Monday, March 31, 2014

Springtime Embroidered Napkin Finished!

Here is the little springtime napkin finally finished.
Of the five photos taken of this little guy, only this one turned out semi-decent. 
Now I just need to find another small project to have on hand to embroider here and there.  Hmmm, what shall it be?

Until another time, have a happy stitching day!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dyed Yarn Placemat

Back in July of 2012, darling daughter and I dyed some white Sugar-n-Cream brand yarn.  It was such a fun project and we were very excited about how the cute little balls of pastel colored yarn turned out.
Since then, the little balls of yarn have been living inside this large, glass, pickle jar just waiting to be used for something....but what?
Well, the other day I saw a colorful place mat in a store and it dawned on me...I can make my OWN colorful place mat for spring decorating with our little balls of yarn!
So I grabbed my Grandma's old crochet hook and set to work.
Well, the finished project is pretty crooked on one side (I'm not very good at crochet), but I think the colors are kind of pretty.

If you would like to see the blog post about the yarn dying that we did, click HERE, and
as always, have a happy day!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Running Veggies

Not much to report today.  Life has been busy.  But I would like to share this cute little snippet from one of my 1940s magazines.
Anthropomorphic veggies always make me smile.
I hope they make you smile too.
Until another time, have a happy, vintage day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Playhouses, Campers, and Cabins Oh My!

This house is AMAZING.  It's like my dream house!
But if you look closely, you'll see that it's a playhouse....yes, a playhouse.
All I can think is, "I'd like to supersize my order please, thank you."
This little cutie can be found at Posh Tots.  They even make little vintage looking gas stations, grocery stores and corner diners (for a price of course).

Wouldn't it be fun to have a peek inside?  And wouldn't it be even more fun to decorate?

I had a simple playhouse when I was a kid.  It was a little shed in our backyard, with a door but no windows.  My dad sawed in a window and put up a little mantle on the back wall.  My mom gave me an old spice rack (with actual spices in it) and I used my little tin dishes to make mud pies.  I'd use beans from the caragana bushes, bird berries and a sprinkle of spices.  To this day, when I smell Paprika or Nutmeg they take me back to my little playhouse.  

I had a little cupboard that my grandfather built me when I was two.  He built it out of an old wash basin cabinet that he and grandma had used for years.  When my daughter was two, I repainted the little cupboard and fixed it up a bit.  She played with it for a long time.

My dishes were little tin dishes along with a set of child-sized Tupperware.

The tin dishes had a picture of little Red Riding Hood on them.  Because I was a child and didn't take pictures of anything, these photos found online will have to do.

I had little tin dishes just like these.

And I loved making mud muffins in my muffin tins.

Along with my little cupboard, I had a small round table with two chairs that was a gift from my Grandma Hen.  The table top was printed with pink gingham and the chairs had glossy, pink seats covers.  It all looked like they came out of a child sized ice cream parlor.  My mother gave me an old metal canister set that sat up on the mantle.  I think Mom also made a set of curtains for the little window. 
It was a pretty bare little playhouse, with unfinished, dark brown walls, but I loved it!
I think it would be fun to once again have a playhouse.  My sister-in-law twisted her husband's arm into purchasing an older little camper for her and the kids to hang-out in.  They permanently set it in their side yard and added a little wooden patio to the front.  It's adorable.  She made little curtains and cushions for it and her older girls have a lot of fun with it.  

Wouldn't that be a hoot-n-a half!

Here are some cute little campers I found online.


Unfortunately, our neighborhood policies don't allow anyone to place cute little campers in our yards (I totally understand why, but still...*sniff* would be fun.)  But you can't stop a girl from dreaming.  

Then there are cabins.  Some people have "get-away" cabins on a lake or on the prairie.

My "get-away" cabin would be a tiny little house that needs a little TLC in a little tiny town of maybe 200-300 people or so.  Maybe my little house would be near a small park.  I would have to be a house with a very small price tag, and you know what?  I'd decorate it all 1930s and 1940s decor.  No TVs allowed!  We would only have a vintage radio, connected to my iPhone or iPod full of old time radio MP3s. 

I like this photo, but I'd want a more comfy chair and some embroidery to be working on.

This picture of a family sitting around the radio is precious.  It doesn't look like a large house and I like that about it.  They have a Victrola in the living room.

I'd use very little electricity in my little house, not like we use in a modern household each day. 

I like the move Swing Shift for many reasons, but one of the reasons is the house that Goldie Hawn's character lives in with her husband.  It's a small bungalow in a little neighborhood.  You can see many pictures of it here on the blog Hooked on Houses (a very addictive site) or, you can rent and watch the movie!  Check it out, it's a cute place.  That is the d├ęcor I would have.  I really like the pink love seat and chair and all of the little built-ins throughout the whole house.

Goldie Hawn-living room
And the kitchen....swoon!

bungalow kitchen
And what a CUTE kitchen!!
Yup, I want this to be my "get-away" place.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that fun little chat about houses!

That's all for today.  Until another time, keep dreaming and have a very vintage day!

Friday, March 21, 2014

It's Pancake Day!

Every Friday morning I make pancakes for the kiddos.  I did some searching and found these vintastic print ads for pancake items online.

1953 (I believe)
1938 Image from
I don't have a vintage syrup that looks like this anyways.

But I do have this cute little pitcher that could be used for warmed syrup.  It could also be used for cool cream to poor over blueberries.
That's all for today.  Hope everyone has a good breakfast!
Until another time, have a happy, vintage day!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cheerioats Bowl

Cherri-oats were introduced to cereal buyers in 1941 by General Mills.

Do you know what I love about this box? 
The bowl.
Why do I love the bowl?
Because I have one!  My blue star bowl is one of the very first vintage items I ever bought, way back in high school (that, and a brass door knocker in the shape of an anchor???  I have no clue spoke to me).

Here's a bit of history.  In 1945, Quaker called General mills out, issuing a trademark infringement complaint objecting to the term "oats" as a commercial name. Because of this, General Mills changed the name to Cheerios, which is what they are still called today! (Except by me...I still call them Cheeri-oats just to be silly).

The museum in my hometown of Epping has a box of Cheerioats on display.  Cool!  On a side note, I don't even want to think about how old those peppermint sticks in the glass jar are.  Mmmm chewy.
This is why I take so many pictures in museums...There are so many little things to see that the eye doesn't always catch the first time around. 
Once, I took hundreds of pictures at a museum and I'm glad I did.  The next year they had "re-arranged" and taken some of the items out.  I'm glad I got photos of the items when I did. 
I worry about the fate of many of these small-town museums scattered across the state.  I worry that once the "greatest generation" is gone, the Millennial generation won't have the time or desire to preserve the history.  Little museums will be scraped to make way for new hotels and gas stations that serve pizza by the slice.  Sad.
Whoa, talk about digressing a bit.

I'll leave you with this 1950s advertisement for Cheerios that can be found on Youtube.  I think it's funny that they say Dentyne Gum is good for your teeth!  Just click on the link and give it a watch. Have a happy, vintage day!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Springtime Embroidered Napkin

Today I'm going to talk a bit about how I make some of my own cloth napkins for the dinner table (known also as a serviette in Canada and the UK).  I'm not a big believer in paper towels.  I can't really explain why, they just seem wasteful to me, I don't like the "throw-away" aspect of them. 
Therefore, when we eat our meals, we use cloth napkins instead of paper towels. 

One of the drawbacks to cloth napkins is that over time they tend to deteriorate.  That's because I wash them in hot water, sometimes with a tiny bit of bleach added (to kill any germs).  Because of this deterioration, I'm always making replacements.  (I use the old ones for dusting, dirty jobs and whatnot).

The whole thing sounds tedious, but I actually enjoy it very much!  I love to embroider on things that are useful and cloth napkins for the dinner table are useful, and easy to stitch-up in a day or two. 

This is a little blue bird vase napkin I started last night.
Call me cheap, but cloth napkins found in the stores can be kinda pricey, and sometimes fade over time.  So, I'm going to try a new plan.  I simply cut a new, inexpensive, regular sized dish towel into four sections, hem up the sides on my machine, and presto! there are four blank napkins to embroider.

He's a work in progress.

Sometimes I draw or trace a small pattern, but iron-on transfers are an easy option as well.  Usually, an Aunt Martha iron-on pattern will have a small "test" pattern included in the set, and those tiny test patterns are perfect for a small napkin corner. 

No, no, not THAT kind of test pattern (although my TV loving husband might like that one).
I'm talking about these little test patterns.

When I get this little Blue Bird Vase napkin done I will share it with you!
Until then, have a happy, vintage day!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Home Arts Magazines

This past weekend's flea turned out to be a fun one!  This is one of my finds, a stack of Home Arts Magazines (Needle Arts).
I apologize for the photo quality.  My scanner is on the frizz again!  This is the second printer-scanner-copier I've owned that goes bonkers when I try to scan!  I'm ready to buy a plain old scanner.

This is probably my favorite one of the three I bought over the weekend. It's from January of 1940!
These magazines are full of beautiful embroidered tablecloths, pillow cases, and crochet patterns.  One thing that surprised me about these Home Arts magazines is that they are not JUST about needlepoint, crocheting and other needle arts.  There are small tid-bits about beauty and full articles on making ones home a cheerful place to be.  Especially the kitchen.  Putting three meals on the table everyday could be hard, busy work, why not have a cheerful kitchen in which to work?  
The article below is titled, "Your Kitchen...Make it Compact, Convenient, Colorful"
And what a cute little kitchen this one is!
The article goes on to say...
"Even if you can't start from scratch and install that perfect kitchen you want, do something now about the one you have."
"You may assemble canister sets, coffee-makers, cutlery, mixing bowls, and dish towels in fun colors, or black and white, to give zest to your color scheme."
Ummm, was this article written for me?  This is exactly what I did three summers ago.  I hated the "vineyard" look of our kitchen decor, we had had for ages.  So I took it all down and replaced it the dusty olive oil bottles and fake grapes with wonderful vintage bowls, tins and goodies I'd collected through the years, including vintage linens.  I love my cozy "vintage" kitchen now!  It's my favorite part of the house!
And then there is this fun page...
"Hello, and Happy New Year again!  Do take down your receivers, everybody, and let's chat, for there are parties afoot, and plans to be making;  and I wonder if you wouldn't like, this year, to help me solve some special party problems."
Apparently January and February were the "party" months of the year.  I suppose it makes sense with the cold weather keeping everyone from enjoying the outdoors.
Finally, the back inside cover is illustrated with 7 or 8 dress patterns.  A gal could choose a pattern, write to the Home Arts Company and buy the patterns.  The patterns were 15 cents back in 1940.  I found this one to be my favorite. 
What a fun little glance back into time this was for me.  I imagine the woman who received this magazine (she lived on a farm) studied it and read it cover to cover...there are so many interesting articles! 
That's all for tonight!  Until another time, have a happy vintage day!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Embroidered Felt Eggs

A few years ago, I found this great little Easter egg craft on the Making Ends Meet blog.  I've made a few eggs throughout the years and am back at it again this year.  It's a fun little project!  My chicks never turn out as cute as hers do, but that's okay. 

These are the supplies I use to created the eggs.  You can find the "how-to" directions on the Making Ends Meet blog.  They are fairly simple to make.  You will need two whole felt egg cutouts, cut one of the felt eggs across the middle.  You can use a decorative cut or a straight cut (the decorative cuts are "cuter").  Embroider designs such as vines and flowers on the two halves that were cut.  Then attach them to the back (whole) egg by stitching around the outsides.  Sometimes I use a blanket stitch, sometimes just a simple running stitch.  Do not stitch the middle, instead the middle becomes a pocket opening where a little chick will live.
To make the baby chick, I used yellow flannel (which I'm finding frays a bit too much along the cut edges.  Cotton might actually work better).  I used a circle template to draw the chick's front and back.  I satin stitched eyes and a beak (I might do a felt beak on my next chick), then added some cotton scrap wings.  I put a smaller piece of white felt in between the yellow circles, to give the chick some bulk and used a running stitch to sew the front and back together. 
So, that's what I've been up to in the evenings lately.  It is nice to work on something that I can give away, not just sit in a drawer for years on end and never be seen!  Plus, they are so nice and cheerful!  I hear this little chick saying, "Spring will soon be here!".
Until next time, have a happy, stitching day!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blackwork Prayer Pocket

This was one of my black work projects for the month of February.

February and March have been challenging months for me.  Most of my good friends have moved on to different states and I reminded all too often that I am living in my own state of....well, loneliness.  The winter has been long and cold, and the sight of the four walls that surround me is getting old.  But on the bright side, (there is always a bright side, right?) I have had the opportunity to carve out more time for reading, studying, praying, and stitching.  This was a project that could combine them all.

This little prayer pocket started out as a bookmark but ended up being something that I keep in my purse.  The pattern reminds me that everything in my life comes from Christ.  I am the butterfly in the middle.  The cross (which represents Christ) is connected to the boarder that surrounds everything (God).  The cross (Christ) is also between me and everything else...the dark woods where the wolves are lurking (trees, peaks and valleys in the lower left corner), the beauty I see in the world (flowers in the upper left corner), my family and marriage (lower right corner), and the light of good and the dark of evil (upper right corner).  Christ comes first.  This idea (or journey) has not always been an easy one for me, and maybe it's not suppose to be.  The more I struggle with it, the more I learn.  It hasn't always been easy to let things go, and to give everything to Christ, and there are certainly times when I'd rather keep things under my own control.  But He knows best. 

I added the letters VDMA inside the cross because they are for the Latin phrase Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum, which means, "The word of the Lord endures forever".  And it really does....and that is something special.

I started with a free pattern I found on pinterest.  It looks like this.  Thank you to whoever created it.  It's a cute little pattern!  I hope it's okay that I tweaked it a little bit.
When I went to put the backing fabric on the piece, I decided to leave the top open so that I could slip a prayer inside and use it as a bookmark.  It just morphed from there. 
One prayer turned into a couple, plus some Bible verses and some sermon notes, etc, etc.  I switch them all out every once in a while.  

Later, I will show ya'll the felt Easter eggs that I've been embroidering.  They are happy, colorful and full of hope that Spring will soon be here!  That's all for today, until another day, have a happy Stitching day!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Happy Spring Dish Towel

This is just a little something I worked on during the last weeks in February. 
It has been such a LONG winter for our part of the country, I'm ready for some spring weather.  Unfortunately, the heavens above have sprinkled another couple of inches of white fluffy snow on us again.  I have the disheartening feeling that Spring is not EXACTLY right around the corner, but soon...Spring will come soon!  It must.

I finally used some variegated threads, on the "Happy Spring"--DMC 4110
This was a fun little towel to stitch with many bright and happy colors.
Until another time, have a happy day!