Colorful Rope Sailors’ Knot Wreaths

Colorful Rope Sailors’ Knot Wreaths

I came across these colorful sailors’ knot wreaths on a walk one night in Marblehead. It was green and hanging on an old wood door. The decoration was simple but striking. When I posted the door on Instagram I found out the wreaths made by All For Knot Rope Weaving and were for sale at my local art museum, The Peabody Essex Museum’s shop.

I caught up with the museum’s Merchandising Directory and Buyer, Victor Oliveira, and we chatted about All For Knots’ and how their wreath’s colors really stand out. “All For Knots’ intent is to keep history alive, rope out of landfills, and create designs that generate memories that “Connect with the Sea” allowing folks to experience the ocean at their door, wherever that may be.”

Since Covid, Nova Scotia has been shutdown and Victor mentioned how as the popularity of the wreaths has grown All For Knots’ has been able to employ more local workers. By the museum recognizing the importance of rope weaving they broaden All For Knots’ reach and help to promote a growing creative business. Victor mentioned how a few specially designed wreaths for the PEM will available on the website soon.

Lobster Rope Sailors’ Wreaths will last outside for decades, resistant to mildew and fading. Using the traditional Turk’s Head knot, these wreaths are hand crafted in Nova Scotia, Canada on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. This knot has been tied for centuries and was originally crafted aboard ship for decorative purposes. Wreaths may be hung on a door, used as a candle ring, to frame a mirror/picture or a flower pot mat.

-Peabody Essex Museum

I wanted to find out more about the wreaths and the story behind them so I reached out to Angela Worsley of All For Knot Rope Weavings and she was kind enough to answer a few questions for more me over e-mail.

Q: The wreaths are made of lobster trap rope? Are they salvaged? Where do you get it from? Local fisherman?
A: Some of our wreaths/products are made with reclaimed rope and yes, it is the lobster fishing rope that has lost its strength for holding the lobster traps. It is doesn’t absorb the moisture so will not mildew and it is colorfast. 

Q: What colors do your wreaths come in?
A: We have Aquamarine, Beachglass Blue, Blueberry, Morning sun, Overcast, Carbshell, Dory Red, Sou’wester Black, Seashore, Emerald Sea, Ocean mist and we are in the process of developing new custom wreath for Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

Q: The knot used for the wreaths, does it have a special name?
A: There are about a hundred different variations of Turk’s Head Knot, made for centuries aboard a ship for decorative purposes. This variation of the knot is painted by Leonardo Da Vince in the 15th century. 

Q: How long have you been making wreaths?
A: I’ve been making the wreaths for eight years now.

The Peabody Essex Museum will have the wreaths for sale on their website. But be warned they are becoming quite popular and sell out quickly. A new batch will be released this week and the best way to find out about when they will be available is signing by up for their newsletter.

All images shown here are Courtesy Peabody Essex (PEM)/ Photos by Kathy Tarantola

All images shown here are Courtesy Peabody Essex (PEM)/ Photos by Kathy Tarantola


Eyelet Pillow Shams

Eyelet Pillow Shams

Your 1980’s summer bed theme

When I think of summer bedding at the beach I imagine crisp cotton sheets and eyelet. I picked up a set of vintage eyelet shams at thrift a few weeks ago and they instantly transported me to a 1980’s summer beach cottage. They have me thinking about the movie, Mermaids filmed in Massachusetts. I loved that movie.

Eyelet shams are pretty but not too fussy. You can find them easily on sites like Etsy or look at your local thrift stores. Pair with embroidered pillowcases and your bed will instantly feel fresher and light. I can’t wait to sleep with the windows open at night letting the breeze blow through the room with the sweet smell of lilacs outside.

To brighten vintage linens that might be yellowed with age I typically wash mine in white vinegar or OxiClean. And I find drying them outside really helps too. You can use a drying rack that folds if you don’t have a clotheslines set-up.

Here are a few eyelet shams I found on Etsy. They are one of kind so once they are sold they are gone.

Cotton euro sham ruffled eyelet, $35, ETSY.COM
Waverly cotton blend eyelet ruffle, $22, ETSY.COM
Ralph Lauren pillow SHAM, $35, ETSY.COM
Vintage Eyelet Pillow Shams/Ruffled White Eyelet Shams, $35, ETSY.COM
Vintage white pillow sham swiss dot, $19, ETSY.COM


3 Ways to Reuse Your Hippy Tapestry From College

3 Ways to Reuse Your Hippy Tapestry From College

Remove from the wall and use to cover an upholstered headboard

I am a child of the 90’s and when we went to college many of us brought with us a tapestry to hang over our bed in our dorm room. They were considered this kinda hippy accessory that went a long with tie dye. But just like tie dye what is old is new again. Block print tapestries can still be found at hippy shops but also at online retailers too. They are affordable and can be used in many ways. I share three ways to rethink the tapestry using this cotton tapestry at mexicaliblues.com.

  1. Wrap it around your headboard I picked up a twin size tapestry from mexicaliblues.com and wrapped it around my upholstered headboard. The print instantly updated the room and made it feel more Springy. I didn’t do anything special other then wrapping, folding and tucking it around. You could secure with a few straight pins on the back. When I get bored with fabric I can just take it off. An easy and doable update.

2. Use it as a tablecloth There are so many options now with tapestries. Many of the colors are brighter and more saturated. The twin size sheet fit perfectly over my dining room table. The colors with the daffodils and my thrift store napkins are happy. When I walk in the room it’s like, POW COLOR!

3. Use as a bedspread You could do this two ways. Lay on your entire bed during the hot summer months. Or fold it up and put at the end of your bed over a coverlet. I see fancy designers like Ben Pentreath do this all the time. It just adds an extra layer of color into the room. As we transition our beds from down comforters and wool blankets this is a great go between.

Provincial Block Print Tapestry, $25, mexicaliblues.com
Indian Hand Block Printed Geometric Bedspread, $75, etsy.com
Indian Hand-block Printed Floral Bedspread, $85, etsy.com
India Arts Sunflower Print Tapestry Cotton Bedspread, $22, amazon.com
Block Print Indian Tapestry Cotton Bedspread, $40, amazon.com

Vintage Kilim Runners Under $300

Vintage Kilim Runners Under $300

Some late night searching lead me to this beautiful and unique rug on ebay

I spend way too much time on phone lately. Late one night I went down a rabbit hole when I couldn’t sleep searching for kilim runner rugs. I found a ton I loved on ebay. But I was a little concerned about buying a rug off ebay from Turkey. What if it was a scam? What if it took months to get here? I decided to take the plunge and order one.

This runner came in the mail about a week after I purchased. It was wrapped really well and when I rolled the rug out it was clean and ready to go. I’ve read reviews that sometimes old rugs can be smelly or really dirty. This rug looked exactly as pictured on ebay. I couldn’t be happier with my purchase.

The prices are so reasonable and comparable to a knock off mass market rugs I have spotted on Overstock. Wouldn’t you rather have the real thing? I know I would. My rug is unique and literally nobody is going to have the same one.

When I was trying to decide if I wanted to purchase the runner I sent over to my friend, Constanca. She sent back the below photo from Robert Kime’s collection. My rug is so similar in pattern and color. The check feels really fresh. And if Robert Kime likes it (I bow to him) I had to purchase the rug.

Robert Kime, “KARSAMBA”, a woven design inspired by an early 19th Century Anatolian hanging, robertkime.com

So here is my secret source, Turkishkilim. I choose a few of my favorites from their current selections online. I am really drawn to the more pastel versions. A few of them feel similar to a Swedish kilims which can go for thousands of dollars at dealer shops. Scoop these up before they become too cool and none of us can afford them too. Links to buy in captions, happy scrolling!

Vintage Adana Hallway Kilim Runner, $259, ebay.com

Anatolia Kayseri Kilim Runner Rug, $189, ebay.com (SOLD) but similar here.

Turkish Adana Kilim Runner, $215, ebay.com
Turkish Kilim Runner Long Rug Carpet, $129, ebay.com
Turkish Kilim Runner Rug, $179, ebay.com
Adana Turkish Hallway Kilim, $149, ebay.com

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