Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Four Chairs

Ever feel like you're in a creative slump? Maybe it's the weather, maybe the mood, maybe the undercooked fish you ate for dinner two weeks ago, but whatever it is, you just feel ... blah?

Those are times when the only way out is forward. What works for me is thinking of ONE thing I can do -- just one! --  and starting there.

The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of HomeLast week I had my nose in the most terrific book: The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home. This, my friends, is a book to rush home to -- and it's NOT about to clean your oven or make your window blinds sparkle. The writing! The photos! The homages to Cary Grant! Here's a sample for you:

"We no longer need to knit socks, exhaust ourselves on "baking day," stitch quilts to keep ourselves warm or sew aprons to wear in the kitchen, and we are no longer judged on the quality of our hemming, party or heel-turning. The gentle arts have moved into a new realm in contemporary life, a realm we can choose to enter should we wish, and one in which the act of doing is as important as the result. Ignore all calls for perfection and focus instead on what can achieve, and the pleasures of the gentle arts will be yours for the taking."

In other words, we modern-day homemakers have an advantage: we can limit ourselves to the drudgery of chores, which are never permanently done, or we can choose to expand our skills and make our environment one of beauty ... because we want to. And I believe many of us do want to, secretly or otherwise, because we're made in the image of the ultimate Creator.

So, last week it was spray-painted chairs. [I also scoured the fridge. Guess which was more fun?]

Today, we're making pencil cases.

And the man in the big brown truck just dropped off this book.

I think there's hope for us.


Shifrah Combiths said...

Love it. Can we see those amazing, vibrant chairs in the house?

Hannah said...

Hang in there -- later this week! Thanks for asking. :-)

Michelle L said...

Looks like a great book! Too bad most of the domestic pursuits I'm interested in can be hazardous to toddler safety...but all in good time.

Jenny said...

I haven't had good results with spray paint in the past, but your chairs look great! Maybe I should give it another try. Tips?

Julie said...

Color, aaahhh I just love it, love it, love it! On the flip side, I detest scouring the fridge! Might it be one of the worst chores in the whole house?

Sarah Wayne said...

I've been perusing your blog. Wonderful! How did you find the book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity? The reviews sound tantalising. What effect did it have on you? Finish undone projects, start new exciting ones.