A couple of weeks ago we were at the St. Vincent DePaul’s waiting for their thrift shop to open when the little ladies that work in the store started coming out to pick up the previous night’s donations and take them inside. Loving Husband and I noticed that one woman in particular would kick something every time she walked through; it made a loud skidding noise every time she would boot it out of her way. Once some of the boxes and bags were cleared we could see that what she was kicking was a very old and very ornate BIBLE! I’m not religious really, but I don’t feel that you should kick a holy book from any religion, especially not the bible if you work at the church thrift store of all places! LH had already picked it up by the time she came out again and had asked her if they could price it so that we could buy it. We have a friend who is a youth minister and who loves books so, we thought that even though it was a little worse for wear he would love to give it a home. She was a little mean, but said that she couldn’t sell it because it was in bad shape, but she would give it to us. We thanked her heartily, packed it away in the car and went on into the store to look around.
When we got home I was able to really look at it closely. It was very lovely and the only damage to the entire thing was that the front and back covers had both become detached. It was HEAVILY embossed, had real marbled paper front pages and was covered in gold gilding. It was jam packed full of illustrations, probably 1,000 of them easily, several were etchings covered with tissue. It had dictionaries for several different things including the plants and animals mentioned in the bible. This was the Mega-Super-Duper-Director’s Cut edition of the bible for sure! It was made by the National Publishing Company in the 1870′s and was sold door-to-door. I will try to get a photo of the cover as soon as I can and I will add it above, we passed it on to our friend before I was able to locate my camera from the move. For some photos of very similar bibles and a little history lesson about these beautiful books, visit The Antique Salesman Bible Sampler Store at Windmill Ministries.
My favorite part of this bible and the part that I am making available to you here, was the family history/genealogy pages scattered throughout the book. I would have loved to have found someone’s family story there, but this book was completely blank. In the end it was easier to scan and clean up the pages for reprinting because there was no writing on them, so I guess it worked out for the best. I have sized each page to 8.5″ X 11″ in Adobe Photoshop, but since they are JPG files you can re-size or alter them however you wish. I have put them all into this one zip file for easy download or you can right click on each image and save them individually if you don’t wish to have all 8. I was so taken with the colors and Victorian designs that I had to share them with you all.
I decided to list these now so that everyone would be able to have them printed in time for the holidays. I do a lot of genealogy research and I plan to print some of these out on card stock, fill them out with a nice calligraphy pen, bind them and give them as a gift to family members who are interested in our history as well. What a great gift for a parent or grandparent or even for the younger generation, to show them a little about where they came from and who they are related to. Another idea is to print them out on normal grade paper and mail them out to your older relatives along with a note asking them to fill out any information that THEY might have about your family’s (or their own personal) history and then to bring it with them to wherever you gather for the holidays. You will have a wealth of personal information about your relatives and what they could remember of the past to add to your Gen files. Everyone will feel like they have made a special contribution to your efforts as well. You could even sit around and discuss the information which might lead to recollections even older than what people originally listed on the sheets. Whatever you do with these scans, I hope that you enjoy them as much as I plan to because they really are just too lovely to go to waste.
I do LOVE these vintage “See America” posters! I’ve already voiced my love of vintage travel posters and of course, American destinations are some of the coolest. The depression era art style of these posters below is beautiful. The originals are worth a small fortune if you can find them, but you can buy reprints from several places on the internet. One of those places gave this little snippet of background info on the pieces:
WPA Posters ( Works Progress Administration) were made during the WWII Era between 1936 and 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. They were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia. The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts.
I liked these images so much that I made them into a set of four bookmarks that I printed out from my computer. I’ve posted them below for anyone else who would like to make them as well. Right click and save the image to your computer for future printing. All you’ll need is a color printer, scissors, a whole punch and some baker’s twine. Once they are printed out, cut along the edges to separate them. Punch out the hole where it is shown at the top. I laminated mine, which I would recommend, especially if you have an ink jet printer and not a laser printer because if it were to get wet the ink would run. Once they are laminated, you can loop the twine around once and tie it or you could tie on a tassel or something decorative. For step by step instructions for making a tassel, visit this page at Martha Stewart Crafts. If you would like to use ribbon instead of twine you can. I preferred the look of the unbleached cotton twine for this project, but please feel free to make it your own. The image is larger than it displays here and will print as a full page.
Part of my summer of organization includes decorating parts of the apartment that have been barren since we moved in a year and a half ago. One of these areas is the kitchen. So far the whole thing has just been plain white. It’s painted white with white appliances and I have white tie shades on the windows. It’s a small kitchen, but we do have a little dining nook where we sit to eat dinner. I’m getting so tired of looking at the blank walls! Because Loving Husband is the main chef in the house, I don’t want to go with décor that is too feminine. We’ve been planning on replacing our cookware with something green or gray (in color), but I still love the vintage white look. I didn’t know what to do for a color scheme because sometimes I come across objects for the kitchen that only come in one or two colors and none of them are green or white… so I needed an idea that could accept a rainbow of possibilities if worst came to worst. Since we are both big history buffs and love our heirloom garden, we decided to go with a WWII Victory Garden theme. I LOVE Victory Garden stuff and this theme allows us to pretty much include any veggie or farm related piece we would want to.
Today’s post is focusing on customizing Chef’s towels. I LOVE vintage needle work and embroidered tea towels. I have a TON of cute vintage veggie themed patterns, but I wanted to incorporate a few of my own. My biggest inspirations for this whole room are the WWII Women’s Land Army and Victory Garden posters. If you are unfamiliar with what I mean, you can find examples here and here. The second is a great exhibit called “Beans Are Bullets” that even has period videos. From looking at these posters for a while I found a few emblems and logos that really caught my eye and I turned those into embroidery patterns for my own use. I have decided to share them with you, my readers. Just right click to save the images to your hard drive, then print them out or trace them onto wax paper, pin it to your fabric and embroider away!
The Food for Freedom image was taken from a U.S. Dept of Agriculture poster and the C is from the U.S. Crop Corps (Women’s Land Army) campaigns. The V for Victory with the basket of produce (below) is from an ad for the National League of Wholesale Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Distributors. I did a quickie job embroidering this one on a hankie just to show you what it looks like when it’s completed (at top). I hope you enjoy the patterns!
I’ve recently been lucky enough to find some vintage sewing supplies with some really cool looking packaging and I wanted to share them here on the blog. I have a ton of buttons and needles to organize, so I started this project for personal use. Once I got the items scanned in and cleaned up, I thought that maybe someone else out there might find them useful too! All of these images are free, all you have to do is right click on the images and save each, and then you can print them at your convenience.
These are needle cases. The originals just have a piece of black paper glued inside that the needles are stuck through to keep them from sliding around. These are actual size. Once they are printed out, cut around the edges, fold on the obvious creases and cut the closure slit where you see it on the image. These fit perfectly into little sewing kits. Make sure you keep them somewhere that you normally keep your needles because after all, they are just paper and you don’t want anyone to get poked!
Most of the button or snap cards that I run across are plain or are so badly torn up that they can’t be scanned to create new ones. I was finally lucky enough to find these two above and used them to make the two below. Again, just right click and save the image, then you can print it out as you’d like. You sew the individual buttons onto the card and arrange them however you’d like. I left blank spaces on these images so that you could add your own name or change the size, etc. They print larger than they appear on the screen, so adjust to your desired size. Please only use these for personal use as I use these for my own Etsy shop.
Last Fall I happened across a pair of WWII Victory Garden publications at a local estate sale, so of course I snatched them up! We love historic (and there for usually more natural) methods of cleaning, cooking, gardening, etc. making these a welcome addition to our home! I think I paid $6 for both booklets, which is more than I would normally pay, but they were in really good shape and I rarely see items like these anywhere. I think maybe these booklets and others like them were very common and so no one thought to save them or figured that they weren’t wanted anymore? I remember Loving Husband telling me that his Grandma Bertie had left him her ration stamps when she passed. He put them in a box in the attic with the rest of his keepsake belongings and went off to college. Then he came home to find that his older brother had thrown them away with everything else LH had owned in order to make room for his own belongings. The victory garden movement was HUGE in the United States and Britain during WWII. They were everywhere and almost 1/2 of the vegetables consumed in the US were home grown from what I understand. We have always been interested in Victory Garden style growing; Heirloom varieties, organic food production and historic farming methods. Now that it has become sort of popular, it makes it much easier to find information and products to assist you.
I’ve decided to share the Have a Victory Garden booklet with the world via a series of 5 PDF files consisting of approximately 15 pages each. If this book is well received, I will start with the next booklet, which tells you what to do with some of your harvest: Health-For-Victory- Home Canning Special Feature published in 1943. Below is a sample of the inside of the booklet.
On a message board the other day I read about someone having made Wild Violet Jelly with violets that were growing in their front yard. I’ve wanted to try canning and making my own preserves for some time now, and the idea of using something I had growing wild intrigued me. I’m always weary of trying a new recipe if it is going to cost me a small fortune, just in case things don’t turn out well, so this seemed like a great one to test because it didn’t have a lot of expensive ingredients. It happened to be pouring down rain the day that I decided to make it, so I only managed to gather 2 packed cups of flowers instead of the four that the recipe I initially saw called for. It took me a few minutes to find a recipe that made a smaller batch and required fewer flowers. I found THIS recipe from Prairieland Herbs that sounded like it would work out nicely.
After gathering together all of the supplies that we would need, we started following the recipe. I was surprised at the deep teal-blue color that resulted from steeping the violets! I was expecting something a lot more on the purple side than what I got, which had a lot of green overtones. When you get to the lemon juice stage, hold on to your hats folks! The violet water turns a bright fuchsia color as a result of the acids in the lemon mixing together with whatever is in the violets! It was pretty neat to watch. This bright pink will be the color of your final product! The recipe called for clear lemon juice, which we didn’t have. All we had was the cloudy type, so we used that instead and hoped for the best. In the end our jelly was clear, so I really don’t think it matters which type you use.
The violet jelly looked great and tasted very good. It has a light, sweet taste with a slight peppery hint to it, much like Choward’s Violet gum/candies. Since this was such a success, we decided to try our hand at something a little more traditional, Strawberry Jam. Only, we didn’t want to make just ANY strawberry jam, we wanted to make traditional English Strawberry Conserve. The Brits are sort of known for their strawberries and we love all things British, so we figured we would give it a try. I searched for a whole day; I must have seen hundreds of recipes, but I finally found the perfect one HERE at BBC GoodFood. What caught my eye was the butter, something none of the others had. I figured it had to be good!
I was right! This is the best strawberry jam I’ve ever had! We only ended up with 4 jars; I wish I would have made more. We plan to go strawberry picking this summer in New York, so maybe we will make some more then. I know my father wants to make some raspberry-currant jam over the holiday as well.
We used the small Kerr jars to store the preserves using the traditional boiling method to seal and sterilize the jars. I used round paper label and a free downloadable PDF of beautiful vintage style labels in various colors by Cath Holden of Just Something I Made. I think the beautiful labels add the perfect finishing touch! We’ve given away a few jars to friends; I am even shipping one all the way to New Hampshire! I really hope that everyone enjoys their jelly! We had so much fun making these delicious conserves that we plan to try out many more recipes this summer and we would like to make some more violet Jelly very soon before they are all gone from the backyard!
I love this free paint label printablefrom fellow home restorers Brooklyn Limestone! I know that I personally have probably 20 different colors of paint back at the house in Indiana and we haven’t even gotten around to the task of painting anything yet. I painted part of the bathroom and one corner of the living room to test out colors, and I painted the dining room because I could no longer stand every room downstairs being YELLOW. With what seems like a thousand cans of oops paint stacked everywhere, I can truly appreciate something as lovely as these labels that will help me to at least make my chaos look pretty! When we bought our house and started restoring it, we decided to not even THINK about any of the cool stuff like what we wanted the finished rooms to look like. We were only concerning ourselves with the boring stuff like electrical, plumbing, room reconfiguration, repairing windows, etc. After the first couple of years though, we realized that you kind of HAVE to consider the finished product when working on the rest, because many of those decor selections will affect the construction work you have to start out with. Flash forward to today, we are still working on electrical and windows, but now we have stacks of tiles and paint cans and light fixtures; any assistance in straightening out this mess if VERY welcome! Whether you’ve got a whole basement full of cans or you just want to clean up the garage a little, you should go over and check these out. In their tutorial, the Brooklynians transferred all of their leftover paint into new smaller cans. This could get a little bit pricey if you have many different colors. I use paint for more than walls, so as I stated, I have many, many cans full (or half full). I keep my cans clean at all cost as it is, so if you are like me all you should have to do is remove the original labels and maybe clean up the lip edges a little bit.
Last week we wanted to make an old style Harvey Wallbanger cake recipe that my dad got from a friend of his back in the 50’s or 60’s. We were missing the Galliano, so we decided to improvise a little, switch it up and invent our OWN cake. Loving Husband came up with a great recipe featuring one of his favorite drinks: Long Island iced tea! I don’t personally care for them on their own, but when mixed into a sweet cake, it eliminates the sharp undertones and they really taste great! This would be the perfect dessert for a BBQ or a picnic. Many of the cakes in my mid-century era recipe books are drenched in spirits. Apparently during that time they were a common thing to have at cocktail parties and other adult get togethers. This cake is fun and delicious and isn’t as messy of a cake as the traditional frosted variety. We substituted strawberry vodka for plain vodka and the Long Island mix for the Galliano Wine. We didn’t end up adding the finely chopped strawberries into it, but if you would like to, I think that would be a really tasty mix in!
It was so good that I thought it called for its own recipe card! I made this one shown below myself with an image out of a VERY old cookbook-pamphlet that I’ve had for a long time. If you like the card, you can download the blank version of it here for free and print as many as you’d like for yourself! I left it as a single card so that you can multiply it or adjust the size more easily if you would like. If you try the recipe out, I hope you liked the cake as much as we did! Please let me know, I’d love to hear what you thought!
As a frequent renter of small homes or medium sized apartments, and as the owner of a home that sits on a limited amount of land, small plot gardening is very close to my heart. Although I’d love a BIG plot of clean, well irrigated land someday on which to have a small personal farm, the likelihood of that happening at the moment is not 100%. In the meantime, I need to make do with what I’ve got! Often, all I have are a few large planters or a strip of dirt only a few feet square. So far we’ve done well with “mini-gardening” because we don’t really raise a WIDE variety of vegetables. We stick to what we eat, which immediately cuts out most peppers, squashes and cabbages, none of which I care for. I found a stack of old magazines at a Goodwill store not too long ago and among them was this April 1975 issue of The Saturday Evening Post that you see above. I picked it out from the pile and bought it because of an article about the kind of gardening that we do. I found it to be very informative even though it’s only 2 pages long. I think it is neat to look back, even just 40 years, to see how people used to do things. All of the images in this post are property of The Saturday Evening Post and can be enlarged by clicking on them so that you can easily read the words.
I came across the Wedding Style Guide website while browsing design blogs and I had to share it with you. Although their wedding ideas and advice are great, it’s not the “wedding” aspect of the site that I was focused on. What I REALLY wanted to share with you is the Download section. While the multitude of their beautifully designed printables are intended for use at bridal showers and receptions, they could be used for and adapted to many, many different purposes. I loved the Issue 1: Tea Party labels (above) and thought they would be great to unify the look of my own teas in my kitchen. Also, I highly recommend the freebies for Issue 7: Book Club and Issue 12: Pretty Parisian! For a better look at some of their other lovely vintage inspired printables, follow the link above.