Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Shiny Vintage Toaster

This past weekend, my sister and I went estate sale-ing. The find of the day was this 1950s GE Toaster! I didn't know I needed a vintage toaster until I saw all that shiny chrome. It was the first thing that caught my eye when I went down the basement stairs. And there is was just waiting for me! 

I found a few advertisements for this model of toaster. Let me tell you, it sure does make toast the way you want it! It makes some of the best toast I have tasted in years! Who knew there was good toast makers and bad toast makers. 
I certainly didn't pay anything close to the original price of $21.95!

With a bit of cleaning of the edges, it looks good as new! I am amazed at how fast this thing heats up. I tested it before purchasing, and was shocked to feel heat in seconds of plugging it in! It is hard to see the modern decorate lines on the side, its so shiny!

Here are a few fascinating toaster facts!
~ 1909 first electric toaster patented. 
~ 1926 First pop-up toaster. 
~ 1940-1960 pop-up toasters became the standard design. 
~ Toasters heat up to 310 degrees to caramelize bread.

One of the ladies at the estate sale remarked on how heavy it was. These toasters are made to last a lifetime and are known for never giving up.

All that shiny chrome........ makes for very hard picture taking!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Apple Crisp Deluxe

Apple picking means yummy apple things to eat. This weekend it was Apple Crisp Deluxe. Well.....that is what I call it. I made a few changes to the standard recipe to make it a bit better. I don't know if it is "deluxe" or not, but that is what I called it.

An apple peeler is a necessity for apple lovers! How can you go wrong with this old fashioned device? And it makes peeling quick as a wink!

So what makes Apple Crisp Deluxe? That was my thought exactly. Since crisp is all about the crumb topping, more topping would make it better, right? Or two layers of apples and topping. And how about adding extra apple cider for a crisp fall flavor? 

Apple Crisp Deluxe
6 cups peeled and sliced apples
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour (if I made it again, I would try it without, it didn't seem to need thickening)

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening or butter

 Mix apples, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour in a large bowl.

 Mix oats, flour and sugar, cut in shortening until crumbs form. This takes a bit of mixing to get the shortening dispersed evenly.

 Place half the apples in a 9 x 9 baking dish with half the crumb topping. Layer the rest of the apples and topping in the pan. Drizzle 1/4 cup apple cider over everything.

 Bake at 375 until the apples are soft. About 35 minutes.

Yum! It sure didn't last long!

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Life of an Apple

September is apple picking season here in Wisconsin and we are hoping to include it on this weekend's itinerary. Including the picking of my backyard apples! I have two to be exact. I have loved every minute of watching them grow and I have taken way too many pictures! 
Here is a little photo journal of the Life of an Apple.

 Mid May

 Beginning of June

 Mid July

 Mid August

 Mid September

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Knitting Season

Like most things in life, my knitting projects ebb and flow through out the year. In September, when one is longing for a break in hot weather, when there are subtle signs autumn might be on it's way; the knitting craze comes back full force and I find myself with a long list of projects I am anxious to start! September also coincides with our local yarn shop's annual sale and the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. How can I not be ready to furiously start knitting after all that woolly loveliness?!
(Socks on the right side and a navy cardigan in progress on the left!)

I have to admit, I have been keeping busy through the summer knitting several pairs of socks for myself. Sock weather will be back before we know it! The darker pink pair is made from Sun Valley Fiber's Fingering yarn in a simple rib pattern. The blue pair are my Wear to Work Socks. And the pink striped pair on the needles is a basic sock in Sweet Georgia sock yarn.

I am also extremely excited to announce I have a new pattern on Ravelry! Wear to Work Socks. A basic sock, with a bit of embellishment on the foot, perfect for flats or just wearing around the house!
I thought it a shame all the fanciness on most socks are on the leg where it gets covered by pants or boots. These solve that problem! Now, even if you are just wearing them around the house, there is something interesting to gaze at! With a simple 4 row repeat and plenty of plain knitting between, the pattern is easily memorized. (Which is my favorite kind! Who wants to keep referring to a pattern while watching a movie or zooming down the freeway?)

All the info is on the Ravelry page where you can also purchase the pattern. I can't wait to wear them!

Do you knit? If so what is on your needles now?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Weekend Holiday

Did everyone have a good holiday? I did the un-heard of, I actually took a holiday on a holiday! That's right, no projects planned this Labor Day. No big scheme to cross something else off the to-do list. Just a bit of relaxing and visiting!
 We went to visit my sister and celebrate a birthday. It was such a lovely time! Lots of talking and laughing, good things to make and eat, a book shared aloud (one of our favorite things to do when we visit!), and a bit of sewing sneaked in. Also, another favorite thing to do while visiting! Somehow it works so well. I don't worry about carving time out from my regular schedule and can just relax and get the project done.

My favorite on-the-go project? The Sorbetto shirt! I have been working on a few new ones for fall. Once the sewing machine is out, we get all excited! Out comes fabric and patterns and a few more projects get added to the list. So not only did I get a shirt made for me but one and part of another for my sister.

(I have been so bad about taking pictures...... these are the last of the zinnias.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Working on Windows

I have been slowly working away at restoring my windows this summer(and last). For being 92 years old, they really are in good shape! I know you all know it, but I love my original wood windows! The wavy glass, the generous size, the sense of history, the bit of squeaking and thumping they make when going up and down.

Freshly painted inside and out. All that white is almost blinding!

There are 3 steps to getting each window back into working condition. I will be posting about each of the steps in more detail. I find old windows fascinating! 

Step 1: Restringing
One of the main problems with old windows is the ropes break and then the windows don't stay open.

Step 2: Paint and Paint
Even though I primed most of the windows before moving in, they stilled a fresh coat on the inside. On the outside, it has been at lest thirty years since their last coat.

Step 3: New Storms
Old windows don't have an airtight seal. But with the addition of new (functional!) storm windows and a bit of caulking they are now ready for winter.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Little End Table for the Porch

Saturday was gorgeous, the perfect day for getting things done around the house! Besides working on the dining room windows, I also tidied up the porch. The floor needed a good wash and the spiders have been so busy making webs everywhere! (Anyone else notice a plethora of spider webs?)

Since everything was clean, it was the perfect time to rearrange things a bit. And then everything was looking so nice, it was a great time to take a few photos! So today, I am sharing the little end table that I have been working on all summer. It was a fit-in-when-I can and when-I-needed-a-little-break from bigger projects kind of thing. 

 The bottom part is a plant stand from Ikea we have had for several years, the tray from the Hobby Lobby clearance section for five dollars. And once both piece were painted they look like they have always a set!

 Once everything was painted, I added a few small stencils to the tray for detail. By adding white to the aqua paint the stenciled florets contrast softly without being too stark.

I love how this project turned out! And it goes so well with my pinwheels!
 Don't you love that bit of unexpected aqua? I hadn't realized until I bought the paint (for a different project) how many touches of aqua there was in my pillows. It adds a nice pop of color!