Thursday, October 25, 2018

Made It: Christmas Ornaments From An Unusual Source

Hello! May seem hard to believe, but Christmas is two months from today! So what better time to show off some ornament gifts I just finished making? 

Every year I create ornaments for my younger nieces and nephews, the ones who haven't graduated from high school yet. I like to get these made early and out of the way since I always have other gifts to make. Here's what I stitched up for this year's set:

And a close-up:

Each design was stitched on  14-count Aida fabric, trimmed, backed with coordinating felt and then glued to wooden rings. A friend of mine gave me those rings, which came wrapped with wire hangers. They were the perfect size for the finished stitcheries. I'll admit, though, that these aren't big ornaments - the wooden rings are only about 2" diameter. So, small ornaments, but big on charm. 

What makes the source of these designs unusual is this:

A 1979 counted cross-stitch design book, published by the Japanese company Ondori. (In case you didn't know, the letters "DMC" on the  front cover refer to a well-known embroidery thread company). I bought this book at a thrift store for a quarter. I liked the interesting - and sometimes goofy -  designs, but it was the cheery colors that really caught my eye:


A friend thought these figures looked Dutch. 

These chicks would be cute for Easter.


A pig in pink. 

The page from which my ornament designs came. 

For reasons unknown to me, several of the larger designs in this book depict some sort of circus or carnival setting, such as this one:

Children on an animal-themed ride. 

Other designs along the same theme are children holding balloons, hot air balloons rising up in the sky beyond a roller coaster and a Ferris wheel, clowns riding a circus wagon being pulled by an ostrich, clowns doing an act with a monkey, and other whimsical scenes. 

The purpose of these - or any of the designs in this book - is unknown to me as well, since nearly the entire book is in Japanese. But the design charts were easy to follow and the DMC color numbers were given for each design. Those numbers are universal, so I had no problem doing the stitching.
  
I was curious about this:

Might have included some handy tips about how to pull out an end of the floss without ending up with a tangled mess like I've sometimes done. But it'll remain a mystery to me.

This book is 120 pages long plus four pages of ads for other Ondori craft books. The only real English in the whole volume is two snippets added later: the American importer of the book and the shop in my area that had stocked it. 

Although Japanese language craft books are still a thing in this country, I don't see them around much, so I do consider them an unusual source. But in this case, my thrift store find helped me with some Christmas gift-giving. There's nothing unusual about that!

 

 

 
 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Views From The End Of The World

Well, not actually the end of the world - but we did recently travel to Worlds End State Park in northeastern Pennsylvania. We used to live about 3 1/2 hours from this park; which made it a nice weekend escape from our workweek life in suburban Philadelphia.

We no longer live nearly as close to Worlds End State Park but still enjoy revisiting it from time to time for a little hiking. A few photos show why we like returning:


Views of many small waterfalls on Double Run. While I did enjoy sights on this part of our hike, I was less enamored of the trail routing. We were led onto rocks that lined the stream bed - not great footing, and slippery to boot. But by walking carefully we got through this part of the trail unscathed. 

We climbed steadily up to our ultimate goal, Canyon Vista. According to a guidebook I have, Hiking The Endless Mountains by Jeff Mitchell, Canyon Vista is "One of Pennsylvania's most famous vistas..." In a state abundant with natural scenery, that's high praise indeed. 

When we got the Canyon Vista, here's what we saw:

 That's Loyalsock Creek you see below, from Canyon Vista's height of 1,750 ft. Mitchell comments that "Canyon Visit is not very high, but it offers incredible mountain scenery and an awesome view of Loyalsock Canyon." 

We were hoping for more fall color, but a couple also at the vista said that the frequent rains in the region had hurt the maples; they were told that the leaves had died and fallen off before they could change color. Nevertheless, my husband and I, and the couple (visiting from Philadelphia) were as happy with the views as Mitchell was. 

After the climb to Canyon Vista my husband and I prepared to climb back down. This actually took us a bit longer than the trip up. The descent was quite steep in spots, steep enough that we worked against gravity to ensure we wouldn't go too fast. The amount of boulders to cross, tree roots to avoid and wet leaves to guard against made for slow going. But again, we were cautious and made our way back to the car with no issues other than the skid I took down a wet, slippery boulder. No injuries from it, though, so no harm, no foul. But because of such tricky footing - along with that close-to-Double Run trail on the way up to Canyon Vista - I didn't wish to stop to take more photos.

Despite that iffy footing, we were very happy with our excursion to Worlds End State Park. Mitchell calls it "...one of Pennsylvania's most beautiful state parks...beauty encompasses the entire park." Truthfully, we didn't go to many state parks while living in Pennsylvania. Our hiking activities mostly took us elsewhere. But Worlds End State park was an exception, since the nearly 60-mile-long Loyalsock Trail passes through it. (We went on parts of the LT to and from Canyon Vista on this hike.)

(Mitchell says that the Loyalsock Trail is "...one of Pennsylvania's most famous hiking trails". Again, high praise for a trail in a state loaded with them. We have a fondness for the LT ourselves since we've hiked it in its entirety.)

By the way, it's believed that the "Worlds End" moniker came from early settlers to the region. According to the park's website (found here):

Early settlers to the area used two horse trails to cross the rugged highland from Muncy Creek to the forks of Loyalsock Creek at the town of Forksville. This treacherous road became obsolete in 1895 with the building of PA 154.

Pioneer Road Trail and Worlds End Road follow the path of the old horse trail. Worlds End Vista, at the junction of Pioneer Road Trail and Worlds End Trail, is the view that possibly inspired the name of the park.

And I should also note that one can view Canyon Vista without the rigors of scrambling over boulders and huffing and puffing up hills:

ADA accessible Loyalsock Canyon Vista, reached via Mineral Spring and Cold Run roads, and nearby High Knob Vista, provide outstanding views of the Endless Mountains region. Scenery is particularly unforgettable during the June mountain laurel bloom and the fall foliage period in October. (this info also came from the park website). 

We did see some folks approach the vista via the roads, which of course is fine and sure saved them some wear and tear on their legs. 

But even by foot, the views from the end of the world are worth it! 


Thursday, October 4, 2018

Get Carded: Sad And Glad

Hello: Recently I made greeting cards to comfort a neighbor and to celebrate a niece's wedding. Two very different circumstances, to be sure, but both occasions deserved a nice handcrafted card. 

For the neighbor with a death in the family:

A close-up:

Purple is my go-to color for sympathy cards.

Materials used:
  • white card stock
  • textured purple art paper scrap
  • solid purple art paper scrap
  • heart shape cut from vintage playing card
  • vintage button
  • ribbon scrap
  • "May all your precious memories help bring you peace and comfort through all the days ahead" stamped in lilac ink onto paper scrap, then affixed to card. 
I don't enjoy making sympathy cards, but I think this one turned out pretty well. It may seem odd using a vintage playing card in this way, but the design on the card back is pretty. 

I don't know if our neighbor cared about that vintage playing card design, but she was appreciative that we'd sent the card. 

Happier times prevailed last weekend at our niece's wedding. The "save the date" card and wedding invitation were printed on medium brown card stock, so I used that color as a starting point for my card.

And a close-up:

 


Materials used:
  • white card stock
  • kraft paper scrap embellished with gold stamp pad ink
  • brown and white patterned art paper scrap
  • white paper scrap
  • off-white, heart-shaped scrapbook embellishment with "truly madly deeply" printed on the heart in gold 
  • "Congratulations" stamped in black ink
  • vintage gold-tone eyelet threaded with three pieces of ribbon
This card's simplicity matched the simple yet stylish design of the "save the date" and invitation mailings we'd gotten. A wedding card with an over-the-top design didn't seem right.

Congratulations to Courtney and Jake! And I hope our neighbor will be able to take the words on the front of her card to heart. 

Sad or glad, I'll make a card to match the occasion. 


Friday, September 21, 2018

A Northern Michigan Getaway

Hello! I've done enough traveling this month that I hadn't even gotten around to blogging about a recent northern Michigan getaway before I left for another trip. So, now here's an account on what we did and saw up north.

My husband surprised me by planning a visit to Mackinac Island for our wedding anniversary a couple of weekends ago. We hadn't been there in 10 years and so were looking forward to it. We drove up to the region that Friday and used the Hampton Inn in Petoskey as our base. This hotel has a nice location: on a hill, so you can see the blue waters of Little Traverse Bay if your room, like ours, faces the water. If not, you can still see the bay from the breakfast dining area. Very nice!

We went up to Short's Brewery in Bellaire for dinner. My husband's a huge craft beer fan so that is the main draw for him, though he likes their pizza as well. I'm not crazy about their pizza, and the rest of the menu is rather limited. So I got the soft pretzel app with three dipping sauces (queso, peanut butter and homemade jam, and spicy mustard). Plenty substantial! Like most microbrewery eateries, Short's has a cool vibe. 

You can learn more about Short's here.

Saturday morning, we hustled over to Mackinac City, hoping to make the 11:00 ferry to Mackinac Island. We made it with a few minutes to spare. 

The view from our Star Line ferry boat:

Passing by the Mackinac Bridge. The water was quite choppy, so I was grateful that the ride was a short one. 

First order of the day after docking on the island was getting lunch. We split a small pizza at Island Slice Pizzeria. The last time we were on the island, I think there was a pizza place in the same location but with a different name. It appeared that the menu was basically the same as before, and the pizza's pretty good. Website is here.

In case you didn't realize it, no cars are allowed on Mackinac Island, so people get around via bikes, carriage tours, renting their own carriages to drive, or by walking. My husband and I did the latter, so what follows are various pics along the route we took.

An empty carriage pulled by horses, followed by one filled with tourists. 

The iconic Grand Hotel; always well-known in Michigan but became even more well-known after being featured in the 1980 movie Somewhere In Time. Fun fact: my husband and I saw this movie while living in East Lansing, MI. In the scene in which the Christopher Reeve character arrives at the Grand Hotel, he's shown driving up in a car. The movie audience immediately booed since cars aren't allowed on the island (obviously an exception was made for the movie filming). We enjoyed that dissent as an only-in-Michigan moment. 

Pretty cottage with picket fence.

 
I've always been fond of Victorian houses that have turrets. 

The Windermere Hotel, one of several lodging options on the island. Have never stayed there, but doesn't it look charming? 

Yes, I didn't take many photos, but that was in part because we did so much walking. My Fitbit showed that I had logged almost nine miles by the time we were ready to board the ferry back to the mainland. I was tired enough that I didn't even go into any of the shops. Perhaps that was just as well, as the downtown area was crawling with visitors. Even though the summer tourist season was over, the weather was pleasant that weekend (sunny and in the low to mid 60's), so apparently that brought out the hordes. Yes, Mackinac Island's downtown gets crowded, and it's pricey, but we've always found it well worth an occasional visit. 

Back in Petoskey, dinner was on the horizon. Via Yelp, my husband had scouted out Freshwater Grill, a place known for good local fish. Alas, it was unexpectedly closed when we arrived. A search of their website revealed that the owners were taking a well-deserved vacation after the busy summer season. So instead, we went to yet another craft beer-centric place, Beards Brewery. Since I'd been looking forward to seafood at Freshwater Grill, I got the fish and chips here. It was pretty good and I also enjoyed a black cherry cream pop (I was designated driver, after all) from Northwood Soda, a company in the region. My husband had the red curry bowl and, of course, more beer. Beards Brewery is nicely decorated inside and  has a good view of the bay as well.

If you'd like to know more about Beards, check here.

As I'd said, my fish and chips dinner was good, but I wouldn't have ordered it if I'd known my husband had fish in mind for lunch the next day: Scalawags Whitefish And Chips on the edge of downtown Traverse City. This place looks pretty basic on the outside, but I loved the fishing-theme interior decor and took several pics:

A lineup of used (vintage?) outboard motors.

Old bait buckets turned into lamps above our booth.

And to go along with those bait buckets (at least, I think that's what they were), a grouping of old fishing poles. 

Some fishy details on our table. Note the bobber-like salt and pepper shakers. I appreciate such attention to details!

My husband and I both got the whitefish sandwich baskets, which included fries and coleslaw. Other types of fish are available, but as whitefish is in the name of the restaurant, we felt that was the logical choice. And it was! An employee explained that the fish comes in freshly-caught from the region (Charlevoix area) and definitely tasted it. The whitefish had a subtle sweetness and was expertly prepared. I can highly recommend this place! Their website is here.

If it sounds like we mainly ate, drank and walked around on our excursion, you're correct. Even though we were visiting the region on a weekend, it was definitely a slower time of year. Most shops were closed in Petoskey by the time we hit downtown both evenings, and we simply didn't have much time in Traverse City since we stopped there on our way back home. But we'd had a very nice time anyway; it was a great way to celebrate our anniversary. 

And it sure beat the trip I've just returned from, a visit to our daughter for a marathon cleaning session of her apartment. Her various grad school duties keep her quite busy, so I was being a nice mom to do some cleaning for her. Not sure if I'd do that again, but I'd certainly welcome another northern Michigan getaway!

 





 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thrifty Acres: TV Time In 1965

Hello! Once upon a time, network television was the only game in town: no cable channels, no original programming from online sources, etc. So ABC could promote its 1965 programming line-up with a 10-page ad in Reader's Digest:

Today is a Thursday, but it is September 13th, so what better day to show off what TV watchers could expect from ABC back then? 

How about "The most exciting of all television seasons. A season of great entertainment. Seven nights a week. All year long. On ABC." 

Sounds rather grandiose, doesn't it? But after all, it was the debut of "adorable newcomer" Sally Field, in Gidget:

Gidget fell under this heading:




"The excitement of high comedy", which also included shows that became rerun staples for decades: McHale's Navy, F Troop (new in 1965), Ozzie and Harriet, The Patty Duke Show, The Donna Reed Show, Bewitched, The Flintstones and The Addams Family. But as I'd never heard of The Farmer's Daughter, O.K. Crackerby! or Tammy, I assume those weren't nearly as successful. Still, obviously a line-up that stood the test of time!

Maybe you'd rather have "The excitement of great drama"? Then these are the shows for you:

Of this grouping, Ben Casey, Peyton Place, The Fugitive, and The Big Valley stand out as shows people talked out. The Big Valley was new in 1965, and newcomer Lee Majors was on the show. 

And there's another new show:





 The FBI, starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. I was 5 1/2 when this show debuted, but it lasted through 1974, so I do remember watching this one! 

Another new crime-oriented show in 1965, although one that wasn't as successful, was Honey West. The ad blurb for the show is cringe-worthy today: "Wait till you see Anne Francis as Honey West, private eye-ful if there ever was one". Ugh. I'll admit that Ms. Francis was attractive: 

However, I don't think that "eye-ful" remark would go over too well these days. By the way, the show only lasted one season. 

Moving along, we now come to:

"The excitement of music...and movies". Shindig was "...entertainment as its go-goest!" This was the 2nd season of the pop music-oriented show, but it didn't last beyond January of 1966. 

Of course, other musical genres had a home on ABC as well, like The Jimmy Dean Show for country music fans. I wonder how many people today now associate that name with sausage and other breakfast foods? But Jimmy Dean had a long career in music and in television. 

The Lawrence Welk Show had its fans too, of course. Fun personal fact: my parents, my in-laws, and the parents of my two brothers-in-law were all about the same age. Yet out of these four sets of parents, mine were the only ones who never watched Lawrence Welk and his gang. Because of this, I grew up thinking hardly anyone had watched his show in the 1960's. I was quite surprised to learn that wasn't the case, at least among the families whose sons married into mine!

The King Family sounded interesting: "Thirty-seven (count 'em) thirty seven singing, dancing sisters, husbands, nephews, cousins and aunts in a warm, wonderful half-hour variety show". Quite a family indeed! This was actually the second season - and last - of the show, so the 39 shows produced just about equaled the number of people who were on the show. 

ABC didn't have much to say about movies, just a list of some that would be aired (North To Alaska, The Hustler) and some of the stars in them (James Stewart, Helen Hayes, John Wayne, Paul Newman). Nevertheless, "Save Sunday nights for movies on ABC!"

And, let's not forget:

"The special excitement of specials...and the thrill of sports." The dapper gent in the top of the photo is Rex Harrison, who was set to show off Paris on TV. An animated version of Alice in Wonderland was going to appear over the holidays, and Robert Preston was going to tour the US in six appearances of This Proud Land.

Sports programming featured pro bowling, NBA basketball ("pro basketball at its best, brought close to you by ABC's imaginative techniques" - I assume they meant camera work here), baseball, football specials, golf and the US Tennis Championship. 

"Not a week goes by without outstanding sports on ABC." But what I remember most about ABC sports is this show:

Hooray for Wide World of Sports! "The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat". I remember watching this show with my brother. For some reason, motocross was one of my favorites (I still enjoy watching it, which my husband can't understand.)

Wild World of Sports ran for an incredible length of time: April 1961 to January 1998. Yet it had  been conceived as only a single-season summer replacement series for that first year! 

This show made the sporting world big news, but naturally ABC didn't want us to forget its news division either:

"The excitement of world-wide news". And who's the man at the news desk at the top?

Why, it's none other than "dynamic, fast-moving Peter Jennings with the News". Dynamic he might have been, but apparently his first stint at the anchor desk didn't go well, and he became a foreign correspondent in 1968. But eventually he triumphed at that earlier position: ten years after that, he returned as one of three ABC news anchors, and became sole anchor in 1983. He remained at that helm until his death in 2005. 

So who's this guy, and why is there a bottle on the wall near his head? Silly you, didn't you know about ABC's "...superbly informative reporting of the news from space...Jules Bergman, ABC's Science Editor, and the entire news team with their continuing coverage of the Gemini flights". So you see, that's not a bottle above Bergman's head, it's a model of a Gemini spacecraft. Looks pretty cheesy compared to the images we see from space now, but that's the best they could do back then. 

Bergman would have been plenty busy covering Gemini flights, as there were seven missions in a little over a year's time after this Reader's Digest issue came out. And there was plenty more space news to cover in the years ahead, which Bergman did through 1987. So from unmanned space flights to man landing on the moon to the space shuttle program, he saw a lot. And I bet eventually he didn't have a bottle-like object above his head during his segments! 

Back to the general news, in 1965 Bob Young did the weekend news. And for the ladies, "Marlene Sanders and News with the Woman's Touch, weekday afternoons". That sounds awfully lightweight, but Sanders was actually a trailblazer for women in television. She had many firsts in her long career, such as being among the first women war correspondents in Vietnam. After joining ABC in 1964, she became the first woman to anchor a major network's news show when the regular anchor became ill. And eventually she became the first woman vice-president of ABC's news division. I have no idea if "News with the Woman's Touch" was actually lightweight, but clearly Sanders' career was anything but that!

Well, I think this is enough of TV Time in 1965. I enjoyed the look back - but I think I'll go read a book now!



 
 






 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Thrifty Acres: Are You Ready For Some Football?

Hello! Football season has begun: the local media's sports reporting is dominated by high school game scores, college football is underway, and the NFL season opens tonight. So I thought it appropriate to show off this:

A print ad from a 1962 Reader's Digest, featuring a Olds F-85 Cutlass. A sporty car for the sporty action behind it:


The kick is up and it's good! The ad folks must have thought it looked great to show that Olds F-85 Cutlass parked near the end zone of a football field, but I wouldn't want to ever park my car there! What if the kick had been blocked or the kicker had kicked it wide right? Then you'd have a dent or broken window marring that picture-perfect Olds! But of course in car ad-land, such things wouldn't happen. Save that for the car insurance ads!

The magazine was one of an armful of vintage Reader's Digests (mid-1950's to early-1960's) I scooped up at a thrift store last year. After reading the articles at leisure, I eventually tore out the ads I wanted to keep for displaying or crafting. I thrifted a simple frame for the display purpose. Its front and back sections separate easily, so it only takes a moment to change out one ad for another. 

Here's what I showed off during the summer months:


According to Campbell's, "Summer is Soup 'n Sandwich Time!" The copy continues with "Good things begin to happen when summer lunch is soup and a sandwich. Spirits perk up. Appetites quicken." 

Uh, really? First off, who serves soup along with a hot dog? And is a hot dog really a sandwich? Granted, the AC in public places is  often cranked up high enough to make me want something hot to eat, but I don't think that's what Campbell's had in mind. 

No, the purpose of promoting summertime soup is found at the very end of the ad: "And just one of 21 Campbell's Soups to enjoy once a day...every day! Have you had your soup today? Campbell's, of course!"

Of course. But sorry, Campbell's, I didn't have any of your soups this summer. However, as I'd said, it's now football season - and to me, that's soup time!

PS: on the back of this soup ad is the beginning of an article entitled "Is There Life in Outer Space?" (authored by Edwin Diamond, condensed from Newsweek magazine). It's now over 50 years later, and we still don't know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Things You Can Always Find At A Thrift Store #11: Pleasing Patterns

Hello! I've owned a sewing machine since the mid-1980's. In all that time I've not advanced my sewing skills to a high level of expertise, but still like to try new projects from time to time. Fortunately, thrift stores typically have a variety of pleasing patterns, and for a fraction of the original prices. Read along and see what I mean! I'll begin by showing off some patterns I've actually used, followed by make-it-someday ones. 


A 50c pattern, but would have cost almost 12 bucks at full price. Fabric stores often have pattern sales, but not as low as 50c! I made the project on the right, a sofa slipcover. It was relatively easy, though I remember that it took a long time to sew the hem at the bottom.


A pattern package full of sewing accessory projects (plus one button doll). This would have cost almost 19 dollars at full price. Needless to say, I was happy that I only needed a quarter at the thrift store! I made the project at the upper left, a sewing machine cover. (The photographed example has a large rick rack flower on it.) I figured that it was high time my sewing machine got a cover! (keeps dust off the machine). 

This is a pattern I've made over and over:


As the package states, this really is an easy pattern! Even a slowpoke sewer like me can whip up a pair of polar fleece socks in no time at all. I often make up several pairs at a time and give them to our daughter as part of her Christmas presents. I sometimes pick up polar fleece remnants at thrift stores too. That helps even more in making these socks easy, inexpensive and practical gifts.  If I have enough polar fleece left over after sewing her socks, I'll make some socks for me as well. Nice to wear on a cold winter day! 

This pattern is worth the $7.00 price on the package, but I only paid 50c for it. 

Now on to patterns I hope to sew some day:


From the Sew Green thrift store in Ithaca, NY, a fun pattern set: multi-pocketed vest, journal cover, portfolio and carry-all. The vest and its description on the back of the package caught my eye: "A play or work vest, with easy, folded pocket design, lets you personalize pocket sizes to fit the tools of your trade. A must for the artist, sewer, gardener, cook, sportsman or woodworker in your life." Well, I'm not a sportsman or a woodworker, but I can define myself with the other words, so I bought this pattern. It cost a dollar at Sew Green, but would have cost $12 at full price. 

And that brings me to another point about buying patterns at thrift stores. As I'd mentioned earlier, fabric stores often have sales on  sewing patterns, but these tend to be the "big names" like  Vogue, Simplicity, Butterick, etc. But it's hit and miss for the smaller pattern companies, whose lines may not even be readily available at the fabric store chains like Jo Ann Fabrics. I think Jo Ann's carries The Green Pepper brand (the polar fleece sock pattern) - but I'd never heard of Diane Ericson, designer of the Creative Companion pattern. 

I wasn't familiar with the CNT Pattern Company either, before I spied this:

A jacket to "Start after Breakfast Finish before Lunch". Not sure how long it would take me to sew this jacket, but for only 50c I could afford to take a chance on this pattern. If I'd been looking at paying $10.49, I would have passed it up! 

Here's a good, multi-purpose pattern:


The pattern package didn't photograph great because it's in a plastic ziplock bag. So here's a close-up:


Shorts, crop pants, capris and long pants: you're covered for all four seasons! Not bad for fifty cents, and certainly better than the full price of eight dollars! 

I bought the next pattern over the weekend at the Ann Arbor PTO thrift store (a must-stop for the thrifty arts/crafts person):


And a close-up:

A variety of fabrics makes for a fun look, I thought. This is actually the second time I've purchased this pattern. My plans to sew the pattern the first time were thwarted, believe it or not, by a squirrel intruder. (you can read about this incident here.)
 
That initial purchase was from a store three hours away I had visited during a weekend trip, so I couldn't readily go back and buy another pattern. And this was before online ordering was the thing it is now. 

Besides, I really didn't want to shell out nine dollars again. So I was happy to find another copy of the pattern for 50c! I'm not sure why I remembered this pattern well enough to recognize it at the thrift store, since it'd been "stolen" around ten years ago! But I know it's the same one.

Thus far I've shown off either clothing patterns or those patterns meant for the home. So I'll end this post with a craft pattern:


A pattern for quilted postcards; the package includes directions and two preprinted postcard backs. The front of the package also has this message from designer Jamie Kalvestran: "Yes, you can actually mail this with one postage stamp and send it through the U.S. mail without an envelope, just like any other postcard!"

At the end of the pattern directions, Kalvestran adds that one instructs the post office clerk to make sure the postcard is hand-cancelled and place in the NON-machineable bin. "If the postal workers give you a hard time - let them know these are being mailed all across the country with success..." Okay, then! 

I really got a good deal: besides this pattern, which cost me 50c instead of $7.25, I also got a package of eight more blank postcard backs for 50c more. Not only that, but someone had actually completed a quilted postcard:


Whoever had sewn this had done a fine job, so I wondered why they hadn't made the other nine postcards, let alone mail this one out! But as I occasionally participate in postcard swaps, I thought this would be a nice project the next time I do one.

A couple of notes:
  • All full prices are those listed on the patterns at the time of the original purchases.
  • If you can, examine the pattern at the thrift store for completeness and correct sizing before you buy it. When I haven't remembered to check, I've sometimes discovered at home that a previous owner had cut off some of the sizes on a multi-size pattern, thereby making the pattern useless to me. And occasionally pattern pieces will be missing, which of course also makes it difficult to make the project. And occasionally, the pattern pieces will be there, but the directions won't! A lot of good that does!
  • Thus, it goes without saying is that your best bet is an uncut pattern. In spite of the high (to me) prices I've quoted in this post for brand-new purchases, most of the patterns shown here had never been used. 
Incidentally, I totaled up the full prices for the patterns shown here: $84.64. My thrift store price total: $4.25. 

So, besides offering pleasing patterns, thrift stores also offer pleasing prices! 

Happy Sewing!