Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Singer 337 - One Cute Sewing Machine

Singer 337
I picked up this Singer 337 off of Craigslist.  The man who owned said that it had been his mother's and that the last time that it had been used was about a year ago by his granddaughter.  It came in a cabinet, and upon first glance it was very dirty. 

After sitting for a couple of weeks, I took a good look at it and started to clean it up.  It started to look better immediately.  It didn't run, but seemed like it wanted to when I pressed the foot control and turned the hand wheel at the same time.  I felt like the problem was the foot control.  I ordered one off of eBay, and when it came in the mail, I plugged it into the machine right away.  It worked!  After a complete cleaning, oiling and greasing of the gears, it seems to be as good as new.  I  also replaced the rubber feet on the bottom of the machine.  Over time they had hardened and cracked.  It took a bit of work to chisel them out.  The rubber feet from the Touch & Sew fit this machine just fine, so that's what I ordered.

The blue color of this machine is just wonderful.  If it had come with the original foot control, that cord would have been blue like the color of the machine.  Even the bobbin winder tire is blue!  The original carry/storage cases were also blue.  I'm on the lookout for one of those.  I'd love to get one to store the machine in.

I have decided to keep it out of the cabinet, since the cabinet was in poor shape. Plus, the cabinets take up a lot of room that I don't have.

It was made in Great Britain in 1964 and 1965, and is a zig-zag machine.  So far, this has been a great machine for me.  I'll probably keep it, because I've put a bit of money into it, especially with the new foot controller.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book

The Victory Binding of the American Woman's Cook Book Wartime Edition 1943
I picked up this cookbook at an estate sale over the weekend. I'd never seen one like it before, so I grabbed it. This edition was published in 1943. After I've gone through it some more, it'll most likely end up for sale at Aunt Lizzie's Whatnot Shop. If you have an interest in it, you can contact me. 

I've mentioned before that I like to read old cookbooks because of the different types of recipes that were popular at the time. Well, as I was skimming through the pages, I came across a chapter with tips for throwing the perfect party, whether it be a cocktail, formal, or outdoor party. In that chapter there is also a section on how to entertain without a maid.  I cracked up! Yes, I know, it's tough, but one CAN entertain without a maid.  Funny, I didn't see anything about entertaining with five dogs running around.  Maybe you have to hire a dog wrangler for the evening in order to have the perfect party. 

You have to read it for yourselves. Here is the excerpt from that chapter:

Entertaining Without A Maid

Many women can manage almost any form of entertainment without the help of a maid. For most, however, there are distinct limits to what should be attempted for pleasant and dignified results. The disappearance of the dining room and the substitution of a bay or alcove in the living room has increased the ease of servantless entertaining at the table. Many small pieces of furniture are especially designed to add to the efficiency of the hostess and the comfort of her guests, such as the drop-leaf, gate-leg and butterfly tables, double-decked tea carts, muffin stands and butler's trays. The menu should be planned to avoid last minute activities on the part of the hostess. She should be free to greet and attend her guests. All the extra china and glass necessary should be on one of the small tables within the hostess' reach and china removed can be placed out of sight on the lower shelf of the table or the low butler's tray. Extra bread, butter, wafers, sauces and water are also on the auxiliary table. If arrangements are well planned, the hostess need not leave her chair until it is time to clear, and serve the dessert. At that time, too, the coffee can be started. The coffee service has previously been placed at a convenient spot in the living room, and the screen to be used for enclosing the table when it has been left is at an easily accessible place. (See page 82.) As the guests leave the table for the living room, the hostess enters with the coffee while the host attends to placing the screen. By the time all have lighted a fresh cigarette, the coffee is being poured and the dining table has been forgotten.

I love it! It's so interesting to me how things change over time. I now have the confidence to throw a party without my maid in attendance ; ) Now if I can only find the dog wranglers!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Warm Fuzzy Blanket Is Finished!

The warm, fuzzy blanket all ready for the benefit.
I'm very happy with the way this turned out.  It's just as I'd hoped it would be.  It's soft, cuddly, and looks nice, too.  It's about 70 inches by 56 inches - a good size to use while sitting on the couch on a cold evening.  It didn't take too long to finish - about one evening.  Sometimes working with fleece and flannel together can be tricky, because the fleece tends to stretch, and the flannel tends to stick.  There was a little of that, but not a big deal.  Hopefully, it'll help bring in a lot of money at the benefit. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Warm Fuzzy Blanket For A Good Cause

I just picked up some fabric yesterday for a new, quick project.  I will be attending a benefit over the weekend and I wanted to make something that could be raffled off to raise more money.  Of course, this idea occurred to me mere days before the event.  That's great - another opportunity to work myself into a tizzy  (does anyone use the word tizzy anymore?).  I usually do get these wonderful ideas right before they need to be done.  Then I'm up until all hours of the night trying to get them finished. 

No worries, though.  This project is simple enough so that I shouldn't have any problems.  I bought some flannel and coordinating fleece which I'm planning to sew together to make a warm, fuzzy, cuddly, blanket to use while sitting on the couch.  Before you know it, the really cold weather will be here, and it will be so comforting to snuggle up with this blanket. 

The flannel has a pink background with white and chocolate brown accents.  The fleece that I bought to coordinate is chocolate brown.  I love pink and brown together, and this should turn out just the way I'm imagining it. 

Pink ribbon awareness flannel and chocolate brown fleece
 I'll post when the blanket is done.  I'm planning to work on it over the next couple of nights. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Cake

I made pumpkin cake for my Mother's birthday.  I wanted to try something different, so I searched through my collection of community cookbooks.  I found an interesting recipe in a cookbook entitled, Something Special A collection of Ideas and Recipes for the Creative Hostess.  It was compiled by the Professional Members of the Junior League of York, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, there isn't a date in the book, so I don't really know the age of the cookbook.  I have found that this is often the case with community cookbooks.  If I had to take a guess, I'd say it was from the 1980s, or possibly from the late '7s.  As an aside, I've found that the cookbooks put out by the Junior Leagues tend to be very good ones.  It's a good bet that if you pick up a Junior League cookbook, you'll find many good recipes inside.

The cake was moist and dense, almost like a good pumpkin bread.  It had a cream cheese frosting, and it was sooo delicious.  It didn't last long, so I only have one picture of what remained of the cake after we all tried it.  

Here is the recipe:

Pumpkin Cake
with cream cheese frosting

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1 pound Libby's solid pack pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix sugar, oil and eggs at medium speed for 3 minutes.  Add flour, spices and pumpkin and mix at slow speed.   Pour in greased Bundt pan (or angel food or tube pan).  Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.


1 8 oz. pkg. Philadelphia Cream Cheese (softened)
1/2 cup margarine, softened
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups 4x sugar

Mix at slow speed.  Frost cake. 

The only things that I did differently were that I used a different brand of pumpkin, I used butter instead of margarine, and I used regular confectioner's sugar. 

This was really good.  I will definitely make this again, and it's going into my collection of "keepers."  That's what we call something that's really good - it's a "keeper."  I'd love to hear if you make this cake, and what your opinion of it is.

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