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

Thomas Moore

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A free design, and a new quilt for Sam!

Bless your hearts for the prayers and hugs over Mr E returning home for good, and putting mine life behind him. 
It was not an easy thing for us, but above all else, we cherish our marriage, and it is far more important than being apart most of the time in order to purchase a house.
"Home" is where we are together - whether in a rental, in a tent, or in a cottage of our own one day - it doesn't matter the place, it only matters in the heart. He is my home on this earth.
I think I'll have to design a stitchery to reflect that sentiment, don't you? He has already applied for some teaching positions for next year, and God-willing we'll have an answer before Christmas.
In the meatime he's looking for some casual work locally to keep bread and butter on the table. Bless his precious heart!
Our darling 19yo son, Sam, has been waiting patiently these past few years for me to design and make him a guy quilt. There have always been plenty of quilt designs around for young boys, displaying trucks, cars, boats and the like, but he wanted something edgy - something that reminded him of a favourite book I read to him and Blossom, "The Lord of the Rings".
Finally, I have done it, and he is thrilled!
Let me show you my latest quilt design, made especially for my boy...
And the fabric on the back was perfect for him!
Do you like it?
For my fellow Aussies and Kiwis, the pattern will be available in Patchwork & Stitching magazine around mid-April next year.
I will however, also list the pattern in my Etsy shop for my overseas friends (or for those of you who cannot wait till next April), sometime this week. I'll let you know when.
It's a great teen quilt, especially for someone who likes medieval books!
As promised, I'm sharing a second free Christmas design with you today!
~*~ The Stocking Tree ~*~
This runner is easy to make, and so very cheery with the dancing Christmas Stocking tree!
You can download the pattern HERE, but only until Christmas Eve and then it disappears. 
I've been asked if there will be any more Give Thanks verses in my BOM this year.
Yes, two  more in fact. 
I'll share them in the next week or so, and I suppose I'd better get my thinking cap on about what free BOM I can share next year!
Tomorrow I'll be showing you some gorgeous Show & Tell photos from bloggers who have been making my designs their very own. 
Until then, I have a husband to enjoy, and a sewing room needing some attention. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What a week of ups and downs...

Some weeks bring trial, some bring joy, and some give you such a mix of highs and lows that you're not quite sure whether to laugh or cry.
I believe "all things work together for good" and as I cast my mind back over the many and varied trials I've walked through in life I see God's faithful hands always carrying us and I know we'll be okay this time too.
Today I'd like to focus on some lovely things, ok?
On Tuesday I was very blessed to have the company of my wonderful son, Sam, for the entire day! I'd mentioned taking my Lola off for some surgery...
She'd been acting up and not working her usual magic on my sewing, so it was time to visit the sewing machine doctor and have some much needed attention. 
The surgery took place in Townsville, so it was to be a long day out for me while Mr Ell'n Lock took charge of my Lola. 
(I have two Lola's in my life - my sewing machine and my car. Both named after my maternal grandmother because I love her name and my children don't, so with no chance of a grandaughter named Lola in the future I decided to name my car, and later, my sewing machine, by that favoured and loved name!)
Sam jumped at the chance to take a day off work and spend time with his mum - aren't I blessed!!?
We chatted non-stop during the long drive to Townsville, and after dropping off Lola, Sam took me out for a yummy morning tea by the beach at...
Black Forest Cake was my delight...
...and my lad chose the chocolate mud cake.
He handed this over as a token of love for his mum...
Next it was shopping for guy-stuff to kit out his new car, a Subaru Liberty, then he took me for a healthy lunch at Sizzler...
After lunch we picked up Lola, all mended and once again in good spirits, before heading to Maccas for a cold drink and toilet stop before the long drive home. Sam wanted you to see how he filled the back of my car with his new car-enhancement-goodies....
No surprise about what he's been doing this weekend!
Other family news is that Mr E has discovered life working away at the mine is not at all what he expected. We are a very close husband and wife team, and these separations where we are apart more than we are together just don't work. So, he's looking to return to teaching at the start of the Australian school year near the end of January 2012.
We will need God's hand to find a position for him this late in teacher recruiting for 2012 as most positions have been filled by now, but we serve a mighty God and are trusting His providence. There are positions in Rockhampton and Kingaroy that he'll apply for, but hopefully a few more will come available soon.
This will mean leaving town, and relocating a long way from our children and grandsons, and of course that brings a very real sadness, but with another 20 years of working ahead of him, we must go where the work. Thankfully we can do some long rides back here to visit with the children during school holidays, and they can visit us whenever they are able. 
Now, I shan't sob. I want to, but I shan't. I adore my husband, and am sooooooo happy he will be coming back 'home to me', and that is the most wonderful thing for my heart. 
Issue 6 of Elefantz HOME is ready and waiting to be emailed out on the 29th. I am very happy with this issue, and as always, I've shared more about my life and the family and hope you enjoy reading about us.
PDF subscriptions can be made at the Elefantz HOME webpage over HERE.
I'd also like to make an extra offer for those who like to save a few dollars.
A six-month subscription to Elefantz HOME would normally cost $24, but as a little early Christmas bonus, you can purchase a 6-month PDF subscription for yourself for just $20.
This would be a lovely gift for a stitching friend for Christmas, so if that's something you'd like to do, please leave a note in your email letting me know your friend's email address and I'll send a Christmas card to her explaining the gift is from you.
This offer is available until December 20th, and as an added Christmas gift I'll email her (or you!) one of the previous issues too!
To take advantage of this offer, please email me and I will send a Paypal invoice, OR, if you're in Australia I will accept a bank deposit.
jennyofelefantz AT yahoo DOT com DOT au
Next week I am going to share with you a 2nd free Christmas design!!
Make sure you drop by for the free design, won't you!?
Time now to make a lovely morning tea for my man before he drives off to the mine. 
Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends, and may I say a very sincere THANK YOU to everyone of you for taking time out to read my ramblings.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A perfect dawn...

"Sunshine through my window makes me happy..."
I was singing that old John Denver song this morning as the sun's perfect rays shone through the eastern side of my home and danced inside...
Outside, the sun made long peek-a-boo stretches through the front palms...
...whilst in the backyard it dappled down from above the treetops.
A perfect morning for a farm breakfast, I thought.
The perfect day to finish a new shabby rose design...
Perfect flowers to rest my eyes upon. A gift from Mr E...
A perfect day because it was made by, and gifted from, my Father above. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday once again...

It's been wonderful having Mr E home, but this morning it was time for him to head back to the mine again, so my single girl routine began...
I spent most of the day writing patterns for the next issue of Elefantz HOME, but also writing the pattern for this new cushion design, "Garden Gate Farm", which will feature in Creating Country Threads next autumn...
Most of the the threads I used were a gift from Carrie last year. 
Carrie had used them to stitch my "Shabby Roses" quilt blocks and thought I'd like to try them. They are made from bamboo and *beautiful* to stitch with! No tangles or knots - a stitcher's dream. Thank you, Carrie! If you'd like to see photos of Carrie's completed version of the "Shabby Roses quilt" you can visit HERE.
Both Blossom and Kezzie love the new cushion design so now I am not sure whose home it will be going to once it returns from the editor. Maybe they can draw straws??
Blossom came over for dinner with me tonight. A simple lemon and vegetable cous cous salad...
...and I grilled some herb and garlic chicken that I had marinated all afternoon. 
 I forgot to take a photo after the chicken was cooked, but the herbs were fresh from my garden and the finished dish was yummo!
I also baked a batch of banana muffins for her to take home and freeze. She microwaves them for quick breakfasts before she goes to work...
Tonight I am playing with a new design - more shabby roses of course!
 What are you stitching at the moment? 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Finally that birthday dinner, gum trees, and a special offer...

Only one week late, but all of us were well last night and able to belatedly celebrate Sam's 19th.
The camera photos were fuzzy, and I blame the dreadful down-lights, but I still wanted to share them with you...
Sam - with a rare non-silly face...
Sam (with a silly face) and Bloss...
Kezzie and Bert...
...and Cal. :-)
A lovely family night! I am blessed.
Jennifer commented on THIS post, and asked what kind of tree I had photographed. They are Australian Eucalypt Gum Trees. Aren't they lovely?!
Yesterday Mr E and I went for a ride west to Pentland, and I photographed another one for you.
They are also known as Ghost Gums because they shed their bark to reveal the creamy white trunk underneath. When you drive at dusk past hundreds of these trees they do indeed look like ghosts against the skyline.
I was once asked what I would miss if I left Australia, and the first thing that came to  mind was the Ghost Gums. They are everywhere, and such a pivotal part of the Australian landscape.
Today I am offering you the chance to purchase a triple Sampler pack of PDF patterns!
Shabby Rose House; Rose Cottage; and Little Houses.
All three patterns as a single purchase bundle in my Etsy Shop for $6.50!
You'll find them HERE.

The large appliqued Rose House Sampler is not a quick project, but each part is so pretty and will hold your attention and keep stitchy fingers happy!
Finished, it measures 30 x 32 inches.

The smaller stitched Rose House Sampler uses a variety of embroidery stitches, and is pretty as a peach! Finished, it measures 12.5 x 16.5 inches

The Litte House Sampler is stitched in two shades of blue for upper and lower case, and will fit inside a frame with aperture of 9.5 x 12.5 inches

Time to get back to my husband! Wonder where he wants to go today?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A free Christmas design to say thank you!

I just noticed that my followers have just clicked over the 1600! Thank you everyone!!
You truly bless me by thinking my blog is somewhere nice to visit. I sure do love reading your comments and having you drop by. :-)
Rather than having another giveaway where there are only a couple of winners, I thought I'd share a free Christmas design with you!
I designed my Curly Christmas Tree in 2009 as part of a 9-design set, but never use the stitched block in a project until last night. While I was waiting for Mr E to ride home (he decided to ride in the night and come home 12 hours earlier to be with me!), I stitched up a simple red border and made it into a hanging. It's such a cute and happy tree!
The finished hanging is 7.5" x 10.5"...perfect for an afternoon's stitching.
You can download the pattern HERE.
Mr E is home again, safe and sound, so we're about to share a plate of sweet tropical fruits while we plan the next few days adventures. There'll be a nice motorbike ride in there somewhere!
Have a great week yourself, and thanks again for visiting my little Elefantz world.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

While Mr E's been away....

While Mr E's been away at the mine, I've spent a lot of time with Blossom, Kezzie and Sam.
Morning teas with Kezzie, a breakfast and a dinner with Bloss, and a movie with Sam and Bloss. 
In the darkness of the movie theatre we managed a rare photo of Sam, me and Bloss together.; not the best of shots I suppose, but I really love this photo because it's us being us...
Highlight of the movies was us and Sam's mate being the ONLY people in the theatre. It was like a private screening. :-)
My new favourite breakfast is five:am vanilla bean yoghurt with blueberries. I bought the mango flavour for Mr E to try when he gets home tomorrow...
Apart from visiting with the kids, and sewing, I've also been out walking. Very early this morning I headed off to Centenary Park and walked around it a few times.
It's such a pretty park, and at that time of the morning it was deserted except for a man doing his yoga, and another man walking round and round like me. I thought I'd take you for a short wander with me...
...and then I stopped under a shady tree to sit and have my water, a muesli bar, and read my Bible.
Mr E comes home in a few hours. My heart is beating so fast...