Library Bag: The Domestic Arts

Not that I'm in love with the menial tasks of housework (trust me I'm no expert cleaner), but I think there is something to be said about the traditions behind making a home. And so here are a few books that I am currently in love with:

Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & The Comforts of Home. This book is a treasure trove of color and inspiration, covering everything from knitting to quilting, to gardening, baking, and books on the domestic life. And to justify my obsession with creating more than cleaning, Jane aptly states in her introduction, "Domesticity rises above the bossiness of cleaning products and media exhortations to keep our houses pristine and hygenic, and focuses instead on creativity within the domestic space."

So it's okay if dust collects every now and then if we're enjoying ourselves in the greater picture of making a home, right?

The author with her family cozying up under her quilts. You can visit her equally colorful and creative blog, Yarnstorm, here.

I have recently fallen in love with hanging clothes on the line. It started off with hanging the cloth diapers out to dry (it helps them last longer and naturally bleaches out stains & germs), but I think I'll be hanging more of our laundry out in the sunshine. I happened across The Clothesline by Andrea VanSteenhouse in the library this week and love the exploration of this age-old tradition.

It contains the history of laundry (much more interesting than it sounds!), old tips on washing and hanging laundry, and clothesline artwork. It's a cute little book that makes me want to wash some clothes and get outside!

And this isn't really one I found at the library (I perused through it at Borders), but I thought it suitable to include here. How to Sew a Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew is a humorous and helpful little book on some of the forgotten skills of the domestic life. Some of the tips include how to fold a fitted sheet to crisp perfection (which I will probably never master), how to use baking soda and vinegar to clean your house without toxic chemicals, and even how to write a letter to your representative. I wish I could remember some of the funnier tips I enjoyed but my mind's a blank!

What are some of your favorite things about creating and making a home? Any traditions that have been passed down?
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