Tuesday, March 31, 2009

this time, I'll get it right!

Okay, you all probably don't need to see my kid in her internship outfit, but I still am not very good at figuring out where I am in space let alone cyberspace.....

so, just to whet the appetite, here's a picture of the pile to start, and the finished apron. It used to be a tablecloth at my aunt's...now it's a flirty 50s style hostessing choice!

I have to say, this is truly a lot of fun, I never knew all this was out here....I guess I've had my nose stuck in books for way too long.

Priority Mail International

Starting this past January the average price increase for Priority Mail International was 8.5%
To save money on shipping keep your package at 4 lbs and note the dimensions for the small box or envelope.

Priority Mail International service offers six to 10 average-business-day delivery and the same flat-rate packaging options as domestic Priority Mail service. The new small flat-rate box also will be available for international shipping and will be priced at $10.95 for Canada and Mexico and $12.95 for all other countries with a maximum weight of up to 4 pounds.

The currently available regular flat-rate box option will be $25.95 for Canada and Mexico and $41.95 for all other countries. And the large flat-rate box option will be $32.95 for Canada and Mexico and $53.95 for all other countries.

Priority Mail Flat Rate International Options (Retail Prices)
Canada / Mexico All other countries Size
Priority Mail Flat-Rate Envelope (up to 4 pounds) $10.95 $12.95 12-1/2'' x 9-1/2''
Priority Mail Small Flat-Rate Box (up to 4 pounds) $10.95 $12.95 8-5/8" x 5-3/8" x 1-5/8"
Priority Mail Regular Flat-Rate Box (FRB-1) (up to 20 pounds) $25.95 $41.95 11" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2"
Priority Mail Regular Flat-Rate Box (FRB-2) (up to 20 pounds) $25.95 $41.95 13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8"
Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box (up to 20 pounds) $32.95 $53.95 12-1/4" x 12-1/4" x 6"

sneak peek

Here is a little peek at what my partner will be receiving soon.......

Monday, March 30, 2009

I loves me some eBay

You ladies will have to check out my recent score from eBay. And here I thought I had found the perfect fabric a month ago in the form of a vintage feed sack... But there's a piece within that lot that would make a perfect apron skirt!

Decisions, decisions...

eBay win

I just hope it gets it the mail before the end of the week!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Decisions, Decisions....

I am so excited about this challenge...I have lots of vintage and not so vintage linens.
So today's task was to sort , refold/roll & hang some of them.
I have narrowed it down to 3 different Ideas for an apron....but won't be able to do any sewing until Saturday. So by then I should be able to choose which fabric to use & which apron idea to create.
Hope you all are having as much fun as I am.

Dilly Gets an Apron too!

Dilly is modeling her apron made from bits and scraps left over from my swap partner's apron. I couldn't bear to toss any part of the vintage fabric away!

inspiration came from a set of 8 cherry napkins I found at an antique shop in beautiful condition albeit fading of the cherries due to years of careful washing and pressing I am sure.

My partner will receive all eight
napkins . . only two of them went into the apron as pockets! The ice blue cherry fabric I used was a table runner from the 1960's and the little strip you see on Dilly is all that was left - whew!

We had so much fun
looking for recipes and found a charming website that preserves recipes from the past called RecipeCurio.com. Get ready to make Cherry-O-Cream Cheese Pie-yum!

Thank you Shawnee for the opportunity to create and meet new friends. A special thank
you to Tara for starting the whole swap off with a good laugh. I will be mailing my package out on Tuesday as it has such a long long way to go and I can't wait to receive.

The Kat's Tail - Kathy from Florida!

Your opinion is needed if you have time!

I am busy working on the muslin version of my apron. I would not normally do a muslin for an apron, and in fact, it's my first time even doing a muslin! The reason wh I am doing it is that I am designing my own pattern. I don't want to make any mistakes with the good fabric!
I am working on the top of my apron and I could use an opinion on a very small detail. I can't decide if the apron should sit a little lower - making it a little sexier - or sit a little higher . If you have time, please go to my blog and leave a comment there. I would really appreciate the help!
My blog is: http://quiltinggourmet.blogspot.com
Thanks! And while you do that, I am going to work on the bottom of my apron.

Update from NannaGrace

After long, and careful consideration I have chosen the perfect fabric for my secret partner..

yup plastic doily by the yard..
Vintage of course!....

Just kidding ! Just Kidding!

I had something completely different in mind when i went out to collect my vintage fabrics .... But when I found this , well , it definite canceled out any plans for that plastic doily thingy that's for sure ;)

I believe this to be of a fine rice cloth /linen from about the 1930's .
This is one of the rose motifs featured on the peace which also contains fine examples of satin stitch , stem stitch, mesh and pulled work i believe..

I have no problem cutting this beauty up , because as you can see it comes with it's share of problems. An apron for my partner will be the perfect solution.. it would be a shame if the elegant craftsmanship and graceful design flow of this piece were lost to the appreciative eye do to a little sore.

I have also planed a few other touches to add ... does any one have any hints, tips or tricks for working with such a fine piece?

i have rinsed it in the bath tub first with vinegar water, then a 2 fresh water rinses, then I used some mild phosphate free laundry soap and rinsed it 3 more times till the water ran clear. My husband helped me hang it to dry and i have not yet ironed it.

any suggestions would greatly be appreciated .. i broke my belt to my treadle today so I will be hand sewing this one... not to sure i trust my regular sewing machine with this fine of fabric.

Have i said yet how much fun this is??? if not, then let me say this is my first swap.. and like the little boy in the Disney commercial says.... "I'm to excited to sleep"... I am so happy to have been alowed to join in ...and now that my linens are dry and ready to go .. so am i .. i have the basic pattern ready for my partners apron and i have been working on the pockets i planed for it and some other little things.. till it the largest piece dry and i was ready .. well tomorrow is the day... ok i will stop rambling.. sorry

thanks in advance for any sugestions any one may have..
Happy sewing!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Dilemma...too Many Fabrics!

As you can see, I have several vintage fabrics to choose from to start my apron for my swap partner! I had so much fun shopping the antique stores trying to find the "right" fabric for my swap and wouldn't ya know it....my partner doesn't have a preference, so I am going mad over here tryin' to decide. Hopefully I can toss a quarter up in the air and make a decision!

I want to thank Shawnee for inviting me to be an author on her blog. This is my first time blogging, just started in Feb. I am having such a great time.

This is my second apron swap~I participated in the Tea Party apron swap at Lucy's site! Thanks to Lucy & Shawnee for all their hard work puttin' these swaps together! I totally love it.

Wish me luck pickin' my swap fabric!


Look what I won!

I just won a Vintage 1950's Tablecloth on ebay! I am so excited! I have big plans to make this into a very chic apron. Not only will it be enough to make my uber talented swap partner her apron, I think I will have enough left over to sew something sweet for my baby girl! Now I just have to figure out how to get the mailman to deliver it lickety split!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Early bird

I'm sorry I jumped the gun and sent my package out early, but now that it's been received by San-Dee, feel free to check out this post on my blog to see her apron. It sounds as if it made her day--I had a blast making it.

BTW--I just found the recipe that I meant to include in the package sitting on my desk, so I'll post this vintage cookie recipe from my 95 year-old neighbor Wilma here for you all to enjoy. She brings us cookies a couple of times a month and my 2 1/2 year old son totally knows which house is hers as it's the one that always has cookies! This is verbatim Wilma.

Jo's Carrot Cookies (good)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup shortening(I use butter)
1 egg
1 cup cooked mashed carrots
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Combine in order given
Drop on greased cookie sheet
Bake 375, 10-12 minutes

Topping: Orange juice & grated rind-optional
Powdered sugar and a little butter
Can use any kind of juice in cookies and topping

I realize it's not the most comprehensive directions, but if you've baked before, you should be able to handle it. It's worth it, I promise!

Have a great weekend!

Special Opportunity for Fabulous Prizes

I'm so excited to share a "contest" that YOU might be able to win with your swap project. EllynAnne and Aunt Martha's Transfers are giving away six amazing prize packages. DETAILS ON THIS POST at EllynAnne's site, but essentially you make something with vintage linens (Ahem, insert your Flirty Apron Swap apron here), post about it on your blog, leave a message on the appropriate place on EllynAnne's site and add a picture of your project to her Kitchen Linens Flickr group. Giveaway ends April 30, after our swap deadline, so I hope every one of you enters!!!

Aprons, and Teacloths, and Dishcloths, Oh My!

The previous poster wrote about some of the modern versus 'vintage' uses of aprons...My apron made by Lorimarsha Sanstedt personifies one of the 'modern' uses...as a sassy accessory!

Here I am at a Sisters on the Fly camping adventure on Tybee Island, Georgia! I wore a sassy apron when we toured in Savannah, and people smiled and pointed, and said they just thought it was great! An apron can be empowering in so many ways!

My love for aprons began with a hostess apron similar to this as a little girl. My mother's friend, Mary Ruth, was always ready with a beautiful starched and delicately sheer apron to manage the kitchen in the home of the bereaved due to a death in the family. I was raised in the Deep South and it still is the custom to bring loads and loads of baked Ham, potato salad, casseroles, multiple cakes...you name it...all with the name of the lady on the bottom of the dish. Mary Ruth might have worn a delicate apron, but she was a drill sargent in that kitchen! No one in my family had ever worn an apron, or used special kitchen linens that I can remember, except for the huge white damask tablecloth with pads underneath for the dining room table on Christmas and Thanksgiving and special company. So, I was 'marked' by Mary Ruth's apron and grew up loving aprons, tea towels, crocheted doilies - all the wonderful stuff we didn't have in our 'modern' home! I have always collected them, pored over them in antique stores, and coveted them in books, much to the puzzlement of others in my family! "Paula is just different", "she has always loved old junk". Oh, well, the saying has never been more true - "another 'woman's' trash is another 'woman's' treasure, right?
Paula Bush from thevilulateagarden.blogspot.com

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Musing On the Modern Use of an Apron

I'm sure everyone here has read one of the many variations on Tina Trivett's Poem, Grandma's Apron.
The strings were tied, it was freshly washed, and maybe even pressed.
For Grandma, it was everyday to choose one when she dressed.
The simple apron that it was, you would never think about;
the things she used it for, that made it look worn out.
She may have used it to hold some wildflowers that she'd found.
Or to hide a crying child's face when a stranger came around.
Imagine all the little tears that were wiped with just that cloth.
Or it became a potholder to serve some chicken broth.
She probably carried kindling to stoke the kitchen fire.
To hold a load of laundry, or to wipe the clothesline wire.
When canning all her vegetables, it was used to wipe her brow.
You never know, she might have used it to shoo flies from the cow.
She might have carried eggs in from the chicken coop outside.
Whatever chore she used it for, she did them all with pride.
When Grandma went to heaven, God said she now could rest.
I'm sure the apron that she chose, was her Sunday best.
-by Tina Trivett-

And its true, our grandmother's and their grandmother's wore their aprons for many reasons, and used them for many things. So do we. But I think that most of us today use our aprons for different things. Certainly, I will occasionally use my apron to carry in an
apronful of lettuce from the garden, or of peas. Someday, I hope I do have chickens and cows to carry eggs from and swat flies from, but a lot of us modern apron lovers don't have chickens or cows. We don't use our aprons to dust furniture when visitors come, because we almost never get surprise visitors. Our aprons are too thin to really serve as potholders, and we carry our laundry to the laundry machine in baskets and bags, not aprons. Many of the purposes of "Grandma"'s apron are no longer such common uses of an apron.

So what is the purpose of an apron today, in these times? Well, an apron's fundamental purpose remains the same. An apron exists to keep our clothing clean. Often as not, for many of us, its pants and a shirt that it keeps clean, and it keeps our clothing clean none the less.

But what about its other, more hidden purposes? What mental, emotional, and secondary physical purposes does an apron serve today?

How does an apron make you feel when you put it on? I feel suddenly ready to do some housework. Funny how putting on a "uniform" of sorts helps one get in the mood. I feel like I'm ready to cook, or clean, or what needs doing.

More than being a uniform though, apron's hold memories. I see my mother's aprons in the cupboard, next to mine, and remember being 7 years old, wearing that yellow apron I had to fold up at the waist so I didn't trip, my little sister bedecked in a shiny flowered apron likewise folded up, and Mama wearing an apron that fit her, as we kneaded
Christmas shortbread dough together. Or baking birthday banana cakes. I'm sure that aprons served the same purpose for our ancestresses. I'm sure that they looked at their aprons and remembered cooking with their mothers, sewing their aprons with their sisters and friends. Perhaps they remembered that a specific apron was a gift from a loved one, or remembered making a loved one a gift. Perhaps they remembered their first apron of their own. I know I do. It was a gift from my mother. I still have it. It is a "chef's apron" in cut, a heavy canvas, with a black and creamy off-white damask pattern.

In addition to reminding us of our own pasts, they remind us of the past. Aprons serve to remind us how lucky we are to live how we do, by reminding us how our grandmother's lived. Certainly, there are problems in our modern
society, but we are blessed to be able to throw things in the wash and forget about them until they are done, to be able to communicate instantaneously with friends around the world, and we are most especially blessed to be able to not worry about our children dieing from many diseases which were at one time, unpreventable and untreatable. Even parents who do not vaccinate their children benefit from widespread vaccination which helps prevent epidemics, and antibiotics truly are the most amazing invention in recent history. I can't think of a single thing more than the proper use of antibiotics that saves more lives.

As well as the bad things about the past, aprons remind us of the good. They remind us of families who worked together and lived together, they remind us of extended families who were close, they remind us of a lack of
commercial assault on our children and ourselves, they remind us of a simpler time, when TV had not been invented to become a national pastime.

What about physical purposes of aprons? We use aprons to cover our clothes, and we use them as fashion
accessories, in a way. Certainly, some aprons look cuter with some outfits, and I'm always sure to put on a nice one if I have guests coming that I am cooking for. They make us feel the hostess. Mine has been known to wipe fingerprints from a computer screen, and today's apron pockets carry not only cloth toys but cell phones, wooden spoons and GameBoy thingys. My apron strings still serve to hold a towel, and my apron itself I still dry my hands with. I wipe my floured hands from baking, and I wipe my sweat-covered brow in summer cooking, just as our ancestresses surely did. But I wipe my hands to pick up the phone, while my great grandmother surely wiped her hands to do something else. Hang the laundry to dry perhaps.

Our apron is a fun way to dress up a boring pair of jeans. Our aprons shoo babes away from
Oreo's at a friend's house. Our aprons reclaim the domestic and say, "I can be domestic without being a slave to patriarchal culture, I can be domestic and still be my own person." Our aprons declare, "I am a woman, and I will not pretend to be a man." Our aprons cry out, "I am not afraid to set my own path, in direct clash with popular culture!" Our aprons scream, "You cannot tell me who to be, I shall be who I am" Our aprons shout at the top of their lungs, "I REMEMBER!"

I remember, and respect, and move forward with that
remembrance, bringing the past with me. That is what an apron is. Our modern aprons have a different purpose than our grandmothers, but it is no less important, or noble.

questions to answer for the Fat Quarter prizes & needful info

Hello apron lovers!

Can you hear the hum of the machines whirling away? Thread nests jamming up under the fabric? OOOps hear that needle snap? Oh my gosh is someone saying "bad words?" Do you see a frantic apronista using "titanium needles" and instead of having a crisp breaking needle it is bending and jamming in the needle plate? Thread skipping...geez I hate when the thread skips. Oh...my...I think that dependable machine is in the need of a trip to the doc.

Machines need to be professionally serviced at least once a year to prevent problems while sewing!

That's my professional tip of the day... Good thing I am not a marriage counselor, we would all be in trouble!

Here is a repost of the questions to answer for the "Fat Quarter prizes!"

Am I going to share?...now that's a very difficult query.
In my heart I know I must...but, here's the second question.
Will the recipient cherish it?

For those who came in late for the meeting see the "guest blog" below please.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WINNER - The Kitchen Linens Book

Some general quick info, then to the winner.

Matches are out and everyone is hard at work designing and sewing.

Please DO NOT send your package until after April 1 - that keeps up the fun of anticipation for a bit longer. I'm sorry for not suggesting this sooner. DO feel free to share pictures of your linens, pattern selection and/or sneak peeks on this blog or on your own.

DO NOT directly email your partner since this is a secret swap; DO feel free to comment anonymously on her page or mail an unsigned card or some other sneaky way of connecting.

Now, to the contest -- Wow ladies! We had 248 entries for EllynAnne's The Kitchen Linens book. Thanks so much for purchasing this beautiful book, posting comments on EllynAnne's site - Apron Memories, following both of us on Twitter, and/or becoming an author here.

And the winner is .....

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Grace B/KatMom in Washington!!

Our next contest is for fat quarters from the generous Betty. The post is HERE! You have until Monday, March 30, to answer her two questions!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I had so much fun!

Hello, all!

I eagerly anticipated the partner assignment. This was to be my first swap. I honestly gave Shawnee my mom's phone number as a reference( and I'm 31).

I'd been brainstorming aprons for two weeks. So, needless to say, as soon as I got my partner I got straight to work and her package is already in the mail! I kind of wish I had to do another one. Rather bittersweet, you know? Can't wait for the next one, though!

Hope you all have as much fun as I did!!


Happiness is...

Being invited to be a blog author on the Flirty blog!
Thank you heaps Shawnee.

I do like vintage linens. My favorite revisited times are from the
thirties and forties. It is so much a part of me I feel as though
I must of lived before in that era.
Each day delving through the crisp linens in the cupboards.
Spending time each day choosing which perfectly starched and wrinkle free
ironed apron I would wear for the days chores. Of course knowing me
I would have a housekeeper! I may be melancholy but I am not stooopiddd!
So, the apron would be only for the smell, touch and the crisp starched feel!
How about the sheets holy cow...I loved my grandma's sheets!
I have a dear friend who still puts forty year old sheets on her guest bed!
I always go to bed early when I am there.
Just to feel and sniff those sheets!
When my husband's ninety-nine year young grandmother died,
my mother-in-law went back to Iowa for the services.
She brought me back some of her mother's linens. They were of course perfectly
ironed and extremely touchable!

QUESTION 1: Am I going to share?
...now that's a very difficult query.

In my heart I know I must...but, here's the second question.
QUESTION 2: Will the recipient cherish it?

To celebrate my "author" status...
I would like to have a drawing for four separate winners from our
Vintage Linens Swap participants!
Yes, I understand...you want to know "what's the prizes!"
Is it vintage linen? Old socks?
It will be four different fat quarter packs. From where?
From my stash...now you are wondering..."what's her stash like?"
I have a quilting, sewing and learning center.
A retail store to choose from!
You can make many styles of aprons from a "fat Quarter."
What's a fat quarter? Piece of fabric which is 18" X 22".
What's a pack...more than one fat quarter!
All you need is yardage for long ties!
My picks and your prizes!

What do you have to do? It's fundamentally easy...
Answer my difficult queries for me. There is no right or wrong answer for you.
The winners will be chosen randomly but you do have to participate to win.

And now my closing doctrine!
Apronees, join together to look good all day not just while
mixing up something in the kitchen.
Brides...if you can't think of a reason to wear your apron in the kitchen
e-mail me and I will privately tell you what to do!
Pre-teens and teens...just help your mother for Pete's sake!
Wear that apron that has your name on it and for once
show her you do like the things she has made you.
College girls and women! Wear over jeans and a T-shirt!
Look cool and confidant with your individuality!
When your my age...Grandmas...you do not have to be a grandma to do the
"missed your mouth ends up on that big bosooom you wanted during high school!"
Keep that apron on during dinner!
Your husband can not tell you "you dribbled your dinner on your clothes."
You have cooking remnants on it already!

Betty aka Fudgie

OOps please leave me a comment on my blog...just click the link above, my name!

Someone ask me where are the questions to be answered?
The queries to be answered are in the blog above!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Swapping Has Begun & Our 1st Giveaway

Be on the lookout ladies, the assignments are heading your way. I'm about halfway through my list, going in order of signing up. Blog author invitations have also been sent out.

Here's your bonus: EVERYONE who follows directions and answers within 48 hours is entered into a drawing for THE BOOK -- EllynAnne Geisel's newest The Kitchen Linens.EXTRA entries can be earned:
1 extra entry for going to EllynAnne's Apron Memories site and leaving her a positive comment (tell her Shawnee sent you) .. THEN come back and let me know you did.

1 extra entry for following either EllynAnne or me (ShawneeH) on Twitter ... leave a comment so I know.

1 extra entry for becoming a blog author ... leave a comment and I'll verify.

and lastly,
10 extra entries for purchasing EllynAnne's book (honor system here, just let me know -- don't forget if you purchase from Amazon using the link on our site here, the Flirty Apron Swap gets a small stipend, too) - you won't be sorry AND it makes a fun tuck-in to a swap package.

Deadline for entries is Monday at midnight!

Cottage Chic Cooking Apron Tutorial

Cottage Chic Cooking Apron Tutorial

Friday, March 20, 2009

I need to hear from ... UPDATED

OK ladies -- HELP! Please check your mailboxes for a message from me.

I need detailed emails from Auntie eM.

I need simple replies to the "Are you still playing email" from:

  • Glenna B, OK
I have partner assignments ready to go, just waiting for a last few to confirm. Keep watch here so you'll know when I start sending off those emails.

You will also soon receive a blog author invitation as well, so all interested participants will able to publish posts, in progress photos, challenges, etc. here on this blog. I think THAT is the true fun of my swaps, actually hearing and seeing from everyone!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Check your in-box

I just sent an email to everyone -- you must reply within 48 hours to confirm that you're still playing!


Hi ladies,

Just a quick check to see if you're still playing. I've added your name and blog link (if you have one) to the website. Please go to the site and verify that everything is correct, and then email me back within 48 hours to let me know of any changes needed and to CONFIRM you're still playing. OH, and please let me know if you are willing to ship internationally.

If you know of someone who thinks they registered but they aren't on the site, have them contact me ASAP. As soon as I hear from everyone, I will match up partners.

I'm so excited!!! I hope you are, too. I keep finding lots of beautiful vintages linens so the ideas are just perculating!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

24 Hours To Register

We have just about 24 hours left until registration is closed for this newest round of the Flirty Apron Swap. I'm getting all excited!

I hope you have founds loads of gorgeous linens that you can pick and choose from to create a wonderful apron just for your partner.

Be on the lookout for an email from me in the next 48 hours or so. I will send an email to everyone who is registered and you will need to reply for confirm that you're still playing. Also, I will ask you to let me know if you are willing to have an international partner - postage can be more expensive, so feel free to decline if you need to in your response.

Until then,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

OOooh, this will be fun!

I'm so excited!! We have 65 swappers so far and it's not quite two weeks until sign-ups close on St. Patrick's Day. I know you are all looking far and wide for the perfect vintage linens. I personally LOVE the hunt ... following the obscure "Estate Sale" signs through new neighborhoods, popping over to my local Desert Industries and Goodwill stores during my lunch hour and trying to not be late getting back to work, and planning a side trip to antique shops during a trip out of town.

PLEASE post one of the swap badge images from the sidebar on your personal blog, so your readers will know you're a Flirty Swapper and maybe they will join us, too. We are made up primarily of previous swappers but there's always room for one more.

Lastly, my inspiration for this swap, EllynAnne Geisel's new Kitchen Linens Book, has been released for publication earlier than planned which is GREAT for us. I received a preview copy and it is so INSPIRING. This comprehensive book not only has information about linens, but is chock full of beautiful pictures, recipes, apron info and MORE! I highly recommend that you purchase one during our swap - for yourself and/or your partner. If you purchase by clicking the image below, about 50 cents will go toward the Flirty Apron Swap - thank you for your support!