Friday, July 3, 2020

Down but not out...

Just as hubby and I thought we were recovering swiftly from our head colds everything changed. Yesterday we had a lot more energy, the odd little cough, and were sure we'd come out the other side of it all. Happy days.
Then late afternoon we both came tumbling down again and after smothering our chests in Vicks Vaporub and brewing warm herbal tea we settled quietly in our recliners and watched the Esther movie "One Night With The King" (this is free to watch on YouTube) before heading to bed. 
This morning we find ourselves no better so our weekend will be spent resting, nourishing our bodies with good fresh meals, and pottering around doing things at a much slower pace (because we get bored doing nothing). 
My easy project for the next little while is sorting small bits of fabric, whilst my husband is repairing and painting the cubby house we 'rescued' around New Year for the girls to play in when they visit.

I saw on Pinterest how someone had sorted out their applique fabrics into colours and stored them in containers. As I use applique in almost all my designs you can imagine I have plenty of offcuts and scraps on hand, but they live inside a large basket and two large decorative boxes. When I have need of a particular colour it requires much rummaging through a rainbow of fabric pieces to find the right colour/print/size for the project I'm putting together.

With five large decorative jars on hand I decided to settle at the dining table yesterday and make a start on separating my bits and pieces into their pretty new glass homes. Indeed, they are much nicer stored this way than hidden in boxes.




So far I've sorted them into reds, pinks, blues/turquoise, green, and yellow/orange, but when I am recovered from this head cold I'll buy a few more so that I don't have any double colour jars. For the time being though this is keeping me occupied and I'm reacquainting myself with prints I haven't seen in a while. 



Last week I bought two copies of the latest (to arrive in Australia) Daphne's Diary magazine, the second was for Blossom, and I'm rather pleased I've not had time to read it yet because now I can relax and enjoy it while taking some recovery time.




And a bonus is a good supply of my favourite herbal tea which I shall enjoy frequently in coming days.




We're picking fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden each day now and tomorrow I'll finally cut into one of our pumpkins for soup making.




Here's the cubby house in progress. The undercoat is finished inside and Mr E has begun painting the outside. Not sure what colour inside will eventually be but probably white as I have a beautiful house quilt to hang in there and lots of decorating ideas that Blossom and I can do together before we hand it all over to Cully May and Rafaella.





If you haven't seen "One Night With The King" (the book of Esther) here's the link...



We've found some wonderful faith based movies on YouTube lately, and especially enjoyed the Gospel of Luke...




We also enjoy just listening to the Bible being read as we sit quietly at night...




Perhaps some of these will be a blessing to you.

I hope and pray you have a lovely relaxed weekend ahead of you, that your health is good (or improving if you've been under the weather lately), that you have interesting and fun things to occupy your hands and mind, and that in all things you see evidence of our loving God's hand in your day to day life.

Bless you heaps,


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Psalm 23 block seven and a simple sewing project...

Thank you for your caring prayers for Blossom and her family. They are recovering well and almost back to normal - although the issues with scoliosis pain will stay with Bloss throughout the rest of the pregnancy.

Of course it's winter here and all sorts of colds, belly upsets and flu bugs are making the rounds so it was inevitable that Mr E and I would eventually find ourselves waking to head cold symptoms one morning. That morning was yesterday. Praise God at the moment we don't have any Covid 19 cases in our northern half of the state, but complacency should not become the norm either. 
With hubby being a teacher and all kids back at school the past five weeks in our state he's been extra careful but teenagers still come to school sick and don't mind sharing it around. Sad.

Anyhow, as I sit here with another large bottle of water at my side and sage infused raw honey waiting to be decanted and used in tea, I'm going to share the next block in Psalm 23 with you. It's July 1st and we're up to block seven this month which also includes the third bonus block.




In the Bible oil most often signifies the presence of the Holy Spirit and when I consider this verse my mind imagines myself as a cup and the Holy Spirit filling me up with His presence until it overflows and reaches everyone around me. 
Because that's what having the Holy Spirit inside of us does...




God wastes nothing and does not give us more than we need, so if my life is overflowing with the Holy Spirit it is meant to be given out to others. How do we do that?




Let us go to Galatians 5:22-23 (because God always explains Himself through the Word) where we are told that the fruit of having God's spirit in us will flow out in our character as -

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control.

This is challenging, yes? It's not easy to always love or have joy to share...experiencing peace in the midst of anxieties or trials may not come easily, let alone in abundance to share with others...kindness may mean humbling ourselves in order to lift someone else...goodness - well, the Bible tells us that no-one is good except for God so I see this as our need to display the character of Christ each day and grow more and more like Him as the years pass with the help of the Holy Spirit...and self-control - knowing when to hold back, when to die to self, when to abstain, when to move forward, when to hold our tongue.

So I look on this verse as a prayer now.

Lord, anoint my head and heart with the oil of Your Holy Spirit that my character may overflow with the fruit of the Spirit and be a blessing to others. In the name of our sweet Saviour Jesus I pray, Amen.

Use the link below to access the free pattern.


The bonus block/page (because my project is a small fabric book) this month is "Provider".
This is included in the download for block 7.




OTHER THINGS AROUND HOME

Sewing...

Over the weekend I just wanted to make something simple, no embroidery, no patchwork, just something pretty and fresh and joyful. 
As you know I recently did a re-organising of my sewing space and when going through the fabrics I put aside a number of larger pieces which I hoped would make cool summery dresses for Cully May and Rafaella. Initially I intended giving the fabrics to Blossom because she's an excellent seamstress and makes the prettiest clothes for her girls and in her shop - but then I realised that over the past few years her ability to sew clothing flawlessly had intimidated me to the point that I no longer even considered sewing for the little ones myself.
Silly me! 

I used to sew clothes for all my girls when they were little and though my skills are not as fine tuned as Blossom's there is no reason I can't enjoy the process of making simple play dresses for my granddaughters. Humbling, yes.

So on the weekend I took the 'pillowcase dress' idea from years ago and used yardage instead to sew a dress each for Cully May and Rafaella using some of the instructions from The Polka Dot Chair tutorial.




Very easy to make with French seams down the sides, bias lining on the armholes and a long rouleau tie for the shoulder straps. The online pattern has ribbons for the shoulder ties but I don't think that's very practical for washing and playing and washing again through our long summers.

Blossom was thrilled when we quickly dropped them over and the girls adore their dresses. Miss Rafaella even wore hers to bed!




I'm so encouraged that you can be sure a few more dresses will be made in the future...perhaps with pockets and a touch of applique?

Knitting...

Knitting Rafaella's cardigan has been slower than knitting Cully May's but I'm on a bit of a roll now and have begun the sleeves. Now that hubby and I need to slow down and rest up while we get over our head colds I'll probably get it completed by this time next week. 




Have you found yourself choosing to buy online more often these days instead of going out to shop?
That's certainly the case here but there have been a few disappointments along the way. I ordered some winter clothing in March when we went in to lockdown (Australian winter is June - August) that only arrived yesterday and was not at all as described. Supposedly cotton, the dresses are nylon. And then there were the long sleeve tops I ordered, also in March, from a different company, that arrived a couple of weeks ago, also not cotton as was described online, but nylon again. 
Truly, apart from the fact these companies lied, no-one wears nylon or synthetics in the tropics.

But joy of joys, a few things ordered have arrived exactly as I'd hoped.

Reading...

My current read is David Suchet's autobiography (highly recommended) which arrived after a long two month wait from Fishpond NZ and fortunately I bought two copies as I knew Blossom would love it too and it would be a keeper and not a loaner.




I'm also nearing the end of Agatha Christie's "Sad Cypress" (read by David Suchet) and thinking about my next read, perhaps an Elizabeth Goudge.

Fabric and a Tutorial...


Last week I ordered some half-price clearance fabric that is even prettier in real life than on the website. Also, can you see what was attached to the string wrapping?
A little perspex tag with my name. How delightful!




I rarely buy fabric these days, maybe a few yards twice a year, because I mostly embroider and only use small amounts of quilting fabric if finishing a stitchery as a project.
When I was sorting through my fabrics the weekend before last I realised much of what I have now isn't a true reflection of the style and colour which I enjoy working with these days, and it was that 'aha' moment that stirred me on to look for prints which made my heart happy.

In the midst of my organising I came across a small box of charm squares, all at least a few years old...




...and this reminded me of a simple project I shared as a tutorial here on my blog back in 2013.

So with a new second half of the year just beginning and a renewed desire to step into the last six months of 2020 with a refreshed and hopeful attitude, I thought sharing a few simple sewing projects in the months ahead might be fun. It's also a way for me to bring some freshness to our home and 'use what I already have'.

This is the tutorial, a simple split nine-patch table runner...


At the time I used leftovers from a much loved Tanya Whelan charm pack and this table runner is still used all the time, far more than any other table runner in my home today. 

It's faded a lot now but always brings me joy laying across my desk!





Over the next few days I'll make another table runner using the same tutorial, perhaps a little wider this time to cover my whole desk. Not sure which charm pack yet, or whether I'll cut some 5" squares from my scrap box instead (favourite scraps of course), but I'm looking forward to sewing simple projects that bless our nest.

Bible Study...

At the moment in my Bible study I'm slowly meditating on Psalm 37 and the book of Galatians. 
I find so much richness in Psalms, but truly, this psalm has spoken to me like no other this year as I find myself going back to it time and again, which is why I'm going to let my mind and heart absorb it more deeply through these first weeks of July.




Galatians engages my mind in a different way, almost reminds me of the year, when as a young Christian, I went to Bible College and everything I read seemed too much to comprehend until I broke it down verse by verse and did not rush but allowed the Holy Spirit to lead me...as He does.




Food...

Simple meals these days, and not because we have head colds but because it's a reminder of what life with Nana was like. Her basic rotating menu nourished our bodies and drew her, Pop and I together across the table to laugh and love and share our days.
Scones and jam were a big part of Sunday afternoons and I always loved scones with sultanas so they are what I most often make. And jam. She always made jam from whatever fresh fruity produce was in season.
As we are staying home until symptom free of our colds I decided to use a bag of frozen cranberries to make a couple of jars of jam over the weekend, one for us and one for our neighbour. Yum! 




I also used the last of Rosie's duck eggs in a hearty zucchini slice which we have been eating with salad and fresh bread...




Today I'm going to put a pot of slow simmered lamb and barley soup in the crockpot which will carry us through the next few nights. Another loaf of bread to be baked as well, and maybe a simple trifle because my man loves trifle and I haven't made one in years.

Hubby's body has not handled these past six months of being vegan and my own health has had some challenges so we have decided to include a very small serve of meat three days a week and see if things improve. In this broken world there's no one-size-fits-all for dietary needs so we must adjust what we do to suit the results our bodies and health need.

Oh dear, what a long post...and what lovely friends you are to have read this far!
Shall you be making a split-nine-patch table runner with me??

I'll show you how my new one turned out in the next post, but in the meantime, draw near to God sweet ones for when you do that He promises to draw near to YOU.

Loving hugs


Thursday, June 25, 2020

A warm winter and a sick hen...

This winter is so very warm, brilliant clear skies and so warm in fact that I swim in our pool each afternoon to cool down. Water and swimming have always been my way of unwinding, a way to exert physical energy that also draws out the excess mental overload I too often carry. 

The garden is a mix of hits and misses - very productive with herbs, pumpkins, tomatoes and capsicums, but slow with beans, cucumbers and zucchini. I picked three pumpkins last week and they are out by the back door 'hardening' for a while as I've read they should sit for a week or two before you cut into one. These are Kent (otherwise known as Jap) pumpkins...




...but I also have Butternuts growing out front that won't be ready for another six weeks or so.




I never knew three pumpkin plants to spread so far! I have been pruning them back regularly but still they wander far and away, even now extending to the front window and if left unattended I imagine they'll find a way through the front door! More pruning this week...






It's lovely to enjoy our own tomatoes, spring onions, cucumbers and herbs right now as salads play a big part in the weekly menu. We grow a few different varieties of small tomatoes and just as we did last year they often disappear into our mouths between picking from the vines and arriving at the kitchen bench...fortunately we have three times as many plants this year so a return trip to pick more is not a problem.




This was our first cucumber, ever. Is it silly to be so excited? No, of course not. Though admittedly I made it last three days because even though there are many more on the vine they're not ready to pick yet. 




Hubby has planted a passionfruit vine beside the chook pen fence which we hope will thrive and weave it's wandering arms across the wire. You can also see the beginnings of a bird net which will cover the coop and around the guava tree beside it. This is to keep a family of pigeons out of the enclosure.




Our dear Bess was unwell for seven days, not eating, very lethargic, and generally not interested in anything at all. She had an impacted crop and I found myself learning many new things about raising poultry and how to use natural methods to heal a sick hen. 




From mixing Vegemite and water together and administering into her mouth through a syringe, to massaging her crop numerous times a day, to adding apple cider vinegar to her water (which I do every day now), to something that finally shifted the crop - olive oil across the top of her water. It was miraculous!

Since then she's been eating again, far more sprightly and back to her old self. Her and Daphne still enjoy porridge for breakfast  but now I add a tablespoon of yoghurt to the mix because the probiotics are good for their digestive system.

Daphne's health never waned, she's quite a hardy girl.




With only one hen laying it was such a blessing to visit Rosie last week because we'd not seen each other since last November and her dear husband sent me home with a huge bowl (which he'd made himself and I have borrowed) of duck eggs!




Now I really know what colour 'duck egg blue' is.

Rosie has taught herself macrame and what beautiful plant hangers she's made! I've seen some of the photos she shared on Instagram and couldn't wait to see them for real. They are scattered through her home and add that something extra which only comes from being 'handmade'.
How blessed I was upon arrival to be gifted a small surprise package - my own macrame plant hanger. Of course, a few days later Mr E took me off to the garden section of Bunnings for the right plant, bless him. 
Doesn't it look lovely hanging in our entrance?




I gave my sewing room a spring winter tidy up this week because when things become cluttered in there I lose some creativity and the desire to sew, choosing rather to sit out in the living room with hand embroidery. 

It took two days and I enjoyed every minute, listening to an Agatha Christie book on audio (Sad Cypress) as I decluttered, sorted and reorganised. 




Sure enough, once it was done my sewing mojo went into top gear and I 'finally' made one of my favourite stitcheries (The Stitch Sampler) into a mini quilt and now it's hanging right near my sewing machine and ironing station.




The simple border and binding are beautiful old Tilda prints which were the inspiration behind the thread colours I used in the design. 








My husband is on holidays from Monday for two whole weeks (mid year school break) and I've gotten my Elefantz work caught up so I too can enjoy a break from work. One of the fun things on my list for these coming two weeks is to go through my huge tub of completed original stitcheries and choose four or five favourites to turn into projects which can be displayed here at home. 
Some mini quilts, cushions, table runners, frames...any or all may appear by mid July and I'm so excited to be setting aside this time to 'play'. 

I'm reminded almost daily the words God spoke into my heart back at the end of 2018 - "Use what you already have"...and honest, I have a lot of stitchery blocks and I have enough fabric to make things with those blocks, things that reflect my desire to create a warm, welcoming environment in our home. Like Rosie's home, which overflows with the welcoming beauty of her handmade quilts, pillows, up-cycled furniture, decorations and macrame, my heart's desire is to bring life within the walls of our own abode, life that sings with the essence of what matters to myself and my husband.

For us, lots of greenery (we have plants everywhere) and colour and comfort...that expresses who we are. Sewn items, fresh baked breads, beautiful music, vegetable gardens, trees, hens, wild birds, engines, dirt carts,  (hubby loves to build things that go!)  - these are also expressions of the people who live within these walls. 

I think there's a journey of discovery happening right now, deep down in my heart.
A journey that will discard and embrace, a time to learn new habits and skills, a revisiting of delights long forgotten, and a letting go of what holds no relevance in this season of life. 

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
Isaiah 43:19

A dear friend emailed me this week to share her heart and on a much deeper level than I she also is letting go and moving forward to a new thing. Reading her words, absorbing her description of how God is setting her world in a slightly different way to what she has previously known, I was encouraged, inspired, and excited for both of us. 

Are there things in your life that are changing? 
How are you approaching this?

Next time I'll give you a better look inside my newly uncluttered sewing space, and see what you think about having a repeat sew-along in July. No stitchery, just sewing. An oldie but a goodie.

Bless you precious ones.
loving hugs


Monday, June 22, 2020

A fresh plan...



You may have noticed this has been a long blogging break for me. It was unplanned but in the big scheme of life quite needful. 

There has been much pondering of life to settle in my heart, muddled thoughts to clear a path through, plans to revisit and reassess, deep heartfelt prayers and more than a few sleepless nights for one reason and another.

It's difficult to believe we are almost at the middle of  2020, a year of unexpected hurdles and situations which spread from personal challenges here at home to far greater concerns which were felt around the world. When the New Year arrived I had hopes and plans before me that filled my heart with excitement and I couldn't wait to delve deeper into a year long examination of what it means to have a Homemakers Heart...and for a few months I wrote weekly about this on the blog and encouraged as many of you as had a similar desire to become involved. There were some simple home-based projects, recipes, a weekly cleaning or organising task...and for my part, a genuine delight about cherishing my home anew and 'polishing' my role inside these walls grew rapidly.
I did have a short detour when my heart problem surfaced but found my way back on track soon after. Then COVID 19 and the rapid decline in health, employment, economies and social distancing across the world rapidly took hold in most of our countries. In March, to offer some productive enterprise whilst we were all sequestered at home I shared a few weeks of simple projects you could make with me which I named the Creative Hands At Home initiative.

All of this to say, life just didn't follow the plans I had made, and I imagine this year has been a bit like that for you too?

I'm reminded of Jesus' teaching to His disciples - "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for today is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:34)

Certainly there has been troubles this year that we would never have imagined, some of it could have come direct from the pages of a fiction novel. And yet it really happened, and in many lives and countries it is still happening. In fact the long term effects will be like earthquake aftershocks for many years to come.

So over the past ten days I have travelled the valleys, mountains, plains and highways of my mind and my heart; pondered logic, common sense, dreams and desires; traversing an emotional and mental journey to find a new starting point, a fresh attitude and renewed enthusiasm for the latter half of this year. 
And in the midst of this I wondered, truly wondered, if you too have a longing to start over as July 1st draws near? Or at least to seek a fresh plan that is uplifting, encouraging, inspiring, joyous, productive, hopeful and life-renewing?




Before going any further with this train of thought I'm taking these Scriptures to heart, writing them in my journal and waiting on the Lord's 'nudge' in order to follow the right path He would have me walk along. I have an idea of what this fresh plan entails but still want to pray a little more and lean in to hear that still small voice in case He has something else to add - after all, waiting on the Lord will always lead to a better outcome than I could plan myself. 


"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)




What about you?
Are you in need of a fresh plan for the second half of this year? 

Have a think about that, pray about it...and if you have a mind to, share your thoughts here in the comments because I do believe when we come together and open up about our hopes and dreams many will read and pray with us, and we shall pray for them.

Bless you lovely ones,
loving hugs,


Friday, June 12, 2020

Returning to an old love...

When we were homeschooling reading was an every day event, a pastime, a pleasure, indeed an anticipated hour or two each afternoon where my children (even in to late teens) would grab pillows and snacks, secure a comfy place on the couch and sit avidly captivated by the stories I would read out loud.

Through the many, many classics which lined our heavily laden book shelves, we travelled across uncharted seas, forged through uninhabited lands, learned to be self sufficient on a deserted island, walked the roads of olde England telling stories, worked in the halls of lofty palaces and ate raw onions with ancient Egyptians.  For eleven years we escaped into history through books, the characters becoming so real that many a deep discussion about their bravery or lack of wisdom ensued over a second pot of tea or hot chocolate until I firmly sent the children off to do their chores whilst I began dinner.

Those years stand out for me as the best 'educational' time of my life because I wasn't just teaching my kids, I was learning right along with them, learning all the things that traditional schooling never taught me. I'd loved books since I could first read, but this was different - it was like a historical book club meeting every day of the week that never got boring and always offered enthusiastic conversation afterwards.

When I became a designer at age 50, we were in the tail end of our homeschooling years. I never planned to start a career once the kids graduated but I was praying each day that the Lord would bless me with a vision for the future and a measure of His own creativity. He answered in a way that still surprises me - such generosity of a gift which I never take for granted.

Once the homeschool years drew to a close and the children went their ways into the workforce our read-aloud hours drifted away into memory, and then one day came the realisation I'd barely opened a good fictional cover in years. In my heart there was a sorrow, a strange kind of loss, from no longer reading to, and with, my family...and then an understanding that this was why I no longer desired to read fiction unless it had a purpose., 
For example, during recovery from a serious bout of pneumonia in 2016 I couldn't get out of bed so I binged on four Lisa Genova novels because they all dealt with neurological issues and as that has a long history in my family the subject matter kept my mind occupied whilst my body recovered. 
Another book (suggested in Jane Brocket's 'Gentle Art of Domesticity' which we studied through 2019) I read in 2014 was "The Home Maker" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher simply to discern what I thought of Jane's reading list - and I thoroughly enjoyed that book, even lending it out to friends.
But these small interludes with good books this past decade still didn't stir a desire to return to reading as a pastime.

The joy of reading had become a family affair in my heart of hearts, and somewhere in those long homeschool years I'd lost the solitary delight from my childhood years when I read just for me. 

I do still read non-fiction (religious, health, gardening and homemaker themed), but embarking on a new fictional book that takes me on a journey and introduces me to new characters - that's just not happened for years, so when I shared with you recently of my hollow days with depression, the overwhelm of being a sole trader/designer with a home based online business and all that entails, and generally not having enough hours in a day anymore with the garden and homemaking and family, I knew the only person who could change things was me.

I didn't rush in to any changes, but offered my concerns to the Lord and asked Him to show me how to bring balance, peace, time and opportunity for personal and delightful pursuits in my everyday life. There was no quick response, but as I sat each day with my Bible and some very good devotionals (Spurgeon is always good), gradually the fog which had clouded my mind began to clear and I decided it was time to simplify more than just meals or budgets...I needed to simplify my own expectations of self.

Self imposed responsibilities had accumulated in my life and because I'm naturally someone who 'goes the extra mile' saying no to requests is quite a challenge, plus I also have way more ideas tumbling forth from my imagination than I could ever possibly hope to see through to fruition. Taking all this in, letting it simmer in my thoughts and prayers for a while, waking in the night to ponder what truly matters, listening for that still small voice, took time. And discipline. Because you can't make positive changes without self discipline. 

So I decided that for the next month I'd slow down at home, not extend myself more than is needed, and I'd give myself a relaxed hour or so each afternoon to reacquaint myself with solitary reading. Being a Jane Austen fan for decades I gathered some of my favourites to one side (Persuasion is my absolute favourite Austen) ...





....but purchased a new fiction to read first. Naturally the title drew me in!




Three chapters along and I'm really enjoying this book. 
And you know, it reminded me to check my Kindle for any titles I may have purchased 'back in the day' and did not read. You have to laugh because I had purchased about eight fiction books but not read a single one. 

So I decided to start with the first title in my Kindle library (because having two books on the go at once seems rather exciting to me at the moment) and read the first chapter this morning.
Aunt Jane of Kentucky (1907) is marvellous!! At 4 am this morning when I could not sleep and needed to sit quietly without lights so as not to disturb my husband I put the kindle on night-light mode and began this book. 




Well, my laughter woke Mr E even though I tried to hold it in. I think this will now be an evening book for me to read as we rarely watch television these days and hubby reads at night or marks his student's papers while I knit or stitch. But the joy of reading is returning and I believe it will be good for my soul. 

The Aunt Jane book is a free Kindle download in the US but around $5 in Australia. Back when I got it there was no Amazon Kindle in Australia and I remember getting it for free. 
When I was looking for a cover photo to show you the actual book (because that's hard with only a Kindle copy) my google search led me to Quilt Fiction (Aunt Jane quilts by hand - marvellous) where someone READS this book in a podcast. So if you're interested pop over HERE where I imagine links to all chapters can be found. The video below is just chapter one.




I did purchase the full set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books at the beginning of the year to read to Cully May and Rafaella one day, and I did actually finish "Little House in the Big Woods"...funny how I'd forgotten that but it just came to mind. But I should confess that after the first two chapters I opted for the audio version and listened to that while I stitched. So I still 'worked' while listening to the story. 
Audio books may well be in my future for some stitching times or while I cook and bake in the kitchen, but a return to holding a book and reading it without distraction or employment within the home or sewing room is something I choose now to embrace.

So let me ask you, what books have you enjoyed in the past?
What books are you reading now?

I don't like crime novels or anything unsavoury in a story, and I don't like science fiction either. But I have always enjoyed the kind of historical fiction that educates and brings joy.

If you have suggestions for me with this in mind, let me know in the comments. 

 Bless you lovely friends, and I pray that if you too have let the bustle and hum of life fill every hour and forgotten the simple things you once enjoyed, that the Lord shows His perfect grace and leads you into a clear vision of how you can enjoy those things again and find balance in the wonderful everyday life of homemaking. 





Loving hugs