Saturday, December 14, 2013

{Christmas} days of yore

There is something so enchanting about Christmas photos from the late 1800's and early 1900's. Peering into past Christmases, there are unmistakable differences - the shape of the Christmas trees, the tinsel, the candles, the 'brown paper packages tied up with string', the contented look on the children's faces even though they didn't receive a gazillion presents (if only, right?) - it is all so delightful.

Christmas 1900 - Orville and Wilbur Wright - Courtesy of Shorpy

Christmas 1912 - "We were to smile a big smile so Dad could send the picture to Grandma in Mansfield, Ohio...I looked like Red Skelton!...Bed, large doll, fruit bowl set were Murnie's (older sister). The rest was all mine." Caption by Nedra Treace, photo taken by her father, Harry G. Treace" Courtesy of Shorpy

Circa 1927 - Courtesy of The Haunted Lamp

Courtesy of Cartes Postales Anciennes de l'Hérault
What I find most extraordinary is that Christmas as we know it was not even conceived by Americans until the middle of the 1800's! The blend of carols, cards, presents and trees before the Civil War era just did not exist. Even as late as the early 19th century, many Americans hardly took notice of the holiday at all. Seems strange, right?

The Christmas Tree is actually a German tradition but by the 1850's many Americans had adopted the custom. At first the decorations were more of a folk tradition, adding nuts, strings of popcorn or beads, oranges, lemons, and homemade trinkets. But by the 1870's American businessmen were importing ornaments from Germany to sell to the public. 'So many charming little ornaments can now be bought ready to decorate Christmas trees that it seems almost a waste of time to make them at home,' one advertisement stated.

Weihnachten 1928 in Berlin- Courtesy of Miss Mertens
Of course none of us can remember a time when there wasn't a national celebration of Christmas and that suits me just fine! I simply adore this time of year, the traditions my parents created for me (first song I heard and now my children hear each Christmas morning is Nat King Cole's 'The Christmas Song'), the traditions we have created for our children, and the overall feeling of joy. It really is 'the most wonderful time of the year'.

Merry Christmas to ALL a fabulous night - {quirks}

Thursday, December 12, 2013

{Pinterest} how to use it

Here is a post from by Blog 'Fab Quirks by Annie' from January 2012. I've had some questions about Pinterest lately so I thought I would share this post again. I've made some changes from the original to go along with the changes Pinterest has made. Enjoy... :)

How to Use Pinterest

My name is Annie Lema, and I am a Pinterest addict! :) This is a true story, as many of you have already discovered, if you are a Pinterest user. If not, here are some helpful hints that might get you on your way.

According to Pinterest "Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all of the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."
"A pin is an image added to Pinterest. A pin can be added from a website using the Pin It button, or you can upload images from your computer. Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from."


STEP 1: Set up your account...

The first thing you need to do is set up an account for yourself. You can sign into Pinterest by using your Facebook account,Twitter account, or your email address. The major benefit of using one of your social media accounts is that you will be able to hook up with your friends and contacts that are already using Pinterest. It's a great way to get started.

STEP 2: Figure out what Pinterest is for and HOW YOU want to use it...

This might seem overwhelming to beginners...but Pinterest is the perfect way to just express yourself and create pinboards that help you gather your 'wish my ___ looked like this' ideas. Embrace, Pin, and Enjoy!

Pinterest can also be an invaluable tool. Crafty Do It Yourself-ers can use Pinterest to Pin DIY projects to one of their boards to organize future projects. Brides can replace the mountains of magazines and clippings into tidy boards that compile all of their ideas for the 'perfect dress', reception decor, flowers, bridesmaids dresses, etc. Teams can work together to share ideas on a single board thanks to the multi-contributor feature.

STEP 3: Follow People...

You can follow people by using your Facebook and/or your Twitter accounts. Associate these accounts with your Pinterest and it will let you know who of your friends are already using Pinterest. Or you can just start following people that have similar tastes or just really great style.

STEP 4: How to start Pinning from outside sources...

The simplest way to kick-start your pinning is to download the "Pin It" button from the Goodies page on the Pinterest site. Here is the link:

Once you have installed the "Pin It" button you can start pinning. Any web page that has an image on it is your playground. Just click the button and choose which image you would like to add to one of your boards. It really is that simple.
Choose the image...

...Pin the image.

STEP 5: Repinning...
Another way to create pins on Pinterest is by repinning others' pins. There are numerous ways to browse Pinterest. The first way is to go to the drop-down menu under the Pinterest logo. This menu gives you several categories to search, such as Holidays | Food & Drink | Art | Home Decor. Once you have begun exploring these categories you will no-doubt see many Pins that tickle your fancy sooo...hit that Repin button and Pin it to one of your Boards.


BOARDS: If the Pin you want to pin doesn't fit into one of your existing boards then create a new one. While pinning you will scroll to the bottom of your board list and enter a new board title and click create, this will add the new pin to the new board. Another way to create a new board is to click Add > Add a Board on the top toolbar on Pinterest. Type in a board title, choose a category, and then click Create when you are finished.

CONTENT: Although it isn't 'against the rules' it IS against Pinterest Etiquette to solely Pin your own products, when using to for your business. You are definitely encouraged to pin your products and items, but explore and share beyond your own world, this is one of the things that keeps Pinterest appealing to the masses.

LIKING VS. PINNING: Liking a Pin means that it will show up under your list of LIKES, however it will not automatically pin it to one of your Boards. In order to save it on one of your Boards, you must Pin It. I usually do both, LIKE and PIN because let's face it, if I'm pinning it I obviously LIKE it and the person deserves to know that. :)

PINTEREST HELP: Pinterest's Help Page is wonderful, so explore it if you are still left with questions. Or feel free to post your questions in the comment section below and I would be happy to help.

As always, I love answering questions and/or getting feedback - so please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading. {quirks}

Thursday, October 24, 2013

{♥ knitting} - learning a "new stitch a day"

Sunshine Day Baby Throw - My First Blanket
Last December my daughter Katie (15) taught me how to knit and I fell in love with it. It's a calming activity for me - something I need. I knitted quite a few scarves and even made a baby blanket, for a friend's baby, that I was really proud of - pretty awesome for my first try!

I took some time off of knitting during the summer months, I guess it was too hot and I had enough stuff going on already. But now I am back at it and really wanting learn new stitches, techniques, and the knitting lingo. I've been watching lots of videos on YouTube from New Stitch a Day - they rock!!! The tutorials are so great and easy to follow plus there are just a ton of them. I also just ordered this book from Amazon, which was recommended to me and I'm excited to get.

So I decided, that the funnest way to learn some new stitches was to make a patchwork afghan!!! I have read a couple of different theories/instructions on how to do it. I'm kinda just doing it my own way and am 3 squares into it now. The first square (top) in knitted using the stockinette stitch using size US 4/3.5mm needles, the second (middle) was a stockinette stitch too but with a heavier yarn and size US 10.5/6.5mm needles, and the third (bottom) I knitted using the garter stitch and size US 10.5/6.5mm needles again.
The First 3 Squares - Patchwork Blanket
I'm struggling a bit with the sizing because I'm a newbie but I am not going to worry about it. I read this tutorial about knitting a 'swatch afghan' and their squares are no where near all even and it works out for them.

Since I am trying to learn new stitches, and I have already knitted the stitches that I know, I thought I would just go ahead and do an alphabetic kind of thing. I found a stitch pattern glossary and am starting with the first stitch listed, the Andalusian Stitch. I'll let you know how it goes.

As always, I love answering questions and/or getting feedback - so please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading. {quirks}

Friday, October 11, 2013

{guest bath} in need

So THIS is my blogging come-back post and it has not a dang thing to do with vintage! But given the fact that I am way prone to changing my thought process every few minutes, it works for me.

If you have read my intro, you already know that I'm a mom of 7 kids, with 5 of them still under the age of 18 and living at home. With this in mind, you can probably understand why there is always some sort of project going on around here. We recently moved into a super great house that is just perfect for us - enough bedrooms, large yard with pool, etc. BUT there's just a ton of stuff that needs to get done or that I want to get done in our new digs (the 'wants list' is much longer).

The first place I knew I had to make a major change was the hideous guest bathroom. It almost killed the deal when I saw it - black bathtub, black toilet, with a black pedestal sink and black mirror - egads!!!! (I grabbed a pic of it off of the MLS just to show how truly rough it was before I got started.)
The Before Pic

Of course we could have spent money to have those things replaced, but surprisingly enough they all looked fairly new and we def didn't have any 'extra' money lying around. So I searched my favorite source of inspiration, Pinterest, and found tons of fab ideas to work with. I still wasn't sure about a color scheme though, what could possible off-set or tone down the black?

I decided the best course of action was to use bright whites and varied silver tones following a trip to HomeGoods, where I found this awesome Lion's Head towel holder. I also found the shower curtain rod and shower curtain there too.
Lion's Head Towel Holder
Once I had some of the accessories in place, replaced the black mirror with a silver one I already had, and began to feel better about the bathroom as a whole - I had to figure out what to do with the white walls.
White Walls

I came across this pin on Pinterest that sealed the deal. This darling nursery wall was created by the owners of the Making Our Dream blog - love it. I followed her instructions almost verbatim, with the exception that I created 6" circles, didn't measure out placement, and smoothed out the air bubbles after cutting the circles. And here is the finished product...

...well ALMOST finished. I have the area over the toilet that I was going to hang baskets, like this, but once I nailed the first one up I realized that this bathroom might be too small to pull that off. So, the one is still hanging, waiting for The Boss to come home and provide his opinion. We'll see where it goes from there. Once it is all officially finished, I will post another pic.

I'm always thrilled to answer questions or receive comments, so please post away! Take care. {quirks}