The Last Thing I Needed Was Another Swan, but….

The last thing I needed was another swan, but I couldn’t resist these beauties at the Broadway Antique Mall in Lebanon, Ohio (near Cincinnati).

After all, my collection didn’t include a piece in blue and here were two little examples.  One is such a gorgeous color ….

…and the other is an unusual example with a cork in the opening.  There is a very light fragrance, so I’m assuming it held perfume at one time.

The large set with the candle holders is also in a color that I haven’t seen before and will be so pretty in autumn arrangements.  My daughter discovered this set and gave them to me as a surprise gift – no occasion, just a gift.

I also found a unique piece to add to my Dutch collection.

What a fun day at the antique mall!

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Pie Carrier – A Tutorial

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Whenever I’m invited to a pot luck dinner or picnic, I like to take a two-crust fruit pie.  This kind of pie holds up well en route, can stand the heat and is something that a lot of people don’t make for themselves.

I like to use a carrier to protect it and have designed a pie carrier that works well.  For special people, I leave the carrier with them as a hostess gift.  It would also work well to carry other food items that will fit in an 11×11 inch container.

This is how I made my latest version, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the top of the lid and 3 orphan blocks for the lid lining, carrier and carrier lining.  A few scraps for the side panels and tie handles along with some stiff interfacing completed the supply list:

Front and back:  Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-½ inches (includes ¼ inch seam) fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-1/2 inches lining
Cut 2 pieces 10×10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Sides:  Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces of fabric for carrier
Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces for lining
`    Cut four 2-½ x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Tie:  Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of fabric
Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of contrasting or lining fabric

Lid:
Cut one piece 11-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches fabric
Cut one piece 11-½ x 11-½ inches lining
Cut one piece 10 x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Lid flaps:
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-¾ inches of fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-3/4 inches of lining
Cut 2 pieces 10-1/2 x 1-¾ inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz

Binding:  Cut one piece 1-½ inches x 44 inches

Velcro:  Cut two sets of ¾ inch Velcro 10-½ inches long.

STIFFENER
Attach stiffener to lining pieces by centering on the wrong side of each piece and stitching a cross to secure.  Do this for the top, bottom, four sides, lid and two flaps

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TIES
Sew fabric ties right sides together with lining/contrasting fabric, using ¼ inch seams.  Sew two sides and across top of each set (pointing or rounding top if desired).  Trim, turn, press and top stitch each side ¼ inch from edges.

Your pieces should be:
Fabric:
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps, two sewn ties
Lining:
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps – all with stiffener sewn in place.

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Sew four pieces of fabric sides, right sides together,  to four edges of fabric bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.

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Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end

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LINING

Sew four pieces of lining sides, right sides together, to four edges of lining bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.

Pin corners together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.

Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.

Pin wrong side of lining in carrier, wrong sides together, matching corners and raw edges.  Baste 1/8 inch from edge.

Pin tie handles to the outside of the carrier at the center of two sides of the carrier.

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BINDING

Join ends of binding with ½ inch seam and pin to top edge of outside of carrier, right sides together.  Baste 1/8 inch from edge.

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Stitch with ¼ inch seam around edge.  Turn under ¼ inch and hand stitch binding to inside of carrier.

LID:
Sew the fabric flaps to the fabric lid on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).

Sew the lining flaps to the lid lining on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).

Place fabric lid and lining lid right sides together and join with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 3 inch opening on one side for turning.  Trim, turn, press and top stitch the lid.

On the two sides that don’t have ties, measure down ½ inch from the top edge of the lining flap on the lid and draw a line.  Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.

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Measure down one inch from the top binding edge of the carrier and draw a line.  Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.

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Place an aluminum 9 inch pie pan in the bottom of the carrier and place the baked pie on top of the aluminum pan.  Place lid on top of carrier and fasten with Velcro strips.  Tie the two tie strips together to form a handle.

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Carry by handle, but keep one hand under the pie for security.

Fresh Apple Pie
                   Fresh Apple Pie
“Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy    Boy?”

Heart of Ohio Antique Mall – Springfield, Ohio

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Because of back problems the past two years, I haven’t been able to travel too far and my daughter and I have taken one day a week during the month of September for a “staycation” day in an area that doesn’t require too much driving.  We enjoyed our last day of this year’s staycation traveling about 1-1/2 hours to Springfield, Ohio.  We pass through the charming town of Yellow Springs and love to have lunch at Young’s plus a stop on the way back home for one of their renowned Bull Shakes made with cream from their own Jersey cows.

It’s about 30 minutes from Yellow Springs to a huge antique mall called “Heart of Ohio” with 650 dealers.  I found a treasure -a  handmade book rack that I would date to the 1940s with my favorite Scottie theme.  I imagine it was made from a kit and includes flaws like the very visible screws and holes drilled in the wrong place, but that made it more lovable to me.

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When we got in the car, my daughter handed me something she had bought as a remembrance of our trip.

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It’s Roseville and the chips (which I don’t mind) made it very affordable.  I love the little dog lapping up the spilled milk.

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On the way home, I was telling my daughter I had seen a small “Made in Japan” Dutch planter which I talked myself out of buying.  Later that evening, she came out with another package that she was going to save as a Christmas gift – the planter I wished I had picked up.

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This was a very successful day.

One week of our staycation we went to a favorite restaurant (Grand Finale in Glendale, Ohio) and our favorite local antique mall (Ohio Valley Antiques in Fairfield, Ohio).  We’re at these two places so often, I didn’t think about taking pictures.

Last week we visited an Adams County, Ohio, store.

The first week we stayed local with lunch at our favorite barbecue restaurant (Eli’s in the East End of Cincinnati) ….

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…Stopped off at Avoca Park in Terrace Park …

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…and did some antique store browsing in Milford, Ohio.

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I’m beginning to really love this staycation idea.

Collectibles of the Week – Vintage Wall Pockets

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I have so many wonderful collectibles acquired over the last 80+ years. Some were gifts, some were part of my life growing up, some are inherited, some were purchased at antique malls and thrift stores – all are precious to me. Some items are kept up year-around while others are brought out seasonally and on holidays. Unfortunately, many priceless-to-me objects go undisplayed and unseen for years. Each week, I’m going to pull out an item and post COLLECTIBLE OF THE WEEK.

WALL POCKET
A vase usually with a flat back for attachment to a wall

I have a small collection of vintage wall pockets that are displayed year-around. Three of them were gifts from my daughter …

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…and one pocket I bought about 25 years ago because it matched my 1952 wedding china.

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These pockets hang on one part of the overhang in my kitchen.

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Another pocket from my daughter is another horse/horse shoe combination that hangs over my living room door …

WP-horse-LRI’ve heard some people say the horse shoe should be pointing up to hold in all the good luck and others say it should be pointing down to pour forth good fortune. I have one of each, so I’m covered either way.

Bargain Day at the Thrift Store

About 30 years ago, my oldest daughter gave me a beautiful set for Christmas that included a tiered plate, a basket, two candle holders and 4 mugs.  They were purchased at Lazarus department store in downtown Cincinnati and I have loved them and used them every Christmas.

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On Saturday, we visited a lovely thrift/consignment shop (Vintage Market & Thrift, Loveland, Ohio) and saw eight dessert plates to this set on display.  The original price was reasonable, but there was also 75% off on Christmas items, so I snatched them up.  They were still in their original boxes which were in mint condition and  still had the remnants of a Lazarus label on the side.

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I also picked up a plaque to add to my Dutch collection …
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…and a Homer Laughlin platter.

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The total cost was $14.95.  Now, that’s a bargain.

From the archives – January 4, 2011

Black Bean Soup

Antique Store Finds in Amish Country

This past week, my daughter and I made our annual trip to Holmes County Amish Country (north-central Ohio).  We traveled on Monday and Wednesday and had the full day Tuesday free for shopping in quilt shops, gift shops and a wonderful antique mall.  At the Antique Trading Post in Millersburg, I found this hanger with tiny china plates and cups which I would date to the late 1940s.  The china is crazed and worn-looking which I love and has my favorite Dutch motifs.

I’m always drawn to the little made-in-Japan pieces that I remember from my grandmas’ and aunts’ houses in the 1940s.  I couldn’t resist this salt and pepper set.

For my daughter and me, the main focus of the trip is the beautiful scenery, the great food and our stay on a Mennonite farm, Mel and Mary’s Cottages, but the shopping is also so wonderful in little towns like Berlin, Sugar Creek, Walnut Creek and my favorite name, Charm.  We like to go in the fall when the colors are at their prettiest and see the rolling farmland and all of the charming (and very friendly) Amish people.

It’s Souvenir Time in my May Kitchen

My oldest daughter has traveled extensively and in the 1990s, I went along on trips to Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Ireland.  In addition to the souvenirs we brought home, we have pieces that we painted about 20 years ago.  The Dutch and Irish souvenirs are displayed earlier in the year, but these treasures make up the decorations in my May kitchen.

My daughter’s folk art painting of a Swiss Alpine scene…

…my hand-painted wooden German spice set and some German beer steins…

….a music box and some small souvenirs from Switzerland …

…some Dutch souvenirs that stay up all year, German plaques, and two of my hand-painted wooden pieces….

…..pieces from Germany, Austria, England, Hungary and Switzerland in the window area over the sink….

….lots of little Schnapps glasses which are easy to bring home on the plane….

….and one of my daughter’s painted pieces that holds jars of staples and is in the kitchen year-around.

It’s fun to look around the kitchen all through the month of May and be reminded of so many beautiful places and times.

Antique Store Finds – 4/22/2012

I love Roseville pottery but I’m not willing to pay the high prices the pieces bring.  I am willing to buy a piece with a chip which makes it much more affordable and I don’t mind the imperfections.  This Roseville Freesia #15 bookend has a chip at the top and I was able to buy it for $26.

I don’t really collect salt and pepper shakers, but I liked this one, marked “Made in Japan” on the bottom, because of the Dutch theme and because the colors match my kitchen.  It’s also interesting that they are joined with salt on one side and pepper on the other.  This piece was just $9.50.

I had a good day at the antique store.

My January Kitchen Goes Dutch

As soon as the Christmas decorations are packed and stored, it’s time to bring out my Dutch collectibles.  I enjoy having these cheery, colorful, happy pieces arranged around my January kitchen.  They span many years and come from many different sources.  Most were gifts from my oldest daughter – some were brought home from her trip to Holland  such as the wooden windmill mold ….

… some pieces were bought in antique stores….

…some were bought years ago in a shop that specialized in gifts from Holland….

Some items are displayed just because I like them – a windmill that held crocus bulbs 30 years ago …

…old toy dishes….

…and one of my earliest quilting projects…

Some items never leave the kitchen, such as my daughter’s hand-embroidered piece…

…a vintage clock and spoon collection

…a granite ware covered cake dish…

….and my set of vintage spice jars, which I use daily.

I enjoy my Dutch collection through the month of January – and now it’s almost time to pack it away and get out my Valentine stuff!

Windmill Spice Cookies

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When I was growing up in the 1930s-40s, we didn’t have cookies very often.  My mother didn’t care to make them and we seldom had store-bought cookies.  Once in a great while, when there was a small amount of change left in the food budget, Mother would let us get a few large, brown, spicy windmill cookies that were sold in bulk from a big tin container in our corner grocery store.  I loved these cookies, particularly the bits of sliced almonds scattered here and there.

Sadly, the “windmill” cookies found now in plastic wrappers aren’t shaped like windmills, don’t have almonds and don’t taste nearly as good as I remember.  I found a recipe about 25 years ago that I thought was very reminiscent of the wonderful cookies of my childhood.

WINDMILL SPICE COOKIES

  • Servings: Depends on size of cutter and thickness of dough
  • Print

  • 1 cup margarine
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream margarine and sugar, add egg and mix well.  Stir together the dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.  Mix well.

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Roll out on floured board to desired thickness (I like the crisp ones about 1/4″ thick).  Cut with floured cookie cutter and place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.   Press sliced almonds into the cookies.

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Bake @ 375 degrees F for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool. 

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I have a nice collection of Dutch items and one of my favorites is this piece my daughter made for me a few years ago.  I love the Delft scenes all around the border.

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