I will type up the full article a bit later, if there is interest. But the basic steps do mirror today's pedicure, with perhaps the addition of swathing the legs in astringent soaked towels, but that would be very cooling for summer!
I go flea marketing once a month or more.
My hints and tricks are few but I seem to have good luck finding things at good prices.
1. Go early, but this does not mean go so early you pay more to go in. That does not pay off if you do not find something good, then its just cost you 10 to window shop, instead of 5.
2. Go alone, or if you must bring company, only one person. There is little point to having a huge crowd, it takes longer to go through the market, and you actually see -less-.
3. Never go with a specific purchase you are wishing to make. I have a list of things I am looking for, but I never go with such blinders on that I miss other stuff that might not be on the list. The shakers to my stove had been on my list for months, and I did find them suddenly at a flea market, while not only looking for them.
4. Move fairly fast. Most booths have lots of junk. The good stuff, the stuff you like, will leap into your vision and you will see it. Call it the zen of Marketing if you will. You will not -miss- the good stuff if you go fast. If you go slow, you just see -more- cruddy stuff.
5. Bargain, but do not expect a merchant to deep discount something you and they both know would go for a high price elsewhere.
Stationary is a particular joy in my life.
I also love reading about all the rules of the past. Which cards to use, how to have them engraved, the rules of what color paper is appropriate for women vs men.
There were more rules then but as time went by, relaxed into the less formal ways that we put pen to paper now.
In "The New Etiquette" by Margery Wilson in 1940, she gives us these more modern rules:
Letter-paper or note-paper should never be ruled, nor should it have a gold edge.
It should never be eccentric nor "arty." Paper which is scented is an abomination, but if the merest suspicious of fragrance, such as might result from contact with the perfumed belongings of her boudoir, escapes from a woman's personal letters it cannot be made the subject of criticism. But the scent must be so faint as to cause doubt of its reality.
She goes on to note that paper can these days be any shade but pink.
So no pulling an Elle Woods from Legally Blonde:
Professor Callahan: It’s pink...
Elle: Oh! And it's scented! I think it gives it a little something extra, don't you think? Ok, well, see you next class!
Black ink on white paper is a classic look, but even Mrs. Wilson agrees that one can be a bit more feminine and use a bit of color, perhaps with a narrow border.
I have several different types of paper, and poor Mrs. Wilson would be quite scandalized to find that I have silver bordered paper! I find it looks nice with either red or black ink. I also have a light blue paper with a darker blue border for use with blue ink and cream paper for general use.
I love to write with fountain pens and thus have a slight obsession with ink. I like using colors that invoke the seasons, and make me smile.
But the paper is always good quality, usually Crane's. That is not something that in my opinion has changed with time. If it is worth the effort to hand write a letter, the recipient should be able to feel that care in each aspect of the letter, even the paper.
So maybe Mrs. Wilson would forgive me my colored inks after all, as long as I am writing letters.
This is the built in unit in my bungalow. I got the crazy idea that it would look better restored back to its original wood glory.
I have made quite a bit of progress, but I will show that later, instead I thought I would show a few pictures of -how- one does such a thing.
The is a drawer from the unit, slathered with Citristrip which works well, and is way less chemical smelling then other paint strippers. It's a bit slower, but if you leave it on for a good long while, its a great option.
It starts to bubble and crackle, but the paint here is 20 layers thick, so I let things sit 6 hours and then it works its way down to the deeper layers of paint.
After scraping all the goop off, the drawer is reasonably clean enough to sand. Obviously I have a lot of sanding work before I can even get to the finishing part, so expect more posts on this topic as time goes by.
“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.” Samuel Johnson
As I always find after a weekend somewhere else, I long to be home. By no means does this indicate that I disliked wherever it was I was. It is rather just the 'ahhh home' that I think the quote indicates.
I wish for everyone the same feeling, to be happy at home. I hope that with little things each day, maybe I can help make us all feel more and more happy at home.
Well I finished my afghan stitch pot holder today. Afghan Stitch is a bit odd for crochet, its almost like a combination of knitting and crochet. It's done with a longer hook, and you keep loops on the hook, like you do in knitting.
In the book Entertaining is Fun by the wonderful Dorothy Draper, she discusses one of the key things to being a successful and thoughtful hostess.
Remembering what people's likes and dislikes, what they might be allergic to, etc. can make guests feel more cared for. Dorothy suggests keeping a small book of notes on these things.
I have adapted this idea into my 'People Book'. It's a moleskine phone book, so that it has pages for each letter of the alphabet.
Each person or friend gets a page, their name going at the top. Any notes about things, go below that.
This helps me remember that Vanessa is allergic to strawberries, and likes purple things which can help in buying presents, planning menus, and just knowing stuff.
Lightbulbs are going to be daily short entries. A quick way to shed light on a topic.
It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up. Others matter more than you do, so 'don't fuss, dear; get on with it.'
This is the secret behind being a good hostess and friend.
I got my catalogs from Thompson & Morgan and Seeds of Change this week. Seed Catalogs are always so inspiring.
Of course I am limited by the small area I have to garden, but I still saw a few standout things I want to try.
Most of all is the Bat Plant above. Its super cool looking and they say it works for a container plant.
Other then that one, I plan on getting some decent tomatoes this year. Last year I sort of missed the boat for tomatoes, and since they are so easy to manage to get a decent crop of, I feel like I failed.
I would love to manage to make the front of my bungalow a bit more garden like. So maybe some more old fashioned flower seeds as well.