Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Homemaking Skills Required

Homely Matters

To some, the words 'homemaking skills' sound terribly outdated and boring and they conjure up an image of a women with no career or outside interests chained to the kitchen sink. To me the words evoke two very different emotions. Firstly they remind me of my childhood, my dedicated, thoroughly wonderful mum and the comfort that comes from being the recipient of such homemaking. The other emotion I experience is less  positive. It relates to my personal lacking in these skills. I get by, but sometimes wonder how I got to the ripe old age of 39 without knowing how to make a good shortcrust pastry, make marmalade or sew a piece of clothing. I know that growing up my mum tried to teach me some of these things but at the time I had no interest.  I'm not sure when this desire began to emerge but it would be a comfort  to me, to know I am capable of such things.
So this year I am making a significant effort to learn, experience and hopefully enjoy these elusive homemaking skills. I will be blogging about my progress as I do so and any advice would be welcome.
Below is a list of some of the skills I would like to try to obtain.

  • Learn to make different types of pastry
  • Make chutney
  • Make pasta from scratch
  • Make marmalade and jam
  • Sew a piece of wearable clothing
  • Learn to darn
  • Make my own soap
  • Reduce waste in our home
  • Go fruit picking
  • Buy local produce
  • Knit a pair of socks
  • Learn to spin properly
  • Make icecream
  • Poach a perfect egg
  • Eliminate processed foods from our diet
  • Find a community of people who share the same passions
  • Grow more vegetables/herbs on my windowsill (no garden)
  • Bake  our own bread
  • Learn to embroider
  • Dye yarns and fabric with natural dyes
  • Crochet a granny square to make a cushion/blanket
  • Sew in zips
  • Learn how to make my own cleaning products

As part of my quest I'm going to try and find some experts to help me out. Next week I will be attending the Women's Institute for the first time and no, before you ask, I will not be signing up for any calendars. I will let you know how I get on.
As for now, I can no longer put off the jolly job of cleaning my oven as it is beginning to rebel by pouring smoke out at me every time I cook and making my freshly washed laundry smell like a chip shop. Oh joy xx


  1. aha - I see that your dreams are mine exactly. I have the Victorian house and am working on the rest!

  2. Wow! That's quite a list you have there. I think you've already done one of them - find a community of people who share the same passions. You can't beat all the lovely bloggy people you're going to meet out there, they're a wonderfully supportive lot!

    I've recently mastered bread making after years of hit and miss dough, all thanks to Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall. He made it on his River Cottage Every Day series. I've finally learned how to knead properly. Hoorah!

    Farfield Mill, one of my favourite places and as you know just a few miles down the road from me. One day... when I'm a proper grown up textile artist I'm going to have my own exhibition there.(dream on) lol.

  3. Thankyou for your lovely comment- you made my day. Hope you enjoy will enjoy my post on Farfield Mill. If you have an exhibition I will definitely be there. I'm so excited to be entering into this wonderful bloggy community which I have long admired from afar! xx

  4. These are all such fun things to do and learn! I'm looking forward to keeping up with your blog as you reach your goals.


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