Friday, May 08, 2009


For more photographs like this, go to The Bella Cottage

Lillibeth's newsletter, The Pleasant Times, has been updated for May. She has put all of one month's posts on one page, to be read like a monthly newsletter, so the page load will be slower.

I just love the beginning of every month, because the picture on the calendar changes. It has been such a boost to do this in overcast weather, that I have made up my mind to get a pretty calender for ever single room next year. One is not enough! Turning the page on a new calendar is like getting a new painting in your home every month. There are calendar frames available now, which I would really recommend to give the picture a great showcase.

This year, the calendar from Victorian Trading Company has had beautiful paintings from the 19th century. Their site also provides greeting cards with the old paintings on them, which you can frame. Don't be misled by the word "old" because the paintings of the past are vibrant and full of meaning.

The other calendar I have enjoyed is from Dennis Lewan, a painter in Scotland. Click on his name and go and see the beautiful slide show of his work, shown inside a gilded frame. He paints teddy bears in his paintings, which you have to look hard to find, and names his streets and shops after bears. He also puts angels in the clouds, although you cant really tell unless you look at the picture for awhile.

I am looking forward to Susan Rios and Sandra Kuck producing a calendar. There is a way to put your favorite calendar pictures from old calenders, into a hand made frame. I will demonstrate it when I get my crafty-wafty mood back.

THe beginning of each much is also wonderful because generous ladies online do things each month for the home. I have always enjoyed the Mantel of the Month and keep thinking one day I'm going to decorate a shelf or a mantel in a way that makes me smile. I keep trying, but I still think her arrangements are the best. They are not all white and some are very eclectic, so be sure to click on the other months.

Another place to visit at the beginning of the month is The Old Painted Cottage where she has a cottage-of-the-month picture series. While it wont suit everyone, sometimes there is a little detail that can be adapted to yourself and your own own. I first began looking at these types of tours to get ideas of how to manage when you could not buy a matching set of anything all at once. I tried once to buy a couch I liked, hoping to eventually get the other pieces. It was so expensive, that by the time I could afford the coordinating things, the couch was considerably more worn and no longer matched. These sites gave me some ideas of how to live with a bit of this and a bit of that and make it all charming.

Enchanted Makeovers has a home of the month, and I enjoy looking at the archives, so be sure to go down to the end of the page and look at all the other months. I wish they would enchant me with a makeover--I think I have given up! When you have had a leak , it is never a matter of just fixing a leak. One thing leads to another, until you discover rot in all the walls and then you need the entire thing gutted out. Now I know why Extreme Makeover, Home Edition, sent the family away to a resort, while they made over the house, and now I know why they sometimes knocked the entire house down and started over. Some of the commotion is unsettling if you are tyring to have a normal home life. The storybook house is a lot of fun to look at !

Not every thing is shabby at Shabby Suite of the Month but it has not had a new suite in two years. However you can look at the archives and be uplifted by the dramatic use of color in several of these home tours. It is fun to stage a room and take pictures. Even if you have to remove the fancy pillows and clear off the coffee table afterwards, it always gives a lift to have it looking beautiful for a moment just for a photograph, and to give you some practice if you ever really want to arrange a room for a special occasion. Having a practice day can give you the experience and confidence you need if you ever have to make it over for a special occasion.

If you cant afford the magazines with the beautiful photoes, Cottage Blog has beautiful photographs of house inspiration. Not everyone will like all of it but there may be something that will make you feel good.

And, if you do not have enough to do (ha ha) go and have a look at the Homemade Thingshere. She makes it all look so beautiful.

WHile these sites will not suit everyone's likes and dislikes, they show ideas of how to use things that you might have put away, such as your grandmother's vases and doilies and old furniture. They show new ways to use old things and incorporate new things.

Mo's Cottageis fun to look, too! And, don't forget to look at the beautiful paintings for you home at Lovely Whatevers.

"B y wisdom a house is builded,
And by understanding
It is established;
By knowledge the rooms are filled
With all pleasant and precious riches." Proverbs 24:3-4

There. Now you know you are allowed to stuff the house with things you like ;-)

Sometimes people take it wrong, when they look at show homes in their neighborhood, or flip through a pretty magazine of homes. They lose their contentment and give up, thinking they can never have it all, so why bother. I've always looked at things like this for ideas for myself that I can innovate without spending money, and I have always rejoiced that there are speople with such ability to make life joyful through the appearance of the house. To make it availble to us, is also a great blessing, because we know there is hope for the crumbling house. Women are naturally drawn to the home, to nesting, to making it soft and pretty and to serving their families. The comforts of the house are their main focus. Add to the beautiful arrangements the smell of good food, some music, freshly ironed clothing and a happy homemaker, and you have some of the ingredients to creating a place where people would rather be.


Diane Shiffer said...

oooh, what a treasure trove of delicious links! i can't wait to dive right in and enjoy♥

Tracy said...

Thanks for sharing! I'm always on the lookout for homemaking inspiration. :)

Jeannie Jo Ann said...

I did at what point have the green eyed monster for those beautiful things and try as I must I still couldnt shake the frugal side of me. Now I embrace the treasures I do have and enjoy hitting up the thrift stores to see what I can do to make thrifty pretty.

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear Lydia for this entry. You have much to teach from your household repair woes. My heart goes out to you as I can tell you love order and peace. Your attitude is wonderful and you have wise stategies for coping with water leaks and subsequent upheavals. Continue to immerse yourself in whatever uplifts you through this period. Many thanks. Love Linda

Anonymous said...

I thought of you and how you dealt with your kitchen upheavel this week Lydia.

We are having a tree chopped down because it is a danger (tangling with wires). Anyway, it hasn't gone as planned, with permits etc, and now my side yard is a absolute disaster area as the work had to be stopped mid-job.

I had to step back and refocus, and do what I could do for now, and yes, focus on what I could make pretty (the inside of the house for now!).

~ Ann

Lydia said...

Ann, I don't know if people are just not as expert as they used to be, or if the size of the job and the size of the machinery has changed, but I have also heard of several housing "disasters." One particular one was supposed to be the addition of a room on someone's house. The heavy machinery that came to do some work broke down and couldn't be moved. When it finally recovered, it left a bigger hole than the one intended, and the property is in shambles. Another case I know of was the repair of a roof. WHile it was being repaired, a storm came and destroyed the rest of the roof, leaving the inside of the house also soaked. These things cost money and families know better than to let it go, and they end up owing more money than they had alotted for the project. These things happen and it is a good reminder to have a house check regularly and detect if everything is running smoothly. Unfortunately, we cannot see the pipes and plumbing until they have sprung a leak, and we cannot tell if there is a hole in the roof until it starts to drip. Hot water heaters are the same--we often do not know a thing until there is a leak and then it is too late. In such cases as these, a good hobby is always very relieveing!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lydia, I agree. It's amazing, considering the amount of regulation that we have on everything, that so many things can still go wrong! I've heard many sad stories around here regarding termites...people buy houses and the whole thing is eaten up by termites.

~ Ann