what would my mother say?

Below is my mother’s final project for a college class, hand-printed linen fabric. Mom was a home economics major in the 1950’s. She sewed me countless outfits over the years. My Aunt Jeanette and Aunt Emily worked in J.C. Penny fabric departments for decades. I guess sewing and fabric are in my blood.


which maybe is why I find myself getting so emotional about the wonderful SEWN class I’m taking from Mary Ann Moss… my cheap little sewing machine wasn’t working so I gathered up my courage and used Mom’s fancy-schmancy high-end sewing machine.  I sewed on paper for the first time ever!!!


what would my mother say? I violated cardinal rules of our household:  I used her sewing scissors to cut paper…I used her sewing machine to sew paper…


In my mind, today, I’d want her to say “that’s beautiful!  how did you do that?”  But, alas, what I hear is: “oh honey, not the sewing scissors!!”  🙂

Scribbles and Scraps No. 1

One of the joys of buying used books is discovering the hidden treasures inside. Handwritten notes in the margins. Gift inscriptions on the inside cover. Bits of paper mysteriously tucked inside pages.


On page 893 of The Modern Library’s 1938 edition of “The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe,” I find a scrap of paper.  Omni Baltimore.  301.752.1100  Thanks to Google, I discover the Baltimore Omni was opened in 1984.  Its phone number changed to area code 410 in 1991.  That’s all we know… a scrap of paper written in the late 1980’s… mysteriously inserted into the chapter entitled The Poetic Principle.  What do I imagine?  A visit with an old friend during a study break?  Maybe a romantic tryst over holiday break….and now it’s time to get back to the books?  What the heck.  I don’t even know if the same person that underlined the book also wrote the hotel name.  But that’s the beauty of imagination, my dear reader.  Just imagine the endless possibilities.

My latest journal: Norwegian bullseye


“Norges Skyttere,” roughly translated:  Norway Shooters.  Apparently a book about a Norwegian gun club?  I paid a hefty price as Goodwill books go to get this volume.  But the graphics are astounding…once you forget they are actually targets.  I cut the covers down to a square-ish shape, glued on leather from a thrift store purse and did an orange double-diamond stitch.

My Library: Peter Pauper Press


I’ve been collecting Peter Pauper Press books since my earliest library book sales.  First the cook book series.  Then my eye would catch the graphics and size of other PPP books on limmericks or classics.  Once in a while they pop up at Goodwill.


Peter Beilenson started the press in the basement of his father’s home in 1928 in Mount Vernon, New York.  His wife Edna started the cookbook series in the 1950’s.


I just got them because of the of the cool graphics.  Never thought of them as cookbooks.  Then I discovered pearls of hostessing wisdom inside:

 Casserole cooking is easy as pie; a party is born in the wink of an eye!

One for every letter of the alphabet.  So now I’m thinking scanned copies of the alphabet for little kitchen pictures….or maybe tiles for behind the sink…..coasters….and so my Saturday morning begins.