Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Vintage Apron from Neckties

I wanted to make my apron from ties even before I saw this one in Fit to Be Tied: Vintage Ties of the Forties and Early Fifties, by Rod Dyer. This is a fabulous book--I will show more pics in the next week or so. My version of the tie apron in the following post... Posted by Picasa

Tie One On: care for a cocktail?

 I love the theme for this month's Tie One On challenge--to make an apron from clothing. Amy assured me accessories were included, so my using ties was a given. I love recycled projects. Scarves would be wonderful too, and most of us have seen vintage aprons made with hankies.
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I initially went into my stash to look for food-related novelty ties, but I came up with a collection of cocktails instead. I had never put ties together with a top-stitch before, so I used Rick Rack Ruby's directions. I am really pleased with how this turned out. Posted by Picasa

 Focal point is the blue Nicole Miller tie with martini glasses (also the waist band). To either side of that are Ralph Marlin ties--one with a pouring beer, and one with a splashing olive into a martini. The outside edges and sash are wine-related ties, then a beautiful Banana Republic coffee tie (think Irish Coffee, etc), and tabasco appears for my beloved Bloody Marys. Posted by Picasa

 The pocket is another tie with little martini glasses that I edged with a thin bias tape, and one corner is cinched with a Martini and Rossi cuff link that I had left over from a mosaic project. Note the top edge of the pocket says "Happy Hour". The central tie I purchased at a thrift store for $1, and the rest were all parts of grab bags from the same store. See what kind of treasure you can find! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 30, 2006

Crafting with spools

This is a fun project idea, using old wooden spools. You can still find spools at thrift stores, ebay, or with grandma's stuff. They made a cheese board here, but I'd probably add dowels to the bottom edge to hold thread or bobbins, and then make the top area into a pin cushion. It would be nice if the base were a lazy susan too. Food for thought anyway. This is from Workbasket Magazine, April 1964. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I've heard of toy guns and rockets, but this is a bit over the top

When I was a kid, I had a rocket-shaped bank, a machine gun-shaped water pistol, and I coveted my cousin's inflatable blimp. I never even heard of a toy sub. Much less a "real periscope, firing torpedoes" thingy. This is an ad from a Workbasket Magazine (go figure) from November, 1967. Hence the $6.98 price tag. I love the description: What thrills as they play at hunting sunken treasures in pirate waters and exploring the strange and mysterious bottom of the deep ocean floor!
I assume it was just a plastic hull that sat on your lawn and the rest was up to the imagination, but who knows. But over seven feet long?! Could it have been a pool toy? Nah. Would kids today even know what to do with something like this that doesn't have computer components? Who knows. Few ever even have the chance to discover as much. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Something to make you smile

Craft wise, I got nothin'. So this will have to suffice until I get my film developed. I finished my apron today (yay!), but I still need to put together my 99 cent store challenge, so I'll finish the film up by Tuesday (apron deadline) and get it all done. This month's challenges were fun. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Vinyl Quilt, "Mexico Memories," by Jane LaFazio

art quilt
This quilt by Jane LaFazio speaks to me. I love it because it reminds me of a shrine. It could be a memory piece. It could be so many things. I just found out that LaFazio is going to be teaching a six-week art quilting class at the Oceanside Museum of Art (for any of you who live in Southern California) starting Saturday. I may not make this class, but I am definitely going to sign up in the near future. It's phenomenal. It's sewing and collage and trinkets and memories...all the crafts/elements I love, all rolled up into one project. Check out her gallery.

The verdict is in

Back in October, I was cited for running a stop sign. I won't post the details, but suffice it to say the officer was over zealous, and the circumstances were odd. So, for the first time ever, I decided to dispute the charge. I filed a written declaration (meaning I pled not guilty, then chose to voice my side in writing versus appear before a judge). I was told that if I appeared in court and agreed to pay the fine, that it would be reduced. Fight the charge and lose, however, and the fine would stand in full. I really felt the situation was inappropriate, so I decided to tell my side. Today I got the court's response.
Case: dismissed
Penalty: zero
Right flippin' on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

More pics from the vintage apron booklet

Again, this is Aprons and Bibs: over 30 sewn and crocheted ideas. Published in 1945 by the American Thread Company. Original price, 10 cents. (note to Mary: no credit is given to the illustrator).

 When did the word 'gay' change meaning? Posted by Picasa

 We are so lucky today that we don't HAVE to use a clothesline or HAVE to cook. Lots of work.
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 Housework as a toy kills me. Like how the Amish have toy plows, etc Posted by Picasa

 Wow, slacks as an anomaly. When I was a kid, girls weren't allowed to wear pants to school. I don't think the rule changed until I hit junior high. Posted by Picasa

Would you really wear an apron over your elegant dress? Ha! We'd probably all just have it catered! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Are you watching American Idol?

My God, I just about peed my pants I was laughing so hard over the "if someone (came out dressed like that for me) I'd say get back in the bathroom honey". That was choice. I love how Simon says exactly what we're all thinking.

Okay, that's just scary

Some vintage stuff is retro cool. Some designs are timeless. And then some designs are, uh, eeewwww. Like this Christmas poncho that doubles as a tree skirt. I am not making this up. Hello! What were they thinking? From a stash of Workbasket mags I got at a thrift store for a dime each. This one from December 1972. Just think though, the 80's were still to come, with some of the worst fashions ever! Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 23, 2006

Are you up for the challenge?

Jennifer of The Felt Mouse has designed a challenge. Entries will be judged and a prize awarded!!! The question is who can come up with the best, most creative, table setting and meal....when all items have been purchased at the 99 cent store? Pretty darn cool. And the more the merrier, so go shopping and post what you come up with! I'm still shopping, but I've got it started. Deadline is February 5.
More info here.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Current mood: angry

I'm not feeling particularly crafty, so I think I'll do some writing instead. Journaling, and blogging to a lesser degree, enables us to release pent up emotions. Better to feel it, express it, and let it go. There's only so much 'what does it matter', 'who cares what they say', etc before the area beneath your rug is full of dirt. You know? I used to have a roommate who took antidepressants. Her doctor would just randomly re-prescribe them, but never required her to seek counseling. How odd. I was really down over a break-up, and she said why didn't I just get some meds. Uh, because I want to FEEL it. How can I move past it if I don't move through it?
Okay, here's the deal today. I hate my job more than I can even express. Something has got to change, because I just can't continue to dread the moments there. My work performance, however, is always exemplary. Always. I am thorough, I am the epitome of excellent customer service, yada yada yada. At the same time, I am not a mindless mop who aimlessly follows direction. I tend to express myself. So I've made a few enemies in the management area. And when people don't like you, they want everyone else to not like you either. I don't know if every company is this way, but the whole control-oriented system can really do a number on your psyche. We are told when and where to take a break and for how long. We cannot chew gum, we cannot wear certain clothing, we are not supposed to talk to one another (or at least not noticeably). If we are more than three minutes late, it is noted. After a certain number of notations, there are verbal and written "write-ups". When we cashier, we are not allowed to step away from our floor mat. Need I go on? No wonder so many of these (often college graduates) adults can't think for themselves. But I digress.
One of my supervisors today was kind enough to tell me that management had expressed some concern that I wasn't doing a good job in a certain department. This pisses me off for several reasons. First, it's completely unwarranted. I seriously rock in that job. I've been there a long, long time, and I know what I'm doing. Period. But even worse, this manager not only expressed something that he should have said directly to my face, but he (or she, I don't know who it was) planted a seed of doubt in a supervisor(s) who believed in me. That's criminal. Back to the whole management control idea--it's a continual tearing down versus building up. I have stepped out of it and I can logically analyze their methods, but it still sucks. Couple that with having to stand on concrete for eight hours. My body hurts. HURTS. Couple that lovely tidbit with the fact that I had to work adjacent to an ex boyfriend today. He and I had a magic at one time, but one of the reasons he broke up with me, is because I'm white. "the blue-eyed girl who got the pony" is how he described me. Said I'd never understand being a "sufferah". Christ, I can't change that, I can't help my skin color (he's Hispanic), but I'm bright and can certainly empathize. When he and I went to Mexico together, women there just hated me. I mean, it was really obvious that a white girl was not accepted dating a dark brown boy. He said we were charged more for things because I was there (he has been going there annually for 15 years). And yeah, it's an eye opener. It's important. He made me read all about Malcolm X and Bob Marley, and wanted me to understand discrimination. Okay, I applaud that--learning is always important. But why then turn around and slap me down? Sigh. Will we ever live in a colorless society? And yeah, I can step out of the situation and look at my past relationship with him and see how he was controlling too. I watched him supervising today, and it was more a bossing around. And it dawned on me that he had worked me too. If I dried my hair straight, he'd take it personally (he liked it wavy). He'd make rude comments. He would build me up then slap me down. I don't want unhealthy relationships like that anymore. And I don't want an unhealthy work environment anymore either, I just don't know how to escape. Not yet anyway.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wow, what a recipe!

I treated myself to an amazing recipe that I had seen on Everyday Italian on the Food Network. The dish is a Caesar Salad with polenta croutons. And the lettuce is grilled. I had never tried polenta, so that made it more fun. Everything about this recipe is excellent.
For dessert, fresh strawberries and Stonyfarm French Vanilla yogurt. Seriously the best yogurt on the planet. Any of you who eat yogurt because it's "good for you" or think it's a good "diet" food, and then you opt for those nasty low fat and non-fat versions....OH NO! Just try the whole milk type with the cream top. Heaven. Eating is supposed to be FUN, remember?

Friday, January 20, 2006

My favorite show on television

Check your local PBS station for times. Someday I hope to marry a man like this. The show is so well produced, and he speaks with such passion. He's always off in some exotic locale, appreciating their cuisine and customs, and making incredible food. What a dream life! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Recycled aprons from clothing

I just got this vintage booklet, Aprons and Bibs, copyright 1945. This page just screams applicable to this month's Tie One On theme, of creating something from clothing. I will be posting more from this book in the week to come. Posted by Picasa

Here's another fun idea for the challenge.
This current pattern is from the Keepsake Quilting catalog. Posted by Picasa

This is my third post just TODAY! So please keep reading....:)


Sorry to any of you who clicked on my blog earlier and found a gazillion repeat posts. Picassa decided to not work for me, so in frustration I shut off the computer...only to come back a few hours later to find the evil computer wizards posted the damn page about six times. Grrr....
Have I mentioned how much I hate Picassa?
A huge welcome back to Susie Sunshine who was in modem hell for two whole weeks and had her legions of fans suffering withdrawal.
And be aware that the Bloggies are about to be decided, but voting is still open. Except what's up with their eliminating best Craft weblog? Regardless, it's a great way to find new, fun blogs.
As if any of us don't spend enough time on the computer or anything.

Yes, yet another vintage cookbook

I'm on a roll with posting vintage cookbook stuff. I'm like that though--I get off on shopping tangents where I'll buy groups of things...then I'll go onto a different tangent. This is from McNess' Recipes from Round the World. I don't see a date, but it's got to be 20's or so, don't you think? For God's sake, a 4H cake baker! Ya gotta love this! Posted by Picasa

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I get the impression that McNess was a door-to-door salesman thing (like the old Jewel Tea Company that my mom talks about, where she purchased some amazing mixing bowls). They seem to have sold various unctions and cold remedies, home cleaning supplies, "cake powders", spices, etc.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Vintage cereal booklet

I love these old booklets, if only for the illustrations. I find the Ozzie and Harriet-type innocence charming. This is a publication by The Kellogg Company, 1933. The funny thing is, it's about using bran as a laxative. Evidently, uh, that's why these people are so happy. Posted by Picasa

The preface says:
Haven't you noticed that your happiest hours occur on days when you're in the pink of condition? Times when you've really lived. You've felt fine, and looked your best. Enjoy more "sunshine days." Guard your health now--while you have it. Your health influences your actions, your moods, your manner toward others, your whole outlook on life. It is our hope that this book will bring you some of the rules of right living--that it will prove a valuable aid in helping you kep on the sunny side of life!
Uh, the pink of condition? Hmmm. Posted by Picasa

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There's a beauty-parlor in your kitchen. Powders and creams are delightful aids to beauty. They will do wonders--if you start with a healthy body. For health, itself, is the source of a smooth, lovely skin and an engaging personality. Bran helps.
The page adjacent to this is
"The 7 Day Diet for Correcting Constipation". Alrighty then.

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"Dieting for Charm and Chic"

Evidently bran is the panacea for life's perils. Eat bran, and you can be svelte and happy. Would that it were so simple!  Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More fun cooking ideas

I just posted another item from that vintage cookbook on my other blog if you'd like to check it out.

Dump Cake

Amy just posted a recipe on her blog for Poor Man's Pie. I thought this was similar to my Dump Cake recipe, and started looking up similar recipes on the internet. These are called "dump" because you dump all the ingredients into one bowl or pan, bake, and you're done. Super easy. I noticed that most of the recipes (and there are a ton of variations) use powdered cake mixes and added fruit. My recipe is more from scratch, and it includes a frosting (most versions don't). I thought I'd share it.

Dump Cake
2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 can Comstock Pie Filling (apple or cherry)
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased and floured
9" x 13" pan.
Bake about 55 minutes at 350 degrees.
Let cool and frost.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 small container cool whip

Beat cheese and sugar together until fluffy and sugar is dissolved. Fold into cool whip and spread onto cooled cake. Keep refrigerated.
There is a note on the recipe card to try sour cream cheese frosting, but no indication of what this means. Maybe substitute a small container sour cream for the cool whip? I asked for the recipe a gazillion years ago at some work function, and was given this handwritten recipe card. My favorite recipes are ones like that--ones from families or tiny cookbooks from churches, etc. The fun thing about internet recipe sites is a lot include reviews from people who try them out, and they'll add helpful hints or changes.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Novelty Cakes & Cookies

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Today I purchased (thrift store, fifty cents) McCall's Bake-It Book, 1975. Funky stuff in there, like these cakes that are fun for kids' birthday parties, but don't call for any special cake pans.

Note the fire hose is thin black licorice wrapped around an empty thread spool. Animals are cookies, as are wheels.
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Mary just made a cake that looks like a radio. Here, cookies that look like a clock.
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An ark full of cookies! I don't see why it just has to be Christmas, although it's certainly a fun alternative to the traditional gingerbread house. I love the owls. I wonder how gingerbread houses came to be associated with Christmas anyway? Wouldn't it make more sense to make a gingerbread Nativity scene? And wouldn't it be cool? Hmmm...

But look at the detail! Elephants look they've popped off an Indian tapestry. The frog! The floral pigs! The joy birds! It's awesome.
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But here's what I want to make most of all: cheesecake with a pineapple glaze. Yum.
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