Wednesday, January 31, 2018

By Her Bookmarks You Shall Know Her

The front line in the battle between print and digital books seems to shift in unpredictable ways.  Sometimes ebooks are less expensive than the print version, sometime they're more expensive.  It's a complete mystery to me.  For now, I still seem to need bookmarks.

Some of the bookmarks here go back a considerable number of years.  The embroidered cat on the blue ribbon is something I did in the 1970s when Victorian crafts were enjoying a revival.  The embroidered cat on the red ribbon is one that my mother did a few years ago.

The medieval woodcut is a souvenir of a trip to The Cloisters in the late 1980s at a time when I had very little money beyond the price of the train fare and the admission ticket.  The Union Fair blue ribbon is for a traditional fisherman's sweater that I entered in the fair in 1996.

Northern Lights and Village Book store are no longer with us, I'm afraid.

When will book marks become as quaint as steel-nibbed dip pens?  I don't know if anybody knows. But I'll have my choice collection available, should Antiques Roadshow come to town.



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas


Christmas here at the Blue Door is a pretty quiet event.  I wait until the Solstice to start decorating, which means it's somewhat catch-as-catch can.  I was able to find a plain wreath and liven it up with a bright red bow (carefully saved from year to year) and some snowflakes I made decades ago.

A tree was out of the question this year, so I made a swag of my favorite ornaments and hung it on the fireplace.

I don't know that frogs and pea pods are particularly Christmas-y, but I like them.


I set out a few wood ornaments that come from a place that was once called "West Germany" 


Glass icicles, a few glass balls, and a foil star liven up the dining room light.
I make the same flower arrangement every year.   The holly comes from a tree that I grew from a seedling I found in my yard.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Isba


If you had an opportunity to buy a 1939 edition of the Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustre, of course you'd jump at it, right?

I know I did.  I don't know why, exactly, because my grasp of French is sketchy at best.  But dictionaries are always fun and illustrated dictionaries are even better.  This one sits quietly on my shelf of reference books until I need a little something to liven up a rainy evening.

And so, the word for today is Isba.

(And isn't the end paper design lovely?)


Saturday, September 9, 2017

Awfully cute for a space alien


This is Sempervivum arachnoideum subs. tomentosum, but it answers to "Wooly Cobweb Houseleek."  I saw these in a garden in Maine over twenty years ago and always wanted one.  This one came from Joy Creek Nursery, a place I've been meaning to visit for more years than I care to admit.

I had the loveliest visit.  I was the first customer of the day, and there was fresh coffee and a home-made chocolate chip cookie to see me through my perambulations through the plant tables and the twenty-five year garden, which was just wonderful and gave me all kinds of ideas.

Along with the the space alien, I came away with Daphne, Michaelmas daisies in four colors, a white
clematis, and three kinds of fuschias.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Raven Has an Idea


This little raven and this sand dollar have been together in my curio cabinet for years and years and years, but it wasn't until this morning that I saw that Raven has just now had the idea to steal the moon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

When running away to join the circus isn't an option


At the beginning of the month I had a few days off, so I did what I almost always do when that happens - I sewed something.  I like to sew, and this year I've started an effort to draw down the stash of fabric I've accumulated over the years, so there is no excuse too small for me to start a sewing project.

Years ago I got a wonderful deal on twelve yards of lovely Three Cats fabric.  Well, "lovely" may be in the eye of the beholder.  While I love the indigo blue and the hand of this 36" wide fabric, I'm not sure that I'd ever wear big white polka dots outside the house.

So I made an apron, using an antique sewing pattern from my collection.  I finished it just a few days before the eclipse, and while I didn't wear it on the day, it will be my memento of the eclipse of August 2017.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

My dear, these are my gardening pearls


Used by permission of the National Portrait Gallery
I would like to introduce you to Nellie Samuels Levy Ionides.   An heiress to the Shell Oil fortune, she was an expert on Chinese porcelain and a hostess known for her excellent parties, gossip, and, I suspect, a rather sly sense of humor.

The story about her that I most cherish is found in Hilary Spurling's biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett. When someone visiting Nellie in her garden at Buxted Park admired her pearls, she is supposed to have said "My dear, these are my gardening pearls." (1)

And why not?  If my rose bushes are going to get all dressed up, it seems only polite to return the courtesy.  As my budget doesn't run to real pearls, I make my own pearl necklaces with Swarovski's very nice glass pearls. For today, I decided on a fairly chunky look to go with my polo shirt and Carhartt double-front jeans.

Kind of uncanny how much Mrs. Ionides and I look alike, don't you think?

(1)Hilary Spurling, Ivy - The Life of I. Compton-Burnett by Hilary Spurling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984),  310.