Monthly Archives: February 2011

A sad sign of the times

Three Christmases ago, when we were hosting my in-laws for the holidays, I went shopping on our Antique Row on Broadway to buy a few small silver demitasse spoons. I didn’t care if they matched or not and was able to buy several lovely little spoons and butter knives for about $10 each.

Here’s my find…pardon the water spots.

silver

Silver finds on Antique Row

This Christmas, I thought I’d add a few spoons to the collection and maybe a serving fork. As I started going into each store and inquiring, however, every clerk reacted the same…a look of concern and a slow shake of the head. One finally said, “You’re the first person in years to come in here looking for sterling silver to actually use.” When I asked him to clarify, he explained: once the recession hit, people started buying scrap sterling silver pieces to melt. Really?! It’s worth destroying years of history & art for a few quick dollars?! I am still mortified.

One silver lining I guess (ok…pun intended) is that those spoons for which I paid $10 are now worth a good deal more. The Gorham Louis XIV (spoon #3 in the picture) is selling for $60 on eBay…not that I’d sell it.

(Silver patterns – in case you’re interested – from left to right):

Knives: Granado by Lunt; Spoon #1: Carrollton by Watson; Spoon #2: Louix XV by Whiting; Spoon #3 Louix XIV by Gorham; Spoon #4: Unidentified pattern by Gorham

My love affair with toile

I can’t remember when I first learned of toile…perhaps from a table cloth Mama Chris had…perhaps from a paper napkin I recall from a tea party…but I remember loving the soft sketches of idyllic rural scenes and their coming in a variety of pretty hues. Looking around now, the print can be found in almost every room of my home.

Hermes scarf in Jardins des Metamorphoses

scarf

Soup tureen from The Twiggery

tureen

Toile apron from Williams & Sonoma (old)

apron

Cute little paper napkins from Denver’s The Tended Thicket on South Gaylord

napkin

Tray that I lined with toile printed paper

try

Savannah print potholder from Working Class Studio

potholder

I love that anything toile adds a soft, Old World touch, yet seems unstuffy in that the scenes are almost always pastoral.

Decorating advice needed

I’m touching up our bedroom just a bit to brighten it up for spring. I bought a damask print duvet cover from Brocade Home and found some lovely gauzy white curtains last night at Cost Plus World Market with similar white-on-white designs.

The white curtains alone left the bedroom looking bare, but I’m not sure about the current combination of heavy winter curtains framing the gauzy ones. Do I need gauzy brown curtains? Does the gold part of the curtains throw everything off? What’s wrong with this picture?

bedroom

Bedroom

And the look I’m going for? Hmmm…

In alternative history, Marie Antoinette leaves the danger and oppression of court life before the Revolution with her two children and finds a little spot for the three of them in the Hamptons. There, she meets a neighbor named Frank L. Wright who helps her decorate. Let’s suspend the time discrepancy for now.

I look forward to reading your suggestions!

(Update: based on Nicole’s suggestion – see comments below – here’s the new & improved bedroom with solid brown linen curtains.)

curtains

Mama Chris

Mama Chris

Mama Chris

I can’t let February slip by without paying special tribute to my grandmother, known to us as “Mama Chris,” who would have been ninety-one on February 3rd. A beautiful, intelligent, and charming deb from Tennessee, she taught me much about forsaking quantity for quality.

One of my favorite stories about her involves a Movado watch of hers that I wear every day. While working as a bank runner in Memphis during World War II, she saved up for a watch well beyond her means, helped a little by her Aunt Maude. A few years later, pregnant with my father, she fainted on an elevator and cracked part of the crystal. It was never repaired.

Thank you, Mama Chris, for teaching me to have style and to appreciate the good things, even if it means having less. (I’m toasting her with a glass of pink bubbly in an old chipped crystal flute. It just seems right.)

Favorite Tea Cup

china

Villeroy & Boch Petite Fleur

I’m enjoying my Lady Grey tea this morning out of my Villeroy & Boch Petite Fleur china set that an aunt passed down to me many years ago. It’s great “everyday” china that always looks nice, but isn’t so nice that you have a heart attack if it chips.

My favorite teacup, however, was one of my grandmother’s. She had an entire collection of various teacups, many of them with purple flowers to celebrate her February birthday (as is mine). One of them in particular has enchanted me ever since I can remember . It had leaves in that perfect lavender color that almost every little girl loves at some point in her life and a spraying of blue, yellow, & pink flowers. If I was very careful, I was allowed to hold it for a few seconds.

When my grandmother passed away, many of those teacups came to me. I spent hours on the Internet identifying their patterns and finally learned that the little purple teacup was Colclough’s CLC 58. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to find three more sets. They now sit on my own china shelf in the living room and on occasion, if I’m very careful, I allow myself an indulgent cup of tea or coffee out of one of them.

china

Colclough CLC58

Today’s finds

Several years ago, I purchased a Sea Island golf towel to use as a hand towel in my downstairs bathroom. It continues to be a favorite, so I ordered this caddy towel today. An inexpensive way to bring a little of the Georgia coast to my apartment in Denver.

golf towel 

caddy towel

Sea Island Caddy Towel


I also found this great Savannah toile kitchen set on Amazon. I can’t wait to see the apron with Savannah images!

aprong

Savannah Toile Kitchen Set