Thursday, November 12, 2009
Actually, they have been pretty good about getting rid of things. In fact, each of them had more bags to give to Goodwill than I thought I could get out of them. So, today we loaded all of the stuff for Goodwill into my van (which was packed to the max!), and my sister dropped it off on her way to the school. It was a beautiful, sunny day today for us to be outside accomplishing a good thing. There is now a small corner of the garage that we can move around in as we go through the rest of the garage and purge some more!
When I get on a purging kick, I sometimes carry that over into rearranging. My excuse is that I need to move furniture around to be sure that I am not missing something that could be thrown away or given away. In all honesty, I just like moving furniture. So that is what I did, as well. The new layout has proven to be a success. My family has commented on how much they like it. We are hopefully soon going to get a new couch since ours is very old and falling apart. Then I get to rearrange again! Yay!!
Now how does all of my ramblings about purging and rearranging furniture relate to the 19th century? Well, given that houses were a lot smaller than most of ours today, families during that time did not have much space to just store things they did not use regularly. As children outgrew things, they were either passed down to the next child or remade into something that could be used. If that wasn't the case, then once something couldn't be used anymore, it was gotten rid of. Another good point to make here is that children did not have all of the toys and things that children of today have. They had much fewer belongings. Again, the space issue and not a lot of money for "extra" things.
The mentality was also different during that era. Material things were not as important. The family had what it needed and maybe a little extra, but it was not consumed with stuff. As the mother of the house, she was constantly trying to keep things in their place or get rid of them so they had room to eat, sleep, learn, and spend time together. There probably wasn't much rearranging of furniture, given that they didn't have a lot of pieces nor a lot of space in their small houses. However, I bet women sometimes got an urge to just change things up a bit for variety's sake like I do. It might be in our nature. Well... at least I think so!
You know what they say - "variety is the spice of life!"
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
You can see the old line where the bottom crease used to be, and hopefully, you can see where I made a new crease a quarter inch above the serging. Needless to say, my ironing for the day consisted of two pant leg hems.
Here's a couple of tips on how to iron certain fabrics.
1. When ironing wool, use a thin piece of cotton fabric to lay over the wool, then spray with water to make steam. Never iron directly on wool! It will turn shiny.
2. When lengthening pants or skirts and trying to get the old crease out, make sure your iron has water in it so you can create a good amount of steam. Depending on the type of fabric (i.e. cotton, wool, or synthetic) and how long the item has been washed, ironed, and worn at that length, the crease (or line) may not completely iron out. Steam is one of the best things to try.
3. With synthetic fabric, remember not to have the heat turned up too high. The fabrics will melt!
And last but not least, here is a simple homemade starch recipe that also makes your clothes smell nice, too.
Lavender Linen Starch
Dissolve 1 tablespoon cornstarch in 1 pint cold water. Add 6 drops of lavender essential oil (or whatever your favorite scent is). Place in a spray bottle and shake before using.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I actually had a short break from being a mom this evening, which I'm sure didn't happen much for 19th century women. My mom wanted to take Brenna to church tonight with her, even though I was not really up to going. So, while they were gone for an hour and a half, I was able to relax and drink a cup of coffee without having to keep my precious little girl from trying to drink it or burn herself trying. Once everyone was home, we decided to do something spontaneous and fun. That translated into playing Apples to Apples. Everyone played, and it was great! It made me think of families back in the day that spent most every Sunday together as a family. I can see it now. Father reading by the fireplace, Mother handsewing in her rocking chair, and the children playing on the floor with their toys.
Well, playing a game on the living room floor is the closest my family can get to that picture right now, and I'm ok with that. We had a wonderful time together, and I'm sure we will try to do it again now that we remember what fun it is to take the time to play games together.
If you haven't tried doing something together as a family in awhile, even if it watching a good, old movie or playing a game as we did, try it!! You will love it!