Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Doll Dress from a Child's Shirt

A pretty little girl's blouse, outgrown and with a stained cuff, became a short-sleeved dolly shirt-dress.
Vertical tucks in front and back brought it down to dolly size.
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Monday, March 28, 2011

In Miniature

I was gifted with these tooth-pick "colored pencils" by a budding young artist/inventor. They will actually draw, when wet.
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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tiny Stitches



I had an opportunity to look at a seasoned seamstress's work up close, and snapped a few pictures of the tiniest hem stitches that I have ever seen. They were almost invisible! Here are some close-ups:



This is what the back of the hem looks like. There are basting stitches here as well as the hem stitches. I hope to figure out how to do these tiny stitches so my hems can look this good!
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Friday, March 25, 2011

On Walks

The Elm Walk

The Elm Walk

Giclee Print
Addison, William...

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When the church-goers. came back and dinner was over, every one read, wrote letters home, said their Sunday lessons, or talked quietly to one another, sitting here and there about the house. At three o'clock the entire family turned out to walk, for all the active young bodies must have exercise; and in these walks the active young minds were taught to see and love the providence of God in the beautiful miracles which Nature . was working before their eyes. Mr. Bhaer always went with them, and in his simple, fatherly way, found for his flock "Sermons in stones, books in the running brooks, and good in every thing." -Little Men


Out for a Walk

Out for a Walk

Giclee Print
Allingham, Helen

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Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden

Giclee Print
Walbourn, Ernest

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"If the afternoon was fair, they took a long walk together over the bridges into the country, or about the city streets full of Sabbath quietude. Most people meeting them would have seen only an awkward young man, with a boy's face atop of his tall body, and a quietly dressed, fresh faced little woman hanging on his arm; but a few people, with eyes to read romances and pleasant histories everywhere, found something very attractive in this couple, and smiled as they passed, wondering if they were young lovers, or country cousins 'looking round!' " -An Old Fashioned Girl

Walk in the Park, Copenhagen

Walk in the Park, Copenhagen

Giclee Print
Henrichsen,...

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Garden Walk

Garden Walk

Art Print
Birmingham, David

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"... I do envy you your good spirits, Polly," said Fanny, as the merriment subsided. "I'm so tired of everybody and everything, it seems sometimes as if I should die of ennui. Don't you ever feel so?"
"Things worry me sometimes, but I just catch up a broom and sweep, or wash hard, or walk, or go at something with all my might, and I usually find that by the time I get through the worry is gone, or I've got courage enough to bear it without grumbling," answered Polly, cutting the brown loaf energetically.  -An Old Fashioned Girl



Yorkshire Dales Spring

Yorkshire Dales Spring

Photographic Print
Miller, Jody

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Walk by the River

Walk by the River

Giclee Print
Walbourn, Ernest

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Seaside Walk

Seaside Walk

Art Print
Oxley, Vail

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Walk on the Beach

Walk on the Beach

Art Print
Sorolla y...

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 "My dear Lizzy, where can you have been walking to ?'' was a question which Elizabeth received from Jane as soon as she entered the room, and from all the others when they sat down to table. She had only to say in reply, that they had wandered about, till she was beyond her own knowledge. She coloured as she spoke; but neither that, nor any thing else, awakened a suspicion of the truth.
The evening passed quietly, unmarked by any thing extraordinary. The acknowledged lovers talked and laughed, the unacknowledged were silent. Darcy was not of a disposition in which happiness overflows in mirth; and Elizabeth, agitated and confused, rather knew that she was happy, than felt herself to be so; for, besides the immediate embarrassment, there were other evils before her...

As soon as they entered, Bingley looked at her so expressively, and shook hands with such warmth, as left no doubt of his good information; and he soon afterwards said aloud, "Mr. Bennet, have you no more lanes hereabouts in which Lizzy may lose her way again to-day."
"I advise Mr. Darcy, and Lizzy, and Kitty," said Mrs. Bennet, "to walk to Oakham Mount this morning. It is a nice long walk, and Mr. Darcy has never seen the view."
"It may do very well for the others," replied Mr. Bingley; "but I am sure it will be too much for Kitty. Won't it, Kitty?"
Kitty owned that she had rather stay at home. Darcy professed a great curiosity to see the view from the Mount, and Elizabeth silently consented. As she went up stairs to get ready, Mrs. Bennet followed her, saying, "I am quite sorry, Lizzy, that you should be forced to have that disagreeable man all to yourself. But I hope you will not mind it: it is all for Jane's sake, you know; and there is no occasion for talking to him, except just now and then. So, do not put yourself to inconvenience."  -Pride and Prejudice

A Walk in the Park

A Walk in the Park

Giclee Print
Swagers, Franz

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Home Team

Home Team

Art Print
Elsley, Arthur...

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Lakeside Walk II

Lakeside Walk II

Art Print
Martin, Van

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"Miss Cornelia lived half way between the Glen and Four Winds Point, in a house whose original glaring green hue had mellowed down to an agreeable greenish gray. Marshall Elliott had planted trees about it and set out a rose garden an a spruce hedge. It was quite a different place from what it had been in years agone. The manse children and the Ingleside children liked to go there.  It was a beautiful walk down the old harbour road, and there  was always a well-filled cooky jar at the end." -Rainbow Valley

Late Summer Walk

Late Summer Walk

Stretched Canvas Print
Caballero,...

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Lighthouse Walk at Biarritz, c.1906

Lighthouse Walk at Biarritz, c.1906

Art Print
Sorolla y...

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"The whole country about them abounded in beautiful walks. The high downs which invited them from almost every window of the cottage to seek the exquisite enjoyment of air on their summits, were an happy alternative when the dirt of the valleys beneath shut up their superior beauties; and towards one of these hills did Marianne and Margaret one memorable morning direct their steps, attracted by the partial sunshine of a showery sky, and unable longer to bear the confinement which the settled rain of the two preceding days had occasioned. The weather was not tempting enough to draw the two others from their pencil and their book, in spite of Marianne's declaration that the day would be lastingly fair, and that every threatening cloud would be.drawn off from their hills; and the two girls set off together.
They gaily ascended the downs, rejoicing in their own penetration at every glimpse of blue sky; and when they caught in their faces the animating gales of an high south-westerly wind, they pitied the fears which had prevented their mother and Elinor from sharing such delightful sensations.
"Is there a felicity in the world," said Marianne, "superior to this?— Margaret, we will walk here at least two hours."
Margaret agreed, and they pursued their way against the wind, resisting it with laughing delight for about twenty minutes longer, when suddenly the clouds united over their heads, and and a driving rain set full in their face. Chagrined and surprised, they were obliged, though unwillingly, to turn back, for no shelter was nearer than their own house. One consolation however remained for them, to which the exigence of the moment gave more than usual propriety; it was that of running with all possible speed down the steep side of the hill which led immediately to their garden gate."  -Sense and Sensibility




A Beautiful Walk in the Fall

A Beautiful Walk in the Fall

Giclee Print
, Weber

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A Walk in the Woods

A Walk in the Woods

Art Print
Bansemer, Roger

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"Marcia had been used to take long walks at home, over the smooth crust of the snow, going to her beloved woods, where she delighted to wander among the bare and creaking trees; fancying them whispering sadly to one another of the summer that was gone and the leaves they had borne now dead. But it would be a dreadful thing in the aunts' opinion for a woman, and especially a young one, to take a long walk in the woods alone, in winter too, and with no object whatever in view but a walk! What a waste of time!" -Marcia Schuyler

Morning Walk

Morning Walk

Art Print
Trevillion,...

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words of warning- dress for walking
Kitty and Adolphus Attempt a Country Walk

Kitty and Adolphus Attempt a Country Walk

Giclee Print
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fascinating

Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick Tote Bags

You know you are disorganized when you think it is faster to make a travel bag, than to unload the ones you own of the various items you are storing in them.
A bag like this is quick to whip up. Make it as you would instinctively make a bag: a length of fabric folded, seams double-stitched and finished with zig-zag, and a hem on the top. For lack of good handle material, I sewed together 2 lengths of piping, flat part overlapping flat part, the piping on the edges, and sewed several times down the middle. I made 2 handles this way and securely stitched them on the hem line. On a recent trip, these totes proved to be strong and handy!
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Most Used and Most Informative and Always Fun to Look At Gifts

These two books rank high in the list of "best gifts of Christmas past," and "very useful gifts."

"Bread- the breads of the world and how to bake them at home" and "Field Guide to Produce."

The bread book on the left has been used for recipes a few times, but most of the time it is a wonderfully informative read on the different breads of the world.

The little book on the right has been used almost every week, even several times a week, for it answers all kinds of questions at the dinner table like "where did sweet potatoes come from originally?" and "is an avocado a fruit?"
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm Bored At Home


Edmund Blair Leighton - The Hostage


It always amazes me when I hear someone say they are bored at home. Why would someone say that, as if they were forcing themselves to sit in the house for hours (in a self-imposed imprisonment) with nothing to do?

It amazes me further when women with children say they are bored or unfulfilled or have nothing to do at home.

Of course, the answer to "I'm bored" in my home was an answer passed down through the generations (from mother to mother)-- "go find some work to do!" and  "If you can't find work to do, make some work for yourself!"*

I'm very good at making work for myself now! And if I can ever get all my unfinished work/projects done, there is always a list of "if I had more time" things to do.

If you happen to find yourself at home (and in today's fast-paced lifestyles, it is not easy to stay home very long) and bored, here are some ideas:

For young single women who are bored at home: you can always find something to do. Read the Bible through. Improve your house, improve your skills, improve your mind, clean the house for your mother, go find something you can do for someone else. Maybe lie down for a nap in the afternoons-- you could be confusing boredom for fatigue.

For young wives without children who feel bored at home: have a baby. Babies take up a lot of time, and the world needs more little babies born to mothers who have the time to care for them.

Happy dreams



Happy dreams

Gutmann, Bessie...

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In order to start a little person off right in the world, you have to
feed him,
diaper him (use cloth diapers if you are extra bored),
give him a bath every few diaper changes,
play with him,
talk to him,
read to him,
sing to him,
write letters for him (to Grandma),
do his laundry,
take him on a walk,
carry him around a show him things,
and if you have any time left to be bored, you will find plenty of neglected housework to do, besides thinking and  planning on how to make this child a productive member of society, and if you are still bored, there are times when you can actually bore (rock) yourself to sleep-- just make sure you co-ordinate that to the same time as the baby's nap.
(I once heard a mother say she was so bored at home, and she was in tears about it. She had toddlers and a new baby. Don't chuck the daily nap and quiet time! Sometimes fatigue can make you feel like you are going in circles. It is sometimes surprising how refreshing a little rest can be.)

In Slumberland



In Slumberland

Gutmann, Bessie...

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For mothers with school-age children: home-school them. By the time you finish researching all the things you can do with your children in home school, and all the different methods, your mind will be bursting with ideas, and you will find there is not enough time in the day to implement them all.

I do have questions in my mind when I hear someone who does all of the above, and claims they have a clean house to boot, and they are still bored and unfulfilled with their home life. The first question I have is, Where do you find the time to be bored? And the next questions are:
When was the last time you cleaned out the attic?
And the basement?
And the garage?
Are your windows washed every week?
Are your curtains washed?
Are your baseboards clean? Walls washed? Have you swept the cobwebs from the corners and ceilings?
Do you iron your sheets?
Do you iron your husband's shirts (even wrinkle-free shirts can get wrinkly)?
Have you moved the refrigerator/washer/dryer/freezer and mopped underneath them?
Have you cleaned out all of your heater vents?
Is your house dusted from floor to ceiling every day?
Are your bookshelves organized alphabetically, or by subject, with bookplates and home library cards in each one?
Same with DVDs and CDs?
Are all your family photos in albums?
Have you written out your family tree/history?
Do you write letters to all of your friends/family regularly?
Are your closets color co-ordinated and seasonally organized?
Is everything in your china hutched clean, put away nicely, and dusted regularly?
Do you still have a junk drawer in the kitchen?
Are all your hobby projects  (knitting, sewing, quilting, woodworking, painting, etc.) finished?
Is your oven clean and stove free of grease?
Have you planned out the month's menus, typed up major grocery lists, and stocked the pantry?
Is your car clean? Have you removed the seats and gotten all the loose change out of them?
Do you grow your own food and cook everything from scratch?
Do you go to the library regularly and have exhausted the selections there?

Because, if you have all this done and are still bored, I want to come over and take lessons so I can have some free time, too!

*Some examples of how to make work for yourself:
After the kitchen is all clean, decide that you need to make a batch of cookies. Before you know it, the kitchen will be all messed up again. Or, after the table is all cleared from dinner, get out all your sewing and/or card making supplies and set them on the cleared table (and all other free surfaces of the dining room) to do your projects, etc.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

At church, during the Lord's Supper, we often sing "When We Meet in Sweet Communion:"

"God so loved, what wondrous measure;
Loved, and gave the best of heav'n,
Bought us with that matchless treasure,
Yea, for us His life was giv'n."

I was thinking:
Jesus did a lot of good down here on earth while He was walking in Judea.
He healed the sick.
He cast out demons.
He could have stayed another 50 years and healed a lot of people.
But that good would have been temporary.
Instead He died for us at what we would call a "young" age;
died for the sins of all mankind,
so that everyone that has ever been on earth, or ever will be on earth, can have the hope of eternal life.


Carl Schweninger Muttergl├╝ck


And I was thinking:
As a mother, I have to sacrifice the temporary, even if it seems good, for the overall good of my children's lives, for their whole lives.
It may be tempting to undertake extra education, extra work in or out of the home, or even new hobbies or frequent social events. But these things need to be looked at very carefully-- many of them take huge chunks of time away from the home, and even work or school "from home" may mean major neglect of the children, husband and household.  Mothers need to be careful to discern between things that can be done now and things that should be done later in the future, for even teen-aged children need their mother.
So, it may be that there is a temporary good, perhaps more money or some other benefit, in neglecting the children to do other things, but I think that mothers can still reap benefits and rewards not only from these things but also from their children, if they will be discerning and wait. Stay with your children and you will not regret it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What To Do When the Lights Go Out

Three Little Kittens, 1883



Three Little Kittens, 1883
Clark, Joseph

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Here are some things to do when the power goes out. Our interns have discovered, during a recent outage, some things that can be done without electricity.

We Can:
Play the Piano (or other other non-electric instruments)

At the Piano



At the Piano
Jones, H.e.

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Sing

The Song Seller, 1903



The Song Seller, 1903
Gilbert, Victor...

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Hand-Sew (by window light)

Girl Sewing in an Interior



Girl Sewing in an Interior
Holsoe, Carl

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Clean House (using rain water to rinse dishes and stack them.) We can also sweep, dust, put away papers and books, organize drawers and shelves, and generally tidy while there is natural light. Clearing toys, etc. off of the floor is especially important, because the house will be very dark at night with no power for night lights, and no one wants to trip and fall in the dark!

Julie Harris Dusting Bookshelves in Her Apartment While Standing Barefoot on Chair


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Portrait of Fru Lisen Samson, Nee Hirsch, Arranging Flowers at a Window, 1881


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If there is enough light, there is reading, writing letters, and drawing by a window. You soon realize how precious that natural light is!

Reading the Letter


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When the outdoor light is gone, there is story-telling by candlelight.

Our little power outage was a drop in the bucket compared to what has happened in Japan. To donate and have the funds sent to a church there for aid, go here

Monday, March 7, 2011

Say It Isn't So!

By The Pleasant Times Etiquette Lady, Miss Rose

Sometimes people fall into the habit of inserting themselves into narrow slots, classifying themselves to others as ones who "never" or "can't stand" this or that, in order to make an impression, make conversation, or make excuses. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about:

Miss Doe might say, "Oh, I hate housekeeping. I would rather sew." Now, if Miss Doe would analyze her true feelings, she may discover that what she said about herself was not entirely true. It may be true that she'd rather sew than be bogged down in the kitchen washing dishes, but let me tell you the truth about Miss Doe: she likes to eat off of clean dishes. Furthermore, Miss Doe doesn't really like starting a project when the kitchen is a wreck, and knows her mind works better when the house is clean and neat around her. Miss Doe also gets into quite a rapid pace when she is housekeeping, and enjoys it more than she claims. Miss Doe may regret that she has not a lot of time to devote to sewing, but should she really tell people that she hates housekeeping? It gives a bad impression to her listeners about her (visions of a dirty house arise in their minds). Perhaps instead, she could say she loves to sew, and wishes she had more free time to do so.

Home Making (click to buy from Allposters)


Perhaps it is from the desire to appear humble, and not conceited, that people generalize in this way. While that desire seems admirable, it is also kind of sad that people are so quick to put themselves in a box. Sometimes these types of things can become a habit, a speak-before-you-think phrase said to quickly fill in a lull in conversation. But what happens to the girl, who says she "hates to cook" just to make conversation, but then starts to believe it of herself?

Young Mother Sews Up a Turkey





Children often use statements like this. "I'll never be able to..." "I can't do this or that..." "I hate doing such and such...."  Attitudes like these leave no room for "try, try again," leave no room for improvement, or the discovery that one can learn to enjoy the very thing they talked about negatively.  While we try to curb this attitude and speech in children, do we pay attention to what we adults say ourselves?

And while someone may say things like this, and be absolutely truthful, maybe they want to think twice before leaving others with unnecessarily negative impressions.
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