Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sherbet glasses

Aren't they pretty? This is Depression glass. It was made in the mid west of America in the thirties. The glassware that was distributed free during the Depression as promotional items in a cinema or with your sack of flour or at most would cost you about a nickel at a five and dime store. Very cheap to produce and it comes in such pretty such as pale greens, pinks and blues. It's pressed glass so is pretty sturdy - so you can find them around still. Think they're getting quite collectable now. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cooking with the stars

In an effort to convince folk that Hollywood stars were 'just like you and me' and that being a glamourous vamp on screen didn't compromise one's domesticity, movie fan mags used to include favorite recipes of the stars. There's a great project called Silver Screen suppers that is collecting these recipes to be published in a book at some stage. Volunteer bloggers from all over the world offer to be test cooks - I'm still waiting to see who I'll get!

In the meantime you can enjoy a treat with Ginger Rogers! This is from a book called Favorite Foods of Famous Stars, a 1934 publication from the Norge refrigerator company.

Date butterscotch pudding

1/4 cup minute tapioca
A something of salt. I can't quite make it out. Let's just say a pinch.
2 cups hot water
3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped dates

Cook tapioca and salt in water until tapioca is clear, stirring frequently. Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar and stir until melted. Add tapioca mixture, vanilla and dates. Pour in buttered baking dish and bake 30 minutes in moderate oven. Cool. Fill sherbet dishes with this pudding and allow to chill in Norge. Serve with cream. (Serves 6)

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Million dollar baby

I went to a boxing class today. I was absolutely terrified! A friend had invited me to go with her and I'd rashly said yes. I did spend the majority of the day worrying and fretting about it. I was feeling very very shy and gave myself a bit of a nervy bellyache. And I had been thinking along the lines of boxercise, kind of aerobicsish with a bunch of girls. I was wrong. It was time to go and my friend hadn't appeared and I was pretty sure this meant I could go for a jog instead. But I rocked up to the class and found it full of some pretty tough customers. Eeek! The teacher was as wide as he was tall. He told me if I borrowed a pair of gloves I'd get hep c. Great. Going well so far. So I got a pair of gloves to wear inside them - kind of like the gloves an archivist or rare books librarian would wear. (At this stage I'm clutching at straws to make me feel more in my comfort zone!) I got a pink pair of gloves (this was also quite pleasing!) The class began and I've never hated anything so much in my life. I thought I was going to die. But my friend turned up and we tried to hit each other for a bit. Man, for a shy quiet type she's an absolute belter. I'm beginning to suspect I have no inner demons. Imagine Doris Day in boxing gloves and that's me. But my, what a work out. I hated it but it was rather good. And though I can't move my arms at the moment I'll be back next week!

-Kirk Douglas looking evil. I do not look like this.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Bull at a gate

I must be turning into my mother because I've just shown a dreadful lack of patience and forward thinking. (It's not that she doesn't plan, she's just a tad enthusiastic about projects!) I woke up this morning feeling fine and dandy - only a teensy little bit of hip pain really. So this afternoon I went for a jog. Just a little one. And I did dance a little jig at home as a test first, so you see I was really quite practical and sensible about it. I toned it down to five minute intervals and did that on a flat level for an hour. Well, until I fell off the treadmill! I was rather busy watching the tennis and came a cropper. I think I feel ok now. I'm icing my hip just in case. Ice is my new best friend. The biggest problem I had was the handful of peanuts I'd eaten beforehand. Yes, I know you are supposed to leave it an hour - but who can wait that long?!

Yay acting before thinking!

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

On the sidelines

Well it had to happen, I got injured. Had a great run yesterday and was looking forward to cycling on the weekend. But when I woke up this morning I could barely get out of bed. I must admit that I was a bit teary - my training! Oh, and it hurt too. But - my training! I'm not ready to take it easy!! Walking turned out to be dreadfully ouchy so I came home to ice it. I guess it was nice to watch the tennis, but I largely spent the day researching hip flexor strains and getting more and more bummed out. Of course, the only treatment is ice and rest. Bugger. Feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I did get a new frock that I wore yesterday so that was nice. No photos yet (because I was in such a hurry to get to the gym!)

Flying nurses relaxing on some godforsaken Pacific island whose name I've forgotten. Cute!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Mr Postman

Australia Post has lost my parcel. I've filled in the appropriate form and now I just wait. And wait. I sent this parcel off on December 1. Not happy. But this pattern arrived today so that is exciting.

Recently I mocked up a skirt and jacket in muslin. The brown number on the right sans embroidery.

It looked awful so I put it in my sewing basket to think about it. Then Lyle cat slept on it and when I fished it out and put it on it looks perfect! Yay Lyle! Stunning use of felines in dressmaking. I'm figuring the muslin was a bit stiff and the kitty heat softened it up.

I've got this in my stash too. I'd love to make it stripey, just like the picture but I'm a bit scared of fabric with a nap. Bit more practice first!

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New look?

I've been told I should update my blog. But I really haven't done anything. I just wrote a letter to my mum, which was pretty much me complaining about the weather for two pages. I read a 1950s thriller by Helen McInnes and now I want to go to Greece. I read an autobiography of Gene Tierney. She was a real sweetheart. I haven't watched any movies but I did recently buy a copy of Gone With The Wind, I just haven't had a spare four or five hours to watch it!

There is a serious matter to contemplate though: should I get my hair cut? Can I live without Victory Rolls? No, I'm too scared. But still... What with cycling and jogging, it's too hard to set my hair in pin curls, I just get that sweaty every day. Plus there's the ridiculous matter of my hair going straight. This has been an absolute disaster for me. I complain often. I'm hoping that losing some length will help get the curl back. But if it doesn't... then I'm stuck with short, straight hair. And curls are the essence of Forties' style. Oh what to do? What to do?


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Feeling sporty

I've given up on the cricket. There is nothing but pain there for me. So it's a good thing the tennis is starting. (Apologies to my sweetheart, who is not so enthusiastic!)

I've been going to the gym for barely a week and already I'm feeling lean and lithe - despite the complete lack of evidence thus far. Despite the fact that I'm so hungry afterwards that I completely pig out. Despite the fact that I'm not even really running so far, just run / walking - though I did up the run time today and that went ok. Plus it means that I might need to get my hair cut because sweaty jogging and setting your hair in pin curls doesn't mix. Still, I feel good and am already imagining myself in some cute vintage inspired gym outfit.

I think i've blogged about tennis outfits before, but really, they're so cute!

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Surprise package!

How lovely to receive things by mail. Today I got two surprise packages. One was a dental pick type thingy that has some mysterious bike mechanic use - needless to say this was for Mr C. Even more exciting was a parcel from mum - a hand made hosiery bag for my What Katie Did seamed stockings. Now they're all safe and tidy and no longer draped over the backs of chairs. It's satin lined and lovingly hand embroidered. Thanks mum!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

True love

Today MrChairman and I celebrate our anniversary. It's an amazing feeling - like you've known someone forever, yet they continue to surprise and delight you. So I'm figuring I've got this love thing sussed. Recently, however, I've had my doubts. I've realized that this feeling of perfect love is nothing but an illusion, a mirage. Turns out love has much much more to show me.

This revelation came on Christmas Eve and has rocked my world in the days since. I've met someone for whom I have such passionate feelings, I am left speechless and humble. This special someone is Maybelline, my new bike. It is so very very special indeed.

Now this love didn't come cheap, the thought of which filled me with some creeping kind of fear and dread. Oh the extravagance of it! Did I deserve it? Turns out, it's worth every single penny. This bike sure is something else. I find myself drifting into the bedroom during the day to sit and stare at it. I have never ridden anything so amazing. And it's not just a bike. It's a gift of fun times with friends, goal setting and challenges, enormous exercise fueled breakfasts, camping trips to the high country for climbing holidays, weightloss and long lazy chats with the girls and the sheer giddy sense of being a kid just messing around on a bike. That's a pretty good anti depressant!

Isn't she a doll? For the technical folks this is a Parlee Z5, with Campagnolo Record 11 2011 group set, Topolino ATR3.0 wheels and Edge headset, handlebars and seat post. It weighs an astounding 6.9 kilos - a good four and a bit kilos lighter than my old bike (this is roughly the equivalent of me whacking our great big Burmese cat Lyle into my jersey pocket). I got a custom paint job, including 1940s custom art work on the fork. I had planned on getting a Varga girl, choosing a very saucy little minx. But it turns out that even the most talented air brush artists have their limitations. She was just too detailed for such a small area. So I took my inspiration from the Lancaster bomber Kim's dad flew in WW2. One side of the fork features the British bomber's roundel, the other the bomber's call sign of Gee! And it looks as pretty as a picture.

Being the king of matchy-matchy, Kim bought me a new helmet to match. And some shoes and a new Capo cycling kit. And how does it handle? Like a racing machine. It is so light and responsive it's like riding nothing at all. It is so keen to corner that I have to go very tentatively at the moment, I'm not quite ready to corner aggressively at some insane speed! Really, words fail me. The riding experience is a dream. I didn't know bikes could get this good!

I am completely and utterly in love! Big hugs and kisses to Parlee in the US, Cycling Edge in South Melbourne and, of course, my dearest boy for giving me such a treat.

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Quiet time

I've been having a bit of time out, feeling a bit fragile. Lots of sitting on the sofa, a movie or two (Deer hunter and Black hawk down - not the most cheering of films but very enjoyable) and reading some forties noir. My sister has been to visit and we've sat around eating cherry tarts and drinking cups of tea. She helped me to use my sewing machine for the first time. I am very proud to say I have made myself three shirts from a vintage pattern. I bought some material from an online quilting store in Sydney, Quiltsmith. They sell a huge range of beautiful repro fabrics from the twenties to fifties - irresistible. My young man helped me choose buttons and I've discovered I have quite a passion for them - such pretty colours. We've found an online store that sells vintage buttons and buckles, the Button Bower, very reasonably priced too. So I'll stock up there come payday. I've one more shirt cut out but have run out of thread so that will have to wait. There's also a big pile of calico waiting for me to mock up a skirt pattern. It's immensely satisfying and I can't believe I've managed to achieve something quite creditable. Certainly couldn't have done it without my sister's expertise. Vintage patterns come with notoriously minimal instructions so her advice was crucial. Very proud!

I've also joined the gym, a great help for depression. Been twice, jogging on the treadmill, so sore legs so far! Plus I've been out for a few rides on my new bike (thanks Santa!) It is a thing of great beauty and deserves a blog post all of its own. I am completely in love. I have never owned anything so wonderful.

Thanks to everyone for their kind wishes. I'm feeling ok and have benefitted from some time off. Ready to start a new year!

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