“I was brought up to believe in the modern myth that housekeeping is only drudgery, and the housewife is a downtrodden martyr. I thought that any seemingly contented housewives were only ‘making the best of it.’ When I first began housekeeping in my own home, I felt that I had entered the ranks of the mistreated.
After a time I began to realize, to my amazement, that I didn’t feel at all downtrodden, and that I was thoroughly enjoying myself. I began to look at other domestic ‘martyrs’ from a new angle, and I have learned many things.
I have found that there is romance in housework: and charm in it; and whimsy and humor without end. I have found that the housewife works hard, of course–but likes it. Most people who amount to anything do work hard, at whatever their job happens to be. The housewife’s job is home-making, and she is, in fact, ‘making the best of it’; making the best of it by bringing patience and loving care to her work; sympathy and understanding to her family; making the best of it by seeing all the fun in the day’s incidents and human relationships.
The housewife realizes that home-making is an investment in happiness. It pays everyone enormous dividends. There are huge compensations for the actual labor involved…
There are unhappy housewives, of course. But there are unhappy stenographers and editresses and concert singers. The housewife whose songs I sing as I go about my work, is the one who likes her job.”
~ Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…”
~ Ecclesiastes 9:10a
Greetings gentle reader! I've been homemaking with all my heart because He said to. Do you join me in the Titus 2 forces? If so, perhaps you would care to read along in another monthly update in which we chat about books read, things watched, homemaking projects and any other ponderings which do not fit into its own post. It is simply an old-fashioned homemaking newsletter.
As we enter fall, we did our final preserving of "meat in the summer”...
I’ve processed 14 pints of freshly-caught-by-husband, bluefin-tuna. I pressure canned it with homegrown jalapeños, Himalayan pink salt, freshly ground pepper and topped the jars with olive oil. I can’t wait to open that first lid… HERE is the instructions for pressure canning the tuna that I used.
"There be four things which are little upon the earth
but they are exceeding wise:
The ants are a people not strong,
yet they prepare their meat in the summer…"
~ Proverbs 30:24-25
Sometimes a quiet morning spent measuring, pouring and packaging is tender therapy for all the loud things of this world. When you infuse this time with prayer, it can be powerful therapy.
I’ve made these botanical perfumes as gifts for some lovely women in our church. I call them "relaxing rose perfumes".
To prepare this all-natural essential oil blend, place 3 tiny dried rose buds inside a 10 ml glass roll-on bottle. Add 2 tsp. almond oil (or carrier oil of choice), 3 drops of geranium essential oil, 2 drops of Peru balsam essential oil, 1 drop of lavender (or frankincense) essential oil and 1 drop of sandalwood (or patchouli) essential oil. Top off the bottle with more carrier oil if necessary. Put on roller cap/lid and shake well. Your “relaxing rose” perfume is ready to use!
And now, you have also successfully bottled up some lovely aroma-therapy!
I've also begun infusing some of my favorite flowers in olive oil to make a lovely, floral, feminine salve. Here is the tutorial. These too, make lovely gifts!
As you can see, as the garden dwindled down, I became involved in many herbal homemaking projects. These prairie candles were so enjoyable to make and I shared the tutorial HERE in case you are interested.
I've also been enjoying some autumn nesting… There are many methods to embracing the change of seasons in the home. It is probably one of the most enjoyable of the homemaking arts! My preference is in embellishing with everyday “replacements”. I’ve been a little squirrel packing away fall treasures in anticipation of my favorite season. Here is how I’m infusing autumn into our home:
- I’ll be replacing my every day dishes with this thrift-store “curated” collection of plates in browns, yellows & oranges. There are four different designs but I think they “match” beautifully.
- The cottage printed plate will replace a summery rose plate I have hanging on the wall. This will bring “warmth“ into the kitchen (shown in action on second-to-last picture on this post).
- I’ve collected a few secondhand baking dishes at thrift stores in browns. I will be using these to serve our meals. One is a vintage Pyrex & the other is a brown glass dish which came in a sweet custom-sized wicker serving basket!
- I have brought out my beeswax tapers & brass candlestick holders to enjoy once again.
- I’ve saved our butternut squash harvest to make our favorite soup come October. In the meantime, they are a lovely seasonal centerpiece.
- I will now be using the autumn inspired no-sew “prairie napkins” I made (shared below). It’s always fun to introduce new linens into the fold.
- I’ll be removing the white summer linen sheets and bedding and replacing them with a darker print sheet set and heavier down duvet.
- And lastly, I placed all my autumn inspired (thrifted) fabrics in a basket in order to prepare some projects for the home (this is written for accountability 😉). I had recently done a deep cleaning with some reorganizing. When I went through my closet, I saw all the secondhand sheets & flannels I found for great prices. But it isn’t great when it becomes clutter! Therefore, this will be my seasonal sewing basket (now you are my witnesses). I must produce!
What are your cozy home plans?
I repurposed another thrifted vintage fitted sheet into a set of “autumn prairie” napkins (without sewing)... I’m in love with this “snip-and-rip” process! I had made a set for spring and have used them constantly. I can’t wait to bring in the “new” fall collection. It’s so enjoyable to prepare handcrafted items for your home each season (especially when it costs next to nothing).
When I had purchased the secondhand sheet set, I really only wanted the flat sheet (I’ll share that project once finished) but since the fitted sheet came with it, I was obligated to put it to use (it’s in my frugal OCD nature 😉).
This set of napkins took me five minutes to measure and rip-to-size along with a slow evening spent pulling off excess threads.
A step-by-step tutorial is shared HERE if you are interested.
These simple napkins give me such pleasure! To turn something obsolete into something useful plain gives me the happy homemaking chills ✨ have you felt that thrill I’m speaking of? when you repurpose little items to embellish your home life?
When purchasing something brand new and mass-produced, there is truly no comparison to the joy one gets from creating something from a castaway nothing.
“…it was not what one had that was important,
but what one made.”
~ Elizabeth Goudge
I have also been baking up a storm. It seems like the moment the seasons change is the moment that oven becomes alive again after the heat of summer. I always double the recipe for my cookies and freeze the extra for impromptu company. It comes in so handy!
“It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us.”
~ Edith Schaeffer
Perhaps this explains my love for pretty plates, lace curtains and dainty linens. It is a practical form of homemaking art that we can adorn our homes with. Why limit beauty to just paintings and portraits on the walls? Some of us like to sprinkle it into all our little tasks and rituals as a daily act of love. With the existence of thrift stores, it is possible to be a domestic artist in even the leanest of household budgets.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much…”
~ Luke 16:10
Pictured: freshly baked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (another work of homemaking art ☺️).
As far as books and movies go, my daughter and I have been on a fall frenzy and cozied up with popcorn and rented a Hallmark film called "Autumn Dreams". It was sweet and everything you expect in a Hallmark movie. We've also been reading lots of old home decoration books that we have found thrifting. It truly is a time for nesting.
Pictured below: "Autumn nesting"... the replacement of that one “cottage” plate on the wall turns summer into cozy fall…
Now more than ever, the home needs to be a place of peace. Perhaps even a place of Aw and wonder as we face such ugliness in the world. The home should feel safe, comforting and most importantly, sacred. That each person who enters knows they have entered a refuge from the current reality. It is the way to show our children that THIS is what is “normal” and good. That there is so much difference in these walls from the world’s that their souls will instinctively know that God resides here and they will have a strong desire to be here also.
"My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation,
In secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places..."
~ Isaiah 32:18
With that being said, what about you dear reader? What wholesome and lovely things have you been reading, watching and/or working on? As always, recommendations are much appreciated as hearing about your homemaking endeavors always inspires me! Also, I have been having trouble with my links. If you decide to click on any of them, would you mind letting me know if they are proper (in other words, do you find you end up where you expect to)? I am trying to troubleshoot this... but in the meantime I'm...
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