Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Tyranny of the Offended

The tyranny of the offended is a subject which I have often heard discussed among friends, sisters, family, and on radio.  Like spoiled children, when anyone's work is inferior, or they are not praised enough, they pout and plot revenge.

We see this in various social situations, and sadly it comes to ladies in a very personal way, into homes, churches, and on the internet. People with perfectly lovely weblogs who merely want to share something beautiful or helpful, receive visitors who go away miffed and offended. No matter who they focus on, those who take up offenses often carry them as open wounds long after everyone else has moved on to improving their own character.

Because unforgiveness is part of the mix, some offended people never, ever get over the perceived offense.  Some people have never been taught how to forgive and let go of personal offenses. There are some cultures that exist today that continuously fued, based on things that happened 50 years ago. This sort of thing has been the subject of many stories and comedies, as people who harbor offenses are considered backwards, uncivilized and immature. They do not let go of the offenses, and it weighs them down, as it prevents them from making any positive improvements in character and life.


We have been hoodwinked by the false doctrine of tolerance. Children's manners go in corrected when parents don't want to offend them.  Older women feel they cannot deliver a lesson on homemaking or modesty, because of the tyranny of the offended.  Some people object so strongly to anyone promoting the teachings of the Bible on the responsibilities of women to the family, that they will seek revenge and set out to destroy their teachers or shut down the websites of the ladies who dare to approach the subject.  

While those who want to live a quiet, clean and simple life may never deliberately offend anyone, there are sometimes those who are offended because "they think it strange that you walk not with them" in their meanness, vengefulness, or wastefulness.  Sometimes all they need is one glimpse of you or your home or website and a simple-minded person takes up an offense.  It is not surprising that people can behave this way, since by their very attitudes they can have no confidence in what they produce in their own lives.

We are seeing today the tyranny of the offended.  They will attack the person they are offended by, and refuse to work things out. They do not want to make things right. They do not care if they are creating a disturbance for others and they never intend to reconcile or completely forget an offense.  Their desire is to make as much noise as they can and keep a war going on.

The destruction they try to wreak on a family, a church, a business, a website, can be devastating if they are toleratd. Anyone who is teaching on the sensitive subjects of homemaking, gracious living, sewing, principles of clothing design, and raising children, can become targets of these offended people. The offended have become very militant and pushy in order to remove any opposition to their rebellion.

What shall be your response to the offended?

Firstly, never assume that asking forgiveness will suffice.   You may not be dealing with reasonable people who will listen to truth. They may merely have an agenda of revenge. They may have other motives for their resentment. Unreasonable people are never calmed by truth. They do not want peace. They want war and they want to destroy.   To keep such people from destruction of what is right and good, you may want to think about the following things:

-Watch your words. Offended people are always looking for more material to use against you. The more you explain things to them, the more they find to resent. The less said to them, the better. It is natural to be friendly and reach out to everyone, even the disgruntled. It is a mistake to think that if you are more loving and generous it will pacify a disgruntled person. Sometimes it is best to leave them alone, lest they cause more harm.

-Do not cater to unreasonable people who carry grudges. It is a mistake to alter your articles to please them, to change the way your family lives (such as times of meals or entertainment),  or to cater to such people at church. Sometimes the complainers are trying to eliminate good teaching and truthful preaching. They are not willing to conform themselves to the teachings of our Lord, so they attempt to remove the teachings, or change them to suit their own wishes. 

Years ago in a ladies Bible class, the teacher wanted to make it easier for other ladies to be there who had never attended in years. They convinced her to change the time of the class, the subject material, the location where the class was held, and the day of the week when they assembled for the class.  The teacher acquiesced to the changes. Those who wanted the changes were still not happy, and quit coming. The changes were inconvenient for the faithful Bible class members and they were no longer able to attend. Catering to then reasonable people, who were not happy with the class no matter what changes were made in their favor, caused the loss of the entire class.

-Do not change your values (if they are sound and Biblical) 

Greetings and blessings to everyone. Please check my blog roll for helpful posts written by the sweetest ladies.  I will be posting when I have a longer stretch of time, but I just wanted to pop in here and say hello and thank you for all who come here every day.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Touring the High Desert


Here I have the photos taken on our tour of the high desert. From a certain angle, I thought this rock formation looked like a castle. How would you present yourself at a castle if it were by special invitation only?  All these colors are giving me ideas for fabric, dinnerware designs, and household matters. The sage brush has a very string scent here, similar to menthol or mint.  It reminded me of a kitchen dish soap I once used, called Sage, which had a very strong scent.

The lupines.

Usually I do not get pictures of myself, but since I had a photographer along with me, I have one here for you. I dont'really have red hair. The sun was extremely bright and the photo seems to be enhanced.

Another view of the castle.

This horse was so friendly and followed  us for quite a ways. 

Some of the rocks looked like pulpits, with other rocks clustered like a congregation. Wouldn't it be sweet to hear the gospel spoken out here? The Psalms say, "Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice" Psalm 96:11-12. What lovely personification.

That castle.

Not much need for captions in this post!

The collection I brought home.

Above: the cotton fabric in the dress I was wearing was just like the blue of the sky and the colors of desert flowers. I used a Neumode pattern (from Germany) for this dress. It was a perfect dress to wear in the hot sun.

The High Desert

Yesterday we made a day trip to the High Desert to see the scenery and wild flowers. The flower is called a trumpet flower, and there were buttercups, yarrow,  wild sweet pea, lupine (not quite the same as the Texas bluebonnet, but similar), alfalfa, Black-eyed Susan, and a host of others I cannot name.

This picture does not show the vivid color of some of the rocks, but they had bright pastels of green, blue and coral.

Lovely hues of blue in the skies and lakes.

I especially liked this sage green type of grass, which is delicate and easy to pick.
I brought home a bouquet but it didn't quite make it with its original brilliance.

My bouquet looked better in the desert but I enjoyed collecting the bunch of flowers, including purple daisies, and bringing it home. That has been a family tradition for a long time.
Naturally I have put everything house-work aside to sketch my Desert Rose line of summer frocks, based upon my impression of the High Desert and I have been busy sketching and coloring.  I wanted to do it while the feeling was still fresh for me and my mind's eye still held the vivid color and clear sky.

I had this fabric from last year when it was on sale because I liked the brightness, yet I have never made anything in a print like this, before. It has no printing on the salvedges  that I can see, so I will name it Desert Rose, and use it for the dresses, 

Since it has quite a few of  the colors I saw yesterday.

I  am using a very plain pattern and adding sleeve styles from other patterns, to make it a little more interesting.  New Look 6352 is a sewing staple around here when I need to sew a fast and easy garment.  However I am using a Neumode, German pattern with the Desert Rose print fabric? The rest will be made from New Look 6352.

The rock formations are very colorful, with a lot of other colors in them that do not show up in the photo.

When I looked at these rocks, I saw quite a bit of aqua, very soft reds, blues and oh her colors.

Of course there were snow capped mountains behind the high desert, and I will accommodate thirst for sewing using colors of this area, and try to include something like it.

If I get to return to the high desert I hope to get good photographs to share.  One do the towns there had a tea room, so I definitely will go back.

Please have a lovely day and appreciate where you live. 

Some older trims and ribbons I have had for awhile, which look good with this fabric.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Blessed Lord's Day

                             Sunday's Colors by Carl Valente, from

A verse that motivates, whereever you are and  in whatever circumstances you live:

Colossians 3:23  "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; for ye serve The Lord God."

I am sure all ladies long for the ideal house, or look at show homes trying to view a more efficient kitchen.  Everyone who lives in an older home sees repairs and paint jobs that are needed.  Maybe you cant afford an Improvement or are getting too old to paint it yourself.  This verse has always been a motivation to do whatever you can find to do.  If you are home teaching your children, this is a great lesson on how to view the smallest of tasks, and how even the least important work can be done greatly.

Cottage courtesy of Pinterest

In this life, each day is the Lord's Day and should be approached with His teachings in mind.  The first day of the week is when the disciples met for worship and communion, the Memorial,  and I am happy it is set aside so that we can stop for a time, leave our responsibilities, and meet with the saints.

Pages from a favorite book of Victorian Celebrations.

A few church bulletin selections:

If care is too small to be made into a prayer, it is too small to be made into a burden.

One minute of keeping your mouth shut is worth an hour of explanation.

Make sure that the thing you are living for is worth dying for.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sewing Clothes for Home

(Note:This post is not quite completed.   I will be adding more pictures, so please check back later!)

Today my subject is sewing clothes for the homemaker.

Homemaking is not all housework.  I do not like to wear soiled, worn, drab work clothes all day, so I have made a few things that are pretty to wear while doing the typical daily work and other interests at home, and I can protect them with an apron. Then, when it am not keeping house and want to do something else or go somewhere, I remove the apron. 

Ladies often write, asking me when I am going to do another sketch page of sewing ideas, and today I have one to show.  I did not put a tremendous amount of thought into it and I grabbed names out of thin air to make impressive titles for the dresses.  Although some of them have lofty names, they are all to be made of cotton fabrics and worn at home, a dress a day. I have chosen one of these ideas to sew, using a sleeve here and a skirt there, from patterns in my collection.  I did not mention "travel" but any of these dresses will suffice, with an added jacket.  I think ladies like to feel pretty in the car, as well, so the one I am currently making will be my "travel" dress, even though it is also suitable to wear all day at home.  
(John White Alexander, 1912)

If you are used to seeing the current clothing on the market and viewing updated and chic, you might wonder about these dresses. I live in what might be considered the country, and it rains a lot and is overcast, so I like to wear color.  I dislike the industrial office palette, and in summer I want to wear colors I see around me--the many hues of the ocean, or carpet of wildflowers in the fields, and there are also yummy shades of white I like to wear: Devon cream, Milky Way, Latte, and of course anything made from soft white muslin. I also like light beiges and some pale gold for autumn.  In the Color Me Beautuful book, I am a Summer, using the pale shades of most colors. Whites take on a whole range of colors, as some will have an aqua cast to them, others a pink or green or yellow.

 I like to put Victorian elements in my clothes, such as the sleeves and longer skirts.  I am a mood-dresser, and like to wake up feeling that a certain color or style is just right for today. It is determined by the weather and the season and the kind of atmosphere I feel or want to create around me at home.

(Time for Tea by Valentine Cameron Prinsep, 1838-1904)

  If I am hosting a morning Tea for ladies, I might try to wear something that "goes" with the table setting I am using or has a print similar to the tea cups--or at least does not look too discordant with what we are doing.

 Also, clothing helps contribute to a memory of any era or occasion, and in like to have photographs of events.  Later, when I look at the pictures, I don't want to see myself or my family in the same or almost the same outfit, because I want to distinguish the time and place.  That is why, when I pack to on a trip, I want some choices and I don't want to wear the same dress every day to every new scenic view. Some people feel differently about this, and that is their preference, but this is mine, mainly because I like fabric and enjoy wearing it. I would rather see a floral print on my skirt.

(John White Alexander, 1912)

 Some clothes, by their style and color are light-hearted, others more serious, and others luxurious or simple.  I am trying to make clothes that "go with" the mood of the countryside and the house where I devote most of my time.  The house has a cottage-y old fashioned feel to it and so I am not interested in any current style.  I get my ideas from the 19th century paintings of ladies, and then I make the garment less full in the skirt, not so long, and just customize it to fit my current way of life, moving about the house, using the oven, the washer, the vacuume, etc. The clothes have to have slim lines and not get caught on anything, and they cannot be too skimpy either.  

I like fabric, and although I have made quilts, I enjoy fabric more when it is made into something I can wear and enjoy seeing and feeling no matter where I am. Quilts are only seen when you are in someone's house, if they are on display anywhere, and of course I really value them, but wearing the fabric -- I really like it and each little print or solid has a mood  and a relationship to life around me.  Friends who have accompanied me to a fabric store will hear me say, "This one evokes a feeling of a vacation in Hawaii," or "This is exactly the color of fireweed in Alaska."  I like a skirt or dress for berry picking or picnicking or working in the kitchen, and I think there is a print for just about everything!
(Edmund Blair Leighton, 1899)

Besides the constant upkeep of the house and the garden, I entertain when possible, and when I have the car (we share a family car) I usually go to the grocery store,post office, dollar store, fabric store and a few other favorite places.  I remember when people used to dress up to go shopping, and so I want to sew clothes that are at least a bit more dressy than the casual look that is so predominate today.  I do not want to change my clothes before I go shopping, so a dress is the perfect garment--all one piece and matching,  cheerful for the home and dressy enough for outings.

I base my sewing selection upon the clothes in my closet that I go back to over and over and that make me feel happy and give me a sense of well-being. I am a preacher's wife in a small country congregation and I attend church services of some kind, including Ladies Class, 4 times a week, so I don't want to look drab or bore everyone by dressing in the same outfit all the time.  I got to thinking the other day about the elderly people in church who lived in an era when ladies wore pretty dresses: how depressing it must be for them these days when there is not much pretty clothing be worn by ladies. So, at church, even if it is a casual mid-week evening Bible study around a table in the fellowship room, I try to dress up for it, out of respect for these people and to lift their mood, too.

(Sketches above are ideas for simple cotton dresses good for wearing at home and other places.)

I do not know if I can find any of this fabric, since I made it all up in my dreams, but I especially like the Afternoon Walk dress because it has a print like something you would see on a walk down the  side roads of farmland, with the blackberry bushes on one side and the green grass on the other.  The "I Do" dress is for wearing to a wedding, and nice for ladies tea. I hope to make at least one of these dresses, or the yellow Molly dress with the sage green shawl, in Kona cotton or Southern Belle cotton, two fabrics that look like linen and feel like silk, in my estimation.  

This lemon yellow dress with the sage green shawl worn by Molly Gibson in "Wives and Daughters" is something I have been thinking of making for years and years.  My life goes in slow motion, it seems, as plans can take years to complete. Look how long it has taken me to draw these dresses.

Now, in the sketch I made for the cotton dresses, one dress would be worn the entire day,  and so it wouldn't be necessary to go changing into something more formal or more comfortable throughout the day. The dress would be appropriate for wearing at home all day. The above dress worn by Molly is her bridesmaid dress, but when made with cool cotton, it would be a very pretty home dress.

It has been several years since I have made a planning sheet like this. The clothes I made from the last sketches are worn thin and pretty much shot, so that in a pinch, I bought an outfit to wear. There is a difference in the way the home sewn and manufactured clothing feels!  As soon as I bought the ready-made outfit, I felt the motivation to sew, leave me, and now I do not even like the outfit and do not want to see it in the closet.  It has a lot of synthetic fibre in it and it does not feel as the same as the woven cottons I have made.  

The ideas I follow in making these garments are:
-A one-piece garment hangs better in the closet and is easier to put away than separates.
-Buttons in the front make it easy to dress yourself.
-Too many embellishments in the way of trims and ruffles and scarves, etc. get in the way of the busy homemaker and can catch on things.
-Not too trendy, so that the garments style is just as appealing now as in the future. I can use the old patterns many times and update them by buying new fabrics.
-Not long enough to trip on, and not too short for modesty when leaning, stepping on a step-stool, reaching, picking something up, etc.
-pretty enough to enjoy wearing it at home but not so fancy you are afraid to wear it.
-the clothes are loose at the waist, and generally roomy enough to pull on, and some of them do not even require zippers or buttons.  I have added a lot of tucks and pleats and collars, riffles, etc.nonnthe sketches, but what works best for me at home is a very plain pattern and nothing extra on the garment, and it will not be as much trouble to sew. The print or color of the fabric is really enough of a decoration.  

The dress in the painting at the top is lovely, and I was unable to find the name of the artist.

These clothes are very casual, as I want to get up in the morning and don something I feel good about wearing at home, and not feel too dressed up but not feel too dressed down.  I have leggings for comfort and petticoats for layering that gives the dress more texture.  Once a lady gets used to dressing like this at home, it feels odd to wear anything else!  When I have drawn one of these planning sheets, people ask me what I do with "all those clothes."  Wearing them daily means with all the wear and tear and wash and wear, they wear out and when I have a new one sewn, an older one gets cut down into a skirt, an apron, or something else.  I never send any home made dresses to Goodwill or the charity shops because they are so worn out, and get used for other things. 

 I actually have a very slim section of the closet which fits about 4 summer dresses, and if there are still four of them, it is because they were my least favorites and I did not wear them often.  When I sew a dress, it gets a real work-out in wearing, and there is always one in the making on my machine.

(Closet corner with my hand sewn dresses.)