speaking of gas prices

I've been seeing this graphic a lot lately on some of the political blogs I read. Funny but also not if you know what I mean.

I know that historically we pay much less for gas than people in other countries do (Europe, for example) so they're sort of right when they don't have much sympathy for our situation. But it really is a whole different thing here in the US if you live out in the country like I do. I grew up in NYC and lived in Chicago for a while and took public transportation everywhere (and happily) but it's non-existent here. And the only store within walking distance sells ice cream and a steady diet of that is probably less appealing than it sounds :)

I've always bought cars with high gas mileage - no SUVs for me - and that helps. And I've started to limit my trips to town, combining grocery shopping, banking, and post office runs into single trips.

Most of you probably don't remember that gas was rationed back in the 70s during the oil crisis. I was pretty young and can't remember all the details but I do know that you could only buy gas on certain days of the week and the lines were really long (I used to take a book to read). I'm thankful we don't have to do that yet.

From Wikipedia—
In the U.S., drivers of vehicles with license plates having an odd number as the last digit (or a vanity license plate) were allowed to purchase gasoline for their cars only on odd-numbered days of the month, while drivers of vehicles with even-numbered license plates were allowed to purchase fuel only on even-numbered days. The rule did not apply on the 31st day of those months containing 31 days, or on February 29 in leap years — the latter never came into play, since the restrictions had been abolished by 1976.

So how are gas prices impacting your life? Are you driving less or making changes to your routine?


feels like summer

This holiday weekend was a flurry of activity—most of it taking place outside. I'll tell you about Saturday in a minute but Sunday and Monday were all about the garden. We planted fruit trees (another peach, a new pear), vegetable seeds (corn, beets, carrots, cucumbers, and green beans), vegetable plants (the baby cantaloupes and Greek tomatoes I started in February and some heirloom tomatoes, poblano peppers, and bell peppers from the garden center), and annual flowers in pots for the porch off the kitchen. We put netting over the strawberry plants, which are loaded with blossoms and teeny tiny future strawberries. I planted hostas in the shade garden and weeded flower beds. I even mowed the lawn. And yes, I collapsed into bed each night. But it felt good to get so much of the heavy work out of the way.

Saturday was equally exhausting but for different reasons. I got up early and drove to Stormville, NY for the Stormville Airport Antique Show & Flea Market. This was my first time attending the show and you'll find a full review (the good and the bad) over at Vintage Indie. I'll use this space to show some more of my purchases.

I thought most of the vintage linen/textile dealer's wares were very overpriced but I always manage to find a few bargains wherever I go. I got this embroidered pillowcase for $3 because of the weird stain running above the embroidery. An oxyclean soak got rid of 90% of it and I'll try a few tricks to get rid of the rest. The bluebird is super cute and I love the flowers (rhododendrons, I think).

bird pillowcase

I passed up the $4 hankies at one dealer's booth only to find a basket full of $1 ones at another's. This one with embroidered roses and daisies is very sweet.

rose hanky

I found some cool vintage 1920s needlework catalogs for $5 each. Catalogs are great for dating linens—they show what styles were in fashion during certain time periods. I think I'll show some of them in a blog post of their very own.

I talked the seller of this rose-print apron into a lower price ($3) because it was really dirty. It cleaned up just fine! I love the fabric this is made from and it has a stiff red netting (also used for the triangle pocket) underneath to give it shape.

rose apron

This is the white beaded purse for $5 that I mention in the VI review. As it turns out it's not just a clutch—it has a chain handle that tucks inside, too.


I wish I could have gotten more than scraps of this fabric. It's a vintage DuBarry screen printed cotton with roses and bows and the colors are amazing.

roses vintage fabric

I have a few more trips planned for later in the summer - shows that I go to every year. Other than that I'm not sure. With gas so expensive ($48 last time I filled the tank of my VW bug!) I think I may be sticking closer to home this year.


Happy Mother's Day

3 moms

A photo from a long time ago. This is my grandma Elizabeth in one of her perfect sweater sets, my mom with her ponytail and bobby-pinned curl and me looking a bit overwhelmed with the attention. Somebody let me out of here :)

And I couldn't resist including another picture, of my mom and me on my second birthday. I can't figure out why I'm focused so intently on that birthday gift. Just look at that gorgeous barkcloth pillow above my head and I'm sure it was the genuine article, too! The curtains aren't bad either. Silly me :)

mom and me

Happy Mother's Day!



A couple of years ago I started a group (Feedsacks) on Flickr to catalog some of the 15,000 existing patterns of feedsacks. This was a project I started on my website (you can see it here) beginning with swatches from my growing collection of feedsack cottons. Then I got busy with other things and the whole thing got set aside. There's really no way I could ever get all of them anyway.


Lately, a few people have discovered the group and asked to join. And I've decided to try to inject a little life into the project again. I invited a few people who already had pictures of feedsacks in their own pools (Flickr-speak for a group of photos). And thanks to those new members who accepted, joined, and shared their photos this week! Stop over and check out the photos and feel free to join us if you're so inclined.


Some of you are probably asking "What the heck is a feedsack?" I'm not going to attempt to explain in detail because several others have done so already, and much better than I could have done. You can read all about them here:
Feedbags: From Rags to Riches by Joan Kiplinger
Feedsacks: A Tradition of Recycling and Repurposing by Kayte Terry
Feedsacks! by Kris Driessen
Feedsacks, Frugal and Fun by Judy Anne Johnson Breneman
Collectible Feedsack Cloth and Quilts: the Past Revisited by Patricia Cummings


The feedsack examples shown here are some of my personal favorites. I love the large scale florals in bright colors, but there are plenty of patterns for everyone whether you like small-scale florals, stripes, polkadots, geometrics, or novelties. And about that 15,000 number—according to one member of the group it's actually grown to 20,000! Oh well, what's another 5,000?


violets are blue


The modest, lowly violet
In leaves of tender green is set;
So rich she cannot hide from view,
But covers all the bank with blue.

—Dora Read Goodale

I've been thinking of violets lately because we have thousands of wild ones in our lawn and they really are a sea of blue this time of year. We also have some of the cultivated variety (the one shown above has white edges and a purple center) in the flower beds. They spread like crazy so they'll soon take over there, too. Not complaining because I love them.

I didn't realize quite how much until a few days ago when I was going through my box of vintage hankies. I need to make some new sachets so I was trying to work up some combinations—hankies with fabric and buttons that all work together visually (not always as easy as it sounds). I have a lot of hankies with violets and I thought I'd share some pictures. The embroidered ones are especially pretty!

embroidered violets

violet handkerchief

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

embroidered violets

Did you know that violets have more than 200 common names, many of them relating to love and sex. Names like Hearts Ease, Bird's Eye, Bullweed, Pink-eyed John, Pink-of-my-Joan, Godfathers, Godmothers, Wild Pansy, Love-lies-bleeding, Love-in idleness, Love Idol, Cuddle Me, Call-me-to-you, Meet-me-in-the-entry, Kit-run-in-the-fields, Three-faces-under-a-hood, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate, and Kiss-her-in-the-buttery. Too funny!

And speaking of those sachets, I wasn't able to cut up these hankies up after all! Sometimes I just can't bring myself to do it so back in the box they went.


Stitch School: Beads.3

Stitch School has moved to it's very own space on the web! You'll now find the Beads post here. Comments are now closed on this post; if you'd like to leave a comment please do so on the new one.