I have a nice little stack of books going on at home lately, so I wanted to share some of the titles I’m currently perusing. As yesterday’s post conveys I am completely enjoying the coziness the autumn season brings, and my book choices of late reflect my feelings.
Prompted last week by finishing “The Art of Tasha Tudor” by Davis, I was inspired to request many of the books she illustrated (I have library visit in quotes because I didn’t actually make a special library visit, I requested the books to come to the library I work at. I know, took the easy way out. And the less fun way). I absolutely love Tasha Tudor’s illustrations. They evoke New England life and country life and simple life so beautifully, I want to jump right in one of them and live there. So I requested “Around the Year”, one of Tasha’s picture books which show children appreciating all of New England’s varying seasons. I also requested “A Child’s Garden of Verses, which was written by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. I wanted to take that one out because I too dream of illustrating poetry someday. Next I requested “The New England Butt’ry Shelf Almanac: being a collation of observations on New England people, birds, flowers, herbs, weather, customs, and cookery of yesterday and today” by Mary Mason Campell and illustrated by Tasha Tudor. What a gorgeous little book! I’m reading it a little bit each day on my lunch break. Finishing off the current Tasha Tudor obsession, I also requested “Drawn from New England” which is a portrait of Tasha in words and pictures by her daughter Bethany Tudor. Inspirational stuff.
Lately I’ve also been inspired by English gardening and architecture so in that vein I requested “Arts and Crafts Master: the Houses and Gardens of M. H. Baillie Scott by Ian Macdonald-Smith and “English Cottage Gardening for American Gardeners” by Margaret Hensel. I know I’m far away from gardening, and even farther away from an English manor house, but I still enjoy getting drawn in by the lovely photographs. Lastly, I got the book “Architectural Graphics” by Francis D.K. Ching. I thoroughly enjoy designing houses and drawing floorplans, so I want to learn some of the more technical (correct) ways to draw plans.
Well that rounds out my book selection for this week, what are you reading?
What did I do on my week off from library land? Why, I went antiquing of course! With a new home to fill and complete, I was on the hunt for a few key pieces. Curtains for all the rooms (I only found ones for my kitchen- and forgot to post a photo of them, drat! But they are a lovely dark peach colored gauze material), a kitchen hutch (success!), shelving for all rooms (still searching…), and a little rack for our shoes which are piling up by our front door (also still looking). It was just fun to have totally free afternoons (I wish I could always be on vacation!) to explore the awesome antique shops around Southwestern NH. My Favorites are White House Antiques in Wilton and Twin Elm Antiques in Peterborough. In my humble opinion, they should be called “Treasure Shops” 🙂
I was thinking of getting this little white shelf for my kitchen, but it was too small.. but look at that watering can! It’s so sweet! I might have to go back to get that.
I loved the contrast of this beautiful handmade blanket inside this huge copper bowl.. both were out of my price range, unfortunately.
I love vintage textiles.. look at those oak leaves and acorns! Such sweet embroidery 🙂 and baskets of buttons are always fun to dig around in.
This is the detail on the mid-19th century kitchen hutch I wanted to purchase (well, if I had over 1,000 dollars and if my kitchen wasn’t the size of a shoe-box…). I love the craftsmanship that went into those really old pieces. Just beautiful.
The full size of the mid-19th century kitchen hutch. Gorgeous.
The hutch that I ended up buying! It fits into the kitchen perfectly!
What really sold me on this hutch is the rough wooden bottom shelf. It looks like it was painted dark green at one point, and brown at another point. Both paint colors have since worn and the lovely original wood is coming through.
I also ended up with this little wooden divided box, which is now a little earring holder. Handy.
Another shot of the divided box, in the afternoon light.
What fun. I can’t wait to go treasure hunting again 🙂
Last Friday I got to go to Brimfield again, by myself this time. It was fun to meander around at my own pace. I wasn’t as excited to go to Brimfield this go around for a few reasons. One, we are trying to save money (always haha) so I felt a little bad running off to the largest antiques show in the world where I would invariably spend some money. So I made an agreement with myself to only buy something I had a definite use for in my mind, and only I I really really love it. Here are the happy items I really really love:
I found the silver dogwood ring for just ten dollars! That was a piece I have been searching for at all of the last Brimfield shows I’ve been to. The embroidered napkins were too beautiful to pass by- especially at a dollar each. They were my first purchase of the day, in the very first tent I went in. The embroidery hoops were also a dollar each- I love the old metal ones they are so neat! I got the fabric tape measure for when I seriously get quilting (or sewing!), when I find the time… Oh and a sewing machine… Haha I can always use my mom’s. The piece of fabric they are resting on was also a dollar! I love the print- I want to sew it to a plain tote bag. My biggest purchase of the day was the beautiful, handmade, vintage rug in the last picture. Definitely spent more than a dollar on that haha. I have wanted a rug by my bed for a long time. This one was perfect. I walked away from it at first, determined not to spend a lot of money. But, I couldn’t leave without it in the end. Now that it’s in my room, I don’t want to step on it! I might end up using it as a wall hanging. Either way, it’s beautiful and I’m so glad I got it. Brimfield is so much fun. And great exercise! Tons of walking. I can’t wait for next year 🙂
a walk to clear my head
a watercolor painting illustrating the way I see time in my head
a drive through childhood memories
tacky decorations at the high tide
my favorite dessert when I was 12 (not as good as I remembered… but with an ice cream flavor called “blue goo” what did I expect?? Why did I even eat that? hahaha)
the last weekend of June.
Whenever I say I want to visit a library, people look at me with a measure of surprise. “Don’t you work at a library?” they ask. Yes, I do spend most of my days at a library. Yet working in a library and being a patron at a library are two very different things. So that is why, every month or so (I wish it were more) I will visit another library in our consortium and just be a patron. Browsing the stacks is one of my favorite things to do- and oftentimes, I go a little overboard. Here’s what I picked up Monday night:
Field Guide to Birds: Eastern Region” by: the National Audubon Society. We have so many interesting and pretty birds twittering around our house, and I want to get more familiar with them.
Howard’s End is on the Landing by: Susan Hill. The author takes a trip through her own personal library- she only reads books she already owns for one year- and discovers many things.
Daybook: the Journal of an Artist by: Anne Truitt. This is a deeply personal and beautiful journal of Anne Truitt, who was a sculptor. She writes of what it means to be an artist- when does one actually become “an artist”? A question I have been pondering of late.
Poems of William Wordsworth. I want to familiarize myself with the great poets. I started with Wordsworth… well, for no particular reason. Sure to inspire though!
The Watercolor Artist’s Bible by: Marylin Scott. I want to peruse various watercolor techniques. I will post about watercolors one of these days.. I’m getting very into them!
French Women Don’t Get Fat by: Mireille Guiliano. The art of eating for pleasure- I love that! The way the French view dining.. ahh, I love it.
Red Bird by: Mary Oliver. Oliver is becoming one of my favorite poets. She is very inspiring. Her poems are the perfect mix between beauty and readability. If you are not familiar with her work, pick up one of her books soon!
Still Points North by: Leigh Newman. A memoir about growing up in Alaska? I’ll take it.
The Country Diary of Garden Lore by: Julia Jones and Barbara Deer. With a title like that, how could I resist??
A Trail Through Leaves by: Hinchman. A guide to nature journaling, with text and drawings.
Well, that’s quite the stack I got for myself. I’ll be hard pressed to read them all in 3 weeks. I usually read them all at once, which is probably not the best method. Pick one up, put it down, try another.. repeat, repeat…
I am foreseeing needing a few renewals on this stack 🙂
What are you reading lately?
I have been sick the last few days, so this post sort of lacks a focus (I’m still feeling pretty lousy). All the same, I did not want these photos and memories to be trapped in my iPhone for months (or forever) as I move on to other topics. These photos represent what the middle of June has been like. This beautiful month which seemed like it was lasting awhile, is now fleeing away quite quickly. I’m trying to hold on to each moment, as I know we probably won’t live in this beautiful place for another June.
A flowering dogwood at the farmer’s market in town.
Our lovely screen porch that has seen much sitting in the past couple weeks.
My first ever pottery creation on the wheel. I started a class last week, I think I’m in love…
There have been plenty of thunderstorms, which leave a wet silence and beautiful mist when they go, interrupted only by the trilling of happy tree frogs.
I’m trying to keep tiny fresh flowers by my bedside all summer long, and trying to drink wine more often – it’s a simple luxury I often forget about
The first “harvest” from our garden! A handful of crisp, yummy lettuce.
I love putting antiques to use! I found this amazing old tin at a local shop. It is now my lunchbox!
It’s quite a pretty present if I do say so myself! I gave this to my sister in law for her graduation last weekend.
The poppies bloomed! One of my favorite flowers. Now I know to admire them outside because the petals fall off of them in a day or two when cut.
So there they are, some bits and pieces of the middle of June. I love capturing all the little things; making them into something special.
It was a glorious time at Brimfield yesterday- so many interesting things to see and I love the thrill of the hunt haha. You never know what you will come across and what deals you can wrangle out of the sellers. Some of the dealers are so nice too! I love hearing their stories. Here are the treasures that came home with me yesterday:
First, I’ve been meaning to switch over to cloth napkins for quite awhile so I finally got that process started. I found these ones- all embroidered with our last name initial! They’re from the 30s or 40s and are in excellent condition.
Next, this sweet little pale green apron. That second shot is a detail of the fabric- I love that print! The little berries are so cute.
I found Ethan a funny deer tie and scored this little sewing supplies case made in Germany. Those scissors it came with are so tiny- like an inch long!
A picnic basket! I was looking for one all day (I saw so many of them!) so I was waiting, pricing them out, comparing.. The waiting paid off because I found this one for the cheapest price, and it’s the only one I found that is lined and has spots to put flatware. I was quite happy about this find.
I waited until the very end of the day to get this quirky painted tin document box and I’m so glad I ended up getting it because I’ve already filled it …
Paid 2 dollars for this pretty little “tea” jar, which I knew I would use as a vase. I’m so happy the lilacs are all blooming. They smell wonderful.
And perhaps my most interesting find were these two old wooden painters’ boxes, completely filled with oil paints and supplies! The dealer was so nice and gave me such an awesome price. He made me promise I would use them though. I will.
I can’t believe it is already mid-May
I have been neglecting this space on the over-crowded internet completely. But after much thought, I am returning, as this blog is (for me) a combination of the good of twitter (documentation) and Flickr (photography) – but with more artistic control over both. I struggle with why and what and what’s the point, but I guess those things will be answered as I go…
A couple weeks back, I visited “Art in Bloom” at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Local florists are assigned a piece of art to represent with plants. The results were interesting and beautiful. Here are some of my favorites:
I wish I had the proper credits for these works of art and their corresponding floral arrangement. What an awesome idea, I look forward to going to this again. I left the museum feeling so completely relaxed and utterly charged to create again. The feeling carried with me for a few days, until the stress of work squashed what was left of it. But that did impress upon me the value of spending time with art and creations of beauty; the need to recharge ourselves with inspiration every so often. The marked difference in my mood and state of mind- light, anxiety free, just plain relaxed- was clearly caused by taking time out to enjoy something beautiful. That lesson in refreshment resonates with me, and I plan to get back to this feeling more and more often.
Here are some other works I really enjoyed (and again, sorry I don’t have the artist credits!)
After attempting service with Ethan, but failing due to coughing fits, we decided to poke into some local antique and consignment (treasure!) shops. It’s such fun hunting around for things. I ended up with the wooden vase and the book on embroidery in the bottom picture. One of these days I’m going to try to teach myself needlepoint and embroidery. I have all the stuff for it, now I have a guidebook… I just need the time! xC