Keep calm - Blog hiatus

I wasn't planing to place this blog on hiatus, but for now I know I have to while other more important things require my attention. Trying to maintain a home blog is impractical when you have to actually pack up and move into a new home! 
Our current place is up for sale and we made the decision to move on after nearly 4 1/2 years in this place. We could have resigned another lease but the thought of people coming in and out for house viewings, and on a month to month lease, wasn't an ideal way to live. So it is move we must. 
I sort of see it as keeping with my 1940's study as we will be with an Aunt until we find a place so I suppose you could say I've been billeted out as an evacuee, like Joyce ( in the book they changed her real name to suit the era. Her real name was Tracey) from the wartime kitchen and garden series! The hardest part is packing everything up for storage to only keep a few craft supplies out to keep me a bit sane. Obviously the crazy quilt is goi…

Letters from "Sour Grapes". The farm life quilt: 1942

While reading through the newspaper articles from 1942, I came across a request from "Sour Grapes'"who asked for the patterns of the farmyard quilt and I thought I would look through the archives to see if I could find those particular patterns.

It took a bit of searching, but I did find it in older archives and I printed the entire set of patterns out.

Following the guidelines suggested for the quilt blocks I cut out my fabric. As every one now should be aware of, I do things frugally and these white blocks came from an old sheet. I'm planning to use the crayon tinting method to make up the blocks.

Each of the blocks in the quilt alternate with a cornucopia as the pattern. I'm thinking of making my alternate blocks crazy quilting as I have a lot of pretty cottons I can use on the blocks which keeps in with the 'make do and mend' of the era.

As you can see, "Knitter" replied to "Sour Grapes". The other quilt patterns "Knitter&quo…

When there is no sugar, make a batch of scones -1942

Light Hands, Light Scones.
Scones are as simple as ABC to make. A proper scone maker will tell the first lesson for the cook who says they are never able to turn out a decent scone is to remember scones need lightness.  They are not like bread, where you have to roll and roll, and then knead and knead. And wielding flour will never turn out a fluffy scone. A good solid scone, maybe, but a scone that has lost all chance of lightness before it reaches the oven.

The secret of a scone is they must literally be tossed together, and quickly into the oven with a light hand (and light heart, too, if you can manage it), and the oven must be very hot. The whole process of mixing and cooking need only be around ten or twelve minutes.  
Scones are the next best thing to a cake that requires a lot of sugar and that they require very little in way of ingredients also makes it a top list for the wartime Austerity meal of 1942. Scones can vary in plain, sweet, or savoury.

A useful savory scone:
Add ab…

Vintage beauty


It is worth knowing pure glycerine is valuable as a cosmetic . It has a wonderfully beautifying effect when used on the skin and as the benefit of whitening and softening any rough dry sky to make it supple. When using glycerine it shouldn’t be used as in a concentrated form. 

Glycerine has special interest for a beauty regime because of its property of softening the skin, but also for its capacity for fading discolouring, so that it acts a s a beautifier in the true sense of the word.  A tablespoonful of it in a  pint of water - or rosewater or, witch hazel- will soften and protect the skin from the air. It should be rubbed in, but not wiped off. 
Lotions containing glycerine agree with most cases of dry skin, and often combined with other beauty ingredients for wrinkled skin, blackheads, chapped lips, and sunburn. Pure glycerine has a powerful, beautifying effect on the skin.

Glycerine is a substance which may be used instead of oil and has the advantage of be…

Foam Biscuits

We've had some lovely Spring like days here at the moment and it makes for nice weather to be into the kitchen cooking. I found this recipe called: foam biscuits, and thought I'd give it a try. 
The recipe it self is very basic and the original didn't give an oven time as I suppose they expected everyone to know how to bake a biscuit (cookie) in the type of oven they had. This was a time when people still had wood stoves and some had gas stoves and some had the new electric stoves.

Recipe: Take 3 cups plain flour. I cup of dripping. 1 cup of sugar. 1/2 cup milk, level teaspoonful Bi-carb. soda. Boil milk and sugar, then add soda and stir well. Let foam and cool. 
Rub dripping well into flour, add cool foam mixture and mix well. A cup of cocoanut can be added if liked. (I never added cocoanut to mine)
You can roll dough out and cut out with a cookie cutter or pinch off a piece of balled up dough and press down with a fork on a well greased baking tray. 
I bake…

Austerity in the home -1942

My it has been a while since I last posted. With Spring approaching it is time to dust off the blog and start again. I’ve read a lot of articles and tried out many recipes while searching through the newspapers of 1939. The idea was to find out how they lived before the war and the restrictions on homemakers of the time. I used newspapers from Australia to get a good sense of what ladies (and possibly men) were doing during that time. Of particular interest were all the letters to Eleanor Barbour, the section gave a very good insight into homemaking and personal pursuits of the time.
As September approaches war will be announced and I have chosen that time to move on from 1939 and into 1942. I’ve specifically chosen this time as the Japanese bombed Darwin and suddenly the war that was over there, was now on our own doorstep. 1942 was a time when coupons were enforced and a call to Austerity was asked from Australia’s Prime Minister: Mr John Curtin. The call for everyone to do one’s pa…

40 vintage ways to cut costs

Vintage living is renowned for having a life-style based on frugality. Adapting the rules from a no-nonsense era can stretch today’s dollar and cut household costs.  As I continue the year of living like 1939, I can hardly be anything less than a careful housekeeper. The suggestions that follow are all I have learnt so far.

1. Grow as much food as possible to lower the food bill, and freeze or can what you can’t use immediately. Even tomatoes can be frozen and used in soups and stews.
2. Save leftovers to make potato scones, soups, stews or fried vegetables.
3. Sheets can be reversed to extend their wear, putting the top border at the bottom end of the bed.
4. A sheet that’s worn in the centre can be put “sides-to-middle.” Cut it in half lengthways, seams the sides together and hem the raw edges.
5. Turn back bedding in the morning to help keep sheets to stay fresh longer. Which will cut back on frequent laundering. 
6. Cleaners should be bought in the most economical size (not alway…