Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Things from the Past

I am not a shopper by nature, unless I happen to love the shop or have had good success in finding what I need there. My method of shopping is walk into the store, stroll down the aisles in search of what I might possibly need, and then leave! It takes a total of fifteen minutes to do this usually!! :o)
However, when it comes to antique shopping I change my ways. I'm learning that you have to DIG through piles, move things around, and just in general take your time. I know that I have missed many a heirloom just because I didn't take the time to look carefully.
About a month ago Momma and I again visited the local antique mall where I found several treasures!

I was digging through a pile of old, and not-so-old, linens when I found several runners that I had seen on other occasions. I was rather surprised that they hadn't been sold yet as they are beautiful!

This runner found a place in my mind when I first saw it months and months ago. The stitching itself is beautiful, but even more beautiful is the inscription on it
"From Mother.20.DEC.1938"
The thought that "Mother" made this for her daughter or maybe her daughter in law just takes my breath away.... she spent her time making something to beautify and possibly encourage her dear one. Just think of the love, thoughts, and care that went into the making of this runner.
The runner is in excellent condition! I would wager a guess that it was kept in a drawer and rarely used, for there in nary a spot, stain, or discoloring on it and the colors are vibrant and fresh. I feel that I have not only found a piece of history, but that I have found a treasure!

This runner was also in the pile of linens I was rummaging through. I love the cheerful colors and you know what?! There are two large flowers, one at each end of the runner, and each one is a different color! The vibrant cherry red flower pictured above is the predominant red color but the other one has a brown tint to it. The person making this ran out of thread and had to finish with the darker color!! The handmade linens have such character and life to them, don't you think?!

The same day that I found the runners Momma and I also visited Bottle Tree Antiques where we are becoming frequent visitor these days!! Momma and Daddy had visited the shop a week earlier when they were out celebrating their anniversary. While they were there they found this shelf that had my name written all over it! Momma took me back to get my opinion on the shelf and we wound up buying it!! I'm in desperate need of bookcases these days!! The next weekend I spent cleaning the shelf up and then re-staining it. The "Bottle Tree Lady", as we call her, had recommended some stuff that re stained without you having to strip the piece of furniture. So I washed the shelf down with ammonia water and the lightest piece of steel wool on the market to get the dirt and some of the old finish off. Then I applied the stain and rubbed it dry as I went along. I must say that I'm so pleased with the results!!!
I'm not keeping much on the shelf right now. The top shelf needs to come down a notch which means Daddy will have to "operate" on the holes that the holders go in, and I have a few holders that need some newspaper wrapped around them to help fill in their respective holes. When all that is taken care of I then have to pull all of the book out of my closet, catalogue them, and then decide which ones to put out!! Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!!

The flowers from my garden looked absolutely beautiful against the dark wood and bright cheerful runner!!
There is one more special item that came from Bottle Tree, but I'm going to save that for another post!


~CarolineNot said...

Exquisite stitchery, wonderful finds, and your shared thoughts about their origins were a lovely read, Ashley. Really pretty bookcase. You'll have to show it again, when you've decided how to appoint the shelves. Gorgeous flowers from your garden. ºÜº

Paula said...

Dear Ashley,

I enjoyed this post so much and "visiting" the antique stores you and your dear momma frequent, especially the Bottle Tree antique store. I love their miniature donkeys and the beautiful herb garden. What inspiration! I know you like old bottles, so I hope you found one there!

The runners you purchased are so beautiful and I love that one was signed by the dear mother that made it. I am glad they found a home with you. Your shelf is gorgeous and you did an excellent job of refinishing it. I love the runner and all the pretties you have displayed on top. The flowers from your garden are just beautiful and look so old-fashioned in that pretty pitcher!

I enjoyed your writings and photos and I thank you for sharing your wonderful antique finds.

The Lord bless you!

Ashley said...

Carolinenot- Thank you for your comment! I do appreciate it!

Mrs. Paula- Oh I'm glad that you went and looked at the BottleTree website! Their place is truly one of those extra special antique stores!