Friday, August 31, 2012

Laundry Thankfulness

Two Little Girls Help their Mother with the Laundry on Washday

Two Little Girls...

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I get fed up with some of the laundry. Maybe frugality can be carried too far. Or maybe being 'green' can be carried too far. Maybe it is because homeschoolers don't have to go buy "school clothes" every year at a set time. My grandparents went through the Great Depression-- I have inherited the "scotch thrift." Whatever reason, the clothing around my house stays around my house until it is completely worn out, and cannot be patched or revised or borne any further. 
I found myself today almost singing over a package of new socks, and they weren't even for me! The song went something like 
"Oh, I don't have to wash 
those old crummy socks 
any mo-re! 
I can put them 
in the gar-bage!"
That's right; I can now toss those socks that retained their "new" look for only  a few days before they became encrusted in dirt that never, ever let go!

But that is not to say I throw everything out when it is time to, oh no. I actually look at the fraying, beaded up knit shirt to see if there is something I can salvage from it. Most likely it will become a rag. Anything that cannot become a scrap, or a rag, can also be given to someplace that takes fabric for recycling. Still, I am sooo happy when I can finally say goodbye to something worn out, and replace it with something soft and new! Perhaps it sounds trivial, but since everyone on earth has to (or at least ought to!) wash clothing, is there anything wrong with finding something in it to sing about?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Teacup Thursday: Golden

Today for Teacup Thursday, I have to show you a very rich and elegant looking gold-encrusted tea cup and saucer.

A rose graces the inside of the cup, and underneath on the saucer as well. 

The marking gives no company name, just letters and numbers. I wonder where it came from, and if it could be part of a bigger set?
Joining Teacup Thursday
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Child's Church Bag

By our Sewing Room Editor, Miss Thread

Using some scraps of coordinating quilter's fabric, I made up a quick bag for a child to take to church. I enjoyed utilizing decorative stitches on the sewing machine when hemming and top stitching. 

It is just the right size to hold a notebook and a small Bible, and has a pocket that serendipitously turned out to be just the right size for a box of crayons. 

This is the back. The bag construction is loosely based on these wall pockets which I enjoy making (if you have a sewing notebook, print the tutorial out and put it in there!). I was going on the size of my scraps so mine is smaller, has no lining, and I added two handles. 
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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Shopping Observed

This may not be true for all, but it is for some I know!

Guys out shopping:
"May as well get what we need while we're here" 
They proceed to put it two or more of everything, 
so they won't have to come back in a long time
(they do that with groceries, too, on a bigger scale). 
Two big packs of socks, 
two shirts the same style, same color, 
two pants the same color, 
One trip to big store in town= maybe a couple gallons of gas.

Gals out shopping:
"Oh dear, I'd better not spend all that money;
 I should be frugal;
 I'll go home and think about it." 
They drive home,
think about whether they really need it or not, 
go back the next day to take another look. 
Can't make a decision.
Go home to think about it some more. 
Go back again and buy the item, 
but only one. 
Then after a week of wearing it or living with it, they say "I think I may get another..." 
Drive back to the store to see if there are any left.
Buy one in a different color. 
Four (or more) trips to big store in town= empty gas tank.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wreath of Roses

This teacup is a modern one. I believe it came from TJMaxx. It is not marked, is thick and heavy, and though it is fine for tea it is of course not quite the same as drinking out of real fine bone china! The pretty wreath of Victorian roses and gold rims make it a pretty addition to a collection. 

Interestingly, the same wreath of roses is used on this set of four bowls, which came from my grandmother. I am guessing these are from the 1940's. The raised beaded trim still has some gold color on it. 

On the back of the bowls, it is stamped:
Koenigszelt Silesia Germany
I learned a lot about this company here.

Joining Teacup Thursday

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teacup Thursday: Fair Winds Saucer

I have a new "orphan" saucer to share with you today. It caught my eye at the thrift shop. It isn't fine china, and I passed it up at first, but I circled back for another look.

On one side of the saucer is a picture of  tall ships in "New York Harbor 1830" 

And on the other, the eagle with "E Pluribus Unum." 

The back says "Fair Winds, Permanent Colors, made by Alfred Meaken, Staffordshire, England."

Here is a website with more Alfred Meaken china. After doing a little research, I realize that my "find" may not be an antique. It could even be from the 1970's, and since I'm from the 1970's too, I'm not even going to call it "vintage" until I find out more!

The saucer has been photographed on this lovely quilt made by Annabelle. The log cabin pattern done in cool blues and greens is perfect for the hot weather-- takes down the temperature a few degrees just looking at it! 
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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our Saturday

I thought our readers might like to have a glimpse into Saturday here at the Times offices.
Food Editor Bessie Baker Cook is being tempted by this cake on the Chocolate calendar. The calendar was a great addition to the kitchen, but it is hard to resist making the desserts featured! This one has 6 eggs in it, and eggs are protein, so that makes this good for you, right? Maybe for breakfast?

The cookbook on the left was given to our Food Editor by her grandmother.
She uses it all the time and won't give it up until she dies.
So she was quite happy to spy another copy of the book  at a lovely shop
(although the edition is a few years older, it is essentially the same book)
to save as a gift for her little apprentice.
Craft Editor Miss Paste is wondering what kind of card to do first
with her new Cuttlebug folder. 
The Editor is enjoying this  new book by the blogger at
Large Family Mothering. 
Our reporter was quite miffed to have had her name sold to a mailing list
that markets such low-down publications such as this. After all,
everyone knows that The Pleasant Times should be the 
publication for perusal at quiet moments
(and should be in every doctor's office in the country).
So she decided to go find a tract to put in the reply envelope. 
I know, that is not what it is intended for. She gets in these feisty moods sometimes.
She chose a couple of sermons to send off in the envelope Monday,
to surprise some lucky desk clerk. 

And our sewing editor, Miss Thread, has discovered that this method of getting old stains out really works! If only she had taken a "before" photograph of the hand knit wool sweater with 30 year old stains on it, that after two days of soaking came out clean! She has spent the afternoon putting stained dresses and clothing in to soak.

That's a glimpse into our busy Saturday. Hmm, I think it is time for tea and cake now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Aynsley Tea Cup

This elegantly shaped tea-cup with the sweet little rose blossoms was a recent thrift store find!

And better yet-- it was part of a tea trio.

And even better still-- there was a sugar/creamer set to go with it!
It is such a pleasant addition to the china hutch-- so lovely to look at!-- and of course it will be a welcome addition to tea parties. 

All "Aynsley Fine Bone China, England."

 Speaking of tea parties, here is a recent tea picnic on the lawn, under the pleasant dappled shade of a tree.

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Linking to Teacup Thursday

Friday, August 3, 2012


I always think the back-to-school sales come way too early, ruining everyone's summer! I say that as a homeschooler, too. I do apologize for this long post, and hope I do not try  my readers' patience by "thinking out loud" on this subject.

I was making a mental list of all the things that I want to teach this year, and wondering how in the world am I going to fit them all in?
More Bible Study (we are already doing the Advanced Bible Reader)
Bible Memorization
Poetry Memorization (my grandmother often recited to me poems she had learned in a little school house on Whidby Island when she was a girl. She was very proud of them and they were poems with good meanings. I would love for my students to say the same thing to their grandchildren!)
Memorizing or at least becoming extremely familiar with the US founding documents
Singing in harmony, and learning to lead a song/keep time/keep everyone on key
Piano lessons
Spanish lessons
Reading aloud good literature (we very much enjoy reading aloud time-- a moral lesson, examples from history, an adventure story, Little Pilgrim's Progress, and poetry-- unfortunately it often gets "knocked off" of our list if we are running late)
Exploring more Ancient History, as well as keeping on with American History
Enjoying going on rabbit trails with whatever we are studying, and learning more and more!
Enjoying the outdoors by being able to know what we are hearing, seeing (nature studies)
Learning new skills and hobbies
Enjoying taking their hobbies to a new level with practice
Taking educational trips
Becoming Geography Experts
Starting a little business
Nap times everyday for everyone-- very very quiet ones
Oh, and all the regular reading, writing and arithmetic too.
Oh, and also I want to simplify this year.

As this list overwhelms me, I think back to the list of what I did as a homeschool student. I feel that I had a very rich education, and my mother made it seem somewhat effortless (though I know she went to a lot of effort to make it happen!). Being rather alone in this venture (so we thought) and not having many materials at hand to start homeschooling with, she went on her instinct on what and how to teach us. As I have read up on different methods for my own school, I realize that my mother was teaching us in the Charlotte Mason style, the Classical style, "Delight learning" and the un-schooling style, along with a good bit of ABeka book style. I think I'll call it "Eclectic." [I want to add here that she had never heard of Charlotte Mason, and was not familiar with the other "styles" of home education-- she was going on instinct] It was school, but it was better. The only time I recall having a real burden-type feeling was when we took a state test. No one enjoyed it, the teacher nor the student.

When we began homeshcooling, my dad brought home:
a desk,
a globe (that good old orb has lasted into the next generation of students, despite being overly-spun, dropped many times and split in half-- which was a lesson in itself on how globes are made),
a dictionary (Webster's 1828),
a small chalkboard,
an atlas (A side note here: that atlas stayed around for many years with the entire front section of it devoted to Darwin's theories. It finally occurred to me one day that this is our atlas, and we don't have to keep this stuff in it, so I gave myself permission to "ruin" it and cut out those pages, and now we have a book of just plain maps. Remember that any books and magazines you own are yours, and you can edit them with white out, markers or just have pages disappear),
The King James Bible and Young's Analytical Concordance,
and that was what we started on.
No Internet, no computers, no library card.
If a bookstore had a good book on drawing or music, my folks bought it whether or not it was at our "grade level" or even written for children.
Curriculum was found over the years and added to it (such as Abeka for math, history and grammar, and McGuffey's readers and Spencerian penmanship), but I suspect my parents could have taught us a lot without the extra books.

My mother has a knack of making a lesson out of something at hand. She can take a Victoria magazine and set it down before you, and suddenly you are studying a geography lesson, a history lesson, architecture, art, cooking, nature studies, handwriting, literature, and then writing a letter (by pen-in-hand) on a card that you painted with watercolor (from a photo in the magazine) to a friend to share about it.
Let me tell you, that is the best kind of school day.

My education was not just doing book work, but taking nature walks, playing the piano, writing and publishing, drawing and painting, sewing and crafting, cooking, and reading reading reading! I was given exposure to the depth and history of the English Language as the phrases in the King James translation of the Bible were explained to me. I was taken to concerts of many types of music, as well as having a lot of music playing at home (From Bob Wills to Beethoven). I was taken to museums, teas (for culture, you know), garden tours, and other events as opportunities came. We did all of the things on the list on the top of this post. And besides all that, my mother sewed half or more of my wardrobe and hers, besides writing her own newsletters and keeping house (in other words, she "had a life" beyond teaching schoolwork-- though I think it more accurate to say our whole life was home school!).

I'll grant you, I didn't do everything every single day. Maybe not even every single week. I am sure I just remember it all as one seamless day-- but it is the same kind of memory I want my own children to have.

Somehow I have to fit it all in, without it being so regulated that my little students will feel like they are "doing" schoolwork. Without the bursting through the door at the appointed time, thirsting for Lego and freedom!

All the beautiful paintings were found at Wikimedia Commons

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wild Roses

This is a favorite tea cup, partly because it is so different from the rest of the collection. Pale green lines the inside of the cup, and is the outer background of the saucer, while yellow wild roses on a white background decorate the outside of the cup. 

The golden edges are slightly scalloped. 

The bottom says "Wild Rose" Royal Standard Fine Bone China, Made in England.
Linking to Teacup Thursday at: