Tuesday, December 27, 2016


Painting: The Rose Gatherer by Cecil James Hobson

There will be a new column on the sidebar in 2017 called "Friends Of the Past" highlighting people I met as a young woman,  even back to my teen years, with whom I am in contact today. I have already done a couple of them, including Angela, a friend since the age of 16 in Tasmania.  Each time, I highlight their goodness and share the impact of their lives on mine.

Somehow, there is always a 19th century painting of a woman that looks so much like the person I remember. I have never known any one else with the name of Ila. She looked like the painting, at least she did to me.

When we were in a small country congregation in an overcast, normally gloomy-weathered part of Washington state, I met Ila. We had moved there with high hopes, and the town and the church at the time was suffering a big economic depression. This effected everyone's social and home life, and it was such a let-down to an eager young preacher's wife who enjoyed sunshine and socializing.

Ila invited us for dinner and I have the scene all sketched out in my memory. She had a small child and husband and lived in a tiny attic apartment above her parent's old store, located in an even more remote area. It was a country road at the time. I wondered as I ascended the narrow set of steps to that upper room if I was going to become more discouraged by austere living coupled with another dark afternoon,  but I met a life-long friend.

Once upstairs, we were greeted by the wonderful scent of Ila's home-made pizza pie, made with a Bisquick mix, which she served on a coffee table next to some old brown wicker chairs and a small seat covered in a worn quilt. She liked fabric and had made curtains for the little windows. On the coffee table was also a set of clear-glass candle holders shaped like stars, holding long white taper candles. I recall she also had dim lighting from a small electric lamp set upon a dresser, for this room was also their livimg room amd dining room and family sleepimg wuarters all in one.

In that cold, northern climate, her place was adequately warm. She had made a place into a home and she was a unique picture of home made contentment that I will not forget. After enduring the troubles of this life in trying to "get ahead", how many women today would love to go back to such a scene of their  family beginnings?

I cannot neglect to say that Ila looked after her parents in their old age, just as my friend Angela, whom I wrote about awhile back.

One thing I like about Ila is that she carried her personal contentment all her life and did not try to reinvent herself or alter her Biblical beliefs. She has a strong admiration of truth, a rare quality today.  I also admired her motherhood and het stick-to-it-iveness when she endured upheavals in her life. She suffered terrible losses over the years and she remains the same.

The little dinner scene in her home is one I must attempt to draw someday.
Painting by Carl Herpfer

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Taking Tea at the Movies

Most family movies now have a teacup scene. Above RCMP officer Jack takes tea in the saloon on When Calls The Heart Season 1. It looks like the pattern found in many Canandian homes, called "The Friendly Village."  Below: tea scene in A Christmas to Remember, just now released:

Someone told me Walmart was serving paper cups of tea on a cold winter day last week, and customers were calmlly shopping while sipping tea.  I wish all shops would do this.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Season's Greetings

Painting by John Callcot Horsley, English

Dear Ones,

A lot of viewers of this blog have their own sorrows and yet take time to read and comment.  Besides your prayers, this is the ultimate generosity. We are also VERY grateful for donations which have been sent throughout the year and hope this blog will continue to be worthy of all these blessings.

Thank you!

We look forward to seeing you next year, and always appreciate your suggestions on subject matter.


Friday, December 23, 2016

What Are You Having?

Above: A Winter Walk sold at Victorian Trading Co.

Hello Ladies,

For Thanksgiving, people go all-out,  preparing the traditional foods, which take a lot of shopping planning and cooking time.  For Christmas, not everyone relies on the same type of meal, so I was wondering what you are cooking or having on Christmas Day. 
 What are you planning? If you are British, or otherwise European, what are your traditonal foods at Christmas? Are they time consuming? What are the Australian women preparing on the hottest day of the year? If you participate in Christmas in India or the Phllipines, what do you eat on that day?

Below: one of the photos from our recent trip through the mountain pass:

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

A Little Trip

We spent the weekend on a very cold trip to the interior of Oregon where Stan had scheduled to be a substitute for one of the preachers. He drove 35 mph the whole time on packed snow, but with traction tires he enjoyed the driving and the snow very much!  His sermon was good and they said he was "medium-winded." That is better than long-winded but not as good as Edward Ferrars preaching "very short sermons" a-la Sense and Sensibility. 

We stopped at a favorite shop and right away the people who owned it pointed out the red truck ornaments. One of them said, "We love our trucks in America, and especially red ones!"

My husband was quite taken by this little canvas painting of a truck, with a ribbon hanger, the size of a post card, with battery operated lights, so he bought some in lieu of greeting cards. As we left the store, someone else told us "This is truck country. We revere our trucks: old ones, new ones, and the ones that are falling apart." He proceeded to describe the garden his wife had grown in the back of his Grandpa's old truck. 

This is a wrought iron carriage that is very popular in summer, when you have to pay a fee to sit in it for a photo.

This is what the inside looked like. People were not lining up for a chance to sit in this snowy seat.
I hope that cushion  is water proof.
The sage green color of this carriage is marvellous. There is a gathered type curtain inside the dome. It is always interesting to see the many ways fabric is used.

The sewing machine was packed and the weekend was spent inside the warm motel room sewing and making cards with some of the family.

This zany zebra flannel fabric had been in the fabric stash for several years and finally turned into warm sleepwear for my girls. Sewing went a lot faster when sequestered in a warm room with no household distractions.  

View from the saloon window. The saloon is an old hotel that is now a restaurant. The upper level rooms are all dining areas and conference rooms. The food there is great. 

Above picture: Looking outside the motel room. The motel had a huge breakfast buffet, where we met some construction workers from Croatia who told us the winter weather was not at all daunting to them. "It is like summer to us!" they laughed.
Some of you will remember helping buy the rose shaped buttons for this coat that I made a few years ago. The local stores had a limited supply of these unique buttons, so blog friends were finding them in their fabric stores and sending them to me.  Ten buttons were needed and the cost was about $2.00 each, as they were very large buttons, which ended up costing as much as the fabric,  so your help was certainly appreciated! 
This picture, above, does not show acurately what looked like a delicious slice of vanilla cream confection, made by the snow plow as it neatly scraped the snow to the right of the road.  It looks like a wonderful sheet cake.
Now here are the cards that were made:

I even took a tea set and a red runner:

Below: more of that chiffon cake.  
Fabric like this would be interesting.
Stopping at a year-round Christmas store on the way back:

a slice of thick whipped cream cake:

Taking tea in the saloon:

Someone was coming for Afternoon Tea later on in the week and I was glad to get home and get ready for that. I saw so much of the color red, including red walls in the motel room, it inspired me to add a few red things to the house just to make it brighter. There were several red pieces of fabric in my sewing room and a couple of red cushions:

The February Issue of Victoria is where  we got the idea for the cards. The cookies on the cover are so lovely and the cards are pastel backgrounds with cameos in the centers.

The coat pattern is a 2009 edition of Butterick #5425.  I added the faux fur cuffs, hem and hooded scarf. Note with polar fleece, the garment is very heavy and warm, and keeps out the wind. A lining is not needed, although the pattern requires it. I had to alter the pattern to accommodate no lining.  This pattern also might make up into a very nice winter dress. Fleece is a non-woven synthetic fabric and it is not one of the recommended fabrics listed on the pattern package. The pattern is made for wool, velvet, poplin and tweed.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Learning to Relax at Home

Hello Dear Ladies,

Included on this page today are the wonderful paintings of Susan Rios. It would be such a cheerful addition to the home to have paintings like this would it not?  For many people, the price for such great art is quite out of reach, but the pictures are posted here so that you might get some ideas to make your home cheerful and bright. 

There is always so much to keep you busy at home, and that is a good reason to have a master list and a daily list of reminders. 

Of course you know that it is not possible to always have that perfect look in the house, especially if you are busy and active and your family spends most of the time actually living in the house. To keep encouraged, it might be enjoyable to get something "picture-perfect" long enough for a memorable picture.

Having a bright, neat spot somewhere in the house is restful to the emotions and helps your family appreciate order and beauty.

Having no particular issue to address today, I am just saying hello and broadcasting what I call "Housewife Radio" just to express the principle of learning to relax at home.

One of the follies of feminism is how it programs women from a very young age, even down to kindergarten, to be concerned about things not related to the home. Young girls become burdened down with pressures of school and grades and being smart, and that becomes more pressure to get jobs and make money and live on their own, where the pressure increases.  Here at Home Living, you will find the Biblical alternative of letting young ladies be home, learn the routines of cooking, sewing, cleaning, reading to little children, the art of visiting and conversation, letter writing, and all the things that seem to be lost in the culture around us. 

The home is the center for family conversation. Children learn to exchange ideas and speak back and forth with different age groups, rather than just their peers.  Home is a center for evangelism and hospitality, both which can work together. Home is for developing talents and creative skills. 

There is so much that can be learned in the home, from appliance and house repair, food production, serving others, and even nursing normal illnesses.Many ladies at home can attest to the comfort of being brought a cup of hot soup to nourish them while in bed with a headache or cold. These things that happen in the home are far too devalued today.

Not everything has to happen "somewhere else."  Folks start their days getting ready to go "somwhere else. " People get their social life "somewhere else." They do their creative work "somewhere else." They eat "somewhere else."  They go on vacation "somewhere else."  Children are taught to grow up and go "somewhere else." 

At Home Living, this author has learned that one reason people want to go "somewhere else" is because the home is not as cheerful and uplifting as it could be.  Those of you who are older can remember tablecloths on the tables, Grandmother's china brought out for special days,  bright quilts on the beds, shiny floors and bathtubs. There may even have been fresh flowers from the garden set in jelly jars or tin cans, just for a bright spot here and there. Conversations stimulated the intellect and satisfied the soul. Knowledge and wisdom was passed from father to son, in the home.

Most importantly, good values cannot be eroded as easily when the family is home for the most productive and teachable hours of the day. Here, they reinforce the Biblical standards and help one another stay faithful to the Word.  Yes, everyone errs and sins, but the home is a place that stabilizes and recovers the soul. It is here the sympathy, forgiveness and restoration is complete.

The world and its corruptness is literally knocking at the door of the home, with its news, magazines, music and whatever else.  That is one reason the New Testament teaches in Titus 2 for the Christian women to guide and guard the home. The home is a word that means "house and those who live in it."  So a Christian lady will guard from the false teachings of the world, and then guide the minds of the family to what is good and acceptable in the sight of God.  It is in the home that she is in charge. It is her realm.

Make the home a place you want to be so that the best words you can hear are "Let's stay home."
Dress Ingedients:

Pattern - McCalls  with sleeves from a vintage pattern. See previous dress sewing post.
Fabric -woven cotton , made in USA Hobby Lobby $5.00 a yard $20.00 ( This is more than I usually pay)
Thread, zipper $2.50
Cotton eyelet lace -Hobby Lobby $3 
Time to make: about 5 hours spread over several days, not including travel and shopping.

The fabric has  a sparkle sheen to it and it washes well, without diminishing the shine.

Cotton dresses are so comfortable.

The cotton fabric looks like this on the inside....

...and this is the shiny side.