Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Round Altered Box/ Inspiration

The materials needed for this project are: round boxes from your grocery supply, fabric and fabric trims, or papers and trims. Clip your own art from old raised-embossed images on greeting cards. If you use white papers or fabric, you may have to paint the boxes with white crafting paint, or cover them first with white construction paper and white glue.

This baking powder box was just right to hold pens, scissors and pencils
Any round box will do for the "band box" or "hat box." These containers come in three sizes, so you can made a whole set, if you wish. Beginning at the opening of the box, cut down to a little less than half the height. Follow a line of printing or any kind of lines available on the box, to cut it all the way around. You can measure it if you want to, just by folding a piece of paper evenly, to the height you want, holding it up to the box, and making a line to cut, with a marker. I don't do that, but you might.
Don't forget to use your large hole puncher and punch one hole on each side, for the ribbon or string.

Then swirl white glue all over the box and paint it on evenly with a brush. If you will dampen the brush a little, it will paint more smoothly, but do not get it too wet. Glue fabric or papers on it, and trim the upper and lower edges with strips cut with shaped scissors, or rick rack or laces.

After you cover the box, remember to re-punch your holes, through the paper or fabric, so you can easily thread your string of pearls or rick-rack or ribbon, for the handle. Tie knots on the ribbon on the inside of the box. If you do not have ribbon, you can use string, yarn, or even a strip of fabric, for the handle.

These have a clear glitter-glue glaze on them.

To give these containers a protective finish, glaze the finished project with more white glue and a brush, glitter glue, decoupage glue. If you don't want to buy anything, find a craft glaze recipe with cornstarch, and paint that over the boxes. Let dry and see if it gives it a sheen.

The question is, what would you put in it? Perhaps you can make a hat small enough, as shown in the previous post.

Painting by Barbara Mock, from Lovely Whatevers

When "They" Try to Discourage You
Anything good, that is worthwhile, will have a certain element of discouragement. While we cannot help the normal feelings of discouragement that come from trying to make something work,--such as getting everything done within a day, or learning a new skill, or baking bread to perfection, there is a great deal that we can do to overcome the discouraging remarks made by others.

Commentator Adam Clark wrote:

"People of the world, generally ridicule those truths which they neither comprehend, nor love, and deride those who publish them; but a faithful minister of God, copying the examples of Christ, keeps on his way and does the work of his Lord and Master."

In the New Testament, the disciples of Christ were imprisoned for preaching.In prison, they sang. When they were released they were told to leave the city and not speak about it anymore. Their response was, "We must obey God, rather than man." Carry a song in your heart and sing it out load when some of these unfounded accusations and deductions are thrown your way. Singing used to be a way of life to help people get through difficult tasks. It has the ability to lift the heart.

Homemaking is challenging enough, without taking negative words seriously. If you take criticism to heart, this kind of thing can take all the fun out of being home and making it beautiful. That is why it is so important to put it in perspective. I can offer a few things that I have read recently, that might be of some help.

All discouragement should be overcome by focusing on the bright side. The words of a poem were written for this very reason:

"By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,
Who had no strength for the strife,
The world’s highway is cumbered to-day—
They make up the sum of life;"

(Ella Wheeler Wilcox) This stanza of the poem "Worthwhile" accurately describes those who would try to discourage you.

Some people will never be happy, no matter what you do. They will be unhappy if you succeed, and critical if you don't. Their comments can temporarily stun you. You might, for example, hear someone say that you aren't worth much, being a full time homemaker. Although you certainly know better than that, it might make you feel less than your best, which is the desired effect that "they" want.

There is a way to overcome the debilitating effect that these kinds of words have: simply use it as motivation for doing something greater. Immediately set to work to do something creative, or perfect your house keeping. Make an extra effort to give compliments and appreciation to your family members and those that do support you. Bring a little light into someone's life by creating a "care" package for them, filled with a little luxury to give a bright spot in their day. It is almost always a way to get rid of the sting of criticism.

There are several things a homemaker can be aware of that will help her face the opposition with confidence. Firstly, she can realize that when you are not following the crowd, there will always be ridicule and condemnation from others. They will "think it strange that you run not with them..." (1st Peter 4:4).

"They wonder and are astonished at you, that ye can renounce these gratifications of the flesh for a spiritual something, the good of which they cannot see. " (Adam Clark)

Your life will appear "strange" to some people who do not understand that one of the reasons you are not pursuing a career outside the home, is a spiritual one. It does not make sense to the materialistic world, that you would turn down money and become a guide and guard of your home.

The homemaker can know that scorn from others, is part of the territory. Many homemakers just love their families and their homes and want to be the best they can be, and do not expect to be challenged by objectors. They just want to be left alone. They want to get the job done as smoothly as possible. They don't want to debate or have conflict over it. There are those, however, who don't want to let you alone. They want to discourage you. If you will ignore it and move on, making more and more progress in your life, you will leave them behind. Years later, they will still be mocking, but you will have a clean house, good children, and a successful marriage. They will still be behind, with nothing to show for their time, still looking for something to gripe about.

The most effective treatment for discouragement is to sing, be busy, do something creative, and serve others. This is the way to live "outside of yourself." It shows a good example to the detractors in your life. Don't let them get you down. There is nothing wrong with you. It is "they" who are have a mental disorder.

You can take heart from the words of the apostle Paul, written to the Corinthians:

We are troubled on every side,--- yet not distressed;
We are perplexed, ---but not in despair;

Persecuted,--- but not forsaken;
Cast down,--- but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. (2nd Corinthians 4:8-10)
Remember that Christ was challenged on every side, and sometimes he didn't even answer the questions that were hurled at him.
If these critics are not doing a better job in their homes, there is no reason to listen to them. Have a look at their families. If they are people you wish to emulate in your life, or if you want to be like them, then, by all means, listen to them. If you want to be successful in business, you do not consult someone who cannot manage his own business. You go to someone who has been successful. If you want to have good success in the home, you do not listen to those who have not had success.

Some people want you to fail, because it makes them feel better in their own failure. Others may be jealous. Still, the homemaker can overcome it all if she will mind her business and be happy. If you are at a loss for words when asked a pointed question, which you do not want to discuss, you might take a cue from Anne, in "Persuasion." She answered Mr. Eliot's question by saying, "I haven't had much time to turn my mind to it yet." (I haven't had time to think about it). Some questions are calculated to create arguments. If you feel your answer to questions like, "Why are you giving up your degree to stay home" or "When are you going to get a real job?" will create strife, you can always indicated that: you have given up nothing and gained everything, and that you would get an outside job if you had time, when you are caught up with everything else, and if it wouldn't interfere with your home-life.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog entry. It is a joy to do as you say, minding our own business and being happy. I think if anything worries us (even if it's not criticism from others) your advice to be busy, do something creative and serve others, is useful to us and helps keep us productive and positive. Love from, Linda

candy said...

This was an excellent post! One of my favorites for sure!


Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

As usual, wise comments, gracefully expressed. Have no doubt, you are being guided by the Holy Spirit to give words of comfort at just the right time. How else could you have known that yesterday (Thursday), thousands of miles from you, my friend would be sharing the effect of unwise words of criticism about her status as a homemaker? I was looking for something she could read over the next few days to explain what I tried to share: that people's criticisms come "out of the abundance of the heart". A woman who is discontented at home will speak words of discontentment to other women, I feel.

Now I have something to share. She can look at your comments and be uplifted.

May God bless you this weekend


Lydia said...

Anthea: what nationality is your name? I don't want to guess, but it sounds like something from Greece.

Lydia said...

You can actually benefit from these discouraging remarks. I heard of a young lady who was ridiculed for sewing her own dresses and wearing clothing that was a little different. Every time someone said something rude and discouraging, she went home and made another dress. She used criticism to push her determination-button. The answer to all this is just to do what you have always wanted to do, and do it better. Live your dream. Most detractors can win an argument, because they are so good at arguing. But they cannot argue with evidence of accomplishment and success. Just do what you love to do and enjoy every minute of it.

Lydia said...


I had prayed a lot about this post, and was thinking carefully about it for several days.

Gail said...

The most discouraging thing is when what we do is not valued by those most close to us. We need to press in further with the Lord and listen to what He tells us, at times like this.

My husband is very affable and will allow me either to stay home or to work but I know he would rather I was out there, bringing home the big paycheck on a full-time basis. I do not care much about what others say or think, but knowing this and that my children are embarrassed that I am not like all the other moms makes me feel really "less-than".

Just venting today, I guess, and your advice still applies to me, I know. Thank you.

Ginger said...

Thank you so much for sharing your box tutorial with us all.
What a wonderful blog.
Relinking you sat.
Lord bless you hugs ginger

Lydia said...

Gail, I will try to address that issue in the next post! It is hard enough warding off all the naysayers outside the home. It is doubly debilitating when those inside the home de-value the home maker.

Mrs. S said...

Thank you Lady Lydia for this post. What a discouraging day I have had. In fact, I am just sitting here at the computer a few minutes before I take the children to the library - trying to calm down. Praise the Lord!

I am with Gail - I don't know if it is because my husband is unemployed or because he is not saved - but all my efforts at making our home peaceful and lovely - my training of the children - our homeschooling is not good enough - nothing is and I have constant criticism. God's grace is so good though. It is true that there are some people you just can NOT please. If we memorize God's Word, meditate on it and like you said - sing, even when we don't feel like it - we can get through it all. But HOW do you reverence your husband in light of all the criticism? I want to submit and be an example, but things often feel so unfair, untrue, foolish - I just don't know how to put it into action - It's hard to talk to the ladies at church because I don't want them to judge my husband or to tell THEIR husbands about mine...

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

Apologies for my tardy reply to your question.It was dinner time!

Anthea is derived from the Greek god of flowers. It is from the same root as the word anther, a part of the flower petal. My mother is not a classicist, however. She is a soap opera fan, and I am named after a character in a 1960s British soap called 'Compact'. My other name is Alison after, that's right, the girl in 'Peyton Place'. Here in the UK, it's a name for aristocratic ladies,a bit like your Ivy League. So my cockney sparrow London accent and cinnamon-toast skin does not match my name *at all*...

Our son has a fabulous name - Curtis. My husband wanted to name our child after a jazz/soul musician. He admired the gentle spirit, anti-drug lyrics, entrepeneurial skills and forgiving heart of Curtis Mayfield. The meaning of the name is Courtesy, which in medieval times was a christian moral quality of compassionate pity expressed through good manners and much else besides - see Micah 6:8. So at least our children have spiritual names!

Marqueta (Mar-kee-ta) G. said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

Thank you for your beautiful, ongoing encouragement and inspiration to go forward in the noble cause of Godly homemaking!



Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Your blog is always refreshing and inspiring, but I was especially in need of some encouragement this week after a few snide comments made by a relative at our Easter dinner this past Sunday.

Why does anyone care why I choose to stay home? I am just little old me, puttering about my home and my kitchen and my yard, with my little children, all day. Why is that such a threat to people? I'm not looking for power or prestige. Just simply to be left to go about my business.

Sorry for this down comment. But thank you.

~ Ann

Gail said...

I guess I need to add, along with my "discouraged" comment, some good news. To be fair, my children's friends have commented on how nice and inviting our home is, and how wonderful it is that there is always something good cooking here. So I should take heart in that. Also, because God has blessed us so much and we have not gone too far afield with our money, we seem to be in less debt than most anybody we know.
So Mrs. S., perhaps you probably have some tell-tale signs that you, too, are honoring God in your walk as well.

Mary said...

Wonderful post, as usual. The hat and the boxes are cute. I like the commentor who said that every time somebody gave her a hard time about her dresses, she went home and made another dress!!!!! GREAT!!!!!

Mary said...

P.S. I once knew and Anthea (she went by "Anthie") in California. She was African-American. Pretty name.

Anonymous said...

I have commented in the past when people question my staying at home when I have a degree, that education is never wasted. No-one can argue with that. I also always state that my interests are interests that are based in the home: gardening, sewing, cooking, nurturing and being available to my family and friends. I also state that I heard somewhere that we are most succesful when we are doing what we enjoy doing and what we are good at.

Sonya, Australia

Anonymous said...

Your posts on this subject are often timely. Earlier this week, I had a busy,productive day. I got the kids up, dressed, and to school, ran several errands, did laundry and housework, and then returned to my younger son's school to help his class plant their spring garden. After school, I took the kids to the park for some exercise, then came home to make dinner and supervise homework. My husband walked into the kitchen as I was preparing dinner and commented, "How much money did you earn today? None?"
I cannot begin to tell you how "knocked down" this remark made me feel. I stammered out that " I took my pay in hugs" and got dinner on the table. I am looking forward to your post on dealing with hostility from family members. I am blessed to be surrounded by supportive friends and family, but it is difficult to function sometimes when my role as a homemaker is belittled by my spouse. The irony is that my quiet work at home enables him to put long hours in at the office, serve in local government, be active in clubs and hobbies, and attend school to further his graduate education. I sometimes fantasize about making an out-of-town visit of one or two weeks without making prior childcare or household arrangements. A week of two of juggling his many activities with our home responsibilities might prove a wake-up call that my work at home is actually productive and vital to our family's well-being. Miss Kris

Lydia said...

Someone I knew who was growing his own food in his limited space around the outside of his home, was ridiculed because he also said he was going to try to sell some of his fruit and vegetables. "You'll never do it" they said, or "Its a waste of time. You can buy it cheaper.' Ever time someone delivered a "dig" at him, he dug in further and planted more. From his window inside you could see the glorious blossoms of fruit trees, and all around the edges of his house, instead of bushes, you could see cabbages and carrots and tomatoes, all planted as beautifully as a flower garden. "If you insult me again, I"ll jut plant some peanuts" he said. Sure enough, this guy had abundant food and he did take some to market and sold it. His wife enjoyed preserving what she could,and that family had extra to give to others. The best response is to do more of it. That way, you get better off, and the whiners get poorer---unless someone is paying them for being critics.

Lydia said...

Miss Kris, I'll try to address this issue soon! You've all given me lots of ideas.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, Lady Lydia -

Wow, you have been busy since I last visited which, I admit, was way too long ago. Your new book looks to be wonderful and intriguing. When my hubby gets paid, I will have to get it...And I was thinking, have you ever thought of writing what use to be called, "charm" books? How to be graceful and feminine? I use to love reading that stuff, but, as far as I know, no one publishes that stuff anymore (shame).

When you have time, stop by my blog. I posted about how my husband and I were brought together by the Lord.

God bless,

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if I could post your article on my xanga. I will refer all matyerial to you and your post. I have a very small audience--just a couple of freinds--but most are homemakers and I think they would be encouraged by your post. Thank you

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,

We had so much fun watching this video, and the related ones about this man who makes his whole yard grow. It is really inspiring. He has lectures on youtube about what is happening to the seed pool, etc., but those are more for adults, as they deal with forboding themes, such as genetic engineering of seeds, litigation, etc.

I just ordered both of your books, and am looking forward to them coming. Thank you!!!


Anonymous said...

Sorry, I forgot to put the address of that video about the man who gardens his whole yard:


the last 4 characters of the address above are: lower case O, lower case L, numeral 0, and upper case Q. Sometimes the letters look like numbers!

C. C. said...

You always do such a nice job on your posts. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging us - I think of your wisdom often.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Good news. I think someone must have given my husband a copy of the "Fireproof" 40 day challenge. He has been very kind to the kids and me for the past few days--no critical comments, no harshness, and understanding when we make mistakes or make a mess. He even sat down with us to play a board game last night. We are definitely encouraging this trend. Keep my family in your prayers. Miss Kris

Frank said...

I have zero talent in this dept but it's still wonderful just to see that this type of thing isn't lost today. I dated someone in high school who was from a family of very creative women when it came to crafts, and her mother even helped make a halloween costume one year. It was a great experience and everyone complimented me on it, and it wasn't as pricey as I'd figure it would be! The skill is what's worthy here, and traditional skills like this should never die. As I come from an Italian family and see fewer and fewer of the children of my parent's generation take up, among other things, the recipes of years past, I certainly become nostalgic about it. that's why I'm glad this blog is here!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this. I, too, got a pretty good "working over" by the relatives this past week and it does knock the wind out of you. I agree with Ann; why would anyone care what I do all day and why I do it? Your thoughts about using the put-downs as a motivator were just what I needed to get refocused for the coming week. I've got to shake this thing off and get busy!

Many thanks,
Mrs. R.

Jenny said...

For Kris, hang in there! I'm glad to hear things are improving.

Gail said...

To FJ, there are still some of us Italian daughters, working at our homecraft in obscurity, reigning over our homes and serving up the sauce!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this post. It is very encouraging to me today. Yesterday, the mail lady told me I needed to train the children to stay out of the street. When I stated that those were not my children (hmmm...mine were in their own driveway which is why there were so many neighbor children hanging around) I was derided for not taking the responsibility to train them as "it takes a whole village". Where is this thinking coming from? While my rights to train, raise, homeschool my own children are being undermined I'm also being held responsible for the irresponsibility of others. I don't get it. But we are seeing this kind of thing all around us.....not just in the realm we are discussing here as homemakers. By the way, it need not take a whole village to raise a child if that child has a loving Mom and Dad!

I like the idea to go make a dress everytime I get such comments! I should think it would not take long for us to have some nice wardrobes!!!!


Lydia said...

Janice: Each time one of these stinging remarks are directed at you, just make something great to eat, or clean a room or re-decorate something. This way you get some pleasure out of it and bless others at the same time: they get to see a lovely home.

Lydia said...

For a sharp contrast between the durrent styles and the ones of the artwork, go have a look (and a laugh) at The Pleasant Times (see the blogroll). It is quite funny the way the clothing is so impractical that the secretary can't participate in the fire drill.