Thursday, March 25, 2021

Timeless Homemaking ~ Snippets

Timeless homemaking... 

It is not found in an expensive piece of crystal, a brand new set of silverware or a cold display of department store china.

It is found in the simple pantry ingredients which artfully transform into delicious dainties, in the little humble cottage garden decked with a plethora of petals and in the brittle brown box of grandmother’s old dishes.

It is found in being content with what you have and using every lovely resource to its greatest advantage.

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.”
- 1 Timothy 6:6-8

🤍

(Note: I'll be sharing these little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it... Painting: Lilacs by the talented Daniel F. Gerhartz)

Friday, March 19, 2021

"Pink Windex" aka Rose Petal Windows and Glass Spray ~ Romantic Homemaking Series

“What a lovely thing a rose is!”

~  Arthur Conan Doyle


If you have a love of roses as I do, then I think you will enjoy this sweet little project which brings them into the housecleaning routine. Our bushes are blooming and making this all natural window cleaner with a few of the buds brought me so much pleasure. You can even make a complete collection of rose cleaning products with them if you desire (more on that below).


Simply soak one cup of fresh (pink or red) rose petals in 1 1/2 cups of vinegar in a pint jar (line the inside of the lid with plastic if it is metal to keep it from corroding). Shake the jar gently when you think of it. Let the contents infuse for 1 to 2 weeks and strain.


To prepare the window and glass cleaner, place one cup of the rose-infused vinegar with one cup of water in a large spray bottle (this is an affiliate link). Add 1 tsp. of cornstarch and give the bottle a nice shake until everything is evenly distributed. You will need to shake the bottle each time before using. 


Your windows and glass cleaner is ready for service! For best results, use an old newspaper to wipe down the surfaces. We also use cotton rags (you can see my pretty version with lace above -- visit here to make your own).

This lovely recipe is inspired by Jan Berry from her beautiful book of homemade products (and is a part of my Beloved Homemaking Book List which I highly recommend).

 (I've stored my set of labels inside my "Inspired Home Junk Journal" until I have need for them.
I simply made a paper pocket and tucked them in.)

Now for the fun part! Here is a rose-inspired printable label to use on your bottle if you like. I have also included a whole set of romantic rose-inspired cleaning labels should you like to elevate your spring cleaning routine this year! You can make it all pink and pretty! Simply replace the lavender in all the recipes shared here with rose petals. 

Happy romantic homemaking dear friends!


This post was a part of our... Romantic Homemaking Series:



Monday, March 15, 2021

The "Art" of Home-Making Mondays ~ Inspiration #8


"It is my belief that the housewife makes the home, and the home makes the nation. As Mrs. Julia Wright has written, children are born into a home, and they shall be in it all their lives. What this home makes them, they shall train up their future children to be -- as here they learned. They shall carry their energies and example into the world, for better or worse, as here was taught them. In this home children receive also their instruction; their worldly occupations are chosen, and fortunes laid up for them; their moral character is determined. You see thus all the energies, the business, the industries, the inventions of the world, have really their center, their inception in the home: It is the world's animate heart. Erase all homes, all home life, ties, needs, joys, and how long would the wheels of labor and commerce move on? How important, then, is every home! What a tremendous responsibility surrounds its founding! How needful to count the cost!"


Friday, March 12, 2021

No-Sew "Snip and Rip" DIY Dinner Napkins - Romantic Homemaking Series


“Love is a great beautifier.” 
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Greetings dear ladies! I am excited to share this simple, simple concept with you all which will give you a dozen lovely new napkins with just a short amount of time. These "snip and rip" napkins don't require a sewing machine and are rather fun and addictive to make!


First, you will need a basic cotton flat sheet (or large piece of good absorbable fabric or even a huge tablecloth) and a pair of scissors. I used a twin flat sheet I found at the thrift store and it produced me with 12 napkins! A larger sheet would provide more and so forth. 


Now, I won't be going into too much details as it will lose the fun. The basic concept of this tutorial is common sense. First, you will want to snip and rip off all 4 corners (edges) of the sheet (or fabric) in order to make it straight. To do this, you simply get near to the end of the sheet and do a one-inch snip. Then using your hands, you tear the sheet or fabric all the way down to the edge. Believe it or not, if the fabric is hearty, then this will give you a good straight end.


Snip and rip off all four corners of the sheet (the goal is to remove the hems on all sides). This will give you a perfect rectangle-sized fabric with frayed edges. I am keeping my edges for another project and will share that soon. You may want to do the same ♡


Next, I folded the sheet to see how many napkins I could get out of one "row". When I folded the longer part into three's, that seemed to give me an 18" napkin size that I liked. You can choose your own measurements. With that being said, I made 2 more snips of equal distance and turned the long side of the sheet into three equally sized long strips.

Next, I measured across the long strips and was able to measure out four complete square napkins from each strip. So, I measured 18 inches, did a snip and then a rip. This gave me one square napkin. I continued this with the rest of the sheet strips until I had a dozen. There was a bit of fabric left at the end of each strip that I have other plans for.

I'm hoping this makes sense! 😅


Basically, you are snipping and ripping the sheet into equally sized squares! I now have a pile of 12 squared 18x18" pieces of frayed fabric. 


Next is the fun part! I did this at night while sitting with hubby on the couch. You simply pull away and unravel the threads around the napkin to get a nice evenly frayed edge. Once this is done on all the napkins, wash them and dry them a few more times (to release any excess threads) and repeat the thread-fraying process. Once you've done that they should "hold" and keep the nice edging without constantly needing to de-fray, etc.


And now you are left with a pretty pile of dinner napkins! Obviously you make these to taste. A calico fabric or sheet would make a homespun napkin. A geometric sheet or fabric would make a modern napkin. A large floral print would make a romantic napkin. I call mine "prairie napkins". There is something for everyone!


I purchased my second-hand twin sheet for $2 and was able to get 12 ample sized napkins from it. I would say that is a great deal! You may have sheets lying around in your cupboard and can do this for free. I would only suggest you use sturdy fabric with more natural fibers that absorb (polyester sheets/fabric would NOT be a good choice for that reason). 


For those of you wanting to start a cloth napkin collection and reduce your paper towel purchases then this is a great project to get started on. I have a feeling I will end up with lots of new napkins for each season! I really adore how these turned out! They have such a prairie, cottage, shabby look to them that I love... Do you think these are something you would like to make?

Happily homemaking,
♡ JES



Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Holy Homemaking


"I want to know more how you grew spiritually while homemaking."

This was a question I was asked by someone recently... and to be honest I didn't know how to respond at first. I never necessarily thought that we grew spiritually while homemaking, I just knew it was my calling as a wife and mother. But, the more I pondered this question, the more I became convicted... For what did the Son of Man do while on this earth?

He ever so gently taught the people (Matthew 4:23a) and he told interesting stories to the people (Luke 18:1). He fed the poor, hungry people (Matthew 14:18) and he broke bread with them  (Matthew 14:18). He comforted the hurting people (John 16:33) and he healed the ailing ones (Matthew 4:23b). He shared about the future kingdom of heaven (John 18:36) and he taught by His holy example (Matthew 7:12). Ultimately, He gave His precious life for the people (1 John 3:16).

What a beautiful ministry! 


How does one respond to this kind of sacrificial love?

What then is our responsibility as believers in Him who has done this? 

"whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.“

~ 1 John 2:6



And then the thoughts did come!

For what does a Titus-2 homemaker do while on this earth?

(And I do consider a Titus-2 homemaker a different sort as she is not just running a home, she is building a Christian kingdom on earth.)

She also teaches the people (our children and younger women in the church). She also tells stories to the people (our children never tire of our tales). She also feeds the people (need I say more? sometimes it is all we do!). She also breaks bread with the people (every time a meal begins in prayer and is shared in remembrance of Him). She also comforts the people (with every tear she wipes, with every embrace she gives, with every baked good she creates, with every smile she makes). She also heals the people (with every cut and scrape, with every bowl of chicken soup, with every injury she nurtures, with every flu she treats). She also shares about the future kingdom (for that is the forefront of our role as God-fearing mother!). She also tries to live by His example (it is a daily struggle but-oh-do-we-try!). And finally, as the role of a Titus-2 homemaker, she also symbolically gives her life for the people in her home every single day. She is not pursuing her own interests but the interest of others. She is a consenting servant of love to those in her care. She gives every ounce of her life to the people God has given her.

And now, the question remains...

do we grow more spiritually while homemaking? 

Absolutely.

We grow spiritually as we gently IMITATE His ministry in our humble little home!

"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,
leaving you an example,
so that you might follow in his steps.“

~ 1 Peter 2:21

It is a mini-ministry that may be on a micro-scale but eventually it affects the whole world. Its extends way beyond our walls. It reaches out to whoever we invite into our home and place around our table. And like His ministry on earth was located only in a small region, His message of love spread through the entire world... just as our message of His love will spread through the people that walk away from our tiny kingdom and further embellish the ends of the earth. 

As we practice homemaking, we are forging the same "old" path (Jeremiah 6:16).

Every day we keep our home, we are walking in His ways.

This indeed is holy homemaking.



Friday, March 5, 2021

Easy Custom-Made Chocolates ~ Romantic Homemaking Series


You don’t need millions of dollars to create a happy home.

just millions of seconds...

to make millions of sweet memories.

(Hot cocoa, steaming coffee and cups of tea, piles of  blankets, homemade desserts, hugs, kisses, books, forts and plenty of prayers.)

“So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
~ Psalm 90:12

♥️ 


Sometimes you want to do something special for your family but don't have a lot of time. Here is an easy recipe project that is fun, festive and fairly fast! It can also be customized to everyone's special diets! Plus, it includes chocolate and I personally find that very romantic.


First, you will need to have a mold. I found mine at the thrift shop but you can also use a cupcake tin or even just the cupcake liners. Silicone molds will work beautifully too. I didn't grease mine as when the chocolate solidifies, it just pops out (give a little tap on the pan from upside down).


Place your favorite add-ins such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, coconut, flavored baking chips, granola or trail mix inside your chosen mold. I used the Lily's butterscotch chips and white chocolate chips which are less sugar -- you can find them in healthy grocery stores or even Walmart. I also used salted nuts and unsweetened coconut flakes.


Pour melted chocolate over each one (again we used the Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips -- affiliate link). Place them in the refrigerator and pop them out once solid to reveal the special treats.


For fun, you can serve them in a tin for that old fashioned feel... but I do recommend refrigerating them to keep the chocolate from deteriorating. I left one batch out on the sink for a few days and it didn't fare too well.


“All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” 
~ Charles M. Schulz



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A Homemaker’s Heart ~ Snippets


A true homemaker’s heart is sensitive... it absorbs every moment and sees beauty in every act. Whether it be a stack of freshly laundered linens, the dish soap (refilled and ready) or a sparkling, shiny kitchen sink. She knows her work stretches beyond the earthly kingdom and its aroma rises high up to the Heavenly one.

She knows every small act is sacred service.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

~ Colossians 3:23-24

🤍

(Note: I'll be sharing some little "snippets" here and there from some of my more special Instagram posts that I feel some of you may enjoy that aren't on it... Painting: Autumn's Last Harvest by Daniel F. Gerhartz)

Monday, March 1, 2021

Embellish Ordinary Kitchen Linens with Lace ~ Romantic Homemaking Series


"Out of the way! We are in the throes of an exceptional emergency!
This is no occassion for sport- there is lace at stake!" (Ms. Pole)" 
~ Elizabeth Gaskell (Cranford)

There is something satisfying in completing an ordinary task in an extraordinary way. It becomes a rich and satisfying ritual. Take advantage of the last slow days of winter and cultivate beauty in your home. Sew sow seeds of loveliness in your homemaking routine. Forage for lace in your little nooks of homemaking treasures and embellish your flour sack towels, basic dish towels and even your cleaning rags! This is extravagant living the old fashioned way. Our ancestors used to embellish all their handmade linens with embroidery, crochet and trims. This is because the home was the heartbeat of their world, the center of their universe. And it is the center of mine... Won't you join me?


I’ve added some soft pink lace to plain white flour sack towels which will make wiping dishes delightful.
 

I’ve "fancified" plain terry towels which I will put aside for washing windows and glass for a gentle cleaning experience. 


You can sew basic lace onto plain dinner napkins to make them more attractive (not pictured). 


I've also cut up linens in our home that were not being used for various reasons and have repurposed them into dish towels and other useful items and have added lace (I'll post more on that topic soon!). The towel shared above was actually once a tablecloth. I’ve cut the poor dear into the appropriate sizes and added some of grandmother’s lace I had stashed away. I couldn’t be happier with the results. And yes, I will use them! 

“Creativity is taking a simple thing and bringing it to life.” 


I haven’t purchased anything for these projects as I seem to have collected enough lace here and there which makes it all the more lovelier. However, even an inexpensive roll of lace will transform the boring into beautiful! 


Adding beauty to your daily tasks is never a waste of time but an enhancement to the homemaker’s life and is a way to express your love of home. This is what I call "romantic homemaking".


“Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds
and learn to find Him there.” 
~ A.W. Tozer


I have also included a PRINTABLE in this segment for your Inspired Home "Junk" Journal. It includes the beautiful verse from Mr. Tozer (shared above) and a few images that coordinate with this little homemaking project. (I hesitated to include these pictures as my printer ink is not working and the actual printable is more lovelier in color but I wanted to give you an idea of how I am fashioning it. And yes, I included a bit of leftover lace!)


There is also a list to give you ideas of what to embellish. Simply cut and paste into your journal as you would a scrapbook entry. One day when you are looking for inspiration, this list will guide you (free printable here). (Pardon the gloppy glue!)


I do hope you give this little project a try! Sewing on a bit of lace to already-made linens is fairly simple. Just a straight line! But within minutes, the basic becomes beautiful! My daughter loved the pink and white flour sack towels so I have placed them in her hope chest. Perhaps this can be something for your daughters (or grand-daughters) as well!  Happy homemaking!


Romantic Homemaking Series:




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