Monday, March 8, 2010

Pursuing Domestic Arts With Joy

Recently I began making all of our own bread and am starting to feel resourceful on most days, except when I am stressed that things (like emergencies interrupt our schedule).  I have found it helpful to read others blogs such as , , and as they have encouraged me in bread making and in storage of bread.  One day, I would like to figure out how others are able to have bread making days only once a week without their bread going stale.  That being said, I am also starting to feel like a helpful homemaker.  Here are some pictures of our bread making journey today.  It is a fun thing to get the kids involved in the whole process. We were making grandmother's bread.   I had such fun making this bread that we decided to venture out and try some new things with it.  I rolled it out and put white american cheese slices in it and then rolled it back up and baked it.  It tasted like grilled cheese sandwiches minus the butter.  Everyone loved it!  Then I decided to make cinnamon rolls minus the butter (since I did not have any butter or margarine).  I rolled the dough out and spread nutty peanut butter all over it (since I had loads of peanut butter and it is a butter that is oil based), sugar, and cinnamon.  They were also delicious!  I am also thinking that these would be tasty with a cream cheese frosting.  The recipe is from the cooking section of .  Experiment!  The recipe is versatile.  The kids and I talked about all the different ways we wanted to make Grandmother's bread.

Another pursuit that I have recently rediscovered joy in is sewing.  I have yet to find a permanent spot for my sewing projects that my kids will not sneak into and destroy.  Four years ago, I undertook a huge job to make window coverings for my entire home that we would soon move into.  I chose to make window valances that were all the same, just different fabric.  At the time, I had some wonderful seamstresses helping me so that I could complete the job before we moved.  It makes happy every time I look around the home and realize that they were homemade with love.  

With my recent pursuits in the kitchen, the need for aprons was of great necessity and I had lots of extra fabric.  I had five willing helpers all with no aprons.  So, as of late, I have been making aprons.  Only two are complete so far.  I plan on continuing my work on aprons and then moving on to other well-needed projects, like mending clothes.  My grandma is a great seamstress and made the pretty apron that my little girl is wearing and another apron for my big girl.  I plan on using these aprons for future aprons for my daughters and a different pattern for my boys.  I have not yet taken pictures of the second apron that I made.  I plan on finishing it up this week and taking pictures and posting them on Thursday's from scratch post.  My question that I do have for those with many children is, "how do I make sewing a part of my daily routine with so many little ones to care for and teaching my children to sew?"  Amy over at has been a big encouragement when it comes to sewing things.  Just yesterday, I made a moby wrap and am loving it!  My back has been hurting lots and my little girl loves to be cuddled lots, so when I found out that I could make this moby wrap I was thrilled.  There are many places online that teach how to use the moby wrap.  I listened and learned and she loves it.  It is so comfortable.  I love to swaddle my babies in their miracle blankets when they are newborns to about 3 months and to cuddle them in the moby wrap or my arms as often as I can.  

Another blog that has encouraged me when it comes to sewing is .

Last of all laundry.  Mindy has an encouraging post about organizing a laundry system.  Click on her name and it will take you to her site.  After reading the Duggar's book, Twenty and Counting, I was inspired to have a laundry room that was centralized.  We moved all the kids drawers downstairs and put up a clothing rod with a shelf above it.  Now all of my laundry is on the same floor.  We have a folding table and laundry baskets are placed under them.  We also have a chest that we keep our blankets in and a large rubbermaid tote that holds all of our sheets.  I have yet to constantly stay on top of all of our laundry.  This is a constant battle.  Laundry is a journey just like motherhood is a journey.

This final picture was taken just before I cleaned the tops of the drawers.


Gretchen and John said...

I love your littlest girl's big smile! I've been making my own bread, as well, for our family of two :-), and I only make two loaves once every other week. When they're cool, one gets wrapped up and frozen and the other goes into a plastic container in the fridge.

I love hearing (and reading!) other people's ideas, too!

MommaMindy said...

Thank you so much for the mention in your blog. I am starting my bread making journey soon - I bought a grain mill and a friend from ND sent me some hard red spring wheat she grew. I loved hearing all your different ideas.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

loved this post. the little aproned girls are so sweet. I know what you mean about not having a regular/permanent sewing spot. I love to sew, and find it very useful to have it up and ready. My son is always bringing something I could sew for him, if I had it out and ready.
Then also just the little enjoyable things to sew.
I really find encouragement from other bloggers. it helps so much to 'chat' with other's seeking to honor God in their homes & with their families. Thanks for taking the time to post.
Have a wonderful week!

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Debbie, thanks for participating in the Blogging Bee. We make bread only once a week because of time (might actually get to make it twice this week - a novelty indeed), so when we run out, we just do without. However, there are only 5 in our family. If I had more people to feed or appetites increased (which may happen soon), I'd need to do this twice a week at a minimum. That said, the more you do it, the easier it gets and the less time it seems to consume. You still must wait for the risings, but you can do other stuff while that is going on.

I always love laundry tips! And aprons! Thanks for sharing. And thanks for mentioning Homestead Revival!