Sunday, April 24

Ironstone, Bowls and Crocks oh my!

It has been a while since I last wrote a blog post so it is time to share some of my collections with you.  

As you know from reading my blog, my husband and I have collected primitive furniture and accessories for over 40 years.  This water crock was a gift from him eons ago but I still love it especially now that he is gone.  As I walk around my home I can't believe how many crocks, old yellow ware and blue sponge ware bowls I have.  Not to mention all the ironstone!  

The salt glaze bee stinger crocks are some of my favorites.  They were made by the Minnesota Pottery Company about 1880-1890.  The company later became Red Wing Pottery.  I have a 2, 3 and 4 gallon crock but they have become so expensive that may be the end of my quest for another one!

The lamp is made from a 2 gallon A. P. Donaghho crock made in Parkersburg, WV, the town where my dad was born.  I ruined the monetary value of this crock by making it into a lamp but the emotional value is priceless to me.  The bucket bench is filled with crocks of all sizes as well as several small antique baskets and 2 sap buckets.  

I can't pass up any ironstone that I find -- and the simpler it is the better I like it.  It is in every room of my home and I have to display it wherever I can find a spot.  The old tool carrier has had flowers in it as well as greens and pine cones and vintage wooden cooking tools.  Now it is full of ironstone dishes that I use daily.  Did I mention that I also can't pass up old sieves?  This is just one of several and it is on one of the open shelves in my kitchen.  

The 2nd bowl from the bottom belonged to my great-great grandmother and I treasure the family connection.  I like sponge ware but this is the only really old piece that I have which I suppose makes it more important.  The ironstone is in my dining room cabinets and is used often.  The fish plate is actually very old milk glass and belonged to one of my grandmothers.

My guest room is full of family treasures.  The old door in the corner is from my husband's grandparents farm here in Illinois.  It was built between 1856 and 1860 because it was shown in the census for 1860.  This was more than 20 years before they immigrated from Norway!  The land was originally a grant to a gentleman from the East and we have the deed signed by President James Polk. Hanging on the door is a dress and shoulder cape that belonged to my paternal great-great grandmother.  She had 16 children and could still fit into something that small!  Amazing.  The fabric dates to pre-Civil War and is extremely fragile.  I keep it away from direct sunlight so that it can be preserved as long as possible.  I have a photo of her in the dress and cape holding her husbands hand.  The basket hanging on the door belonged to my maternal grandparents and was their popcorn basket.  The long handle allowed it to be passed between the 2 of them without having to get up.  The youth chair was found years ago by my dad in a antique shop and is handmade and still has the blue buttermilk paint on it.  The crock with the peacock painted on it came from my maternal grandparents home in SW VA and since there are no markings on it I don't know if it was made that way or if someone painted it at a later time.  It is circa 1890 and I have never seen another one like it.

More searching to do because there must be a corner somewhere that I haven't filled yet!

Saturday, July 25


I set out today to get a "prim fix" since it has been what seems like forever since I did any antiquing or flea market shopping.  I broke my wrist in early March and that quickly put a halt to all things fun!  Surgery to insert 9 screws and lots of physical therapy later and now I can go out cruisin' for  those old things that I love and can't seem to live without.  Today I went to my favorite primitive shop located in Sandwich, IL called BITTERSWEETS.  I have shopped there for years during owner changes and even a few shop name changes but one thing always stays the same -- their quality of primitive home decor.  They have some antique pieces as well as new items such as candles, lines, braided rugs, etc. to help complete the "look".
The old home now used for the shop was built in the late 1800's and was a private home before it became the location for several local businesses including a brothel at one time.  The floors creak when you go in and they are well worn pine. Display areas are usually antique pieces of furniture cleverly used to show off their inventory.
The mercantile cabinet is filled with dish towels made from homespun fabrics and make terrific napkins and placemats (I know this because I use them all the time!) The back room has bolts of fabric perfect of quilting, clothing or making your own linens.  All the "muddy" colors that us "prim lovers" search for and rarely find.
And things are always changing with the seasons.  I love fall and today the owner had just completed a display in the 2nd floor filled with pumpkins, silk bittersweet, fall colored leaves -- everything ready for Halloween including a large skeleton! One of the vintage crock bowls in the shelving display on the right came home with me.  It will be filled with candy corn for my sons wedding in October at our farm.

There are several other really cute shops in Sandwich, some antique, some vintage, restaurants and other fun places.  Make a day of it and be sure not to miss BITTERSWEETS because it is well worth the trip.  Not to mention fresh picked sweet corn is for sale on about every corner in the county!  I see a road trip in your future!

Thursday, February 12

Hearts big and small

Y'all probably know already that I am a collector -- I'd give up goin' to the movies or a sporting event in order to go to a flea market or antique shop instead.  I'd much rather find a cute ironstone pitcher than a nice piece of jewelry.  Crocks?  Baskets? Old quilts?  I'm there!  And I love anything with hearts and/or stars -- always have and I'm pretty sure I always will.
Hearts are always tucked into unexpected spots in my home so when Valentine's Day comes, I tweak what I have, move things around a little and kaboom! I'm ready. Oh yeah, then there's the fact that red is one of my favorite colors and I adore old quilt pieces that have been repurposed so it all works. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 30

Happy New Year!

To all my family and friends, old and new, I wish you a very healthy, safe and Happy New Year!  My dad collected antique Victorian greeting cards -- these are from the 1880's and this is the perfect time to share 'em with y'all.

Monday, December 22

Primitive country Christmas in the suburbs

Merry Christmas y'all!  It's been a long time since my last post but I figured better late than never with my holiday decorations this year.  I wanted to go all natural and decided to use only handmade ornaments (some by me, some purchased from local artisans) and highlight my collections of crocks, Santa's and ironstone.  Lots of raffia, twine, burlap and homespun ribbons.  My continuing love affair with all things primitive is alive and well as the photos will show.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends and don't forget the cookies and milk for Santa!

Tweak-It-Tuesday #121