The Book That Found Me

I come from a long line of… shall we say… Book hoarders.

We love books. I LOVE books!

My particular love is for books about history, fashion, and food. Sometimes history of food, sometimes history of fashion.

So you can imagine my surprise when a vintage cookbook seemed to have found me.

While I was home for Christmas I went to a local used bookshop with my mom. Of course the two of us ended up in the cookbook section. We can’t help it. I’m convinced it’s in our DNA.

While I was searching for the Les Halles cookbook and having a slight meltdown when I found a book on Truffles (the mushroom) in the candy section; I came across what appeared to be an old leather bound novel.

Thinking that yet again there was a book in the wrong section… I sat down on the floor prepared to rearrange the books and take the vintage book back to it’s proper home. The glass enclosed vintage book case.


I carefully pulled the book from it’s resting place between Ina Garten and a gluten free cookbook. The cover was so unusual. Shiny black and orange leather, slightly worn on the corners.

It felt different. It felt comfortable.

Like Alice, curiosity got the best of me and I fell down the rabbit hole.

The cookbook was published in 1931 for “The Household Magazine”. Having an affinity for all things vintage and food I started to flip through the pages.

The smell, the tiny bits of flour left in the bread section, and the notes clearly written on the pages by someone who used the book frequently gave me the most giddy feeling.

 I turned a page and picked up a note written on a calendar page in beautiful handwriting.


Monday Oct. 15th. 1951

“Bonnie’s Pumpkin Pie”

2 Eggs

1/2 can of pumpkin

1 1/2 cups milk

1 t. salt

1 cup sugar

1 t. cinnamon

3/4 t. nutmeg

1/4 each cloves and nutmeg

Expecting to find the rest of the instructions on the back I turned the page over.

What I found seemed to be a little more than a coincidence.

Sunday October 14th 1951.

“Home from Pullman”


Wait… what?!

Yes, the page said “home from Pullman”. For those that don’t know from previous posts, I’m currently living in Pullman, Washington. I attend Washington State University finishing my degree in Apparel Merchandising.

So imagine my surprise that I found the book 300 miles west of Pullman at one of my favorite used bookstores.

The coincidence was just too much… I took it as a sign and bought the book.

I like to think that like my collection of cookbooks passed down from my mother and grandmother, this book was looking for another owner to care for it.

And care for it I will. It has a home next to my other food books and a beautiful copy of “Alice in Wonderland” from 1920.

It will remain with me for the rest of my life. I think I might add to the notes hidden in the book and leave one about graduation day next spring 2016.

“Last day in Pullman. Happy Graduation day! Go Cougs! – May 2016

Who knows maybe it will find it’s way in to the hands of another coug some day.

I plan on making a trip to our archives at WSU to see what kind of information they can give me about life in Pullman in 1951!


New Furniture on a Budget part II

After I picked up these amazing chairs for about $100 on craigslist, the work really began. They obviously hadn’t been used in a while so I ended up not only having to rip off the existing fabric, but dispose of the foam, which had disintegrated in to powder. I then had to remove all of the staples holding it together with a pair of pliers, a flat head screwdriver and some serious elbow grease.

After all of that was removed I needed to sand off the existing paint and grime. These chairs were more then likely painted last in the 1940’s, and I didn’t want to take the chance of breathing in the dust from lead based paint. If you are ever doing a project like this err on the side of caution and wear protective latex gloves, protective eye wear, and a particle respirator. You will look a bit funny but it’s worth it to avoid illness.

Chairs in the midst of deconstruction.

Chairs in the midst of deconstruction.

Once each chairs were sanded down, vacuumed, and wiped down with paper towels I started to paint. I chose to use a great satin finish spray paint that works on all surfaces. Rust-oleum was the clear choice for me with the easy use trigger. Make sure that you put a tarp down under your drop cloth so you don’t end up with paint on the garage or drive way floor. Always use spray paint in a well ventilated area and wear your safety gear!

This will probably take a few coats, but make sure they dry completely in-between each coat. 











Once they are completely dry you can start to take care of the cushions.

We used soy foam to re-do the cushions. The best way to cut this stuff is with that electric carving knife you save for Thanksgiving and then forget to use! It’s nearly impossible to use a pair of scissors or a knife without serious injury, so either invest in an electric knife or have the yardage store cut the template for you.

I found that picking the fabric was one of the tricky parts for me. I know I have expensive taste on a budget that doesn’t allow for that… So I looked around at the local fabric store and found a style that I liked. Of course it was $60.00 per yard! Heart broken, I resolved to look for something less expensive. This quest eventually left me empty handed.

However, I eventually managed to get my hands on the original fabric that I loved for half the price due to an upholstery sale! I ordered several yards just in case I ever needed to re-cover a stained seat.  If you are crazy like me and decide to use white fabric… make sure to scotch guard it once you get your fabric shape cut out. Dark indigo blue jeans are NOT white upholstery friendly!

All in all, I now have a gorgeous set of dining room chairs that I love that cost me one quarter the price of buying something brand new.

Finished chair with Robert Allen fabric!

Finished chair with Robert Allen fabric!


Finished arm chair.