Thursday, May 13, 2010

Raindrops on Roses...

I was so pleased after our big storm yesterday. With the rain and now a bit of warmth, the peonies are about to pop! Peonies are nearly my favorite flower. My great-grandmother had dozens of bushes at her house and I loved touching the silky petals and inhaling their fragrance. I'm not the only one who loves them...

I don't know why ants are so fond of peonies, but they seem to love them as much as I do.

I thought I'd like to introduce myself a bit more by posting about a few of my favorite things. Really, there are too many to list, but a few things stand out. First, my pottery.

These dishes are from Wirth Pottery in central Germany. A good friend living there introduced me, and I was hooked. I now have an odd assortment of plates, bowls, cups, candlesticks, teacups, and saucers. Most are chipped from frequent use, but I don't believe in storing something in a cabinet and never using it.

When I feel like a splurge, I look to Emma Bridgewater. I can't really afford her things, but sometimes I can't resist. I've got some of her discontinued dishes from various collections and 6 of her bird mugs. I love birds. When my grandpa built the house where I grew up, he bricked in a special basin in front of the living room picture window. It was always kept full of bird seed and I was mesmerized by the birds, eating and preening. I'd love to get into bird watching.

That little pottery piece in the corner is from ANTA...another place I can't afford to shop!

I'm crazy about old mason jars. I've got them all over the house and they're filled with buttons, acorns, pine cones, or sea shells, like in the picture below.

I also love bells. I've picked up lots of old bells at flea markets and thrift stores. Stars, too, like the one you can see in the Wirth pottery picture. The bell below sits next to some old apothecary jars that have a new life as teeny tiny flower vases.

I'm crazy about buttons, too. As a child, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books and was captivated by the idea of making my own button string, just like Laura. Now I've got my button string, and a growing button stash! Plastic, ceramic, wood, bone...I love 'em all.

This particular button string is for the Christmas tree. I think it's awesome.

As you can probably guess, I'm crazy about fabrics, too. My favorite is plaid. I've got plaid curtains, plaid blankets, plaid pillows, plaid covers for the couches (which are MORE plaid blankets), plaid get the picture. I'm always drooling over ANTA's catalogues. I've got to start playing the lottery so I can afford a spending spree!

I've got some vintage fabric here at the house, too. Some for quilting, which I'd like to get into, and some for that special project that I haven't discovered yet. This particular one is my favorite. It's from a 1940s dress that I could wear many moons ago. My goal is to get back into it. Cap sleeves, v-neck, cinched waist, knee length...oh, Weight Watchers, you are a terrible and cruel mistress, but I know I need to submit.

What kind of self-respecting knitter would I be if I didn't flash my stash? I've only been knitting for about 1 1/2 years, so it's still pretty small. Lots of greens, browns, and blues, although I can get a little "wild" with my sock yarns. I mainly order from Knitpicks. I love my local yarn shop but Knitpicks gets me more bang for my buck. I occasionally splurge on really nice yarns.

It's a little messy and me.

I try to bring "the outside in" as much as I can. I've got lots of little bowls and saucers filled with cool things I find on walks or in the garden - snail shells, old wasps' nests, empty bird eggs, rocks, etc. I think they're so pretty.

I also collect flowers and leaves when on walks to press and add to cards or letters. When I take a trip, if I'm organized (so, about a quarter of the time), I'll take local plants, press them, and frame them. It's nice to look over my framed goodies and think back about my trip. This is one from the Pacific Northwest:

Of course, I'm not very organized. More often than not, I'll pick up a book to read and see little petals fluttering to the floor, instead of gracing a frame. I'll get better.

Of course, it goes without saying that I'm crazy about flowers. Each season has a particular beauty, and my chief joy in the spring is columbines and lilacs. The statuesque columbines, with their gently bobbing heads and faces turned shyly toward the ground, are so beautiful. They self-seed like crazy, too. From 3 or 4 seedlings I now have at least 12 mature plants tucked away in concrete crevasses and along our fence line. Although they look delicate, they take no care. The lilacs are a bit more delicate, folding over in a vase after a day or two despite the best efforts. Their fragrance and beautiful colors make it worth it, though, and it's no bother to pick a second bouquet after the first has wilted. Best of all, they draw bees from far and wide! Beekeeping is something I'm planning on getting into, once I move to a more suitable location.

That's all for now. I can hear the wind blowing and I can see a bit of blue sky from my current location...I want to go outside and work in the garden. I'll post again soon. ~

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