Saturday, May 31, 2014

My First Embroidery Project Found!

A few weekends ago, while visiting my folks, I was standing in the kitchen and saw a bit of this dish towel hanging out of a drawer.  I recognized the feet as the feet of the rooster I'd embroidered in 3rd or 4th grade!

I thought for sure this towel was long gone by now!  But there it was, and my folks were nice enough to let me take it home with me to put into my collection.
It's kind of an ugly rooster, but it is a good example of the "it's the process, not the product" philosophy, and as a teacher of preschool aged children, it is a philosophy I believe.

During my 3rd and 4th grade years I had the same teacher, Mrs. Smith, for both years.  Our school was large in size, but small in population.  The elementary classrooms were "doubled".  The 1st and 2nd grades were together, the 3rd and 4th grades together, etc.  Dear Mrs. Smith was one of my favorite teachers.  She was always so patient with me even though I could never sit still, never liked to sit in my seat and was always trying to talk and tell stories.  (I probably had A.D.D but I don't think we knew much about that back then).  Mrs. Smith wasn't afraid to give us hugs, and she always wore dresses and big clip-on earrings, which she would take off half way through the day (the earrings, not the dresses).  Looking back, she reminded me of a teacher who could have stepped out of the 1950s.  She retired from full-time teaching in 1986, the same year our big, brick schoolhouse closed for good.
As I look at the picture of my hometown school, above, I recall that Mrs. Smith's 3-4 classroom was in the upper left-hand corner in the front of the school.  It always seemed to be such a bright and sunny room and now I see why...the windows were on the south and let in the morning and afternoon sun.

 One year, I don't remember if it was 3rd or 4th,  she had all of us bring a dish towel to stamp and stitch.  I remember some of the boys began to complain about the assignment, but she stuck to her guns and explained that the boys should know how to use a needle and thread too!  Good for you, Mrs. Smith.  She taught us the basic cross stitch, but I don't recall if she taught any other stitches.
The transfer I chose was a rooster.  I remember knowing right away that I was going to make the tail feathers very colorful.  Even at a young age, I loved things that were colorful.
 I don't recall if she had us provide our own thread or if she had thread there for us.  I think she had a tin of thread for us to use.
As you can see, I wasn't very good at it.  But I do remember that I enjoyed it!  He doesn't have an eye, and I'm not sure why, I suppose I just didn't know how to do a French knot ha!
Well, that's all for today, I sure have enjoyed my little walk down memory lane and hope you've enjoyed it too.
Until another time, have a happy, stitching day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vintage Ad Wednesday

Let's start off this Vintage Ad Wednesday with some Rice Krispies Treats!  I LOVE Rice Krispy treats, but never make them myself, too risky...I'd eat the whole pan.
I'm not kidding.
I don't know who invented them (probably angels), but I think they've been around awhile. 
This ad has been floating around the internet on various vintage sites.  Not sure of the year, but my guess is late 40s.
Here is a late 1950s Kellogg's Rice Krispies commercial staring Mr. Wilson of Dennis the Menace.  Get a load of the amount of sugar he pours on the cereal!  Yikes! 

And here is one of my favorite "pinterest" funny-finds.
It's funny because it's true.  But even though they get mushy in milk, we still love them!  Thank you to the person who made made my day! (Also made me laugh so hard I peed a little).
Next up we have Lux beauty soaps in four soft, pastel colors.  This reminds me of the time of colored toilet paper. (remember colored toilet paper?)  This ad is from my June 1958 Ladies Home Journal and adds to my theory that pastel colors in bathrooms were really popular in the late 50s.
I actually think these soaps are kind of pretty!
Well would you look at what I found.  A 1958 ad for Scott Pastel toilet tissue.  Doesn't surprise me one bit!
In 1958 we could buy pastel soap and toilet tissue to decorate and add to our pastel bathrooms!  Here is a 1950s pink.
And here is another in pink and blue.
Now, I happen to like the pastel colored bathrooms, but my husband does not.  This makes me wonder, what did the husbands think of these permanent, marshmallow colored fixtures? 
I have a theory that this is why women were known to hand their husbands a martini at the door after a long day at work!  Get 'em all liquored up before whipping out the Kohler Bathroom brochures full of sea foam green sinks, and pink toilets.  
Wife:  "I'm thinking a pastel color scheme for the bathroom, dear." 
Husband:  "Slurs something unintelligible".  
Wife:  "Glad you agree, dear.  I'll order them tomorrow."
I'm mean seriously!  What did the men of that time really think about all of this?!
I know...Maybe the men were just so happy to have a gal around who would bake him a Swans Down cake, they would let the gal choose ANY color for the bathroom.
This next ad states..."Springtime hint to brides (new and old) Remember men love Swans Down cakes (and the girls who bake them!)"
This is a cheerful little cake, and it makes me wish I baked more.  But it's probably best that I don't because I REALLY like cake (probably more than Rice Krispy Treats).
Thanks for tuning in today.  Until another time, have a happy, vintage, snap*crackle*pop*, cake baking, martini mixing day! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

New 1930's Quilt Blocks

My husband surprised me with this set of 10" 1930's reproduction fabrics from Keepsake Quilting for Mother's Day this year!  Awhile back I had hinted to him that they might make a great birthday gift, so I was surprised when he ordered them for Mom's Day!
I was reminded of what it was like when I was a kid, coming home from a night of trick-or-treating.  I can remember dumping all of my candy out, sorting them by type and color, and just looking at all of their candy goodness.  Well, opening these fabrics was a lot like that, minus the tummy ache after!

The chicken one is especially cute, and I also have a fat quarter of the chickens on pink fabric.  I also like the baby ducks (or chicks) in green and blue. 
By doing some math, and laying out my petal template, I figured out I can cut 8 petals and have a 2.5 inch strip left over for some squares!
The lines are kind of hard to see and the lighting was weird, but you can see how I laid out the petals.
Sorting through these was such a fun time!  And I've been working very hard on my quilt lately!  I'm hoping to have it finished by next May, but we'll see. (It's good to have goals! haha!)
Until another time, have a happy, stitching day! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Vintage Kitchen Love 4

Here is another adorable kitchen to brighten your day!
This particular Youngstown kitchen is called "The Western" style and is from 1951.  I saw it on Mid Century Home Style's Blog.
I like the use of yellow in the kitchen (I'm partial to yellow kitchens).  And there is another one of those things connected to the back wall that looks like an upside-down bread box.  It's actually a spice rack!
Here, you can see one of the spice racks opened.  I love the way the pink and black canisters match the black counter tops.  And get a load of that bath set-up for baby!  I've never seen anything like that before!
That's all for today!  I wish you all a very happy, vintage day!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Another Favorite Book

Lil's Courage is a book written by Bonnie Foell Olson the daughter of Lillian Agnew Foell.  Lillian kept a diary of her life and her daughter, Bonnie, worked very hard to edit the diaries into book form.  I'm so glad she did, because this book is a treasure. 

I first came across Lil's Courage in the Great Plains room of our local library.  I read the first chapter and loved it, but because it was a local history book, and the library only had one copy, I wasn't allowed to check it out.  Prices online for the book were quite a bit above my book budget.  Then, a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to find one for about half the price of what others were asking!  I was tickled pink and did not hesitate in ordering it!  
The diaries, or stories, start in the year 1924, and take place in and area of North Dakota, near Bismarck.  We learn a little bit about Lil's teenage years, her meeting her husband-to-be and their marriage in 1932, the birth of each child and all kinds of wonderful things in between.
There are so many interesting day-to-day details of life on the farm/ranch that Lillian was able to capture in her diaries.  There are stories about her garden, canning, and butchering times.  There were many entries about the food she prepared and ate, along with dances, card games, and plenty of visitors to the ranch.  There were also times of sickness, worries about the Second World War, and letters from loved ones near and far. 
I enjoy this kind of detailed, day-to-day history.  It is a "real history" that sometimes cannot be taught or learned from the more typical history book full of dates and national events.  If you get a chance to pick one up I highly recommend it!
That's all for now!  Until another time, have a happy vintage day!


Monday, May 5, 2014

Quilting Questions

Uff-da, I'm having quite the time with my quilt.
There are two little problems bothering me at this time.  The first is the color choice for the blocks that will back the flowers of my Dresden quilt.  It was between an ivory color or white.  The other problem is the method of stitching (or appliqueing) the flowers onto the quilt blocks.
Awhile back, I bought a yard of a fine, ivory fabric and from this made 5 or 6 large blocks.  But, soon I realized that much of the feed sack fabric I was using had white in the patterns.  So I naturally thought, "Maybe I should be using white muslin for the blocks."
So I opted for white. 
I went to Joann's and bought 2 yards of white, Legacy, muslin and cut 14 blocks to start.  I proceeded to applique a couple of Dresden flowers onto the white blocks and, wouldn't you know, I don't like the white at all.  It's too bright and doesn't have that "vintage" feel to it.
I will keep the white blocks for a future project, but they just won't work for my Dresden quilt.
I don't know if I can match the yard of ivory backing that I bought years ago to something in the stores, so I carefully ripped the flowers I had previously appliqued on to the existing ivory backing, and am starting fresh. 
Now, I will be taking a trip to the fabric stores around town to find a good quality, ivory, muslin so I can get going on these blocks!  One thing I've learned is to buy enough yardage at one time to do be able to cut all of the blocks for the entire quilt.
The other trouble I'm having is the decision between using a hidden stitch to applique the flowers on the blocks or a regular stitch.

This is how I stitched the first three blocks, just a small stitch towards the edge of the flower to attach it to the block.
This is an example of the hidden stitch that I am horrible at!  It certainly takes practice!
When I use the hidden stitch the flower seems "puffier" and doesn't lay down as flat on the block, which I'm not sure I like.
I've also seen blanket-type stitching done around the flowers in a contrasting color such as black.  It gives the quilt a "vintage" feel, but I am not sure I am that daring.
I'm going to ponder the different types of stitches, and play around with them a bit.  I am learning so much throughout this project!
Until another time, have a happy stitching day!!