Sunday, December 6, 2015

Domestic Artistry

I'll be the first to admit that I've grown tired of cooking, cleaning, and laundry. And I've let these things slide a bit, taking a more relaxed style to keeping our little home running.

With a looser definition of a well-kept home, I approach the quiet pleasures of home life with a creative spirit. Working my way through the making and doing brings happiness and satisfaction from taking care of myself and those I love. Slowing down to focus on "good and simple" feels right.

The hum of the sewing machine as I mend the hems of old towels, trying to extend their usefulness just one more season.


The scent of lavender and the warm mist of steam from the iron for freshly pressed shirts.


And a simmering pot of soup with ground turkey, lentils, onions, and sweet potatoes, spiced with bay leaves, garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon and a pinch of cocoa powder. A hearty and healthy chili for dinner.




Followed by a relaxing evening, cuddled on the couch, watching the PBS mini-series, Small Island, checked out from our local library.

Perhaps peace that begins at home can spread and bring a little peace to the world.

I hope and pray this is so.  Wishing each of you peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

21 comments:

  1. a beautiful post donna. happy you are having a little "calm" this holiday season. That soup looks delicious! interesting twist with the cocoa powder.

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    1. Cathy, I have a terrible sweet tooth and probably would add cocoa to just about anything! Seriously, I've been craving the homemade hot chocolate with freshly whipped cream that I had with a friend while visiting in North Carolina. Like you, my travels always involved good food, photography, and shopping for handmade and local crafts. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!

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  2. Donna, I could not agree more with you. Peace does begin at home and it was the top thing on our list of what my husband and I wanted when we set up housekeeping so many years ago. Now as technology has changed so much, we continue to intentionally keep peace at the top of the list and avoid many "activities" that pull for constant attention, so we can truly enjoy the simple and peaceful life. I really LOVE the hanging shirt/blouse in the background of the iron, and your apron behind the sewing machine. The softness of fabric, clarity and color add to the tone your speak of. And, I must check out the mini series. I love PBS movies. Wishing you much peace and goodwill this season. I've slowed down considerably myself, and must say it's a pace to be savored and enjoyed.

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    1. Beverly, I can tell by way of your blog and your photographs that you are a person with her priorities set right. You seem to have a wonderful sense of balance and I strive to be more like you. I'm looking forward to the next year with great anticipation - waiting to see what friends like you will bring to my live - all connected by creativity and caring.

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  3. Totally agree with Beverly as she always speaks so well. I love your list of ingredients for your soup of course. What a beauty of a sewing machine, I am not a sewer but my Mom was a master and had a Singer. It folded up from under a sewing machine table. My daughter is a sewer and I just purchased a new embroidery sewing machine for her Christmas present. I have been enjoying what matters to me at this time of year and that is what is important for sure.

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    1. Barbara, No one makes soup like you! I've seen so many beautiful and healthful versions on your blog - each one better than the last. And your daughter will be so tickled with the sewing machine! I've seen those fancy embroidery machines - and there is so much you can make. You are a wonderful mother! I'll be talking to you soon - and looking forward to your return to blogging (I'm missing your posts - but I sure do understand the importance of breaks).

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  4. A peace-filled post indeed, my friend! I wish you the very same!

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    1. June, You spread peace with every photograph, every story and word you write, and every heart you touch. Thank you for your example of faith and love.

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  5. Oh, this is lovely, Donna. Yes to peace spreading from our homes into the world. Peace begets peace, yes? Let's take advantage of the contagion. xx

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    1. Helen, I'm so enjoying getting to know you by way of your Weekly Findings every Monday. You have a keen insight, a thoughtful mind, and an honest and true nature that make you an instant friend.

      For my friends that stop by to visit, you can find Helen here - http://www.weeklyfindings.com/

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  6. Here’s a beautiful series about home activities… Cooking, washing, ironing, sewing have always been women’s fate… and sometimes considered as chores… When I look at your pictures Donna, I only see ART…
    Cooking, sewing, ironing can be, (with age, they have become for me)
    meditative and privileged moments… our minds are lingering while we peel potatoes for dinner or quilt a baby blanket during hours or even wash the dishes (I never had a dishwasher)…
    How lucky to be able to cook healthy food we like, to sew our own clothes or quilts to offer, to wash or iron the clothes for the one we love…
    I love your first picture with your old sewing machine and old notions and the beautiful linen apron in the background… such a perfect place to imagine new projects to be offered to the one we love…
    As for the vintage iron, what less artistic than an iron? What more practical than an iron? And yet, you’ve made such a poetic scenery starring your iron in the middle of the table with a lovely green shirt hanging in the background and the pretty table cloth with tiny flowers… You’ve transcended a common domestic scene into a sacred instant of poetry…
    May you find peace and serenity in these moments at home...

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    1. Odile, I just spent some time admiring your photos on your photo stream, and truly you are an extraordinary artist. It seems everything you touch is enhanced by your gentle spirit. Your handwork is exquisite and your photographs tell the story of a life of beauty-seeking. Honestly a visit to your pictures makes me feel calm and as though everything will be okay - what a gift!

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  7. I thought you said you weren't cooking and cleaning, and doing domestic responsibilities :) Everything is gorgeous.

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    1. Sarah, For every one day of cooking, I skip three. I pick up and tidy, but let the dusting slide. I iron when there are wrinkles galore. And I sew when I feel like it. Because . . . a girl's gotta have time to take pictures, right?

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  8. If we lived closer, I would have been there for dinner. It looked so good and I bet your house was filled with wonderful, fragrant orders. Your iron is very cool, as my grandson would say. The dof in that photo is so pleasing...
    Like you I have found that I can tolerate a bit more dust as long as the clutter doesn't build. I cook less, but we always have a warm meal at home during the week. On weekends we tend to stop for a late lunch if we are out or if home, we go out with intention. You curl up with a movie, I curl up with a good book, both restoring...another beautiful post. Peace and goodwill to you and yours Donna. I'm hoping for more of that in our country for next year,

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    1. I agree. I like to keep things tidy and picked up. I feel overwhelmed by clutter, but dust, well . . . I can overlook that! Hope you are enjoying this holiday season and I'll look forward to more of your beautiful photographs and thoughtful words. Plans for the new year - a photo project, a word of year, a new goal? Can't wait to see what's next?

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  9. I love your goal of peace. I am aiming for the same kind of atmosphere in my home as I have slowed down considerably. I just hope I can keep it up as the days leading up to Christmas get closer. Being a sewing myself, I loved taking in every detail of that first picture. I love your sewing machine and that is the cutest little pin cushion I have ever seen. Your soup looks delicious and photographed beautifully.....

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    1. Nancy, After your month of blogging every day, I hope you have a little down time. I was tickled to read that your family went to the theater in Abingdon. We've been there once before - such a treat. Where do you live? I don't think I realized you are in VA - possible road trip for us to meet and visit! Thank you for visiting here - and for the kind words always.

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  10. Donna, these are my favorite images of yours yet! You are really very gifted with still life. Such calm and balance in these words and pictures.

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    1. Rebecca, I see something in your photographs that makes me want to be a better photographer - some sense of emotion, of depth, of meaning. And so I learn from you, dear friend. Finding your presets has been a gift to me - they bring my photos to life without overpowering or taking over. If you decide to teach ANY class, please let me know. I'd sign up in minute to learn from you - because your pictures are you - and they portray kindness.

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  11. I hope and pray this is so too. Beautiful images...your still life...oh my...so amazing...

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