Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Should A Husband Expect His Wife to Earn a Living When He is in Christian Ministry?

Faith, by Arthur Hughes. (1832-1915)

This is the subject today, which will be answered. You probably know some of the things I will say, and why.  It is a question that appears often on my search area.

As usual, this is my opinion based on experience,  observation, Bible study and the testimonies from other women.

Preachers of the past considered the ministry a career, just like any other job, and as such, made certain to raise sufficient funds in order to support their families and pay for their cost of the work they provided. As it was back then, preachers must have the money to provide for the house and the family.

As in any job in the self-employment category, be it a house-builder, private truck-driver, farmer, piano teacher, personal accountant or anything else, there are supplies and expenses involved. In addition to the family support, preachers  must have a working fund to provide the supplies they need.

If you marry a man who is already a preacher, he is probably supporting himself, and if he is not able to do that with preaching, he may have other jobs on the side. 

 The woman who marries into the ministry understands she will not be married to a very rich man, and adjusts as best she can when she believes she should be home and really wants to fulfill that role in a natural way. She knows beforehand of her husband's career choice and can make plans to adjust to it. When he begins his preaching career at the start of the marriage, it allows the family to mold to meet the financial challenges.

Painting by Victor Gabriel Gilbert, French 1847-1943

There is another problem, however, when a woman marries a man who has a regular job with a decent wage, and then later in the marriage he decides to give up secular employment for a lower pay job in ministry, or even a no-pay job in ministry. The family has adjusted to the income the husband provides, and when he becomes a minister, this changes drastically and can cause a lot of problems.

A decision like this should be weighed carefully if it puts the wife at risk of having to give up her home and children while she goes out to work full-time to support her husband. There is nothing in the Bible that says a woman should be the provider when her husband chooses to go into a low, or no-paying ministry.  Therefore, he has the duty to  make sure that he can raise or find a source of income, before he disturbs his home life by making the woman be the provider.

In a previous post I wrote, "Should Christian Husbands Send Their Wives to Work?" (the most popular post next to "How to Adjust a Sewing Pattern" (which amuses me even though the two are not really that far apart), it shows  scriptures such as Titus 2 and First Timothy 5:14 which give women at home the wonderful opportunity to be busy and pursue the important things of the home and family.  The posts tells why a man cannot contradict scripture to fulfill his own "calling" or ambition.

These days I have heard of all kinds of preposterous things being called ministry, such as  beating the drums in a band, ballet dancing, oil painting, singing performances and entertainment, all which require a substantial income to conduct full-time.

It is interesting how many times people will call something  a ministry while violating the very reason for the ministry. If the scriptures are our guide, then no ministry should be taken up in contradiction to other scriptures. I doubt you can find any of these talents being used as paid ministries in the Bible. Preachers were paid, and maybe Dorcas was given donations when she sewed for the poor (we do not know), but ministry was understood to be the preaching of the Gospel for the conversion of souls to Christ. Most of the new "ministries" I hear about are not like this at all, nor is anyone hardly persuaded to  obey the gospel.

The above list is quite a bit different from ministries like food distribution (Gleaners), providing housing and shelter (Shelters and local Missions) and feeding the homeless (Soup Kitchen).

The soup kitchens, shelters and gleaners are places where volunteers donate their time while keeping their regular jobs. Financial donations from people will pay for the food and shelter. Individuals or families  who want to minister full-time in them, will have a pension to live on or are supported by another job.  Homemakers sometimes contribute portions of their time to these ministries. These things do not require personal artistic talent or skill
as much as personal sacrifice, time, donation of products, or money.

On the other hand, a man who is in a music or entertainment ministry serves a different purpose that is not as desperate as described in the previous paragraph.  It is not even as desperate as the service a preacher provides. It is something else, completely. A music ministry, for example, fulfills the person with musical talent while sharing it with others. The only difference between someone who wants to do it for a church and someone who wants to do it for the public, is the way the money is earned. The one who does it for ministry expects to be supported on church funds, like a preacher does. 

Many preachers I know who serve small congregations raise their own support, by sending out a "support letter." They contact all their friends, fellow church members in other places, and relatives, and ask for monthly support to be sent. They raise this support in order to pay their bills and stay in the ministry, and allow their wives to continue to be full time homemakers.  This is a wise way to make provision for the family when a small church cannot fully provide a monthly salary.

If a man whose wife is home is insisting she "go to work" to support his ministry, he is not following the way  the prophets and apostles were supported. There is no evidence their wives became the breadwinners to enable their husbands to be ministry.  These preachers lived on the support of the congregations and individual Christians they ministered to and served. Although women could donate to the support of a preacher, there is nothing in scripture to show wives going to work so the husbands could preach.

Booker T. Washington, who began Tuskegee Institute (b.1856, d.1915) wrote that he was disappointed in the men who wanted to become preachers. He said too many of them were just doing it because they thought preachers lived an easier life and did not have to work. The preaching was harder because there was very little pay. The salary then had to be raised, which was another full-time job going around talking to people and soliciting their donations. After gathering support for a year, a man had to then go on another fund-raising tour to reinforce the previous support, a trip which took more time away from his ministry.  Booker T. Washington advised them to get some training in a skill so they could provide for themselves if they went into ministry.

Booker T. Washington

Today it is the same. When a preacher raises support, he can then devote time to  teaching, preaching, visitation,  weddings, funerals and such, but he has to take time out to revive his supporter's interest in supporting him. He has to send out newsletters of his progress in the local church . Sometimes his supporters will want to come and check him out, stay a few weeks and visit to discern his needs. 

This seems like a lot of trouble but in any self-employment, there is a certain amount of the same activity. The man who owns his own business will have to keep investors interested, erstwhile actually doing the job he likes.  It is certainly more trouble than having a secular job that guarantees a certain wage, which I think is brilliant and very Biblical.  But raising support or getting the local congregation to support a man in ministry is far more noble than insisting the wife provide the living so the husband can be a minister.  

If a man cannot provide for his own in ministry, he should wait until he is retired and has a pension to live on. If he  does not want to burden a small church  to provide him a salary, he should raise support. If he is working in a large church, he should insist on a normal wage if they can provide it, but he should not look at his wife as a resource for funds for the following reason:

*It puts more stress on the wife, which will bring more uneasiness and stress into the home.

*It turns the woman's focus away from the home and on to making money. At the end of the day, the real emotional support she should be giving to her husband and the praises and admiration he needs from her, will not always be available. Her emotions and her time will be "spent."

*It contradicts God's command for women in the church to be busy at home. (See Titus 2 and 1st Timothy 5:14. Also, look at New Testament examples where the evangelists worked as tent makers or other things to provide for themselves, or gathered money from churches for their travels.

*Instead of developing the soft, feminine personality that comes from being a relaxed and happy keeper at home, the wife who is sent to work against her will and against her religious convictions, may form a caustic, snappish, hard-edged personality, impatient with her family. Denied the leisurely time it takes to really manage a home with thought, and unable to concentrate on her housework, she may begin to hate the house and hate housework. As she goes to work each day and fights the world, she loses her femininity. In the previous post is a link to a radio broadcast where my guest explains how little attention can be paid to detail at home when there are other demands on a woman's time. She shares how going to work hampered her ability to care for her home in the way she really needed to.

*The husband cannot and should not hold his head up in society or in church or the family if he has required his wife to go to work outside the home to support him. Unless his back is broken or he has severe brain damage, he should not expect this.  God made a man to work and be a provider for several reasons. Some which I can think of are: It builds him as a man--increases his masculinity, and it gives him personal dignity. It also gives the wife a feeling of security and well-being so she can more naturally attend to home living  and giving the house a wonderful atmosphere.

*If he is in ministry but his wife is in business to support him financially, there is less chance she can have the time and energy to provide the social life and hospitality in her home that is so necessary for ministers. As a preacher's wife, I have always had to keep this in mind. Keeping the house ready to receive visitors is part of supporting your husband's ministry.  If you are out working, you will always be pressed for time, and your interest in having company will diminish.  

*A minister who sends his wife to work is contradicting the Word of God he claims to be ministering, in order to gain his position.  I do not even believe the wives should get jobs when the husbands are in preacher's colleges. If a man wants to go to college to study preaching, he should raise his support first, and then enroll.  A woman can be a housewife in every stage of life if she is determined to do that, but a man must support her role, as well.  As Mr. Knightly told Emma,  "I cannot have my happiness while destroying your Father's happiness," a man would be wise to realize he cannot fulfill his dream of being a minister while destroying his wife's dream of being a keeper at home.

*Regarding the lame excuse that being a "helpmate" means to help her husband by providing the money: This only applies in helping him to determine how to manage the money and wise ways to use it.  Too many ministers are using the helpmate-clause of the Bible as leverage to send their wives to work.

*Sending his wife to work may cause them to "lose" their children. Though they may grow up in the home, they suffer a spiritual and mental detachment from the values of their parents when a mother is not home because she is supporting the father's ministry.  A father in ministry is hard enough (he will often be absent from the home while helping others), but losing their mother from the home  during the most impressionable years is worse. When a man goes into ministry, he should make provision for the family and make sure it will not cause a lot of upheaval in family life or in the marriage.

It is different when the children are grown and the older couple decide to take the retirement and go into ministry. In this case, neither one of them will have to get a secular job, and both are free to aid the church without asking for money. However, men need to consider the consequences of sending their wives to work, whether for ministry or not. It can affect the woman so deeply that it will put her emotions off-kilter.  It can affect the children, as well. The bonds of the family are developed in the home, and these bonds are too casually broken when money becomes more important than the home life.

All that being said, the Bible states that a laborer is worthy of his hire, and that the ox should not be prevented from eating while treading out the grain.  A man in ministry should make sure he can get a living from it and not expect to provide it "for free" and then send his wife to work to provide for it.  The money should come from the church he serves or from personal support he has raised. He can use his own investments, or an income from a retirement fund, but he should not use his wife as a support source for a life he has chosen. She can support him in many other ways, through providing hospitality to others and spiritual encouragement to him.

While discussing the aforementioned reasons, an objection invariably arises that a man's profession should always be given priority. To that, I say that a man's family should come first, even before his business, but to the modern mind it is interpreted as saying he should quit work and stay home with his children. On the contrary, he should choose work and be able to support his family financially, but not choose a work that will destroy the loyalty and trust of his family. If he chooses a ministry and requires his wife to get a wage, his children will lose respect for him, and for her, as neither parent will have time for the children or the home.  Ministry has to be monitored carefully, too, so that  it does not absorb all of a man's time, and so that he will not "lose" his own children while trying to save the souls of others.

There are also the usual arguments about ministry being first;  in other words, a man's devotion to the Lord will always come before anything else, but obviously, if a man really loves the Lord and knows he will be accountable to Him all his life and at the end of it, he will take care of his family first and not use ministry as an excuse to quit earning a living. Your family is the greatest and most neglected mission field and your marriage and children are your first ministry.  If ministry harms the family, it is not really preaching the truth.

A man is not really serving God Biblically when he puts his wife in conflict with Titus 2 and the keepers at home scriptures. He is neglecting his most important ministry of providing for his family when he pressures his wife to get a job or spend a lot of time at home trying to make money. That does not mean she is totally forbidden to find ways to make money, but it must not become first in her life.

As the Bible says, two are better than one, and if you as a wife are being challenged and confused by a man who is using ministry as a reason to send you to work (or, in reality, a second job), then you need to make sure of some things before he goes in to ministry. A wife is supposed to be a good helpmate; that is, to be a helper to her husband. And to do so, you must become a good counselor and adviser and be able to see danger ahead, like the ship's captain's first mate. The first mate will not take over the ship unless the captain is gone, but he will help the captain succeed in his own job. A man's first job is to provide for his family.  You must insist he raise a family support fund and a working fund before he quits his job.  If he is already in ministry and pressuring  you to work, he should show you that he, too, is willing to go work at a second job to support his ministry. It is responsibility to replace his income with either a part-time job or raised support, and not depend on the wife being the provider.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Housewife Radio

Afternoon Tea by Paul Fischer, 1863-1934

Please note: there are two recordings so far, but the dates are wrong and we will try to fix it.

If you get a chance to listen to this (it is saved, so if you missed it live, you can still hear it) please leave a comment on this blog post!

Today, barring last-minute glitches we will hear (clearly rather than my previous muffled attempt) from a lovely lady who has a lot of great things to say about her experience of finally coming home and her personal response to the Titus 2 instructions to Christian women.  Let's remember that Titus 2 is also addressed in a large part to men, so read it it carefully for the details, which include young and old alike.

As per usual, ladies, please do not think you have to stop and listen to this. It  is designed for you to tune in when convenient, such as when you are folding clothes, doing routine things where you might need some music or appreciate someone talking to you. I remember  how much I enjoyed hearing my children read to me while I did some kind of house keeping. It paced me and I got a lot more done!

To the lady at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog, I am extremely honored by your posting of my Visitation video. Your blog brings me a lot of visits.  I am sure that subject deserves a lot more conversation.  My biggest problem is finding someone at home to visit, or getting someone to come and visit. I see a definite trend downhill on this, from former times.  While we all do our regular visits to institutions such as hospitals, etc, we need to find these neglected people who are at home who may also need visits. I know that places like children's homes, retirement centers, etc. have plenty of activity and regular visits, judging by the amount of people going in and out of those institutions, but what I see is an absence of home visitation, and not necessarily to the shut-ins, but to homemakers. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that so many home keepers have to be out of the home either working at a 2nd job or else running errands and doing a lot of necessary things elsewhere to keep the home running.This might be a good topic to discuss on radio sometime.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter Vacations

Hello Ladies,

It is easy to be vacation-minded in summer when everything is sunny and bright, but it seems more important to ease the cold and confinement of winter with a vacation from home.

This is one reason visiting is so good.  If you can find one other person who will allow you to visit, it is like a nice vacation.

It is a good idea to make provision for a winter vacation, because even travel to visit a friend does cost something. 

In summer when you are not paying so much for home heating, and when food is cheaper at the farmers markets, and you do not have to buy so many warm socks and mittens, you may be able to put aside something for that winter escape when it seems more confined at home.

An acquaintance of mine takes her sewing machine on a winter vacation and goes to a hotel where, unhindered by housework, happily stitches for several days. I realize most people here would not want to spend the money on that, but it may be possible to plan such a thing in other ways with other resources. 

This winter is taking its time with its visit so I am planning an escape  (at home) to the Empress Hotel. My guest rooms will be filled, and despite the sorry fact I could not locate any used Empress Hotel teacups at a fair price, we will just pretend. We are planning to dress up for a dress code in this fine place :-) and of course I am cutting out a special dress. 

There are other winter vacation ideas that will enable the lady at home to be refreshed to return to her duties with a renewed appreciation of home life.

*Shifting the furniture around is like having a new house. 

*Re-purposive rooms: I recently moved my sewinf to the kitchen for the winter. It is warmer there and not so isolated, and The kettle is more accessible. I fill the slow cooker and can quickly access anything the family needs for refreshments and meals. It is like a one-room house with everything at arms length.  

*Change an office into a guest room, or a bedroom into something else. I always wonder what it would be like to take a seldom used dining room (when people prefer to eat at the kitchen table) and turn it into a living roo, or office or something else. 

*Save the money you might not notice going out (on eating out, coffee, thrift stores, etc) and use it for the winter hotel vacation. I know someone who takes a winter break in her own town. Her whole family checks into a local B&B they like, every winter. I think this is a great idea. Also, there are very inexpensive  motels that have up-to-date furnishings and facilities thst cater to families. Children love this!

*Grandparents enjoy getting an extra room in winter for their children and grandchildren, at an in-between distance.

*Our parents ordered recreation kits like art, sewing, construction of small things, and food supplies from catalogs and then spaced out the projects throughout the most difficult months of winter. 

*Set aside supplies for your own home made creations. Get the berries you picked in the summer,most of the freezer and make jam, learn to make something every day and if you are not in the mood, make lists and make plans.  It is always an adventure.

The point is, careful consideration should be given to ensure the housewife has vacations throughout the winter. We do not need vacations from summer weather, but from the confinement and hardship of winter.  

If this is not possible, it is important to go somewhere locally a few minutes each day or whenever it is necessary.

Winter comes again this year, so get out a calendar and dream up some plans to intersperse those lonely, confined days with short vacations, visits and invented celebrations.

Summer has a vacation atmosphere even when staying home, but winter is really when we need vacations.

Empress Hotel teacup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Housewife Radio

At four pm Thursday ( northern hemisphere)  American Pacific Standard Time I hope to have a livestream broadcast. This will give me time to find a friend willing to call in.

If you did not get to listen to the live radio show, you can hear it recorded, here (I think)

Please let me know if the above link works!

Please do not think you have to take time out of your home keeping to listen. Housewife radio is designed to listen while you are occupied with other things.  I was told that Housewife Radio really works, because during a 15 minute broadcast someone was able to complete a few tasks.

The next one scheduled is Monday the 29th Feb. at 3 pm , and unless something unforeseen happens, I do have a caller lined up. If you want to hear one tomorrow, please contact me, and if you would like to be a guest, it would be very nice, especially if there are topics you like.

If you would like to be a guest, let me know.  

A Book Review for a Friend -- "The Long Way Home"

As life would have it, there is always, always something to do at home. Consequently, I have delayed unnecessarily a book review for a long-time European friend.  Some time ago she wanted to write an adventure, and in Barbara Cartland fashion, created a fictional galaxy-land for the tale she really wanted.

Do you remember when reading a book of fiction lifted you from life's heavy concerns and took you away to another place and time? The Long Way Home does that. It contains action, a bit of mystery and some romance.

Because I cannot sit still for very long, I did  not read this right away as I had intended, and I am sorry I did not publish this review sooner. 

If you are an American, you will be attracted to the British type characters of yesteryear; the kind that held the stiff upper lip in times of stress, and, do not forget the tea. We all love the Brits with this type of description, and this is exactly what Sanne Wijker has developed into her main character. Though the hero of the story lives quite sacrificially, he wants to save a few things: save his country, save his own neck, amd save his girl.

You can access her book here and read the publisher description. The author is an avid reader of a great many old books and has brought into this story some things that make the reader keep reading and wanting to know what happened. The only thing I did not like about reading this is, the sequel is not yet published!  

I know some people are not avid readers of other-Galaxy stories, but perhaps they may know others who would enjoy a book like this.

Belated congratulations for this young housewife's first novel!

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Political Candidate in Northern Ireland Needs Our Prayers

Dear Ladies,

The U.S. Election is a big deal all over the world, but smaller countries like Northern Ireland need relief from bad government, need religious freedom, as well. March the 2nd is a very important date for a county in Northern Ireland. It may not seem earth-shakingly  significant to us, but it is to their community, I hope you will pray for their March 2nd vote.

You have read in the Bible of good government and bad government, and seen how God's people rebuked or upheld princes and queens, magistrates and rulers throughout history.   

You also know of the historical interest I have in the Ulster-Scots, ( from reading the history of the Scots-Irish in Canada and the U.S.) of the Ulster plantation which began at the same time as Jamestown plantation in America.  My parents were from that hardy, independent, enterprising people, so I have come to admire what they were doing in America. I have an article about the Ulster-Scots on this blog.

Recently I have become aquatinted with one of these Ulsters, who, for lack of good men running for a local political position, has put her oar in. It has been hard for me to banish the notion of the historical Ulster men who forged westward and against all odds established homes and churches and businesses. Today, it seems they are weakened by the prevailing culture, just like our politicians.

I have not seen any traffic at Home Living from the country of Northern Ireland, so sadly, my little effort here to help Susan with the election on March 2 will go unnoticed by the people that are allowed to vote for her.  Mrs. White believes her candidacy may encourage qualified men to take their rightful place in government and surpass her own efforts.

However, you all have seen the way prayer can effect the outcome of an election, from local candidates to national ones. If you are inclined to, please pray for her and for a good outcome in the March 2 election, where she and her husband face intense opposition, threats and extreme press prejudice.

You cannot vote in that election, but you can PRAY. It is now just a short time until March the 2nd in Ulster.  I can't help thinking about the Northern Irish getting their ancestral gumption back and standing up for order and decency in government. We can pray and leave the outcome to God. Besides, the very fact she is a candidate has an effect on her people. 

She has also spoken out about negative effect of feminism on the family and the way it had harmed the ability of husbands to support their families without the wives going out to work.

Comment from Mrs. White:

There is no political Party in Northern Ireland that is articulating ALL of the principles I hold so dear. I reject all the Parties on the Left AND all the Parties on the liberal Right such as UKIP and the DUP. The TUV espouse some of the principles I stand for BUT not enough and those they share with me, they do not press home with vehemence, as I do. 

I do not expect to be “successful” in this election.

 “Successful” in the world’s eyes, that is, because God is not concerned about success. He requires faithfulness to His Word, and a principled stand irrespective of how popular or unpopular that makes me. God endorses me (and a few voters who can discern the times we live in) and that is all that matters. I came last in my first two election campaigns and I came second last in 2016. I may come last again in 2017 but one thing is sure, one day in the future (and I might have to wait for eternity to see it) the last shall be first (as the Bible says.) So let the world laugh. Soon He that sitteth in the heavens will laugh at them.


You asked about the forthcoming election in Northern Ireland. It will take place on 2nd March. I am a candidate for a position as a MLA which stands for Member of Legislative Assembly.  Northern Ireland is part of the UK but we have a devolved Assembly which meets at Stormont near Belfast (about 85-90 miles from our house.) Scotland and Wales also have devolved Legislative Parliaments but the difference with Northern Ireland is that ours is a mandatory coalition not a voluntary coalition which means that evil terrorists and their apologists are assured of places in the NI Government if they command enough support and have an electoral mandate.

Such people have no right to be in Government and many of them should be in prison but in NI evildoers (Sinn Fein, a front for the murderous IRA) were rewarded with places in Government by the cowardly  British Government, and the late Ian Paisley and his Party agreed to share power with Sinn Fein because they were so power-hungry themselves. In doing what they did, the DUP abandoned their previously held principles which dictated that they would never share power with evil terrorists and their apologists.

I will not win a seat in this election and I detest the corrupt regime in Stormont anyway. I stand for Biblical principles and because I want to give Christians someone to vote for, and if there was a man standing for all the principles I espouse, I would not be standing at all because I believe that men should be in authority, except in exceptional circumstances and we have exceptional circumstances in Northern Ireland because there are no men who are calling for the re-criminalising of adultery and homosexuality, which I am calling for in addition to many other hardline but necessary policies. My husband shares my views but does not feel able to speak publicly so he is happy to support me in my campaign. I do believe that God has given me the gift of communication skills and I am happy to use my gifts to serve God.  Susan-Anne White."

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Visitation: Video

At the Cottage Door by Henry Margetson (1861-1940)

Hello Ladies,

As I do not write or memorize or even edit my videos, please do not expect them to be professional. I figure if you were here at a class, I would not be precise or perfect in my presentation anyway. 

I have started Housewife Radio today but have not made a program yet. I will put a notification on a post if you want to tune in, and will indicate the date and time. At that time I will arrange to have ladies I know call in to discuss a chosen topic.

My subject today is "Visitation," because I have talked to several ladies who say that is one part of home-life that is really missing. I suppose the rushing about to do errands and business and essential shopping has cut in to the time that might have been used for leisurely, non-stressed visiting.

My parents visited people, not because my parents were all stressed out, lonely, or had problems, but because they knew it was good for the other person to be visited. Now that may sound awfully strange to young women today, and I can understand, because they may have never observed a visit. Gone are the days when people stopped by for pie or to just see you. 

It was not a case of feeling such a sense of importance that they thought other people would be overjoyed to see them, but it was a way of giving the other people a sense of well-being and a certain kind of grounding or feeling of being human. It showed them they were not slone nor would they be left alone or forgotten.

 I know the experience of long, dark winters, and as a child, longing to go visit someone. It was our way of getting away from our own concerns, too, and investing in the lives of others who may need us.

 We never tried to be imposing and we always were alert to the fact that the people we visited may have other plans, may already have visitors, were unable to see us, or were busy with something that needed attention.  Also, watching our parents interact in conversation help us figure out how to visit.

I was just thrilled the other day when someone phoned and asked if she could come and visit! But it began the day I sent her a note that said, "Please feel free to come visit any time."  In those days long ago, our parents could not give anyone a warning they would be visiting, but it did not matter because having people drop in was expected; it was part of life. 

 These days, you have to phone before a visit, because people are on the go all the time and you might not find them home if you make a cold call. Instead of letting people suffer by waiting for an invitation, I say, "Come by any time."  After that, it is their turn, and their decision. Now they can make the choice of a time to take me up on the offer. That way, in a sense, the Lord decides for me when to show hospitality.  I have not had much success with making invitations for a certain date, to have visitors. 

How does visiting differ from other forms of contact? Well I think if you would study all the things that go on during a visit, you will find that your eyesight, your mind, your hearing, and your feelings have an entirely different response. The day does not seem so overcast. You bring sunshine into someones life and gather all types of information from each other.

Jane Austen, whom so many ladies love to read, formed her novels by listening to conversations of visitors.  It is said she did not like to leave her home, but that she received visits and kept note of the words that were spoken, as well as the countenance of the visitors. There is so much more going on in visits that it is hard to analyze it all. A child sitting in the living room listening to the adults picks up on the "feeling" of the whole thing.

Of course I expect ladies will make visits worthwhile, discussing things that are good, pure, lovely, inspiring, sympathetic and encouraging.  They will hopefully refrain from criticism or vulgar talk, envy and other unpleasant things. The purpose of visiting is to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and avoid making it an unpleasant experience for others.  In the old days you would not be welcomed if you had been impolite or made anyone uneasy. Politics, religion and matters of the heart can be discussed if the people you are visiting are like-minded and if it does not frighten little children.

I do not know if anyone here is familiar with The English Home magazine. Although I do not have a subscription to it, I sometimes linger at the magazine section in a bookstore just to check out the back page where a Mrs. Minerva has a column on polite behavior.  This month she wrote about the art of choosing fabric. She mentioned how her husband disliked the task so much that she found it difficult to concentrate on choosing the fabric, so she allowed Mr. M.  to not accompany her inside  the fabric store again.  I think she may have simply left him home to do something he was more interested in. 

Since I mentioned on the video that a visitor came yesterday, I cannot resist telling you how that turned out. 

 My husband came in to see a table set for two, for tea, with gleaming tea pots, real china cups and little gold teaspoons surrounding a pile of delicate sandwiches, some salads and all kinds of fruit delicacies. The tea was steaming out of the spout and I was eager to pour the first fragrant cup!  As we sipped we would be enjoying some very good comversation about everything in the world.

 Mr. S. greeted my friend and lingered awhile as he asked about her husband and how everyone was doing in her neck-of-the-woods.  He was especially concerned about Mrs. W.'s spiritual growth and they discussed things like worship and Christian values. 

At length, I decided to serve the tea before it lost any degree of heat. As I poured, he and my visitor began talking about the Sasquatch.  I am not going to explain what that is. You can look it up on the web. 

 They talked and talked about the things each of them had heard, and what friends of theirs had seen, and so forth.  I am not exaggerating when I say the more they drank tea, the more they kept up a lively conversation about the Sasquatch and the myth surrounding it. 

I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the time. Would I be able to talk about fabric with my friend? Would there be time for her to show me her patterns she brought along, or talk about her family? Well, as it turned out, after the tea and sandwiches were good and gone, Mr. S. excused himself and went to his office. We did have a little time to ourselves, but we would have had a lot more fabric-talk time if the major part of her visit had not been used up on Sasquatch, whoever he or she is. 

 So, like Mrs. Minerva, I invited Mr. S. to make an appearance each time someone comes to tea, give the normal greetings and find out how their husbands are doing,  but then excuse himself to go back into his office and write a good sermon!  

 Of course ladies, please note I have said all this because it was so amusing, and this is tongue-in-cheek. I do not want to read all over the web that Mrs. Sherman was upset and kicked Mr. S. out of the tea party! You know how those false reporters are, and what a spin they put on everything.

  My family saw such humor in it all they suggested I buy the pastry called "bears claws" and invite people for a special Sasquatch Tea. I was telling a friend a church about this delightful visit but of course had to interject the Sasquatch conversation, and she said the same thing: at the next tea, serve cake with paw prints or tracks on it. 

find the recipe for bears claws

Mrs. W. I enjoyed your visit immensely, and this post was all in good fun! You can actually talk about anything you want, just so long as you sip tea with me again!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Art Posters That Should Be in the Stores I

Blowing Bubbles by Elizabeth Bouguereau

Hello Ladies,

A few years ago I wrote about the poster rack in department stores everywhere.  The posters are so popular with young girls who admire the young female pop stars.  It would be just as easy for these stores to sell posters like these, depicting young mothers interacting with their children.  These prints are available. I think the effect on young girls would be phenomenal. The themes, the historical sttings, the clothing and the parent-child activity has an impact on the heart. I can just imagine them turning the pages of the poster rack and admiring the babies, the clothes, the themes of these paintings. Like speech, art has a huge influence. 

The painting shows a very contented woman enjoying children while they all blow bubbles.

I wonder how Elizabeth Bouguereau painted the bubbles? 

This one is called Blowing Bubbles, painted by the husband and teacher of Elizabeth Gardiner Bouguereau. They both painted in almost identical ways. 

As you know, I am always interested in how these 19th century artists painted the way fabric looked. How did Bougeureau paint the t-shirt showing through the thin fabric? 

Do you not think this would be better for a young girl to have in her room than a poster of a current female pop singer? Posters like this can be ordered from Allposter and other places online, but it wpuld be a good thing and a good influence if shoppers could view them up close in stores, because it would touch the heart with a longing for the goid ways.
Admiration by William Adolphe Bouguereau.

Edmund Blair Leighton's model was his own wife, who also helped him with his props and sewed costumes.
On the Terrace by Edmund Blair Leighton

A Quiet Moment by Edmund Blair Leighton

Signing the register by Edmund B. Leighton

The Shell by Elizaberh Bougeureau.
I would like to find a pattern for that blue dress. 

Below: painting by Cecrope Barilli  . I have not found the name of it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Registered Users

Lady in Yellow by Charles Courtney Curran, 1893

An announcement:  I do not know how commentors on this blog are registered, but I have had the anonymous feature in place for those of you who had diffuculty posting.  It has brought a lot of advertizing spam to my inbox, and I also have to manually reject it as a comment, which takes a lot of time. Therefore I have changed the settings to "registered users."  There was a choice between registered users and Google users, but not both.  Please let me know if you are not able to comment.

I am hoping my next sewing project will be in yellow. My kitchen and several other rooms really went into disarray while I was sewing, so during my crises cleanup today my mind will be full of fabric and designs and ideas for the next sewing session.  

Your comments keep me interested in subject matter for this blog.

Please say hello in the comments to test if you can still post here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Blue Dress

Painting: Mother Reading by Lee Lufkin Kaula 1865-1957

Hello Dear Ladies,

While I was looking at paintings of ladies in light blue dresses, I thought how challenging it would be to try and sew some of the dresses, like the one in the above 19th century painting, and the one in "The Shell" by Bouguereau, seen on the left side of this blog. Both garments consist of a blue dress worn over a white blouse or dress. 

I finished the China Blue dress and jacket but the photos of me, wearing it, were very blurry, so after I have checked the settings and dressed up again in the blue outfit, I will add better photos to this post.

To describe this fabric would do it an injustice. It is cotton by Waverly, silky yet linen-like, as you can see the grains, and a dream to sew.  It comes in all colors, so just in case there is a shortage, I think I should get some more!

Here Is the dress without the jacket. It is composed of pieces from several old patterns, so I cannot show you the pattern. I plan to get more of this fabric and make another style, or two piece outfit from one pattern.  On the dress-form the skirt area looks slender but it is quite a full skirt. I was not able to drape it to show how big the skirt really is, but it is quite a swirly, twirly skirt.

Below is the pattern envelope of the jacket, printed in 2011. I have saved this pattern several years and finally got around to sewing it. It is not available in the stores anymore but you might find it online. 

The jacket is made of fleece, a synthetic, but I successfully sewed it with a machine needle for woven fabrics. In fact, it worked  better than a ball-point needle designed for knits.

You can see what I mean about the photos. I went to a lot of trouble to get dressed up for a photo shoot, and something was not quite right on my camera. All the pictures looked like this: 

Here are the hat ingredients.  I still have the purse cut out and a fascinator hat in the works and maybe a pair of fabric-covered shoes. If I finish them I will add pictures  to this post. 

This is not the clear, cornflower blue, but has a bit of aqua in it and is more a muted shate-- more dull than a previous light blue I have sewn. It hearkens to a color worn in the 1940's that I have seen. However I like it quite well.

Supplies and Costs: (From Walmart unless indicated otherwise)

Fabric - Waverly cotton, "China blue" 4 yards.  $3.00 per yard,  total $12.00
Thread - $3.00
Zipper - $3.00
Fleece - 2 yards for jacket and accessories - purse, hat, hair accessories, total $6.00
Ribbon - $1.00
Gloves - $7.00 from an antique shop
Fabric dye from Walmart -$1.50 per packet (see details below)
Shoes - $5.00 (I plan to cover in matching fabric)
Purse - left over fabric (to be shown later)
Time - I bought the ingredients before January 20 but have worked on it a few hours at a time since then. About 18 hours total. I see why stitchers charge such high prices, as it is time consuming and a lot of work.  One thing that will help, is choosing a very easy pattern with no zipper or buttons and very few or no tucks and darts.  I will sketch a pattern I once had, with no set- in sleeves and was very easy to make in all prints and colors.  It is not so much the pattern, but the fabric which makes the dress interesting.
Patterns: previously used.

I will try to include a water color sketch of the idea I had for this ensemble.

The photos were disappointing, but this one was redeemable enough to use. It does not really show all the aspects of the dress and accessories, for example, the sweeping circular fullness I added into the skirt area.  It is hard to catch a photographer when I need one, and it seems more difficult to get anyone to take a picture when we are away from home, even when we are all together, so even blurred photos are okay.  

The main point here is the color and the design. As you grow older, too many horizontal lines and changes in color and prints on the same garment, or extra trims, seem too fussy.  That is one reason I make dresses rather than separates. Separates, unless they match color and texture of fabric perfectly,  visually cut the figure in half, thicken the waist (with all those layers meeting at the middle), sometimes make the closet more complicated, and make it hard to decide what to wear with what.  A dress is a complete garment and can stand on its own.

I mentioned growing older, but I think you can still dress youthfully and wear things the younger ladies would also enjoy wearing.  I think we have to present ourselves in a good way to the young if we are to ever teach them about good principles of design, art and the dynamics of clothing in life.

What I am doing here is trying to keep a feminine look without cluttering the dress. I will wear this in church, sometimes even shopping, and at home with an apron.  I hope to make an apron to go-with and show how to match up the color with a print.  

I Will try to get the painting posted here later.

Did you notice the old gloves?

A whole roll of ribbon was looped back and forth, with the ends used to secure it in the middle. Then it was hot-glued to a metal clip. You have heard of "messy up-do's" and this is my new invention: a messy down-do!
Those of you who want to see recent posts and cannot see any updates on videos, please be sure to put your email in the subscribe section on the list to the left of this post. It is beneath the George Clausen  painting of the girls arranging roses, and says "Receive Home Living in your inbox."

The gloves were from a collection of gloves I have from Stan's Mum and antique stores. I bought this dye at Walmart craft and sewing section, and sprinkled a little of each color in a small bowl of hot water from the kettle. Then I dipped pieces of cheap white muslin in it until the color seemed to match the fabric of the dress.  Since I tore off the top of the pale green dye packet on the left, the title of the color is gone, so I can't tell you the color. 

In a future post I will demonstrate how to find the straight grain in fabric and determine the different qualities by pulling out a thread and seeing how long it is. This should never be done in a fabric shop, but at home with your own fabric. 

Sewing area: the headbands are for making fascinator hats, and I take ideas out of catalogs in the mail
You probably wonder how I can work in this mess. I organize it each time I get ready to sew. Those two pictures of pink dresses are from The Paragon catalogue you can get free in the mail. They are made with velvet and silk; fabrics I do not sew because of the extra time it takes. Cotton is more stable and the machine sews them with ease. I like the color and style of those dresses and will adapt them to sewing with cotton fabric.  You have to read carefully on the pattern envelope about the recommended type of fabric for a pattern because some fabrics are woven more loosely or firmly and the dress can end up not fitting well.
I found this McCalls pattern at the Walmart sewing area after I had already sewn the dress. It has the high neckline I was looking for. I will try it on the next dress. I think $5.00 is too much to pay for a pattern, but I keep missed ng the 99 cent sales at fabric stores.  

As for a recommended sewing machine: you just need a new one every so often, but not an expensive one with all the bells and whistles and fancy stitches. However if I ever got the opportunuty I would get a Jenome, which I think is made in Georgia or Alabama. I used one in someone's home and she said they do not break down or wear out.  However I suppose that depends upon the workout the stitcher is giving it. People say having a cat for a pet helps you feel calm, but I do not sit stiil very much and that would make a cat nervous. 

People say a certain sewing machine is best, but my use of it would not be average use and it would break down earlier.


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