I recently became the slightly overwhelmed recipient of a treasure trove of vintage fiber. There is clothing for infants through adults. There are dozens and dozens of linen napkins, tablecloths, hand towels, pillowcases.... I am busily washing, drying, ironing, sorting and trying, basically, to get my head and hands around what I have and what I should do with it. Some of it I will just keep for the household, although I think any sane woman would agree that 3 dozen linen napkins is probably more than enough. I am going to have to do something useful and productive with the rest and, after consulting with my advisory board (Joe, my sister Peg and most especially my daughter Devan) I have decided to peddle some of it on Etsy. If you click HERE you will go directly to my Etsy site. Today I posted two articles of clothing. This one is a cotton lace blouse from approximatley 1910. It is from the era when women had just begun to have office jobs outside of the home, farm or factory. Devan took the photographs of the clothing herself, and often of herself. It is a wonderment to me how she can be in front of the camera and behind the camera at the same time.
This photo is of a beautiful cobalt blue lace gown with satin facings. We decided to replace the missing buttons, which originally were almost certainly blue satin covered ones to match the dress facings. We though the dress had a European/Asian feeling that would be perfectly complimented with some of the red enameled Russian buttons that I had gotten from Peacefleece. They do look brilliant on the dress and Devan looks brilliant IN the dress and very calm for a photographer who had to set up the shot and then go around and get into position before the camera went off.
This is where I have been having afternoon tea lately, and I have also been doing quite a bit of knitting out here. If I sit on the settee I can see my garden, which is small and glorious. And if I sit on the chair in the corner I can see Deering Avenue and all the people passing by. As you can see I hung lace curtains in the screened windows (on both sides, although you can only see one in this picture). I love the look of blowing lace curtains, it's so old fashioned and summery. But I am not so crazy about curtains blowing in my face while I'm trying to drink coffee so this is what i did. I made lace curtains that are flat, not gathered. And I fastened them on the top and both sides. So now they blow and belly in the wind without flapping. The rug is one I bought 10 years ago, of no particular value and without a single natural fiber in it. Therefore perfect for a screened porch where it will occasionally experience rain. The curtains are nylon lace and you could literally bury them in the ground for years without any trace of rot. Beautiful and indestructible. I love my natural fibers with great and unswerving loyalty, but there is a time and a place for polyester.
Joe and I have started renting out our spare room on Airbnb and the most wonderful thing has happened. I now get to have breakfast with interesting company several mornings a week. It's amazing who shows up.
The lady on the left is Chandlee Bryan and she and her friend Ken actually arrived shortly before their e-mail asking for a reservation for that night. Fortunately we had a cancellation and could accommodate them. She just wrote a book on using Twitter to find your new job, and was interviewed on CNN where, in my opinion, she did a much better job of presenting herself than Tony Harris did. Click through on her name and see what you think.
I make scones for breakfast, and you can find my recipe in my blog under patterns....which seemed like the least nonsensical place to put it. Maybe I need Joe to make me a recipe section??
Last time Salem came to the studio it was just too hot to mess around with wool. So we went outside and cut some flowers and then watered the garden. Salem is one of the best people I know for combining interesting tastes and colors and, as you can see from the salad that she's holding there, her intuition once again did not lead us astray. We pulled up carrots and used scissors to cut beet green tips, onion shoots, deer tongue lettuce and red lettuce. We also carefully pinched off basil, Johnny Jump Ups and Nasturtiums. And then we headed back inside to the kitchen to wash and assemble. We tore up lettuce, cut the baby carrots into small golden circles of deliciousness (after taste testing of course) and cut the basil into long shreads.
Salem also wanted to chop up the nasturtiums in order to have many orange sprinkles so we did that. The results were very beautiful and the colors were very Salem. She packed it up and took it home for her mother as a Happy Birthday Salad. I was so inspired that I went out the next day and made myself one just like it for supper. My garden is only two 4x4 beds...although I can guarantee next year it will be a bit bigger. But it has been a wonderful addition around here. I have been making plans....maybe grapes, blueberry bushes, strawberry beds??? I'll ask Salem about it the next time she comes. She has a head positively teeming with good ideas.
If you would like to stay with us this is the room we rent via Airbnb. I would love to see you and give you a tour of the studio, some quality time at the knitting table, some scones and warm drinks.