Wanderlust: Autochrome Photos of the French Countryside

This time of year is always a bit difficult for me. It’s the last stretch of Winter and yet Spring seems so far away. Naturally I start daydreaming about traveling to some lovely far off place. This time last year I was counting down the weeks until we left for our trip to France, so the French countryside is on my mind.

These antique autochrome photos of the French countryside are warming my heart a bit on this dreary February day as they remind me so much of the sights and scenes we say when we traveled through Aveyron. / (photo above) St. Marie bridge, Chamonix Valley, France

Le Cantal, St. Jacques and the Puy-Griou, Auvergne Mountains, France


Le Cantal, Chateau Anteroche, near Murat, Auvergne Mountains, France


Talloires, Annecy, France

images sourced from: Library of Congress, Autochrom Collection

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Frank Lloyd Wright on Beauty

On the drive back from Vancouver B.C. we listened to an episode of 99% Invisible about Frank Lloyd Wright and his Usonian homes and the topic of beauty came up again. I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I really loved what he had to say about the importance of surrounding yourself with beauty and good design.

The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.
Frank Lloyd Wright

I wish I knew the origin of this photograph. Is it authentic vintage? If so, there is something so wonderfully modern day about it to me. I wish I knew more about it, even doing a Google Image search yielded only more results on Pinterest.

image credit / Pinterest

update / image credit / Honeysuckle on Flickr (Thank you Kristen!)

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Vintage Style Inspiration | Artfully Knitted

Have you noticed how many paintings there are of ladies knitting? I hadn’t until recently. Knitting is one of my favorite winter pass times for me. Whenever I sit down to knit, I like to make an event out of it. Light candles, put on a good podcast, and make a fire in my fireplace. Anyway, I was looking through paintings of women knitting that date back to the early 1900s, and of course, I loved all their outfits.

 

 

Whenever I knit, I feel like I’m taking part of a lady ritual dating back to so many generations before me. It’s an action that is so closely connected to matrilineal lineage. I’m not saying men don’t knit or can’t knit, but it’s undeniable that traditionally knitting has been a feminine past time.

 

It’ also still amazing to me that humans would make everything of theirs by hand. My father told me stories of his mother making him and his siblings underwear. She was a seamstress, so luckily she could probably do it fairly easily. I like to think about all socks being knitted by hand back then.

For a while I would get together with my girlfriends to sit in a circle, knit, and talk. I love to think of how this is an activity ladies have been doing for more than a century.

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Antique dresses and flowers, a match made in heaven.

Ah, antique dresses and flowers. A match made in heaven. There are some really lovely antique pieces in the shop right now, and we really feel that nothing brings an antique dress to life more than flowers. With spring and summer coming, that means that flower picking, wedding, and all things flower season are coming up. So, we paired together five dresses from our shop and some flower arrangements from florists we adore.

Our Hearken to Elegance Gown, in its rich, burgundy looks perfect with this moody, sculptural flower arrangement from Putnam & Putnam. We love how the color of this dress looks with these deep purples and hints of yellow.

The sweet Gentle Motion Dress  is made of the softest pink and softest silk. They’re actually separates, so the top can be worn separately from the bottom. We thought the sweetness of this pair looked perfect with this ruffly cream and pink RUE ANAFEL arrangement. It has a bit of whimsy, like it was plucked straight from an english garden.

Our Modern Enchantments Dress is an Edwardian lawn dress. Its soft cotton is perfect for wearing on a warm day either lounging around the house or taking walks through nature. We paired it with this Sarah Winward arrangement, a bit wild and unruly which looks like it was foraged from a meadow in the mountains.

Our romantic Bronte Parsonage Dress is made of beautiful antique lace. This would be a perfect wedding dress, so refined with its high neckline and fitted waist. We paired it with this arrangement by Amy Merrick. The pair both look straight out of a classic painting of a girl with flowers.

We imagine a girl who lives in the country and love going on walks along the stream owning our Gossamer Whisper Dress. Her perfect day would be clipping flora sand foliage from around her home all day to come home right as the sun sets and place them in an antique vase she found at a local antique shop. We paired this dress with an arrangement from Foxglove Botanicals, because its the exact arrangement we’d imagine her making.

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The Language of Flowers | Guest Post from RUE ANAFEL

Hello AV ladies! Saria from RUE ANAFEL here making a Valentine’s Day guest post. I have to be honest, in my adolescent years I disliked Valentine’s Day. The rebellious side of thought, “A consumer holiday created by Hallmark exploiting people to make a buck off the idea of romance.” But you know, Valentine’s Day has become one of my favorite holidays now. And really only because of flowers.

Valentine’s Day to me now isn’t about romance or consumerism, it’s about flowers. It’s the only day in the year (in the States, at least) when you step out, you see people carrying flowers, be it in their arms walking down the street, in their backpack riding their bicycle, or sitting on their car dash board. I mean, I wish every day or at least week were more filled with people bringing flowers home, but hey, at least there’s one day out of the year.

I feel like flowers have been somewhat forgotten in American culture. When I was in Europe, everyone had flowers in their home. Looking around the streets of Holland, so many people are riding their bicycles with flowers. In the 19th century, flowers played such a crucial role in culture, that they were even used as a type of language. People would use flower bouquets to send coded messages that were not allowed to be spoken aloud in Victorian society.

If you plan to buy some flowers this year for yourself or a partner and want to send a coded message, here’s a mini reference guide of 6 flowers and their meanings:

Lilac –

“First emotions of love. Oh, Lilac.” The sweet smell of early spring and sign of hope for warmer months to come, just the same as feelings of a newfound sprouting love.

Iris –

“I have a message for you.” An iris starts off closed and, what seems like overnight, falls open like a book. An air of mystery soon followed by exposing one’s intimate inside.

Bachelor Buttons, also known as Cornflower –

“Delicacy, Purity of Feelings, and Good Fortune.” Some of my favorite summer memories involve bachelor buttons.I see myself with my eyes squinting from the brightness of the summer sun then looking over at my partner in the driver seat. Riding down country roads and seeing blue speckles scattered about the side of the highway, along wood and wire fences containing horses and cows. It’s was a moment of presence for me, of pure happiness and joy.

Larkspur –

“Lightness and Desire for Laughter.” Larkspur is the ultimate garden meadow flower to me. I imagine them perfectly situation in the most perfect meadow style English garden. They bloom in the spring and summer, a time filled with laughter and feeling light hearted.

Pink Rose –

“Admiration.” Oh, a pink garden rose. Like the ethereal princess of all the flowers. So lovely and ethereal in every sense of the words.

White Camellia –

“Faithfulness and Longevity.” Also one of the first spring bloomers, when I see camellia blooming I know spring has come. Year after year, at the end of winter I always keep my eye out for camellia, for the coming of spring.

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