needlework design

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 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.