A Few Household Hints

June is winding down.  A beautiful reminder though, that summer is now officially in full swing and along with it the wonderful holidays, vacations, and simple relaxation that comes with the warmer weather.  Even as I write this, I am enjoying the delightful summer sun and breeze on my front porch…although I have just now noticed how weedy my front beds have become and how that little creeper vine keeps creeping closer.  I guess my “spring cleaning” isn’t quite over yet.

Have you been able to get everything on your spring cleaning list accomplished?  I  came so close and then lost steam.  But if you are interested in learning some helpful “Household Hints” from women of the past to maintain your spring-cleaned” house, just keep reading:

Emptying the Sweeper

If one will sprinkle a large piece of paper with water (must as clothes are sprinkled) it will keep the dust of the carpet sweeper from flying when emptied on it.  The wet paper is equally good, of course, for use when the vacuum cleaner is emptied.

Paraffin in the Kitchen

Keep a cup of shaved paraffin in an enamel cup on the back of the stove where it is ready to be melted at an instant’s notice.  When you are through with olive oils or flavoring extracts of any sort, cork the bottles and dip the heads of the bottles into slightly cooled wax, in this way preserving the strength.

Removing Marks of Hot Dishes

Use a thin paste of salad oil and salt to remove marks made by hot dishes on your polished table top.  Spread over the marred spot, leave for an hour or two and then rub off gently with a soft cloth.

Stop Squeaking Doors

If you are troubled with a door hinge squeaking take either a bit of soap of a soft lead pencil and rub over the squeaking place.  The noise will stop at once.

Use a Thimble

When hanging freshly laundered curtains on rods that snag and pull the curtain, place a thimble over the end of a rod and it will slide through.

I may have to try the salad oil on a few marks on my dining room table, and my bathroom door has been squeaking a lot lately…  🙂

I have to say that overall, June has been a banner month.  I was excited to have a “Rapid Interview” with Jessica from Chronically Vintage, as well as a sewing tutorial featured on Sew Mama Sew.  I also have several other collaborations in the works that I can’t wait to share with you over the next few months….stay tuned!

July promises to be just as exciting with family visits, patriotic holidays to celebrate, and not to mention creating posts for next month (which has a theme I am very excited about.)

I wish you all a happy and sunny rest of June, and will see you all in July!


Source: 1922 Women’s Weekly: Home and Arts “Household Hints”

The 1930’s Gold Gown

I can honestly say that I have never created so many paper patterns as I have with this particular gown.  I mean, I was tracing this and cutting out that and double checking width for at least 8 hours!  Why was it such a time consuming process?  The yoked skirt.  That beautiful, slightly difficult, yet much needed,  yoked skirt.

I created this pattern from a book that employs the “Science Method” to creating clothing.  It is a wonderful system that turns out 99% of the time, but you have to go in understanding that you are going to be spending more hours on the pattern than the actual sewing.  Delightfully, the time was spent catching up on T.V. shows and sipping caramel flavored coffee…not a bad way to spend a day! 🙂

This gown has become one of my favorite creations for three reasons:

1. It is a delicate gold color that reminds me of old Hollywood….something I could see Ginger Rogers dancing in.

….and that leads to reason number two

2.  The “flowiness” of this gown is simply wonderful!  Even on the dress form it hangs in wonderful folds, and I can imagine the soft wispy feeling of the skirt against your legs as you waltzed around a ballroom.

…and the last reason

3.  It left me excited to try another one.  Which if you know anything about me, I am not one to repeat projects, so if I wish to make another, it is a huge success!






I hope you all have a beautifully “golden” weekend!



The Fun of Summer Hats

Hats are those amazing articles of clothing that serve a multitude of functions including: beauty, protection, warmth, and, of course, outfit completion. They are also one of the few places where we decorate our clothing to match the seasons. Flowers in the spring, fruit in the summer, and leaves and fur in the fall and winter.

Nothing feels more like you are enjoying the warm rays of the sun than the perfect wide-brim straw hat. It is the one type of hat that I actually think I look good in and one that instantaneously says “summer fun!” While the size of the summer hat may alter over the years, it is so interesting to see that the materials composing these hats haven’t changed too much.

So whether you are at the beach, working in the garden, enjoying afternoon tea outside, or strolling along a little side street doing some window shopping, let your hat enjoy the fun as well!


summer hats

To see more lovely options, please feel free to visit my Pinterest Page.

Summer Picnics and Summer Games

Whether sunny or rainy, there are so many “summery” activities that can keep you, your family and friends, happy and occupied!

Here is a description for a Rainbow Picnic designed to be enjoyed on the most perfect of summer days:

“There is a magic sound in the very word ‘picnic’ and from our earliest childhood all of us have heard of and most of us have made many a strenuous quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

At a recent May birthday party, the hours were from four to seven, and the cards of invitation had  little watercolor rainbows across the corner. Out on the lawn where there were four trees in just the right position a canopy was made with the rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue indigo, and violet.

A basket luncheon was served under this canopy, the baskets being covered with crepe paper with ribbon tied handles. Rugs were laid down on the grass, and the guests were seated real picnic fashion with the contents of the baskets spread around. Trays of iced cocoa and lemonade and ice cream and the birthday cake were brought from the house.”

Raining outside? How about a Rainy Day Picnic:

“Baskets were packed as for an outdoor picnic, and nobody was allowed to return for forgotten articles once the party had started. Paper plates and napkins were used and a paper tablecloth, although the affair took place in the attic instead of on the lawn. Coffee was made over a little “hard alcohol” stove, thermos bottles carried lemonade and chocolate and the group sat around on the floor to have their luncheon.”

Looking for a few games that require nothing but fun and a few unusual ingredients? Try any of these:

The Dressy Dog
“This is like the game of pinning the tail on the donkey. The children are told that the dog was invited to the party, but he lost his neck ribbon and felt so ashamed he would not come. So the children are asked to help him. The picture of the dog is fastened on the wall low enough to be easily within reach and then each child in turn is blindfolded, turned about three times and given a bit of colored paper that he is told to give the dog. Each bit of paper is of a different color or is numbered so the children can have their own identified and a pin is in each with which to fasten on the ribbon. The child who gets the bit of paper nearest its proper place, wins the prize: a hair ribbon for the girl and a necktie for the boy whose effort is best.”

The Peanut Race
“Put several rows of peanuts on the floor, each row containing the same number of peanuts as the others, and give each contestant a teaspoon. At a given signal, each child is told to gather in back, using his spoon only to lift and carry back the nuts. There is a box or basket at the beginning of each row into which the child drops his nuts. The one who gets back his nuts first without using foot or fingers in assisting to get the nuts on his spoon, without dropping any, wins the race. The same game can be played with potatoes and using a tablespoon instead of the teaspoon.”

Potatoes? Ha!

This next game may require those few friends who do not embarrass easily…

Yankee Doodle Kitchen
“The only requirements are a platform and a curtain, which, when it rises, shows a number of busy housewives in colonist attire. Some are washing at a tub, some scrubbing the floor on hands and knees, others are churning, others sweeping, some dusting, one is ironing, etc. The piano or orchestra at first plays very slowly, with well accented beats, gradually increasing the tempo, the workers increasing their movements until both are going at breakneck speed and the audience in in a gale of laughter.”

I hope you try some of these very sweet ways to enjoy each other’s company…. just remember, no electronics allowed!

Happy picnicking, my friends!


Source:  1922 Women’s Day

A Little Dress with a Big Bow

I absolutely love clothes that have a subtle or slight decoration.  These are the additions that can take a dress, a blouse, or  a jacket to the next level.  Now granted, this little number has a bow that many would not call subtle, but that is all that it has…and I love the simplicity.

This shift dress is a classic example of “I thought it out one way, and it came out a different way.”  If any of you are seamstresses, you will understand what I mean.  🙂 The good thing is that I like this version much better!

I based this creation off of a picture I found in one of my 1950’s Simplicity sewing magazines.  Between the size of the cream bow and the contrast it creates against the muted tones of the brown and gray print, this little dress is certainly not to be overlooked.

Nothing is particularly special about the creation of this below the knee length dress (I have attached the pattern that I have created below) except that two very large buttonholes were made in which the bow (kept stiff with interfacing) was inserted.  A lot of darts helped create the shape and a 22″ zipper closes up the back.





Dress with Bow Pattern

1 square =1/2 inch

Would any of you be brave enough to pull of this look?  I would do it in a heartbeat, but then I would of course worry about spilling coffee on myself! 🙂

Have a fabulous Friday everyone!


Part of the Free Vintage-Inspired Patterns Collection

Vintage patterns

A Little World of Peace

Everyone needs a quiet, little place to call their own. Perhaps it is a private bedroom, a favorite chair, the breakfast nook, or a porch swing that hides behind a lush, overgrown ivy vine. Whatever or wherever it is, this little space is the one place where, no matter what the outside world holds, is safe, quiet, and peaceful. It isn’t the type of space that matters, or the way it is decorated, it is the conscious decision made that while you are there, regardless of the time spent, you are away.

For me, I am fortunate to say that my whole house is such a retreat. Perhaps there are parts in my little home that are more comforting than others, but once I walk through that door, I give a blissful sigh that I am home, in my little castle, away from troubles.

Please don’t think that I am void of above said troubles, for I have as many as the next person. But the ones I can leave outside, I do. Period. And therefore, my little suburban home that is a little too close to my neighbors and has that dog down the road which won’t stop barking, often feels like the most delightfully remote cabin one could hope for.

Therefore, this month’s poem is all about creating your own “little world of peace.”

A Little World of Peace

I wish you all happiness and encourage you to find that precious spot you can call your own.


Cover Photo:  In the Garden – Sergey Svetoslavsky

Finding the Right Perfume….

I love smelling good.  A basic, perhaps obvious statement, that nonetheless is true.  You may often see me oddly smelling my arm, if the lotion I used that day has a particularly delicious scent.  Or perhaps you might observe me gently wafting the tips of my hair under my nose from where those very tips got in the way of my perfume bottle.  Which reminds me…I love the beautiful shapes of perfume bottles.   I love the gentle clink the glass makes as you pull off the topper and the instant feeling of being clean and fresh as the gentle mists clings to your skin.  I even have preferred scents for the seasons.  The warmer the weather, the lighter the scent and vice versa.

Perfume can also bring us instantly back to a place, a memory, or a person.  Those heavier scents that perhaps a grandmother wore as she leaned over you to tuck your hair back behind your ear. Or the light scent of the first bottle you received for Christmas and which you, perhaps in earnest, put on too much.  Or the scent that helped you catch an old flame…maybe you have kept it or maybe it went in the trash for good reason.  Regardless, perfume can be as much a part of you as your own signature.

Yet when did the numerous bottles of perfume become a common appearance on the proper lady’s vanity table?  I think this little excerpt from the turn of the century expresses it best:

“Next time you pass a toilet goods counter, sniffing the delicious odors of lavender and jasmine and a host of flower fragrances, and your hand instinctively reaches for your purse and then draws back in a Puritanical prejudice against perfumes, just remember that, in addition to being no longer in ill-repute, they are even considered medicinal.”

As society opened up on their view of makeup and perfume, these two became such an integral part of a woman’s identity and her ability to express her personal self-worth.  Nothing evokes more confidence and respect than a woman who cares for herself, and a beautiful scent is such an important part.

Looking for some suggestions on choosing the right scent?  Read on to learn the guidelines from a 1920’s beauty specialist:

Perfume Choice

So go ahead and splurge on that special scent you have been eyeing at the perfume counter and join your sweet-smelling sisters…no matter in what year they lived!



The Magic Of Dress by Grace Margaret Gould, 1911

Fashion Service: Fragrances for My Lady Fair by Barbara Ellison, 1927

In the Kitchen: The Patio Supper

There is something so freeing about eating one’s meals outside.  Perhaps it is some primal instinct that kicks in when the warm breeze blows across your face as you munch on deviled eggs and potato salad.  Maybe it isn’t so much the outside, as the high-calorie-but-oh-so-tasty food, which you only seem to enjoy during the warm summer months.  Or maybe it is the fact that you can eat and play games at the same time with visiting family, or perhaps it is the only time you can cook raw meat over an open flame, or maybe it’s the hope that if you wait long enough, you can slurp on your ice cream and catch fire flies at the same time.

 Either way, there is something freeing about eating outside, and I think we can all agree that the food tastes better, the laughter is louder, table manners are rougher, and the memories last longer!

 Looking for some menu ideas for your next “supper on the green?”

Why not try some of these suggestions from the 1959 Betty Crocker’s Outdoor Cookbook:

Patio Supper Menus

I have to admit, I am a little weirded out that they put happy little pictures of the main course behind the menus….I mean, that is one cheerful little lamb.

Anyways, I hope you all are able to either host or attend one of the most cherished events of summer living!

 I know I will….

…and I will also plan on winning the Watermelon Spitting Contest! 🙂