How many of you set the table for everyday meals? How many of you have linens that only see the light of day during the holidays or special occasions? In this fast paced society we live in now, wouldn’t it be nice to slow it down for a little family time?
I love this idea and thought I would pass it along.
When I was cleaning out my linen closet a couple months ago, I came across a forgotten stack of bandanas. I had forgotten I even had them, it was so long since they had been used. I formerly had taken them to Pioneer Village Living History Museum, just north of Phoenix, for use as costumes by the boys in my school class, when we were on that field trip. (But it’s been five years since that district banned field trips for financial reasons!) So, being in a “piecing” frame of mind, I had the idea of sewing them together to make a tablecloth long enough to cover one of those 8 foot city park picnic tables. Luckily, I had 18 bandanas, so I . . .
1st–arranged them (still folded up) into an array of 6 rows of 3 columns. And with only 1 coral, 1 turquoise, 1 purple, and…
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This has been a busy two weeks. We, (Mom & Me,) have washed, pressed and folded more vintage linen in the last two weeks then we would have in an entire lifetime. We both have wrinkled fingers. I have to admit, half the time we sat admiring the linens we held and the other half of the time, between the folding and stacking, was devoted to commenting on them. What is it about a pure white or cream Damask tablecloth that brings a sparkle into ones eye? What is it about a table napkin with 1950’s colors and patterns that bring me back into an era I would have longed to live in? What causes me to pause when I hold up a bit of vintage pillow lace? Is it the thought that someone, years early, in a quiet and dusky room, sat patiently and painstakingly, twisting and turning each individual bobbin until inch by inch this lovely delicate pattern emerged? Perhaps that’s why when I try to press out the wrinkles accumulated over the years it sat idle, I don’t get frustrated. If they had the patience to make it beautiful, I have the patience to present it properly.
Take a look the next time you are in our store. We put our lace pieces in the lace basket, usually in zip-lock bags to keep them clean. See if you see what we see and then let us know what you felt when you ran it through your fingers and held it up to the light. I guarantee you will come to appreciate it more when you apply it to your new dress or table creation.
Until next time, recycle, repurpose and stay green.
I like the way this couple thinks, especially if you are already doing the laundry on a daily basis.
You would think that common sense would prevail. During the laying or hatching season, stay off the beach.
Motorized users go to court to block new regulations
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The battle over motorized use of public lands extends far beyond the mountains and forests of Colorado and the deserts of the Southwest.
On the East Coast, motorized users last week went to court to try and overturn a new set of rules governing motorized use at Cape Hatteras National Seashore — despite the fact that the Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance’s lawsuit doesn’t honor a consent decree the group had previously signed.
The lawsuit challenges the Park Service’s planning and environmental review process, claiming the agency failed to give “meaningful consideration to views, data, or information that were contrary to NPS’s desire to impose more severe restrictions on ORV access and use; a failure to look at reasonable alternatives, including smaller and more flexible buffer and closure areas; and a failure to properly assess…
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(Photo credit: George Eastman House)”]It makes sense that as owners of a vintage linen and lace shop, we are in love with fine linens. Tight woven linen, some white, some cream, some with hand printed flowers and vines, with vivid red, yellows and green colors in distinctive patterns. Colors just as alive and vibrant today as when they were first produced. You can visualize the artist passing the linen through each color separation, but not always registering the cloth exactly, as would happen if it were in today’s high-speed linen press.
That’s what makes vintage so special; the imperfections afforded a warm hand, versus the cold steel of today’s production methods. Then you have the beautiful Damask linens, each with their subtle but distinctive pattern, that when laid out on a table, along with the matching napkins and fine silver, make dinner with friends a special event.
Oh, did I fail to mention we just picked up a trunk full of vintage linen this weekend? You probably would have guessed it anyway. I have spent my day, literally lying within the folds of history. I have smelled the clean air, the aroma of the slow cooked pot roast and roasted potatoes. In my mind, I hear the clatter of dishes and dinnerware over the chatter of family- all sitting down to Sunday dinner.
I started thinking, what makes the experience of touching fine linen so special? For that matter, what makes the experience of collecting anything vintage so special? I don’t know the exact answer; it’s different for everyone, but I have my suspicions. The 30’s, 40’s, 50’s are my favorite years and it’s hard to pick any one thing that makes these generations stand out, until you voice all adjectives and realize that you have used “quality” more then once.
The fact that the linens that we hold in our hand are so crisp and wonderfully colored after all these years and hundreds of washings later, are a big part of it. Modern day linens miss this level of quality. Maybe it’s the fact that these were produced when pride and quality of workmanship was in everything. Perhaps that’s what all of us look for when we purchase anything vintage. We are purchasing a chance to get back an era when times were simpler and families were closer and pride in workmanship was paramount. When you pick up a napkin from the 30’s you get the same feeling your grandmother felt and the same feeling your children will feel when they are the recipients of your collection.
Secretly I want to keep every linen napkin I touch; every lace doily I wash, or every tablecloth I fold. I want my daughter to have this quality long after my passing. Then my husband says the magic words that bring me back to why we opened this store. He’ll say, “Do you know that when a customer buys these linens, that their children will probably end up using them in their future?” I pause and think about that and then it strikes me, that this is the guarantee that “quality” gives you. That’s what I live for. By retrieving, preserving and passing on this little bit of cloth, I pass history forward. That makes me smile.
Stop in a pick a piece of this history. Take a look at what American workers did. Some of them (many of them) were your grandmothers and grandfathers, maybe – if you’re older, even your mother and fathers. They did good back then.
I love upcycled projects like this, especially when they’re as easy as one two three (cut, iron, sew – oh and of course pre-wash so make that four).
I know how you feel. You hold art in your hands. Thank you for posting.
Did you ever see lace doilies covering the back of a chair or couch? Think 18th & 19th century, or Byron. Did you know that at one time they were more than decorative? They had a purpose.
You see at one time men of the family oiled their hair with oil of Macassar. It gave them that irresistible look, plus it hid the smell of unwashed hair. Needless to say this oil didn’t do the furniture any good and over time, it would stain it to the point that the material would be ruined. Somewhere along the line, an industrious homemaker came up with the idea to hang a doily along the area where her hubby’s moldy – oily head rested. Problem solved. Easier to wash a doily then to wash a chair.
Now the special use doilies became known as antimacassars. Today we see similar chair protectors on the back of seats in commercial airlines or Amtrak coaches.
Needless to say, we have a display of these antique doilies in our store. Look for them soon on our repurposed magazine rack.