I just added a new book to my “Bookshelf” section: The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home by Jane Brocket. Rather than a DIY book full of how-to instructions, this beautiful book celebrates domesticity and all the comforts of home life in well-written, thought-provoking prose. It expresses a lot of the same philosophies espoused by Home Made Modern. Plus, it’s just a beautiful book to page through for its photography. Some excerpts:
“For the gentle arts are just that: gentle. They do not demand to be practiced. No one is obliged to pursue them…They are a matter of individual and personal choice. They can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest and the ability to thread a needle, break an egg, choose a color or wield a pair of scissors. They don’t require complicated skills, qualifications, training or equipment…What they do require, though, is a conscious choice to do something ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘quaint,’ to choose not to buy and consume endlessly, but to make and create for a change.”
“The gentle art of domesticity is also the art of the possible. We no longer need to knit socks, exhaust ourselves on ‘baking day,’ stitch quilts to keep ourselves warm or sew aprons to wear in the kitchen…The gentle arts have moved into a new realm in contemporary life, a realm we can choose to enter should we wish, and one in which the act of doing is as important as the result.”
“I find a huge amount of reassurance in the hand-made and the homemade, in the rejection of perfection, and I take great comfort in the fact that there are still many domestic artists for whom the ‘actual doing of things is in itself a joy,’ as D. H. Lawrence wrote.”
Three hundred small pleasures make people happier than one magnificent one. –Daniel Gilbert, Professor of Psychology, Harvard University.