Monday, March 30, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #46



"Scorn not the homely virtues. We are prone
To search through all the world for something new;
And yet sometimes old-fashioned things are best—
Old-fashioned work, old-fashioned rectitude,
Old-fashioned honor and old-fashioned prayer,
Old-fashioned patience that can bide its time,
Old-fashioned firesides sacred from the world,
Old-fashioned satisfaction, with enough
Old-fashioned candour and simplicity,
Old-fashioned folks that practice what they preach."
~ Author Unkown

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


* Today we are featuring our sweet six posts from Last Week *

{I would love for you to choose at least one of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}


1. Easiest Tortilla Chicken Soup Ever by Reviews, Chews & How To's ~ Crock pot recipes are always appreciated and this one looks very easy to make, shares normal ingredients and sounds tasty! 

2. Pantry Challenge by A Working Pantry ~ I am always inspired by the goings-on of Patsi's pantry. If you are a pantry-aholic like myself, then you will appreciate her practical projects and weekly goals.

3. Eight Things to Do When Sickness Strikes ~ This is a great post that shares ideas of how to treat illnesses safely at home. Especially good reading for new mothers! 

4. You May Bend But You Won't Break by What Joy is Mine ~ I know many who are going through trying times right now. Naomi shares some wonderful words of encouragement to keep going!

5. Sacred Sabbath: Service in Marriage by Heaven Smiling ~ This author shares an absolutely heartbreaking video clip that will inspire you to love your spouse unconditionally. I couldn't stop crying as I watched it (to be honest, I was bawling).

6. Simple Crochet Edgings and Things You Can Make Over with Them by The Bluebirds are Nesting ~ And lastly, I love this kind of embellishment on ordinary items to make them extraordinary. Visit Annabel for some lovely homemaking inspiration! 

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On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Friday, March 27, 2015

Make Your Own Spray Starch {DIY} ~ A Tiggy-winkle Tutorial


'"Oh, yes, if you please'm; my name is Mrs. Tiggy-winkle; oh, yes if you please'm, I'm an excellent clear-starcher!" And she took something out of a clothes-basket, and spread it on the ironing-blanket."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

I would like to share a recipe with you from a dear friend. She has a bit of a nervous nature, otherwise she would have given it to you herself. You see, she was quite concerned that perhaps some of us were paying a pretty penny for something we could prepare ourselves! "Oh, yes, if you please'm; just take a peek in the pantry," she says. And so, without further adieu, I give you Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's "signature" spray starch recipe.
"There was a nice hot singey smell; and at the table,
with an iron in her hand stood a very stout short person staring anxiously at Lucie."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

All you need is one tablespoon of cornstarch and two cups of water! Whisk the ingredients together in a sauce-pan. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and simmer for two minutes.

Note: For a heavier spray starch, use a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch.


Once the mixture has cooled, you can add two drops of lavender or lemon essential oil (this is completely optional). Pour into a clean spray bottle and it is ready to use!
"And what are you dipping into the basin of starch?"

"They're little dicky shirt-fronts belonging to Tom Titmouse—most terrible particular!" said Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. "Now I've finished my ironing; I'm going to air some clothes."
~ The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle by Beatrix Potter

We are sharing a printable of this tutorial at the bottom of this post. You may like to add it to your "herbal" (a book of household wisdom). You can find the printable to make your own "herbal", right here. I filed this recipe under "The Laundry Room" section. If you have problems with the printing, you can email me and I will send you the PDF file.


I hope you have enjoyed Mrs. Tiggy-winkle's tutorial. She is such a dear! Have you met her? Now some skeptics may say that our dear washer-woman doesn't exist! However, to quote the words of Ms. Potter, "I have seen that door into the back of the hill called Cat Bells— I am very well acquainted with dear Mrs. Tiggy-winkle!"

For more Beatrix Potter inspired projects, visit here (if you please 'm)! Thank you for joining us for "Fun Friday" this spring!




Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wash Day {A Little Laundry Love} ~ Collection of Inspiration


“'Washing Day” has an ill repute that it does not deserve, for laundering is a science and an art that it is a pleasure to practice, if one has skill. Make it one of the household arts which you must carefully study, and you will find it pleasurable as well as necessary."
~ Foods and Household Management, by Helen Kinne and Anna M. Cooley

Bringing beauty to the everyday in some little way is what makes a house a home and transforms a common task into a practical pleasure. Here is our collection of posts from the past, inspirational quotes, romantic homemaking tips and concepts which hope to encourage you to enjoy "wash day" in your home!



The Common Tasks

The common tasks are beautiful if we
Have eyes to see their shining ministry.


The ploughman with his share deep in the loam;
The carpenter whose skilled hands build a home;


The gardener working with reluctant sod,
Faithful to his partnership with God—


These are the artisans of life. And, oh,
A woman with her eyes and cheeks galore,


Watching a kettle, tending a scarlet flame,
Guarding a little child—there is no name


For this great ministry. But eyes are dull
That do not see that it is beautiful;


That do not see within the common tasks
The simple answer to the thing God asks


Of any child, a pride within His breast:
That at our given work we do our best.


~ Grace Noll Crowell (1877-1969)


To begin, here is some wash day inspiration in the way of pretty pictures, poems and a "Wash Day Prayer" printable. I think all the beautiful images and thoughts can be pondered as you begin your daily routine {visit here for the complete article}.


Have you been contemplating a clothesline? I am in love with them! Visit here for our clothesline collection which is sure to inspire. You will also find our seven favorite reasons for hanging cloths to dry.


"The Work of Our Hands ~ A Homemaker's Wash Day" shares the therapeutic and spiritual opportunities we have while doing our daily tasks {visit here for the complete article}.


Laundry in our household is a family affair. Here are some ideas to get your children involved (and learning at the same time) so that wash day doesn't overwhelm you. Between three and four years of age, children can begin to fold napkins, dishcloths, match socks, etc. A shorter clothesline at their level can be placed in the backyard where they can hang tedious items like socks and such for you. Older children can be taught to sort laundry (whites, lights, darks), remove all items from pockets as well as fold and put piles away. This will tremendously ease your work load while teaching responsibility and home economics to your children at the same time.


"Our Elizabethan ancestors dried their clothes and bed linen on rosemary or lavender bushes to infuse them with the smell and scented the washing water with orris root. We have many more possibilities, because although most of us haven’t seen a rosemary bush big enough to hang our double sheets over, we do have a multitude of essential oils which can be used in the wash, the dryer... And it is not just about making clothes smell sweet, as we shall discover....



If you have a washing machine put 3-5 drops of your chosen essential oil into the softener compartment. If hand-washing, put 2 drops in the final rinse water and swish it around. Avoid the resinous oils, and some of the heavier oils such as rose which tend to cling to the clothes in the wash but are fine to use when drying or storing clothes. To add delicious fragrance to your wash try lemongrass or lavender. If you prefer a more exotic perfume, try ylang-ylang or neroli. If winter colds or flu have struck the household, put eucalyptus, rosemary, or pine in the wash. These oils are especially beneficial on bed linen to relieve coughs and catarrh throughout the night. If whooping cough is in the house, use hyssop and peppermint. If insomnia is the problem, marjoram, chamomile, or orange blossom will help to aid sleep if used when rinsing the bed linen or nightwear. To infuse clothes with an essential oil when putting them through the tumble dryer, simply add 2 drops onto a piece of material no larger than 4 inches square and pop it in with the clothes.

Here are some oils you might like to try:

FRESH Lavender Bergamot Rosemary Pettigraine

FLORAL Geranium Neroli Palma rosa Bois de rose

ROMANTIC Ylang-ylang Jasmine Rose Vervaine"



"Another mode of systematizing relates to providing proper supplies of conveniences, and proper places in which to keep them. Thus, some ladies keep a large closet, in which are placed the tubs, pails, dippers, soap-dishes, starch, blueing, clothes-lines, clothes-pins, and every other article used in washing; and in the same, or another place, is kept every convenience for ironing."
~ Beecher, Catharine & Harriet Beecher Stowe, American Woman's Home, 1869


The Victorian Era Beecher sisters would have loved the concept of a modern day "laundry room". Visit here for a look inside ours. It was rather a dark and spooky space when we moved in. We painted it a cheerful blue and used some second-hand finds to make it into a pleasant place to work in. You will also find some printable laundry room labels and other thrifty ideas to perk up your room.


In the cold months, I added a few homemaking touches to brighten those dark and dreary days. I called it the "winter blues". You will find a different set of laundry labels and other fun homemaking ideas to make your place special {visit here for the complete article}. 


Making your own fabric softener is a simple two-minute project that will save you money and lend a romantic touch to your wash day. You can decorate recycled bottles to store your fabric softener and display them in your laundry room. We share two recipes on our website: A Scented Fabric Softener which utilizes essential oils and a Frugal Fabric Softener which uses citrus peels and herbs. Of course, you can always use plain white vinegar during the final rinse but do be sure to prettify your container before displaying it in your washing area. It does make the work lovely!

{Note: When using vinegar based fabric softeners, do not add to loads containing bleach!}


A stain removal chart is also handy to have in your wash area. Here is a printable of "Stain Removal Basics" from Martha Stewart. This can be hung in your laundry room in an inexpensive frame as practical decoration, tacked onto a bulletin board or placed in some other convenient location. You may also choose to store the chart inside of your herbal for reference in the "Laundry Room" section {you will find our printable herbal here which is simply a book of household wisdom}.


If you enjoy simple sewing and handcrafting, then you may be interested in making a "clothespin apron". This is such an easy project! We used a large napkin and a vintage piece of linen to make ours (all you need to sew are four straight lines!). Visit here for the tutorial.


“When you choose to work with a willing, happy heart,
you become a beautiful source of joy to all.” 

I hope you have been encouraged to love your laundry just a little bit more. If we must do a task, we may as well embrace the task! Oh, and before you go, below is a bit of wash day advice from on old friend. Methinks there is a lot we can ponder on as we clear out our brimming baskets.


"There is so much dirty linen in our own house needing to be washed that none of us need to take in our neighbour’s washing.  “Mind your own business,” is a command that might have been spoken by Solomon himself, and the apostle Paul was inspired to write to the Thessalonians, “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business;” and he and Peter very sternly condemned those who were “busybodies in other men’s matters.”
~ Charles Spurgeon




Monday, March 23, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #45

“Everyone carries an atmosphere about him. It may be healthful and invigorating, or it may be unwholesome and depressing. It may make a little spot of the world a sweeter, better, safer place to live in; or it may make it harder for those to live worthily and beautifully who dwell within its circle.” 
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!


* Today we are featuring our sweet six posts from Last Week *

{I would love for you to choose at least one of these hand-picked posts and leave some comment love!}


1. 30 Day Spring Cleaning Challenge by Morning Motivated Mom ~ Are you all ready to do some spring cleaning? This author has made it very easy for us! She even shares a cheery printable checklist! 

2. Washing Day by Vintage Papery ~ Shiralee shares a lovely post on laundry. We are on the same page since you will be finding a "wash day" post from me this week too! :) Spring must be in the air!

3. Mexican Layered Casserole by The Joy in the Journey ~ Kelly shares a delicious looking recipe that I am very excited to try. This is the perfect way to use up my never-ending leftover brown rice!

4. Beatrix Potter's Early Gardening with Pencil and Paintbrush by My Little Old World ~ Dany shares a peak at the early life and art of Beatrix Potter (you will want to scroll down the post for English translations). If you are also a fan, you may be interested in our Peter Rabbit Series.  This is also very encouraging for homeschooling mothers interested in doing nature study.

5. Bad News and Fear (Go-To Verses) by Doorkeeper ~ Renee shares over 365 reasons why we need not fear. I think everyone will benefit by this wonderful reminder (especially during these uncertain times).

6. DIY Sachets by Encouraged at Home ~ Heather shares a sweet and simple sachet project. My daughter and I made something similar for our closets and they are so much fun! It makes one feel so very Victorian! :)

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On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Friday, March 20, 2015

Spring Collection of Peter Rabbit Posts ~ Printables & DIY Projects


"Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were— Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter."
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Fun Friday is back in season! Today we are sharing a round up of our Peter Rabbit printables and DIY projects. These posts were shared last spring in our Beatrix Potter "Baskets of Fun for the Homemaker" Series (all titles are linked):



















                


This spring, we will be spotlighting another character from the world of Beatrix Potter. She happens to be my personal favorite. Can you guess who? Which darling character captured your heart?




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