Wednesday, May 9

An Announcement...

After a lot of consideration and many e-mails, Elizabeth invited me to collaborate with her on a special project that I think many of you will be excited about:

An online Finishing School for Ladies!

Since many ladies (including Elizabeth and me) remarked that we would have LOVED to attend a finishing school like the one featured in the television show Ladettes to Ladies, Elizabeth and I decided that we would offer a school for ladies who wish to "brush up on the skills that help a lady create a life of loveliness for herself and her loved ones."

Here are some of the details:

We are looking for six to eight women to participate in our six to eight week finishing school as teachers. These teachers would have to have enough expertise in a subject to devote one week of their blog to that topic. An example of a possible topic might be how to choose clothing based on body type. The blogger would post her own thoughts and maybe suggest an exercise or two to try. During that week, ladies participating in the finishing school would all read the posts on her blog and leave comments on the teacher's blog about how we are applying that skill in our week. In addition, if participators would like they can post about the topic of the week on their own blog.

For this finishing school project, we are planning to select six to eight different subjects. By the end of the six to eight weeks, we will have been exposed to six to eight different feminine skills that will improve our lives.

If you're interested in participating in our little "Finishing School", either to learn new skills or as a refresher, please leave a comment on my blog or on Elizabeth's blog. Also, we would appreciate any suggestions you have about subjects you would like us to include. Some ideas are:

  • How to live elegantly on a budget
  • Embroidery or some other type of lovely handwork
  • Sewing an apron or a nightgown
  • Etiquette, modern and traditional: including cell phone and email etiquette
  • Teaching children about manners
  • French culture and elementary French language
  • How to prepare a simple and relatively inexpensive French meal
  • Interior Decorating
  • Flower Arranging, Centerpieces for tables,
  • The art of Gift Giving, How to make birthdays and other occasions special
  • The Lady's appointment book/calendar/household management book
  • Art Appreciation
  • Music Appreciation
  • Personal presentation: poise, grooming, posture, skincare, etc.
  • What to wear on what occasion
  • How to be an interesting conversationalist; how to help guests enjoy talking to each other, etc.
  • How to set a table for a casual lunch, a casual dinner, a more formal dinner, a tea, a buffet supper, etc.
  • How to choose clothing and how to maintain clothing and shoes; the lady's closet, the lady's boudoir
  • Encouraging our husbands in their work, being a life mate

We want to include subjects that are fun and subjects that are practical. So, let us know what you think!


Linda said...

GREAT idea (many of us could use such a thing!)

I'm not sure about all the 'french influences' though.. I always found the french, including the women, the most blunt and un-ladylike....

(I know that americans use the 'fictional' french, in movies.. elegant, etc.. but in reality french women are often characterised as heavy drinkers, smokers and VERY feministic....) ;)

greetings from the netherlands

Lady of the house said...

I saw this over at the Merry Rose and wanted to comment to you, too. I think this is a great idea. I wish I had something to contribute but I do look forward to learning from you and others.

Also, in regard to Linda's comment. In the past the French lady was a paragon of good taste and culture, a creature worthy of emulation. I do agree, though, that now, in many instances that is no longer the case. Despite that, the true French lady is still worthy of emulation.

Looking forward to learning!

Mrs.Garcia said...

Emma, I also look forward to learning from you and the many other ladies that will be sharing on there blogs.

Terri said...

Emma, what an excellent idea! I would love to participate as a student! I wish that I knew enough about a subject to teach.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a beautiful idea !! I would love to particpate !


Mommy Bee said...

How wonderful! I can't wait until ou start!


Mimi said...

Thanks for the enthusiastic response from everyone!

A couple of people are rightly concerned about the humanistic and worldly influences of French culture. As with any country, France has both its positive attributes and its negative ones. I studied French literature for eight years and spent a little time in France. I understand that the romanticized picture that Americans have of French culture doesn't always line up with reality. After all, France might be considered a birth place of modern agnosticism, something that neither Emma nor I would ever want to promote!

However, in American finishing schools, it used to be considered important for a lady to learn French language and culture. This is because, for all its many faults, France did leave its mark on the English language, on diplomacy, on the arts, on interior decorating, and on cuisine. Many of our American phrases related to manners, cooking, clothing, etc., are derived from the French language and culture -- and we use those phrases even today. 17th century and Victorian English language novels often contain French phrases, because it was once assumed that anyone educated enough to read these works had a knowledge of basic French. Some of our current American decorating styles and architecture are blends of American/French culture, as well. So, if we do do anything regarding French culture, we'll be sure to focus only on the positive aspects.

But, again, this is our school, so we don't have to include anything about French culture and language if we don't want to.


Jen said...

Oui, oui, I love this idea!

Laurie said...

This sounds delightful. I'd love to learn to live more elegantly.

savedbyhim08 said...


What a wonderful idea. I would love to participate. Maybe you could have a lesson on correspondance (writing letters.)

I can't wait for the lessons to begin.



Dawn said...

Please may I join you. It sounds wonderful.

Kate said...

I would love to take part in this! What a lovely idea. I am eagerly awaiting our first lesson!!!!


Anonymous said...

I would love to be a "finishing school" student.

Anonymous said...

So are you looking for women to teach? Elizabeth said that she already had some women in mind.


Anonymous said...

Hi Emma -

What a throughly wonderful idea! I am so excited about this. My Aunt ran a charm school course back in the late 1950s/early 1960s with the "YMCA" here. I was too young to appreciate this and learn from her then and missed out on so much. Stuff back then deemed important for any lady just is not important anymore (sigh!)

I love the topics and cannot think of others right now. I have myself so-o-o much to learn so would love to be a student albeit "older" student (LOL) since I am in my 50s.

Count me in if you need students!

JEANNIE said...

I would care to join as well, I know personally a lil bit of info on Debt/ Finances and would love to do something on that, not sure exactly how lady like we are talking, but I have great resources in my personal home library.

Anonymous said...

I'm very interested in participating!


Anonymous said...

I would love to participate, Emma. I remember reading earlier posts on this and I got interested enough to do some research about the possibilities for an online project like this afterwards. I would really love to be involved. If you don't need extra teachers, I have some resources that you and Elizabeth might be interested in.

Be loved and blessed,


Anonymous said...

I do not have anything to offer, but I would love to be a student of yours and Emmas. This is going to be great!

Tina Kay

Anonymous said...

I would also love to participate as a student. I have much to learn!


Anonymous said...


I found your site one day when I was looking through the blogs my daughter had visited. Your posts were like a walk through memory lane! I remember being in my 20's and reading all that I could find about the feminine art of homemaking. It was a poetic time of life.

As the years have passed, I had 3 children; I left my teaching job in order to raise them and moved into the world of homeschooling--that was 19 years ago. Since then we moved to the country, and my dh switched hats from engineer to farmer to engineer/farmer, and I traded my simple, quiet life for a rush of activities as I move towards the goal of sending my children off into the world to fulfill their goals and live their lives as they were created to do. My daughter leaves for college this fall--a child I admire for her grace and wisdom.

I'd love to participate in your program (if a woman turning 50 next month is welcome! LOL). However, I do not know if I could fit it all "in" with two more teenagers to get through high school, the farming, and all else.

I will be watching your blogs, though! Blessings on this endeavor!


JacquiG said...

I've already left a comment on Elizabeth's blog. I'd love to be a student in your school. I't wonderful that you are both willing to coordinate such a thing!

Anonymous said...

I meant to leave my blog address so that you could visit--if you wanted. :-)

Jean in Wisconsin

Kimberly Lottman said...

Oh yes! I would absolutley LOVE to participate! Count me in! (As a student, I just don't have much time to teach outside of teaching my own two little ladies, although I do teach them about manners, etiquette and we are just learning French!).


Julie said...

I would love to LEARN from others how to do all this stuff. I was raised as more of a tom boy. This sounds wonderful.

Anonymous said...

It sounds lovely! I look forward to learning new things. Thank your both for your time and effort.

Jess Connell said...

Sounds like an interesting idea. I'd be interested in writing about and discussing ladylikeness in light of Matthew 12: pursuing gentleness without taking on the burdens of man-made rules.

Sallie @ a Gracious Home just did an article about this the other day- not burdening others with man-made yokes, but encouraging them to live biblically (which of course includes graciousness, kindness, gentleness, generosity, etc.). Additionally, I'd like to address it from the angle of being like Martha vs. being like Mary. Being ladylike, but still having priorities and not getting caught up in a swirl of organizing, cleaning, cooking, and refinery when we ought to be sitting at the feet of Jesus.

Let me know if I can do anything to help... contribute articles, put up a banner for a few weeks on my sidebar, whatever.

Jess @ Making Home

Jess Connell said...

(Just thought of this: Perhaps I can host a topic something along the lines of "Ladylikeness Without Legalism"????)

Jess @ Making Home

Tracy said...

A Ladies' Finishing Schol is a wonderful idea! I would like to learn all of these things. :)

Laurie said...

This sounds like a lovely idea, count me in too!!

Lean Not said...

Sounds like a neat idea!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to take part, if I can know more about how it will work.

Anonymous said...

This is a lovely idea! I think it's possible to learn new things and be reminded of other important skills and graces no matter how old one is!
I'm looking forward to hearing more about this fine idea!
Amy at Ponderings From Picket Fence Cottage

Anonymous said...

I'd love to learn these things :)

Hopewell said...

Awesome idea! My daughter would LOVE this! Not sure what I could do, but I'm very impressed with this idea.

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