Category Archives: Made in the U.S.A.

Made in the U.S.A. – ornament hooks

2012-12-20 08 (copy).18.50

We needed ornament hooks in December. It was so disappointing when I went to Wal-Mart and all of the ones there were made in… you guessed it: China.

So I thought I’d check out the paper clips and Bingo! Made in the U.S.A.

It just took a little bending and now I have good, strong, American made ornament hooks.

When I packed away the tree decorations this month, I put the hooks in the same can with them.

Next Christmas, I’ll know where they are.

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Filed under Christmas, Made in the U.S.A., Making Do, Thrift, Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart

Made in the U.S.A. – Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards 2012-5

This is a good time to buy Christmas cards for next year. I bought several boxes at Wal-Mart yesterday.

They’ll probably be reduced even further, but I wanted to choose mine while there was still a good selection.

I chose primarily Religious ones, because Christmas without Jesus is rather hollow.
Christmas Cards 2012-9 scaled

Christmas Cards 2012-10

Fantus and Paper Magic Group cards were both made in the U.S.A.

Christmas Cards 2012-6
Christmas Cards 2012-8

Some of them are a bit plain, so I plan to use Stickles (another made in the U.S. product) or some glitter and glue to gussy them up.

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Filed under Christmas, Ephemera, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift, Wal-Mart

Vintage Christmas Cards IX

This card was printed onto double folded paper and has an embossed edge framing the shepherd on the front. My guess is that it’s postwar 1940s.

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Filed under 1940s, Antiques/Vintage, Christmas, Ephemera, Faith, Made in the U.S.A., Scripture, Vintage Christmas Cards

Christmas gifts that make a difference

This has been going around on email, and despite my efforts to locate the author, I must leave it as anonymously written until I learn more.

Most of the ideas in it are quite good and are ones I’ve been thinking about lately, even before it was forwarded to me from a friend.

“Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plonking down the Benjamines on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine. THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.”

If I had written this, the last bit would’ve read:

“The birth of Jesus has nothing to do with any of this. Is He honored by all thoughtless, out-of-control spending?

We should bestow gifts that are meaningful and have integrity. Christmas never was intended to increase the strength and economy of a repressive, Communist government. China holds the note to an increasing mountain of American debt. They get stronger as the U.S. grows weaker. Neither our country nor our fellow countrymen are honored by feeding the Chinese coffers.”

You can make a difference this Christmas. Help your community keep jobs.

Please, buy American!

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Filed under America, Christmas, Current Events, Faith, Local Shopping, Made in the U.S.A., Shopping

Jane Austen Era Straw Bonnets

Fashion plate from Le Bon Genre, No. 28, "Atelier de Modistes"


“This charming plate depicts a milliner’s studio, ca. 1807, showing many fashionable hat styles. Note the straw poke bonnet on the girl in the pink gown, and lingerie cap on the girl to her right. A poke bonnet and a round straw bonnet rest on hatstands in the background. The girl on the extreme right is fashioning a turban on a wonderful milliner’s head; she wears a wonderful gold ornament in her hat. A wonderful “skimmer” is on the floor beside her chair.”

Wikipedia defines a Poke Bonnet as “a women’s bonnet (hat) in the shape of a hood, featuring a projecting rim on the front side, which would shade the face of the wearer.

The poke bonnet came into fashion at the beginning of the 19th century. It is called a poke bonnet because all of one’s hair could be poked inside it.”

Early 19th century Leghorn straw poke bonnet


Trim on this hat is turquoise silk ribbon. “The original lining is intact. Due to their large size and fragility, they were difficult to store so few survive. Dimensions 11″ end to brim horizontally, 9″ across the eyes, and 6 1/2″ brim edge to crown join. $800.00 – 1,200.”

…”straw poke bonnet of intricately woven bands of braided straw in an openwork design, similar to fashion plate No. 42 (above left). This hat retains its original silk lining and is trimmed with two sheer silk ribbons (original?). Dimensions 12″ back to front horizontally, 8″ width across the eyes, and approximately 11″ vertically from top to chin. There are several breaks in the straw edge. $400.00 – 800.00.”

Above left is wallpaper box (circa 1820). Value: $800.00 – 1,200.00.”

Now, that’s a great box (and I love old boxes), but twice the value of the hat??

Split straw bonnet, circa 1810.


This rare bonnet has “overlapping layers of straw, the fancy openwork, and long, slightly angled crown. The ribbons present are probably not original. The hand-stitching is clearly visible in the close-up. This bonnet came from Massachusetts. Dimensions: 14″ horizontally (side back to side front), approximately 8″ wide across the eyes, and 9” from top front to chin. $1,000 – 2,000.

The Kyoto Costume Institute’s wonderful book, Revolution in Fashion 1715 – 1815, pictures on page 99 a hat very similar to this one. It also resembles an early nineteenth century straw bonnet at the Rhode Island Historical Society, made by the famous Betsy Metcalf. In 1798, Betsy, at the age twelve, made what is believed to be the first documented American straw bonnet. She the ‘learned all who care to make bonnets,’ launching the American straw hatmaking industry.”

All photos and quotes in this post are from “Vintage Hats & Bonnets 1770-1970” by Susan Langley. These prices are only a guide and were set in 1998 when it was first published.

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Filed under 1800s, America, Antiques/Vintage, Books, Crafts, England, Fashion, Femininity, Hats, History, Jane Austen, Made in the U.S.A.

Floor Fan – Made in the U.S.A.

Circulating fans don’t really do much to cool off a room, but they make us feel cooler. Hence, you can have the air conditioner set one degree higher (not really more than that; I’m not a martyr to the green thing; I just want to be comfortable and still save money on our electric bill), but only when you’re in the room. If you’re going to be in another for awhile, or gone from the house, it makes sense to just turn it off.

If you need a floor fan (and who doesn’t this year?), may I suggest that you look at the boxes to see where they’re made?

This oscillating Lasko fan is one that we recently purchased from Lowe’s. It was $39.00 and best of all, made right here in the U.S.A.

Surprising to me is that I really like the remote control. It’s the first one we’ve had with a remote, and it’s quite handy when I’m sitting at the computer, or across the room and I’m either too warm or too cool. Also, there’s a timer on it, but I haven’t read the booklet to see how to use it.

I think it was the only American made fan on the shelf.

*Update Sept. 10, 2011: This is the easier fan to take apart and clean that I’ve ever had. The cage has little clips all around that quickly release, then easily snap back together after cleaning.

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Filed under Made in the U.S.A., Summer

First Aid products, Made in the U.S.A.

While looking through one of my newest vintage magazines (Ladies Home Journal, October 1942), I was struck – and saddened – by the advertisements for domestic and food products which were all made in America.

Things have degenerated so far that almost none of the domestic items (toasters, irons, etc.) are now made here. Many of the foods at the grocery are foreign, too.

I was shocked to see that most of the regular apple juice is Chinese, as well as lots of the garlic.

What’s more American than apples?

Remember Johnny Appleseed?!

What’s with these companies?

And garlic… how hard can it be to grow our own garlic? Do we really need to import it from half-way around the world?!

So, I’m renewing my efforts to find American grown and manufactured products.

A surprising place to find them is at the dollar store. I’m adding new entries under the Made in U.S.A. category on the right sidebar for the different dollar stores. Today I’m focusing on Dollar General.

While looking for items to put in a first aid kit, I came across these:


First, the band aids, adhesive bandages, sticking plaster or whatever you call them.


They didn’t have Bactine, so I bought this antiseptic spray.

There are American-made products out there – we just have to look for them!

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Filed under Dollar General, Made in the U.S.A., Thrift