Showing posts with label ADVENTURE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ADVENTURE. Show all posts

Monday, February 17, 2014

Skilled fingers of the past...

My weekend began with a bite from the 'cleaning bug'!
Once bitten, it is impossible to do anything else but scrub, wipe, sweep, polish - and create a pleasing living space.
Once the hard work was done, I spent an hour rummaging through my box of old doilies, looking for time worn favourites to display around our home. You see, even though the house was 'set up' rather quickly after our December move, I still hadn't had the time to really play with displays.
So Saturday was the day to play (after the housework of course...)

The thing I love about all the doilies I've rescued from charity stores, garage sales and markets over the years is the craftsmanship displayed in each piece. I wonder about the fingers who so delicately and skillfully created such beauty from plain fabric and a few threads - the satisfaction when that last stitch was placed and a 'work of art' is viewed through the maker's eyes. Were they content with their craft or did they look for flaws like some of us may do with our own stitching? I'm simply in awe of the beauty they have left us to admire.

Here are a few I chose to display this weekend in various places throughout our home...

















Hand stitching is a thing of beauty that I never tire of admiring - for eye candy, as well as for inspiration in my own work.
We can begin embroidering at any age, and as I set up each display I wondered about the few doilies I've just shared with you and whether they were made by young nimble hands, or wrinkled and age spotted ones? Bright blue eyes, or twinkling twilight ones that strained to see every stitch?
You see, I was 46 when I first picked up a needle for anything other than a simple cross-stitch.
 But this little pin cushion that sits atop the basket above? It was made by a bright little 9 year old who'd never had any stitching tuition at all.


It was made by Blossom back in 2003 from dolly clothing scraps we'd found at an op shop and cotton machine threads I had used for the hem on some kitchen curtains. With a machine I could make clothing and basic furnishings, but by hand?
She taught herself to do these simple stitches, to make a yo yo flower, to plump the little pillow with stuffing from an old toy - because as yet I did not know how. She slowly made it up as she went along and within an afternoon had happily presented me with a gift that stole my breath away.

You see, my stitching journey was not to begin for another two years, but with a young child's desire to create she didn't hold back and wonder "should I have lessons?" before she began.

I treasure this little pin cushion, even though it embarrasses Blossom now that her embroidery skills are excellent. It's my reminder that we need to start at the beginning, and enjoy all the steps along the path we find ourselves traveling along, even if others may say, "Oh, you need to learn this first and only when you have mastered it can you proceed further..."
If you have the heart, you have the door of your new adventure open and waiting. 

What have you wanted to do that others have made you hold back from because you haven't had enough training or practice? 
I never told Blossom 'you can't do that' when she asked for fabric, needle, scissors and thread.
I told her, "Sure honey, see what you can make. I just know it will be wonderful!" 

Dear lady, step out and 'make' - whether it be a little stitchery, a christening cake, wooly socks, a felted tea cosy, a water colour painting, or a beautiful display of flowers from your garden in the centre of the room!
...be bold, be brave, have an adventure, do what they thought you couldn't and smile the whole way through...
It's not the end result. It's the fun of doing something you dreamed you couldn't and having a go at it anyway.

I have more photos from around the house to share with you, but they will have to wait until tomorrow as the sewing girls (Michelle, Wendy and Heather) are at my place today and I must ice the scrumptious gluten free Matrimonal Slice for morning tea before they arrive...

have a wonderful week,




Friday, September 13, 2013

The last two blocks and quilt assembly!


I know...I know.
I said I'd share six blocks over six days, BUT...


Mr E is full of surprises!
It's now official that we will not be moving away from Townsville next year. His work contract has been extended for another year! \o/ Thank you for your prayers. xx

It's also official that Blossom is moving out of home in October to share a house with some work chums.

So...what will Mr E and I do over the impending tropical wet season when we will be limited in safe motorbike riding opportunities?
After all, the last of our children will have left home this time next month, and it's time to begin life as empty nesters. We're still young (compared to Mr E's granny who went home to meet Jesus at 95 years of age!) and without the fun of riding our motorbike for months on end, we needed a new hobby.
A new hobby that didn't cost too much, but was something we could do together.

After our trip up the Atherton tablelands a few weeks ago, we had a hankering to head out into the country and see what she has to show us 'off the beaten track'. Our funds were low, so we prayed hard, and set our sights on one particular car.
It appeared - 1,500 kilometres away. Because its in the state capital it's almost half the price of the same model up here where we live, so we're flying out today to bring it home!
It's old, okay - in fact it's as old as Blossom! But it's been loved, and maintained, and we could afford it. It's also a bonus that Mr E was a qualified diesel mechanic before heading into teaching.

So - all that to tell you I'm sharing both the final blocks and the quilt assembly instructions for BOUQUET today! 

Block 5 poem - 'the rose'...

I wrote this poem, and then designed the quilt. 
The final corner blocks (4 of them), 'rose'...


Download the last two pdf pattern files HERE.

Please send me photos if you make this quilt, or any of the blocks. 
 Here is mine finished...

Shabby Roses BOUQUET
I have loved sharing this quilt pattern again, as it's really *me* and gave me such joy in the design and stitching back in 2009.
I've included my quilt label in the assembly pattern as well...
Just stitch your own name and the year you make the quilt under the heart bouquet.

Thank you for being a part of this 5 year Blogversary week with me. xx
I'll draw the winner of the giveaway on Monday and announce it here on the blog.
In a couple of hours we fly to Brisbane, pick up our 4WD, and begin the long and exciting road trip home!  Remember back in January I told you that my word for 2013 was ADVENTURE?
Well, I've been having them, and this is another!

Blossom and a friend will be watching over Bob-the-dog, Princess Sophie, and the house.
I have stitching prepared for the drive home - at least during the daylight hours as we'll be on the road at night too. All going to plan we'll arrive back late Saturday night...and we'll be sleeping all day Sunday. 


Prayers for safe travel most appreciated.
Have a sweet and sunshiny weekend, my friends,
hugs

jenny
xx

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back home again...

I'm home.
Refreshed, and pondering the things the Lord shared with me over the past few days.
Time away with Him was exactly what I needed.

I made sure to enjoy the greenery that surrounded my little cottage...
 

...had some lovely long walks along the very wet and windy beach...
...ate very healthy...
 
...and stitched to the glory of God.

I enjoyed the drive, both there and back, and the freedom to walk, think, sleep, sew and read at my leisure.
It was an adventure to be sure, but one with a purpose.
The Lord provided the answers I needed, and in the process graciously lifted a burden from my heart.

I was reminded over and again that His promises are true and eternal, so the first thing I did when I got home was to make up my Promises & Borders BOM quilt  from last year as one large free pattern download for those who haven't seen it, or made it, but would like to.

If you stitch one block, or the entire quilt, you'll be stitching His perfect promises not just into fabric, but into your heart.
There are 10 embroidered blocks with 9 Bible promises in this quilt pattern.
You can download the full quilt with all blocks in one PDF file for free HERE.

Tomorrow I'll have another special Bible stitchery to share with you, but for now I am going to prepare a meal with love for my precious husband.
hugs
Jenny
xx


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rain, food, drawing, stitching....

The tropical wet season is here!
It has arrived with a vengeance as the effects of Cyclone Oswald are felt travelling south from the Gulf. The highway north of us is closed due to flooding, as are many of our city's roads. It will get worse before it gets any better.
Our house is set high, so the water flows down the driveway, but not before a few inches sits across the back yard.  In a rare few minutes between the heavy downpours I went outside for a look around.


 I finally got to wear the gum boots I bought 6 months ago!
 

Whilst I was outside, some friends made their way inside for cover. This green tree frog was as big as Mr E's hand!


Blossom counted eleven much smaller green tree frogs around the kitchen while she was making a cuppa! 
She has become rather good at catching, then re-locating them outside, away from Princess Sophie. But they are territorial and so return visits to the kitchen are common. 
Although there's plenty about this torrential rain that's not very good (towns under flood alert), one good thing is the slight drop in daytime temperature. It's still about 30C (86F) but with the rain it feels quite pleasant inside. 
Pleasant enough for a slow cooked meal from Jamie Oliver's book, "Jamie Does...". 


 I chose to make a Moroccan inspired recipe, "Simple Lamb Tangia" - lamb cuts, preserved lemons, a garlic bulb, onions, saffron, olives, onion, carrots, potato, and water. Cooked over 4 hours on a low oven, it melted off the bone - delicious! We had bought some freshly baked Turkish bread that morning which soaked up the sauce...mmmm....


Summer here in Australia heralds the best of stone fruits and blueberries, so a huge bowl of fresh fruit salad for the family to snack on is prepared every second day. It takes me about 20 minutes to make, and puts a smile on every one's face. It's so much healthier that most snack foods they would choose if left to their own devices. ;-)


In the sewing room I have spent many an hour hidden away working on the sketches for a new BOM I have had in my mind for about a year. All 8 blocks are now drawn up, and the quilt is planned on graph paper. Another day of fine tuning it all, and then I can begin choosing threads, and preparing the linen for stitching...


BUT, I have to finish my latest single stitchery, 'Romeo Roses" first! Here is one small section...


Another couple of days and it will be ready to show you. Can't wait to frame it!

***
 
Before Christmas when Blossom and I were trawling the TYPO store, I came across a satchel in a variety of gorgeous colours - Aqua, Orange, Lime, Yellow, and Red....


After two separate visits to the shop I couldn't get it out of my mind, so I had to buy one! You see, I often go out with sketch book, pencils, journals, and notebooks filled with ideas that pop into my head. Normally I'd carry them around in a calico bag, but they fit perfectly in my new satchel...


Now when I go out with my 'stuff,' to spend time in a quiet place where copious amounts of coffee and cake are served (a place where I can collate my ideas and thoughts about future designs), I feel very professional carrying my very own red satchel. Kinda like going off to 'grown-up' school. ;-)
And you know, that's important to me.
You see, this year I am taking Elefantz from a beloved home-hobby-business, into a slightly spiffier professional direction. It's one of my adventures for 2013, and the red satchel holds significance in helping to bring that adventure mindset to life.
But more about that another day. Tee hee...

***

What have you bought yourself recently that lifted your spirits, or helped you step into a fresh mindset?

***

Wherever you are, enjoy the rest of your week, and thank you for visiting with me here today. You make me smile all over. :-)


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Adventures, and having the mind of a superhero...

Do you remember when I wrote that my word for 2013 is ADVENTURE?
Well, adventures have begun in earnest!
I think I'll document one new thing every week through the year because it will be fun to look back and see all the new things I tried, or experienced.

I have three weeks to begin with:
2013
Week 1 - drove my husband's new company car for the first time after saying 'no' for 4 months!
Week 2 - moved house!! \o/
Week 3 - had my very first manicure...


This was a very special gift from my Blossom, who whisked me off for an afternoon of pampering yesterday. I even had a pedicure! Oh bliss.
Afterwards she took me for coffee and scones, before a wander through the recently rebuilt Stockland shopping centre. We wandered into the Peter Alexander sleepwear store and got lost in the delicious racks and shelves of pjamas for over an hour! She tried to sneak out with some friends she met in a basket...


There are lots of cute knick-knacks in the shop as well. I found this coffee mug that simply had to come home with me!


It housed my morning cappuccino today and you know what?! I really felt like a superhero!
My brain went into super-creative mode and I designed a whole new quilt...



There are eight stitched blocks, and some pieced blocks. SOOOO pretty!
Now to plan the fabrics. That will be hard. Will I go with what I have??

 
 

...or look for something else? Decisions, decisions.
I *really* love Lori Holt's fabrics....mmm....might have to buy some more (the top fat quarter bundle is her 'Sew Cherry' range).




What new thing are you working on?
Have you had an adventure lately?