I wasn't going to post today not until I started reading something that has left me 'incandescent' (that's right I'm glowing!) Okay I'm not but I am incensed! Now to be honest as beautiful as it is Jane's blog is it hasn't been on my bloglines for a long time. I wouldn't have even known about her new book if it wasn't for Ali and her sexy dishcloths!
Having listened to the BBC Radio podcast (scroll down) I feel almost personally attacked for my life choices.
This paragraph ,from Liz Hunts article ,in particular makes me seeth!
"But the media isn't to blame, Ms Brocket. It is you and your ilk; women who have done the career bit and, looking around for a new diversion and cushioned by private income or a wealthy husband or generous alimony, target the home and impose impossible standards on the rest of womankind via beautifully illustrated books and websites."
I have none of the financial cushions mentioned. No private income or generous alimony just a best friend , my husband, who is prepared to work a 70 hour week so that we can bring our children up in the way we think is right for us. And that is the key so I'll say it again '..in a way that's right for us' .Surely that's what feminism is all about? The right for every women to chose her path in life and make conscious decisions about her own life and future.It is not to judge others for theirs.
Thank goodness there are still some of us around who can help Ms Hunt and work wonders for her domestic self esteem! Phew!!
"The key to Nigella Lawson's appeal was once described as "gastro porn". I suggest we treat the entire homemaking genre in the same way - domestic porn, something luscious to look at but, like all porn, not necessarily something we'd want to try at home. And why should we when we can buy it. It's what craft fairs and farmers' markets are for. Some hand-knitted bed socks and a jar or two in the cupboard with a paper lid and a handwritten label can do wonders for one's domestic self-esteem."
I am as proud to stay at home, and perfect my art of gentle domesticity, as I am of my friends and family who chose to work outside the home aswell.
I am proud to be instilling tools and values in my girls.For giving them the opportunity to develop their own art of domesticity.
I am proud of building in them a level of confidence that will hopefully help them understand the value of making the right choices for them and their own families.
I will be as proud of them if they chose to be like me or be corporate high flyers or anywhere in between.I will be proud of them whatever.
I will be proud to know that, whether they chose to or not, they will be able to bake a cake or whip up a patchwork quilt!
I will never perfect the art of gentle domesticity but I will have fun trying!
Yesterday we discovered that the best thing to do when life gives you lemons is...
...to make lemonade!
6 cups of water
1cup of sugar
Juice the lemons,you should get about 1 cup.Mix juice,water and sugar and stir until dissolved.
Chill and enjoy!
Afterall everyone needs a little chilled sweetness in their lives.
I have a growing collection of vintage magazines and I always struggle to find a way to display them without fear of damage.They are full of fantastic advertisements.
Reminders of how tastes come full circle...
... how lucky we are that some things don't...
...and how some favourites will always be!
I have started a Flickr set for my reference but please do take a peak.I will add to the set over the next few months.
I'll leave you with this one...
...can you tell whos wonderful creations it reminds me of?
I have been waiting and waiting to show you all my new kitchen.I wanted everything to be 'just so' first.It's still not finished but I'm sure you'll turn a blind eye to the unfinished tiling,the missing overmantel and lack of artwork.Won't you?
I'll draw your attention away to one of my favourite Christmas presents this year.
My very own Kitchen Aid from my lovely hubby.Who by the way did very well this year in the presents for me department!
Then onto my lovely fridge...
...you see the blue box ontop?That is my all time favourite car boot find.A 1930's German bread bin.I love it and now it holds all the grown up treats.You know the ones we eat when all the kids are asleep and we are curled up on the sofa?
It's been so nice to finally start using some of my thrifted treasures like this set of 50's tea,sugar and coffee cannisters.
To finally be able to display little treasures like these ceramic bottle pourers.
Putting to good use more car boot bootie.This apple box is one of several I sweet talked a seller into letting me have for £2 a piece.He was using them for displaying his vintage tin toys and had no intention of selling them really.I can be very persuasive when I want to be!
Getting to know these good friends. From my old favourite Delia to my new one Tessa! I was tagged by someone (sorry I can't remember who!) to disclose my nightstand reading.These are they!I don't read in bed as hubby works very strange hours but these are what I would be reading if I did!
I make no apologies for this outright show-offiness as I love my new kitchen and after 4 years I am so chuffed!Lots more photos in the future as all the little jobs get finished and I can dress it just how I want.
Last night whilst we were all tucked up in the sitting room it happened.Something our family loves and happens no where near often enough.Looking out of the window into the dark we saw a flurry of precious white snowflakes falling from the sky.Very quickly everything was covered in a magical, white blanket.
I love how snow covers a multitude of sins.It brings light back into the dark winter days and everything it covers instantly looks beautiful again.I love it for the same reason I love my vintage pinnys.They bring beauty to an often mundane job and a smile to my face.
I think we all need a little snow in our life from time to time.
Do you remember this guilt ridden post? Well the swap parcels mentioned at the bottom are finally completed and on their way!Now I feel I can share with you the lovely goodies I received.First was a my vintage classic book swap from the lovely Jackie of Wrens Nest.
Aswell as the book and some lovely hot chocolate, to enjoy in the beautiful green mug,Jackie included one of her beautiful pin cushions.Whilst googling Wrens Nest I came across the also beautiful Cherry Menlove site which lead me to Cherrys two lovely blogs!Just one of those blogland journeys we often take!
Anyway in one of Cherrys recent posts she was flashing her latest teapot a gorgeous vintage teapot.So I'd thought I'd share my latest thrifty find...
...isn't she a mid-century beauty? Is it wrong to be in love with a teapot?
Do you remember that huge pile of interior magazines in our playroom? I subscribe to 3 magazines a month and always find something to inspire me.As we still have a very long way to go in renovating our home I am always reluctant to let them go.Any with lovely images or suppliers I keep and they get added to the pile along with my favourite catalogues!.The pile however had grown and grown to the height of a small child and I realised it was time to sort it out!
On one of my thrifting trips I came across this pair of 1940's Household Encyclopedias.
Although most of the contents are completely outdated and often boring I bought them for some lovely colour prints they have.Like this one...
I couldn't decide what to do as even though I loved the colour plates I was always brought up to believe that books are special and should not be cut up!Then I remembered that as a child I really loved scrap books I would tear pictures out of magazines and stick them in building up layers of things I like.I wish I knew where they went!
So I decided to use my find as scrap books and use the images I like from my interior mags.That way I get to keep the books in one piece and sort out my magazine pile!I went through and removed approx half of the books pages then began tearing and sticking images.Here's a few pictures of the result.
I kept all the lovely colour plates like this selection of scrumptious deserts!
I'll add a few more to my flickr account if you want a nosey! I really enjoyed it and founds some articles I had completely forgotten about some of the magazines were from 6 years ago!I came across a number of lovely shops like this one called Semmalina which sells lovely vintage inspired childrens goodies and handmade party bags.
This lovely old fashioned sweetie shop Hope & Greenwood run by Mr Greenwood and Mrs Hope in her vintage aprons!.All the sweets are in old fashioned glass jars and the handmade chocolates are displayed on vintage cakestands.They even issue sweet ration books!
I also learnt a few things about my tastes.Having all those images together it's plain to see that I really like stripes and florals,cushions and chairs and most suprising to me every page has the colour red somwhere!I must inject some into my colour schemes from now on!
Well another easy post today.It's saturday and so a day full of ferrying my oldest girls between drama school and music lessons.Somehome fitting in feeding them aswell.I swear my girls have a more active social life than me.But ,oh my time WILL come!In the morning the younger girls and I usually potter around getting all the little jobs done that seem to be missed during the week.So when I found this little gem of a book in my secret stash I thought I would share it.It was published in 1961 so is very 50's in style ,just my scene!I will apologise in advance for all the photos but I just couldn't make up my mind which to include, I have missed out loads!Just click on the photo to enlarge.
Pink candlewick (chenille) bedspread like I bought last week!
Just look at those shorts and that dear little pinny!
I want those mixing bowls!
This is for Alison can you see what's in the front paper bag?
Isn't shoe pollish flammable?'Watch where you put that pipe pappa!'
Now why can't I find a pink bucket?
Now that's what I call shopping in style!
I have two of these books one which I'm keeping and this one which is in fair condition,just missing it's spine but still intact.If no-body claims it for a swap I'm tempted to frame some of the images for my utility room.What do you think? - Yea! It's going to Alisons house :)
Just a little chat before I begin!This was my first conversation of the morning...
Jo-jo: 'Mummy where do you buy horses?'
Me: 'At a farm Josie.'
Jo-jo: 'Do you know where the farm is?'
Jo-jo: 'Are they open on saturday?'
Realising where the conversation was going I tried to bring it to a halt!
Me: 'I'm not sure but we can't buy a horse as we haven't got a stable.'
Jo-jo: 'Well can you buy stables at the farm?'
Aghh this girl has an answer for everything.So what did I say? 'Ask your Dad!' of course!!!
Over at the Brocante Home Chronicles the puttering treats for this week included opening your favourite vintage cook book to page 134 and baking whatever was there.Well I chose this book that used to belonged to my Great Grandmother.A 1958 copy of 'The Creda Housecraft Manual'.Just look at the front cover how scrumptious?But my oven is oh so temporary and temperamental so baking is totally out of the question as we have two temperatures warm or firey furnace!I didn't want to miss out totally though so though I could post the recipe here and maybe another vintage housekeeper could putter by proxy!
HOT MEAT LOAF
You have 2 lamb cutlets,2ozs mushrooms,a kidney and some rashers of bacon and unexpectedly want supper for 4 people.
Remove all bone from cutlets,and put the meat,kidneys,mushrooms,an onion,and two or three rashers through a mincer.Hard boil one or two eggs.Add 3ozs of white bread to mince.Season well and bind with beaten egg.Grease a 1LB loaf tin (or round 5 inch cake tin) and coat it with browned breadcrumbs.Pack the mince into this and put the hard-boiled eggs in the centre.Cover with greaseproof paper.
Cook at 375 degrees F for 35 to 40 mins,centre of the oven.
Turn on to a meat dish,garnish with grilled halves of tomato and duchesse potatoes.
Now I don't know about you but if I unexpectedly had 4 for supper there's no way I would just happen to have those ingredients to hand!I would more likely whip up a quick pasta and open a packet of nibbles.Oh how times have changed