Monday, February 26, 2018


Today I am showing Catherine Klein  postcard art from Pinterest.

Greeting, Ladies,

There is always the big plan around here to rearrange things and get the house where we can function in it a lot more smoothly, which always becomes more complicated, and takes longer that planned, as well you know!

I am stopping for a cup of fragrant passionfruit tea.  I remember as teenagers in Tasmania how we ate this sour fruit right of its bush, and people made delicious desserts with it.  

It makes a pretty tea, the color of strawberry tea and it looks lovely in this cup.
I found a new tea pot, amd I mean new, at the Goodwill, where using a 20% donation coupon, I was able to buy it for about $4.00. This one has no tea stains in it and I'm thinking of keeping it that way.

There is a tea room in the city in a mall that is operated by retiree gentlemen who had a marvelous idea. Due to restaurant restrictions, teaware has to be washed in the dishwashers, and teapots don't do well with that method. These men came upon a solution: fill the pots with hot water, hot enough to make tea, and put a variety of those elegant Tea Forte teabags on the table.

I'm thinking of doing this with my new teapot. Cleaning the spouts is a rather intricate operation.

One of my ladies that comes on Thursday says she will miss the hot tea made in the short my porcelain teapot, so I will continue that custom as well. 

There is a list of blog post subjects in my notebook and after my house is back in order, I hope to post or do videos on these things. I will be thinking of them while I progress around here.

I have collect d things by the front door to take to the storage shed which, although is within eyesight of my home, is still a dreaded walk in the rain. The dining room is full of things that need to go to their proper name laces and the kitchen is already a day of work to finish. If I can also clean the refrigerator and go to the grocery store today, I will think I'm stil 20 years old!

Hopefully I will be back here soon with more important things to say.  Looking at the bird in the first painting, reminded me how their homes blow down and smash apart in the wind and they have to begin again to rebut ld it, but they chirp all that time! I can learn a lesson from that.

One thing I have read on your homemaking blogs that many of you like to when facing grueling cleanup jobs in the house, is play a favorite movie in the background or music or some other preferred the g, maybe a favorite reading of the Bible from an online source, etc. when we were children we used to sing to make the time pass more pleasantly.

So let me think...shall it be Wives and Daughters, North and South (BBC), or The Quiet Man?

See you soon! 

Someone sent me this, and it made me remember how we used to muster up strength , ambition, and determination. Confronted with an overwhelming problem, we may have cried for a few minit s but then we got busy and tackled the thing and did it.

That reminds me I ought to post some more Edgar A. Guest poems.  I am thinking of making a special post to men to share how they can encourage their wives.

As in every duty or endeavor that seems insurmountable, drawing on the strength of these words will give clarity and purpose and motivation:

Heb 4:16  Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

New Video:Making Your House a Pleasant Place

Hello Ladies,

Today I am talking about the idea of making the house a pleasant place where you can be happy and content. In this video I suggest tackling one small thing a day, such as one shelf, one drawer, one box of papers, or one section of your sewing room. That way, you can go on as normal with daily things, such as meal prep, grocery shopping, laundry, and other duties, and not tear up the whole place at once (smile).

Although not spoken specifically in this video, it kind of goes without saying that every effort to improve must be prefaced with prayer, prayer, prayer! Also, if your plans are bigger than your abilities, you may have to be content with slower progress, but it is so important to remember that in everything you do, to glorify God and to keep a song in your heart. If you try to do it completely on your own steam, you may find yourself sinking in the overwhelming job ahead!

Having a friend or a mother or grandmother, etc. is such a wonderful help, because you can call each other up and schedule things like this:

"Mom, I'm trying to do the following things today. Can I call you when I finish (the bathroom, the kitchen) and can you check back with  me and ask me if I have got dressed and fixed my hair?" It helps to have someone to check with you and ask what your progress is, or if you have someone you can sent pictures to.  Not everyone needs to work like that, but some of us who are more people-persons really need the human communication!

I have been looking for more paintings to use with this subject but finally settled on another cup of hot tea from Pinterest. Well, you really can't do better than that, can you?!

I also want to share with you about the cosmetics and skin care products I used for this video. They are some products I have been trying out lately. (picture of these products to be included soon!)

From the kitchen!

Face cream: coconut oil with and "copaiba" essential oil
Face powder: cornstarch mixed with carob powder (cocoa powder will work well too)
Cheeks: cornstarch mixed with beet powder
Lips: coconut oil with beet powder
Eyebrows: cocoa powder,

Eyes: White cornstarch, tapioca powder mixed with cinnamon.

Other ingredients: arrowroot powder, rice flour, coconut flour 

For hair, I am using a temporary rinse with aloe, Vitamin C, coconut oil, walnut oil. (I will have to get back to you on the name of it, as it is a brand product. )

Tooth paste: (will compose the list of ingredients shortly)

Blouse: White Stag brand from Walmart, all cotton and soooo comfortable.  $3.00
Beads: these are on a stretch chord and this necklace is hand made.

I was testing these cosmetics to see if they would stay put all day and if they seemed a little grainy or faded throughout the day. Not only did they last all day and into the evening but I didn't get that oily t-zone feeling, no skin breakouts, no itching, no watery or stinging eyes.

It seemed there was  a wonderful scent blowing about when I went outside. "My," I mused, "The air smells of cinnamon," but it was only the powders I was using. All day I felt like I was in a room with chocolate lattes, as some of the powders smelled a lot like that!

Of course I can't say these are a miracle of any kind, since these cosmetics did not remove any wrinkles or firm my double chin, haha.

Thank you so much for your visits and your wonderful comments.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Dozen Real Roses That Last

Lately I have been focusing on flowers as an inexpensive bright spot for the home, because they are easily obtainable.

 In the last post I featured the humble PRIMROSE which is now displayed in colorful rows outside the grocery stores and Walmarts.  

The highest price was $1.38 per pot, at Walmart and the lowest was 4/$5.00 (about $1.10 ) at BiMart, but have a look around your area and you will see that even up to $2.00 to $3.00 each, it is a very economical plant and you can group them together in a basket for a fuller look:
This plastic container is $1.00 from Dollar Tree and holds 3 primrose pots. The baskets come in a variety of colors, and I have my eye on a purple one to fill with purple pansies. I have this lovely filigree cut-out style basket on a table in my front window and it looks great from outside.

If you already have a container at home, your cost will be minimal. 

There are usually about 12 blossoms on a plant, and some of them have rose-like petals. They can be kept indoors and then added to the flower beds outside and they reappear year after year unless the gophers get them.

 I use them when I need a bouquet for each table, and have bought them each month for the church dinner tables when we have our potlucks. Each month after the meal, we ask people to take one home, and they are happy to do so. 

I mentioned last time we talked, about the metallic floral ribbon and the pots for the Dollar Tree, as you see, above. In the last post,  I used the yellow metallic ribbon with hot glue, and the yellow primroses. Today I am using the pink metallic florist ribbon, above.  I used hot glue but tacky (a thick, sticky white liquid craft glue works as well.

You can also go through your scrapbook and card-making supplies for those little jeweled stickers.

Those of you with true florist tendencies could add some pretty florist picks amd butterflies, etc. to make the bouquet fuller and fill the empty spots.

You have probably seen the lovely bouquets or bridal bouquets with stems wrapped in silk or other material at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. On sale you can sometimes get them for $4.00 each, but if you are trying to keep the costs down, use an old silk floral stem you might already have.

This stem has six roses on it, and I'm going to wrap it with wired ribbon or wired burlap, also from Dollar Tree.  Since it only takes a small amount, the added cost is minimal, or, you could use a strip of cloth or some lace from your sewing scraps. Look in your gift-wrap supply and find tissue paper and ribbon. This kind of bouquet looks gorgeous in tissue gift wrap or colored cellophane gift wrap.

I got the rose bunch from the Dollar Tree, so my "tussle-mussie " hand-held bouquet with the small amount of wired ribbon was about $1.10.

Bend the wired stem upward ,
...and beginning at the top, wrap the stem in the ribbon, firmly wrapping the ends where they won't be seen.

This looks good on the old worn wood shelf:
You can also slip in a few sprigs of artificial baby's breath, allysum, or hydrangea:

There comes a point where you have to decide if, due to time and additional dollars spent, you would be just better off to buy the prepared bouquet (if you need it), but here is a way to do it at home if you need a quick bright spot somewhere.

That brings me to a memory: In the late 1950's and early 1960's there were flower sellers who sold cloth flowers made from felt, bits of silk and velvet, going from home to home. It was just at the end of an era, and then we saw them no more. 

Mr. S. came through the house a moment ago to see what I was doing, and remarked how romantic the flowers were. He was preparing a lesson on marriage. He said, "I'm going to remind the men to be romantic and hold hands with their wives, even as they grow older, and be an example to the younger men. Particularly in my case, we need to hold hands when we are out walking in Walmart, so I won't fall down."

Note the hair style of the 1800's painting at the top of this post. It is so nice to see this is one of the current styles, and I have no idea how people figured out the technique, since so many hairstyles were just handed from person to person and never sketched out or written down. 

Moderns do a pretty good job of reviving these feminine hair styles, and have elaborated on them beautifully , as you see on Pinterest and on the Royal ladies. I myself have never managed it but it is delightful to see hair returning to real hair "dressing" instead of chemical sculpting!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Fresh Flowers For Your Home

I have been told many times how important fresh flowers are in the home, and what a lift it gives the occupants, particularly the homemaker who may spend a lot of time in the house, cleaning, organizing, beautifying, etc., and that the best tea rooms and hotels have fresh flowers. Why only recently we saw fresh flowers on the tables of a local diner, which is anything but elegant service, but yes, what a wonderful luxury it is, and how it eases the emotions.

The question I have always had, is how can you afford the cut flowers, even at the grocery store, when even five dollars is needed to complete your meal supplies or other needful things?  Admittedly the carnations are your best choice for economy and longevity indoors, and I do prefer to do that. 

But what if you had very little money to spare and you need some bouquets throughout the house and do not want to mess with throwing them out later?

Consider the potted primroses displayed outside the shops right now. They can be nurtured indoors for quite awhile and then added to the garden.  They do not die, and it isn't necessary to throw them out and clean a vase afterward.

This variety, above, has layered petals like fancy roses, and there are a dozen blossoms on it, meaning I have a dozen roses for my table.  These are a very economical cost, as I will list at the end of this post

I have inserted this pink one inside a container I bought for $1.00.  The primrose cost $1.10 from one of our stores. We have BiMart and Safeway here locally, as well as Walmart which is in the city.

This one is inserted in a Dollar Tree container, which comes on a package of three, around which I hot-glued a band of florist ribbon, also from Dollar Tree. You can even get your hot glue gun and glue sticks there. If you wonder about the quality, well, I have had my hot glue gun over 10 years.

Each month I try to put something seasonal on the dining tables and mantels, side tables, and Primrose is now my choice. There are sites you can research about taking care of primroses indoors.
The metalic florist ribbon comes on a roll of 9 feet, for a dollar at Dollar Tree.

The total cost when broken down to one plant and container is:

Plants: 4 for $5.00---  $1.22 each. They allow you to buy one, and charge only the single price of $1.22.
Containers: 3 for $1.00--- 33 cents each.
Florist decorative ribbon: 9 feet (3 yards) $1.00 ---6 inches  for about 5 cents or less per pot.

Total for supplies: 

Note: the supplies will not be wasted, as you can use them again.

Total for one bouquet: about $1.66.  

This can be less cost of you already have a container, or place the plant in a little bowl to prevent water leaking, and cover the whole thing in pretty wrapping paper or metallic paper or cloth, or use a pot you already own.  The same with the ribbon, which you might have in your sewing stash.

Total for supplies (note that you can't buy only one container if they are sold taped together at 3/$1.00 so you will have extra supplies. This works well if you are distributing the plants around the house or using them as hostess gifts.

Also, check out the florist section at Dollar Tree. Those glittery and sheer ribbons come in array of colors, as well as the plastic containers.  

Total for one display: about $1.60
That is very good, for a bouquet of 12 fresh flowers ypu will not be throwing away.

You can also gather several pots of these primroses and put them in a larger colorful container all together, which I might do.

With a cost like this, you don't have to deny yourself and your family fresh flowers at home.

A primrose is never wasted because it can be added to the flower beds and often survives the dormant stage in winter and reappears in spring, so you never lose money on cut flowers if you buy this humble primrose. While the grocery store cut flowers are very inexpensive, they are costly if you need the money for other things, and the price of the primrose means everyone can have this luxury in the home.

So today my home has become a fine hotel and guest house, wih flowers in every room.

Someone indictated they were interested in my home made dyed cotton muslin ball fringe curtains so I have added a few pictures here.

Below is one of the accessory pieces I made with the same fabric for the mantel.

...and here is the panel on the front door,

A matching table cover, below.

Putting one pot on top of another empty glass or container gives the plant height for this long vase. The flowers appear to be long-stemmed. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Delight of Hospitality

(Painting by a Canadian artist)

Today I am sharing a Tea fellowship because it is our Thursday Ladies Class. I am being the household Maid and trying to be efficient in getting everything ready.

I was sorely tempted to go miles away to Hobby Lobby and get some table things I have had my eye on, but the time and distance would have taken away from my preparations, so I am using things I have had for a couple of decades. I get tired of them,  but you won't, since you do not see them as often.

As usual I wanted to go out and get fancy napkins but as time was pressing, decided to get out an old ink pad and  stamp some every day napkins:

There are only four people coming today.

The name of the dinnerware is Apple Blossom by Acropal, similar in quality to Corelle.

The apple blossom teacup found in Goodwill years ago fits in quite well.

It is still dark and dreary around these parts so candles are lit.  I don't think anyone pays attention to the candles in daylight rule anymore. We just love the elegance of it all. Maybe that rule came about a century ago to prevent using up the candles, when they were an important light source on the evenings.  Today, women really like them to be lit during teatime.  My candles are  led-lights called Luminesse. There is another brand of those at Hobby Lobby but I can't recall the name.  They have a flickering flame, battery operated.

This is the tea table I keep in the front room by the window, 

and here is a display in the dining room.  I found The tea set in Goodwill, and it's dated 1992.

Mr. S. sent me to the grocery store to get us a plant or some flowers yesterday, but when I got there, the floral department was swarming with men, young, old, blue collar, white collar, and inbetween. It was too crowded to find even a slim space in which to shop, so I left to do my other errands at the post office, dollar store, the garden center. 

When I returned to the floral department at the grocery store, there was a bigger crowd of men, so I thought I would go look at the greeting cards of the season, but I couldn't get there, either. There was a row of men carefully reading the verses inside the cards, trying to pick out just the right one.  

Back to the floral department, and I decided the seed shelf was more accessible so I bought some flower seeds.  By the way Dollar Tree sells seeds at five packets for a dollar. They are great for party favors and to include in gifts or cards.

Finally with my purchases I stood in a long line behind men carrying large bouquets.  I was behind a Brit, although I have no idea what in the world he was doing in this part of the world, and he was quite conversational with everyone around. He too had an impressive collection of bouquets in his arms, which he said were for his wife, mother in law and daughter. He said his daughter was only 12.  He was getting a lot of attention with his charming Masterpiece Theatre accent, which encouraged him to keep talking.

All the lines were long, and it was early in the afternoon, so I stayed behind the Brit. Since all the lines were long, I needed to stay in the one with interesting company, and Mr. Brit was very sociable. 

Mr. Brit was so chatty, he asked the cashier, an eager young man wearing a bow tie and suspenders, if he was taking his girl anywhere that evening. The young man said he was going to a few activities after work with someone he had known 3 years.

Mr. Brit said, "So when are you going to get down on one knee and ask the big question?"  Mr. cashier replied he was thinking about it. I would be too reticent to ask a personal question like that, although it didn't seem to embarrass Mr. Cashier,  and he happily volunteered more information about his girlfriend and the interests they both shared. 

I asked Mr. Cashier if he knew who that Brit was, but he shrugged and said he had never seen him before.

Because I didn't bring home a lily plant, (I didn't want to wait for the crowd to clear in the floral department) Mr. S. found a pot of something that was peeking through the soil, on his office window sill and said we could wait and see what that one produced. He was more amused by my grocery store observations. 

One thing for certain, in spite of all the conflict you read about between men and women, that country store was not full of men-going-their-own-way or men running from women. The impression was they were headed out of the store as fast as possible to deliver those flowers to some very cherished ladies, who might also be showing their flowers off on their social media, and telling what great husbands they have. Many of the men there at the floral department looked like very hard workers, wearing  their overalls and heavy working boots, and what a contrast it was to see them holding those bouquets and looking at the pretty pink and red cards.

Photos of men buying cards. This was sparse compared to what I encountered in our local store, but this is generally what it was like.