The icing was better though. I mixed passionfruit pulp from the freezer with icing sugar and heated it in a saucepan on the stove. It seemed to stop it running. At least I have mastered something during this process!
Jo Princess Warrior told me yesterday that cooking is one of the Gentle Arts, along with such things as needlework, gardening and homemaking, and pointed me to a post by her sister about a book by blogger extraordinaire, Jane Brocket entitled The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home . It is now on my wish list!!
I like the gentle arts. Flower arranging, pottering in my garden, cooking, homemaking, interior decoration, and my more recent passions of knitting and crochet give me a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction. Even trying to perfect the sponge is fun. Frustrating, but certainly fun.
Edith Schaeffer, Susan's Mum and Francis' widow, in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking defines hidden art as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life. Each person has, she believes, some talent that is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being - a talent that could be expressed and developed, fulfilling and enriching their lives.
Unsurprisingly, Edith approaches the hidden arts from a Christian perspective. She suggests that:
a Christian, above all people, should live artistically, aesthetically, and creatively. We are supposed to be representing the Creator who is there, and whom we acknowledge to be there. It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator.It is rare to find a book that validates the womanly interests in things like clothes, interior decoration, flower arranging, food and writing. You should see my husband when he hears me talking to my best girlfriend, Kerrie. "How can you spend an hour talking about such drivel!" he exclaims. "Because to Kerrie, finding shoes to wear to her business meeting is not drivel, darling, and searching out the perfect cushion for her new sofa is actually very important." Lots of eye rolling happens about here.
Now you'll notice that I don't put clothes down as one of my likes above. I don't really keep up with fashion like Kerrie does, and I don't like clothes shopping. Book shopping is another matter! I do like to dress neatly and appropriately though, and I don't like looking dowdy.
Francis in her chapter on clothing says this:
Surely the question of a Christian living aesthetically, artistically and creatively comes into the area of clothing too, does it not? Is it not important that a Christian represent in his clothing the One in whose image he is made? Spiritually, we are clothed in white linen robes which are the righteousness of Christ, and that is more important than fashion. But is there any reason why a child of the One who designed, created, brought forth and clothed the flowers should set out to look ugly and drab? Are we representing Him by looking unattractive?Somehow I think that the Virtuous Woman of Proverbs 31 would be far from dowdy with her household clothed in scarlet and her clothing of silk and purple.
Now I'm starting to waffle. I'm good at that.
Back to the Gentle Arts. Do you practice them? Is homemaking important to you?
To me these things are what I do to make Our Peaceful House into Our Peaceful Home. I like to make my little part of the world more orderly, more artistic and more beautiful. I like to make it more yummy too.
What do you think? What's your favourite Gentle Art?
Back for Battle with the Sponge 4 next week.