Sunday, January 06, 2008

I Simply Remember My Favorite Things.....

Change is hard. Moving is hard. No matter how much I am trying to be upbeat, and I AM unbeat..I'm excited about moving to Winston Salem, complete with ready made quilting friends....but it's still a stressful time.

I've been thinking of the Julie Andrews song "My Favorite Things" From Sound of Music (One of my all time favorite movies!....Forgive me reverend mother, but I have sinned!!!)and decided to take some pictures of a few of my favorite things.

One of my favorite things will have a new place in my new home...and instead of being banished to an UNUSED or rarely used, out of sight dining room...it is going to be front and center in my new dining space. This I am thrilled about. This post will have lots of images, so I am setting them to "small" click them to get the full view :c)

This antique hutch I found in a one room school house in the middle of nowhere in Idaho. It had been used as a grange building, but was being torn down. I got it for TWO DOLLARS. No, I am not kidding. It is pine...and it had about 14 layers of paint on it from white to turquoise to coral pink, and back to white again. So much paint that the scroll detail in the top moulding was not visible at all! The paint had filled it all in. I took it to a furniture restoration place and paid plenty to have it stripped, but I am so glad I did. I didn't even stain it after, just oiled it and left it as is. It has the original glass in it, and I love the brass hinges. Some of the shelves still have white paint in the grain that wouldn't come out,but I left it. I love beat up well used functional antiques. It's going to look great in the new dining nook!

And since it will be right there...I have been thinking about using my favorite pieces of china more. This year? They didn't get used at ALL because we had Thanksgiving and Christmas at someone else's house. I love this china. They are mixmatched sets, but the memories of using them with my grandparents and my parents take me back to my earliest childhood memories.

I'm sure many of us have favorite things that we save for "some day" and then the some day never comes. My kids probably don't have as many memories of using the "red china" (as my dad referred to it) as I do, and how special it was to dress up and eat off these wonderful plates.

I'm not sure on the age of this china. I know from the label it is English, and at one time belonged to my great grandmother, but I can't tell you if it was my grandmother's side of the family or my grandfather's. I need to talk to my dad to find that out so I will be able to pass that story on down to my kids. It was handed down to me as a wedding present, then went back to my Dad for a while so he could use it (I didn't have place for it, and it was in storage...) and finally came back to me. Every time I have unwrapped it from packing paper I find myself running my fingers over the detail, the areas of flow blue...the gilt edges. I always remember thinking my Grandmother must be rich to have gold on her plates. :c)

Does anyone know about finding out about china patterns and dates? Here is a pic of the back of one of the plates, it has some info, but I don't know how/where to find out more.

Another favorite set of plates I found at auction and paid a whopping $10 for. I've used these for Thanksgiving because I love the autumn colors and the leaf theme. I don't think they are all that spectacular, but I love them regardless. Again, an incomplete set..way too many saucers,and no cups to go with them..I don't know their history,but my kids do have memories of using them, so we are starting our own history with them I guess.

Then there is the collection of red/white that I started myself as a newly married. Most of these were found at yard sales, and are definitely mix/match...but I guess being the scrappy lover I am, I love combining the different prints on the plates within the same color scheme. Fun for red holidays like valentine's day.

What little girl doesn't like having tea parties? I used to have parties with my friends and dolls using my great grandmother's demitasse cups and tea cups. I was always thrilled with the colors on the outside, and the prints of flowers on the inside..the curly dainty handles on some of the cups, and the matching little saucers. Hours of fun...lots of memories. These don't come out to play anymore,but I dream of granddaughters and the fun tea parties we will have as we create memories using the same cups I played with as a child.

So I'm feeling sentimental today...and wanting to USE things in my new home, my new life, instead of just storing or displaying them! Do I dare pack the everyday "corel" away? Can I use these special things more every day and enjoy them instead of saving them for "good"?

A couple other special things while I was feeling camera-happy! Who can resist a just showered 17 yr old boy with beach bum hair and incredible blue eyes? Definitely one of my favorite things to remember today! Of course, his brother is every bit as favorite as Jeff is,but he isn't here to take a pic of.

Oscar was bored of my whole photo shoot thing going on...but he is on top of one of my other favorite things!! A WHOLE LAUNDRY BASKET full of fabrics I have pulled ready to be cut into strips/bricks/squares and 10.5" squares for scrappy backs! I'm trying to do some organizing ahead of time so when I move...I just MOVE! Scrap taming is an ongoing process...there are strips left from trimming quilts after quilting, there are left over border pieces...this stuff piles up! there are loads of FQs that I think could be put to good use if I cut them up rather than keep them whole, making room for more appetizing fabrics in the FQ bins, and spicing up the scrap bins which are running low on color variety. Spice up the mix! More of my favorite things.

One other thing I learned this year....while in Falls Church, I had a wonderful lunch with Amy at her house before taking the metro into the city to see a quilt display at the museum. We had a terrific lunch, and used cloth napkins that she had made out of leftover fabrics. She had a whole basket of colorful cloth napkins sitting there, so inviting....and I want to do that for my new house. Less paper waste. Lots of napkins. I understand Mrs G is a serger pro with the rolled over cast edge hem thingy....I'm going to have to get her to help me with mine. My serger hasn't been used in years and I'm not sure I remember how to thread it..but napkins would make a great gift, be very fun and useful in my new home, and make a small dent in the fabric stash, allowing me to use my favorite fabrics EVERY DAY!

Another favorite thing always saved for special, but that time never comes around...I know many people are allergic to perfume. Luckily I'm not one of them. How many of us have cologne bottles in our bathrooms or by our dressing tables that were given as gifts, that we love the smell of, yet we don't USE them...and they sit and go BAD! I've been cleaning some stuff out and some favorites have gone blah with age. Sad really. I am allowing myself after I shower to use a perfume/cologne, even if I am going to be home alone all day, just because I like to feel feminine! I know not everyone can do this, nor can some people stand to be around perfumey people. I'm not talking about over-using it so that it scares people away with a migraine...and chances are whatever I put on after a shower will be gone by the time I go out in public anywhere..but I want to enjoy it for ME. Those I've found that are bad...tossed in the trash. But those that are still good..use them and enjoy them. Some things don't last forever.

Wow this has gone on longer than I thought....But one more thing...those half-burned candles in a jar that you forget to light?? LIGHT THEM! Use them! I've even been burning one here in the quilting room. I love the ambiance it gives. I love how they make me feel peaceful inside. The fragrance is lovely, subtle..candles were meant to be burned. And for those with fragrance-sensitivity, there are unscented candles too!

Do you have favorite things that you haven't been incorporating into your daily life journey? Share some! Let's use them, and create memories to cherish!


  1. Go to Replacements Limited website. It's in North Carolina and they can identify almost any pattern you send them. I used to collect china but got rid of most of it after downsizing to a condo.

  2. I have my great-grandmother's "Second" set of china--which is Haviland. I remember that we used evey week on Sunday for dinner after church. And then I thought--I need to USE this china, just like you said. So now we two use it for Sunday breakfast, to mark Sunday as a special day. We often don't have dinner on Sunday becausse my DH is an Episcopal priest--doean't get home until 2:00 or later, and then has a supper meeting at 5:00.

    I am TRYING to remember to use it whenever I have company, even one person. Why not honor a guest with the best I have?

    I also inherited my parents' sterling silver, and I TOTALLY forget about it, because I'm not used to having it. Thanks for the reminder to use that also.

    What better time am I waiting for?
    Both of my children already have inherited china from grandparents on the "other" side of in-laws, so who is going to want this? Maybe no one. Again, I should use it and enjoy it myself.

    Sara Homeyer

  3. Ditch the Correll ! Give it away! Use your china for everyday!

    Becky in Georgia

  4. We enjoyed having you at our house, Bonnie! The napkins are really easy, once you get the rolled hem setting down on your serger. I'm getting the urge to do more...

    All the best! Amy

  5. I've started using a real china cup and saucer for my tea in the afternoon. It feels so much nicer than a big mug (which is used only for my morning coffee now.)

    There are tea sets at all of the auctions here in the UK. I went a little crazy at first...I have about 4 sets and a half dozen partial sets!!!

  6. Hey! Nice to see someone with about as much china as I have. I LOVE all of mine, and that Davenport pattern of yours is making me weak in the knees. Definitely use it all and love it. No Corel in my house!

    P.S. The hutch is wonderful too.

  7. Ha! I received Shalimar perfume for Xmas and I even though I don't work or go out often, I'm allowing myself to wear it daily when I dress. It makes me feel sooooo pretty.

    My favorite Xmas gift I think.

    This was a nice, relaxing post by the way. Enjoyed reading and contemplaing favorite things.

  8. Glad you're getting a chance to enjoy yourself and ponder on loveliness. That hutch is gorgeous and what a wonderful story. I love the basket of fabric and a cat - I've been cutting into my fabric today, having to move kitty away from the rotary cutter.

  9. I didn't learn until recently that perfum goes bad. Who knew?? So I wear it for me too.

    And I grinned broadly over the 'who could resist a freshly showered 17 yo with beach bum hair...' Oh! Be still my heart.
    I agree. :D

  10. Oh baby! I would take the hutch off your hands, and the toy sewing machines, and the china and the ...... ok maybe not the son - heaven knows I have my hands full enought there!

  11. Don't cut up those fat quarters yet--use them to wrap that china for moving. That's especially helpful if your spouse doesn't know just how much stash you have. (Don't ask me how I know that.) And use that china--everyday if you want to. Someday (in the verrrry distant future), your children will be going through your things and they can either say, "Oh, I remember how she loved this china!", or they can say, "Hmmmm, wonder where this came from. I don't remember it."

    Your choice!

  12. I have been collecting blue and white odd pieces of china for years and love to set the table with the mismatched pieces. I once broke a bunch of my Mom's good china dishes when I was about 8 years old. I felt really sad about that. A few years ago (I'm 51 now!) I found a box of odd pieces of THAT set of China at a yard sale. I bought them, brought them to my Mom and paid my debt :-). My Mom was thrilled..there were even a few pieces that she never bought so that was fun.

    Jacqui in Canada

  13. It's so nice that you understand "fragrance sensitivity", too many people don't. :-(

    I love your china. It's fun to be able to show it off! :-)

  14. Mrs. G may have lead you astray if you think she's any kind of serger "pro" at all. She barely knows how to thread hers at all, but she can make do in a pinch. She might just brush up on her skills though, and dust the serger off, if she knows there's any type of napkin demo in the offing. You just never know...

  15. Remember, nobody is better than your own family, so use your dishes and enjoy them. I have also been lighting the candles and using up the perfume. Love your site and the quilts.

  16. A few years ago I read a Sark book. It helped me greatly to realize that everyday we are succulent and bodaciuos! We are alive and full of the juice that inspires us. We need to use the good china, smell and look how we want to and smell the roses along the way! Even our fabric collections reflect succulence! Thanks for inspiring others!


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