Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The Countenance

At The Cottage Door by William Henry Margetson, 1861-1940

Many people have told me how much they like the above painting because of the happy countenance (expression) of the lady.  I like the way the artist complimented her sunny disposition with sun in the background. Is not this a lovely way to think of the home?

One reason for minding our own business of the home is to spare ourselves the stress of taking on everyone else's problems. Every now and then, we can get quite a lot of things heaped on us, and work backed up.  Anyone who feels a duty to keep the house well, organize papers, pay bills, keep the laundry and meals caught up, can forget to smile and be calm.  Add hospitality, grocery shopping, mending or sewing, and church responsibilities, and the homemaker has quite a plate full!

Lavender, by William Henry Margetson, 1861-1940

How sweet to take some time to gather flowers, fruit, herbs, and carry them in the house. Well, anything carried in a basket by a lady just makes it such a feminine act! I keep baskets by my front door, and even the fruit I bring from the grocery store is put in them and displayed.  If you don't think you can afford to buy flowers, buy the most colorful fruit you can find and arrange in in a basket.  It will give all your dear family something to feast their eyes upon and the scent will do wonders for their mood. 

I noticed the bow on the dress, above, and the print of the fabric coordinates with the lavender. In the past when I suggested using nature or seasons and events in your life as clothing inspiration, I got quite a response, and so I am working on some sketches to illustrate that idea and hope too at them here.

The art I have included today is a reminder to take care of first things, first!  If we are not careful to get ready in the morning, we can find ourselves in a mad dash, doing things the moment our feet hit the floor upon waking.  Such hurrying and disorganized thinking will show in the countenance. Therefore, I think it is appropriate to be reminded of how much your appearance helps in motivation for the tasks ahead.  I remember my first sewing class, at the age of 13. The teacher insisted we come to class well-groomed, and smile when we sat down to the sewing machine.  

Lady of the House, by William Henry Margetson, 1861-1940

Enjoy your day but don't get rushed and be sure to dress in something that makes you feel happy and inspired to do your best.  I was taught as a girl that each day is precious, and we must do our best. Yes, we must acquire a pleasing countenance, and it doesn't necessarily have to be a smile. Pensive, thoughtful, calm looks are good, too.  It helps to do something to bring that pleasant countenance about: some of the things in these paintings might be what we need.

I had hoped to post more often but I got involved in trying to make the house easier to live in, and with all the shuffling of things, sorting, and so forth, the time gets away from me rapidly.  As I was cleaning I kept finding things I mentally label: "I am going to paint that, someday!"

Someday I hope to paint this little table, which has a swivel top, and which I think might have been a piano stool...and someday I will paint this 100 year old wicker couch...

...and those little trunks in the corner will be painted--someday (I do not remember what they hold, and I am not wanting to look in them)....

...I do not have one of those cameras that fades the backgrounds to show only what I want to see, so you get to see the flower cart that is rusting and needs painting, and the old wicker chairs....someday I will paint them :-). In the meantime I do not want to get too worried about it, so am just trying to keep things tidy.

Have a lovely day and thanks for dropping by. Your visits are so appreciated!

You can get baskets at yard sales, dollar stores, thrift stores, Goodwill and other places, for a dollar or less.  A good can of spray paint that also contains primer, is effective to use for brighten in them up and giving them a bit more texture and strength.  I have had the above baskets for many years, and the middle one I bought at a K-Mart over 20 years ago and has been painted several times, each time a different color. 

I could not resist adding this hat picture, which I found at Victorian Trading Co website. One would have to get a loan to buy it!  But it might be fun to immitate it with cheap of those things I am going to do, SOMEDAY!

Although I like hats, I have ruled out wearing them in church, mainly because they may block someone who sits behind you and they cant see around the hat! So I will settle for a demure little handmade fascinator, which is just a few flowers glued on to a headband.


Dawn said...

The Margetson paintings are lovely.

Shabby Chic decorating is popular so I bet many people would prefer your furniture as it is. Maybe you don't need to paint it at all.

Now that is a hat! So pretty and delicate.

My Dollar Tree has wide-brim straw hats. I bought two, planning on dressing them up with flowers. They are a bit on the small side so perhaps they're meant for children even though they do fit my head.

Merry King said...

Lovely post!

-Merry K.

Susan said...

I was so happy to see a post from you and I really enjoyed reading it because I am getting overwhelmed with housecleaning at the moment. I took a break today with a book from the library of historic homes and admired how organized and simple they were. We just have to have a little patience and it will all get taken care of eventually.
I just love the lavender painting. It always brings a smile to my face. I think your home is lovely and welcoming and the shabby chic look is very cozy.
It also has a nice summery feel to it. I have three summer straw hats hanging inside my back door that I put on when I go walking or to work in the yard. I like them better than sunscreen. Mine were just thrift store picks that I carefully washed and then stretched them back into shape to fit my head. Well thank you for the lovely post.

Agenda ibu rumah tangga said...

The paintings are so lovely! Yes surely this attitude of a homemaker will influence her home as well

Agenda ibu rumah tangga said...

Yes surely a homemaker's attitude sets the tone of her home

Mrs. Thompson said...

I do a lot of shabby chic decorating because I find so much at thrift stores. I have some boxes like yours in the corner...I got them at JoAnn Fabrics years ago and I enjoy them. Lately I have also been adding a flower clip to my hair each makes me feel even more dressed up and sunny. Happy Mother's Day! Love Kelly

Ellen Seagren said...

Your living room looks so inviting - a perfect setting to have a cup of tea. I agree with Dawn. I like things that show a little wear and tear - very cozy!

budgeteer said...

What a lovely post - and I have enjoyed reading the comments too. I am very taken by the two paintings, especially the "Cottage Door".

Thank you for sharing photos of your home. I like everything, and notice the pretty pink mat in front of your sofa.

It really is so feminine to wear a straw sun-hat. On sunny days in the garden, I wear one that has seen better days (straw is falling apart from a lot of wear), and I hope to find one somewhere that I can brighten up with a ribbon or something.

budgeteer said...

Commenter "Susan" has given me the idea to ask my husband to put up a couple of hooks if there is room,by the back door for our garden sun-hats.

dora said...

The first two paintings by Margetson, are they of the same woman?

The eyes, the hair, the smile, all look the same.

I was just wondering...

Mrs. Christopher Daniels said...

Very nice post Ms. Lady Lydia! I especially like the part about a lady having more pleasing countenance than just a smile. I hope you enjoyed your mothers day, and thank you for the thoughtful e card. I feel like we are all in some way your spiritual daughters. ~ Tootles! :-)

living from glory to glory said...

Hello Lydia, Really your furniture is really the new look... But sometimes a new coat of paint is fun to do!
Hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day!
I also just love those paintings!
Blessings, Roxy

Lydia said...

Yes those trunks did come from the fabric store , when there was a 60 percent off coupon. The paint on them was not very good, easily scratched.

Lydia said...

Good idea about the flower clip, and often they are at the Dollar Tree.


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