Thursday, April 16, 2009

Milk Glass

Here's my latest wedding decor brain storm: milk glass vases. I saw a couple I had sitting around on my window sill, and thought, "Oh, how pretty those are together like that." Well, if two are cute together, than a whole bunch will be adorable, no? I've been hitting up thrift stores like crazy for all these vases, preferably with lots of different textures. Luckily, every old person that has died in the last 30 years has about 5 of these under their kitchen sink and then their stuff was then been donated to Goodwill. By themselves, they just say "hospital florist, " but together, they look country charming.

I plan on grouping several together on the table tops, maybe mix in some mason jar and cram in as many Hydrangea, Queen Anne's Lace and Bells of Ireland as I can. That is, if the Bells of Ireland grow this year. Stupid seeds.

And for no good reason, other than that it's pretty: a lovely spring flower.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Modern Family Cookbook

Here's one more of Grandma's things that I have to share - The Modern Family Cookbook, by Meta Given. The spine is just about non-existent, and it's got that great old book smell. While I'm sure there are some lovely dishes in this book, the ones pictured tended to look a lot like selections from the Gallery of Regrettable Foods. The most interesting part is the text, by far.

As you can see from the inscription, this was 1944 modern, so hold on to you hats, ladies. I have to wonder if Grandma was rolling her eyes at this stuff, too, the first time she flipped through this tome. The author was apparently big on "creeds." There are 4-5 major creeds peppered throughout the book, to guide the happy homemaker. Here's a portion of my ultimate favorite: The Family Hostess' Creed.

That's right people. Once you're a wife and mother, you transition from being a member of the household to being the hostess of a never ending party! The guests never leave, they take your hostessing skills for granted and somehow you end up doing everyone's laundry...

This is such an alien idea now - as if you are the one that doesn't belong here, and everyone elses's comfort is somehow waaaaay more important than yours. And you know what's even crazier, is that many women are still operating like this, unconsciously! Not that taking care of your family isn't important, or that you can't get enjoyment and satisfaction from it. The implication is that hostessing the family is now your only purpose on the earth, and to do anything for yourself is somehow a failure of your duties! Watch out, wifey. If anyone's grumpy is the fam. it's clearly your fault for using paper plates last night.

I just like the wording on this one: I will preserve as far as possible the nutritive elements in the foods which are delivered to me. Ummm, delivered by whom? Woodland creatures? I know back in the day the grocery store actually could bring food to you, but, I mean, I just picture a harried wife looking at a random pile of foods brought to her by some clueless person and trying to make an enjoyable meal. This homemaker is starting to sound like she's not allowed to leave the house, or even request specific ingredients!

"Let's see what hubby ordered for us! Okay, we have a cantaloupe, some celery, dried beef and a box of plain gelatin. That silly man! Oh, if only I were allowed to go the grocers! Well, it looks like beef celery aspic with cantaloupe relish again tonight. Although, how I will ever preserve and enhance the attractive qualities of these foods, I don't know."

Wow - a whole chapter on dishwashing! Now, I realize there are probably lots of handy housework tips and tricks out there that I could benefit from, and that a person can truly be an expert of running a house (thanks for the pressure Martha). But, really, a whole chapter on managing dishes? It's not as if they're mobile and sentient and you have to convince them to jump into the soapy water so that you can scrub them clean, rounding up those pesky forks and juice glasses, like a scene from The Magician's Apprentice. But hey, maybe my kitchen would be cleaner if I read this chapter. Who knows?

I guess the difference between a household management book from 60 years ago and a current day one is that, now, the book is trying to help without creating a deep seated anxiety in you that now, everyone's happiness is suddenly under your watch. That you could potentially ruin someone's happiness by making the wrong household move. Hopefully that's the case. Maybe now they just pile on the guilt in a less ham fisted way. And now you get to do all this crap after you just spent 8 hours doing more stressful crap somewhere else. Either way, it's pretty interesting looking at an artifact of pre-feminist American life, and just thinking about the changes.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Daisy Chain

Here the latest wedding decoration idea I've been furiously making. Since we're having a pretty informal affair, I haven't really "picked colors." There's just something so churchy wedding about that, to me, for some reason. However, I do envision sticking to light green and white for flowers and other furbelows. I randomly bought some pale green ribbon a few months ago, without a real plan for it, but this one worked out perfectly. Like a lot of fun crafty things, I found this idea on One Pretty Thing.

So, I used my Joann's coupon, got a dandy flower shaped paper punch, the tiny hole puncher necessary, and went to town until my hand hurt (of course. I never know when to stop.) . It's really incredibly easy, and I think it looks so charming. I'm not exactly sure where this will be draped for the event, but I'm sure it will make its way in somewhere. That is, of course, after I make roughly 83 more feet...
(Sorry for the crummy pictures, by the way. We had one last kick of winter early this week - snow even. Hopefully that kind of hooha is done with!)