Lost Arts (old-fashioned crafty things)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Lil, Apr 20, 2018.

  1. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    It's funny, but the older I get, the more I wish I knew more about how people a generation or two before me did things. I was wondering who knows how to do various "lost arts" domestic or otherwise.

    For instance, I can sew, and do embroidery - though not all that well. I used to know needlepoint, but I never really liked it and haven't done it for years and years. I can crochet and knit, but I can't follow a pattern, so strictly amateur hour there; scarves, blankets, hats, etc. I wish I knew how to can food. I do have a general knowledge of water bath canning, but not pressure canning...and I've never done either. I'd like to learn wood-working...which may not be "domestic" but sure would be handy - like making shelves and boxes and such.

    Does anyone else have any crafty lost-art-talent?
  2. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Oh, just love this thread, Lil! :)

    I know how to sew, can, and learned how to make true authentic Italian wine from some old neighbours we had a good number of years ago.

    As for knitting and crocheting, I did a fair bit of it when I was younger, however, haven't sat-down to such in years, though I'm certain I'd be able to pick up on it again in a heartbeat.

    Another lost art (at least I classify it as a lost art), is old-fashioned cloth diapering. The folding (to fit any sized kid young or old)... the pinning (so the diaper actually stays on - and without sticking the kid)... even diaper care (proper laundering, etc) in my opinion is a lost art.

    Another of mine is proper care of Fine China. I wonder how many others care for Fine China anymore these days?

    Lil. I just know you'd love this book. It's called Home Comforts, by Cheryl Mendelson. A true Arts & Science Guide to keeping home.
  3. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Somehow, I knew I could count on you to contribute @Old-hand . ;)

    You know, cooking and baking and such is even becoming a lost art. People do so much convenience foods and eating out and buying from bakeries and such. I can cook and bake from scratch; breads and rolls and pies, etc.
  4. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Anyone ever burn their trash out in the trash pile downwind from the house?

    Not sure if that would be better than the landfill or not!

    Ahhhh, the good old days.....
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  5. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Awww... thank you, Lil. :)

    So true about today's generation moving away from traditional cooking and baking. Modern conveniences have really taken our world over, and we're not better off for those modernity's as far as I'm concerned.

    Take store-bought soups for instance, they're loaded with sodium. So unhealthy, and everything is loaded with sugar.

    One thing I've found when it comes to good old-fashioned home-cooking, it always sits well with me after. You digest it easier, and aside from the tremendous health benefits of cooking from scratch (baking, too), it's tastier. There is no substitute for good old-fashioned cooking.

    Even little things like sewing a button on (by-hand) falls under the lost art category, because I'm convinced very few young women today would even know how to do it.

    When I was a young child an aunt of mine used to make homemade root-beer, and a great aunt of mince always made homemade ice cream. I don't hear of such a thing anymore.

    And how about gardening? I mean, to get a garden up and growing, you have to know when and how to plant a variety of seeds, how to feed them, how to water them, and how to harvest. When I was a young child, everyone had a garden in their backyards, today however, I see few homes with vegetable gardens, so I'm adding this as well to the lost art list.

    Even simple clothesline drying, which was everywhere when I was a kid. Mind you back then everyone used cloth diapers, so having a clothesline (for many) was really essential for the time. It was a must have item, but once again, I don't see laundry on clotheslines as much as I used to.

    Clothesline drying a lost art? I think so, because in order to hang laundry properly, one needs to know how to pin, whether to use two pins or one, whether to hang certain items inside-out to avoid fading in the sun, and so on.

    So yet one more addition to the lost arts. Good old-fashioned clothesline drying!
  6. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    We never did (as in my parents), but I absolutely remember neighbours that had barrel burners in their backyards when I was growing up, and I even remember helping with the burning... putting stuff in.
  7. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    We had a barrel at one point, but I remember when the barrel finally fell apart, we just continued to use the area to burn trash. I guess we got a new barrel at some point.

    Yes, I remember having so much fun throwing trash into the fire!
  8. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Yes, it seemed everyone had an old dark brown (rusty) 45 gallon drum as their burner. Definitely don't see that anymore.

    I think that why I have such a love for the past. It was more simple and homey. It was truly down to earth living.
  9. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Lil. I do apologize for adding cloth diapers to my initial post, knowing your idea behind such lost arts was more-so about crafty type things, and not so much generic type things, but something about the old-fashioned way of diapering just seemed to fit so well with this conversation, I felt it would be wrong not to mention it.
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  10. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    This thread has really got me thinking about the past! I love it!!!
  11. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    I doubt she was really anticipating the stuff about trash burning, either!

    One thing I like about this forum is how the thread just takes on a life of its own, sometimes.

    Hey, I gotta run.

    Talk to you guys later!
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  12. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    I feel the same, Apple. :) One thing leads to another. If anything, it adds deeper interest to the conversation.
  13. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    And while were on the topic of, how about making homemade baby food and formula? Well, I did. My kids got good old table food when they were babies. Whether blended or mashed, good old honest-to-goodness food was served to them, and when it came to their bottles, nothing but homemade baby formula in our house. I made sure of that.

    Lost art? I think this one more than applies.
  14. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Gee whiz... one more I just thought of, homemade diaper rash powder. Sure, I used Johnson's Baby Powder, but I also used regular ordinary corn-starch along with regular ordinary (lightly browned) white flour when my kids has a red bottom.

    How many mothers do you think do the same with their children nowadays? I'll be next to none, so if I may, I'd like to add this one to the list as well.

    Good old-fashioned homemade remedies!
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Well no, those things didn't actually occur to me! LOL But I don't mind a bit. I guess I was just wondering what sort of crafty old-fashioned things other people might do.

    I agree that many women don't know how to do even simple sewing anymore. I've hemmed more than one friend's pants, taught one how to sew on a button, and zippers??? Forget about it. ;)

    OH, you do have a thing for those cloth diapers! LOL I've seen them in every thread! :p I personally never used them and thankfully will never have to! Just ew. Roll and toss worked just fine for me and my boy. I'd say the most old-fashioned thing I did with the kiddo was baking. He would want cookies and we were church-mice for a while there. But, who doesn't have flour, butter and sugar in the house? That's all shortbread is! My boy ate a lot of shortbread cookies.
  16. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    The one thing the medieval reenactment does is teach you stuff. I forgot to list that I can weave! Not fabric, though I've watched it be done, but weave bands on a small loom, or with weaving sticks. Weaving is definitely not something they teach anymore.
  17. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    It's so true, the little things have all but disappeared from homes today. Little things like sewing buttons back on (by-hand using a needle and thread), stretching meal recipes (and making do) with what you have on-hand, and so many others.

    I really do think society ha lost a lot of ground when it comes to old-fashioned things, whether it be crafts or past practices. in my opinion it all fits part and parcel to lost talents and general know-how.

    Regarding cloth diapers, LOL, I know. Cloth diapers were such an important part of how I raised my kids, there's just no forgetting, and believe me, all memories I have of using cloth diapers are not all fun and enjoyable. :)
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I can... Well, crochet, can (more than just jam... I did 3 dozen pints of beets 2 weeks ago and this weekend is a marathon carrot session, and we ran out of canned chicken last week), bake from SCRATCH - I even make my own pancake mix, cook most things from scratch. I can sew - well enough I make Rose a pair of pajamas every year for Christmas, and a lot of curtains for the house, but not much better than that. I make my own jerky and Bill loves to smoke meats.

    I'm what they call "artsy fartsy".
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  19. Pink Elephant

    Pink Elephant Well-Known Member

    Hey, as far as I'm concerned, a little artsy-fartsy goes a long way in today's day and age! LOL! :)
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  20. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    We were teaching kids to sew today, mostly elementary age.

    We had quite a few boys come, I am happy to say!

    (Not as fun as burning trash in the backyard, of course)