Monday, June 22, 2015



I was so delighted to receive so many email requests for my African violet care brochure that I mentioned in my previous post. It's been a hectic weekend getting the primitive quilts magazine that I edit ready for the printer, so I'm still catching up on my emails and will be contacting you shortly if I owe you a copy. I was cleaning out my library shelves this weekend and came across an extra copy of a vintage 1958 book on windowsill gardening that contains a chapter on growing these beauties. The book happens to be in my favorite color—pink! In the spirit of giving, I'm giving away this copy. If you'd like a chance to win it, just leave a comment on this post telling me what you like about African violets or leaving me a question you may have about them. I'll draw a random winner this Wednesday (June 24) at noon central time and announce her or him later that day. The winner will have until this Friday at noon central time to contact me and claim the book. If no one enters, I plan to donate this little treasure to my local library. I'd love for others to discover the joy of growing these plants, and vintage garden books are some of the best resources. They don't make them like they used to!

When we moved into our old Victorian home more than 10 years ago, I could hardly wait to stock the library, which was literally lined in bookshelves, with interesting tomes. Before I knew it, the shelves were overflowing—I guess all those empty shelves were just a little too tempting for two bookworms! We thought we'd never fill them. Little did we know that task would be much easier than we thought! But now that I'm getting older, I figure it's best to start scaling back on the collection. Hubby helped me cull more than 100 books (see below photo) from the shelves to donate to one of our local libraries. Some of the books were textbooks from my college days (It's hard for me to let go of the memories—I only kept a few from my journalism and psychology courses).

While I was on the organizing kick, I decided to clean out one of my dining room hutches and managed to part with about a third of it. Lots of china and linens. If you're local to Des Moines and see anything you want in the below photo, contact me before 6 p.m. my time today (Monday) as we're hauling it to Goodwill tonight.

All this cleaning didn't stop me from picking up a few quilt books at my friend Julie's occasional sale (Julie owned one of my favorite quilt shops, Prairie Star Quilts). I thought the quilt name encyclopedia book would be a good reference to have on hand for my job as editor of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, and the Toy and Miniature Sewing Machines book is filled with lots of vintage eye candy for someone like me who loves those little treasures. 

Julie was selling her stash of reproduction fabric for a song. Bundles were just $6! The last thing I need right now is more fabric, so I resisted the temptation for the most part and bought just one bundle of Jo Morton prints.

I did quickly snap up this vintage fabric cutter to add to my collection.

It sure works great for pinking my wool projects!

The weekend also found me checking out a thrift store my friend Vicki told me about and I snagged quite a deal on this brand new dress that had never been worn. It originally sold for $99 and I got it for $9. When I try clothes on, I usually snap a photo in the dreaded mirror, which always seems to make you look quite a bit worse than you actually do, and then take it home and ponder it for awhile. If I still like the looks of it a day later, I'll go back and get it.

Hubby and I also celebrated our anniversary. As those of you who know me well already know, I am a big fan of purses and bags. Hubby got me this Bosom Buddy bag that was on my wish list. Its ribbon is the perfect shade of pink to match my favorite wedges. You know a girl can never have too much pink—or at least that's what I think! Have a happy day, everyone.


  1. I'd love a chance to win the book, thank you. I've tried to grow violets for years but haven't had much success.
    Ann L.

  2. I received two violet plants as gifts when I was ill over ten years ago. I combined them into one container, and it still blooms every year. Aside from loving the pretty blooms, it reminds me of the love I felt from my family and friends when I needed it.

  3. I have always loved African Violets, they are such a bright spot in the dead of winter...and you are so good at growing them...

  4. Happy anniversary to you and your hubby, Kimber. The fabric cutter looks very interesting. I've never seen one of those before. I love the new dress! Have a great week! xx

  5. I love African Violents-not sure what I like most, their vibrant colors or the pretty vases to put them in. I don't have any right now however I have had several over the years. I have been looking for one in my favorite color: PINK of course. Love your new purse, shoes and dress. Thanks Kimber for the giveaway.

  6. Oh my I'd love to win this book - love all things vintage. Thanks for the chance.

    Also love African Violets because to me, when in bloom, they just look happy!

  7. The most wonderful thing about African Violets is that they seem to be the only houseplant that I can keep alive.

  8. What a fun fun post! I love your pink dress - I think I have the same one is shades of green flowers. Does it have crinoline? Super sweet bag - love the bee.
    I have grown african violets and love the old fashioned look of them and their furry leaves. Count me in on your give away.

  9. African violets are usually quite affordable, but I have trouble getting them to bloom again; and I've not had much success with cuttings, either. I'm definitely interested in your giveaway. Thanks!

  10. Love African violets, especially in the winter, but don't have good luck with them blooming again. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. They remind me of my grandmother. Love your new dress and handbag! Marilyn


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