3.30.2012

DIY {Papernstitch} Friday

Polka Dot Easter Eggs by La receta de la felicidad

Happy Friday, all! We're into the afternoon, so keep on plugging away! The weekend is almost here! I've got some exciting news to share with you all about the Parsimonia store, but it'll have to wait until next week (womp-womp). Let's just say things are on the move! ;-)

Until then, perhaps I can entice you into some Easter egg decorating? I've rounded up some great DIYs (including some that don't use dye!) over at papernstitch today. So go check it out, and then have a fabulous spring weekend!

Now & Then :: Lysol



This week's Now & Then takes a step forward from the '60s into the early 1970s (1971, to be exact), with a very common household product today: Lysol disinfectant spray. I can remember seeing the '70s version of the can in several estate sales that I've been to, and I've always loved the color blocking and that little daisy at the top that lets you know what kind of scent it is. I'm also kind of in live with this color combination, the gold and the navy-teal...very Hollywood Renaissance and makes me think of those square mirrored tiles with the rough gold crackled designs that ladies put up in their bathrooms. :)

Which one do you like better?

3.29.2012

The Thrifted Kitchen {Banana Bread Wars}


For the first time since I started this series, I knew exactly what I was going to make as this week rolled around. Usually I flip through all my vintage magazines and cookbooks and have to whittle down the possibilities from 10 to 1. But, this time, my refrigerator spoke for me — or at least the very black bunch of bananas in it did. :)

This is quite possibly why bananas are my favorite fruit; they're so versatile. Didn't eat them in time? No problem...stick them in the fridge until you can make banana bread.

Seeing this is one of those "classic" recipes, I thought it best to consult what I consider the two experts in my cookbook collection: my 1964 edition of the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, and my 1949 edition of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook. I found each one's version of banana bread, and as I looked at them side by side, I saw they had the exact same ingredients, except two: baking soda and lemon juice.

I was intrigued, to say the least. Why would they have all the same ingredients, but Good Housekeeping decided the addition of baking soda was necessary? And why would the CAI decide that lemon juice needed to be added?

From my understanding, baking powder contains baking soda already (plus some other things with scientific names), and baking soda is usually added when you have something acidic in your batter. So it's funny, then, that the CAI uses lemon juice in its recipe, but it doesn't add baking soda to the mix (other than what's in the baking powder); and GH does, but it doesn't really have any acidic elements in its recipe.

Now, I know by comparison to some of you, I am a novice baker. I really have only gotten into it in the past 7 years, so I'm well aware that there are things I don't know. Maybe you can look at the two recipes below and tell me why this little difference of soda and lemon juice might make a difference. Then my mind will officially be at ease.

The only thing I can tell you from taste and sight is that CAI's definitely rose more than GH's (but it also had more flour and more amount of the rising agents), however, both had a similar taste and consistency.

Hmmm....


Banana Tea Bread
Courtesy of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1949
Makes 1 loaf

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 bananas)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Sift first four ingredients. Work shortening with a spoon until fluffy and creamy. Add sugar gradually, continuing to work until light. Add eggs and beat well. Slowly add flour mixture alternately with bananas, beating smooth after each addition. Turn into greased 9"x 5"x 3" loaf pan. Bake in moderate oven of 350 degrees for one hour, 10 minutes or until done.

To vary: Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or 1 cup chopped pitted dates.


Banana Bread
Courtesy of the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, 1964
Makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup nut meats, chopped

Cream shortening and sugar together. Beat eggs until light and add. Press bananas through sieve and add lemon juice. Blend with creamed mixture. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and mix quickly into banana mixture. Add nuts. Bake in greased loaf pan in moderate oven (375 degrees) about 1 1/4 hours.

3.28.2012

Shelving Up With the Styleses, Part II

I promised you a picture once the recessed window shelves were in, so here it is!


As you might be able to tell from these shelves and the first ones, I'm a little into the whole retro farmhouse feel for our kitchen, what with the red and teal and now the gingham curtains (which I made Saturday during our family ladies' craft night). But I love how this setup turned out. It allowed us to take down the bamboo blinds and let more light in at the top, but the curtains go up far enough that it still gives us privacy when we're at the sink or the stove.

The hubs and I are wondering if there needs to be something at the top of the window, since it's so tall...maybe a gingham valance? Or maybe another shelf above the one with milk glass? Or should it stay as is? So many decisions! :)

One thing I do know is a pair of curtains is definitely in order for the door that goes from the kitchen to the back porch. And maybe some for the front door. And our bedroom. :) They really are addicting once you make that first pair, and a perfect project for a beginner seamstress like me!

Sustainable Style: cu-tĕ-tȧ-pē


I'm not even sure how I came across cu-tĕ-tȧ-pē (pronounced koo-teh-tah-pee) — I think someone had posted something from it on Twitter — but I am really glad our paths have crossed! My first time there, I spent a good 30 minutes perusing all the adorable washi tape, glassine and kraft bags, stamp sets and paper straws, trying to dream up an excuse to load my shopping cart.



What made me even more happy, however, was there were eco-friendly items are sprinkled within its product pages, all of which are great options for those of you in the handmade selling scene: recycled craft paper cards (shown at the top), eco-cotton tape, biodegradable paper bags (above) and recycled kraft hang tags (below).


They also carry these really cute pencil sets, one with penguins and one with owls, made from recycled newspaper, but they were sold out, so I didn't want to put a picture in and tempt you into disappointment (although I guess that's what I just did...oops!). :)

Take some time to click around the store, and then tell me what your favorite product is!

{All images courtesy of cu-tĕ-tȧ-pē}

3.27.2012

Fav Freebie {Sourdough Starter Kit}


Last week, DesignSponge featured this really cute set of labels for sourdough starters, made by Armommy, that may have just convinced to make the jump into trying my own starter. When you research this delicate process online, you get bombarded with people who have written posts about the *correct* way to do it, and they write so fiercely that I feel like I'm being scolded! But I've decided that, just like most classic recipes, people have their own way of doing it that works for them, so just pick one and give it a go!


I also really love the idea of starting one, and passing it along through the years to friends and family. How cool would it be to see your grandchildren learning to make sourdough from one that you started before they were born? I think it's a legacy worth leaving. :)

Have any of you ever attempted your own starter? How did it turn out?

{Images via Armommy}

3.26.2012

Style Spots: One for Two

Happy Monday, all! Hope you've had a great weekend! The weather here was pretty much gorgeous, which always means our schedules get busier. Friday we babysat out little godson, who is always so much fun to hang out with that it's not like babysitting at all. Saturday we had lunch with friends at Cafe Osage in the Central West End. If you haven't been, the atmosphere is so neat, especially now that it's spring. Half the space is an atrium that sells little gifts and garden things, and the other part is a restaurant. Saturday night, my mom and cousins came over for a ladies' night, which means lots of food and drink and laughs. We all worked on little projects: crocheting, jewelry-making and, for me, I finally made some cafe curtains for the kitchen (will show picks tomorrow!).

Amid all this, I sneaked to a couple estate sales after lunch on Saturday. The first one I found a lot, and the second, nothing. Here's what I scooped up:

Issues of BHG from the 1970s.

Some bar guides from the 1960s.

Pyrex pie plate.

Some awesome dress patterns from the '60s and '70s. My goal is to make a dress this summer.

Some lace trim.

And a gorgeous cream pillbox hat with netting...perfect for any of you ladies getting married out there! :)

How about you? Any good finds this week?

Linking up with:
Thrift Share Monday
Flea Market Finds
The Penny Worthy Project
Magpie Monday

3.23.2012

DIY Friday

Some DIY projects that caught my eye this week...





1. Plush Fox Doll DIY // A Beautiful Mess
2. Vintage Suitcase Shelves // Ki Nassauer
3. Ceiling Circle Wall Art // Better Homes & Gardens
4. Patchy Paper Lanterns // Lola Nova // via Poppytalk
5. Colorful Bench // Christina Diaz
6. Let's Go to the Park Bag // Delia Creates

Which Warby?



Okay, y'all. It's time for some new glasses, and I've been eyeing (ha) some frames at Warby Parker for a while. They have loads of options at a really good price, plus each time you buy a pair, they give a pair to someone in need. This week the hubs and I each did an at-home try-on session, and I narrowed my choices down to two...but I can't decide! What do you think? The 1970s/1980s, cheek-hugging style of the Thatcher? Or the 1950s librarian that I'll surely become if I get the Huxley pair? (And please excuse these photos...I am the most camera-uncomfortable person in the world).

Ready? Go!

3.22.2012

Now & Then :: Jet-Dry


Last week I started a new series I'm calling "Now & Then," where we take a look at product packaging and the ads for things sold in the '50s and '60s that are still around today. Last week was Kraft French Dressing, and this week, as you might have guessed, is Jet-Dry.

The text in the image above was the intro to the Jet-Dry ad you see below, snatched from the April 1967 issue of Better Homes & Gardens, right next to a recipe for Leek Lorraine (yum!). I have to say (no surprise) that I'm a fan of the 1967 packaging. Really simple and mod, and using one of my favorite colors in the whole world. It's always so interesting to see these products next to what is considered "modern" design today. The one on the left just seems so flashy, don't you think? Like there is just way too much going on?


I also fell in love with the typography (the one in the teal color) from the ad, and remembered that I have this awesome app on my iPhone called What The Font, by My Fonts. Have you heard of it? You take a picture of the word, then fill out which letter corresponds to which character, and it searches its library to find similar fonts. You can also use this tool online by uploading an image or plugging in a URL. I've been looking up tons from these vintage magazines and have a great little collection going for the next time I start tweaking my blog and website design (which will probably be soon...I always get that itch every four months or so).

So what say you? Are you a fan of Jet-Dry now, or then?

3.21.2012

Shelving Up With the Styleses


Get it? A clever play on the previous Shacking Up With the Styleses posts?

Hmmm...perhaps we should just move along.

I wanted to title this post "DIY Kitchen Shelves," but I felt it would misrepresent things. They are, in fact, DIY, but I have no "making of" shots...or measurements...or really any tips for you, except to find yourself a husband who isn't afraid of a chop saw. That's what I did. :)

I've had these shelves pictured in my mind for several months now, and we finally had some time to make my dreams come true. The whole project cost about $24 in lumber — one long unfinished piece cut into three, and what I call "the feet" (or what you might call the braces or brackets) were $1.99 a piece — plus we already had the paint.

A little cutting...a little nail gunning...a little paint and, voila, the perfect place to put all that Butterprint — which was of course the whole point of this project anyway. :)

The hubs also built me a recessed shelf that we hung in the frame of our big kitchen window. I have since decided I would like another one, so until I can convince the C-Boy to do a little more woodworking, you'll have to wait to see them. Don't worry...I can be pretty persuasive. :)

Vintage 101: What I Learned This Weekend


Those of you who tuned into my first Style Spots on Monday might have seen that wonderfully kitschy set of Waechtersbach that I scored at the last estate sale of the day. I was familiar with the pattern only because I'd thrifted a big mug of the same Heart pattern some years ago, but I didn't really know anything about it. Seeing as I'd like to put the set in the store, I figured it was a good time to school myself.


From what I could dig up, Waechtersbach was established in Germany in 1832, and added U.S. manufacturing to its repertoire in the 1970s. I'm going to gamble and say that most of us younger folk are familiar with their Heart pattern, which was produced from 1988 and recently retired this year, but the company is also known for "The Red Plate," which has the phrase "You Are Special Today" printed along the rim.


I was a little surprised the Heart pattern isn't older than the late 1980s, mostly because it has that mod vibe in the design, which I thought would have placed it in the 1960s...but that's why we research! :) I shopped around a little on Etsy and eBay to see what other patterns Waechtersbach has produced, and there are some beautiful light gray bowls with yellow dots, and gray mugs with white rams on them that are too cute! There is also a pattern of white with red dots that says it was made in the 1930s that I would love for our kitchen...maybe one day. :)

Do you have any experience with Waechtersbach? Any favorite patterns or collections? Or useful tidbits to add to what I've researched? Would love to hear about it!

Puppy Love {Such Great Heights}

A couple days ago, we were hanging in the backyard with our friends who live in the apartment below us... enjoying the summer-like weather, tossing around ideas for our vegetable garden, and heating up the grill for some outdoor dining.

Kristi, who is an amazing photographer, started snapping shots of our dear Puppy J. Pants as she played with her toy in the backyard, and she was nice enough to send some my way to share with you all. You know I'm quite the proud puppy parent, and I know I'm not completely objective, but isn't she sooooo pretty? :)



There were two great shots — one showing her getting ready to jump, and one of her mid-air — that I thought would be the perfect pictures to practice making an animated GIF, which, as I've heard, is really quite simple (and positively addicting) if you know a little about using Photoshop.

Photobucket

I didn't go for any mind-blowing designs, just wanted to get my first one on the board. But I like the playfulness of the results. I'm convinced Sadie is part rabbit because she can jump so high, and when she's in an open field, can run with the best Bugs Bunny.

Have any of you tried your hand at animated GIFs? I'd love to see what you've come up with!

{All photos by Kristi Schiffman}

3.20.2012

Style Spots: Mighty Fine Pickins'

Happy afternoon! How has your day been? I've been a good girl, restraining myself from blowing off the workday to spend time outside in this crazy summer weather that we're having in the middle of March! I didn't even have time to start wearing lighter long sleeves; instead I've already pulled out my sleeveless tops and shorts. Fingers crossed this doesn't mean the actual summer months will be more unbearable than last year.

Some of you know that last night I went on my first picking adventure. I met a guy at the Green With Indie show who said he had a basement full of items from his parents' estate, which he recently moved into, and wondered if I wanted to come over and look around to see if there was anything I'd want to take home for the store. I was SO excited about the opportunity, and finally made it happen last night.

The hubs and I drove over after work, and the guy was more than gracious letting me go through every bag, box, nook and cranny that I could. He was also very generous with his prices, mostly because he seemed to just want it out of there. I ended up finding some really great pieces that I know will be a perfect fit in the Parsimonia store...no matter how much I might want to keep them myself. :)

An Amelia Earhart travel bag.

More Christmas! This is a great vintage print hemmed on one side to make it a tablecloth.

A set of vintage Pyrex custard dishes.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who loved Le Bags!

Two sets of orange lotus bowls. The one in the back is more of a brownish-orange.

A little teal vanity stool. Has a couple rips, but nothing a quick recovering job can't fix!

A set of Anchor Hocking Fire King bowls.

How about a set of happy daisy glasses to go with them?

A couple kitchen tools.

A stack of vintage paper doilies. Never know when you're going to need quick decorations!

A really nice set of stainless steel piping tips.

And my FAVORITE find, a 1960s Westinghouse toaster in practically brand-new condition with the original box.

Look at how lovely those circles are?

And I'm dying over the font on the side.

I put that toaster on my counter, just to see how it would look in the kitchen, but I'm going to be a good responsible store owner and put it up for sale, although it kind of breaks my heart. I hope it will find a home with someone who really, really, really appreciates it.

I did end up keeping one thing, though, which I forgot to photography separately because I'm wearing it as I type! I really pretty turquoise beaded necklace that will probably be my staple piece this summer.


I think it's safe to say that my first picking adventure was a success, don't you think? :)
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