Saturday, January 31, 2015

Napkin Rosette Tutorial

Hello Dear Ladies,

I took a moment to look at the new Southern Lady edition online and found a nice tutorial here:
The recent hard copy issue at Walmart had such nice photos of bouquets in interesting containers.

I have a list of topics to cover that have been sent by readers, but today I have time for only a brief message, and it is contained in this verse, which is a great motivation for ladies who have the huge responsibility of the home:

Col 3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God andthe Father by him.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Effect of Color in the Home

Good morning, ladies. A reader sent me this picture from Victorian Trading Company.  The interior is lovely, too, with the curved windows and alcove. Years ago it was possible to buy curved curtain rids to use on an ordinary window, giving a plain house an extraordinary look. I like the red roses in this covering. A smaller size would brighten a couch, especially on dark days.

Different colors have different effects on people and proclaim a mood or an occasion.  I once taught a ladies class featuring the colors mentioned in the Bible and their purpose.  I will try to do that here one day also.

If you are new to this blog, please click on the links on my blogroll on the left. These blogs invite you for a glimpse into other people's homes.

There is a good comment about using color on the walls so please click on comments to read it.

Ephesians 5:1  Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Whatever is Lovely

Today I am sharing the latest paintings of Susan Rios, an artist in California. You can view the  paintings at her Etsy store here:

Consider adding florals in vases or paintings to your home. The other day when I was in a Grocery store I saw some very appealing bouquets in the florist department of the store. The price of course was very high, but I was able to duplicate the flowers with Dollar Tree velvet roses that I already had.

Home Scenes

Source Above: Pinterest

One more picture from a magazine of a cottage with the interesting curved porch roof, from the Australian magazine "Live the Country Dream--Country at Home." Vol. 4 No. 3

This post is in response to reader requests.

Gleaning from email requests and true stories sent to me from preacher's wives, I am continuing the series describing the behind-the-scenes life of a preacher's wife:

From a preacher's wife:

"One thing people never see is the amount of time a preacher's wife spends with people who ask for her help with their marriages, their children, their homes, or their lives in general.  Church members are not aware of the number of church visitors and non-members that the preacher's wife caters to,  ministers to and extends hospitality to. Every church couple should have to be a minister for two weeks with the phone number of the preacher transferred to their home.  After experiencing running to the aid of non-members who call for spiritual and physical assistance, church members will never say the preacher  and his wife have it easy. They give up evenings at home with their families and they often aid people at their own expense to prevent being a burden on the church resources."

From a letter I received, and quoted by permission, is the following story:

"Some people who are weak in their faith will attend church for awhile and use the time of the preacher's wife to see if she meets up with all their personal requirements, and then, when they have found enough fault with her, will stop coming to church or go to another place of worship that meets their personal needs better.  Often it happens that the preacher's wife is blamed. A disgruntled person may have taken offense at her for a myriad of reasons, usually due to the lack of maturity on the part of the complainer. Sometimes complaints come from long-term church members who are known for their negative, complaining and condemning ways.

"Naive  people listen to these disgruntled ones, not taking into account that the tale-bearers have not attended long enough to be "proven" of their motives. The hearers focus on the concern that the church is not growing and so it must be someone's fault. The tale-bearers have found in the preacher's wife an easy mark for accusation. She carries no office of authority, is rarely a qualified counsellor, and is sometimes used as though she were an unpaid employee. 

"One particular aspect of the life of the preacher's wife that these false accusers never consider is that the very offended people who leave the church, or any group, whether it be a gardenning club or a civic organization, have been in the home of the preacher's wife often and have received an enormous amount of attention from her.  These leavers act as though the preacher's wife did nothing for them, but like 9 of the 10 lepers, forget to mention the benefits they received."

From a reader:

"How many times did all those accusers entertain the person who left? Did they have them over for dinner once a week? How much time did they take during the day teaching an emotionally struggling person?  The leaver never reports how many times a DAY they phoned me when they were anxious about something or emotionally upset. They never tell anyone how many times a week they walked into my kitchen  just to talk to me while I was getting a meal prepared or washing dishes. They never reveal how many times I bought clothes or food for them, nor how often I took the woman out to eat, helped her with her own housework, or how often the preacher and I had the couple over to our house for a meal. They do not remember the special outings and events I created to help the new member have fellowship. The church at large just does not know about any of this unless we keep a detailed diary and publish it in the church bulletin, but we do not do this because we do not like to broadcast the benefits we bestow on others.

"Church members are rarely aware of the souls that preachers wives are responsible for winning. Mostly the preacher's wife stays in the background, content not to be noticed, and does not toot her own horn."

From another preacher's wife:

"In one particular case, I mentored a young woman whose husband asked me to teach her how to live like a Christian. He was concerned about how her gossip affected his own life, and how she tended to be drawn to the wrong people who led her astray. She was also prone to wandering from house to house tale-bearing about each woman she visited.  I arranged to have her come to a daily session of a study in Proverbs dealing with these subjects. I allowed her to draw out the meaning of the scriptures and never imposed my will on her.  It turned out to be worse for me than the others because after the classes were completed, she reported to the church members that I did not like her way of life. Although of this was totally untrue, and it was all done in the most positive way, her rumors took flight and ran their course, til soon I was hiding in my house, not willing to trust anyone or have friendships, for fear they would twist everything that I said.  Eventually she tried to close down the Womens Study Fellowship, claiming she did not like the subjects, the format, or the students discussion.

"She also plotted to have other church ladies stop talking to me.  Thankfully,  most people checked her background and sized up the situation: she had no experience in living the life of a Christian lady and was attacking the preacher's wife. She had not attended church long enough to be proven, (a term that means long enough to show consistency and good clean living) ,  she still had some vices and habits she was clinging to (smoking, drinking, gambling, swearing) and she had come "out of nowhere" with no references from a previous church. She had benefitted greatly from the hospitality of the preacher's wife, who even let her stay in the guest room during a transition period of her life. The young woman had accompanied the preacher's wife in daily life and had not adopted the spiritual stability that the lady was showing her. Her story did not have credibility but she attacked those who attempted to fellowship her and benefit her."

Another letter says:

"One thing church members need to realize is that the preacher's wife is never compensated for the time, stress, tiredness and money spent on people who leave the church and then blame her for one member who quits.  How often did these other members who are quick to blame host this person in their home. How many times did they answer the phone when that person needed sympathy? How much money did other members spend on clothes and food for the unstable young woman? "

These quotes which have been sent to me are quite accurate descriptions of the stress preacher's wives endure. She is often seen as living an ideal life with a good marriage and good children, and others want to get close to her so they can duplicate that.

A quote from the book, "When Do I Cry Wolf" explains the kind of alertness the minister's wife needs to develop:

"We don't  want to become jaded and mistrustful of everyone...but on the other hand, we don't want to be naive and just see things at face value. 'the prudent sees evil and hides himself, but the naive go on and are punished for it.' Proverbs 22:3"

Ladies we often succumb to the false belief that we cannot warn each other about people's whose agenda is questionable; that we must play along with everyone and make a pet out of a wolf, but we must not be naive.  Preacher's wives sometimes fall prey to people they allow in their lives; people whose motives are not of good character. 

In a future post I will try to list all the suggestions I have received for alleviating some of the stress on the preacher's wife and for keeping up her morale and strengthening her own faith.  It is important that everyone know the special problems she endures and especially the false brethren whose aim is to shut down churches.

Until then, please leave your comments or email me about this subject.

Photo: David Austin Rose from the  English China Shop

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Light of the Home


These pictures are from Tea Time magazine website, which features a red table setting...

...and a mauve setting, complete with fresh flowers. Flowers are so expensive, but you can always buy just one single blossom, or find things for free outside. These days there are so many restrictions from picking even wildflowers by the side of the road that it is worthwhile to plant your own, or have small pots of flowering plants.  I like to get primroses for a dollar in a pot, and use them for centerpieces when I need fresh flowers. 

The most important thing is tasty, nutritional fresh food.

Here are some books I have been reading, which I shall add more about as soon as I can, so be sure and check back.
Light of the Home can be ordered here .

You can look for a cheaper price than the one quotes.  I have not finished this book yet and will add more details about the content later on today.

I have just returned from Shop of Shalom, a Christian variety store out in the country and have bought these two books, so after I finish reading them, will add more about them. If you have already read them, please comment.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Softly and Tenderly

Please click on the arrow on the picture above and listen to the beautiful singing.

I was quite encouraged while waiting in the Melbourne airport at Tullamarine, by the beautiful instrumentals playing distinctly the songs "Softly and Tenderly,",  "I Come to the Garden Alone," "Lord I'm Coming Home" and "Precious Memories."

I got homesick for Hobby Lobby. ;-)  It sounded like the same playlist, and had the same calming effect.


Island Sunset by Randy Van Beek, from

If this web-log is new to you, I would like to invite you to read About This Blog  and The Purpose of This Blog.  If you have questions, you really need to read those two posts, so please click on the links now.

For all others, I want to welcome you as  visitors to my home and I especially want to thank other bloggers for the generous sharing they do online, and the benefits their web-logs bring to me and to others.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Back to My Little Corner of the World

                                    Tea set from 

Hello Dear Ladies, 

I am back to the normal work of the home and have been looking on our eBay and other places for some of the china I saw while in Victoria. The patterns are not available in the US and seem impossible to have sent here.  However, there are a number of pretty china patterns available here such as the set seen in the above photo from Cake Stand Heaven.

Due to many changes in the house (shifting things around, unpacking, re-arranging, uncluttering, etc) things are not as orderly as I would like, but in the midst of it all I have a little space for any visitor or family member to stop and relax and maybe have a cup of tea.  

Maybe you would like to join me today, as I would like to share some thoughts with you. I hope you will share your thoughts back, also, by leaving a comment.

 The boxed set is quite lovely and would be a nice thing to give someone who is resting at home and needs a little extra TLC for some reason or other.

As most of you probably know, a return home can mean a fresh new outlook on life and maybe even arriving at solutions to old, puzzling problems.  Jesus was loved by many and hated by others. He knew the value of retreating to a quiet and private place.  Homemakers need their own privacy, so their minds can rest and renew and get more clarity in their thinking.

One of the things I have been thinking about that may be of interest to some of my readers is the problem of the Christian lady and tale-bearing.  Please do not think I am referring to any person or anyone's personal situation. Because the pattern of a tale-bearer is so familiar, it may sound like I am talking about your situation.

 Following the suit of other bloggers, I do not want to allow tale-bearers, wolves, Jezebels, haters, and trolls to control my web-log and the articles I write, or the "real life" wolves to destroy my sense of well-being. As I have been researching how to effectively handle haters of what is good, true and lovely, I came across a lot of good articles and books that were already written on these subjects, and I want to share some things that might be helpful to others, whether they are blogging or just want to get something done at home without the interference of jealous, malicious people.

Two of the books that I have read so far are:

"Pastor Abuse: When Sheep Attack the Shepherd", by Ken Crockett, and "When Do I Cry Wolf" by Steven Catt.

The first book reveals the tactics of trolls, wolves, critics or whatever you want to call them, to demoralize, divide and defeat any good work that is going on. They begin by telling you it is no good and you might as well give up because everyone is against you. Nothing has changed since the days of Nehemiah when his detractors tried to get the workers to quit building the walls of Jerusalem by telling them the walls were too weak and the job would never be completed. 

The second book gives some rather pointed examples of the way wolves and Jezebels work in any group, whether it be the city council, a gardening club, a family endeavor, a public person, a career, a church, or a business. People reading this book will see a pattern of destruction, beginning with turning what was once a friendly meeting into a long, arduous, miserable argument that discourages everyone from continuing.

If you look up "the tactics of demoralization" on the web, you will clearly see how the troll or the wolf uses the pattern to destroy confidence and divide people so that the hater can take control.

You may wonder what a homemaker has to do with any of this, but she must be alert to divisiveness and fiercely guide and guard the home.

For further research, type in words like "How to identify and deal with wolves in the church" as just since 2014 there has been a horde of articles on this topic. People are waking up after their homes and businesses, city councils and churches have been torn apart, and are exposing the plan behind it, along with the pattern that usually occurs, and with great accuracy they relate how people are hit blindsided when someone takes over their project or their business or even the church they belong to.

The first tool that is used is tale-bearing, supported by rumor.  Rumors spread seem to take on a life of their own. Even when they are outright lies, people's minds tend to absorb them as true, and they are so sucked in by the wolves that when asked to hear the true story, they will stop up their ears, just like the people in the New Testament who refused to listen to the truth. Heads of corporations who have taken the defamation and false accusations to court to prove the truth, have found that even when the case is ruled in their favor, the rumors, once having free reign, persist and ruin their business and the lives of all the employees who once benefited from a prosperous enterprise.

Haters know the power of a rumor, and the strength of a lie in the minds of weak people. If you are home, you have great power to influence your family to always investigate the story behind the story and to find out the source.  If you are raising children it is a mistake to deny the presence of wolves in the world. A study of the New Testament reveals the problem of those who come to "spy out your liberty" and wreak havoc with your faith. Their goal is to make you quit, whether it be your love of the home or your interests and hobbies, or your beliefs.

Tale-bearers do their part to change the way things exist, by suggesting with words that a situation is different than really is. Thus, a happy family is reported to be a factious one, and a popular business is rumored to have in-office fighting. A well-organized garden group is tale-beared to be ineffective and a church that is getting along just fine will be reported to be "disorganized" and "sharply divided."  A nice blog is called conceited and a successful etsy store is "a failing business."  These tales, once released, continue to circulate until the members of the families, websites or churches involved give up, and even after that, will go down in history as truth, even when proven to be a lie.

The reason the wolf prowls freely is that he is dressed in sheeps clothing (works for the company, is in a seemingly cohesive family, is involved in community organizations, goes to church) and so he seems like everyone else. Nice people do not like to admit that some people are not so nice. They do not warn their children of the wolves that will interfere in the home and in the church, to reduce their confidence in their leaders and God-given authorities.  Parents do not want to say anything  negative or talk behind someone's back, so they fail to warn their children of possible hazards ahead. We are all from a polite generation and we hate to be accused of gossip, so we say nothing while a trouble maker  has free reign over any group he infiltrates. 

A wolf senses two things: lack of authority, and fear.    Wolves are attracted to any thing that looks like a group, because it is the nature of a wolf or a hater to devour, destroy, and steal.  These books I read rightly described the nature of wolves, which I will not go into here, but every type of group or "flock", even a nation, may have a wolf circling around the sheep.  When a wolf is around, the sheep are nervous and cannot eat properly or digest their food. Nervous sheep will be distracted by a wolf and will not look to the shepherd, and at times will not obey his voice when they are in danger. Sheep tend to scatter in different directions when full of fright from a circling wolf.  A controller senses fear and will take advantage of it. A controller or hater thinks there is no authority over him/her and will go as far as they can until someone stops them.

One example of tale-bearing and the damage it does is the all-too familiar woman who infiltrates someone's home or church and tells someone else what terrible people they are. Then she goes to someone else and reports that the people who formerly provided for her, mentored her and helped her are really hypocritical and unqualified to minister to anyone.

This is is a story that is repeated around the world, causing neighbors and old friends not to speak to each other for years and years.

A friend gave me permission to relate her story here:

"My friend was mentoring a young woman who was living with them in their home, and asked if I would be able to help by having her in my home as well.  I was willing to take her as long as she would work in our family business with us, in exchange for living with us.  The first thing this young woman said was, "I am so relieved to be here because I just didn't feel safe with your friend. Her family has bad habits and poor character and they all insulted me." 

 My friend then said she didn't feel she should call her friend to verify this because she didn't want to offend her or stir up trouble.  The young woman then communicated to her former hostess that her new mentor had an unruly family that had criticized her and that her new home was "a terrible place."  As a result of this cross-tale-bearing, two lifelong friends ceased communicating for five years!  When they finally reluctantly met again at a social event, they were able to reveal the reason they had not spoken in so long: the wolf had deceived them both into being suspicious of one another and divided them.

Ladies I have heard many versions of this story from all over the world, and it always has the same pattern.  As you guard your homes, be wary and be aware. We are living in a culture of lying.  It is naive to believe that such things do not exist, and being ignorant of it can cost you the loss of your family, your business, your community projects, your blog, the church you attend, and even your marriage. 

The articles I have read on the web have many useful ideas for dealing with these divisive and destructive wolves. We spend too much time catering to them, trying to reform them and tolerating them. We even hide their identity. What shepherd in his right might would refuse to identify a wolf, let him in with the flock and let him devour the sheep?  Even the apostle Paul named the troublemakers in the church, calling them by their names and exposing them. He did not tell the leaders to run away or give up. He showed ways to discipline them, when we may reveal in a future post.

In closing, I thought you would be amused and informed by this report from an old ettiquette manual:

Hannah Moore had a good way of managing tale-bearers. It is said that whenever she was told anything derogatory of another, her invariable reply was, "Come, we will go and ask if this is true." The effect was sometimes ludicrously painful. The tale-bearer was taken aback, stammered out a qualification, or begged that no notice might be taken of the statement. But the good lady was inexorable; off she took the scandalmonger to the scandalised, to make inquiry and compare accounts.  It is not very likely that anybody ever a second time ventured to repeat a gossipy story to Hannah Moore.

Clara Barton, the nurse who founded the American Red Cross in 1881, made it a rule never to hold on to resentment.  A friend once reminded her of a cruel incident some years previously, But Barton seemed not to recall it.

"Don't you remember the wrong that was done to you?"  
"No," Barton answered calmly. "I distinctly remember forgetting that."

While we are here to raise our families and enjoy them, we should, at the same time be alert to the tale-bearing that destroys our reputations, our friendships, our church fellowship and our businesses, and reject it, as Hannah Moore did.

Lev_19:16  Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.
Pro_11:13  A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
Pro_18:8  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.
Pro_20:19  He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.
Pro_26:20  Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Pro_26:22  The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

You can go to Printer Friendly on the left sidebar and print this post, or you can paste pertinent parts on a blank page and print it all off for your big green file  or red ( or pink or white, etc) notebook!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

No Thanks, We Are Just Looking

I do not want to pay for an extra suitcase!  Maybe I can find these things online when I get home.

Hanging Rock

Mt. Macedon

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Encouraging Note

One of my hostesses, a long-time friend,  displays the thank-you cards she finds left for her when the guests have departed.

I know someone who displays cards she has received, showcasing them a ledge on a wall in her house.  I had not done that in so long because if the door was opened, a blast of wind would knock the cards down. These days there are all kinds of display gadgets to help you show your cards.  

I think if you have the cards out and you are ever feeling like you have no friend in the world, you can see that display and recognize that others care about you.

"It is so nice to feel appreciated," she says. "It gives me a feeling of well-being."

Thank you for sharing these cards and letters with me on my blog!

She read these notes aloud to me.

Click on the picture to get a closer view.

I would enjoy having these cards to send,  or getting one, wouldn't you?  It is frameable art not found in the States, and I did not buy any here.

Last night I did some research on thank you notes and read people's comments about what they write when they leave a note. Their spontaneous and heartfelt gratitude expressed in writing was so nice.

My friend also recommended a book by Constance Spry to help in all social situations. Even the most shy person can be confident when applying the principles she espoused. I certainly wish I had read it before I guested in so many places, because I sure made my share of blunders!

About Constance Spry:

For Your Girls

I have left the above issue of Victoria Classics with several of the ladies who allowed us to be their guests.  While reading the articles I thought how nice it would be to have your children read them aloud  to learn how to prepare for hospitality at home. They are easy to understand and elegantly written,

The photographs are inspiring. One article shows how to find things around your home, even if mis-matched, to use for a tea time ceremony. One particular sentence stands out: 

"Never underestimate the power of a well-set table."  

Everywhere I ate, the table was set.

If you are interested in teaching your girls how to be ladies, consider using this issue as one of their textbooks and see what can be gleaned from it.  One thing I have done when there was a magazine I used often in homeschooling, was take it apart and insert the pages in plastic sleeves designed for a three-ring binder. That makes it easy to add other pages of notes  and comments inbetween or within articles. It is a good idea to incorporate Biblical examples of hospitality and Bible teaching on the subject. This could make a great addition to a homemaking notebook.

As a final note, do not be too reluctant to collect a tea wardrobe of dishes and centerpieces. While it is true that the accumulation of material things is not what we are all about, these vessels are used to serve The Lord, for when you entertain strangers (those outside the family), you entertain angels unawares. Long after you have passed on to your eternal reward, others will use your things to continue the ministry of hospitality in your memory and in compliance with our Lord's admonition to show hospitality to strangers and "especially to the household of faith." Galations 6:10

To Those Who Read My Blog

Today I want to thank all my dear readers for following me on my journey.  Knowing you are checking for a new post has kept me interested in recording everything on my web-log.

Out of respect for the privacy of my family, I have not shared any details of my visits with them or pictures of anyone, nor times and dates and places that involved them.
However I hope you enjoy as much as I can share and that it is helpful.  

The Guest

Some time ago I received an email from a lady who wanted me to address on my web-log some ideas for guests regarding thank-you-notes and gifts of appreciation. Several ladies have written and related the thank-you notes they received that "made their day."  These notes have stated particular things the guests enjoyed or noticed, such as the view, the food, the feeling of relaxation, and things about the family they stayed with.

One lady stated her guests almost always leave a card in their room for her to discover after their departure. She has received interesting gifts along with notes of thanks: a little jar of jam, or food. Other things that may be given include a gift book--the little poetry and quotes books you see in gift shops or dollar stores, plants, flowers, gift certificates to restaurants, tickets to events, selected pieces of dinnerware  or teacups that appeals to the hostess, candles, personal bath items, pretty specialty magazines, and collectibles.

Nothing of the kind is required, of course. It is only voluntary and no host should expect a thank you note or a gift.
However, when a guest leaves a gift, the hostess should graciously accept it. It is an offering from the heart.

We are living in an era where many people never practice the art of giving. They may misunderstand the purpose of a thank-you note. It is a voluntary compliment given by the guest to express gratitude and give a compliment.  It builds up the confidence of the one who hosted her and it is a pouring out of love by the one who received food, lodging and transportation from the generous host.

It is natural to thank people on the spot when an act of kindness is given, but a thank-you note left in the guest room to be discovered later is a record in writing that can be re-read and it will produce good feelings all over again. It might also come in handy in a time of gossip, rumor and tale-bearing, as proof in writing, of a sincere heart. Leaving a thank-you note is a sign of good training by parents and shows you have been educated in how to treat those who have provided for you.

A thank-you note might say, "Dear Jane, I appreciate your hospitality. Please know that you are also welcome to come and stay with me any time. My visit with you will always be a pleasant memory."

For more information, do a search online with the question "Can a guest leave a gift or thank you note in the room?" Or something to that effect. Also, try reading a homemaking book by Constance Spry that explained a little bit of everything to help the new bride, or anyone else, in handling all kinds of social situations.

Finally, for the ones who host the guests, whether they be friends or close relatives, I will quote from the recent Victoria Classics Tea Pleasures magazine, a paragraph from an article called "The Atmosphere of Hospitality."  I have heard these same sentiments from many ladies, so the thoughts are really nothing new:

"One final rule is to never point out ettiquette errors among your guests. Try to smooth any faux pas, and direct attention elsewhere. You will prove a considerate hostess by ignoring any offense, slight or serious. Lead by example, and others are apt to follow suit. After all, your job is to foster an inclusive atmosphere in which people can enjoy themselves..."

The article recommends you take note of some of the ingredients in the places where you have felt the most at ease, noting the demeanor of the hostess, the scents and other things, and try to emulate them in your own home for your company. (From Tea Pleasures magazine, 2014)