Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Forbidden Love

This is just one of many collections at my mother's house.
She loves to collect blue and white dishes.

She loves flow blue dishes, or any cobalt blue pattern.
She also loves Blue Willow, and that's because it was
her mother's collection.

One of my favorite memories of
being with my grandmother, was when she would
share with me the sweet forbidden love story

behind the Blue Willow pattern.

She didn't remember the Chinese names, 
but she had every detail of the legend 
in her memory to tell to me.
I think I must have asked her 
to tell me the story 
a hundred times! 

In her later years, she had a quiet little shaky voice,
much like Katherine Hepburn, 
and she would sit me on her lap with a plate in hand
and tell me her variation of the story below. 


The Legend behind the Blue Willow Pattern
Long ago, in the days when China was ruled by emperors, a Chinese Mandarin, Tso Ling, lived in the magnificent pagoda under the branches of the apple tree on the right of the bridge, over which droops the famous willow tree, and in front of which is seen the graceful lines of the fence. 

Tso Ling was the father of a beautiful girl, Kwang-se, who was the promised bride of an old but wealthy merchant. The girl, however, fell in love with Chang, her father’s clerk. The lovers eloped across the sea to the cottage on the island. The mandarin pursued and caught the lovers and was about to have them killed when the gods transformed them into a pair of turtle doves. These are seen gazing into each other’s eyes 
at the top of the design.

Blue Willow, in its present form, originated in the England in 1790 by Thomas Turner at Caughley Pottery Works in Shropshire.


Do you have any blue and white dishes?
Blue Willow, or Flow Blue or?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Silhouettes and Cameos

What is it about a silhouette 
that is so simply beautiful?
Could it be
the play of the 
light against the dark
or the lack of dimension
that makes so much 
of an impression?



Custom plates from


But then I was
reminded how much 
I love cameos too.

They have dimension.

Cameo necklace from

chocolates.....courtesy of

Soap mold from

Ring from


are you more of a silhouette 
or a cameo fan?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Are you a cowgirl?

My sweet grandfather 

raised horses and cows

on the farm where I grew up.



I liked the horses, 
but I loved the cows ---
and they were herefords,
polled herefords.

"Grandpap" was sweet and gentle,
just like his docile herd.

Polled herefords have 
big sweet wide faces and
gorgeous caramel brown eyes with
long eyelashes. 


I am mad for cows 
(and the paintings on this post.)
Are you a cowgirl too?

1.  The Cowherd, 1888, Theodore Robinson

2. Old Man with Cow, 1913, Willy Sluyters
3. Peasant Girl Grazing a Cow at the Forest, 
(date unknown) Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
4. A Milkmaid with her Cows on a Summer day, 
(1851-1910) Julien Dupre'
4. Cow and Girl in the Windsor Great Park, 1809, Paul Sandby
5.  Polled Hereford by Greg Karas/
6. Girl Tending Cow in a Pasture, 1874, Camille Pissarro (below)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mirror, mirror...

Do you love mirrors as art?

Sometimes it's easier to hang a mirror 
than a piece of art on your wall.
Art is subjective, and sometimes it's hard 
to find just the right piece.

That's why mirrors are a little easier. 
If you love the shape, and the frame, and the style....
you're good to go.

Mirrors can decorative and beautiful
in their style and design.

 Barclay Butera.

They can be very simple.

Or very ornate.

 Charles Faudree

 Carolyn Roehm

They can bring more 
light into a room.

They can fill a space
where a large piece of
artwork may not have been an option.


Have you ever considered an
old mirror's provenance?

Country Living
Do you ever wonder how
many people have checked their
reflection in the old mirror that you now possess?

Or considered what 
momentous occasions
might have been
captured within that frame?

(i.e. a wedding day, a new mother with child,
a young man off to war?)

 Monte  Luke Studio

In your home....
do you prefer plain or fancy mirrors?

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Screened Door Pantry

This is our kitchen pantry.

And this is the photo that inspired the
use of a screen door pantry! 
(Taken from a House Beautiful book.)

I saved this photo in my files forever with
hopes that one day I could make this work
when we redid the old kitchen.

So when it came time for the actual
renovation, I went shopping for an
interesting old screen door with some
charm and character.

(I am so sorry now
that I did not take a photo of the door
when I found it. It had no bottom
panel and was in pritt-eee bad shape. I did not
know then I would be a blogger!)

What a great pic that would have been.
I bought it from one of my favorite
antique dealers, Joan, and would love to have
photographed her with the door in her booth 
that fateful day at the flea market.

(BTW, Joan also has a fantastic blog and a great Etsy shop....
visit her at

Here are some additional photos of pantry screen doors.

Country Living Magazine

Apartment Therapy

 Someone recently emailed me and asked 
what the inside of the pantry looks like!
It is not very exciting, trust me. 
More functional than pretty.
Come on inside....

A cute door handle from Hobby Lobby. Super chippy paint now black.

Don, my angelic contractor added a new beadboard panel where there was none!

Great big ol' new clock from Target ---- until I can find an affordable old one!

Deep shelves to the left hold all my appliances. New schoolhouse lights above.

Vintage flip top bin for hiding 20 lb. dog food bags!

More pull out storage on right with a wine cooler below...  it came with the house.
Heavy duty steel roll out shelving from Lowe's was a perfect solution.
Painted wood brackets from Restorer's Catalog for holding tarnished silver! Oops.
I'm only sorry we haven't added a spring to close it. I would like it to BANG shut!

Please feel free to ask any questions as
I am always happy to share stories or sources!