Tuesday, June 30, 2015

For the Home

Thank you everyone for taking time in your busy home to see me today.  I try to post encouraging and informative articles that will benefit home life.

As I remembered a video clip of the Welsh designer Laura Ashley (go to approximately 1:55 on the video to listen to her explain this) many years ago saying that the clothes she designed were mainly for the home, I have been trying to sew up some garments using a very easy pattern from New Look, which is a Simplicity Pattern product. I am trying this season to use this pattern in many different ways, to wear daily at home.

I remember the fashion reporters at the time were saying her designs were of no interest to the fashion world. Laura always said they were not designed to wear in posh places but were for the home and for country people. So please do not think my designs have anything to do with trying to make a fashion statement...they aren't even related to what is going on in fashion today. I use things gleaned from all eras of clothing as far as they will fit into homemaking and home life.  I have to have garments I can move and walk in, clean and cook in, as well as show hospitality in, and I also want them to be suitable for grocery shopping and other outings.  That is why I liked the Laura Ashely designs so much. 

  I alter this pattern by adding borders or pleats at the hemline, elastic gathers on the skirt and sleeves, and of course sleeves from other patterns. Also I put a coordinating color piping on the neckline because the dress does not get as worn and thin with that added part.  I am planning to add ruching  and trims on the bodice, as well.

 On my sewing sidebar I show you how I raised the neckline on this dress. Since this pattern has no zipper or buttons, it is supposed to be loose enough to get over the head, so it cannot have a Victorian-high neckline, but it can be made a little higher. I find with any clothing, whether sewn or bought, the necklines look okay when standing fully upright, but when you bend or lean forward they gape. That is why I created this tutorial on how to raise a neckline. I also wanted to raise the neckline without taking away from the beauty and the drape of the garment.

Since I didn't really like the photograph of me in the dress, I posed it here for a picture. It actually looks better on the hanger anyway.  I made a cumber band tie for it, but for a normal day around here I wear a  very roomy waistline, not tied.

As I am more interested in the pattern and fabric color than in the background setting, I painted the figure and then moved on to sewing the next dress, but I hope to add color to the background because the sky is so pretty today.

Since I made  this dress a bit larger than my size, I took two tucks in the back to make it more fitted, which I have tried to show in the picture below.

            New Look (Simplicity) 6352

With the cumberband tie, this dress is a better length for working at home!  I have since shortened it a bit more. Notice the elastic gather on the side seam, which pulls up the ruffle to form different style.  I changed the entire scene for sketching, because I knew I could not manage that hammock in the background of the photo.

I will be trying to sew an entire "trousseau" with this pattern just to see what all can be done with it. I wish Simplicity would add a variety of sleeves and hems, necklines,  ties and collars to the pattern and make it easy.  I am even going to do a sailor collar version of this, and, to be overly, outrageously ambitious (at my age) attempt a cotton wedding dress, something I have always wanted to do. Don't worry, I will try and find a younger model for that one!

I also wanted to let you have a peek into my sewing area, and show my collection of pages from catalogs which I use for sewing ideas; not that I will sew them all.

When I went to Allposters and typed in "laundry" and "hanging out the wash" a host of 19th century paintings of ladies and children with clotheslines and baskets of laundry came up, including this one by English painter Helen Allingham. The painters thought the subject of hanging the wash was a perfect outdoor subject to paint.

I know not all ladies can sew,  and I only wanted to share with you how sweet and romantic it can be to have something pretty to wear at home and how ordinary scenes at home can create beautiful memories.  Even if you don't like to wear dresses at home, you can find a pretty top these days that is very feminine, to wear at home. As our families are so special, it is a treat for them to see the wife and mother in something fresh and cheerful, and we shouldn't put off being lovely for them, both in attitude and appearance.  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Keepers at Home Questions and Answers 3

                                        (All photos by Egal from Allposters.com)

With these final questions I will refute the misguided opinions which say that being a keeper at home, a homemaker, means you can't participate in any kind of business, you can't go anywhere away from the house, and you can't earn any money at all.

Question 4:

If you go outside the  home for commercial or social reasons, how can you really be a homemaker? Don't you have to be in the home to be a keeper at home?



 The question seems to assume that if a woman is home and not out  working for a wage, she should only be home.  That makes about as much sense as saying a woman who works in a shop and calls herself a career women should always be engaged in her career and never be allowed to come home--she must stay in her shop and not be a hypocrite by being home and doing housework on weekends.  If a college student were told he must never leave the campus or participate in life of the local town, he would know you were being ridiculous.  

The purpose of being at home full time is not to avoid participating in normal commerce, but to be in charge of the family commerce and guard and guide the inner workings of the home.The lady of the house must of necessity interact with businesses. It is a fact that many things are marketed with the homemaker in mind, because she will often be  the one who makes decisions about what kind of washer, sink, floor, window, and household furnishings will be purchased. Even cars are made and marketed to women because of the amount of time they must spend in the car.

A shop girl puts in most of her week at the shop, but at the end of the day she has to go home and pay attention to the laundry and meals and upkeep.  No one would be so silly as to suggest that she never spend time at home, just because she is out working most of the time.  

Homemakers are well educated and aware of the market. Many of them sell the products of their own hands, but it doesn't mean they have to put aside their home responsibilities and put their business first.  

All the homemakers I know have their own car and money and are able to make wise decisions about where to go and when.  When I was a child, my mother would take us to town regularly for essential shopping. This was back in the 1950's and no one would have thought it was being inconsistent with the woman's care of the home.  Social life consisted  of other homemakers occasionally dropping by for a taste of pie.

Question: Are women who stay home avoiding work and responsibility?

Answer:  as in everything, there will always be those people who misuse their freedom. Yes, there will always be those who do not use their time wisely and those who refuse to keep house properly. That is one reason for Titus 2 and other instructions to Christian women.  The older women are supposed to teach the younger women how to manage their homes, be good helpmeets, and nurture children in The Lord.  Those who grow up in Christian homes will be so well taught it will become second-nature to them. Others will have to learn for themselves and be taught by the older women.  It is always disappointing when you see women of any age being irresponsible even if she is staying home, but everyone has the opportunity to study and learn.

Question: What about when her children are grown and gone?

Answer: There will never be enough time to do all there is to do at home, and just because the children are grown does not mean she will be totally free from them.  They will continue to interact and she will still find many things to do for them.  I know ladies who make clothes for their children and grandchildren and who participate in their special events.  Even without children and grandchildren, ladies find that caring for a home is a full time job.

Question: Why is a job outside the home forbidden to a woman but not doing business in town?

Answer:  Nothing is specifically "forbidden" to a homemaker. She is free to use her own intelligence and good judgement to determine just how much she can take on, and to set her own limits.  In the Bible, some commands are specific (detailed) and others are generic (in general.). When Noah was told to build the ark, he was given the measurements and told the type of wood to use.  God did not make a long list of wood that was forbidden. He didn't have to say " don't use spruce, birch or cedar" because the fact he said "acacia" automatically eliminated all other types of wood.  

In the parts of the Bible that address Christian women, it specifies things like taking care of husband, children and keeping house.  It doesn't have to list a thousand and one things a woman should not be spending her time on outside the home.  Women who want to please The Lord and have a stable home life will not need a long list of forbidden things, because the specific things laid out for them in scripture will automatically eliminate other full-time jobs. The scriptures that teach the Christian men to provide for the family and teach them about The Lord do not have to include a long list of things the man should not be doing, because a man who truly wants to do what is right will be able to see by the simple commands of what to DO automatically eliminate many other harmful things.

Although nothing is "forbidden" we are supposed to teach younger women about the home, so that they will be trained to do it.  When people have a strong desire to do, or not do something, you don't have to tell them it is off limits or forbidden. Homemakers do not look at outside careers as something forbidden, but they look at homemaking as something obedient and pleasing to God, and something unselfish that benefits everyone. The Christian woman as a keeper at home is a voluntary act of love, based upon their understanding of the scriptures as the will of God, and not a result of rules or restrictions.

Keepers at Home Questions 2

Photo-art by Anna-Mari West, allposters.com

Question 3: 

I am very young, and if I were to plan to be a homemaker, what am I supposd to do all day at home?


if you have had any early training at all, you know that taking care of yourself from morning until evening is very time-consuming. Your personal care in the morning, cleaning up after yourself (wiping the sink after use, cleaning the mirror, tidying the remainder of the bathroom), preparing breakfast, cleaning up the cooking area, takes a lot of time.

  Catalogue your activities all day long at home and you will see how time consuming it is to look after one person. Add a skill or hobby like sewing, knitting,  or cooking, and your work is doubled, for you must now clean and organize your equipment.  Kitchens have to be kept clean, drawers and shelves organized and dusted.  If you take online courses in cake decorating, painting, pastry making, or sewing, your time goes very fast, both with your lessons and the samples you make from those lessons.

Now add to this mix your parents, a few friends, and other associates, and your social life will begin to take time in your home.  You may be serving afternoon tea or dinner to a few people, and you will be preparing and cleaning up afterward.  

Correspondence and paperwork may also enter the list of home obligations.  Special celebrations and bill-paying are not things that will be done daily, but they are time-consuming even if paid online. Every day there will be a monthly task that will take up your time.  

Being a homemaker allows you to adjust your time so that you may have leisure moments where you enlighten yourself with things like reading, studying or developing your talents.  In the workplace, your employer expects every moment except scheduled break times to be devoted to that business, but at home you can allow yourself to go with the season or the opportunity.  Is it a nice day, weatherwise? That is when you use your instincts and say, "Now is the time to do something outside."  Is it a special season? That is when you say, "It is time to have an afternoon tea with my loved ones." People of sense will use the times and seasons for whatever things are best done in that situation.

Now add a husband to your time, and you are fixing to be very busy indeed, especially if he is engrossed providing the living and you are home.  At first, you may think there is nothing to do all day, but you can easly fill up the time by becoming a do-it-yourself-er.  Instead of paying for someone or some service to do things for you (for a fee) try to think of ways you can diminish the need or the cost, or do it/make it yourself, including food preparation. 

If you will for one full day write down everything you do to take care of yourself, you will see what you are supposed to be doing all day long when you have other people in the home. Most women in the US and Canada have for generations tended to their own homes and families, and I would say most women here do not hire servants, unless they are very rich and have a lot of social obligations.  If you are in a country where household servants are the norm, you may still wonder what you are supposed to be doing at home all day.  You can always take a cue from the Proverbs 31 woman who arose early to give tasks to her servants. 

Just managing the work assigned to other people will make you very busy. I am sure during the time that Titus 2 was written, there were people who also had maids and field help, but the scriptures still told Christian women to be busy at home.  The reasons for this are manifold:  It gives you a chance to think and plan and learn to do things in the home without the pressure of a boss or a deadline or losing a sale.  Being home helps you avoid the common petty chatter and social pressure of the rest of the world, and to use an unfortunate phrase, helps you find yourself, --because as you pay attention to your tasks at home, you discover things you really enjoy and then you find your weaknesses that you need to overcome.  It also helps you mind your own business and concentrate on the tasks at hand. 

If you are a homemaker at heart and you go to work for someone else, your heart will be divided, as you will be expected to be one kind of person at the workplace and another at home.  Jesus said that no one can serve two masters, for he will either hate the one and love the other.  Women naturally are helpers and will put their whole heart into whatever work they do, but they have only so much energy and time, and when they work, their employer gets the best of them--the best part of the day, the most alert part of their minds, and their loyalty.  

Once back home, the woman is exhausted and loses interest in homemaking.  With her heart divided, she will not do the work of home with the gusto and interest it deserves.  She needs to look at homemaking as a sacred calling, and not just a job, and her place there as an appointment of God. She can be easily replaced in the workplace, and anyone can be trained for that job, but each home is unique and the wife is taylor-made for her own home and family.  She cannot ever really be effectively replaced.

In the home, one task  may be a joy, while another, a drudge. Being able to cope with both is a maturing process, which will come the instant you have a baby.  Women find themselves willingly doing things they may never have considered doing , as their minds are changed by the birth of a baby.  The instinct to protect and nurture sets in quickly and it is no longer a situation of taking care of yourself, but of guarding someone who is totally helpless and dependent upon you.  

There is so much to do at home, that most people have an ongoing list of household tasks, repairs and improvements. If you are alone at home while your husband is away at work, there is still plenty to do. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Keepers at Home Questions and Answers 1

In my mail I receive questions, but I usually answer them individually. Today I am posting a variety of them on my blog.  If you are sensitive to the message of the Christian ladies working at homey things to make their families comfortable; if you tend to throw a fit every time you read about, (as one woman responded) "that Titus 2 stuff", please have an open mind, and a strong desire for Truth.  If you have your mind made up already, then please click on one of the other weblogs on my blogroll on the left and go visit elsewhere.

Question 1: How am I supposed to get someone to support me so I can stay home?


 The question makes the mutual support of husband and wife seem so cold and detached and money-oriented, as if it is all about what you are going to "get" from a husband.  Instead, it is about a man and a woman who respect each other, respect God and His word enough to take each one's scriptural role in the marriage.

A woman should never think that by marrying someone  she has a support system for life, and a man should never assume that marrying means someone will always cook and clean for him. That is a severely materialistic view of the Biblical relationship. Instead, a mutual belief in the scriptures as the final, authoritative  word of God and from God motivates us to serve a higher King, Jesus Christ.  As citizens of His kingdom, we want to do above and beyond our best.  This applies to believers, of course. Those outside of Christ will not always find it natural to follow His last will and testament. We want to get as close to the New Testament model as we can, and imitate it.  We find the roles of men and women in marriage relationships distinctly defined there. It states, and we believe, that it brings dishonor to the word of God, when men and women do not comply with it. Naturally, no one can force you to be at home, because it is the personal reading of the scriptures that will bring knowledge and conviction to your heart.  To follow His will willingly is a greater advantage than doing it out of compulsion.  Once you develop a conviction on the matter, nothing can stop you from doing it.

When a husband is the breadwinner and provider, the wife has a big responsibility to protect his earnings and see that the family guards that hard-earned money from going out the door as fast as it comes in.  If the woman really is determined to live on her husbands's provision, she needs to view it as a precious gift  earned by "the sweat of his brow" and not just "support."  

A man who provides for his family makes a great sacrifice, often putting aside his own desires and time, in order to see that his wife doesn't have to leave the home and participate in the chase for career and money.  He takes on the stress of it and protects his wife from the hardship. In return she ought of have a great amount of respect for him, when he goes away from home and works.  She needs to watch her spending very carefully so that his work will have something to show for it, both in the comforts and improvement of his home life and in the saving and investment of his money. This does not mean the wife will never have any luxuries or enjoyment in life, it only means she must learn develop a big interest in guarding and guiding the home and making it a better place; a place that cared for.  
When a lady adjusts her desires to her duties, her priorities change and focus on the task at hand.  She will naturally want good tools to work with, from brooms and pots and pans to good quality sheets and towels.  If she will delight herself in the orderliness and beauty of the home, she may find it not as confining as she imagined because home keeping will become an outlet for her and a pleasure and a hobby. 

The so-called "one income" becomes sufficient for the home, giving credence to the old saying, "Two can live as cheaply as one."  The wife learns how to "make do" in order to prevent extravagance.


Turning ordinary things into luxuries can alleviate the focus on money or "support."  A handful of flowers picked fresh and put in a jar, clothes hung on the line instead of using the dryer, relaxing at home instead of going out, and in general creating an oasis of comfort in the house and yard, cuts down on expenses and helps make the work of both the husband and wife worthwhile.  

Question 2: What am I supposed to do all day at home? 


Never think that having a husband who provides for the family while you are in charge of the house, means that you will be lolling about all day doing little or nothing worthwhile, or going out with friends, or spending money. Being a homemaker and a helpmeet means you will be helping your husband make efficient use of his time so that he can be punctual at work. It means you will be looking after a lot of things in order to make it easier for him to work, (care of clothing, good food, looking after the bills and correspondence, keeping track of appointments,  keeping an eye on the finances) and caring for the house enough that he doesn't have to worry about it. 

This is not to imply that a man may never help with the housework, or a woman may never help with the support of the family. It only means they each understand and live their male and female scripturally appointed roles in the home. When a wife is sick or needs a little help, a man naturally will want to lend a hand and ease her burden of housework. 

 To help her husband, a woman may reduce expenses and learn to be innovative and creative in order to avoid spending money.  When time permits she can make things for the home rather than buying ready-made, if she can do it with greater econonomy and quality.  Many ladies also take in money for the eggs their chickens provide, and others have various sources of extra income. However, these must never put the wife under so much pressure to do "her equal share" in making money that she loses her motivation for keeping the home and it must not cause her to neglect her children. Her "share" is in reliable care of the home and her husband.


Question: Should all women stay home?

Answer: Titus 2 and Ist Timothy 5 were written to Christians.  While the world at large may not be willing to follow it, we know for certain that those who have embraced the teachings of Christ will try with all their might to follow them.  This is what makes a Christian "different from the world."

Because in the the body of Christ, (the church or ecclesia, congregation) women are supposed to be keepers at home,  we try to emphasize that young ladies need to be careful not to ruin their opportunity to marry and be a homemaker.  They need to know that if they have children before they marry, or if they accumulate huge debts due to student loans or other things, it may not be as easy to find a man who is willing to take on someone else's responsibilities or debts.  It does happen, but a young women cannot bank on it. If she has children and debt, she will have to provide for them herself.  Young women who do not want to go to work outside,the home and do not really want careers, need to be taught to be careful of their choices so they can make the path to that goal smoother.

Although there are 10 more questions in my files, this is all I can manage today.

Please leave comments if you have other answers that might be helpful.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Are You Really A Keeper at Home?

I am sure all you seasoned homemakers know how much time it takes away from your homemaking interests, when of necessity you have to go out for errands and appointments. These days, even a car has appointments for maintenance and repair.

Each day I wake up determined to get some neglected part of the house in order and then the daily work, hoping to leave time for journaling, painting, sewing and letter writing.  Every day there is something to be done outside of the home, which seems to take more hours away from it. When this happens I wonder if I am really being a "keeper at home"!  

Being a guard and guide of the home does require going out for the things we need for upkeep.  Country women like to stock up on things that will last for long periods of time, but that has its limits due to seasonal foods and other seasonal things.  Sometimes I will think I have an entire week sequestered at home, but each day will require a trip in the car for something that is necessary to keep the house in order.

Being a keeper at home and a guard and guide of the home may not mean a lady will be there all of the time.  It means she cares about the well-being of her family and the order of her house enough to take advantage of opportunities to enhance it all: a trip to the farmers market, a stop by a river for a picnic, a little day trip for family photographs and scenic views, making good use of of money through careful shopping and sales, going out for sewing supplies, cleaning supplies and parts, etc.

If you get a bit breathless over the amount of energy you spend outside the house (even your yard work) it is good to remember you are going about the business of your home, and in a sense, your Heavenly Father's business, as His Word  points to the woman's responsibility of keeping the home.

Sometimes I enjoy getting out, just for ideas that will enhance my home-life.  I like to see the floral arrangements in the grocery stores and look at the furniture arrangements in a home furnishing store, or just browse a little local shop on the off chance I might find a very inexpensive teacup.  I may come home with nothing but a head full of color and ideas.

Some of us grew up with mothers as full-time homemakers, and they were sensible enough to know when they needed to stay in, and when they should go out.  They knew they had to have meals on the table on time, the laundry hung, the house clean and other things done, and would not have deliberately neglected their families just for selfish reasons.  

Yesterday I did not get around to the things I really wanted to do, but I did manage  to clean out a drawer in he kitchen, mail a package, make afternoon tea, sew a couple of pillowcases for a room that needed them, make a trip to the grocery store, take out the trash and water the flowers.  That isn't "progress" in some things, but little by little it buys more time for other things the next day. No one really notices, but these tasks create a smooth order in home living.

So don't feel daunted if there is sometimes a time when you can't seem to get anything done. You may be doing more than you think.  I would suggest you make a list of things you DID accomplish, alongside your to-do list and you will see there are just as many things you completed, that were necessary for the upkeep of the home and the well-being of your loved ones and friends.

(Picture from Magnolia Hall Furniture)

This is what I would consider "lawn" which is similar to soft muslin, only more silky to the touch. These pillowcases are very soft to the skin and soothing to sleep on. The fabric comes in several colors and is available, or was available, at Walmart.  I am thinking of sewing the same fabric as trim to a bed sheet, to match.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Titus Two Man

Since the beginning of the weblog style of journaling, reporting, sharing, and teaching, we have had the opportunity of learning about the uniqueness of what is called "The Titus 2 Woman."  The Christian woman's role as keeper of the home is no shallow duty.  It is not surprising that so many ladies have made the care of their husband, children and house their main responsibility of life. The description in Titus of the role of Christian women allows tremendous freedom and creativity and there will always be something to teach on that subject.

While a host of articles have been written about the Titus 2 woman, how much have we heard about the Titus 2 man?  We should have heard a lot, for the letter called "Titus" was written to a man named Titus, instructing him what to teach and not teach people who had become Christians, and men are specifically addressed. In fact, before the instructions to women in the church, this chapter talks to the men. Some of the instructions to ladies are the same as to the men (that is true equality) but some of them are different than the men.

Let us have a look at what the men are supposed to be, from Titus 2:

The first part of Titus 2 addresses the Christian men, particularly the older ones:

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience." Titus 2:1-2

Instructions to young men are also included:

"Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." Titus 2:6-8

Other parts of the chapter are addressed to everyone, including men, such as this verse:

 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Titus 2:12

Ladies sometimes tell me of strong objections to Titus 2 articles on their weblogs. They receive verbal attacks and threats because of the teachings for women they publish based on Titus 2.

Would there be such a strong objection to the teachings of Titus 2 if people knew that a large part of the chapter was addressed to Christian men?  

Have a look at the list of obligations for  Christian men from Titus 2:

They should be taught to be:

Sober minded (serious)
Grave (of solemn character, not careless)
Sound in faith, love and patience
Having a pattern (habit, reputation) of good works
Uncorruptneas of doctrine, gravity sincerity
Sound speech

To sum it all up, the Christian man should practice a way of life that makes the critics and naysayers ashamed of themselves when they say something bad about him.

I honestly do not know why anyone would object to such a man as this, nor to the teaching of those principles which would educate men to acquire these qualities.

Most sensible women would enjoy having men in their families they could depend upon who are steady and careful and loyal to their loved ones.

What possible objection could there be to the instructions to men in Titus 2?  Many people think Titus 2 is restrictive, and for sure, there are some restrictions!  Both men and women are instructed to restrain themselves from silliness, over-indulgence in anything, their manner of speaking (sound speech as opposed to corrupt speech), and careless living, which includes drinking and other vices. 

Maybe the men in your family are not "church leaders" but if they have any of the qualities listed in Titus 2, they are true leaders. It takes a lot of determination and a trained conscience to keep these qualities.  If they are taught by their parents, when they are young, they will have such qualities so ingrained in their minds  they will be natural instincts.

If you are teaching children at home, do a study of Titus 2 and look up every word of these character qualities for men, as well as defining them in daily life and examples. Use the Robert Young Analytical Comcordance to find the original Koine Greek word and it's meaning, and also refer to the  Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary of the English language (based largely on the King James Version of the Bible) for thorough definitions.  You might also read the chapter from the ancient Tyndale and Wycliff versions of the Bible.

I know there are a few extreme feminists who "shriek and cast dust in the air" protesting the Titus 2 teachings for women because it puts them in charge of the home, but I wonder how many of them would object to Titus 2 for men.  These particular instructions are for men who want to behave like Christians; for those who follow the teachings of Christ and look to Him as their authority.  The teachings are no great threat to anyone, for they show what every home, church, business or government really needs men to be.

What do you think about Titus 2 for men?  Please leave some comments!  Most of you will observe things I left out, so your feedback is valued here!


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Things I Missed By Being Away From Home

When I arrived home from a day-trip yesterday, these flowers were in front of my door.  My neighbor had brought them over from her wildflower garden. She expressed to me how astonished she was that I was not home.  I am always home and so is she,  and it leaves a blank spot in our day when one of us is gone.  When I go looking for her, I know I will find her in the garden, and she knows I will always answer the door when she knocks.  She likes to come for a cup of tea.  These flowers look like a painting!

The mountain pass was open for the season, so took a day trip up 5,000 feet and then across the high plains and down again.  It is cheaper on the return trip all downhill! 

Today I found this old photograph called "Gentlemen having Tea" and it reminded me that from the earliest use of the automobile, people were driving the same narrow mountain roads we travel on today. What adventurous folk they were. We have so many conveniences with our car travel these days, and it is practically no worry to travel a hundred miles from home and back in a day, but they may not have had so many back-up plans.

The old road up the mountain was an earlier route, possibly built during the Victorian era, and while traveling, I imagined that generation enjoying their new road. There is another, more modern multi-Lane highway, but we wanted to see this one.  I like that there are curves on the older road because the newer, straight highways are more monotonous to travel on.

My DH is also a gentleman, and he always allows time to stop for tea. In fact he was a tea drinker long before I discovered its benefits.

The clouds looked like Devonshire Cream, which went well with our tea.

On the narrow, winding mountain road again....

We stopped in several scenic places to take pictures, but the ones of me turned out blurry, so I used them as outlines for the sketch, below. With the colors and scenes of the trip, today I tried to create something to go with the mountains. Should I throw all care to the wind and make this?  What do you think? Already, some viewers of this blog are having quite a chuckle at my mountain, meadow, ocean,   valley, desert, olde towne, and back yard fashion designs :-) I am only expressing one of my interests, and not insisting that everyone be like this or like this---I am sure you all know that :-) Everyone has their own likes and dislikes.

What I like about sketching sewing ideas is the freedom of adding an expensive pair of boots with no cost at all, plus I get to make the garment go with the natural surroundings or season. If I am sketching from a photo of myself I can lose ten pounds, be ten years younger, and have longer, thicker hair with every strand in place :-) A different background can put me in a location like the Continental Divide or the Panhandle!

Tomorrow I want to write about the Titus 2 Man.  It is common to read about the Titus 2 woman, but does anyone talk about the Titus 2 man?  Titus 2 is for everyone!

The box on the lower left, on the ground (pictured above) appears to be a Victorian tea case for travel. There are a lot of these on Pinterest:

These have burners with which to heat water for tea. I like the compact boxes, which is something we really need today.  It is very complicated to get all the tea things packed, as they have to be wrapped and then put in a basket or box.  The Victorians were masters of invention and had a keen sense of convenience and making things to save space labor.  Note the slender, compact design of these boxes, complete with everything they needed to add the luxury of teatome to a road trip.

Note how they made the teapots and cups and accessories square-shaped to pack easier in a box.  It is a bit of a problem to pack tea things when everything is round. It all has to be wrapped in towels and  put in a large laundry basket. 

More of these Can be seen by typing in "Victorian picnic baskets and tea boxes" or at pinterest on this link:  https://www.pinterest.com/fitzroyeverest/vintage-luggage-picnic-sets/.

  There does not seem to be anything like it available today. It is something that would be a great opportunity for some young entrepreneur to market to historical reenactors or homemakers who love the good ways.  There: I have got the word out, and now I expect to find these tea boxes in Walmart for common folk like me--I hope their new executive  is reading!