"If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world."

-C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Solstice Greetings (and a surprise!)...

The Solstice day dawned gray and dreary here, bringing a promise of more snow. A blanket of frosty white covers my garden this time of year, which is stark in contrast to the lush green foliage of summer, but it is beautiful, none the less.

I think, living in Michigan, you must love winter to some degree. It is simply beautiful! I love getting cozy in the house and baking, and bundling up to play outside.

Now, after today, the days will begin to get longer again, and the sun will begin to return. But that doesn't mean the end of winter. Indeed, we are just getting into it!
The dregs of winter
are still ahead.
Maybe I enjoy winter because I have a winter birthday. It reminds me of birthday parties that I had as a child that usually involved sledding, cocoa and cake.

One of the things that I love to do in winter is curl up with a blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good book. I have always loved to read, and I have always loved books. I have shelves filled with them, and boxes of them...in my closet, in the basement...I can't bear to get rid of them.

When I was in college, I got my first antique book. A copy of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe copyright 1900. It was in the bottom of a box of sci/fi books that I bought at a flea market. I went back the next week and bought Shakespeare's Hamlet copyright 1896 with a beautiful green cover that was ornately decorated in gold. I returned again the following week, but the book seller had packed up and left.

I was hooked.
From then, I sought out antique books at flea markets, estate sales, anywhere and everywhere. I have grown to love the musty smell that accompanies old books, and the dingy, dark places that you can usually find them.

My family knows of my love for old books and I have recently been given some old schoolbooks and notebooks that belonged to my great-grandfather. They are simply amazing. I especially love the notebooks because they have great-grandpa's doodles in the margin, including "class of '01" (that's 1901!), and the name Meredith (who was NOT my great-grandma).

A few books do not have copyright dates, or publisher information and I have been trying to track down some information on them. While looking through one of these books, The Home Educator, I found a little surprise.

A beautiful old holiday postcard.
It is in near perfect condition with a sweet little scene of Kris Kringle using an old fashioned telephone. The postcard was postmarked December 22, 1909. It tucked it back inside, but am going to have to look into how to correctly preserve it.

Many of you have seen a few of my old books in my jewelry photos. I do not box them all up and hide them away. The ones that are in better shape are out on my shelves and I look through them often. I do have some that are beginning to show their age and loosing pages, those are off limits.
Last summer I had the chance to look through some amazing antique books that my dad has. They are Victorian era books that show the birth of the Michigan counties on the east side of the State. They are full of detailed maps of the townships and downtown areas, and have maps of individual families' land and farms. He recently asked me if I wanted them.

YES! I answered before he could even finish asking me.
I will hopefully be bringing them home with me (very carefully!) next time I visit my parents. You can be sure that I will be pouring over them and I will certainly be sure to share pictures here with you!

I wish you a very happy Holiday Season with your family.
Be safe, cozy, and healthy!


The Happy Peasant said...

Absolutely beautifully solstice-ly magical. I love looking at your jewelry. Thank you for sharing the lovely old books! Happy Winter/Merry Christmas/Happy Solstice! ~Amy

ruthie said...

Dear Shannon, I do love your wintery photos,i cant stop taking pics of the beauty outside my window. There is something especially appealing about settling in all cosy against the cold outside isn't there.

How wonderful to read of your collecting of such delicious old books, and to find a postcard tucked in one so long ago, lovely, it stirs the imagination. i love the smell of old books too. Blessings to you have a warm & very merry christmas. x x

mermaiden said...

what a magical yarn you've spun and illustrated.

my uncle is an antiques dealer and uses Victorian era postcards for his holiday cards every year. i love it!

AJ said...

I do not love winter... I love snow, but only in other peoples' photographs. However, I LOVE old books, especially with notes inside! I love to wonder about the people who wrote them, what sort of lives they had, why they chose that particular book. One of my treasures is a HUGE vintage dictionary with a note from a wife to her husband, giving it as a gift. How sweet!

Thank you for sharing parts of your beautiful collection with us :)

Cobalt Violet said...

What a beautiful blog! Found you via Ruthie.
I too have been collecting old books since college. I am a little bummed a couple went to exboyfriends that didn't really appreciate them! Oh well ...
I love when they have beautiful illustrations and bindings and detailed etchings ... sigh.

Wonderful post and a blessed solstice to you!

triciafountaine@aol.com said...

So happy to have found you! Love your creations, so much so that I bought a couple at your etsy shop. I too love books as does my husband. Our house is loaded with them and we just revel in it. They are like old friends which we visit with over and over again. I have my own blog and not too far back I posted several pictures of our home complete with stacks of books, quite a few vintage ones from my grandparents. You might enjoy taking a peak.
Looking forward to checking with you often,
Tricia Fountaine
blog is www.triciafountainedesign.com/blog/

triciafountaine@aol.com said...

I received my beautiful necklaces and earrings a couple of days ago and am LOVING them! I have worn both necklaces constantly and have one or the other earrings on every day too. Thank you so much, your work is beautiful!

Gypsy Moon Art Studio said...

Thanks so much, everyone, for all your heart warming comments. ♥
Tricia~ I am so glad you are loving your jewelry! Thank you so much!

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