Time to Shop…

For everything there is a season and now is the season to shop. You can wimp out and buy gift cards, take the high road and contact Heifer International (which we highly recommend) or you can man up and buy meaningful gifts that will not only bring delight to the recipient but will also last for generations. It’s all up to you.

From the British Cottage collections come the following holiday gifting ideas:

1. Dough Bowls:

These wooden bowls were once used for mixing bread and then letting it rise before baking. Back in the days before supermarkets most bread was made at home and each family would own at least one of these.   Hand-hewn, then enhanced by nearly a century of use, each bowl has its own patina, its own personality.  Clearly (we think) not needed for its original purpose these vintage vessels lend themselves to many decorative and useful functions in the modern household.  Fill with fruit, flowers, candles or all of the above and make a killer centerpiece.  Line with plastic and make a planter, or fill with magazines, the dog’s toys, your knitting, and you’ve cleaned up the clutter and decorated at the same time!

Or do nothing.  Just let it be.  A beautiful object from another century, it has a sculptural quality all of its own.  Plunked in the center of a dining room table even the most decorating challenged can enjoy success.  Sometimes less is more…

2. Glass Pickle Jars

Why not continue with the vessel theme?  Originally used for pickling, these large glass jars have imperfections in the glass, different hues and wide openings.  We’ve chosen to fill ours with dried artichokes on a bed of moss for a soft, autumnal vignette, but 

anything would work: pine cones, vintage ornaments, sea shells, live plants, baked goods–even homemade pickles.

3.Oversized Maps  

Our maps are reproduced in England by a master print-maker who enlarges the originals, then applies them to a linen backing.  Shown is Stanford’s “1859 Map of Italy”.  At 63″ high by 55″ wide it makes a bold statement on any wall, but also provides a way to remember that totally terrific journey through Tuscany or Bologna.  Or the region your family came from.  Or the best dinner you ever had in your entire life.

Besides Italy, we have Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Paris and lots of London views.  How many gifts are educational and decorative, allow you to remember the past and look forward to the future?  Not many.

Well that’s it for today.  As we head into the holidays I promise to come up with more gift ideas that recycle the past and beautify the home.  So before you go to  a big box store and load up with things that won’t last a season, stop and think how something old can be something new again.

Happy Holidays!!