Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Case of Mistaken Identity

Someone who shall remain nameless just walked past the desk, absent-mindedly tossed me a Milk Bone, and started to hand a Milky Way to Babyface.

Patterns of the Past - Active Sportswear?

I'd like to see someone try to actually swim in #2441. From Smart Sewing, 1949.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sewing - An Infant's Dress from 1949

A simple, one-piece dress to sew for a baby, to go with one of last week's bonnets. From Smart Sewing magazine, published 1949. Pattern available on my Flickr account.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vintage Images - Easter

Copyright-free images from Dover Publications.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Blood is Thicker than Water

When we arrived at Youngest Sister’s house on Thursday, her seven year old greeted us at the door with his face lit up like a Christmas candle. “You’re here! I missed you so much!” he shrieked, and blew right past me to entwine himself lovingly around the spousal unit’s legs.

I had my revenge at dinner; there were too many to fit around the table so the spousal unit gallantly sat himself down apart from the rest of us with his dinner balanced on a TV tray. Youngest Sister’s five year old watched him for a minute and then asked “Mamma, why is Uncle Brian in the time-out chair?”

Lenten Fare

A Salad Of Fish

Required: half a pound of any kind of cold, cooked fish.
Three hard-boiled eggs
One or two lettuces
Three filleted anchovies
Tartare Sauce
(Sufficient for four).

“Carefully remove all skin and bone from the fish, and break it into large flakes. Sprinkle them with a little oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Wash the lettuce, and tear it into pieces. Cut the eggs in sippets. Arrange the fish, with the fillets of anchovy cut into small pieces, in the center of a dish. Coat the lettuce leaves with tartare sauce, and arrange them as a border round, garnishing the dish with the pieces of hard-boiled egg.” Every Woman’s Encyclopedia, 1912.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

You Can Take The Girl Out Of The Marine Corps, But

I was drinking coffee in the lobby of the Allen Park Best Western yesterday morning, gazing across the Interstate at the Target store on the far side, when I caught myself calculating whether I could hit their sign with an RPG from where I was sitting.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring Break

The spousal unit has agreed to spend three days of his spring break with me visiting my family in Detroit.

(What a guy).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Patterns of the Past - The Russians Are Coming

The Slavic influence was big in the summer of 1943, as shown in these patterns advertised in McCall's Needlework and Crafts.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Life Imitates Art

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Fifteen minutes into class tonight, our moulage instructor walked into a suspended DVD player in the training room and gave himself a very realistic-looking scalp wound.

Sewing - Easter Bonnets from 1959

Four little hats to stitch from Moden Needlecraft, No 33, Spring-Summer 1959. The first two are adorable.

And the last one is a cute riff on the traditional baseball-style cap for little boys.

I don't quite get the point of view #3, though. Isn't a hat supposed to keep the sun off Baby's head?

Two pages of instructions to draft and sew these little gems are on my Flickr account. Download them from here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Is That A Gun In Your Pocket, Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?

Scene: an emergency management workshop at a local community college. Participants are a mixed bag of first responders, public health workers, civil engineers, etc. I am sharing a table with a state trooper who looks all of...I dunno, 16?

Me: I think we've met before; were you at any of the planning meetings for the big tornado drill last fall?

He: No, ma'am, don't think so.

Me: Are you on the county Disaster Preparedness Committee?

He: No, ma'am, I'm afraid not.

Me: Well, it's funny, but your face looks very familiar!

He: Have I ever arrested you?

Vintage Images - Art Deco Ad Cuts

More freebies from Dover.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Tale of Two Sundays - March

On a cold, grey, blustery third Sunday in March, 1927, our homemaker would have prepared the following menu: Dried Split Pea Soup, Roast Duck with Apple and Horseradish Sauce, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Creamed Peas, Lettuce Salad with French Cheese Dressing, Peach Custard Pie, and Coffee.

A heavy meal, with peas offered twice, and a rich entrée served with equally rich sweet potatoes. I’d prefer rice or noodles, to soak up the duck juices, myself. That pie looks good, though.

Peach Custard Pie

“Make a rich biscuit dough of 2 cups sifted flour, 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder, 2 heaping teaspoons lard, or use half cream and half milk to moisten and no lard. Roll to fit square pan, prick, and cover with halves of canned peaches. Pour over this mixture 4 cups milk, 2 eggs, ¾ cup sugar, nutmeg or vanilla to flavor. Beat thoroughly before turning over peaches. Bake for 20 minutes in quick oven.”

At this point in American domestic history, there was at least a fifty-fifty chance those peaches were home-canned.

In 1953, our hungry family was offered Pot Roast of Beef, Browned Potatoes, Carrots and Onions, Cabbage Salad, Prune Whip Pie, Coffee and Milk.

A hearty meal for late winter/early spring, using cold weather vegetables, again a little on the heavy side, but the cabbage salad (which was coleslaw prettied up with shredded pimento and green pepper) would have offered a nice tang and crunch to the menu. The prize this month goes to 1953.

(But I’ll pass on the prune whip pie).

Saturday, March 20, 2010


funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

(Don't tempt me).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought. ~ Charles Kingsley

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well, They Do Always Land On Their Feet

Charles See, representative of the Long Beach International Beauty Congress, now in Borneo, sends along a clipping from the March 5 Sarawak Tribune with a fascinating story datelined Kuching. It states that rats in the remote Kelabit area threaten to destroy the rice crop, so 30 Kuching residents have been asked to offer their animals for the first mass parachute cat drop in history (The Los Angeles Daily Mirror, March 16, 1960).

The Online Bookshelf - The Language of Flowers

WIth lovely Kate Greenaway illustrations, on Project Gutenberg.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Is The Inquisition When We Need It?

The spousal unit was on his way out the door this morning when he remembered what day it was...and rushed back in to change into an orange shirt.

Patterns of the Past - What the Well-Dressed Domestic Engineer is Wearing

From Modern Needlecraft, Spring-Summer 1951.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Crochet - Easter Bonnets for the Small Fry

From Modern Needlecraft, Spring-Summer 1951; an Easter bonnet for baby and one for her toddler sister. Instructions may be downloaded from my Flickr account.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Misery Loves Company

While I was moping around the house last week, trying not to scratch, Reserve Cat snuck outside and ate something that made him a very sick kitteh indeed.

Perhaps out of sympathy. Anyway, Dr Tinyvet was on vacation so Dr McNasty (remember her? she's the one who suggested that we should start brushing the Drama Queen's teeth) sent him home with a whopping bill and five pills to be administered daily for two weeks. Fifteen down and fifty five to go; we know he's feeling better because he put four holes in the spousal unit last night.

Vintage Images - Victorian Animals

(from Dover Publications). I'm still a little scaley but thankfully am no longer on those blasted pills.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Thanks for all the kind words and good wishes. I am very very far from death's door but admit to feeling like three of the Seven Dwarves (Itchy, Sleepy and Dopey). My eyes are the big problem, they're light-sensitive and as blurry as my cousin Patrick's on the seventeenth of March.

After dropping an egg and a coffee cup in quick succession this morning, I decided that driving twenty-five miles to the office under the influence of Neurontin and Valtrex was a Bad Idea. My lovely boss agreed.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


What I thought was a bug-bite on my eyelid has been diagnosed as shingles.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quote of the Day

Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below. ~ John Dryden

(vintage goldfish image from Patricia at Agence Eureka).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Online Bookshelf - Australian Home Journal, 1949-1952

An partial run of the woman's magazine Australian Home Journal, with recipes, romance stories, advice to the lovelorn, fashion tips, free dressmaking patterns to draft and tons...tons...of vintage knitting. Over 800 glorious pages (a few of which, alas, are missing) from Hat-tip to CraftStylish for the link.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Patterns of the Past - Aprons for the Home Front

From McCall's Needlework and Crafts, Spring-Summer 1943, apron patterns to help keep the home fires burning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

More of Life's Little Mysteries Dep't

When someone is on a diet and only supposed to be getting half a cup of kibble twice a day, why did I walk into the kitchen this morning and find her food dish heaped full? Has she figured out how to use those extra thumbs, or is she conning the spousal unit?

Knitting - Continental Fashions from 1955

"We have the smart Continental designers to thank for the inspiration for these beautiful resort fashions. At home on sparkling Mediterranean shores--these bright blouses are just perfect along our native coasts and mountains...The jewel tones of our Continental Shirt--shown on the cover--reflect the emerald and sapphire colors of the sea. It is a natural choice for 'those in the know' who will wear it with slacks, fancy pants or shorts."

"The turtleneck collar on the Crested Slipon has great appeal especially for the Junior Miss." From Smart Knitting, 1955. Instructions on my Flickr account.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vintage Images - Biscuits LeFevre

Copyright-free, from Dover.