Category Archives: Heirlooms

Apartment Apparatus :: The YARNerator

Today we dive into a new segment: Apartment Apparatus.

With my move back to the MidWest, I was finally able to get my first, very own solo apartment. What this really means is I was able to acquire more shtuff.

Don’t misunderstand – I loved living in Brooklyn. What sometimes impeded my love … was roommates. My last two years in NY, I lived in a loft with three dudes. Yes, I was the New Girl of the Bushwick J Train. While each roommate was great in their own way, there came a time when I needed my own space [and kitchen].

Much fun was, and still is, had mixing what I already had in NY, some new (/thrift) pieces, and much loved heirlooms from my grandmother. For my first Apartment Apparatus post, I am going to highlight the Yarnerator.

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My grandparents built their home in Western Springs, IL in 1950. When it came time to sell in 2012, my mother had the fortune of sifting through decades upon decades of treasure. Being that my mother had a full house, I was able pick and choose some of my favorite pieces for myself. For the last decade or so, one of my favorite pieces in my grandmother’s house was her 1950 GE refrigerator. I had to have it.

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This special refrigerator was running until the very last day. The freezer was a tiny box within the fridge and was a constant cube of ice. Both my parents pleaded with me to let it go, but I promised to un-friend them if they threw it out. It was saved in a storage unit among other treasures awaiting my return.

This September, I spent about two week scrubbing this beauty for I wasn’t going to run it, but store my precious yarn within it. Inside I used every kind of cleaner available, including bleach. Of course, as I was to store luxury fibers inside, I made sure to use the heaviest cleaners first and taper off in strength down to a water rinse so that nothing would harm my yarns. I soaked all removable parts in OxiClean which worked wonders.

As for the exterior, it had yellowed with age. As a shot in the dark, I bought a cleaner called “Bar Keepers Friend.” With some scrubbing power, the yellow seemed to magically melt away.

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Now this beauty sits in my living room – keeping people on their toes. This is the perfect solution for me. Not only is it a piece of family history and a retro industrial design gem, but it helps me keep my enticing yarn away from my crazy cats!

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Dipped to Perfection

baker_bSome of my friends have noted that my personal style (both in home and fashion) is sometimes stuck in the 1950s / 60s. This is not because of trend or simply a love of vintage – it’s an immersion in family history.

I grew up 1.7 miles from my grandmother’s home. They built the house in 1950 (ish) and Grandma never EVER threw anything away. Each nook and cranny of that house was a treasure trove. Last year, I found boxes jam-packed full of all the greeting cards her family had ever received.

Most of my [vintage] collection comes from this house – including the silver, Cat Eye glasses I often wear. They were originally worn by my great-grandmother.

One of my favorite treasures is the KitchenAid Mixer. Growing up, whenever we baked anything, we always used Grandma’s mixer (from the 1970s … or earlier). It now lives with me here in Brooklyn. I still use it for any and all mixing needs and it runs like a dream!

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One of the most frequent recipes to run through the mixer are Babycakes Gluten-Free, Vegan, Baked Donuts. BELIEVE me when I say, these are some of the MOST delicious desserts. Flavors from coconut oil & unsweetened applesauce give these baked treats the perfect taste. By baking (and not frying) these donuts, the results achieve an almost crunchy outside and a wonderfully cakey inside. I highly recommend both of Babycakes’ books in both content and design!

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They dip perfectly in chocolate!

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