Category Archives: Vintage Things

December

Winter Solstice has come and gone; the days are slowly getting longer once again.  It will take awhile though.  The days may still be short and dark, but our homes are cozy and warm and bright.

We still had our 2016 Christmas tree out in back by the fire pit.  My husband set it on fire on the first day of winter to “burn the troubles of the old year away” or something like that.  It was just something fun to do to recognize the shortest day of the year.

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Yesterday we took a drive into Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  We visited the Third Ward District in the afternoon for shopping, and to have an early dinner.  Later on, we planned on attending the Twilight Tour at the Pabst Mansion.

My favorite shop was called Mod Gen, a modern general store.  The shop was very cute and quite busy.  I snapped this during a slower moment.

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 I love when shops mix vintage pieces with new wares.

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Ever wonder what to do with that collection of yardsticks?  They make cute paneling.  This paneling went up about 20 feet!

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We quickly worked up an appetite walking around in the cold.  It was still early for a sit down restaurant so we found the Milwaukee Public Market, a bustling place filled with food stalls of prepared food and grocery items.  We got sandwiches, wraps, and juice at the Green Kitchen and picked up some cannolis to bring home.  We had a view of the river while eating.

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We arrived at the Pabst Mansion before the Twilight Tour started.  Because we were early, we got a parking space right on the property.  While we were waiting, we had a view of the west entrance of the mansion.  This is where there is a covered portico; it is where the horse and buggies would pull up.  This entrance to the mansion is quite high with no stairs.  It really gave us the feeling of how high off the ground the carriages must have been, and what it must have been like to step out of a carriage.

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This is my photo that I took last night, but there is a more complete photo of the facade on their website.  Do you believe this is open for all of us to wander through and explore?  It was especially magical last night as it was completely decorated for Christmas.  There were decorated trees in all of the rooms on all three floors!  Pictures cannot convey what is was like to be here, but I took as many as I could with my phone.  I wanted to remember the magic and show you as best I could what is was like.

These are the first photos I want to show you; there are too many for one blog post, so you will have to check back if you want to see more.  I’m going to jump to a room on the third floor because, well, you can see why.   This is the Principal Guest Bedroom where one of the Pabst daughters and her husband would stay when they visited.  It was decorated by a couple of local doll clubs.  It is overrun by Teddy bears getting the room decorated for Christmas.

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Some of you asked for my Mom’s Birds’ Nest cookie recipe.  Here it is.  I’m warning you, though, they taste much too good, and disappear much too rapidly!

Birds Nest Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature

1/2 c. brown sugar, packed

2 egg yolks, unbeaten

1/2 t. vanilla

2 c. sifted all purpose flour

1/4 t. salt

2 egg whites, unbeaten–put in small custard sized cup

1-1/4 c. semi-finely chopped nuts

jam, preserves, or jelly of your choice

  • Cream butter until light and fluffy, gradually add in brown sugar.  Then, add egg yolks and vanilla, mix well.
  • Whisk sifted flour and salt together in a separate bowl, then add to butter mixture.  Mix only until combined.
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls; dip into egg white then roll in nuts.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet, 1-inch apart.
  • Bake at 350° for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven to add the indentions (but, don’t add the jelly yet) for the jelly.  Use the end of a wooden spoon or thimble to gently make the space for jelly.  Put cookies back in the oven for an additional 8 minutes.
  • Cool slightly, and fill indentions with jam, about 1/4 teaspoon.  The jam will skim over after about an hour or so.

Don’t forget to “test” a few to make sure they are “good enough”.  It may take a few cookies before you know for sure. 😉

That’s all for today, my friends.  Watch for more photos from the Pabst Mansion.  (Wish I could go back today.) *sigh*

Enjoy your day! ❤

An End of the Weekend Hello!

It’s been a few days—I wanted to pop in and say hello to you all.  Have you had a nice weekend?  Did you do anything different or relaxing?  I’d love to hear how your weekend went, please share! ❤

We had the MOST gorgeous day yesterday!  It was SUNNY and WARM, a very, very, rare occurrence around here lately, so it was imperative that we get outside and soak up some of those elusive golden rays.  My husband and I took a drive out to a little town with a charming town square to meander through and cute shops to browse in.  The town is actually where they filmed the movie Groundhog Day. Woodstock was bustling yesterday; everyone was happy to get outside, smiling faces everywhere you looked.

One of my favorite shops is also here.  It is a vintage shop, but they also have new things.   I love how they display the old with the new so creatively.  I seem to always find things to purchase here, and yesterday was no exception, although I didn’t have to spend much at all. Recently I have become obsessed with cute figurines.  Most of them are from Japan and are of animals.  I saw this tiny cocker spaniel ($4!); he needed to join me in my sewing room.  He even has a vintage Japan sticker on his bum.

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I also found this little mice figurine.  The owner told me she brought this back from England with her.  It looked like it belonged in a storybook.  It is adorable, and oh, so, tiny! ($5!)

All this cuteness!  I am a happy girl!

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Spring is very slowly starting to look the way it’s supposed to look, although with the exception of green grass it still pretty much looks like winter.  However, I think our daffodils will bloom this week, and add some springlike color.

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A tiny patch of tulips have started to come up.  Yes, this is the total for tulips in our yard.  I once read tulips decrease in amount where daffodils increase or naturalize.  Looks like our tulips are soon to be none.  Maybe I’ll plant more this fall.

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In my studio “Princess and the Pearl” was completed hours ago.  Here is Gina to show you a tiny bit.  Her needle felted bear is named Pearl, in case you are wondering.  Pearl is always ready to give her mom, Gina, a flower.  As soon as we get a bright-ish day I will take photos.  Right now it’s dreary and drizzly… yet again.

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I knit this lace bolero this past week and today have started sewing the dress.  This ensemble will be all lilac and lavender yummy gloriousness.

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I have another bolero completed, but it is for my Kaye Wiggs Gracie; it is in fuchsia.  The print to accompany that bolero is one that reminds me of a Liberty of London print, which I adore.  Another work-in-progress is a hot pink mohair/silk cardigan for Patience.  Her cardigan will go with a dress in the same print as Gracie’s, but it will be in a different colorway.

So, that’s all the news from my world for now.  I hope you are all doing great and enjoying springtime, or fall if you’re down under.  Talk to you soon, my friends!

Bye for now!

“Woodland Whimsy”

Do you remember the mushroom motif craze in the 1970s?  They’re back!  Actually mushroom motifs have been popping up in design for a few+ years now, and in more modern colors, which I am happy about.  Back in the ’70s they were mostly seen in those 1970s colors—orange, avocado green, brown, and harvest gold.  Even though I cannot get used to that color scheme again, when I saw these canisters at the Volo Antique Mall last year I thought they were cute.  (My aunt had these in her kitchen.)

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I think the first year I started seeing mushrooms pop up again in design was 2012 when I  saw this fabric designed by Natalie Lymer.  I immediately fell in love with it.  To this day, this is one of my favorites for Bethany.

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I really need to make something for this girl again, she’s so cute!  But, I digress, sorry about that.

I’ve been saving this new mushroom print by Lizzie Mackay for one of my first fall-ish ensembles.  I know it’s not fall yet, but I couldn’t wait to use it!

Here is Lucy modeling “Woodland Whimsy”.  Aren’t the colors in this print lovely?  They’re modern, vintage, and cozy, all at the same time.

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Did your see Lucy’s little girl gnome charm?  She told me it’s for good luck.

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I’m not sure how I initially got the idea to knit mushrooms for this ensemble.  I get side tracked a lot, especially in the mornings.  I think I picked up a scrap ball of bare wool, and started knitting in the round on my double pointed needles.  I most likely wanted to  practice starting with a few stitches to make sure I remembered this technique. (It is almost Santa hat season, and I start from the top down.)  I guess a mushroom cap started forming, and all of a sudden I have accessories for “Woodland Whimsy”!  Magic!

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Lucy’s little capelet is knit with moair/silk lace weight yarn and her vintage styled headband hat is knit with a fingering weight Peruvian Highland wool in the same color.  The colorful little mushrooms were fun to embroider in bullion and straight stitches.

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Lucy’s 3/4 length sleeve dress is finished beautifully inside.  It is tedious as there is a lot of hand sewing to do, but I love to dress my dolls in dresses finished like this, it’s so luxurious.  (lol)  The dress is completely lined except for the sleeves so as to keep the bulk down.  The sleeve seam allowances that show on the inside have been double turned and hand sewn in place.  All the other seam allowances are hidden in the lining.

Since it took so long to finish the inside of this dress, I’d love to show you what it looks like.  I think this bodice takes four times as long as a lined sleeveless bodice.  All that just for sleeves!

Here is a sleeve turned inside out.  You can see the tiny hand stitches holding the double turned underarm seam and hem in place.  The bodice armhole lining is hand stitched to hide the top of sleeve’s seam allowance.

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And, with the sleeve back in place.

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Okay, I have to know . . . Is anyone else as neurotic silly with the insides of their doll dresses?  I’ve tried to change, but I can’t!!!

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Lucy’s “Woodland Whimsy” ensemble will be available tonight at 7:00 pm CST, cindyricedesigns.com.

I hope you all have a nice day!  Thank you so much for stopping by.