Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ponderings on Puttery Treats - One

I've been reading the charming e-book by Alison May (BroconteHome) called Scrumptious Treats For Vintage Housekeepers.*

One of the things she talks about is the subject of Puttery Treats.   I believe she first read about them in Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

I should say... neither woman writes from a Christian perspective and both tend to be rather New Agey and of more modern "values" than I prefer.

However, Alison's blog and Ban Breathnach's books Simple Abundance and Mrs. Sharp's Traditions are long time favorites (and I have found it easy to concentrate on decorating-homemaking stuff and overlook anything else).

Both remind me of another favorite author, Alexandra Stoddard, whose decorating advice I find brilliant but I skim over the more "spiritual" writing in her other books.

Puttery Treats are those things we do to make everyday chores a more charming part of our life (making them beautiful, or vintage, or comforting, etc.) and Puttery Treat Rewards are what we give ourselves when we finish our "To Do" list.

I am not sure why but I have been put down over the years for believing Christians of all people should care about living a life that is lovely... and that it can be done frugally.

It's the same reason I find myself drawn to a very liberal television network at times because they are airing an excellent documentary about homesteading or saving seeds or sustainable farming.

I mean... if anyone should be wonderfully creative, it should be we who believe we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by He who Creates as opposed to say... slithering out of the primeval slime.

I know many of my friends... in person and online... also love the idea of making our everyday life a little more charming.  For instance, I find it easy to do this by choosing lovely scented dish soap and using a pretty red dish drainer for the multitudeness amount of dishes I do each day.

This year I planted nasturtiums in the garden, they have a perfect place to grow in the same raised bed as the pole beans.  When my husband asked why garden space was going to edible flowers, I told him because they would make our salads pretty. Fortunately, I was able to remind him our favorite Bed & Breakfast served nasturtiums on our breakfast plates and that made it all okay.

It's the same reason I cut inexpensive egg salad tea sandwiches into pretty triangles or serve leftover chili in a casserole with cornbread baked on top... it adds a little loveliness to frugality.

My daughter excels at Puttery Treats when we visit like having a new bar of lavender soap in the bathroom instead of a bar of Dial (she knows we both love nicely scented soap) and K-cups in a pretty basket for our morning coffee.

I don't know, what do you think?  It seems to me that making the everyday gotta do's something pretty or comforting results in a life lived a little lovelier than just going about our days with drudgery.

Tomorrow I'll ponder some Puttery Treat Rewards I've come up with for this summer hot summer.

*Thank you again for everyone who enters by clicking on an item in my Amazon widget on the sidebar.  Even during summer months when I don't earn very much, I've had enough to download some favorite music and an e-book or two like this one.  :)


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Amen! You know I agree with you!

Simple things, can make a huge difference in the atmosphere of our lavender soap, or a pretty candle.

I learned from Emilie Barnes and Edith Schaffer, and I love talking about it with my friends.


ps - I have my whole family trained - whenever they go to order something from Amazon they go through your widget! lol!

Vee said...

I've been reading "Brocante H*me" for years and, though Alison and I have different values and beliefs, I adore her writing and do wish that she'd "get to it." Puttery Treats are so much fun. I adore them. How delightful it is to be in someone's home where such things are practiced. There is a difference! I remember Edith Schaeffer's sharing the story of the young people who didn't come to the Lord because of the lack of beauty in the missionary's home. How odd I thought at first, and then I, of course, one is looking for a little something extra from God's own. Thank you for always sharing that life should be taken with liberal doses of beauty. After all, God spared none for us. Just look at the world He gave us to enjoy!

Vicki in UT said...

I completely agree with you. My church teaches to make life joyful and beautiful. Our places of worship are always very beautiful, tasteful (not gaudy) buildings with beautiful decorations. Yes, life is difficult, but if we make an effort to see the joy in it, that shows our gratitude to God for our blessings. I love how you see the beauty in a difficult life, I think it is very uplifting, and that is why I read your blog.

Cheryl said...

Oh, I am so with you on this! I, too, find it difficult to believe that Christians would find fault with this idea...the idea that we should strive for beauty in all areas of our lives. I think that He put a longing in our hearts for it. And once it becomes a habit, it's not that hard to add beauty to everyday things.

Thanks for the reading to investigate...

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I certainly agree with you, Brenda. We are created to love and respond to beauty and to create it in our surroundings. It is a blessing to everyone who experiences it. Thank you for mentioning this. And I am sorry for the people who put you down for doing practicing such things.

Susan Humeston said...

I know this will sound quite strange to many people, but - I have christmas lights strung up around the ceiling of my living room. Every night we turn them on and it is lovely. I have a weakness for color and colored lights - so I indulge it. When the house is clean and it's Friday night after a long work week, and I switch on those lights - it's time to sit back and relax. Also -just like rose colored glasses, nothing looks so messy or old when Christmas lights are shining on it.

Cheryl (copperswife) said...

Hmmmm.....yes, it's the little things, isn't it, the putter treats that really make a house a home. Scented soaps, pretty containers (even if they're thrifted and bear a small crack or two), lovely things to look at.

I'm saving this post, Brenda, to read again. It's reminding me of something that I needed to be reminded about. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I agree. As homemakers we want to make our homes pretty as well as comfortable. It's like a gift we give to our families as well as ourselves.

I don't know why people would argue with you about it. Even the Amish, who have to keep their houses "plain" often keep flower gardens and make pretty, practical crafts.

Everyone needs some colour and beauty in their lives.

Mary said...

I so agree with you Brenda. I am a widow and live on a limited income also but one thing I will not give up is my indulgence of spending $5 a week on a bunch of fresh flowers. As a follower of Christ, I know that He has given us beauty to enjoy and share with others. I love you blog and your great ideas for living life to the full in spite of limitations.

Front Porch Grace said...

"I mean... if anyone should be wonderfully creative, it should be we who believe we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" by He who Creates"
Amen, Brenda.

I have always rewarded myself and our family with "puttery treats", though I never heard that phrase before, but I like it.

It's those little things that make the normal mundane sweet and special.

Anonymous said...

I too love Allison May and her Puttery Treats but must be careful with her writings. May we pray she meets the true One who makes all things lovely!