Friday, October 08, 2010

Cat at work, and other stuff.


I won an Ebay auction last week for a miscellaneous batch of vintage iron-on embroidery transfers, and it arrived yesterday, a big ziploc bag full of large sheets and smaller images snipped from large sheets.

It was really fun to go through them, and this was a set that caught my eye. There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of different tea towel designs in the embroidery transfer world. Some of them have the seven days of the week, with a chore for each day; some of them just have seven different chores listed, with the seventh always being something like "rest" or "worship" or as with one set I saw, "quit!"

The chores are done by cute dogs or cats, ducks, roosters, Dutch or Mexican girls, sunbonnet prairie girls, or sassy newlyweds. This set features a kitty cat, but it was the household appliances that I first noticed, in particular the TV:



I've looked at about a million of these things on Ebay in the past few weeks, and I've never seen a TV on one before. So that made me look closer at the rest of the set:


Most of these mid-century designs have an old-fashioned feel to them, so washing is done with a scrub board, sewing is done with a needle and thread, cleaning or sweeping is done with a broom, etc. But this set shows all the labor-saving devices of the day:


Love the little grocery cart here:


And this is the one that made me do a double take...


...I always thought I was fairly knowledgeable about antique household items, but this is a gadget I'd never seen before. After a bit I realized it must be what I'd heard called an "ironer," which I'd sort of assumed was just a folksy way of saying "iron," but which really is a real thing. I guess it's also called a "mangle," which I thought was the wringer thing that used to be attached to washing machines, which it is, but it's also an ironing device.

This is a cute video of one being used: ironer in action.

So it really is true, you do learn something new every day, even when it's taught to you by an ancient kitty cat.

In other news, Todd was involved in a rear-ender accident a week ago...we'd had torrential rain for three or four days (more rain in three days than in the past three months, seriously!) and he was headed to work and slid into the back of a couple of kids on their way to school. I guess there were four rear-enders in the space of a couple hundred yards, all at the same time--it was some seriously heavy rain!

We thought for a few days that we might end up getting a new (to us) car if the insurance company decided to total our old car, and the repair estimate was right on the borderline, but in the end they decided to repair, which is just fine with us. That means the money we'd have to chip in for a new car can just stay in the bank where it belongs!

So I've been driving rentals for a week, and will be for another week, and I can't believe I'm saying this but I want my crummy Volkswagen back! Sure, the rentals are clean and smell good, but the first one we had, a Pontiac something, had the most uncomfortable seats I've ever sat in. We took it to Harrisonburg on Saturday (a six-hour round trip) and we felt like someone was kicking us in the lower back the whole way.

So we traded it in for a Chevrolet something yesterday and that's definitely more comfortable, but I feel like I'm driving in a box, all the windows are so tiny. When I have to back up, I cross my fingers and hope that nobody decides to run behind me, because I'd never see them.

So I think when I get my crummy old car back, I'll clean it out and maybe have it detailed, and appreciate being able to get another year or two or three out of it.

3 comments:

Amy said...

I haven't thought of these type of things in a long time! They remind me of all the embroideries that my mom had from my grandmas (and great greats as well) in her cedar chest. No labor saving devices in their pieces though... ;)

And I LOVE the ballerina embroidery you're working on. If I had time/energy/gumption, I'd try some myself. I was a pretty little kid the last time I did any of that! You're bringing back good memories!

Heather said...

wow, I love them all, they are so cute, I think my mom left me many and now I want to pull her embrodery work out and see what is in her stuff. thanks

Anonymous said...

My dear,
I just stumbled upon your lovely blog. If you love vintage embroidery patterns as I do, you might want to join the Flickr group "Hoop Love." The last time I looked, there were 5, 890 free vintage embroidery transfer patterns posted and more are posted daily. These are all in the public domain. BTW, the little kitty set you post about is on there, I believe....

Here is the link:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/hooplove/
You simply MUST visit!
Enjoy! Kathy