Monday, February 27, 2017

Housewife Radio

Afternoon Tea by Paul Fischer, 1863-1934

Please note: there are two recordings so far, but the dates are wrong and we will try to fix it.

If you get a chance to listen to this (it is saved, so if you missed it live, you can still hear it) please leave a comment on this blog post!

Today, barring last-minute glitches we will hear (clearly rather than my previous muffled attempt) from a lovely lady who has a lot of great things to say about her experience of finally coming home and her personal response to the Titus 2 instructions to Christian women.  Let's remember that Titus 2 is also addressed in a large part to men, so read it it carefully for the details, which include young and old alike.

As per usual, ladies, please do not think you have to stop and listen to this. It  is designed for you to tune in when convenient, such as when you are folding clothes, doing routine things where you might need some music or appreciate someone talking to you. I remember  how much I enjoyed hearing my children read to me while I did some kind of house keeping. It paced me and I got a lot more done!

To the lady at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog, I am extremely honored by your posting of my Visitation video. Your blog brings me a lot of visits.  I am sure that subject deserves a lot more conversation.  My biggest problem is finding someone at home to visit, or getting someone to come and visit. I see a definite trend downhill on this, from former times.  While we all do our regular visits to institutions such as hospitals, etc, we need to find these neglected people who are at home who may also need visits. I know that places like children's homes, retirement centers, etc. have plenty of activity and regular visits, judging by the amount of people going in and out of those institutions, but what I see is an absence of home visitation, and not necessarily to the shut-ins, but to homemakers. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that so many home keepers have to be out of the home either working at a 2nd job or else running errands and doing a lot of necessary things elsewhere to keep the home running.This might be a good topic to discuss on radio sometime.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter Vacations

Hello Ladies,

It is easy to be vacation-minded in summer when everything is sunny and bright, but it seems more important to ease the cold and confinement of winter with a vacation from home.

This is one reason visiting is so good.  If you can find one other person who will allow you to visit, it is like a nice vacation.

It is a good idea to make provision for a winter vacation, because even travel to visit a friend does cost something. 

In summer when you are not paying so much for home heating, and when food is cheaper at the farmers markets, and you do not have to buy so many warm socks and mittens, you may be able to put aside something for that winter escape when it seems more confined at home.

An acquaintance of mine takes her sewing machine on a winter vacation and goes to a hotel where, unhindered by housework, happily stitches for several days. I realize most people here would not want to spend the money on that, but it may be possible to plan such a thing in other ways with other resources. 

This winter is taking its time with its visit so I am planning an escape  (at home) to the Empress Hotel. My guest rooms will be filled, and despite the sorry fact I could not locate any used Empress Hotel teacups at a fair price, we will just pretend. We are planning to dress up for a dress code in this fine place :-) and of course I am cutting out a special dress. 

There are other winter vacation ideas that will enable the lady at home to be refreshed to return to her duties with a renewed appreciation of home life.

*Shifting the furniture around is like having a new house. 

*Re-purposive rooms: I recently moved my sewinf to the kitchen for the winter. It is warmer there and not so isolated, and The kettle is more accessible. I fill the slow cooker and can quickly access anything the family needs for refreshments and meals. It is like a one-room house with everything at arms length.  

*Change an office into a guest room, or a bedroom into something else. I always wonder what it would be like to take a seldom used dining room (when people prefer to eat at the kitchen table) and turn it into a living roo, or office or something else. 

*Save the money you might not notice going out (on eating out, coffee, thrift stores, etc) and use it for the winter hotel vacation. I know someone who takes a winter break in her own town. Her whole family checks into a local B&B they like, every winter. I think this is a great idea. Also, there are very inexpensive  motels that have up-to-date furnishings and facilities thst cater to families. Children love this!

*Grandparents enjoy getting an extra room in winter for their children and grandchildren, at an in-between distance.

*Our parents ordered recreation kits like art, sewing, construction of small things, and food supplies from catalogs and then spaced out the projects throughout the most difficult months of winter. 

*Set aside supplies for your own home made creations. Get the berries you picked in the summer,most of the freezer and make jam, learn to make something every day and if you are not in the mood, make lists and make plans.  It is always an adventure.

The point is, careful consideration should be given to ensure the housewife has vacations throughout the winter. We do not need vacations from summer weather, but from the confinement and hardship of winter.  

If this is not possible, it is important to go somewhere locally a few minutes each day or whenever it is necessary.

Winter comes again this year, so get out a calendar and dream up some plans to intersperse those lonely, confined days with short vacations, visits and invented celebrations.

Summer has a vacation atmosphere even when staying home, but winter is really when we need vacations.

Empress Hotel teacup.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Housewife Radio

At four pm Thursday ( northern hemisphere)  American Pacific Standard Time I hope to have a livestream broadcast. This will give me time to find a friend willing to call in.

If you did not get to listen to the live radio show, you can hear it recorded, here (I think)

Please let me know if the above link works!

Please do not think you have to take time out of your home keeping to listen. Housewife radio is designed to listen while you are occupied with other things.  I was told that Housewife Radio really works, because during a 15 minute broadcast someone was able to complete a few tasks.

The next one scheduled is Monday the 29th Feb. at 3 pm , and unless something unforeseen happens, I do have a caller lined up. If you want to hear one tomorrow, please contact me, and if you would like to be a guest, it would be very nice, especially if there are topics you like.

If you would like to be a guest, let me know.  

A Book Review for a Friend -- "The Long Way Home"

As life would have it, there is always, always something to do at home. Consequently, I have delayed unnecessarily a book review for a long-time European friend.  Some time ago she wanted to write an adventure, and in Barbara Cartland fashion, created a fictional galaxy-land for the tale she really wanted.

Do you remember when reading a book of fiction lifted you from life's heavy concerns and took you away to another place and time? The Long Way Home does that. It contains action, a bit of mystery and some romance.

Because I cannot sit still for very long, I did  not read this right away as I had intended, and I am sorry I did not publish this review sooner. 

If you are an American, you will be attracted to the British type characters of yesteryear; the kind that held the stiff upper lip in times of stress, and, do not forget the tea. We all love the Brits with this type of description, and this is exactly what Sanne Wijker has developed into her main character. Though the hero of the story lives quite sacrificially, he wants to save a few things: save his country, save his own neck, amd save his girl.

You can access her book here and read the publisher description. The author is an avid reader of a great many old books and has brought into this story some things that make the reader keep reading and wanting to know what happened. The only thing I did not like about reading this is, the sequel is not yet published!  

I know some people are not avid readers of other-Galaxy stories, but perhaps they may know others who would enjoy a book like this.

Belated congratulations for this young housewife's first novel!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Visitation: Video

At the Cottage Door by Henry Margetson (1861-1940)

Hello Ladies,

As I do not write or memorize or even edit my videos, please do not expect them to be professional. I figure if you were here at a class, I would not be precise or perfect in my presentation anyway. 

I have started Housewife Radio today but have not made a program yet. I will put a notification on a post if you want to tune in, and will indicate the date and time. At that time I will arrange to have ladies I know call in to discuss a chosen topic.

My subject today is "Visitation," because I have talked to several ladies who say that is one part of home-life that is really missing. I suppose the rushing about to do errands and business and essential shopping has cut in to the time that might have been used for leisurely, non-stressed visiting.

My parents visited people, not because my parents were all stressed out, lonely, or had problems, but because they knew it was good for the other person to be visited. Now that may sound awfully strange to young women today, and I can understand, because they may have never observed a visit. Gone are the days when people stopped by for pie or to just see you. 

It was not a case of feeling such a sense of importance that they thought other people would be overjoyed to see them, but it was a way of giving the other people a sense of well-being and a certain kind of grounding or feeling of being human. It showed them they were not slone nor would they be left alone or forgotten.

 I know the experience of long, dark winters, and as a child, longing to go visit someone. It was our way of getting away from our own concerns, too, and investing in the lives of others who may need us.

 We never tried to be imposing and we always were alert to the fact that the people we visited may have other plans, may already have visitors, were unable to see us, or were busy with something that needed attention.  Also, watching our parents interact in conversation help us figure out how to visit.

I was just thrilled the other day when someone phoned and asked if she could come and visit! But it began the day I sent her a note that said, "Please feel free to come visit any time."  In those days long ago, our parents could not give anyone a warning they would be visiting, but it did not matter because having people drop in was expected; it was part of life. 

 These days, you have to phone before a visit, because people are on the go all the time and you might not find them home if you make a cold call. Instead of letting people suffer by waiting for an invitation, I say, "Come by any time."  After that, it is their turn, and their decision. Now they can make the choice of a time to take me up on the offer. That way, in a sense, the Lord decides for me when to show hospitality.  I have not had much success with making invitations for a certain date, to have visitors. 

How does visiting differ from other forms of contact? Well I think if you would study all the things that go on during a visit, you will find that your eyesight, your mind, your hearing, and your feelings have an entirely different response. The day does not seem so overcast. You bring sunshine into someones life and gather all types of information from each other.

Jane Austen, whom so many ladies love to read, formed her novels by listening to conversations of visitors.  It is said she did not like to leave her home, but that she received visits and kept note of the words that were spoken, as well as the countenance of the visitors. There is so much more going on in visits that it is hard to analyze it all. A child sitting in the living room listening to the adults picks up on the "feeling" of the whole thing.

Of course I expect ladies will make visits worthwhile, discussing things that are good, pure, lovely, inspiring, sympathetic and encouraging.  They will hopefully refrain from criticism or vulgar talk, envy and other unpleasant things. The purpose of visiting is to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and avoid making it an unpleasant experience for others.  In the old days you would not be welcomed if you had been impolite or made anyone uneasy. Politics, religion and matters of the heart can be discussed if the people you are visiting are like-minded and if it does not frighten little children.

I do not know if anyone here is familiar with The English Home magazine. Although I do not have a subscription to it, I sometimes linger at the magazine section in a bookstore just to check out the back page where a Mrs. Minerva has a column on polite behavior.  This month she wrote about the art of choosing fabric. She mentioned how her husband disliked the task so much that she found it difficult to concentrate on choosing the fabric, so she allowed Mr. M.  to not accompany her inside  the fabric store again.  I think she may have simply left him home to do something he was more interested in. 

Since I mentioned on the video that a visitor came yesterday, I cannot resist telling you how that turned out. 

 My husband came in to see a table set for two, for tea, with gleaming tea pots, real china cups and little gold teaspoons surrounding a pile of delicate sandwiches, some salads and all kinds of fruit delicacies. The tea was steaming out of the spout and I was eager to pour the first fragrant cup!  As we sipped we would be enjoying some very good comversation about everything in the world.

 Mr. S. greeted my friend and lingered awhile as he asked about her husband and how everyone was doing in her neck-of-the-woods.  He was especially concerned about Mrs. W.'s spiritual growth and they discussed things like worship and Christian values. 

At length, I decided to serve the tea before it lost any degree of heat. As I poured, he and my visitor began talking about the Sasquatch.  I am not going to explain what that is. You can look it up on the web. 

 They talked and talked about the things each of them had heard, and what friends of theirs had seen, and so forth.  I am not exaggerating when I say the more they drank tea, the more they kept up a lively conversation about the Sasquatch and the myth surrounding it. 

I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive about the time. Would I be able to talk about fabric with my friend? Would there be time for her to show me her patterns she brought along, or talk about her family? Well, as it turned out, after the tea and sandwiches were good and gone, Mr. S. excused himself and went to his office. We did have a little time to ourselves, but we would have had a lot more fabric-talk time if the major part of her visit had not been used up on Sasquatch, whoever he or she is. 

 So, like Mrs. Minerva, I invited Mr. S. to make an appearance each time someone comes to tea, give the normal greetings and find out how their husbands are doing,  but then excuse himself to go back into his office and write a good sermon!  

 Of course ladies, please note I have said all this because it was so amusing, and this is tongue-in-cheek. I do not want to read all over the web that Mrs. Sherman was upset and kicked Mr. S. out of the tea party! You know how those false reporters are, and what a spin they put on everything.

  My family saw such humor in it all they suggested I buy the pastry called "bears claws" and invite people for a special Sasquatch Tea. I was telling a friend a church about this delightful visit but of course had to interject the Sasquatch conversation, and she said the same thing: at the next tea, serve cake with paw prints or tracks on it. 

find the recipe for bears claws

Mrs. W. I enjoyed your visit immensely, and this post was all in good fun! You can actually talk about anything you want, just so long as you sip tea with me again!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Art Posters That Should Be in the Stores I

Blowing Bubbles by Elizabeth Bouguereau

Hello Ladies,

A few years ago I wrote about the poster rack in department stores everywhere.  The posters are so popular with young girls who admire the young female pop stars.  It would be just as easy for these stores to sell posters like these, depicting young mothers interacting with their children.  These prints are available. I think the effect on young girls would be phenomenal. The themes, the historical sttings, the clothing and the parent-child activity has an impact on the heart. I can just imagine them turning the pages of the poster rack and admiring the babies, the clothes, the themes of these paintings. Like speech, art has a huge influence. 

The painting shows a very contented woman enjoying children while they all blow bubbles.

I wonder how Elizabeth Bouguereau painted the bubbles? 

This one is called Blowing Bubbles, painted by the husband and teacher of Elizabeth Gardiner Bouguereau. They both painted in almost identical ways. 

As you know, I am always interested in how these 19th century artists painted the way fabric looked. How did Bougeureau paint the t-shirt showing through the thin fabric? 

Do you not think this would be better for a young girl to have in her room than a poster of a current female pop singer? Posters like this can be ordered from Allposter and other places online, but it wpuld be a good thing and a good influence if shoppers could view them up close in stores, because it would touch the heart with a longing for the goid ways.
Admiration by William Adolphe Bouguereau.

Edmund Blair Leighton's model was his own wife, who also helped him with his props and sewed costumes.
On the Terrace by Edmund Blair Leighton

A Quiet Moment by Edmund Blair Leighton

Signing the register by Edmund B. Leighton

The Shell by Elizaberh Bougeureau.
I would like to find a pattern for that blue dress. 

Below: painting by Cecrope Barilli  . I have not found the name of it.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Registered Users

Lady in Yellow by Charles Courtney Curran, 1893

An announcement:  I do not know how commentors on this blog are registered, but I have had the anonymous feature in place for those of you who had diffuculty posting.  It has brought a lot of advertizing spam to my inbox, and I also have to manually reject it as a comment, which takes a lot of time. Therefore I have changed the settings to "registered users."  There was a choice between registered users and Google users, but not both.  Please let me know if you are not able to comment.

I am hoping my next sewing project will be in yellow. My kitchen and several other rooms really went into disarray while I was sewing, so during my crises cleanup today my mind will be full of fabric and designs and ideas for the next sewing session.  

Your comments keep me interested in subject matter for this blog.

Please say hello in the comments to test if you can still post here.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Blue Dress

Painting: Mother Reading by Lee Lufkin Kaula 1865-1957

Hello Dear Ladies,

While I was looking at paintings of ladies in light blue dresses, I thought how challenging it would be to try and sew some of the dresses, like the one in the above 19th century painting, and the one in "The Shell" by Bouguereau, seen on the left side of this blog. Both garments consist of a blue dress worn over a white blouse or dress. 

I finished the China Blue dress and jacket but the photos of me, wearing it, were very blurry, so after I have checked the settings and dressed up again in the blue outfit, I will add better photos to this post.

To describe this fabric would do it an injustice. It is cotton by Waverly, silky yet linen-like, as you can see the grains, and a dream to sew.  It comes in all colors, so just in case there is a shortage, I think I should get some more!

Here Is the dress without the jacket. It is composed of pieces from several old patterns, so I cannot show you the pattern. I plan to get more of this fabric and make another style, or two piece outfit from one pattern.  On the dress-form the skirt area looks slender but it is quite a full skirt. I was not able to drape it to show how big the skirt really is, but it is quite a swirly, twirly skirt.

Below is the pattern envelope of the jacket, printed in 2011. I have saved this pattern several years and finally got around to sewing it. It is not available in the stores anymore but you might find it online. 

The jacket is made of fleece, a synthetic, but I successfully sewed it with a machine needle for woven fabrics. In fact, it worked  better than a ball-point needle designed for knits.

You can see what I mean about the photos. I went to a lot of trouble to get dressed up for a photo shoot, and something was not quite right on my camera. All the pictures looked like this: 

Here are the hat ingredients.  I still have the purse cut out and a fascinator hat in the works and maybe a pair of fabric-covered shoes. If I finish them I will add pictures  to this post. 

This is not the clear, cornflower blue, but has a bit of aqua in it and is more a muted shate-- more dull than a previous light blue I have sewn. It hearkens to a color worn in the 1940's that I have seen. However I like it quite well.

Supplies and Costs: (From Walmart unless indicated otherwise)

Fabric - Waverly cotton, "China blue" 4 yards.  $3.00 per yard,  total $12.00
Thread - $3.00
Zipper - $3.00
Fleece - 2 yards for jacket and accessories - purse, hat, hair accessories, total $6.00
Ribbon - $1.00
Gloves - $7.00 from an antique shop
Fabric dye from Walmart -$1.50 per packet (see details below)
Shoes - $5.00 (I plan to cover in matching fabric)
Purse - left over fabric (to be shown later)
Time - I bought the ingredients before January 20 but have worked on it a few hours at a time since then. About 18 hours total. I see why stitchers charge such high prices, as it is time consuming and a lot of work.  One thing that will help, is choosing a very easy pattern with no zipper or buttons and very few or no tucks and darts.  I will sketch a pattern I once had, with no set- in sleeves and was very easy to make in all prints and colors.  It is not so much the pattern, but the fabric which makes the dress interesting.
Patterns: previously used.

I will try to include a water color sketch of the idea I had for this ensemble.

The photos were disappointing, but this one was redeemable enough to use. It does not really show all the aspects of the dress and accessories, for example, the sweeping circular fullness I added into the skirt area.  It is hard to catch a photographer when I need one, and it seems more difficult to get anyone to take a picture when we are away from home, even when we are all together, so even blurred photos are okay.  

The main point here is the color and the design. As you grow older, too many horizontal lines and changes in color and prints on the same garment, or extra trims, seem too fussy.  That is one reason I make dresses rather than separates. Separates, unless they match color and texture of fabric perfectly,  visually cut the figure in half, thicken the waist (with all those layers meeting at the middle), sometimes make the closet more complicated, and make it hard to decide what to wear with what.  A dress is a complete garment and can stand on its own.

I mentioned growing older, but I think you can still dress youthfully and wear things the younger ladies would also enjoy wearing.  I think we have to present ourselves in a good way to the young if we are to ever teach them about good principles of design, art and the dynamics of clothing in life.

What I am doing here is trying to keep a feminine look without cluttering the dress. I will wear this in church, sometimes even shopping, and at home with an apron.  I hope to make an apron to go-with and show how to match up the color with a print.  

I Will try to get the painting posted here later.

Did you notice the old gloves?

A whole roll of ribbon was looped back and forth, with the ends used to secure it in the middle. Then it was hot-glued to a metal clip. You have heard of "messy up-do's" and this is my new invention: a messy down-do!
Those of you who want to see recent posts and cannot see any updates on videos, please be sure to put your email in the subscribe section on the list to the left of this post. It is beneath the George Clausen  painting of the girls arranging roses, and says "Receive Home Living in your inbox."

The gloves were from a collection of gloves I have from Stan's Mum and antique stores. I bought this dye at Walmart craft and sewing section, and sprinkled a little of each color in a small bowl of hot water from the kettle. Then I dipped pieces of cheap white muslin in it until the color seemed to match the fabric of the dress.  Since I tore off the top of the pale green dye packet on the left, the title of the color is gone, so I can't tell you the color. 

In a future post I will demonstrate how to find the straight grain in fabric and determine the different qualities by pulling out a thread and seeing how long it is. This should never be done in a fabric shop, but at home with your own fabric. 

Sewing area: the headbands are for making fascinator hats, and I take ideas out of catalogs in the mail
You probably wonder how I can work in this mess. I organize it each time I get ready to sew. Those two pictures of pink dresses are from The Paragon catalogue you can get free in the mail. They are made with velvet and silk; fabrics I do not sew because of the extra time it takes. Cotton is more stable and the machine sews them with ease. I like the color and style of those dresses and will adapt them to sewing with cotton fabric.  You have to read carefully on the pattern envelope about the recommended type of fabric for a pattern because some fabrics are woven more loosely or firmly and the dress can end up not fitting well.
I found this McCalls pattern at the Walmart sewing area after I had already sewn the dress. It has the high neckline I was looking for. I will try it on the next dress. I think $5.00 is too much to pay for a pattern, but I keep missed ng the 99 cent sales at fabric stores.  

As for a recommended sewing machine: you just need a new one every so often, but not an expensive one with all the bells and whistles and fancy stitches. However if I ever got the opportunuty I would get a Jenome, which I think is made in Georgia or Alabama. I used one in someone's home and she said they do not break down or wear out.  However I suppose that depends upon the workout the stitcher is giving it. People say having a cat for a pet helps you feel calm, but I do not sit stiil very much and that would make a cat nervous. 

People say a certain sewing machine is best, but my use of it would not be average use and it would break down earlier.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Pretty, Modest Maternity Dress

In this post are pictures of maternity sewing patterns from the 1980's.

There was a time when maternity clothes were very pretty and feminine. Fabric from the blouses and dresses draped gracefully and did not reveal every detail of the "baby bump."  Pregnant ladies would have been embarrassed to be seen in clinging tee shirts that showed the outline of their growing tummies!  Maternity clothing is so different now, I think some women have just given up and are wearing the jeans and tee shirts, because they cannot find anything else.

Here are some of the patterns I used for maternity clothes.  The matching trousers had a stretch panel, but that part was always concealed by the blouse. These clothes were designed with the idea of making expectant ladies comfortable, graceful and feminine.  There was an elegance to them.
The maternity clothes represented a very special nine months of your life, and ladies were encouraged to pay attention to their clothing, by having something new, clean, fresh and pretty.  
Because some of us were not always feeling completely well, having nice clothes was a great thing.
Husbands would be inspired to compliment their wives and say they looked beautiful during the waiting period.

It was always recommended that clothing be of natural fibres and the garments not too tight, but today the pregnant ladies look a little uncomfortable in the clothing they have to wear.

Ladies did not cup their hands under their bellies to emphasize their size, which  has been a trend in commercial photos recently.  It is not that women were ashamed of their pregnancies, but that it was something private enough to cover in a way to be less obvious. With these kind of clothes, there was not the tendency for people to pat your stomach! I would say it is unlikely any woman would try to show extra weight around her middle by outlining it with tight clothing or her hands, even when not pregnant.  However these days, no one seems to want to hide their bellies, pregnant or not.  It should be a matter of modesty and not wanting some parts of your body to be unnecessarily noticeable.

In the commercialization of everything, no part of the body seems to be sacred enough to cover loosely.  I liked these maternity patterns because they didn't bring too much focus on certain areas of the body.

On the subject of fabrics, I remember the cottons used to be substantially thicker and sturdy,  Because of this, ladies clothing in general, not just maternity, created the appearance of slenderness. Stretch knits just are not very flattering and do not create a visual slenderness, nor give a feeling of dignity.  

One thing that might help, is to remember that your children will see pictures of you when you were pregnant with them. Let them have some pictures of you wearing pretty maternity clothing.

Pretty maternity clothes makes you enjoy life during the pregnancy.

Below, from Jane,LLC are hospital gowns, but the design would be good maternity wear because it is pretty, fresh looking colors and fabrics, and modest. I recognize the Waverly fabrics and have made dresses from some of it. I would not put the ribbon around the top of the stomach. While the models present a pleasant look for pregnant women, no one would have cupped their hands around their belly like that or shown their body profile exactly.

You might go see what Princess Diana wore during her pregnancy. She often bought clothes from Welsh designer Laura Ashley:

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Midweek Blooms

Did you ever think to yourself how depressing was the poem about the days of the week in which a person was born? Wednesday's child was supposed to be full of woe! What a stigma to walk around with all your life.

 It being Wednesday and such a dark, cold winter, It seemed prudent to splurge on fresh flowers at the grocery store. The prices were very high--$30 dollars for a blooming lily plant or a bouquet-- that will soon die and be thrown out--and outside was parked a cart load of Primroses for 99 cents each.
Above: An old lunch box used as a plant containter.

Being the fanatic, prudent penny-pincher, I counted the blossoms on a primrose plant and found 15 bright flowers on many of the pots.  And, being a typical American, why stop at one? If one is good, why not get 10? Over a dozen roses on each plant for 99 cents and they will not have to be thrown out, nor the vase have to be washed. I feel so luxuriated and pampered . My husband always jokes: "When did I bring those flowers home to you?" because he is fond of sending me out to get my own gifts from him!  (Part of our special humor, ladies!)
With a little web research I found these can grow quite well in the house with special care, so the potted plants are in dishes and containers all over the house today looking sunny and bright. They came in purple, yellow, red, light pink and blue.  I chose the brightest color that would perk up a foggy-looking house.  

To put potted plants in your boxes or other containers without ruining them, line the inside of the box or basket with plastic bags from the grocery store.
There is a pink color and a purple color  everyone is saying belongs to a certain political movement, but I use whatever I like. As soon as we like yellow or blue, some wacky group will claim it their own color and soon we will have nothing, so I just ignore it. If we are always concerned about such things we will just be adding more stress to our lives.  

This one is in an old metal treasure box.

There are four of them in this replica of a wash pan:

one in a basket looks good on this small table:
 I will try to show an area view later when I get things in order around here. 

Some of you may remember the Betty Crocker recipe card file. In the 1980's they sent free samples of these cards and a free box, to get you interested in subscribing to a monthly mail delivery of a packet of cards to complete the set. I ordered a few packets, but, realizing it would have cost way over $100 to complete the set, I cancelled, and never saw them again. I did use the few recipes I got  and liked them a lot.

Now they are surfacing on ebay and etsy at more reasonable prices -- some only $12.00, and many are in unused condition.  It will be interesting to look through these and to pass them on to my children as part of their childhood food experience. I may order a few more so they can each have a set. The cards are glossy and wipeable so they do not get damaged by food or water, and that is what I liked about them. There are several things I wore out or lost in the past that are becoming available, some new, on the web, and it is nice to replace them.

People talking to me on the phone say they hear the awful racket of the storms and wind around here. 

Just pretend you are having tea in a very expensive winter resort:

From Pinterest

I wanted to share this with you before it is delivered to someone who has been sick all week: A Get-Well basket. 

 It is a Dollar Tree tote, candle and soap, plus a red primrose plant from the grocery store, hand made card, a Pink Lady apple.

I have a grand child that quickly writes a Get-Well note when anyone is sick in bed. She believes it is like a vitamin and that it helps them get well.  The card below is a dimensional sticker placed on a circular punched paper and then put on red cardstock.

The Pink Lady apples originated in  the state of Victoria, Australia and there has been a new shipment of them at our local Safeway:
I always admire the color and the name. The skin is shiny and thick. Some of the apples these days are given names just like roses!
The latest totes at Dollar Tree are much more flexible and soft, like the expensive jelly bags at high-end stores. This one is a lot nicer than the hard plastic of the ones I got last year to go with my sewing projects.