Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eva Hollyer (1865-1948)


Be sure to view the Eva Hollyer gallery today http://hollyer.org/gallery.aspx which has a slide show. You do not have to click anything. Just sit back and watch as the pictures change.

I discovered Eva Hollyer from a post card that I had framed and put on my mantel. I was adjusting it in the frame yesterday and noticed her signature printed quite clearly and went to the web out of curiosity and found more of her paintings. YOu can also learn more about her at these places

http://www.myartprints.co.uk/a/reigate-private-collectio.html

http://www.hollyer.info/cottage.php







Monday, October 15, 2007

Adding Interest to a Plain House

Garden Retreat I
Garden Retreat I
Art Print

Shipman, Barbara
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This is concerning those who live in plain houses with no architectural details, who would like to make them distinctly special. The intention of the articles on 19th century was certainly not to depress anyone who lived in a tract home or to make anyone feel they weren't in the right setting. Instead, we can use the elements that made these homes so homey and appealing, inside our own little houses.

The first thing that is perhaps the easiest is to add prints of good paintings. I was never so astonished as when I went to visit a studio in an architecture school. The students were working inside of places that were worse than jail cells. I wondered how in the world they could produce something good without the inspiration of beauty around them.

Romantic Pathway I
Romantic Pathway I
Framed Art Print

Brevard, Michel
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If I had free reign and money enough, I would allow each student to decorate their own studio using architectural salvage like columns and steps, arches, gates, fountains, roofs, gables and dormers. The steps could be drawers containing their supplies. The columns could be holders for tools, with real plants on top. The walls could be Trompe L'oeil, similar to murals (painting a scene on a wall) of gardens or houses or villages or old cities that had a lot of architectural interest. I would totally revamp each student's headquarters so that instead of thinking they were returning back to their slavery or back to the dust mounds, they would feel they had entered a world of of love and beauty and creativity. One studio compartment would contain a flat rock type of walk way as you see in some of these paintings, appearing to recede into the distance leading to the steps of a cheerful cottage. The door of the cottage could actually open to a seating area by the window, and of course, the interior would be decorated appropriately.The Well
The Well
Art Print

Warwick, Dwayne
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The paintings have stories in them or messages of peace and tranquility. A house without beauty can be really improved with such paintings on the walls. Now they are available at the same cost as a poster or a card, and framed quite inexpensively. There are even ways to mount them without traditional frames by a type of clip that has a fancy cord with a tassel to hang on a hook on the wall. Mural are wonderful and their themes can inspire the home owner to do more outside, adding a gate or a trellis or just a bench and a pot of flowers.
Garden Arch
Garden Arch
Art Print

Parks, Kenneth
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With paintings and posters of good art, a person can feel the joy of having a garden or living in the country even if they do not. This sort of thing, in my opinion, improves the home considerably. In choosing the kind of pictures you like, you can determine what colors appeal to you and why you like the painting. It has to make you smile, and in a way, speak to you. I like to feel something about a painting in all the senses: what does the picture make me think about? Is it reassuring and calming? Will I like it in a few years? Has it got the values that I love (home, family, beauty, children, domestic arts, etc.).


Another way to add interest in the house is with columns. Columns now are quite available, even in discount stores and can be used for any number of things: as a lampstand, a place to put a few books, an end table, or just a place to display something you value.

Paint is the best, easiest and cheapest way to change the look of a plain house. If you don't like it, you can re-paint it. Wallpapers are another way to make home a little less plain. Because it is expensive, sometimes you can decorate just one small area with one roll and it gives enough of a change.

Adding curtains made with interesting fabric purchased at a fabric store can also make a difference inside. Those kind of curtains generally give a softer and gentler look to the home, than the severely formal type of pleated drapes with those awful, sharp hooks and the pulley to open them. Those are also so extremely expensive that it explains why many people use sheets and blankets over their windows until they can afford something. The roller shades are very inexpensive compared to the Venetian blinds, and are more versatile. They can be trimmed in braided ropes and you can iron fabric on to them using a fusible web.

Little embellishments here and there take away the sharp edges of the modern house. Someone recently made me some gingerbread trim for the porch and two railings for the walk area so that it looks like a real entry. Inside, there are things that might not even occur to you that could add a more uplifting atmosphere; things like frames for pictures that are beautiful and colorful or just elegant, or the kind of accent cushions you choose for your home.

We really enjoyed a recent trip to the new TJ Max in our nearest city, where there is a big selection of beautiful things for the home. Some of it makes you feel you just stepped in to a beautiful walking garden or a garden cottage. Some of it inspires you just to have someone over for afternoon tea.

The point is, you do not have to have chosen a 19th century style house in order to be happy at home. I did describe in detail how some of the modern architects seemed to have deliberately made homes, public places and parks very inaccessible and undesirable for human life, but I also showed how many homemakers have thwarted this plan by painting their houses and adding trims and gardens and other embellishments. It is perhaps this plain-ness that has caused the demand in the market place for things like architectural type of decor and things to hang on the inside and outside of the house to make it feel like a real home where people want to be, instead of an institution.Blue Gate
Blue Gate
Limited Edition

Singley, Greg
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Many years ago I could not figure out why the houses we lived in gave me such a feeling of lostness. I was happy in every other respect, but some houses just seemed to make my stomach lurch or made me uneasy. I did a study about the effect of color and discovered some interesting things. Some colors are used in public places to get people to move through fast and not stay too long (such as fast food places), and some colors evoke a feeling of home. There are also things that evoke moods and feelings, such as shapes, which can be studied and adapted to the home.



These are all rather large ways to change things, but if you want to start small then I would suggest the following things:

candles in your favorite scent and color (you don't have to light them)
a special pen at your desk
a pretty tea cup
buying every day products in pretty containers--such as your tissue and your dry goods
opting for the prettiest if you have to choose something for your table or your house.

You can go through some of the shops listed on the side bar for some ideas of what people are doing to make their little houses look great.

I have seen several small dwellings with hardly any yard to speak of around them, that have been transformed by a woman's imagination and use of garden decor. Inside, they changed things so dramatically, using practically free things, that when I visited I was transported in such a way that I forgot I was in a neighborhood and thought I was in a dreamland. I really admire women who can do this, for everyone around them benefits from it. Across the scenery from my window I view someone's house and I intend to send her a card telling her how much I appreciate the things she had done to make my view better!

Blue Gate
Blue Gate
Limited Edition

Singley, Greg
Buy at AllPosters.com

New address

I changed the web address of Guard the HOme, to www.guardthehome.blogspot.com because I wanted it to match the title. You remember it was formerly savethehome.blogspot. I haven't figured out how to redirect people on blogger, so don't panic--it is still there, for those of you who like to go read it.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Older Women at Home




A request has been received, to explain the reason for older women to be guards and guides of the home, even without children to care for. It is sad that such a subject is even necessary to discuss, because for generations, women, whether they were single or childless, married or widowed, were protected from the pressures of earning a living, and the fathers, husbands, brothers and sons, proudly took their responsibility to be good providers and protectors of the family.




Women were allowed to stay home, and they wanted to do so. There was no pressure on them to exhaust themselves going to work day after day. It was understood that there was more than enough for them to do at home, and women knew they had to pass on their knowledge to the next generation or they would grow up without homemaking skills.

The women were then free to develop their talents in just about anything, from gardening to decorating. I had aunts who never had children, yet stayed home, and they were very active, doing many things for themselves and for others. Many older women who stay home just want to enjoy their later years in a peaceful atmosphere, taking part in their hobbies and their friendships. When older women go to work, they are not as able to share their talents with others. I always feel a loss when an older woman goes to work, for I know she will not be phoning or visiting during the week and she will be busier than ever on weekends, catching up with the things she was unable to do at home during the week.
Garden Table with Blue Chair
Garden Table with Blue Chair
Art Print

Stolerenko, Piotr
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One good reason to be at home, even when the children are grown, is to be available. If women would try staying at home, they could understand more clearly what it is like to be available to their families and friends and the church members. They will notice how often they are needed, and wonder what life would be like if they had not been there to rescue someone who forgot their keys, take a packed lunch to someone else, or have tea with a lonely neighbor. Once she goes to work outside the home, she loses her flexibility with her time. She cannot receive visitors or accept invitations of other ladies. She cannot go to her children's homes and help them when they are sick, or when they need her for encouragement.
Garden Pond
Garden Pond
Art Print

Mirkovich, Nenad
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Yet another good reason for older women to stay home is to preserve their health. They have more opportunity to get adequate rest when they manage their own schedule at home. At home, there is less chance to catch every single cold and sore throat that is going around the workplace.





Another reason to remain in her role at home is to teach the younger women.Young women will always benefit from visiting these older women who love their jobs at home. They will observe all the nice touches and the things that go into making a home feel like a home. There are a lot of books and publications that have homemaking instructions in them, or decorating ideas, but visiting someone who is an experienced homemaker, has a far greater influence.

Dappled Sun
Dappled Sun
Art Print

Lombardi, Roberto
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Older women being at home is a perfect way to pass on the values of marriage, home and family to younger women. Men and boys also learn from this example, and will understand the value of the women at home, when they marry. There is nothing more stabilizing than coming home to a house that has been occupied all day by a loving homemaker. The scents and sights; the feeling of it differs greatly from the house that is empty of its residents all day. The men who come from these homes are generally more happy in their business and in life and have less health problems themselves.


I know older women who use the opportunity now that their children are grown to do the following things:
-Finally get their yards and gardens the way they want them.
-Improve their house in some way, whether by painting or changing things around
-Write books and stories for their children and grandchildren
-Try new arts and crafts they have always wanted to attempt
-Start having classes in their homes to share their knowledge on various subjects from sewing to card making
-Spend more time with those who need a visit
-Enjoy viewing scenery and taking pictures
-Catch up on reading and correspondence
Finally, the church loses the people who keep much of the work going, when their older women go to work. Although I attend a church where only the men lead the public worship (preaching, song leading, public prayer, serving communion), the women do most of the work behind the scenes: teaching Bible to younger women and children, offering their homes for hospitality, providing lunches for funerals and weddings, contributing the flowers, writing letters and sending out invitations, and much more). Besides all this, they work hard at home making the home clean, neat and functional, so that the men in the family are more able to be the leaders they are supposed to be. When the older women leave home, the churches can seem silent and lonely, as there are no available women in the daytime to help others when needed. Worst of all, they will not be fulfilling their role of teaching the younger women to love their husbands, love their children and be keepers at home.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Art of the Home

Apples And Hydrangea
Apples And Hydrangea
Art Print

Chabrian, Deborah
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It is interesting to see art depicting the kitchen sink. I've written about pictures, posters, people's examples, and the things young girls are exposed to that form their opinions, in several other articles. Today after I saw this painting I was again struck with the thought that our posters for young women are giving them messages that send them in less than exalted directions. With the money that is spent on the posters that are popular these days, I wonder why parents couldn't afford at least one poster a month that had this beauty and the message of home and family in it.
Blue Stove
Blue Stove
Art Print

Kruskamp, Janet
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In my childhood, my mother's cast iron stove did not seem a thing of beauty to me, because it was a common appliance that we saw daily. Now, compared to modern stoves, I think of it wistfully. It certainly had more style and art on it than the many electric ranges I've worn out. I never thought at the time that artists would be painting nostalgic pictures of the cast iron stove.

There are many beautiful paintings depicting the home and the family, the center of life. How many great, classic works of art depict the office, dorm room, college classes, women working in factories, etc. or children in daycare?

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