White Ironstone, Valentines, and a Magazine Shoot

Yesterday my daughter and I went shopping in Dekalb, home to Northern Illinois University and the birthplace of barbed wire. Since it’s a university town, it has its share of little boutiques and an eclectic coffee house complete with stage for local performing artists. Bridget was looking for Boho style curtains and I was on the hunt for ironstone and mirrors. After returning home, I realized the ironstone makes a perfect backdrop for vintage Valentines.

White Ironstone Pitcher

The pitcher on the right has crazing and discoloration so I got it for a song.
Honestly, I like the flaws on this piece – it’s a reminder to embrace life’s imperfections.


Speaking of life’s imperfections, I was nervous about our recent photo shoot for Country Sampler.
Worried that all the flaws of our 1875 home would stick out like a sore thumb.
Worried that the photographer would think he’d made a big mistake when he walked through the door.


But he and his stylist (his charming wife) were ever so gracious and complimentary.
The photo shoot took the entire day and it was a pleasure to watch a pro in action.
They didn’t move things around as much as I thought they would.
And luckily, our live Christmas tree was still looking healthy after the holidays.


Although I wanted to ask a bazillion questions, I tried to stay out of the way.
Or help with props as needed … like ironing flour sacks so wrinkles didn’t show.


The magazine photo shoot pretty much took all day and once it started I relaxed.
This was due in large part to the laid back personalities of the photographer and his wife.
They didn’t even seem to mind too much when Kitty Albie tried climbing the tripod.
Little Albie was then banished to the bedroom where he took a long nap.


But back to our shopping trip in Dekalb … the pitcher on the left was the first acquisition of the day.
It’s a more modern piece but I like its shape despite that it’s not ironstone.


I’m sorry to say Bridget didn’t find her Boho style curtains, but she found some other pretties.
I noticed a trend with Bridget as we continued shopping.
She was repeatedly attracted to country pieces, not Bohemian style finds.


We decided that rustic country is her preference, with just a hint of Bohemia tossed in.


I found this little pitcher for $9 at another store down the street.
I’m trying to build my collection quickly so I’ll have something to put on the new kitchen shelves.
I did find a mirror, too … and a couple of pillows.


As far as the magazine photos, they’ll probably appear in the 2013 Christmas issue of Country Sampler.
Although, that’s subject to change but the magazine will contact me several months prior to publication.
So stay tuned and I’ll let you know when my imperfect but much-loved home is making its print debut.

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  1. Love what you’ve done for Valentines Day, and it was exciting to hear about your photo shoot. Hope you will have more on the subject.

  2. I love all of your ironstone and the way you have staged it for February. I have some vintage valentines’s so I might be taking this idea from you.

    We recently had our house photographed for a local magazine. I was really nervous, but the photographer was so nice. I wanted to be a fly on his shoulder to watch him, but felt like I needed to give him the privacy.

    I know you will post when the magazine comes out. Can’t wait!

  3. I love your white ironstone collection and the pops of red and colour from the vintage Valentine’s. It looks so sweet together. Congratulations on the photo shoot for Country Sampler magazine. You’ll have to let us know when the issue comes out.

  4. It sounds like you weren’t too stressed out by the photo shoot, Jennifer. Which is a good thing! : ) You found some lovely pieces. I always keep an eye out for white pieces. I just got a tea pot the other day at Goodwill. I figure you can always make room for them somewhere since white goes with everything.

  5. I definitely think you belong in print. What a fun experience!! I hope they use it!! Congrats on being selected.

    The new pieces are pretty. I like them well loved too 😉

  6. Jennifer I love your valentine table scape!You know how much I love ironstone! Congratulations on your magazine feature! You deserve it! I can’t wait to see it!

  7. I love ironstone pitchers too, but only have a couple of the small ones as I have nowhere to put the big ones! My small house doth runneth over, lol.

    Where did you get those gorgeous little hearts that are hanging from the ironstone?

    My son is (hopefully) going to NIU this August to finish up his bachelor’s degree.

  8. All of your white pitchers are so pretty especially with the valentines. Congrats on the photo shoot – so exciting – and I think imperfect houses are the best ones!!

  9. Hi Jennifer! Congratulations on that magazine feature, girlie!! How exciting for you!!! I always wondered when some magazine would snap up your beautiful old home for a story! I’m so happy for you!

    xoxo laurie

  10. Jennifer, just love your ironstone and your display is beautiful. Congratulations on the magazine feature. Will look forward to seeing it.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  11. Thank you for the inspirational pictures. I live in the suburbs, right on the edge of town. Our property is super small but just right for me and my husband, and I would like to start incorporating some more “country-ish” things into our life . . . starting with a bird feeder. (Baby steps.)

  12. I love white ironstone so I really appreciate all the vignettes you’ve created. Your photographs are beautiful…can’t imagine Country Sampler can come up with anything better. Great Job & I’ll be looking forward to the 2013 issue of CS.

  13. Congratulations on your magazine shoot!

    You created a really pretty Valentine vignette. I love old Valentine cards and am lucky to have inherited bunches of early 1900’s post cards. Decorating with them around Valentine’s Day gives me great pleasure.

  14. I know it wasn’t hard for the magazine photographer/stylist to be charming and complementary during their photo shoot because your home is SPECTACULAR! Isn’t that the nicest complement ever that they didn’t need to hardly move anything around because your home is SPECTACULAR. And holy cow, congratulations on having your home published because it’s SPECTACULAR!

  15. Congrats on the magazine shoot. I will look for it next Christmas. Love your ironstone. Something I don’t have much of, but would love to start building. Your Valentines vignettes are so sweet. I would love it if you would link to Share Your Cup Thursday sometime!

  16. I love a pitcher collection. There is something about them that draws me in. Your valentines with their pretty colors make a sweet addition to the table. Congrats on the photo shoot success. The suspense of waiting for the issue to come out would kill me. It’ll be worth the wait though, I’m sure.