Monday, October 20, 2014

1920 Proctor and Gamble Laundry Book

I have LONG been a collector of all-things-laundry. I love pictures of women (or children) hanging up clothes...
I paid $28 for this small picture at an auction. I'm glad I photographed it, because right now it is lost somewhere in my basement....
This little soft cover book is one of my most prized possessions. But, it is a very difficult thing to photograph...you can't read the title....
The title says, "Approved Methods for Home Laundering". It was published in 1920 by Proctor and Gamble.
The illustrations in this little book are amazing...
They are so small, it is hard to get a good picture...but I kept trying...
I was gob-smacked (Marion's term -- is that a Canadian expression?) by the detailed description of how much work it was to do the family laundry in 1920...
HOLY COW...doing laundry was an unbelievable amount of crushing, back-breaking hard work. One whole chapter in the book was about Planning the Week's Work, with an outline for your Daily schedule...YIKES...I am trying to imagine the world my women ancestors lived in...they had to make their own soap...soak the clothes for several hours (or overnight)....then build a fire...rub each garment on a wash-board...then wash in small loads (the book recommends sorting into five different groups).

this is one of the many pictures from my Pinterest board...
Squeeze out the water. Then BOIL the various loads of laundry (a clean stick is recommended for this step). Rinse in two or three different waters. Then Blue the laundry. Starch the laundry. Hang the laundry out (putting pieces of a kind together, and have the threads of the cloth straight). Take down, piece by piece, and fold. Dampen. Roll Up. (never dampen more than you can iron in one day). Then iron.

OH MY GOD....I love my life. And I am very grateful that I was born AFTER the invention of the automatic washing machine...
Make that VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY GRATEFUL...
Next week the Monday post will be some tips about how to dry your laundry.  Don't worry, I understand that most of you don't have access to a clothesline....hey -- I have a clothes dryer, too!! 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cedar Rapids, Coe College and Grant Wood

If you have never been to Cedar Rapids, Iowa -- I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. It is a jewel of a small city -- with SO MUCH to see and do. Anne set up a PERFECT Grant Wood day for us. And one of the off-the-beaten-path places she discovered was Coe College.
Located right in the heart of their sweet little campus -- Grant Wood's house!!
This sculpture was right outside the library
Inside -- we found one room after another -- it was like an art gallery...
The paintings weren't all done by Grant Wood
There were so many reading rooms...and so many original works of art...I swear, in my next life, I would like to LIVE in a library...
In the largest room, there was a collection of early lithographs...
Created for the Iowa State Fair, of course!!
Like small colleges everywhere -- the grounds are well maintained and STUNNING...
Although, it was a little disconcerting that there were NO STUDENTS in this particular library
I mean -- really -- it was almost eerie...
We sat in their comfy leather chairs, wishing we'd packed a lunch.
There was a small exhibit about Grant Wood -- and I love the shadow of me and Anne in the background.  Who said I can't take a good picture??

Friday, October 17, 2014

Cedar Rapids and Our French Lunch

The very best part about having Anne planning our Grant Wood/Cedar Rapids adventure is that SHE LIVES THERE. Sue and I climbed in her van, Anne knew EXACTLY where to go and the best way to get there...she was a wonderful tour guide...
Anne and Sue, just outside the Coe College library.
Anne gave us several choices for lunch. We chose the little French joint.
Croissant du Jour. It is located in an unassuming strip mall...and there aren't very many tables...
But the food was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING...
White tablecloths and napkins...it was all quite lovely.  BUT THE DESSERTS WERE OUT OF THIS WORLD...We decided to share. French cheesecake, Chocolate Eclair, and a Napoleon...
There was a bakery case full of delicacies I've never heard of...but I knew my new life's mission was to TRY THEM ALL...
At the end of the day, Anne took us for a quick spin through the brand new Cedar Rapids Home Goods store. It was the perfect end to the perfect day!!
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PROJECT RUNWAY:  Here's what happens when you go out on a limb....some squirrel will chew it off.  So, after Part One of the Project Runway finale it ain't looking good for my Superstar Kini. I still think he might pull something out of the hat...but I wish he hadn't committed to doing the whole collection out of DENIM. What a bad choice!!

Hey -- I am LOVING Amanda and I think her jewelry will take her to the winner's circle.  After last night's show, I realized that SHE has the collection I most want to see...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Project Runway

Project Runway had a great season -- that is -- IF KINI WINS TONIGHT.

I am going on record as saying he is not only the best designer on the show this season -- he is the best designer they have ever had, in all 14 seasons. No question. Without a doubt...and KINI SHOULD WIN...

Last week, Korina showed her true colors. She not only was a boring designer, she was a petty person, with marginal sewing skills and a very unearned high opinion of herself. After her well-deserved AUF -- she was asked back to help Char in the next challenge. But she walked out in a childish huff. NO SURPRISE TO ME. She was a disappointment to the people who raised her and any teacher who ever thought she showed promise. I predict she will never get a job as long as she lives...

Kini, on the other hand, was a class act all season long.  He had the sweetest personality of any designer on the show...
Even when he knows he SHOULD HAVE WON -- Kini never once dissed another designer...
The week Amanda bid on the storage unit with almost NO FABRIC -- Kini didn't complain.  He won the challenge for them when he made this dress out of soccer balls....
Sean had a great idea for the rain challenge...but it was about to fail completely when Kini told him to use a facing for the packets of dye to keep it from bleeding through before it got wet...
During a team challenge -- Kini did this entire outfit -- STUNNING...
AND he sewed this white top for that team challenge.  Sean only made the pants...yet, when the judges asked who should win, Sean DID NOT TELL THEM KINI ALSO MADE THE WHITE TOP...ENTIRELY...really, Sean?  You should be ashamed of yourself.
How did Kini handle it when Sean got the win that week? That's right.....GRACIOUSLY....
The trench coat was amazing...and the skirt was busy, but that was Tim Gunn's fault.  Kini's first idea was better...
And that red dress, too?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME??
Of course, the best thing about Kini is his incredible sewing skill.  He is so fast, and impeccable....every week, I only remember WHAT KINI DID...(unfortunately,  Sandaya's pink romper is burned in my brain.)
This will be the look on my face if Kini doesn't win tonight...
I mean -- he sewed this dress out of soccer balls, people!!  And I think he quilted the fake fur jacket out of dryer lint...
So, for the FIRST TIME EVER -- I am officially going on record. BEFORE SEEING THE BIG FINALE...

 KINI IS THE WINNER OF PROJECT RUNWAY...!!

For the record, Kini -- the people who raised you are very, very proud today.  You are a great designer and a wonderful human being. You never sunk to their level of petty back-stabbing...and there were so many times when you were helpful to the other designers,  The reason you were never threatened is because you have more ideas than Bayer has aspirin.

You are the best designer they ever had on Project Runway.

CONGRATULATIONS...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Franken-purse

I have this theory about women and their purses. Our purse likes and dislikes never change. We all buy the same purse, over and over again. Some women like leather, or over the shoulder. Others prefer a lightweight fabric or a cross-body strap. Some women are drawn to a certain brand, like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, or Kate Spade...
My sister Deb with her daughter-in-law Stacy...they are BOTH purse connoisseurs...Stacy is addicted to COACH...
My MUST HAVES: Cross-body strap, outside pocket for my phone, zipper top and just big enough for my billfold and my camera...This purse was a gift from my cousin Jackie and IT WAS PERFECT...lightweight...I LOVE IT...
This purse started out much bigger and deeper...but, I cut out about 6" in length. Now it's just big enough for Linda's purse and her camera.
This purse (thrift store, $3) had a lot going for it.  That's lightweight woven leather...with an adjustable cross body strap and a sturdy zipper.
Light colored lining -- with many pockets...It's only failing is that there is no outside pocket for my phone...ugh...
A zippered pocket on one side -- with the FOSSIL label...
I bought another tan fabric purse that had this colorful pocket was on the front. But the purse itself was small and narrow -- that NEVER works...
At  TMBC, and we went around the table, everybody discussing their own personal purse criteria..I showed the TWO thrift-store purses...the Fossil with no outside pocket...and the small purse with the fabulous pocket...Sandy said, "So -- you're going to take the pocket off the small purse and sew it on the Fossil?"  Well -- DUH!!  I hadn't really planned on doing that...but...HOLY COW....I wonder???
 Here it is.  I had to pull the lining completely out, and was able to mostly use the sewing machine to sew around the new pocket addition.  I had to hand-sew the bottom edge....THE COLORS ARE PERFECT...

THIS FRANKEN-PURSE is a dream come true for me. The way it worked out, I actually have TWO outside pockets now. The hot pink pocket with the cool latch is for my CAR KEYS...and the orange zippered pocket is for my cellphone...NO MORE DIGGING...

Yes, I know.  I HAVE THE PERFECT LIFE....

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TMBC Sew and Tell

For many years, I've belonged to a book club. I often refer to them as my "clubbers". We would meet once a month at each other's homes and discuss our book of the month. However -- at some point -- we were having so much fun, we decided to meet every week instead of once a month. At that point, going to our homes was too much work (besides, one by one, our husbands retired, and THEY might be hanging out there) -- so we decided to go out for dinner or lunch at restaurants.

However -- picking a different place and time every week was too much work. And, frankly, HARD TO REMEMBER...and did everybody get the same memo?

Hey -- we are old -- and it's time to simplify our lives. So -- our weekly parties morphed into EVERY DAMN TUESDAY and we'll just meet at THE SAME DAMN PLACE. Which ended up being the local Hy-Vee (yes, it's a grocery store -- not much atmosphere).

Because it's not about the food...and it's not about the location. It's not even about the books anymore -- even though we ALL STILL READ BOOKS. It's more than that...IT'S ABOUT THE LAUGHING and the SHARING....!! But it's kind of hard to explain (especially to our husbands). When Sandy referred to us the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Club -- we knew THAT WAS IT. It was time for an official name change.

I'm sure by now, you get the fact that one of our favorite activities is SEW AND TELL...Most of the time, we don't know what the other members are working on -- until they bring in the finished project:
Linda P. recently made a t-shirt quilt for her granddaughter's high school graduation. GOOD JOB, ABBY AND LINDA...
Linda K. is the artist of our group -- and this was an upcycle challenge...
Sandy, Linda P. and Linda K. -- showing off the crocheted boa scarves that were so popular...

I didn't realize what an accomplished crocheter (is that a word?) Sandy is...
I mean -- isn't this pink baby set beautiful?
I usually think of Sandy as the actual QUILTER of our group...

Linda P. enjoys making gifts for her grandchildren...this was during the Harry Potter craze...
Of course, I am all about the t-shirt MAXI dresses...THIS particular dress started OUT as a long dress -- but in a size medium, with a sexy sleeveless top. So, I cut it apart -- using a size 2X top I already had...
I'm showing off the intricate reverse applique technique...(yes, sarcasm...)
I ADDED the two large panels on each side...with some help from t-shirt mountain...
We are, obviously, each other's biggest fans. We've been through births, deaths, weddings and funerals. Each week, we do updates on our lives, and we share it all. The good stuff, the bad stuff and all those things in between. And -- yes -- we know how lucky we are...