Sunday, August 29, 2010

Finally, Buttons in Frames

After ages and ages, I'm ready to show you my best antique buttons in their frames.

I'd bought some old vintage frames at a thrift store last year, and I'd even painted them a lovely antique silver way back in the spring, but I didn't get around to putting them all together until mid-June, didn't hang them on the wall until July, and hadn't taken photos until this week-end. For shame!

I've sewed them onto handmade paper, layered with poster board, though I may re-do them at a later date with crisp, white linen.

The three matching round frames hold the mother-of-pearl and shell buttons, mostly from the Victorian era.

The long, rectangular frame has the vegetable ivory buttons, most of which are probably from the 1930's and 1940's. Gorgeous!

They make me happy every time I walk past them in the hall.

I still have a box of old glass buttons, as well as some metal ones and copious amounts (an understatement) of plastic. More projects, for another time...

On the needles at the moment is the Vixen Shawl available through KnitPicks.

I'm working it in Zauberball Lace weight in the colourway called cranberries. It's extremely vivid, but should be good and bright for those dreary winter months that are ahead. I may have to add a repeat or two of the pattern, as the pattern calls for fingering weight, not lace weight, but we shall see...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Words and Time

The boys finally returned this afternoon, after further mechanical delays that sent them to Minneapolis for an added two hours. They arrived at 1:30 in the afternoon, rather than the 10:15 last night they were suppose to arrive. We're still waiting for the luggage to get here, its had even more adventure, though I doubt its going to be talking.

While I was in Victoria on holiday with Ian, my Mum gave me her Grandmother's gold watch. This beautiful timepiece hasn't worked for quite some time - we have to blame Mum for that, she has the ability to stop time when she wears a watch.

I took it in for repair when we came home and it's working fine and dandy now. The jeweler told me it's "a very special timepiece", and that it likes to be wound at the same time everyday.

It's inscribed on the back H.E.C. - my Great Grandmother's initials - Harriett Elizabeth Crawford. She and I and Mum are all Harrietts, and I often tell Elly that if she has a daughter she'll have to name her Harriett, to which she rolls her eyes. I wonder if the watch will be an incentive? Hmmm...

One piece of jewelry I have marked for Elly is this 1930's Monocraft Brooch.

I bought this back in 1984 when I worked at a local vintage clothing store (Lorraine's Cheap Chic, owned by Timothy Hebl - does anyone else remember?). The military look was popular at the time, so I bought this fabulous brooch and use to wear it on a black linen Nehru collar jacket (I use to be such a little doll). It wasn't until years later that I realised the 1930's brooch I bought in 1984, had the same initials as my daughter born in 1987.

Kooky, yes?


I have two old books to show and tell.

The first is Autobiography and Selected Essays from Lay Sermons by Thomas Henry Huxley. A noted British Zoologist, he was pals with Charles Darwin. This book is still in publication today, my copy is from 1910.

On one of the back endpapers someone has written a chart summing up Huxley's body of work in a few pencil marks. I wonder what he'd have to say?

Also pencilled between lines is the phrase "politely called by another name". I've read and re-read the paragraph, but I can't figure out what the interloper writer is referencing. Perhaps I don't know enough polite names?

The Chicago Evening American Cookbook probably dates to the 1920's, though it's unmarked. I find old cookbooks are often chock-a-block full of handwritten notes, this one was covered in notes, back and front.

"Paistry Pies" - calls for "one slice" of butter, and tells us to "beet vinigar with egg"

"Black Fig Wine" - calls for 111 lbs. of "raisons", though I suspect that 1 lb. would be sufficient, also tells us to "put yeast cake in at blood heat".

"Champagne" - my favourite, I would never have guessed that Champagne called for oranges and lemons, much less 4 potatoes.

You can click on the photos if you want a better look at those recipes.

Lastly, some sad news, the magazine Haute Doll is ceasing publication as of the August 2010 issue.

It's still on shelves now, go to their website if you need back issues. Hurry!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Many Returns

Return the First:

The computer tower has returned from it's extended (and rather pricey) holiday at the repair shop. I have to say, it's working far better than ever before.

So, Hoorah!

Return the Second:

Since I haven't yet posted any photos of Victoria - and we returned from that holiday FIVE WEEKS AGO!!!! - I'll do that right now.

We stayed at the Surf Motel, a 1960's era motel right on the ocean front. It wasn't quite what you'd call posh (I suspect Nigel would have been horrified to have stayed there), but I thought it was very cool. Quite a few of the fixtures were original to the build, including a killer pink bathroom suite, an original '60's stove and the oldest range fan I've ever seen (took me a while to figure out what it was, in fact). All the rooms face the front of the building, so all have an ocean view with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors onto small balconies, facing the Juan de Fuca Strait.


Stunning. We left the door open all night long, enjoying the cold air and ocean sounds - a novelty coming from the Prairie summer.

I'm afraid I didn't take any other photos. I dragged the camera everywhere to all our family visits, but didn't remember to take it out of the bag, not once.

I know, shocking.

More shocking, is that I've done this frequently over the years, so I tend to rely on my sister, Jane, to send me photos of my own parents.

Let's move on to things I never fail to photograph...

I finished the vintage cardi I was working on...

deep olive tweed, with two white angora stripes on a circular, ribbed yoke. Bracelet length sleeves, too! I can't wait for Autumn!

Return the Third:

Well, no return yet... Ian and Nigel have been holidaying in the US, and were due to return this evening, but they've had mechanical problems with the plane on the way home and have been put up in a hotel in Chicago an extra night, so tomorrow morning, they should be back.

They went to Lollapalooza (in Chicago) and then on to New York (Ian's first visit) for a stay at the Waldorf Astoria. Did you know that the Waldorf has a dress code? It's true, I had to buy Ian a whole bunch of new clothes just so he could walk through the lobby. Definitely not the Surf Motel.

I'm looking forward to hearing all about their adventures while away - I'll pass them along if they're appropriate. During a phone call home, Nigel mentioned a good line from Ian. Apparently, on entering one of the luxury accommodations Nigel had booked for them, Ian said, "Tsk, only two bathrooms?"


I had many plans for finishing loose ends around the house while the boys were away, but I'm afraid it was too, too, hot, and I ended up accomplishing next to nothing.

I did get around to painting an old dresser.

This dresser was Jane's as a baby and it's had MANY coats of paint over the years. It's red now...and full to the brim with embroidery supplies. It makes me very happy to look at it. I wonder if the boys will notice?

Not that I'm happy, but that it's now red.

There are more things I still want to share, so I'm planning something shocking.


I know, I know. Stay tuned... I shall return...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Another, Quicker Hello

We've heard back (at last!) about our computer tower. It's had to have a new motherboard and fan installed, and all of our files and photos are presently being returned to their rightful places. I've been told it might be ready tomorrow.

As soon as it's up and running I'll post soon photos of my recently finished cardigan.

Ooooo.... exciting!