Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Menu rescue!

I mentioned in my last post that my weekly menu might need a little help. What do you think?
Not only is it unimaginative, it is significantly crumpled because it is several weeks old(at least). And it's been taken along to the grocery store every Tuesday, since I print my grocery list on the back. I write in pencil so that I can re-use my sheets. Yes, sometimes my frugality carries me a little farther than it should.
After reading ES's last chapter, I decided that it was time for a change. I did not break out my
watercolor pencils. But I did find some pretty computer and scrapbook paper, and I knew that Word had some nice fonts, so I sat down last night and made this instead. Time was short and I used what I had. I am brand new to scrapbooking, so I was limited to the one pad of paper in my possession. :~) Still-I think it harmonizes fairly well. And it is a certainly an improvement over my crumpled, recycled version!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Hidden Art chapter 4

In chapter four, ES spends some time explaining how painting, sketching, and sculpturing can become a wonderfully creative outlet that blesses your family. This chapter certainly made me think twice about my ho-hum weekly menu sheet that I keep on the refrigerator! I'm doing some thinking about how I can make the menu beautiful!
Since this is NOT the first time I've read this book, I spent some time remembering my dd's notebook that we used in church. The year she
was three, we had her with us during the worship service and Sunday school hour. So I followed ES's example and sketched the main points for her. Good memories! I'm so grateful for the examples that ES included in her book-they proved invaluable to me, and now my dd and I have a record of a very special time we shared together.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hidden Art chapter 3-music


What an encouraging chapter!
ES presents an incredibly balanced view of music. Instead of regulating music making to the 'gifted', she encourages the reader to develop proficiency if possible, and at the very least, to have a wide variety of good music for listening enjoyment.
Do we still do this? I admit to being something of a homebody and my circle of friends is not very large. But I don't know anyone who plays an instrument for their own and their family's enjoyment. The ones I know who can play, teach, and there's not much time left in most people's day for music. I wonder sometimes if we have crowded out music for other, more pressing things.
And it also seems that America has left behind the concept of listening to a wide "variety" of musical styles. We have our favorites and that's about it. This is true of me-certainly. I think I did a better job of playing some other styles when the dc were younger. We had a few CDs that I had chosen and simply had that listening time as a part of school. We listened to some songs from other lands and had one on American folk songs, as well. Now that they are older we may study a composer for a bit, so most of our listening for school is classical with, of course, sacred music during our Bible time. Hmmm.....
My dd is in her fourth year of piano-she's doing so well!-and I also take piano lessons every other week. I homeschool our four children, try to keep up with things around the house, and have many interests that make that 'keeping up' I just mentioned tend to slide. ( See, I push it aside, too!) There are some days I do not sit down to the piano at all. We are working on some truly lovely music right now but there are only so many hours in the day. Where does the time go??
For one thing, music is a challenge and requires my complete attention. Don't have a whole lot of time available that fits in that category ;~) But I keep trying. My dc will not grow up remembering how their mother learned to play the piano beautifully back when they were children. But hopefully they will remember that music was important to me, and that I persevered. This week my teacher had a couple duets for me to try with her, in the hopes that I might be able to play one with her other adult student in the May recital. (I'm trying not to panic) Let's just say, that my brain felt like a quivering mass of jello by the end of that lesson. ONE thing penetrated my mind.
And I love hearing my dd play! I listen and am amazed at how far she has progressed in such a short time! We encourage each other :~) When I play, it motivates her to go and practice, too. Sometimes I think that may be the most valuable benefit of my lessons-keeping her motivated!! (She has more natural ability than I do.)
I also have Mark Almond's Piano series and my oldest ds is working on that. We have a guitar and a violin available if someone is interested. A harmonica, recorder, and I'm sure there's a tin whistle somewhere. I need to make sure they stay close at hand and are not buried and forgotten.
Again, I'm grateful for the push I needed to get this book out and re-read. Thanks, Tonya!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hidden Art chapter 2


My time is very, very short. So, I'll keep it simple.
Definition of "hidden art" which ES calls 'the art in the minor areas of life'. Setting priorities-something we all do every day-in choosing which art to pursue. Not waiting until "later" to begin learning or continuing a pursuit. Being patient in the learning process!
With that said, I'm going to jump into some hidden art! Tidying up/beautifying my home. Baking two loaves of bread. Sewing a dress for my dd. Choosing some greens from the garden(don't you love mild winters!) Playing a little music so I'll be ready for my piano lesson Monday!

Bee Squares

I'm back to cutting out squares for my dd's quilt! Today's fabric was a brown print with bees and flowers. This from a dress that my mother made her a few years ago-Mom always uses a pattern with a nice full skirt so there's plenty of material. I simply cut off the seams, pressed the fabric and then cut 4" squares. I've set aside many of her dresses and am working on the fabrics with predominately warm tones first.

Here are some of the squares I've already done.
This is a fun project, and I think I only need to a couple more dresses before I can start piecing!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hidden Art chapter 1


I'm resurrecting my long forgotten blog to join in a book study of Edith Schaeffer's Hidden Art of Homemaking. I've read this book many times and it's time for a refresher!

This chapter is a great reminder to me of the real reason behind my desire to create things. These days I go most often to the kitchen or my fiber and spindles, but in the past, I first might have pulled up a chair to the sewing machine or picked up a cross-stitch pattern. I love learning new things-I started learning about card-making last December, and last Saturday I made my first real batch of soap!
My difficulty has been that I often lose sight of the Big Picture in the midst of all my creating. I tend to get so focused on all the neat things to make and do that I don't even see the enormity of the mess that it brings along with it. I feel the stress of it, but I am not motivated to action. My love for creating and learning new things has smothered the peace and order of our home. And, in my mind, that's where a lot of the beauty is. Because...
I am not an interior designer. My idea of decorating is limited to trying to find a place to fit another bookcase. My sister got all of the natural talent in that area. Her home is decorated with truly lovely things, and it was easy for her. I'm ready to expand and learn some skills that will make our home a more beautiful and inviting place. The first skill is the most important and it is completely free!!

I started a crisis clean/declutter of the house at the beginning of the week in yet another another attempt to get control of the piles. While it's coming along amazingly well, I don't want to lose sight of the real reason WHY I want my house to look nice. Not for the sake of "nice", but because God has given creative ability to us. I have been rather unbalanced in the use of mine and it's time to even things out a little.
I'm so excited to join in this study-it has come at the perfect time for me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Christmas is coming

I've been making ornaments for my Ornament Swap. I used a cute little crocheted ice skate pattern that I found on the internet somewhere. Wow-My chair is gonna be swallowed by clutter if I don't cut it out!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I added two new Jenkins Turkish to my spindle collection. My Holly Lark is joined by a standard in Cherry and an Agean in Olivewood. The Agean has special markings-a vining branch, a cross, and the fish symbol. All so beautiful! And great spinners, too!