Classic Style Using Authentic Treasures

It's all about living an AUTHENTIC life, being true to who we are and finding beauty and inspiration in our daily surroundings. Decorating our homes with found items and antique and vintage treasures, we create a personal ~ classic style ~ that defines who we are!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sharing an Article on the History of the American Feed Sack!

Sharing this article by Kris Driessen  from 


This is an informational page only.
The feedsack story starts in the early 1800's, when goods such as food staples, grain, seed, and animal feed were packed for transportation and storage in tins, boxes, and wooden barrels. This was not an ideal method of storage as tin would rust and the hand made boxes and barrels leaked and were damaged easily. They were bulky, heavy and difficult to transport. Manufacturers were anxious to find another method, but didn’t consider the cloth bags of homespun linen (which was then considered a junk fabric) used by the farmer to store goods for use in the home because the hand sewn seams wouldn’t hold up in heavy use. This changed in 1846 with the invention of the "stitching machine," which made it possible to sew double locking seams strong enough to hold the contents of a bag.
Feedbacks were initially made of heavy canvas, and were used to obtain flour, sugar, meal, grain, salt and feed from the mills. They were reusable, with the farmer bringing an empty sack stamped with his mark or brand to the mill to be filled. This changed when the North East mills began weaving inexpensive cotton fabric in the late 1800's. Feedsacks (or feedbags) were initially printed on plain white cloth and in sizes that corresponded to barrel sizes. For example, a one barrel bag held 196 pounds of flour. A 1/8 barrel bag only held 24 pounds. The brand name of the flour was simply printed on the side of the bag.
The thrifty farm wife quickly discovered that this cotton bag was a great source of utilitarian fabric to be used for dish cloths, diapers, nightgowns and other household uses. Manufacturers decided to take advantage of this and started offering sacks in various prints and solid colors as a marketing ploy to create loyalty. It would take three identical sacks to make a dress, for example, and the farmer just might be induced to buy more that way.
It was not hard for the farmer to purchase his goods in feedsacks. The flour industry consumed the largest share of the feedsack market with more than 42 percent. Sugar was next with 17 percent followed by feed, seeds, rice, and fertilizer. These feedsacks came in different sizes, and the quality of the cloth varied with the item it carried. Sugar sacks, for example, were much finer in weave. By 1914, sacks came in 10, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1 pound sizes, although these sizes varied by manufacturer. President Roosevelt standardized sizes in 1937. A 50 pound feedsack measured 34 x 38 inches. A 100 pound sack measured 39 x 46.
Cheater grandmother's flower garden quilt , plus a feedsack in the same print and coloring but a more coarse weave.  Click on the picture thumbnail to see this up close.
Magazines and pattern companies began to take notice of feedsack popularity and published patterns to take advantage of the feedsack prints. Matching fabric and even matching wrapping paper was available, too. (Above)  Directions were given for using the strings from feedsacks in knitting and crocheting. A 1942 estimate showed that three million women and children of all income levels were wearing print feedbag garments.
Feedsacks were used to make:
  • Clothes
  • Toys
  • Underwear 
  • Pillowcases 
  • Diapers 
  • Laundry bags 
  • Curtains 
  • Table cloths 
  • Towels, dish cloths  
Gone with the wind feedsack Gone with the wind feedsack.  Click on the thumbnail to see it up close Feedsack
Manufacturers began to compete with each other to provide attractive, useful bags. Some bags came ready for sewing with pre printed patterns for dolls or aprons. Others were specifically printed for pillow cases or curtains. Some sacks were printed as a series such as the 1935 Sea Island sugar doll series.
Many sacks had themes. Some of the more collectible sacks now are those with Walt Disney themes (Davy Crockett, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy), movie themes (Gone with the wind, above), Comic book themes (Buck Rogers) or nursery rhyme themes (BoPeep, Humpty Dumpty)
By1941 there were 31 textile mills that manufactured bag goods. Bemis Brothers (TN), Fulton Bag & Cotton Mills and Cottons Mills of Atlanta had their own textile mills. Percy Kent of Buffalo NY made the famous WWII feedsacks known as Kent’s Cloth of the United Nations which featured wartime symbols.  (Below)
WWII feedsack.  Click on the thumbnail to see it up close. 
After WWII, technological innovations provided more sanitary and effective packaging made of heavy paper and plastic containers. It was cost effective, too. A cotton bag cost 32 cents to make, as opposed to 10 cents for the paper bag. By 1948 this new industry cornered more than half of the bag market and the cloth bag fell out of use. But not entirely! Some Amish and Mennonite communities demand, and receive, their goods in feedsacks. 
The pictures on this page are examples of feedsacks.  They are not for sale.
 Feedsacks were once used to make laundry bags. Doing your laundry has come much further since then and we have many tools at our disposal such as a clothesline and a washboard. There are also many resources available that teach us how to clean our clothes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dr. Seuss - "Martha" Style!

God Bless my new business,
may it flourish and thrive,
give me the ability
in which to strive...

 For authentic old items
and fun funky junk,
keeping all sorts of treasures
stuffed in my trunk.

May bringing life to old pieces
and renewing their past,
bring joy to their owners
that will continue to last.

These special pieces,
from days gone by,
have so much to offer.
It isn’t a lie.

No reproductions,
no copy cat litter,
nothing so new,
needing a baby sitter!

No tacky cheap stuff
no cardboard or plastics
just quality items that are

Be the REAL you,
live an AUTHENTIC Life,
 find time to be grateful,
help others in strife.

Be mindful of each moment
and each given day,
God has plans for us all,
and will show us the way.

May those who read this,
be blessed beyond measure.
May you find joy in your life
and wonderful treasures!

Martha Passman
Authentica Classics
Repurposed, Refurbished and Items Resold
Grain Sack Pillows and More To Behold!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
- Dr. Seuss 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Copic Crazy!

I love art supplies! Colored Pencils, Water Color Markers, Pastels, big drawing pads of paper, special water color papers with softened edges....I could spend hours playing in an art supply store.  I also love scrap booking but unfortunately, I have more pictures and wonderful paper stored in drawers than I have in scrap books!

I read a post today that I thought was really interesting and wanted to share with case you have the same love as I!  COPIC MARKERS!  They are aren't new, but more home-grown types are using them for art projects!  I can't wait to check them out, they are alcohol based, which allows you to mix colors!!  Cool!  Enjoy!

I am sharing this blog from:

How to use copic markers tutorial 1 | how to buy copic markers

This is part 1 of a series of articles by Michelle Houghton on copic markers.
by Michelle Houghton
Do you have a drawer full of Copic markers because they are the latest craze? Have you been waiting to break them out, though, because you don’t know where to start?  Or maybe you haven’t invested yet because you’re not sure what the big deal is, or what to buy?

Let me share just a little bit about these markers to get you going.  The information is what I am gathering as I discover more about this fun tool myself.  I am not a certified instructor (yes they exist) but an enthusiast, and I enjoy sharing as I go. Copic markers have been around for a while, over 25 years in fact.  They were designed for artists and designers with their needs in mind.  Copic markers are filled with an alcohol-based dye ink.  The advantage to this is that it provides the capability for blending colors together without destroying your paper.  The pens are meant to be refilled with ink, and even the pen nubs or tips can be replaced as they wear out. What’s more, once dry, the alcohol ink is archival.

There are 4 different styles of Copic markers available right now but the one you will see most frequently used in the crafting industry is the Copic “sketch” marker.  These have a flat oval shape so they won’t roll off your table. They have two tips–a medium sized chisel for tight control and a brush-like tip.  You can find them at craft stores but they’re more easily found art supply stores.

If, after learning a little more, you decide you would like to invest here are two things you need to know.  The Copic Sketch markers currently have 334 colors to choose from and this number continues to grow. Before you buy, go to the Copic Library. Scroll down, find the color chart, and print it off to take with you whenever you go shopping. This way you can keep track of the pens you’ve purchased.  Also understand that the numbering system on the end of the pen tells you if the pens will blend well with each other.  

The whole magic to these pens is their ability to blend. HOWEVER, you need to use a combination of the right markers for that to work.  On the colored cap of each pen there will be a label with 1 or 2 letters and 1 to 4 numbers.  The letter(s) represent the color family that marker is part of.  The number(s), in laymen’s terms, represent how light or dark the pen is.  

The first number is how vibrant or bright the color is so a marker with the first number a 0 is going to be very bright while one starting with a 9 is going to be very dull or gray. The last digit tells you how light or dark that marker is within that set.  To get pens that will blend well together you want two pens that have the same letter and same first number, the last number should be within 2 or 3 numbers of each other.  You can also blend across color families but this is more complicated and an entirely different lesson.  You need at least 2 or 3 pens in a range to do color blending.

Copic markers are pricey.  You can find decent deals on the web or at sales but most people will find they have to buy only a few pens at a time and can slowly build a collection.  Try them out in a store before you buy if you can–or buy only two or three that will blend as a start so you can play with them before shelling out big bucks.

Learn how to use copic markers to their max in this class from Certified Copics Instructor Michelle Houghton. The materials are self-paced, but there is a support forum and gallery that Michelle checks daily. This class includes both art techniques for shading AND copic techniques for a class jampacked with information — as well as images to print and practice with.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Just Getting Started!

I have collected so many fun vintage and antique finds 
over the last few months.  

Here are a few shots of some of the "vintiques" 
I have already put in the booth.

Original Oil Painting by Ann Varner of Nashville, TN  1974

Wonderful Old Sears Lunch Box with 
Sta-Right Thermos and original cork.

Singer Sewing Machine...great for a book case or nook....1970's Williamsburg style wall clock, two 1940's year books from the University of Georgia, a vintage print of Stone Mountain; a wonderful framed Petite Point framed and matted; an old wicker, faded red stool and of course....Betty with the bow!

A great collection of antique and vintage dinner and decorative plates, including Montreux by Haviland Limoges; Homer Laughlin Royal Maroon and Lady Stratford, 
Spode and more!

An old cedar chest with copper hinges from the early 1900's made by Casewell Runyon; three vintage hand crafted bird houses; an antique fern stand with a great gray patina and a wonderful old heavy, gold leaf framed mirror!

Some vintage and modern day decorator fabrics; vintage rattan bar stool, old bamboo plant stand, cast iron candle sconce, a very old bird cage remnant; burlap, jute and hessian vintage and antique grain sack pillows.

Estate sale, vintage needle point pillow and 
Martha Washington style chair!

Here are a few of some of the American grain sack pillows:

This one sold on day three.....Yay!

This is a vintage, German laundry bag, hand embroidered with the owner's little red initials label.

Indian artwork on grain sacks is rare and collectible!

I am just getting started...
and have some fun ideas for merchandise and new pillows!
Several packages of antique French ticking are waiting in the many things to make!  :)

Don't forget, the Wild Flower Festival is this weekend 
in Dahlonega...stop by and visit my booth 
if you find your way here!

Live Authentically,