Snow Day Saturday

Last Saturday I was on deck to take care of Kelli’s kiddos.  She worked Friday night overnight and needed help with the kids on Saturday so I could sleep.  I typically help her out once a week.  Kayla was scheduled to come with Jasper and Spencer too…and I was supposed to have Kalissa’s boys for part of the day.

Earlier in the week I had told them all I wouldn’t be around until 8:30 am as I had plans to go to a bid vintage clean-out sale in the morning before they all arrived.

The Friday the weather report came in.  They had put us into a winter weather advisory saying we were to get 3-7″ of snow.  Well we all can drive in the snow being we are from Iowa, but we avoid it when possible.  I went to bed Friday night knowing I probably wasn’t going to the clean-out sale. Kalissa’s kids weren’t coming and Kelli and the kids were coming anyway as they didn’t have anywhere for the kids to go.

Kelli and the kids wouldn’t be here until 8:30 or 9 am so I decided I would sleep in.  I ended up waking at about 7 am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  BLAH.  So I got up, looked out the window and there was no snow.  WOW!  If I went immediately I could make it to the sale and be back before Kelli got to my house.  I scrambled and was out the door in 10 minutes.  As I was getting ready to back out of the garage my phone dinged.  It was Kelli and they weren’t coming.  Ok…that’s awesome.  I’d miss seeing everyone but I could really use a snow day!!  I was getting a snow day!!  All of my plans were canceled and I had the day to myself.  YAHOO!!

I ended up at the clean-out sale and got some goodies…

I collect Little Golden Books.  I actually have a pretty big collection but, I didn’t have these…


I was SUPER excited about the one below.  That one is one that my niece Jody and I loved and played with all of the time.


It’s funny.  I don’t remember the story but I totally remember the cover.

I bought this little bowl of trims.  It was $2.50 for everything you see including the metal bowl they are in.  So cute.

I love how the lace is wrapped around an old fashion clothes pin.


I might use a bit of the lace when I finish some of the cross-stitch pillows I make.  We’ll see.


I also picked up this runner.  See the big medallions?  I’ve been wanting to stitch the piece you see below to the left but haven’t stitched it yet as I’m looking for a crochet piece to attach at the bottom as the designer did.  I would rather do mine antique-y like the one with the initials BA so I’d have to likely coffee/tea dye it.  We’ll see.  It’s a little bigger than I thought so I’ll consult with my daughter Kayla and see what she thinks.


I picked these up for my brother Jim.  He is a baseball nut.


I bought this big box of safety pins for $4.50.  I will pass the pins to the gals that put together the pins for Lutheran World Relief baby kits.  Each kit requires to safety pins..or maybe 4.  I don’t remember.  Either way they will be appreciated by them.  I’m saving the box and will put it in my sewing room as decor.  I think I can make the cut in the box less noticeable.


I’m a sucker for wooden spools.  I don’t why.  So they came home with me too.

I bought the time cut and the heart jewelry box.  The cup will either stay here or I might attach a cross stitch to it or in it.  We’ll see.  For now, it’s just hanging out here.


I bought this frame for $1.  Again, I was thinking of using if for a cross-stitch finish.


I bought this old jewelry box…again possibly put a cross stitch finish in the center on the top.  I was a little more expensive than I typically pay but with the right piece, it would be perfect.  By the way, the key works!!  The other box, I couldn’t pass it up either.


I bought a stack of linens for a friend of mine.  Aren’t the ones of top so pretty?


I bought two quilt tops that will be for an auction in the future.


I bought these bundles of linens.  I could see that they were very stained.  I was mostly interested in the trim.  The bundles were only $2 each.

I ended up opening the packages and felt so sad.  Someone put a lot of work into these to dress them up…and what became of them, rags.  Originally I was going to just cut the trims off and toss the rest but now I have it in my head I should try to save them.  Does anyone have any good suggestions of something I could soak them in to get out the stains?  I would totally use them if I could get the stains out.


As I was leaving the sale, it had started to snow.  PERFECT TIMING.

I got home and got everything into the house.  As I was putting things away I kept taking a look at my bird feeders.  It was a busy day at the feeders.  Just then a cardinal landed and was eating.  I never get cardinals.  I went to grab my camera and there in his place was a blue jay.  I never get blue jays.  I got my camera ready and he flew away too.


Then a female cardinal came by…I decided to go out and some peanuts to the tray feeder.  I came back into the house, looked outside and the male cardinal came back again.  This time I got a picture of him.


I really enjoy the birds that come by…I’m so glad I got bird feeders.  I’ve only had them for about 9 months and don’t regret it a drop.

After the stuff from the sale was put away, I thought I would take advantage and go sew after all, it’s a snow day for me..but, my voice of reason jumped in.  I knew I would hate myself later if I didn’t write at least one blog post before I went to sew.  This is the blog post I wrote…and now it’s finished and I am going to go enjoy my snow day.  Even better news, I made a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup last night anticipating I’d have company today…so now I don’t even need to stop to cook myself meals.  So now my snow day has turned into a sewing day!!  YAHOO!!

It’s exactly the perfect day for me!!

42 thoughts on “Snow Day Saturday”

  1. Stain remover recipe:
    In a large pail filled with cold water,
    add 1 cup of powdered Cascade (dishwashing). Add 2 cups powdered Clorox (laundry). Stir. Add stained fabric and let sit for 3 days. Stir occasionally. Rinse well after 3 days in sink . Then wash in washing machine.
    I used it when my kids were little and it really did work. To my knowledge pods do not work. It has to be powder. Hope it works for you!

    1. 62 yrs antique dealer, specializing in vintage/ victorian linens. Quite warm H2O. TIDE WITH BLEACH,, powered. Soak days, I change water, new tide after 1 or severad days. Machine wash warm with powered Oxyclean. Look over, never dyr in dryer!!!, fold , spun out item. No time to iron ( on cotton/ linen setting), freeze ( yes , freeze), until such time you can do item justice. I have done this for years. Also use Murphys Oil soap, dab an appropriate amount on stains/spots, scrub , appropriate to type of fabric with a fingernail brush. Roll up, let sit 1 or 2 days, proceed as befoe, with any type of fabric. I’ve gotten Italian dressing out of silk blouses. Irioned damp, looked new! I’ve done thousands of linens in 62 years.

  2. Beryl in Owatonna

    I know how you enjoy the kids being there, but a day for Jo needs to happen once in while!!
    I love all of the goodies you found!! I trims and linens are so fun. I have heard of ways to get the stains out but can’t think of them right now. I’m sure someone will help you out.
    Stay warm the rest of this week! It is so very cold tonight and tomorrow.

  3. Try this for stains, it works especially well on old food based stains. Equal parts Dawn dishwashing liquid (original blue only), hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda. Make a thin paste and work it into the stain. Let sit for 15 min to an hour then rinse and wash as usual. I usually wash the linens first with Shout on the stain. Check to see if stain has lessened or been removed. Do not put stained items in the dryer! Heat will set the stain. If it didn’t come out use the Dawn mixture. The acid stains from tissue or cardboard are very difficult to remove and can weaken the fabric but the Dawn mix is great on old food/blood/mold stains. I’ve had some luck on the acid paper stains using a bar of FelsNaptha soap. I wet the stain and rub the bar directly on the stain. Rinse and see if stain is lightened, if so, keep scrubbing with the bar. I’ve been getting old stains out of linens for 40+ years and seldom have a problem that one of these methods won’t solve.

  4. What great finds and so cheap! I had a jewel box like the one with the key, I’m wondering whatever happened to it. I hope you had fun sewing and enjoying your snow day and the yummy soup!!

  5. I use Oxi Clean and soak for 19 hours in very hot water. Works great and I know it’s winter but if you can hang in sunshine it a lot of the times takes the stains out! You have some beautiful pieces!!

  6. Love feeding the birds! I feed sunflower seed and get anywhere from 10-12 every evening before sunset. I also feed suet for the woodpeckers. I would like to put up a finch feeder but we have too many sparrows!

  7. Kris in Naperville

    Martha Pullen, she is an antique clothing guru, seamstress and teacher… she uses a “biz bucket” … if you google Martha Pullen biz bucket … you can get the recipe and the instructions

  8. I use Biz stain and odor eliminator in powder form. You will need a tub to soak the linen in. It could take several days or even a week of soaking. Use water as warm as the linen can stand. Dissolve the biz in the water before putting the linen in. The first day you will probably need to change water several times. When the water is dirty change it. I’ve gotten stains worse than pictured. I’ve never ruined anything yet. Rinse well and air dry. I use a lot of old linens and all get soaked when I get them. I get biz at Walmart or Fareway.

  9. Martha Henrichs

    I cleaned old, yellowed damask napkins by mixing washing soda with water in a pot and boiling them. Lots of yellowing came out.

  10. I have used Retro Clean to whiten vintage linens with great results. I purchase it on Amazon. I soak them for at least a day or two. I found that it works the best to keep everything warm. So I put the linens in a bucket in hot water with the retro clean, then put the bucket in a cooler, and close the lid. To help keep really warm, I would also put hot water in the cooler, and then just change out the hot water in cooler 2 or 3 times a day, and just stir up the linens that are soaking.

  11. Jo, you can try the suggested remedies to get the stains out of the linens. If they don’t work, try resorting to OxiClean…just be sure to thoroughly disolve it in hot water before immersing them. You might have to do it more than once. I got some really bad stains from cardboard out of a rescued quilt top this way.

    Thanks for taking us along on your shopping trip. I love seeing what you find. So glad you had a good snow/sew day!

  12. Retro Clean is a vintage linen cleaner that really works. No affiliation. It’s a powder you mix with water then soak stained fabric for a day or so. It takes out those old age brown stains and other stains. I was very pleased when I used it on some old linens.

  13. I have pictures of relatives in the swing frames like the one that you bought. I need to look for some of those to use for samplers. It would be a nice grouping especially if I find a sampler that I can relate to the ancestors. All of your purchases are great.

    By the way, the revised format requires that I scroll back to the top of the post in order to click on “comments” and be able to comment or even read the comments. If I click on “comments”, I go to the bottom of the post and then have to scroll up to read the post. If you are seeing a drop off in comments, this might be a reason.

  14. A snow day for Jo, wonderful. Was meant to be, glad you got to the sale and found so many goodies, frames are lovely. Never see anything like that here.
    The Golden books brought back bittersweet memories. My late son had a great collection and he did read them, until a friend came by with her son. Boys playing in his room until Paul came down in tears (which never happenened!) – the visitor child had ripped covers off all the Golden books. Paul never read again. And said childs mother only said but they are only books.
    Some children huh.

  15. I would give them a good soak in Orvus. It works wonders. In my area, a number of antique dealers recommended it for cleaning linens. I haven’t had a stain that it couldn’t tackle. Admittedly, my experience is limited, but it has always worked for me. You can get it at some needlework shops, and in huge quantities at a saddlery.

  16. Hi Jo,
    Look up Kelly Cline Quilting on Facebook.. She is a long armer who specializes in working with vintage Quilts and linens. She has a recipe and process she uses to clean stained vintage linens. After she cleans them she spreads then out on the grass in the sun to dry. The chlorophyll in the grass helps with the sun to remove the stains. She has a short video on face book with her process. Very talented quilter. She saves many vintage quilt tops and linens.
    Sherry Shanahan

  17. I’ve heard that Retro Clean and a splash of ammonia works wonders on vintage linen and fabrics! Will wait to hear what you try and the results that you get!

  18. Walmart dry dishwasher detergent is great for whitening linens. Just buy their Great Value dry and dissolve in hot water. Maybe a cup per bucket. Let them soak for up to 3 days. Good luck.

  19. I love cardinals. They are very common in South Carolina, but they always make me happy when I see them. You have several good suggestions for stain removers. If all else fails, I have one more suggestion. Make a paste of water and Barkeeper’s friend. It’s a powdered cleaner in a container like Comet. . (Dont buy the cream version, just the dry version.) Cover the stains with the paste. The directions on the container will tell you how long to leave it. It’s a very short time like maybe 3-5 minutes. Keep checking it to see if they are gone. Rinse and repeat if needed. Don’t leave it on too long because it can create a hole in the fabric if you forget about it and leave it on…..I have been able to get stains out of clothes with this that bleach wouldn’t remove.

  20. I use Whinks for the really tough stains. It comes in a brown bottle. It’s also great for getting the gunk out of the bottom of vases that you can’t reach.

  21. Loved this post, thrifting is my favorite. Oxi Clean is my go to, and those pillowcases should definitely come clean. We also love feeding and watching the birds. We have a pair of cardinals that have been here for years. They disappeared for a couple of weeks and we got concerned, thankfully they are back! Enjoy!

  22. We get cardinals,blue jays,woodpeckers and finches. Of course all the others also! My husband really takes good care of them. He put feeders by my window and by the kitchen so I enjoy them. The neighbor cat was here and he guarded the feeders for awhile

  23. Thank you for sharing your adventure with us! I love going to these sales but rarely do – no room :-) You made some beautiful purchases!
    Love and prayers

  24. Diana in Des Moines

    I have a whole flock of cardinals in my back yard. We have a big blue spruce that they live in. Hubby wants to cut it down, but for now I won’t let him. lol Last week when we had that big snow, I had 6 male cardinals at my feeders. We have a big pin oak and they flew back and forth from the tree to the feeders. They were so east to see against the snow on the branches. My grands were fascinated and they were so beautiful.
    Love your lace finds. I hit up the antique mall by my house and look for linens and lace. I have taken a pillow case that was badly stained, cut off the lace about 12 inches up, put a casing on the top and have a nice valance for my small bathroom window.
    Cold in Des Moines today, so I imagine even colder at your house. Staying warm in my sewing room while I wait for my American Patchwork and Quilting mag to come.

  25. Hi jo. I love your blog and I want to comment on the new format. I can’t find the HOME button. I’ve been reading you on my I pad and phone because I’m on vacation but I got behind and couldn’t go to home.

    Good luck getting the stains out. I hope you follow you and Jerry is know which method worked

    1. Hi Chris. I still see the home button. Also if you click the part that says “Jo’s Country Junction” in the top banner, that is also a “home button”.

      1. The product that has never failed me is Restoration. You can order it from Englesideproducts.com.
        I had a piece of yellowed hardanger that Mom and Grandma Johnson had made that I wanted to give to Aunt Agnes. I soaked it per the instructions and it was beautiful! I gave it to Agnes at a lutefisk dinner she and your dad went to, and she loved it.

  26. What wonderful finds, those vintage laces will be perfect on your stitchery. Lucky you to find yourself with the full day off, snow days are nice even when we are adults. Its been cold in TN (lots of ice) but my daffodils are about to bloom, so spring is on its way.

  27. Grew up in western Iowa and lived there, off and on, as an adult. To my way of thinking, the ONLY good thing about winter in Iowa is “snow day,” which can easily become snow week! Anytime I am “forced” to stay home, piece, quilt, and read are the best days! Wish I could offer advice on stain removal. My mom could get any stain out of any thing. Me, not so much.

  28. Jo, I’ve had great luck with OxyClean when I needed to remove stains from some of my grandmother’s linens. Hope it helps!

  29. I am still unable to receive your posts automatically, no matter how many times I sign up. Lots of options to try to get the stains out of your linens. I have notated several to try for my own vintage linens. You find the best sales! Good luck with the stains.
    I wanted to share an audiobook I just listened to. It’s called The London House by Katherine Reay. It is set in WWII era and I was very drawn in by the story and thought of you. I listened to it on YT. Give it a listen!

  30. I used a couple drops of dawn (original) in a bathtub full of hot water and let the quilt soak for 12 hours. This removed a red fabric running into white. And it worked so maybe it would do the trick on stains??

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