Guest blogger series | Creative nostalgia

by contributor on October 3, 2011

in Fibre+Needlework, Guest blog series2 2011

Laura Bray is a designer, writer and lifestyle expert. She inspires creative women to live a life of balance & simplicity by sharing her modern twist on traditional home arts. Whether you stitch, cook, are raising children, or just want to be a better housekeeper, you are sure to find great tips and tutorials on her blog.

Creative Nostalgia™ With Laura Bray

Is there a woman alive who doesn’t struggle to have it all? We want to juggle all our roles in life. We want to be a good wife, mother, housekeeper, crafter, and more but time doesn’t always cooperate and we end up abandoning some part of us. All too often, it is our creativity.

My mother once told me of a conversation she had with my great-grandmother (her grandmother). She was complaining to her grandmother about how busy and difficult her day had been. Feeling foolish, she apologized, saying she couldn’t imagine what my great-grandmother must have had to do as a young mother, without the modern conveniences of life. My great-grandmother replied  saying that in her day, there were no washing machines, so no one expected her to get anything done except for laundry on ‘Wash Day’. No easily accessible grocery stores meant that Thursday was ‘Market Day’ and everyone knew that was all that would get done that day.

When my mother told me that story, I experienced a deep revelation regarding my own expectations and how I use modern, ‘time-saving’ conveniences to make myself crazy instead of make my life easier. Didn’t we invent all these machines and gizmos to save time? Instead of allowing us more leisure time, we use them to get more and more done in less time. What if I applied my great-grandmother’s lifestyle, but implemented the use of modern machines? Would I have more time? An experiment was born.

I’ve adopted what I like to call a Creative Nostalgic™ lifestyle. Like my great-grandmother, I do laundry on Mondays. That’s all I expect myself to accomplish. I don’t have to wash anything by hand, so my laundry chores are done in a few hours in the morning, leaving me the rest of the day to play in my studio or go on adventures with my daughter. And so goes my week;

  • Monday is Wash Day
  • Tuesday is Ironing Day
  • Wednesday is Sewing Day
  • Thursday is Market Day
  • Friday is Cleaning Day
  • Saturday is Baking Day
  • Sunday is Rest Day

By the end of the week, everything that needs to get done in the house is completed, yet I’ve had plenty of time to be creative and focus on my other roles as a wife, mother, business woman, crafter and friend. Sometimes, I even implement creative projects that match my day’s chores. If it’s market day, I might sew a few fabric produce bags from vintage curtains to take with me to the grocery stores.

My experiment is working too! I don’t feel overwhelmed. I am able to nurture my family without sacrificing myself and my art. It all started with a short phone conversation between a loving great-grandmother and a wise young mother and, today, I encourage you to listen to the past with nostalgia, and then craft a better future.

To celebrate my visit with all of you on whipup.net today, I’ve created a little set of embroidery images that embody the spirit of my Creative Nostalgia™ Days of the Week. I used them to create a fabric cover for a notebook for my to do list. They would look darling on tea towels as well!

Click on the image to save and then print the embroidery designs.

Enjoy!

 

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacey October 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

Such a great point! I’ve thought the same thing about ‘time-saving’ conveniences myself over the past few years… love how you’re living such a wonderful lifestyle :)

2 suesue October 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

What a wonderful idea and how lovely that you got the idea from your great grandmother! I remember how hectic young married life was with 4 kids, I had to wash three loads of clothes every night or it was overwhelming. I should have organized myself as much then as I do now. Live and learn…… Thanks for sharing your story!!

3 Lisa October 4, 2011 at 11:44 am

Your post reminded me of something I read in Little House in the Big Woods, by Laura Ingalls Wilder:

“… Ma began the work that belonged to that day. Each day had its own proper work. Ma used to say:
Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday.”

4 Laura Bray October 4, 2011 at 11:52 am

Yes Lisa! That saying is an old one. I’m not sure of the origin, but it is the original inspiration for my Creative Nostalgia (TM) lifestyle. I figure if women have been using the system for this long, I should probably take note-it must work!

5 colleen October 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm

How to “do it all” in one easy step!! Love this wisdom!

6 Catherine Denton October 17, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Such a simple reminder on how to get it done and not be overwhelmed. Love this!

7 Theresa October 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

A friend saw my blog and linked me to this post. What a smart idea! Now, to STICK to the schedule!

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