Monday, December 26, 2011


I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  

The cats were surprised by little gifts left in the tree by Santa.  Three little mice were more exciting when wrapped and tied with twine than they were once they were open.

And speaking of surprises, look what I found in my mailbox on Christmas Eve:  a personalized pillow cover made by Deb (from the Loyalist Cottage) and her husband just because I make them laugh.  Isn't that sweet?  I love it and it's just perfect in my living room.

Deb sells her handmade and hand printed pillow covers on etsy and was recently discovered by HGTV magazine who will be showing one of her alphabet pillows.  If you want one, you should order now before she goes viral.

The Christmas table.  I covered the table with a vintage linen laundry sack, totally unironed, so it's more casual.  I wished I had a few green plates to pick up on the natural theme with the skinny tree and paperwhites as a centerpiece.  Mix and match every day plates were used with my hodgepodge of  brown transferware.

I saw my transferware on Pinterest with someone seemingly desperate to know the name of the pattern so I thought I would show the different patterns I have and list the makers and names in case anyone is interested.

This is one of my favorites.  The most masculine of transferware if masculine could be applied to any transferware.  This is J&G Meakin and I believe the pattern is called Romantic England.  It says it's dishwasher safe so it can't be too old.

This one is Johnson Brothers, WindsorWare in the Dover pattern.

These plates were my grandmother's and it's another one of my favorites.  It's Mason's ironstone in the Bow Bells pattern.  It has an aesthethic movement feel and not too flowery.

I can't remember where I picked this one piece up but I really like the swirling scalloped edge.  This is manufactured by Clarice Cliff of Royal Staffordshire and the pattern is called Charlotte.

The back is almost as beautiful as the front.

The "Other Tree" in the dining room is now only a memory.  My research on living trees said the tree should only be in the house for 7 to 10 days.  The weather today and tomorrow are supposed to be quite mild so it seemed the perfect time to get it conditioned to the outdoors again, to give a good watering and  to get it planted before cold and snowy weather sets in.  I dug a hole a few weeks ago before the ground froze so it's ready to be planted.  It was feeling very dry so I hope it's okay.

The Boston fern still looks pretty good after being cut about nine days ago.

I got a lot of comments about the garland so I thought I would so a few closeup images.  I bought this at a garden center but I think it would be a fairly easy DIY project.  This one is two different kinds of pinecones, walnuts and sweet gum pods.

And the other one is slightly different using wood chips and little bundles of grapevine in lieu of walnuts.

I've had these for four years so it seems they would last at least several years.

I don't know about you but I'm beat.  I'm happy this is a short week and New Year's is much easier holiday in terms of preparation; in fact, I hope to spend a lot of time in PJs, watching movies, and planning for new year's projects.


  1. Your table is so beautiful and natural. I love the brown transferware and the fact you care about your Christmas tree.

    You have such a wonderful ability at decorating and arranging things without an air of pretension.

    Deb and Mr LC at Loyalist Cottage are just delightful and so kind. Deb will go viral! Just watch!

  2. Lucky for a couple mild days and aren't you smart to have dug your hole already?
    Your home is lovely as ever. What a great pillow too.

  3. I just found your blog, and I have been enjoying going back over old posts.
    I am beat after the whole lead up to Christmas etc too. I laughed when you mentioned your cats - I took some photos of ours last night after the days festivities, and they were all three were completely sacked out. The poor dears had there sleep schedule disrupted with all the chaos : )
    Love the pillow you got - off to check out the etsy site.

  4. Ashlyn,
    Mine totally collapsed after everyone left too and they slept through the night which is unusual. Thanks for coming back and for reading through old posts too!

  5. Pj's, movies, and planning for the new year sounds sumptuous...think I'll do the same. Love all of your bits and pieces!

  6. Charlotte is my favorite. I'm a sucker for tendrils and urns.
    My little tree in the shop has been inside for weeks. Yikes...I'd better get her outside. Love the pillow case...what a great surprise!

  7. This is hibernation time,how clever to have dug your hole in advance! Man needs downtime...

  8. I love the plate you said was your grandmother's. I have one very similar.... it just doesn't have the scalloped edge and it is one of my very favorites! Your table was so nice with all the mixed dishes.

  9. Happy "Boxing Day!"

    I love your linen tablecloth! I was out looking for one today, all I could find was "micro-fiber" junk! I'm one of those "nuts" who does not mind ironing a tablecloth!

    Your dinnerware looks stunning, your table has a very organic feel to it - I love it.

    I'm also in love with your pine garland, I've always wanted to make one - you've inspired me to go looking for pine cones before the snow flies!

  10. Great Urban cottage pillow!
    I really hope your outdoor Christmas tree makes it and thrives.

  11. I believe the pattern was Winter ware. Absolutely love the shape of the plate.. You do such nice posts Steve.

  12. Happy Boxing Day.

    Menu? What was served on those beautiful plates?

    This is going to be a easy week for me I hope.

    Cooking, eating, sleeping and at some point attending a birth.

    Easy for me I said.

    Your table looked beautiful.

    xo jane

  13. I really love your brown transferware collection. And the kitty gifts. and the pillow. and the garland...

  14. That pillow is so appropriate. I'm In love with it. The first image of the ornaments is stunning. The pj things sounds just about my speed. For every day. Now through new years! Lol.

  15. Love that pillow, it seems so you. Blog friends are great. I am beat too. Seems like a huge mess to deal with now, and that is what I will be dealing with all week I guess. Looking forward to decluttering and getting super organized for the new year.

  16. LOVE the pillow -- what a nice surprise! ADORE the transferware, old and new. JEALOUS of your amazing garland. That about sums it up :) Enjoy your week of relaxing jammie time!

  17. We did the same thing as you only we found our tree in our forest. We dug his hole before hand and our tree was only in our home for seven days and back out he went where he belongs.

    Enjoy your week!

  18. Steve, love the paperwhite centerpiece - so calm in the middle of the the Christmas hype! So glad I followed Jane to your lovely blog - we lived in a Victorian for 20 years and I never appreciated it enough! Thoroughly enjoy what you are doing. Thanks for dropping by.

    You will be properly dress for our New Year's bash, so feel free to join us! xo

  19. Deb has a few secret talents up her sleeve I am sure! What a lovely surprise. I found the calm order of your beautiful Christmas like balm to my dishevelled soul after the Christmas chaos here. Your brown tableware is such a delight in its eclecticism, much like yourself!

  20. Sally and I really liked your living tree idea. We plan to do the same thing next year. Hope you will be able to join us at our virtual champagne/food pairing tasting on the 29th.


  21. The pillow is a wonderful gift! I will have to check out her store if she hasn't already gone viral. Good luck with your tree. My parents always bought a Christmas tree with the ball a planted it after Christmas. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't, but I'm pretty sure ours was in the house too long. Then there was the year that the neighbor thought it would be funny to spray our dead tree with green spray paint. We all had a good chuckle with that :)

  22. I like your mismatched brown transferware very much. My favorite is your grandmother's Bow Bells pattern. So pretty! Happy New Year to you!

  23. I love your transferware. It's such a great classic to collect. I'm beat too. Taking one more day off to drive my mom back to her place. I always tend to like the time after Christmas better, more relaxing!

  24. Beautiful table setting! I love brown transfer ware too. Your home is so soothing and inspirational. I can't wait to get back home now...

  25. Love the pillow-what a sweet, thoughtful gift!! It looks wonderful on your sofa. We have that same little Currier and Ives print framed on the mantel- it was Dan's grandparents and he remembers it from his Christmases growing up. I love brown and white transferware and have resisted the urge to collect it for years;) And, isn't this weather great!!!


  26. Hi Steve! So nice to see a post up from you. I love your transferware. I am a bit of a nut for brown transferware but have not indulged it much as I am trying to go for a plainer look. But that Bow Bells of your Grandmother's is just lovely. That is a pattern I would buy - I also love a scalloped/ruffled edge that a lot of transferware has! I always notice that I like the Aesthetic movement stuff more as it often has a lot of white space. All lovely!

    I had to move my paperwhites to the bathroom I use. They smell like cat urine and David hates them - I can live with it because I LOVE the way they look! How do you manage them on the table!? Some people hate the scent. Mine are all opening fabulously today.

    Well, talk later!! xo's Terri

    P.S. Love that sweet pillow - what a sweetie Deb is.

  27. I love it that you have your grandmother's plates...sentimental and pretty.

  28. Your table looked very cozy! I know what you mean about relaxing this week! I am looking forward to a very peaceful and quiet New Year's watching movies and doing nothing special! Happy New Year's!

  29. I can't think, I'm not only beat, I'm braindead.
    I'm still working 11 hour days taking care of 36 dogs and 10 cats by myself....whine, whine, whatever.
    But I wanted to drop by and see how your Christmas was. Obviously done beautifully and understated. I love the casual perfection, :D
    My Xmas was actually very nice. We had made from scratch Chinese and dined on FiestaWare. (really, I'm not kidding) but it turned out to be a lot of fun.
    Yawn, I need some sleep....
    (love your pillow and transferware)
    ZZZZZZZZ - Cindi

  30. your home is lovely....thankn you for sharing it with us....smiles.

  31. Oooeee! I'm diggin' that chevron pillow. And you're right, the back of the Charlotte transferware IS just as pretty as the front. You deserve a rest, I think. You've been hard at work making pretty.

  32. Enjoyed your table setting dahhling with the brown mix & match plates...

  33. Hey, that's me.. the inquisitor from Pinterest who wanted to know the pattern on the plates.Thanks for posting some more information on them.

    Funnily enough, I really should have recognised these. My mum has loads of Johnson Bros and Meakin in that 'Romantic England' style, except it's all in blue and white.

    It's the Mason's Bow and Bells that I really like though. I must confess: I am a little disappointed that these are brown and white. I think they would be spectacular in black and white. Against the natural colour of the tablecloth, wouldn't they really stand out?

  34. Lou,
    It would be great in black and white. It looks like it was produced only in brown and blue.

  35. Steve,

    Your holiday entries have been fantastic and thanks a bunch for the heads up on Deb's alphabet pillows. Running over to Etsy now. Glad to hear you had yourself a merry little Christmas and now the lazy New Year countdown begins. Thanks for your blog - one of the best.

  36. Steve,
    I hope your tree planting went well...your temperatures seem to be optimal for this...I think...Love seeing your various pots on the window seat....this may not even have been planned, but everything you do is just so well done...even un-decorating a tree looks pretty glamorous at your house!

    I adore your mix of brown transferware and it looks perfect in a not too perfect way on your linen laundry sack table covering.

    I'm thinking I need to order one of those pillows for my new house, est. 1900...but I need a name for my house...I think I'm going to have to see it before I name it.

    Happy New Year!

  37. That pillow was such a sweet gift, I will be checking out her sight.
    Your new years plans sound perfect...enjoy!

  38. Steve, thank you for your visit. Why I have not been here before is beyond me... I LOVE your style and just like you I love to mix old with new and to incorporate unique art piec.

    Thank you for putting the spotlight on Helen Frankenthaler.

    Just spent a few minutes snooping around in your former closet - now bar! How clever! Need to feature.

    Happy New Year to you! I am your latest follower/subscriber.

    Warm hugs from Seattle,


  39. You won't believe how much transferware I have in a box somewhere. Just one of my many obsessions in the past. I have to dig it out and look at it......I bought it all 15 years years ago at flea markets. Your the bombdigity Steve.....