Sunday, February 27, 2011

More Jane Rows finished

I have two more rows from my Jane Stickle reproduction quilt to share...rows H and I. This was a fun row to do and not much brown for a change...I am running low on scraps of brown repro fabrics!

I love how I see different things in the blocks in a photo...that paisley fabric (third from the last) looks really crazy-very swirly and LOL! now the block makes me think of a Jack-o-Lantern!

I'm linking to Design Wall Monday at Patchwork Times but since today's Sunday, I'll have to wait to tomorrow to see what everyone's been up too. Remember to hop on over there-lots of inspiration awaits.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

What Diantha Did by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This very interesting novel begins with a description of the mother of Diantha’s fiancée…a description that immediately had me in stitches.

The stately mansion was covered with heavy flowering vines, also with heavy mortgages. Mrs. Roscoe Warden and her four daughters reposed peacefully under the vines, while Roscoe Warden, Jr.,(Diantha’s finacee) struggled desperately under the mortgages. A slender, languid lady was Mrs. Warden…It was her delight to purchase skein on skein of soft, bright-hued wool, cut all up into short lengths, tie them together again in contrasting colors, and then crochet this hashed rainbow into afghans of startling aspect. California does not call for afghans to any great extent, but "they make such acceptable presents," Mrs. Warden declared, to those who questioned the purpose of her work; and she continued to send them off, on Christmases, birthdays, and minor weddings, in a stream of pillowy bundles. As they were accepted, they must have been acceptable, and the stream flowed on.

Change afghans to quilts and start laughing!

Diantha decides that she must help her fiancée and his heavy burden . She will get a job. She has been living at home and teaching but that doesn’t earn her enough and besides, she really doesn’t like teaching very much. Does Roscoe want her help? Not at all! He’s sure that he will be able to get out from under and they’ll be able to marry in oh, about five or maybe six years.

When her parents hear of her plans, they too are not well pleased-her mother because she’ll miss her and her father because well, …”How about what you owe to me--for all the care and pains and cost it's been to bring you up. A child's a rather expensive investment these days."

Diantha answers him by totting up all accounts-on both sides of the ledger-what he spent and what she has contributed to the household. Oh, this was a hoot! Here’s my favorite part-Diantha is explaining what it cost her parents to clothe her:

The clothing total was so large that it made him whistle--he knew he had
never spent $1,130.00 on one girl's clothes. But the items explained

Materials, three years at an average of $10 a year . . . $30.00
Five years averaging $20 each year . . . $100.00
Five years averaging $30 each year . . . $50.00
Five years averaging $50 each year . . . $250.00

The rest was "Mother's labor, averaging twenty full days a year at $2 a
day, $40 a year. For fifteen years, $600.00.

“Mother’s labor,..For fifteen years. The father was completely shocked-to give a monetary value to what he saw as just a Mother’s duty. Oh, I could have cheered for Diantha.

Diantha does go off to work-and attempts to change people’s attitude towards domestic work…woman’s work. A lot of this book from 1910 deals with Diantha’s ideas for a better way to employ domestic servants-ok, not a real issue for most of us today but this book and the ideas in it are still far reaching and relevant today.

Long before Betty Friedan thought to write the “Feminine Mystique”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was thinking and writing about woman’s work and the economic value of it –a value that was totally ignored and is still undervalued today. No salary received-no value acknowledged.

Cheerfully read by Betsie Bush, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf. or kindle format here.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a prolific writer-a novelist and poet and a sociologist and lecturer for social reform-especially woman’s rights. She is well known for her “Women and Economics” and “The Yellow Wallpaper”. You can read more on-line works by Charlotte Perkins Gilman here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'm a Grandmother!!

Exciting news-I'm a Grandmother. These two little baby girls were born last night to my son Eli and his wife Tali. Tali's doing fine. The girls weight 5 lbs. 7 oz. and 5 lbs. 5 oz.
These are our first grandchildren. We have to wait a bit to see them-they're in Boston. and here's more exciting news-we're going to be the nannies! So in May we're moving to Boston for the year. (Know anyone who would like to rent a nice, completely furnished house on the shores of the Sea of Galilee?)

I think I want to be called Nana...I asked DH what he wanted to be called-his answer, "Dan". LOL!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: The Coral Island by R.M. Ballantyne

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage books available free on-line.

The Coral Island by Robert Michael Ballantyne

Young Ralph is from a sea-faring family-as far back as he can trace his ancestors, they were seamen…even his mother always went to see with her Captain husband.

When Ralph at 15 tells his parents that being in the Coastal Service (Coast Guard) just isn’t enough and that he longs to see the islands of the South Pacific, they agree to let him go. His father helps get him a position on a ship leaving immediately.

Alas the ship is doomed to shipwreck on a coral reef in a wicked six day storm. Ralph, with his two young sailor friends, Jack and Peterkin, cling to an oar as they ride the waves over the coral reef and into the calm water beyond…and so begins their adventure on Coral Island.

They explore the island and find all sorts of wonderous things to eat, dive deep underwater to view the marvelous coral reefs and the reef’s inhabitants, and simply enjoy their wonderful island idyll…until the day a pirate ship is spotted.

Ralph is taken away aboard the pirate ship and so begins the second half of the book with new and quite different adventures…generally, pirates, cannibals and missionaries.

All ends well with Ralph rejoining his friends, saving a girl from a wicked Island Chief and finally leaving the Coral Islands for home.

This 1857 juvenile adventure novel was voted in 2006 one of the top 20 Scottish novels. It is said that The Lord of the Flies was written in reaction to this novel and its imperialistic Anglo centric tone…i.e., English boys too can be savage.

Be aware, there is a racial epithet uttered by one of the pirates.

You can download this free audio-book, read by the always a pleasure to listen to Tom Weiss, here or the free e-book in pdf. or kindle format here

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tuesdays Tomes: A Vintage Romance for Valentine's Day: Barbara in Brittany by E.A. Gillie

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly review of vintage books available free on-line.

Barbara in Brittany by E.A. Gillie

This 1905 young adult romance is a delightfully sweet book. Young Barbara Britton is given the chance to go to France to study by her Aunt Anne, Barbara late father’s rather severe sister. While Barbara is sorry to leave her mother and her younger brothers and sisters, she’s excited by the idea of travelling. First, she and Aunt Anne spend two weeks in Paris (where they have Barbara’s first adventure) and then she is off alone to Brittany to study to improve her French. She stays with Mlle. Loire, who lives with her sister Mlle. Terese, and a niece, Marie. The description of the ladies and how they act towards each other is hilarious. (There’s quite a bit of good natured “poking fun” at the French here - everything from food to fashion.)

Barbara does quite a bit of touring with Mlle. Terese and manages to have quite a few more adventures…not the least one-meeting a young American, Denys, while out bike riding. I especially enjoyed how Barbara’s liking him began with simply being able to speak English to him! It turns out that Denys has been raised by his uncle, Mr. Morton-an old beau of maiden Aunt Anne’s…can you guess where this is going?

Delightfully read by Sibella Dentona, this charming book is available for download as a free audio-book here and as a free e-book in pdf. or kindle format here. The 1915 paper edition had these lovely illustrations by Frank Adams.(The original 1905 edition had illustrations by E. Heatly.)

Barbara reading the guide book while Aunt Anne knits.
Running from the rising tide. (I told you she has adventures!)
Denys with Donald and Frances, two of Barbara's siblings who totally approve of him.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Man in Lower Ten by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Tuesdays Tomes is a weekly book review of vintage book available free on-line.

Train travel…Pullman cars…Romance. That’s what I’ve always thought. But Mr. Lawrence Blakely thought differently-he even thought of writing the Pullman Company.

"If they are built to scale, why not take a man of ordinary stature
as your unit?" I 'wrote mentally. "I can not fold together like
the traveling cup with which I drink your abominable water."

Lawrence, affectionately called Lollie, is traveling in Pullman cars because of a business trip – from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh and back. He’s taking important documents believed to be forgeries to be looked over by the one man who can testify as to whether or not they are forgeries. On the train journey back, the excitement begins…a murder! A theft! A mistaken identity!

There’s a girl (the girl in the blue dress), an auburn haired mystery woman, our “confirmed bachelor” lawyer, an amateur detective, and of course, a great riddle.

Mary Roberts Rinehart shines in this 1906 tale- her very first mystery.. Can you guess who did it? I must confess I really couldn’t…maybe a fleeting suspicion but that was it.

Pleasantly read by MaryAnne, you can download this free audio-book here or the free e-book in pdf or kindle format here.

Here's what the interior of a Pullman Car looked like-the beds have been made up on the right side only.

I just couldn't resist sharing this illustration of what went under those elegant 1906 ladies dresses. :)What more fashion?