Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lovely Things: Samplers

One thing that I love to have around my house is samplers. I know some people probably think they're super old fashioned and even a little outdated. I'll admit they do have a bit of a "grandma" feel to them. There is NOTHING polished or sophisticated about a sampler. But something about a sampler just says "home" to me. Maybe it's because they were scattered throughout my parents' and my grandmother's house and those are places that felt like home to me growing up. To me, they just convey an air of quaint simplicity.

Here is a little background research I found about samplers, via Wikipedia:
A sampler is a piece of embroidery that demonstrates skill in needlework. The alphabet, figures, motifs, decorative borders are common parts of samplers. Sometimes, the person who makes the sampler will include their name and date as part of the sampler. The word sampler comes from the Latin ‘exemplum’ - an example.

The oldest samplers still in existence date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Because pre-printed patterns did not exist, a stitched model was needed. Whenever a needlewoman saw a stitching pattern that she was fond of, she would quickly sew a small sample of it onto a piece of cloth - this became her 'sampler'. The patterns were sewn randomly onto a peice of fabric to be used later as an example, and the woman would collect different patterns this way throughout her lifetime.

Around the 18th century, samplers had become quite different. Instead of the scattered, random examples that were to be collected and used as a guide throughout a lifetime, they becamed much more organized and symmetrical. They were made by young girls and women to demostrate their expertise in the skill of needlework.

I have several samplers around our house. Some my mom found for me at antique stores, some came from my parents' or grandparents' house, and some my mom cross stitched herself. Here's a peak:

This one is in our kitchen:
Dear House you are so very small. Just big enough for love that's all. It's very special because it hung in my grandmother's kitchen before she passed away. It is the a wonderful reminder that for right now our house is the perfect size.

Here is a collection that is on one of the walls in the guest bathroom. I'm not sure where all these came from, mostly antique stores I'm sure, but my mom did the top one, so it's really special.

A closer look at the ones on top:
A house is made with brick and stone. But a home is made with love alone. What an important thing to remember. Peyton and I are building a home with love for each other and for our children. This is one of my favorites andI think the little family is so precious. This is the one my mom made, so that makes it extra special to me!

The best gifts are tied with heartstrings.
I always think the spirit behind the gift means more than the gift. I love receiving a gift and knowing that the person put thought into it and picked it out especially for me. I try to give gifts in such a way.

Happiness is homemade. Isn't that the truth?

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference. There is a reason the Serenity Prayer is so popular and so well known- it is applicable to everyone's life and yet it feels so personal when you read/pray it.

And the ones on the bottom:
Home is where the {heart} is. Clearly I love special sayings about my house/home. Home truly is where the heart is, in my opinion. I still call my parents' house "home", and it took me a long time, but I finally call this house home, too.

Who waits outside the door one may never know, so tarry not my friend, he too may to go. I just think this one is really funny and again, I love the little pictures at the bottom.

This last one is right above my vanity in our bedroom:

A closer look:Love. Faith. Hope. Charity. {Happiness Tree} Work. Play. Laughter. Happiness is catching. We get it from one another. I like this one a lot because I think it's just a neat way to organize a lot of virtues and show what truly brings happiness- other people and a life of faith and integrity.

I think my sampler collection says a lot about what is important to me and the things that I want to be cognizant of as I go through my day. They are like lovely little post-it notes throughout my house!

Photos: C/O my little Canon point and shoot and my mediocre photography skills

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fashion Flashback: Jon Jons

I decided that I am going to do a series of posts about items of clothing (for men, women, and children) that are currently in style, but are very classic and traditional. In these "Fashion Flashback" posts I will share a little history about these timeless pieces of apparel.

We are expecting our second child (we have a seventeen month old little girl) this Spring, and if that baby is a boy, I plan on dressing him very traditionally, much as I have done with Ann Peyton. I like it when babies look like babies, not little mini adults and I like classic things. One of my favorite things to dress a little boy in would be these:

Jon Jons are so so named for John F. Kennedy, Jr. The style gained appeal when his father was in the White House and his mother, Jackie created a fashion trend by dressing little "John John" in the one piece outfits. Incidentally, "John John" was not a name given to the president's son by any family member, but rather by the press. The outfit has held onto it's popularity for over half a century, due to many factors including the increased ease in diaper changes that they provide and the fact that they are ideal for busy toddlers, who would have a harder time keeping on a two piece set.

Prior to Camelot, toddler boys wore shorts or long pants and a shirt. It's funny because I think of that as a much more "modern" look!

I can't wait to dress our little one in some precious jon jons- seersucker for the Summer and flannel in the Winter and gingham all in between!

Sources: Marie, my sewing instructer at Continental Sewing and this Southern Living Message Board

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4