Monday, May 30, 2011

Clothed in Beauty

Undercover Place**
by Alexander Nicolajevich Averin
Russia (1952- present)

Walk Along the Coast*
by Alexander Nicolajevich Averin
Russian 1952- present

About the artist:

"The main theme of Alexander Averin’s painting are genre scenes with charming Russian young ladies against blossoming meadows and gardens, shady river coasts, and sea landscapes. Plot of the paintings is filled with sincere warmth and cordial feelings towards children.

We can feel cool breath of Baltic sea, transparency of air and careless mood of children playing at coast on the paintings of the artist. We admire tame meadow colors on the bank of unknown lake and undercover places in the shadow of coastal trees. Portraits of ladies in air dresses and figures of suntanned boys underline beauty of the surrounding nature, whether it is seacoast or small rivers, or a blossoming meadow.

We can tell that "... A masterful combination of a portrait and a landscape in style "impression" is distinguishing feature of talent of the artist Alexander Averin".

Works of the artist are held in private collections in Russia, France, England, the USA, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark, Japan and many other countries.

Alexander Averin's paintings could be found at art auctions in England, France and Denmark."

The above quote from the Art Russia collection, describes this artist as a painter of gardens and seas, but his art is so much more. I find the themes of families enjoying the nature around them quite appealing, especially when the women are so distinct in their long dresses and feminine hairstyles. The colors of the ladies clothing are soft, and there is a generous amount of fabric to create folds and gathers that are as natural as country that surrounds them.

I have chosen to show the paintings of this artist today because I want to have a chat about the importance of mood, dignity, structure, color, modesty and propriety in women's clothing as applied to season, occasion and location.  

A great deal of the art that was painted in the 1800's which we admire and love so much was painted by men who reflected the glory of the Creation on their canvases. In these pictures the women's clothing and activities are not in discord with their surroundings of beautiful lakes and fields. Here you see paintings of a contemporary artist who paints in the style of the impressionists and the realists.

Like a perfect symphony, everything in these kinds of paintings is in harmony with nature.  It is along these lines that I wish to describe the kind of clothing that is the most agreeable to women who want to enjoy the home, or just be more feminine. Without  following the dictates of the current manufacturers and designers, which seem to be stuck in a time warp of spiked hair- styles and shock-value clothing, women can still find ways to dress to compliment nature and glorify God.

On a Meadow
by Alexander Nicolajevich Averin
Russian, 1952- present

The stanza of the poem "The Wind" describes the motion in this painting:

I saw you toss the kites on high

And blow the birds about the sky;

And all around I heard you pass,

Like ladies' skirts across the grass--

O wind, a-blowing all day long,

O wind, that sings so loud a song!

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Description of On A Meadow: In a beautiful meadow with a broad skyline, are two women in long dresses, probably made of cotton or other durable material, much like peasant dresses of old.  The one in the white dress has a beautiful glossy raspberry red wide ribbon tying back her hair, and  holds an open lace umbrella in one hand as she reaches down to clutch a handful of flowers from the grassy field.  The other woman stands nearby in the same dress depicted in "Under a Covered Place." **She holds an open white umbrella behind her. The basket handle hangs over the wrist of the other hand as she surveys the beautiful view of land and flowers. Be sure to click on the picture for a closer view of the ruffles on the pink dress.

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Matthew 6:28

If God saw fit to clothe the earth is such pretty colors, is there any reason that women cannot wear pretty dresses that imitate this beauty?

The drab, unfeminine, immodest and unflattering clothing available today makes it hard to get interested in clothing.  For so long, western women have been made to feel that it is too vain to wear prints or florals, crisp pastels or deep jeweled tones on interesting fabrics,  or anything soft and sweet.When there seems to be nothing  dignified to buy, it is easy to use jeans, t-shirts and running shoes as a woman's daily uniform.

Dressing more femininely can do other things for you besides improve your appearance. It can give you a healthy, optimistic outlook on life. It can lift your spirits considerably despite unfortunate circumstances. Most people do a better job if they are dressed well.  The skies do not seem to be as cloudy if you are dressed well.  Some people find it easier to be more organized at home when they take care of their appearance before tackling the day's responsibilities. 

Dressing better at home can also help you to control your weight. Once you put on that pretty new cotton frock with an apron over it, you may feel more like working and creating a lovely atmosphere in your home, instead of snacking. When you wear tee shirts and stretchy type clothing, you will not notice the slightest weight-gain, but if your clothes are made of sturdy fabrics and have more structure to them, you will probably feel it when you begin to over-eat, and be inclined to check your appetite.

 Sometimes it can improve posture and encourage proper breathing when the clothing is nice, fits well and is beautiful.  Also if you desire a less frenzied life, you can dress to create a mood of calm control, rather than one of dashing here and there. Clothes really do make a difference that way.  The clothes we wear can help us become more graceful in our movements and correct awkwardness. Girls should get used to wearing nice clothing at home when they are young, and especially learn to manage in dresses and overcome awkwardness. Wearing dresses seem to make women seem more graceful in their carriage.

by Alexander Nicolajevich Averin

Description of Cornflowers: Two girls are picking flowers in a field of tall grasses. The young lady in the foreground has a long white, two-tiered dress, is holding long stems of cornflowers in her arm, and wears a straw hat with a beautiful, ruby-red ribbon.  The other has a dusty-rose colored skirt with pretty, shaded folds, and is leaning forward to pick daisies, while holding long stems of the same in the other hand. She also has a straw hat, which displays a yellow ribbon.  The sky is brightly dotted with lush white clouds, and a group of trees stand on the hill in the distance.

When you view these paintings, you naturally think of the freshness and newness of a day and the experience of a location: the beach, the river, the field, or even sitting on your own couch reading a book. Everything we do can have more meaning and be more beautiful as we imitate the Creation.  The clothes we wear and the things we do have a great effect on our moods. You can set yourself up for a good mood and a good day with your choice of clothing.

 Whatever you are doing --whether it be at home, or away, you can dress for it. Just look at these lovely paintings and you will see what I am talking about. Would this artist have been so inspired to paint these ladies if they were wearing modern garb? The clothing fits right in with the scenes.  When you choose your fabrics, whether to sew, or in ready made clothing, think of things like this. The pretty blue skies, the lawn with the daisies dotted across it, the colorful birds in the birdbath in your yard, the ocean and the shells, and all the lovely things in a park or a wilderness. Take a trip to a fabric store and look at the cotton prints and see the imitation of nature there.

by Alexander Nicolajevich Averin
Russia, 1952-present

Description of Dreaming:  A woman sits on the rocky sea shore looking toward the water. She holds the white cotton umbrella to shade her, and there is a light pink satin ribbon in her brown hair.She is wearing a long white dress with blue ribbon sewn on the hem and in several places on the dress. At the neckline is a matching blue bow. At her bare feet lies a white covered book and under her hand on the sand is another book, opened, that she has been reading.

It may seem as though I am always chastising young girls when addressing the subject of clothing, but older women, and especially the elderly, must show the example. Young women will not want to be mentored by older women if the older women look like men in the way they dress. The easiest way to correct this is with a dress.  I am not of the "dresses only," crowd, because I realize that everything that is called a "dress" will not necessarily be modest. Instead, I am "modestly only."  A woman cannot merely wear a dress and say she is modest. She must wear a modest dress that has sufficient fabric in it to cover her when she walks and sits and moves about.  Too often, a young girl will protest, "But Mother, I am dressed femininely. I am wearing a dress!"  Not all dresses are feminine, and not all dresses are modest, and not all dresses are appropriate.  

On the Shore of the River Klyazma
by alexander nicolajevich averin

You can see in these, and other paintings of the type, how women are pictured in clothing doing outdoor things which women today claim that cannot do unless they are dressed in sports clothes that make them look more like men. It probably would not be as interesting a painting if it depicted the way women dress today. 

To dress up for the day at home, consider the mood of the day, whether it be cloudy or sunny. Some women are what I call "mood dressers," because they will feel like wearing yellow, or feel like wearing blue. When they go to the beach they want to wear something with a nautical design on it, just like the girl in one of these paintings. 

 Dressing femininely can set the tone of your day, and if you also wear feminine aprons, you can protect your dress from the soil of cooking and gardening and cleaning. Co-ordinating aprons can be part of the outfit, which you remove when you have company or have to go somewhere. 

Launching small ships
by alexander nicolajevich averin

Time for Flowerings
by alexander nicolajevich averin

Description of Time for Flowerings: In a beautiful park, a lady dressed in white sits on a chair with her paint box opened while she prepares to paint a another lady who is standing on the paved pathway. The subject is wearing a pink dress with a ruffled underskirt, wears a white hat surrounded by white and pink roses, and holds open an aqua-blue umbrella trimmed in white ruffled lace around the edge.  Beside the painter sits her folded yellow umbrella which is also trimmed in wide white lace.  Shadows of the two women lay across the pathway and both women are surrounded by the lovely flowering bushes of the garden. The painter has a white bow at the back of her head, and her brown hair seems to be coiled up in a roll around the back. She is wearing a white pearl necklace and elbow-length sleeves have a gathered ruffle on them which cover her forearm.

Saying Goodbye to the Day
by alexander nicolajevich averin

Description of Saying Goodbye to the Day: This could be any scene on just about any beach today, except for the clothing of the women, for in the background is a silver sheen on the water as the sun begins to wane. The sea is calm and a sailboat lies on the edge between the ocean and the sky.  Two girls are sitting on a blanket spread on a pebbled shore, and beyond them are large rocks resting in the sea. One girl, barefoot and wearing a blue blouse and white skirt, is reading a book while the remaining sun is shining on the pages and on the back of her neck. Her light brown hair is tied in a coral pink wide satin ribbon. Her companion is simply looking at the boat in the distance. She has a light brown, ruffled skirt and a matching hat, with a white poet-style blouse and on her hair sits a white bow.

and when you click on a painting, it will bring up a much larger view which will interest you further. Beneath each painting is a place where you can click to send an e-card of the painting. The artist lives in Russia.

If you sew, check out some of the cotton fabrics suitable for dresses for the home, online.

**Description of Undercover Place: If you will click on the painting and get a larger view, you can see young woman sitting in a sea-blue painted wooden skiff (dingy, boat, or other names apply), dressed in a longish pink dress, her hair pulled back in a yellow ribbon. The oars are resting inside the boat as she trails her hand into the water. She holds a white cotton umbrella edged in lace, as the boat floats under a weeping willow tree. She has light brown hair, and is looking into the water. As you will see in the other paintings, this artist likes "a ribbon in her hair!"

*Description of "A Walk Along the Coast:  In the scene is a distant light-aqua blue sky on which white gulls fly about. Curling little waves coated in foam are coming toward the flat, sandy beach, where a woman holds her white skirts above her ankles so that her bare feet can feel the water. She is holding the white umbrella that has the cut work lace trim on it, and with her are a boy and a girl who are occupied with the waves. The woman has a yellow bow atop her long, thick braid of hair. It looks like a warm, clear but slightly windy day.

I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas for dressing in a way that reflects the beauty of the Creation. Be sure to check the comments for additional information. Find creative ideas for clothing by observing the elements of different seasons and occasions, as well as distant scenery.  Treat every day as a special occasion and every detail of life with beauty.

The clothing in these paintings is reminiscent of the clothing of the 1800's, however, it is more like the designs that were so prominent and popular in the 1980's, for which you can still obtain patterns. If you are a sewer and cannot find patterns like this, just try making one pattern in several different versions, using sleeve variations and different trims.  Or, buy a costume pattern and modernize it for today's use by make the sleeves and skirt a little less full and more walkable with a slightly shorter hem, above the ankles.  There are many ways to turn the trends of the modern daily wear. If only one woman wore a nice dress every day it would influence several more women to do the same. A better life begins with you!

We are so blessed to be living in this day and age, because there is so much history to look back on. In the area of clothing, we can look at the fabrics and the styles of the past and choose the things we like for today's styles. 

 Although the artist portrayed in this post is living today, he has successfully painted beautiful scenery with women dressed to compliment it. Nothing in his paintings seem out of order. There is a cleanness and a gracefulness in them, without being flat. Even the water seems to move in the wind, and the flowers bow in the breeze. 

 I showcased these paintings because they portray women in the outdoors, doing relaxing and refreshing, re-creational things that do no harm to the body or soul.  The descriptions I gave of each painting are for those who are using braille keyboards that do not pick up the pictures, but they will cause you to look more carefully at the painting and get the mood of it.

Here's some old film footage at the end of the Victorian period,of people in a street in San Francisco. Notice how easily the women walk, (not with tiny steps, either), and how they catch the trolleys and their general confidence in their clothing. Notice how easy it is to tell the women from the men, from their clothing. The women dressed very femininely while the men dressed masculinely.

You can go here to read some of the comments on this film, particularly the ones that noted how respectful everyone seemed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Simplicity Primer by Patrice Lewis

It has been awhile since I felt I could recommend a book to everyone, and here is one I just received and can recommend wholeheartedly to women who want to be home. First of all, I just love pears and pear pictures, and once had a 6 piece canister set with hand painted pears.  My whole kitchen was pear-themed including matching curtains, potholders, dishtowels and dishes, so when I saw the cover of this book, I knew I wanted to see what was inside.

I have spoken to this author on the phone and I immensely love her wry humour and her quick summation of issues. Farm girls are the absolute best when it comes to clarity, and Patrice has told in simple terms how the feminist movement has bamboozled women into thinking that being a full time wife, mother and homemaker is just not intelligent or sophisticated enough. The chapters of this book are short and sweet and also make you laugh. My favorite is the one about reading a book. My mother was a homemaker and she was not always scrubbing floors--she read!  We used to have a big box of books that went from homestead to homestead. When we finished reading the box of books we sent it to the next homestead for another family to enjoy, and so every homestead wife had plenty to read to get through some of those long days when the sun never set or the dark winters when the sun never came. 

Because the prevailing culture does not approve of or support homemakers, many women feel guilty if they want to sit down and read a book. Since they are not earning money they are somehow free-loaders who don't deserve any leisure. Therefore if they are not on their feet all day working in the house, they are not deserving. But Patrice encourages women to go back to the old ways where women determined what they would do and when they would do it based upon what was the most needed at the time. There is a time to sit and read and a time to hang out the wash. There is a time to teach your children and a time to take a nap. there is a time to plant, and a time to pluck up. Bravo, Patrice.

I think women lost their God-given power over the home and the family when they succumbed to the feminist propaganda that they could not stay home unless they: a) had young children, b) had a home business and c)were retired with a pension, or d) were going to school to pursue a degree or e)any reason besides being a keeper of the home, as long as it involved money.  Women at home find it hard to read a book without guilt, and that should not be so.

Farm girls see life through the reality of rural existence, and Patrice has written a book that will put ease any fears or tension you have regarding this issue of being a homemaker, homeschooler, and CEO of the home. She covers finances, manners, cooking, cleaning, gardening, health, husbands, and a chapter on "educational snobbery."   These are short chapters, easy to read and understandable, which is perfect for a busy woman at home.

The Simplicity Primer is like a day-book, and you  will probably find that what you read is perfect for the day that you read it.

For more about Patrice, go visit her here and her website is here

You can find The Simplicity Primer here. If you get a chance to read it, please leave a review!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home Life Without Children

A home without children  includes women whose children now have homes of their own, those who have never been able to have children, widows and others who for some reason are home without children. I will also include in this group women who have not married and are home with their parents. The special role of these women at home are described in the following categories:

The First Year at Home: The first year at home is a time to enjoy being a keeper of your own home. With only two people in the home, it may not seem like there will be much work, but there is. Just cleaning up after yourself can be time-consuming, and cleaning up after two can be more. Therefore, there is plenty to do at home to justify devoting your time to it.

 Some young women want a detailed description of what they are supposed to do all day at home, but each family will be different, with different needs and different demands on their time. If you live in the country, it will take up quite a bit of time to do the marketing and to look after your property. There may be livestock to care for or a garden.  If you live near town, it will still take some time to do your essential shopping, putting away groceries, making meals, cleaning up after, and keeping the dwelling place clean and neat.

 If you have special interests, you will find that there is not enough time in the day to keep house and sew and knit and paint and write letters. Devoting your life to  homemaking can consume a great deal of time.  Besides all this, there may be home maintenance, which is the care of the structure of the home in painting, replacing things, and repairs.

Experienced homemakers will tell you that there is necessary work to be done, but that they try to get it out of the way so that they can pick up their knitting, or some other thing they have begun. When there is a lull in things to do, read and increase your knowledge in something that might improve the quality of life at home.  If you are learning to sew,  take some time to read over your pattern instruction and get an idea of what you will have to do.  If you want your home to be more visually attractive, then change around the furnishings and pictures and make new curtains with matching chair cushions and table cloths. If you feel it still does not fill up the time, concentrate on setting an attractive table or entertaining guests. Without children, there is still a lot to do to fill the day.

This first year is a time to figure out what needs to be done from day to day. The way to discover these needs is to observe what takes place from early morning to late at night and establish a dependable yet flexible routine. For example, you will noticed when you need to do the grocery shopping, when clothes need washing or ironing, when the kitchen needs to be cleaned, when bills need to be paid. You will be living with a man who will have schedules and needs that may determine what all needs to be done.

People are always talking about "furthering your education," and I agree. If you want to increase your knowledge in things that will really help you at home, consider taking a cooking class, a sewing course, or enroll in some kind of training that will aid you in creating an efficient but lovely home.  Even in the smallest of towns, you can find offerings of education in floral arranging, cake decorating, home interiors, garden and landscaping, quilting, furniture refinishing or upholstery. Small towns sometimes have events centers with yearly home shows where you can see home and garden displays that will inspire you to translate some of it into your own home. Consider taking a maid's class and learn the art of cleaning house. The possibilities for education in home life seems endless. Online, there is an enormous offerring of tutorials from art to sewing, that will keep you busy. Try putting everything you have learned, that works for your home, into a large notebook, to create a master list of homemaking skills that you can refer to often.

Daughters at Home
 Daughters at home have an opportunity to take over a lot of the duties for their mothers, thus freeing them to do things they never seem to get around to doing. Acquiring homemaking skills while growing up will mean a girl never has to wonder what she is supposed to do all day at home, for she will understand that one thing that is completed means another thing can be done, and so forth. The daughters who have learned daily homemaking along-side their mothers will be blessed with a natural inclination for homemaking, and will never have to ask the question, "Now that I am older and not married, what am I supposed to do next?"  If they really have a spiritual understanding of homemaking, they will always have a long list of things to accomplish at home. When they are finished with one thing, they will naturally find something else to do.  A beautiful persepective from a daughter at home can be read here.

Women Whose Husbands are Away: Life at home can be very bleak for the women whose husbands must be away for weeks at a time, so it is really important that they find some things of interest besides cleaning and keeping house, that are agreeable to home life. Being a keeper at home is more than cleaning. There are numerous other things that go into making a house a home.

When he is home, you will want to enjoy yourselves together, so while he is away is a perfect time to clean the floors, rearrange things to your convenience, or sew something special.  If family is nearby, they fill the gap perfectly when the husband is away, and the wife should certainly take advantage of their company. Some families help put in a garden, aid in home repairs or painting, and in general make the quality of life better for the woman whose husband is away. This is a good time to do necessary shopping and develop your talents and creative side. Add something to the home while he is away, so that when he returns, the home is even more appealing. This can be in the form of a completed sewing project, home improvement, or learning some skill well.

Women Who Have Not Been Able to Have Children:
Today there are many resources available to the homemaker through the library, bookstores, internet, garden centers and local markets. Woman can learn to sew, communicate with her family if they live a distance from her, and find any information she needs online about creating a homey atmosphere. 

 Without children, there is a great opportunity to extend hospitality to others, and that in itself can become a special interest on the part of the homemaker. With regular company, comes the need to keep house better and provide the kitchen with the things that makes serving and caring for others more enjoyable.

On line, there are weekly events that stimulate homemakers to "love and good works," as the Bible teaches. A worker at home can participate in a table-setting day, a show-and-tell homemaking day, or an arts and crafts day, and still add to the enjoyment of her own home. Some ladies online participate in things like sharing a schedule, a menu, or a hand-made item. There really is no reason to think you are isolated in the home, if you have no children. There is so much to do, there will not be enough days to do it.

Without children, wives can use the time to be attentive companions to their husbands and even spoil them a bit.

Women With Grown Children Gone From Home:
Even after children are grown, the responsibilities of the home seem to increase. By that time, there may need to be some changes in the dwelling itself: refurbishing and refurnishing. Home libraries need to be sorted through, and books need to be categorized, and new ones added, depending on the interest of the homemaker.  After a life time of use, kitchen items may need to be replaced. It is a good time for changes in the house, when children are gone.

This may also be a great time to include more people in your life that you previously had no time for.If the homemaker is a more of a private person and does not desire to have too much company, she will still find that the care of the home, the care of herself and her husband, and possibly the care of their parents, will take up all their time.

The Bible teaches that younger widows ought to marry, raise children, and keep the house, but older widows in the church can put themselves in the category described in Titus 2 as older women. These women are responsible to teach younger women to be good wives, mothers and homemakers. Without children in the home, an older widow can find ways of using her house to teach something of value to other women, that will help them have happy homes.  How often a widow wishes to provide this kind of training will depend upon her health and her stamina and the other obligations in her life.

Widows can re-marry, but the Bible teaches that it must be "only in the Lord," which means that they must marry a Christian.  This is an overlooked command in the New Testament, and many widows have not been careful to choose only a Christian mate. Sometimes the feeling of rootlessness and loneliness can be so strong, that widows will marry into troubled situations. Being a homemaker and a teacher of good things to the younger women, will provide some protection for them, as God will bless their obedience to his Will. If they will show a good example of an older woman following the scriptures, they may see clearly to choose a mate wisely and not get into problems by marrying outside of the church.

Widows will find that there is still more than enough that needs to be done at home, but may lack motivation. That is one good reason to reach out to others and share a knowledge of life at home. If a widow has had a good marriage, she can pass on her advice to the younger women.

There is always a problem of finding those who wish to learn, but these days, blogging is a great way to pass on your beliefs to others who are looking for something. If she is not well enough to do anything this ambitious, or to teach at home, it is possible that she can enjoy life by being the best example she can be. That in itself is sometimes a great motivation.

A widow may never have had children, or may have grown children who do not live near her. Without children, she has to be especially careful about the choices she makes, so that she is not taken advantage of. It is best to follow the Bible's guidance for widows and not go headlong into some course of action or commitment that she cannot back out of.  Widows should be careful of the way things appear to others, because there are those who are ready to spread a rumour about just anything they see. Be careful who you are seen with, and who you sit on your front porch chatting with, that it is all above reproach and has only the appearance of good. Be always aware of what others may perceive and be careful to keep your reputation spotless. You will need it should you ever decide to teach younger women.

Women without children can and should have a very full and busy life. Without children, they have the opportunity to get plenty of rest and to have a more leisurely life if they choose to, and be able to do special things for other people. Think of all people you have known who had no children. That favorite Aunt would probably not have been able to spoil you so much if she had a brood of her own. The friend without children may not have been able to take you to tea or shower you with special gifts.  The women without children who were also full time homemakers made a great contribution in the lives of their relatives and friends, for they were always ready to go somewhere or do something, and many of them had wonderful domestic skills and made products that they shared with others.

See also

Friday, May 06, 2011

Women Sewing

Sunlight and Shadow
by William Kay Blacklock, London and Edinburgh 1872-1922

I love the background scenery in this 19th century painting, which seems so much like scenes I see during trips through the country around here. In the foreground, a woman in a long white garden-party type of dress* in white muslin, with a blue ribbon on the border, sits in a brown wicker chair under an apple tree with her needle and thread, sewing. The ground is a carpet of mowed, green grass dotted with clusters of white daisies and wildflowers. The ruffled hem of her dress touches the grass, where a gentle little dog lays. An umbrella and a book are propped up to the chair, with apples fallen around them.

 A  path from where she sits, with trees on both sides,  leads to the shore of the little lake in the distance. The woman has black hair and is wearing a white hat with a blue ribbon that is the same shade as the ribbon edging on the skirt of her dress, and she is leaning against a red cushion on the wicker chair.  If you will click on the painting, you may be able to get a larger view, and, once you do, there should be a magnifier that allows you to see closer details of this beautiful masterpiece. This is an excellent piece of art for homeschooling. Print it out in a notebook and begin an art-appreciation book. 

I am so thankful that these paintings are being made available to this generation. I wonder if the artists knew how much their descendents and others would be blessed by them! This painting is one of the most beautifully illustrated pictures of a woman at leisure that I have ever seen.

It is possible that I will add a small beginner sewing project here, so please check back some time.

* The "garden party dress" pattern can be found at Folkwear patterns and, as well as Truly Victorian.

A Morning Walk
by William Kay Blacklock

A Quiet Read
by William Kay Blacklock

Summer At Hemmingford Grey
by William Kay Blacklock
Summer 1918 by William Kay Blacklock

Springtime 1918
by William Kay Blacklock
Cotswold Village 1917
by William Kay Blacklock

Note: I will be including some simple beginner sewing photographs in this post when I get time. I will show you how to thread the needle and how to hold the cloth and the needle for best hand sewing results. Notice the hands on the fabric in the painting, "Sunshine and Shadows."  

Monday, May 02, 2011

The San Juan Pig

I had always supposed that everyone knew about the famous San Juan Pig.  Surprisingly, what was once common knowledge amongst both the English and the Americans, has been ignored for generations.  Homeschool families seem to be more familiar with the account, which does not even appear in most government school history books.

This is the story of the San Juan Pig, or in my view,  "Why Oregon Territory Is Not British."  Before the area was divided into the states of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho and California, it was called "Oregon Territory."

 We have been cheated out of those wonderful English Gardens and Castles because of a pig belonging to the English