Friday, November 15, 2013

Slow Mow

Running a bit late today because I slept in until nearly eight o'clock.

Warning: This post is going to be a red hot mess as I am tossing in everything I've saved to show you. All the best with that. Just drop in on whatever might interest you.

Let's go way back to the last evening in October when I had two of the cutest race car drivers ever knock on my door. They liked their outfits. Sorry for the photo quality. My photography skills fail me after dark.


John has been working on Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts to be given early as in many have already been delivered. 

With the leavings, I'm going to make some rustic ornaments like these. Good thing that I'm calling them "rustic" as I'm not a pro with the woodburner.

Switched out my log candles to battery operated ones so that I could use it on the windowsill. If my photography skills didn't fail me after dark, I'd show you how sweet it looks. 

Found this turkey rack gizmo at The Christmas Tree Shop and so I'm hoping that it will work as designed. Just pull those pins and the turkey is supposed to settle nicely onto the platter without any anxiety inducing moments. Yes, I'm keeping it right there on the kitchen table as decor. (I am afraid to put it somewhere else lest I forget it.)

Did you see the little turkey tea towel on the oven door back there? I have made several and now am moving on to other motifs for Christmas and winter. If you like to sew or know those who do, I found the directions *here.* While I did make one turkey with burlap, I will not make another. I switched out to autumn fabrics instead. 


~Friendly Village Label prior to 2003~

~Friendly Village Label since 2003~

A number of my blogging buddies have been chatting about their Friendly Village finds at excellent prices. I myself bought a Friendly Village tea pot last Christmas for a fair price. All these discussions raised some questions. I discovered that Friendly Village was first made in 1953. Now that was before I was born, but my set is not as "vintage" as I thought. (It belonged to my paternal grandmother.) Plates cost $10 on the Canadian side of the border and so I do remember my mother picking up a plate every time we were in Canada to either give as a gift to my grandmother or sometimes my grandmother had saved some money and set it aside. I've often wondered how, of all the granddaughters, I came to be blessed (beyond the fact that I seem to be the only one who truly loves them). Perhaps it is because my mother selected so much of the set.

Anyway, since 2003, the dishes have been made under the Johnson Brothers brand in China and carry the distinctive mark: Johnson Bros England 1883. I suppose that the dishwasher, freezer, microwave safe wording should clue one in to their recent creation as well. ☺

Some of both vintage and new sit in my cupboards. I'd not hesitate to augment my set with new ones if needed, but I'm still always on the lookout for some great vintage finds at flea markets.


Despite being in the middle of November, there is still some faded color yet. (Do you see the bittersweet?) And that's all that was in my folder for now. Phew. 

If you're still with me, thank you! Do create a wonderful day...

(I'm going to slow mow my lawn today no matter what!)


  1. Slow mow? I'm thinking every time I mow my lawn it's slow. Love those little race car drivers! What a great costume for cold climates. Love those log candle holder gifts John made! I'm trying to decide what I'm going to do with my table for our Thanksgiving gathering tomorrow...hmmm. Maybe I'll really go outside the box this year. Interesting turkey gismo. I'll be curious to hear the outcome! Love the views from the lane...

  2. I loved reading your blog this is filled with so many interesting things and I love your photos too. Your hubby is so talented and how beautiful those candle holders are....I love things made by hand, by nature and from our Maine woods. You make everything so interesting Vee. Hope you have a great weekend...hugs.

  3. Yep, you were all over the map with this post! But I kept up with you. The little guys look grand. John's & your handmade log gifts look grand. And I am still jealous of all of your Johnson Brothers dishes. Love those, but I have nary a one. Still some shades of dark, dead leaves on a few trees here and there. Overcast and ready to rain this afternoon. It looks like November outside!

  4. Lovely photos, lovely Christmas gifts, just plum lovely. Thank you for sharing. Blessings

  5. A very nice blog from the old to the new. Your Halloween trick or treaters are really cute. We still have a bit of color left on the trees but the weather is about to finish them off.

  6. Love this post, and those candle holders are great. Think you and J ohm need to think about starting an Etsy!

  7. I love your all-over-the-map post! Those are my favorite kind. Filled with lots of photos and news from the Haven. Love the log candle holders. And the little race car drivers are just adorable!
    Have a happy weekend.

  8. Well, my goodness, you're just a young sprout, aren't you! ;-) Love the birch candle logs - birch is really trendy to even have in outdoor containers. I really hope the new fangled turkey lifter works, do let us know. Still looks like autumn in your neck of the woods, our leaves have all flown away.
    As a tea granny, I'd like to see the teapot please.
    I'm looking forward to the note card party, that and Donna's photo challenge I enjoy. Besides, once a month is doable.

  9. OK, I'm dropping in on my two favorite parts: The cute race car drivers and the wonderful birch log candle holders. The boys are precious (shh... don't tell them that. It's a southern expression too gooey for most boys.) Also, I just love the logs! We don't have birch trees here so I love them extra much. We brought some down from New England a long time back to use as decoration, but they have long since decayed. I love what your John did with them, and frankly, I think your wood working skills are pretty good!

  10. Loved every last bit of what you posted. It's kinda how my brain works -jumps from one thing to another. Love Love Love the birch candle holders!!!! I was thinking that they'd look great withe the battery operated lights and poof there they are:)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. I love the birch candle holders, too. They are beautiful and so nice for these darker days. We are getting a drizzle of rain but I've been running errands all day and I didn't melt! lol Enjoy your weekend...give John an extra hug for being so smart!

  12. I kind of like those random posts, Vee, because so much of our lives are really just random moments anyway. Love your birch candle holders. Good job-even with the wood burning. Love your little race car drivers, too. Hope you have a good weekend- I have a full folder I need to get posted one of these days, too- xo Diana

  13. Hi Vee- I enjoyed your hodge podge of post pics and stories - all fun and good and just makes it more YOU.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too - and Slow Mow is always good, though if you saw my husband speed walk mow you would laugh, he goes about a milllion miles an hour walking I think! He likes the work out and refuses to get a riding mower until he can't push anymore. Yikes.

  14. Enjoyed your Slow Mow post so much! I am another one who enjoys Friendly Village, they are getting harder to find around here, but plenty are available from China! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Hello Vee, You made me chuckle :) And yes I also have random thoughts and posts, but we are all going through so many changes. I did water my grass the other day that must count for something.
    Hey, just have a cup of coffee and sit back and take a deep breath!!
    Happy Almost Thanksgiving dear friend, Roxy

  16. I like your log candles what happened to the after dark photos.

  17. Vee,
    I do so enjoy reading your posts. I wish I could write more like you do. I feel like I have a\had a nice little chat with you when I finish reading...going to check out the sewing link you had..
    Love, Mona

  18. I love the Yule logs that John is making. They're very nice. Your new turkey rack is pretty neat. I like that it comes apart to release the turkey onto the platter. Great idea. I noticed the Johnson Bros. turkey plates last year at TJMaxx and that they didn't look the same as the original ones. The colours are brighter I think. Memory Lane by Royal Albert is now made in China too and doesn't look the same. It's too bad. I'm glad you inherited the china though as you appreciate it. I like the photo of the tree lined road. So pretty. Have a nice weekend Vee.

  19. Vee, love your log candles! I have been using more flameless candles too. I love your little turkey towel. So cute!

  20. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and the opportunity to find out the latest happenings at your haven.
    Your little race car drivers are adorable. It would put a smile on my face to see them show up at my door.
    I love the Yule logs John has created. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. Your ornaments are a great use of the leftover slices.
    I didn't notice the turkey towel until you pointed it out. So So Cute!
    I'll be curious to know how your new turkey rack gizmo works.

  21. Your race car drivers are adorable, Vee! I'm glad you found out the scoop on Friendly Village. I wish I had some of the older pieces. Maybe I'll find a teapot someday. Those log candle holders are great and love your ornaments, too.
    Happy weekend! xo

  22. Nice couple of race drivers there!!
    John has made some really nice gifts!!
    Cute turkey towel.

  23. Those are the cutest race car drivers ever! And I love the birch candle holders that John is making! I saw an idea somewhere for place cards using thin slices of birch with wood burnt names, very similar to your ornaments, but do you think that I can find the link to send you? (Nope.)

    Johnson Brothers...swoon!

  24. The boys look sweet, as do the turkey tea towels.
    The Birch Bark logs and your ornaments will make perfect gifts
    for the holidays.
    I didn't know that there were any new Johnson Bros. dishes available.
    I think I'll try to find what I need used!

  25. Those sure are some seriously cute race car drivers. Johns birch candle holders are wonderful, what a clever idea. You impress me with your wood burning skills and wouldn't have known you hadn't done a good job. Looked good to me. Nifty turkey gadget! Have a wonderful weekend. ~ Abby

  26. Vee, I really like those candle holding logs! Tell your man he's doing an awesome job. I also think your woodburning skills are just great!
    Those boys are growing like weeds. Thanks for sharing a glimpse.
    I'll have to keep my eye out for Johnson Bros. made in Canada! Thanks for that hint.

  27. Beautiful post Vee, love the candle holders and boys, so inspiring and creative, hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving, big hugs, Margie ❤️

  28. Cute trickertreaters! and I always enjoy your window views. That's quite a work of Love that John is producing for gifts as are your tea towels. I too mowed yesterday (Friday). And lastly to the dishes … I see Friendly Village a lot and I always do a double take as it is similar to the JBs I had of the same vintage--called Friendly Village. This will be my first Thanksgiving not to use them as I packed them up last year and gave them to my brother's wife to make room for my mom's dishes. When I got the Old Mill for my wedding present it had been originally my grandmother's and then my mother's and I quickly got sick of it! But after our life in Africa it was all new to me and I loved it again. So it also was made around the same time int he 50s if my grandmother had it …. (too long a story for a comment I'm thinking!)_

  29. The log candles are wonderful. What a great gift, and they do look sweet on your windowsill. Love that familiar view. It's kind of like your trademark.
    Have a great weekend Vee.

  30. Still some colour around here too. Not easy to take pictures after dark - even when they come out well the colour is always distorted (I guess the professionals have cameras that can deal with this. Love your two racing drivers!
    Tell John those tea light logs look really unusual. I guess you need electric indoors so you can walk away from them without the risk of fire.

  31. Those log candle holders are beautiful! Our leaves are gone, and the lawn has been mowed for the last time a few weeks ago. I'm digging through the Christmas decorations today and may even run out to shop for new.

  32. Such a lovely post ear Vee - I feel like we've just caught up for a chat on recent happenings!
    The racing drivers are very very cute - lucky you having them knock at your door!
    I love John's Christmas gifts - birch is such an attractive wood and perfect for tea light candles!
    Your turkey tea towel is a lovely gift idea too - a Christmas one could have a plum pudding or Sugar Plum fairy on it!
    Thank you for the link I'm off to have a look now!
    Wishing you a happy week - I'm looking forward to partying on Wednesday!

  33. Forgive me............
    I should ALWAYS do a spell check sorry about the EARS!!!

    Such a lovely post DEAR Vee

  34. I'm slow getting around to comments, but I have to say that Jake and Sam are so cute! Great driving suits - I bet the love them!

    That John is a clever man - what great gifts those are. I love white birch. We have a few trees on our property. I should go look to see if there is a branch or two down.

    I decide that I do love the vintage Friendly Village but I am happy about the new stuff at affordable prices! Like you, I'll keep my eye out for vintage pieces.

    The towel is very cute. What patterns are you going to do for Christmas?


  35. A sweet post, Vee, so enjoyed all the goodies you had saved for us! Cute race car drivers and the log candle holders are charming! Tell me, do you have Canadian roots? I was trying to figure out if your grandmother was Canadian, or you simply purchased the pieces of China in Canada to give to your grandmother, upon returning to the States?!

    Your country roads are perfect for leisurely walks and fresh air!

    Happy Sunday!


    1. They might be, but few risk it...hunting season is in full swing.

  36. Enjoyed the 'slow mow' through your posting.

    Really like your birch log candle holders. Reminds me of a Christmas project my class did in Grade 4 -- I loved that project. I can well imagine how sweet it must look in the window.

    Wishing you a blessed day....

  37. Great post, sister friend....
    Have a great week....

  38. Those birch log candle holders are fabulous!! Hope your turkey lifter sounds like a great idea.

  39. Should I know what 'slow mow' is? Maybe it's a New England term?

    Love your cute race-car drivers! How did you manage to keep those photos hidden in your files for more than two weeks?

    I wish John lived across the back fence. I'd have him making me some birch log candle holders as well! Love those.

  40. I'm very "slow mow" myself these days in getting to blog reading and posting. I loved meandering through your post. Those race car drivers are so adorable.
    The birch log candle holders are wonderful gifts - John is doing a great job. Cute turkey towels, too. I can see why burlap might not be the best for tea towels.

  41. Those race car drivers are the cutest!

    John's birch bark candle holders are very pretty! I love using natural wood accents like them. There has been quite a few requests for cut down aspen tree limbs on our local community facebook page, for crafting purposes and now I can see what can be done with them. Nice gift idea! Your ornament slices reminds me of a craft I did with the Weblo cub scouts back in the day. We attached them to key chains as a mother's and father's day gift --I still have mine! :)

    I miss having a Christmas Tree shop nearby--I always found good bargains in them! The turkey lifter looks handy. I bought a 22 pound turkey today to feed the!

  42. Those candle logs are absolutely wonderful! What great gifts!

  43. Your John is amazing!! I love the candle logs! I also love that pie safe or cabinet with the white wreathe on it that was in the background of your super cute little race car driver. Your home is chock full of cozy things. I love it!

  44. I adore those birch log candle holders your husband made! What a terrific gift! I saw one in a store and it was close to $40!!

    I think I pinned a wreath made from little overlapping birch circles - you might try that if you have enough pieces.

  45. Those are the only race car drivers I would want to see ~ how cute!
    The Christmas gifts you and John have been working on are lovely. Making gifts and receiving homemade gifts are the meaning of Christmas to me. This is the time of year that my heart aches for the real meaning of Christmas and not the commercialism.
    It is wonderful to find you here again.

  46. Gah! Yes it is that time of year again when everyone but ME is getting their Friendly Village set out for tablescapes. It's wouldn't sting so much if, two years ago, I actually passed up an opportunity to own a full 12 place settings plus extras for only $150! It was hard to walk away, but as it was the beginning of January and my piggy bank was totally empty from Christmas, I just couldn't justify it. Ugh! Revisiting that moment again when I said, "No, thank you" with your post here.

    I won't hold your lovely Friendly Village pieces against you, Vee. Actually - getting back on track with Postcard Wednesday so see you tomorrow!


    1. I would have had to walk on an offer like that in January, too. My collection has been built over the past sixty years. It doesn't hurt so much that way!


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