Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Book: Vintage Notions


This is the third book of the vintage-themed books I purchased with my Mother's Day gift card.  A beautifully designed book, it's divided into months, and I'm nearly at the end.  I am really enjoying it.  It's too good to rush through, so I've been treating myself to a little bit most evenings. 

Compiled by and with additional writing by Amy Barickman, this book is a treasure-trove of vintage inspiration on a myriad of topics:  cooking, sewing, beauty routines, housekeeping, embroidery, etc.  The vintage artwork is fantastic, and I find myself searching out every detail.  The 1920s fashions are to die for!  (Even though I don't sew.)

For keepsakes and ideas, the book contains four pocket pages, separating the months into seasons.  The Winter pocket doesn't come until just before December, so it is at the back of the book instead of the front.

Each month begins with an essay taken from the writings of Mary Brooks Picken, and every one is a gem.  She was born in Kansas in 1886 and founded The Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in Scranton, PA.  Nearly 300,000 women enrolled to learn skills via correspondence or classroom lessons, allowing oodles of them to even earn some money sewing for others once they were proficient.

I love the following quote by Picken (on p. 141):  "This is a glorious morning and I've had the best time reading your letters.  Everyone says I've been at my desk the entire forenoon, but I haven't.  I've been miles and miles away, over in the Orient, down in languorous South America, and out in our own bustling Middle West.  And if you've been responsible for carrying my imagination to such physical distances, you've been no less responsible for showing me life in its contrasts.  That's the idea that comes up oftenest when I read your letters-- how widely many of you are separated by distance and by environment and by circumstances.  Yet I believe you get together here on an unusual plane of sympathy and understanding and that you draw inspiration from one another."

Could there be any better description of the joys of blogland?

If you enjoy visiting feminine life of yesteryear, I highly recommend this book.

On vacation and just sneaking in a post,
Bess

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May God richly bless you,
Bess