Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Year Around Feminine Fashions

Not everyone has the same needs regarding clothing. A farmer's wife will need something different than a woman living in an apartment or a suburban home. I have chosen several kinds of clothing and patterns to accommodate these differences. In choosing clothing, the main principles are beauty and propriety. Propriety involves being appopriate for the occasion or the job you have ahead of you. I have, for example, noticed that most bodices are too low cut, even in patterns, for the active woman of the home. Though they may appear to be just right when standing, they make a gap when bending to tie a child's shoe or changing a diaper, or even leaning over when serving dinner. Therefore I recommend creating modesty by raising the pattern 3 to 4 inches, or buying lace and doilies to create an inset.

Tea Party Hat and Walking Outfit from www.cattlekate.com

Homestead Dress from www.cattlekate.com

Dress and apron from www.cattlekate.com

Skirts can be the same way. Standing up, they appear to be the perfect length, but once a person sits down or leans over to clean a bathtub or something like that, they pull up and become very uncomfortable. That is why I wear my skirts a little longer.

I also think that colors should be bright and patterns should be pretty. I was just talking to a friend of mine and discussing the way that films portray poor people of the past. I objected to the fact that most movies, even period movies, show the poor people in drab colors and torn costumes. Growing up poor, and having known poor grandmothers who were born in the 1800's, my observations were completely different:

Poor people liked bright colors and shiny things because it disguised their poverty. In those days very few people were proud of poverty and certainly didn't want to look as poor as they were. We girls loved bright colors, especially red and aqua blue, emerald green and purple. These colors always elevated our moods and lifted us out of our poverty. We ironed everything because there was no wash and dry, nor permanent press.

One reason we did not want to look poor is that it told the public that we had no self-respect. A poor person would never have gone around with torn clothing, wrinkled clothing, or dirty clothing. Though we wore jeans, we were ashamed of being seen in them in public, so we never wore them to church. I remember when we had to ride in the back of our father's truck because it was the only vehicle that would work at the time. We had fallen on really hard times, and we girls had to wear warm jeans under our skirts in the back of the truck on the way to church. As soon as we got there we took off the jeans.

The poor are portrayed in films in brown, taupe, black, and grey, but I never knew poor people to wear those colors. Life was drab enough without making us more depressed. Women didn't like those colors, generally, and preferred things with flowers on them or some kind of embroidery and even things with shiny embellishments.

It was the rich who began to wear these plain garments. I always wondered when I visited a richer person's home, how, if they were so well off, they lived so plainly. The women wore drab pantsuits, in monochromatic, dull, dark colors, and they decorated their homes in beige. I always sewed my clothes and one day I received a sarcastic comment about the flowers in the fabric of my dress. Another day someone said in mock amazement: Lydia, why don't you wear a brighter color?" Others have ridiculed with sly remarks about a pink outfit I wear.

Folks, where does this elitist snobbery come from? You can go to exotic places like Thailand and India and deepest Africa, and the women love bright, pretty colors. Women have an instinct for beauty if they are not educated out of it. Look at the past at the paintings. We recently went to Mary Hill Museam in Washington state, and viewed paintings by painters like Paxton and Lack. One painter, Mr. Lack, bought a dress for his wife so he could paint a picture of her sitting at the piano. I can't imagine a painter today wanting to paint a scene of a woman in an uninteresting dress. Somewhere in time, the so-called progressives, changed the meaning of truth and beauty, and foisted upon society these terrible fashions. Without being a brilliant research scientist, a person can almost trace the increasing depression in the population, to the dull furnishings and fashions of the 20th century. Both men and women are affected by this: the women, because they have so little choice in the market and end up having to wear these rags, and the men because they have to look at the women wearing them.

I have found a few things that might be appropriate for some people, but for the most part, I would suggest skirts that are a-line rather than full, because they don't get caught in doors gates and other things, and are warmer. (I wear leggings under most my garments). I would also highly recommend natural fabrics. Cotton is my all-round favorite. It always feels fresh and it launders well. You can hardly damage it and the threads don't pull out. It doesn't pill, and if it fades or thins with time, it is even more charming. In winter, I make a cotton flannel night gown, and by summer, the wash and wear has made it thin enough for the warmer temperature.

Women generally feel good when they wear beautiful colors and prints, but the prevailing culture has made them self-conscious and uncomfortable. The only way we can defeat this attitude is to wear what is lovely give your home and family the feeling of cheer and optimism it deserves.

Just as I was writing this article and had it in my drafts folder, my friend told me that she had read someone's blog that was talking about the same thing. I haven't had a chance to go and look at it, but I must say that I think people are catching on to this manipulation of fashion and are going their own way rather than following the trends that the industry is forcing upon us.

If you know a site that sells pretty clothes, please post it on the comments. I will add the pictures. I realize not everyone will wear western clothing, so I plan to add more as time permits.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Your Links

I'm finally catching up to the 21st century and learning to add links. Quite a few people link to me but I haven't added their link here. If you have a site or blog related to homemaking, Victorian themes, tea time, feminine clothing, marriage, etc. and you want it on this blog, please post it here. I do take my time about things so it may not appear right away.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

What is Good, Pure, and Lovely

As we are always looking for ways to better ourselves and keep the blog on an uplifting note, I would lke to show you some interesting sites for the month of May, that I enjoyed.

Take a peek inside some rooms here http://www.enchantedtreasures.com/dynamic/?page=3

And, there are always the Make Mine Pink Boutiques, some of which have rooms in them, and they are not all pink, either. http://www.makeminepink.com/boutiques/ It relieves stress to at least see the opening pages which often feature charming cottages.
For the cream, read this fantastic article http://www.makeminepink.com/articles/?which=13

I am always so encouraged by pretty rooms, even though I haven't achieved it altogether in my own home.

The picture, I think, is from Karen's Whimsey, called "Lady With Flowers" a copyright free graphic.
As I wanted to keep this entry on the "lovely" theme, I have to say that the movie about Mrs. Beeton, who wrote the first book about household management, was sensational in a negative way, and highly speculative, based on a book by Kathryn Hughes. For more information about Mrs. Beeton, go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isabella_Beeton. Like many modern writers who pretend to know the Victorian era, Hughes has portrayed Beeton and her husband as though they were from the 1960's rather than the 1860's. It seems few people can understand the moral tone of the times, so they have to bring the era down into the gutter with our own times. One reason so many young women love the Victorian era, is that it had an appreciation of love and loyalty that our era does not. This film doesn't hold a candle to "North and South," which I reviewed here http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Lady_Lydia_Speaks_2/A_Story_to_Warm_Your_Heart1002786.shtml
When I see the fruits of women like Esabella Beeton, I always recall a scripture that says, "Can pure water and poison water come out of the same stream?" I get tired of the vilification of our ancestors and our forebearers who actually contributed more to the good of society, most which has trickled down to inspire and improve us today. I found the film hard to watch and I found it a pity that many people will sneer at the Victorians even more, after watching this film. It should not be taken as a real biography or a serious historical documentary.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

North and South

Please go here http://www.ladiesagainstfeminism.com/artman/publish/Lady_Lydia_Speaks_2/A_Story_to_Warm_Your_Heart1002786.shtml

to read my new article. If you do buy this film, I would strongly suggest you use your Captions , since there are so many different accents and some rapidly spoken dialog. The captions really help to understand the story.
I like her stories and I like the way the filmakers do them. She had a more Christian view than did her contemporary, Charles Dickens. I hope, however, that future films are not done by people who would corrupt the story, and I hope they remain innocent and sweet and always have a happy ending, as she wrote them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

If You are From a Divorced Family

Someone is doing a survey on how divorce has affected you. Even if you are not divorced or not from a divorced family, you might have been affected by it. Go here http://deanabbott.typepad.com/notes_and_meditations/2007/05/divorce_proceed.html and post your comment . Someone posted a very good remark about her divorced parents here on this blog, but being so busy, I cannot find it. That post is the kind this man is looking for.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Out of Newsletters

The newsletter we announced has been sold out. Please don't order one, and if you have already done so, please do not send the money. If you have sent a check , it will be returned. Harmony at Home, dealing with mother-daughter relationships, has been expanded into a book. We'll notify everyone on this blog when it is available. I will be sending out the last copies to those of you who have already sent checks, which are in my posession now.

The Cherry Pickers, by Emile Vernon

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Do What is Good and Right

I have had this poem in an old book and wanted to share it with the daughters, wives, mothers and homemakers who are not trying to have careers outside the home, and who are putting their efforts into making their families strong and good and faithful to Biblical standards. I know how much it can deflate you when people say cruel things about your role in life. I've certainly had my share of those comments: "You are living in a dream world." "If you stay home, you are condemning those who don't." "You are insane." "You are lazy." Etc.

I can imagine just how debilitating it is to hear it from people that you would expect would support you. Lest you be discouraged, there is no mistaking the Bible's teaching on the role of women. God's gave them the divine role of guiding and guarding the home. Nowhere did He command them to be the famiy providers, especially if there was an able-bodied husband in the home.

I realize that you are going against the tide in this culture, but being home will help restore the family to what it should be, and make children more loyal and families less likely to disentegrate.

"Be sure you are right, and then stand.

At first, you will be denounced, and then you will be deified.

At first, you will be rejected, then you will be accepted.

First, men will swear at you, then if you wear well, they will swear by you.

First the sneer, then the cheer.

First the lash, then the laurel.

First the curse, then the caress.

First the trial, then the triumph.

First the cross, then the crown.

For every scar upon they brow, thou shalt have a star in thy diadem.

Stand somewhere and let humanity know where you stand.

Stand for something and let humanity know what you stand for.

Be sure you are right and then STAND."
I believe it was written by someone named Gordon, but there were several authors by that name. The fact he uses the King James English might be a clue to when it was written.

We know without a doubt that it is right for women to guide the home, but today there are those who mock it. They mock it on television when hosts of feminist shows make fun of full time homemakers. They mock it in advertising. They mock it every which way you turn. Even in clothing stores, you get a sense that the clothes are not made for the duties of the home, but instead, for other reasons. If you stand firm and keep a beautiful home, making it possible to share a meal or a tea party with others, you spread the virtues of home and family and you help to restore it back to the way it should be. If you can't do that, you can at least show by your countenance that you have chosen a beautiful way to live, free from the stresses of the outside world.
There is an old song that explains what you can expect in the path of life. Here are some of the words that explain the delimna of fighting for what is right:
"...the strife will not be long!
This day, the noise of battle;
The next, the victor's song."
There might be some unsettling emotions when you stand up for what is right, but it will bring about victory. If you back down, there won't be any. The best way to defend yourself is to show success in your role.
The poem and the song tell a common truth. When you are attacked and told you are out of your mind or when you feel left on your own, remember that is the battle part. The victory of peace and well-being will come after.
The name of the painting is "Family Circle" by Lee Stronick, from a puzzle, sold here http://www.jigsawjungle.com/index.htm

Thursday, May 03, 2007

If You Didn't Get Your Newsletter

If you ordered some time ago and still didn't get your newsletter, please contact me and I'll send another one. I have not sent out this week's orders yet, but if you ordered a few weeks ago and haven't seen anything, there may have been a mix up. Some people sent checks with different addresses on them than the address on the outside envelope. I chose the envelope address when in doubt.