Thursday, October 27, 2011

Oh wow, man - Fluffy Ruffles!

Did anyone ever actually have a window decorated like this?   

A psychedelic's dream - hours could have been spent gazing at the crochet lace fluttering about the greenery ...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Crafty Summertime Savings

Ah summer ... if you're like me, this is the time of year to look for items to knit, crochet, cross-stitch, or quilt that you can take along with you while traveling, lolling on the beach, or swinging on the porch. Something quick so you can tuck your finished masterpiece into the holiday gift bin before the season is over. And easy enough to be able to pick up again if you're distracted by a picnic or out-of-town visitors. Maybe even easy enough to relieve your kids' boredom with some creative fun.

Here are a few possibilities. Many more are available at my online stores at I'm minding the stores and always ship quickly so you can get started in just a few days! Click on item descriptions to find out how to order.

Children's Crafts: Fun and Creativity for Ages 5-12, A Sunset Book, 1976, Third Printing 1977, Lane Pub Co, softcover, 96pp incl index.
Keep the kids busy with this treasure trove of fun project ideas at very little or no cost. Explore ways to create with paper, cloth, yarn, rope, buttons, beads, scraps, items from nature, and stuff you already have in the kitchen.

Needlework Bazaar - 25 Projects, Leisure Arts Leaflet 135, 1978, softcover booklet, 25pp.

Nice variety of easy and quick projects to knit, crochet, needlepoint, embroider, or cross stitch. Toys, bookmarks (including the classic crocheted cross and Star of David), slippers, bags, and more practical items that are sure to please. And because it is vintage 1970s, it has a pattern for those colorful kitchen mushrooms, a doggy coat made of granny squares, and other fun, hard-to-find patterns.

The Mistletoe Express Cross-Stitch and Quilting, Vanessa-Ann Collection, 1982, softcover, 41pp.

A vintage 1980s collection of fun people and animal charts and project patterns combining cross stitch with quilting, sewing, and soft sculpture. About half are for Christmas, and most of the others are for decorating kids' rooms, though kids of all ages would love a hand-made gift from one of these designs! There are some that target special audiences, such as the Girl Scout inspired International Girl Wreath, the "Raggedy Ann & Andy"-style sleeping bag/quilt, and the adorable "Fat Lady" picnic bag.

Head to Toe Knits = 25 Colorful Accessories for Your Home and Children, Zoe Mellor, 1997, Trafalgar Square Publishing, hardcover with dust jacket, 80pp.

Contemporary designs for children's hats, mittens, socks, bags, and toys, as well as such home decor items as bedspreads, cushions, rugs, and throws. Projects clearly presented with easy-to-use charts, instructions, and full color photographs -- for beginners through experienced knitters.

Remember, there are low-priced craft patterns and books galore at my BluJay store and in the crafts section of my eCrater store!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Hostess with the Mostess

There's something so compelling about food advertising pamphlets from the 1950s -- the high hopes and certainty of the rightness of our values back then can be as comforting as the single-flavor soft-and-chewy recipes.  Here's a delightful example.

How to Be the Hostess with the Mostess, Jane Wilson Kitchens, Wilson & Co., Chicago, 1958.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Confuse Your Muscles on the Cheap

From Billy Blanks to Mari Winsor - there's an exercise video for YOU! has exercise videos in glorious, unscratchable VHS format!   New in shrink wrap, or gently used-and-tested, guaranteed to play, for beginners to advanced fitness levels - all at prices that will motivate you to get that VCR back in shape.    (Heck, with the savings of VHS compared to DVD, you could buy yourself a new VCR!) 

A multiple item discount and combined shipping savings mean you can buy a variety of videos to alternate daily and keep your fitness regimen fresh.   And my Golden Rule Guarantee means your satisfaction level will stay as high as you want your fitness level to be!

So ... firm up those buns of steel, sweat to those oldies, get ripped and get "Fonda" your beach body in a mirror again!   

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price

Take the sting from the Ides of March with one of the most elegant cookbooks of all time!  Hollywood's King of Horror during the '50s, '60s and '70s, Vincent Price (1911-1993) was also an accomplished artist, witty raconteur, and noted gourmet.  You'll love the anecdotes and photographs as much as the recipes, gathered from the Prices' exotic travels near and far.   

In collectible condition, now available at my eCrater store.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Get Cultural with Madame Butterfly

Let your spirit soar - and dip - with the ultimate dramatic opera ...

Madama Butterfly, with English subtitles, Giacomo Puccini, Arena di Verona, HBO Video, 1983, VHS in clamshell case with libretto.

One of the best-known Italian operas, performed in Verona. This limited edition VHS video tape is a must for classical music lovers.

Available at my store! See more details here.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Corned Beef & Cabbage & Spatzle

We always have lots of flavorful broth left over from our St Paddy's Day bash, with maybe two servings of corned beef left, along with bits of mushy cabbage and whatever root vegetables we used -- potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and turnips. Adding little spatzle dumplings is a delicious way to transform that mishmash-of-mush into leftovers-to-look-forward-to.

Here's James Beard's recipe for Spatzen. Drop it by spoonfuls into your simmering leftover corned beef broth and in a few minutes you'll wonder whether it didn't also come from the Emerald Isle.

Spatzen, from "Beard on Pasta"
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch baking powder (1/4 tsp)
  • pinch salt (1/2 tsp)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in egg and enough water to make a stiff batter. Set it aside to rest, meanwhile putting your leftover corned beef and cabbage on to boil, adding water, wine, and spices if necessary to make room for the little dumplings. Let simmer 10-15 minutes, then drop the spatzen from the tip of a spoon into the simmering broth. Cover a few minutes and the little dumplings will end up with a lovely chewy fluffiness.

If you haven't make corned beef and cabbage yet, the best recipe I've found is in a cookbook published in 1977 by Reader's Digest Publications, called Creative Cooking.

Whatever recipe you use, just make sure you leave some left over for the spatzle! More great vintage cookbooks are available at -- where there are always lots of good things with great character at small prices!

The Days of Betty Crocker

Your daily kitchen companion ...

See my review!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Scottie Love

From "Scotties for All Seasons", Carolina Cross Stitch, Inc.

Twelve of the cutest cross-stitch designs available anywhere -- now listed at my eCrater store!

Saturday, January 29, 2011