2015 is my year for bringing my heart back to home-making, and a slower pace of life. Will you join

2015 is my year for bringing my heart back to home-making, and a slower pace of life. Will you join

Friday, March 6, 2015

A new day, and my granddaughter...

I've not introduced you to my sweet little granddaughter Frankie before.
Our family is rather private so I don't share a lot about them, but my daughter Aisha has two gorgeous daughters - Ebony & Frankie - and little Frankie has been accepted as an entrant in the Bond's Babysearch 2015 and we thought you might like to meet our cherub, and hopefully vote for her...
Go HERE to the voting page, ok?
Honest, she's adorable...and as I have not yet been able to hold her (we live a long way apart) having regularly updated photos to swoon over is a true blessing, but in a few months she may well be wrapped in Nana's waiting arms and my gushing will move into overdrive. Be prepared. 

As promised yesterday here are some peeks at my 'work in progress'.
The first is where I'm at on a design by my friend Cori Blunt of Chitter Chatter Designs. This will have it's full reveal during Mdm Samm's blog hop in April....details soon.

The project below is a progress peek at one of my own new designs, also being prepared for a blog hop (in June), but the full reveal will be late in April. I love spotty curtains and apple pie, don't you?
I'll close out this week on the blog with some photos I took at sunrise today.
Mr E and I rose early before work and headed towards the beach and port with large coffees and our cameras.
It's still very hot in the tropics and the forecast is for a sweltering autumn so dawn in Townsville is alive with activity before the sun makes sport and exercise too hot to handle.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

About bobbin lace...

This week I've referred to my Year of Gentle Domesticity plans a few times, and also shown you the framed mission statement I made for the bedside table which reminds and inspires me each morning to stay on track with the domestic arts I desire to re-visit, learn, enjoy and hone.
One of those arts to learn is bobbin-lace making and after receiving a few comments and emails about the subject I thought I'd explain a bit more about why I'm interested in it...

Bobbin lace is not new to our household.
My sweet daughter Blossom (who will be 21 in May, can you believe it!?) dabbled in this craft after a lesson in Alice Springs when she was just 12. This was her first piece of bobbin lace, which became a bookmark gift for me....

We left Alice Springs soon after and moved to a remote outback school where the nearest supplier of milk and bread was almost two hours away, so having ample activity supplies on hand for the children was very important as we didn't venture out much. We were homeschoolers and always open to trying new  crafts or techniques and because Blossom was very keen to continue with lace making we ordered her some basic supplies...

Over time I received more precious lengths of her practice lace....

Eventually in 2008 a new craft caught her fancy (beading) and I was left with her learner's bobbin lace tools which I duly packed away in case her interest ever returned.
Fast forward to 2011. 
Picking through the items at a local Saturday morning garage sale near our (then) home reminded me of the lace supplies stored up high in the linen cupboard. A woven bag hidden amongst piles of craft supplies held beautiful lace making bobbins and threads!
After handing over a crisp $5 note to cover the price tag marked on the bag I returned home with treasures for the future.
When this Year of Gentle Domesticity was rolling towards me and I began listing the things I'd like to learn through 2015, bobbin-lace seemed quite natural as my supplies are abundant...

I have a few time-consuming commitments for stitchery designs at the moment, but when the calendar rolls over into April some regular weekly afternoons will be given over to learning this wonderful and complex art, but I am a realist as well as a visual learner so I think YouTube might somehow be involved with lessons.

I'll show you some peeks at those stitchery commitments tomorrow.
 They are making me smile, but I do need time to crack on and finish them so last night I made enough dinner to cover two nights which means I can settle in for the entire afternoon today and tango with my needle and thread.

Mr E is very happy last night's supper is returning for an encore presentation tonight!
 I made Spinach & Ricotta Filo Roll from THIS recipe, and some Chilli & Capsicum Jam from a recipe inside the Paleo Cafe cookbook. Both were delicious!

What new craft would you enjoy learning?


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Choosing the right frame to display your needlework...

One thing I love about stitcheries is the varying ways in which we can display them.
Needlework has the knack of bringing to life many projects and gifts, such as quilts, wall hangings,  pomanders, bags, pillows, table runners, dolls clothes, lamp shades, phone cases...the possibilities are too numerous to list!

Personally, though, I have a real penchant for frames.
It's rare that I don't come home with a frame or two when I've spent time window shopping in town or browsing the shelves of local op shops (thrift stores). 
There's no frame too large or small, and I especially love a splash of colour or metalwork.

For today's blog post I want to share with you some of the frames I've used for my designs (and why). You may be inspired to choose a frame more often as your needlework display - after all, they make really lovely gifts.

Some frames dictate my choice of thread colour for a design I'm stitching. 
I'll measure how much space I have for displaying my work then design to fit, choosing either threads that blend with the frame, or threads that contrast.

The projects below were thread co-ordinated with the frame. The first one also featured a fabric border top and bottom, chosen because it blended with the inner section of the frame, while the birth notice highlighted the mauve in the frame by a good spattering of mauve floss in the design itself...

Stay Calm and Stitch was a contrast design, embroidered with black thread to stand out against the salmon frame. The faux rust on the frame added to the effect...

Needlework can also be displayed inside an elegant white frame as this makes the stitchery your most prominent feature...  

 Adding borders to your stitcheries before framing in white allows you to display your work in a larger size frame. In the two projects below I chose my threads from the colours in the fabric...

By accident I found this peachy pink frame to be an exact match for the applique fabric I wanted to use in the bunting of a daughter's wedding memory, so I added more of the fabric as a border to accommodate the larger size of the frame...

Fabric borders look beautiful as a contrast to vintage frames. This tiny frame was just a few dollars at an op-shop and perfect for the sweet stitchery I designed for a friend last year, but the addition of a feature print brought it to life...

Slightly different because it's not needlework, but remember my framed 2015 mission statement I showed you yesterday?

Framing and displaying this on my bedside table has allowed it to become the daily reminder I need to see and recite each day (and in the frame it's much prettier than hiding in my journal)...

What do you think? Are you inspired to look at frames with fresh eyes?
Perhaps you have a few stored away that can be made new with some of your needlework, or even a powerful quote or two?
Is there something you have ready to frame right now - if so, what is it, and how will you frame it? Leave your comment below as I'd love to hear about it!

All the patterns shown in frames through this post (except for Viva La Vintage) are HERE.
Some are free downloads and some are not. 

 Have a blessed day!
I have some secret stitching to complete so Mr Poirot will be keeping me company...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Still walking...

Back HERE I shared about 'walking the room'  and offered a free download sheet you could use to walk your own rooms...

If you used that sheet have you found it helpful?

Knowing it's a year long project helps me stay on track. 
This week I'm autumn-cleaning  our bedroom, and I've taken time to 'walk the room' and make notes about what I'd like to achieve - like de-cluttering drawers, sorting through the wardrobe and donating what's not being worn or used, planning projects to create that will add a sense of 'us' to the room, adding indoor plants to help filter the air, and making a new bed for Bob-the-dog because he sleeps there as well.
Overall the plan is to give our bedroom an air of sanctuary and rest...

I also printed up my mission statement for 2015 and framed it because I need to read this daily as a reminder and an inspiration. It's too easy to succumb to busyness and forget the importance of 'living life' and looking after self. 
As soon as my bedroom is re-organised this will be displayed on my bedside table. For now it's in my sewing room...

If you haven't yet read about my Year of Gentle Domesticity you can find it HERE.

Part of choosing to bake more in 2015 has been finding recipes that suit our gluten-free and 80% paleo diet.
I love to be in the kitchen but when I succumb to busyness with work our meals can tend to become rather repetitive because that's the easiest option - making what I already know. 
So in keeping with my framed mission statement (above) recently I've purchased a few new cook books. Some of them are e-books which are stored on my Ipad, but a few have been too good to not own the hardcopy, like this one by Australian cook Irena Macri.
I browse through it every time we have a meal or smoothie at the Paleo Cafe, and finally decided we should own it. 
Yesterday I baked Irena's Banana Bread and seriously, it was simple, delicious, and mouth-wateringly addictive...

You can eat it as a cake, or toast it.
I added dried apricots and peaches to my mix and scattered walnuts across the top...
Irena has a blog HERE filled with wonderful recipes so if you're gluten free, Paleo minded, or just want to freshen your menu planning it might have some ideas to inspire you.
You'll find her free recipe for the Banana Bread HERE.

I also made Irena's Lemony Harissa (recipe in the cookbook) and used it to marinate chicken breasts for a few hours before grilling.
Another winner. Repeat performance tonight, but with lamb this time.

 Another great place for recipe ideas is your local library. 
Why not go for a wander down the cooking aisle and borrow a few books that catch your eye?

Have a great day! 
I'm back to that bedroom and some drawer de-cluttering...