Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Little Whisper of Nature's Design

I have long wanted to get my hands on some tallow berries. I don't think I have ever even seen them in person. But I have loved them from afar. They are so beautifully decorative, and I really enjoy using natural decorations year 'round.

I know you can buy them online. And there are faux versions too. But I was a little excited to find these berry bushes on one of my recent local walks. It's called rabbitbrush, or chamisa. It's native here, but I have never seen it with berries on it. And it grows in my own back yard! Makes me strongly suspect that not each plant gets them. 

I know that spare and quiet decorating doesn't appeal to everyone. I swear that I will eventually get to a few touches of red. You can look forward to that! Haha! But for now, I am enjoying neutrals and whites in my small rooms that will soon be filled with lots of people. Here is a sprig of dried eucalyptus, for instance. I will soon be getting a few sprays of fresh ones.

I have also dropped a few cholla cactus skeletons into the mix. (Pronounced choy-ah.) A bit of red ribbon would set them off. I have searched for folk tales or symbolism associated with cholla, and found none. But I have started my own tradition of burning a few on the hearth at the new year. Maybe you have seen cholla skeletons made into art or souvenirs. They lie around all over the mesas here.

The bunch of twigs will make a nice winter display even after the holidays. And if I get tired of them I can just toss them out! Another good reason to go natural when you have limited storage space! But I tend to hold onto weeds for a long time.

Maybe these will end up on a new year's fire as well.

I have also added a few greens, and picked up a small evergreen tree for elsewhere. Can't do without that lovely smell!

This is me imagining a woodsy setting full of wildlife in the brambles. My little birds at the feeder outside the window help out with that too. Juncos, doves, sparrows and finches.  I even had a little nuthatch, curve-billed thrasher, and a towhee visit the other day! Gotta take time for the small things. 

Wishing you a lovely weekend ahead!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Magic Christmas Corner

Hi there! Just popping in to say hello. I thought I would show you how my Christmas corner is shaping up. Our decorating always happens gradually. A bit here and a bit there. But I always have a corner of my living room that gets a little more focus.

I have the suggestion of a winter forest in the corner this year with the addition of a lighted twiggy tree.  

 So far the top of my cupboard has not changed. All in due time, I hope!

My corner always includes a few toys. I found a new little vintage white bench a couple of weeks ago to set things on. 

I found thisl hand sewn Pooh bear a few years ago that has become a treasure. He is made of flannel, now worn thin. His eyes made of thread are starting to go too. But he has been loved and cared for and was all nice and clean when I discovered him at the flea market.

A little snowy village sits on the lamp table for now, where we can see it close up. 

I hope you are enjoying the process! This is the best part of the season for me.

So nice to have a visit from you!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Folding Up November

The girls were last to leave. My only daughter and her three little clones.

I get a lump in my throat as they all drive off. They don't live all that far away, but sometimes I want to be that other lucky grandma who lives next door!

The rooms heave a silent sigh that would sound like the timbers of a groaning ship if it could be heard by the human ear. Instead, it is only felt by the heart.

Then comes the folding up. The gathering of stray socks and power cords. A toy. A brush. So reliably found afterward. But the nursery is once again all mine.

 I do very little ironing this time. Just a fold of barely damp linen to press itself smooth in the stacks and drawers.  

It's also time to lay aside my autumn colors. The only time these pumpkin hues see my tables is late summer through the fall. 

Say goodbye to November!

This big tablecloth (old season William-Sonoma) was just folded slightly damp dry as well. Good enough! I did take a hot iron to the Italian linen pumpkin colored napkins though. So nice! 

It gave us so much pleasure laid over the table for a season!

There is also a certain pleasure to seeing things back in order again. Taking in the quiet, and organizing for the next big thing. Just a swing in the pendulum this time of year. It will all go so fast!

You know I just had to include one pretty vintage thing!

Don't you love that gorgeous hand made lace?

Thanks so much for your lovely comments!

 Looking forward to catching up to you!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Down to the Wire

Hello dear blogging friends! Are you baking pies today? That task has been shared by other members gathered around our table for Thanksgiving this year. We have been away the last few years for the holiday, but it's my turn to set the table, and I'm thrilled!

I have been on a hiatus from the blog. I know you're supposed to let people know BEFORE you go. If I had only known! But November just evaporated into thin air. And the blogging air just seems to be getting thinner for me all the time.

The scene has just changed from the old days, don't you think? It certainly has for me. I don't have plans to quit, but my posts are getting farther and father apart. One thing that I have wondered a lot about lately is "Where on earth did 'so-and-so's' wonderful blog go"? I mean, folks can just up and disappear on you. You hate to think the worst, but the worst happens sometimes. I just want to know!

My health is fine. No worries. But my life has a way of moving on almost without me noticing sometimes. I am mostly retired from shop keeping. I am involved in the most wonderful shop that accommodates my absence. We spend a huge amount of time trotting the country visiting loved ones and just seeing the world now. So enjoyable! I still love vintage and decorating, but my circles run much larger than that most days. Just so you know. . . .

We have already had guests come and go this week, with more arriving today. It is a joyous time. That isn't always true for me on holidays with our families spread so far and wide. And with so many of us. Some of you know that we have seven grown children, all with their own families. And then there is our extended family, so someone is always missing, as you can imagine!

There is always grief and sorrow somewhere among us as well. One daughter in law, and one son in law lost fathers this past year, and it is the first Thanksgiving without them. My husband is missing his recently passed mother and his family this year. And it is also a time of deep reflection in our country. There are few of us that won't have those thoughts also gathered around the table with us. 

But I have so very much to be thankful for. For me that appreciation is not felt so much at the moment when I am finally sitting at the table wondering if everything is hot or cold enough as we bow our heads. It comes in the days and moments leading up as I gather up the dishes and linens, and each fork and knife along with my memories. It comes with each wish and dream for the future of my loved ones in this world.

And of course that includes you, who are such a support and pleasure in my days with all that you say and share of the goodness and beauty and even sadness of your lives. What a joy it is blogging with you! Thank you!

I am thinking all this today, and more. Glad for the time to weigh and savor as I go about my pleasant table tasks. And hoping for all the same for you. . . .

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Lastest Shop Pics

We had a little shop excitement over the weekend with our annual holiday open house to launch the season. I snapped a few quick shots to give you a peek.

We also tried to do a little extra tweaking to show off our best side for the camera, as the editor, photo stylist, and best selling author,  Fifi O'Neill of Prairie Style fame came to honor us with a visit! 

Here she is tweaking the shelves a little to set up a corner for a shot. We asked for permission to take her picture, of course, but I was so focused on the process and on hanging onto her every word that I failed to get more than this one photo of her! Such a pleasure to meet her and get a dose of her wonderful humor.

A lot going on for us for one whirlwind weekend, but it was so much fun greeting so many of our wonderful supporters together on one day! These are just a few quick pics I took of Cabin & Cottage at Je L'Adore before we opened the door to customers.

Lots of vintage white china of course! That fab old French curtain underneath is a "display only" prop getting a lot of attention over the day.

Fifi took her own shot of this display. I hope you get to see it someday!

Lots of metal went out the door including the zinc buckets and this decorative piece.

A few warmer tones are included with all the white to welcome autumn.

I love these little twiggy chairs in any season!

Ironstone pitchers and platters line up against some fab rusty old tin tiles I found around. Perfect for fall!

Just a quick reminder that we have no sales online! So sorry! But I am always so happy to hear that you want to stop by Cabin & Cottage at Je L'Adore when you visit Albuquerque!

Hope it's turning into a fun weekend for you too! I'm looking forward to getting a few minutes to catch up with you all!


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