Saturday, 7 August 2010

Old is Good

While my Mum and I were going through her old photo albums (her growing up, her marriage to my Dad, that sort of thing), we stumbled across her Grandfather's old clothing ration book from 1947. I love things like this - the old, spidery handwriting of my Great-Grandfather, who I never met, the old print design, the lovely colours...

Inside were a number of different colour tokens, which I presume had varying value. My Great-Grandfather died in 1953, which explains why the book is almost full. I would imagine that for a lady of twenty-something, there would just be the outer case and ticket stubs!

I can't help but look at them and see patterns (I tend to have a bit of a thing for patterns, the notebook is constantly out in case I see a good'un in the clouds or suchlike), and wonder if there could be a possibility for some sort of crafty project. Maybe a pillow case? Or even a panel on a dress? Hmmm.

Look at all those colours, working together to create a lovely little mosaic. It makes me immeasurably happy, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be turned into something wonderful.

We also found this little postcard, which I think will be nice as part of a piece of artwork for a child's bedroom wall...

I'm not convinced the Bible quote will make it into the final cut, though, not that I have anything against it, but I just think the little picture speaks for itself.

In other news, the Carnation household is now under a self-enforced and very strict budget. We had one final spend up a couple of weeks ago, which included our last takeaway (fish and chips, nom nom), a gigantic Waitrose chocolate cake and strawberries, a little bundle of trimmings, and various fabrics found in vintage shops.

The turning point was after the wedding when we looked at our sad little savings account, suddenly all-but-empty, and also when I realised I was spending £60 a month on Starbucks. I know their coffee is Fairtrade, but still, that's excessive! So I got myself a little book to record all spending in, and every single purchase gets noted down on a daily basis. I like the entries that say, "Bus Fare - £3.80" and nothing else the most. The days which have "Food Shopping - £92" leave a rather bitter taste in the mouth, and as well as recording all our purchases, we are going to be looking at wastage (there is inevitably a large amount of vegetables thrown away each week - but not so this week, hurrah!) and how to cut our grocery bill. I find it quite exciting, the sort of 'back to basics' approach that people used during the war. I was already enjoying the challenge, but seeing my Great-Grandfather's clothing ration book really enforced what I was doing as being right. Hurrah for the old things!


  1. Good luck with your budgeting- I had to do the same a couple of years back and have never looked back (I too was a Starbucks addict in denial!) and it's amazing how much you can save when you really set you mind to it. xx

  2. I love the ration books. So great you still have them!