Sunday, May 30, 2021

Favorite Summer Dresses

It's fall-like weather here in Virginia. I can't believe how cold it is but we need the rain badly so I'll take it!  Dreaming of wearing one of these great summer dresses this weekend, maybe for the 4th of July or at a Belmont Bash (next weekend?):

I have an old Sheridan French tunic and I am glad to see she is back. Love her stuff. Very good quality.  This dress, yes, this dress.

Also love this one:

Love this one.  See it here:

 Love this toile dress:

Fabulous dress:

 Love this striped summer dress:

 This dress is perfect for the 4th of July:

 Love this Nimo With Love summer dress:

 Loved this Ro's Garden kurta last year in green and now Tuckernuck has it again in blue and pink.  The pink is my favorite.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Moda Operandi Picks

 Every now and then I peruse Moda Operandi and every now and then I buy something from this unique company started by Lauren Santo Domingo. Some of the stuff here is way over the top but they have good sales and unique products you don't see anywhere else.  The trunk shows are the best, but sometimes you have to wait for your order.  Their customer service is good - that's been my experience.  Here are some fun picks.....

Love these dinner plates created by Lauren for her company and made in Italy. Great for summer patio dinners!

Would love to own a set of Sabre silverware! Like this set:

Love these ceramic wicker dinner plates. They come in blue, pink and green but the green is my favorite:

Love these dessert plates to mix and match with the solid color ones above:

I absolutely adore these hand-painted plates.  They come in three sizes.  Oh my goodness.  

I would mix the plates above with these dinner plates for a fabulous place setting:

If you don't have a set of bamboo treat yourself.  I have a set of very inexpensive silverware from Caspari. This is much nicer. You'll enjoy it every day.

I love this swim suit.  Not a beach bunny but if I was....

Love this shift dress. Make sure you see the back!

Love these Loveshackfancy sweat pants.So fun!  

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Thursday Tidbits

 A few tidbits for this soon-to-be-summer Thursday:

1) For Pete's Sake Summer Pottery

This stuff sells out faster than fresh baked bread.  Love the Fourth of July themed pottery.

2) Notepads for the Stitcher

Ordering these today! Notepads with a needlepoint pillow theme and of course, personalize them!

3) Essex Classic's New Funnel Neck Sweaters

Love these new sweaters from Essex, one of my favorite brands.  They make the best quality shirts and their sweaters are superb. This is a new style, to wear now on crisp summer nights (do we even have those anymore)?  They come in many fun colors.

4) Zara Dress

Saw this on Blair at Atlantic-Pacific Blog, even for fast fashion this is a stunner.  Ditch the pants.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The China Affliction, Again

The affliction arrived early - while in high school to be exact. Way back then, some of us had jobs while we went to school. I actually started working at 16 but had to wait another year before I could work "on the clock."  My "on the clock" job working at a department store china department lasted seven long years.  Being exposed to my friends like Lenox, Wedgewood, Noritake, Spode and others had its advantages - you did not need to be "cool" to be accepted; no parties or drinking; you were never snubbed by the popular girls and boys.  But now, I am paying the price of that affection created long ago.  My relationship with china has never faltered.

Last weekend I came across an entire brand new (but old) set of Wedgewood Wild Strawberry.  "Never been used. Still with price tags and bubble wrap," according to the store clerk.  So sad to be ignored like that, something so lovely and beautiful. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess, even during a pandemic.  Still thinking about that set that included many serving pieces, like hitting a trifecta. I used to sell this stuff.

A few weeks before, I came across another one of my old friends, also at greatly discounted prices because apparently no one likes the stuff anymore. Pontmeirion Botanical is a flower lover's friend and what a lovely table it would make for al fresco dining overlooking my alliums.  Yes, I have thought about the possibilities.

Spode was another friend, not a close one back then, but one I admired from afar. My grandmother owned Spode.  My mother had Christmas China that my sister now owns.  The old stuff was my preference and I am loving it even more now like this Greek pattern that takes me back to my Classical roots (I studied the classics in college).  

Or Aesop's Fable.  I adore this in black but you see it also in blue.  What to learn more?  Read this great blog post here.

Or Caramanian by Spode:

A bit of history:

Caramanian pattern was first introduced in about 1809 and most usually seen transfer printed in blue. It was produced beyond the Spode period and is is seen with marks from Spode owners, Copeland & Garrett, from 1833-1847.

The centre designs were taken from Volume II of a three-part work entitled 'Views in Egypt, Palestine and the Ottoman Empire' published in 1803. Volume I covering Egypt and Volume III, Palestine, were not copied.

The pattern is also known in black, grey and possibly green. In the late 1990s the pattern was reintroduced as part of Spode's Blue Room Collection.  

The thrill of the hunt, of finding these pieces, of putting together your own collection and then learning the history behind it all, that's what I also love about china other than creating a lovely table to enjoy with a good meal with someone you want to dine with.

This is another pattern I sold and loved, from Wedgewood, Bianca, a Williamsburg pattern. It is lovely!

So what's on my current china wish list?  I would love to have a set of Christopher Spitzmiller salad or dinner plates in either lime green or hunter green.  I can't decide. 

I also adore Juliska's Country Estate pattern and have a set of four salad plates in the discontinued orange color (why did they quit making this classic color?). I love the gray, the blue and the new pink. Yes, pink!

And there is some Spode in my life.  A new collection for sure.  The thrill of the hunt right?   Enjoy your china.  Use it.  Research the history behind it.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Flower Garden Bug Has Bitten

For whatever reason, gardening has become a serious interest. While I have not blogged about this much, during the pandemic I refurbished an area of the farm into an herb and lavender garden and tried to grow a few vegetables.  See this post from 2020 for more.  It is really amazing what this area looks like now.  I'll report back on that.  I planted a small boxwood hedge to grow around my herbs and I have to put a small fence around it to protect the herbs from the critters like rabbits and groundhogs.  I filled the space with lavender and added a few hydrangeas (my favorite). There is a new birdbath too.  The plan here is to add only perennials that stay green a good part of the year or create a rotating flower garden.  There is so much to learn and soak in.

I planted allium bulbs last fall in another area near the patio and wow, they did not disappoint but they bloomed in early May not June as I expected. Mine were this color and were this beautiful. I can't wait for them to arrive next year.  We sat on the patio and adored these flowers that we first discovered in Boston Commons a few years ago for an entire month. Creating a nine-month garden (if possible in Virginia) is on my to-do list for this spot.  There is not enough time.

This is another flower, Fritillaria, I recently discovered and will order bulbs and plant for 2021 enjoyment.  I planted two from Lowe's yesterday but I find the bulbs you order and plant in the fall are more exotic.  Stay tuned.

These are on the fall planning board for my 2022 garden:


I would love to find an antique border for parts of my gardens (very hard to find) and expensive.  The new ones too new but I like this one:

Something like this (from Ebay) but dark.  These are in the UK:

I'd like to add a bench somewhere too and have my eye on one of these, painted dark in black or dark green:

Then there are the garden books, on order, from Thriftbooks......

And to keep with the flower and gardening motif, I am starting to love these plates, an oldie but goodie, made by Portmeirion.  You can find these everywhere.

Now if it will rain. We have record heat here in Virginia, extremely hot, the grass is crunchy and I am hoping that we are not in for another drought season. Dealing with our changing climate is indeed becoming more challenging. My garden but may be for nought without water!  Stay safe.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

The Saturday List - May Version

It's been a busy month so far - mowing season is here so it leaves little free time these days. But here's the list for May.

1) Current Read - The Aviators by Winston Groom

This is an excellent read, well-written, full of history and tidbits about these men who are likely less famous to many today (since no one studies history now). If you don't know who Eddie Rickenbacker or Jimmy Doolittle are then you really need to read this.  And surely you know all about Charles Lindbergh?  Groom's book, The Generals, is also a great read.  

2) Currently Stitching

I'm working on this ornament, something a bit different, not a horse or animal. Very quick stitch.  If you love a visit to the Hermes store this is the next best thing right now and MUCH cheaper.

3) Netflix Recommendation - Cable Girls

To be honest, I have not been watching Netflix much between reading a night and mowing until dark (love that farm life) but I am watching this every now and then.  I don't like it when they dub instead of using subtitles (I know I am the only one) but this would be so much better with subtitles.  But I tend to love the Spanish shows, those actors, and this is a good one to watch.  

4) Equine Product Recommendation - Rebecca Ray Lilly Tote

I picked up a few items at Rebecca Ray's Warehouse Sale (still going on but the supply is now limited) and how fabulous is this!  The quality is excellent (nothing done cheaply here), the straps are heavy duty leather (like in a harness) with brass fittings.  This tote is quite large, much larger than I expected and it will be great on my next trip to Europe.  Treat yourself and hurry.  These are 50 percent off while they last.

5) Cookbook Recommendation - The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook

I ordered this cookbook from Thriftbooks this week (and three others for a total of $20) and am going to dive in and cook like I own a tavern.   Amazon is for rich people.  Shop Thriftbooks my friends. If you love books like I do, it's the very best source. 

6) Whatever Else - Needlepoint Finishing

I am going to finish some of my needlepoint ornaments.  It's just too expensive and I am tired of waiting a year or more to get mine back.  Door hangers are equally easy to finish. Think of all the money I will save and I'll be able to enjoy my stitched heirlooms now instead of a year from now.  Here is a link to how to do it. Off to the fabric store today to buy cording and supplies. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Trip to Williamsburg, VA

We recently ventured out for our first trip other than to the beach house, in over a year, to Williamsburg, VA.  I won't say how long it's been since we visited this lovely spot in southeastern Virginia, but like a good wine, it just gets better with age.


The restored area was not completely open but there was still plenty to do and see.  We stayed two nights and it could have easily been a longer trip.  The weather was perfect and we walked everywhere from our hotel to the restored area.  We did not need a car once we arrived.  There were many people there but it was not too crowded.  Some of the main attractions in the restored area were open and people were socially distanced and masked even outdoors. There were dogs everywhere - it must be dog friendly now.  And the gardens were simply lovely - I am now inspired to get my own in good order.

There were only two taverns open - Kings Arms for dinner only inside, and Chownings for outdoor dining.  We had a late lunch there and it was excellent, but certainly more casual.  That part I missed as I would have loved to dined indoors but perhaps next trip!

I had not been to the Museum before and we went in for a peak and could have spent a half day there for sure.  That's a great place to return to for a colder weather visit.  They have a great furniture and china collection as well as a small David Hicks (Peaceable Kingdom paintings) exhibit.

We stayed at the Griffin Hotel which is part of the Williamsburg Inn.  We wanted to be within walking distance of the restored area and it was worth the expense.  Highly recommend it.  We are not Busch Gardens types so we did not go there.  And there is a lot of golf in Williamsburg if you golf.  There is a lot to do here and most everything is outdoors so it's a great place to visit right now.

The carriage rides were completely sold out

There are many books I now want to read.....

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