I have been collecting vintage greeting cards for three or four years now, browsing antique shops, visiting stamp and postcard shows, and poring through boxes of old cards when the Cartophilic Society fair visits our local town. I love the vintage pictures of a bygone era, and the handwritten sentiments inside or on the back of the cards.
The oldest one I have, that is dated, is a Christmas postcard from 1907. Wonderful to see how the women are dressed!
I have a collection of Easter, birthday, Christmas, and New Year cards sent from a father, stationed in Italy during the Second World War, to his daughter back home in New Zealand. I think it is so lovely that his daughter kept the cards all these years.
Postcards were hugely popular in the early twentieth century, when improved printing technology meant that high-quality colour images could be mass-produced cheaply, and postcards were cheap to send. For a few years, postcards replaced the earlier, elaborate, Victorian-style Christmas cards. Sometimes the postcard would show a portrait of the sender, along with a festive greeting.
By the 1920s, the traditional folding Christmas card and envelope had returned.
I save a lot of my own cards that I receive and wonder if, one day, many years from now, future generations will look at them with fondness and feelings of nostalgia for a time gone by.
One of the things I love about summer is all the lovely berries that are around at this time of year. My favourites are raspberries and blueberries. I enjoy making raspberry jam, using the berries in puddings and muffins and cakes, or adding them to cereal for breakfast. I picked the first of our blueberries yesterday! We have two blueberry bushes, which usually provide us with enough berries for the summer, as well as some for the freezer.
One of my favourite recipes is one that Mum used to make when we were kids. She would bake all her own cakes and biscuits, and we would always have yummy things to eat when we got home from school. Although this recipe is made with raspberry jam, you can use any jam. Sometimes I make it with homemade plum jam, which is just as nice.
Raspberry Crumble Slice
2 teaspoons baking powder
70g caster sugar
150g butter or non-dairy spread
4 rounded tablespoons raspberry jam (or any other jam)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, then stir in the caster sugar. Rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and mix in lightly so the mixture is still crumbly. Divide the mixture in half and press half the mixture firmly into the base of a greased or baking paper-lined tin. Mix the cinnamon and jam together and spread over the base. Spread the rest of the crumbs over the jam, leaving the texture rough. Bake at 180ºC for half an hour. Cool in the tin, then cut into squares.
I recently discovered a range of newly released Holly Hobbie quilt fabrics at an online craft store, and I was immediately transported back to my childhood. Does anyone remember Holly Hobbie, the young girl with the patchwork dress, the blue bonnet and the brown boots? In the seventies, the Holly Hobbie character was made into a popular rag doll, as well as numerous other products. In 2006, Holly Hobbie was redesigned with a spin-off product line called Holly Hobbie and Friends. There were three new dolls released, and a movie with the back story that the new Holly was the great-granddaughter of the original Holly.
I made this small quilt using some of the new Holly Hobbie fabrics, just the right size for a doll’s quilt or a wall hanging. You could add extra panels or borders to make a lovely quilt for a little girl’s bed.