Saturday, January 07, 2012

Around My House

I am still trying to find the source of this lovely painting. It seems a little like Michael Humphreys paintings which I have posted in the past. I'll post the artist and particulars when I find it.

Mrs. Q., at Blessed Homemaking has such a beautiful post about some things very pertinent to wives and daughters and I surely hope some of you will send her a comment, as this lady has such a beautiful blog and such clarity of thought about issues of the home and true womanhood. I think it would be a good idea for men to read some of the excellent posts there too.

My young cousin, Mrs. A., has a pretty blog, too, and has given a nice review of my book about my childhood. Her blog is here. 

During these cold winter months I find more housework to do and more boxes and containers that are empty and need to be thrown out, so I want to share what I've done with a box or two that I have saved.  This one filled with crackers, given to me when I had a ladies tea here, and I covered it in scrapbook papers, to use later for a boxed "tea" for someone in the hospital.

The papers are positioned in a way as to get the best part of the paper, with the large roses, to show on the cover and the corners, and on the inside flap.

Just trace around it and cut out the piece . Swirl an office glue stick all over the box and press the paper up on it. You can remove and adjust the paper when you use that kind of glue.

I left the  cracker- shaped insert to use as a divider for those little crustless sandwiches and raw vegetable sticks, cheeses and fruit which will all be wrapped in waxed paper or put in tiny zip-lock bags.

Here is a treat that is quick and easy for children's tea on one of the cloudy afternoons.

A friend bought this jam  especially for me at a speciality shop, because she knew I would like the jar. The jam tastes like cranberries and worked really well in these little tea sandwiches. 

You can also use a scone recipe to make these little sandwiches, and when I get the chance, will insert pictures and more  instructions here. Just roll out scone dough thinly, bake in the shapes you like, and when it is cooled , assemble as sandwiches. Or, spread scone or biscuit dough on a cookie sheet, bake, and cut with cookie cutters the same way you would cut bread. 

Use graduated size cookie cutters to make the openings for the jam to show through, but if you do not have heart shape, just use a small round bottle or tiny round cookie cutter to make the inside.

Cutting some extra hearts from potato bread slices can use up quite a bit of the bread. the crusts and leftover pieces can be used to make salad croutons.

On one side of the bread, spread butter, and on top of that, a layer of peanut butter, if desired.

Put a load of red jelly or jam or preserves on top of one side of the sandwiches,

and this is what you will get. Children are delighted to help with this tea time preparation

Now here are the covered boxes that I will use to pack a tea for someone.

This is a clementine, or mandarin orange box. I like the way they are made with straight sides, almost like a little tray. You do have to trim off some things to make the sides smooth, before you cover them.

I used wrapping paper on this one, but am working on one using scrapbook papers, covering the inside as well. Uses for these boxes include sewing kits, card making supplies, children's toys, bath products, hair care supplies, or home made scone mixes with tea cups.

The box can be traced on all sides and then the piece cut out. It looks strange but it fits well. Just run the glue stick all over the side of the box, press the section on, and continue on the other sides.

I also wanted to tell you about a bag of flour I buy at Walmart that I use for scones. It is unbleached, natural, and fine enough to make the scones light and fluffy, like specialized pastry. I also make the communion bread with this flour. The bag is big enough to fill two large kitchen canisters. 

Finally, I bought just a small piece of two flannel fabrics at Walmart. I did not want to make the commitment of buying 5 or 6 yards before I had decided what to sew.  I brought the two fourth-yard pieces home to look at them in the light and go through my patterns, looking for skirts and vests or  dresses that might look good made up in this fabric. I think one could also use flannel for curtains and table cloths and little matching pillows, tea cozy, and other home accessories.

In  other news, Mrs. Hollinger of Country Diary blog , hosted a homemaking class in her newly built log home in Idaho, and invited me as a guest speaker over Skype. I loved seeing her beautiful home and she took me on a virtual tour with her laptop camera.  Over 20 women were there and I got to personally talk to some of them when they had their tea break, as each one would come up to the computer and introduce herself.  The lessons that Mrs. Hollinger used were from a set of records I sent her, called "The Art of Homemaking" narrated by Art Linkletter.   Because I no longer had a working record player, I had someone record the lessons on to cassette tapes for myself, which I can then record again on a disc on my computer, so I hope I may one day share some of the audio lessons on line. The segments she played to her class were just wonderful; so well spoken, clear, with great expression, and really came alive with meaning, talking about the important role of the homemaker and how she should view herself and her family.  

The January 2012 Victoria has a nature scene. Just inside the front cover, it greets you with this:

One of the articles inside the magazine shows this curious object below, called  a Reading Wheel from Victorian times. The columns of newspapers would be cut into strips and rolled around the wheel, for easier reading.

Weren't the Victorians  innovative, inventive and clever? And we think our computers are so brilliant with their scroll down and scroll up arrows. The programmers probably got it from them!

The Victorians were always looking for convenience, accessibility and more expedient ways of doing things. From that era came improved versions of wheelchairs, elevators, and even mechanical hands and things to help the handicapped.  

I often found the Victoria publication a valuable aid to my homeschooling materials, as they visited so many other countries, museams and historical places.

Here is something I've recently done to the guest room to keep the chill out. Although the window has a shade and a curtain, the wall faces a seasonal cold wind and  a driving force of rain, so just 3 yards of inexpensive dark green fleece from Walmart sale table in the fabric department, tucked over the rod, or fastened with clothes pins,  protects the room from the cold draft. A thicker or darker piece can keep the light out if you are trying to darken a room.


Anonymous said...

I love your altered boxes. This is a great idea of yours. So many times I see wall paper at the thrift stores and think what could a person do with that small amount. Now your altered boxes would be perfect. Next time I see some I like, I'll buy it and save for some great altered boxes.

Happy is the little child who's grandmother makes little tea sandwiches and altered box trays for them. You are so special Lydia. Thank you for being my mentor too.

Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

Could you post your recipe for the Communion Bread you make? Thank you, Mrs. J.

Lydia said...

Mrs. J,

Wallpaper scraps or left overs are great, but don't dip them in water. Use glue or paste. If wet wallpaper is applied to cardboard, it does not work wont stick and when it dries is a mess.

Lydia said...

Thanks for the reminder: yes, I will post the communion bread recipe.

Ginger said...

It's snowing outside..your cozy craft and flannel might be nice on a day like today. I think my next flannel project will be a solid flannel nightgown with the flannel turned towards the inside for extra coziness. I'm wearing silk unmentionables, black cotton tights, black maryjane mule slippers, a grey wool skirt, a sky blue cotton T, a light grey pullover cotton sweater, and a steal blue wool cardigan. Even though I'm cold/cozy in my home, I'm dressed like a lady. Really, I'm probably warmer than I was back in my jeans, sweatshirt, and man-haircut days. Who do I thank for changing my mind about style, dress, hair, and beauty, even when I'm the only one who sees it? That would be you Lady Lydia. Thank you.

Lydia said...

I know that there are a lot of other women, more significant that set a great example to help turn women's hearts toward the Biblical role, including Helen Andelin, Emilie Barnes, not to mention so many of the mothers in the homeschool effort so many years ago.

Anonymous said...

The link for Mrs. Q's blog isn't working, however you can access it in the sidebar under 'Blessed Homemaking'. And it is definitely worth your time to go on over there, her blog is beautiful and the post right on the money!

Lydia said...

I re-did it so maybe it does work. Do go to the sidebar for Mrs. Q.'s great post.

Anonymous said...


This sounds wonderful; absolutely wonderful!! You have included something for everyone in this article, and your recounting of the ladies homemaking class held in Idaho sounds absolutely delightful; I have very happy memories of time spent in a Western Red cedar cabin in the Wattican Ranges around three hours North West of Sydney fourteen years ago now; it was a very peaceful home indeed, its owner never going a weekend without visitors fleeing the city for a little R&R.

if you could please transcribe your taped homemaking classes into MP3 file format I would be very appreciative indeed. Additionally, have you considered opening your own Youtube channel in which these gems could be put out there for a far wider audience to hear and be inspired by, along with victorian and edwardian archival film footage etc and even a few programmes on homemaking for we who cannot interact via skype with the classes?

Keep speaking the truth, Lydia, and inspiring the next generation. Brick by brick, sisters, for Christ we can win back the day and plant the seeds of godly womanhood in a Church and world starving and thirsting for correct teaching in this area.

Mrs. V. said...

Lydia, I am loving your ideas for the decorated trays. It gets my own creative juices flowing ~ thank you!

I have that issue of Victoria and the reading wheel caught my eye as well. I showed it to my children and explained what it was to them. I can imagine the wife would find the articles she knew her husband would want to read and would load the wheel for him so it would be ready for him in the evening to read, after supper perhaps. I would love to have one, what a conversation starter that would be!

Fiona Ferris said...

I also like to pick up from thrift stores old maps and sheet music which would suit this purpose (maps especially would make a great gift box for a man). I use them for wrapping paper currently but you have inspired me to look for different ways to use them. Thank you Lady Lydia.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for adding me to this post. I just did a new one on modesty.

Mrs. Q had an excellent post and she was absolutely right in everything she said.

I like the comment from Ginger. I can agree with her. I do not know and never heard of Helen Andelin or Emilie Barnes.

I have never made scones or even eaten them. There is nowhere to have tea around these parts it seems.

The scrapbook paper boxes are an excellent idea. I saw some beautiful varieties of scrapbook paper at Michael's Arts & Crafts the other day!


Mrs. A

Barbara Jean said...

Love the oxes. My fave is that first one you did.
And that Victorian scroll is awesome!

Thanks for the heads up on the boxes. I am just not on here as much any more, and would have missed it.

barb =)

Rightthinker said...

I absolutely love these boxes, and anyone receiving a little gift, picnic or pick-me-up in one of them, is blessed! How fun for the grandchildren to have a special tea with extra-special sandwiches. :)

Helen Andelin is quite inspirational. I am also very fortunate and blessed to have you and this blog as a wonderful reminder that I am not alone on my journey from "mainstream" gal unwittingly influenced by feminism and secularism, to the woman God wants me to be..surely a work in progress over the past 10 or so years, but a work I am blessed to be convicted to do!

God Bless you today, and thanks once again for a lovely and practical article!

Anonymous said...

I also live in Lane County and am curious which Wal-Mart still has a fabric department? I used to enjoy their fabric dept. in the Springfield store but unfortunately they discontinued it a few years ago. Thank you!

Lydia said...

Fabric is sold at the Eugene store on Green Acres Rd. and the store at West 11th across from Target.

Anonymous said...

I hope you can get the Art Linkletter recording on line soon. They sound so interesting!

Anonymous said...

Good little projects to keep us going through these first days of the New Year. So often, it seems, there can be a kind of void after Christmas. Not a loneliness, but just the lack of the extra chasing around we tend to do during the Holidays. I like to tend to whatever mending, knitting, & cleaning that I've neglected the past couple months, but sometimes it's just good to do something different. I don't have little ones anymore, but I know my grown children will love those wee heart sandwiches just the same!

A fine post...thank you. :o)


Anonymous said...

I agree with the idea of putting a length of fleece or heavy fabric over a window to keep out drafts.
Castles were often covered inside with great tapestries for decoration, but also for keeping drafts to a minimum.

I have found simple heavy twill curtain panels do the same during the winter and double to keep the sunlight from scorching my furniture and carpeting during the summer months as well.
Mrs. J.

Ginger said...

I've been using heavy felt for room darkening/window insulation at night.

Love your blog. There may be other women out there that teach about wearing dresses all the time, but they are not "more significant" than you. All men and women were born equal in the sight of God. You do what you do. They do what they do. Each person does their part a bit differently and attracts a different sort of person. Don't doubt the magnificence of your influence.

Jasmine said...

The first image is by Dominic Davison, a freelance digital artist.

God bless!

Lydia said...

thank you so much Jasmine. Someone sent it to me and I did not know the source. It is beautiful, but looks like a painting. How did you find the source?

Country Victorian said...


I am going to try to use your heart shaped tea sandwiches at our next Titus Two Wives and Daughters class!

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

When you go in on Google images, you can press a little button with a camera on it. Then you can draw the image from wherever you find it, to the area where it says "place picture here" or something like that.

If you can't keep both windows up, drag the image down to where the the google page is on your taskbar, that will automatically press it and your Google will come forth =) Hope that makes sense.

God bless!

LeeAnne, Style N Season said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I just want to notify that your cousin's blog, Mrs. A, is for invited readers only, so just any readers of Home Living don't have access to her posts.
Thank you.
Actually I have been following your blog for a while, and I was inspired to blog about modest dressing, especially for worship.



Lydia said...

Thanks, LeeAnn, I'll take her blog off the blogroll.