lavendar-2 lavendar-3

lavendar-close-4

Lavender, sweet lavender; come and buy my lavender,
hide it in your trousseau, lady fair.
Let its flovely fragrance flow over you from head to toe,
lightening on your eyes, your cheek, your hair.

~Cumberkand Clark, Flower Song Book (c.1929)

Thank you, my dear friend, for visiting Rose Cottage.

May your day be filled with the lovely fragrances of spring flowers and herbs, and much happiness!

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Filed under Gardening, Homekeeping, Uncategorized

Blowing in the Wind

 Live each day with joy in the journey…

no matter what road the journey takes you down.

                                                                          ~anonymous

 

joy in the journey

clothes-german-fresh-wash1

No matter how much we enjoy homekeeping and creating a warm, comforting home, sometimes the repetition of everyday tasks can seem mundane. Some days, it can be difficult finding joy or satisfaction in any task! Have you ever felt this way? 

clothesline-2

However, one of my most satisfying early morning chores at Rose Cottage is hanging up clothes on the line to dry–especially linens! Oh, the sweet fragrance and the crispness of bed linens that have dried by blowing in the spring breezes! I can’t think of too many things more luxurious than drifting off to sleep nestled beneath fresh, line-dried linens! Not only do I have the satisfaction of conserving resources by using the sun and wind to dry clothes, I have a deep sense of joy connected to generations before me who have done the same household chore.

The very simplicity of line drying clothes seems to make my life simplier in one sense. This simplicity helps to create a beautiful life at Rose Cottage.

dual-purpose tools

There have been a few simple and resourceful tools that women and men have used in years past for drying clothes on the line. Oh, of course, you say…a laundry basket is basic. But, did you know that many families during the mid-twentith century were already “repurposing” before the word was in vogue?

Bushel baskets–the same type for gathering and storing the apple harvest–were often used for toting laundry to the clothesline! Sometimes, cloth or plastic liners were made to fit snuggly inside the bushel baskets to keep the clothes clean or to prevent a snag from the wooden lathes of the rustic apple basket. Of course, any basket or box works just as well, too!

clothes-bushel-basket-2

fresh wash “tool” cloths

Recently, I learned that women in Germany once used (maybe, some still do?) gorgeous redwork linen cloths expertly hand-embroidered with the words “fresh wash” to cover their laundry basket when carrying their baskets to the community clothes lines. Similiar to linen “show towels,” the lovely laundry cloths provide an opportunity for ladies to display their exquisite needlearts skills, and to demostrate they were women of some means and leisure if the laundry cloth was elaborate. I found this fabulous fresh wash redwork cloth at Rose Mille. Isn’t it amazing the needleart skills of women who came before us?

clothes-german-fresh-wash-and-basket4full

 

clothes-german-wash

apron bag or other “tool” for wooden pegs

Grandmother always wore a small, sturdy cotton apron to hold the wooden pegs or clothes pins. This made hanging out the clothes so much easier to have the clothes pins right at hand while working along the clothes line. The small German redwork apron has seen a lot of laundry duty, but conveys the hope of every individual when doing laundry–“gut wetter”– good weather to hang out the wash!

clothes-pin-apron-bag

 

tools for hanging: clothes pegs or pins

 An ample supply of clothes pins is critical. While I like round wood clothes pins, my favorite type of clothes pins are made from wood and have a spring clip. The spring clip clothes pin is practical as it adjusts to different thicknesses and fabric weights of clothes to be hung to dry. Just a tip: while easier to leave clothes pins on the line after removing the dry laundry, the clothes pins will eventially darken and leave marks on your clean, fresh laundry if left on the line for long periods of time.

clothespeg1

clothespeg2

 

joy in the journey in Italy

On a recent trip to Italy, I marveled at how laundry was dried hanging from the windows in historic Portofino, and in breathtaking Cinque Terre villages along the Italian Riveria. Indeed, even along the picturesque towns and villages on the Mediterrian there is joy in the journey!

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clothesline-italy4

 

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clothesline-italy1

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy,

even if it is only picking grapes or sorting [hanging out] the laundry.

                                                                                                                                           ~E.B. White

A package of wooden clothes pins was a recent vintage find. My clothes pin supply was getting a little low, so I was glad to have found them. As I was hanging out the linens, I found “Mr. and Mrs. Peg” in the bag! We just laughed and laughed. Mr. and Mrs. Peg were so happy to have their picture taken with a pansy from the garden. Where do you find joy in your every day journey? How does optimism and positive thinking influence your day?

Finding joy in the journey is part of creating a beautiful life. Melissa at The Inspired Room is on a 12-month journey of creating a beautiful life. Stop by for a visit with her and others for more ideas about creating a beautiful life.

clothespeg-couple

Thank you for stopping by Rose Cottage for a little visit today. We are so glad you came! Won’t you tell us you were here by leaving a comment below? Hope you are finding joy in your journey today!
 

11 Comments

Filed under Home, Homekeeping, Uncategorized, Vintage