Monday, August 13, 2012

These are a Few of my Favourite Things

What if you had to leave your home and were only allowed to take with you one tea chest. What would you take and what would you leave behind?

 I've given this some thought - not sure if I could squeeze it all into one tea chest but I wanted to share with you some of my favourite things from around my home. Some of these pictures may be familiar images to my long term readers but I'm still without my own camera so having to rely on photos from my archives and thought this would be a fun post to do!

1. Without a doubt, my green wine goblets would be carefully wrapped and be placed into that chest. I just love how they transform my table. We don't just use these glasses at Christmas time. They come out for special family dinners, when we have guests and on other occasions. I don't even need to have flowers or candles - these goblets always make the table look and feel special.

2. I have acquired a lot of china recently (oh you want to see the china trios I found at an estate sale on the weekend!) but if I could take with me only one set it would be this dinner set because it was given to me by my husband as an anniversary gift. He chose it, he knew I would love it and I did. That is why it makes it onto my list of my favourite things!

3. Another of my favourite things is something for the Christmas Table. I have a lot of Christmas decorations but if I could choose only one, this wreath would be it. It has graced our Christmas table or other tabletops around my home for many years. I love handmade as opposed to mass produced items. It is special because it reminds me of Christmas, my favourite time of the year. I created it and designed to complement my favourite green wine goblets. It was the work of my own hands Simply put, it was made with love.

4. I would have to find some room for teacups in my tea chest but which ones? That would be a hard decision but let's stick to my favourite colour which surprise, surprise is green! I just love the delicate design of these vintage Noritake 'Daphne' teacups - they come with a coordinating cake stand so I might just sneak that into the chest too!

5. This is my tea chest, not my children's but if I had to choose just one toy that belonged to my children that I will never give away it would be my son's Paddington Bear. He did travel from darkest Peru to the front window of a vintage store where I found him waiting for me to claim him. My little boy loves Paddington but he loves his red boots more, he steals them and puts them on before heading out into the garden to play. He has his own gumboots but prefers Paddington's wellington boots. They are genuine P.B boots so I have to reclaim them and return them to the bear. I take very seriously that request on his tag 'Please look after this bear'!

6. Faded floral drapes - They might be faded but they are faded and floral and faded and floral just goes together. I sometimes tell myself that they are dated and make my house look like grandma's place but it must be the English heritage - I walk into the living room or hall and these drapes say 'Country' 'Cottage' 'English'. There's no denying it - I love them so you can keep your oatmeal tab tops and your 'new retro inspired' prints. This is my home, my sanctuary and I must decorate it with what I consider beautiful!

7. My collection of favourite family photos in frames. A house does not feel like a home to me unless it has at least one grouping of family photographs in frames. This is my life and the people who are most precious to me on display. No artwork however valuable could take the place of these pictures. If you offered me the Mona Lisa in their place I would turn it down. I could show guests the digital photos I have stored on electronic devices but I'd rather have them stop by the piano and look at the smiling faces in silver, pewter and rose embellished frames!

8. Books. A home must have books! Oh I know I could slide a kindle or other electronic reader into my tea chest but I would need to take some real books, made from paper with pages that I don't tap to turn. But there is only so much room in the tea chest. Which books would I choose to take? I have my favorites lined up together on the bookshelf. A battered Bible, my collection of Elsie Dinsmore and Violet books by Martha Finley that I have yet to read to the twins and the gift books by Emilie Barnes my favourite homemaking author who was my mentor thanks to her writing before the days of websites and blogs.

If  I could take only one picture book from our collection it would be this one! I intend to read this to my future grandchildren one day when they visit me at Christmas.

 And I know I could browse pinterest for inspiration for decorating my home but it is still not the same as your heart rejoicing as you turn pages with a book of beautiful images in your lap when you are curled up on the sofa. If I was allowed just one interiors book this would be it. I love the title of this book 'Home Living life beautifully' and the things that I have chosen for my tea chest are those that help me to do this. China, books, photographs. Notice that no appliances, electronic devices, clothes, toys (apart from Paddington) or gadgets feature on my list of favorite things.

 Each item I have chosen has a memory attached. The green glass goblets that will always be a reminder of our family dinners at home and our love of hospitality. The china cups that will bring back memories of our family's crazy obsession with garage sales and finding beautiful and practical things for our home without having to spend a lot of money! The books that I read to my children that didn't just keep them entertained or amused but encouraged them to have Godly attitudes and inspired them to live a life of their faith (that's why those Elsie Dinsmore books are so special)

So that's it, these are just a few of my favourite things. Oh yes, there are other things around my home which I love but I've realized there is a lot of stuff I could live without. And yes, I know that I cannot take it with me and the Bible tells us not to lay up treasures on earth but to lay up treasure in Heaven. I hold on lightly to even my favourite things but I don't believe as Christians that our homes should be only be spartan and utilitarian, devoid of decoration. They should be a taste of Heaven! I need beauty in my life. I purposely have chosen some items for my home that I consider to be both useful and beautiful. What about you? If you were told you could only take with you one tea chest what would you choose? What are some of your favourite things?


Nell said...

I love green, I love your dinner settings and your beautiful glasswear, I used to have your lovely floral curtains, and I love this post on your favourite things.
Your home indeed shows a taste of heaven. Blessings to you and thankyou for sharing.

Camille said...

It's all so lovely Ann. I think English County Cottage is a beautiful way to decorate...your drapes a pretty. Ah, yes...what would we take with us if we had to fit it into a trunk? I think for me it's the *treasures* that are photos and children's artwork and cards made by their hands...with love! These are the precious things to me! :)

Have a fabulous week!

Camille said...

Oh...and books...I'm like you, I like the *real* thing!! :)

Ellie said...

I can't tell you how great it is to hear from you today, my friend. You have always been such an encourager - and I love you for that! I truly hope we get to meet one day. I kept up with your blog while my computer was down, but it is so difficult to comment on my phone. I love, love, love your 3 tiered dishes and have been wanting to make those for the longest time. Your china in this post is absolutely perfect. Anyway, have a wonderful week down under and know that you made my day today. xoxoxoxo

Pam said...

Oh it is so nice to have a chance to catch up with you.
I loved getting to hear from you on my blog, and now to come over here and catch up with you is like having a nice cup of tea with you.

I love your favorite things. I have to say "ditto" on your choices. I would pick my grandmother's china, my Mom's silverware, tea sets, books, and pictures as well. Paddington Bear is very dear. who could resist him; I love how you found him.

I love your cakeplates, they are beautiful. I hope your business venture continues to go well.

Many Blessings, Ann,

Much Love,


Pam said...

When I left my last comment, I had meant to mention that I,too, have always loved Emily Barnes. One of the first books I had of hers was "More Hours in my Day". I used to read it every year when I began the school year. It stirred me up to organize my home, and gave wonderful ideas. I also loved reading her story as a young wife in it, and felt as you said "mentored" by her.

Well, I just felt as if I didn't chat near as long with you as I had wanted.... so I came back for more lol.


Bountiful Treasures (Chris) said...

Beautiful post!!!!


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