Thursday 25 April 2019


The newspaper articles of 1939 had sections which appeared regularly in the pages. There was always front-page news headlines, sections for husbandry, sports, and one of the longest regular section is the ‘Of Interest To Women’ section and the Dear Eleanor letters. Women from around Australia wrote to Eleanor telling of their home-life whether happy or sad and giving recipes as well as useful tips. Eleanor ‘wrote back’ at the top of the article writing about her adventures of the time and giving advice to the homemakers. The articles are really a good look at the true living standards of the era and as time progress Eleanor encouraged all homemakers to prepare for war.

In the garden, I’ve been planting out what the garden articles of 1939 suggest for the Autumn season. Pansies, snapdragons, and English cottage garden favourites are being mentioned as popular plants to plant out now. I’ve also planted out the winter vegetable crop such as cabbage. 

In the kitchen, the recipes are changing for the seasons with hearty stews and soups. A lot of the herbs from the garden such as bay, sage, and thyme are coming in handy to add flavour to the meals.

In the home, ‘make do’ is being put to good use as always. I’m making an apron from my scrap bag and the crayon tinted flowers I did previously will become the pocket for the apron. I’ve never made an apron, so this will be interesting learning curve. I’m also working on a Grandmother’s flower garden quilt using up scraps from the scrap bag and I’ve recycled a lot of old Christmas cards to make up the hexagon templates for the quilt. Of course, the crazy quilt continues. 

The weather is changing for the seasons and it’s been quite nice weather for Autumn. The colder weather will likely come in and the home-front will have to adjust to the seasonal change once again. 

No doubt, in the up coming articles from Eleanor Barbour and her readers will give plenty of tips on how to make the changes. Change is never easy but if you take little steps to prepare it does make the transition easier. Living a vintage life is all about changes, it’s not easy, but it is a better way to be. At least I think so.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.

Sunday 21 April 2019

Is it frugal living or is it vintage living?

There has been a short pause in blog posts for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons for the length between posting was to cut back on my internet time. I’m still a heavy Internet user and separation anxiety is real, but my phone isn’t like a third arm extension any more. Cutting back gave me some experience in what was do-able with Internet expenses.

Other ways I’ve cut right back on household expenditure: 

Using the library for books, magazines and such. I also find the cheapest books I can through the thrift stores and I very rarely have anything new on my bookshelves. The thrift stores are also my go to place for all craft material and home goods. 

I rarely use the dryer and only on days where it has been raining consecutively making it difficult to hang out clothes to line dry. We do have an indoor hanging rack for clothes but towels and sheets need a larger space.

I’ve started to plant what I can to bring food in the kitchen. Now that it is going into early Autumn here, I don’t need to water as much but I do have to find a way to use less water. I’ve currently gone back to using a watering can and using house water that doesn’t have any food scraps in it to water the garden. 

In the garden I plant vegetables to season and what I know will be eaten in the kitchen.  I also tried planting out some very old seeds to see if they will sprout and have some varying success with those seeds. I plant flowers, both edible and ones for show. The bees need both and the garden needs the bees.  I also make sure to have a good supply of herbs to make plain meals a little more tasty. Basil, Chives, Mint, Parsley, Sage, Thyme are all good  herbs to have on hand.

When I am out and about I now bring a small lunch box and pack lunches anytime I cannot be home to have a meal. I avoid going to get take aways as much as I can.  And I bring my own water.

I recycle everything I can. If I think I can find a use for it I try to do something with the item. In the craft room I make junk journals and I cut up old clothes for crafting with. I re-use old shopping bags and don’t buy shopping bags.

In the kitchen I use small cooking portions and eat leftovers the next day. This may mean making a second meal such as bubble and squeak.

There’s so much more I do to cut back to save the pennies. This all sounds similar to the way of living frugal during days of hard times in modern life. Even as modern as this sounds, many of the articles in the newspapers and women’s magazines of 1939 discuss similar saving ideas. While the internet savings obviously wasn’t a part of those times, all other suggestions to cut back and save with in the homefront are part of the time.  

The 1939 timeline I am studying is carefree and without worries. It is late April, there’s articles for soups, autumn fruits, buying woollens, along with cold and flu remedies. But there’s a dark cloud hanging over the era with articles in the news of Germany’s advances and possible war. In 5 months time, war will be announced and the need to be ‘Frugal’ has a new urgency. 

Living within your means is both frugal living and living vintage. Importantly, this way of living is a means to be prepared for hard times and it is a wise way to be.

I hope everyone is having a good day or evening where ever you are.