December 11, 2009

A happy "How-To," just for you!

What if you could take all of the Grandma Helens, Nonni Roses, Nana Frans and Babcia Katerinas in the country, get them in one room (granted, a big room) and ask them to share their best homespun wit and wisdom? You'd have How To Sew a Button (And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew), a fabulous and witty compendium by author Erin Bried that spares you the logistical nightmare of the above mentioned Grand Grandmere Convention. She interviewed grandmas throughout the U.S. who shared their best advice and shortcuts on everything from how to wear red lipstick, to how to unclog a drain, to, well, how to sew a button!

Speaking of buttons, Erin happens to be cute as one. Click over to her YouTube channel to see her demonstrating how to fold a fitted sheet, which may have actually changed my life.

The book's official release date is December 15, so there will still be time for you to stock up for stocking stuffers. But guess what? You could win a copy right here! And to make it a little more fun/challenging/exciting than your average giveaway, leave a comment with your favorite piece of wit or wisdom that you learned from your grandma/mom/aunt. Author Erin Bried will pick her favorite from among the entries (oh yes, she will!). A copy of the book will be on its way to you, along with a few buttons from le grand sac I picked up at the Paris flea market so you'll be able to put that whole how to sew a button advice to good use.

You have until midnight Eastern on December 15 to leave your comment on this post. And, hey, maybe you'll even give Erin enough material for the sequel.

(P.S. Actually got the Christmas tree decorated last night. Phew! I'll have to see if Erin's book includes any "How to avoid procrastination" advice...)


modernemama said...

The juiciest fruit lies just out of reach - to encourage us to pick more!
And as I can't fold a towel correctly, let alone a fitted sheet, I am in dire need of this book.

Purple Flowers said...

My Grandmother passed this saying to my Mother: "When the trees dress, we undress. When the trees undress, we dress."

I can't iron a blouse properly, especially behind the neck (top of shoulders). I'd love to improve this skill.

kathy said...

A Dairy Queen run is a perfectly acceptable substance for dinner!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Sounds like a fun AND practical read, Laura!

Let's see... my grandmother's favorite quotes:

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Pretty is as pretty does.

And my personal favorite: Old people and babies are the only people that can get away with anything, and when I'm old, I plan to take full adavantage of that!

And she did! :-)

My mother always told me to give the bigger slice of cake to the other person, and company does as company pleases. I still try to adhere to these adages, and life is sweeter because of it.


Sheila :-)

Shellbelle said...

My mother taught me that if you rub a bit of cooking oil around the rim of your pot when boiling pasta it will not boil over.

I also have one I passed on to my 18-year-old granddaughter just last week. Score just the skin on a pomegranate in quarters and then break it apart in a large bowl of water. Gently scrape out the seeds with the flesh of your fingers. The seeds will fall to the bottom, while the skin and membranes all float to the top.

If I were the lucky winner, this book would go to my lovely granddaughter, who always listens patiently when her grandma passes on such tidbits.

Anonymous said...

Oh Laura, what a great post and give away! My Grammy taught me about the 8th wonder of the world -- vinegar -- and all it's uses; apply to sunburn to take the sting out, use it with newspaper to wash windows, use it to clean any appliance (washing machine, coffee maker) to name but a few.
Even if I don't win your giveaway, I will be purchasing this book.
Glad you got your tree decorated. I, on the other hand, still have 13 days.

Beach House Living said...

Will have to try that fitted sheet folding method.

Anonymous said...

My grandma used to have a little ditty she recited to me, "Whatever you are be that, whatever you do be true, straightforwardly act, be honest, in fact, be nobody else but you." Words to live by! Glad to see you got your tree finished. Maureen B.

susan said...

My grandma taught me that you're never too old to eat hot peppers straight out of the jar. And that knitting is fun, and button jars are a good habit to cultivate.

Linda@ Lime in the Coconut said...

...That real butter is where it's at..."what is in that oily, yellow stuff anyway?!"

looks like a cute book!

Anonymous said...

"Be" in the moment-truly put your all into it instead of longing for the past for future.

Save, organize, label and date things of great importance or sentimental value-it's a wealth to future generations.

Write love letters and keep those that you receive. Bundle them in twine-it's such a gift for those that come after you!

That book is sorely needed for those of us today-I can't WAIT to read it!!
Jen :)

Jean Martha said...

Love this book! ;)

Grandma Martha always insisted that you apply fresh lipstick before you go out, fluff your hair and do NOT entertain men who pursue you too aggressively. Shut them down and move on. Additionally, lavender looks lovely on everyone.

heidi said...

This is easy, since I already blogged about her: Mama taught me how to squeeze a nickle so tight, that the indian rides the buffalo.
And of course, to keep an aspirin between my knees, so I don't get pregnant :-)

Emily said...

I know that my advice isn't as fun as some of the others, but it's important to me. My mom always pressed the issue that you're never too old to come home again. As a 22nd year old with no direction in life, that means a great deal to me that she is always ready to welcome me back home.

Melody said...

My grandmother, Miss Prim the beauty pageant winner, taught me to keep a cocktail napkin wrapped around my glass at house parties. Stay sober enough to hold the glass and the napkin together, and use it to hide when your drink is low so you pace yourself without getting offers for more refills. Of course now everybody uses colored plastic cups, but she taught me this when I was in kindergarten. Nobody else in my family dared mention drinking until long after I'd started. I wish I'd had more time with her before her stroke. I sort of taught myself how to sew. But I know how to hide my drink from sailors.

Amy Sue Nathan said...

A little sand on an apple never hurt anyone.


Peg Brantley said...

Don't breathe in the scent of flowers too deeply. You never know when you'll get bee poop.

Sarah N Fisk said...

My favorite wit from my mom: Don't be an idiot (Yeah, she's a real softy).

She also taught me the best thing for a bad sunburn (we're all pale enough to pass for Cullens) is to sit in a bathtub full of Deft.

My paternal grandmother was still doing cartwheels in the back yard when she was 55.

My maternal grandmother always says: God made dirt and dirt don't hurt.

S. Bear Bergman said...

My Nana's favorite is: "Fortune favors the well-prepared." She says it whenever my brother or I attribute any part of our success to luck.

svelteSTUFF said...

"NEVER STAY HOME TO DO HOUSEWORK IF YOU GET A BETTER OFFER" - Those are words of Mom's that I will ALWAYS live by!! The book sounds like a good read for the cold winter ahead!!

Anonymous said...

"You can paint a hearse fire engine red, but that don't make it a fire engine."

I took this to mean that you can change the outward appearance of something, but it doesn't change the essential nature of that thing.

Caren said...

Looks like a really cute book. I love tips and tricks books!

The best advice I ever received from my mom was to read everything you can. It's served me well over the years. When others don't know where to go or what to do, I always do because I read signs, directions, all kinds of info that passes right by everyone else. Thanks Mommy!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

So enjoyed reading your blog....I am so happy to have a few hours to catch up on blogs...I am finally finished with trees. New pictures are up on the Christmas blog! then

read about a miracle and forward on to anyone that is feeling hopeless....Christmas is the season of miracles..

j.cro said...

This is kind of sad... I don't know if I have any tips from my Grandmothers - they both died when I was young - or too young to really appreciate any wisdom they would have had for me. However, my grandma Sid used to say, "If it's meant to be - it will be."

I do have Matty's Gram (she's turning 88 this year!) and the saying I always attribute to her is, "It's not for me to judge."
The best part is - she MEANS it. She's one of the most open, caring, giving and forgiving people I've ever had the privilege to know.

preppyplayer said...

mentioned you in my blog today, expect guests!

Joyce said...

I so need help in sewing buttons and folding fitted sheets. Trust me. xo

Rue said...

Hi there Laura!

I love this contest! So, I thought long and hard about the best piece of advice my mom or grandmother had ever given me. While both ladies have/had a lot of wisdom to give, I couldn't really think of anything until last night.

I was on the phone with my mom lamenting my wilted pointsettias and I asked her: "Mom, how often do you need to water pointsettias?" and her advice?

"Google it!"

Best advice from a mom? If you don't know something, know where to look for the answer! (And be techno-saavy).

Anonymous said...

my grandmama, who was born in 1913, always told me not to get married until i was at least 30 because "you don't have any kind of good idea who you are before then." one day, when i was 28, she asked me when i was going to get married. i told her i was following her advice. she said, "well then, i guess you'll do all right."

Kwana said...

What a fun book. Looks perfect to pass onto my daughter who just asked me about a quick sewing tack job.
Now something I learned from my grandmother? Well, when stirring batter you have to put your wrist and back into it. Yes, it should be some work. She is not a fan of the hand mixer. Oh, and bang out air bubbles. Thanks for letting me think of this.