There is nothing like a spot of color to brighten the dreariest of winter days.
Our winter home needed an awakening! I decided to employ the lost art of natural decorating with things common and inexpensive, and yet true works of art.
(The operative word here is inexpensive).
The simple crimson apple by the not-so-old blue bowl holding part of my garden’s garlic harvest drew my eye and cheered me. It made the savage winds blowing outside our windows not quite so chilling.
Gone are the colorful blooms I enjoy planting in my potager garden.
Even if it’s only for the short time it takes to collect soup makin’s, the arrangement of fresh root vegetables on the kitchen counter can be as pretty as a picture to the lady of the house. Morning sunlight angling through the window panes is so welcome; it invites us to be thankful for what bounty we have.
If you have taken the time to search high and low for wonderful old books for your young students, why not set out an easel (Hobby Lobby, 9″ for $4.99) to grab their attention with a different book each week.
“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.” ~Henry Ward Beecher
Colorful piles of books atop the old piano pick up the colors in pillows on the sofa. Check out some of my book lists and FREE printables:
I look out over my modest domain and take simple joy at the beauty of a bowl of Florida oranges and grapefruits. God must have known we northerners needed some vivid color in the deep, cold winter. It is true that my Dutch father used to receive a plump orange or a lump of charcoal as a little fellow at Christmas depending on whether he was obedient or naughty that year.
Alstroemeria is a very abundant and inexpensive tropical flower that has staying power!
A bouquet will often give me 3 weeks and a couple days of glorious blooms. I can get three big bunches complimenting colors for $3-$4 a bunch (so the whole thing is right at $10). They make a wonderful housewarming gift, but they also cheer up the really dull time of low sunshine in January and February.
My birthday is in February, so I have an excuse to gift myself and put them close to the kitchen where I need a color boost every so often.
Outfitting our children in their younger years was always a game for me. Shopping second-hand stores presented me with an exciting challenge to see what I could find that was inexpensive, tasteful, well-made, and would fit for a year or two or more!
I believe that plenty of bright color can affect our mood and ability to learn, children and adults alike.
Dried flowers of the fall-blooming hydrangea make pretty bouquets and last easily through the winter. Pinky-Winky and Limelight are my low-water favorites. Paired with golden pears they are lovely.
I also grow orchids that I pick up at Trader Joe’s for under $12. They have repeat-bloomed now for a number of years using a normal orchid feeding schedule and ice cubes.
One of the beauties of fermentation is that is must sit out for a few days at room temperature, thus you can visually anticipate the work of your hands. The vibrant color of red cabbage is warm and homey!
Sauerkraut ‘working’ on the counter makes this old homemaker and her hungry family happy. That means it will soon be ready to enjoy and keep us healthy during these last few months of less sunshine.
“Life did not bring me silken gowns, Nor jewels for my hair, Nor signs of gabled foreign towns, In distant countries fair, But I can glimpse, beyond my pane, a green and friendly hill, And red geraniums aflame upon my window sill.” ~Martha Haskell Clark
Even in this bleak mid-winter with its challenges and trials, there is hope for the spring to come. There is nothing I can think of like a red geranium in your south-facing window to enliven the wintertime home. Also, don’t hesitate to display your soaps and keepers like potatoes, onions, and winter squash in old crockery.
With a little hard work, the waiting 4’x8′ garden boxes promise new bounty. With prayer and time in the Word of God, we can gain a heart of contentment. A surge of thankfulness fills the homemaker’s heart.
May we rejoice that our generous God has given us eyes to see the simple beauties around us in every season, if we but look!
“We have a mission to others ~ to add to their cheer. This we cannot do unless we have first learned the lesson of cheerfulness ourselves.” ~ J.R. Miller
We can amplify this beauty and cheer by working on being content in our lives, for if we are not, no amount of wealth, material provision, or colorful pretties will bring us or those around us happiness. None of us will ever get this totally right on this earth, but let us ask the Lord to help us be women content where we are and with what we have!
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” ~1 Tim. 6: 6-8
You may also read the original post with links to all of the books! Perfect for quick ordering, or reading reviews!