Saturday, September 20, 2014

Summer Sky Roses


                              
This rose painting by French artist Pierre Redoute is one of the ones I like best because of the pale blue background. Light pink roses are so pretty against a blue sky.


    

This is why this cotton fabric (from Walmart a few years ago) is so appealing to me.  I have saved pieces of it for this project, and some blogger friends and email friends have helped me out by sending me some of their leftover pieces.  I have used buttons that will blend in with the fabric, rather than novelty buttons. 

                          The name of this line of clothing is "Summer Sky Roses"

     
                                      The name of this dress is "Summer Sky Roses."

This is just the kind of dress a lady would like wearing at home  on a day with or without blue skies.  Although it is designed for a house dress, having the waistline and bodice a little looser than a fitted dress, it is dressy enough to wear other places.  I have not made the coordinating aprons yet. For a more formal look, I am making light pink cotton short jackets, which I hope to finish soon.  

My idea for homemaker clothing is to have a dress you can wear all day, donning an apron over it at home and removing the apron in favor of a bolero or jacket when going out.

 I made a few small things with this fabric for a post on beginner sewing a few years ago.

                            
Once again I have to assure you that these garments look a hundred times better on the ladies who wear them. The line just does not show them to the best advantage.  I hope to put the dresses on the dress forms for pictures, when I can.

       

Because I did nit have enough fabric for the length needed (the ladies are tall), I used a flat piece of lace edging from a worn-out curtain.

The girls  dress is called a Polonaise dress because the outer layer is like a fancy apron over the pink skirt, tied with ribbons at the side.  I got my idea for it from Dover Victorian paper doll fashion and coloring books, pictures of which I have posted at the end.

I already have made a dress for myself in this fabric and will try to show all three together when no one is wearing them.  I had to get up early to get these two on the line beforeI had to deliver them to the ladies who were wanting to wear them (my daughter and her daughter).

                      

On one of my visits to Hobby Lobby, I found the above acrylic stamp set in the sewing theme, for $1.79.  Sewing stamps are hard to find, so I was thrilled to get it.

                          

                                

                             

                              

There was a request for some words about rude comments.  I used to wonder why my father never got upset at insults and rude remarks leveled at him.  When I asked him why, and with his one-sided Texas grin, he answered that since he had been insulted by experts, insults didn't bother him anymore.  He was experienced.  You would have to understand his special humor to get that one.

While I have written about ignoring rude remarks, I have also come to see that we can never have polite society by ignoring bad behavior.  It must be corrected at first, instead of at last, because believe me, if rude remarks and bad manners get no resistance, people will "wax worse and worse."  Our problem is feeling intimidated and afraid of the backlash of correcting people, so we passively say nothing.  It is now my belief that it is quite appropriate to "reprove, rebuke and exort, with all long suffering."  If we get too focused on the long suffering element of it, we will forget to exhort people into better behavior.

At first it will be scary and upsetting to correct a rude remark.  You may begin by saying, "Excuse me, but that is so rude," and "hold on a minute. What you just said is not true."  Rude people have got away with their remarks because no one corrects them. Yes, it may become an uncomfortable argument, but you can be in control of it and lead it to the right conclusion.  You could role-play it with someone and learn to refute rude remarks.  

We need to make rude people feel uncomfortable.  We need to upset their apple carts by correcting them. We need to make rude people feel ashamed.  The rude ones need to feel nervous and upset by their own behaviour. As Moredecai said to Esther, (paraphrased) "Who knows: maybe God has put you here at this particular time for this special job."

The first thing you need to do in handling rude remarks is to train your mind to think, "Hmmm.  This person needs to educated." Or, "I think I need to educate you." Or,  "This remark is rude.  I must teach you a lesson."  Think a smile in your head when you say this to yourself, because this is where you get to be a teacher.

Ladies if you are too passive around rudeness you will do your children and the next generation of people a disservice, for they will allow themselves to be walked all over and all their efforts and work destroyed in the name of compassion and politeness.  Rude people do not need compassion.  They need correction. Or rather, we need to be compassionate enough to correct them.

The old people used to have sayings such as, "That's my business, not yours."  There were many sayings like this that regulated the rudeness in their realm. After hearing these sayings in response to their own rude remarks, a rude person got educated . They would start to say something rude or ask an impertinent question and then halt their speech in the middle of a sentence, knowing the answer that was coming.  You could see the dawning of the realization in their eyes almost the minute they uttered the rude question.  You see, the repeating of these sayings had educated them.

 If you could learn to respond with corrective language that also guides people into better behavior and educates them, you will have less trouble with rude remarks.  The rude people will find it too much trouble to meddle with you and avoid making trouble.  

While we always want to be kind and fair to others, with the ultimate goal of winning them to Christ, we need to realize that when we are basically mild and polite, rude people take it as permission to push us around.  There comes a time when we must push back and put them in their place.  

Of course there is a very good possibility that our corrections and admonitions to rude people may not have any effect. The perpetrators may be so far gone in their own conceit that they never alter their manners.  But be assured that even if they do not change, something you said to them will replay in their memories and drive them nuts til they confirm.

I suppose one of the highest concerns is losing a friendship.  Have faith that when you reprove the one in error, as the Bible says we must, that God will take care of the friendships in your life. He may not want you to hang on to rude people, anyway. He may have something better for you.

Alright, now I have posted this, and I will be waiting for the backlash of comments, but not to worry. Like my father, I have had rude remarks from experts.


This comment that came in would not fit the required limit of words on the comment section, so I am going to post it here.  It goes well with the theme of npimg problems in the bud before they flourish.


Dear Lady Lydia, 

There is one paragraph from your post, that if I had had it in my early life, it would have changed the entire direction of my life.  It is the paragraph that begins with "Ladies".

I have allowed such awful people to remain for years in my life, allowing their tyranny over my life, because I was taught that we should tolerate to the extreme, and always be kind, no matter what someone says.  I had a friend in my late teens and early twenties who was so awful to me, and so possessive of me.  I was so unhappy, but I was told to be a faithful friend to her because she needed to know love.  I found later that she would roast me behind my back, and I will never know how much damage it did.  I couldn't get away from her, she shadowed me everywhere.

When I began to have children, this friend called me up and chewed me out for not telling her that I was going to have a baby before I told someone else.  It was then that I finally had the courage to let her go.  I didn't even want to confront her, I just wanted to let her go away.  I was very blessed that she had just moved, and I could really just begin to ignore her and not worry about it anymore.  It took me 10 years to get away from her.  I never thought of her again, that is how unattached I was to her in my mind.  

I wish I had had the "permission" that you have given us in your article to let her go the first time I spent a day with her and was so unhappy with her company.  

Later, I was so tolerant, that I kindly moved over for my pushy mother-in-law.  She was such an unhappy person, and I knew that I could provide happiness for her by being kind and loving her out of it, and including her in my family's life.  The nicer I was, the more she hated me, and I found out later that she lied and degraded me so to other people that it shocked me when they told me some of the things she had said.  She hated my desire to submit to my husband, she thought that the more time she spent with me, she could show me how wrong I was about life. 

I tolerated her for 15 years without a retort ever, because now my husband's happiness was at stake as well, and I didn't want to distance him from his own family.  Things became so bad, however, that I finally talked to him about it and told him that I would never be rude to her, even now, but I needed to plainly answer some of the accusations she had made about me, and that from now on, if he would understand, I was going to politely challenge her about the things  she was saying about me.  He said that was fine, and that I should do that.   She is a very godless person, and essentially has no conscience.  

Well, I will tell you, after the first time I did that - I had to do it once with her, and once with her other son, the clan has essentially disowned us, and never spoken to us again.  You might think this is a sad ending, but it is actually the happiest one that could have been arranged, under the circumstances.  I have peace from them for the first time in my married life.  It is very sad, but more so of a sad comment on who they really are, and I feel especially for my husband, but it has been their own doing, not mine.  I was even so kind in my explanation to them of why I do things the way I do, and why I really thought that they would appreciate the way I am raising the family, rather than verbalizing things they think I am doing wrong.  Most people I know consider me an outstanding mother and wife, and come and ask me advice about how to raise such happy and smart children.  

I cannot really express the influence they had on me mentally, and they made me feel I was not "allowed" to do anything they wouldn't want me to do.  I know now that it is wrong to allow people like this to have even their toe in the door of your life at all.   I knew I didn't want to be around them, but I was mortally frightened of them gossiping about me and telling people about how rude I was if I ever disagreed with them about their behavior or their plans  for me.  As it turns out, these people will gossip about you no matter what you do, so you might as well go ahead and put a distance between yourselves and them.

If we are naive about this, we don't realize what is ahead for us.  It will not change for the better, it will change for the worse.   But this is only for certain people, and you just have to learn to recognize them as you go through life.  It is not for the person who makes a mistake with you, and then comes back and apologizes about it, or tells how they are learning to love others, etc.  That is just a nice, normal person, who has good intentions and doesn't realize.  

The people I'm talking about latch onto sweet people, because they see them as easy friends, and they take advantage. The thing is, they may not know what they are doing, but that ultimately doesn't make a difference - you just simply can't allow them to do this to you, whether they mean it or not.  Most times they don't know they are doing this because they really don't know God, and don't have a tender heart toward others.  Watch out about feeling too sorry for them.  

Some people have never experienced this kind of relationship, either, so they don't know that it exists out there, or that they should watch out for it.    

I just wish I would have had your words in the beginning, and then I would have never let these people ever feel that they had any control over my life at all.  The thing is, you most likely are going to loose the relationship, let it go early, before it has formed, and you have had to suffer the damage through all the years.  

I had a false sense of merit in tolerating their abuse.  Now I believe it is very unrighteous to allow such disobedient people to take over.  It is really putting their will above God's will in your life, which is evil.  It made me miss all those friendships with loving, happy people because I was cowering under these people's pushiness and demands, and hurting from their criticisms of me.  

Since then, I have kept myself free for the most loving ladies, and we keep good manners with each other, and we have ended up loving each other as sisters because of it.  I think of them so much, and am encouraged, and this is the right way to do things.  We allow each other complete freedom to live our own lives, don't gossip, and try to think of ways to help each other when we see a weakness, and be kind to each other.  We don't mind a lull in the conversation, because it just means we are weighing our words, and filtering things rather than filling the emptiness with sin.  

Now we have to move, and start all over again.  : (  Well, I am at least thankful for the time I've had with them. 

Thanks again, you have given us words of love, to protect us.  Thank you for caring about us more than the bad comments you might get.  -Mrs. J.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Morning Greeting


I had to stop sewing and put the house back in order,  but I hope to get my new dress set on the line and post it today. I have one dress to finish. The "mother" dress needed more length, so I may have to go to the fabric store and find some wide flat eyelet in a color, if it is available.  I hope to get the girl's dress finished and the whole set out on the line today for a picture to post.


I got a nice list of suggested topics and I really appreciate your ideas. I hope some of you will write about these things on your blogs, too.  

The flower beds, though full and lush, are not as full of blooms as I would really like, but sometimes in the cool of the morning they show up.  I have quite a few types that only bloom in the shade after four o'clock.  That is why they are called four o'clock. Four o'clocks grow quite well by seed, and come in a variety of colors. 



The pink and white four-o'clocks, from seeds, will form tuberous roots and come back year after year, spreading further each season. I thought you would enjoy the reflection of the farmland in the new window I got in the spring.







This is an old baby bed spring I did not know what to do with, so for now, the morning glories, as sparse as they are, are using it.


Love the color of this chrysanthemum.  Remember Anne spelling it correctly and winning the spelling bee in the movie "Anne of Green Gables?"


I will try to add a "subject" or one of my "lectures" here later.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Morning Visitor





This morning I was preparing a small tea celebration when I heard  some knocking on the door.

Photo above: I like this Kimberly Shaw tea card with the drawing of a lady on a swing. I would love to have every one of these cards, as each one is a different drawing.


By the way, in this picture I have used kitchen curtain valances as a table covering. I found them at goodwill and discovered that they also work as mantel cloths for places like the fireplace top and the piano. Piano cloths are quite expensive, so I was glad to find this extra long pieces of lace.



Back to my visitor:



A Blue-Andalusia hen named Vandy.  I gave her some crumbs from the tea scones and a little strawberry tea I made with water and berries.

It softened the disappointment of the phone call I got from my expected guest who had to cancel the tea for some reason.

For morning tea I have used frozen strawberries and poured hot water over them in a strainer to make a fragrant and light pink cup of tea,  and then cut up a banana and made a little treat with whipping cream.  What are you doing today for teatime and afterwards? My plans are (Lord Wiling), after household work (meals, kitchen cleanup, making beds, neatening things) are  to sew.

I am looking at my old "Future Posts" article and thinking about writing some of them. Any more requests?

I thought about writing on how to handle rude remarks, but then, maybe it would be better to write about something pleasant!

We are still having a hot summer out here and I am so grateful because I can get that summer line of clothing finished! 



Someone emailed me today to say that after I wrote about the flower-lined pathways explained in this book (see my post on my other blog, Lovely Whatever's http://lovelywhatevers.blogspot.com if you want this book) that she simply took her push-mower and made pathways, cut closer to the ground, to the mailbox, the clothesline, the trash barrel, the garden, the outdoor seating area and other places. That way, her shoes would not always get wet.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Every Thought Captive


     
                             Girl Picking Roses by Louis Lemaire, French, 1824-1910


It has been a full day and very hot weather, which I appreciated. I pray it will last a lot longer. 

Sundays always go faster than I want them to. After church there is meal time, clean-up, and then it seems like the time is gone. I like to have one simple creative activity each day, so today I will share one of my acrylic stamps. These can sometimes be purchased for a dollar or less at craft stores.





I got this acrylic set at Hobby Lobby during the half-price sale, and a pink ink pad. I remember when fountain pens were commonly used, and I like the elegant look of them. I also remember the ink bottles, so I had a brief moment of nostalgia when trying out this stamp during my leisure time.

There is a subject I have been thinking about for awhile, and it seems difficult to address but I have  decided to tackle it.  This is a request I received last year.

 The question was: What should you do if someone has been talking about you and spreading rumors that are not true?  

The lady went on to relate that she had heard that someone was saying that she and her husband were going to leave their old neighborhood and build a big house in another location. While the gossip was not malicious, just the thought of people talking about a major life-change that did not exist was disturbing.  People would ask her questions like, "So when are you moving?" or, "Who bought your old house?"

My first thought about this question is that rumors can be much worse! The person could have found out something much more personal and embarrassing, making the current rumor seem harmless, but it is an invasion of privacy and can hurt just as much as cruel, mean gossip.  When you hear a rumor about where you are going, it is like someone is taking control of your life, and that can be unsettling.

Such a rumor can be easily started just by a casual remark in which you admire a style of house in a magazine while visiting with a friend.  There is an old saying that if you give some people an inch, they will take a mile, but in reality there is an occasional person who will take something ten miles!  For that reason, it is important that Christian women put a seal on their lips regarding even some of the most harmless remarks. 

Some people are overly fascinated with the lives of other people, and can take the most congeniel conversation, embellish it and send it on its way, where it gathers even more fantastic facts and returns to the poor lady who inadvertently started it.

 "You have taken an idea in your head and then have run wild with it," said Jane Austen in her novel, "Emma." 

While the New Testament warns about tale-bearing and wandering from house to house with silly gossip, we often forget that sometimes the non-gossiper can start her own rumor by revealing the most harmless, innocent thing about herself. It gives material to the simple-minded and invites an invasion of privacy. 

Privacy is not highly respected these days. We can bring back respect for privacy by not being so free to reveal every thing, every thought, every like and dislike, every plan, every  setback, or every belief we have.  We need to save our innermost dreams and plans for The Lord.  

A popular myth is that it is not good to "bottle things up" and that it is healthier to "share."  But we need to be cautious about what we say and to whom. We need to be discerning about the maturity of the other person, so that we are thrifty with the information we give them.

One reason it is easy to spread one's own rumors by an innocent remark to someone, is that we believe that everyone is good and that since we would not try to stretch a tidbit of information 10 miles, neither would anyone else. 

 This is something homeschoolers need to teach their children. Not everyone is just like you. Not everyone is discreet. Not everyone has had good training in how to talk or has been taught what is or is not appropriate to talk about. Therefore we need to tell the children how to be cautious about what they say to people outside of the family, and also what is and what is not to be revealed that is personal, in some cases even to other family members.

"...bringing into captivity every thought..."  (2 Cor. 10:5b)

When you take a thought captive, you lock it up and do not let it escape through your lips. In a situation where someone is not necessarily spreading a vicious rumor about you, it is important to hold captive even some of the perfectly acceptable information about yourself and your family.  Not everyone needs to know even normal things about you, especially if they tend to use it for mischief.

We do not always realize how a very innocent remark can be taken and exaggerated. So, while we know the Bible reprimands the bad habit of gossip, it is essential that Christian ladies not give those who are prone to gossip, any free fodder to spread around. That means weighing everything you say and thinking before you speak everything that is on your mind. Think about how a weaker-minded person could misconstrue some normal, little thing. 

While a lady may feel upset when there is gossip spread about her for no reason, she has to do her part not to add any fuel to gossip by revealing things, as innocent as they may be. 

As to what to do about the ridiculous rumors that are spread about you, that is the question of the day.  Some people have tried to confront the perpetrator but only increased the problem.  The talker only gets more steam from a confrontation and carries more tales about the person who reprimanded them.  In the grown-up world, some people who act like children do not feel they have to learn to behave better, so they get worse and worse.  It is best to avoid them, or else confine your remarks to the weather.

ITalebearer
(n.) One who officiously tells tales; one who impertinently or maliciously communicates intelligence, scandal, etc., and makes mischief.

I think the key to this is the definition: and makes mischief.  

Normal people who have good sense can have a conversation and not grasp on to any thing that is said and take it beyond what was said or intended, and will not use it to cause problems for someone, but not everyone is at the same level of mental maturity.

As example, someone asks you, "What are you doing today?"  You reply. "Nothing much."  A simple minded person who lacks discernment and has no understanding of discretion might tell someone that you do nothing at home all day. When that gets spread around, you will feel indignant and betrayed, but you must learn to be careful what you say to certain people.

 We have the same problem today in the way people interpret the Bible. They will sometimes read something more into a passage than is said. They will carry it to extremes.  But where the mind is trained to think properly, the meaning will be clear, without exaggeration or embellishment. This training begins in childhood but if such training is neglected, an adult can change with proper study and practice.

I am looking forward to any insights you may have on this subject, so please feel free to leave a comment.  If you prefer to be anonymous, let me know and I will change the settings.



This is a sample of how the acrylic stamps may be used to make something that looks like scrapbook paper.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Dresses for the Home


       

                                 Poppies, by Louis Lemaire, French, 1824-1910

                           
Sometimes I choose fabric that is similar to the 19the century floral paintings like the one featured here.  This fabric is cotton but has no brand stamped on the selvedge so I do not know where it is from or the name of the print.

                            

Although I have mentioned Laura Ashley's famous designs for wearing at home that were so well-liked, there were other designers who also made cotton dresses, equally as treasured by ladies all around the world, such as Jessica McClintock and Lanz of Salzburg. There were lesser known designers also and I will add them to these posts when I find their names in old Victoria's.


Of all the house dresses I have made this year, this understated little calico dress had been pronounced the favorite by the owners.


I noticed the roses on the print had a bit of very light pink on the petals so I used some rose buttons I had been saving. I am also thinking of adding light pink ribbon on the hem and sleeves.


Here are some patterns from vintage pattern sites.  Above and below are Lanz patterns. They were also available in ready-made and advertised often in the original Victoria magazines.

Below are two Jessica McClintock patterns which were also available as ready-made cotton dresses.



It is nice to look forward to getting up in the morning and putting on a pretty cotton dress and apron and feeling dressed up for something important. It makes every day special.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Enhancing the Home

                                    
                                                            Above: http://susanriosdesigns.com



I like the way Susan Rios paints a simple little house, and embellishes it with elements of a garden


        

It is relatively simple to embellish a simple home by using the same things that even your grandmothers of the past used: a tray, a cloth, hand picked flowers in a jelly jar, a teapot and a teacup.

This is what some of the blogs on my blogroll are all about: putting sentimental or dramatic homey things in he house. Being in the house a lot means it is nice to have some changes and give the home a feeling or a mood for a season or an occasion.

The cloth in the tray is hand made, with ball fringe. These are manufactured and sold in nice stores for a very high price, so I decided to make my own and include a tutorial.

                                  

It can be made as large or as small as you like and can be a square, rectangle or circle. First cut the shape you want from white muslin.

                               

Then, with a hot iron and the steam turned on, press a one-fourth inch hem all the way around the raw edges.

                              
Fold that hem over so that the raw edges are hidden, and iron it flat again, using the previous hem as a guide.

                                 

Then machine or hand-stitch close to the inner edge of the hem; that is, along the edge closest to the inner part of the cloth.  You can stop at this point and use it for a handkerchief or a dish towel, a basket liner, a bread basket towel, or anything you want.

                                 
Sew on ball fringe trim all around.  To keep it lying flat, do not pull he trim too tightly across the hems when stitching.


                                  

        Finally, press he piece with a hot iron, avoiding getting the iron on the ball fringe.

Using this idea, I have made many other things, including a fireplace mantel cloth, piano runner, end-table cloth, lampshade covers, and curtains.

                                 

I have read a little more of this book, "In the Garden With Jane Austen" and will share how you can get a copy for a low price, when I post it on my Lovely Whatever's blog soon.  The book explains that the homes of the past had pathways to ordinary places commonly used by the family, and that these paths were bordered by flowers and shrubbery. Instead of just going out to hang clothes on a line or going to take the trash out, a person would experience walking on a pleasant little path, each one with a style and color and character of its own. There was a path to the chicken coop, a path to he apple tree, a path to the carriage, a path to the swing, a path to the picnic area and a path to the pool if there was one.

           

  It is so far a very calming book to read and has nice glossy pages of colorful garden photography.




I delayed putting up more posts since Sunday because I was waiting to show another set of house-dresses.  I haven't quite finished them, but hopefully will get pictures tomorrow.   


I found this little wood tray last week at Goodwill.  When you donate, you get a 20 percent off coupon. I used my coupon and got this tray for $1.50.  I had to paint it when I got it home.  I like tin or plastic trays to use when serving tea because they do not get damaged with spilt liquids or foods, but this one is pretty and can still be used to hold things in the house. 

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