Sunday, January 30, 2011

My things

I miss my things.

I love old things.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing really old.  I love stuff from the 1930s through the 1950s, and especially kitchen things - dishes, crockery, pitchers, pots, rolling pins, cookie cutters.  I like things that are careworn, and seem to have a story to tell.  Things that were used.

My baba and gido (my mom's mom and dad) moved to "town" (Prud'homme, Saskatchewan) when I was about four years old.  My memories of going to visit them on the farm are pretty dim, but what I remember best was my baba's kitchen.  This was in the early 70s, and she was still using a wood and coal stove to cook on.  I remember the kitchen itself pretty clearly, and especially some of the dishes.  She has this beautiful carnival glass sugar bowl and creamer, that I assume she brought out for company.  She also had yellow plaid dishes - what I've learned as an adult were made by Hycroft, and were the Calico pattern.

When my baba passed away, I was asked if there was anything that I wanted from her house.  I asked for any of the yellow plaid dishes that might be left.  There was one dinner plate and one soup bowl.  My aunts laughed at me, thinking it was a silly thing to ask for. Apparently these dishes were given out for free at grocery stores - if you spent $X this week, you got a dinner plate; next week it was the coffee cup.

I don't really understand why I love these dishes so much, but I do.  Over the years, I've been lucky to stumble on more at thrift shops and have spent a pretty penny buying them on eBay.  Once I was at a church rummage sale, and found four teacup and saucer sets in a different Hycroft pattern - and knowing their value, left a hefty donation in addition to the 10 cents per set they charged me.

I have a fair collection now.  I don't have a full set in any one colour, but I like mixing and matching the colours anyway - it looks so pretty on the table.  I've been amazed to find out that there are huge serving platters, serving bowls, cream and sugar sets, and coffee mugs in addition to all the other dishes in the set.  I've also picked up other patterns when I can, and have a soft spot for Dolly Dots.

When I lived upstairs, my dad hung plate rails for me, so that I could display my plates - and I had lots of space to diplay my other motley collections too.  Downstairs, there isn't any place to "display" things. 

A few weeks ago, I had a lightbulb moment.  What if I turned this:

Into this:

It's maybe a little crazy.  But I love it.  And it's me.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

This is why I don't blog in the winter

There isn't much going on at the School of Yard Knocks in the winter other than a whole lot of shoveling.  I do have some indoor projects going on.  I changed my kitchen faucet in November; sewed kitchen curtains (finally!) in December.  I have an idea for decorating one bare wall in my kitchen.  I just never seem to remember to take pictures of the indoor projects.  I'll try and do a before-and-after of my wall decor attempts.

Happy winter!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Save the Bees!

I can see that there there aren't enough bees in my veggie garden.  I have to hand pollinate my squashes because the bees just can't do it.  According to

Quietly, globally, billions of bees are dying, threatening our crops and food. But a global ban of one group of pesticides could save bees from extinction.

Four European countries have begun banning these poisons, and some bee populations are recovering. But chemical companies are lobbying hard to keep all killer pesticides on the market. A global outcry now for a ban in the US and EU, where debate is raging, could provoke a total ban and a ripple effect around the world.

Let’s build a giant global buzz calling for these dangerous chemicals to be outlawed in the US and EU until and unless they are proved to be safe. Sign the petition to save bees and our crops and send this to everyone.