Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Treats for the House

You might enjoy making this simple little treat for the home. I used it in the last class for girls. It is made of cotton terry washcloths,  to resemble a delicious cream pastry.  Pair it with some hand made soap with shaped fruit bits in it, or get one of the bars at the dollar store. Serve it in a container that will sit nicely in the bathroom. It is a very cheerful thing for a home maker gift.

Here are some of the ingredients you can use. If you cannot find the washcloths you need, just buy a big pack of 12-24 for a mere $4.00 and use liquid or powdered dye to get them the shade you want.

Pick two cloths and fold each in half the long way.

Fold in half again, the long way, and roll up tightly, securing the ends with a little bit of clear tape.

To make this look nice, make sure the puffy folded sides are on the upper side which shows, and the seams are on the other side.

Then, tie a coordinating shade of satin ribbon, or a wired ribbon, around it, and insert some artificial fruit or berries to match. If you do not want to purchase anything like that and you are creative with fabric, try making a felt lemon slice, a cherry or strawberry, or a chocolate cookie, to use as a topper. Lacking that, you might be able to make something similar from fancy scrapbook papers and glitters, to tie on the top.

If you make your own soap, just insert a small fruit-shaped soap such as apple or lemon slice,  under the ribbon, and you have a lovely gift for your ladies Bible class or your next tea fellowship.  If the recipient is not adverse to scent, you could spray some chocolate or cherry spray on them, which is also something you can get at dollar stores.  There is one called "Cinnamon Roll" which would be nice with a matching cloth roll, topped with some cinnamon sticks.  Place each roll, seam side away from sight, in a plastic dessert dish that will not break, or in a tin of some kind. You can get quite imaginative with the kinds of containers you use for this gift.

I do have several more easy crafts, but as easy as they are, they sure are complicated to photograph and put on the blog, so it takes a lot more time than I had calculated.

Pretty Decoration or Gift

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Leisure of Home

One of the many goals of house keeping is to allow time for other interests.  A woman at home can choose the best time for her work, to enable free time when she needs it. One suggestion that I had a few posts ago, was to leave the house fairly neat before retiring at night, allowing more time to relax in the morning.  

Since most people are trying to save money rather than spend it, it is important to make the home a place to relax and enjoy life. It is sad to see people work so hard for their homes and then have to take an expensive vacation to get away from it all.  In the past, women at home took part in many interesting activities. Housework was gotten out of the way in a reasonable amount of time so that they could sew, paint, write letters, read a book, or visit someone. 

Time should be taken each day to have a mini-vacation in the home or the surrounding area, without a great cost.  Instead of spending money on expensive vacations, why not purchase a few things that would bring greater pleasure at home: a new hobby or craft, new bath towels or sheets, a tray and tea set, and other luxuries that you would pay much  more for in a hotel.  This adds to the appeal of the home and to the enjoyment of the family.

Reading by a Window, by Charles James Lewis

(Women always knew how to find a bright corner in which to read, an occupation that is as relaxing as a vacation.)
Today there is a false view of leisure: that it must cost something. Yet, in the 1940's and 50's, even the poorest woman knew the joy of sitting in the shade of a tree, taking tea, sketching, or reading to her children. Knitting, sewing, and other crafts  have always been a relaxing, and women who did not have much in the way of material things, took great pleasure in them, without guilt or shame.

I grew up in the wilderness without the modern distractions, yet we knew how to be comfortable and how to find pleasure in nature and the things around us. Women at home have a better opportunity to find leisure in small ways. It is not something you have to "afford." It is something you make time for because it re-creates and refreshes your spirit.

Painting and different types of needlework, seemed to be common activities in the past.It seems that almost all young ladies in previous centuries  either knew how to paint or draw, write in journals, and sew. Young people became almost art-illiterate in the 20th century, as these courses were not offered any more. It is interesting to see the contentment in the faces depicted in the paintings by the artists of the times. Quiet hand work always brings a sense of serenity, if approached in the right way.

We can learn to relax and enjoy leisure time, even in hard times, by simply enjoying the beauty of life and the love of the family at home.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At First Glance

Isador Verheyden, 1890
Edmund Blair Leighton, 1896

Edmund Blair Leighton, 1894 

A few 18th and 19th century paintings, which show the contrast between the male and female appearance.  A class for young ladies was held recently, in which some of these kinds of pictures were shown to illustrate how opposite they dressed, and how we can immitate the beauty of the garments of the past for dressing today. At first glance, can you identify the men and women as male or female? Is it easy to tell the difference or do you have to look closer?  What is the difference between the way men and women dressed then, and now?  What kind of clothes create the manly appearance, what kind create a female appearance?  These were some of the things discussed in the class. Photographs from the period, and links, with further comments, to follow soon.

Edmund Blair Leighton, 1882
The Railway Station by William Powel Frith 1819-1909

Frith in His Studio , by Ballantyne 1815-1897
Edward Frederick Brewtnall  1846-1902
Alfred Augustus Glendenning 1861-1907

Alexander Rossi 1887 "Harford Couple and Their Children"

Senators in the mid-1800's

Friday, April 16, 2010

Homes as Art

Quiet Corner, a Cottage Near Dieppe

These paintings of homes, by Louis Aston Knight, (1873-1948) son of Daniel Ridgeway Knight, are amazing. Click on each picture for a larger view.

Flowers in Bloom

If you are homeschooling your children, this artist, and his father, would make good study material. Just look at the colour and the movement of the water. How did he do that? Some of the 19th century artists could make you smell the scent of spring or feel the temperature, by their careful brush strokes and placement of plants and streams.

 Apple Blossoms

These little scenes captured by the artist are just as precious to families today. They are symbols of what the word home really means: life and peace, happiness, loyalty, strong values taught by fathers and mothers. 

 Summer Garden, Normandy

The sentimental love and respect for the home, house and family is evident in so many paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 Summer, Beaumont-le-Roger

It is possible that women do not understand contentment because they have never experienced real home living, as it once was.  These paintings bring back some of the memory of those days when women  were home.

 A Bend in the River

It is interesting to look at the houses and imagine what life was like when being the lady of the house was an honour and a high calling.
The Blue Cottage

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tracing the Trolls

There are some good articles on the web that will help you protect your blog from the illegal activities that go on these days.  Many home makers simply want to have a blog about house keeping and be left alone, however, there are those out there who do not want any kind of free speech, unless it is their own. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Car Safety for Children

A Carriage to the Ball, by William Bromley - England, 1835-1888

I have noticed that young parents are getting lax about car safety for children. One particular problem is that they leave their children in the car while they do other things. Many of our laws are indeed oppressive, but some of the child safety laws regarding vehicles were put there by parents of a previous generation because they recognized some of the problems of car travel with children.

Please do not leave your child in a car and walk away.  If you are going somewhere, load up all your bags or luggage and supplies first, leaving the children in the house til last. 

When it is time to put the children in the vehicle, take them all with you, and lock the house behind you. Do not take them one at a time to buckle them in the car seat and then leave to get another child.  You might be thinking you cannot watch the other children while you put the baby in the car seat, but you can let all the other children get into the car and wait to be buckled in, while you take care to see that the baby is securely buckled.

A parent should be in the car with children at all times. Once home again, unload the children and get them in the house, first. Get your groceries out after the children are safely in the house.

Do not leave your children in a car or van with or without the motor running, just to put something in a mail box or fetch something from a shop.  

In your own driveway, it is not safe to leave children unaccompanied by a parent, in an automobile.  A crying baby in a car, or any children alone in a car, attracts the worst types of people, intent on doing harm.  While you are setting bags of groceries in the house, anyone can creep by and snatch a child.

While getting ready to go somewhere, from anywhere--church, visiting someone, shopping, always load up the children at the same time that you are going to get in the car. Never leave one child in the car and then chat awhile with someone outside the vehicle.  It is so important to be with your children mentally, and not to be over confident about safety.  

Park your car near the shopping basket return area so you can remember where you parked, when at the grocery store. It will be easier to load up the groceries and the children without delay, if you are parked next to this area. This way, you can put the children in the car and then unload the basket, since you are right there next to them.  Do not put the children in the car and then take the empty basket a long ways away from your car to put it away.

Teach your children to obey you, and to stay by your side at all times in public and at home, as a matter of safety.

Do not leave children in cars for naps, unless you are in the car with them. Do not leave one child in a car while the other children in the family are somewhere else.
In most states , social workers will report hearing a baby crying in a car if there is no adult there. All they have to do is report the license number of the vehicle, and a mother can start a nightmare journey into the system trying to get her children back.

Homeschoolers should be especially mindful of all this, since they have the time to be dedicated to really raising their children and paying attention to detail. Sadly, many of them are careless and have had troubles because of it.  If you want to have respect and be left alone to raise your children, you have to act nobly.

  Sometimes homeschoolers think that they are treated in public as though they are welfare mothers. There are several ways to avoid this. Firstly, dress up to go shopping, and avoid wearing the typical jeans, tee shirts and flip-flops.  Dress your children up so that they respectable. It is connected to safety because dressing yourself and your children modestly does not attract the wrong kind of attention.  Do not tempt the bad people by being careless in dress or in car safety.

  Teach your children to obey your spoken word in public, beginning at home.  Put your children in the car at the same time, and get in immediately afterward. I've seen crying children left in cars while the mother stands outside having a smoke or a long cell phone chat with a friend.  This is not safe for children. If you are a mother, your children come first. You have to be alert and you have to concentrate on their safety at all times.  It will distinguish you from the careless motherhood often displayed in public by those women who are not alert.  It will keep your children safe.

Others may call you over-protective or extreme, but in years to come, you will be glad you have three or four living children, and none harmed or missing.

The previous century mothers were not without their own transportation tragedies.  A member of our family knew a great grandmother who had fallen out of a wagon drawn by a horse when she was but a small child,  and had her foot broken by the back wheel. She walked with a limp all of her life.

Never open the door of your car just to reach out and get something outside the car. Recently a woman just stepped outside her car and was run over by her own car. She was only going to stand there a second and get the mail from a box.

Besides all this, in most states, it is against the law to leave children in cars, and it makes other people extremely nervous when they walk past a car and a child is there alone, crying.  Have a heart, and be careful and safe with cars and children.

Do not leave the child in the car asleep, lest he wake suddenly and no parent is in sight. It is very traumatizing to the child, and an irresponsible behaviour on the part of the parent.

In addition to this article, please read this  and this.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Miss Mae

Press Here to find out more about this lovely early 20th century painting.

Today  I would like to post a wonderful success story about a little girl who has been home schooled from her earliest days.  Her mother had allowed the daughter, Miss Mae, to come to my home at the age of 8 years, to learn how to sew.  She learned on a piece of checked fabric, called gingham, how to make a perfect hand stitch by following the little squares on the printed fabric.  She first learned how to thread a needle and tie a knot.  I chose a needle with a large eye, and used coloured quilting thread, because it is stiffer and easier for a beginner to handle.

I chose this painting again, by Emile Vernon, because it so exemplifies the innocent joy of Miss Mae, who has been coming each week for 4 years.  

No matter how basic the lesson, I made sure that she went home with a finished project, even if it was not perfect. She made a square pincushion on day, an a round decorator pillow another day. From there she graduated to making simple bags with ribbon handles, table runners and things for the kitchen that required a minimum of sewing.

  One day she made a skirt, just by folding the gingham in half, sewing up the back seam, folding over the waistband and inserting elastic.  She was so thrilled, that she insisted on changing into it and wearing it home. When her father came to get her, he was so pleased that he took her to a fabric store and bought her some fabric. He, however, did not know the difference between the need for one yard and the need for 10 yards, so he bought her something like 17 yards of fabric. He was grinning from ear to ear with the knowledge that his daughter was sewing.  Miss Mae ended up with a huge amount of pink gingham fabric, which she eventually used for things like bedroom curtains, table covers and bedroom accessories.

Her parents have a business that takes them all around to repair equipment in fabric stores and farm stores. Miss Mae accompanies them when they meet their appointments. In one fabric store, she sat silently while her father conducted business, and listened in on a quilting class. Since she is only 12 years old, no one paid any attention to her, but she came home with a wealth of knowledge on the subject and applied it when she got her scraps together.  In other fabric shops where her father repairs equipment, she looks around for new fabric. Each week when she comes back to my house she gleefully shows me what she got. We still have not been able to get her father to be moderate in buying fabric. He's just so happy that she sews, she has to restrain him from buying the whole bolt.

At another place where her father repairs equipment, the proprietor offered to exchange a product for the labour, and told her to choose two teapots from the gift shop.  She chose a yellow one and a pink one with hearts on it. She was so happy that on the way home, she stopped by my house and gave me the pink teapot.

Perhaps the most unique results of Miss Mae's passion for sewing, is that she has gone way ahead of me from the ages of 8 to 12. Because of her interest in this art, her mother has provided her with a very nice sewing machine that runs well. Miss Mae never comes to her weekly homemaking class without sporting a brand new dress made with a Jennie Chancey pattern. Her favorite is the "Romantic" gown, from Molly Gibson's dresses in the movie series, "Wives and Daughters." Miss Mae has made several of these, and gleefully surprises me at the door wearing the dress with a matching bonnet and handbag.

Her progress is not limited to sewing, as once she was taught to follow a recipe, she was able to go home and put on full afternoon high-tea, and meals.  She shows up at the door with various confections made from tea magazines and Taste of Home magazine I have shared with her.

What is perhaps the most dramatic difference I have recently seen in her is her toughness in social situations.  While other girls go around in dark jeans and gray hoodies, standing around like depressing, strange and gloomy creatures in the rain, Miss Mae wears her cheeful tiny prints in public. Girls may dress in the dull garb that I described so that they may look tough, but Miss Mae is the one who is really tough. It takes a lot of confidence at 12 years old, when there is tremendous pressure from the prevailing society, to wear the common clothes put out by the manufacturers to make girls look like boys.  Miss Mae wears her home sewn garments out shopping, out to eat with her family, and everywhere else.  It does not bother her to get the strange looks from people; it seems to amuse her instead.

I often see headlines on magazines at checkout counters about how to turn heads or stand out in the crowd. Miss Mae does not dress this way for that reason, at all. She does it because she loves to sew and the clothing makes her happy to wear, and her parents are so pleased with it.  One day, I asked her if she knew other girls her age. "Yes," she answered, "But they are interested in boys, and I am interested in sewing and cooking."  She gets more attention and favour from adults just by being interested in real life, the kind that matters for the future; the kind of interests that will be useful to a girl into later years.  She will, I am sure, get the notice of some other family who is raising a young man just for a girl like her, and it will be a wonderful thing to see.

Miss Mae is now learning to play the piano when she comes to visit, and she also is branching off into other interests. Sometimes I do not have anything special planned for her, and give her the option of staying home. She says it does not matter, and that she will do whatever I am doing and does not have to have a lesson. She likes to watch me make a soup or a stew from fresh ingredients, and sits eagerly in a kithen chair near the stove, waiting for a sample of it.

If you were to talk to her parents, they would express their delight in raising Miss Mae and seeing her interests in the home increase. They would tell you that she is a great blessing to them and that they have confidence in her.

Monday, April 05, 2010

A Tough Girl

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Isaiah 53

He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely He has borne our griefs , and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of all. ~ Isaiah 53: 3-6

 And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.  Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say Place of the Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink. Then they crucified HIm, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots."  Psalm 22:18      ~Matthew 27: 31-35

 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women,"Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead....  Matthew 28: 2-7

Friday, April 02, 2010

Re-Opening of Site

Undisturbed Love

The new face of the site LAF, promoting beautiful womanhood, has been opened today. The older one is still there, in the archives.  Our purpose in the original LAF was to show the harm that feminism had done to true womanhood. In general, it has robbed women of the privilege of staying home and looking after their own babies and robbed men of the opportunity to be real men by becoming providers and protectors of their families. It has caused runaway divorce and troubled children. It promotes careers for young ladies rather than families, using up their youthful years.

Flower Girl  Go Here

It has not helped young women aim to become wives, mothers and homemakers. It has not offered aid in preventing divorce or keeping children loyal to their parents values. Feminist philosophy and practice has made everyone a loser, from the young men who have to compete with women for jobs, the children who have no mothers at home, to the women, who are uncared for, confused with their own identity, and who are work-slaves to the corporate world.

For the past five years we have provided ample evidence against feminism, through our articles. Now, this new side of LAF will provide a huge amount of Biblical and experienced information to help women build their lives, centered on the home.

Some people think that the size of our army will "save" our nation, but it is the strength of the marriages and the children's obedience that will make our homes, our churches and our nation stable.  The new articles on LAF will provide some facts for keeping family whole, as it should be. We have become a terribly fragmented society. No amount of prosperity, freedom, or national defense could ever make up for the families sent asunder through divorce, rebellion or government interference.  We have many people ready to provide articles to show future generations ways  to have happy, contented and stable families.

I was not able to post an article yet, on the Lady Lydia Speaks section because I am still learning to work with the  new posting facilities.

If anyone really desperately wants a Homemakers Reward Basket, and is willing to pay for it, I might be able to work something out with you, if you would email me.  For others, I am planning in a future post, Lord willing, to show how to make one with less expense.  If anyone has made one recently, please send me a photograph.