Vintage Notions Book Club: Gratitude • Amy Barickman

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Vintage Notions Book Club: Gratitude


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The month of November heralds the beginning of the Holiday Season. For most of us, this is a whirlwind of decorating, planning, gift purchasing, child entertaining and eating. It is both exhilarating and exhausting! It is a time of making memories and participating in traditions. It is also a time of gratitude. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it focuses on realizing what you have in your life and focusing on what you may take for granted in everyday life. For me, it is important to take a moment to take stock of my life and to be grateful for all I have; my family, my friends, my business and the every day things like freedom, food, clothing and a bed to sleep in. After all, although we take these “small” things for granted, there are plenty of people in this world who don’t have these little luxuries.

In the November chapter of Vintage Notions, Mary Brooks Pickens stresses reaching out and helping others in the article Be Grateful. Here is one of my favorite excerpts from the chapter.

Life is a pursuit of something which can never be found in the acquisition of money, the acquirement of position, or the consummation of some large enterprise. The secret is to be found in the knowledge that service for others is the one thing which brings constant pleasure and reacts upon the person rendering the service as helpfully as upon the one to whom the service is rendered.

pumpkinWith Thanksgiving only a week away I am looking forward to the time I will get to spend with my family. This year, I won’t be hosting Thanksgiving, instead, we will be traveling to my parents’ house. I am looking forward to the adventure of the trip and enjoying my mom’s wonderful cooking. My kids’ love Grandma’s house and the city of Des Moines offers wonderful “tourist attractions”. A visit to the East Village is high on my list! This year I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas ornament while we watch football and Kansas Jayhawks basketball (not sure if my father, son and husband will agree, but the girls will go along). We are making felt ornaments that are simple to sew by hand, or, if you have  some non-sewers, can be glued together. I want to share this ornament pattern with you, be sure to check it out below and download it.

sewing_departmentSince I know all the effort that goes into entertaining, taking a hostess gift to a gathering is a must in my book. In the November chapter of Vintage Notions, there is a Magic Pattern for a hostess apron, which takes little time and fabric to make. If you don’t have time to make an apron, what about a smaller project such as an ornament, embroidered tea towels, or koozies for the guests’ drinks? Even a bottle of wine can be special if you sew up a bag for it.

IJ898_1blue flowersThis ornament pattern is from IJ’s book Merry & Bright. I love making decorations with the family. Each year as we put out ornaments or garland we remember the time that we spent together making them. It makes decorating so special! To print the pdf pattern, simply click on the pattern/instructions image. The pdf will open and is ready to print.




I hope that you and your family have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. Teresa Jaye

    I like to make a french toast casserole on Wednesday evening to pop in the oven first thing Thanksgiving morning. We enjoy it with some nice hot coffee as we watch the parades on TV!

  2. Linda

    Since my mother’s death 3 1/2 years ago, my family and I have had Wednesday night dinner instead of Thanksgiving. It makes it easier on our daughters to visit inlaws on Thanksgiving Day and my husband and I have the day to relax.

    • Amy Barickman

      Hello Linda,
      That is a smart system! It gets tricky when the kids are grown up and in-laws are thrown in the mix. This sounds like it works out great for everyone. Enjoy your relaxing Thanksgiving!


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