Monday, February 27, 2012

Sample of Homemaking Class Program

Mrs. Hollinger's recent invitation to a homemaking class is an example of a way to  draw more interest in the gentle art of homemaking, by hosting a homemaking class in her home.  Here is her announcement.  I attend as a guest speaker through the Skype program, where they can see me on screen.

We have a very exciting class in store for you with our "Irish Spring Tea!" 
We sent out reminders via facebook.  In case you missed it, we are having our a "Green Healthy" theme in honor of St. Patricks Day.  The Titus Two Wives are excited to share their "green" knowledge with you.  We want to thank the Ladies who have been following our class, especially from out of state~ for all your prayers.  We sincerely appreciate you praying as the Titus Two Teachers prepare to share this Friday.  May we be encouraged in our calling to glorify God!
  • Mrs. Sherman will be opening our class with a biblical message in line our Titus Two Mandate "Each One Teach One".
  • We will continue Mrs. Derbers series "The Art of Homemaking"  with specifics on organizing "Schedules", "Time Management" and "Planning Meals".
  • Mrs. Roberts will be teaching you a wonderful recipe for a homemade "Spa" product you will love!!  We will be giving you lots of homemade "Spa" recipes you can make at home for yourself and or as gifts for others. 
  • Mrs. Spencer will be teaching an immune building, cancer fighting, digestive aid and flu fighting healthy food you can make at home!
  • We have a fun "homemaking" activity that will challenge and make you laugh!
You will enjoy wonderful fellowship and a lovely afternoon "Irish Spring Tea!"
**Wives please bring your planners, organizers or whatever you use to help you keep yourself organized or on schedule.  We would like you to share during our Titus Two Tips what you use!  It will be lots of fun to see even if its just a piece of notebook paper!
Those who signed up to bring a healthy snack or dessert are:  Mrs. Glines, Mrs. Hoerth, Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Sodeberg & Miss Melissa Cherry.
*Daughters~do your best to create a crock pot meal for your mothers.  You will be glad you did!
We will see this Friday!
Your friends,
The Titus Two Wives & Daughters Class

Note:  Crock pots are the same as slow-cookers, and these days a slow cooker provides quite a high quality meal. Having a meal in your crock pot makes the house smell wonderful, and the food is usually quite good. On the inside cover of the new Tea Time magazine is an ad for a book called "Creative Slow-Cooker Meals" and suggests using two slow cookers for tasty and easy meals. I do not own this cookbook but it has a good idea on the cover: get a smaller slow cooker and a larger one, and use them both for meals. One can have the main dish in it, and the other, a side dish.

A slow cooker is great for making your own refried beans. Put the dried beans in the pot with plenty of water, adding more when needed, and cook them overnight, including the spices and other ingredients. There are recipes available on the web and in slow cooker recipe books. One that is out now is by Taste of Home and features tear out cards that you can keep in a box. The booklet is small, and usually displayed in grocery stores.

Some of the lessons she listed are on the Art Linkletter record that was produced back in the 60's and are read by a lady with excellent elocution, which makes very pleasant listening.

March/April Tea Time Magazine

This month's Tea Time magazine has an interesting article about the Taylors of Harrogate tea company.
The man who tastes the tea wrote that Yorkshire Gold is his favorite. He is such a good tea taster that he can tell where the tea is from, just by sampling it. We supply Yorkshire Gold locally (we do not mail it except to good friends), and it is always in demand.
Such pretty pages inside the magazine, all focusing on pink roses, make it appealing. If you cannot get the magazine, you can still enjoy a lot of it online here.
Where I live, there is very little difference this time of year between the dark, foggy, windy, stormy, rain or snow-filled days, and the dark nights, so the pretty pages in this publication were a welcome sight in the mail. I subscribe to this magazine because it gives me such a lift when I go to the mail box. It is enjoyable to get it in a store, but there is something special about having it come to your door!

Someone recently told me that she had no qualms about buying Tea Time or Victoria magazines, because she considered them part of the curriculum for her home living learning and enjoyment! These publications are available at Walmart in the book and magazine section. It is an expense, I agree, but as one woman told me, it is part of the payment, or a perk for the loving labor she gives to her family and her home. We don't have vices, and do not care to participate in the prevailing culture, so we might as well have a nice book or magazine.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Singing

Although I am not familiar with this hymn, I found the harmonious blend of voices most pleasing, and I like the fact that this station puts the words on the screen so you can follow along.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Easy Invitations and Notebooks from Inexpensive Materials

To print this, click on for a larger view and then right click and press "print."  You can use this inside the invitation booklet if you like, or just write your own.

Simple books or invitations can be made quickly, using children's construction paper for the covers, printer paper for the pages, clippings from catalogs and old cards, and wired ribbon for the ties.  This can all be obtained at dollar stores or discount stores.  If you have children that need something quiet to do, this is an easy project for them, and they can use the bolder colors like red and blue, which are in the construction paper packet. 

Fold a piece of construction paper in half, and half again and cut into four parts.
Also fold and cut two pieces of printer paper for the pages of the book.  (You will only need one or two squares of blank paper for the invitation booklet.)

Fold one piece in half but do not crease, and punch a hole for your guide.

Open it up and place it over the cut pieces of white paper and punch more holes. Include a construction paper backing. Then twist your wired ribbon, string, yarn, or whatever you choose, and put it through the holes, bringing it back up to the front to tie. 

I have used about 10 inches or more of wired ribbon to tie it into a bow. 

Roll the tail ends of the bow under about twice in order to hide the wires of the wired ribbon.

Here it is used for an invitation, with only one page and a back and front cover.
Remember that the words "You Are," should be contracted into "You're" which is the correct spelling. It is not written 'Your Invited', but rather, "You're Invited."   "You're" is two words put together: you and are.  The other spelling, your means "belonging to you," such as "Where are your gloves?" or "I found your keys," so the words on the invitation should be "You're Invited"  or just use write "You Are Invited," which removes all confusion!

Here is one  made a few weeks ago from thin glitter paper which I got in a pack. It was not as thick as cardstock and was a little easier to work with and it was not expensive at all.

I'm linking to Beverly's Pink Saturday
and  would like you to see this blog called "Little Birdie Blessings" because she has such a nice graphic that she is giving away today that you could print out and use for booklets like these. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Butterfly Lovers Concerto

I was listening to classical radio while on a car trip and heard a long, long piece, lasting what seemed an hour, and I found part of it to post here. I've added to my playlist also.

Listen to  a short piece  of this music here

Listen to another part of this beautiful, Oriental melody 

Part 1 of a longer version

Part 2

 There are many parts to this music, and you might be able to find several of them online to listen to, including quite a lively clip here,  so be sure to check it out after you hear  the following, which is easy listening.

This is a most famous Chinese concerto.

Table Settings

Tablesettings from HGTV, found on Pinterest

In keeping with previous posts about hospitality, today I'd like to share some table setting ideas. The one in the photograph above shows a  square printed table cloth with a border, placed over a lace one. You can do this sort of thing with fabrics, too, and also, you can use some really nice clear plastic over them so that you can preserve your antique cloths or fabrics.  Do  not get the foggy looking plastic if you want your cloths to look really bright. Look instead for the clear type that you get by the yard at WalMart or fabric stores, that has a paper backing. The plastic covers are ideal when serving tea. and can be washed in a pan of hot soapy water and wiped dry with a towel while they are warm.

There are supposedly rules about table settings and table linens, but these days, the hostess can decide whatever suits her best, and besides, it can also be a matter of creative ideas, using what you have. Using plastic is not supposed to be proper, but if you are a busy homemaker and do not want to be constantly washing your linens, the clear plastic makes more sense.

The large basket of flowers, a pretty centerpiece, is kept at the end of the table, so that guests can converse easily without dodging huge obstacles in the middle of the table. I recently went to a commercial tea at a tea room in town, where the center of the table was piled so high with impressive centerpieces, that friends could not even see each other across the table, and children's views were totally blocked.  This is one mistake people are making with centerpieces, so I experimented a little here at home and came up with just a couple of things you could do. 

When preparing a table for Tea, I often use the tea pot and the food as the center pieces, and they are low enough that they do not block the view of people across the table.  You might consider using food on a pretty platter as your centerpiece.

A wired garland of fake flowers makes a nice centerpiece that can go all around the table, without interfering with the service of the afternoon tea. Use fresh greenery such as cedar branches, holly or laurel if you have them.

It does not matter if your table cloth is wrinkled, as it gives it an artsy look. The one I'm using here was not easy to press, so I used it wrinkled and it looked fine.

While proper placement of utinsels and dishes has its merits, the hostess is free to develop her own customs and styles. If it is to be an afternoon tea, I usually put the cup and saucer on top of the lunch plate, because guests always want to begin with a cup of tea. Later they put the cup aside and load their plates with sandwiches and other foods. It is ultimately up to the hostess, but if you have a very small table, this is a good way to do it. 

 You can go here to find table setting guides here and other places on the web. Though they always  show the knife edges turned toward the plate, I do not always do that, because some of my knives (yes, they are cheap) have engravings of the type of steel and the company that makes them, right on the blade on the other side. So, for this setting, I've turned the knife blade the other way.  I made this simple so that a new hostess would not find it too daunting. A white table cloth can be put in the dryer to remove wrinkles, as tablecloths are difficult to iron due to their size.

  It is perfectly alright to use paper napkins,  (which officially are not proper) since it is easier to find the colors you need, and they are not expensive if you get them at the dollar stores.  Plastic or wood chargers can be used for color contrast in a table setting, but they are not necessary. I used it here because the white plate looked better on it than on the white cloth.  Play around with your settings and rearrange til you get what makes you happy.

These little vases are squat enough to hold a fresh or fake flower and greenery and still see across the top to other people seated at the table, so that conversation is easier.

 If you need a placemat for color contrast in your table setting, you can trace around a very large dinner plate on to a piece of large square scrapping paper, and then make a napkin ring from a strip of the same paper.

Placemats and table cloths make things a little softer and quieter at the table. It puts some padding between your dishes and the table.

Whatever you do, being a hostess should be enjoyable, and these ideas should make you feel it is more than just hard labor, but a chance to create and to brighten someone's day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hospitality for the Timid

Afternoon Tea 1914
by Paul Fischer, Denmark 1860-1934

     A conscientious homemaker has a heart for hospitality, but it can seem daunting if it is not a familiar activity. We read in the Bible that the elders of the church must be "given to hospitality." (1st Timothy 3:2) That can occur most easily if it is practiced. Very few women are instantly at ease or are expert in hospitality at first. The knowledge of it must be gained little by little, and so today I would like to offer a few ideas that other people have lent me, to enable hospitality.

     Start small.  Try one or two guests at a time, instead of a big crowd. The easiest thing to plan is a pot of hot tea with sandwiches. You do not even have to make the sandwiches. Arrange the sandwich supplies in an attractive way on a platter and allow your guest to help herself. Hot tea is the best cover for everything, I always say. If all you have is crackers and cheese, hot herbal, green or a high quality black tea (like Yorkshire Gold) makes it all taste wonderful. People pay a lot of money to go to tea rooms that serve such simple food. Your hospitality in this simple way will be greatly appreciated, and I suspect you'll receive a phone call or card  telling you in enthusiastic terms just how much.

     Make a list divided into several possible sections: food to buy, food to prepare, plates and table settings to get out, housework to be done, people to call, clothes to wear, invitations to send (or phone calls), favors to make (or gifts) and anything you can think of that will make preparations easier. Then check off your list as you fulfill each item. You can give some of these tasks to helpers if you like.

     Use the grocery store. The bakery and deli are good resources for foods you do not have to prepare yourself , and this convenience is tantamount to having good help, which is hard to find sometimes.  The frozen food supply at your local grocery store has tea foods in the form of individual serving sizes of savory foods. The produce department may have fresh fruits and vegetables already cut and arranged in a covered dish, but check the dates and be discerning about freshness.  Using your grocery store as your cook is a good idea if you are uncertain about showing hospitality. The point is not where the food came from, but that you are inviting someone into the warmth and cheerfulness of your own home and sharing your table with them.

If you want to do it yourself, this new special tea-time issue, which covers spring, summer, fall and winter,
has some ideas you could follow, and is available postage free from  and at Walmart magazine section for the same price. I've got a copy of it and decided it really is a classic like it says, and is worth keeping. The photos are from older editions of the original  Victoria issues and of course are lovely and will spark your interest in having tea. I have made the turkey-avocado tea sandwiches on page 54 and they were not difficult and tasted great.

If you are only inviting one or two people, the cost of two things at the bakery or small items at the deli, will not be so enormous. Getting things pre-made from the grocery store shows you for sure how things will "turn out."

Several shades of pink are available at dollar stores nationwide.
     Dollar stores are now selling the square paper plates in large and small, and silver looking forks, knives and spoons. So, you do not even have to worry about dishes if that is what is making you hesitate about entertaining. 

     Get everything ready the day before the event. Find a place to stack the dishes and cutlery you intend to use and get out the teapots, cups and the tea bags, tablecloth, napkins and serving dishes. Put the prepared food on plates in the refrigerator, covered. Find other things you'll need and assemble them, so that you do not have the awkwardness of digging for them when company arrives.

     Go to bed early and get enough sleep so that you'll wake up early and feel less stress the next day. Lay your clothes out so that you don't have to rifle through the closet and drawers looking for just the right outfit. Find a special apron just for that day.

     If you are just getting used to extending hospitality, start with one or two guests, and do not feel you have to serve them in the dining room. A table pulled up near a window in the living room might be just right and will not feel too formal.

     Create some kind of centerpiece that goes with the occasion. The simplest, which can also be bought at your dollar store or grocery store is a candle or fresh flowers, but for a simple tea, a special tea cup filled with flowers or some other creative thing will do. Centerpieces make the table setting seem more organized and orderly and give a pleasing spot where the eyes may rest.

     Get a co-hostess in your family to help you.  If you feel stressed about having someone over to share a tea or a meal, engage someone to help you. A sister or daughter can be a great help.  Children love to be chosen as door-men or coat-ladies to greet guests, and they can be a great asset when preparing a room in which to entertain.

     Do not be rushed  time-wise. Give a head start on the event so that you won't feel pressured and lose the enjoyment of it.

     Establish a time limit for guests by indicating on the invitation, or verbally, that you are hoping to have them take tea with you beginning at 1pm and possibly going until 3pm or whatever you are comfortable with. Keep in mind the needs of your family, what time dinner has to be prepared, and the schedules of your family members, but it is wise to give  yourself a limit, so that you do not wear them out or run out of things to talk about.

     Make at least one room presentable, whether it be the dining room or the living room. Guests need not tour the home or make themselves at home in every single area of your house. Sometimes hospitality gets put off because the homemaker is trying to get the entire house presentable, which could in some cases take years. I probably need to paint the walls and get the carpet replaced, and buy some new furniture, but if I wait for that to happen, I will be years before I can show hospitality to anyone.

     Make the front door area, both outside and inside as presentable as possible by sweeping the porch and getting rid trash or clutter that is not part of the decor. Hang a wreath on the door or put a pot of flowers on the porch, just to make it seem like you are expecting company.  You can even make a hand-written welcome sign or get someone in the family to do it.

     Remind your guests that you are expecting them and ask them if everything is working out for them to come. Guests these days are good at forgetting and not showing up at all. They do not realize that the hostess has prepared something for them and is waiting for them.  

     Make the best of things if no one comes, and use it as an opportunity to record your efforts. Take pictures and make notes in your homemaking journal.  In some old journals of relatives that I have read, the homemaker kept a record of everything she served to guests, every single time, so that she would not repeat the menu if she invited the same people. Sometimes they wrote about what they wore and what the guests shared in their conversation.  If no one shows up, you can go to your neighbor and ask her to come and have tea with you, or you can share it with your family, whom I know will love it best. 

The Hatch Family
by Eastman Johnson, American 1824-1906

Practice on your family or a few family members if you are still uncertain. That way, you'll be able to see problems that might come up or ways to better serve your guests.

     Practice makes perfect, and hospitality will not always make your nervous.  Those who do it with ease are those who are used to the routine and know what to expect. If you want to become good at it, you have to practice, and the best thing is to practice on family and close friends.

Other verses on hospitality:
Romans 12:13
Titus 1:8
1st Peter 4:9

Go here to print this lecture for your homemaking notebook.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Solace of Home

Victorian Woman II by John O'Brien  Irish who immigrated to America (b.1951, d.2004)
Note: If you press the link to read more about this artist, you will find that his wife posed for many of his paintings.

Solace and rest at home are important factors in making family members the people that they ought to be.  In search of the balance between solace and public exposure, we can learn something from Royalty.  The Queen of Denmark expresses in an interview with the BBC that she is not trying to be "mysterious" when she insists on privacy in her home life, but that she must be rested, and if her private home life becomes public, she cannot be rested and it will effect her public life. If everyone is there poking their nose into her home life, she will not have a real home life.

Living in an era of social openness, where people often think they should not hide anything, we have gained stress and lost some privacy.  I remember well the old people when I was a lot younger, and how they, though friendly, kept everyone but close family at arm's length. You never knew of their worries, nor of impending financial disaster, nor would they discuss their frustrations with anyone. "If he worried, he hid it," penned Edgar Guest in his poem, "Somebody Said It Couldn't Be Done."

The bad thing about abandoning personal reserve and privacy is that it gives the cynics and skeptics a chance to find sources of derision and accusation.  I think the Queen's quote is something worth thinking about.

Enjoying the home is an integral part of having complete solace and rest. To achieve this, you have to have it reasonably orderly and clean, so that you can sit down and breathe easy and pick up your knitting. The women of old that I knew usually aimed to get their housework done so that they could indulge in some of these quiet past times. After the dishes were washed in the morning, and essential house keeping taken care of, they might have put a roast or a stew on the stove and then sat down to knit or write letters or read.  Some of the women I knew were artists and enjoyed getting out their paints to record the glorious scenes around them.  One blog in Scotland which always lifts my heart is simply called "The Quiet Home"  and all the writer does is shows how she enjoys her home. It could be looking out the window or sitting in her favorite chair, or washing dishes, but she shows how these are enjoyable moments throughout the day.

To find solace and enjoyment in the home, it is necessary to limit the demands that outsiders put on our time. Women tend to be helpers and nurturers and want to make things better for other people, but they have to be careful not to do too much. If others can learn to be independent and take care of themselves, it is extremely helpful to the homemaker.  Children might not do household jobs perfectly, but they can do enough of a job that it takes some stress off the homemaker and allows her to relax more.  

Rest is important for good speech, memory, thinking and reasoning. Keeping out unnecessary noise or conflict will add to that restful solace at home. I read recently about a doctor who recommended a news media fast for one month to those who were suffering from anxiety. If you would try even one day not knowing all the upsetting things going on, there would be a reduction in tension . The body and mind would be rested.

While it is essential that homemakers have an awareness of the political threats to their way of life, it is important to know that the world's news is usually the bad news which brings constant anxiety but the Bible is the good news which brings solace to the home.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

To print this lecture on the importance of solace in the home, go here.

Notice: I have added the wedding waltz of Fred and Mary of Denmark to my playlist so I hope you will go and watch it here. Notice how the queen gives a signal for the crowd to start moving closer to the waltzing couple, clapping until they have completely surrounded them.  If you go to my playlist, it is the third to the last entry on the list.

You might also enjoy Frederick's wedding speech to Mary and her father.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Sacredness of Home

Lady in Pink
by Alfred Leopold Stevens,  1823-1906, Belgium and France
from allposters.

     Although I am not linking up to Pink Saturday, I wanted to share something pink here today. This is a wooden sign that came from the dollar store, which I painted pink with some craft paints.  It could be made from cardstock, too, and hung with wired ribbon in a pleasing spot in your home.  Lillibeth has written a pertinent post on pink here. You can click the "thank you" button on her blog to respond, since she does not have comments.

     Happiness at home is largely dependent upon the belief that the home and family is a sacred institution established by God in the beginning when he created human beings. That belief will elevate the importance of the home and its functions, so that the homemaker can regulate the atmosphere. It is her duty to guard the home (Titus 2, verses 2-5), and in doing so, she must keep out the things that run down the purpose of the home and the members of the family.  She must not allow sardonic, sarcastic and flippant remarks from those who would trivialize the home.  It is not funny to characterize the parents as ignorant old fogeys who are stuck in the dark ages, and it is not right to ridicule their efforts to homeschool their children. 

    The home is serious business, and homemakers are accountable to God for the way they conduct the matters of the house.  They should not brook mocking comments or complaints about housework.  They can either ignore the remarks or they can call people to task for them, whichever they think their nerves can handle.

     Home is a blessed place, also, and everyone should be grateful to be there. It is not just a stop-over while on the way to do "something else" or something better. Being happy at home is the "ultimate result of all ambition."(Samuel Johnson, author of the 19th century English Dictionary.)  

     Demoralization is a tool of the devil, used to distract people from whatever is good, pure and lovely (Philippians 4:8). It is part of cynicism and skepticism, which I have written about before, and as such, should not be an invited guest in the home.  Teach your children well: when they make flippant remarks that devaluate the importance of the home, the homemaker, the parents, the family or make fun of well-loved traditions and beautiful sentiments, bring it to their attention that their sarcasm is helping to tear down the foundations that are giving them the best start in life.

     Demoralization is an effort to discourage someone and make them feel worthless.  The enemies of freedom know that the easiest way to defeat a country is to first demoralize them. A demoralized person is not capable of assimilating facts or distinguishing between truth and lies, no matter how much evidence he has before him.  It is important therefore, to understand the deep dangers of such a tactic and not ignore it when it enters the home. It should be disciplined as though it were a naughty child.

     Home is a place that is not dictated by the world's celebrations and observations. You can make any day a special day by declaring it so. I agree with this lass here, who has a special holiday marked on her calender to celebrate something lovely. In my home, I make up whatever day I want it to be. Today there were some violets peeking up from the root of a tree, and, remembering Peter Marshall's statement in his sermon "Keepers of the Springs," about the "the wistful fragrance of violets, "  I declared today to be the Wistful Day of Violets and am contendedly looking at some of them in an orphan tea cup saucer with a violet pattern.

     Another blog that is a delight is  this one, where a girl after my own heart makes costumes and wears them to historic house museums to get a sense of what it must have felt like to live there and use the old telephone and the old rocking chair and look through the windows onto the gardens.  I've done things on a smaller scale in my own home, dressing up and serving tea to just my little ones and enjoying every minute of it.

   There are those who think that our machinery (washers, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners) make housework so fast and easy that we need not stay home all day. To that I would like to say that if you have so much free time at home due to all this wonderful machinery, it does not mean that you should go out to seek work outside the home, or get a job for wages.  It is marvelous to have the work done in half the time it was done before the convenience of machinery, but homemaking is more than house cleaning. It is the art of putting an atmosphere into the home. The things these two girls have done on the links I've included, put that kind of love and joy into home living.

    If there is so much time left over after all these machines apparently do your work for you, you can create useful things by sewing, or knitting, your you can show hospitality.  If you have so much free time, due to machinery doing your work for you, you can do a lot more things yourself instead of having other people do it:  cook from natural ingredients, sew your own curtains, grow your own garden and educate your own children,

     Some people get the idea that women should be home only to do housework, but that is not true. A real homemaker pays attention to more than just the housework that needs to be done. She pays attention to beauty and comfort, as well as attitudes.

     The quality of refinement should be cultivated in home life. This is simply a type of respect. Helen Andelin elaborated on it in one of her books for women, saying that a refined person is respectful of other people who may put a high value on manners or certain rituals that they feel are important. Refinement demands that we not make rude remarks about a homemaker's insistance on good manners, her enjoyment of taking tea, or even her choice of decor and colors.  Refined people will respect the home, even if they do not have the same likes and dislikes in choices of style.

      A refined person will not destroy another's enthusiasm or enjoyment of things like a cup of tea in a favorite old-fashioned tea cup, or dressing up for different occasions, or enjoying classical music.  It is tempting to join outsiders in derisive laughter aimed at people who like to wear hats and dresses or take walks in the country, but refinement calls us to refrain from such uncivilized mocking. The home is sometimes the point of ridicule, but those who are refined will not indulge in such attacks.

     When you allow the home, marriage, the training of children, your tastes in home management and arrangement, and other aspects of home living to be insulted, you are allowing people to insult their Maker, who created the first home.

     When the home is regarded as sacred, certain words will not escape the lips of the family members, and outsiders will tread more carefully in regard to the home.  Those who dwell in it will be glad that it is protected from the stresses and strains of the wild, sleepless and noisy world.

     I have a new category called "Short Stern Lectures." To print this short stern lecture, go here.

Every Day at Home is a Celebration

I agree with this lass here

and this one here

Pretty Hand Made Books From Ordinary Materials Around the House

These note books made from scraps have been shown elsewhere on this blog a few years ago, and  I wanted to show how to make them again. 

For each book, you will need:
Construction paper
Printer paper
wired ribbon, yarn or string
pictures cut from catalogs
glue stick for paper

1. Select a piece of construction paper (children's art paper) and fold it in fourths. These will be the covers of the books.

2. Open the paper, and cut the paper along the folds into four pieces.

3. Fold one of the pieces in half and punch a hole in it close to the fold, as you see.

4. Open it up and use the holes as your pattern for the filler paper and the back cover.

5. For each book, fold two pieces of white copy paper in fourths, open them up and cut them into four pieces each. There will be 8 small pages. Since the copy paper is smaller than the construction paper, center it on the  cover before you punch the holes.

6. With the cover facing up, and the paper beneath it, use the holes already punched as a guide and punch holes in the pages,

7.  Cut about 10 inches of wired ribbon for the tie.

8. If you are making many books, unroll the ribbon and fold it 8 times, cutting after each fold, to make 16 pieces. Do this by counting by 2's each time you fold.

9. Twist one end of the ribbon and put it through the hole, from the front.

10.  Twist the ribbon end again and bring it back up through the back to the front.

11. Tie the ribbon once. It is not necessary to tie a knot in wired ribbon. Roll the ends of the ribbon over twice to hide the wire, and then arrange it to look like a bow.

Use anything you have on hand for the inside pages. Scrapbook papers are usually white on one side and would make good pages, but you would have to trace around the book cover to get them the right size. You can also make your book covers from scrapbook papers, folding in the same manner as this book.

I clipped items from the Castle and Cottage catalog. You might use other types of clip art, from cards or things you get in the mail.  These booklets are being made for a lady who has an upcoming homemaking class and would like something to hand out for her guests to jot down notes if they need to. She did not want anything expensive.

                      I cut out pictures from the catalog that went along with her homemaking theme. Since each one is different, there is no need to write names on the books to distinguish one from another. Enjoy coordinating the clipped pictures with the color of the construction paper, and using ribbons that also contrast nicely with the paper and the pictures.

                  Below you see several books completed, and some tied with white wired ribbon.  If you are needing favors or gifts and have no time to shop, this is a quick way to make something.  A book like this is good for a shopping list or a schedule or a reminder list, and will fit easily in a pocket or purse.

If you need small copy books for boys, just use your model car catalog or any kind of interesting seed catalog or magazine for clip art on the cover, and tie it with rope or string. You can also easily tear the construction paper if the folds are creased well enough, which gives the edges of the covers a feathery look.