Hello Dear Ladies,
Part one of this subject deals simply with getting started in your day. There are so many things that need to be done, it can pull your mind every which way and you may not know where to begin! That is why getting your appearance prepared as if you were going to do something important.
Some people dig mechanically in to jobs at home as though nothing else mattered, but there is a technique that helps you get in the mood and put your heart into it. Homemaking is not the same as industrial work and cannot be approached in a cold way.
Get dressed: Getting dressed up and having a cheerful mood means that you know you are at work for the day, and you might as well enjoy it.
Take time: No one is going to be content in their work if they are in a hurry and under stress to just get it over with. Housework is not just work; it is home-making, and should be something that you do "as you go" through your day.
Put love into it: It is also a spiritual thing. You cannot do it just to make others grateful or to leave a good impression, but do it as working for the Lord who enables you to be creative and will help you succeed. Doing a good job is a way of serving, and in a way, a type of honor. Of course, you do it to make everyone in the family happy, but when you practice good housekeeping for your own self-worth and personal dignity, you will have a reason for doing it that goes beyond any temporary purpose.
Do the prep work: If you start a job without prepping for it (getting yourself ready, doing preliminary tasks that lead up to the bigger one), you may end up with a major part completed but with a mess surrounding it. That is why it is good to do the pick-up jobs before cleaning.
If you plunge headlong into huge, tiring cleanup jobs, you will use all your energy and there will be no enthusiasm for the little jobs that really make the house look polished and complete. Start with the prep work, and then you can look out at nice clean areas while you are washing dishes. It is less discouraging!
No house painter begins by putting paint on the wall. The walls and the area around them are prepared and preliminary jobs are done, such as removing fixtures and putting narrow strips of paint all around the edges. Observe how any worthwhile job is done and you will see the preparation work is always done first, including planning out the steps to the completed task, on paper.
You may want to study the subject of "preparation" with your children, give them imaginary jobs and ask how they would prepare or do the prep work. Subjects such as packing a moving van, moving out of a house, cleaning a house, painting a room, sewing a dress or shirt, writing a story, and even blogging, all require prep work.
When vacuum cleaners first came, our parents taught us to pick up things around the house and clean up before running the appliance. Part of the reason was to prevent the sweeper getting clogged up with small items not meant to be vacuumed. Another reason was they knew that just because the floor was vacuumed did not mean the house was kept. You could have a clean floor and still have a messy house.
If you just wash the dishes, you can still end up with a dirty kitchen, so cleaning around the area first goes a long way to getting a neat and polished look.
Do not be in a hurry, but enjoy the process. When you observe how nice and shiny every thing is becoming as you do small things, you feel you are gaining success. No mountain is ever climbed in a moment. It is done step by step, and each step is tested to see if it is sure-footed (stable) before moving on to the next step.
Start with a warm up: small, easy tasks: Begin with small tasks such as picking up things that don't belong and putting them away. Save the sweeping and washing and cleaning until there is order. Do the order first, and then clean. Before you clean the bathroom, pick up the clutter and straighten the towels. Then do the cleaning of the sink and tub.
Before washing the dishes, create an orderly process by lining things up and cleaning the surfaces around the sink. Clean the stove top, the tables, the other surfaces, gathering up things to be washed. When you have it all in order, begin your washing up in a methodical way so that you can make some progress even if you get interrupted. Your work area will look nice even while you are cleaning.
Make a list: There is something about writing that solidifies things in your mind. A list can make you at least know what you need to do.
Much more can be said about getting started. Remember that even a car in winter has to warm up the engine before it is driven. You may need to get yourself ready physically and mentally and pray a lot over your plans before you can get started. Have faith that God will answer your prayer because He is the author of order.
A housedress that looks like a bouquet of fresh roses: note the white plastic tote from Dollar Tree. So far, Dollar Tree does not have these plastic "bags" in white, but they are available in many colors that would go with an apron, a dress, or your home decor. They are great for storing sewing projects but you cannot carry things loosely that will slip out the holes. The bag needs a liner to hold everything, which would be an interesting creative project. Perhaps a clear plastic liner would look best. These totes are stiff plastic and not the soft, flexible bags found at Hobby Lobby.
The basket is another one of those Dollar Tree items, costing $1.00, and painted white with spray paint that adheres to plastic.
Did you notice the shoes are the same print as the dress? They were a $5.00 pair of flats from Walmart, which Are covered in the rose fabric using decoupage glue, following a tutorial online showing how to cover shoes with cloth. http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2009/08/mod-podge-shoes.html
Off-white (oyster) piping outlines the neckline and sleeve edges.
This old pattern needs to be replaced. It is used often for the sleeves.
Roses print fabric by David Fabric (Walmart)
Oyster white piping (Joann Fabrics)
22 in zipper. WM
Plastic tote (Dollar Tree). Choose a light color that white paint will easily cover.
Flats $5.00 (Walmart)
Spray paint for plastic tote bag
Decoupage glue. (Dollar Tree)
Pattern McCalls 6958 (Joann Fabrics 99cents or $1.99 depending on sale day)
Here is a closer look at the hem, cut in a freehand wavy line, and hemmed with a facing.
Note: the tutorials online show that any kind of shoe, with any size heel, can be covered with cloth.