Sunday 15 January 2017

The art of homemaking . . .

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 I've been embroidering pillow cases lately and I quite enjoy doing so.  I sit here in the evening as the light from the television flits back and forth across the room as the pictures change . . . the flames from the electric fire flickering up and down the walls.  I feel very content as I ply my needle and thread in and out of the cotton fabric.   Every so often I hold what I am embroidering away from me so I can get a really good look at it . . . and I am pleased.  I  do so enjoy the quiet gentle arts . . . mending, embroidery, hand sewing etc.  They make me very happy . . . a happiness that gets right into my bones.

My mother taught me how to embroider.  She always embroidered and our home was filled with dresser scarves, doilies, tea towels and pillow caseswhich she had plied her arts upon.  I have a few of her pieces and do so treasure them with all of my heart.   When I was about 8 or 9 she gave me a piece of cotton fabric which she had stamped something upon it with a hot iron and one of those old embroidery transfer along with a needle and some threads.   She sat me down and taught me to embroider. Just a running stitch and then a basic outline stitch.   It was very simple at first, and so not very hard to catch on to.  It may have been to earn a badge in Brownies, I can't remember why, but I fell in love right then and there with the art of embroidery.

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In my younger adult years I did a lot of crewel embroidery, none of which still exists except in the anals of my mind.  I did tons of pillow covers and wall hangings . . . I also did a really pretty Swedish Huck embroidery runner in navy and white, which disappeared on one of our moves.   It always really surprised me when things disappeared like that from our moving boxes . . . they were sealed, so how did it happen?   I will never know . . . but, I do like to think that they live on in someone else's home and are as loved as they were when they were with me.

In later years I really got into counted cross stitch embroidery.  I did lots of samplers and pictures, Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, etc.   I just adore taking a blank piece of fabric and decorating it with needle and thread.  I have not done any counted cross stitch in a number of years gone since . . . it drive my eyes wonky . . . trying to find all right the holes you know.  Old eyes don't take well to them.  I also have a problem reading small print these days.  I keep saying I need to buy a magnifying glass, and then . . . I forget all about doing so until the next time I need a magnifying glass and then I tell myself all over again . . .  I need to buy one.  Sigh . . .

Is anyone else like that?   Forgetful?   When I get all forgetful I get worried about alzheimers and such . . .

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I used to have several sets of flour sack tea towels I had embroidered  for the days of the week.  I don't know what ever happened to them.  I should do another set I think.  One day soon perhaps.  When I am done with embroidering pillow slips.

At school we did home economics.  One term was cooking.   One term was machine sewing.   One term was homemaking.   I like to think that I loved them all in equal measures, but in all honesty I do think I enjoyed the homemaking one just a tiny bit more than the others.   It was there I learned to do hand sewing and mending, darning . . . how to wash dishes properly, how to do smocking how to sweep a floor, dusting, etc.  I did not find any of it boring in the least.  I could hardly wait to grow up and have a home of my own to care for.

I was just thinking about how my mother taught me to embroider and knit, and my sister taught me how to crochet . . . my thoughts made me smile.  This act of teaching next generations is a legacy we women have and share . . . handing down the skill of the gentler arts . . . mending, cleaning, cooking . . .  homemaking . . .

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I have always enjoyed making a home most of all.  I am a natural nester.  I like that.   If someone was to ask me what my career was I would have to say . . . "Nester".  Home is where I have always wanted to be, and taking care of it is what I have always wanted to do.

It is what makes and keeps me most content.

A thought to carry with you through today . . .

.° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

 *.˛.° ˛°. . 
˛*The grand essentials of happiness are:  
      Something to do, something to love, something to give,
             and . . . something to hope for. 
                  ~Allan Chalmers   •。★★ 。* 。•。★★ 。* 。

Spiritual Enlightenment

In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Pear and Hazelnut Frangipane Cakelettes.  Yum!

Have a blessed sabbath day.  We aren't going to church this morning because Todd has had a bad night so he is having a lie in to bed.  This happens sometimes.  I don't want to leave him on his own.   I will have a quiet morning here, reading my scriptures, etc.  No worries.  Don't forget!

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And I do too!


  1. Marie my darling send Todd my love and prayers please. I have a lot to say but might pop back this evening. Beth is ready to face Sunday. She feels much better this morning thankfully.

  2. Will do Suzan. He seems to have more bad days than good days at the moment, but I know this won't last forever. Looking forward to having all of the treatments finished and catching my blessings where I find them. Sorry Beth wasn't feeling well. Glad that she feels much better today! Have a good one at the Louvre! What a great guide she is! xoxo

  3. Like you I have done all kinds of needle work in the past and have a supply on hand in order to do more when I have the time. Some are lucky to have one sewing basket. I have 5 or 6 with different projects to do and the supplies to do them here. All of which I must somehow muster down into just one or two. This downsizing is very difficult here but must be done. Hope Todd feels better after a good rest. Take good care!

  4. As a teen..I never would have thought I would be a nester.AS a child playing with my dolls was my probably mothering..was a strong instinct.
    I too love nesting..nowhere I would rather be..I can embroider and that's it..half botched sewing..
    everything you stitch is perfect..I started stiching..a new ornament..and I have to give Alicia credit..although this one is is not the quality of Alicias patterns..and I find the stitches lovelier on Alicias..the details etc..

    I'll keep looking:)

  5. My grandmother used to embroider pillowcases. I have some of the ones she did. They are beautiful. I have some some needlework in my life, but not for years now. I am sorry to hear your hubby isn't feeling well today. Hope he feels better very soon. Prayers from across the pond in AZ!

  6. Downsizing is so hard Pam. I with that I had my children living closer so that I could give things to them, but in all truth they probably wouldn't want them either, so we have become the charity shops best friend! xxoo

    I was always a nester Monique. Never ever wanted to be anywhere else. The few years that I did work outside of the home were not my favourite years when the kids were growing up. I didn't mind too much working when I moved over here. But now in my dotage I am loving being at home. Alicia's work is exemplary. She is just so talented with the needle and thread and needles and yarns. I am in awe of her!

    You are so lucky to have some of those Deb! I am sure they are treasures! Thanks for your prayers. Much MUCH appreciated! xoxo

  7. Marie I learned a lot of crafts at home. My three years of home economics was laugh. A waste of time. But my mother often needle worked and told stories of how she and her mother used to embroider together on a Sunday afternoon. I had to fight hard to get some of my precious mum pieces back from my ex...his new woman was using them when she painted finger nails. Some are ruined.

    I learned most of needlework skills from mum. She is left handed and knitting was difficult. My gran had me knitting before school age but somewhere along the way it seems difficult. In the end a man taught me to knit. Mum has actually hand worked for wages. My great aunt and uncle each taught at one teacher schools in the opposite direction to each other. They would sometimes swap so the the girls at each school learned their skills. The boys learned huckaback work from Aunty Bess too. Now you know of the lady who I honoured with Beth's name. I let my kids play around with fabric etc. Will has the most natural talent and perseverance. I remember a young man so eager to have his quilt he stitched the binding, Unfortunately it has needed repairs but we kept his work as long as we could.

  8. I have loved reading about all the needleworking exploits Suzan! Men are quite good at things like this and cooking. My father taught me how to spool knit. I remember him making wooden spools with small nails in the top for us to use! What a treasure you have there! xoxo


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