Share-Day Post: Vintage Needlework Books Online

Kindred blogger! You all know my obsession with when researching a post and Rabbit Girl Crafts has assembled a collection of free resources for vintage patterns! Throw on a Netflix marathon and start crafting tonight!

Thanks to university libraries and dedicated individuals in the United States and around the world, it is possible to find hundreds of free, out-of-copyright needlework and embroidery books and patterns online. If you are interested in embroidery history or vintage patterns, here are some resources to get you started. Warning: You may get lost for […]

via Free Vintage Needlework Patterns Online — Rabbit Girl Crafts


Montgomery Tour of PEI

A perfect checklist for anyone head to Prince Edward Island!  I wish I had watched this prior to my bike trip so I could have gauged better what I had to see versus what I could wait on for the next trip.  We missed out on a few places simply due to our biking route but I did get to see the house she was born in by accident.

We were biking through New London along the road when I saw the sign coming up on the left. I managed to veer quickly and found myself yelling from the parking lot for everyone else to join me. It was the happy accidents during the trip that still remain the brightest memories.

Watching the video now while I’m writing is making me want to reread Maud by Melanie Fishbane (yea! for advance copies). If you haven’t per-ordered you still have time. Well the sun is finally back in Calgary so it’s time to make a cup of tea and find a sun beam on the porch (probably still with a blanket) and read Maud again.

Video Published on Mar 2, 2015
Soundtrack: “Anne’s Theme” by Hagood Hardy
All photos by Bernadeta Milewski

Heritage Theft on the Macneill Property


I was told this story by Jennie at the Macneill farm bookstore. If you haven’t been able to visit Green Gables think of your experience as broken into two parts. The Green Gables house is on a beautiful property with vegetable gardens and a barn similar to a farm found on Prince Edward Island in the late 1800’s.  What surprised me was the walking paths that allowed you to explore the ‘haunted woods’, the old school property, the local cemetery and across the road you’ll find the Macneill farm. It’s on this farm property that Maud spent half her life. The farm is still in the Macneill family to this day and they operate the bookstore and showcase the foundations of the original house. on the edge of their property. Jennie Macneill was at the bookstore the day I was visiting and it was such a surprise and special experience that I didn’t expect and could never have predicted. It was while she was showcasing some of the historic pieces in the bookstore that I found out about the theft.

I studied art history in University and looting of historic or artistic pieces happens for various reasons but the end result is usually the same. We will most likely never see this seal in the thief’s’ lifetime. It will probably remain hidden from the world until the thief or the collector, the thief sold it to, dies. Typically these pieces don’t come back from the black market until the next generation finds them and either returns them after immediately discovering the theft or sells them to a new owner. Sometimes this can take generations. There are still stories that emerge of paintings in museums that are found to be have been looted from European families during World War II.  These paintings could have been legitimately donated or purchased at auction but after years of displaying a historian or family member will stumble across the piece and a long legal battle ensues between the original owner and the museum. Its a very messy business with few victories. We however can help with sharing the story so when the piece does emerge on the legitimate stage again we can all be quick to point out it origin. The piece was stolen on May 31, 2013 and special attention is to be payed at auctions and antique shops in the Greater Toronto Area and Mississauga, Ontario or Winter Garden, Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando, Florida area according to  LM Montgomery Literary Society. Below is the print version of the CBC story and remember to click on the link to view the video.

“A piece of history from Anne of Green Gables’ author Lucy Maud Montgomery has gone missing from a P.E.I. museum.

A postal cancellation seal — which is a stamp that was used to seal letters and cancel postage — that Montgomery used during her lifetime has gone missing from her former home in Cavendish, P.E.I.

After holding a few teaching positions on P.E.I. following a brief stint at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Montgomery moved to Cavendish in 1898 to help her grandmother at the local post office. She worked there for 13 years.

The missing stamp was used in the community’s post office for nearly 200 years.

The item was kept in a bookshop at the Site of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home, which is now a museum and designated a Canadian National Historic Site.

Montgomery’s descendants, who now live and maintain the property where the author lived for more than 30 years, say they discovered the artifact was missing on Friday.

The family is waiting to make contact with the RCMP to provide them with further details.

Montgomery introduced readers to one of Canada’s most enduring fictional characters, Anne . The heartwarming story of the red-headed orphan with a penchant for trouble has gone on to sell hundreds of millions of copies and became the basis for numerous television, film and stage adaptations.”

photo from Night Owl City

DIY for Book Lovers

tinybookBuzzfeed is killing me on the DIY tiny book necklace!!  All the supplies are on Amazon but you could also  hunt them down across your local toy/miniature/jewelry  stores.  You’re going to need a tiny book (think dollhouse), a spacer bar and mod podge. The hardest part will be sizing down a book cover down to your dollhouse book dimensions.  Check out the link below for full instructions.


necklaceIn case DIY scares you but you NEED a book necklace in your life defiantly start checking around Etsy because there are some amazing artists.  I found the shop Tiddy Bits that will be receiving my next paycheck.



paperbooksIf you’re not into DIY jewelry have you thought about making your own book collection?  Ever After Miniatures shop on Etsy has these amazing paper books available via pdf download. You would put together the books and the case!  These pieces would also look amazing in shadow boxes or paired within a larger art exhibit.


bookplateIf you want to create something directly for your book though look no further then to Martha Stewart’s amazing tutorials! (When I have a bad day at work it’s her site I go to unwind and rediscover the happy)  She had some book plate templates that are necessary to my library. These would also make an amazing birthday/shower/Christmas presents.  She provides some beautiful downloadable templates and you can experiment with different papers colors. Just remember to use acid free glue when placing them in your books.

Of course the best part of crafting is experimenting and making it all your own! Don’t be scared and push yourself each time you create!  Contact me via Twitter or Instagram with your results!  @decidedlyread

The Postal Service & Lucy Maud Montgomery

When I visited Cavendish I came in only with the knowledge of PEI gleaned from the Anne series. It wasn’t until visiting the Macneill homestead that I learned of the connection between the post office and Maud.

For years on the island Charlottetown had the only post office. It’s hard to remember how difficult it would have been to deliver mail given the modes of transportation vs the seasons. Neighbors would assist one another by taking mail into Charlottetown if their family had need to visit the capitol the next family would treat their neighbors when they then needed to go into town.  The early history of the postal service was trying to accomplish what few governments could do; create order between cities, towns and even countries. I was shocked while researching when I stumbled upon an Act in 1860 that required the pre-purchase of proper postage. If you didn’t get that  stamp ahead of time your recipient would be charged and you would be fined as well.  Seems so clear now but back then the system was piecemeal and could be run on favors between neighbors, merchants and ship captains. It wasn’t until 1867 that Prince Edward Island would create three formal mail routes and  dot the island with 10 new post offices.Eventually when PEI would enter the Canadian Confederation had 168 post offices. The routes themselves though would remain relatively the same.

It’s interesting to see how the post office with it’s scraps of paper and privacy afforded Maud the opportunity to submit her scribbles away from the prying eyes of a close community. I found this video from the Canadian Museum of History’s YouTube page and it’s been a wonderful resource to click through the playlists and discover more about this great country. Enjoy!