Steampunk Colorado – not a place, but a state of mind


Steampunk

I have to admit I didn’t know much about steampunk.  I probably still don’t know a lot about steampunk, even after my long conversation with two neat people who came into my store dressed in Victorian steampunk style.  I’m learning however.

However, I am always curious and open to new things.  Shrugging off my middle America farm girl cloak, I went looking for answers to my question “What is Steampunk?”  Thanks to Wikipedia I learned that Steampunk is a genre that originated during the 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates elements of science fictionfantasyalternate historyhorror, and speculative fiction.  It involves a setting where steam power is widely used—whether it be an alternate history such as Victorian era Britain or the “Wild West” era United States, Science fiction depicts Steampunk in a post-apocalyptic time —that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy.

Now I understand it.  Turns out I do know some of the steampunk styling’s after all.  TV Shows such as the television series The Wild Wild West (1965–69), which inspired the film Wild Wild West (1999) with Will Smith as James West. is a Steampunk genre.  The popular “Sherlock Holmes” series is considered Steampunk, the modern version with Robert Downey, Jr. more so then the older versions.  I love these type of films.  If you want to know more about the history of Steampunk, look up the Wikipedia article.  It’s a comprehensive look at the genre and the history.  I understand why it is attracting so many young people today.  It’s creative and inventive and that is exciting to anyone who has a pulse and the ability to fly in the face of convention.  I understand this.

I find myself involved because of the linens and the lace that I have in my stores.  Turns out the Victorian style genre that steampunk builds on, incorporates the linens, lace and the styles from the Victorian era.   Both of my stores are perfect for the creative imaginations of the steampunk aficionados.  Even my husband’s collection of desk and writing items; some from the late 1800’s,  plus his ornate watches that he has tucked into “Dads Corner” suit the genre.  I can’t say that you will ever see me dressed in the steampunk style, (as a teacher I may frighten the conservative parents of my students) but I love the freedom of expression and uniqueness the genre brings.  I’ll continue to furnish the lace and satins, but it will take a more creative stylist then I to make the material live in the steampunk tradition.   I would love to see the results however.

I’m sure I will have more to say about this fascinating art in later posts.  Readers feel free to help me out here.  Point me in the right directions.

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The Care and Cleaning of Vintage Quilts


I just put in a bunch of 1900’s to 1960 vintage quilt pieces (scraps, fats, squares, oh my)  Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Anyway, as I started to say before my mind wandered off to its secret place, I put of load of vintage quilt material in both stores, and this got me to thinking about how to take care of vintage quilts.  I called a friend who quilts all the time. First words out of her mouth were “very carefully.”

my new (new to me) antique quilt! i lurve it.

My new (new to me) antique quilt! I love it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I asked what she meant by very, she explained.  Never dry clean a cotton quilt since the weight of the ‘fluid’ may place more stress than ‘water’ on old fabric.  I emphasized fluid and water for a reason.  Dry-cleaning fluid is heavy with chemicals. (Who would have thought?)  Its weight will tear old fabric.  Her next bit of advice was “never hang a wet quit on a single line.”  Same reason.  The water pools at the bottom, placing stress on the seams and threads at the top as they drape over the small line.  If you have to dry a quilt outside, then hang it over two or even three lines, evenly distributing the weight of the quilt.  If you have a lot of quilts or need to wash and dry many for sale, then consider making a rope drying rack. The look like an old rope bed.  One of my mother’s friends uses an old king size bed frame she weaves a bed of ropes.  Bottom line of all this is be careful with vintage quilts.  I am sure you have seen some beautiful ones for sale in an antique store, only to turn it over and find the material separated, or the stitching torn out.  Makes you want to cry doesn’t it?

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About Julie:

Julie is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur. As a teacher with along history of teaching students in the elementary grades, she obtained her credentials for Special Need teaching and advocacy late in her career, because – as she puts it, “these kids need to be taken out of the corner and given a voice.” As a means to lessen the stress that comes when one deals with bureaucracy, Julie – her Mother-in-Law and her daughter, opened the Mom & Me Vintage Linens and Lace shops late in 2011. Now with two locations in Colorado Springs, (The Treasure Shoppe – downtown CS and American Classics on N. Academy) she has managed to gather a rich following of friends and steady customers who look forward to seeing her come in with an armload of vintage linens, fine lace and the occasional vintage purse or pillow to round out her diverse selection. Julie can be reached by JClark@Linens2Lace.com . You can also follow her blog at www.Linens2Lace.WordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.

You’ll Wonder Where the Yellow Went


ImageVintage linens, even well cared for or newly washed linens, sometimes have yellow spots or stains that are often caused by a poor rinse.  To get rid of the majority of these stains mix:

1 Gallon warm water (warm enough to melt the soap)

2 TBS of GRATED Ivory Soap  (buy it by the bar and use an old food grater to shave off 2 Tablespoons)

1 TBS Bleach Mix 

Stir and melt the soap then let cool until liquid has gelled a bit. Apply the gel to the stain. Make sure to test a small area first before using.  As with all vintage pieces, rinse very well, over and over, to remove every trace of the soap.

Squeeze your wet linen


Drying rack

Drying rack (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wet vintage linen can be delicate.  When the fibers are wet, they become fragile.  Tears or separations are commonplace.  So, how can you dry vintage linens safely?  The best way is to use a large towel.  Lay the wet linen on a large towel and roll it up, squeezing the water out of the linen as you go.  Repeat as many times as you need until the linen is fairly dry, then drape the linen piece over a drying rack.  Make sure you support the linen across the entire drying rack and not just one rung, as one rung will stretch that area touching the rung. Let it dry – then fold it.  Try it – you’ll never dry fine linens on the line or (shudder) throw them into a dryer again.  I have more tips like this on my new public Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mom-Me-Vintage-Linens-Lace/335108499846187?sk=page_insights  Join me and share your tips as well. 


This is important information I think needs passing on

Rocky Mountain Specialist of Bed & Bath Linens

SleepBetter.org  and Carpenter Company recently did a scientific study in regards to bedding products being used by college students across the country.  They took 50 bed pillows and 9 mattress pads and sent them to an independent lab for testing.

What was discovered is that, on average, the pillows in the study had 350,000 potential live bacteria colonies and 91,000 potential live yeast and mold colonies which can be associated with potential health issues and in my opinion is worse than all the talk regarding bed bugs that have been in the news for several months.

The majority of the microbes found were from sloughed-off skin cells, dust mites, and bodily fluids which were to be expected.  Others found can be more problematic, such as Shigella, a food poison that can cause dysentery; Moraxella catarrhalis, which can lead to bronchitis, sinusitis, and laryngitis; and Cladosporium molds which under…

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