26 July 2013

A Collection Affection


Are you a collector?  No, not a hoarder, not a gatherer of dust collectors- as described by some!  A collector of objects of which you find appealing, which have a common theme or many themes if you wish.  The unusual and rare, the quirky and funny, what makes us collect certain things?  I collect until I have a feeling that I have enough of one thing, then start on another!  Storage and display is often an issue.  I do not like to hide things in boxes or cupboards only to be discovered years later as a forgotten gem.  My collections must be displayed for all to see if possible, therefore I am thinking it is most definitely visual pleasure that these objects give me.   "I am running out of room," has been uttered several times, as our 1940's  cottage has a lack of built in storage.  I often justify a purchase or the start of a collection by saying this would be a lovely family heirloom or the children will appreciate this when they get older.  They have been to every vintage shop in our state I think as they were growing up and might be craving for ultra modern decor and no collections as adults!  My husband is a collector of old music albums, hundreds of them.  He is a joyous collector with no boundaries!  The best way to be, I think.  He will drive many miles to browse through a record store and has a list of the ones he is looking for, which is neatly ticked off as he finds them. e cleans them and records them onto discs, very time consuming but it is what makes him a happy collector.  He says there is a certain personality Type "C", who love to have "things" and who do not like discarding objects.  For example, a book collector will read a book and place it back on their shelf maybe never to be read again!   The fact that it is a book is enough for it to make claim on their shelf from now until the end of time!   What type of collector are you?  


Presenting my affectionate collections!


                         
 Must Love Scotties!  
Must have happy faces or be unusual.  For example the scottie magnetic salt and pepper shakers lower middle of the shelves.  They stick together by their noses!  The biscuit tin was not bought for the biscuits (most disapointing to say the least-bland butter cookies I think!)  My ultra fave one is "big scottie" measuring about 6 1/2 inches tall who sits on my desk and watches me while I type.  



 

A Kitchen Affair 

Our kitchen was designed specifically to house my collections with open shelves that curve on the ends to allow for smaller knick knacks.  The tin collection accumulated randomly over the years with the little boys tin being my favorite.  The picture is called "The Optimist" and shows him floating in his barrel boat hopefully to catch a fish.  It was bought for the picture entirely and is a little scratched and dented, but I don't care! We do use some of them to store sweet treats which don't last long because our boys know exactly where to look if they are hungry!   Below is my favorite kitchen collectable, bought about three years ago, the most unique teapot and being an animal lover I had to have it.  It has never served tea and probably won't.  I love the baby koala resting on his mothers back.  I knew it was a special find when I saw it.  The koala bear tin was bought at the same time and I love it's old patina and wonderful Australian picture background. 



 


 It started with one milking stool, the pink and grey one.  Now I have three!  They are easy to find in vintage shops and are really useful for elevating objects in a table display or just because they are old and rustic.  Did milkmaids have very short legs?!   Please note my gorgeous ceramic cherry basket collection while you are looking!  Yes, I have an affection for bright artificial cherries too!  A great way to brighten the dining table and note elevated on the milking stool.  Things I am told look better in threes- so I had better stop there!

 Golden Hands 

Only two embroidered samplers so far, but am keeping my eye out on Etsy and Ebay for more.  Both of these are cross stitched and were framed.  Must have a nice saying to go with them. 


 
                                                                                

The Dirty Laundry!

Can you tell my favorite thing about writing these posts is making up the titles!  I am also  alluding to the fact that we are an ordinary family that cannot sustain a tidy laundry room!  I have tried - but just to make it look at least appealing I have added a few laundry collectables.  The little gingham shirt on a hanger was found at the bottom of a pile of doileys.  There is a note pinned to it which reads-

"When your hankerchiefs are dirty,
Tuck them in this little shirty,
It will keep them safe and sound,
Till next washing day comes round." 

The card reads to Dear Helen, from Nell.   

The brush and mirror set is a gentleman's grooming set from the 1940's.  The butler may have used the brush to remove fluff from his masters coat.  Very Downton Abbey!   

 


Shell  Seeker

My grandmother used to have bags of sea shells in her garage and I would sneak out there sometimes and run my fingers through the shells, marveling at the unusual shapes.  She would use them for decorating lamp bases and making little shell covered boxes.  Hence my ongoing love of shells and the sea.  Love this house shaped shelf we picked up for next to nothing on our travels at a dusty old vintage store.  We had trouble finding something small enough to fit in the holes, however they are the perfect size for shells.   




 

For a touch of the great outdoors, I have also included my vintage watering can collection, you can never have too many.  We transported the ladder home inside our car, with ourselves sandwiched against the other side!  What some people will do for their collections!  It came complete with chains to attach it to our verandah beams and hooks.  Lovely birdcage with candles to light for summer evenings. 

I could easily say here but wait - there's more !  Yes - there is more collecting going on and lots more to show.  But in another post.  My newest addition is however so cute, and shown below.  Who would ever think of starting a kookaburra salt and pepper shaker collection?  Well yes, I did!  My grandmother who passed away gave me the small orange glass set.  The glass has a special name that alludes me.  She had coffee mugs to match.   

Footnote:   I am not a hoarder, just a very affectionate collector! I would love to see your collections.  Send me some snaps!  




 



16 July 2013

Thanks for waiting..I am making!




I am completing some gorgeous felt themed projects for my tutorial section and even though I love writing new posts, it is essential to stay off the computer to actually finish them!  There have been many cold days and nights to get the hand stitching out, so stay tuned for the new projects.  Would love to see some hand stitching projects you have made.  Send them to me via email via the contacts page. 
P.S.  I have seen some new spring fashion in the shops, does that mean that winter is nearly over?! 
xWendy

3 July 2013

Bee Happy

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Have you ever been swept away by a book and found that it reached your very soul, left you bereft and teary sometimes and then joyous, on a roller coaster ride of emotion the next- but you couldn’t put it down?  Were there remarkable likenesses of characters in the book to people in your own life?    “The Secret Life of Bees” was our book club read for June, 2013.   Its pages captured me straight away in a story about the loss of a parent, searching your whole life to fill that void and the joy at being accepted by a group of people who are not family, but become the family you never had.  

But what about the bees, you say?   What is charming about this book are the comparisons of insect life within the bee hive to the real relationships amongst the women in this story.   A very complex world lies amongst those layers of honeycomb!   The book is also a story of strength shown by a minority - black American women in the 1960’s,  who harvest honey under the brand name of “Black Madonna.”  They “adopt” Lily and her housemaid Rosaleen as they flee from Lily’s abusive father.    It is a wonderful literary mixture of grief and joy, love and acceptance.  A must read for women everywhere. 

A theme night was in order for our Book Club.  This is a monthly gathering of women of widely varying ages and backgrounds, which is no barrier, it seems to great friendship, laughter and of course discussion regarding the book.  (Please note:  wine is always on the menu!).    I happened to have my own Black Madonna (was this meant to be?).   A folk art piece I had displayed for many years as I love the American folk art style of decorating.  She wore a heart around her neck, described as a carved wooden heart in the book.   The statuesque version of Madonna was the centre of spiritual worship and prayers to the family in the book.  Candles were lit to set the “mood” for the evening on a tablecloth of yellow with black crochet doilies.   

I discovered delectable and sweet honey recipes online at the wonderful site of Capilano Honey.  The Honey Banana bread with melted butter was perfect for a cold night.  My chocolate cake (dairy free) for a lactose intolerant member was decorated with tiny bees, made from yellow jelly beans, striped with black icing and almond slivers for wings.  Do you know how many packets of jelly beans you have to buy just to get enough yellow ones? !    Not forgetting the Honey Joys, a favorite in the lunchbox when I was young. 


Honey Banana Bread
 
 
Joy oh Joy!  Honey Joys!
 
 As a take home gift, I bottled mini jars of honey complete with tags reading “Bee..Happy,” “Bee..autiful,”  “Bee..Loved,”  “Bee..Extraordinary,”  “Bee..Yourself...everyone else is taken!”   





      
Mmmm-Honey colors!