Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Everyday Things Made Beautiful

Here is another slide show, which will slowly appear (10 seconds for each picture) to enable you to copy the demonstration.

Also, for inspiration go look at these cottages


check out the other featured months on her site, as well!


candy said...

Great ideas :)
Thank You!

~~Deby said...

I love your blog...your way of doing things etc...I think *I* might be missing something here...
These are older towels...WHY would you dye them...and not use them for cleaning..and then fold them and decorate them to put them WHERE.....I myself...that I am missing it???
Maybe I amjust dense on this one..and this is NOT meant as a criticism as I love your blog and what you stand for...a rare thing...
You can publish or just LMK....your choice..

Anonymous said...

That is a lovely idea. I was folding my very worn towels yesterday and trying to make them look nicer since I don't have a cupboard to put them in. Towels are expensive so this will help them look nice until I get a new set.

Mrs. P

Anonymous said...

I just love these videos! They are so informative. Keep them coming. I like the way you fold towels. I've been folding them a different way but I like your way much better. I also like your ideas of decorating. Will you be making a video about decorating a mantel perhaps for Spring? Thank you and God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I love this! My mother taught me how to fold towels properly this way and it's the only way to make the linen closet look decent. When I see other linen closets where people don't fold them like this, I always want to teach them the trick (I don't mention it of course). ~Ann

Lydia said...

Let me explain about the towels: towels wear out too soon these days and are expensive to replace. Whereas a set of towels bought 50 years ago lasted 15 years, towels today, partly due to wear and tear from the washer and dryer, may only keep their pile and shape for a year or two.

If you buy 20 towels for a large family, and they all wear out at the same time, and you use them for rags, you end up with more rags than you have need for or space for.

Despite the fact the towels are thin now, there can still be some wear left in them. Some family members actually prefer them when they get to this stage, as they are more absorbant.

Dying them is fun and can be used as a teaching opportunity if you have young girls who want to learn about running a home.

Yes, we put them in the bathroom on a shelf and use them as real towels.

We don't have to do this but we like to do it just like some people like to go shopping for new ones and use the old ones for rags. They are our towels and we can do as we like and that is the fun and freedom of being at home where one can learn what they like and what they do not. As Lizzie told Jane, "Not everyone is the same." This is a creative way to use things that look like they are not going to be in use much longer, and a way not to be so dependent on money for everything.

The tutorial was to show women who are trying to live within their husband's income that they do not have to add more expense to their lives just because the towels are thin or something is wearing out. Sometimes it can be revived and given a little more of a grand appearance and thus bring about contentment until it is possible to replace. I always like to see if there is a different way to use something when it almost worn out. I wrote about a young women in a previous article (I haven't labelled everything yet so you can't find it.) who though poor and living in her grandmother's house still folded her threadbare towels and put them in a shelf to look nice. She was home with her two children and this helped her make the old place more cheerful.

Lynn said...

I have trained myself to look at each worn area & see £ signs and those £'s are what I have saved by not running out & immediately replacing things. That makes me feel good & then I feel good when I eventually buy new so it's double the pleasure!

Anonymous said...

I love the video demonstrations as well! Thank you for taking time to do them.

Several years ago, I purchased 3 white and 2 green towel sets (bath towel, hand towel and wash cloth) to use for our guests (our regular towels are well used). I folded them up prettily, stacked each set and tied, as a gift, each set. Now when we have guests I set out a set for each at the foot of their bed.

Adding a sprig of something pretty will add to the "Welcome to my Home" touch I want to present.

Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Your folding technique is just how I fold my bath and hand towels. I store them on an open shelf in my bathroom- 2 stacks of bath towels with a stack of hand towels in the middle. Nearly all of these towels were wedding gifts or high school graduation gifts 6 years before that. The edges are wearing (although they were pretty nice towels to begin with) but they still have years of life left and lots of pile (partly due to mostly air drying, I'm sure) so I always make sure to put the "raw" edges toward the wall.

My kids each have a hooded towel I made them as babies. They are bathed twice a week so their towels generally get washed once per week and hung on a peg above the toilet between uses. Sometimes I let them go two weeks without washing and they are never stinky. I think this is part of what helps our other towels last so much longer- they're not in heavy rotation. When we have overnight company I always have fresh bath towels. I LOVE Amy's idea above and will be sure to put it into practice next week when my mother comes to stay 2 nights with us.

Our only bathroom is TINY and I take great pleasure in keeping it TIDY. Ever since I read a post here about a young woman with a house that was falling apart with age but everything was nicely kept, I have tried to emulate her. My house is also falling apart with age and quite small (877 square feet) but I enjoy staying warm and loving my family in it.

Thank you for your lovely, encouraging posts and ideas on how to turn what most consider trash or rags into something beautiful for our homes! You are a real blessing to many ladies.


~~Deby said...

I get it...
I told you, I admit that I felt a bit dense here....
I appreciate your words Lady Lydia, and the other comments...
Homemaker for 30+ years who still is teachable !!!!

Lydia said...

Also I meant to show how to make worn out things still look good.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lydia,

This post brought back a lot of good memories for me. I was taught the right and proper way to fold bath linens as well as how to make beds "hospital style" very long ago!

I was still a teenager when I began working as a maid in a small, family run motel/diner in my hometown. The proprieter of this motel had married his English sweetheart while stationed in England during WWII and it was this sweet lady who taught me how to clean up a room properly. (Mrs. Babbitt was her name). I spent my first day working at her side until she was satisfied that her instructions had found fertile ground in my sixteen-year-old head!

She had long hair that was kept upswept, at least while she was working, and her accent was fascinating to a young girl who had seldom ventured out of her home state. Each day the other maids (who were all older ladies) and I would take our lunch together in a corner of the laundry room. Mrs. Babbit would bring a pot of the "Soup of the Day" from the adjoining diner for the maids to enjoy with whatever oddment they had brought from home to eat. I remember that she always ate her lunch with us so that we could visit with her, sometimes about work related issues but mostly just pleasant conversation. Mrs. Babbit often remarked that working as a maid could be difficult but it was "honest work and nothing to be ashamed of" as she put it. My sheltered, sixteen-year-old mind imagined that dishonest work probably involved bank robbing! :)

My goodness! Such a lot of memories brought up by the simple contemplation of towel folding! Wherever Mrs. Babbitt is today, I hope she is well and happy. I almost feel as though I need to weep a little weep! Thank you for this post, Lydia.

Kind regards from,

Susan T.

Unknown said...

Very nice tutorial! I am always looking at old things with new eyes. And these things look lovely and don't need to be used since there are better towels in the linen closet.


Mrs.M said...

It's amazing how just a little frill can make anything simple look gorgeous.

I've enjoyed so many of your posts and I am looking forward to visiting again :)

Anonymous said...

Did you use Rit Dye for these towels? My bath towels are all white and after several years of use they are looking dingy. Bleach and hot water doesn't help, nor does drying them in the sunlight. Rather than buying new, maybe I can dye them. Did you dye them in the washing machine? Can you do that in a front-loading machine, or would it be safer to do it another way? Many thanks!