Happy 2013! I hope each and every one of you had lovely holidays. We had my parents and sister down for a few days over Christmas and had a great time (though a bit squished with five adults and a large dog in our tiny house!). I’m very excited about 2013 and was not in the least bit sad to see 2012 close. Last year was so full of various downs (SH’s 11th hour deployment, Maverick being so ill right after we adopted him, my mom’s cancer diagnosis, and feeling plagued by things breaking down all year…), but I’m hopeful for this year. Especially since Miss Blueberry will make her debut in less than 3 months!

I have been fascinated by Fiestaware since I was about 8 or 10. I don’t remember where I first saw it: whether it was in a collectables magazine or at an antique store (one of our favorite rainy-day activities when I was growing up was to go to the local antiques mall. I was a lucky child! lol.). But the bright colors and vintage shapes caught my eye even at that young age! I don’t know why I didn’t have the foresight to start requesting place settings as gifts years ago, or even to have it on the wedding registry when SH and I got married (I was going through a weird, “I want to be modern” phase and we ended up with square plates that I think are ugly at this point–not to mention don’t fit in any microwave we’ve ever owned!). But our everyday dinnerware is starting to chip (I am not happy with that after only four years of use!), and we needed to start thinking about replacement. (Especially before I “accidentally” break another piece… Oops!)

Which has brought me back to Fiestaware! I’ve been scheming over colors for the past week, after I got a little Christmas spending money that was burning a hole in my pocket. hehe! I’m sticking to brand new pieces, since not only are the real-deal vintage pieces collectable (and therefore pricy), but there is also the issue of various colors being radioactive. The newer line (reintroduced in 1986) is of course devoid of the glaze problems and is also lead-free, and even a 5-piece place setting isn’t hugely unreasonable. After some consultation with my decorating-partner-in-crime (aka my mom!), I decided to go with two settings in Peacock (a bright blue) and two in Sunflower (a gorgeous yellow). (If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I originally purchased the Scarlet colorway instead of Sunflower, but decided after seeing everything in my kitchen that I liked the yellow better!)

The best prices I found online were either directly through Homer Laughlin’s website (I only wish their factory store in West Virginia was a closer drive!) or various department stores hosting after-Christmas sales (I ended up going with the department store option because I wouldn’t have to pay shipping). But the Homer Laughlin site has some great deals that I’m going to keep my eye on. Because now I need some serving pieces, salt and pepper shakers, and of course the iconic pitcher. I can’t wait to reshuffled my cabinets, say goodbye to the old (square and chipping) dinnerware, and add some Fiesta color to my kitchen!

I’m sure there are lots of other Fiestaware admirers and collectors who read this blog! I’d love to know what your favorite colors are; do you stick to just one or collect whatever catches you eye? (I have a feeling I’m going to end up in the latter category… hehe!)

January 2, 2013 · 99 lovely thoughts
posted in around the house · tags:

I already posted something on Facebook over the weekend, but I wanted to reiterate it here, as a slight pause before launching into this somewhat lighthearted post. My heart and prayers go out to the families affected by the tragedy in Connecticut. I can’t even begin to articulate how sad I feel about this…

I wanted to share a little look at some of the holiday decorations I’ve put up this year! I feel like I’ve finally hit a good point with the space we’re living in and the decorations we’ve collected over the years. The living area feels very festive and cohesive, and I think not too overdone despite the small floorplan. Much of what we’ve used to decorate with has been bought on clearance over the years (after Christmas sales are my favorite!) or thrifted. I think my favorite Christmas thrift find this year has been the “12 Days of Christmas” glasses. I’ve only found 7 out of the 12, but those were spotted at two different thrift stores (on opposite sides of town!), and only cost between $0.55 and $0.75 each. They’re perfect for serving guests! (Be sure to hover over each image for a description!)

Be sure to check back Friday, as I’ll be posting about my Christmas baking this year!

December 19, 2012 · 28 lovely thoughts
posted in holidays · tags:

This week has just been topsy-turvy for lack of a better phrase! So I’m going to save the Christmas decorations post until next week (I may also show y’all what I’m baking this year since all the cookie baking will commence then!), and instead show you a little evidence that I’ve been sewing. I’ve actually been working on a few things, but kitchen curtains and Boppy covers aren’t as cute… lol.

After I announced I was expecting, the lovely Portia sent me a fun package full of adorable vintage patterns (thank you again, Portia!). This particular one stood out to me as something I could make immediately (I’ve been holding off on a lot of clothing items, as I’m waiting to see what size Miss Blueberry is to better grade patterns to fit her as needed). What baby (or mama?!) wouldn’t love a little plush elephant? I used some grey cotton velveteen I thrifted, and managed to whip it up in about two evenings.

I also made a little party hat for the elephant out of felt (every elephant needs one, don’t you know?), which can be easily removed before we give Miss Blueberry the elephant to play with. I forgot how much I love making little plush animals! I think I might make one of these or these (out of some soft chenille…) for her next.

December 14, 2012 · 32 lovely thoughts
posted in baby diary · tags: , ,

I was going to share some knits I had finished for me as well as the baby things I’ve been working on, but realized that the post would be enormous if condensed altogether! So this one will be just the adorable baby stuff, and the “grown up knits” will follow in a couple weeks. Needless to say, since discovering the baby’s gender and starting to knit miniature things for her, it’s gotten addictive. While I haven’t had time to devote to large scale sewing projects because of various things, I’ve needed something to keep my fingers occupied and that is transportable. It’s kept me happily employed and feeling useful in those odd, otherwise blank moments that one finds at times (mostly at doctor’s appointments, these days!).

So what have my knitting needles been occupied with? A cute little baby turban that I found a pattern for–she needs some retro style in her wardrobe from an early age! I want to knit another out of some thicker yarn too (probably in red…), as this particular fiber (a silk blend, I believe–it was leftover from an older project) is a bit loose. But it’ll be good for warmer weather. [ pattern | similar crochet version ]

How about some darling booties? I knit these literally days after we found out we were having a girl–using some lovely yarn odds and ends I had in the stash. The buttons are vintage mother of pearl. So cute! [ Ravelry project page | pattern ]

A delightfully pink confection from a 1950s pattern booklet I thrifted years ago. The pom poms got me (can I have a grown up version, please?)! It’s the kind of thing I’m hoping that she’ll be big enough to wear as her “coming home” outfit as I adjusted the original sizing a bit to newborn sizing. As with sewing patterns, vintage knitting patterns sizing can be wildly off–thankfully I feel like I’ve got enough experience knitting (and sewing!) to adjust things as needed. [ Ravelry project page ]

Another “so sweet it makes my teeth hurt” cardigan! This one (the “Ladylike Cardigan” from Stephanie Japel’s Mommy & Me Knits) I knit in a 6-month size, and used a yarn appropriate for summer or fall wear. I wanted something she could grow into, and had stuck in my mind that she needed a yellow cardigan with duck buttons! [ Ravelry project page | pattern ]

Finally, I have a green baby kimono I’ve been working on for weeks–it’s just a simple, sideways knit. There is not much to show right now, hence the lack of photos. Hopefully I’ll have it finished soon!

I do love how quickly baby knits come together: almost like instant gratification knitting! I’m just almost out of projects, once the green kimono is finished. Lucky for me, I found a fabulous local yarn store recently–so I guess I’ll have to make a stop there sometime to pick up yarn for another baby project! Just to decide what is appealing to me? I think this bunny hat may be a contender!

December 7, 2012 · 50 lovely thoughts
posted in knitting · tags: ,

I have a little treat for you today! I was digging through some of my vintage patterns recently (we’re reorganizing all of my sewing stuff to make way for Miss Blueberry’s nursery!), and discovered a pattern design sheet tucked inside an early 1930s Pictorial Review apron pattern. I’ve had this pattern for at least ten years; I’m not sure how I missed it until now! But the designs were so darling, so I scanned them to share with you!

I really love the draped and tied neckline of #6001! Such an interesting feature and I’m sure wouldn’t be hard to do… The funny little sleeves on #5887 are another favorite.

Do I even need to say I’m quite smitten with the little girl’s dress patterns?! I’ve been hunting around for suitable 1920s and 30s children’s patterns lately in the hopes I can make something suitably vintage for Miss Blueberry next year!

I hope you enjoyed these! I shall be back Thursday with some knitting to show off–including a few things I finished months ago and have neglected photographing… Oops!

December 4, 2012 · 18 lovely thoughts
posted in vintage inspiration · tags: ,