Wednesday, February 1, 2017

You already know this about me, but in case you forgot, I am drawn to 18th and 19th century primitive and colonial style furnishings.  Much of it I can't afford, but I'm drawn to it nonetheless.  The fabrics, hooked rugs, metals fashioned by blacksmiths, artwork and furnishing from this time period are all quality made, most by hand and all with attention to detail.  They are well worn and by this time they have a history all their own.  Some of the primitives are just that...primitive...but the maker used the best materials he had and fashioned them by hand. There were Dutch, English, and many other influences during this time and each came with their own bit of sophistication, even in the most primitive of pieces.

From the paint colors, the textiles, furniture and lighting, right down to the crock on the chest, to me this room is perfect.  It is warm, inviting, classic, most likely there is an heirloom or two, and all of it has been collected over time.  Usually in homes like this there are many collections.  Collections of china, pottery, trinkets of this sort or that, and possibly the hunter has a catch or two mounted on the wall. 

I enjoy collecting things too and some have been gathered from nature like shed deer antlers, discarded bird nests and even a few bird eggs that sadly didn't hatch (I just can't discard them.)  Recently while out strolling through a shop I came upon something that can only be found in nature and it was so unique I just had to get it...quilly I did!  They were pretty dirty so once home I put them in some warm water mixed with a little Dawn dishwashing detergent to soak for a while.  Then I gave them a good scrubbing with a dish brush, rinsed them off and spread them across paper towels to dry.  Once they were all clean and dry I gathered them together, put them in a small pottery cup and placed them on my 1850 jelly cupboard along with a goose and enamel kettle filled with dry hydrangea.

There is a small hymnal just beneath for a little extra height.

Do you know what they are?

They can be found on this cute little guy...

Once home I had to find out about these long and prickly things, so I did a little research...

Did you know that porcupines are the prickliest of rodents and there are about two dozen porcupine species?  Did you know that all porcupines have needle-like quills to give predators a "prickly" reminder to back off and that some of the quills can be almost a foot long?

Did you know that porcupines cannot shoot the quills at predators?
Me neither...I always thought they could shoot them!

Did you know that porcupines have soft hair and the quills are mixed in along their back, sides and tail?  The quills lie flat until the porcupine is threatened and then leap to attention as a deterrent.  The quills detach easily when touched, so when a predator puts any pressure on the porcupine the sharp quills get lodged into the predator.  Once lodged...they aren't easily removed.  

Yes, they are a bit out of the ordinary and they are very sharp...but I like them!

Do tell...are you drawn the things like this?  I quilly can't help myself!

There's still plenty of time to join this week's party,
so hop on over for AMAZE ME MONDAY!


  1. OH, that is so unique and awesome looking! So I know they made pens out of feathers - but they're always talking about "quills" when discussing long ago penmanship with ink - so was it actually true porc quills used, I wonder?

    I am completely opposite you about having animal things around me - save for birds' nests and the occasional emptied robin's eggs of blue. (Careful you never break an unborn egg, you will never EVER rid yourself of the stench of a broken rotten egg!!)

    I have enjoyed this post - love your blog - very much, Cindy. I love how you have featured them in that pottery cup - they look so natural and good in your world there. : - )

  2. Hi Cindy, I can't believe how dangerous those quills look. I use to have a dog when I was a kid that loved to get involved with these little creatures. My dad would see him come limping in the yard and go for his pliers to take out the quills. Ouch! I to love early american decor the design of the furniture is so beautiful. Have a lovely week.
    xoxo Jo

  3. Those are really cool and yes, I would have bought them, too.

  4. What an interesting post! I too love this era of history. I was able to this past year, visit Old Willliamsburg, Va..It absolutely amazes me how people lived and the many rooms some of the homes had. I love the style and the warmth of the primitive look. I had quite a few reproductive pieces. Another period I would have loved to have been born in was Historical Regency. This is one of my guilty pleasures. I love to read Regency Romance and I would love to have dressed like them. Although, if you were not born into money, life wasn't easy. Thanks again for an amazing post!

  5. I like that period of history, too. That bench just jumps out at me.
    My cousin used to trap muskrats in the winter and sell them. Somehow a porcupine found its way into the trap and apparently froze to death. He took it and had it stuffed and mounted and I was always fascinated by it when I was a kid--also a bit skittish to even get too close to it. I did know that you had to touch the quills for them to be released. I think I read somewhere one time that they were used for calligraphy but not a true writing instrument...and they did not absorb ink the way some quills did.
    Interesting post. xo Diana

  6. Cindy, very interesting and I would have bought them....I love the unique..,you displayed them perfectly!


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