Thursday, April 19, 2007

Home Work

I thought these paintings were interesting because of part of the bio of the artist (see the end). Isn't it interesting that ordinary housekeeping could also be the subject of an artists brush? I mentioned something like this when we had the online broadcast about homemaking, saying that it would be a very good influence to surround our daughters with good posters of women doing worthwhile work at home, cast in a favorable light, instead of letting them be constantly exposed to posters of rock stars, and other stars that have contributed very little to making marriage, home and family, more secure.

(Painting: "Sun, Moon, and Flowers" by George Leslie)

However, if women want once again to have domestic life portrayed in a lovely way and promoted by the culture, they must get back to acting the part more seriously. Every thought and every action must be analyzed as to whether or not it is worthwhile or beneficial to the woman and the family. Women can spend decades in retail work, and yet lose their families. Women can be successful in show business, and yet leave a trail of grief around them because they did not spend the time necessary in the home to secure the loyalty and love of their families.

You may wonder, "What does neglecting the home and housekeeping have to do with a broken home?" The house being neglected is a very serious problem, because people do not want to stay in a place that is too disorganized or unclean. Making a bed up in fresh sheets and adding a pretty cushion, or ironing a shirt and hanging it up, shows love and consideration for your own people in your own home. Families tend to be more irritable when the home is not in order. They aren't as optimistic or healthy or happy when they can't find things and when nothing is clean.

There are now shows on television that show before and after's of people's homes where the trash was not disposed of for months and years. This is a shameful reflection on the homemaker. This can also be the result of trying to work outside the home, and neglecting the inside. There are also jobs that women take upon themselves that take up the time they need to keep house.

We have said before, here, that a woman needs to have the time to concentrate on her home, and if she is distracted by other projects that have nothing to do with housekeeping or homemaking, she will find it harder to really do a good job.

(Painting"This is the Way We Wash Our Clothes" by George Leslie )

It would be great if everyone had a mother that was a good example, and had good homemaking habits bred into them from an early age, but there is still no excuse. Today, we have available to us many wonderful books and films, and even classes that we can attend, that show us how to care for our homes and families. Even online, there are a great number of video clips which demonstrate everything from washing dishes to baking bread.

There are also some nice sites that show the inside of real people's houses, to give you inspiration. I like the current home on this site because I noticed the floors were bare, and that is one of the lessons we learned in trying to streamline our homes (see the article below called "The Streamlined Home." "Mantel of the Month" here is nice is inspiring because, if you don't want clutter around you, there is a way to have those little things you like to keep, all in one place that is up and out of the way, if the collection is on a shelf or mantel.

(The above paintings were created by George Dunlop Leslie1835-1921. The London-born son of painter Charles Robert Leslie achieved his aim of painting "pictures from the sunny side of English domestic life". His speciality was bright paintings of girls doing household chores. He studied at the Royal Academy where he exhibited his work annually from 1857. In 1868 he became an associate of the Royal Academy, and eight years later an academician.)

The Dover book company has many books about the interiors of the Victorian era. Two particular books, Victorian Ornaments and Designs , and Architecture, Interior Design, Period Style Photographs of New York Interiors at the Turn of the Century, show real photographs of the rooms of various homes of the period. It is interesting to see how they used various things to embellish the home--things like panels of lace, scarves, plants, and such.


amy said...

Those are lovely photos. I really enjoyed the links to the Cottage and Mantel of the Month sites. How inspiring! Such simple piece to creat a cozy home.

Thank you for finding these sites and inspiring me!

Candy said...

Thank you. As always, I love your posts.

:) Candy

Anonymous said...

I loved the Cottage of the Month, too!! My daughters and I were looking at them together, and I told them I may never buy another decorating magazine again. Thanks for the link to this neat site!

Linda said...

I first found Homeliving Helper on the Internet in a search for the effects on children of a physically chaotic and dirty home. I found no discussion of this elsewhere but I did find Homeliving Helper. It is my thought that a messy and cluttered home in which chaos reigns makes children feel insecure. It also simply makes it difficult for them to function when it comes to doing schoolwork, since they can't find anything. It also makes them slovenly in appearance because their clothes are not cared for and they have no idea how to properly take care of their own bodies. A chaotic home also sends a message that you do not have to respect other people, because you do not have to respect the home itself as the space in which the family lives. For example, it would be disrespectful to create a mess in a church; that would show a complete lack of respect for a holy place. In the same way, it is a display of lack of respect for the domestic church--the family--if children feel that they can throw everything around or worse, that parents feel they do not have to maintain order and cleanliness in the home and can subject their children to what is basically a lack of care. So I am grateful for Homeliving Helper, because it addresses these issues in a clear way.

Mrs. Brooke said...

I wasn't going to comment because I didn't really have anything of substance to say about the article, other than I enjoyed it and deeply appreciate the efforts you go to to write these for all us homemakers out there, looking for someone to encourage us.

I always know that when I'm feeling down or inadequate that I can come to your site and read a bit and leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to once again take on the world and its pessimistic view on what I'm doing for my family.

Thank you. Ever so sincerely I thank you for what you are doing with this site.

Jenny said...

Hello, Lady Lydia! It just wanted to say thanks for all the time and effort you and Mrs. Alexandra put into this blog. This is where I come when my homemaking spirit needs refreshment and encouragement. Thank you so very much!


LadyLydia said...

Speaking of not being able to find anything: I joked that I knew I was really in trouble in my home organization, when I couldn't find something and so went to WalMart to get it...after all they have it in the particular order where it should be and in the right category, and they keep their shelves organized and keep careful stock of what they have. I can remember my parents going through their house in the 1950's making a list of everything they had and where it was. i don't know why people did that in those days but it might be something we need to do so we know where everything is.!


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