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Posts Tagged ‘Vintage’

Mom's Vintage Button Tin Today my sister reminded me of my mom’s button tin.

Some of my earliest memories are of my fingers sifting through this smorgasbord of buttons when I was too small to even get the lid open by myself.

As I grew older, on many occasions, I’m sure I dumped the contents all over the floor and watched the discs roll in every direction. Then I painstakingly searched all the nooks and crannies until they were safely recovered.

My mom wasn’t really what you would call a seamstress. She didn’t make our day-to-day clothes, but as someone who grew up during the depression she could handle any utilitarian task.

For years she created our Halloween costumes from scratch with lots of hand sewing involved.

She taught me how to sew on a button. I replaced missing buttons on my clothes,  but also used them to make eyes for my sock puppets.

Mom also taught me how to mend the holes in my socks, which wasn’t so easy. I really didn’t like wearing socks that had been mended, because the repaired spot was always lumpy and felt strange. Sometimes it rubbed the wrong way on my feet and just bugged me. When I got older I decided that socks were cheap enough that I could get new ones instead of having to mend them.  Now I use them for cleaning rags when they wear out. It’s much easier on my feet and my mending pile.

My Barbie doll wardrobe was created with a running stitch at the edge of a piece of fabric, carefully gathered into the shape of a flowing skirt.

I can still sew a mean blind stitch to hem my pants and dresses. I’m not sure if I learned that from her or in my 7th grade Home Economics class. Every person in the 7th grade, boys and girls included, were required to take Home Economics and Wood Shop.  I loved them both! Home Ec was the class where I learned how to sew on a machine.  We practiced curves and corners on paper without thread to begin with, then graduated to thread and eventually to fabric.  I still remember the gold pin-wale corduroy jumper that I made in that class.

I don’t remember my mom having a sewing machine. Everything she did was by hand.

Mom’ll be 90 years old in January and she’s still proficient at hand sewing. She hems her own pants, shortens and hems her shirt sleeves – they need to be 3/4 length, otherwise they get in her way. She also adds darts to the shoulder area of her blouses because her shoulders are rounded and she needs them to fit better.

Between my mom’s hand sewing lessons as a child, a hand quilting class that I took as a young wife and my Home Economics classes in Jr. High, I feel fairly comfortable with sewing.

I made several outfits for our kids when they were toddlers, sewed a red and blue baby quilt for my sister’s oldest son, Jason (I wonder what happened to it), made a fabric baby doll from scratch for my daughter, various crafts and some nice quilt squares that are still laying around somewhere. Someday maybe one of my kids or grandkids will make them into pillows or wall hangings or something.

Now, I’ve become the proud guardian of Mom’s lovely vintage tin filled with all sorts of buttons. When she was moving a year or so ago she was trying to simplify and decided that she didn’t need them all. She let me have the whole spectacular tin.

It’s more than just a button tin though.  It’s filled with so many precious memories.  2013.08.28 Mom's Button Tin 008 (640x424) Do you have a button box? Did your mom teach you to sew?

I’d love to hear about your memories…

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Things I love about the Cottage:

The cottage is one of my favorite places. There’s so much to know about it and so much to see that I’ll have to do it in several installments. When we were back in Vermilion this time we made some new discoveries.

This watercolor below was painted by a neighbor in 1961 (when I was 3 years old). It depicts my grandmother’s fruit and vegetable stand that was just down the road from the cottage. That’s how their family made a living and probably why she had so many kids. She was an amazing gardener with a huge farm full of everything delicious…acres and acres of fresh sweet corn, watermelon, turnips, apples, peppers and dozens of other healthy treats. I used to stay with her and my cousin, Karen on the farm for a few weeks every summer. It was heaven! Even though this painting is far from professional, it brings back wonderful memories of her place.

But I digress…this is supposed to be about the cottage.

Here are just a few of the things that I love about the place:

LURES: My uncle has a boat and loves to fish on the lake. He used to take us out when we were kids. You can see that he has all of his lures hanging on the wall at the top of the stairs for anyone who comes to visit and wants to use them.

DOORKNOBS: The house is filled with working vintage doorknobs! This one is their front door. I have more pics of the knobs, but won’t bore you with those. Once I get all my pics online, I’ll link so you can see everything.

CHERRIES: My aunt & uncle’s last name is Cherry, so the kitchen is filled with bunches of vintage cherry decor. This tray is just one example.

LOVE NOTES FROM OUR HOSTS: Over the years as my aunt & uncle having lovingly cared for and shared the cottage, they’ve discovered all the important do’s and don’ts that keep it the special place that it’s become. This bulletin board is a sampling of the loving notes from our hosts that ensure that we all have a grand time and keep the cottage in one piece.

LUCKY STONES: I showed you some of the beach glass collection in my last post and now you need to learn about lucky stones. The stones in the shot glass are called “Lucky Stones”. They’re not actually stones at all. (Click the link to find out more.) If you click on the photo you can see the “L” on each one. We spent many hours in our youth looking for these on the beach. The cottage guests have collected them over the years and we saw several cups full around the house. My aunt says that when you give them to someone else they are a gift of love and become “Lucky Love Stones”. My sweet cousin, Elaine gave me a pair of earrings and a necklace that she made from these. Wow, did I feel loved!

Well, that’s all for now…more to come.

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Old Photos of Me


I finally set up my new photo scanner. Here’s the first test photo. The original pic isn’t very clear and is an old Polaroid so I don’t know (yet) how to improve the color, if I can at all.

This is a picture that my friend, Ernie found and gave back to me when we met him and Joanna for dinner in July. I don’t remember ever seeing this picture before. I don’t know where it was taken and I don’t know who’s car I was sitting on. It has an AA bumper sticker on the back so it could be my dad’s car, I’m not sure. The back of the picture says it was taken Dec 29, 1973, which means I was 15 and in the middle of my sophomore year of high school. This was one of my most favorite dresses. I usually don’t get very attached to clothes, but this one I really loved! I think it was considered to be a “midi” which means that it came to about mid-calf. I went through the eras of the mini, the micro-mini, midi and maxi…every length of dress you could imagine.

Anyway…more old pictures to come! This will be fun! Can I have a month off work to play with my pictures, please?

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