March 15, 2013

May 22, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Lest we forget

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:22 pm

This is the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, and in honor of “The Greatest Generation” – who were not only veterans of World War II but also those greatest users and savers of cloth feedsacks – we are featuring feedsacks made to commemorate the war. Of course, the most prominent among these is a sack we’ve mentioned before, known as Kent’s Cloth of the United Nations and made by Percy Kent & Co. This popular and collectible feedsack is printed with numerous vignettes of famous incidents, battles, locations, allied countries and more. Shown here is the full width of the sack, the pattern repeats every 14 inches along the length.
WWII feedsack

You may note above that the feed mill’s label is still evident on this sack, though it’s been partially washed out. Some of the individual images:
WWII feedsackWWII feedsack
WWII feedsackWWII feedsack

The Kent feedsack was featured in an exhibition of WWII textiles called Wearing Propaganda that we visited at the Allentown, PA Art Museum in Oct. 2006. Absent from this exhibit, however, and much less often seen but still as pertinent is the V for Victory feedsack, that repeats the letter V along with its Morse code equivalent – both in patriotic red, white and blue and also in purple!
WWII feedsackWWII feedsack

These feedsacks are but a few of those that remind us of historical events; and they serve also to help us remember those who gave their all for our country this Memorial Day.

May 19, 2009 The garden rose…

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Gardens — sharon @ 2:12 pm

As gardeners, around here we’re a rather laissez-faire bunch. Though the garden in front of the house is still referred to as the rose garden, there are but two hybrid tea roses and a wild red rose sprung from another’s rootstock. Instead we’ve been working allowing the garden to go back to a wildflower (They are NOT weeds!) and perennial garden that needs a bit less time and care, but still delights. One of the plants that’s become naturalized there is the Lunaria. Also known as money plant, honesty plant, and silver dollar plant, it’s a biennial, producing only a small two leaved green plant the first year. In the second, it produces a tall shoot of lovely purple blossoms in early spring.

At this time of year, between the early daffodils and pinks, and slightly later iris, it’s our most profuse bloomer. Later, it will bear its flat green seedpods that fade to pale tan, then nearly white by fall. When the seeds are shed, the remaining membrane is silvery, whence arises the silver dollar (and therefore money) name. Not sure where the honesty plant name comes from, but I guess we like people to be honest where money is concerned. No doubt you’ve seen these in dried arrangements. I have none to show in a photograph now, so we have to wait for fall.

This morning we awoke to frost, after setting a record low temperature last night. Late for a frost, but we were ready, with all the tomato plants covered. Beautiful warm sun today, and the iris are indeed beginning their showy season. We always seem to be just a little later than many of our neighbors in the garden – many had iris in bloom a week earlier – even as near as a mile or two away. That’s ok, though, as it seems to prolong our favorite season, spring.

Also beginning to bloom now are the periwinkle, lilacs and wild phlox.

May 15, 2009 Flying Feedsack Friday

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:10 pm

Today’s feedsack Friday subject is flying – not as in birds; we’ve already covered them. While rare, there are feedsacks with images of airplanes. One that we found includes all modes of transportation, but has a picture of an early 20th century airplane:
plane sack While this feedsack also depicts everything from trains and boats to early motorcars and carriages, we thought it deserved inclusion in the flying topic.
There are other sacks, however, that concentrate exclusively on aircraft. The first one we found, early in our feedsack-selling career, was the American Airlines feedsack that shows 1940’s planes along with airport and regional scenery and is captioned in script with place names and with the name American Airlines. We have no idea why a sack would exist that concentrates solely on one company, and we’ve not seen a sack for any other airline.
plane sack

We also found another sack that shows a variety of 1940’s aircraft, shown below. And of course, the well-known World War II feedsack shows aircraft in wartime.
plane sackplane sack

Finally, there’s another sack that fits todays topic of flight, but this one’s out of this world:
plane sack

May 8, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Dancing with the Sacks

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:07 pm

Around here, we like to watch the TV show Dancing With the Stars – finding it amazing how well some of them can learn to dance over a period of just a few weeks. As the show winds down this week to the semifinals, we are featuring feedsacks that celebrate dancing. So first let’s spin a few records and crank up the music….
dance sackdance sackdance sack

It seems like feedsacks celebrate all sorts of dancing, from the simple folk dance to classical ballet.
dance sackdance sackdance sack

Perhaps because feedsacks were mostly a rural phenomenon, there are probably more sacks featuring barn dances and square dances than anything else.
dance sackdance sackdance sack

But. as with any other topic, the variety is seemingly endless, and even includes a masquerade, and finally, dancing bears reminiscent of a Greatful Dead concert!
dance sackdance sackdance sack

May 3, 2009 A weed by any other name

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Food,◦Friends,◦Gardens — sharon @ 2:04 pm

A weed, indeed!

Dandelion is a wildflower, providing us with some of the earliest available seasonal produce in the form of very nutritious crowns and leaves. We generally collect dandelion from beneath a layer of last season’s fallen leaves that have collected in corners of our yard. Those leaves are often blanched for lack of exposure to sunlight, and among the tastiest, tenderest and least bitter of all dandelion. Vitamin and mineral levels are at least twice those of fresh broccoli, and of course there are few calories. Never fear, though, because we live in Pennsylvania Dutch country, where the standard dressing for dandelion is hot bacon dressing, made with bacon, eggs, milk and vinegar, with some sugar added. So you’ll still get your quota of calories and cholesterol!

Foraging friends tell us that they eat dandelion all year, that the bitterness is not overly bothersome if cooked with an ameliorating salty flavor. By now, of course, we’re on to spinach, arugula and other garden greens. Meanwhile, the lowly dandelion, at this point in its season, has also become a great toy, in it’s way – who among us has not enjoyed the perennial childhood pleasure of contributing a puff or two to help spread and propagate their downy floating seeds?

May 2, 2009 Kutztown quilt show

Filed under: ◦Antique quilts,◦Friends,◦Vintage — sharon @ 2:02 pm

This morning we attended a quilt show at the Kutztown (PA) Area Historical Society, Pennsylvania’s Quilt Treasures: The Art of the Needle. Consisting of 32 19th century quilts from the collection of Arlan & Pat Christ, the show features a broad spectrum of eastern Pennsylvania quilts, both patchwork and applique. There’s something for everyone, from early chintz-bordered Rob Peter to Pay Paul quilts, elaborate Whig Rose and less vivid but beautifully quilted lily and tulip appliques. And there’s a lovely book available to accompany the show, so you can revisit the show after it ends.

Some of my favorites may be less extolled than some of the earlier quilts, but in the room devoted to post Civil War quilts there was a wonderful pinwheels quilt that had layers of pattern on pattern, the central four blocks forming a sort of medallion surrounded in trip around the world style by coordinated blocks in three more color combinations, all sashed with a striking striped shirting fabric that really set off the entire design. Also notable was an ocean waves quilt featuring stars in the blocks between sets of waves, and a glorious lone star, from the collection of the late Richard and Rosemarie Machmer.

Arlan and Pat have been seriously collecting antique quilts for a relatively short time, but have a well developed eye – Pat has been quilting for much longer than she’s been collecting. The richness, variety and overall quality of the show does much to reinforce the impression that eastern Pennsylvania still is fertile ground for the serious quilt collector, especially one who loves vivid color. The show continues tomorrow, and Sundays through May 24th, noon to 4 PM.

May 1, 2009 Feedsack Friday – Gardening

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Fabrics,◦Feedsack Friday,◦Vintage — sharon @ 1:59 pm

Here in the northeast we’re launching into gardening season. The date of the last frost is nearly upon us, and all sorts of early spring crops are already planted. Now is the time many of us concentrate almost maniacally on our flower and vegetable gardens, preparing for a summer of decorative bloom and bountiful yield.

Since feedsacks were primarily a rural phenomenon, it is only natural that some of them should celebrate gardening as well, thus our topic for this feedsack Friday. This first sack has a busy floral print, but if you look closely there are all sorts of garden implements scattered about. I’ve included a close-up at right to help find a few. This one was made in several different colorways.
gardening feedsackgardening feedsack

The young gardeners on this next sack are tending both flower and vegetable gardens.
gardening feedsackgardening feedsack

Though there are a number of other sacks that depict farm scenes, the following border print sack is the one that concentrates most closely on flower gardens. Shown are a half-sack overall view in the red colorway, and some detail pics in the blue:
gardening feedsack
gardening feedsackgardening feedsackgardening feedsack

That’s it for this edition of Feedsack Friday; stay tuned for more, both on feedsacks and on our gardens’ progress.

April 27, 2009 A time of change

Filed under: ◦Country Living,◦Food,◦Vintage — sharon @ 12:51 am

At this time of year everything happens in rapid fire. During our show last week, we started out with high temperatures in the 50’s and 20 mph winds; by Saturday we had a high of 90 degrees, with the humidity creeping up like it does in late summer. Shocking to the system, for sure. And the transition from cool to the premature summer heat has accelerated happenings in the garden as well. Some of the daffodils have withered, but the pinks are in full, bright bloom. This patch, which is escaping over the stone wall, was started with two plants in 4 inch pots about 11 years ago….
mountain pinks

What’s truly amazing to me, though, is the change in the asparagus. A week ago we were checking daily, waiting, yearning for the spears to emerge a little faster. Finally we managed, over the course of a day or two, to find about a dozen that had grown to 6 inches or so for our dinner. Fast forward past our weekend show – which is now all a blur anyway – and there are shoots emerging everywhere along the row, growing fast enough that I thought of sitting there to watch them lengthen. By Saturday night there were three dozen or so that I picked, leaving the ones as short as 6 inches for Tim and his crew to pick the next day; by noon Sunday he was able to harvest well over 100 spears. And this morning it’s apparent there will be an equivalent number again today; at 8:30 there were a number already sufficiently tall, and a large number more that would mature by day’s end.
morning asparagus

I inserted a stick into the ground next to the spear at right, that spear was about 5 inches at 8:30. By 11:30 it had grown another inch or so
noon asparagus

Checking on it later, I found it had been picked. I find comfort in knowing there will be more every day until mid-June. I love that the seasons dictate an ever-changing array of garden goodies!

March 14, 2013

April 24, 2009 Feedsack Friday – The Spring Show

This week we’re doing our spring show at Kutztown; we’re lucky because it’s a large show and quite near home. But we’re so busy with it this weekend that Feedsack Friday will necessarily be brief. Still, I could not skip FF altogether, so for today’s post I’m showing a picture of most of the 10 or so feedsacks we found and bought at the show.

sacks from the show

There was a time when we’d find lots of feedsacks at the show, but they’re showing up more rarely and in much smaller quantities than in the past.

I would also have shown a picture of the 20 sacks that we sold Thursday at the show but they’re gone now, and I’ve added more to our display in hopes they’ll also be adopted by new homes. The weather was cool and breezy yesterday, but should be warm and sunny today and tomorrow, perfect for the occasion.

April 19, 2009 Doin’ Chores

Filed under: General,◦Country Living,◦Vintage — sharon @ 7:14 pm

This will be a work-filled week. The garden has begun to reward us for the little bit of attention we’ve given it:
spring flowers

The pinks and jonquils will help ease our mood as we prepare for the Kutztown extravaganza – where we set up Wednesday to sell Thursday through Saturday this week. It’s our most intensive period of work for the whole season, so yard work will not get done this week and the lawn will be seriously overgrown by next Sunday, considering that rain is predicted for the next 2-3 days.

Last night we had some of the first asparagus of the season from the field, and today we’re enjoying the last little bit of weekend sunshine as we sort, tag and price merchandise for the show. Come visit us, if you can, in booth 220 in the first pavilion!