Country mouse

No surprise that I love barns, old quilts, wallpaper, farm animals, um... farm boys, overalls, gingham, rag rugs, etc...


But honestly, it never occurred to me that i was easy to type-cast as a "country girl" who happily decorates with rooster lamps*. Maybe it's because i've spend 7 years in new york, but i never stopped to think how all of my interests sort of converge into whole big pile of country.

That is, until I recently started weaving baskets. Holy awesome. I could weave baskets all day long.

*please ignore the fact i have a cherished rooster lamp.



In actuality, I may have reached the trifecta of country; basket weaving, quilting and sweater knitting. But pickling pushes me over the edge.

The 13 year old who wanted to be a Kennedy when she grew up just rolled over in her grave. Sorry girl, didn't happen. Moving right along...

Williamsburg has its charms.












A Mister Mistoffelees, for all the Cats fans who felt slighted at my last post.

Brimfield: a pictorial

Brimfield. I laughed. I cried. It was better than Cats.

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Right out of the starting gate, my camera lost it's ability to focus, as did my mind. And it poured. Like crazy. I was soaking wet and wildly giddy, bordering on manic. Add to that 5,000+ booths of antiques, divine carny food (pulled pork!) plus multitudes of handsome, flannel wearing bearded dealers. It was not pretty.

Poor Grace and Amy just kinda shook their heads and let me zoom around unchaperoned. Which may or may not have been a good idea after I had circled the whole place 3 times, twitching and muttering aloud about not finding enough feed sacks.

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Never fear, in the end I found my feed sacks while the girls waited in the car to go back to brooklyn. When I fully recover from the excitement, I'll take photos of the haul.

Oh and one last thing.

This is why I'm proud to be a human.

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Like a bajillion more photos of MRC's honeywell farm on flickr for those of you who want extra credit.

PS- stop by the shop this weekend and say hi. bring ginger cookies.

Farmhouse washroom

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Do I even need to say that this is the best bathroom ever?

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Just in case, I'm saying it now, on the record.

THE BEST BATHROOM EVER.

The Honeywell farm

Lest you think (and rightly so) that I am turning into a crabby old miser, I'm going to give you a present. A really really good present to make up for all of the whiny crap I've been churning out this month.

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Remember the barn? Yes, of course you do. Who could forget. Well, if you thought the barn was good, welcome to the house that barn belongs to. It made me honest to goodness cry. Walking around it the first night, I was all teary. It was really embarrassing.

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And now for a bit of back story-

I work at a truly spectacular antique store on the weekends. A store to make doves cry. A store that I haunted long before ever I worked there and a store that when I stand behind the counter, my heart still races with crazy antiques fever. When I got the job, I was thrilled because I could stay in the shop for hours staring at things and have it not be weird, cause hey, I worked there.

The store is called Moon River Chattel and if you live within a 3 days drive of williamsburg, you should pack your bags and leave tonight to meet me there on friday. If you have any sort of soul, you will not be disappointed.

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Long story short, this is Mr and Mrs. MRC's house upstate. On a 23 acre former dairy farm. Living the dream.

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They invited us three shop girls up for a weekend and the trip blew a fuse in my brain. Now all I can do is mumble and sigh a lot when I try to describe how perfect it was.

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Like right now. I should have something insightful to say about how they left the original layers of wallpaper etc... but I can't even get a proper, non idiotic sentence out. I'm too busy being googly eyed and stammering.

The slow burn

Please pardon my erratic posting while I, um, slowly crash and burn. Instead of having one big, nicely contained emotional meltdown I've been spacing it out, 20 minutes a day, whether I need it or not.


I'm almost looking forward to the next time I stub my toe, just so I can finally loose my shit once and for all. Get the thing over and done with so I can properly move on already. Things to do, places to go!


My cats know I'm a wreck. Bertie's been taking a break from his usual hell boy antics (like shredding this dress to bits) and acting shockingly lovable. Snuggling with me, letting me pet him and everything. He even brushed up against my leg for the first time ever this week.


This morning in bed, I remembered why I though getting a cats could possibly be a good idea to start with. Which in itself is worth the multiple miniature breakdowns.


The great crash

Last week I came home from a particularly tough day at work to learn that I no longer owned any plates, bowls or glasses.

devastation in the kitchen


devastation in the kitchen


devastation in the kitchen
My shelf in the kitchen just crumbled right out of my plaster wall. I clearly can no longer be trusted to pick out appropriately sized wall anchors. My confidence as a capable girl is shot.

Last gasp of summer

I went on a date with Ralph tonight. I even wore a pretty dress for the occasion.

Ralph's is my home away from home. My insta-mood lifter. My Williamsburg first love. He has saved me from certain death on many a hot day and provided me with dinner many a desperate night. When he closes for the winter I won't know what to do with myself.

ice cream
I always get the same thing. Half peach, half red raspberry water ice*, size small. Unbelievably, for the first time in three years, the time I had my camera to document the Ralph's experience, they were sold out of peach water ice. For the rest of the season. I burst into tears.

No, I didn't. But I did let out a highly embarrassing wail and said, half pleading..... "But you've alwaaaaays had it before....." Yes. I am a food service employee's worst nightmare. I made sure to tip an extra buck.

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I ended up getting a half banana, half coconut cream ice* and it tasted like sunblock would if sunblock was really really delicious. Big chunks of frozen bananas.

* Ralph's sells water ice, cream ice and ice cream. Don't be fooled by the big sign that says Italian ice. They refer to it as a water ice and it took me several months to wrap my brain around the idea that something called water ice could taste so good.


ice cream

Now to the real problem. Earlier this summer, on the very same block, another ice place opened up with a blue and white striped awning. I was all up in arms, how dare they encroach on my beloved Ralph's and Uncle Louie G's go back to Park Slope where you belong... until I noticed they have pumpkin ice cream. Oh shit. I love pumpkin ice cream.

ice cream

Ever pragmatic, tonight I asked the owner of Ralph's if he would be interested in selling pumpkin ice cream. He said no so quickly and in such a heavy Italian accent it made me question whether he even understood my question. Then he started rambling about how he used to make pumpkin ravioli, which sounded really tasty but didn't help me with the task at hand.

Sweet readers, do you stay unswervingly loyal to your local favorites? What's a girl to do?


Technical difficulties

I'm sorry i've been absent lately. You know that feeling of having so many things to do that you aren't doing your very best with any of them? I hate that feeling.

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I'm in a fog. You would not believe the last time I did my laundry, took a walk, watered my plants, wrote a proper letter, called my sister, fed myself a home cooked meal. Definitely not complaining though, because I'm thrilled to be working on some truly exciting projects. (hello brimfield with the girls!)

My to-do list is a million miles long for my "day off" tomorrow. It's got some pretty fun things on it, like unpack new ironstone dishes from brimfield and research antique wallpaper hanging techniques. At this point though, I'm most looking forward to crossing off the make coffee and (gasp!) slowly drink it at the kitchen table, while listening to patsy cline record part of the list.

Back to school

You know those people that are all do one thing a day that scares you...? I am not one of those people.

In fact, I don't particularly like the sensation of fear and would be happy to avoid it all together. That being said, tonight I'm doing something scary. Fun and exciting scary, but scary nonetheless.

pencils

I'm taking my first botanical illustration class at the bbg. I haven't kept up with the old pencil and paper much since I graduated so I'm going to be very, very rusty.

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After finding my great great grandmother's botany sketchbooks (from 1878!) a few years ago, I've been itching to brush up on my drawing skills and pick up a few botany morsels along the way. Might make working for Saipua even more special (like that's even possible) if I know all of the proper names for parts of flowers, too.

Plus, I'm getting a taste of back to school by sharpening colored pencils and picking out my first day of school outfit, which sadly includes no new sneakers this time around.


Four eyes

So I found these glasses. And they're great. And I adore them. And they fit. And my friends say I look brainy in them etc.... All is wonderful, except, well, I don't technically wear glasses.

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At least, the last time I had a vision test, ca. 1992, I didn't need them. That was 17 years ago and these days I'm a bit more squinty when it comes to street signs. When I wear my friend Kit's glasses, things look better, so that's a signal.

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I found these at a true junk shop upstate, with their cute coffin-like case and a price tag that is, um, unbelievable for (bakelite? horn rim? cellulose?) glasses this old (30s? 40s????).

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Clearly, I am out of my element in this whole new world of glasses. I'll defer to the better judgment of Dana, my sartorial soul mate, who knows all about these sorts of boyish vintage things. Like indigo dyed denim and tee shirt hems through out the 20th century.

Dana, love, share your wisdom with the world. Inquiring minds want to know.



Fond farewell

I have a confession and I'm ashamed to admit it because it goes against everything I normally stand for.

I'm dreading fall. There, I said it.

stolen!

It's funny, because under normal circumstances I'd say it was my favorite season. I love knitting socks, snuggling under woolly blankets, apple picking, wearing thick tights, drinking hot cider and collecting leaves. But for some reason I just can't let go of summer this year.

All I want to do is sit in the shade and eat peaches, forever and ever. Summer, please don't go. I miss you already and you haven't even left yet.

The dollhouse

From the age of 7 up until high school, I thought I would grow up to be a historical reenactor, working at Williamsburg, churning butter and wearing straw hats. I'm only telling you this because I trust you not to tell anyone else. It's pretty embarrassing.

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It all started with American Girl dolls. Micha and I got our first dolls in '88, back when they were still incredibly special and handmade in Germany. The dolls (Kirsten and Sam to start with) and their clothes were neat, but what I loved most were the miniature doll antiques that went with them.

Samantha's Victorian artist's box had actual tubes of oil paint, which thrilled me to no end. Real paint! In metal tubes!

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Coming from a family that supports a healthy obsession, my dad built my sister and I a 3 story dollhouse that topped out at 10 feet tall. So tall it can't fit through any of our doorways. It's still there, full to the brim with wallpaper, miniature quilts, little christmas trees during the holidays. I'm pretty sure my mom spent all of her disposable income keeping us stocked in doll sized hatboxes.

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Dollhouse kitchen


Dollhouse treats
I think my mom got a kick out of seeing me sprawled out on the living room floor, methodically dusting and straightening everything in the dollhouse when I was taking these pictures. I swear, I was not playing with dolls, 25 year olds don't play with dolls. I was playing with things inside the dollhouse. Which, you know, is kind of the same thing.

Again. Don't tell anyone, I'm trying to retain a smidgen of dignity here.

Head over heels

The reason I've disappeared off the face of the earth this past week is because I've fallen in love. Total and complete, hopeless and divine love. Love at first sight. Butterflies in your stomach love. A let's runaway together and never look back kind of love.

Paul and Christine's
I am beside myself with insane, unbelievable love for a barn. Have you ever met someone so spectacular that when you first talk to them you're internally hyperventilating, thinking "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, I'm falling in love at this very moment"? That's what it was like meeting this barn.

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Maybe when I can properly form sentences, I'll tell you about how I found myself sitting alone in a hay loft with a cup of coffee, falling in love with a dairy barn yesterday morning. At present, I'm too over the moon to do the place justice.