Jun 8, 2012

Moments of Yesteryears Today


Today I thought I would share with you some of my metal utensil treasures.

I say "metal" and not "sliver" because while a lot of what I have is silver, a lot of it is also silver plated, some are pewter, some are bone-handled and some, I really would just have to guess, because I just let the stuff tarnish beyond recognition.  However, I collect pieces here and there, and yes, I truly use these beyond just photographing them. What I admire so much about these little beauties is the weight. Something about holding them as I butter a roll, or stab a piece of meat, or spoon out a little jam, it just feels so neat to have such a weighty utensil in my hand as I do such a simple everyday task.

This is my little silver sugar bowl filled with assorted butter knives, that sits upon my counter, near the coffee area where I use these daily. I love to be able to grab them for all sorts of reason....to open up a flip-top can (my nails are too weak), to butter bread, to stir something, spread jam, you name it. I have had these for so many years, I can't count. 

Once upon a time, these utensils were brought home brand new, and with excited hands (from a bride perhaps?) they were unwrapped and carefully placed into the china cabinet drawer. Now, we can find these little gems in antique stores for only a few dollars each, depending on the quality, make, and so on. 

But in our very fast-paced world where I think most people crave to slow down, I think finding little ways to bring the past into our present helps us to remember that while today isn't bad, in fact, today is so good, we should maybe slow down so we can enjoy  our present moment all the more.

But the irony in all of this, I think, is that while I take great joy in using these old items of the past to slow me down, I am almost sure that some bride or excited wife of the past, was probably in a great rush to get these exact items onto her table, washed, polished, and ready in time for her guests.

Have times really changed that much? 

While the women of the past might have used these items in a rush just as much I try to use them to slow myself down, I feel a little happier using them.

Maybe it's the weight of them...?

Maybe it's the history...?

Maybe it's the fact that I hand wash them after I use them...?

Or maybe it is just the simple fact that I can pick and choose which pattern I feel like using...?

I think the most important thing is that these lovely little ladies are used just about daily. I personally don't "collect" just to collect. Using what I own is really important to me. It gives more meaning to me personally when my treasures are enjoyed with much use and not admiration from afar, stored safely away. 

And maybe that is it right there...maybe that is wherein my real joy lies. My joy is not in collecting, not storing, not admiring, not securing them, but rather in using and in sharing them. 

Over the years, I have been told that if I use my items, I will ruin them or chance breaking or losing them. Whether it is my very old linens, ironstone, silver, vintage clothing, and so on. 

And they were right. I have chipped a plate, stained a table cloth, misplaced a fork, and ripped a vintage top.  But with each  incident, there was a story. 

A good story. 

Usually a party, a gathering of friends, or a fun dinner with a loved one. A story that makes life the kind of life worth slowing down for.

Slowing down doesn't mean escaping. It doesn't mean looking back. It simply means being in the moment without being so concern with the next moment.

You know, it just isn't possible for most of us to just stop our lives, pack up and move to the mountains, and leave all the noise, violence, cultural white noise (as I call it), problems, and shut the door behind us. 

And if we are content and happy in this season of life, then all the more reason to slow down and enjoy this time in our lives before it passes. 

And if all it takes is using a little, antique butter knife to butter my biscuit and a French spoon to dab on some jam to put me in the moment just to the feel the weight of the utensils, and to feel how the butter just glides ever so smoothly onto the old butter knife...

...well, then being in that moment is worth slowing down for! 

I have to ask you..when was the last time you truly noticed how fresh butter really glides so nicely onto your butter knife?

If you can't remember, then I challenge you to pick up some freshly made butter, and let it sit on the counter to soften a bit, and then get some fresh bread, and feel just how great it is to slice a really nice butter knife into fresh butter and see how pretty it looks as you smooth it onto the bread.

The moment you do that?

Is the moment you realize just how good it is to slow down for the tiny moments in life and not wait for the big things like vacations or holidays. 

It is these tiny daily moments that keep us all present, I believe. I hope taking this moment with me today was worth it for you, as I always feel my moments with you are always well spent.

From my house to your house,



Donna Reyne' said...

Hi Elizabeth!
I was a given a very old metal spoon by my grandmother many, many years ago. It was once silver plated but now just the metal that was underneath, the silver has long been worn away by use ad polishing. Anyway, this spoon is very important to me...it was a gift, something once treasured by Nana and now so by me. Every time I take it from the drawer, I think of Nana, about how much she love it and I stop and reflect...I take that moment and just breathe...it really is these simple things,these everyday moments that make our lives special.
Thank you for your thought provoking post my friend! It made me smile this afternoon!

Unknown said...

Oh how I love how you express these simple things so eloquently. Your used collection sure makes gorgeous photos!! I often need reminders to slow down, but I always enjoy using my vintage finds. Have a wonderful weekend Elizabeth

Anne Lorys said...

I love the weight of a really well made piece of silverware too, something you just can't find in modern pieces.

And I also love that you don't treat your treasures as being too precious to use. They have character, as does their most beautiful owner. :-)

Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Each time I come across a new posting by you it makes my day. I just love what you write about and your lovely photos add so much.

amy of studio four corners said...

A number of years ago I traded all of my flatware for found silverware - spoons/forks/knives/serving pieces...I had acquired so much on my junking adventures - it was time to use it. I love that all of the patterns are different...and its not sitting in a box in my basement (which is not too different from yours!) I also use all of my cloth napkins - and if one gets stained...it only adds to the patina!
thanks for the reminder for pausing everyday...we need that...

Lisa said...



Marilee said...

I have always used my vintage finds and like Amy of Four Corners Design did, I have wanted to go get mismatched silverware. I do have an old butter knife that I use. I suspect it came from a family member, but how sad not to know for sure. I have always loved your photos. You inspire me!..


the old white house said...

I just love this post... the message, the photos and the eloquence in which you wrote it. I have a drawer full of old silverware, all mismatched and we use them daily. I love them along with the other old treasures that we use. I agree wholeheartedly, to really appreciate the history and stories of these gems I feel the need to use them. Thanks for another wonderful post, t.xoxo

Anonymous said...

Lovely, lovely post. You are so right! I, too, am not a "collector"-I use what I gather, just because it brings me joy.


Jillayne said...

So, so worth it, as always.
I love your posts as they either echo something I already think, or pull my rambling thoughts together into a cohesive "Yes, that's what I think too".
I love all my things, but I love them best when I use them; I am not interested in trophies in my life.

cathypentonatelier said...

Gorgeous post as always my friend !!! I just baked some pumpkin scones from my mum's recipe and there is something about spreading the butter on that scone and I was back in the kitchen at the farm and I was about 5 years old eating the mixture before it was cooked....Life is definitely much sweeter and your heart is much more full when you slow down and remember those moments.... Love to you c xoxox

must love junk said...

Such simple objects, but you photograph them so beautifully! I love the tarnished patina-perfect!

Brandon Woline said...

Hi E!!! I feel so bad that I haven't commented on all your other posts. Just know I read and Love all of them! Somehow your blog topic always deals with the subject or answers the question that I have on my mind at that exact moment...how do you do that...?
I always want to use vintage silverware and dishes but I never know what is safe. Do you have any pointers?
Hope to hear all about your great time with Anne and Debra.

Curtains in My Tree said...

all our lives we have heard stop and smell the roses, well honey my time to smell the roses and use my good china and old butter knives is HERE.
I started doing all this about 5 years ago , I sold all my every day dishes in a yard sale and use my good stuff , I gave my stainless steel flatware to a nephew starting out in his own apartment and any thing else I could get him to take LOL

I am a firm believer in using the good things around us in our house
and a little junk as some of my family calls it LOL

oh and honey I have been using real butter so much better

of course I am over the hill and riding down on a little red wagon so really need to have fun and enjoy it on my last ride


https://e-i-n-f-a-l-l-s-r-e-i-c-h.blogspot.com/ said...

love your post ;-) sooooooo beautyful and amazing photos!!!
all the best

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST:) I really like your blog and I want to follow, do you have twitter or facebook??

If you want some Swedish d├ęcor inspiration, you can check out my blog:)
Have a great weekend.

LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Elizabeth, I have made other attempts to leave a message for about a week now, I read and by the time I go to leave a message I have to leave the house or take a call, someone knocks so as you see I am late.

Love this post, I too use what I buy, if it is not used thn it is out of my home and off to my shop space. your so right on many levels with reasoning about why you like using them so :)
Its all the above reasons, but most of all its the patina, and time worn look and feel to them that adds the right kind of euro-chicness to our simple lives we love and long for, I know you would agree with me :)

I have a very small collected amount of tarnished flatware, trays that I love to use and best how they make me fell when I set the table.

Inspiring post my soulful beautiful friend :)

Come visit I am having a soulful GiveAway and I want you to enter, come check it out !!
Lots of love

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I too collect these treasures! I also love the tarnished look of character! You have portrayed an excitement for me to go "INVENTORY" my stash! LOVE THEM all, and thank you for reminding me of this!
Have a wonderful FUN week,

Keeping It Cozy said...

I found your blog today from Common Ground, and I am so glad I did. It is truly lovely and this post is beautiful. I need the reminder so often to slow down so I can enjoy and appreciate the many blessings around me. I look forward to reading more.

P.S. I also love using vintage silverware every day... these are beautiful pieces meant to be used and enjoyed!

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