Framed Monogrammed Needlework

I completed this monogrammed piece way back in late 2008.  The pattern is by Martine Leonard, a French needlework designer.   I kept a rouge monochromatic color scheme to keep the French feel of the design.

I finally broke down and got it framed.  That shows you just how much I don’t have everything together…

I chose a rustic frame to give the piece an old French farmhouse look.  I dream of having a farmhouse kitchen one of these days.

The frame lady convinced me to use museum glass, and I was so glad she did.  The glass seems much clearer.

So, if you have this framed piece, where would you display it in your house?  I am just curious.

It is off to work I go.  I am SO behind – that’s why you haven’t heard from me much.  Take care, everyone!  I hope to be able to catch up with you soon.

Blessing future generations…

…. through the things you make.

I came across a sweet story on how a family christening gown was passed down through the fourth generation, and was recently worn by their newest addition to the family.  Click here for the full story.  Below is a picture of the christening gown which has been worn 45 times to commemorate various births within that family.  Oh – my heart is full just thinking about the memories, the love, the joy, the hopes, the prayers and the praise associated with the birth of all those children.

[Photo from]

In the Ivory Spring household, being the keeper and maker of heirloom things for the future generations is a big part of my mothering job.  I will outright admit to you I am certain I will never get the hip-pest Mom award anytime in my life, but I do hope and pray at the end of my life, I will be able to bequeath to my little one a few  heirloom-y “somethings” that will be bless generations to come. Below are pictures of Miss Baby’s dedication gown.  You can click here to read a previous post on this amazing creation (not by me):

Having a “long-term” perspective really gives meaning to the things I make for Miss Baby.  Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters — just think of the multiple-fold blessings you bestow on your family when you give a handmade gift to a loved one in your family!  WOW!  So, get busy ladies! :)

Quilt and Dishes meet…

… on my Mums the Word quilt.

If you have known me for any length of time, you would know that I am a dish-aholic!  Playing with my dishes is super fun for me.   My “me alone” play time has greatly diminished in the last year or so due to an increased workload and more attention needed for Miss Baby — playing with my dishes hasn’t been something I have done much at all of late. Although I know there is a season for everything, I do miss my dish-playing time.

While Miss Baby was having a date with the z-monster one afternoon last week, I decided to play a bit to experiment with some possible ideas for my Thanksgiving table.   In the ensemble below, I used an Armetale platter as the charger, and layered with a spongeware dinner plate, a Spode Cabinet Collection accent plate, a Portuguese Majolica leaf bowl, and a pumpkin.

Everything you see is old except for the spongeware plate and pumpkin.  Miss Baby picked out the “baby pucket” from one quick grocery run with my husband recently.  The spongeware plate is form the pieces I had purchased from a New England potter not too long ago.  These spongeware peices go nicely with my other autumn dishes by adding a bit of primitive feel amidst all the flourishes and swirls.

Here you see Mums on the quilt as well as on the accent plate:

I was playing away, and then I heard, “Mama, a-tairs”… translation: Mama, time for me to go downstairs.   My play time was up.  I  had thought about using my Mums the Word quilt for our Thanksgiving tablecloth, but I think I have decided against it due to the amount of quilting I have done on it.  I think I would rather use it as a display quilt, rather than a quilt for use.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures…  and if you have any fun ideas to share about Thanksgiving tablesettings,  I am all ears (rather, “eyes” since I will be reading your comments, and not hearing them! ;))

Stitching Butlers

A few months ago, I came across the Petit Point china pattern made by Royal Albert. The dishaholism kicked in, and I purchased a creamer and an open sugar bowl. The reason the Petit Point pattern appealed to me is because I do quite a bit of cross-stitching and handwork. The pattern is like a cross-stitch chart done in a much daintier fashion on bone china. I mean, how could a dishaholic stitcher like me resist those pieces?

I had bought those pieces with the intention of turning them into a pincushion/scissors stations and waste thread bowl combo. I spent a little time working on stuffing the creamer to make it into a pincushion, and both the creamer and the open sugar bowl now sit nicely by my stitching chair serving as my stitching butlers!

You recall many moons ago, I had made a teacup/saucer pincushion. I liked it well enough, except that I didn’t like the waste threads laying on the saucer in plain sight.

Thus, I came up with the idea of using the open sugar bowl to hold my waste threads.

If you are a stitcher, now you know what you can do with your extra creamer/sugar sets. If you aren’t a stitcher, you can easily turn your extra creamer/sugar sets into thoughtful gifts for your stitching friends – just follow the instructions I had for the teacup/saucer pincushion!

I really do like the look of the pieces that come in this pattern. The more I look at them, the more I like them. I am washed over by another strong wave of dishaholism – I am hearing pieces of this pattern calling my name – HELP!

My Patchwork Bear Family

A few years ago, we had the privilege to host a young lovely Japanese girl on an exchange program. Kumiko stayed with us for about 3 1/2 weeks. We enjoyed her tremendously because she had the cutest laugh. During her stay, I was delighted to find out that Kumiko’s mother is quite the expert in quilting and handicraft. And upon Kumiko’s return, Kumiko’s mother sent me a handmade patchwork bear.

I affectionately called my bear Lady Carlyle. With that hat, and the fact that she fits right in with my Royal Albert Lady Carlyle dishes, I just had to call her Lady Carlyle.

I received yet another package yesterday from this dear Japanese family for Christmas… imagine my utter delight and joy when I found Mr. Carlyle, and little “Carlette” in the box!!! Can you see those tiny 3/4″ patchwork squares that made up the outfits of these darling bears? Now my patchwork bear family is complete, representing me, my husband and Miss Baby!

Okay, there’s a very subtle reason why the Miss Baby Bear is placed closer to the Daddy Bear.  Miss Baby is going through a “I love Daddy more” phase at the moment.  Many have asked if I am okay with it.  I am totally fine with it.  I think it’s sweet.  I have always prayed for Miss Baby to have a close relationship with my husband, and so I rejoiced at the answered prayer:

I can still scarcely believe a Japanese lady whom I have never met in my life would spend precious time making such darling gifts for my family just because we kept her daughter for a few weeks.   Needless to say, I am immensely touched.

Kumiko included this note?  Do I like it?  NO!  I love, love, love it!

I have kept in touch with Kumiko all these years upon her return to Japan.  There’s actually a sequel to this story:  We had such a great experiencing having Kumiko live with us that we decided to host another student.  Well, this time, things didn’t turn out so good.  In fact, it was disastrous.  So the sequel  to the first sequel is that we haven’t done any hosting since.   But I am thinking about doing it again when Miss Baby is a bit older.

Now, my nosy mind wants to know if you have had any experience past or present hosting someone international in your home.

Thanks for stopping by.  I want you to know that I might have be slow in getting back with you for the next few weeks.  Please know that I appreciate your comments, and will try hard to respond to your comments and emails.

Which would you pick?

These are three teacup and saucer sets done in the three colorways of RJR‘s A is for Anabelle fabric collection.  Which would you pick?  I am not normally a green person, but the green colorway is causing my heart to flutter…

Teacups and saucers have popped up at sundry times at Ivory Spring… because we are somewhat serious about teacups and such over here.

[Spode Delamere in a blue/brown autumn setting]

[Spode antique gilded unknown pattern amidst Benartex’s Silk Road fabrics]

[ Lomonosov Guipure among Russian-y things]

[Spode Sheffield in an English bookish setting]

[Mottahedeh Mandarin Blue in a traditional setting]

[Johnson Brothers Heritage White in a spring afternoon Chinese tea setting]

[Spode Blue Italian and Blue Geranium peeking from the china hutch]

[Royal Albert Lady Carlyle in a cottage setting]

Which would you pick out of this lot?

Would you like a cuppa while…

…. while we admire some newly arrived fabrics?!

I received these fabrics yesterday. They are from SILK ROAD collection, to be released soon by Benartex. Do check their website for updates.

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these fabrics. These are going to be used in a fall pieced / applique quilt coming out in the October 2010 issue of Quilter’s World. I am chomping at the bit to get started with this quilt, which will be within the next day!!

I had purchase two sets of these antique Spode cups and saucers. Pattern is unknown to me. But one set was broken into pieces en route to me. So, I have this lone set of white/gold cup and saucer. I am not really a white person. Most of my dishes have busy patterns – the busier the better! :) But in my old “mature” age, I find myself also being drawn to the whites. Believe it or not, I have been researching my options for the last two years, but haven’t come to a conclusion. So, I would love to know what white or cream china sets you have so that I can add that to my list of patterns to consider…

I hope this gives you an idea of how a tablescape might look like set up by a person who is hopelessly dishaholic, and extremely fabric-aholic! :) Oh, also throw in the mix a little book-aholic!

Urm, and a tad silver-aholic…

Now, are you ready for your own cup of tea? I shall go and fetch your cup and saucer of choice! Thanks for stopping by. You have yourself a fabulous day, okay?

Not hiding the blue!

You all know that I am of the persuasion of not hiding the blue for Christmas.  Here is another shot of blue and Christmas for you:

We had a full Christmas meeting up with family out of town.  I am in the process of easing back into my routine…. but I have quite a few errands to run before the routine and I are one.  And after that, I am looking at a busy year ahead – that’s another story for another time! I do want to take this time to thank you for leaving comments on my Christmas posts — I am a bit slow, but I promise I will get back to you!

I hope you are doing well!  Have a lovely week.

Birthday of a King

In the little village of Bethlehem,
There lay a Child one day;
And the sky was bright with a holy light
O’er the place where Jesus lay.

Twas a humble birthplace, but O how much
God gave to us that day,
From the manger bed what a path has led,
What a perfect, holy way.


Alleluia! O how the angels sang.
Alleluia! How it rang!
And the sky was bright with a holy light
Twas the birthday of a King.

(by William H. Neidinger)


Archived Christmas Blue

Happy Monday, Everyone. I hope you are doing well. I am working frantically to meet one of two deadlines! So, I had to dig in my archives for my Blue Monday post this week that goes with the Christmas season:

The moral of the story is: Don’t be afraid to use blues in your Christmas decorations! :)

I feel like I am existing in some kind of bubble where I am experiencing a jet-lag-liked sensation. As a freelancer, I work on projects suited for seasons at least four months out for magazines. For instance, I was working on Christmas projects way back in May, and now I am working on late spring/summer projects. It’s really weird. Weirdness aside, I do want to thank you for stopping by. Please accept my best wishes for your new week!

Blue & Brown Mix & Match

tablescape thursday

Inspired by my blue and brown quilt, I set out to play with my blue and brown dishes all together at one time.


I am usually a dish collection kind of gal when it comes to dishes, but I have to say that experimenting with mixing the colors together was very fun! The following are some of the combinations I tried:

#1 (you can tell I was a bit reserved in the beginning!)

blue brown1


blue brown2


blue brown3

#4 (then ever so slowly, I started to loosen up):

blue brown4

blue brown5

#5 (I started to be a bit more adventurous):

blue brown6

#6 (By now, dishes were starting to pile up on the floor, waiting to be auditioned):

blue brown7

blue brown8

#7 (I am bringing in more blues):

blue brown9

blue brown10

#8 (now comes the desserts):

blue brown11

blue brown12

Now, how about retreating to the drawing room to take some tea with me?

blue brown13

blue brown14

What do you think, my bloggy friends – should I, or should I not use my blues with my browns this year for Thanksgiving?