A Visit and a Vintage Craft Stash


This week, I was lucky to be able to visit one of my longtime readers, known in the comments section here as MMHoney. She is a hoot.

Next time I visit her, I’m going to bring Georgia because I know they would enjoy meeting each other. When I am old, I want to be like Georgia and eat my jam with a spoon right out of the jar, and I want to be like MMHoney and shake my cane at people who come to see me.

That looks like so much fun, I want a cane RIGHT NOW!

MMHoney grew up on a farm not far from where I live. She can do it all and she is one of the grandmas and great-grandmas who did everything many of us are trying to learn now. After she left the farm, she worked and raised three children in the 1950s all by herself–and sent them all to college. She is someone to be admired for many reasons, not the least of which is that she is still, in her 80s, setting an example by being one of those little old ladies who is so much fun to be around. Can’t you just tell?

And she’s really feisty!

MMHoney is the one who sent me my Treasure Trove book. She was also an avid crafter in her day and she shared some of her craft stash with me during my visit. I had a lot of fun looking at the vintage craft patterns and ideas. Would you like to look at some of them, too?

She’s a serious craft stasher. I want to show you this bottle with the old crochet hooks. They kept them in cornstarch to keep them from rusting.

She sewed many aprons in her time.

This one is a half apron with cross stitch on gingham.

Check out the cute walnut mouse (and there’s walnuts!).

A crocheted vase.

Crocheted snowflakes.

Create a snowland!

A pig!

Or a butterfly!

How to make an ornament angel (out of tulle).

MMHoney showed me one she made. It’s gorgeous.


She also shared some old recipes with me. Toffee Orange Bars. That’s gotta be good.

This one is handwritten, so you know it’s true when it’s just called Real Good Rhubarb Pie.

I kept getting sidetracked on one thing or another, wanting to keep looking at it, and she’d take it away and say, “We have to move on!” And smack me on the head with her cane. (I’m just kidding about that last part! Maybe.)

She took me on a tour of her garden and to her cute little shed in the back where the ceiling was lined with traffic court summons. The teenagers in her neighborhood would always come over and tack up their traffic violations, as a sort of ritual.

Her place was the neighborhood hang-out. You know why, of course. She was the fun mom on the block. She was also once upon a time an avid gardener, and I made off with a cutting she’d rooted for me from her big blackberry bush.

I’ll be sharing more of her recipes and craft patterns soon (and in detail) for the holidays. Right now, I’m gonna go find me a cane. And then everybody better watch out!


  1. Diane says:

    She has her craft instructions in a book? I was so proud when I finally got my papers with instructions, images and inspirations into separate piles!

    She looks like a lot of fun. I’ll be looking forward to more of your visit.


    PS. You forgot to show us the toilet paper roll covers.

  2. jan~n~tn says:

    Oh yes, what a fun visit. It doesn’t even matter that she whacks people with her STICK, cause she was smiling all the while.

  3. Woodwife says:

    MMHoney you’re gorgeous! and you look pretty dangerous too :whip:

    My grandma made me a little pink crocheted basket similar to the vase up there. It was stiffened with sugar water. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, I don’t know what happened to it. I remember I used to lick it every once in a while :happyflower:

  4. Blessings says:

    Your post today reminded me that you may be interested in this blog posting of how to get a handwritten heirloom recipe printed on a towel or apron etc
    Seriously stop by and check it out!I’m considering having my Grandmothers popcorn ball recipe, that she handmade 100 each Halloween to hand out, printed onto a towel.
    P.S. this is not my blog nor am I affiliated with the printers…Just a very neat idea and wanted to share with ya’ll.

  5. Nancy in Iowa says:

    How old do I have to be before I can whack people with my cane and get away with it? 67 is coming up in a month, but I guess that’s still too young! I’ve avoided looking at craft blogs, but lately have been dreaming over yours – now that I’m a grandma I need a refresher course on knitting and crocheting!!

  6. glenda says:

    In 10 years, I hope I am her! I don’t want the cane though….coming too near that lately with a left wrist that was totally unusable for 7 days; finally a shot of cortisone and I am returning to normal.

    She would be a great neighbor.

  7. Sandy says:

    I’ve got a cane! Ok, I don’t really need it like she does, but I bought it at the flea market to use on my walks in the fields and woods. Sometimes there are things I want to poke at, but can’t find a stick. Sometimes the dogs get in my way – I don’t hit them, it is just there to show where my space begins. Sometimes I use it to help herd cows when I need to be wide enough to fill a gap. They don’t like that bright pink waving cane at all. And sometimes the music just needs a conductor. The cane can be very handy indeed.

  8. CindyP says:

    Very nice to meet you MMHoney 🙂 I’m thinking you’re a woman not to be reckoned with if you get upset, the cane is looking dangerous! LOL!

    It looks like you had a fun afternoon hanging out, Suzanne…look at all those patterns and recipes!

  9. Patrice says:

    I would have loved to be there with you! What a neat lady. I love crafts and anything having to do with food. It looks like you had a great time with her. I have a few older women in my life who are extraordinary. Regretfully, they are not kin. I see them as such good examples. BTW-the traffic citation ritual is so funny. There’s a book in this. I see people as such characters in this funny thing called life!

  10. Patrice says:

    I only want a cane one day, if I can have tap shoes and use it to dance! :dancingmonster:

  11. Tracey In Paradise,Pa. says:

    :happyflower: How lucky are you …You have Georgia and now MMHoney!! I am blessed with a Treasured AUNT NITA!!
    Hugs Granny Trace

  12. Vicki in So. CA says:

    Hi MMHoney! :wave:
    MMHoney seems like someone to hang out with for more than just one afternoon. I bet you are now inspired, Suzanne, to craft a bunch of awesome stuff.

    I collect snowflakes. I have ALL of those crocheted snowflakes. Times three! And other patterns as well. My mom made them for a little Christmas business our family had years ago. Our tree is filled with homemade ornaments.

    Did I see a recipe for Real Good Rhubarb Pie? Oh yummm! I hope you post that one. I haven’t had *real good* rhubarb pie since my grandma made it when I was little.

  13. Diane says:

    What a Gem MMHoney is!!! My mother in law crochet snowflakes and had them all over her tree. She sold them during the holidays also. Love the vintage crafts. Just makes me want to make a walnut mouse or that angle. So cute.

  14. Carol says:

    MMHONEY sounds like a very interesting lady. And I liked your idea of visiting with her and sharing it with us. Inspiration comes from all directions. Thanks Suzanne.

  15. Sue Nugent says:

    :snuggle: I don’t have natural children, and my 2 step daughters are not interested in these types of things that I,too,do, but that is why I like keeping my blog and publishing it into books. I am working on my third book, and hope,some day, folks will enjoy looking through my past as you are with MMHoney. She does seem like a joy to have close by, to share your common interests with.

  16. hawkswench says:

    I think I still have that pattern for the walnut mouse from the 70’s. Yeah I like to look at the old patterns too.

  17. judydee says:

    Yes please! More visits with this fascinating lady. If I lived closer I would face the waving cane with you.

  18. Judi says:

    oh my gosh! I think I have some of those same craft ideas in my stash…..some inherited from crafty aunts, some from estate sales and some from my own magazine snippings. Love it….but its scary to think there are so many moms and grandmoms out here snipping and saving and making…..we will survive – we are what life is made of

  19. Liz in Wis says:

    What fun that must have been!

  20. Miss Judy says:

    Yep, I ‘ve got most of those patterns. Not as organized, they’re here…and there, and everywhere.I came so close to buying a box of vintage craft magazines last Saturday (yard sale), Sadly I refrained. I made and sold so many of those walnut mice. A favorite Aunt saved the walnut shells for me.Now about the cane… It just doesn’t give the same character unless you really need it! lol

  21. Ramona Slocum says:

    I would really like the Toffee Orange Bars recipe.

  22. Laura Balzekas says:

    I desperately NEED the red apron with blue crosstitch. SO CUTE!!

  23. Becky says:

    What a great visit!
    I used to make those butterflies, wrap pipe cleaners around them for antennas and add magnets to the back, for refrigerator magnets. I taught my Mom to make them, too.

  24. Kat says:

    Looks like a fun lady! As a child, I had a pink dog that looked a lot Percival Pig that my sister and I called Toto. We even carried it around in a cute little basket just like Dorothy! I don’t remember the origin of that dog, but this makes me wonder if someone had crocheted it for us as a gift. Maybe mom will remember from all those years ago…

  25. Claudia says:

    I love all those crafty projects and recipes! MMHoney is an inspiration! :sun:

  26. Amber says:

    I love that apron cross stich idea, I could do that! :heart:

  27. rileysmom says:

    I bet you all had a ton of laughs!
    What a great friend you have. :hug:

  28. Susan M. says:

    Oh wow!!! That blue cross stitch is awesome! That is a great Christmas gift idea! What a wonderful visit that must have been!
    Thank you, MMHoney, for sharing such neat ideas with Suzanne.. And thank you, Suzanne, for sharing them with us ! I SO love CITR !!!

  29. Darlene in North Ga says:


    You can do the same thing for yourself.

    You will need a computer, printer, computer transfer paper, an Iron, surface to iron on, material or apron/towel/T-shirt.

    Wallyworld or another store sells transfer paper for the computer (it’s in the aisle with the other computer papers).

    Pick out the apron, towel, etc that you’d like to transfer the recipe to or the material that you want to make the towel, etc out of – that determines whether you need “light” or “dark” transfer paper (so the recipe will show up). I’d suggest a plain color rather than a patterned material. If you’re making the apron, you can make the bib plain and then make the skirt with calico, gingham, etc. Or make it plain and then use a patterned material for the trim.

    After you have the item or material, pick the appropriate transfer paper and head on home.

    Take the recipe you want to use and place it in your scanner. I’ll bet that if you don’t have a scanner, you can get someplace like Kinkos to transfer it and put it in a computer file for you to take home. Failing that, you probably have a friend with a scanner. Take a CD, DVD or thumb/flash drive to record the file on.

    Transfer the file to your computer. Once you have the image in a file on your computer, follow the transferring instructions on the transfer paper package. Print the image (in reverse!) and transfer it to the article or material. Then, you can finish the gift as you normally would by following the directions on whatever pattern you’re using to make the apron, etc. If it’s a pre-made item, it’s ready to wrap.

    You can make a LOT of items this way. You can print family photos, recipes, pictures of your pets, etc. and can make cute T-shirts, aprons, towels, and other crafts.

  30. Pat in Nebraska says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you both!!! 45-50 years ago my favorite school cafeteria item was toffee orange bars. We got them nearly every other week and I couldn’t get enough of ’em. When I was grown and thinking about recipes the cooks at school said they didn’t have that one, it had belonged to a cook who didn’t leave it with them when she’d retired. And to my sorrow she’d passed on. No one seemed to have any idea where that recipe could be found.

    Looking at the recipe card in your photos I’d just sure this will be exactly what I’ve been wanting these many years. My attempts at creating it myself have not been successful but I’ll make these up this week and revisit my childhood. I’ll even let my sister have a couple… maybe just one… or maybe she’ll have to wait until I make up a second pan full next week. I’m finally going to get my fill!

  31. Gini says:

    HA! Nice to meet you, MMHoney!

  32. Cousin Sheryl says:

    The cross stitch on the gingham is a craft called “Chicken Scratch.” We have a lady that teaches it to our kids at 4-H Camp. Very easy craft for anyone who is crafty. Also, easy for the “non” crafty people because the gingham checks are large and easy to see. These make really cute pillow tops, too. Do a search for “Chicken Scratch” and I will bet that you will find some ideas. Or just get out some graph paper and make your own!

  33. beth Brown says:

    I wish that MMHoney was my neighbor!! Thanks for sharing your visit.


  34. stacey says:

    what a lovely post she looks like a wonderful lady. i’m sure you had a blast. that quilt on the bed looks just gorgeous.

  35. Donna Kelly says:

    I make items in tatting, smocked dresses and Irish crochet.

  36. mamajhk says:

    When I started doing needlework my mom had me do cross stitch. Now that I have a 10 year old granddaughter that is interested in crafting I am starting her with cross stitch. I have some old patterns in my craft stash that are chicken scratch.

  37. mamajhk says:

    Thanks Blessings for the info on transferring using the computer. I have wanted to do it but have been too chicken to try.

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