Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vintage White Sewing Machine

I think our house is finally getting back to normal after our bout with the stomach virus.  And I have a lot of blogging to catch up on.  I'm starting by showing off a pretty vintage sewing machine that I bought at a yard sale just before the evil virus struck.

It's a White, Model 24 with a Champion motor.  

I've had a hard time pin-pointing when it might have been made, but it may be from as far back as the 1930's.  It's electric and has a swing away lamp.  It still works!!!  Or rather, it runs.  I didn't actually sew anything with it.  That would require trying to figure out how to thread it and I wasn't up to that.

What I love most is the way it looks.  All those decals are gorgeous and they are on every side and surface.  You know how car makers sometimes come up with a new model with a vintage look?  Well, I'm thinking sewing machine makers should come up with a new new model that looks vintage.  I'll bet there would be a market for them.

The case is still in decent shape, which is amazing. 
I put this beauty in my booth.  I hope someone gets it who will put it out where it can be really appreciated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Post Virus Cleaning Frenzy

Hubs and I are just getting over a nasty bout with a stomach virus.  We have avoided this little bugger for years, but our luck ran out this past weekend.  I am getting my energy back and have been on a mad frenzy to rid the house of germs. 

I'm not a clean freak, but you wouldn't know that to see me the last day or two.  I've been sanitizing everything.  It's nowhere close to being done.  I have to clean a little, then rest, then clean a little more. The problem is, the more I clean, the more I see that needs to be cleaned.

My eco weapons of choice are a steam cleaner, hydrogen peroxide and vinegar. 

I came across a great article about using the peroxide - vinegar combo.  The article (from Eco Child's Play) really hit home.  Before reading it, I was tempted to temporarily give up my eco friendly ways and go buy some bleach.  Here's an excerpt:

Keep white vinegar in a spray bottle, and 3% hydrogen peroxide in another.  (The bottle containing the hydrogen peroxide should be opaque, as it will degrade in a clear bottle.)  Spray your contaminated surfaces with the vinegar and follow with the hyrogen peroxide. This lethal (to germs) combination has been shown to be as effective as chlorine bleach, killing 99% of bacteria.

You can even clean fruits and vegetables using this method!

A word of caution - Do not mix the vinegar and peroxide together in the same container. That forms peracetic acid, which is caustic.

The article has a link to a list of the top 10 places where germs hide.  Here's the list:
   1. Refrigerator doors and handles
   2. Bathroom faucets
   3. Doorknobs
   4. Remote controls
   5. Light switches
   6. Telephones
   7. Dishwasher handles
   8. Salt and pepper shakers
   9. Toys
  10. Your hands!

I was very proud.  The only one on the list that I hadn't sanitized were the salt and pepper shakers.  There are no kids in our house, but I counted the computer as a toy.

I will be buying new toothbrushes as soon as I can get myself to a store, but meanwhile, I'm soaking my toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide between brushings.  The soaking is probably not necessary.  Swishing it in peroxide (or vinegar) just prior to use, then rinsing it well is apparently just as effective.

Laundry.  Oh my.  It sure does pile up during a bout with the flu.  I have a special setting on my washer called Sani-Wash.  It takes almost 2 hours per load.  Does it work?  I don't know.  Does it make me feel better?  Yes.  I'm really paranoid right now and all of our towels and washcloths look like they are holding a zillion invisible virus germs.  Since each load takes so long, I may never catch up on the laundry. What's making it worse is that I don't want to use any towel, washcloth or dishcloth more than once for a while.

At this rate, my house might have a tiny chance at being almost as clean as my sister-in-law's house.  Linda has the cleanest house of anyone I know at any given time.  Truly, you could drop over to see her at any time, day or nigh, and everything would be spotless.  I totally blame her for this cleaning frenzy.  She told me she knew of a family who had this virus go through their house twice!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Vintage Napkins and Removing Stains

I love vintage napkins.  I love new cotton napkins.  I hardly ever set the table in a pretty tablescape, but I love admiring them.  I really enjoy looking at blogs with pretty tablescapes.  However, if I have a get together, it's usually a buffet thing.  I'm not a formal, sit-down-at-the-table, kind of gal.  Am I totally odd?  Don't answer that.

I do satisfy my love of tablescapes somewhat by buying dishes and tablecloths and napkins and so forth for my booth.  Lately, I've been coming across lots of napkin sets.  Some are quite old, some are probably from the last decade.  As long as they are cotton and pretty, I don't care.

And the good thing is, even if I serve buffet-style, everyone will still need a napkin.

I love these vintage turquoise and white ones.  Very vintage.  Very good condition.  I had to keep them, right?  Do you blame me? 

These pink ones were really pretty.  I soaked them overnight in Biz and then washed them, and carefully ironed them. The photo is how they looked when I bought them.  Not bad, but they had a couple of stains that I wanted to work on.  They look even better now. 

I'm putting them in my booth with the pink Texas Ware dishes that are left.  We have a whole pink thing going in one section of our booth.  It's pretty nice, actually.
This was taken a month or so ago.  There are even more pink items there now.

These red napkins are Ok and they'll look good with some patriotic things I have.  They had sticky tags on them that were a real pain to remove.  I had to soak and scrub like crazy to get the tags off.  The napkins had obviously never been used.  The original tags must have melted in place.    On the other hand, the blue and white check tablecloth is fabulous.  It's fairly small, but mmmm, nice and definitely vintage.

I've come across a number of napkin rings, too.  I grabbed these because I thought they'd look good in our pink section, but was in such a hurry that I didn't notice the chips.  Luckily they were cheap, but I still wish I'd passed on them.

These white ones, on the other hand, are nice and will be very versatile.  There are 7 which is odd, but that's OK.

And then there's this vintage tablecloth.  It is stained.  I have had some luck removing stains in the past and I was hoping my luck would continue. 

What in the heck IS this?  Biz didn't touch it.  I soaked it for days.  What can be done with a badly stained tablecloth?  Is this going to become a really fancy rag?

 Removing Stains

I did a bit of research on removing stains from table linens.  I think the Whink product may be my best hope with the weird stains on the red and white tablecloth. I have nothing to lose.  Here are the tips I found:
  • I have found that nature is the best bleacher. Hanging tablecloths from a clothesline or laying it outside on a sheet in the grass after washing will do a beautiful job of lightening yellow stains. Vintage Tablecloth Club
  • On more robust linens I use Oxy Clean, my new best friend, followed by a normal laundry soap or Ivory.  Em's Heart
  • For rust stains, try Whink Rust Stain Remover but don't leave it on too long.  This is strong stuff. Just a drop or two will make most rust spots vanish before your eyes.  Read the label carefully before using it.  It works great!  It also helps remove blood stains and anything else with a high iron content.  Em's Heart
  • Lemon Juice and Salt - Usually if nothing else works, this will do it for me when cleaning white fabric. I first dampen the fabric and then wet the stain with fresh lemon juice, cover the area with table salt. Lay your fabric in the sun. You have to keep the lemon juice wet. The material will dry fast so be attentive. Sometimes you will see the salt take up the stain. This can be a long process, but it usually does the trick. Sometimes you will see yellow spots left from the lemon juice. Hand washing in your normal detergent will take care of that. Catherine's Vintage Style
  • Linens Cleaning Formula.- Mix equal parts 20 Mule Team Borax, Biz and liquid detergent with color safe bleach. Use hot water and soak the fabric for five or six hours. Rinse well and repeat the soaking if necessary with fresh water. When the spots are gone, rinse well till the water is clear. Do not wring or twist. Lay flat or hang to dry. Use plastic clothes pins as wooden pins can stain your fabric. Catherine's Vintage Style
  • 1 Quart Buttermilk, 1 Gallon Water, and 1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice -  Soak linens in the buttermilk recipe for up to 24 hours, rinse twice, then launder as usual.   TipNut
  • 1 Scoop* Biz, 1 Scoop* Oxyclean, and 1 Gallon Hot Water - Soak in the hot water for up to 48 hours, then rinse and launder as usual. Use the oxyclean scoop. After washing linens, give it a good vinegar rinse to remove as much of the soap as possible. Use one cup of white vinegar per gallon of water. After the vinegar rinse, rinse again with plain water a time or two.  TipNut

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bar Stool Color Burst

I've been going a little wild with color lately.  And for some reason, I haven't been hesitant about it.  In fact, I'm just plunging right in with abandon. 

I think it started with wanting green chairs at my dining table.  That's still a work in progress.

Next I found some wild fabric that I love.  You'll see that in a minute.  It's what I used to cover my bar stools.

Then, I went to an estate sale that was amazing.  It has haunted me.  I think the man who had lived there was a decorator... a really good one and his house was wonderful.  It was very livable, not stuffy at all.  He used color in just the right amounts.  It wasn't overpowering (like my house will be if I keep bringing in crazy things).  I find myself thinking about him a lot and hoping he had a happy life. 

I spent a small fortune at that sale.  Some things I put into my booth. Lots of it has already sold.  Some things I'm keeping.  One is a colorful framed poster. 

It is a reproduction of a vintage French advertising art poster for umbrellas in Paris, France by Italian artist Leonetto Cappiello (1875 – 1942). It is entitled ' Parapluie Revel'.  I found conflicting information about the words.  Parapluie is the french word for umbrella.  No conflict there.  But some say Revel is the name of a french umbrella company which doesn't exist anymore.  Another source said revel means 'to take great pleasure or delight', so basically the poster says "Umbrella-Delight".

I also bought some wonderful Fiesta dishes.  They aren't terribly old - most are from 1997 to 2004.  I had been thinking about changing my white dishes to colorful Fiesta ones.  Now, the transition is in full swing.  I need more.  I can't decide if I should go buy some new pieces or just wait til I come across more when I'm out thrifting.  Somehow I don't feel confident about finding many of those secondhand.

I'm really enjoying using them.  My salads look so much more exciting on a Feista platter than in a plain white bowl.

Now to my main topic - the bar stools. I have thought about recovering them for months.  I'd thought about using a grain sack or something.  But then I found this crazy fabric and decided to head in that direction.  The fabric has my green in it.

The fabric that was on them was pretty, but didn't fit my current decorating mood.

I'm still getting used to the new look.  They make me feel good to look at them, but at the same time, I think they may be a little too much.  I'm keeping them this way until they wear out or I get tired of them.  They're fun.
The rugs, on the other hand, need to go!!!

By the way, I had lots of assistance from Sissy while recovering the seats.  
She's very helpful.


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