Sunday, October 13, 2013

Inspiration for Home Life

These three paintings are by Albert Lynch, 1851-1912, Peru, South America.

Today I would like to share a few thoughts about the things that inspire me the most in homemaking. Back in the 1950s we had the catalogues which showed pictures or drawings of houses, rooms, gardens and all the things in them. Hand made doilies, rugs, placemats and blankets were homey additions.

When invited to someone's home it was not uncommon for the lady of the house to ask if you would like to see the rest of her house. As a young girl, I got to see freshly made beds, sparkling clean bathrooms, comfortable living rooms and functional kitchens.

Above: page from an October 1990's Victoria magazine.


Magazines offered some pictures but it was obvious they were not showing real homes. Now we have blogs, which I like so much better. Hospitality in the home seems to have declined, and some people have not been to anyone else's homes in years, so blogs are way of being invited. I am glad so many people around the world open their homes in this way, and share a little of what they do. It often brightens my day to click on a favorite blog, such as Carolyn Aiken or others, to see maybe one short post where they have shared one simple thing.

The old paintings also are of interest. In them I see the house arranged, tea being served, women doing quiet things. Certainly a painting of disorder and filth would not inspire me as much as one with beauty and pleasant things. The same goes for magazines and blogs. If I want to be a better homemaker, I will find the homes where they are showing something of a standard I can look up to.

It does not bother me a bit to see houses that are newer and better than mine. I enjoy seeing someone's living room looking company-ready, especially if my own is on shambles. It cheers me up and gives me hope that I can do the same. Sometimes I look at seasonal online house tours and I enjoy them very much and appreciate that these women share the things they enjoy, from shopping to cooking and the their spiritual lives as well.

When the income is low, or a house is less than ideal, it is encouraging to see so many blogs where the homemaking standards are high. Young women will need to know how to make a home if they have to live in less than ideal circumstances when they start out in their own homes.

Things are looking pretty and green around here, so I took a few pictures. It has been too rainy to mow the grass. I have been given a new screen door and there are some improvements going on.



The north side scene from my house.

North west view from my house.

I enjoy the homemaking blogs because they are quiet, as opposed to noisy cooking and decorating shows. When a homemaking blog has a tutorial I can take my time absorbing the directions. If she has a tour of her house I can spend as long as I like enjoying her photographs. I find these blogs inspiring, even if I do not make any of the things they make. I know what my limits are and can choose what I really want to do and have the time to do or the capability of doing.


This is one of my recent projects: I found a use for unused scrapbook papers. The drawers in my kitchen needed freshening , so I lined them with scrapbook papers that I did not have any other use for, overlapping with extra paper where needed. Then I put a few drops of lavender oil here and there on the papers. There was no need to use tape or any type of adhesive, as these papers are heavy enough to lie flat and stay put even when using the drawers a lot. This is the place where my kitchen towels go, and it is so pleasant to smell the lavender when I open it to get out a towel.
As for subject matter on blogs, I find that even if a blogger features only a picture of something in her home, it always inspires. I might not be able to buy fresh roses but someone else will share hers on her blog. Other ladies like to share some of their purchases or just take a picture of a pie.
Here is something I just bought for a dollar each. These soaps are huge bars with a curved shape so they are easy to hold and do not get soggy because they are not flat. The Scents are very mild, just barely there...a hint of honey almond in the bar seen at top, and a whiff of lemon verbena in the lower picture. I liked having these so much, that I bought several more to put in a basket in the bathroom.

When I look for ways to make my home easier to live in and more comfortable or safe, I do not wish to look at a magazine or a video which shows a gloomy, depressing room with no joy in it. I look for blogs that have a sense of beauty and order, because that is what I would like for my own home.

There is also the friendships that are made through blogging, which form a network of support and company for homemakers.



Joluise said...

I like the feel of warmth and cosines in a home which I find is missing in many modern homes that seem to lack homeliness and feeling of family. I also enjoy looking at blogs about homes as they inspire me and give me ideas for my own home.

Have a lovely week .

budgeteer said...

Thank you for posting these paintings here. The second one has a lovely dream-like quality about it.

I also like to buy those type of bar soaps and to put fresh new soaps in the soap dishes. The fragrances make the room smell fresh and inviting.

Grace and Tea For Me said...

Dear Miss Lydia:
Thank you for your lovely post this morning! It has inspired me to photograph small items or certain rooms in my home to share with others. Now that you mentioned it, I do remember when you went into someone's home they would take you on a tour of the other rooms in their house. Save for one time a while back, I haven't had someone do this in years!

But, it was fun because you could get fresh ideas and have a chance to tell your hostess how much you admire her talents as a decorator or, if she ask, to give her an idea about a certain room.

I simply love your blog and look forward to each new post for ideas and for words of wisdom.

Mrs. B

LadyLydia said...

In that 2nd paointing it looks like the artist was using the impressionist technique, which was a trend that was coming in at that time. That is why the edges of the objects and subjects are less sharp

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, I like the idea with the scrapbook paper for lining a drawer. Some of the shelf paper moves around too much.
I am gonna look for that soap at my store :)
I am so happy that this week, I will be able to stay home.
As I get older I find being gone too much is very disruptive.
I need to start my Fall cleaning.
Blessings, Roxy

LadyLydia said...

Roxy the soap is from Dollar Tree. They also have one called Skin Milk that has a baby powder scent.

Emmarinda said...

I am visiting my home area this week, and it is absolutely at its fall foliage peak. I finally have a phone with a good camera and I have been taking pictures of the old neighborhood, our schools, church, the park and other pretty places and I hope to be able to start blogging again and posting my pictures. I also have some nice ones of the front yard and porch and the interior rooms to share. I get such encouragement and joy from your blogs and other similar ones for the same reason you have stated. Thanks for the idea about the lavender on the papers in the drawers. I have been working really hard at getting all my rooms in company ready condition. Next month I am hosting a reunion of members from a former church, and have also had some company lately, so I made sure that among other things, my coat closet in the foyer was clean and sparse, for I find that to be able to open a closet without embarrassment and hang a guest's garment in there makes me feel like a very rich person. And yes, I remember the house tours and hope to be able to reinstate this tradition presently. Thanks for being there for us, Lydia.

Christine said...

I couldn't agree with you more.
I really enjoy looking at blogs with a calm, homey feel and content.

It amazes me how many of us feel the same way. One of the best ways to spend my day, is to putter about our home. Where it's laundry, baking, sewing or just reading. I love to be home!

LadyLydia said...

I especially appreciate blogs when I have been far away from home, or when sick. Living out in the country it does not seem so isolated whe there are homes being shared throughout the world through blogs.

Ellie Rae said...

Lovely, as usual.

Mindy Roberts said...

My mother used to always offer to show guests our home when they visited. That way, no one had to ask where the restroom was! I've noticed that hardly anyone does that anymore. I wonder why. I've given some tours when some people weren't really interested. However, when my cousins came about a year ago, those who hadn't seen the house asked for a tour. That was fun!

Mindy Roberts said...

I have wondered why people don't give tours of their homes anymore, when they have company. We always did that when I was a girl. I've given some tours to people who definitely weren't interested. However, about 2 years ago, I had a group of cousins over who hadn't seen the entire house and they asked to see it! That was fun.


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