Friday, December 21, 2012

Stocking Up

I'm a big believer in creating traditions!  My family members can attest to that.  When my kids leave home, I want them to remember all the fun they had growing up here participating in Valentine treasure hunts to Halloween songs.

One tradition (perhaps my first) was started sort of by accident and long before any of them was even a twinkle in somebody's eye -- a yearly Christmas stocking for my husband.  Here's how it started.  In order to ensnare my candy-loving boyfriend, I made him a stocking way-back-when in (oh my gosh this seems so long ago) 1976.  Gasp.  My diabolical plan worked!  I delivered the handmade sugar packed treasure on Christmas eve and sure enough he planted that first kiss on me the next day - Christmas!

Made from a McCall's pattern, it was a felt track shoe with one of his high school nicknames on one side and track team number on the other.  Little did I know that stocking would be the first in a long line of candy-filled creations that have inadvertently summarized our life.  I didn't plan to do it... but the next year I made another and another after that.

 Then he served a mission in Tokyo and I had to make one to send to him there.

Well, then we got married.
These stockings are simple: felt, puffy paint, glitter glue -- 
never taking much more than an hour to create.
Always celebrating milestones in my husband's life.

Like graduating from college

or the birth of a baby daughter.

Or a year jam-packed with buying a house, having a baby,
getting a master's degree and holding an extra part-time job.  Yikes.

 And we can't forget the Packers!

 Or the big Y2K scare...

 In 2000, Larry researched his deceased father's prisoner of
war experience and wrote a book about it for family members.

And then 911 happened.

 In 2006, my husband wrote a book about all the president's inaugural addresses
and their faith related comments.  Check it out here on Amazon.

 Here's the year Larry had very serious neck surgery in January
and visited Mt. Rushmore in August.  Notice George's cervical collar.

came home to roost for a couple of months between semesters.
This is a take off on the old woman who lived in a shoe...

And this is the latest stocking edition... from 2011.  There was a lot of political turmoil in our state last year and teachers... well, I don't want to get into it.  But this stocking illustrates how it was stated that some teachers live high on the hog... so I made light of it by planting a picture of Larry in his '99 Ford Escort waving a fist full of money.  Perhaps a bit sarcastic... 'nuff said.

What will be the subject of this year's stocking?
I'm starting to think about it.
Several things happened this year...
a cross-country trip to drop Chelsea at college,
s son who performed at Summerfest,
the death of a beloved brother, 
knee surgery,
Keaton's Band Revue...

Well, whatever it is, it will be the 37th edition of the annual stocking!
Merry Christmas!
May all your traditions be meaningful and fun.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Curious Case of Beautiful Button... Cards.

They just don't make them the way they used to.
I'm talking about button cards.

 Who designed these mini works of art from days gone by?
"Hi, What do you do for a living?"
"Oh, I'm a button card illustrator."

Button cards of today couldn't be plainer,
but cards of the past sometimes gave us a hint at their era...
like this one tells us mid 1920s by the hair and clothes!

This beautiful card shows us how the freshwater clam shells
were harvested from the Mississippi  River
before the buttons were stamped out of them.

Though tattered and old, this beautiful card is like an etching.

 The colors and tropical influence tell me this is from the late 40s.

I'm not so versed in children's fashions, but this card seems like 1920s, too.
Does anyone know why pearl buttons are always sewn onto foil backing?

These gold painted wooden buttons and card
seem like they're from the 1890s.
What do you think?

The hat, the hair... 1930s?

The illustrator of this card is suggesting these
tiny pearl buttons are for children's clothing.

I say we bring back creatively illustrated button cards.
Let's start a petition or something!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Novelty of It All

Talk about thrift store scores! I recently purchased two very kitchy, very cute cocoa colored novelty prints at my favorite resale shop a few weeks apart.

 The subject of the first novelty print is bowling.
4 yards of 35" cotton.

Back in the 50s when I suspect this fabric was made,
bowling was HUGE!

Need confirmation that it was the 50s?
Check out the names on the scorecard.
Charles, Alec, George, Tom and Bob...
...could have been one of my dad's leagues back in the day!

 The second novelty print depicts outer space.
Almost 2 yards - 38" wide.
Probably meant for curtains or comforter with the huge repeats.

 The first lunar expedition.
Little did they know the actual first lunar landing
was less than 20 years away!

 Spacewalking with satellite equipment.

 Piecing the space station back together?

 Looks like an Estes toy rocket.

 Another 50s fabric for sure.  Check out the diagram.
I think I need a frenetic stabilizer or a dual magneto. 

 Forget about NASA - we were the United States Space Force!
 Happy landing!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Simplicity Fashion News

Finding some old pattern advertisements in a box of notions that I recently purchased was a fun discovery.  I remember piles of these laying on the cutting counters when I worked at Mary Lester Fabrics in Milwaukee.   Here's one by Simplicity from July 1968 when patterns were still 65¢ and 75¢! (click to enlarge)

 Very Twiggy-esque...
By the way, Twiggy is 63 now.

 These dresses look like they're made of polyester double knit...

 I must say that I love the shoes...

 ...but the hair-dos are another story.  Can you say "beehive?"
Love the quintessential yellow floral.
The second gal to the left is very early Carol Brady.
That show must have started very close to '68.

 Solid jewel-tone colors with touches of white are "cool" in 1968.

 Nice colors.  Nice socks.
Ok, maybe I do want knee socks to come back...
but not the sheer, cut-off-your-circulation-under-the-knee-cap kind.

I remember wearing dresses like these...
and pig-tail girl is having a little too much fun... 
and her dress is short.  
That's why we used to sing such taunts as, 
"I see London.  I see France.  I see (fill in the name)'s underpants!"
Oh, and the baby blue sport set on dad is, is, is... no words.

 A ruffle tutorial.

The "Answer Dress.
What's the question?

Gotta love the Don Ho "TV Spectacular" advertisement.
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