DetailsHave a ball with some blast-from-the-past projects in The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life. Here's your chance to travel back in time, step into our remarkable foremothers' boots, and recreate wonderful homespun handicrafts and activities. Rich stories of frontier women weave their way through the guide coupling with a range of the projects that made up the daily life of these pioneers. Peek into the past, and bring a little bit back into your future with this meticulously researched and engagingly written book, which includes 50 home, hearth, and heartwarming projects.
From stitching a sampler quilt to preparing sweet cherries...discover the delights of America gone by
- Eye-opening lore about what prairie life was really like circa the 1870s
- Wonderfully nostalgic pen-and-ink illustrations
- Amusing and insightful quotations of the day, including unforgettable expressions (does he make you feel 'all-overish'?)
- A wonderful compendium of yesteryear's crafts and activities to enrich every room in your home and area of your life - the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom, Parlor, 'Barn' and beyond...
- Make a braid rug
- Mold a candle
- Make a batch of bread-and-butter pickles
- Host an ice-cream social
- Whip up homemade face cream
- Knit a shawl
- Wind your hair in a bun
- Embroider a pillowcase
- Bake a rhubarb pie
- Throw a quilting bee
- Put up preserves
- Mix lavender linen water
- And more
- 'The Modern Prairie Gal Way' boxes offer new-fangled (but honorable) alternatives to save time and effort when crafting.
A unique and practical celebration of our pioneer sisters' can-do, make-do spirit!About the author
'Gently loosen each coil, and when all the flannel strips have been removed, gently finger-comb your hair to loosen up your curls. Tie back with a ribbon if you want to look your Sunday best. Leave your curls loose and messy if you're planning to hit the saloon instead.' - How to finish up a wash-and-set using rag curlers
Jennifer Worick credits her 'state of mind, nimble fingers, and moxie' for making her a prairie girl. She has written more than 15 books, including the bestselling The Worst - Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Dating & Sex. She is a frequent contributor to major magazines and has appeared on The Today Show, ABC's World News Now and NPR. Though Jennifer lives in Seattle, her heart is forever on the prairie.
- Additional Information
SKU THR63077781 Table Of Contents Introduction 2
The Kitchen 10
The Bathroom 52
The Bedroom 82
The Parlor 122
The Barn and Beyond 154
Intro The Spirit of Laura Lives On
As a tomboy growing up in rural Michigan in the '70s with my two older brothers, I often had to fend for myself when it came to entertainment. Swinging from barn rafters, picking wildflowers, and creating forts out of snow or blankets had their charms, but I always returned to my favorite activity.
And as I opened Little House in the Big Woods, I no longer felt lonely or bored or unfortunate to live in the country. I felt blessed.
In the pages of the Little House series, I found a friend and heroine in Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her simple life, work ethic, and innocent pleasures transported me from my ranch house to her homestead. I was caught up in all the activities of the Ingallses' everyday life: Ma making a pie, Pa working the harvest, Laura studying for her teaching certificate, everyone drinking lemonade and watching the buggy races on Independence Day.
I wanted to learn all their skills. I wanted to fill my hope chest with handmade treasures and my table with home cooking. That desire has stayed with me as I've learned to knit, fish, make jewelry, bake pies, chop wood, make lip balm, and lay a fire. And I'm not alone. I continually meet women (and men) who are embroidering and canning and putting their own twists on old-school crafts and skills. Forget about granny chic; this is prairie chic, and it's spreading like wildfire.
There's a reason why women want to return to the prairie, to simpler times. In fact, there are many. There's the immense pleasure of seeing the fruits of your labors. Grabbing takeout has its place but is not nearly as satisfying as making a hearty beef stew or rolling out your own pie crust. With many rustic handicrafts, you are creating family heirlooms. My home is filled with quilts, rag rugs, and knitted items that my grandmothers, my friends, or I made. While I tire of certain styles and ill-advised purchases, I would never dream of tossing out the quilted pillow my pal Susie made for me, and I hope to pass on to a son or daughter the Amish throw that I spent one winter knitting.
In addition, I love knowing that I'll be able to thrive in the most rugged of environments (such as the cabin in the woods that looked much better on the rental agency's website). In researching one of my previous books, I talked to a survival expert who taught me how to start a fire, trap and eat small game, build a snow cave, signal a plane, and identify various foodstuffs in their natural environment. Discovering that lipstick and hand sanitizer could be used as fire starter and that perfume could sterilize a wound was incredibly empowering. I wanted more.
In the course of researching this book (because lord knows I didn't know how to ice fish), I discovered that we aren't so removed from our pioneer roots as one would think. And when I sent out the call to my friends and family, I received immediate responses from people who know how to make ice cream, embroider, and even whittle.
Many experts came from my family. My brother Chris told me about his passion for panning for gold in the hills of Georgia. Mom shared her bread-and-butter pickles recipe. Dad related his memories of growing up on a farm, milking cows, gathering eggs, and harvesting crops-things I had never asked him about before. Inadvertently, I discovered perhaps the best reason of all to delve into rustic skills and handicrafts: It's a wonderful way to connect with your family and its history. It's a way of bringing the past with you into the future. My family name may not be Ingalls or Wilder, but we Woricks have been farmers for hundreds of years, and the story of our family is intertwined with the history of our great pioneering country. I don't want to lose that. So I'm asking questions, preserving faded pictures, and making rhubarb pie. I've never felt so connected to my kin and the world.
And it's got nothing to do with geography. I can live in the city, far away from my homestead, and still feel that bond. I have my memories to tie me to my family.
My family is full of collectors, and what we collect reflects not only our interests but also our history. Our ranch-style house was decorated with farm tools (Dad), collectible cone-top beer cans (brother John), military memorabilia (brother Chris), baskets (Mom), dolls and Nancy Drew Mystery stories (that would be me).
I turned away from actively collecting a while back (although I still have my Nancy Drew collection)-now I make things. Like any good farm stock, I can't let my hands lie idle. I knit during American Idol and design jewelry while watching Project Runway. I write long into the night. But I lack the hard physical labor that would offer me a good night's sleep. My mind races when I climb under the quilt, perhaps because I feel that I could have accomplished more that day. Perhaps my busy mind is just matching the pace of my busy hands.
It was the knitting that pulled me back. It reconnected me with not only my past but also the rich legacy of women. It's so satisfying to make something with your own two hands, and it's even more gratifying to give a handcrafted item as a gift. I feel that I am creating heirlooms. The shawls that I wrap carefully with paper and sachets are intended for my future children. Meanwhile, I enjoy the comments and compliments I receive from strangers and friends alike when I wear a hand-knitted garment. These days, I value a pink cabled cardigan that took me a year to knit more than my designer shoe collection.
I never thought I'd say that.
And I never thought I'd hear it from every woman I meet these days. There are renegade craft fairs popping up across the land. Gals are taking up sewing, enrolling in meat-curing classes, checking out quilting and yarn expos, creating shrines to Martha Stewart. They may not realize it, but each of these women is a prairie gal.
You are a prairie gal.
And as a prairie gal, you've come to the right place. The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life offers every crafty and able-bodied pioneer spirit a sampling of skills, crafts, and projects that were found in every room of a prairie homestead. If you already embroider, here's the opportunity to try your hand at knitting or quilting before committing significant money and resources. If you know how to make jam, why not try pickles? And what woman doesn't want to find her own gold? These projects are perfect for the beginner and experienced crafter alike. After all, not every gal was fortunate enough to be born Laura Ingalls and learn from loving and inventive parents from an early age. But there's still hope, because within all of us is a curious, pioneering spirit that drives us to travel into uncharted territories. And these days, instead of unexplored lands, we venture into the world of skills and crafts.
This book is organized around the various rooms and areas of the homestead: the Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Parlor, and Barn and Beyond. Crafts and skills that relate to each room are featured in each chapter, along with a party idea that relates to the chapter. Why hide your prairie light under a bushel? Host an ice cream social or quilting bee and spread the word. After all, if Laura Ingalls Wilder is any indication, prairie gals are as social as they are resourceful.
And which one of us doesn't want to be like Laura? I, for one, have had a lovely adventure delving into my family history and learning (or relearning) rustic skills. I may not have grown up on the prairie proper, but it's my state of mind, nimble fingers, and moxie that make me a prairie girl. And in the following pages, you'll discover more than a few projects to add to your own bag of prairie tricks. Perhaps you'll be inspired to sit down-along with a perfect pot of tea and thick slice of rhubarb pie-and talk for a spell with your kin. They might share some memories with you and, in return, maybe you can teach them a thing or two. Come to think of it, it sounds like just the kind of rewarding and industrious visit Laura would have enjoyed.
Video No Author Jennifer Worick ISBN 978-1-60085-445-3 Publication Year 2007 Pages No Photo No Drawings No Video Download No Other Formats 70988 Cover PDF Download Format eBook (PDF)
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