The Art of Domesticity

The Art of Domesticity

Life is too short for you to be the caretaker of the wrong details.

–Alexandra Stoddard

This week I read some interesting commentary and controversy around the blogosphere surrounding this book here. The Gentle Art of Domesticity by Jane Brocket. I have not yet read the book, but it looks lovely and I am sure it is well worth reading! While most of the buzz was supportive, a few sour folks were a bit critical about celebrating domesticity, especially when it comes to enjoying the apparently less than chic gentle art of knitting and baking. You can read one of the most critical here. I couldn’t believe how rude the writer of the article was! Grrrrr……

For me, this whole topic of how to live simply in a fast paced world is quite intriguing. As many of us are, I seem to be caught in the middle between the allure of the gentle art of domesticity and the martial arts of daily tasks! Yep, sorry to say, my life is often characterized by me karate-chopping my way through life’s aggravations instead of quietly knitting my children’s socks.

Not surprisingly, life in 2007 can turn even the the simplest of pleasures into a more complicated web of daily tasks. For those who turn their craft into a book or a business, life quickly takes a turn from gentle to more stressful, and life is simple no more.

Even if you don’t have a business, these days we all have the opportunity to blog about our projects. From dealing with crashing computers to learning the not-so-gentle art of Photoshop, blogging about the gentle arts can be enough sometimes to make you want to kung-fu your monitor.

None of our grandmas had to deal with that sort of frustration! They just invited their neighbor for a quilting bee by handing a tasty assortment of baked goods over the picket fence. Doesn’t that sound utterly delightful? It does to me. No cell phones and no computers. No taking an entire day posting about what you did yesterday. There must’ve been a lot less aggravation in that gentle way of connecting. But, at least we are still connecting, with people all over the world every day no less!

So what is a girl to do? Just because life has become a rat race for women, should we give up the gentle art of domesticity to accomplish even more “interesting” things? Oh, my, I sure hope not! I think Jane is on to something by refusing to live like a rat in a maze every waking moment. She is allowing herself the joy of simplicity for at least some precious moments in her day! Far from wasting time, she is savoring it. I think by defining the kind of life we want, we can trim out the excess the world throws at us. It is all in the choices we make for balanced living. Our home is the one place we can create the kind of life we really want.

Can’t a girl have a successful blog, publish a book, have a family, AND make quince jelly & knit if she wants to? Good grief, why not?! Go Jane! I don’t even know what quince jelly is, but I just might try it. Savoring quiet moments can renew your mind and energy in a way that cramming in more chaos can never accomplish. Jane is a smart lady.

Photo (above) and concept from the Purl Bee, instructions for the swatch portraits can be found here.
Thanks to laissezfaire for reminding me about this project and to Liberty Post Gallery for the link to the naysayers article!

Top 10 New Design Blogs

Top 10 New Design Blogs

I’m in the Top 10 New Design Blogs To Watch? Are you kidding me? Well, you know I am not one to want to toot my own horn, but since I had absolutely nothing to do with this, I have some people to thank! But WHO? You didn’t read about this poll here, so whoever you are that heard about this and voted for me, I LOVE YOU!

I cannot believe I am on this list, I’ve only been blogging for a few months. Total SHOCK! But to all of you, dear and loyal readers, I thank you! I am so new to blogging that I only read my first one last July, when I started mine. So I am just learning the ropes as I go along! Thanks so much for your encouragement and inspiration as I find my way!

And a big special THANK YOU to someone I just met but will be forever on my favorites list: Su Ling at Laissezfaire Design

Be sure to visit her site and check out all the fabulous folks on that list!