3 Fine Grains


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antique stenciled grainsack

3 Fine Grains...

Top of the line, inimitable purveyor of authentically antique, stenciled German

grain sack pillows, upholstered furniture, wall hangings, shopping totes and accessories…

Based in Thousand Oaks, California, mother of 3 beautiful daughters who she refers to as

her “3 fine grains”, Kymberley Fraser has worked tirelessly to produce the most charming

“European Primitive” gifts and keepsakes and indulgences, in addition to more of the

outstanding stand-out designs she creates using the very tactile, worn, patched and

one of a kind found textile treasures.

Rare German grain sack pillows, in organic hemp linen, were individually marked a

century ago, if not more, using a tar based stenciling with last and first names of the

owner, his title, the town they lived or worked in and usually the year.  Not only is

the fabric antique, but the stencil is original to the product, making it a more rare

and valuable textile.

Antique stenciled German grain sack pillow

The “Darn” pillows are made using the patches from the German grain sacks and priced from

$195.00-$495.00 each. Just love the primitive design of the horse,

the ruffle, and the deft stitching of the patch.

c. 1908

antique linen hemp grainsack pillow

c. 1911

antique and vintage

German pillows range in price from $250.00-$625.00 each.

They look great with mixed nubby tones, and mixed font…

All the vagaries of antique typography on display!

Love. them. all.

The authenticated German grain sacks that Kymberley uses date back nearly a century or more.

They were used by farmers, merchants and soldiers from all over Germany dating back to the

early 1800’s. Made from pure organic hemp linen, the fibers were naturally homegrown,

home retted (in local lakes and ponds) and woven all by hand. Farmers and merchants used

these sacks to carry grains to the local mill. The useable oats and flour were placed back into

the sacks and returned to their owners. Back in the day these sacks would be found on the

back porch of a farmhouse, restaurant, hotel, or in a soldier’s wagon. Over 100 years later

these have become so rare they are now found hidden underneath the floorboards of an

old farmhouse or in the dowry chests of fine ladies from long ago.

Vintage lentil grain sacks made into shopping satchels

French tote bags are $125.00 each.

Made from early to mid 1900’s fabric…

Perfect for the Farmer’s market or Flea Market…

or hung on a hook on the back door above your muddy Wellies

The French pillows like the French postal sacks and french storks are in the $300.00 price range.

Flax and teal with just a touch of coral…

Antique chair that Kymberley refinished, with a German grain sack seat that

features a wreath and a crown and a boot from 1864.  This chair is $1495.00.

Another key to the appeal of these authentic pieces is their durability. Having stood the test

of time and heavy usage, softened with age, they are extremely sturdy and uniquely tangible

antique textiles. The drama of the piece is in its worn irregularity, the beauty of its stenciled

provenance. Her signature wing back chairs start at $4350.00 each. Most of the framed

German grain sacks are in the $1900.00 price range.

Close up on patch and nail head detail on chair,

huge skeins of linen…

iron and grainsack upholstered doggie bed

One of a kind doggie bed….

I had done earlier posts on “Working Paris” here and “New Old Things” here that explores the

appeal of the humble beauty of “working man” antiques. Words, letters, numbers, initials on

French linen, London train stops, French letters, Belgian hatboxes, and German grain sacks

connect us to the everyday man (and woman) that went about their days, worked their jobs…

and though not intending to create art, did leave the art of their lives behind. For those of us

that appreciate the nuances of hand woven and hand stitched antique textiles, these pieces

represent a way to layer a piece of this history into our homes.


Kymberley’s Facebook page here is the most up to date source for her newest stock.

Available to the trade, or you can contact Kymberley directly for pricing information

and any question at (805) 630-3727 or via email: kymberley@3finegrains.com


If you’re really lucky you can just drop in to Bungalow Antique Shop

in Agoura Hills, California to see (and feel) her collection in person.

There really is no substitute for the real thing.


Update: 3 Fine Grains now has an Etsy shop here

Pilgrim’s passage


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Leiden American Pilgrim Museum


Located in the oldest house in Leiden, built in 1375, it was opened in 1997 by

American Dr. Jeremy Bangs and is furnished with typical pieces from the

17th century. It is a living museum. Visitors can pick up cutlery, open cabinets

and sit in chairs. The characteristically cool northern light that drifts in through

the multipaned windows and settles shadows behind the collected objects

is reminiscent of 17th century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

In the 17th century Leiden was a city of refugees and tolerant to different religious beliefs.

It was here that a small group of Calvinists (about a 100), separating from the Church of England,

fled to avoid religious persecution in 1609, 11 years before sailing on the Mayflower to Plymouth

and celebrating their first Thanksgiving in 1621.


The Milkmaid

c. 1658-1660

Johannes Vermeer

antique portrait and bedwarmer near recessed bed in 17th century home

Over the fireplace a portrait of Edward Winslow, one of the passengers

aboard the Mayflower and subsequent Governor of Plymouth Colony…

Raised bed built into a recess with warming pan hanging to the side…

Nursing chair to the left of fireplace…

First person account of first Thanksgiving 1621 in Mourt’s Relation by Edward Winslow

our harvest being gotten in, our governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a speciall manner rejoyce together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labours ; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoyt, with some ninetie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governour, and upon the Captaine and others.  And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so farre from want,  that we often wish you partakers of our plentie.”


I am so thankful for those who strive to protect our past so we can walk through it,

touch it and hear the echoes of essential human thoughts coalesced through time.

We are not alone. We have the combined experience of generations before us. We sit

at the Thanksgiving table with all our connections, and centuries old traces of the

men and women that moved us to this place. We are all part of a pilgrim’s passage.

Happy Thanksgiving


Follow the pilgrim’s footsteps in Leiden here

World of Interiors Dec. ’08

photography Huntley Hedworth

Turnips, Tea, and Cookies


I’ll tell you a secret…I don’t particularly like the taste of turnips…

but I couldn’t resist them in the market today…

Could you imagine this color on a silk scarf, a wall, or

on a little French macaroon…

Here a tremulous Japanese anemone peers over the fennel bulb…

Sometimes I light this candle when I’m doing the dishes…

It smells like you are at the top of a ladder in the bower of a fig tree

and makes a ceremony out of a chore.

Ginger Spice Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 large egg

1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses


Turbinado or  raw sugar

Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl; whisk to blend. Mix in crystallized ginger. Beat brown sugar,

shortening and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg and molasses and beat until blended. Add flour

mixture and mix just until blended. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter

2 baking sheets. Spoon raw sugar in thick layer onto small plate. Using wet hands, form dough into

1 1/4-inch balls; roll in sugar to coat completely. Place balls on prepared sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies until cracked on top but still soft to touch, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 1 minute.

Transfer to racks and cool. Store airtight at room temperature.

Perfect with a spicy cinnamon orange tea…

or a tall glass of milk

Simple joys.

Have a seat


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Unframed early 19th century French painting

on 18th century painted and gilded Italian chair.

The stand alone, one of a kind, quirky, precious antique,

incredible chair as art form…

A collection of Rose Tarlow chairs…

Louis XVI Ratchet chair

Régence beechwood…

reupholstered in 18th century Beauvais tapestry

17th century armchair of carved turned walnut

with original tapestry…

French Louis XV leather chair with child chair atop

One of my favorite Rose Tarlow pictures…

either antique child’s chair or model chair atop

equally worn amber leather

Love all the golden hues above…this photo deftly mixes in pattern

and stripes in ruddy and indigo tones that relate to the portrait above.

A Thanksgiving palate.


Sources: Room to Inspire Annie Kelly top photo

all others House and Garden archives

Toile de Jouy Rouge


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Ecomusee de la Grande Lande, Sabres, France

Now this is the sort of bed someone should be serving us hot chocolate in…

A country bed in the Ecomusée de la Grande Lande, Sabres, France…

Quilted cover and pelmet of antique toile de jouy

the once intense red is faded to a rose madder rouge…

French "Les Piliers Fleuris" c. late 18th

“Les Piliers Fleuris” is a design from the Manufacture Petitpierre in Nantes

late 18th century

Antique linen French Toile de Jouy pelmets

Four pelmets of toile de jouy: Robinson Crusoe, 1818

Mythological figures and animals designed by J. B. Huet in 1802

The miller, his sons, and the donkey, also by Huet, in 1806

The story of Joseph engraved by Peters

Copperplate printed on cotton c. 1783 Jean Baptiste Huet

“Les Travaux de la Manufacture”

Design by Jean-Baptiste Huet, copperplate printed on cotton,

c. 1783, shows the process of block printing on cotton.

Besides the exquisite detail, the most incredible element of

the toile are the stories told of everyday life and custom

centuries before.

Antique French "Chef de piece" Factory stamp

“Chef de pièce” or factory stamp, printed at the begining

and end of each piece of fabric, indicating provenance,

design number, and the craftsman’s personal stamp.


Caroline Lebeau

Photographs Jacques Dirand

c. 1780 antique French toile

Morgaine le Faye

has an extensive store of toile and other antique fabric

routinely on her Ebay site. This is a current quilted antique toile…

antique French Toile Morgaine le Faye

Same piece, another view…

“Winepress” c. 1780

Ebay UK

Morgaine le Fay antique French fabrics trouvais

Another piece offered by Morgaine le Faye …

detail of figures on a small pelmet piece

Morgaine le Fay Antique

Other view of same piece…

c. 1795

Ebay UK

Click all underlined script to view listings

Jane Sacchi

Specializes in antique French linen and hemp

sourced from France…

Rouge quilted toile is beautiful amidst nubby ecru French linen

Toile de Jouy antique French polonaise bedHouse and Garden archives


Melanié at Le Petit Cabinet de Curiosités did a great post about toile here


The holiday season is nearly upon us, advancing genially at first with

heartwarming family Thanksgivings this Thursday, conversation and elbows

leaning forward on the table, children amusing themselves beyond the buzz of

adult voices, dish washing conversations and long walks after supper…

Best wishes for a joyous start to a busy and wonderful season.

Timeless in Provence


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Cove ceiling, limewashed walls, antique French linen in Provence farmhouse.

Saint Tropez home of French interior designer Jacqueline Morabito

as featured in the December 2003 Maison Cote Sud…

A timeless look, spare and neutral with strong architectural bones,

lime washed walls and rough beams, couches slip covered with French linen,

scant color reserved for extraordinary finds like antique painted screen.

Love the unfinished rough tablecloth and simple Gustavian chairs.

Provence living room with limewashed walls and stone fireplaceLight bulb fixtures…before they were a gleam in Anthropologie’s eyes…

Simple curtains loosely strung across the window.

When more light is desired, she simply unfixes one side and lets the canvas drape.

I wonder if she’s changed the coffee table….

What would you switch out…what color would you paint the walls?

How would you dress the mantle?

French linen and antique screen in Provence villa

Causal linen slipcovers and upholstery invite

a relaxed ambiance…

Living area in Provence villa with French flea market finds as accessories.

This looks like the home of a hunter gatherer…

flea market frames and urns, grasses and foliage from the yard or long walks…

curtains hung to one side of the sun filled tall windows…

Hooded kitchen range and ancient beamed ceiling in Provence kitchen.

Simple yet grand kitchen…

rough hewn wood floor…

Antique baroque mirror and stone steps in Provence villa

Centuries old stone steps…

a baroque mirror

Crystal chandelier embellishes simple stone and limewashed wall bathroom in Provence.

The crystal dropped chandelier a

surprise against the bathroom’s austerity…

sink hewn from solid stone

Simple, spare, uncluttered, unrefined…

cove ceilings, solid carved doors…

Antique corona topped French bed, cobbled floor in Provence.

The bed corona wins in competition with chandelier…

gorgeous linens…

Antique Venetian metal lanterns on cobbled stone floor

A set of antique Venetian lanterns against the cobbled stone floor

Heavy antique wood entrance door to Provence villa

Source: Maison Cote Sud Dec. ’03

Photography Henri del Olmo