Friday, October 28, 2016

4th Anniversary and a Have-Done List

My how time flies..... It is hard to believe it is already 4 years I have owned my little house!

This years Have-Done list is a bit shorter then previous years. But we got a few big projects done that have been waiting on the list since I bought the house.

The biggest project was getting new sidewalks! This also entailed a bit of re-landscaping and building new steps.

Another project that has been on the waiting list, was trim out the bathroom and kitchen. Even  though it isn't complete yet, it was a good start!

A new back door and basement door!

I also rearranged and updated a few things. Like my bedroom, the dining room , and book nook.

A look back at past anniversary posts.
Home Sweet Home
1st Year, Have-Done List
2nd Year, Have-Done List
3rd Year, Have Done List

Re-reading all these posts brings back so many memories. So much has happened in 4 years! It seems like yesterday.....and yet it feels like a lifetime ago.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sock Mending

It is getting around to that time of year again, woolly sock weather! So this weekend I sorted through my  handmade socks to see which ones needed a bit of attention. 
In winter, I wear my socks everyday and night, so they get a pretty rigorous work out. Amazingly, they hold up very well. The blue socks in the picture above was the first pair I knit and are almost 10 years old! (I do tend to save those in the back of the drawer.)  After all that time and all the hard work and wear, I can't bear to give up on them when a bit of yarn will put them back in working order.

Tapestry needle (and wooden needle case), small scissors, double point knitting needles, crochet hook and darning egg. Essential tools for a bit of mending.

 There are two common ways to mend socks. Pick up stitches and knit a patch or weave yarn across to fill in a hole.
 Here I am knitting a patch for this sock, when done I will then sew the patch down along the edges and top. I usually determine the method on the size of the hole to patch; larger holes get a patch and smaller ones (or wear spots) are re-enforced with weaving.

Especially with weaving, a darning egg comes in handy. Placed inside the sock with the sock held snugly around it, the darning egg provides a smooth hard surface to work against.
I found working vertically on the inside (through the purl bumps) and working horizontally on the outside (under the knit columns) worked very nicely.

One pair done. A few more to go.......

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vintage Find - Cottage Print

My newest vintage find- a little framed cottage print (top). These little prints can be hard to find, but are worth the wait!

So far my collection consists of two, but I am working on it! For now they both look lovely together in the book nook.

I am usually drawn to English countryside looking prints, but this one was too pretty to pass up. To me it looks very 1940's, but there isn't any identifying marks. 
Don't you love the flowering trees?

One of the reasons I am drawn to house pictures is home has always been a special place for me and my family. We have been blessed to have a safe place to be ourselves, discuss ideas and debate the latest crazy scheme. Home for us has always stood for Family.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

3 Varieties of Apple Muffins

Muffins of all kinds have been top on my baking list this year. They are quick and satisfy my cravings for comfort food and baked goods. I even have time in the morning (if I don't get too distracted!) to whip up a batch before leaving for work. Perfect start to the day!

 I dug this recipe out of the recipe basket last night and remembered how good it was. It has been around a long time. Written across the card is "Double it!" in large letters. When the brothers were at home, twelve muffins didn't go far!

Cran-Apple Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup veg.oil
In large bowl combine above ingredients. Fold in 1 cup shredded or chopped peeled tart apple. Spoon batter into muffin tin. Use 1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce to top muffin batter(about 1 tablespoon on each muffin) Bake in a 375 degree oven for 18-20 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar with 1 tablespoon orange juice for icing. Drizzle over cooled muffins. Makes 12 muffins.

I am sure once the weather is a bit colder I will make the Cranberry version. But for now I am all about apples! So I chopped my apples kind of chunky, used apple cider instead of milk (to make it dairy-free) and threw in raisins in half the muffins (orange liners- apple. purple liners- apple raisin). I found an apple and raisin bread recipe online that looked good, but the tried and true was simpler.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Applesauce and Aprons

Some years we dream of apple pies, some years dried apples, sometimes the dream is just fresh crunchy apples. This year we were dreaming of warm applesauce and spicy apple butter!
As fast as we could get the apples home, the apple peeler and stock pot came out.

In no time at all we had a pot full of sliced apples! 

 Making the whole process speedy was our old fashioned apple peeler. Not a vintage model, this is an updated version that suctions to the table. But the apples are still peeled, cored and sliced the same way, by a hand crank!

 When it comes to fruit prep, I always like to grab an apron that envelops. My favorite is an apron I made years ago from my great-grandma  Anna's apron. It is super soft from many washings, a bit wrinkly from being stored in the linen closet and there are stains along the edge, but it is a part of making and baking for me.

Unfortunately, I neglected to get a photo of the finished product. But let me tell you, it was as good as we had been anticipating!! Now the dream is to fill a corner in the freezer with a small stash for winter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Apple Season

It's that time of year again! Apple Picking! My favorite autumn activity.
This year I have scrumptious fresh apple sauce and rich apple butter on my to make list. Of course, I good bit of apples are just eaten fresh and there is always a bowl full tucked away for Thanksgiving pies.

These beauties are from my little apple tree! Final count was nine apples. I did have more, but the squirrels chomped up about half of them. I am still amazed I even got this many! Last year's apple count was two and that was after the traumatic bunny episode (I was more traumatized then the tree!)

For a bit of fall color, I decided to get out my grandmother's hobnail bowl and fill it with apples. Mom always called it the fruit bowl as it was kept on the coffee table with faux fruit in it when she was growing up. It has been nice to be able to have it out and enjoy it.

But these apples didn't last long in the bowl. Ultimate destination- Apple Pie!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Cheerful Print Frock- The Details

Are you ready to be a detective today? I am back as promised earlier this week with lots of details about this sweet dress. Once I started looking there are quite a few interesting things about it!

So let's start with the silhouette and overall shape of the dress. (This is one of the best ways to determine age of a garment.) This dress is very straight with short straight sleeves. When I tried the dress on (Yes, it fits me!), the sleeves; which look like normal short cap sleeves; suddenly looked like something out of a 1920's fashion illustration! Very straight and almost kimono looking.

There isn't any shaping in the back, it is one straight piece. The front has a waist seam and a drop waist seam. This is a very common detail for the 1928-1932 years as the waist made it's comeback.

The accented drop waist seam is also scalloped in dramatic points ending at inverted pleats. The only extra shaping or fabric is these pleats, no darts or pleats anywhere else. Not even shaped side seams!

I was very excited to see a tag, but alas, several google searches turned up nothing. I wonder if this was a small local factory or cottage industry?

The bodice front is also accent with red bias tape. I find the V ends that don't end in a point rather interesting. Was it shortened? Or intentionally made that way? The waist seam is another mystery. It is sewn with a serger, while all the other seams are french seams.

 Side seam sewn with a french seam. Very tidy! 
My guess is the dress was cut down to fit a smaller size. If the waist seam had been taken in, the side seams would also have to be taken in, so that doesn't make much sense.

A few repairs here and there made with red thread. 

 A tidy hand sewn hem, which was probably taken up (or down!).

All in all this cheery frock has quite the story to tell!
I know this post has a lot of pictures, but the dress captured my imagination and I got a bit carried away!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A Cheerful Print Frock and Emilie Loring

I am so excited to have been asked to do a guest post over at the Emilie Loring blog!
While I read, I love envisioning what it would have been like to live during the time a book was written. I recently finished reading Fair Tomorrow and when I came across a brightly patterned cotton dress in an antique store I thought of Pamela, "The sun brought out curious red-gold glints in Pamela's black hair, roughed the magnolia tints of her face and arms. A green rubber apron protected the front of her gay, sleeveless print frock as she vigorously applied a brush to the lavishly lathered dog who shivered violently in the galvanized iron tub set on a lawn, freshly, velvety, springily green." 
 The complete post is Here. And a more up close, detailed look at the dress later this week!