Thursday, April 30, 2015

So Much to Do

Hello Ladies,

I didn't realize I had not posted in such a long time.  There is so much to do at home and I got involved in cleaning up some neglected areas.  Above is a picture of a miniature vase I have, with the first shoots of Columbine. I see Columbine comes in other colors too. Mine has been coming up in the flower bed for over 20 years; one of the plants that stays, even with neglect.

(Picture from Pinterest)

At this time, what is on my mind is a discussion I recently participated in, concerning the concept of fairness between duties of men and women as shown in the Bible. (See Titus 2 to read about some of the duties of men).

  Some times the question of fairness is thrown at you to make you think you are missing out on something. Rather than focus on fairness, why not focus on your own responsibilities and try to live up the the character qualities described in the New Testament: faith, virtue, knowledge, self control, goodness, kindness, etc.  There is so much to do  that you will not  have time to worry about comparisons.  We only need to compare ourselves to the character descriptions in the Bible.

I hope to come back soon.  Please have a lovely morning, afternoon, evening and night.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Buying Used Books

                                                          (Photo from Pinterest)

Hello Dear Ones,

I so appreciate your visits here!  Whether in a grand house or a trailer, it is good to know there are ladies who love their dwelling and want to tend to it!

When this tea book first came on the market I dearly wanted to get it, but the price was quite high for a new one.  I recently found that when I buy a used book online, if I choose one that was formerly a library book, I get a better quality because it has an additional plastic cover on top of the paper jacket. Now, when selecting a book on my list, I always choose the library edition.  That way, it will not wear as badly from so much use and will withstand the dust in my bookshelf as well. 

Having the plastic covers also allows me to wipe the book with a damp cloth, something that does not work with many book covers when I want to remove stains, food or fingerprints. Occasionally there is a water spill on a book, and that is one reason I like these covers.  I could cover all my books myself but it is time consuming and it sure is nice having things already done!

This book is more of an encyclopedia about the many uses of tea and even has recipes for skin treatments.

Protective plastic covers are added to library books.

I am looking forward to going through these pages and enjoying the photographs.

There is also a large recipe section in he back of the book.

As I have a lot of catching up to do in the house and also with unfinished sewing, I will not stay long here today, but I do have an upcoming post that I will publish when I have a longer stretch of time.

While I am sewing I am truly enjoying a multi-scented candle that smells just wonderful in the house.  It is a Williamsburg brand that was on sale for about $3.00, and I like it so much that I went back to the store to find other scents and there were none left!  In a small space, some scents are just too sharp,or over-powering, but this one is perfect.  It is so well-scented that I do not need to burn it to bring out the fragrance. I keep it covered all the time and then remove the lid to release the scent.  If I keep the lid on most of the time, the scent remains strong.

Today I have shared two things that bring sweet pleasure to the home life of a lady: a book and a candle.  These things are not expensive and can also come from a dollar store. You can take a book you already have and fold a piece of wallpaper, scrapbook paper or wrapping paper around it to make it bright and cheerful, and it is also possible to make some kind of scent in a jar from your kitchen ingredients. The home treats are very welcome on a cold day with dark skies, especially when I am alone at home.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pursue Peace

(Painting from Susan Rios)

Good Morning, Dear Ladies,

Awhile back when I had taken to my bed, my little nurse brought me this tray with a teacup I had retired because it had a chip in it. She remembered some fabric with the very same print. The fabric is still sold in fabric stores, and as far as I can recall, I got the teacup way back in the 1990's.  It isn't an antique, and seems to be stoneware, (I don't care for stoneware because it is so heavy and makes an unpleasant noise when stacking dishes) but the teacup was too pretty to abandon entirely.

It is interesting to me how some children perceive the care of the sick: a tray with food and a get-well card is medicine to them.  The get well card somehow contains an active ingredient that makes the sick person get well. When someone in the family is sick, this young lady makes a get-well card right away, as an emergency remedy.  A birthday card makes you happy, and other cards are supposed to have the applicable solution to whatever the recipient needs. I never thought of a get-well card being able to get someone well, but this young lady thinks it does.

Lately I have been thinking about how opposite the homemaker is from the rest of the world and how she actively pursues peace in her life and in her home.  The act of housekeeping itself brings peace, as there is peace when there is order and cleanliness.  When I looked up the 1828 definition of the word "pursue" I found it meant a lot more than just chasing after something. To pursue seems to indicate going after something with the intention of capturing it.  Would not it be wonderful to capture peace in your home? 

Perhaps the act of speaking with civility is one of the most effective ways of pursuing peace in the home: please, thank you and pardon me, soften the edges of daily life.

Romans 14:19  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Much more can be said about the above verse. Perhaps the second part, "things that may edify another" could be discussed in your home or in a ladies class.

I noticed a new book by Janette Oke and I was attracted to the blouse on the cover because I used to own a pattern for it. I think it was called the Armistice Blouse, from Folkwear. The blouse I made in the 1980's  was soft linen and I wore it out   I really must sort through my patterns and see if I can find it.  I hope I still have it.  Is not it a nice thing that these historical fashions tie many generations of ladies together in like minds?  Ladies of all ages, young and old, can wear and appreciate this blouse.  One thing I liked about the Victorian era clothing is that there was not a lot of difference between the clothing of your grandmother and your daughter. In other words, there was no youth culture type of teenage clothing. Girls longed to wear grown-up dresses like their mothers.

Below: Pattern #210 from Folkwear.
Below is a drawing from a historical book, showing how the dresses were supposed to be longer as you got older!  Little girls dresses were short enou to allow them to run and play, and older girls were expected to walk gracefully enough to wear a longer skirt. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Prettyish Park

Please note that the little story has been added to the the Window Seat post which was published previous to this one.

   "Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. I should be glad to take a turn in it, if you will favour me with your company." (Jane Austen, "Pride and Prejudice")

We have had company for awhile, and on the day they left, I couldn't seem to concentrate on anything at home, as it was suddenly so silent around here. My husband and I went to a prettyish park nearby for a walk.

I would like an arch or two like this at home!

Two trees, a white and a pink one, were in bloom and had very clear color. I want one of each of this kind in my yard, too. So lovely to look at!

Although the park included a huge rose garden, I only found a few in bloom.

The white flowers growing in the lawns looked so soft.

My husband officiated a wedding in this gazebo a few years ago.

We saw one last rose in the sunlight and then went home, to conclude that we had a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of the lawn right here at home and could go for evening walks on the roads around us. Until the rose garden is in full bloom, we will be walking around here close to home.

Back home again:
While out for our walk I got plenty of ideas and was glad to get home and write them all down. I look at colors and textures, noting contrasts, variations of light, sounds, and gather it all up for future creativity at home.  I might, for example, look at the carpet of white flowers on the green lawn and want to make a long skirt with a border of those colors.  The arbors, the blooming trees, the river--all have a place in the inspiration to sew, to garden, to clean house, to entertain or to set a table for two. Any outing can inspire poetry, stories, art and any number of creative things.  If you cannot take an outing, be sure and sit a spell just to rest your mind.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Window Seat

(Paintings from Allposters)

I have only a few moments to post these and I will come back after church and write my little story which has in it a window seat.  

Hope you have a lovely Lord's Day.

When I was about 8 years old, my father built a wood trunk that served as a window seat. I looked around the web for pictures of window seats that best represented what we had in the log house on the homestead in Alaska, and found the snow scene above that matches it almost perfectly. My parents went there in the late 1940's and built a home.

As many mothers have discovered, little girls are sometimes affected by darkness, by a boring day, or any number of things. I will call this my Gray Day because I like the color blue too much to relegate it to gloominess and depression.  My mother was sitting on the window seat and I came to her, nearly in tears.  We had not been outside of the house, nor had any company, and the radio was not even getting good reception, so it was not a very cheerful atmosphere for a girl. Daddy had been gone to work for a few weeks and was not due home for another week. At that time, mama had no car and there was just no way out.  I came to her, and asked her if there was anything I could do to dispel the awful discouragement I felt.  At the time, there were not many plush comforts in the house, and there was not even a cushion to soften the seat of that box under the window.  I longed for prettiness and a bit of luxury on that gray day..

Mama got out an old hymn book she had inside the window seat and turned to a song. It was called "I'm a Child of the King."  I had never heard it before, and was not even sure Mama was singing the tune properly because she was such an innovative person, often making up a tune if she didn't know the song at all.  I read the words along with her singing (Later I discovered she really did know the tune.)

I had expected her to come up with something  interesting that would absorb my time and attention to get my mind off the blankness of that day, perhaps in the form of writing a little book, dressing up, pretending any thing, a special event, putting on a play, sewing or knitting, or any number of things. Usually, Mama's answer to complaints of uneasiness or boredom was to put us all to work, as there was always plenty of that.  

This time, she patiently sang every word of the song, and it transformed me. There I was, sitting on a window box, learning that I was a child of a king, a princess. That was the least of it: Christ cared for me and was watching over me, and I would have the desires of my heart if they were good and profitable in a Christian way (Psalm 37:4) Mama explained each phrase of the poem, and when she got to "A tent or a cottage, why should I care?" We talked about how it did not matter what kind of house we had, we could make the best of it, and we had a great Father who owned everything.  That caused me to put aside all my worries and strive to be my best. The song told of all beauty and home. When she had finished explaining the poem, I wanted to dress up and wear a crown. It formed bright pictures of refinement In my mind. I was content.

The words are as follows:

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.


I’m a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I’m a child of the King.

My Father’s own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.


I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I’ve been adopted, my name’s written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.


A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They’re building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I’m a child of the King.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Granny Notes

Recently someone told me about a friend of hers who writes an email each week to her grandchildren. She creates a Bible lesson with character training and sends it across the miles. She calls it her weekly Granny letter or Granny notes.  This is such a good idea that could include just about anything else, in the form of tutorial; maybe even a carpentry lesson from Grandfather.
You can find examples od character lessons on Pinterest, or make your own.

(pictures from Pinterest)

Today I bought an exotic looking fruit called Dragonfruit:

This is what it looks like growing:

The fruit comes in different colors, so the inside will vary. The white flesh is similar to fresh figs.

I am finishing up some of the garments that are already cut out, and have almost completed the bodice of one of them:

Outside my window it looks just fine but is too cold to be comfortable. 

I hope you have a lovely day at home or wherever you go today, and that you accomplish what your heart desires.

Note: these dresses are not for me.  The are for other family members.  I haven't finished mine yet!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Recovering in Style

(Picture credit: Pinterest)

Thank you for all your kind greetings, ladies. I recovered from the four-day flu in about three days.  I have been up and about the house picking up the mess that always accumulates when I am out of commission.  No one has to question what a homemaker does all day at home, because when she is sick, the place disintegrates!

It helps that, although it is very cold here in April, with biting winds, the sun is shining and everything is green.

And today I have got the lunch ready for the ladies class in my home.

(Photo: Pinterest)

Have a wonderful day,


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sick in Style

Someone sent me a lovely post from somewhere about being sick in style. The article suggested having the blankets all neat and tucked in, fixing your hair and washing your face, wearing a nice bed-jacket, having a tray of necessities nearby (tissues, water,), something to read, extra pillows, hot water bottle for cold feet, and an attractive tray of appealing food. And, would it not be nice to be brought a fresh bouquet of pink carnations? How about a bell to ring when you need something, and one of those automatic shut-off electric kettles to heat water for a hot lemon drink or herbal tea?  It would be nice to have someone come in and clean the room to perfection!

I think also a bedroom should have a window low enough to see the view outside. I think the above photo is in Canada, but one can see the point!

Speaking of Canada, I recently watched a Hallmark series, Season 1 of the Jeannette Oake book called "When Calls the Heart," which is set in a coal mining town in the early 1900's or possibly late 1800's.  I rarely find pictures of men drinking tea, but I remember before mugs existed, most men drank tea from the regular teacups, without a second thought.  I was amused to see the scene with Canadian constable drinking tea in the saloon, among the rough coal miners. I wonder how many other viewers saw this and if the producers knew how much attention this little scene would get. Avid collectors want to zoom in and see that teacup!

The Canadian Mountie is played by an Australian actor, who did a very good job with the Canadian accent. On the Hallmark channel previews online, he speaks of his role in this series, and reverts back to his natural Australian accent.  It is amazing to me how people can master other accents.

My mother was Canadian, from the Alberta prairies.  During the depression a richer couple offered to take the two youngest children (my mother and sister) to stay with them so they would get more to eat and have more comforts.  My mother and her sister enjoyed it the first couple of days, with beds of their own, nice clothes, plenty of food, a fancier school, but then began to cry and want to go home. The couple wanted to adopt them because they had no children of their own, but after a week of listenning to them cry for home, the rich man and his wife gave them back to their family.  Mama told this story a lot and we thought it was so unusual, having never seen such a thing happen, but during the depression, it was one of those things that took place which we think is very odd, today!

A four-day stomach flu is going around, and everyone who has had it says the best cure is bed rest. I felt it coming on,  rushed home after church on Sunday and got in bed, where I have been ever since. A little nurse with a tag on her dress comes and checks on me, offering to bring me anything I want on a tray.  Since I didn't want anything she brought me the tray with a letter she wrote.  I felt like a rich woman being served the mail by a butler. The letter said I was not allowed to die. 

  I keep thinking how far behind I am getting in everything, especially a couple of sewing projects I have been wanting to complete. 

Here is one I finished just before I fell ill. It was supposed to be a Thanksgiving dress, then as time got away from me, a Christmas dress, and then I thought I just might finish it for Valentines Day. Finally this mother-daughter set was finished on Saturday and the girls looked great in them on Sunday.   The fabric is kind of a thick weave, a bit like burlap, 100 percent cotton, and it was easy to sew. As it is washed, it gets softer.  I have had a green set cut out, which I hope to finish soon.

I thought the girl's dress looked western pioneer style, while the mother dress took on an Elizabethan look. The rose print with its vine lends itself to the Tudor Rose print. Clothing construction has a lot of things involved, as you see, because sometimes the material alone determines the pattern that should be used. These dresses are made for wearing at home. Because they are new, the ladies will wear them to church and when they need to go somewhere, and as they wear out, will be used for everyday at home.

This is the pattern I used, but I added the neck ruffle and didn't put buttons on the skirt. It is a German pattern company and as I looked more carefully at the words on the pattern pieces I saw the English words were included. With these patterns, the instructions are online, rather than inside the envelope. I couldn't be bothered looking up the instructions and managed to put it together okay.

This is the other dress not yet sewn. The reason this happens is either the weather changes and the garment is too warm or cold.  Then of course there are a lot of other things to do for home and church, and it is easy to get behind in my sewing hobby!