Monday, December 16, 2013

More Things To Do With Cookie Cutters

From making cake decorations to clay projects, from batik works to felt ornaments, there's a lot you can do with cookie cutters!

This project idea comes from Brown Lillie Antiques & Vintage. There are no instructions, but it looks like a simple cut & paste craft with some additional items glued inside as well. Then just tie some lace loops for hanging.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter Brings Cream Soups

From the October 1932 issue of The Royal Neighbor, on Milady’s Own Page, a reminder that “oysters are not the only food which comes into its own with the ‘R’ months,” cream soups made with milk, butter, and often a cooked and stewed vegetable are welcome when wintry arrives.

Along with recipes for six different cream soups (Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Duchess Soup, Cream of Spinach Soup, Chicken Cream Soup with Noodles, Cream of Crab Soup, and Bean Consomme; click the image to get a large legible scan with all the recipes), the vintage magazine has additional tips on cream soups.

The vegetables most suitable for cream soup bases are spinach, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, peas, carrots, potatoes and navy beans.

There are two methods for proportioning cream soups:

One method calls for three cups of thin white sauce to each cup of cooked, mashed or stewed vegetables, plus seasoning to own liking.
Thin cream soups require one cup of thin white to each cup or meat or vegetable stock and one-half cup of mashed or sieved vegetable.
Just in case you aren’t familiar with how to make a thin white sauce, here’s the recipe suggested for you, Milady: melt one tablespoon of butter in a sauce pan, blend in one tablespoon of flour, gradually stir in one cup cold milk. Stir constantly until smooth and slightly thickened.
On garnishing:
If the vegetable or meat which forms the basis of the soup fails to add color, chopped parsley adds interest to the dish as does a sparse sprinkling of paprika on top of each serving. Grated cheese or a bit of melted butter added to each bowl of soup contributes flavor, attractiveness and food value.
Now go forth and warm and nourish your family and friends with delicious cream soup!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hot Pineapple Eggnog

In Favorite Recipes From America's Dairlyand, by the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture, comes this recipe... The photo looks lovely, but, as I do not love eggnog, I will not be trying this, err, interesting recipe. But I would love to hear from those of you who do! (There are other vitnage beverage recipes here too: Banana Milk Fluff, Buttermilk Fruit Shake, Chocolate Mint Flip, and Eggnog Supreme.)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The History of Cake

Infographic by Foodbeast.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Cleaning Vintage & Antique Pieces

Usually, I post vintage tips here from various old publications; but here are some articles I've written recently about how to best clean vintage and antique items today:

* How to clean antique wooden furniture

* How to clean old glass bottles

(Don't worry, scanning will resume shortly!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tips On Baking With Fats, Liquids, and Clabbering Sweet Milk

Some tips on baking from Successful Baking For Flavor & Texture by Martha Lee Anderson, copyright 1937, Church & Dwight Company. I find these tips worthy of transcribing from the image text:

Fats. Solid fats can be used interchangeably. Melted fats or oils should not be used in recipes specifying creaming of the shortening.

Liquid. The use of citrus fruit juices, lemon and orange, is the most recent accompaniment with sweet milk and baking soda for leavening. With the health-giving qualities, this new use for fruit juices in baking is widely accepted.

Sweet milk may be used in place of sour milk if clabbered artificially. To sour or clabber sweet milk quickly, place 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls of lemon juice or 1 1/3 tablespoonfuls of vinegar (white vinegar makes a whiter product) in a standard measuring cup, then fill to the one-cup mark with sweet milk. Mix well. The resulting liquid will contain as much acid as natural sour milk or buttermilk when it is at its best for baking and may be used exactly as natural sour milk or buttermilk in any baking soda recipe.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gingerbread House Recipe & Pattern

Pages inside the Christmas Cooky Book from Wisconsin Electric Power Company; circa 1960s.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Facts About Disinfecting, Baking Soda & Other Natural Cleansers

While baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) is an excellent and safe household cleaner, there are some things you should know about it -- and other household cleaners.

Baking soda is not officially a disinfectant; it has not been rated as such by the EPA and it is known to generally not be effective against bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli. and staphylococcus. (Neither is vinegar, by the way; though the 5% acetic acid in vinegar does kill some bacteria and viruses, it does not, for example, kill staphylococcus.) However, regular cleaning and good-old-fashioned elbow-grease will address most household cleaning concerns -- including with simple baking soda, vinegar, and basic soap and hot water.

In fact, even when there are flu outbreaks, reasons to fear bacterial infections, persons with weak immune systems in the home, and other reasons to really be concerned, a good scrubbing with simple cleansers and hot water are the place to start. While you do want to remove the dirt and avoid the perfect conditions for bad things to grow in, you don't want to over-strip our world from the good stuff -- the good bacterias which naturally keep the bad bacterias at bay. And even when bad stuff is present, you have to scrub away the dirt to get to the bad stuff itself.

For example, a recent study found that one of the difficulties in disinfecting salmonella was in getting past the biofilms. In the study, rice vinegar just couldn't get past the biofilms (the slimy stuff that forms in wet or humid conditions) to disinfect as well as expected. In other words, scrub that cutting board good and hard using hot soapy water -- and then, if you feel it's warranted, apply the disinfectant. It's similar to how vegetables need to be scrubbed to really remove the pesticides.

You might not want to believe me. But how about believing Professor Peter Collignon?

Collignon is the Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit and Microbiology at the Canberra Hospital, a Professor at the Medical School of the Australian National University, and a member of the World Health Organization's Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR). Here's what he has to say on the subject in Clean-freak nation:

"The basic good hygiene your mother and grandmother would teach you, washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap, is normally enough," [Collignon] says. "But in high-risk situations, alcohol hand rubs are useful and effective. In the kitchen, too, alcohol cleaners are handy, but that doesn't replace good food-handling practices such as proper preparation, refrigeration, no cross-contamination and thorough cooking. And it certainly doesn't mean that if your hands are clean you can eat what you like without a risk of food poisoning. The best thing for killing bugs in food is heating them."

In another interview, Collignon said:

You've got to clean the surface first and that's usually enough. Then you have to ask yourself whether you need to disinfect at all. For the kitchen sink, for example, you probably don't need anything except cleaning. ...We over-use chemicals. Instead of using one unit, we use 1000 units, and the benefits are marginal. All of us would like to use a magic potion so that we don't have to use the elbow grease. But that's a false premise.
Yes, over-use of chemicals -- including disinfectants -- is part of the antibiotic-resistant superbug problem

If and when you are concerned by flu, virus, bacteria and other such outbreaks (and you can keep up with them at the outbreaks page at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC website), you can then add official disinfectants to your cleaning. Bleach is a good standard; and Seventh Generation makes a line of disinfectant products which uses botanicals to kill over 99.99% of household germs, including Influenza A viruses (such as H1N1, Rhinovirus type 37 aka the Common Cold virus), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

In most cases, scrubbing with baking soda or soap with hot water is enough. If you want to follow that up with some vinegar on cutting boards and counter tops, that's fine; if you have a real reason to worry, follow your scrubbing with a stronger disinfectant. But most of us do not need to do this every time we clean the kitchen or bathroom.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Easy & Inexpensive Snack Sandwiches

These recipes are from The Way To His Heart “A Cookbook with a Personality”, copyright 1941, Priscilla Wayne Sprague, published by Western Grocer Company (makers of Jack Sprat Foods). Details on the cookbook and its history is here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vintage Cleaning With Baking Soda Tips

In Successful Baking For Flavor & Texture by Martha Lee Anderson (copyright 1937, Church & Dwight Company), there are many tips for using baking soda for household cleaning. Polishing, cleaning, and sweetening (odor removal), are among the uses. This list of tips is probably no real surprise, as Church & Dwight are makers of baking sodas like Arm & Hammer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Raisin Rock Cookies

A recipe from Successful Baking For Flavor & Texture by Martha Lee Anderson, copyright 1937, Church & Dwight Company (makers of Arm & Hammer and Cow Brand baking sodas).

Pretty Stenciled Pie Crusts

From the September 1978 issue of Decorating & Craft Ideas Magazine, which has the stencil patterns, pie crust recipes, as well as recipes for fruit pies and vegetable and beef pies, and how-to information. Confident cooks can just be inspired to paint their own pies with with egg yolk and food coloring.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

How To Remove Stains From Marble (And Info On Soft & Hard Soaps)

Tips from Godey’s Lady’s Book, January 1855:

Method 1 – Mix equal quantities of fresh spirit of vitriol and lemon-juice in a bottle; shake well; wet the spots, and in a few minutes rub with a soft rag until they disappear. Another mode is to sponge the spots with a weak solution of muriatic acid or aquafortis.

Method 2 – If the marble be stained with oils, mix soft soap, fuller’s earth, and hot water into a paste; cover the spots with the paste, and let it dry on. The next day scour it off with soft or yellow soap.

Method 3 – Boil half, a pound of soft soap in a quart of water, very slowly, until the water is reduced to a pint. Apply this in the same manner as the preceding.

You'll see that I added some links to help you; but here are a few other notes.

Regarding "soft soap," as it was in the 1800s: Soft soap is traditionally discussed as that made simply by omitting the salt from your soap recipe process, keeping the soap in a jelly-like state. Soap with salt creates the "hard soap" most of us are familiar with. However, many soap makers will also tell you that the firmness of a soap will also depend upon the type of grease or fat used to make it. Hard soaps come from "hard fats." Hard fats are those which melt at a higher temperature: beef, goat, sheep and lamb. "Soft fats", those which melt at lower temperatures, such as chicken or pork, will soften your soap -- even if only used in combination with other, harder, fats. "Yellow soap" is a hard soap made from tallow (fat from cattle and sheep) and resin (salts).

Why two kinds of soap? Different uses -- which are largely based on thrift. Since you can control (and so spare) the amount of soft soap taken from the barrel or jar stored in, soft soap is ideal for spot cleaning like stain removal. Soft soaps were also often used for washing dishes and floors because you could rather easily guesstimate the amount of soap needed and only put that much in the bucket -- and, because soft soaps dissolve easier than hard soaps, you don't wait long for the soap to be ready to use. Hard or bar soaps are best used for bathing, where the hard soap takes longer to break down and so lasts through however long it is put to use in the bath or shower. Hard soaps were also used for laundry for similar reasons; one bar to last for a longer amount of time, still leaving you with soap when the chore is finished.

There's no reason why you couldn't try soap jelly or other thrifty soap tips. However, if you want a more historically authentic experience, check out Grandpappy's Homemade Soap Recipes. Also, if you've been thinking of using your leftover bacon grease to make soap, you might want to read this first.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Simple Table Setting Ideas

These photos were found in an article entitled Sit Down to Handmade Table Settings inside the October 1980 issue of Decorating & Craft Ideas magazine. Since the holidays are nearly upon us, and entertaining is ever-certain at holiday times, I thought these were pretty nifty.

The first idea is to use a large pottery bowl as an ice bucket. On large tables, you can have several of these with individual bottles for guests. (Also a great game day idea!)

The second idea is to use wooden chopping blocks or bread boards as placemats.This would be ingenious any time of the year -- especially when reheating leftovers in the microwave. I remember my grandma using wooden boards to carry casseroles and hotdishes out to the table; using individual ones for carrying and serving food on plates from the microwave is the same idea. And wooden boards are not only very stable to carry, they are easy to clean, economical to reuse, and most often considered the healthier choice. (Wood cutting boards are also easier on your knives.)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Seeing The Truth About Good Clean Vintage Living & Eyeglasses

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then good eyeglasses must be like prayers -- because it is much easier to arrive at "clean" when you can see well!

I know that many of us who are into vintage living like to use authentic vintage items and wear authentic vintage fashions as often as we can; it's thrifty, good for the environment, and it's fun. But when it comes to cleaning-up the house, garage, or yard I don't recommend wearing authentic vintage eyewear, especially not prescription glasses. Not even if you are far-sighted or, as I must do now, wear bifocals. The risks are just too great.

Vintage eyewear is pricey now, especially the most iconic styles from the 1940s through the 1960s. Eyeglasses from those decades are increasing in popularity and therefore price. Today, simple and traditional cat-eye glasses and funky round mid-century mod glasses easily go for between $50 and $100 -- and that's not including the designer names like Dior or Schiaparelli, where you can expect prices to at least double. And it is not thrifty to put such pretty pricey pieces at risk. (Not to mention the heartbreak if you destroy a one-of-a-kind vintage piece!)

While it is true that if the vintage eyeglass frames are in good condition, they can be worn everyday (and often can even withstand the process of having modern prescription lenses put in), however vintage glasses are not up to facing the challenges of cleaning house. Aside from the hazards of bumps and falls involved in such rigorous work, vintage glasses are not prepared to meet modern day cleaning chemicals. In fact, many of the old frames are made of plastics, rhinestones, and other materials which are not even well-suited to withstand the sweat of your brow; like vintage jewelry, they should be kept safe and dry.

The good news is that many eyeglass companies make cat-eye and other vintage-styles frames. (Like the Lupo 5599 Marbled Stripes eyeglasses shown in this post.)

Thanks to our friends at, you can take 10% off any order of prescription glasses simply by using this special shopping code when you order glasses: Blog10.

This 10% savings is on top of their 110% lowest price guarantee and 100% satisfaction guarantee on their high quality frames and lenses. also has a refer-a-friend program. All of this just makes sparing your vintage glasses the wise and thrifty thing to do.

Fortune Donuts

From that 1945 donut party book, how to make fortune telling donuts. (See also.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Making Insulator Candlestick Holders

I was helping out at Antiques On Broadway (the long story is here), when I was reminded of old article on making candle holders out of old glass insulators. I posted part of it, along with more info on collecting insulators, in one of my old Collectors' Quest columns -- but I left out the other crafting instructions. So, I dug them out and here you go!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Rest On Your Laurels With Blue Ribbon Pillows

Whatever you, your family, your friends do to win so many ribbons, why not stitch them into a great memory more worthy of display than simply stringing them along the bookshelves? For example, you can sew all your county fair ribbons into a pretty pillow.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Antique Baby Shoe Pin Cushion

If you're on pins & needles about what to do with a single old baby shoe or bootie, why not turn it into a pincushion?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Is "Vintage Living"? What Does "Green Living" Really Mean?

I know I've been slacking here at Things Your Grandmother Knew, but I've been busy! For one thing, it's flea market season; for another, two of the shops we sell in are planning their anniversary celebrations (Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, MN, and Antiques On Broadway in Fargo, ND). Plus, we've been trying to go through the tens of thousands of antique and vintage photographs we have. No small task! So we are still working dutifully on that.

But I've been keeping this blog in mind too, thinking of what to scan and share, questions & issues I'd like to address... Recently, I put a few of these questions to my friend Laura (of Creative Fat Grrl and Green Living History).

What is something you do all the time that you are surprised to hear is "vintage living"?

Cursive writing. Is it actually vintage yet? My nieces asked me to teach them how to write, in cursive script because school has actually dropped it from the regular curriculum. As if writing has become old fashioned in the world of computer keyboards. Fonts are the new penmanship.

It's sad. Like saying good bye to writing itself! How long can print newspapers, paperback novels and all other forms of print last if if being able to write is going out of style? I actually find it alarming.

When I was in school we couldn't want to learn how to write. Printing was for the little kids, the little brother and sister or the people who couldn't master the skill of penmanship. My Dad taught me most of the cursive writing which I still use today. At the time my teacher did not agree with some of his letters so I had to learn both styles. Since then I have come up with my own style based on other cursive writing and calligraphy (something we used for my sister's wedding invitations about 18 years ago).

What sorts of green activities do you do find are effective and fit into your life?

People may be surprised that I enjoy taking the bus versus driving a car. It fits into my life because I have more leisure time. Waiting for the bus can be annoying, if you let it. I take it as time to enjoy being alone, outside and just able to let my mind wander. I keep a camera in my purse as well as notepads and pens - coloured pens too in case I think of something to draw.

Meanwhile, being on the bus itself is my version of meditation. I get comfortable, make sure I have a good hold on my purse and whatever else I've got with me and then I let my mind drift. So many thoughts come and go. I pull out my notebook and write down a few things. Mainly I just like letting go and enjoying the ride.

How important are family traditions to you?

That's a hard question to answer. The politically correct thing would be to spout on about how great family is and how much family means... In reality, my family is very much in transition.

My Dad died several years ago and my Mother spends most family holidays (the big ones like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Halloween) in Florida with the other snowbirds. Two of my sisters are married and have kids and inlaws to please. My brother is married and won't be having kids. I'm divorced and not making plans to change that or have kids. My oldest nephew is going to be 18 this year. Our family tree seems a bit shriveled and still - I really feel like we are full of eventual endings except for the nephew.

I don't see our family traditions being passed along. The traditions myself, my parents and siblings had are things we talk about now and then. My sister has her own traditions, her children don't get time with their parents to have a lot of the traditions we had. She is a business woman while my Mother was usually home and even when she did work she had her focus on the home and family. My sister is a different sort of woman, a different kind of Mother.

The other sister is expecting her first baby. But, she seems to be inclined to spend more time and give more time to her inlaws than her family here. I don't know how much of our family traditions will make it into her family traditions, how much she will even remember as the youngest sister of four in our family.

Family traditions are important to me, but these days I just wonder about all the traditions built up, created and then lost along the way.

I hear you make a mean pie... Why bake when you can buy?

Store bought pies tend to be pretty awful compared to a "real" pie. The crust in particular is too thick, especially around the edges. I'd rather have a pie with a crisp crust which is not all clumped up and dry like sawdust. My favourite part of a pie we make at home is the soggy crust right under all the cooked fruit. It's sweet, juicy and you hardly notice the crust because it's so soft, but not actually soggy and sloppy like a store pie.

I especially like a pie we make because we make them. Since I was a little girl we had myself, my Mother and my Grandmother together making pies - peeling endless apples, attempting struesel together (and succeeding), adding ginger to the apple and peach pies even when my Grandmother wasn't sure about the idea, and sampling the first, fresh, hot pie out of the oven. My sisters would try to avoid pie making, but I've always liked that special time. I miss my Grandmother so much during holidays, but especially holidays where she would have been here making pies with us.

There's that old saying, "Think global, act local." What does it mean to you? How do you make that a part of your daily life?

It's so hard to shop local any more, but I do notice where thing come from when I am shopping for anything from groceries to the new chair I bought for my home office. There isn't a lot each of us can do globally. But, I do try to think local, shop local to the point where I focus on what is right in front of me. You can still change someone's whole day with just a smile. That's really local and yet... who knows what that small thing will do, where that person you smiled at will go that day, what kind of reach they have locally or globally.

Some people feel they have not accomplished enough. When I start to think that way I go back to what I have done locally, even if local is not so much the physical distance but the people who have come into my life in whatever time or space. I've helped people in some big ways and that makes me feel I have made a difference and there has been a purpose to my life. So when I think about how big the world is and how small I am in it, I reflect on the little corner of the world I made better.

(Vintage image available here.)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Make More Out Of Mousetraps

This vintage tip from Here’s How The Farm Weekly Serves You turns simple and inexpensive mousetraps into practical -- and cool -- DIY decor.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Cheesy Quiz Contest

As promised, today there's a cheese quiz.  Can you name all the cheeses? Post your answers in the comments (or email them to me at by April 12, 2013 -- get all 18 right, and get 18% off in our Esty shop! (Be sure I have your email in your entry so that I can send you your discount code!)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Better Know Your Cheeses

From Favorite Recipes From America's Dairlyand, by the Wisconsin State Department of Agriculture -- who else? You'd better study, because there will be a quiz tomorrow! (Click to read larger scan.)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Comforts Of Home, Then & Now

Infographic from Budget Direct; see also Everything You Need to Know about Home Insurance to Protect Your Home.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Instructions For A Vintage Evening Wrap

"One of the most ravishing ways to cover -- and show off -- a summer shoulder" is an evening wrap. This vintage wrap is made by sewing two rectangles of material together -- the "cuff" designs are made by folding and buttoning the corners back. Complete instructions below. As published in Good Housekeeping, May 1961.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Minute Meat Loaf

Another tip found in Here’s How The Farm Weekly Serves You, this one on baking meat loaf in muffin tins for faster cooking time and individual serving sizes. (Likely great for dieting and portion control too!)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Things Your Grandmother Knew Link Round-Up

Can't stop making doilies? Collect doilies and wonder how to display them? Check out How To Turn Doilies Into Dream Catchers.

I'm inspired by the apron refashioned from an old shirt by Organic Planet. (While you're there, I really want this ballet shoe converted to a cell phone case!)

I wrote about collecting old cast iron pans at Collectors Quest.

Also at CQ, I discuss what to look for in vintage sewing baskets: part one, part two.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Organizing Sheets & Bedding

Another vintage tip found in Here’s How The Farm Weekly Serves You, this one on organizing sheets for quick identification:

When patching sheets, I sew a colored thread in the hem. This way I instantly recognize patched sheets without unfolding them. I also use this method to mark various sizes for beds.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Get Ready To Save & Sell With NerdWallet Indie Shopping

Have you heard about NerdWallet? It's a site to help consumers save money and make smarter decisions about their personal finances, travel plans, higher education, and shopping -- and now, it's got a new service to help people find and promote indie shops while helping people save money while supporting mom and pop shops online!

In order to give you all the scoop, I interviewed Rita Chu, Community Manager for NerdWallet Shopping.

Hi, Rita, give us an overview of the site and the new indie shop opportunity.

Our mission at NerdWallet is to help consumers save money and make better-informed decisions. All of our tools help empower people to make better decisions about their personal finances and more through clear and unbiased recommendations and thorough research. NerdWallet Indie was created out of the desire to help consumers save money on online shopping while also supporting handmade artists and independent retailers.

NerdWallet Indie is the best place to discover products and gifts from handmade artists and local small businesses. Everyone needs a little help to save money and hoppers can find great discounts on items like jewelry, toys, housewares, vintage and more that are all made and/or sold by independent artists and small businesses. Furthermore, Etsy sellers and small businesses can share their coupons on our site to promote their work and drive more traffic to their shops.

When did the site start? Why was it started?

NerdWallet Indie officially launched on November 27th of 2012 to help holiday shoppers save money on handmade gifts. I love shopping for unique handmade finds on Etsy and supporting small businesses so we created a way to help shoppers find great deals on handmade products which also promotes Etsy sellers and other small businesses at the same time.

How does a person use NerdWallet Indie -- as a seller and as a buyer? Do folks need to join to participate?

Any small business and Etsy seller can join our community and sign up their shops for free to submit their coupons on NerdWallet Indie and also share their social media links, blog and website links too to promote their shops to our thousands of visitors.

As a shopper, anyone can browse our beautiful website full of inspiring pictures of lovely handmade products and find that perfect gift for everyone on your holiday shopping list. Just click the "Redeem" button on a coupon and enter the coupon code at checkout to claim your discounts on great holiday presents.

How does NerdWallet differ from all the other coupon and sales alert sites?

We focus on the independent retailer and small businesses that may have a harder time competing for customers next to big name stores and department stores especially during the holidays. Artists who sell on Etsy can make their products shine with our user-friendly website that features fun Pinterest-style browsing is not flooded with advertisements. Shoppers can find the perfect gift that they are looking for while also finding great discounts to save the money and time. Furthermore, I care deeply about the success of the sellers in our community and work hard to promote all the shops and coupons on social media and news sites all day long.

What are the benefits from supporting indie shops, especially at holiday and gift giving time?

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 97% of all businesses are considered small businesses. Supporting indie artists and your local small businesses is crucial to improving the economy because small businesses have a big economic impact and enrich local communities. Shopping from indie shops, instead of helping big corporations get richer, you will feel good that you're helping people like you support their families and give back to the community which is especially important during the holiday season.

If a person has more than one shop, can they manage them under one NerdWallet account? Or must they make individual accounts -- and are multiple accounts by one person even allowed?

Yes, one person can manage coupons for multiple stores and each store will have it's own personal coupons page.

I see the focus of the site is in Etsy, and that two other sites/platforms/marketplaces (Art Fire and Big Cartel) are also listed. Are any other sales sites allowed? What about places such as eBay, and even individual shops using PayPal, etc.? Can sellers there use NerdWallet? If not, are there any plans to do so?

Yes, any online store on any platform can add coupons to our site. Etsy, ArtFire, and Big Cartel are the biggest handmade marketplaces. eBay stores and PayPal stores can sign up too although we currently do not have any eBay or PayPal stores sharing coupons in our coupon tool

There is mention of offering listings on the site's homepage, prime category listings, and other priority features; how do these work? Is there a fee for that?

If a seller adds a link to their store's coupons from their shop or website to promote their coupons, we offer additional features for free that help promote their stores. The seller's coupons will then be displayed on the homepage and at the top of category pages plus the seller can add product images and tags to their coupons to make their coupons stand out and draw customers to their shops. These are all great benefits to online indie retailers which we offer all for free.

Thank you, Rita, I'm off to give NerdWallet Shopping a try!

A Reminder At Wedding Season

Another tip from the "Women Who Make Sense" section of the Workbasket (June 1956 issue), this one about using the leftover materials from your wedding dress for making a matching miniature dress for a doll. Again, this was an idea for making money, but it's a cute keepsake idea for a bride.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Remember Grandma's Apron?

In 1963, Mollie Dowdle wrote this piece which sounds a lot like my post on aprons. It's kind of funny to read that in 1963 aprons were already becoming a thing of the past!

You can click the image below to read the larger scan. (As published in Kitchen-Klatter Magazine, May 1963.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brown Sugar Substitute

This vintage tip was found in Here’s How The Farm Weekly Serves You. (More info on the publication here.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Making Donut Animals

The following advice on getting children to play with their food is from How To Run A Successful Party: Party Ideas, Games, Fun, For Children & Grown Ups!, written by Elizabeth King (Fun Editor of Parents' Magazine), copyright 1945, Doughnut Corporation of America.(More from this vintage booklet here.)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How To Clean Black Out Of Aluminum Coffee Pots

If you collect or use aluminum kitchenalia, this tip from Good Ideas: An Interesting Collection Made By Eddy's may be of interest to you:

To clean inside, slice a lemon and put the slices in an aluminum coffee-pot with plenty of cold water. Let come to boil and keep boiling until the inside surface can be cleaned with a cloth and made to look like new.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mysterious Holes In Laundry

As published in the May 1961 issue of Good Housekeeping...

Of the many laundering problems that come may way, the most baffling are tiny holes in cotton clothing, sheets, pillowcases, and other items. They're usually notices soon after laundering and most often appear in white rather than in colored goods. When a number of pieces are affected, the matter is understandably distressing!

The Good Housekeeping Institute laundry laboratories have studied this problem through the years as readers have reported it. By examining representative damaged articles and by chemical tests and other means of laboratory detection, we've searched for the answer. While even with laboratory equipment it is difficult -- sometimes impossible -- to pinpoint the exact cause, there are several possibilities that merit exploration by any homemaker who discovers mysterious holes in a wash load.
The specifics are contained in the scan below, but note that the big three reasons listed are bleach, the washer and dryer, and "the great unknown".

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