March 18, 2013

September 25, 2009 Feedsack Friday – in Brief

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:00 pm

A brief posting today, after a busy day at our fall show, with one more day to go. It would be a terrible show indeed if we didn’t find at least a few feedsacks, and we did find some. Probably came home with 2 dozen or so, here’s a sampling:
sack selection

No doubt a few of these look familiar to you. Now to bed early, another early day tomorrow.

September 22, 2009 Shades of the Night

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Family,◦Food,◦Friends,◦Gardens — sharon @ 3:03 pm

There are a number of plants in the nightshade family, most prominent among them the potato and the tomato. Late last night, President Obama was on the Late Show with David Letterman, and accepted a gift from an audience member – a heart-shaped potato. Did you see that dinky thing? That was no potato, that was simply an aberration! At least, that’s how it appeared compared to our potato, posted on this blog back in April:
lovin' potato

Now that’s a heart-shaped potato! I knew I should have sent it off to the White House!

In other nightshade news, there are two new appearances of Tim Stark on the net. One is from NPR’s Science Friday on the subject of late blight, the same problem that caused the great Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century. This year it’s wreaked havoc upon the tomato crops in the northeastern US.  And there’s another video just up on youtube. It’s an intro for a video chefs tour of New York city being produced by the website Much of the video is filmed at Tim’s farm and at his market stand in New York, at the Union Square Greenmarket. Here’s the intro:

Can’t wait for the rest of the tour! Thank God that many of the tomatos have so far escaped the blight. I’m not tired of them yet, nor have I frozen enough to last me over the winter.

September 21, 2009 Camera woes revisited

Filed under: General,◦Friends — sharon @ 2:55 pm

About this time last month I wrote about the problems with my trusty Canon A-80 digital camera. I can’t say enough about the great service from Canon – free return shipping, free repair, and back good as new in only 8 days! Or it seemed good as new, except a little less sensitive to light, and therefore with a slower shutter speed when the light isn’t bright enough. This can be a problem when you’re trying to take detailed shots indoors, with no tripod.

But I didn’t complain, after all it was turning out the usual great pictures again. For two whole weeks, two and a half, even. Then suddenly a series of pictures that came out totally overexposed and washed out. Ok, turn it off, change batteries, back on…. it’s working fine again. For three more days. And then, blackness. Darkness. Nothing.

Canon is again fixing it at their expense. How can I complain about a 5 or 6 year old camera that I’ve used for more than 26,000 photos? I mean, it has to die eventually, right?? So, everything considered, I am still very pleased with Canon, both for quality and service. And when my camera comes back again next week, I expect it will go on working for some time.

All that said, the A80 has always had limitations, most notably the fact that I have to get pretty far away from something to get it all in the picture. A large quilt, or tablecloth, won’t all fit unless I hold the camera waaaay up over my head. And it does tend to use up batteries fairly quickly, though a new set of rechargeable ones will usually go several hundred pictures per charge. Unless I leave the camera turned on after downloading pictures…. (a bad habit!)

SO, I bought a new Canon. This time it’s still a PowerShot but a step (or 2 or 3) up. And since technology has come a long way since the A80, lots of improvements. It’s an SX20, with a much wider angle for near shots, more manual adjustment capability, 12 megapixels vs. 4 in the A80, so lots more detail and definition is possible, and it zooms to 80x for telephoto shots. And a different sort of memory card, too. I have been accustomed to downloading after every 50 shots or so, since my memory card was then nearly full, and a larger one – back when I bought the A80 – was rather expensive.

This time, a 4 gigabyte card was $15 with the camera, and holds more than 900 shots at the highest resolution. A larger, brighter display makes outdoor use easier on a bright day, and I love the lcd that swivels to various positions – one thing the A80 had too, and I didn’t want to be without. Can you tell I’m enjoying my new toy?

My buddy Chiru here is helping me check it out:

A pretty steep learning curve, but the basics aren’t bad. And so far, even with all the zooming, the large display, electronic continuous focus and image stabilization, among other features, still on the first charge of the batteries.

I promise, I will still love the A80, and will probably take it with me more often to lots of places since it will now be the second camera. What a world of difference from my first Kodak digital. 1 whole megapixel, a battery hog, and all. I’m embarassed about many of my old pictures from that one, but I’ll be making up for it.

September 18, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Sheep Thrills

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:52 pm

Last week we took a week off from feedsack Friday, but here we are back in the fold!

Just about every critter imaginable has found its way onto feedsacks, this week we’ll deal with those fluffy, fleecy lambs. These three feature alternating stripes with lambs and flowers:
sheep sacksheep sacksheep sack

sheep sacksheep sackThese two pink sacks are a good example of the sometimes very subtle differences between feedsack patterns. Essentially the same print, they differ only slightly in hue and in the darker outlines present around the figures.
This feedsack can also be found in a blue colorway.

sheep sacksheep sack And the next two are among several colorways of what has become known as the Little Bo Peep feedsack, featuring little sun-bonneted shepherd girls with tiny lambs. Thia one’s also been done in green, though I don’t have an example to show.

That’s all for this week, next week is our fall show at Kutztown, but I’ll try to do feedsack Friday too, if possible.

September 4, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Labor Day!

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:32 pm

Here in the USA, this Monday is Labor Day, when we celebrate the contributions of all the hard workers that make this country great. The first three show women at all sorts of household tasks of the past.

These appear to be younger girls, sweeping, sewing and hanging laundry.

And another, with girls ironing the clothes, but wait a minute! Don’t the guys have to do any work? Seems like feedsacks celebrate womens’ work almost exclusively.
workingworkingBut we were able to find one example featuring boys. They may be playing at working, but we’ll have to count it this time.

Of course we’ve seen people working in the garden when we featured gardening, and even those clowns two weeks ago were hard at work. So take it easy on Monday, you deserve a holiday!

August 30, 2009 Big Tomato Time

Filed under: ◦Family,◦Food,◦Gardens,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:30 pm

This year I planted a tomato with a very colorful name: Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter. I guess it’s called that because Charlie’s tomatoes produced so well he could pay off his house?? Tim has been raising these for years, but I never tried one in our own little garden before. All the tomatoes took their time this year, but this one’s finally here, and worth the wait.
Radiator Charlie's

These tomatoes may not be exactly round, but they are BIG! Not too big, but this one, for instance, weighs in at 1 pound 10 ounces, and you certainly don’t need too many slices for your sandwich. In fact, you may have to make a little bit bigger burger than usual, or you could lose it under a slice like this.
Radiator Charlie's

The juicy, meaty slices you see above were consumed with our baked salmon last night. Mmmmmm. But it took until lunch today for the two of us to finish just this one tomato!

August 28, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Sailing Away

Filed under: ◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:28 pm

sailing sackHere it is, the last weekend before Labor Day. Where has the summer gone?

This weekend we’ll have one last summer getaway, and why not go sailing? Sounds like a great plan, depending, of course, on where you live. If you’re here in the northeast, it may be a bit of a problem, as the last two weekends have not only been stormy, but hurricanes have also been churning up the Atlantic just off our coast.

I guess we’ll have to settle for a virtual sail, thanks to the images on these feedsacks.

sailing sacksailing sack
These two in different colors also match another one that I have in tan, but I can’t seem to find that one’s picture.

By the way, in case you have any ideas for themes for Feedsack Friday, I’m always open to suggestion. Not that I’m running out of possibilities, it might just help to narrow them down a bit. And it is difficult to categorize the hundreds of miscellaneous floral sacks.

August 26, 2009 A One-patch Quilt

Filed under: General — sharon @ 2:24 pm

A one-patch quilt is defined as a quilt that uses patches all of one shape and size, except perhaps for the edges or borders. When the shapes used are squares, the result can be uninteresting if care is not taken to form an overall pattern, of color, tone or other elements. This late 19th century PA one-patch uses a number of elements to heighten the interest.
one-patch quilt

First, and most obviously, the squares are set on point. They are then arranged by color and tone to form a center medallion with concentric borders, surrounded by a pattern of rays of lighter color at the centers and corners. While rich browns and reds serve for the majority of the pieces, the lighter, brighter colors focus the eye on the center. For additional interest, many of the squares are fussy-cut from chintz or cheater cloth prints.
one-patch quilt

With one exception, these fussy-cut squares are also concentrated toward the center of the quilt. But the single exception is a notable one – in the upper left corner of the quilt (as shown in the first picture) is a single square cut from cheater cloth featuring Dickens’ character Mr. Pickwick!
one-patch quilt

This fabric has apparently been reproduced at some time in the 20th century, as I found a listing for it as an Everglaze Vat Colors fabric on Etsy, which has apparently since sold out. The antique fabric, however, has richer tones, and retains no glaze, so I’m unsure if it ever had one.

There’s a great variety of late 19th century brown prints, including paisleys, chocolate browns, tans and madders.
one-patch quilt

And to go with all the browns and paisleys on the quilt top, the back is done in a brown floral and paisley stripe.
one-patch quilt

I’ll be adding this quilt to my inventory of antique quilts at Sharon’s in the next few days.  Here’s the link to the quilt listing:  One Patch Quilt

August 21, 2009 Feedsack Friday – The Circus

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:20 pm

One of the last few weekends of summer is coming up. Maybe there’s still time for you to get to the circus, the amusement park or a carnival. If not, we can do it here at feedsack Friday! Today’s selections feature Ferris wheels and carousels, along with clowns, acrobats and other circus performers.
circuscircus That’s our trip to the circus for today; only one summer weekend left now to enjoy before the Labor day holiday weekend at the beginning of September.

I hope that everyone’s had a lovely summer so far, and we can finish it off in style!

August 18, 2009 Camera Woes

Filed under: General,◦Gardens — sharon @ 2:19 pm

It seems that I may have prematurely announced the end of rose season. My all-time favorite pink rose has once again burst into profuse bloom. Here’s a picture I took on Monday.
first prize

You can see clearly from the many buds surrounding the flowers already open, that it would be a real show of pink bloom. And so it is. Today, there are 5 fully open roses on the plant, (2 are past their prime), and 7 partly opened buds. Absolutely glorious. I would love to show you a picture – but yesterday my trusty old Canon A80 digital camera started showing lines of interference or static across the display. And, much to my dismay, the lines also appear in the saved pictures themselves. So as much as I would love this photo, I won’t have it unless I quickly borrow or buy another camera.

I did find, though, when I Googled the problem, that Canon issued a service advisory about the problem – and if in fact the symptoms my camera displays are due to the condition they found, the repair, including shipping to the service facility, is free of charge. And the camera is long since out of warranty. So it’s already on its way back to Canon, and according to the Canon rep, and backed up by what I’ve read posted on the web, it should be back in just about a week.

So I’m happy that my favorite camera may not actually be terminal. A new camera, and the associated learning curve that becomes ever steeper as I age, is not exactly something I’ve been looking forward to. Then again, a wider-angle of view would be nice, so I don’t need to hold the camera too far away from the subject to get it all in the frame….so I’ve been looking around.

I probably won’t buy another camera before mine returns, but I might get another one anyway, even if the A80 recuperates fully. And based on how long I’ve had this one, how much I’ve used it, the ease of use and the useful features – not to mention my positive customer service experience – I’ll probably get another Canon. That should also help lessen the aforementioned learning curve, assuming that not too many features have changed in the last four or five years.

Still, I’d love to get a picture of those roses today…..