Author Archives: Charity

About Charity

I have an inexcusable number of cookbooks (and like to experiment with them), have worked in architectural antiques, and have been sewing most of my life. I recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Apparel, Merchandising, & Design from Iowa State University. Doing household things (except for cleaning!) and hunting for antiques are my favorite pastimes.

Decorating with Antiques: Door Plates and Fashion Plates

Here’s a fun way to integrate a variety of small decor items — my friend Erin did this for me shortly after I moved into this house.  We have here some Eastlake hinges from the 1880s, antique monogrammed doorknobs, an … Continue reading

Posted in Antiquing Adventures, Decorating, Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide | Leave a comment

Donating Old Sewing Supplies

I was at my local Salvation Army the other day — they have the best prices in town for dresses, you know — and I wondered suddenly why I hadn’t seen any sewing patterns there.  So I asked.  The answer?  … Continue reading

Posted in Antiquing Adventures, Ruminating, Reminiscing, & Rambling | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Two Excellent & Easy Recipes for Macaroni and Cheese

Finding a good macaroni and cheese recipe became a little bit of an obsession while I was in college.  I finally got one — actually, I got two.  Today I wanted to share these two macaroni and cheese recipes with … Continue reading

Posted in In the Kitchen, Side Dishes | Leave a comment

Is Barbie an Unrealistic Menace? Evaluating Barbie in the Historic Context of the New Look

Barbie gets a bad rap these days.  She’s mocked for her body shape.  She’s translated into “real measurements” ad infinitum.  Mothers refuse to let their daughters play with Barbie because they might catch a “bad body image” from her.  Barbie … Continue reading

Posted in Ruminating, Reminiscing, & Rambling | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Create a Sewing Pattern Inventory Database

I am pleased to announce that, after hours of research and experimentation, I have finally found what I consider to be the perfect solution to my years-old question of “how do I organize my sewing patterns??” The quick answer: Evernote.  … Continue reading

Posted in How-To, Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide, Organization, The Lady's Workbasket | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Fabulous Finds and Life Lessons from an Estate Sale

The Sale My mom came to visit this weekend as a belated birthday present. Sewing/antique junkies that we are, we decided yesterday morning to head over to an antique store the next town over. As we were driving down the … Continue reading

Posted in Antiquing Adventures, Ruminating, Reminiscing, & Rambling | 2 Comments

The Best Black-Eyed Peas Recipe in the World

This is a ridiculous recipe (you know it is the instant you see “First Day . . . Second Day . . . Third Day”).  But it’s the very bestest recipe in the entire world for blackeyed peas. It’s from … Continue reading

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Styling a $2.99 Dress Eight Different Ways for Fall

Today I went to Salvation Army to try to find a birthday present for my husband.  I was not successful in that.  As usually happens, however, I found something else: a $2.99 Ann Taylor knit jersey dress. I’ve been dealing … Continue reading

Posted in How-To, Money-Saving Tips, Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Making Your Own Jeans — Not As Difficult As You Thought

I finished my first-ever custom made pair of jeans tonight! (They were finished enough to wear last weekend — pictured — but I hemmed them up a little more and added the rivets tonight.) Here are some tips, if you’re … Continue reading

Posted in The Lady's Workbasket | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Avoid All the Billionaires: A Guide to Discernment for Free Kindle Fiction

Since my husband gave me a Kindle for Christmas almost two years ago, I’ve maxed out most of the good freebie classics and have been reduced to browsing the Top 100 Free Bestsellers on  Sometimes, you find amazing stuff.  … Continue reading

Posted in How-To, Mrs. Armstead's Household Guide, Ruminating, Reminiscing, & Rambling | Leave a comment