Keeping House

Jean Baptiste de Saive's Kitchen Interior with Maid, 1563
Jean Baptiste de Saive’s Kitchen Interior with Maid, 1563

After staying with us for the past four months, my little sister has moved out on her own. This means that for the first time in a long time, my husband and I have our house all to ourselves. We’ve decided to celebrate in the traditional manner: shuffling everything around and doing a deep-clean. All of the library books and shelves that were moved into the living room to give my sister a room of her own are going back (after careful cleaning and cataloging). The freezer was defrosted (it looked like I was smuggling Christmas, there was so much “snow”). The carpets are being cleaned and the windows thrown open. We’ve put off our spring cleaning until now, and we’re making up for lost time.

I’ve also decided to begin work on a number of small craft projects that I’ve always felt were “essential” but never made the time to do. The first thing on my list I’ve already started…making collages. I’ve always loved clipping images out of magazines and rearranging them, and I find that with a good frame around them they make pretty passable artwork. They’re also dirt cheap, and that’s a great motivator to use it as décor.

Also in the realm of décor, but still serving a function, are the gods’ eyes I’ll be making to hang up throughout the house. Sarah Anne Lawless has an excellent article on them here. I’ve felt a close bond with the cypress growing in my backyard, so I plan to use a combination of some soft blue yarn and cypress twigs in order to make the eyes.

I’ve also fallen in love with sigils lately, so I plan to try to make some and combine protective salt and other herbs with the designs. I think I can manage it by painting the sigil on a solid color surface and then applying glue to the sigil. Afterwards I’ll apply crushed herbs that I feel are appropriate, or salt, and put some protective glass over the whole thing. I hope they turn out well!

Lastly, and more firmly in the realm of the mundane, I’m going to start compiling a family cookbook to use. I’ve noticed that while I love saving recipes on the computer I really hate having to hunt them back up. Most of the recipes that I’ve saved I’ve never even used! By writing out the recipes and making notes/changes/additions, I should be able to make a working cookbook that I get much more use out of than my bookmarked mess.

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