Thursday, August 9, 2012

Returning to my roots...

Hindsight is one of those things I wish I could capture in a pretty scented sachet and give as gifts to everyone who touches my life for the better.
Lately, for me personally, hindsight has opened my eyes to who I am and what naturally inspires me, and it's also allowed me to step forward by reclaiming my past
Mmm...that's quite a lot to chew over isn't it?
Let me explain.
When I began hand stitching in 2005, I wanted to make everything I saw. My attention was captured by the technique and ability to make something wonderful with my own two hands! I really didn't give a thought to what my preferred style was; the need within me was to learn and make 'any' patchwork or stitchery, just so long as I learned new skills and had something to show at the end.
By 2009 the confidence I'd gained over the previous few years now extended to sketching my own designs, and over the following year a natural delight in all things shabby, pretty, and roses bloomed in my creative heart.
I'm blessed to say that I can 'almost' make a design from any directive. My editors here in Australia at Express Publications regularly ask me for a particular project, and though it may twist and turn my creative cells for a day or two, generally I can come up with the goods - even if it's not my style or colour scheme. I am blessed to be able to do that. Really blessed, as that is me working for my bread and butter!
But, I think by doing that on a consistent basis, I have somehow lost my way with what previously came naturally to my fingers when a pencil and sketchbook were on my lap.
My God given bestie, Fee, has been a confidante; a mentor at times; both little sis and big sis depending on who needs the shoulder; and the one who has recently been encouraging and pushing me back to my designing roots. She has heard the wearying tones of my thoughts, and in love for me, spoken up.

Issue 15 of Elefantz HOME is me coming back to the designer I was and who I am and who I want to always be.
Pretty, shabby, roses, wordy, stitchy, Jenny.

Project 1 ~ Smile
I had a torn vintage handkerchief, but the fabric was so fine and luxurious to touch, that I used the good half as my stitchery background for this 'Smile' cushion. The soft floral background fabric was a gift from Fee , and the mother of pearl button a gift from another lovely friend, Jeanette, in a swap a couple of years ago.

Project 2 ~ Family in a Hoop
The actual stitchery is one I drew years ago, and originally it was much larger, and had no applique. This time around I've appliqued the word, and a border. The 6" hoop has been wrapped with organza ribbon. So pretty...

Project 3 ~ Family & Friends
This gorgeous design is bordered and bound with 60 year old lace. I collect old laces and love using them in my projects. There is an abundance of seed beads, colonial knots, applique and chain stitch in this wall hanging. It's time consuming to make, but ooooohhh, the final result is sublime!
(I will be selling a limited number of kits to make "Family & Friends", complete with the 60 year old lace, all beads, fabrics and threads! I'll let you know when they are ready to purchase.)

Bonus Project ~ Block 2, Mary, from A Christmas Story Quilt
Over 9 months I am sharing one block from this favourite quilt of mine in each issue. Last month was Angel.

I have also decided that even if you are not a subscriber to Elefantz HOME, I should make each issue available as a single $4 AUD purchase during the current issue month for those who would like to simply purchase an individual issue. Ok?
I'll set all that up for those who are interested later in the month. 
This coming issue also has a guest designer, my generous and talented friend, Dawn Hay from "As Sweet As Cinnamon". I'll share a peek of her design in another week or so. In the meantime please drop by her blog HERE and say hi.

So friends, I invite you to sit back and really enjoy Jenny being Jenny again. I know I am happily excited about what's ahead for Elefantz.
(Thanks Fee. xx)


PS: Tomorrow on my blog...what to do with doilies! \o/


Melody said...

I love what I think of as your 'true'style and so I'm really looking forward to the next Elefantz Home.

Anthea said...

Jenny, your style comes from your heart, no wannabee or try-hard sort of designing going on, if that makes sense... and that's why I love your designs so much

retdairyqueen said...

I agree Shabby roses are you
Love all your designs though and Iam now at the stage where I can pick your gorgeous designs in a mag before I read who the designer is I love your work and Fee is the best
Her Lorraine's Flowers table runner was named for my daughter

Jeanette said...

Good to see your "shabby" style back Jen. I've always loved that style you did. All your projects look fabulous. Hugs,

Vicki said...

Hi Jenny, I had been thinking that your designing was getting away from where your heart is. I had noticed a change in direction. Designing is a very personal thing and you should always follow your heart, that's where the best designs come from. A true friend can tell you these things. I'm happy that you have that true friend in Fee. Your style is quite distinctive, I can always pick your designs. Long live shabby roses. Vicki vickilorraine at hotmail dot com

Susan said...

Jenny, your shabby roses remind me of all of the finer things in life. Soft and beautiful. I love your designs. Oh, and I'm so excited to that Dawn is going to be your guest designer. Can't wait to see this coming issue! So glad that I subscribed! Thank you!

Noela said...

I totally agree with the previous comments. Whenever I see the shabby roses, I immediately think that is Jenny's design. Hugs.....

Lida said...

I love these designs and I hope to gain a pattern this time! It is so lovely and it will fit perfect in my new room!

Rosa said...

Love your style and your designs are fantastic.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Ultimately we should do what we love -- when we want to and because we want to. Otherwise crafting under guidelines and timelines can take the joy of what we do. Craft with a happy heart. I love your Jenny style.

CardinalCrafts said...

Jenny I am so happy that you want to be you. I feel the same way that you should do what you love and enjoy it. I throughly love and enjoy your work and well basically everything you do! Keep it coming!

Love and Hugs


Shawkl said...


Allie said...

Hooray - and thank you Fee - oh my dear girl your designs are spendiferous, so dainty and delicate and so very Jenny. Love them!

Robin in New Jersey said...

Beautiful, Jenny. Just beautiful.

You have such a sweet and gentle spirit that comes through in your writing and in your stitching.

Keep the faith!

Miss Hillbilly said...

I think we like to explore just to say we have tried it all, but I think when we return to our first love then we are actually doing what God wants us too. He gave us the love and the desire, AND the ability to do that in the first place.

I am returning to my roots too. My roots are completely opposite of yours. For someone that chooses to name her business Hillbilly Handiworks, I sure do love contemporary, bright, non traditional. But then again, you like elephants, and yours is dainty and shabby.

Go figure!

Finally, I feel like I've written a book but think all those thoughts up top just reflect our personal life too. We always are best when our focus is on our First Love, right? And when we wonder from His focus our life is a mess.

And there's my devotional for the day. Ha!

kathyros said...

Hi Jenny, I read your blog often and really enjoy your sentiments and your style. Also your positive attitude. The pale green wording is just too light to read though, I know that this probably fits in with your styling but teh pale green plae blue and light pink just makes reading your wording very hard.

Fee said...

You already know how much I love and care about Jen and how much I adore your shabby roses heart. I totally love all of these designs and the fabric well..... It is to die for XXX Love your shabby sister, Fee X

little acorns said...

These are beautiful Jenny!. . . Yes, we must follow our heart. So glad you are!
xo, Bren

Victoria said...

You had me hooked with those shabby roses "back when." I'm looking forward to the new ideas swirling in your head!

Stitched With Prayer said...

Hi sweet know the old saying "Home is where the heart is"? Well, I believe that to be true in all aspects of our lives. If we aren't following our hearts in the things we love to do, including our creative endeavors, then our hearts are not 'at home'. This post filled my heart with joy, Jenny. I'm so, so happy for you...and for all of us who love your designs so very much. Big, Happy for you, Hugs...

Stitched With Prayer said...

Forgot to tell you that even before I read your post, I scrolled through to look at the pictures, and I was thinking, "Gosh, these are so perfectly Jenny!" Gorgeous, completely gorgeous. More Hugs...

Jo in TAS said...

Sometimes it takes those closest to us to remind us who we really are! Fee's got the most beautiful soul and we're blessed to call her our dear friend. Keep up the gorgeous work Jen.
Jo xxxx

Michelle May-The Raspberry Rabbits said...

When I think of you, this is the style I always see. It's always best to be who we really are because that way we always give our best to others. Fee is a treasure of a friend. As are you sweet one. :)