Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Homemaking: The Problem of Getting Started

Hello Dear Ladies,

Part one of this subject deals simply with getting started in your day. There are so many things that need to be done, it can pull your mind every which way and you may not know where to begin! That is why getting your appearance prepared as if you were going to do something important.

Some people dig mechanically in to jobs at home as though nothing else mattered, but there is a technique that helps you get in the mood and put your heart into it. Homemaking is not the same as industrial work and cannot be approached in a cold way.

Get dressed: Getting dressed up and having a cheerful mood means that you know you are at work for the day, and you might as well enjoy it.

Take time:  No one is going to be content in their work if they are in a hurry and under stress to just get it over with.  Housework is not just work; it is home-making, and should be something that you do "as you go" through your day.  

Put love into it: It is also a spiritual thing. You cannot do it just to make others grateful or to leave a good impression, but do it as working for the Lord who enables you to be creative and will help you succeed. Doing a good job is a way of serving, and in a way, a type of honor.  Of course, you do it to make everyone in the family happy, but when you practice good housekeeping for your own self-worth and personal dignity, you will have a reason for doing it that goes beyond any temporary purpose.

Do the prep work: If you start a job without prepping for it (getting yourself ready, doing preliminary tasks that lead up to the bigger one), you may end up with a major part completed but with a mess surrounding it. That is why it is good to do the pick-up jobs before cleaning. 

If you plunge headlong into huge, tiring cleanup jobs, you will use all your energy and there will be no enthusiasm for the little jobs that really make the house look polished and complete.  Start with the prep work, and then you can look out at nice clean areas while you are washing dishes. It is less discouraging!

 No house painter begins by putting paint on the wall. The walls and the area around them are prepared and preliminary jobs are done, such as removing fixtures and putting narrow strips of paint all around the edges. Observe how any worthwhile job is done and you will see the preparation work is always done first, including planning out the steps to the completed task, on paper. 

You may want to study the subject of "preparation" with your children, give them imaginary jobs and ask how they would prepare or do the prep work. Subjects such as packing a moving van, moving out of a house, cleaning a house, painting a room, sewing a dress or shirt, writing a story, and even blogging, all require prep work.

When vacuum cleaners first came, our parents taught us to pick up things around the house and clean up before running the appliance. Part of the reason was to prevent the sweeper getting clogged up with small items not meant to be vacuumed. Another reason was they knew that just because the floor was vacuumed did not mean the house was kept. You could have a clean floor and still have a messy house.  

If you just wash the dishes, you can still end up with a dirty kitchen, so cleaning around the area first goes a long way to getting a neat and polished look.

Do not be in a hurry, but enjoy the process.  When you observe how nice and shiny every thing is becoming as you do small things, you feel you are gaining success. No mountain is ever climbed in a moment. It is done step by step, and each step is tested to see if it is sure-footed (stable) before moving on to the next step.

Start with a warm up: small, easy tasks:  Begin with small tasks such as picking up things that don't belong and putting them away.  Save the sweeping and washing and cleaning until there is order. Do the order first, and then clean.  Before you clean the bathroom, pick up the clutter and straighten the towels. Then do the cleaning of the sink and tub. 

 Before washing the dishes, create an orderly process by lining things up and cleaning the surfaces around the sink. Clean the stove top, the tables, the other surfaces, gathering up things to be washed.  When you have it all in order, begin your washing up in a methodical way so that you can make some progress even if you get interrupted.  Your work area will look nice even while you are cleaning.

Make a list: There is something about writing that solidifies things in your mind. A list can make you at least know what you need to do.

Much more can be said about getting started. Remember that even a car in winter has to warm up the engine before it is driven. You may need to get yourself ready physically and mentally and pray a lot over your plans before you can get started. Have faith that God will answer your prayer because He is the author of order.

A housedress that looks like a bouquet of fresh roses: note the white plastic tote from Dollar Tree.   So far, Dollar Tree does not have these plastic "bags" in white, but they are available in many colors that would go with an apron, a dress, or your home decor. They are great for storing sewing projects but you cannot carry things loosely that will slip out the holes.  The bag needs a liner to hold everything, which would be an interesting creative project. Perhaps a clear plastic liner would look best.  These totes are stiff plastic and not the soft, flexible bags found at Hobby Lobby.
This is another all cotton fabric from Walmart called David Textiles by artist Candace Allen. You will see ithe name printed  on the selvedge of the fabric. This fabric would also be good for other things such s tea cozies, kitchen accessories, bags, pillows and other things.
The texture is like a fine linen, almost a polished cotton.
The print is a painting of roses, and I call the dress "Winter Roses".
There is quite a bit of it still left at Walmart. They have not had a run on it yet like the Waverly fabrics!

The basket is another one of those Dollar Tree items, costing $1.00, and painted white with spray paint that adheres to plastic.
These baskets are good for carrying things in the car. The only thing needed while shopping is the wallet, so the other things are kept in the basket. 

Did you notice the shoes are the same print as the dress? They were a $5.00 pair of flats from Walmart, which Are covered in the rose fabric using decoupage glue, following a tutorial online showing how to cover shoes with cloth.   http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2009/08/mod-podge-shoes.html

Off-white (oyster) piping outlines the neckline and sleeve edges.

Using the same pattern, with different sleeves:

This old pattern needs to be replaced. It is used often for the sleeves.

The sleeves have tucks in them that coordinate with the bodice tucks in the new McCalls pattern used for the Winter Roses dress.


Roses print fabric by David Fabric  (Walmart)
Oyster white piping (Joann Fabrics)
22 in zipper.   WM            
Plastic tote (Dollar Tree). Choose a light color that white paint will easily cover.
Flats $5.00   (Walmart)
Spray paint for plastic tote bag 
Decoupage glue. (Dollar Tree)
Pattern McCalls 6958  (Joann Fabrics 99cents or $1.99 depending on sale day)

Here is a closer look at the hem, cut in a freehand wavy line, and hemmed with a facing.

Note: the tutorials online show that any kind of shoe, with any size heel, can be covered with cloth.

Here is how the dress looks worn with an apron which brings out the white roses.


christine reynolds said...

Thank you for this article! In a world where being a housewife and a stay at home mom is sometimes looked at like you're being "useless" because you don't work outside the home, you said things that make it as important as it really is! I've always said that some women are meant to be CEOs of companies, and that's ok, but I was meant to be a housewife. I love it and taking care of my house and family. Thank you for this article of inspiration!!

Laura Jeanne said...

This is a wonderful and very helpful post, Lydia. Thank you so much. I very often (as in, almost every day) wake up feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin. I am going to read this post over and over so I can be sure to remember your tips and make them a part of my daily routine.

I have one question. You mentioned here that it is a good idea to make a to-do list on busy days, but in the comments of a different post you mentioned that in the past, homemakers did not make lists and did not treat the home like a business. I wonder if you might be able to clarify this last statement (perhaps in a future post)? Thank you!

Linda said...

You are so talented. The dress is beautiful. I do wish we could buy such modest,feminine, lovely dresses.

Christine said...

Thank you for your encouraging posts. I am a single working woman and sometimes it's hard to "home make" :-) Your dress is beautiful! Thank you again.

ladypinktulip said...

I love your dress and matching shoes! So cheerful and elegant. Kelly T.

Ellen Seagren said...

A beautiful dress and certain to cheer up a gray November day!

Lydia said...

Laura Jeanne, I will try to elaborate on that soon!

Lynn Maust said...

My but you are sewing up a storm! I must catch up with you ASAP! I love your red roses fabric...will need to go back to Walmart to see if WE have it here in PA

Lynn Maust said...

Yes...a very fun new craft...making covered shoes! Wonderful thing to do!!!

The Happy Mrs. said...

Such a lovely blog you have! I'm so glad I found it :)

susie @ persimmon moon cottage said...

What a pretty dress. I really like the cheerful print and the way you did the hem. Very feminine.

The matching fabric covered shoes are so cute.

Decor To Adore said...

I adore this lovely dress. The wavy hem in particular caught my eye. Bravo!

Christine Beauchamp said...

Beautifully spoken, beautiful dress, beautiful you!! Thank you dear Lydia. . I love your wealth of simple and beautiful ideas. . . matching shoes are so sweet. How clever you are and what a wonderful sewing teacher you had. My first sewing teacher screamed at me and told me I'd NEVER learn how to sew because I kept getting the 'rats nest' at the bottom of the fabric. .. which may have been an error in filling the bobbin. . I no longer remember as I was 14 at the time. But now I make everything and love it. Its fun because you share your wonderful and happy ideas. You're a charm in the bracelet of life. Bless you. ..


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