Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Friday

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!  Stitchy would love to share with you all a great thing she recently discovered!  In downtown Bakersfield, on the first Friday of every month, local artists and musicians set up booths to display and sell their creations.

Finally, Stitchy managed to get it together to go to First Friday and it was a blast!

First off, you'll notice this adorable picture here.  Stitchy is the one on the left in the black sweater.  The other young lady in the photo is Maria from TaMuidBeo.  We shared a booth.  As you can see from the photo there is TaMuidBeo's beautiful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.  For Stitchy you'll notice Little Spool Girls, Heirloom Pincushions, various scarves, the three potholders currently listed in Stitchy's Etsy shop, Grand Washcloths, and in the bottom left hand corner the brand new Sunshine Coasters, which will be listed on Etsy this upcoming week.

There were many excellent artists and musicians there.  Stitchy's friend, Ina, had a booth selling her painted rocks.  There was a band of drummers not to far from us, someone selling and playing digereedoos, and a little girl who played the violin.  There were also many painters and a woman selling hair clips. 

It was also probably the most packed event Stitchy had ever been to.

Stitchy will next be searching for ideas on how to best display her craft fair items.

Until next time ...


Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Old Book

Greetings from sunny Bakersfield!  You're probably wondering why there is a picture of a recipe book here so let's get straight to the point.

Stitchy's aunt had purchased this cookbook many years ago at an antique shop and it lived in her kitchen for a very long time.  She passed this a long to Stitchy to sell as a vintage item in her Etsy shop.

Stitchy however cannot keep all of these treasures to herself so starting on February 21, 2011, Stitchy will be including these recipes in her newsletters.  About 2-3 each week. 

Now for a little history on this book.  It was originally from Woolworth's. We know this because the inside cover tells you where to buy refill pages.  This book isnt a cookbook that was ever published, it was a binder of recipes that someone had collected and put together.  The recipes date from 1937 to sometime during the early 1940s.  We know that the woman who put these together was a very serious and also a very organized chef.  She did not handwrite her recipes, but typed them into the blank pages.  There are also a few newspaper clippings that are in there as well and she was always careful to put in the dates and where the recipes came from.

There are also recipes in here from the Home Services Department of the Southern Counties Gas Company in Santa Ana, California.  Some of these recipes are even titled "Cooking for Victory" and "Cooking with Gas". 

After doing a bit of research Stitchy did discover that this dear chef (who after all this did not bother to put her name in her cookbook binder) was from Santa Barbara.  Several recipes come from the News-Press Cooking With Electricity Cooking School.  The News-Press was and still is the local newspaper regularly published in Santa Barbara, California.  She even included the name of the instructor occasionally.

So Stitchy hopes that you will all enjoy these recipes.  She's been going through them and making corrections (spelling mostly) as well as trying to find substitutes for the more difficult to find ingredients.  And, don't worry, Stitchy did her research on copyrights as well.

This week's recipes are going to be:

Sand Tarts from “Cooking With Gas: Southern Counties Gas Company Home Services Department - Christmas Sweets”

Nut Bread from “Woman’s Home Companion” July 1937

Until next week...


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Book Review - Gifted by Mags Kandis

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!   This week Stitchy will be doing a book review on Gifted by Mags Kandis.  Unfortunately Stitchy did not have time to take a picture of the book and a project from it, so please enjoy this old picture of a hibiscus.  On an interesting side note, this hibiscus plant is still alive and is still on Stitchy's front porch.

Gifted only just recently came out and is a collection of quick and easy knit and crochet projects to give as gifts and this is hands down the best project book Stitchy has ever purchased.

For starters, Stitchy ordered this from and for those of you who may not always have a few extra dollars to spend, keep an eye out at because they regularly run 40% off book sales. 

That being said, this book was money well spent.  Stitchy has used this for many personal projects and has gained a lot of inspiration from it for many many other projects.  The first project that Stitchy completed for personal use were they boot cuffs.  They were such a sweet idea, a lacy topper to wear with boots when it's just too cold for pretty socks to show.  Stitchy also made the tea cozy for her Mom (who loved it by the way) and it was made fairly quickly as well. 

Other cute projects include felted hearts or Hearts Milagros, fair isle socks, crocheted paper rose napkin rings, and the one that Stitchy has been dying to try:  Egg Cozies.  These simple little knitted and felted egg cozies are used for soft boiled eggs sitting in egg cups and they look like cute little beanie hats to help keep your eggs warm.  They are too too adorable!

Be sure the next time you are looking for a new project that you definitely check out Gifted by Mags Kandis for some simple yet extremely fun knitting and crochet projects.

Until next week...


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Etsy Featured Seller - CaffeineQueenie

Stitchy found this awesome Etsy shop just this very morning.  How cute is this chopper?! 

CaffeineQueenie is from Ontario, Canada and sells many vintage items.

Most of these items are vintage kitchen items, which Stitchy greatly appreciates. Items include serving spoons, mixing bowls, mugs, and an awesome orange carafe. 

There are also many non kitchen items to choose from as well including hats, shoes, and beads.

All item pictures are clear and bright making it very easy to see the item and the descriptions are very thorough.

CaffeineQueenie also is very fair on shipping.  The prices listed are just a quote and there is no issue with being refunded the difference if shipping turns out to be less which is great and the prices on all these items are quite reasonable as well.

Definitely be sure to stop by and visit this totally cute and retro shop!

Until next week...


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Featured Shop - Poppy Loves Paris

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!  This week Stitchy is featuring Etsy seller Poppy Loves Paris.

Stitchy discovered this wonderful store while searching for popular chrysanthemum  cabochons (pictured).

Poppy Loves Paris sells a wonderful array of supplies from cabochons to ring backings to bobby pins.

Searching their shop is a real treat as well.  Colorful photographs and 44 pages of jewelry making supplies make browing a fun experience.

Poppy Loves Paris is from Springfield Missouri and has been on Etsy since December 2009. 

Definitely be sure to stop by and visit this amazing shop!

Until next week...


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Unmarked

So a follow up now on last week's research blog, this being all about how to identify unmarked dishes. And to make a long story short it's impossible! Technically, unless you have access to someone who knows what they are doing and fortunately the nice people at Replacements Ltd were able to help out with one more unmarked pattern. (Pictured)

This plate is made in the Ranson shape which was commonly used by Homer Laughlin, so it is safe to assume that this dish was made by them.

Pictured below are a few more plates that are unmarked and that no information has been found on.  I'm hoping that some nice person out there in Blog Land will find this post and have some idea of what these particular dishes are. 

This one pictured here with the red border is my least favorite of all of them.  Interestingly it also seems to be milk glass as opposed to fine porcelain china, but there's nothing to indicate where it is from.

Below is a really cute one I think, but again nothing to mark where it was made or by what company it came from.  For future reference, to all you companies out there who produce goods, mark your products!!

In fact, that's one thing a lot of us in the Etsy world dont necessarily do.  I can send someone a handmade pincushion with a little Stitchy Impressions tag safety pinned to it, but once that's off of there, there's no way to identify it.  Crocheted and knitted items at least have the benefit of being able to have a tag ironed or sewin inside like most garments, but I wonder how many people really think to do this.  But it definitely is important to do, that way in 50 plus years there wont' be some little person on her computer ripping her hair out trying to find info!

And last but not least down at the very bottom is the beautiful Dresden dish that I can't find a dang thing about.  If anyone knows the name of this pattern I would be so greatful to find out what it is called.  And stop racking my brains over it.

Until next week...


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Research, Research, Research

Greetings from Sunny Bakersfield!  This week we will be discussing the ease (and strangley the difficulty) of internet research.

This past week Stitchy obtained a plethora of vintage items, some very old, some not as old and was suddenly overwhelmed by the research involved.

It's one thing to read the bottom of a china plate to find out about it's origin, but it's another thing to find out what exactly that all really means.

For example, take the dish pictured.  This is a saucer, all lonely and cupless.  From the back of it (pictured below) we learn several things.  One, the brand is Royal Ducal and the pattern is Florentine and it was made in England.   But what else do we know other then that?

Not much really.  The bottom of plates may contain some information, but they do not tell the whole story behind the peice.  That's where the research comes in.  For starters, Stitchy highly recommends that if you have china peices you know nothing about or would like to find a way to obtain peices to match what you have,  your first stop should be Replacements Ltd.  This company has a vast database of china patterns and silverware patterns.  Stitchy has learned much from them.  They also have a very nice free service where you can send them a picture of your fine china peice, and they will send you the information they have on that peice as well as the availability of the item.

Stitchy recently took advantage of this kindness provided by Replacements Ltd with the dish pictured below.

The bottom of this dish simply said: SF U.S.A 117.  Again, not much information to go off of.  No pattern name, nothing.  Even finding out if SF was the actual company name or an abbreviation was difficult.  But what did Stitchy discover from Replacements Ltd?   She learned the most valuable information you can learn about vintage china.  And that most valuable peice of information is the name of the patten itself.  Once you know this, the research becomes much simpler.

How so?  Once you have the actual pattern name all it takes is the ability to simply Google it and you'll find many articles and blogs on that particular pattern.  Why?  Because most of the time, others have already done the research and have willingly shared it with the rest of the world.

So what did SF U.S.A. 117 really mean?  For starters SF, was the abbreviation for Fransiscan china.  Fransiscan china is most famous for their Desert Rose pattern.  This particular pattern, however, is the Twilight Rose pattern.  So what's the story behind the Twilight Rose?  Research led Stitchy to discover that the Twilight Rose pattern was the last variation ever made of the Desert Rose pattern and was introduced in 1983.  Suddenly we know most everything there is to learn about the dish.

What about the previous dish mentioned, the Royal Ducal Florentine pattern?  That had much more information on it.  Yes it did, but now we run into the road block of what happens when too many are made.  In the instance of the Royal Ducal Florentine pattern, Stitchy discovered that the Florentine pattern itself, which was introduced in 1930 and produced through the 1950s was so popular that it was used in conjunction with many designs.  Florentine referrs to the embossing of flowers and fruit around the edges, however, that can make for a very dull and boring plate, so adding designs to the center of that dish made them not only interesting but provided an endless amount of decorations for an already popular pattern.  So while we know it's Florentine, what we do not know is if all the Florentine saucers were plain, or if it came from a plain set.  Because of this, it makes the year it was produced a bit difficult to pin point.

A bigger problem: when to much information in reality is not enough information.  One of the plates Stitchy has been searching for (not pictured) was very well marked on the bottom.  On the bottom it stated "Dresden Germany S&G Gump Co San Francisco".  It was also stamped with a gold flower.  

You would think that this would be plenty of information for a plate to have, right?  Wrong!!  What most people dont realize is that Dresden themselves never made china.  Dresden factories were full of artists who painted the china.  When a dish says Dresden it can calso mean that it was done in the Dresden style. 

Fortunately, after much research Stitchy did discover that the particular logo for Dresden on the bottom of  this plate was genuine.

What else did Stitchy find out?  Stitchy found out that the S&G Gump Co in San Francisco California was (and still is) a high end department store for home goods and housewares.  This particular china pattern was produced by Dresden specifically to be sold at the S&G Gump Co.   The S&G Gump Co was founded in 1861. What this tells us about the dish is that it was definitely made after that year.

On an interesting side note, S&G Gump Co is now known simply as Gumps and in the San Francisco earthquake of the early 20th century and the fire that followed, the store was nearly brought to ruins but pulled through.

So, now we know that this dish was made exclusively for Gumps after 1861 and was painted by Dresden artists...and that's it.  During World War 2 the Dresden factories in Germany were destroyed.  It is a safe assumption to assume that this piece (because it is old) could very well be pre-World War 2.  So we're narrowing down a time frame for producation, but in reality that does not help us get further in finding out what exactly the pattern is.

The last tidbit of information is the gold rose at the bottom of this dish.  What can we learn from this?  From all the research, Stitchy firmly believes that this gold rose is actually the artist's signature.  This bit of information has gotten us no where.  As of yet, Stitchy has found no name behind that rose. 

And without the name of the pattern further research is at a stand still.  You can bet Stitchy will be photographing this one and sending it to Replacements Ltd for more info.

Hope you have enjoyed this interesting read and coming up soon will be a follow up article on how to find out information on fine china when it is not marked anywhere.

Until next week ...