Friday, April 19, 2013

Our Foremothers . . .

I've been making bonnets out of vintage handkerchiefs
for many years.
They used to be $5.00 for a box full of doilies and hankies.
Now they are running $5.00 to $14.00 EACH!
Sometimes even more for the special ones.
I was moaning about the prices and having to think about raising
MY prices soon, now I charge $18.00 for a bonnet.

Then I thought about where these pieces came from.
Somebody made them. With a needle and thread.
Somebody cut out each butterfly and painstakingly
(and with a very teeny needle) stitched it to another piece, and then embroidered over it. There is also drawn threadwork on this hankie - she carefully cut one thread at a time and pulled each one out to make the design.
And tatting. It's done with a shuttle by tying and flipping tiny knots
 to make picots.
I took a six week tatting class once.
 I almost went insane.
Really! After six weeks of struggle, I had one inch of tatting.
I would like to point out that this tatting is TWO colors, which means two shuttles, or one shuttle and the ball of thread.
Below is a cutwork and embroidered pillowcase. After the embroidery is done, the tiny openings are carefully cut out.
The point is that ALL of these things are precious and should cost more than $5.00 for a box full of them.  The scary part is that there won't be any more
 because the generation who created them is almost gone.
My mom taught me to sew. My daughter is not interested in sewing, but she does make jewelry. If you or your daughters are interested in preserving these arts, I urge you to do so. The way to learn these arts is to sit with a grandmother and learn, because there aren't many classes available. Please give serious consideration to what you are able to pass down to the next generation.
 (Alas, not tatting for me.)
Love, Linda

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Ohhhh Duke . . .

Duke relaxing with a magazine . . .
Somethin' in my toof - got dental floss?
Love, Linda

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I feel like I have been waiting years for this spring!
What's going on outside:

Snowdrops! The first daffodil!
Anybody know what these are??
And my favorite spring flowers are the Hellebores!
Happy Spring!! Love, Linda

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Yet, More Cheap Happiness

This is the third (and last) post about Tammy Strobel's book "You Can Buy Happiness (and it's Cheap)". I wanted to talk about Tiny Houses. Some of you may have heard of Tumbleweed Houses which were created by Jay Schafer. Tammy and her husband live in a house of 128 square feet! Wow! When Tammy talks about her house, I just want to go and live there. Just imagine: no mortgage, very cheap heating and electricity bills, 15 minutes to clean the house, etc. Some people even live in these houses with kids. AND solar power!
I'm not filled with the desire to keep goats and cows, although I would like chickens someday, and goats are awfully cute,
 but a lot of her suggestions hit home.
Create a detailed list of all the activities and what rooms you do them in. What rooms do you spend the most time in? What rooms do you never go into? (Why would you want to clean THREE bathrooms every week, unless you are a family of eight?). She says try closing of some of the rooms and see if you can do without them.
And suggestions for living in a smaller home: When you come home, put stuff away immediately. Make sure each of your belongings has a designated home. Have fewer, more multipurpose items. Why have service for twelve if your family is only one or two. Why indeed, do I have service for twelve - I never use the bottom plates! The most people I can seat is six at my table. Hmmmm. Why do I have two mixers??? One for each hand maybe?
Take advantage of vertical space. Well, I HAVE done that . . . for books. I never get out the stepladder and climb up there though. Maybe in a year or so this will be the Tiny House of Beautiful Dogs.
 Be sure to visit Tammy's Blog, Rowdy Kittens.
Love, Linda