Friday, July 31, 2015

A Nice Gift

  Two ladies came to tea  Monday and brought me this: tea towels with handmade yoyos, dish liquid, and old Laura Ashley patterns.

Here is one of my centerpieces using a lemon squeezer and flowers floating in water.

Also, an old tin mail box, with a floral inserted,  for the office area.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Blackberry Tea

For the last few weeks I have been preparing my house  for guests who were coming to spend an afternoon with me. They were driving from quite a distance and it took them several hours to get here so I wanted to make it worth their while by getting everything in the best possible condition and showing my home in the most welcoming atmosphere.

They had heard about my berry teas and were eager to sample some, so my DH picked some fresh blackberries for making tea and for eating.  I simply place a handful of berries in a pot and crush a little them with a spoon before adding boiling water.  The fragrance simply takes your senses away -- maybe to a resort--who knows.

Below: I brought out all the old things I had of Grandma's and others to create the vintage atmosphere. My own things are starting to look vintage as well, so it all blends nicely.

Well, as you probably have experienced, I managed to wreck the entire place by simply removing one piece of furniture from a room and replacing it with another.  As you know, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone, and everything I did had an effect on everything else. 

 I can't explain how in the world the simple act of removing a small end table caused piles of things in the dining room and the laundry room, but I will attempt it: 

  I noticed the walls behind the little table were dirty so I had to clean them, and then I saw the curtains near the walls had a rip in them so I had to mend them---but I knew better than to take them off the rod and involve myself in trying to put them back, so I mended them while they were hanging.

  Eventually I did get myself out of this mess but it took 7 days of considerable work.  I do not like to complain, but the house is not in good shape, needs a lot of painting, repair and updating.  I am reminded of it each time I start something like this.  This is part of home life.

The two ladies that came were a preachers wife and a preachers wife's friend.  I call her that because she is one of those people that is always supportive of the preachers wives and likes to keep their morale high and keep them encouraged.  (We must seem beleaguered!)

The blackberry tea was the same vivid color as my tea setting.

Here is the table being prepared the night before the Tea

Because one of the ladies owned a tea room and an antique store, I thought it would be a good opportunity to pull out all of Grandmas things and display them in honor of their interests and their visit. They were also on a buying trip for the antique store.  

In reality I live in Grandmas house, because I am using all her furniture and naturally her accessories go well with everything. 

A doll corner.

One of the crochet pieces Grandma used on the back of a living room chair.

Her bedroom furniture.

Above and below--preparing the porch and flower bed for a first impression welcome.

My family is getting ready for the 50th year anniversary of our congregation, when there will be a special get-together, and I am hoping to also have an open house, and this has all helped me in getting ready for that.  As Mary Kate said in ""The Quiet Man": "The house may belong to my brother, but what's in it belongs to me."  I am trying to show the house to a good advantage in the best way I can and I hope everyone enjoys the tour.  I will show pictures of the laundry room and kitchen in another post, as well as pictures of the Afternoon Tea for which I prepared all this.

The tea table set out buffet style for the ladies Bible class this morning.
The porch:

In the bathroom:

I took everything I had packed away that spoke of vintage and teatime, to embelish my home for this special event.  I can always gather it up and put it away again when a different occasion calls for it.

A coat rack that is usually bare for coats and bags, is decorated with some old things.

My scarves displayed on an over-the-door set of doorknob hooks.

The bathroom:

Another angle of Grandma's things in the guest room.

I did not get the sewing room tidy, and a lot of the things stuffed in the shelves are blankets and folded clothing.


It was interesting to bring out all the colors and old things:

One day maybe you will come to tea!

The Guest Room: I even have Grandma's white chenille bedspread and her pillowcases. 

Old pedestal sink (above) and old sewing  basket (below)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nylon Roses

Several people emailed me to ask about the nylon roses in one of my photos.  These were made by a friend, and you can learn how to make them by doing an Internet search for making nylon roses.

I use them on several ways in my home: in vases, baskets, bowls, boxes, or laying out plain. Visitors always comment on them. I never get tired of them as I do other kinds of artificial flowers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Healthy Alternatives to Network News

Good Day, Dear Ladies,

Lately I have read a few comments on other blogs about the  feelings of disruption people have after reading or hearing the news. It brought to mind the movie script of "Emma" where her father, Mr. Woodhouse, said, "Marriage is so disrupting to one's social circle. Invite them to dinner. That is kindness enough."  In my home, we speak a lot of applicable quotes for the occasion from the Olde Englis Bible (for example, I am apt to say, "Behold, a troop cometh" when everyone walks through the door) and we also quote a number of phrases from well-known books, including Jane Austen's novels.  In light of this, I created the poster, above, from a 19th century painting. I hope you enjoy it and get the implications.

I was reading some comments by people expressing distress at the continue news of crisis events. Some ladies say their response is to go inward toward their home life and to concentrate more on the things of their home life that the media cannot control.  I agree with this. The barrage of terror from the news media is designed to make you lose your concentration and distract you from what is really important--particularly from what the Christian is guided to do in the Scriptures. The stress of hearing these reports is the current shock and awe of our lives, isn't it?  It will make you too upset to enjoy life.

I grew up in an era of worry. In the 1950's  and 1960's school children were constantly told that the country would be attacked, and were shown drills of how to hide under our desks.  I want to tell you that from the time I was in first grade, until only recently, many of us have never been able to relax and be happy and enjoy the goodness of life God gave us, because we were taught to worry at an early age. Fear was so ingrained in us that we worried about everything from the food we ate to the air we breathed.

What people forgot was that God was in control, and one day, with no warning, there was a terrible earthquake in Alaska.  None of the training or drills ever prepared us for this. There is no way to escape an earthquake because if you are in a house, it bounces you around every which way it will, and you can't even think about hiding under a table. The constant rocking motion of the house will not let you go anywhere. You are just cast from wall to wall until it subsides. 

When the earthquake was over, my mother gathered us all together and counted to see if we were all there. She said she prayed the entire time for God to save us.  And  when she called our names and we all answered, she cried. The only thing left to do was find out how Daddy fared at the harbor where he had gone to do some things on his crab boat. I can't describe how we felt when we finally saw his old truck pull up next to the house, so I will let you imagine it and see if it brings a sigh of relief to you.

I am sure this was the most disrupting event that ever happened to me as a young person, but there is one thing that I always remember the news media saying: the 1964 earthquake was "an act of God."  You don't hear that anymore, do you? 

Whenever we heard that phrase, we were reminded that there was a God and that He was the reason for the drama in many things that occurred, and there was problem enough dealing with nature. These days, the news media is not satisfied to report the natural disasters. There is some evidence that they embellish and even invent certain stories with the intention of changing our minds.

  While we may have been content at home and to do God's will, now we are all aflame about the news reports of man-made crisis. We need to think first of our relationship to God and then our responsibilities to our families and to developing our own skills and talents. This cannot be done if we watch the news. In fact, watching the news may decrease a person's creativity and personal drive to accomplish what is good and beneficial to themselves and their own people.

In order to alleviate the effect the media has on us, I think it is important to plan your life to a certain extent, especially daily life, since today is present and achievable. 

We can't prevent a storm or a flood, but we can do the best we can to control the chaos  at home.  We need to do everything we can do to fulfill our own responsibilities to our families.  In doing that, we will influence and strengthen the church and the nation.  We need to focus on where we are really hurting as people, as churches and as a nation. That one place that no one in the media ever suggests fixing, is the family.

 We have so many broken homes, and that is how the enemy can gain control over us.  If there are no loyalties between family members, the world can persuade people to do its bidding.  It can convince people that what we really need is a form of social gospel, instead of Jesus Christ and repentance of sin.  It can persuade us that we need to fix the world by giving people things. If you read the Bible, you can see clearly that we cannot fix the world; but we are to fix ourselves spiritually and to do the will of God and teach His truth.  We are to teach our children to obey Christ. We are to train them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We are to guide the home.

The media wants us to forget all of  this and take our focus off our real lives. Many times women, who are particularly susceptible to being helpers, forget they are firstly to be helpmates to their husbands and then to care for their children.  They want to "make a difference in the world" so they think more about what the rest of the world is doing, and take their minds off their own families. They cannot see making a difference in the world through their marriages, their children and their homes.  When they get that right, the churches and the nations are changed for the better. 

People who don't believe in what we are doing, and who want to destroy the power of the home, will convince you that staying home and being a homemaker is trivial and insignificant and not intelligent. They will try to tell you that you are not putting your degree to good use. They will say you are wasting all your talent and ability. There are many ways to refute this, and the best way is to live out your beliefs about the matter: study the many different aspects of homemaking and marriage, and practice the things you learn and know to be true.

So today I would like to suggest some ways to bring it all home, to what really matters. If you neglect your husband and children and house, you contribute to the chaos of this world. You become another divorce statistic and your children, whom you "put out to pasture" will be another delinquent statistic.  If you can imagine it, a child who grows up without principle and without loyalty to the parents and their teachings, and without solid Biblical teaching, will be in danger of joining the forces of the media and others who promote chaos in this world.

So here are some simple things you can do at home. Maybe you would like to pause and get a cup of tea while you peruse this list of questions:

Before you get upset at the latest crisis reports, ask yourself these questions:

*Are my husband

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