Monday, April 29, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Chapter 1: The First Artist

I'm joining Cindy of Ordo Amoris as she leads a book club through Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking.  I first read this book as a young newlywed in the late 1980's and have revisited it several times since then.  Hidden Art has shaped the way I think about homemaking and just how important it is to a family's well-being.  Through this book I began to see homemaking as so much more than the drudgery modern feminists make it out to be.  Not only is it important, it is creative

[Man] was made in the image of a Creator, and given the capacity to create--on a finite level of course, needing to use the materials already created--but he is still the creature of a Creator. (p.24)

Man, because he is limited, has a very limited choice.  He is limited by time, as well as talent.  He is limited by the resources at his disposal as well as in the skill to use what he has. (p.25) 

The thread that runs through these two quotations from the book is that of limitations.  I am limited in the time I have to spend on any aspect of homemaking as well as the money to spend on it.  My talent and natural abilities are also limited.  But it is by working with and within these limitations that I have found my creativity flourishing.  If one has unlimited time and money for an undertaking, then there is less need for creativity, for making it all work out with what one's got.  It's when I have set boundaries that I am forced to think and approach a project from many different angles until I can achieve what I want with what I've got.  The results are much more satisfying, personal, and artistic than if I just threw endless money and time at something. 

The great Russian composer Igor Stravinsky felt the same way.  When given a commission for a piece of music, he liked to have some limitations placed on him:  instrumentation, length, form, etc.  In having some choices narrowed for him, he was free to pursue his musical ideas within the strictures of the commission, which resulted in a higher degree of creativity.  When given a completely blank slate, there was so much to decide on, so many possibilities.  Stravinsky knew that there is freedom within limits.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 28, 2013

Wow, what a whirlwind this week has been!  Nothing drastic or life-changing happened, but it was just an accumulation of lots of little things that needed time and attention.  This weekend has been a swirl of social activities (two dinners with friends~ one of them at our house~ and lunch with another after church today).  For an introverted family, that is quite a lot of activity, but introverted ministry families often have to step outside themselves for the sake of the flock. :)

The end result is that I didn't take a lot of pictures this week, but I did take some of my new china cabinet in all its fullness and glory . . . emphasis on fullness.  In fact, I couldn't fit in everything I wanted to, but I am so happy to have a space for all the pretties that had been packed away for nearly two years.  Seeing them again was like seeing long lost friends!  So now for the full reveal . . .

{Pretty} and {Happy}

Dave and I picked out our china together when we registered before our wedding.  For a man, he sure had definite ideas about what he wanted! lol  After we chose it (it's Rothschild by Noritake), the clerk told us it was the most popular pattern that year.  My mother thought we should have chosen something English, and now I see her point, but we still love our china!  The Belleek mint tray was a gift from a very dear and generous friend who shares my love of fine china and knows of what she speaks.
I love the way the crystal and glassware sparkle and shine against the mirrored back of the cabinet!

Some of these cups and saucers are mine and some are Hannah's.  I remember receiving the one with the birch tree while visiting my Great Aunt Ethel in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, when I was nine-years-old.  Each of my sisters and I got to choose one from her extensive collection.  I still love mine!

One of my favorite Spode vases.  It's one of a set of three my mother gave me for Christmas one year.
My grandmother, who lived to be 96-years-old, began my milk glass collection with the pitcher and set of eight tumblers.  My mother has added to it over the years, most recently with the salt pepper shakers for our 25th anniversary last August.  I'm especially fond of the little two-handled cup.
Here it is in the corner near where Hannah's hope chest used to be.  We had to do a fair bit of shuffling of furniture in three rooms to make a home for everything!

A closer shot.
I feel so blessed and loved by God through this china cabinet!  That's because for a long time I've wanted a cabinet with curved glass, and I've also wanted a corner cabinet, but I never dreamed I'd have both in one piece of furniture.  Seeing it reminds me that the Lord delights to bless His children!

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 21, 2013

This week I have only {pretty} and {happy} and I can't really even decide what to put where, so let's just call it all {pretty} and {happy}

{Pretty} and {Happy}

Hannah finished a baby quilt for her cousin (my nephew) and his wife who are expecting a little girl next month.  It's darling!  She is becoming quite an accomplished quilter, and who wouldn't want a handmade quilt for their baby?

Don't let the sunshine fool you; it's still unseasonably chilly here in Illinois.  Despite that, the daffodils are finally blooming.  I love this miniature variety!

When you're a pastor, people give you things.  A parishioner who was recently widowed and is now moving to a retirement community is downsizing out of necessity, and she wanted Dave to have a chair bought for her husband not long before he died.  A sweet gesture of appreciation!  While there, we ended up buying a beautiful china cabinet she no longer needed.  She didn't ask nearly enough for it, and though we got her to double her asking price, we still got it for a song.  I'm in the process of unpacking four boxes of china that have had to stay packed away for almost two years because I didn't have anywhere to put it.  (You may remember that our old house had three built-ins.)  I haven't quite finished, so I'm not showing you the cabinet yet, but here is some of the china I've uncovered.  It's so good to see these pretties again!  Come back next week to see everything in it's glory. :)

I feel tremendously blessed of the Lord to have found exactly what I wanted and at such a great price!

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Saturday, April 13, 2013

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}~ April 13, 2013

Gosh, it's been three weeks since I posted!  That's because Dave and I were at a regional conference for our denomination (The American Association of Lutheran Churches) and then on the way back I got dropped off for a few days in West Virginia to visit my granddaughter and her parents. :)  I have a bit of catching up to do.


Of course, you knew I'd post a picture of Arane for {pretty}. Don't you think her mother is equally pretty? :)



Arane is a very happy baby in general.  She loves her toys and is good at playing by herself, and she rarely cries or fusses.  

At the Huntington Museum of Art.  It's a very nice museum, especially for a town
of its size, and if you are ever there, it's definitely worth going to!

It makes me happy to see how happy Lizzie and Justin are together.  They work as a team and take care of each other, and now to top it all off, they have Arane too! :)

As with much of the country, spring has been late here, but we had a couple days before Easter that were warm and sunny.  So Hannah spread out a blanket and her books and took advantage of it while it lasted because . . .


. . . this is what happened earlier in the week~

Yes, an early spring snowfall.  If it had been January, February, or even early March, these pictures would have gone in {pretty}.  But who wants snow after spring has officially started??


Dave has gone low-carb, so for Easter he didn't get chocolate.  He got something else he likes better and is low-carb~

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Catching Up

Lake Michigan--gorgeous! It really has been two months since I last made a blog post!  This summer has been full of traveling, gardening...

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