Friday, September 25, 2015

When dinosaurs roamed the earth ............

When I was growing up ......... we had an oak crank-style wall-mounted phone in my Dad's office.

Kind of like this one ..... but not as fancy.

It wasn't decoration.

It was a working phone.  We would crank the handle and Phoebe or Rachel would  answer.  I would tell them who I wanted to call .......... and they would hook me up.

(Yes ... before Friends .... Phoebe and Rachel worked as operators for New Windsor Telephone.)

It was an old phone when we used it ........ but it was sooooo cool!

I grew up in an era of no phone calls after 8 ......... Phoebe deserved a quiet evening.

I grew up in an era of party lines .... where multiple people shared the same telephone line.  The "ring tones" were 2 shorts ... maybe 3 longs.

Because Dad was a large animal veterinarian, we had a private line.  But most of my friends had party lines.

I grew up with 4 digit telephone numbers .... which I still remember!!  Two on 136.

Now .... I can't remember where I parked the car, why I walked downstairs or what I had for breakfast this morning.  But I can remember a phone number from 50 years ago!!!!

So in my lifetime .... I have gone from operators and crank style phones to dial phones to push button phones.

And now ..... the dinosaurs of Donahue have entered the 21st century.

Say what??????????????

Yea .......... the Lafrenz's bought cell phones.

I know!!!!  

Can you feel the earth cooling???

So you can follow me on Instagram now.

This may take me a while.  After all ......... I still put two spaces after a period.

But I learned to type on this typewriter!


Dinosaur. Honestly, a dinosaur.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Counting the days ............

When I started Miss Effie's, I planted a 20'x20' patch of flowers.

I had 16 chickens.  Barely enough eggs for ourselves and a few friends.

We had no ducks.

No shop.

And the garden had no weeds.

Just a little business that paid for the chicken feed and a few extras.

We hoped the business would allow us to have the lifestyle we wanted ........... home-canned tomatoes, hand knit socks and fresh bread rising in the oven.

And then ..... my little business grew.  The gardens got larger.  The chicken coop expanded and ducks roamed the garden, gobbling up the grasshoppers.

We built the Summer Kitchen .... and that suddenly went from a place to sell eggs and jams to stocking hand made aprons and hand embroidered tea towels.  Knitting went from the casual project of a pair of socks for Honey to hats and scarves and dishcloths and fingerless mitts. 

Do I have the latest style??  Are the colors current??  Is there a mix of pastel and bold and neutral colors? 


The work load exploded!

Then, I discovered that I enjoy teaching.  A lot.

But teaching has its own demands from working on recipes and handouts to grocery shopping and loading the car full of sewing machines and supplies.  And a 3 hour class suddenly takes 6 or 7 hours to prepare and complete.

And the gardens ............ the weeds grew well.


And now .... I am counting the days.

Honey will be joining the Miss Eff team full time next year!!!

And. I. Can. Not. Wait.

Because we will have home canned tomatoes, hand knit socks and freshly baked bread.

Count on it, Honey!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ode to Annie Lennox

Yes .... "Sweet Dreams". 

Cuz if that doesn't get ya moving on this wet rainy day ... well, you must be dead.

Back in December, I wrote this post about home sewn pillowcases.

I have to tell you ........... I'm still in love with making pillowcases. 

Look at these cute little birds!

I have been trying to get the Summer Kitchen stocked for our Christmas Bazaar.  (Which will be held Saturday, December 5th from 9-3.  Mark your calendars!!)

This is going to take a while! 

Owwza!!!  It needs a lot of merchandise before then!

Sew ...... I have been trying to get my sewing mojo on.  During a summer of flower-growing and weeding, I only do very very very quick projects.  Like 15-minutes-at-the-sewing-machine type projects.

Pillowcases are advertised as a 15-minute project. 

Rick-Rack.  My favorite!

They lie.

I am certain I have no idea what part takes 15 minutes.

Ticking and Paisley???  Yes, please!!!

Choosing between all the gorgous fabrics available???  More than 15 minutes.

And piping!

Figuring out trim and do I have enough in the stash???  More than 15 minutes.

Antique linen lace on this one!

Digging through my stash???  More than 15 minutes.  Totally more than 15 minutes!!!


Making the perfect french seam?????  More than 15 minutes!

This set has such an elegant traditional look.

Pressing ... pressing .... pressing.  More than 15 minutes. 

Definitely more than 15 minutes!!

(As I tell my classes .... you must press well as you are sewing.  It forms the basis for a beautiful item later.  You will never get those seams to hang properly if you do not press them right when you sew them)

I think I could become a pillowcase addict.  Once you realize the beauty of some of the fabric that is available .... it is worth making set after set.

There will be some new looks coming soon.

But as I said back in December ..... not a single super hero or Disney princess will grace the Summer Kitchen.

Cuz I only sew for those that might remember the Eurythmics.