Monday, February 25, 2013

Hooray for Hollywood

In honor of the Academy Awards, I have spent the past few weeks watching previously nominated movies.  For a fun fashion flashback, I checked out "All About Eve" starring the inimitable Bette Davis. The clothes are a dream although Margo is arrogant and annoying at times, it is possible to sympathize with her as Eve attempts to sabotage her.  Although the movie ends with a "what goes around, comes around" kind of message,that is not all.  Once Eve "moves on and up from"  Margo and Karen's lives, I thought it ended on a positive note for the two long time friends.  Also, the fact that many of us can be difficult to be around at times but hopefully there are those "best" friends who will tolerate us through all our moods.

                        I love the bow blouse with the small brooch on the left side of her jacket!

            The neckline on the blouse she is wearing reminds me of my "Sew for Victory" blouse.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cabbage--the New Rice?

In my never ending quest to encourage my family to try new foods (especially vegetables), I have been on a cabbage kick lately.  Possibly memories of my grandma's cooked cabbage and carrot soup  have contributed to this new found interest in creating dishes with cabbage.  As a little kid I would eat bowl after bowl of it and the ingredients were simply cabbage, carrots, water, a little onion and maybe some left over bacon grease for flavoring.  I am sure this was one of her Great Depression era recipes.

Of course, in my own household such simple dishes are not appreciated, but I don't like to admit defeat.  So today I took a kielbasa sausage, half a bag of coleslaw mix cabbage (I am a busy working mom), olive oil, dried onion and 1/2 can of beef broth.  First heated the coleslaw mix in a little olive oil, until warmed but not completely limp.  Then I added the cut up kielbasa and 1/2 can of beef broth and heat until warmed through. 

Cabbage retrieved from
Everyone had to admit, the cabbage can of took on the flavor of the meat.  It was not too bad and a good way to get a vegetable into a meal.  Of course, a few members of my family ate around the cabbage to get to the kielbasa. I remain undaunted and will try to build more meals around the humble cabbage.

I tried to take a picture of the finished dish, but the photo just did not do it justice. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Crafting for Others

The open book is  "The Crochet Prayer Shawl Companion by Janet Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo, p.95.
One of the great joys of knitting and crocheting is making gifts for others. There comes a point though, when your mom or kids do not need another scarf.  That is when expanding the gift vision comes into play.  Many people might create blankets for Project Linus or the Premie Project.  I have found a lot of satisfaction knitting or crocheting prayer shawls for members of my church parish.

While on extended bed rest during my last pregnancy, a kind person from my church created a beautiful baby blanket for my baby.  The point of a Prayer Shawl Ministry  is that prayers are said for the person to receive it while it is being made.  The thoughtfulness of the person who made Reid's blanket stays with me to this day.  Since then, I have made many different sizes, colors and patterns for other people of the parish.  There is no formalized or uniform prayer said as I make the shawl.  Once it is finished, I pray that it will make it to the person who could benefit from it the most.

I belong to a large and relatively young parish community.  More times than you would expect, children and young parents are undergoing serious medical treatments and procedures.  Hospital laundry detergents can be harsh and the blankets and sheets are not soft or homey.  For this reason, I like to create a little something that is soft and feels warm against the skin.  Currently I am working on a smaller shawl that could be used for a child.  The bright Azure blue will be edged with crochet daisies once it is finished.  Again, my spring fever is apparent.  Part of the beauty of the ministry is that it is all anonymous and given as a gift from the community and the recipients are anonymous as well.  The most you may know about the recipient is for example " a 40 year old male being treated for cancer".  Crafting for others in the way is a good way to send some cheer and love out into the world.  I would love to hear about your experiences of "crafting for others."

Saturday, February 9, 2013

So Nice to Know Miss Pym

For anyone interested in post WWII England, fashion, and lifestyle, I highly recommend the novels of Barbara Pym.  Barbara  Pym (1913-1980) is know for creating her own world of characters that describe common human angst against the backdrop of London and village life.  For someone new to "the world of Pym", Excellent Women is an excellent place to start.  Mildred is a "gentlewoman" who's comfortable, single lifestyle is disrupted by the appearance of a new, troubled married couple in her building. The book is rich with domestic details, Mildred's careful housekeeping routines compared with her neighbor Helena's.  Food always plays an important role in her novels as well, such as simple "spinster" meals of "lettuce tomato salad with mayonnaise".  Tea figures an important role as well especially during emotional moments.  Barbara Pym books also describe fashions and clothes worn, especially contrasts between more stylish characters and frumpy ones.  Barbara was always a sewer and knitter during her life and this is reflected in the details of her stories as well.

Barbara Pym was also an avid diarist throughout her life and A Very Private Eye her autobiography documents her life from her youth to her death in 1980. In it are details of her years at Oxford, her service in the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS) as well as love affairs and adult life. There are great photographs of her in it.   Her sister Hilary Pym and close friend Hazel Holt edited a companion version in A Lot to Ask.  Also, the two women compiled The Barbara Pym Cookbook, which details many of the dishes served in her novels.

Humor, irony, coziness create a world that a reader will come back to time and time again.  Her books are comforting, funny, sometimes sad, but always a satisfying  read.  I have included a picture of my Barbara Pym collection.  Her books have been in and out of print, but if I run across a copy of one I will buy it even I already own a copy just in case one kind of starts to fall apart. 

In a nutshell, these books are so great, it is worth buying a copy of a book I already own!  I would love to hear from any Pym fans!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Adventures

 Welcome to my blog, Yarndoll: Vintage Style.  I recently began to explore the world of sewing/knitting/crocheting/needleworking blogs and discovered there is a large community of people with similar interests in vintage knitting, sewing and exploring the past.  With the help of  12 year old Olivia, my "webmaster". I hope to share current projects, get to know other bloggers and create an interesting, colorful place to share ways to create a simple, cozy home and possibly a new wardrobe

To start my adventure, I have joined the Sewing for Victory sew-a-long.  Since it has been awhile since I have had the sewing machine out, I will start with a simple 1940s style blouse and if all goes well, possibly a skirt.