Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blackwork Bookmark Completed

The Blackwork bookmark is finished!  Monday evening found me stitching the final stitch.  I have about 9-10 hours of work into it.  Once the pattern was stitched onto the top half of the bookmark, I no longer needed to follow the book's pattern and I cruised along much faster.

The diamond on the left is an example of the Holbein stitch that is suppose to be used when stitching Blackwork.  Sometimes I just couldn't make it work and did a lot of back stitching.  Therefore, the backside of the project looks a little messy, but I don't mind.

With the Holbein stitch you stitch one direction skipping every other stitch, then turn around and stitch the stitches that you skipped.  This seems like it would be fairly easy to accomplish, but I just can't seem to get the hang of it yet especially on the more "organic" and detailed patterns.  The diamond outline was easy though haha!

Here is a photo of the whole project. The thread cutter is another Christmas gift from DH.  It is so handy!  Unfortunately, I don't have a long enough chain for it yet, so I improvised with a bit of floss.

Here is the project completed! Yea!

I realize that it's a bit off-center.  I am going to cut along the left side to center it and trim the top and bottom as well.  Am thinking about finishing off the edges somehow, but will have to read-up on how to do so.

That's all for today, tune in tomorrow to see some new vintage goodies!
Until then, have a happy stitching day!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My First Attempts at Blackwork

This Christmas Darling Husband bought me the blackwork book I've been drooling over.  This book is crammed full of beautiful examples and patterns of blackwork, and a some history about the craft as well!
So I dug out my scraps of Aida cloth and chose an easy pattern to start with.

I quickly found out three things. 
The first thing I learned is that you definitely need good lighting.  I moved my flexible lamp to the side table, and directed the bright light onto my cloth.  
The second thing I learned is that blackwork is addictive.  I had a really hard time putting it down.  "What's that honey?  You made lunch?  Okay, just a few more stitches dear." 
This is a type of stitching that requires a bit of attention.  There is counting and following of a pattern.  I like to work with the radio or TV in the background, but this is not the time to watch something new....or something complicated like the Mentalist, Hawaii Five-O where if you blink you miss something.  I threw some old episodes of Frasier I'd seen a thousand times and stitched away for 5 hours!

The little project above was my first attempt at a bookmark.  unfortunately, I found a mistake and couldn't seem to fix it.  It was good practice and taught me to double check whether or not my stitches and pattern line up properly.

One of the fun things I love about blackwork is that a person can use different elements and designs and create their own pattern!

Saturday evening I started a NEW project (much like the one above) and I will show you the outcome of that very soon!  So far....no mistakes! 

Until tomorrow, have a happy stitching day!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Needlepoint Christmas Trees

Now that Christmas is over, I can post some of the gifts I worked on in November and December.  One of the gifts I gave to a few special friends was this needlepoint tree. 

The pattern for this tree can be found in the November/December Stitch-it Today magazine on pages 44 and 45.
I hadn't tried needlepoint before I found this project, but my daughter had done a little bit.  She showed me how to start and stitched a few pieces herself.  It was so easy to do, and now I love needlepoint!

The easiest way to transfer the pattern onto the plastic canvas, was to use a permanent marker, then cut out the pieces.

These are the little yarns I chose to create the ornament French knots.

After the pieces are finished I traced the pieces onto felt and trimmed the felt to fit the back of each piece (mostly to hid all of the stitching mess).  I hot glued the felt onto the back of each piece.  For a moment, I thought of gluing sheet magnet onto the backs of each piece, so that they could be put on a refrigerator, but didn't do it.  Maybe next year.

It was a fun project!
Until another day, have a happy stitching day!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Cookies

Sunday afternoon the temperature was cold here...like -22 F cold.  So I decided to crank up the oven and make sugar cookies!  (Thank goodness ovens don't really have cranks...I'd never bake...ever.)
What should have been a two-hour project promptly turned into a five hour project.  Instead of just slapping some frosting on each cookie with a butter knife, I decided to get out my decorator set and frost 'em up proper.
The close-ups I took ended up blurry, but I thought I'd share them anyway. 
 I have a new found respect for bakers and people who work with frosting of any kind.  They must be a chiropractor's best friend because by the time I was done my hands hurt, my shoulders ached and my back was a bit soar.  But it sure was fun! 

Funny story....for years I've been making these cookies off of a recipe card that my Grandma Eva copied for me in her own writing (such a treasure).  But alas, Grandma forgot to include an ingredient (1 tsp salt) in the recipe!  No wonder people have been pushing my cookies away for the last 10 years!  This batch is SO MUCH BETTER!  I can't believe that one little teaspoon of salt can make such a difference!
So, a big shout-out to my mom, who caught the mistake (she gets extra cookies). 

Until another day, have a Holly, Jolly Christmas!

Whitman's Sampler Christmas

A couple of weekends ago Autumn and I were able to get out and do a little shopping.
We found this...

That is one GIANT-sized Whitman's Sampler, a whopping 2 Lbs 8 Oz of chocolate.  Of course she wanted one, and of course I said no.
Here is a Vintage Ad from Whitman's Sampler.
Until another day, have a happy vintage day!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Victor Victrola

This 1917 advertisement for Victor Victrola caught my eye as I was browsing the Internet.  1917!  That's almost 100 years ago!  Heavenly days, look how times have changed.
Of course I love the little "Nipper" in the lower left corner.

I love Nippers
And that Victrola is stunning with it's curved edges and feet.  Then, I saw all of the people standing on the stairs.  Do they all live in that house?  No, they are the musicians that Santa will "usher into your home on Christmas morning."

As I looked at the names, I realized I hardly recognized any of them.  Feeling that I should remedy that I did a bit of research on a few of the names.
These musical artists of my Great-grandparents' day-n-age were like the Celine Dions and Andrea Bocellis of our present time.

Some of the names include...
Harry Lauder
Hempel (Frieda Hempel Soprano who lived from 1885-1955)
McCormack (John McCormack a Tenor who lived from 1884-1945)
Melba (Nellie Melba, 1861-1931 a soprano) HERE is a link to her song "Goodbye".
Sousa (as in John Philip Sousa?  Must be)
and Terrazzini (for whom I can not find anything about)

One of the names is Frances Alda.  Click HERE for a sample of her work as a soprano.  She had a beautiful voice!

Another name include Victor Herbert who had an orchestra and played cello.  According to Wikipedia, he and his orchestra recorded works for The Victor Talking Machine company from 1911 to 1923.  Here is his photo...
Victor Herbert

Another musician mentioned in the advertisement above is Enrico Caruso who sang tenor.  Click HERE for a link to a page containing some samples of his work.  I'm not a fan of Opera, but he was really good!
Enrico Caruso
For some reason this advertisement sucked me in (that's what ads are suppose to do I suppose).  I think the staircase is what caught my eye.   And once I started researching the musicians and found their music on Internet Archives (which is an amazing site, by-the-way), I spent at least an hour listening and searching for many different musicians and songs.  The search for one musician often leads to the discovery of another.  I really get sidetracked when it involves music from the 40's (and there's hours of it on Internet Archives!)

Until tomorrow, keep humming along and have a great day!

PS...to my parents, who loyally read my blog.  This is in NO WAY shape or form a hint that I want the Victrola for Christmas....not even a little bit.  I'm serious.  I'm glad you have it and I believe it is happy and content living in your house.  Someday I would eventually like to "take it off your hands", but for right now it will not fit anywhere inside our cracker jack box size of a house.  Love to you both.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Umm....No Thanks

"What the heck?"

That's exactly what I whispered as I came across this ad from the 70's, for something called Pillsbury Food Sticks.  That, and, "You've got to be kidding me....Eeeww"  

I can just hear a mother from the 1970s saying, "Sorry Billy, I just don't have time to make you a snack today.  Mommy has to get ready to go to the movies, Daddy's taking me to see Smokey and the Bandit.  Have a food stick instead, then go run and play with your Sit-n-Spin and pretend to be Han Solo."

I'm not sure why I was so surprised (more like creeped out) by the fact that these once existed.  I mean, we have power bars today that are pretty much the same basic idea. 
But these....
These just seem weird.
But, I suppose they are no worse than eating a Toosie Roll.
After a bit of research, (because I had nothing else to do on a Tuesday night) I found that these were made as space food for our brave astronauts heading out into space.  Apparently, they are still made and are sold at Space Museum gift shops (although I'm not sure if Pillsbury still produces them).

Space Food Sticks by Pillsbury TV spot.

A big thanks to "Stopping By Memory Lane" on Facebook for introducing me to these.

Have a happy vintage day!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Life Savers Candy Christmas Memory

This advertisement from a  December 1941 magazine reminded me of a Christmas memory from my childhood.

One of my Sunday School teachers used to give each of us kids one of these nifty little gift books of Lifesavers Candy, and I think one or two showed up in our stocking as kids, throughout the years.

I recently came across these at the local discount store and they sell for between $1.50 and $3.00 depending upon where you find them.  But they aren't quite the same as they used to be.  Instead of 12 rolls of savers, as in years past, they now have only 6.  I suppose because of price increases, the company had to scale back on the amount of candy in each box to keep them affordable.  It's a form of raising the price of their product without having to RAISE the actual price on the price tag.  So, they are still affordable, and a great idea for stocking-stuffers, you just get less product.

And check these out!  How cool were these little Life Savers, apparently from the 1950's, and back when a roll cost only a nickel.  (Well, I shouldn't say ONLY a nickel.  A nickel back then was nothing to sneeze at, I suppose.)

I'll bet they were like Christmas crack for kids!  I'd have trouble not eating the whole roll in one sitting.  Then I'd check the toe of my stocking for more...then the kitchen drawers, then inside the big jar in the cupboard where mommy hides all of her treats, then under my pillow, then the......
You get the picture.

That's all for today, until tomorrow, have a happy vintage day!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Some Vintage Ads To Start the Week

Here are a couple of Vintage Ads I found while browsing around the Internet.
I get such a chuckle out of this one from the 50s or 60s.

Here are a couple of catalog pages of Christmas Ornaments from Penny Candy's Blog.
This first one is from the 1947 Sears Catalog.
And then there are these, below, from the 1956 Sears Catalog.
The folks over at Penny Candy blog have many more pages of wonderful Christmas Ornaments!  Check it out HERE.
That's all for today!  Until another time, have a happy, vintage day!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

One of the Best Christmas Commercials I've Ever Seen

Advertisements done by a store called John Lewis of England are probably the best Christmas Ads I've ever seen.  John Lewis is apparently a store much like our Macy's or JC Penneys here in the states.  Their amazing commercials (can be found on You Tube) rank right up there with the Hallmark Card commercials I grew up with as a kid and the Folgers coffee Christmas commercial of  1988. 
Here is my favorite from 2011.  Grab a Kleenex...you will probably need one.

That's all for today!
Have a happy snowy day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Old Dutch Cleanser Vintage Ad

This is my favorite advertisement from Old Dutch Cleanser and one of the only ones I could find in my vintage magazines.  It's from my 1947 Ladies Home Journal, and is one of those instances where a picture is the whole story. 

Let's take a closer look at the picture.  A husband and wife are saying goodnight to a couple who are walking out the door.  It's been an evening of coffee drinking, card playing and no doubt a little gossip too.  The clock on the windowsill says 2AM and there are still dishes to be done.  And I LOVE the fact that the husband is going to help with the dishes.

That's all for today, until another time, have a happy vintage day! 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flea Market Finds of November

Hello all!  Sorry it's been a over a week since my last post.  I've been busy busy busy, and you know things are only going to get busier with the holidays coming up.  But Autumn and I did manage to get out to the flea market this weekend and to Vintage City to do a bit of Vin-tiquing (it's like Antiquing but not quite).  Antiquing to me is looking for high-end, high-priced, high gloss, varnished antiques.  I look for and buy inexpensive, vintage, household, smalls so I call it Vin-tiquing.  Yes, I know I'm about two steps away from the loony bin.  Just wait until you read about the bird I found. 

Actually a few of these items were finds from the Flea back in October.  I'm just now getting around to photographing everything.

The Jell-O book is from 1925 and the Spry recipe book doesn't have a date but I'm guessing the 1940s. 

The blue colored book is called In My Own Write by Rigmor Pedersen Swanson.  She lived in a small town in North Dakota and writes all about her childhood, high school years, marriage and years as a mother.  I love books like this and believe they are one of the purest forms of history. 

When I saw the second book, (the gray one) laying on the table, I literally did a little happy dance right there in the booth.  This book has been on my wish list for years.  It's called Clothes Lines, Party Lines and Hem Lines.  I'll talk more about this book another day.

Who can resist Anthropomorphic veggies?  Not me!  I thought these little characters where just too cute to pass up.

I found the little bird above at Vintage City.  He fits in nicely with my other little birdies that were my Grandmothers.  He looked very sad on the store shelf, but I left him there and continued to browse around the room and into the back room.  But he was all I could think about...It was like he was calling out to me.  (one step closer to a room with padded walls, I know).  When I went back into the room to scoop him up there were a couple of ladies standing right in front of him.  My little heart pitter-pattered with fear that they would buy him.  Finally, they moved on and I quickly nabbed him and set him on the check-out counter.  He was just one of those things I would've regretted not picking up.  For a couple of bucks, I had peace of mind and a new little birdie friend for my window.  

The little tin dishes and child-sized utensils was my daughter's big score of the weekend.  She found these at Vintage City and loves them.

The Old Dutch Cleanser can, above, is one of my favorite finds this weekend.  The copyright is 1945 so I'm guessing the can is from anywhere between 1945-50.  It's in great shape and is UNOPENED!
So, those are the treasures we've found recently and that's all for today, but stay tuned!
And as always, have a Happy Vintage Day!!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stitch It Magazine

Today is suppose to be vintage advertisement Wednesday, but I'm going to talk about a NEW publication instead.

Our local grocery store (and as of last night I notice Hobby Lobby) has been carrying this fun magazine called Stitch-it Today and I absolutely love it!  I'm so happy to see a magazine in the stands that is not only for cross-stitch enthusiasts, but for embroidery and needlepoint fans as well!  There are usually 20-some projects that one can stitch, and a section about supplies and how to use them.  The latest has a quick tutorial page about using an Embroidery hoop, starting a sampler and types of knots used to start and stop your stitching.  Sometimes there are articles about different stitchers and their work, and articles on types of stitching such as Norwegian hardanger embroidery.  

That's all for today.  This week has been another busy one, but I hope to have another post ready to share soon!
Until then, Have a Happy Stitching Day!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Assisi Embroidery

One of the many types of embroidery discussed in the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework book is Assisi Embroidery.  I think this type of embroidery is so beautiful!  So, I thought I'd try my hand at it. 

I found the pattern on the Internet at this LINK.  I printed it out on my printer and started stitching away at the outline.  The outline wasn't too bad to get the hang of, although the Holbein stitch really took patience and practice.  I found myself cheating and doing a back stitch for most of the outline. 


My fill-in stitches need quite a bit of work and practice. 
In hind-sight I wish I had researched a little deeper about how to do the actual stitching.  I went to the library but most needlework books only have 1 or 2 pages dedicated to Assisi Embroidery.
THIS website, however, is full of wonderful patterns, history and how-to instructions for Assisi Embroidery.  I wish I had taken the time to read through all of it before starting! 
But this is a small project, and hopefully I will come back to it in time.  I'd hate for it to go into the UFO file (unfinished object). 

Until another day, Happy stitching everyone!

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Neat Video of 1940's Billboards

Ever since I heard the song "Watch the Birdie" by Gene Krupa and Anita O' Day on Bomb Girls, I've been looking for it online.  I found this excellent clip on You Tube and just had to share!  It combines two things I love...Vintage Advertising, and vintage music.  And just being able to see the people walking about and going about their daily lives is interesting.  Everyone looked like they dressed up just to walk to the grocery store!

Have a Happy Vintage Day everyone!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Embroidered Cottage

A few weeks ago, I was checking out the Vintage Embroidery Pattern pool on Flickr and saw the pattern for this cute little cottage.
I copied it out onto paper, traced it onto an old piece of fabric and just started stitching away!  It's nothing serious, I'm mostly just using it to learn new stitches or practice stitches I already know.
When it's finished, I will frame it in a hoop and hang it above my desk or dresser in the bedroom.  I'm not sure who posted this beautiful patter to Flickr, but I'm sure glad they did!  It sure is nice of those ladies to share all of their old vintage transfers with all of us!

Progress as of Oct 10, 2013
And below is progress as of Oct 31, 2013
I haven't picked this up in a couple of weeks, and am hoping to be able to work on it a bit through November.
Like I said before, I'm not taking this project too seriously.  Many of the stitches are ones I'm not used to using, therefore, this is a "practice" project.

That's all for today, but stay tuned because there will be more ahead!
Until then, have a happy stitching day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Candy!

In the spirit of tomorrow being Halloween, I thought I'd share a couple of vintage advertisements about Halloween candy.  I found these on the Internet, one so long ago I can't remember where.  So thank you to the person that originally posted them!
Milky Way from 1954
I'm not sure of a year on this one, but it's cute. 

Part of me wishes I had a whole folder of Halloween clip art and ads to share, but I just don't!  Maybe I'll have to work on that for next year.  There are so many fun "treats" to look at on google images though, so click on the word Halloween and start exploring!
Until another day, have a Happy Halloween and a Happy Vintage Day!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bon Ami Does it Again!

Here is a Bon Ami advertisement from my November 1943 McCalls magazine.
Last week I found this magnetic board amongst my daycare items.  I had drawn a calendar on it with permanent marker and thought for sure nothing would be able to remove it.  I tried Bon Ami and wouldn't you know...

Bon Ami took the permanent marker right off...with a bit of rubbing, of course.
I love the stuff!
That's all for today, I've been so busy lately there hasn't been much time for me to blog.  But keep checking back and have a happy, vintage day!!