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keeping home

June 06, 2013 | 0 comments

There is much comfort in completing the chores of the home. To see the laundry, folded in neat stacks. A sparkling countertop, clear of clutter. A freshly made bed. My grandmother (and mother) had a particular way of keeping house. I can't say that I was happy about doing chores when I was a child, and would rush through my assignments, only to have the completed work inspected, and most likely redone. Grout, cleaned with a toothbrush. Towels, folded in thirds. One of these specialized tasks was ironing. I can vividly remember doing a chore for her - ironing my grandfather's shirts, when I was about 11 or 12. Her laundry room was what apartment dwellers dream of, 50 square feet dedicated just to laundry- washer, dryer, utility sink, cabinetry for storage, and of course, the ironing board. My grandfather's white button down shirts were what most modern women would send to the cleaners. But my grandmother came of age during the depression, and for many years had very little money. Although they lived in a big beautiful home my grandfather built, she still lived frugally, and would never think of sending out his laundry- that was her job. Or in this case, my job. Of course, the special way to do this task had many steps: first, the iron had to be filled with distilled water, poured in with a funnel. Lots of heavy starch, sprayed on in place of water sometimes. There was even a particular order to iron - first the collar, then the sleeves, finally the larger areas of fabric. I didn't particularly love being instructed in the intricacies of house work at the time, but I did learn a lot about the "right" way to do things around the home. It's a bit of a lost art these days, one I'm guilty of abandoning myself most of the time, as I've adopted a sort of "clean as you go" mentality. But, give me a few hours at home on a leisurely rainy day, and I'm completely satisfied making a pot of soup, hand-washing clothes, vacuuming behind the furniture, and creating a clutter-free space. That's why I'm really excited to partner with Kinfolk magazine and Estera Style on the Kinfolk Freshen Up Event. Held at Greenhouse Loft this Tuesday evening, it's a chance to make a variety of natural products for the home, with lavender, mint, and other natural ingredients to make a complete house cleaning kit. With containers provided by Whole Foods, and labels designed by me, we'll come away with 4 products for taking care of your home, with ingredients our mothers and grandmothers taught us to use, paired with essential oils of lavender, mint, tea tree... There are just a few spots left, so I hope to see you there, creating your products, or sipping a cocktail from Fig Catering, enjoyed in lovely antique barware from Nimble Well. I'm grateful for my grandmother's lessons and appreciate the value in them, to have been taught to do things the proper way. And while I'll never have the time to keep my house as perfect as my grandmother did, I can take comfort in the process of simple task done well.

 


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