I've been thinking about this particular post for awhile now. When I set out to blog and give you some more insight to the Daines & Daubney lifetsyle, this is one of the very first ideas I jotted down.
Many of you know that I named the store in honour of my two grandmothers. They were both strong, stubborn, and ambitious women that I admire endlessly. The store was given a Danish name for my paternal grandmother and a Scottish/Irish name for my maternal grandmother who passed just last October at the age of 94!
One of the staples I intended the store to carry right from the very start has been aprons. To me, they might be the quintessential accessory every home needs.
My Grandma Pedersen had dozens of threadbare aprons. They hung on a series of hooks behind the kitchen door out of sight and, when laundered, from the clothesline that spanned the length of her backyard.
Most were handmaid from scrap material. In the morning, she dressed and donned an apron before she even set out to make coffee - pour over style on the stove. She never once owned a coffee maker. I never saw her take her apron off throughout the day unless she was heading downtown or, at night, to bed. Sunrise to sunset, she wore an apron around the house.
As kids, whenever we helped with the dishes, (she also never once had a dishwasher) she absolutely insisted we wear an apron so as not to ruin our clothes. She had this habit of placing all knives (sharp and otherwise - even butter knives) on the edge of the sink rather than in the hot soapy water and cautioned us about the utensil incessantly for great fear we would cut ourselves. When helping to make sausage or baking bread, an apron was as essential as the ingredients.
I have to share this little excerpt I found about "Grandma's Apron" years ago. Author Unknown.
Doesn't that just give you all the feels?
So, I was certain that Daines & Daubney would carry an assortment of aprons. Pretty ones that could be hung as a decoration when not being used to bake dozens of cinnamon buns or a Thanksgiving Dinner.
My apron collection, here at the store, (I, of course, have quite the personal collection as well) started out rather ornate. Reminiscent of the 50's and 60's they were adorned with buttons, collars, ruffles, bows printed fabric, form fitting and in mostly pastel colours. Think I Love Lucy or Leave it to Beaver. An apron like this was often coordinated with a house dress at that time. Here's a little more about the history of aprons if you're feeling nostalgic (i.e. "The apron was the first thing girls learned to make in home economics class.").
We have had aprons for moms, grandmas, new brides, and the littles over the years.They make great Mother's Day, Christmas and Shower gifts.
This year, my apron collection isn't nearly as elaborate as previously described. Three options; a muted green, classic black and white ticking pattern, and a blue and white flour sack pattern - they are all straight and simple.
To show you all how pretty these are, I reached out to my friend Katie from Usually Sweet. She offers unbelievable custom order baking.
Her cinnamon buns are amazing. We gave them out to our visitors on the day we were able to reopen in May after the 8 week Covid closure. As if that day weren't special enough,sending our visitors home with a package of her delectable treats was such an added bonus.
Her preserves are to die for. And her sourdough is as much a treat for your eyes as it is for your appetite. Lately she has been preparing and staging edible centrepieces (a sourdough spread for a buffet style dinner - can you imagine anything dreamier?!?) as well as decadent, embellished cakes.
I'm going to be so bold to say that there is almost nothing she can't do! And with grace and opulence.
So, I'd like to introduce you all to the face behind Usually Sweet - Katie van.