"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

Thomas Moore

Monday, August 29, 2011

Issue 3 has been sent! \o/

Issue 3 was emailed out this morning.
A few emails bounced back at me, and some ladies have emailed to say that they found my email in their 'Spam' mail.
If you haven't received an email from me please check your Spam mail first, and if its not there please email me to let me know. The email addresses I use are those attached to your Paypal accounts (unless you've told me otherwise).
I thought I'd relax today but the Spring cleaning bug is still biting and while it's only hot, and not stifling, I'll keep going. An hour was stolen by me for some stitching, though! I watched an episode of Poirot on ABC1 as I worked on this....
Tomorrow I'm going op-shopping to hunt down a frame for it; something vintage or unloved that I can paint. This design is for an Australian magazine next year. 
I have received a couple of entries in the August t-shirt challenge. Are there any more out there? You have until August 31st to send me photos or a link to your blog. 
Now to chill out with my sweet man and enjoy our evening cuppa together. We've been out walking up and down hills for fitness. The bike has blown a water pump so we're waiting on parts from America as they didn't have them here in Australia. Three weeks with no riding! Can you hear my angst??? :-(

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Did I miss Spring?!

We're sweltering here today. It's still officially winter, but we're sweltering! Did I miss Spring and fast forward to summer??? Please no. Please let this be a hiccup from heaven that can fixed by one flick of a Divine switch so that I can savour these last few days of winter. Pleeeeeeease????
That's not my only woe today.
The water pump on the bike has broken. No Sunday ride tomorrow. No rides at all until a new water pump arrives in the mail from overseas. Oh woe to me and my man. :-(
Ok, enough of feeling sorry for self. Forgive me for indulging at your expense. 
This last week has been non-stop. Not sure if my body or my brain hurts the most. Both? Yes, both.
Blossom has come good again with the migraine, but she's got another head cold. Brightening up her countenance, though, is a brand new queen size bed! Guess who opted to try it out?
Now there is room for Blossom, Miss Sophie, and Bob-the-dog to all sleep comfortably. 
Issue 3 of Elefantz HOME is all written and ready to publish! Yay!!! \o/\o/ The week before publishing date is very busy in our home, but this week was way busier than usual so I have been up many late nights working to get this issue 'just right' for my subscribers. 
Four projects this month, plus recipes, articles, home-made skin care, more! To subscribe go HERE. Only 2 sleeps until Issue 3 is ready for download!
I found some wonderful places you can visit for sewing 'how-to's', so wanted to share them today in case you've got some internet time free this weekend.

Lenna Green from the Stitching Cow has loads of quilting and embroidery tips on her site.

The UK website 'All About You' is a treasure trove of crafty ideas, and their magazine 'Country Living' is one I never miss! They have a fabulous page with projects for beginners that will inspire you and also be a great place to send your young ones to if they want to learn a new skill. They have free designs for you to make as well!

If you're still wanting to make something for the August T-shirt Challenge go visit the BHG website HERE for some simple but clever ideas! 

Something I want make as soon as I find a striped t-shirt or tow is this recycled T-shirt project from Elizabeth of E Tells Tales. Isn't it sweet!?
This week has also required my time in the kitchen for breadbaking, jam making, meal making, and sweet treats. Today's sweet treat is my own version of Matrimonial Slice...
Made with my own Strawberry & Vanilla Jam.
Of course, then I had no jam left, so today I made jars of Strawberry & Apple Jam to replenish the toast topping supplies for us and for Kezzie & Co.
The recipe for my Matrimonial Slice is in Issue 3 of Elefantz HOME. 
Before I sign off for some downtime over the remainder of my weekend, I wanted to show you some treasure I found yesterday at an op-shop in Townsville. I *love* pretty crockery. 
I really, really, love pretty crockery with roses.
 When I was growing up at my nana's, she had a china cabinet filled with beautiful crockery and glassware. One day I am going to have my own, but I think a nice kitchen hutch would be my preference.
Hmmm...it's a big wedding anniversary this year. I wonder????

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A mistake all fixed!

I just discovered that the Paypal link for the 6 for $6 daisy designs wasn't working properly! I am so sorry! Thanks to those who let me know. :-)
It's all fixed now so if you go HERE  and try the new Paypal link you can purchase them without any problems. 

Thanks for all the love and prayers for Blossom. The migraine lasted 3 days and she is only just coming good now. She's on new medication from our doctor and had extensive blood tests today as she's been unwell most of the last year or so.
We'll keep you posted on that.
Right now she's anticipating the arrival of a new queen size bed and mattress....:-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


It's Tuesday, there is a blustery cold wind blowing, and our Blossom is not well.
She has a high temperature and a thumping migraine. Miserable is how she feels.
Being a mum is hard when you see your child in pain and cannot seem to stem the tide for them. Cuddles, loving words, medications and lots of water, advice to rest, making sure they keep up fluids and eat some plain but nourishing food. That's all we can do until this runs it's course. I pray that is soon.
I have been saving a few good links for you (wanting to share them all in one blog post), so today is it. :-)
Lots of designers are sharing stitchery how-to's on their blogs at the moment, and honestly, I'm not one to re-invent the wheel, so I thought I'd list a couple for you...

Bari J Ackerman's blog "We Love French Knots" features tutorials, free projects to practice stitches, and interviews with various designers...
Helen Stubbings recently shared a number of tutorials for stitches in her Stitched Sundays series...
I was reading Amanda's blog and saw she'd made some gorgeous upcycled pants for little Ben from op-shop tshirts. Amanda had linked to a wonderful tutorial for making baby pants from t-shirts (perfect for the August T-Shirt Challenge!) so if you have little ones go have a sticky beak over at Rookie Moms...
...but for a funny story about making toddler pants from t-shirts, go visit Fiona at Bubz Rugz for a good belly laugh! 
There are a few ladies making items for the Challenge so I've kept it going through August and as long as they have their photos to me by August 31st they will go in the draw for a very pretty "Ruby" charm pack.
My good friend Fiona in Western Australia has been wanting to get her hands busy with stitching for years now and finally she has made a start. She loved one of my "Love is all you need..." designs in Issue 2 of Elefantz HOME so I parcelled her up a kit and sent it off. The very next day Fiona was beautifully blanket stitching the applique letters! The cushion will be an 80th birthday present for her mum. :-)
Marilyn from Mardi Meanderings has been making all the verses from my "Give Thanks" BOM. Aren't the fabric choices gorgeous?!
(I'll have another verse for you next week)
Some questions answered:

Q: Sue has emailed to  ask what pencil I use to trace my designs before stitching.
A: I use a Zig Millenium pen .03 in brown. It rolls beautifully across the fabric, and leaves only a thin line - very easy to cover completely when I stitch, even when using just one thread.  In the photo below I used just one strand of mid-brown thread for the birdcage in "Fly Free" and you cannot see the traced line underneath. As long as you stitch on the line you'll cover the pen mark. 
Q: From an anonymous commenter - How do you store your threads?
A: I wind all the DMC or Anchor threads onto numbered cards and then store them in number order in plastic boxes specifically sold for that purpose. I store specialty threads in zip lock bags, and then in decorated boxes labelled with the brand of the threads.
Random thing about me.
Can you guess what I love to collect? Here's a hint...
Apparently Blossom told Kezzie when she first arrived, "Be warned, Mum has this thing about red and white spots!"
I do. I really do. Doesn't everyone?
Have a lovely evening, and we'd really appreciate a prayer for Blossom's recovery if you're so inclined. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Six designs you'll love!

Over the last couple of years I've designed a number of daisy-themed stitcheries and have used them in various projects. 
They all have a home-and-hearth-felt message and are perfect for gift giving or to use in your own home as words and pictures of inspiration and welcome.
For this week only I am offering you the opportunity to purchase six of these stitchery designs in a bundle!
~The Daisy Designs~
This PDF pattern bundle includes all reverse applique templates and individual pattern sheets for each design.
To purchase the set of six ~Daisy Designs~ just click on the Paypal button below.
6 designs for $6!

 Mr E and I went for dinner at a fellow teacher's home on Saturday night, and to thank her I made a mini "Believe" hanging...
It was the perfect size for popping in a handmade envelope, and tying with a bow!
If you are a newsletter subscriber I will be sharing a tutorial for making this in my next newsletter. If you haven't subscribed to my free newsletter you can do so by submitting your email address in the space provided over there near the top right hand side of my blog. I send out a newsletter every couple of weeks or so.
Note: The free newsletter is not Elefantz HOME magazine. 
A couple of new designs I finished last week that will be published next year in Australian magazines are...
Elefantz & Camels, a baby cot quilt...
I designed this quilt for the beginner stitcher in mind. Sometimes a new mother wants to make a quilt for her baby but needs something simple to begin with and this quilt features basic stitchery and patchwork steps.  It is also a quick design for a hurried gift as it can be made over a weekend, or a long day.
If you'd like to purchase the pattern it is $4 HERE in my Etsy Shop.
The other design I finished is a small embellished wallhanging, "Hope"...
 I used lace for the binding - isn't it gorgeous?!
 "HOPE" will also be the 4th 'bonus' design in Issue 3 of Elefantz HOME magazine this month. Only 7 days until it's published!
Time now to cook dinner for the family. Only 4 around the table tonight so should be easy. ;-)
Have a lovely day!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A family Sunday dinner...

Kezzie and I are in love with this book of Jamie's...
Our oohs and aahs can be heard by anyone within a one mile radius. 
So enamoured are we that we've decided to cook our way through the book together. The weekly family dinner now has an added bit of fun! 
Tonight it was dinner at our house so it was up to me to do the mains, and Kezzie would bring the dessert.
From page 98 I made Mustard Chicken, and from the same page, Potato Dauphinoise. I added a side salad and some olive bread...
 This huge bowl was full of Mustard Chicken when we started dinner but it sure disappeared fast!
 10yo grandson, Cal, gave me a 10/10 for the meal. \o/
Kezzie wanted to make the Rhubarb Millefeuille from page 176 but we couldn't find any rhubarb in town  so she switched the rhubarb for strawberries. Her Strawberry Millefeuille was divine!
SIL Bert enjoyed every mouthful of dinner...
In fact we all did. :-)
I made fresh apple jellies for the boys in case the Millefeuille was too rich for them...
 3yo Dee decided he'd eat both desserts. 
He just wasn't keen on nana taking his photo. 
I love family dinners.
Have a wonderful and blessed Sunday in your home too.

Friday, August 19, 2011

In 24 hours...

It started with dinner at Kezzie's.
She is right at home in the kitchen, and working on giving tips to Blossom...
Meanwhile Mr E and SIL relax out back after a hard fought game of soccer...
Remember this tablecloth I made Kezzie?
Just like it says, we were all blessed to sit together around the table...
...and how cute the mini table for the boys?
After a wonderful meal, Sam, Mr E and I went home and left Blossom to stay the night. 
Next morning after Sam and Mr E went to work the house was quiet, and the air still cool - perfect for baking.
A loaf of sundried tomato bread went in the breadmaker; orange and currant muffins rose in the oven; and fresh home-made orange jellies were setting for tonight's dessert. 
I got this recipe from Amanda's blog. So easy, and now I want to make apple jelly, and blueberry jelly, and, and....
Lunch break and the mail man arrived with this, straight from the UK!!!
Pieced together a new design for a cot quilt...
....until afternoon tea, then I painted and preened my toe nails...
...so they'd show off my new ruffled black thongs (flip flops)!
 Back to the sewing room, and time to do some machine quilting on the cot quilt....
Back to the kitchen for a roast lamb dinner with Mr E as both Blossom and Sam aren't home for dinner tonight, then I'm settling down to bind this quilt. Happy day. 
Hope yours is happy too.