In Memoriam: My Squash Plant

I tore out my Early Golden Crookneck Squash plant today, it was dying of bacterial wilt.  The cucumber beetles caused it.  It’s war!

Massive leaves on my squash plant.

It was perfectly fine one morning, and an hour later it was totally wilted.  😦  I’m going to put beets and lettuce where it used to be.

On a happier note, the chicks are scheduled to arrive Friday.  Expect a post soon, with pictures!

1 Comment

Filed under Life

Update on my Demorest Treadle Machine

Last year I wrote about my Demorest treadle sewing machine and today I finally sewed with it!  The thread guide is missing so my Dad rigged up a wire thread guide for me.

The thread guide my Dad made.

Isn’t it clever?

The poor machine bereft of its thread guide.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day!

3 Comments

Filed under Historical, Life, Sewing, Uncategorized

Completed Project: The Shawl

The shawl is finally done!  I finished yesterday but didn’t get any pictures taken until today.

The Shawl Sprawled

Does it seem funny to take pictures of a wool-blend shawl outside on a 90 degree day?

The Shawl Hanging on one of the Pin Oaks Outside

 I had fun posing the shawl outside.  It looks nicer draped with a green background than flat on the carpet.

My zinnias are blooming.  They grow quite tall, about 24″.  I really like them.

There's another orange flower to the right.

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Life, Uncategorized

My Posting Has Become Delinquent

Delinquentadj.

1.  failing in or neglectful of a duty or obligation; guilty of a misdeed or offense.
2.  (of an account, tax, debt, etc.) past due; overdue.
  I have not posted in over 2 weeks!  Worse, I haven’t even been working on any of the unfinished projects mentioned last post.  (Except one row on the shawl.)
  Why?  I can’t think of much to post and haven’t felt like writing.  (See Stephanie Ann’s post: I Don’t Feel Like Writing a Post…)
  That said, I do have a life, despite the doubts of some people, and lately my brain has been filled with thoughts of chickens.  We’ve been wanting laying hens for some time now and already have a coop; we just need to set up a spot for the chicks, get feed and bedding, etc.  The peeps will be coming in mid-July so stay tuned!

Shake It To The Left by Kim Newburg

  My parents and I went to a poultry swap and farmers’ market on Saturday.  I really enjoyed seeing all the birds (mostly exotics and show birds) and holding the chicks.  There were rabbit and goat sellers as well.  I held the most adorable Netherlands Dwarf bunny!  It was mostly white with brown markings, tiny and oh so soft!  (I’m a nut for cute, fluffy animals.)
  Random fact:  It takes 2 lbs of feed to produce 1 lb of chicken, as opposed to 20 lbs of feed to get 1 lb of beef.
Happy Summer!

Leave a comment

Filed under Life, Uncategorized

There’s A Frog In My Throat & He’s No Prince Charming

On Tuesday I woke up with  a sore throat and am now in the stuffy nose stage of the cold.  One upside to this is that I got to watch a bunch of Andy Griffith Show episodes the other day, and I realized that I like the Darling family’s music.  That led to looking up the Dillards (aka the Darling boys) on YouTube.  I found a lot of their music on there.  I particularly liked this one:

Ecclesiastes 3:1  “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:”

Leave a comment

Filed under Life

8 Benefits of Hand Sewing

Lately I’ve been doing more hand sewing and really liking it.  There are a lot of benefits for stitching your stuff by hand.  Here are eight of them:

1.  No danger of sewing over a pin.  This messes up a sewing machine’s feed dogs.

2.  More portable.  No need for electricity or extension cords.

3.  Damages delicate fabrics less.  My Granny told me about a skirt suit she made for an officer’s wife out of silk that the officer had brought home from Thailand (I think).  One of the lapel points wasn’t coming out right and, having taken out the machine stitching a time or two, the silk was shredding.  There wasn’t enough material to cut a new lapel so Granny sewed that pesky point by hand.  It turned out perfectly and the lady never knew.  She adored the ensemble and wore it all the time.

Colorful Threads by Petr Kratochvil

4.  Less expensive.  Compare the price of a machine with the price of a packet of needles.  ‘Nuff said.

5.  More control.  I dislike overshooting the mark and sewing over something that’s not supposed to be sewn over.  And going reallyfast then r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w then reallyfast then r-e-a-l-l-y s-l-o-w holds no appeal.  (But that can be fixed if your machine has speed control.)

6.  Quiet.  No buzzing.  It’s like…ninja sewing.  Until you stab yourself.

7.  Uses less space.  If you don’t have a machine you can fit more fabric on the shelf!  A bigger stash is a good thing, right?

8.  You can squish more fabric into a smaller area.  Generically speaking, a machine can gather about 3″ into 1″ whereas by hand you can get up to 10″ in 1″!  And it’s less bunchy.  See #5.

Do you do more hand sewing or machine sewing?  Which do you prefer?  Leave a comment and tell me about it!

6 Comments

Filed under Crafts, Historical, Humor, Life, Sewing

Skinflints & Penny-Pinchers: Miser’s Purses Revisited

A simple miser's purse.

A popular fashion accessory from the late 1700s until the early 1900s, miser’s purses are an ingenious answer to the necessity of keeping coins in place.  In order to insert or remove coins from a miser’s purse, the metal rings must first be slipped out of the way like this.

As these bags were used by ladies, embellishments prevail.  Steel beads, color work, and elaborate tassels make these tiny coin purses works of art in their own right.

A faded red cotton miser's purse decorated with beads, tassels and two rings. Black Country Museum's photo via Getty Images.

Miser’s purses were most commonly made via crochet and knitting.  (There are currently some patterns on Ravelry.  Just search “miser’s purses” in the patterns.)

Some lovely beaded miser's purses from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

If you’d like to take the plunge and make a miser’s purse of your own, here are some patterns for you:

1859 Purse in Crochet Beadwork

1882 Two Crochet Miser Purse Patterns

1888 Beaded Miser’s Purse Crochet Pattern

More Pictures & Information:

Peggy McClard Antiques Original Miser’s Purse

Costume Gallery of the Pitti Palace in Florence Miser’s Purse Collection

German Miser Bags

Short History of the Miser Bag

Highly In-Depth Treatise The Ubiquitous Miser’s Purse (.pdf, 137 pages)

And if you’d rather not make a miser’s purse but still want one, Backward Glances has a lovely Reproduction Crochet and Bead Miser Bag.  (She also takes custom orders.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Crafts, Historical, Life