Category Archives: country

Caring for Satin


Satin bedding
Satin bedding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember me telling you about the material we obtained from a retired vintage doll maker?  Maybe I put it on our Facebook site.  (Linens2Lace.)  Well in addition to the faux mink and beautiful lace, we also put a large selection of beautiful and affordable satin into the Willowstone store.  This is dress material weight in a variety of Victorian colors.  First question asked of us, by the visitor holding up the beautiful black satin bolt, was “Can you wash satin?”

The answer is “of course you can – provided you follow the rules.”

Satin has a smooth silky feel that makes it appealing for many items from garments to bed sheets.  It comes in various weights and thus ranges in durability.  However, there is a limited amount of cleaning options.  The cleaning and care tags that come with your garment should give you all the instruction you need.  However, what do you do with fabric that you have used to make that beautiful one of a kind gown?

Here’s our advice.

Rule 1:  Only wash satin by hand.  If you do use a washer, the gentlest silk cycle is best.

Rule 2:  Cold Water only.  If you do have to use soap, use the gentlest soap you can.  Woolite is good.

Rule 3: Wash satin as you would silk.  Let it soak in soapy water for awhile, then gently squeeze the wash through the satin by hand.  Rinse the fabric real good with cold clear water.  If you leave any soap residue behind it will whiten and show up as spots.  It’s hard to get these out once they set.

Rule 4:  Leave the dryer off.  Never put satin in the dryer.  The dryer will shrink and put a permanent wrinkle in the material.  Instead, lay it flat on a dry towel.  Don’t wring it out, rather roll it up in the towel, squeezing out the excess water as you roll and then put it out onto another dry towel, laid flat away from the sun until dry.

Rule 5:  You can iron satin, but on a light setting with no steam.  I find that going from the inside out works best but don’t linger.  An expensive satin blouse with a burn mark in the shape of an iron on its back, is only humorous in a sitcom.

Rule 6:  Vintage satin should be dry cleaned only.  Use a dry cleaner you have experience with and who you trust.

If you have any other tips, send them to me.

Until next time.

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An Investment in Time


Lace tablecloth

Why invest in antiques and collectables?  Because during a down economy, it makes good economic sense.  The article at: http://antiques.about.com/od/thewisebuyarticles1/tp/aa100208.htm  explains the point in excellent detail.  It’s no secret that antiques increase in value over time.  In a down economy, people sell.  There are bargains are everywhere.  How many investments have you made where the growth can amount to a 50% or more increase in over one year?

Of course, we deal in linens and lace.  When I look through a pile of new linens, I marvel at the thought that the material I hold is still beautiful despite hundreds, maybe thousands, of washings, abuse, stains, rough handling and love over the 50, 60 or more years since its creation.  The other day in our new Willowstone store, we hung three beautiful examples of true Victorian lace in the form of two tablecloths and a Victorian handmade queen size bedspread.  My husband and I speculated about the stories that the bedspread could tell, having been present at life’s moments that are more intimate.  We could almost recount the family conversations held over the lace as it graced a Sunday dinner table.  Having done the research, we marveled at what its value was today, in comparison to what she had purchased it for 20 years earlier from the estate of its original owner.  I calculated that it had grown in investment value by over 400%.  That’s a simple 20% growth per year of ownership.  Yes, I know the value of compounded growth calculations, inflation, etc., but you get the point.  I wish my retirement package as a teacher grew at that rate.

Antiques represent quality you can’t find in today’s products.  Most of the modern furniture that the average newlywed couple will buy today will end up in landfills.  Rarely does a young adult in today’s society want Grandma’s old Victorian couch or parlor set.  They grew up with them.  Even when they inherit them, they don’t see them fitting their constantly moving lifestyle.  The furniture is old fashion, heavy.  They are ready to move on to the new ultra-modern plastic or pressboard furniture.  Then, while that ultramodern couch is deteriorating, the 130+ year old Victorian couch continues to increase in value.  The French Lace banquet size tablecloth hanging in the corner of our store, ready for you to take it home, will continue to outlast even the best of today’s Chinese polyester import.  Its value will continue to grow while the other is long left to the fabric pile.  The hand cut dovetail joint in the drawers of that American Walnut 1790’s Hepplewhite desk, will continue to open and close a thousand times more than the nailed and hot glued joint of your Swedish import.

However, before I start running off on a tangent and jump on my soapbox, I ask my readers:  At what age did you first notice that antiques were an investment and what factors influenced you?

There’s no better time than whenever.


christmas 2007
christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

I hate to see anything end.  I don’t know why.  Heck, I hate to see a good movie end.  I dislike the word “finale,” and “end of a year.”  I use to look forward to Christmas. However, years back, I began to realize that Christmas signaled the end of that year.  Regardless of whether the year has been good or bad (any year above ground is good) I wasn’t ready for it to end.  One more wrinkle, one more notch on the stick of time, one more year where I haven’t written my great American novel.  My husband say’s that if we didn’t change the calendar or celebrate New Year’s, we would not be as aware of the change.  Therefore, I have adopted this attitude.  It made sense.Our ancestors marked the years passing by the seasons and the crops, why can’t I?  I have a new crop of grey hair, thanks to my husband.  I’ll use that.  Calendars weren’t required on the farm I came from, even though the tractor company would always send us one.  The auto parts store would always send my dad one, but that calendar somehow always ended up in the garage where we kids couldn’t see it.

Without an end, I can function.  For example, for the last two weeks, I have been off on Fall break.  You are probably thinking  – “well then, why haven’t we read more posts?”  I will explain this.  Part of the answer is simple.  I didn’t have time to think of the end.  I have been busy restocking both stores new vintage, in anticipation of the holidays.  New “vintage” meaning Christmas linens, tableware and other Christmas items such as Tree Skirts and Mantle Runners from an East Coast estate, late 70’s, early 80’s.  I also put in some beautiful lace doilies and tableware from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.  (By the way, residents of Manitou Springs, if you have missed your Vintage Linen Store, take time to stop in the Treasure Shoppe downtown Colorado Springs – go to space B4 and look at the vintage German doilies and lace I just put in.)

The only problem with putting new stuff in, is that I am reminded there is a calendar out there, running out of pages.  I don’t celebrate New Year’s now, just another day for me.  I brought out the Christmas linens only because the big stores did.  My calendar is perpetually on 2008.  I keep it because of the hunky firefighters pictures.  Mr. July has been very good for me.

Therefore, if you are one of my relatives or friends, I am sorry I missed your birthday or anniversary.  I was close.  I still have your Christmas card from 2007 – all addressed and ready to go.  I just need to add more postage – someday.  Stop by and pick one up.  For my employing school, call me if I don’t show up one day.  I’m probably on Spring or Winter Break a little early, (or late) I don’t know.  As part of my campaign to let the days roll on, I may not be on time as well.  I stopped wearing my watch and refuse to look at the clock.  If you roll by the house in the early morning, that’s the husband pushing me, half-dressed – out the door.  He is my official timekeeper.  Betcha he wishes he hadn’t been so philosophical now.

Gold on the Ground


:Fall colors, Poudre Canyon, Colorado
:Fall colors, Poudre Canyon, Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I get giddy this time of the year.  Giddier then usual I should say.  Maybe it’s the chill in the early morning, the frost on the rooftop or the simple realization that I can see my breath as I walk to the car that gets to me.  I don’t know. Fall just makes me feel alive.  I love sleeping snuggled deep into the covers, whining noticeably to my hubby when I have to get up and he gets to stay warm.  Padding around the pre-dawn hours in my heavy winter terry cloth robe is a perk I leave to winter.  While I dislike freezing temperatures and ice on the windshield, winter white represents a sense of purity that’s refreshing.  The beauty of new snow, dotted here and there with the evergreens; against a contrasting gray sky, signals rebirth is but a few months away.The best thing about fall is the linens.  The rough texture of a vintage linen towel or the silky smoothness of an Irish tablecloth, in vibrant fall colors, gets to me.  Nature knows what she is doing when she carpets the floor of the forest with the gold and reds of fallen leaves.  That’s the image represented by fall linens carefully landscaped on a Thanksgiving table.

Winter morning
Winter morning (Photo credit: blmiers2)

We’ve just put our fall stock into the stores and both stores look great.  As we have an abundance of summer linens, I did my best to separate them, but for you diehard summer people still clinging to the waning summer like weather that we have here in Colorado, don’t despair.  There are still summer linens left in stock for you.  To my fall people, go crazy.  Again, if you see me in the stores with my face buried in the linens, just move me over.  There’s room for both of us.  By the way, for my quilters getting ready to burrow in this winter with your quilt projects, we just put our quilting and fabric stock on sale.  Look in the material cubbies for the 30% off stickers.

Summertime, summertime, summertime.


English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. R...
English: Taken at a Chicagoland Flea Market. Rosemont, Illinois on Sunday. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just looked at my timeline for the first time in a long time.  My o’ my, where has the time flown.  It’s been six plus weeks since I have posted anything.  You would think I fell off the earth.   Actually, I have been quite busy with back to school things.  Things like getting the daughter prepped and ready for school and getting myself ready for the back to school grind.  Actually that part was easier this year because I taught summer school for the first part of the summer and the daughter attended two band camps of which I participated by being the second camp chauffeur .   The hubby did the first camp during my summer school phase.

Then there were the busy summer sales at both stores.  We put these on in between band camp and summer school.  I love summer sales.  I was trying to decide just what items to put on sale when the hubby said, “Just put it all on sale.”  So we did.  He’s so practical.  In the afternoons and on the occasional weekend, we did manage to get out and go picking.  He’s into collecting and selling “netsukes” and vintage pens and I let him put some in “Dad Corner” in my space at American Classics.  He also has his display in Case 409 there as well.  I love our excursions to the antique stores, estate sales, and garage sales.  Together, we love the flea markets.  It’s where he occasionally finds some of his best treasures.  The weather was hot most days, but we endured.  (it’s a tough life isn’t it?)

So that’s my excuse for not writing and I’m sticking with it.  Been too busy to write and too busy being busy.  In all fairness, I could have simply sat around all summer and complained about the heat.  I know many people who did; so I let them, all by themselves while the hubby and I played.    But now, it’s back to work time.

However, every weekend and after school many times, you will still find me in one of my locations, nose deep in my linens, getting my weekly fix.  If you see me at either the Treasure Shoppe (B4) or American Classics (C30) and I have that glazed look in my eye, know that I’m in my own little heaven.  Feel free to grab a handful of freshly laundered linens and join me.   It’s OK, I know what you’re feeling.  You’re welcome here.

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?

———–

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.

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. 

Save the Leather


You bought that vintage suede jacket.  It’s beautiful, but when you get home and take the rose-colored glasses off, you

Suede
Suede (Photo credit: AMagill)

notice that dark color you thought was only from the poor lighting, is actually a large stain.  Suede is leather with a brushed or “napped” surface.

NEVER use leather cleaning products on suede unless it says it is specifically designed to clean suede.  Instead, make a paste of fullers earth and water.  Brush clean with a soft brush after drying.  Re-apply as needed.  Make sure the past is wet enough to stick.  Allow it plenty of time to dry fully.  Brush the area gently.

We obtained some suede pieces that had been mixed in with some linens we purchased from an estate.  A couple of pieces had small stains of unknown origin.  So before we ut it in the shop, we tried this and found that it worked well.  Will it work on every stain?  Don’t know, but it’s a safe method for trial and error.

Happy repurposing.

——

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.

Lick that Lacquer


English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogenca...
English: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogencarbonate, sodium bicarb, “baking soda”, “bread soda”, “cooking soda”, bicarb soda Deutsch: Natriumbicarbonat, Natriumhydrogencarbonat, “Natron”, “Backpulver”, “Bullrich-Salz” natriumvätekarbonat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You see a beautiful brass or copper antique pot, kettle or other metal object in the flea market but some fool has lacquered it.  You know it’s a vintage piece, but its value is greatly diminished by the now yellowing lacquer.  However, the price is right and when you point out that its been lacquered; the seller offers to make you an even better deal.  So you buy it with thoughts of leaving the lacquer and using it for a trash can.  (shudder)

What can you do with that lacquer?  Try this.

Mix ½ cup of baking soda with

1 gallon of boiling water

Put the newly found lacquered pot into this solution and let sit.  When the water cools the lacquer should peel right off.  Be careful not to use any sharp metal instruments around the crevices or tight areas.  Use a toothbrush instead.  If any lacquer remains, repeat the process.  You should have a completely restored piece by the end of the day.   We’ve not tried this on varnish or an other finish other than lacquer.  If you do and it works, let us know.  We’ll pass it on and give you credit for the advice.

Cat Olympics


There has to be a point in every cats life when they realize that they just did something stupid; when they run behind the

Cat hiding behind the couch
Cat hiding behind the couch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

couch and, according to the legendary comedian George Carlin, slap paw to head and howl out “F*&$*ng Meow

My daughter’s kitten had her moment today when she thwarted the laws of nature and in mid-flight, suddenly came face to face with the realization that for every violent action, there is an equal and just as violent reaction.  In her usual morning ‘ kitten run through the house as fast as you can’ moment, she came nose to tail with this old law.

In the spirit of the summer Olympics, her ‘never-before-attempted’ running broad jump from the back of the recliner to the couch was to be her moment of feline glory.  However, the recliner was not to be toyed with.  It “reacted”, (naturally) by doing what it does best.  It reclined – violently.  That’s when I saw it; that “stop action” moment, when the human mind records the feline equivalent of “Oh Crap!”

Did she see me – see her?  Of course she did, but she was too busy to look “cat cool” and that’s when the second myth was shattered.  You can rewrite all text that records “cats always land on their feet.”  I have news for you – they don’t.  They attempt to make up for it by looking as if they meant to land on the side with their head stuck behind their back leg and their tail stuck in the ear.  They do this by imitating their best Fonzy move, jumping up quickly.

This action shatters the third rule of cat mythology.  The rule that says all cats are graceful.   When cats are ungraceful, (as this one was) in their haste to get away, they scatter everything collected on the table – to the floor – including the full cup of coffee.  Then, (this is the best part) they run straight behind the couch – where I am sure they – in the cat’s equivalence of disbelief, slap the old paw to face.

As I write this, hours later, after having cleaned up the last dregs of the overturned coffee and put the table back in order, she has yet to come out from behind the couch.  She knows I am writing about her.  She hears me chuckling between key strokes.  I know this because I hear her “cat muttering” under her breath.  Poor kitty.  Chuckle.

——–

About Julie

Julie Clark is a homemaker, mother, teacher of special needs children and an entrepreneur.   As a teacher with a long 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 Linens2Lace.wordPress.com, and her Tweets at #MomNMe.