The value of the old

I have been reading and collecting old sewing books for a long time now. All of them have a couple of chapters at the beginning of the book describing various sewing techniques and often with illustrations or photos to steer you right.

One of the techniques mentioned often is how to applique lace over a space between two finished pieces of fabric. The final effect is something ethereal . All of the books describe stitching each finished piece of fabric to a piece of marked paper and then stitching the lace over the space.

I tried the technique out a couple of days is my marked strip of tracing paper stitched to the silk.

What I discovered is that this old method worked like a charm.
No cursing at all was involved.
There is lots more work to be done and I am really looking forward to doing it.

And now, another blast from the past. My father started each day with a cup of coffee. My father was a meticulous man. In my early childhood he drank Maxwell House instant coffee with saccharine and skim milk. In my earliest childhood he drank his coffee out of this large cup. This was my father's view of the cup
This cup and saucer was made by Arabia. That pen and ink illustration style that refers to the earliest days of the 20th century was popular in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Our black and white floral wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom was in a similar style, as was the mesmerizing picture book in restrained black and white of a poor Parisian family selling flowers on the street ( also set int he early years of the 20th century).

Even as a tiny kid I loved the smell of coffee. If I begged, my father would spoon a few spoons of his coffee into my milk. Sitting at the far end of the table, this is what I saw as my father drank his coffee. I thought of this natty gentleman as a long-ago stand in for my father. 
By the time I was in high school my father graduated to French press coffee. By the time I graduated from college I had graduated to black coffee.

I look at this cup and I see an early introduction to  my love of pattern mixing.
My father stopped using this cup at some point after the crack developed. It was replaced by a whole series of other Arabia large cup and saucer sets, all delightful. This set has remained my favorite.

A few weeks ago I began drinking my morning coffee out of this cup and saucer. Each day I am reminded of how much I love the smell and the taste of coffee. Each morning brings me back to breakfast when I was a little girl.  Each cup of coffee also remind me of the lessons of visual balance and design that I drank in with that coffee flavored milk.


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