Archive for March, 2007

The Long Neglected Blog

March 28, 2007

I can’t believe how the time flies. It seems like just this morning I was reading about the laundry process. Maybe you were perplexed about why I put that on my blog. Well, like I said, these things fascinate me. I think I have a lot of housework, but compared to those ladies of our past, my life is easy peasy. I simply can’t imagine the laundry taking a good part of the week. And then to do it all over again the next Monday. Props to our women of the past.

Well, we’ve begun a challenge among the three of us – Mike, Me and Shannon. To lose 10 lbs by sometime in April. Can’t remember the date but it’s a few weeks. We all want to lose weight come spring when we wear less clothes. Those few extra pounds really don’t show all that much underneath the sweat shirts and wool socks and flannel lined jeans.

Things are hoppin’ at Cotton Spice as we get ready to go to Spring Quilt Market the first week of May, and then to celebrate our First anniversary on the website for the month of June. We’re getting all kinds of prizes from Great companies to give out. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Monday we start homeschooling with Riley. I’m really looking forward to this, we’ve made great plans. We’re using the Charlotte Mason method of hs’ing, if you are, I’d love to hear from you.

Well, I better get back to work! I’ll try to be more diligent in writing… karen

The Housewifes Duties

March 16, 2007

I have always had a fascination with the duties of the housewife, homemaker, home keeper, whatever you want to call that person who takes care of the house. Maids and house servants are a different category, but their duties fascinate me as well.

When I was a girl, I wanted nothing more than to marry and have children. I wanted to have dinner on the table when hubby came home, I wanted to iron shirts (ok I still do that), sew and bake, garden and take care of my family. I didn’t have any great career aspirations. I’m still not quite sure how I ended up as a magazine editor! Evidently, this is what God has for me.

Anyway, reading this book about how things were done so many years ago captivates me, and makes me thankful again for modern convenience’s! Here’s another excerpt, still in the Laundry chapter –

74. Soaking.β€”It is advisable to soak white clothes for a few hours (some prefer over night), for soaking loosens the dirt, makes less rubbing necessary, and therefore saves both time and wear. A very simple way to soak white clothes is to cover them with warm water early in the morning. Then, when one is ready to go on with the washing, more hot water may be added to that already used and the clothes may be washed easily.

If clothes are to be soaked over night, use cold water rather than warm, because warm water expands the fibers of the fabric, brings the dirt to the surface, and then, during the night, cools and closes the fibers so that by morning the dirt is held very tightly in the fabric and is difficult to loosen again. (I have to say, I do appreciate knowing the reason for a rule!)

When clothes are soaked over night, soap the very soiled parts as they are put into the tub. Some persons roll the soaped articles, this plan being very satisfactory although it takes more time.

If you have only hard water to use, treat it by one of the methods suggested in Arts. 66, 67, and 68 before you attempt to soak clothes in it. Otherwise, a scum will form and settle on the clothes. Soap, of course, helps to prevent the forming of the scum.”

I have to add at this point, that I also love Spray and Wash!


A brand new love for my washer and dryer –

March 12, 2007

Remember my post about laundry? After reading the following I realized exactly why I love my washer and dryer so much.

An excerpt from Home Laundering and Dry Cleaning, The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. 1931, 1925 by Mary Brooks Picken


69. Laundry work may be done in a haphazard way and perchance turn out satisfactorily, but such a result must be considered more nearly a coincidence than a direct result. It cannot be relied on to happen every wash-day. Instead, it is the systematically done laundry work that can guarantee success. But this does not mean that superfluous time must be consumed in elaborate processes. The methods may be thorough and systematic and yet direct and expeditious.

70. Following is a program that has proved its worth as a guide through the various steps of laundry work. It is given first in outline form, and then in detail.


  1. Sort clothes.
  2. Mend tears that will grow in washing.
  3. Remove stains.
  4. Soak soiled clothes.
  5. Get equipment ready.


  1. Heat water.
  2. Make soap solution.
  3. Fill tub or washer and wash in succession (changing suds when necessary):
    • Table linen
    • Bed linen
    • Towels
    • Body linen
    • Handkerchiefs
    • Soaked clothes
  4. Boil by putting clothes in cold water and letting them slowly come to boiling point.
  5. Make starch.
  6. Look over articles, especially if a washer has been used, to see whether further rubbing is necessary.
  7. Rinse in 2 or 3 waters.
  8. Blue, dipping and wringing each piece separately.
  9. Starch clothes needing average stiffness, changing starch as often as necessary.
  10. Hang out pieces.
  11. Wash colored clothes, setting color, washing, rinsing 2 or 3 times, starching; and hang out to dry.
  12. Wash cotton stockings, rinse, and hang to dry.
  13. Take down clothes, piece by piece, fold and lay in the basket.
  14. Dampen and roll up.
  15. Wash any silk underwear, embroidery pieces, or colored clothes that must be ironed immediately, and iron. Also, wash flannels and wool or silk stockings.


  1. Do heavy starching.
  2. Step No. 15, under Tuesday, may be left until now, if desired.
  3. Iron.
  4. Air.
  5. Put away.

<karen again> Well, I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted. And that’s just the ORDER in which these things should be done. In the next few days, I’ll post information about how to do some of those things. Just so you can appreciate your washer and dryer a lot more.


New Quilt Tutorial Posted

March 9, 2007

Check the Tutorial page to learn how to cut bias strips!

June 2006 issue Quilt Picture

March 9, 2007


This was one of our first pictures for the magazine. We wanted a couple, who would be willing to share their first date with us. Doesn’t everybody want to do that? We thought so! πŸ™‚

Being fairly new to Joplin, and not knowing a lot of couples, or pre-couples who would be having a first date, we made one up.

This picture is of Chris, my stepson, and Blair, best friend to his sister Traci. They look cute together, so we begged them to pose for us. And not only pose, but act like they were having fun and the possibility of more dates existed.

We had a fun afternoon, trying out different poses, and different ideas. On the bench, off the bench. Eating grapes, or cheese, holding the wine glass, not holding the wine glass.

Who knew we were so smart? Later that summer, Chris and Blair got married! And have been blissfully happy ever since. We do expect them to name their firstborn after one of us, probably me. πŸ˜€

The picture turned out to be truthful – it was their first date!


Comment added 3-10-07: How’s this for Serendipity? last night Chris and Blair came over and told us they were expecting their first baby! πŸ™‚ sometime in October! yippeeeeee! πŸ™‚

I took a shower with a crocodile this morning…

March 5, 2007

No, really I did.


Ok, he was a very small crocodile and green, and quite plastic, so I don’t think I was ever in any danger. πŸ™‚

Now that Jack is here, he like to take bath’s with all his animal friends. A whale, a shark, the turtle, a frog and the crocodile. The crocodile missed getting picked up. We don’t care, but to finish your shower and out of the corner of your eye see this big green thing about 5″ from your feet can be a little startling! πŸ™‚ Well, it gave a nice adrenalin shot to get my day going!

I think we are finally on the way to good health again. Still blowing noses and coughing, but generally getting energy back and not feeling so sickly anymore. What a nasty cold that was.

Have you seen the new Cotton Spice chat group? We’d love to have you. Go to the Cotton Spice home page and join right there!

Gotta say, there’s not a lot of news here. Just working and enjoying life. Getting ready to go to Market in May, get the magazine ready nearly 3 weeks early, get everything ready for our booth… tons of work.

More later, Karen

Yes, still sick

March 2, 2007

I can’t believe how awful this cold is. I”m not sure it’s a cold, I think it’s the plague. It won’t go away. One minute I think I’m over it and feel fine and then someone pulls the plug and everything I have runs out and I think I’m a slug. I never knew one person could go through so many tissue boxes. We’ve bought so much cold medicine they might be watching our house.

Ok, now I’m tired and can’t think of one word to write. 😦 karen

Still sniffling

March 1, 2007

The cold is making its rounds, hitting each of us differently. Shannon had a sinus infection, I had ear aches and Mike has a chest thing. jack is over his cold, of course. Riley never got it. Twerp.

More later when I have more energy! karen