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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Of Hankies and Doilies

Hankering for Hankies

Based on comments to my Oct. 21 post, I see that many of us are devotees to the vintage handkerchief. I thought I’d share how hankies are used around Oak Rise Cottage.

This bulletin board in the downstairs office displays crystal angels with hankies and doilies and other pretties.

Here is a collection of six hankies. Each has an all-around design, with the four corners having the same design. I like the sense of completeness this gives.

When I moved into my house in 1991, I did not have money for new bedding or drapes. So I bought peach polished cotton toss pillows and dressed them up with off-white handkerchiefs hand-stitched to one side.

As pictured in my Oct. 1 post, I also selected from my kerchiefs and framed them along with vintage doilies.

On a table in front of the windows in my bedroom I use a monogrammed hankie given to me by my mother. It serves as a napkin for a cream teacup and saucer set in a small brass Chinese tray.

For a new crafter’s group here in New England I was preparing this large yellow pillow by appliquéing the colorful cotton hankie to one side.

Just as the new crafter’s online shop was about to start selling, problems arose with the Internet provider and the venture was cancelled.
[Since I had to register with Etsy in order to buy, I may just put them on sale by opening my own Etsy shop – OakRise.etsy.com. Think they would sell?]

Dallying with Doilies
Right up there with hankies as vintage linens, are doilies. I also collect doilies and have used them in various ways around the cottage.
Here are some other décor pillows I’ve worked on. Also for my bed, I took a lace-edged white cotton doily and stitched it by hand to the back of a little round pillow I had made. The lace forms edging for each side. The fabric matched my bedspread and the edging on the drapes.

In the guest bedroom is a large white pillow with crocheted edging. To this I hand-stitched a five-pointed Battenberg lace doily.

Continuing to make changes, I have selected these white buttons and pearly pin to enhance the pillow.

Intent on putting them up for sale, I took two green polished cotton pillows from Kmart’s Martha Stewart Everyday Collection and altered them with two new Battenberg lace doilies. One doily is round, the other square.

To a large lilac print pillow I stitched a round crochet doily.

For these two other yellow pillows I selected two small embroidered doilies to stitch on them. The third photo shows the rear of the pillows.

The other day I was checking on how to become an Etsy seller. Things seemed pretty straightforward, though generating traffic and sales is a challenge. Do any of you Etsy sellers or buyers think these pillows might sell? Let me know what you think. Thanks for your comments.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Aprons of Friendship

An apron is a domestic garment, which evokes a sense of warmth. This is so because it is emblematic of the kitchen, which is the heart and hearth of the home. It is often an item that can be given as a well-received gift to Mom, another relative or to a friend.
In this post I’d like to share three aprons which were given to me by two friends. The first came from a college friend who sent it for me from Sweden. This apron has two bands of orange geometric pattern on a brown background.

The second came some time later from the same friend when she went to live in Norway. This cotton fabric has an abstracted floral pattern in green and orange on a white ground. It has a heart-shaped pocket outlined in the orange piping, which borders the entire apron.

A co-worker gave the third to me in the early 1980’s. This design has a bib to protect your top. The white quilted ground has a circle with three sprightly daisies, and a red barn in the background. Another daisy decorates the bottom of the apron below the verse. Brown piping frames the entire apron and serves as ties as well.

The verse on the apron expresses the beauty of friendship:

I would like to dedicate this verse to all the bloggers who care for the well being of others, and who do all they can to offer support in times of difficulty.

The garden of friendship’s
a beautiful place
Where it’s sunny and bright every day
And good friends who care
Can always meet there
For it’s only a memory away.

My wish is that you each will have a wonderful day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Points

I just recently received a J.C. Penney $50 Gift Card from My Points.

Have you heard of the My Points program? It offers free membership, which consists of visiting merchant and other web sites. Just clicking to visit the web site gives a few points. Making a purchase, joining an organization such as AARP, signing up and making a bid on eBay, or requesting a quote of some sort gives additional points. In the case of my $50 gift card, it took a while since I mostly visited sponsor websites rather than shop or order services from them.

A review of the program at their website will reveal a very wide range of merchants, organizations, and services. Some merchants are: Brookstone, Barnes and Noble, Circuit City, Dell, Home Depot, JC Penney, JoAnn, Lillian Vernon, Linens 'n Things, Macy’s, Overstock, Sears, Target, Terry’s Village, Wayside Gardens, and many more. Among services are insurance, home improvement, survey panels, DVD rental, and cell telephones.

Having been a member for a few years now, I have used My Points for gifts such as $25.00 gasoline cards or Barnes and Noble gift cards, etc. Other times I have gotten Home Depot gift cards to buy needed supplies for myself.

If anyone is interested in becoming a member, just let me know and I’ll send you an invitation to join My Points. For each person referred a member get 100 points and the friend 125 points for joining. During the month of October the points for shopping are doubled.

You or a friend may wish to check it out when you have time. You may find that a site that you use is one that is included in the points reward program of My Points.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday Finds

This summer, each time I had tried to visit a particular antiques store it turned out to be closed. On Friday Oct. 19, however, the side trip after delivering my mail to the post office was successful. During the course of my stay in the store I was told by the owner that she was selling the business to a gentleman whom was there at the time. He is a very pleasant personality and quite friendly as the still owner is. She said she would continue to work there, and to find merchandise, but not be in charge of the whole thing. Therefore, lots of things were on sale – “cheap, cheap,” she assured me.

While I did not find the tablecloth I needed for the kitchen, several other items caught my eye. There were loads of linens and handkerchiefs. Four of the hankies I got were 75 cents each and three were $1 each. They are quite nice designs with embroidery, lace and crochet details.

The teapot is a vintage design, but is a new dishwasher and microwave-safe reproduction. The teapot and matching mug cost $10.

The $1. red and white towel is USA-made of Belgian linen.

My selection of three books cost $4 total: Garden Style: Decorating Ideas for Indoors and Out, The Complete Guide to Gardening and In the Kitchen With Rosie: Oprah’s Favorite Recipes.

An addition to my blue and white teacup and saucer collection is a Limoges in pale blue. The store owner-to-be pointed it out to me, among several others. From a distance away, the current owner quoted us a reduction from the marked price of $11 to $7. However, when she was ringing it up, she exclaimed, “This is a Limoges! Oh, well, I am glad that it is you who’s getting it.” The wood cup and saucer stand was reduced from $6.95 to $2.00. Actually, looking carefully now at the cup and saucer it seems to be hand painted.

She also stalled a little in looking over the last three of my pick of handkerchiefs, saying “These are very well made; they usually go for $4…” -- and put a cost of $1 each.

The little crochet dress ornament was tossed in for free.

So my week-end shopping left me some quality items to add to the eclectic mix at Oak Rise Cottage.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Pincushion Chairs

In her July 10 post for Esther Sunday’s Journal she wrote about her collection of chair pincushions. As I also have a small collection of pincushion chairs, I wrote her a few days ago and said I would soon post about mine. So here it is.
My pincushion collection totals nine pieces and reflects my love of needlework such as embroidery and crochet. My first chair pincushion was spotted as my Mother and I approached an antique shop window. There it was, a tiny chair full of curlicues. Upon closer inspection I realized it was made of tin. That is, it was formed from a tin can, with skillful snips and twists to form the chair shape.

Inside the store I further examined the vintage object and decided it would fit my interest in the chair as an historic object.
As shown in the photos that follows, most of my pincushions are vintage.

This little chair seems old. Made of wrought metal, it is quite heavy and the design is quite elaborate.

These two metal chairs are both silvery rocking chairs. The tiniest one is a souvenir from Florida. It has "FLORIDA" on the chair back. The other rocking chair has an openwork design for the back.

The first of the two wood chairs has a bent wood back and seems to be missing its center back support. The seat is girded round by two rows of bent wood. The second chair is in a solid folk style done in pine wood. Its seat has a round mound of green fabric as the cushion.

This chair is contemporary, made in China. Done in a Victorian style, it is of pink resin with little gilt florets all over. A tiny accent of sculpted roses tops the back and under the rolled arms.

The next pincushion chair by Mary Englebreit. It is an example of her sprightly and colorful motifs. The pins are topped with red hearts.

This example is by Avon and is a milk glass-like crème sachet jar. The white plastic lid forms the seat and scrolling back of the chair. The seat is a soft pink velveteen.

Finally, here is a small related collection consisting of about 14 thimbles. included are wood thimbles from Italy, bone china from England, and crystal from Germany.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

“The Most Important Catalog in the World”

Bringing yet one more holiday catalog, my afternoon mail yesterday provided the topic for this post. This catalog, however, is different from the many which come offering tempting wares. Heifer International has a unique idea for helping our brothers and sisters who face challenges of hunger and poverty, in the United States and countries around the world. By gifting them with a commodity they then have the means to overcome the privations of their daily life by attaining self-reliance. The photo below, from Heifer's web site, expresses the joy of the recepients.

"The Most Important Catalog in the World" offers many levels of gifting the needy. A tax-deductible gift of $20 provides a flock of chicks; $30 honeybees; $60 a trio of rabbits and $60 tree seedlings. Higher dollar amounts cover costs of a heifer, water buffalo, llama, goat, sheep, knitting basket, or milk menagerie, which will give the recipient the means for long-term subsistence. In most cases you may give as little as $10 as a share in one of the categories. Of course, the offspring of these animals represent a gift that is continually renewed.

Last year Heifer International assisted over 140,000 families. Even in war-torn lands such as Kosovo, Guatemala, Rwanda and Cambodia, Heifer International’s program provides for the needy.

The holiday edition of the catalog has gift cards which you may print or sent by email. There are also gift inserts for sending to honorees. Finally, a Gift Registry permits your friends and family to select gifts to help the needy in honor of your anniversary, wedding, birthday or other event.

You may wish to visit their web site is at www.heifer.org/catalog to learn about their unique approach to helping the needy.