Iron *this*, Jane-Ray!

NOT my actual iron. If I had a cloth-covered cord, I could plug in this 4-setting GE Wolverine Hi-Speed Calrod, mist all my linens with a shaker bottle, roll them up, wait half a day till they're evenly damp . . . forget it.

NOT my actual iron. If I had a cloth-covered cord, I could plug in this 6-pound, dry-heat GE Wolverine Hi-Speed Calrod iron, mist all my linens with a shaker bottle, roll them up, wait half a day till they’re evenly damp . . . oh, forget it.

Well, Janeray, I can’t compete with the sheer amazing number of vintage tablecloths you’ve got. I started collecting them years later than you did, after all.

And I can’t compete with your brand-spankin’-new super-steamo iron, either.

But the ironing board?

Oh yeah. I got you beat on that one!

When I got married, I had a rickety 1980s ironing board and Bluesray had a super sturdy 1960s ironing board. We kept his and took mine to the thrift shop.


My poor 1960s aqua ironing board, relegated to the basement where the walls aren’t even painted!

His board was aqua!

Twenty-some years later, a couple of the welds on that ancient aqua board finally failed. I couldn’t bear to trash it, though, so it’s down in the basement now, patiently waiting to be repurposed as a display piece for shows.

And then I went out and found the ironing board of my vintage tablecloth dreams: the Reliable Longboard.

Sounds like a surfboard, right? It isn’t!

The washboard joke’s on me!


Turns out that Columbus Washboard Company is still in business!

Apparently they are the last American maker of washboards. Their tiny Ohio factory still builds them by hand, one at a time.

They also sell interesting stuff like British-made wool-fat soap. Wool-o-phile that I am, I’ve gotta try that.

Coolest thing about them? They ship galvanized washboards and laundry supplies to US servicemen and women who are overseas in places where modern laundry facilities are thin on the ground. And they don’t make any profit from it.

I’m still not packing up my WW2-era glass Home Aide to take on vacation.

But I’m delighted that they’re still making Maid-Rites and Crystal Cascades, and especially those world-traveling American Prides.

Weekend shopping trip treasures

I went on a day trip with some of my favorite people over the weekend. The destination was Historic Savage Mill in Maryland. It’s an interesting mix of small shops and businesses, a French bakery, restaurants, and an outdoor adventure course. How’s that for eclectic?

Here are some of my goodies. Most of them came from the antique mall on the lower level. (The presents I bought will have to stay secret!)


Don’t those cards of buttons look fun? It was hard to limit myself to just three. And I just threw a stack of old greeting cards in my recycling bin. Maybe I should pull them out again for re-purposing somehow.

The little baggie filled with sodium perborate came from the vintage clothing booth where I got the buttons and the needle threader.  It’s supposed to be used for whitening linens and laces. I thought I’d give it a try on some of my tablecloths with stubborn stains. Have you ever used it? Got any tips? Warnings? I’d love to hear your experiences!

I found the vintage scarves in an upscale clothing thrift store in another section of the Mill. The price was right–buy one accessory at $5 and get one free. The Vera scarf has some staining I’ll have to try to remove. I’ll start with a gentle soak. No sodium perborate!


I saved my favorite for last. Isn’t this tree top angel sweet?


I love her slightly stunned expression. Maybe I’m only projecting, but it looks like she’s thinking “Whoa! There are only 35 more days until Christmas!”

Month of makeovers, Day 14: It’s happy hour!

I usually bypass the stack of framed art at the thrift shop. Never found much in it. Not even any interesting frames.

Till yesterday!


This beauty was buried under a stack of framed prints, of the kind you find at the big-box stores. And it just screamed, “I’m vintage! And unhappy! Get me out of here!”

So I did. Paid the $3 ransom the price tag was asking, and brought it home. Read the rest of this entry »