Monday, December 31, 2012

1 January 2013 “A New Year, A New Project and Cassell’s Book of Home Management”


As we enter this new year I am going to endeavor to post daily. My usual long winded blogs will still continue but the subject matter will be varied, but always with the eye to the past in some form.

There will be more little daily blurbs or links or images. The posts may be a few lines or pages long but I hope to see what a daily post will lead to by 31 January 2013. I hope you will come along for the ride and see where we find ourselves at journey’s end.

The links and layout of the new site will evolve as well. I mean to link more things here from the old blog so that it will stay alive and be very much a reference to this year long piece. In many respects this year’s site will be one large art project of sound, image, word, technology.

I hope to provide information and an experience in my daily posts. Be they short or long, I want them to have the aspect of enticing one into a moment. A series of momentary vignettes that make one pause and think or simply sit back and escape and enjoy a time gone by.

cassellbookcover My first post, then, will be a simple one: A lovely Victorian book of the Home. You can easily read it in its entirety online, download it, or simply flip through its virtual pages of age old wisdom and oddities.

Happy new year and Welcome to my new year which can hopefully become our year of experience together.

harrietbeecherstowe “All places where women are excluded tend downward to barbarism; but the moment she is introduce, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety, and order”

                                                                                        -Harriet Beecher Stowe

thetoilette Today we think nothing of buying shampoos and conditioners for our hair. Lotions and unguents abound in any common grocery store filling aisles from top to bottom. But once we ladies had only ourselves to recommend such niceties and in this edition of Casell’s we are given some interesting recipes for washing our lovely locks.

ornamentalsoap As we consider the readily available modes of cleanliness in our modern word, lets consider two things: Christmas and Soap. Two words clean enough to our modern imaginings but together they seem an odd pair. Yet, in our Victorian past store bought soap was precious and would have been seed a fit thing to both decorate with our skills and love and to present on that wonderful winter day in December.

There is much to recommend this fair old book, both practical skills worth reviving as well as oddities and curiosities better left to moldering old pages. Enjoy it HERE and it will also live in the Library tab on the left.


  1. I am so glad to see you have a new project and new enthusiasm for posting. I love to read your thoughtful contrasts between past and present, and your housekeeping adventures.
    I am a little concerned about the use of ammonia and borax in shampoo, but then I'm not sure what awful things are in the ingredients of modern shampoo either, which is why I stay as natural as possible, with ingredients I can actually recognize..

  2. Wonderful! I'm so glad you're back!

  3. So lovely to see you again! Happy New Year!

  4. Ahhhh wonderful to have you back and look forward to reading your newest musings.

  5. Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to seeing this new project evolve!

  6. I look forward to follow you - again. :) And thank you for the book recommendation. I have downloaded it and also bookmarked Open Library, since I have an eBook reader and love free books. Happy New Year, dear. :)

  7. Thank you all for following me to my new experimental site. I think I really just needed a break but have of late found I really missed writing. And, well, I am always researching odd little things, as it simply seems my nature. So, what better way to approach the year then to simply regurgitate my fixation for the day here on this funny little site.