what would fit in my carry on…

Marian ParsonsAntiques, Favorite Finds, Ironstone30 Comments

I already shared that I found several pieces in New Hampshire that I would’ve bought in a heartbeat if I had my van.  But, I didn’t.

And, since my suitcase was already over 50 lbs, I could only buy things that would fit into my carry on bag.

Of course, that included ironstone!  I feel like I can find ironstone anywhere I go.  This sweet old sugar jar was just $16.50.  I saw it and immediately plucked it off the shelf to pay for it.  I have loved ironstone for years, but I go through phases of what I look for and get excited about.  Right now, it’s really old pieces with fruit/nut handles on the lids.  This one has an apple…


I also love the pattern on the base of the sugar jar.  I actually have the matching plates and handleless cups and they are some of my favorite.


I also bought a lithograph cow for $8.00.

mms-2697 mms-2700

I have some fun ideas for for this handsome man, but we’ll see how they turn out!

And I’m really excited about these paper whites…


I’ve always wanted to have them for Christmas, but couldn’t find them locally.  I’ve never forced bulbs before, so I hope they do their thing!  Any tips?

I also bought a wallet and some boot socks, but otherwise just enjoyed window shopping.


I’m now working on catching up.  I have due dates on three of my large design projects this month, so it’ll be a push to November 1.  Here’s a peek at something I did today…


what would fit in my carry on…

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30 Comments on “what would fit in my carry on…”

  1. Why do you always find just what your looking for when you have no way to get it home? This can be very frustrating! It looks like you had a great time on your trip! The pictures of the old homes are awesome! I’m excited to see what new projects you’re up to. Have a great day!

  2. Oh Marian – you will just love forcing your paper whites, and your boys will love watching them grow daily! I usually choose a couple of different vessels (your ironstone will be perfect), and put either reindeer moss or that grey stringy moss around the bulbs base on top of the dirt. As they grow they need a bit of support, and if you have some nice straight red dogwood branches to stick in the dirt and tie a pretty piece of ribbon or twine around the growing stocks and the branches it works perfectly. Such a fun and beautiful way to bring nature into your home and watch it grow and bloom. Enjoy – Charlotte – Vintage Inspired Cottage

  3. That’s how I felt felt when I found this sweet yellow McCoy pot in your booth last year at Chapel Market! I think I was more excited about meeting you in person! I know you have been busy, but I Just wanted you to Know I missed you this year! ?

  4. Yes, I think you will love paper whites! Some people don’t like the smell, but they are so pretty that I forgive them for that.

    I love them in my soup tureens with moss. Just give them some dirt, sun and water. The most important thing is to start them about six weeks before you need them. So, if you want them for Christmas, start them before Thanksgiving.

  5. Thanks for sharing you purchases!
    Plant the paperwhites now in a shallow bowl so they are poking out of the soil.Place them in a dark,cool place and keep moist (not wet).Enjoy!

  6. Love the boat painting!! We are currently looking for a beach house in Florida and I keep telling myself that I’m going to paint or make most of the art that will hang on the walls. We’ll see how that goes. Either way, yours is extraordinary!

  7. I force my bulbs in water and set them among pebbles and stones. No dirt required. I stagger the start times so that I have them blooming all through the holiday season! They make great little gifts when planted in smaller containers!!!

    I start mine around anytime from 6 to 8 weeks before you want them.

    Have fun!

  8. I love paperwhites during the holidays too! Another option is to have them rest on little pepples or small rocks in a vessel with water just touching the bottom of the bulb. Placing them in clear glass jars, like a pickle jar, allows you to watch the roots grow in addition to the flowers…..nature at its best!


  9. Such wonderful finds!! I love white flowers of any type, so one year I forced paperwhite bulbs. Oh my, my. They are beautiful, but the stench was intolerable. I must add that I have a sensitive nose, though. Perhaps there are other varieties that work better for indoors.

  10. Ah, yes, the carry on bag! I would visit my Mother 2,000 miles away & fly Southwest where you can have 2 bags plus a carry on. Oh, the things I used to bring home from my Mother’s! The precious & old would go in my carry on so I could personally guarantee their safely from anyone else handling it. And, I’m surprised you haven’t discovered the paperwhites & the amaryllis in stores just after Halloween. Target & Walmart would always carry them. Have fun!

  11. The first year I was married, I planted paperwhites. The smell never bothered me, but one day I found my hubby on his hands and knees, smelling all the electrical outlets, looking for the one that was burning. It was the paperwhites!

    I have planted the spent bulbs and have had them rebloom, three or four years later.

  12. Yes we missed you at chapel market this year! We enjoyed it and had fun but really it was just not the same without you!

  13. Marian,
    The “fragrance” of paperwhites is anything but…

    Enjoying your watercolors immensely.

    It’s called Spanish moss, but isn’t really moss at all. I use it everywhere it seems. I have vintage World War II souvenir hand carved shoes, Asian shoes woven from grass, and klompen (whole feet wood clogs) hanging on the walls; filled with Spanish moss. I have a lovely room fragrance oil from Olio, Inc. that I spray directly into the Spanish moss, too. It’s called Apples ‘n Spice but takes on a lovely, lingering, warm vanilla scent eventually.

    Karen K,
    My husband and I fly hundreds of thousands of miles annually. We get an extra check-on and an extra carry-on with United. I have those foldable, zip-up totes that zip flat and slide into the outer zip parts of our carry-ons. They are the champions of my thrifting and flea marketing. I have carried-on a set of dozen crystal goblets from Connecticut to Manila, numerous pieces of framed art, pottery, antiques of all shapes, sizes and media. My husband always asks, “How are you going to get that home?” My reply is always with a smile. “Watch me.”

    1. Yes – Spanish moss, that’s what it’s called! Thank you Mrs. Kelley Dibble. When travelling to Florida from Ontario, Canada we see it hanging from the trees – quite amazing. You’re right tho, it can be used many places. Scenting it sounds like a great idea. 🙂

  14. Here in California it is almost impossible to find ironstone anything 🙁
    I guess the pioneers just didn’t bring it out here because it wouldn’t have survived the wagon train rides across the country. If I ever make it to the East Coast you can be sure I’ll be bringing an extra suitcase and plenty of bubble wrap for any treasures I find there!!!

  15. You r lucky with your shoppong.

    Paper whites r the best. Find a container u like or clear narrow jar with 6″ or so tall.
    Add stones 3-4″ add aperwhite bulbs in odd numbers. Hint, 3-5 makes a nice amount.
    Save any extra bulbs for the next planting. The stones can be rinsed and used over and over. II place mine in a sunporch and they bloom before the books say they will. I plan 3 weeks to bloom. Keep the extras in a brown bag, closed and cool. You need to buy bulbs early fall. They are sold out by Thanksgiving. I do these bulbs through Valentine day. I have tried other bulbs but these are my favorite. You are about to get lots of joy from the bilbs.

  16. Just like our tastebuds are unique to each of us, our olfactory senses are as well. I’m an aromatherapist and I see this everyday. Some people love certain smells and others are repulsed. Personally, I find the scent of paperweights heavenly. If this is your first time trying them, you’ll find out for yourself. I place mine in pebbles and water. Enjoy the process!

    1. Interesting, to me they smell like animal urine! UGH! Once of that was enough. Had to set them out in the garage and didn’t get to enjoy them.

  17. I love the look of paperwhites but, they always got so tall and needed support. I read that if you added some vodka to the water it would stunt their growth! It works! Last year I used vanilla vodka and that even helped them smell better!

    1. Yes Lynn, I did that too! anyone interested can read an article on Cornell University’s website about it.

  18. I LOVE forcing paper whites and am one of the people that loves the smell.

    Some advice:
    (1) Buy lots of bulbs and stagger their plantings so that you have them blooming for weeks. You can have them well into February, if you stagger them.
    (2) As so many readers have noted – you can plant them with either soil or pebbles/water. Try both to see which works better for you. It is also fun to play with different containers for the decorative effect.
    (3) I have always had issues with them growing very tall and leggy. Do a google search to find info about using alcohol to stunt their growth. This typically works better with the bulbs in pebbles/water.

    Enjoy — they are a little bit of Summer in the middle of a New England Winter!

  19. I am really anxious to know what you do with that cow lithograph! I have started a litttle “cow collection.” One of the best ones I found at a thrift store in New Mexico. It is a little 4×6 stretched canvas painting of a black and white mama cow with her little calf nursing. It’s very professionally done and i can’t imagine how it ended up in a thrift store. But I love it. The other one which is my favorite is a little wooden toy statue of a black and white cow. Probably belonged to a small child’s play farm or something.

    Your story of carrying your treasures in your carry-on reminds me of one time I was flying home from somewhere and had bought two almost-yard-long stuffed rainbow-colored fish for I can’t remember who or what and carried them on the plane. Couldn’t conceal them very well and felt very conspicuous! The lady with the fish! I felt everyone was staring at me. I didn’t care; those fish had to come home with me!

    Anyway, glad you had a good trip!

  20. As I may have mentioned before in the comments, I have/had a “thing” for cows. Real-looking ones, not cartoonish ones. Black ‘n’ white preferred, but the right type of brown works, too. However, downsizing to less than half the space we used to have has forced me to edit-edit-edit! I am still trying to get rid of things from the past 5-10-20 years. even going through some wedding gifts. If I haven’t used it in two years (that saves the seasonal decorations/plates/etc.), then it goes. Pared down my cow collection to about half-a-dozen items that fit on a bookcase/hutch in my kitchen area. Only have the black ‘n’ whites now. Your cow is cute, will be interested to see what you do with it.
    Have fun with your paperwhites. Yes to using a clear container to see the roots develop!

  21. When traveling I always “specialized” in finding something large, heavy and breakable that I loved, which I lugged home in my carryon. I haven’t changed my ways much and the carryon bag is still usually brutally heavy. One great thing I’ve started doing is packing a few sheets of bubble wrap in my suitcase. It weighs next to nothing and doesn’t take up much room. I have used it every time to protect my treasures on the way home. I also pack a small plastic dispenser of tape to wrap them securely.
    I have a sensitive sense of smell and I like paperwhites but sometimes it’s a little strong so I just move the pot to a different room. They are so beautiful and I do think your kids will love watching them grow. I use the pebbles and water method and if you put a couple of bulbs in a tall glass they will be able to see the roots too. Enjoy!

  22. I have planted paperwhite bulbs in old punch bowls, compotes, etc. for my daughter’s January wedding. Ended up tying them up with ribbon, but that only added decoration.

    The last thing I did was to plant them in a large, glass, cylinder-type vase, on pebbles. That way I could watch them grow both the roots and the stems, and the sides of the vase support the blooms! I really enjoyed watching those, and it keeps the scent from being so overwhelming.

    I’ve also done that with an amaryllis bulb, and it really was pretty being showcased inside the vase!

    On another note, I bought my husband a bonsai tree on a trip to New York City’s “Chinatown”. Now THAT was a hoot….just a year after 9/11…going through security!

  23. You are doing such a great job keeping up with everything: work, family, blog AND painting. I love your new painting. Keep up the great work. I can see that you are feeling more confident. Great composition.

    About the paperwhites…I have done them before as gifts. Put 3 or 5 over some stones or rocks in a glass jar, vase, container. Add a note with instructions for filling with water to halfway up the bulbs. Keep them in low light and watch the magic, from the roots on up. If they get too leggy, you can add sticks or dowels for support. A fun project!

  24. I love paperwhites. One year we added a splash of something alcoholic (mayby bourbon?) to the water a couple of weeks after planting to keep them from getting as leggy and needing as much external support. I don’t remember if it helped the odor. You have such gorgeous ironstone to put them in.

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