Thursday, January 23, 2014

Welsh Love Spoons & a Decorating Dilemma

 Anyone who has moved from one domicile to another (and we all have), be it large or small, elegant or rustic, invariably suffers from the same thing. Beloved items from one home just don't look quite so special in the other. In my case I went from a nineteenth-century American Victorian farmhouse full of bold colors - raspberry and French blue to name two, to a sleek modern, brand spankin' new home with an open floor plan and a destiny of serene neutrals. 

What I found was that only a handful of pictures from the old house worked in the new. So, the quest to redecorate begins, on a severe budget. You may recall my consignment store bargain picture that I talked about here. It is now hanging behind a cute little vignette that I will share shortly.  The plans for the room have changed a bit from the initial coastal theme that I longed for, to a Riviera theme to make use of French accessories. But I wander from my point.  

I am the type of person who is seriously affected by her surroundings. I need cozy, and I need it now!  (Did I mention that I'm also, ever so slightly impatient as well?) I have walls, lots of big, empty, oyster colored walls that, eventually will get a coat of paint, but in the meantime I'm doing my best to cozy without cash. 
So here's a little spot that I'm working on. The letterpress quote, perfect for the dining room, is from Etsy, the thirsty dog print from eBay, the frames repurposed (the previous pictures now filed away). The Love Spoons were one of those delightful, didn't-know-we-had-them discovery while unpacking. They belonged (yup, past tense, they are mine now!) to my husband, purchased during a trip to Wales back in the seventies. 

According to the tag on the spoons:

Around the 17th century, giving wooden hand-carved gifts was general all over the country, but the giving of spoons originated in Wales.

They were given to a girl as a prelude to courting, as an indication that the boy was interested in her.  This was not necessarily a commitment.

There are no hard and fast designs for the spoons. They can be as elaborate or as plain as the imagination of the carver allows.  However, various symbols have become, traditionally, an integral part of the spoon.

The flat stem of the spoons, often very wide, developed as the carver wanted more room to display his skills.  Thus the spoons gradually evolved further and further away from the original utilitarian design.

Here are a few of the spoon symbols and their significance:

A Wheel – Willingness to work for a loved one.
A Spade – Willingness to work for a loved one.
Keys, Keyholes – My House is yours.
Little House – My House is yours.
Locks – My House is yours.
Single Heart – My Heart is yours.
Double Hearts – We feel the same about each other.
Anchor – Steadfastness or My Love is Safe, or Home to Stay.
Celtic Cross – Faith or Marriage.
Vines – Growing Love.
Trees – Growing Love.
Leaves – Growing Love.
Bells – Marriage.
Horse Shoe – Good Luck and Happiness.
Flowers – Courtship.
Ball in Cage – Captured Love, or Number of Children Desired, or Number of Years Together.
Chain Links – Captured Love, or Number of Children Desired, or Number of Years Together.
Double Spoons – The Couple.
Triple Spoons – The couple and hoped for family.
Pretty sweet, no?  Imagine what a cute Valentine’s Day gift this would be.  But again, I’m wandering
Now, here's where you come in. The pillow. Yes or no?  Number two son says, no.  He likes it better on the couch, but the chair needs something, I think. A throw? A smaller pillow? No pillow?  Speak to me!

I'll be waiting.

This post is linked to:

Rose Chintz Cottage for Home
The Vintage Farmhouse for Creative Things Thursday
A Delightsome Life for Home and Garden Thursday
Imparting Grace for Grace at Home

1 comment:

Kathy A Delightsome Life said...

You're right! When we moved here I had A LOT of repurposing to do! I am honored that you shared at Home and Garden Thursday!