Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Royal Tea

(Picture from Pinterest)

When there is a European royal wedding, it has lately been the custom for some American enthusiasts to have a fancy tea at home with friends who dress up for the occasion.  That may be the case for the inauguration. It would be nice if there were inauguration tea cups available.

One thing I enjoyed when homeschooling was creating events at home. Here you see photographs of tea cups from the Empress Hotel in British Columbia. It is really a thrill to have Tea at the Empress at home.  

Tea menus for Empress Hotel and Buchart Gardens are available online, as well as scone recipes. Teacups from the Empress hotel are found in thrift shops, ebay and etsy. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Most Important News...

 Hello Ladies, Since what is officially called "the news" is in the news these days, I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on the subject. Perhaps this reflects your thoughts, too!

During the last ice-storm, many churches cancelled their services because it was just too dangerous to drive, but I noticed one church of Christ in the area had announced on their social media page, "We will be having services but please bring a snow shovel and help clear the drive and the walkways."  Apparently most of that congregation showed up. I thought that "news" was so unique and interesting. The fact that hundreds of people may have re-tweeted it or reported it shows the impact of our own, individual news. 

  Our church services stayed open, as my husband, always so loyal, said we would at least offer communion to anyone who came, even if they could not stay long. The electric was on and the meeting house was well-heated.

  Stan had a wonderful sermon prepared, (which I read and thought was quite good), called "The Importance of Church Attendance."  The ice storm was very formidable and so even the seasoned snow and ice drivers who have moved here from Alaska could not get through. Many people phoned and said they were on their way, but then phoned again and said they had to turn back and go home. At the last, one person showed up, so my husband didn't think the sermon about the importance of attendance would be appropriate, ha ha!

  He always has a substitute sermon to choose from, and this one was about the "little boats" or "other boats" mentioned in Mark 4:36. He used it as an example of how a Christian can affect events around him, even when people did not follow the teachings of Christ.

   After services we devoted our time to talking to the one person that showed up and found out all about her plans, her family, the fallen trees and storm damage on her property. Her news was more important to us than anything on the major news networks. Nowadays, we do not really depend that much on the news media, as even our elected officials and President have Twitter and other places to broadcast their own news without the media spin.

 I was also noticing how people like to watch other "ordinary" people on YouTube videos talking about things they are doing, what they like, how they cook, and all manner of subjects.  Lately, the news media as we know it, has been complaining about bloggers and people who do their own films about  their own news or own interpretation of the media news, because it cuts in to the attention that should be paid to the "official" news.  I got to thinking how important our own news that we share with each other is!  In the end, what our children want from us is our albums full of photographs of what they did in the home and as a family together. They will save letters from friends about their news, their vacations, and what they are doing daily.  
Since there is no control over the news reports, and no solution to all the problems they broadcast, (which keep us in a perpetual state of anxiety), what you are doing is actually more important. Whether you report it in a letter to a loved one, a phone call, an email or a blog, it  is still what is most interesting and life-changing to many people!  The national media only gives off a kind of spiritual deadness that leaves us in a hopeless state of despair, but ordinary people who bring good news (or even disappointing news) of their doings and their daily progress certainly brings more inspiration and helps make life worth living.

 So, this is why I publish ordinary things here.  In lieu of shameful media news (its almost always r-x and y-z rated, have you noticed, and very bad for our ears and our minds--they focus on constantly bombarding us with the most deviant things), I go to YouTube and type in which book of the Bible I want to hear that day. You can get through the whole New Testament once a month if you listen to it read aloud online while you are doing most housework, and the Old Testament maybe less times in a year. Even if your mind wanders during this, at least it will be wholesome words that give life, as opposed to the wretched "official" media news--yuck. I give them a D for Despicable,  and a VB for Very Bad, and a TOA for Totally Un-Applicable to productive living.  The news media needs all the competition people can give them in broadcasting of any kind: speaking in your home and to others,
 writing letters, newsletters. phone calls, texting, blogging, and any way to spread YOUR news.  If you have a tragedy or a problem, or a triumph and instruction you want to share, I don't see why it is any less important than what the news media has to say.. In fact I think it is MORE INTELLIGENT. There are enough people doing this to drown out the media that does not check their sources, spreads hype, changes opinion, ruins people, and sullies our ears with their reports of things that are staged or created. The media is so bored they often create their own stories out of thin air and make the rest of us worry about the reports even before the stories have been checked out. Of course you know it all has an agenda: to make us all so desperate for relief from chaos that we will agree to more regulations and controls over our lives.

I appreciate the bloggers that take the time to post something they are doing at home, or include us all in their vacation, etc.  I LOVE that kind of news because it makes me want to do better in my life. I remember reading on a home school blog about how a Mother made "morning boxes" (or envelopes or something like that) for her children who wanted to get up a little earlier in the morning than she did, to keep them quiet and busy. My thoughts were about how nice that was that she would share that with those who might benefit from it. It may have been something mothers handed down to their children, but it is nice someone shared it with those who had never thought of it. 

There is a lot of power in what you are doing at home, but it is so great, it is difficult to explain in one post. In short, what you say and do is a great influence that spreads. You are not just raising one generation. Your values will be caught by future generations. That is one reason the powers-that-be discourage women being full time homemakers, men providing for their wives, education at home, Bible teaching, conversion, natural health and many other things.

 Well, after all that, here is my latest news: a T-shirt sewing project. I noticed children's T- shirts were on sale at Walmart for $2.00 each, so I bought two and cut one into strips to make ruffles on the other one:
This project does not require hemming, because the fabric will not fray when you cut it. Since the shirt was a V-neck, I angled the ruffle along that line and over to the side where I stitched it down. It is stitched down at the shoulder, too.  For a round neck, I would drape the ruffle around the neckline.
One of the reasons I sew for my children and grandchildren, is that I want them to have more natural fibres in clothing and more high quality fabrics. 

Thank you to all the bloggers on my blog roll who bring their news.  What your neighbor, your friend, your rellies and the people in the shops are doing, is of daily concern and has a big impact on your life. I assume most people have their share of family problems and can conclude that it is earthshaking and dramatic enough, without adding the national news to it all.

Now, you can go ahead and say I am putting my head in the sand like the ostrich, because I choose to tune out some of the news and am selective about what I want to pay attention to in the national media, but I would suggest you do a study on just what the ostrich is doing when it appears to have "its head in the sand."  There is a lot more going on beneath the surface and there is a reason the ostrich does that! God created the ostrich and it is not as stupid a bird as people have portrayed it to be.

Let us take the lady at home and see what is really going on "beneath the surface."  While others say she is isolated from "real life", she may be carefully training up the next generation to be truthful and diligent and loyal to the family. She may be showing them how to have their own business using the skills she has taught them. She may be creating care-packages for people overseas or for a neglected neighbor or friend

A lady at home may be sending a letter to someone that just "makes their day."  She may be sewing clothes for her children and others, like Dorcas did in the New Testament.  She may  be creating very nutritious meals for her family which boosts their health and prevents a dependence on pharmacy and the medical system.  The housewife looks "beneath the surface" to see if there are ingredients in foods and fabrics and products she uses in her home that may not be good for her family. She looks beneath the surface and behind the scenes in order to guard her family from harmful influences. She knows what is in the products she uses, from food to furniture. She watches for hidden costs. She guides her family into making beneficial decisions for life.
Those ladies who find themselves at home without families are still doing something more important than the news media, because they are practicing  a quiet, peaceful life full of beautifying their home and making life pleasant all around.

The question then arises as to what to do with a disturbing news report.  First, analyze the way it is reported and ask the old questions, "who, what, when, where, how, how much, why." You will discover a lot of information is lacking in some reports. Some of you who have ever been interviewed for a paper or a bulletin, may have experienced this when you saw that a lot of your words were not included, making the story turn out differently than you intended.  So, it is good to question these reports just as you would question a child for every detail when he says he saw a moose coming down the driveway, being sure to ask the questions, "Where were you when you saw it, and how close did you get to the moose, and did the moose see you?" 

As I said, what YOU are doing is THE most important news. What your mother and grandmother did is important.  Learning to develop character qualities from the New Testament is important.  Discovering ways to use time and getting enough rest and having times of recreation is important and it makes life interesting. It is news enough, in my opinion. How much bad news can we take without needing sedatives?   The news media will keep your mind roaring with noise as it replays in your head. We have to decide just how much we can handle. We have a right not to listen to the broadcast news.

The Hollywood film industry and the news media must think ordinary people are doing something important with their variety of media (videos, books, letters, social media, etc.) else they would not complain so loudly that "no one is watching our movies," or "no one is listening to the news."

Instead of depending on the news of the network media, why not record the things your own family members say and do?  It can be a greater story than you know.Years later, someone in your family will want to see it, but how many of the news media reports over the years do we value enough to look at again?

I have a journal where I keep a list of all the phone calls I have made, calls that have come in, letters I received, and visitors who came to the door, invited visitors, trips I have made to town, etc.  This is a reminder that we have our own news in many ways.

Perhaps ostrich has its ear to the ground listening for something. It can hear the movement of other creatures underneath the surface and can detect danger to itself and its young. Some people wonder if the ostrich hears signals in the sand that indicate storms and floods. Maybe it is not hiding from anything as people have previously thought, but looking and listening for food, water, movement of any kind. A search about the ostrich would make an interesting nature study! You might find this creature has a lot more instinct and smarts than has been portrayed to us in the past. We ought to bury-your-head-in-the-sand myth of the ostrich and give them the dignity they deserve.

Ostriches don't bury their heads in the sand—they wouldn't be able to breathe! But they do dig holes in the dirt to use as nests for their eggs. Several times a day, a bird puts her head in the hole and turns the eggs. So it really does look like the birds are burying their heads in the sand!
National Geographic › kids › nature › an...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Just Guessing

Jessica Howard design

An friend of mine is guessing with me about the First Lady ball gowns. There are several balls to attend, and my friend has suggested one of the gowns will be in taupe like Jackie Kennedy, and another will be white with sparkles.  I have seen white satin at the fabric store with sparkles on it, which I think is nice because you do not have to have an overlay of sparkly chiffon.  I like simplicity.  

The Vice President's wife might wear blue or deep burgundy.  That's my guess.  But emerald green might be one of the choices of some of the other women.  

I have fabric on my mind today but have found a lovely video showing how to make scones that are light and pillowy and delicious. I will post it here after I have tried the recipe.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

No Guests Today!

Hello Ladies,

Those of you experienced in extending invitations to tea or any kind of hospitality will know the outcome of no-show guests! This time, it was due to a sudden ice storm. 

Here is what the party looked like when the guest list came down to just the hostess!
I had planned to post photos of the whole shebang anyway, so might as well show some:
What you see on the plate are called Devonshire Splits, a roll with cream and jam. The recipe is from The Little Book of English Teas, of which I will post a photo at the end.

Below: some hand made things given to me...

...and a guest book made for me by someone who created it out of a box in which waterproof dishwashing gloves are sold.  She cut the box open on three sides, covered it in scrap papers...
...punched holes to insert blank paper, added end-papers...
...tied a ribbon through it all, adding a pink pen for guests to sign their names.  I even signed the guest book and wrote about the circumstances and included the menu.
Also I wanted to show you a use for the plastic container bags you get at Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby for just a few dollars.  I insert all the mail I need to take to the post office so it doesn't fall out of my arms while struggling with car door, wallet, and so on.  I believe they call these "jelly bags" in the UK. 
Without guests, there was more time to do all the projects that cover every room in the house:

...urgent, unfinished sewing,

...urgent unfinished study materials for a class,
urgent unfinished correspondence,
urgent kitchen cleaning!
So far, only the room where the guests were to sit is in order:

This brings me to something I was taught when I was  in my 20's: 

Always have another plan in place for disappointment!  Have somewhere  to go or some interesting thing to do when there is a cancellation that spoils all your plans for company. Do not just sit there thinking it is a wash-out, spoiled day. Just continue as though there were no plans for a party and do what you want. 

It is good for Mothers to help children overcome disappointment by having other things to do by creating substitutions. In this case, I am looking forward to getting the sewing done and have also planned a care-package to take to someone.

My husband was always good at thinking of alternate plans, even at the last minute when anything fell through, and he can find interesting things no matter what the set-backs.

Hope you are having a lovely day and will attend worship in the Lord's church tomorrow.


The festive lights are still up in my home because they are so cheeful in dark days!

Teacup is Regency English bone china, and the pattern has no label or particular name or date.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Gowns for Inauguration Events

The inauguration day consists of several meals and balls. Some of the attendees have worn different gowns during the day, afternoon and evening,  so it is possible the ladies will change gowns for the various functions.

Shown here are the inauguration gowns worn by Jacqueline Kennedy.

Below are my quick designs for some of the ladies in the Presidential party. Just pretend the fabric is shantung. 

The first gown has a scarf which forms the neckline collar attached to the  shoulders, flowing behind the sleeves and down to the hem.  The green dress has a bolero jacket and  the yellow dress has a tufted piece on the bodice. I hope to add another set of gowns to this post later.

Shantung silk, Dupioni Silk. Notice the little grains of threads:

I wish more bloggers who draw designs would create inaugural gowns and not leave it up to one or two "top" desgners. Have you seen sketches anywhere online for inaugural gowns by anyone besides the "top" designers?

I do not know who designed lucy Hayes gown, below, but it seems to be in keeping with the popular style of her times

Gown worn by Lucy Hayes at the inauguration of her husband, Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881). People called her "Lemonade Lucy" because she would not allow alcohol to be served in the White House.

I think I have one like it:

More inauguration gowns: 
Blue one has the decorative buttons and loops on the bodice, which can be jewel-like; the mauve dress has a starched eyelet collar and cuffs that resemble a crown; the royal purple dress has a long scarf attached to the waist and shoulder and back. All gowns look plain, but it is the fabric that will be noticeable.

We do not know yet if there will be young children there so have not designed anything for the girls.

Here is the post with the coats:

Winter Tea

(Picture from Pinterest)

Fiona Ferris in New Zealand, where winters can be very cold in the southern areas, has an e-book on the winter season. Her blog, "How to be Chic" is included on my blogroll list at the left.

I have been looking at Winter Tea in Small Hotels in the UK:

Winter Tea at Down Hall Hotel in Hertfordshire

Miss B's Tea Shop in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia:

Close Hotel Great Fosters in UK

Below: I like these tea ingredients except for ginger. It is one of the spices I never was able to like.

Lennox company ad:


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