Tag Archives: cottage

Junk Bonanza

quick peeks

The big junk market event is finally here! The fourth annual Junk Bonanza is in Shakopee, Minnesota — next door to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Over 100 juried vendors from across the country are selling amazing treasures — perfect for decorating in the vintage or “junk market style.” The extraordinary Ki Nassuer, co-editor of the upcoming Flea Market Style Magazine, is the hostess, planner and genius behind the Texas-sized event.

Three mammoth venues are filled with one-of-a kind treasures and inspiration for creating a charming vintage decor. I am wowed by the fabulous displays of vintage, antique and selvedged items! So many vintage treasures to add a new fall, flea-market look to the kitchen…living room… or bedroom. Perhaps, the garden, too?! Wouldn’t it be fun to do it all?

Junk FAV

Paris Door FAV

Birds, nest and cloche FAV

The Iowa Junk Gypsies have so many pretty things. Some of which is already re-purposed and re-designed.  Their archetchural salvage is fabulous. I have my eye on the Paris door . . .

The vendors have their own uique interpretations of vintage. It is quite inspiring. There are many great furniture pieces ranging from chippy…primitive…refinished…to painted. I have visions of where I could place this piece or that in Rose Cottage!

Chalk board FAV

Turquoise furniture FAV

Rusty keys FAV

Brown felt hat and brownie Fav

Pumpkins Fav

Praying statute FAV

I am quite drawn to Dede Westling’s dramatic display of black furniture and gorgeous adornments — quite French country — sophisticated and perfectly charming! Dede is absolutely darling, and I learn that she is part of the Wren’s Nest occasional sales . . .  Note to self: mark calendar for the October 9-11th sale.

Black FAV 3

Black FAV

Child Bust FAV

artisan jewlry

Eager to seek out Gretchen Schaummann, the designer and propreiter of Mimi-Toria’s Design, I quickly scan the vendors in the first building. The first building is really an enormous tent. There! She is nearly mid-way down on the left. Gretchen creates beautiful designs using pieces of “this and that” in new, creative ways. Her artisan jewlry has amazing detail, and each piece has a story to tell. I am totally smitten by “Clara” — a penny doll with a broken arm and all. Isn’t she adorable?

Clara Necklace FAV

tablescape challenge

The Thrifty Mom creates a lovely tablescape using great finds from a local thrift store operated by ARC Greater Twin Cities. There are hundreds of paper slips in the vintage glass bowl to win everything on the tablescape once the Big Bonanza is completed on Saturday.

ARC Thrifty Mom Sign FAV

ARC Tablescape FAV

ARC Tablescape FAV 2

More vintage treasures . . .

Bread Board and linen towels FAV

French Flower Templates FAV

The French templates (c. 1950) for making silk flowers are fabulous! Isn’t the handwriting lovely? Perhaps, a few of these framed would be just the perfect thing . . .

Mother child FAV 3

first blog party

Off to the premier fabulous blog party hosted by Ki Nassauer and Matthew Mead, co-editors of the new Flea Market Style Magazine.  I can’t wait for the first issue next spring!

Blog Party FAV

Some well-known bloggers are joining the first Junk Bonanza blog party, too. It is a joy to meet the inspiring and energetic Jo Packham, editor of Where Women Create. The talented flea market style diva Heather Bullard, and former Editor-in-Chief from Country Living magazine, Nancy Soriano, are on hand to greet everyone at the party. Not to miss the Junk Bonanza blog party are the Pacific Northwest favorites–the Farm Chicks. Also, joining the fun are Artsy Mama’s Kari Ramstrom, Linda MacDonald who writes at Restyled Home and Margo — Robolady— all the way from Texas.

Blog Party FAV 2

There are a lot of prizes for some lucky bloggers, and a few treats to ward off the late summer heat ordered-up special for our Southern friends! What name is now being called for Ki’s great book . . . ? Yipee!

Blog Prize Book FAV 2

Blog Party FAV 3

It is fun to finally meet some great bloggers and get to know each other a bit more. There are so many amazing and talented women who also share their love of re-purposing and re-creating vintage finds through their amazing stories. What a privilege to meet women who are truly entrepreneurs and are re-discovering their hidden talents and gifts.

How have you repurposed and reused vintage flea-market finds in new and creative ways?

Phone FAV

Thanks for chatting a bit at Rose Cottage.

I am so glad you are here!

Also linked on Colorado Lady,  Southern Hospitality, A Southern Daydreamer and  Between Naps on the Back Porch .

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Filed under crafts, Home, Vintage

Forget-Me-Not

 Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,

   Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.

                                                                         ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 

 

goodbye blue sweetness

The mercury is climbing past the 90 degree mark, and the humidity proclaims it is summertime. My sweet, little blue mouse ears–myosotis–are feeling pale. Whilst firefly fairies dance in celebration of Midsummers, the forget-me-nots scatter their seeds into the rich, black humus beneath them following each cooling breeze. The seeds will lie fallow until the spring rains bring new starry blooms once again.  Yes, it is time to say “au revoir” to the last harbinger of spring at Rose Cottage.

Forget me knot and Heidi

Planted in little clumps by the kitchen entry along the south porch, the little blue flowerettes faithfully send out a cheery greeting as the sun comes up over the river valley each day. The large hosta leaves are protective umbrellas for the sweet spring flowers–allowing them to twirl one last time at the Midsummer’s Eve dance.

Forget me knots 1

We are thrilled the little blue stars have twinkled so long this year. The forget-me-nots have loved their moist, rich soil beneath the cool, shaded refuge of the nearby river birch and Deborah maple.

Forget me knot 3

Each day, the lovely myosotis remind me of  Grandmother. She so enjoyed the minature blue flowerettes growing along the spring-fed waters of Swan Lake.  I cherish all the time spent with her as a young girl at her lake home in the far north, and all the little bouquets picked for Grandmother. Every morning or evening, I pause by the unmistakeable blue starry plants and recall with fondness the gift my Grandmother was to me.

Forget me knots 2

Do certain flowers remind you of the gift of special people in your life?

Midsummer’s Eve is approaching–a time we enjoy for the long daylight hours that extend well into the evening in the north. I think it is time to celebrate the longest day of the season by freshening up several of the window boxes at Rose Cottage… and, giving the sweet blue forget-me-nots another dance!

The root of a forget-me-not caught the drop of water by the hair and sucked her in, that she might become a floweret, and twinkle as brightly as a blue star  on the green firmament of earth.

                                                                                           ~Frederick Wilhelm Carove

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Night Magic

When bright flowers bloom
Parchment crumbles, my words fade
The pen has dropped …

                                                                         ~Unknown

Spring brings the amazing flowering trees at Rose Cottage. First, the ancient apricot tree blooms early in April–the sweet fragrances just make us swoon!  How we love when the soft southernly breezes carry the intoxicating fragrances up through the windows in the early evening…

Flowering Crab Pink Close

The fragrant pink flowering crab steals the limelight for a week or two in May with the spectacular display of pink flowers. Planted as a mere 18-inch high “stick” in celebration of our Very Sweet Girl’s birth and baptism, it has grown into an amazing beauty–just like our little miracle daughter! What a marvel.

Flowering Crab Pink Close2

The flowering crab is covered in so many soft pink blossoms we can’t even see the bright spring green leaves–it is like a giant, super-sized stick of pink cotton candy from the county fair! Don’t you agree?

Flowering Crab Pink Close 3

We use little white garden lights on several arbors, in bushes around the porches and on a few trees at Rose Cottage. The little lights twinkle like stars when breezes blow the leaves–it is so romantic to sit in the gardens or on the porch at night amongst the “stars!”  Ahhh….

Flowering Crab Night

The pink flowering crab creates such night magic with over 1200 little stars nestled in the soft pink clouds.

Flowering Crab Night Close

The Snowdrift crab next to the porch will be amazing covered in little garden lights–maybe, next year when the branches are a bit stronger.

Snowdrift Crab close

Will you join us in the garden for a cup of coffee after dinner…under the stars with pink clouds floating overhead?

It will be a magical evening!

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Savoring Violets {la partie une

The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily

do not rob the little violet of it’s scent nor the daisy of its simple charm.

 If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose,

spring would lose its loveliness.

                         ~Therese of Lisieux

 

violets underfoot

It is a spectacular morning at Rose Cottage…hundreds and hundreds of sweet little violets have burst into bloom in the northeast corner near the emerging lady fern. It is as if the violets have put on their very finest for the spring dance!

 

Field of Freckles1

 

Especially breathtaking are the lovely “Freckles” violet. Just look at the soft lavender freckles over their little faces. I want to gather them all and arrange them in tiny vases throughout Rose Cottage. Alas, they are too delicate to last very long once picked–I simply enjoy them growing with wild abandon under the spruce trees, amongst the fern,  beneath the bridal wreath and tucked between the flagstone. Some call them weeds–I prefer sweet violets. Often, the simplier things in life–like enjoying a small, obscure woodland flower–can refresh our soul and change how the world looks. Sometimes, it is all a matter of perspective, isn’t it? 

 

Field of Freckles and Heidi

 

There are so many violets it is impossible to not crush them underfoot–but they are forgiving. I bend down for a closer look and inhale their delicate fragrance.

 Freckles close 4

 

Even the common violet is so beautiful in the early morning sunlight, and the soft fragrance fills the cool morning air.

 

Violet Common

 

gathering violets  

Each year, I plan on making violet jelly, but have never carried out the age-old idea of preserving the little delicate blossoms. Today is different–it is a perfect morning in May for gathering violets for the jelly. The dew is evaporated and the petals are fully opened. Time to use the sweet, simple gift offered so generously this spring. But first, I catch a glimpse of the red violets–not wanting to be outdone by Freckles.

 

Red Violet

 

I find the old, shallow wooden trug in the garden house next to the cottage garden. The shallowness of the basket makes it perfect for gathering the tender purple blossoms. In less than an hour, a generous amount of the sweet violets are gathered in the English trug. A few Freckles have slipped in the basket, too.

 

violets and garden trug

 

Next, the stems are removed from the blossoms. Stems may cause the infusion to be bitter.

 

Violets in frog close2

 

The wind blowing from the southwest is challenging, and a few blue violets are lost to the occasional surprise wind gust. Unexpected “wind gusts” can make our lives difficult, too-especially when we least expect it. But, I persist and keep on with the project. This year, I am going to make jelly!

 

glass basket and violets

 

making a tisane {steeping the blossoms

Though, not technically a tisane, the next step is to steep the blossoms to make an infusion. Four cups of loosely packed violet blossoms fill a quart canning jar.

 

violets and quart jar

 

Then, boiling water from the tea kettle is poured over the violets–about three cups of water. Look how quickly the infusion changes into a lovely “Monet-esque” piece of art–“priceless!” Within a few magical seconds, the tisane turns into a dark turquoise. Who would have thought the simple violet could hold such beauty and create such surprising “magic?” Beauty shows up when I least expect it.

 

Monet in a Jar

 

The quart jar is covered with a lid and stashed away in the refrigerator for 24 hours to draw out all the lovely sweetness and color of the violets.

 

Tomorrow, the jelly making will continue…

 

Would you like an espresso or a little cup of tea while we chat about your morning? The tea or coffee is waiting for you. We can sit next to the violets if you would like…

 

demitasse and violet

 

savoring violets (part II) –more about using these delicate culinary flowers in jelly tomorrow…

 If you are thinking more about creating beauty in your life, be sure to stop by  The Inspired Room .

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Filed under Cooking, Gardening, Uncategorized

Gifts of Spring

Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers.
~Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry (1557)

colorful packages

One of the most amazaing floral designers that I know, Cindie from Camrose Hill, asks “what is inspiring about spring for you?” As I think about her question, I start considering all the “gifts of spring” that I receive. So many gifts…each is brightly wrapped in the most amazing and creative ways! Thinking on these things create beauty in my life.

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

Daffodils and a Tulip in Dawn's Early Light

 

a few word pictures

Here are a few of perfectly wrapped gifts of spring that I receive and am sharing little word pictures with you:

1. Timmy and Jenny Wren’s good morning songs jubilantly sung from the “old-soul” maple tree limb outside the bedroom window
 
2. small forsythia blossoms, like delicate flutterbys, cheerfully welcome the morning sun
 
3. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird’s soft, deep-throated love calls as they laborously build their cozy nest in the ole’ English dovecote (and wondering if, once again, Mr. Bluedbird will gently perch on my shoulder to whisper another sweet little secret in my ear?)
 
4. fresh, green sprigs of grass–each blade a banquet feast for the araconas, who start their amazing production of turquoise jewels
 
5. lush velvet carpets of woodland moss with random blooms of miniscule soft, white flowers roll-out before travelers’ afternoon walks

Carpets of Flowering Moss

Carpets of Flowering Moss

 
6. envigorating fragrances from the earth’s awakening following her long winter’s slumber
 
7. long. slender necks of gaily-colored tulips singing out their songs of joy, while sunshine-colored daffs triumphantly proclaiming that spring is here

Triumphet Daffodils

Triumphant Daffodils

 
8. a pair of old loves lingering a bit longer into the evening on the weathered tree swing… the kindred hearts still holding hands after all these years
 
These are but a few of the love gifts of hope, inspiration and joy that each spring brings to our little Rose Cottage– “the house that love built” –as our cottage was sweetly called by my true love’s beloved Swedish grandmother. 

What are your gifts of spring?
 

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Daffodils and Rembrant Tulips

Visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for more ideas about the beautiful life.

Best wishes for a lovely and inspiring spring filled with many gifts!

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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?

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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!” 

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