Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end.
Merry Christmas dear friends!
I hope you have a wonderful blessed holiday.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Needlecraft December 1938

 The cover just cracks me up!
It is crazy to think the original price for the magazine was ten cents and I thought I got a bargain when I bought it for four dollars!
 This was the height of the Scottie Dog craze. Here is advertised a stuffed scottie, a scottie embroidered pillow and chair set. (I am assuming the chair set is little covers to put on a upholstered chair to keep the arms and headrest clean.)
 Suggested handmade gifts for 1938; Quilted jackets, embroidered waistcoats, girdles and suspenders (these are the kind made to wear outside your clothes as a wide belt, not the undergarment variety), embroidered hoods, embroidered slippers, challis blouses, shirred skirts.
 Hankies always seem to be the "fall back gift" in the 30s and 40s. If you didn't know to get a person or didn't know them that well, give them hankies! But can resist a charming embroidered hankie?
 I love this advice on choosing a frock for Christmas. "Buy color for your Christmas frock. Choose simple designs with lines that will give you a trimly short flaring skirt, a nipped in waist  and a high neckline. Don't forget that good-cheer frocks, such as shown here, are best with long sleeves because winter makes a long, long after Christmas stay."
Don't you love the little dolls with their national costumes? Too too cute!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

No More Staples!!

I am so excited to tell you there are no more staples in my house!! Whew, that was a job. The last spot to be de-stapled was the stairs. My sister Mandy and I decided to just get it done one night. It was very cozy squeezed into the stairwell with an elbow in my side and one's face two inches from the stairs. Great sister bonding time! Lol!
 The stairs after the horrible green carpet was pulled up and staples removed. With a lot of cleaning and a bit of refinshing, I think thay are going to beautiful!
I am planning on painting the kick plate(the horizontal part) and trim white to brighten it up and give it more of a cottage feel.
 From the top looking down. The stairs are one of the features that remind my of a cottage, the narrow twisty turning-ness. I love it!
The landing at the top. As you can see, there is a window at the top plus the window at the bottom of the stairs. I am planning on putting this space to good use and making a "book nook"! A few bookshelves and maybe a little bench to sit on? 
What is happening next at the cottage?
Getting the heat ducts cleaned (a hundred years of dirt, Ugh!)
Putting cement board down in the bathroom and kitchen.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The First Snowfall of the Year - Bing Crosby

No snow here yet. I keep hoping for a white christmas though!
Have a good weekend friends!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Season's Newest Wrappings - 1938

"Wrapping the Christmas gifts is fast becoming a craft in its own right, for every holiday season brings a wealth of smart new ideas for those who want to make their gifts a joy to anticipate and a memory to be cherished. With happily chosen papers, plenty of ribbons and tricky seal and tags, many of which match or harmonize with the papers in design, there is no limit to what a fertile imagination can accomplish. And if a fertile imagination is not one's personal attribute, there are dozens of ideas to copy and adapt. Many of the papers come in a choice of color combinations, so that nearly everyone can find just what suits and if a paper is selected with due regard for the age, sex, or personality of the recipient, the results are certain to delight.
......Besides, there is a clever new wrinkle you will want to try, for though attractive papers and ribbons can glorify the humblest of gifts, you have only to attach one of the new "tie-up tie-ons" to make it entirely unique, an outstanding contribution to anybody's Christmas stocking!"
A page from Needlecraft 1938 December issue. Aren't the ideas clever?
 Left-"A truly lonely winter picture in black and white on blue is suggested by a scenic paper. Wide red cellophane ribbon is tied to frame a single unit of the design."
Center-"Colorful shirt stripes and wee modernistic trees make an attractive wrappings, with tiny tree seals for the ends and a felt electric light pull tied across one end with baby ribbon."
Right-"For little tot's gift, there is an appealing snowman paper in red, white and silver, to which may be tied a cunning Snuggle Snowman in a red and white."

 Left- "A package for the hobbist is tied with a red ribbon that becomes a "hobby" bookmark."
Right- "An amenable paper that features gay tree ornaments in many colors. A pendent ball of red and white felt in a green felt twig, tied under a red bow becomes a curtain pull."
 "Young moderns will adore a skaters' paper in red, white and buff. Felt mittens are a Rapid Repair Kit for lapel, one holding needles, the other lipstick."
 Don't you love their way with words? I wouldn't mind a rapid repair kit either!
Right-"Try frosted gingerbread paper in brown and white on blue with a pair of matching holders for any hostess gift."
 Left- "Silver-bells-on-black may be tied with latticed red ribbon to which is fastened a bell pin-bell."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Apron Inspiration

I thought is was time for a little Christmas inspiration! What better place to go then Etsy?  Wish I could add them all to my collection!
Vintage Christmas Apron
Don't you love the candy cane? And the bit of understated white on white rick-rack. There is something about these sheer 50s hostess aprons that I love! Maybe is it their obvious un-practicalness.

Christmas Half Apron
Is there anything that says Vintage Christmas like Bells?!

 Merry Christmas Apron
I love the printed fabric of this apron. So cheerful and merry! Those are orniments scattered over it.

Festive Poinsettia Apron
Isn't this Poinsettia apron festive? (Just like the title says!)

As you can see, the majority of Christmas aprons are half aprons, the preferred style for fancy or hostess aprons in the 50s-60s.
Don't they inspire you pull out your festive apron? Or sew one up? I really need a candy cane one!

All aprons shown are for sale on Etsy. Click on the link underneath the picture to see the listing and view more pictures.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Andrews Sisters-Walking in a Winter Wonderland

One of my sisters and I favorite singing groups are the Andrews Sisters. This perky trio always brings a smile to our faces. They are the best known for singing 40s wartime swing tunes like Bei Mir Bist du Schon and Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas is coming......

Don't you love natural Christmas decorations? The elegance of branches and twigs with a hint of berries and ice for color? I do! I always envision our house that way and dream up new decorations to carry the theme out. But somehow when the halls get decked, the house never comes out looking the way I planned.
It finally dawned on me this year, we just aren't a family that goes in for elegance. A bit zany, yes. Lots of character, yes. A great love of home and comforts. Several vintage collections and a love of old stuff. Mix it together and what do you get?
A Retro 50s Christmas! Colorful, bright.......and shiny!
 As you probably already know, we love our Shiny Brights! Add a little silver garland and what could be more vintage? Isn't that a perfect tree? We are amazed at how symetrical it is. And don't forget our beautiful Shiny Bright topper!  
Who can resist these sweet and mischievous little faces?
Another of our Christmas collections, Gurley Candles. This year we added more color by piling ornaments in glass vases.
Our decorating style certainly isn't elegant, but it says Christmas! Loud and clear! And never fails to make us smile!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coat's and Clark's Aprons- 1944

 My sister brought me a little gift last weekend. I was so thrilled!! This is a wonderful little booklet with many aprons and lots of inspiration! I love the illustrations, very classic 40s.
 "Protection plus Charm"
A whole family of aprons!
 "Crisp and fresh for company at home" One of my favorites! I love the interesting halter top.
Such a fun illustration! "All hands and the cook the order of the day when a church dinner is on the schedule..... seven basic aprons made from materials available."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Old Fashioned Brown Sugar Cookies

 I have had these pictures lurking around for a while. At first I didn't deem them blog worthy, but have since changed my mind!
 This is an old favorite. The very first time we made them my sister wanted to try out her new elephant cookie cutter. They have since been known in our house as "Elephant Cookies". And we wouldn't dare make them any other shape!
This recipe makes a nice basic soft sugar cookie with one twist, brown sugar instead of white. And to top it all off, Maple Butter Cream Frosting!
Brown Sugar Cookies
2 cupfuls brown sugar
1 cupful softened butter
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoonful salt
1 teaspoonful baking soda
1/4 cupful milk
1 teaspoonful vanilla
About 5 cupfuls flour
Cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs well beaten, the milk, the vanilla and the half the flour sifted with the salt and soda. Add more flour, enough to make a dough which may be rolled. Cut in any desired shapes (preferably elephants!) and bake about ten minutes in a 400 oven.
For the frosting, just add a couple tablespoons maple syrup to your favorite recipe.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

1930 December McCalls Magazine

"Insist on a McCall Pattern - It's the short cut to Paris style"
 I am not a great fan of fur, but don't those 1930 coats look handsome with that large collar? I also love the Santa tucked in the corner, even though he looks a little out of place.
"These new Paris designs achieve a maximum of smartness with a minimum of material"
My favorite is 6329. When I think of the early 30's, I always think of their great collars/necklines. So chic! Or as the magazine says- Paris Style!
And who doesn't need new night wear for Christmas?! You can choose from either the newest French pajamas........
..........Or a more traditional floral silk negligee. Which would you prefer?
 I am definitely a floral silk negligee kind of gal. I love how it wraps over and drapes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving Holiday! I for one, got tired out! There was cooking and pie making, working on my house, visiting with family, cleaning house, washing dishes ( I am sure everyone washed a lot of dishes, it seemed like an endless chore!), a little yarn shopping, Christmas planning, more work on my house, sewing, knitting Christmas presents and don't forget a bit of relaxing!!
 Finally I got a picture of the hall floor! Not bad for having two layers of linoleum, a half inch of tar paper and being a hundred years old. Just needs a bit of sanding and a coat of varnish. I also got all the staples out of the living/dinning room and the downstairs bedrooms. Now I just have to de-staple the stairs and the upstairs bedroom. I am not sure why carpet installers think they need so many staples to hold a carpet pad down.....
I also got a bit of sewing done! Almost finished with my flannel robe, just a bit more hand finishing and I will be ready to share it.

Now on to Christmas planning!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A 100 Years of Thanksgiving Dinners

Norman Rockwell's cover for Literary Digest 1919
I was pondering the tradition of the "Thanksgiving Feast" and was rather curious to see how it has changed over the years. I was very surprised how it HAS NOT changed! Here are a few menus from my cookbook collection.
"The Original Fannie Farmer 1896 Cookbook" copyright 1896
Oyster Soup      Crisp Crackers
Celery      Salted Almonds
Roast Turkey
Cranberry Jelly      Mashed Potatoes
Onions in Cream      Chicken Pie
Fruit Pudding and Sterling Sauce
Mince, Apple and Squash Pie
Neapolitan Ice Cream      Fancy Cakes
Fruit      Bonbons
Nuts and Raisins      Crackers and Cheese
Cafe Noir
"White House Cookbook" copyright 1899
Grapes      Oak Flakes
Broiled Porterhouse Steaks
Codfish Balls      Browned Potatoes
Buckwheat Cakes and Maple Syrup
Wheat Bread      Coffee
Oysters on Half Shells
Cream of Chicken Soup
Fried Smelts   Sauce Tartare
Roast Turkey      Cranberry Sauce
Mashed Potatoes      Baked Squash
Boiled Onions      Parsnip Fritters
Chicken Salad      Venison Pastry
    Pumpkin Pie      Mince Pie
Charlotte Russe      Almond Ice Cream
Lemon Jelly       Hickory Nut Cake
Cheese      Fruits
Cold Roast Turkey
Scalloped Oysters      Potato Salad
Cream Short-cake      Eclairs
Preserved Egg Plums
"Good Housekeeping's Book of Meals" copyright 1930
Menu #1
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Roast Turkey      Giblet Gravy
Buttered Spinach      Mashed Potatoes
Cauliflower with Hollandaise Sauce
Cranberry Jelly
Romaine Salad and French Dressing
Individual Pumpkin Pies
Nuts      Whipped Cream
Raisins      Coffee
Menu #2
Halves of Grapefruit
Roast Duck      Apple Stuffing
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Creamed Turnips      Cole-Slaw
Baked Squash
Cider      Ginger Pudding
Foamy Sauce      Coffee
"Betty Crocker's Good and Easy Cookbook" copyright 1954
"American Traditional"
Roast Turkey with Stuffing
Mashed Potatoes      Giblet Gravy
Creamed Onions
Mashed Rutabagas
Cranberry Sauce      Hot Rolls
Celery Hearts
Mince Pie      Pumpkin Pie
Isn't that interesting?! I thought it was fascinating that Turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberries have all stayed consistent. One can also see as the years have gone by how the menu has been simplified. I thought it was very interesting that the updated Fannie Farmer Cookbook (1922) had the same dishes as the earlier edition.
Happy Cooking!!
And don't forget your Apron!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I've got Steam Heat......

This song came to mind on Saturday when I was working on my house.
My entryway floors looked like this when I moved in. Underneath was a second layer of linolum and then a layer of tar paper. If you have done any remodeling you have probably run into this too. It was a very common practice to glue a layer of tar paper on the wood floor for noise reduction and a moisture barrier. Unfortunaly, no one thought about getting it up......
After doing a little research online I found quite a few people who had success with steaming it off with a wallpaper steamer. So on Saturday I set to work with my Mom's floor steamer and a scraper. It works!! To look at them now, one would never know there was ever tar paper on it. It still took time and a lot of elbow grease, but it was worth it! Sorry, I don't have an after picture to share, my sister is up north and took her camera with her.
So that is why I had "I've got steam heat..... I've got steam heat....." stuck in my head!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cookbook: Our Favorite Recipes

 This is one of my favorite cookbooks. Even though I haven't made a lot of recipes from it yet. Why is it one of my favorites? It was put together by the ladies of St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in West Bend, WI in 1949. I didn't know one could self-publish a cookbook that early! You can see the personality of each lady jump off the page as each recipe is in her own handwriting! I have never seen anything like it.
 I love just looking through it at all the different handwritings. The little sketches accompanying the recipes are wonderful too.
 Baked Ham by Elsi Ramsthal and Ham Loaf by Mrs. H.C. Bennallack. Such distinctive writing.
 Pecan Pie by Mrs. A. D. Alberecht. The little squirrel makes me laugh!
Rose Cake by Miss Hattie Miller. This recipe looks intriguing, chocolate, rasisins and sour cream....
Now all I need to do is find a little time to try some of them out!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Vintage Flowered Canisters

These canisters are the first thing I bought for my new house!  The plan is to decorate the kitchen in blue with touches of red. The minute I saw these canisters I knew they would be perfect! Don't you think canisters are a great way to add a vintage touch?
I love the flower decal! 1930s-40s?? The canisters are in great condition except for a small spot on the back of the largest canister where the paint is all crackly. They also were a great price! Who can pass up on that!
Because they are tin, I don't feel comfortable about putting flour or sugar in them (the original idea) so I have now decided they will be cookie cutter containers! I also have some tart tins and biscuit cutters that will go in them. Depending on how much room we have left, possibly one will be for raisins and nuts.