Saturday, February 28, 2009

Candle Card (Easy)

Here is a larger candle card that I did, on the upper left, with a hand drawn rose wreath. Use your rubber stamps or stickers to make a wreath.

Click on the picture for a closer view.

Here is a card a little different from the previous post, that you might like better. It has more curved areas, making it look more realistic, and an added candle wreath. If you have scrapbook materials such as wired garlands or various ropes and threads, you could perhaps wind your own wreath around the base of the card.

The card is made with a card stock that is like parchment. It comes in a package of pastels. Here is a sample of the kinds of glitter glues I used on it. You can add glitter to the shiny paints.

This is the pattern. Just print it straight on to your cardstock, and paint it with glitter glues, as you like. Then outline the wreath and attach it to the candle base with two-way scotch tape.

Cheerful Greeting Cards or Shapes

Click this picture for a more detailed view.

Two shaped cards that you might enjoy making for someone. They do require a little more work, but I have included a simple shape for coloring, in the printable template pattern, below.
This candle looks bright when outlined with various colors of glitter glue or Scribbles paints. I added extra glitter before it dried. Glitter glue makes it look like a real drippy candle.

This is a painter's palette shape, with paint brushes, topped with snipped pieces of yarn for the brushes. Glitter glue looks realistic when it is applied as little dobs of paint. I have used glitter paper here and have included a pattern for making these paint pieces out of construction paper or any kind of art paper.

Both cards stand up really nicely when they are made of heavy card stock, an made into a folded card. Don't forget to place them on the fold if you want to make cards. You can also use the convenient little stands I have drawn, to just make a stand up card. You can still print a greeting on the inside, and your recipient will love setting it up to look at.
You can make the flame on the candle, or the paint spots, from metallic papers, or textured papers, or just anything you have--even fabric, for variety. We used to have a lot of fun with our children when we made these painter's palettes into frames, by cutting the hole much larger and attaching a photograph. Then, we made paint brushes from drinking straws and pushed yarn through the ends for the brushes.

Paste the entire pages on cardstock or cereal box cardboard, and cut out the pieces you want. Then trace those pieces on to your fancier card stock for the main piece. After that, trace around the small pieces on to colored papers and glue on to your main piece. Or, if you like, just use the main piece and crayons.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Violets from Dover Victorian Clip Art

Reading by the Window Hastings

by Charles James Lewis

available at Lovely Whatevers

This is Lesson 6 from book three, of the 1964 publication called "The Christian Girl," by Mamie W. Hayhurst. It will give you an idea of the kinds of things that were taught to young women just 45 years ago; things that are still as valid as they were then. Times may have changed, with new things to make things work faster or better, but we still need the same teachings that guide our lives on the right paths. The old paths were created to undergird every century and every life, whether it was someone born back in 33 a.d. or someone born in 2000 a.d.

Some of the wording in this little volume, such as the word "charming" were common expressions that were understood a little differently than we perceive them today, but you can see by the context, what is actually meant by them.

The year 1964 was the last year these little pamphlets were published. At this time, a large effort by progressives was made to eliminate the teaching of Christian values to young girls, and gradually, such classes could no longer be found.

The Christian Girl and Contentment

Hebrews 13:5

Every Christian girl will now and then meet disappointments, for they are inherited by mortality. But if she would be charming she will take things calmly and endeavor to be content with her lot. She may at least add a little sunshine if she earnestly endeavors to dispel the clouds of discontent that may arise, and by so doing, enjoy the blessings that God gives.

Contentment must spring from the mind, and she who seeks happiness by changing anything but her own disposition, will waste her life in fruitless efforts, and multiply the things she wishes to remove.

If we are cheerful and contented, everything seems brighter to us; all nature is more beautiful. Contentment is happiness, but many girls who are surrounded with everything to make them happy, become discontented, because some other girls have something that they would like to have. Like the monkey, they try to imitate everything that is fashionable. They covet and wish and lose sight of the good things they have.

Discontentment takes away happiness. As stated in this parable, we are what God makes us, and should be content in doing the things that we are suited for.

A Parable of Contentment

from Gray and Adams Commentary

"A violet shed its modest beauties at the turfy root of an old oak. It lived there many days during the kind summer in obscurity. The winds and the rains came and fell, but did not hurt the violet. Storms often crashed around the boughs of the oak. One day the oak said, 'Are you not ashamed of yourself when you look up at me, you little thing down there, when you see how large I am, and how small a space you fill and how widely my branches are spread?' 'No,' said the violet, ' We are both where God has placed us; and God has given us both something. He has given you strength, and to me, sweetness, and I offer him back my fragrance, and I am thankful.' 'Sweetness is all nonsense,' said the oak, 'a few days--a month at most--here, and what will you be? You will die, and the place of your grave will not lift the ground more than a blade of grass. I hope to stand ages more in time, perhaps, and then when I am cut down, I shall be a ship to bear men over the sea, or a coffin to hold the dust of a prince.' 'But! Cheerfully breathed the violet back, 'We are both what God made us and we are both where he placed us. I suppose I shall die soon. I hope to die fragrantly. You must be cut down at last; it does not matter that I see a few days or a few ages;it comes to the same thing at last: we are where God placed us. God gave you strength; He gave me sweetness."
The Christian girl should be like the man who said his secret of contentment consisted in the right use of his eyes.
He said, "When I meet with any trial, I first of all look up to heaven, and I remember that my chief business in life is to get there. Then I look down upon the earth and I think how small a space I shall need when I die, and then, I look around and think how many people there are in the world who have more cause to be unhappy than I have. And so, I learn the Bible lesson: "Be content with such things as ye have."
Too many girls lose their charm by whining, fretting, and grumbling. A fretting, grumbling, discontent person is one of the most unlovable persons in the world. Someone has said that a wasp is a comfortable house-mate in comparison; it only stings when disturbed, but a habitual, discontented fretter stings with or without provocation.
Here are some of the questions at the end of this chapter:
What is better than great treasure? Proverbs 15:16
What did the apostle Paul say he had learned? Philippians 4:11
What is great gain? I Timothy 6:6
What must we be content with? Ist Timothy 6:8; Hebrews 13:5
Of what are we not to be anxious? Matthew 6:31, 32
What may befall those who are not content with what money they have? Ist Timothy 6:9,10
What illustration did Jesus use to teach contentment? Luke 12:24-28
What promise leads to contentment? Genesis 8:22
Will a jealous person be content? Proverbs 6:34, 35
When a covetous person gets what he seeks, is he contented? Ecclesiastes 5:10
After each lesson in these books is a scrapbook assignment. They are to make a four page little scrapbook and fill it in the way that is instructed in the book, to illustrate the lesson.
I have another shaped card to post, and a project to share.
The painting of the girl at the window, which was done in the 1800's, was not all fantasy. In fact, many of did this as a favorite recreation, because it was at the window that we could get the best light, while reading.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Homemaking Is Easier Now

Taking Afternoon Tea in a Beach Hut at Felixstowne, in Suffolk, England

Kitchen Update: still experimenting with style and colors, and waiting for more repair work to be done.

My Home

This is the place that I love the best,

A little brown house, like a ground-bird's nest,

Hid among grasses, and vines, and trees,

Summer retreat of the birds and bees.

The tenderest light that ever was seen

Sifts through the vine-made window screen--

Sifts and quivers, and flits and falls

On home-made carpets and gray-hung walls.

All through June the west wind free

The breath of clover brings to me.

All through the languid July day

I catch the scent of new-mown hay.

The morning-glories and scarlet vine

Over the doorway twist and twine;

And every day, when the house is still,

The humming-bird comes to the window-sill.

In the cunningest chamber under the sun

I sink to sleep when the day is done;

And am waked at morn, in my snow-white bed,

By a singing bird on the roof o'erhead.

Better than treasures brought from Rome,

Are the living pictures I see at home--

My aged father, with frosted hair,

And mother's face, like a painting rare.

Far from the city's dust and heat,

I get but sounds and odors sweet.

Who can wonder I love to stay,

Week after week, here hidden away,

In this sly nook that I love the best--

This little brown house like a ground-bird's nest?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850-1919

Along with many other women, I lived in the days when some parts of house keeping was very hard work. I lived before permanent press, dishwashers, indoor bathrooms, television, indoor washers, dryers, air conditioning, central heating, electric vacuum cleaners, and many other labor-saving tools.

Clothing was more difficult to clean because it was not stain-resistant. Once it was dry, it took almost an hour to iron a shirt. Shirts were made of natural fabrics, which wrinkled very easily. The fabrics were tough, but the irons were heavy, and hot enough to do the job. Try ironing one of those natural, untreated fabrics today with an electric iron, and you will find it is not heavy enough or hot enough to do the job.

The irons that were heated on the stove were very effective, but it was such hard work that it could take half an hour to iron a shirt, and if you were a novice, it might take longer. Just about every single garment we owned had to be ironed. We did not iron things just to make them look good, either. The fabrics were so wrinkled if you did not iron them, it made it difficult to button or zip things and the garment would twist around and not hang as straight. Clothes not ironed could be very uncomfortable.

Today, clothing is so much easier to care for, that ironing can be more of a finishing touch, and a pleasure, than hard labor.
With so many conveniences now, from easy-care floors, to dishwashers, coffee-makers, ice-makers, food processors, and so forth, I do not know why young women should not look forward to being homemakers. These days, women can have any kind of invention they need to help them. There are sewing machines to make clothing construction easier, and there are easy instructions on the web if you want to learn to do something by hand. These conveniences make home making simpler, and leave free time our husbands, children and our parents.
Please remember to visit Lovely Whatevers every day this month and look at the new posters. You can purchase these by clicking on the titles, and if you like them for your blogs, be sure to post a link where they can be found. My daughter, Lillibeth, manages the Lovely Whatevers
blog. has photographs of women dressed for church,at a church potluck, and a good post today. Go and see the hats and dresses, and imagine the delicious food in those picnic baskets.
Go to for a similar story of living before the days of hot tap water. We had the same hot water reservoir in the cook stove, as this lady describes. We also heated buckets of extra water for our baths, on top the stove. Our tub was an army-navy type of contraption that folded up like a canvas folding chair, and it actually held water. I have a picture of it somewhere, and will post it when I find it. I believe some of my brothers and sisters were taking a bath in it when the picture was taken.
Have a look at what you had to know about using a stove back then
The reason for this post was that so many young girls do not want to be homemakers full time because they think it is boring, too hard, drudgery, isolating, etc. This is simply not true. Today we have cars, and running water, automatic washers and dryers, telephones and every thing that would open up the world to us, as well as free us of much time-consuming labor. If you aren't happy at home, perhaps you have not explored your possibilities there. Home is a luxurious place and you can change it if you don't like it. If you work outside the home, you have less control over the conditions you live in daily. At home you can adjust the temperature, change the paint color, clean and arrange and beautify as you like. You get to invite the people you want, and you can also do as much work as you like, catching up on laundry and getting the house in order. You don't have to be regulated by much except your own judgement.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Society's New Bad Word

(from an article by  Drew Kiser via Reflections  volume 5, number 1)

This world uses many names to demean Christians and pressure them to capitulate to its influence, but one word stands out above all others as the most dreaded weapon in society's linguistic arsenal: fundamentalist.

"Fundamentalist" as a formal religious designation was coined in 1920 by Curtis Lee Laws of those ready "to do battle royal for the Fundamentals."  The dictionary defines "fundamentalism" as "religious beliefs based on a literal interpretation of the Bible regarded as fundamental to Christian faith and morals," but since the 1920's the word has evolved into a pejorative with political implications, invoking images of bomb-wielding terrorists and intolerant, unloving preachers with a Pharisaical approach to religion. Fundamentalism today is regarded as anti-intellectual, resistant to culture, intolerant of opposing views, anti-science and violent [all false].

Opponents of conservative faiths have worked hard to develop these negative connotations. In an essay entitled, Why Fundamentalism is Wrong, Scott Bidstrup defines fundamentalism as:       

any religion, that when confronted with a conflict between love, compassion and caring, and conformity to doctrine, will almost invariably choose the latter regardless of the effect it has on its followers or on the society of whit is is a part.

Note also the statement by renowned atheist Richard Dawkins, whose book,  The God Delusion has sold over 1.5 million copies: "fundamentalism...subverts science and saps the intellect."

The danger that results from fundamentalism's bad press is that it tempts Christians to move away from the basic doctrines revealed by God (in his Word) to shape Christianity into a religion that pleases him. If we ignore these elements, Christianity vanishes from existence.

Divorced from its political nuances, a fundamental is a primary principle, rule, law, or article, which serves as the basis for our faith. It is an essential part of the whole. No organization can continue to exist without its fundamentals. The Lord's church has many good works which are not essential to its existence; things like church camps....Bible schools, Christian colleges, visitation programs, etc.  While these may be beneficial, they are not essential. We could do away with one or all of them and still have the church for which our Lord died (consisting of believers who respond to the command to obey the gospel.)

Paul spoke of the fundamentals in Ephesians 4:4-6 by listing seven "ones":

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The apostle left no room for improvement or innovation in these seven matters. Being "one," they are essential to the Christian faith..(.these are fundamentals.)

Perhaps "fundamentalism" is one of those works that has run its course. Having been stripped of its original meaning, it is no longer useful in conveying these important principles. Nevertheless, Christian people cannot forget their moorings. Without the basics, we are nothing.


My comments:   Everyone has fundamentals in their lives.  On the job, there are fundamental principles of business to follow, and at home there are fundamental ways of doing things. Raising a family requires fundamental beliefs and practices. Even those who send their children to public schools will find that the schools have fundamental rules and beliefs. The important thing is that we know which fundamental beliefs to follow. Like Joshua said, we can follow the fundamentals of this world, or the fundamentals of the Lord.

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

 All areas of life have fundamentals.  You cannot become a seamstress or a good housekeeper without choosing fundamentals to follow. Sciences and musical instruments, construction of buildings, and government, all require fundamental rules and practices in order to be used properly.  The confusion comes when modernists take out fundamental rules of life, whether it be fundamental courtesy and politeness, or fundamental orderliness  They say, "What does it matter if we are sloppy, dirty, immodest, crude, rude or slothful in our work?  Is not it the heart that counts?"

Our actions and way of life are a reflection of our hearts, for the Bible says:
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

and also:

Colosians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

We might use the word "fundamental" more prominently, as in "fundamental house keeping," and "fundamental cooking," "fundamental learning," fundamental hospitality" and "fundamental piano lessons."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Time-Wise Truths

Creative Summer,by Consuelo Gamboa
Afternoon Tea by Paul Fischer from Lovely Whatevers

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom."

Time is Short

Time is short, the days are fleeting,
Not one step can I retrace.
Every morn a new day greeting,
Yesterday I can't replace.

Help me, Lord, to do thy bidding,
Help me live each new day through
As I would if life were fading
As the sunset comes to view.
-Hazel A. Dillehy
(Christian Woman Magazine, circa 1960)

Using one's time well is a challenge that is best bred in youth, but it can be learned at any age, through diligent practice. Homemakers have such full lives that they wonder where all the time has gone. They are often astonished at the very idea that some would think they are "doing nothing" because they are workers at home, and not going outside the home to work. Young women at college now may not be able to understand the many facets of homemaking until they actually become homemakers.

One of the most important aspects of homemaking is the wise use of time. Everyone has experienced the dismay when a day, through unexpected interruptions, illness, or forgetfulness, just gets away from them. To a woman that loves her home, there seems to be nothing more frustrating than not accomplishing anything worthwhile in a given day. Such times as these are always reminders of how important time is, and how careful we must be not to spend it unwisely.

Quilting Bee in Virginia
There were a number of useful things that women have done, and still do, that are both re-creational, and beneficial to others. Quilting groups were popular, and I can remember ladies coming to our house out on the homestead, spending a day quilting, and leaving a blanket for us. An elderly woman once asked my daughter to come out with her children and peel apples. While they were peeling apples from her apple trees, she told my daughter of the days when women got together to peel apples or shell peas or snap beans. Others got together for Bible studies, focusing on the duties of women of all ages, so that the older generation was consistently reminded, and the next generation of young women would know how to conduct their lives.

There was always the regular work of the house to be done: washing dishes and cooking, sweeping floors, washing clothes and ironing, and in general, keeping the home livable, but there was also a lot of time left to do other things, such as telling stories to children, writing letters, or art projects. Some women had a special visiting day to make calls on people, taking a basket of whatever served their needs. I chat with my own mother frequently, and she tells me that although work was necessary, women used to have many different interests, which they enjoyed enormously in the home. When her mother came to visit us, they made a colorful rag rug together. This kind of activity has an influence on the children in the home.

Best Wishes
Lovely Whatevers

Throughout the ages, wise teachers have always warned women of the folly of wasting time. Time spent resting or truly re-creating with a pleasant activity, is not wasted, if it builds the inner person and benefits the home. A lesson to teenage girls, on this subject, reads:

"The Christian girl should learn to use her time wisely and not spend it in idleness. The woman who spends her time at bridge parties, club meetings, dancing and attending other places of pleasure while she leaves her children with babysitters is eating the bread of idleness, and will likely reap regrets that will out-weigh her satisfaction. The reward of the ideal woman is this: 'Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.' This is the greatest reward a girl can look forward to in life. She excels all others...

"The Christian girl should know that her success in her mission that the Lord made her for, depends upon preparation. She should build into her character every trait that is found in the virtuous woman of the Bible. If she does this, her value will be far above rubies." --(From The Christian Girl, book four, Lesson 7, by Mamie W. Hayhurst, published 1964)

Preachers were open with their reminders to the way women spent their time, knowing of the distractions that would draw them from their love of the home:

"The unhappiest people in the world are those who have nothing to do but have a good time. Idleness explains the discontent and bitterness of many, both rich and poor. Idleness permits the imagination to run riot, and exposes a person to all kinds of worries and fears." (from "Do's and Don'ts for the Christian," chapter 12, by Leroy Brownlow, published 1951)

Concerning the home, this same preacher wrote: "Women's feminine endowments have especially equipped her for homemaking. The touch of her hand can transform a hovel into a palace, because it takes more than lumber, nails, brick and mortar to make a home. There is a great distinction between a house and a home...There is more to homemaking than keeping a house. In addition to keeping a tidy house, the wife should make an atmosphere of love, happiness,...cheerfulness..."

Women who really want a stable family and a respectable dwelling place for them, will be serious about the way they spend their time. When women, as well as young girls in the home, spend their spare time making something beautiful, they will have something to show for their leisure time. When young girls opt to go out with the girls and sit for hours drinking or playing games, they come away with nothing to show for their time, and time can never be recovered, once it is wasted. In past posts, I have made the comparison between re-creation, a way of reviving the body and the spirit, and wreck-reation, which is a result of participation in something called vice. Vice is anything that is addictive and tears down, rather than builds up, good character. Vice is the opposite of virtue. One of the several meanings of "virtue" is: the practice of goodness.

While it is beneficial to enjoy family life by playing board games and other kinds of games, some games can become vices when they call women away from their families regularly. Games can be addictive, but they can also cause women to lose their dignity and become less of an example to their children and younger women.
It is all well and good to enjoy leisure time, but anything can be taken down the wrong road and turned into a vice if it breaks down the home rather than builds it up. Some young women who have constant trials in their home life, or are not consistent in their worship habits, will faithfully attend bingo games or neighborhood bunko (dice) games.

During these games, women forget that they are to be examples to younger women, and lose all personal restraint. Instead of behaving like ladies, they are loud and boisterous, throwing all care to the wind, and acting as if there were no tomorrow. Women at these parties sometimes behave and dress in an unlady-like way. Proverbs 9 calls this kind of woman "clamorous."**

I have stated previously that there is nothing wrong with playing games, but it would be better to stay home and play with the entire family. Some girls just do not want to grow up, still thinking they should go out with the girls. Since older women are told to be "sober" (serious-minded), in Titus 2, we all need to be reminded that young women become older women, who will then be called on to teach other younger women. The practice of goodness, rather than the practice of vice, is a habit that needs to be formed in youth.

I have attended some of these things by invitation, at least once, and stayed long enough to discover how foolish the time was being spent. I heard of several occasions in which visitors attended a ladies Bible class, only to find that the Christian women were in a hurry to finish the prescribed Bible study lesson, so that they could clear the tables and have a rousing game of bunko(a dice-rolling game).

My family played games at home when I was little, (and I think it is very nice if parents will play games with their children) but when I learned to be creative and do things with my hands, I preferred to do something else. I discovered that drawing, writing, reading, crafting, sewing, decorating, and doing things for others, as a hobby, didn't require that I wait my turn. I could make as much progress as I wanted, without waiting for someone else to take their turn.

Lovely Whatevers
(Advertisement for a Fountain Pen)

I think it is really important to expose girls to the delights of things like making your own paper dolls, all kinds of art work and various craft projects, writing and acting out their own plays, learning to sing or write poems, packing a basket for a picnic, and enjoying it in the old fashioned way on a quilt, visiting someone who is shut-in and taking a box or bag of goodies to cheer them, enjoying scenery and nature walks, designing and sewing their own clothing, crochet or knitting, and writing letters. All these things can be taught with kits and instruction books, and there are sometimes other people who will host a class in their home.They do not have to like everything, or do it all, but giving them exposure to these things will be like an investment: you will notice that interest will accumulate on some of these things.

Having something to do her hands, is important for a young girl, because, if she does not learn to do something useful with her hands, she will find it more attractive to roll dice, deal cards, or worse than that, hold an alcoholic drink in one hand and a cigarette in another. Girls who learn to create with their hands are generally more satisfied with life and more content. Older women have to be careful about their influence on younger women, and they, too, should "redeem the time."
Hospitality is a wonderful solution to fill the social needs of women, young and old. Tea parties are perhaps the easiest thing to prepare, since they do not require much in preparation, compared to hot meals with several side dishes. Tea parties --maybe just some fragrant tea with a plate of attractively cut up fruit or vegetables and dip, and homemade muffins, are more affordable and can include children. I have noticed that the people who have come to teas have been the lovers of the home and family. When people just can't get away from some responsibilities at home and accept your hospitality, it is easy to pack up a tea-to-go and deliver it to them.

Mary Brooks Pickens, who wrote sewing instruction books in the 1920's, stated that in all the sewing classes she had taught, she noticed that the girls who learned to sew and to create with their hands--those with busy hands, had the most stable families and were the most content, and the less troubled of all people. These leisure activities seem to calm the soul and build the intellect more than the mindless, unchallenging games and vices that people indulge in.
There is so much to do that is interesting and relaxing, that young women do not need to resort to gaming and vice of any sort. These wholesome, creative activities build up the person doing them, and edify others around them, as opposed to some things that are not only silly, but create a let-down when the excitement of the moment is gone. The games that are so popular in neighborhoods now, are not something I could picture the Proverbs 31 woman or the Titus 2 woman playing. I b elieve women can develop their intelligence and their talents, and fill their time much better. I believe they are made of something better and made for something much higher and nobler than the games people play.
Pro 9:13 - (Adam Clarke, Bible commentator - 1762-1832)
A foolish woman is clamorous - Vain, empty women, are those that make most noise. And she that is full of clamor, has generally little or no sense. We have had this character already, see Pro_7:11. The translation of the Septuagint is very remarkable: Γυνη αφρων και θρασεια, ενδεης ψωμου γινεται, "A lewd and foolish woman shall
be in want of bread."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Kitchen Update

This is what it looks like, with a temporary curtain in the window. This is a completely staged photograph. In two minutes that kitchen will be swamped with cooking things and food and everything. It will take a long time to get a scene like this again.

We did not put in new top cabinets, but the unmatched set does not look too awful after all. We will still be painting the upper cabinets. They are about 45 years old and still not broken down, hand made, of plywood.

It was very difficult to get a picture of the entire kitchen from the top to the floor. The floor is all torn up anyway, and will be replaced.

The sink is nice and deep.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thoughts of Home

Victoria Magazine cover from 1998

Cards I've been making

Close up of materials used: pleated crepe paper streamer, edges of paper lace doilies, glitter stack strips cut with shaped scissors, colored glitter glue, clip art. My own paper lace card will be finished soon and I'll add it to this post.

A Collection of Thoughts on the Home:

Love: Women are at home because they love their families and their place in life. Whether they are single or married, with or without children, they do this because of love. One of the side effects of pouring love into the home, is contentment. At home, we do not have to compete, or worry about whether or not we will be able to keep our job. Women at home should try to get their homes the way they like them, so that they enjoy their surroundings.

Routine: Most homemakers have "those days" where the time seems to get away from them and they do not feel they have "done" anything important. No matter what time it is, it is helpful to treat the day as though it had just begun, as if you had not lost any time at all. This helps to redeem some of the time you lost if your morning was taken up with unexpected matters

Family: Family members do not always behave with maturity. When such is the case, just be sure you keep to your goals of maintaining a stable home life by being the best home maker and example you can be. Having things you do no matter what mood everyone else is in, is very stabilizing. In stressful times, your family will be glad to look back and see that you were always the same and were able to ride above the petty and the trivial things and keep your eye on what you needed to accomplish. Do not abandon all plans to have a nice home life and a pretty home, just because someone in the family is giving you a hard time.

Friendship: Friendship is not more important than the family. If friends reinforce your family's beliefs and interests, and build you up, they can add a dimension of love to your lives and enrich your family. If, however, they complain about your house, your food, your hospitality, your interests, and your way of life, it can be very debilitating. If their friendship tends to bring tension to the home, cause division in the family (for example, a friend is friendly to one member of the family, but hostile to the others), it is best not to get too intimate with them.

Time: I was always taught to value time, but to some people, time means nothing. They can wile away a day doing nothing unless they are regulated by a boss or a job or a school. When someone isn't requiring something of them, they want to party and lose all sense of time, or just engage in meaningless talking or silliness. I like to enjoy life and laugh just like everyone else, but I like just as much to use time to gather knowledge or make something or do something that will count, later on. I do not believe young people should "sow their wild oats" as many people believe, because that is what they will harvest in their adult years. They need stability, and the best way to get that, is to teach them the value of time. It does not mean they need to work all the time, but that even in leisure, there has to be a value to it. It cannot waste them, but build them.

Grown Children at Home: If a young person wishes to continue living at home and the family loves having them, it is an advantage to them all. The younger person can aid the home in many ways. Young men can help with home improvements and repairs, and young ladies can add the beauties of their own sewing, and the delicious aromas of their cooking, to the home. There is nothing unbliblical about it, and there is no law against it. There is a social snobbery against it, but pay no attention to it. If your son or daughter gets under pressure to get an apartment or place of their own, it will be accompanied by many new stresses and instabilities. The rent will swallow up their earnings til they come out with nothing and still have to move back in. The loneliness can be excruciating, which is something no one talks about or exposes. People prey on your children's money, wanting them to share rent, or go out to eat. At home, they can be protected from this, and also help their parents as they grow older. It will not prevent them from getting married. Families have more friends and a bigger social life than a single person out on their own in an apartment, and there are more opportunities to meet other young people and find a mate, within the family circles. It is not "abnormal" to want to continue living at home, and I know many people who went from their parents' home to their husband's home, without that in between stage of apartments and poverty and loneliness. They went into their marriages with a little more money and more stability. Being home means you get to see how real life operates, and it helps you in managing your own family.

The Home: Most women dream of having a happy family and a house to look after. These goals are simple, yet they take effort. The woman who desires to be home should not be undermined by those who do not think it is important. The home is where basic beliefs and habits should be developed. Everyone comes from a home. It is a more powerful place than most people think, and that is why there is such an effort to diminish its importance.

Property: A house is a better investment than a college education. You can sell a piece of property and make a profit from a house, in just a matter of months, but if you get a degree you not only will have to spend many years paying a debt, you will have to work many years to make a profit from that degree. If the specialized field you chose to enter goes bust and is no longer able to hire people, you have a degree you cannot sell and you cannot make a profit. If you really want to invest in something for your children, and you have the money, buy them a house or help them develop a small home business of their own. If you buy a house on credit, read carefully the fine print, to see if the interest and the payments are going to escalate, and be wise about the way you finance it.

Creativity. Homemakers know the value of creativity. It is what makes life enjoyable and keeps the mind alive. Even if you do not sew or crochet, there are many ways to be creative at home, through the way you arrange things in your house. You can also research many different subjects through reading. Blogging is a favorite past time of many homemakers, as it helps them think, and see what they have really accomplished. Diaries and journals were popular in former days, and they give us a glimpse of what the women created at the time. If you learn to do several things, and by practicing, make them better, you can have just about anything you want, because you can make it. I remember the days when interior decorating, pictures on the wall, etc. were not so available. We used to clip pictures of scenery out of magazines and put them in frames to hang on our walls.

Work: Every job, in or out of the home, has a certain amount of labor and unpleasant parts. In the home, this work can be turned into something more pleasant. After awhile, it becomes an interest and a hobby to keep a beautiful home. We work not because we are "paid" but because it is our personal duty and we love our families. To limit work to only paid labor, is to reduce the home to something materialistic. Work at home is tangled up in devotion and duty and love.

Resourcefulness: This is the technique of thinking harder about how something could be done, with the resources you have available to you. There are many overlooked resources in the home and within the family. Think of different ways to do things, or ways to meet a need. Most people have the resources of their hands, and hands can do many things!

Leisure: After a pot of soup has been put on the stove to simmer, and bread is baking in the oven, is a good time to sit and pursue the lovely pleasures of knitting, sewing, paper crafts, reading, writing, or whatever a homemaker likes. Leisure can be taken at intervals throughout the day. It refreshes the body and stimulates the mind. The beauty of being at home is that no one can regulate your leisure activities or your leisure time. You are your own boss, in the managing, guarding, and guiding of the house.

Food: Food is one of the most important parts of home living, so it is good to learn how to prepare it. It does not always mean cooking. It means learning to pick out real food, fresh food, that is as close to its natural state as possible, and preparing it so that it tastes good and feels good to the stomach. I do not follow menus, but I try to find different ways to fix basic foods. My husband does the grocery shopping, and he buys things like olive oil, fish, salad vegetables, vegetables to saute (stir fry) flour for bread making, fresh fruit and and basics that I can work with in many different ways.

Children: Children brought up with a soft life sometimes have a hard time as adults when things are not so easy. Children should be taught to work, and to be happy and cheerful. They should be taught to respect their parents, not for just the time when they are little, but for their entire adult life. We do not raise them for 18 years only to have them throw off the good values we have given them. That is why we continue to have a watchful eye for them even in their young adult years.

Happiness: The Bible has a lot to say about being happy. It is a choice and a duty to be happy, whatever our circumstances. We are not to blame others if we are not happy. The apostle Paul said he knew how to "abound" (when things were prosperous and good) and he knew how to be "abased" (when he was imprisoned and poor). Philippians 4:12 We can be in bad circumstances and still be happy. I will never forget Rose Kennedy's remarks at a press conference when her son, John Kennedy, was assassinated. She said that no matter what happened, we must remember God, and that we must praise him.

Home Without Children: I do not know why this has to be an issue. Our country has a history of women at home, even though they have no children. Those with children, will, at some time or other, be without children in the house. After all the experience of home living, it does not make sense to send a woman to work. She is needed at home, whether or not she has children. Someone has to be there. Think of all the houses that are empty all day long because both the husband and the wife are out working. It is a shame they pay so much for their homes and spend so little time there.

Without children, there is still a lot to do. Women without children have an opportunity to really help their husbands get ahead, by providing things home made meals, clean laundry, freshly ironed and mended clothes, and being on call for emergencies. There is always a need for someone at home to bring a second set of keys , a forgotten lunch, important papers, a lost phone, etc. to a husband or son in the family.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Various Comments on Homemaking

(above) has a giveaway going on. I have also added her to my links. I plan to add more to this post today, so if anyone has anything going on that you would like included here, please email me or add to the comments and I will put it up.
is reproducing a greeting card from the 1800's here It is pleasant to observe this drawing of two girls reading together, and to think about what they might be discussing. I love the clothing and the bonnets in this picture.
Kristy at Homemaker's Cottage has made some of the cupcakes from templates in one of my earlier posts, and they look delicious. will have a new poster up with the theme of love, every day this month. You can use the pictures on your blogs, as long as you post a link from where they came from. We collect them on Lovely Whatevers from Allposters, so that people won't have to wade through all the junk to get to the pretty paintings. We try to choose the best, and on the sidebar, you can find the categories, such as cottages, flowers, etc.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Humble Art of the Victorian Period

From our private family collection, a post card with a scene in the background, surrounded by co-ordinating roses in the foreground.

The Kingdom of Home

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

In the dawn of the day, when the sea and the earth
Reflected the sunrise above,
I set forth, with a heart full of courage and mirth,
To seek for the Kingdom of Love.

I asked of a Poet I met on the way,

Which cross-road would lead me aright,
And he said: "Follow me, and ere long you will see
Its glistening turrets of Light."

And soon in the distance a city shone fair;
"Look yonder," he said, "there it gleams!"
But alas! for the hopes that were doomed to despair,
It was only the Kingdom of Dreams.

Then the next man I asked was a gay cavalier,
And he said: "Follow me, follow me."
And with laughter and song we went speeding along
By the shores of life's beautiful sea,

Till we came to a valley more tropical far
Than the wonderful Vale of Cashmere,
And I saw from a bower a face like a flower
Smile out on the gay cavalier,

And he said: "We have come to humanity's goal---
Here love and delight are intense."
But alas! and alas! for the hope of my soul---
It was only the Kingdom of Sense.

As I journeyed more slowly, I met on the road
A coach with retainers behind,
And they said:
"Follow us, for our lady's abode Belongs in the realm you would find."

'Twas a grand dame of fashion, a newly-wed bride;
I followed, encouraged and bold.
But my hope died away, like the last gleams of day,
For we came to the Kingdom of Gold

At the door of a cottage I asked a fair maid.
"I have heard of that Realm," she replied,
"But my feet never roam from the Kingdom of Home,
So I know not the way," and she sighed.

I looked on the cottage, how restful it seemed!
And the maid was as fair as a dove.
Great light glorified my soul as I cried,
"Why, home is the Kingdom of Love!"

Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Most of the art on this blog and other things I have written at LAF has been that of extremely talented painters of the Victorian era. It is truly inspiring and gives me a glimpse of the culture of that time.

There is another kind of art is often overlooked, that I feel I have more in common with. It was seen on greeting cards, calling cards, trade cards, and boxes of cocoa, tea, flour, baking powder, and other containers of the era. It was a simple art, not "great" but extremely sentimental. There is not much written about this type of art, such as who started it, where it came from, and what, if any, message was being portrayed. Today, it is called "Victorian Clip-Art" or "Victorian Graphics."

The picture at the top that you see before you when you first click on this post, is a farm scene in apple blossom time, surrounded by an enlarged apple-blossom in the front, as if you were looking through a pane.

These are free Victorian graphics from the web. Since I do not have the sources here, you can just type in "Free Victorian Graphics" and then go to the "scenery" sections of any of the sites you find.

This kind of art was a little scene of home, or maybe a town, a country road, a river, etc., enclosed in a shape, such as a circle, square, oval, or feathered. Around the shape were entwined vines and flowers or birds, which almost always "went" with the scene. For example, if it was a scene of a home, with flowers in the front yard, the oval would be surrounded by larger flowers of the same kind and color, in the foreground.

The doves in the above scene are happily playing in the foreground on a wreath of shamrocks, looking at the estate in the distance.

This is a circle with a blue sky in the background, covered in blossoms in the foreground. It is like looking through a little window.

Here is another piece of what is called "clip art" that would have been placed on a card. Notice the little scene in the rectangle, that matches the theme of the foreground.

This cottage in Sussex, Great Britain, would have been enclosed inside of any ivy vine or something that reflected the scene within.

Here is another example of this clip art, with the large trees in the front, representing the background scene.

This is my favorite, because it looks just like the home road that we walked on so many times, to the house of my childhood. The road was surrounded by common vines and flowers, all which were precious to us.

Here is a post card from one of the free Victorian graphic sites online, with two scenes inside of heart frames, adorned with violas, plenty of which might be inside the scene itself. These humble sketches made me think of the way homes were once situated: almost always on a little slope, with a tree near the house, and a winding road. With such a scene, home was even sweeter.

This one, inside of a diamond, surrounded by a close-up apple blossom, shows a church building in the distance with more trees in bloom.

Here is a frame that looks as though a fence was in the background.

This looks like a straw flower or an English daisy, surrounding a home and a barn, with a creek in the front.

Some scenes were painted inside of keyholes, like the ones at this shop: Please be sure to click on the picture for a larger view, on the link. If you have never experienced looking through a keyhole as a child, you will not understand how enchanting it was. When a child reached a certain height, he could see into the keyhole of the front door, out into the view in front of the house. Many scenes were framed in a child's eye view by a keyhole. I am so enchanted with this shape that I am trying my hand at creating a scene inside of a keyhole shape, surrounded by the wild rose and forget-me-nots, two flowers which grew near the road leading to the home of my childhood. If it comes to anything, I will post it.

In the meantime, our kitchen is almost complete, but we have begun using it so much that I have not been able to take a picture of the finished product. Hmmm...well, I tried. Crayon on textured cardstock.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

1990's Sewing Patterns

Due to the interest in the designs of the 1980's, I got out an old McCall's sewing catalog that I saved. It was the early 1990's and, and after that, the fashions got really wacky, so this was the last catalog that I saved.

This is the pattern on the cover, number 6902. Sleeves were varied and interesting and a lot of fun to sew. Sometimes we put tiny ribbon rosebuds all over the sleeves.

Alicyn 6390
Fabrics were wonderful, and full of garden prints, roses, or clear pastels. Some were deep jewel colors like emerald and ruby. With lace collars, it really set off the dress and flattered the face.
Similar designs: 6330, 6506

All dressed up for a wedding (with sleeves!!) Girls 6944, Misses 6866, girls 6944

Alicyn 6881


I made several of these because I liked the scalloped sleeves. I also took a sleeve from another pattern that long, and it worked out fine. I made the same effect on the wrist area of the long sleeve. I used the solid color cottons that had a light sheen to them, and made one of each of my favorite colors.

hat: 6920

Collars were really a big deal and some of them were very elaborate with long ties and lots of lace. You could also buy battenburg lace removable collars to wear with any dress.

Nautical was very exciting, too, and many of us made them in solid colors like pink, blue, red, aqua, etc with contrasting trims of white, dark blue, etc. It was very exciting to get a calico or p print, and make it into a nautical dress and add a bright trim to the color.

blouse 6262 skirt 6284
Western was always appropriate and still is a timeless classic.
I learned how to raise necklines with these patterns. The book is from April 1994. I did not know the designs would begin to be so unappealing, or I would have kept this book intact. It has a lot of missing pages and places where things were clipped out.