Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Adding Beauty at Home (with video 3)

The Arrival by Edward K. Johnson, 1825-1896

Hello Dear Ones,

In the last two posts I wrote about choosing the the most urgent things to do at home, and the concept of believing in what you are doing, as the most important thing in the world to you.

Edward K. Johnson "The Hammock"

While a great deal of home life is work, it does not have to feel like it is always something grueling, stressful, hard and unfeeling. If you believe you are creating a life of beauty and happiness for your loved ones in your home, it keeps your mood upbeat and adds a feeling of love in the overall atmosphere of your home.

Today I have created a video on the subject of adding the element of beauty to your daily life. When we connect to the old paths, that is, the values handed down to us from our parents and grandparents, that were rooted in the Bible, work and life at home is incredibly enhanced. 

In 1987 we saw the first issues of this magazine which tugged at our hearts. I remember paging through it in the grocery store to see what it was all about, because it stood out among the other magazines--not because it was flashy or attention-getting, but because it had a quiet and gentle look. The early issues included scenes with Bible verses, poetry and paintings in the most innocent and good taste.

 In its own advertisement, the publication offered an invitation to "enter a world of grace"  in "The new magazine of living beautifully ever after."

Inside one of these early summer issues we caught a glimpse of our own well-lived rooms furnishings. Many of us would declare: "Oh! I have this already. I would like to see how I can make it look as lovely as that."

We liked the house plans in the back of the magazine,

...and the "Favorite Things" in the front pages.

Presentations of ordinary things people have used for generations (such as this natural wicker basket used as a tray)  were a nice, non-jarring change from the contents of the commercial magazines marketed to ladies at the time. 

This was one of our favorite pictures of children dressed in the clothing that was available to us in the 1980's which was reminiscent of the Victorian era:

In fact, the photo was so delightful, we found sand-castle-making sets and took a trip to the Gulf of Mexico for a little holiday in 1987. Since we lived in Texas at the time, it was just a day-trip.

Above, every year the magazine did a feature on England, which was something we always looked forward to. We may have missed an issue or two during the year, but never the the "oh-to-be-in-England-now-that-spring-is-here" issue in March or April.

Butterick later published a pattern that looks like the photo in the above, March 1993 issue:

 In this video, I am sharing how I used the original Victoria magazines to stimulate my interest in the home, and particularly, how I enriched our home-school.  I hope you enjoy it, and thanks ahead of time for watching it.   Please leave a comment!


Note: I am now learning about podcasts, which I think will be more useful. Its like listening to radio while you work around the house.

Note: The original issues of Victoria were published in New York, and although the magazine had a wonderful Victorian gentility about it, the ads were very feministic and modern (alcohol, unappealing styles that were in direct conflict with the magazine's soft demeanor, and extremely immodest ads for products). After about ten years,many  ladies did not care to purchase it and the magazine lost popularity. Many of us who were charter members wrote to the Victoria publishers to cite exactly why we were cancelling our subscriptions.  The magazine, now based in Alabama, (I think) does have advertising, but in much better taste and not in conflict with the magazine as a whole.

Someone inquired about the cardigan I am wearing in this video, so I have posted photos:

The brand is Rendezvous, and the style # is 540D5428M

The sleeves have elastic gathers, something I like to add to my sleeves when I am sewing.

I got it at a discount store for about $7.00 but if you locate it online, the price may not be that low. The fabric is rayon and has a knitted look.

The dress form does not show it off in its best look, but I wanted you to see the back.


Rose said...

I am so enjoying your video posts, Lady Lydia!

I have been a long time reader of your blog and have derived much encouragement and inspiration from it in my vocation as wife and mother. In fact, your blog is one of my favorites!

I'd love it if you could do a blog post or video on hairstyles. Your hair in this video looks so lovely and feminine. I'm afraid I don't have much talent in that area! And as a mother of two little ones, I tend to just throw my hair up in a boring pony tale, or even a messy bun (horrible, I know!).

Anyway, thank you for your presence in the internet world. Blessings!

courtney downs said...

I've enjoyed your videos! And also want to say I have those same 80's and 90's Victoria magazines! They were given to me from my mother. She taught me the importance of beauty. I really love your blog! You've been an encouragement to me!

carol said...

Thank you for taking the time to make these videos! I am really enjoying them.
I also have many of the old Victoria magazines and now and then go to them for inspiration. Thanks again!

Lydia said...

Thank you for commenting. I may make another video on this subject. Some of my older copies have fallen apart and i am gradually replacing them.

Anonymous said...

Such a joy to listen and learn from these videos.
Very special....

Lisa said...

Lydia, you are doing a wonderful work with your videos! It is nice to put a beautiful face and voice with the writen words that I have read through the years. I appreciate how you take the time to look lovely and make the backgrounds of your videos look lovely too. Thank you!

Debbie Gnagey said...

Thank you so much for your lovely video. I look so forward to them. I am enjoying decorating my home in red, pink, lavender, and white for Valentines Day! I like to display Ideals and Victoria magazines in pretty baskets or on doilies for reading during each month. Most I have collected from times gone by. The articles are inspiring. One article pictured a family picnic and started a tradition in our family with three generations present going for a ride in the car and stopping at a road side picnic table. We took along a frisbee for our three sons, and Dad sat with his cane watching the men throw a frisbee while my Mother and I put folded towels on the benches and put a pretty cloth on the table and unwrapped fresh fried chicken, and a cooler filled with deviled eggs, ham sandwiches, potato salad, and pickles. In a box lined thickly with newspapers we packed baked beans. We carried a homemade cake and fruit. Lastly a large thermos of coffee and a big cooler of fresh squeezed lemonade. What a feast! My parents have both passed away now but we have continued our picnic tradition in the autumn with our sons and their families. It is a tradition we hope will carry on. I always am inspired by your website and feel the videos are something that will be treasured in days to come. Thank you from one devoted homemaker to another.

Finding Joy said...

I had to smile when you mentioned your childrens enjoyment of drawing house plans. As a chid I use to love drawing house plans and work out where I would put all the furniture, doors and windows and how I would landscape the garden. I would sometimes take those plans and use my lego to create the house with all the rooms. I still love looking at house plans and at real-estate websites to get ideas for my home, especially the older style homes that contain old-fashion furniture.

I to love to visit the charity store and find things for my home and its amazing what you can locate. My local one has a great collection of glass/crystal that I use in my bedroom for jewellery ect. And my son and I buy quite a few plates and platters from charity stores.


Mrs. U said...

Oh how I am enjoying your videos!!!!! Such encouragment!!!

I, too, subscribed in the early days to Victoria and saw them change in their ads. I wish I had kept all my old copies as I feel the new Victoria lacks some of the charm the original one had in the beginning of its publication.


PS- I love the sweater you are wearing! Where did you find that? It's lovely!!

Andrea R said...

Oh I just love this latest post and video! All such wonderful memories from a beautiful magazine! Wonderful! I am even saddened that the old "housewife" magazines my mother used to pick up used, are no longer very appropriate, lovely, nor are they geared towards makers of the home, but rather working women trying to get a meal on the table.

Thank you for this!

Lydia said...

I wrote a reminder to myself to post a photo of e fushia cardigan in this video. It is quite an interesting design.

Thanks ladies for yor input.

Lydia said...

I posted the cardigan, ladies.

anonymous said...

Another lovely post and video.
I too collect the Victoria Magazines. I didn't start until the late 70's so don't have the really early ones. Keeping my eyes open at yard sales for them.

At about age twelve, a math tutor encouraged me to imagine a house for myself. It would have been helpful if there was a Victoria magazine back then. My instructor told me to use a contractor's tape measure so I could get an idea of size, then he encouraged me to draw some house plans of my own.

That teacher was a great encouragement and near retirement my husband had me draw 13 different plans for him to choose from. We ended up building the very first one with a few modifications.

Please sent a copy of this podcast to Phillis Hoffman DePiano the Editor-in-chief of Victoria Magazine. I am sure it would be a great encouragement to her to know how her magazine was used and what you did and didn't like about past and present issues. Perhaps she might like to do a special on it for a future issue.


Gayle said...

I have a handful of the older magazines, too. we use them as inspiration for crafts, and just to dream a little. I never thought of using it the way you demonstrated and just love the idea. I really enjoy your videos and posts, you inspire me each time. I also look forward to see what you are wearing each time. You always look so lovely. Thank you again !

Helen Threlfo said...

Hello Lady Lydia,
I have just found your blog thanks to a recommendation from a close friend. Your videos are wonderful and I wanted to encourage you to keep making them.
I loved and treasured each copy of Victoria Magazine for all the reasons that you cited.
Once again, thank you for lovely presentation. Your appearance is lovely, and you have a gracious manner when speaking to us.

Kind Regards,


Carol said...

I love so much the beauty and serenity that you exude, Lydia. I look forward to each time that I find you in my inbox. I enjoy very much your videos as I feel that you are sitting across the table from me, sharing your heart. May I suggest that at the beginning or close that you might stand that we might see your lovely clothes as you embrace femininity to the GLory of our GOD. It was very thoughtful of you to share the details of your cardigan--it truly is made in the Spirit of Loveliness. Thank you.

carol--song of Joy

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I really enjoyed this. I am so thankful to find your blog. It is like a wealth of goodness. I am excited to take some time here to explore.

Lydia said...

Thank you, ladies. I have a list of about two more subjects to cover on video. I am not sure I will continue videos but am glad to have done three!

Lydia said...

Mrs. U.,

The original Victoria ads were not so good. We wanted to be able to put the magazine in the house for anyone to pick up and enjoy, so we covered the ads for strong drink with Victorian scrap papers. The new Victoria, located in Alabama usually has only jewlery or household prodict ads. I do wish the publishers would use higher quality paper for the monthly issues, like they do the special seasonal issues on tea time or gardenning or home.

Helen Threlfo said...

Hello Lydia,

Please consider doing more videos. I'm sure it's a lot of effort, but there is something about seeing and hearing another woman give you counsel and encouragement. It's obvious that you have taken time to think about your subject and to present so beautifully. Yesterday morning, I was struggling to have a sweet attitude around our home due to tiredness . I had been awake all night with our little dog who had eaten something bad.
I kept purposefully trying to think about all the things that I was grateful for, and having watched your videos the evening before made that task so much easier.
I kept thinking about what did I want my home's atmosphere to be like, and to set about making that happen.
I just wanted to say thank you and to let you know how helpful the videos are.
Warm Regards, Helen

Lady Brett Ashley said...

I was always such a huge fan of the magazine and read my grandmother's issues until I had my own subscription.

I wanted to mention that you can order all the old issues on computer disc here. It's a lot easier to store two CDs than stacks and stacks of old magazines!

Mama Rachel said...

Oh, how I adored the Victoria magazines! I was a newly-wedded bride at the time, and it was the one thing I splurged a few of our meager dollars on each month. (And oh, the house plans and photography! Ah...)

Thank you for this lovely walk down the lane of nostalgia. I am really enjoying your videos!

Most sincerely,
Mrs. Rachel K.

LogansMom122911 said...

Lady Lydia, you are doing a beautiful job in these videos. It is not easy to do that and I really admire your confidence and your deportment in them (I learned that word from you!). I started subscribing to Victoria magazine because of your blog and I really enjoy it a lot. Keep doing what you are doing. Jennifer from Florida

KayeB said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I would also like to encourage you to continue with the videos. You exude grace and exemplify true beauty in your presentations to us.

Because of your lovely post and video, I have been able to source some of the recent issues of "Victoria" magazine through our library service. I had never seen or known about this magazine before you did this feature on it. As I live in Victoria, Australia, it will be easy for me to remember the name of the magazine.

Thankyou also to Lady Brett Ashley for leaving the link to information on obtaining all the old issues.

Kind regards,

Susan Taft said...

I have been reading Victoria magazine for 20 years. I collect the Chimes article from the last page - I place this article in a pretty floral portfolio and read them during 'down' times when I have a cold or need encouragement. Still a beautiful magazine to look through even though they no longer include some of my favorite parts. One regular writer was Alexandra Stoddard. I have since collected ALL of her books on design and living. Thank you for introducing this magazine to others through your beautiful blog. Susan Taft - Byron, Michigan

Mariya said...

Thank you for a lovely post!

Texas Mom said...

I so enjoy your videos and your website. My mom sewed my senior prom dress, in 1990, without a pattern, from a picture I found in one of her Victoria magazines! It turned out exactly right, and I loved it. :)


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