Fine art

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One of Abbie’s school projects ~ an ink and watercolor sketch

Chicken love

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The chicken notecards Abbie made for me for Christmas ~ I love them!

I so admire those who are blessed with fine art skills.  I was thinking about this lately and kind of wishing that fine art was one of my gifts.  Although I love to make things, I don’t have skills in any of the fine arts.  Just after thinking about this, I came across this quote again, and oh, what an encouragement!

“Practise economy as a Fine Art:  make a duty and a pleasure of it…economy is a high Christian duty, that nothing be lost”. ~ From “The Complete Home:  An Encyclopedia Of Domestic Life And Affairs”

Can’t we all do this?  I just love how the Lord comes and encourages us!  And so now I am inspired afresh to “practise economy as a Fine Art”!  And it is pleasurable and rewarding!  It’s something that I can always grow in and work at improving, just as if I was painting or sketching!

What are some of the ways you “practise economy” in your home?

Blessings!

Outdoor homemaking

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Do you view your outside space as another place for you to practice your homemaking?  I need to remind myself of this.  Dreaming, planning, beautifying, tidying, enjoying the sweet scents, listening to pleasant sounds, moving things around, making use of what you have…these are all things that can be done outside our walls as well as inside our homes.

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Do you know how sweet it is to tidy things up when you’re near lavender?  What a delightful outdoor scent!

 ♥

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After seeing garden phlox at an extension garden a number of years ago, I knew I would love to have some in my yard.  They have such a pretty cottage garden look and the smell is so lovely.  The taller purple one was moved to this spot from another garden area, and this pale pink one is new, found at the Farmer’s Market recently.  There are some white ones just to the right of these which are just starting to bloom.  That plant was found at a home that had had a plant sale and it was free!

 This whole garden area is one of my outdoor homemaking dreams!  I had long wanted a cutting garden and three years ago we finally took down an old garden shed and this became my new “decorating space”!

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This is what the beginnings looked like 3 years ago!

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And here it is now, filling in with things added here and there.  It is a joy to view it from my kitchen window!

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A single purple cone-flower adds a homey touch to our outdoor eating area.  We have enjoyed so many meals outside this summer.  This little spot makes me feel like we have our own “outdoor cafe”!

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Of course, laundry drying outside is homemaking too!  I especially love that it helps with the electric budget!

We had long talked about having a fire pit in the back yard, and this summer it has become a reality!   It is simple ~ nothing fancy at all, but made by hand and that is very sweet!  My husband was able to make use of bricks that have been here as long as we have lived here and it is a good thing to be able to put them to use.

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I am especially amazed at what a fun outdoor gathering place it has become!

The sights, smells and sounds of the outdoors are lovely this time of year!  We have had a lot of bees buzzing around this year which is such a good thing!  The flowers add their lovely scent as well as their beauty, and we even have a rooster in the area somewhere and that sound is definitely one of my favorites!

Happy Homemaking friends!

Summertime

Summertime blessings!

After a busy late spring with the wedding of our daughter, cleaning, company, and finishing up our home school for the year, I am enjoying this summer season!  How blessed it is to have a time of refreshment!  Here are some of my simple summer blessings!♥

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Trying out my drying rack!♥

I have never had a wooden drying rack before and it is wonderful!  Right now I am using the outside clothesline, but I think this will be such a nice addition in the fall and winter

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Drying lavender and chamomile♥

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Knitting!♥

I enjoy the simplicity of making washcloths/dishcloths.  The idea of wrapping it in a paper doily and tying with twine is from Monica at The Homespun Heart.  I think it adds such a sweet homey touch for a simple handmade gift.

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Abbie made this washcloth and I think the heart in the center is so sweet!  It is next on my project list!♥

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Harvesting from the garden!♥

This has been our most productive raspberry harvest season so far and it is so exciting.  I have especially enjoyed having some to give away!  I have been freezing zucchini for the winter as it is a nice addition to Tortilla Soup and will be a treat when the weather turns chilly!

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A rainbow of color in my sewing area!♥

Beauty, organization and inspiration in one!  I love it!

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Making a cold apple mint tea like the West Ladies show on their DVD on Herbs!♥

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I hope you are enjoying the lovely days of summer at your house too!

  I do hope you’ll drop by and say hello!

Homemade crackers

Have you ever made your own crackers before?

I had tried previously without the best results.  This past week Annaleah made some, and when she came over on Saturday ~ she let us try hers.  They turned out good and inspired me to give it another try.

So this afternoon ~ Abbie and I set to work!  We think they are delicious!!

If you would like to give it a try ~ this is the recipe that we used!

There is just so much satisfaction in making things yourself that you would normally purchase at the store!

Sweet Blessings to you!

Sharon

Homemaking books

Do you have a collection of homemaking books in your home library?

Recently I checked out the book ~ Country Living Simple Country Wisdom: 501 Old-Fashioned Ideas to Simplify Your Life ~ and I found that it inspired me afresh in my homemaking.  Trouble is ~ I waited too long to really get started on it, and then it was due back at the library!  Now I am number 23 on the holds list again, so it will be awhile now before I can finish reading it!  In the meantime,  I think I will have to take one of the books I have in my small collection and find some new inspiration.

I would love to hear about any books that encourage you in making your home a peaceful resting place for your family!

Sweet & simple blessings for your day!

Sharon

Using my tea trays

Bill and Abbie and I have been enjoying watching some old episodes of “Leave It To Beaver”.  One of the things I have observed is how they use cups and saucers for their coffee ~ and how June will often bring in a tray with their evening coffee for them to enjoy together.  And at the beginning of some episodes, she is shown in the doorway holding a tray with a glass pitcher and glasses bringing refreshment to her family who are working in the yard.

Being inspired ~ My tea trays have come down off the wall on several occasions and been put into use!

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This is the thrift shop tray that I fixed up earlier this year ~ this one is fun to use with our china cups and saucers and tea or hot chocolate.  Here we are enjoying some hot vanilla milk!

august 31 032Our son and daughter-in-law gave me this pretty English tea tray for Christmas and it hangs on a wall in our kitchen.  I thought it went so well with these vintage style glasses that I purchased a few years ago.  It makes a perfect summertime serving tray!  Yesterday we enjoyed some fruit smoothies.  We found a box of discounted fruit for $2 at the fruit stand and it has been just right to use for this summertime treat!

I am so happy to not only be able to enjoy my tea trays as decorations on the wall ~ but to be able to put them to practical use as well!

How fun it is to be able to use some pretty things to serve up a little refreshment to my family!

Sweet joys to you!

A cozy home

I so want to have a home that is filled with cozy and welcoming things!  This autumn season definitely makes me think about coziness!  What is it that makes a cozy home ~ that is definitely what I want to have ~ but what exactly does that look like? I know when you say “cozy home” that might mean different things to different people but I love to gain new ideas and to be stretched in my homemaking! Here are some of the things that I think bring coziness into my own home:

Candles

Sweet scents

Afghans or quilts to cuddle up with

Good books

A fire in the fireplace on dreary days

Handmade items

Small lamps giving just a simple glow

Flowers

A sense of order

It really doesn’t take too much to make me happy and cozy in my little home! But this is an area that I would like to continue growing in! What makes you think of a “cozy home”? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Blessings friends!