August 29, 2012

Brown Vintage Apron- Mid 50's


Vintage 50's Apron

Vintage Apron circa Mid 1950's

This delightful little brown gingham apron is very typical of it's era. It is made from simple gingham that was readily available to most sewers. It is a rectangle of fabric hemmed on all four sides. To turn it into the special occasion item that it is, smocking was added at the waistline. Smocking is time consuming, but the reward is well worth it. Note the varied shades of green and the yellow thread used to create the smocking. That also speaks to the era. The pocket has additional detail that is noteworthy. It is pleated and smocked! By pleating the pocket it became more user friendly, by creating greater space in the pocket. The smocking at the top of the pocket prevented the pocket from relaxing and becoming “baggie”. The detail and precise stitches tell me this is a project created by a very fine seamstress. Thanks Helen for your legacy of art and functionality! Love you.

Features of the Era:

  •  Cotton gingham 
  • Machine and hand stitching
  • Smocking 

August 28, 2012

Lovely Lasagna

We have some food allergies in our family and when I am having a family meal I don't want anyone to think about food safety issues. I want everyone to enjoy the food and fellowship of eating as a family. One of the hearty family meals that I have gotten comfortable with is Eggplant Lasagna. I posted this photo to my Facebook page so that I could say thank you to the family from our church that brings produce to share with others from our congregation. I got so many requests for the recipe I thought maybe I should post it here as well.

Growing up we didn't have very many mixed dishes because my dad was more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I learned to make lasagna from one of my co-workers at my first "real" job. We worked long hours and she was a goddess about using the crock pot or making big meals on Sat. and Sun. and warming them up for the rest of the week evening meals.

I use one pound of ground meat browned. I have used turkey, venison, beef, and sausage. I use what ever I have. We really do like the sausage mixed with venison about 1/2 a pound of each.

I use enough eggplant sliced top to bottom to make two layers of "noodles". We use these thin slices of eggplant to completely replace all of the noodles.

The next layer is ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese. I use what I have. I like the creamy ricotta, but I use low fat cottage cheese if it is more cost effective.

The next layer is a few shakes of Italian spices, more or less to your taste, and about 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Pour about 1/2 jar of your favorite pasta sauce over that and start the layer process again. If you have mushrooms they are a super duper addition to the heartiness of this dish.

I bake this uncovered for about 1/2 an hour then cover it and bake till done, usually another 1/2 hour. If your eggplant slices are thick it may take a little longer. I bake this in a 9 x 13 dish at 350 degrees.

I hope you will try this with some of your garden splendor.

Ingredient List:
1 lb of ground meat browned. Throw some slices onions in there too.
1-2 Eggplants sliced thinly as the "noodles"
1 -16 ounce container of cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups of Mozzarella cheese divided
Parmesan cheese use with your discretion
1-32 oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Italian spices
Nice additions if you have them, would be mushroom slices.

Bake about one hour in a 9 x 13 pan at 350 degrees.

August 26, 2012

The Fruit of My Labor

Psalm 128:2 You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! NLT

As you all knew, this summer has been especially hard for gardeners, including me! However after much dedication to watering I was able to taste my first ripe cherry tomato today!

Since watering was such a task, I got crafty and buried half of a two liter soda can with small holes drilled in the lid for slower watering.

I am also enjoying my snapdragons and day lilies.

August 20, 2012

Upscaled Thrifted Dress Slacks

As I mentioned in my last "Upscaled Thrifted" post, I love finding the best brands at a bargain price. Thrift  Stores = Bargain! However, thrift stores don't necessarily mean the best fit. Since I'm quite short, ahem, 5' 0" I often need to hem my slacks.

I found these Banana Republic dress slacks at Goodwill for $3.69 and knew they would be a wonderful addition to my young professional work wardrobe with only miner work from me.

Banana Republic slacks from Goodwill.

I needed to hem them about 3".
I decided not to add a cuff to the bottom of the slacks once they were completed because I think it makes short girls look shorter. Instead I decided to hem them very close to the edge of the slacks, making them less formal but more versatile in my opinion.

Completed slacks. Also thrifted the jacket and shoes and made the scarf!

New hem line.

August 15, 2012

Vintage Apron- Mid 40's

Vintage Apron circa Early 1940's

Its History: This apron was hand made by our matriarch, Helen, previous to her marriage in 1943. The eyelet insets were a fanciful detail. Sheryl and her sisters played with this apron. Amazing that its still in such great shape. Gotta' hand it to Helen, it was created with durability. Wal-Mart could use a lesson or two, eh?

Features of the Era: The main features of the era shown in this apron include the following...
  • Simplicity
  • Using what was available such as recycled lace
  • Majority of stiching done by hand

During our photo-shoot I realized that my Grandma had signed the cookbook we got out of our mothers cupboard. "Helen 1944"

August 14, 2012

Upscaled Thrifted Summer Skirt

Wondering where I've been and why my posts have been lacking as of late? Krista and I took a sister trip to Florida to visit one of our cousins for a few days and enjoyed a little internet respite!

Packing for the trip was quite a feat because we only took carry-ons. Before the trip I had purchased a super cute teal and white floral print skirt at Goodwill, but the skirt was too big. I seem to always find the best stuff at thrift stores, about one size too large, but this skirt was too good to let go so I decided to upscale it!

To upscale it I put the skirt on inside out and pinned the amount I would need to take in at my widest point, about 1 inch at my hips. So as to not lose the shape of the skirt I took 1 inch out of the right side seam the whole way down. The left side seam had a hidden zipper that I didn't want to disturb.

Skirt was this much too big!

I took it in about this much.

Sewn side.

Enjoying the Florida sunshine in my new skirt.
The skirt also served as a great excuse to buy a new necklace at a local boutique. I LOVE jewelry souvenirs. Thanks to Krista for after pics!

My new jewelry!

August 13, 2012

My Anniversary Present: A Serger!

I have the best husband EVA'! He got me a "new" serger for our anniversary. He's a bargain hunter!

New-to-me serger!
I was really excited to use my new machine, so bear with me as I show you the simple hem job I did. My sister found this dress at Goodwill. The bodice fits me AMAZINGLY well, but it was obviously a little too long. No problem for my handy new serger!

Original length...
Cutting off some excess material.

Great seams!

Finished product!
Dress Maurice's - purchased at Goodwill
Shoes Maurice's - handed down
Belt Maurice's
Sweater TJ Maxx

August 12, 2012

Pinterest Busters- Natural Weed Killer

We often pin, but how often do we really get the gumption to try out these things?

Oh trust me, I got the gumption. There is nothing I hate more than weeds in a drive way. I swear it makes a house look dumpy in an instant, and our house has no shortage of driveway weeds. SO, I took the plunge and tried this natural weed killer I found on Pinterest.

As per usual I didn't have the right ingredient so I went with what we had. I ended up using..
  • All the salt I could find in the house, which wasn't quite 1/2 a cup
  • Apple Vinegar instead of Pickling Vinegar
  • "A squeeze of dish soap." I had no idea what that meant so I was very generous. 
Here were my results.

Pinterest Busters Final Say: GOOD STUFF!!

August 10, 2012

Flashback Friday

This is Sheryl sometime in the early '60s. The coat was made by Helen Strong. It was a corduroy with small flecks of metal flake in a thread that ran through randomly. Check out those over sized gloves! What a hoot. This is so typical of the era.
Helen was an accomplished seamstress. Years down the road Barbie also had some fine looking outfits from the same fabric scraps. 

August 8, 2012

Vintage Apron - Mid 50's

Vintage Apron circa 1950's

Its History: This apron original purpose was for show when my Grandmother entertained. Grandma Strong often entertained groups such as her womens Bible study. Because this was for show my mom, sister, and I do not recall ever seeing Grandma Strong wear this. Regardless, we can totally picture it! How feminine and 50's! Can't you just picture this in "The Help?"

Features of the Era: There are SO many things about this apron that are screaming 50's. Here are a few...
  • A base of white organiza
  • Color palett of muted turquoise and butter yellow
  • Black rick-rack trim
  • Simple lines
  • Medium sized print including butterflies

August 1, 2012

Vintage Apron- Mid 50's

Marissa modeling the apron.

Vintage Apron circa 1950's

The History: This silver and red apron was created by our Grandma/Mother Strong for entertaining during the holidays. How festive was she?

Features of the Era:
  • Base of organiza
  • Metalic rick-rack at hem
  • Hem brought forward to create  pockets (as featured in the collage)