Wednesday

The Daily Pattern

 Very nice dress.  I love the button details.
hard to believe that beautiful thing is made with a crochet needle.

Thursday

The 46 Arts of A 50's Housewife

A few days ago I was reading an article about the 64 arts of the Kama Sutra and although the book at
large is a little too sultry for my tastes I did learn that it has a part that lists the arts that the perfect wife would know and some of them are off the wall, like playing glasses of water, magic and sword play.  The premise is good, a list of things that would be good for every women to know how to do.  I couldn't quite think of 64 but here are 46 things "I think every women should know.  Now please keep in in mind that these are just my opinion, things I am working on everyday myself and things that I feel are important some of which have been lost along the way.
  1. Culinary Arts - Pick up a good cook book and learn how to cook.  This is something that not only every women but every man should know how to do as well.
  2. Baking - not just cake, learn how to make your own bread and maybe some traditional things like nut roll, Irish soda bread and babka.
  3. Basic Bar Tending - Know how to make an assortment of alcoholic drinks, your husbands favorites and a few popular drinks should be memorized and keep all ingredients on hand.
  4. Making and serving a high tea - including a basic knowledge of those sweet little sandwiches.
  5. Food storage - know how to and how long you can store food and how to make a few things in advance in case you don't have the time to cook on a particular night.
  6. Last minute entertaining - memorize some very quick and simple recipes that you can make in a snap to serve if people come over unexpectedly, also it's a good idea to keep a container of instant coffee on hand so that all it takes is some heated water to make a fresh hot small pot of coffee.
  7. Card Games - Bridge, Canasta and  Hearts to name a few.
  8. Nutrition - knowledge of nutrition is imperative for everyone to have.  A knowledge of men's, women's and children's portion sizes is also helpful.
  9. Menu Planning - A varied menu is important also making sure that your family is well fed.
  10. List Making - Get used to making lists for everything, cleaning lists, shopping lists, to do lists.
  11. Time Management a skill that everyone should learn and do not over schedule yourself, learn to use your time more wisely leaving some time for hobbies or to read and relax.
  12. Polishing of Silver and other metals
  13. Sewing Home Decor - Basic sewing skills are a must no matter who you are, but how much
    more pride would you show in your home if the curtains, bedspreads and tablecloths were made by your own hands.
  14. Sewing Clothing - Clothes are something that has become, well lets just face it, disposable.  If you made your own not only can you make clothes that are uniquely your style and taste (as in vintage), but if will be made more soundly and easier to fix and alter because you know where all of the seams are.
  15. Needlework - Whether it be embroidery, knitting, crocheting or tatting it is good to know how to do a little of each and to be able to do at least one really well.  I love the idea that my dishtowels were personalized by me for me with those beautiful embroidered flowers.
  16.  Stain Treatment - know how to get all sorts of things out of those pieces of clothing that you worked so hard to make.
  17. Party Planning - Know how to put together a dinner party for six to a charity ball for three hundred. 
  18. Jewelry Making and Cleaning - Most of the time vintage jewelry is quite inexpensive but some pieces can be made for even less.  Also cleaning up those vintage finds to make them sparkle like new is a wonderful skill to credit yourself with.
  19. Style - Know how to dress no matter what the occasion and  have a full wardrobe that can accommodate any occasion.
  20. Beauty Regime - Set together a beauty regime and stick to it.  Make yourself beautiful and young for as long as the laws of nature allow.
  21. Interior Design - Know what colors go with what and the study the functionality of every room of the home.
  22. Flower Arranging - Pretty flowers whether fake or real are wonderful for every home.  You don't have to be an expert but if your husband brings you flowers wouldn't you like to know how to make them look beautiful on the vase instead of just blah!
  23. Gardening - Whether you just window box garden or have a full English garden know what your doing.  Make your property pretty.  Know when to plant and when to harvest.
  24. Care of Woods - so many things in the home are made of wood.  tables, wood work and knick knacks alike need care to stay beautiful in your showplace.
  25. Care of Metals - how to make everything sparkle.
  26. Pest Control - Let's face it, even the cleanest home can get ants or the like and you need to know how to control it.
  27. Cleaning Products - Know what chemicals do what and what is best for each situation.  Also a basic knowledge of natural cleaning alternatives such as vinegar and baking soda (not together) is also helpful.
  28. Very Basic Home Repair - Obviously changing light bulbs and the like but knowing how to Spackle small holes, knowing where all of the water shut off valves are, knowing your electric box and other various little things that you can do yourself.
  29. Very Basic Car Repair - Now I'm not saying that you should be able to replace the catalytic
    converter but you should know where your fluid tanks are and where your dip stick is and how to change a tire.  You should also know the maintenance schedule of your automobile.
  30. Basic First Aid - Knowing how to fix a boo-boo is a good idea.  Knowing where all of the minor medications are is also important.  Keep a full first aid kit and educate yourself in basic CPR the Heimlich  and wound dressings even if you have to sign up for a professional class is just something everyone should know.
  31. Penmanship - This is a skill that has been thrown to the wayside.  I can't believe some of the handwriting that I see.
  32. Writing - Now I don't mean that you have to be the next Ralph Waldo Emerson but knowing how to get your thoughts across intelligently within the confines of a letter is imperative.
  33. The Art of Conversation - This is something that is also lost.  People spend far too much time just thinking about what the next funny or clever thing they can say is.  Not too many people converse about interesting things or things that matter, just useless, boring drivel.  Listen to the other person and form an intelligent response instead of making jokes especially at others expense.
  34. The Art of Speaking - My biggest pet peeve is people that speak incorrectly.  Especially those that say Pitcher instead of Picture and yous guys.  I am often reminded of the line from My Fair Lady but exchange the world for the English. "Why can't THE WORLD teach their children how to speak?"
  35. The Art of Listening - We spend too much time speaking over one another so that our opinion can be heard.  I think that it is time that everyone work on sitting back and letting the other person finish their thought before cutting them off.  Listen to what they have to say, pay attention and maybe you will learn something.
  36. Singing - Even if you are never very good, try to work on it enough to be able to gather around the piano at Christmas time and join in the caroling. 
  37. Dancing - A basic knowledge of dancing for both men and women are preferred.
  38. Painting/Drawing - A wonderful pastime that every woman should know how to do.
  39. Photography - Learn how to take a beautiful picture.
  40. Games - Collect and know how to play a variety of games.  Board Games, outdoor sports and games and parlor games are all wonderful to play to this day and would make for a wonderful evening for the family or to entertain at a dinner party.
  41. Basic Carpentry - Even though you should leave the major building to your husband there is nothing wrong with a lady knowing how to use a drill and how to correctly hammer a nail.
  42. Basic Geographical Knowledge - Don't be that person that doesn't know that Macedonia is next to Bulgaria or that Georgia is not just a state in the US.
  43. Basic Musical Knowledge - Learn a little about all music even if you don't like it.  Know your Bach from your Brahms, your Buddy Holly from your Bill Haley.  
  44. Basic Classical Art Knowledge - I say classical art only because I don't find modern art to be very good or very vintage for that matter.
  45. Basic Historical and Scientific Knowledge - Give yourself something to talk about.
  46. Reading - So important, although I understand that the current world is changing daily and technology is making print books obsolete we have to remember how much information and beautiful stories are still out there to be saved and enjoyed once more.  How many books are lost if we just stick to what is available in digital form.  Books are an amazing adventure and I hope that our world never forgets them as they were.
 This is just a list of things that I personally think makes for a complete housewife that can keep up with everything around her.  Now I know that it is impossible to become proficient in everything but just basic.  I think that word is one of the most important to remember, basic. 

Till Later!