Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Let us be elegant or die....

 
I'm snuggerising here.
 
This is a term I picked up from the a lovely friend, Helen, who posts on The Bluebirds are Nesting, and it's just stuck with me.
 
It's sort of like Spring Cleaning, but it's to make the house warm and welcoming for Winter.
 
I received the most beautiful copy of Little Women from my son for Mothers Day. Snuggerising sounds very much like something the March family would have done.
 
Here are two favourite quotes...
 
"Love is a great beautifier"
 
"Let us be elegant or die!"
 
I mentioned the first in a post on Mothers Day.
 
Everything my Mother touched with her hands and her love, was made more beautiful or elegant for her having done so. She had a way with making do that went beyond the merely functional.
 
 Mending...dispatched with a ribbon here, a bit of lace there. A single rosebud from the garden in a tall slender vase on the kitchen bench or the divider that separated the living area from the dining area. A beautiful tea set acquired by inviting all the neighbours to a Tupperware party and exceeding sales of a certain dollar value, proudly displayed on the same divider. Home made icecream in our tiny freezer...the one made by whipping chilled tins of evaporated milk and adding other ingredients...the recipe appeared online some years ago, and I recognised it immediately. A longed for bedroom chair with an orange faux fur seat at my dressing table. Crepes with lemons from our own tree and caster sugar, for afternoon tea. Any wonder our friends wanted to come home with us!
 
So my lovely friends, let us beautify what we have with a loving touch, not an expensive one. Let us be elegant, no matter our circumstances as the March family were. Let's make the most of what we have. Let's do as a friend of mine is doing and refashion something no longer useful into something valued and treasured. She is turning polar fleece dressing gowns that her family have grown out of, into throw rugs. Gorgeous!
 
For me it means trimming my pillowcase with scraps of lace today. It means baking red velvet cupcakes for daughter to take to work experience. It means continuing to stitch sequins and crystals to my faux Moroccan wedding blanket. It means polishing everything with home made jasmine scented furniture polish.
 
I make my own furniture polish as I have lots of lovely antique or antique style wooden furniture in my home. I just melt a little coconut oil, and add several drops of jasmine or frangipani essential oil to it. I put this in a small container, and take just a dab on a soft cloth (not microfibre in this instance), wiping it on in horizontal strokes, then polishing it off the same way. Don't go round and round with it or you'll end up with swirls on your surfaces! You need to dust with a microfibre cloth first too, so the dust and grime doesn't get trapped in the polish. It's a little more labour intensive, but smells waaaaay better than spray on commercial stuff, and makes the house glow :)
 
It means remembering another beautiful quote from Little Women...
 
"Be comforted dear soul. There is always light behind the clouds".
 
Love to you all today...xxx
 
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28 comments:

  1. Mimi, what a lovely post and so encouraging in the area of being content with beautifying what we have!

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    1. Thankyou Patsy. Sometimes I think there's more satisfaction in making something beautiful from an existing item, than there is in just going out and buying a thing. Browsing favourite blogs and websites and nosing around in the posh home décor stores is great fodder for inspiration, and so often I've found that I already have the basics to replicate something that catches my eye. By this age, our tastes are pretty consistent, so it's usually just a tweak and a twitch here, and a sequin or sparkle there, and voila! I hope I've inspired you to do some snuggerising there, even though it's Spring in your part of the world. Mimi xxx

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  2. I love the term 'snuggerising' it invokes wonderful pictures of warm throws, soft candle light and hot chocolate.

    Still in building mode here so not much chance to snuggerise anywhere other than our bedroom and even that is not as it should be due to the burgundy throw still being in storage.

    I decided the other week that as it was getting cooler that the doona needed to go on the bed and that meant that I needed to add warmth to the room because the cover is cream, it was looking a bit cold until I added 2 european pillows clad in burgundy and a decorative burgundy breakfast pillow.

    The lounge room is yet to be started on so we have shabby green walls with flaking paint (I know that people pay good money for this sort of look on their furniture but honestly no one wants to be sitting with paint flaking off the ceiling and walls).

    So I might just resort to pulling out a blanket or two and picking up some pillow slips for the spare pillows and keeping the cushions and throws I purchased last year (in the belief that the room would be done by now) until next winter when I can put the whole picture together.

    I have candles to use and can still enjoy a hot drink in there even though it is not how I pictured the room to be.

    Lynette
    XXXXX

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    1. Oh Lynette....that building and renovating! You're still going? I know you though. You make the best of any situation, and I can just see your lovely touch in your work-in-progress home. A soft blanket and cushion on the couch might be all you need. Candles and cocoa? Perfect. Mimi xxx

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  3. Mimi, don't you just love Little Women? I also have a copy of Little Men here as well. What great books they are! I had a little giggle about the lace on your pillowslips. I can just imagine my husband saying 'What on earth is THIS on here for?' Some people just have no class. LOL! I remember the homemade ice cream too. So very tasty and without any chemicals.

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    1. Nanna Chel, I adore it. The copy I just received is covered in pastel pink floral fabric and is a special edition. I'm just thrilled with it! Little Men, I read as a teen....but had forgotten about it. Thankyou for reminding me! Lol at your hubby....mine just sighs and lives with it now. He draws the line at floral sheets though, much as I'd love some! And that ice cream was the best, wasn't it? I think I might add that to todays list. Lovely to see you. Mimi xxx

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  4. "Snuggerising"....I love it, my friend :) I have really been enjoying your posts on being a lady and keeping the home - they have been such a joy and blessing to my heart.

    May you have a wonderful week, Mimi! Hugs!

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    1. Thankyou Stephanie, dear. I take that as high praise from you....Mimi xxx

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  5. I feel "fluffed" after reading this lovely post, Mimi. {I certainly hope that's not a curse word in your culture.} Fresh, clean, plumped like a feather pillow needs fluffing. Ahhhh. That's sigh my spirit feels.

    She's missing you, Mum, that Mimi of yours.

    Hugs, dear!
    Kelley~

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    1. Thankyou Kelley. I teared up when I read your little comment to my Mum. You are a darling....Mimi xxx

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  6. This is such a heartwarming post you wrote about your dear Mom and your memories. This is such a lovely book you have received and I'm sure it makes it more special to receive it from your child on Mother's Day. I hope you have a wonderful week. My best to you, Pat

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    1. Thankyou Pat. It is special to receive such a gorgeous gift on Mothers Day. Especially when chosen by a son. He is a darling, thoughtful young man. Mimi xxx

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  7. A lovely post Mimi. I remember watching Little Women when I was a young teenager and admiring their hope when things were tough. It's a lesson I've carried through my family's trials in life.

    We may live on a low income yet our home is that - a home that's clean, tidy and comfortable. A joy to be in.

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    1. Wendy, I see that in you. I would have picked you as a fellow lover of Little Women in a heartbeat. Mimi xxx

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  8. Mimi, you are just gorgeous! I was transfixed as I read this!
    PS can't believe The Diva is off to Work Experience. How lovely. xxx

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    1. Thankyou Flora. Yes The Diva had a fabulous week at the premiere professional Theatre Company in our fair city. She was included at all levels from Production meetings to rehearsals and a backstage tour invitation extended to the costume department of Cirque de Soleil's Totem. More of a reward week than a work week, for sure! Mimi xxx

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  9. I love this! Making things comfy and inviting is so lovely and sort of an art. Some expensive home fashions are just stupid. Remember quite recently that stage when homes were meant to look like dentist surgeries all stainless steel and cold? Lol we can save a lot by ignoring this kind of thing and making things snugly! This makes for happy people! xxx

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    1. Annabel, it is an art of sorts isn't it. And I am a strong advocate of warm and cozy and cannot understand the whole minimalist idea at all! Easy to clean, yes. Inviting and welcoming? Never! Mimi xxx

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  10. Just love love love Little Women! Snuggerising - sounds wonderful and I agree how wonderful it is to spruce up your home with something small, but adding that special touch that just makes your day feel worthwhile and special. Happy snuggerising :)

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    1. The term just invites you to snuggle and smile doesn't it? I agree that little touches make life worthwhile. Mimi xxx

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  11. Dear Mimi, your post has me in puddles! What an exquisite gift from your son.
    My children and I are reading Little Women and Little Men this summer along with many other timeless classics. I cannot wait for them to experience these stories.It is obvious how much your mum is loved and missed. My dearest childhood friend had thee most inviting home, in many of the ways you've described. Her mother had 7 children, and her house was the cleanest, prettiest, best smelling home on our street. She always smiled when she answered the door, was always dressed with her makeup on and her hair in place. She was kind and patient. She loved making everything beautiful and everyone welcome and comfortable. Thank you for sharing bits of your upbringing with us. It's cheering me up and exactly what I needed to read today! xxx Colette

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    1. Colette, I am glad it's not just me that wants my children to experience the books and films I loved as a child. My sons still speak fondly and hilariously of watching The Princess Bride with me, and my daughter of course is my comrade-in-arms on all things girly. It's a whole new experience through their eyes. Your friends Mom and home sounds like ours as children. I know it's nice to have an expensive and lavish home. But I'd rather have a warm and inviting one. Mimi xxx

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  12. Such a lovely post! Great memories of your mother and what a way to live.
    Lori from LL Farm

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    1. Thankyou Lori, and I'm so glad you stopped by. Mimi xxx

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  13. Dearest Mimi,
    I simply love your copy of Little Women. I have the movie, and everything about the story seems to lift us to a higher plane in life.
    This winter I have six sets of fairy lights set up at different places in my lounge room and dining room, the warm sparkle lifts the rooms from dark to cozy and intimate. Annabel and I decided to add more of these touches to our home this winter after looking homes in the Northern Hemisphere during the cold weather. It's been a lovely touch that adds a sense of calm during the evening especially. Thank you for a beautify post. Love Helen xxx

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    1. Helen, now fairy lights are mentioned and you have my attention! I too have fairy lights everywhere. I bought them at Christmas and well....I never took them down. They are wrapped around candelabra, mirrors and shrubs on the verandah and are just gorgeous. Thank YOU for telling me about 'snuggerising' so many years ago. Mimi xxx

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  14. Mimi, I enjoyed reading this! Little Women is also a favorite book of mine and loving your home is a favorite topic of mine :) Have a lovely week!

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    1. JES, I knew from the start that you and I were kindred spirits. Thanks for stopping by. Mimi xxx

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I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx