My love for home and the domestic life is no secret and something which nourishes me despite the day to day responsibilities of running both the business and design arms of Elefantz Designs.
But home duties and business duties combined can leave me lacking in 'spare' hours to simply enjoy creating for the sheer delight of it.
Don't get me wrong - I love designing and hand embroidering new patterns every month for The Stitchery Club as well as each year's Block of the Month and occasional Scripture designs which I share here on my blog; it's a privilege and a joy, a gift not to be taken for granted.
What I miss are free mornings or afternoons (or dare I say it, days?) when I can get lost in my sewing room and simply 'make' things just for fun. Before I became a designer this is what I did each and every day, I sewed for pleasure alone, and usually with a young Blossom right beside me.
Occasionally I do take time to make gifts, a project as a tutorial for this blog or a pattern for the Club, but those times are scheduled and are few and far between. Well, they used to be.
Since my diagnosis last month I've been mentally and physically adjusting what I can expect of myself and as the weeks go by there'll be a few more tweaks come in to play because another health diagnosis has been added to the list. The nice thing about all this is that instead of bemoaning what I'm no longer able to do, I've decided to focus on what I can give myself permission to enjoy!
And one of those 'enjoy' bonuses is sewing time.
All my energy for business and basic housework is gone between 10.30 - 11 am so I begin my day at 5.30 am because here in the tropics it's the coolest part of the day and bit by bit I do what I am able until my body signals 'stop!'.
Once I'm at that point it's all downhill so there's a lot of read, type, rest and sew time these days. Sometimes the most I can do is sit and hand embroider new designs or type the patterns...but other afternoons I can slowly potter around in the sewing room and sort through my very large box of stitcheries and make pincushions, and you have no idea how much I am LOVING this!
Here's what I made the past couple of weeks, all destined for Christmas gifts.
This one is for someone *very* close to my heart...
I gave this pincushion to my dear friend Dianne when she came to visit last Friday. I had no idea her middle name is Joy so it became extra special.
Wendy came to visit with Dianne and this pincushion was my gift for her, a very belated birthday gift for my sweet friend and she loved it.
This is for another very special friend, but as it is still winging it's way to her in the post I cannot tell you who the friend is, but I do hope she likes it.
I now have my box of stitcheries right beside my sewing machine and though my fabric supply is quite small it is sufficient to play with for quite a while so I shall enjoy making pincushions and pillows and other small items in the months ahead for the sheer delight of doing so.
There truly are silver linings to the clouds I've recently discovered hovering permanently in my life, and I thank the good Lord for showing them to me.
Regarding the Pincushions: if you follow these tutorials you can make similar pincushions to the ones I've made. Be creative and add extras like buttons, lace, beads, stitchery blocks, pockets...each one then becomes unique.
Blossom brought Cully May over on Friday so Auntie Wendy and Dianne could have cuddles.
She's so adorable, melts my heart and always, always makes me smile.
Have a blessed week and don't forget to do something you enjoy, okay?
Your pincushions are elegant and sweet. You do such beautiful handwork. I wish you God speed with your health issues.
Jenny Dear you are quite the inspiration for others. May your health allow you to continue all the joys you love. I have not been stitching much but I love your designs and will continue to be part of your Stitchery Club. Cully May is so A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. <3
Very sweet pincushion gifts.
Such a gorgeous pic of your 2 beauties. Cully May has so much hair! Love her smile. Please try to pace yourself. I am quite annoyed with myself as my FMS has been acting up and I do not sleep much so I have not made little gifts for people like I usually do. Fatigue has been visiting too much and by the time I do all the necessary household chores I just crash. Those are all such pretty and thoughtful pin cushions you have made. Angel hugs.
Such beautiful work, Jenny! Thank you so much for the reminder to look for the blessings hidden in the trial. I needed that reminder. (Hugs)
Who wouldn't want any of your sticheries. They are so pretty! My schedule is much the same as yours but I don't rise as early. Little energy in the morning and rest and nap in the afternoons. Nancy
Such gorgeousness Jenny-girl - lately I've not been enjoying stitching in down times, it's just reading when I can, lol. The bitter cold has arrived in my neck of the woods and it's sucking the energy right out of me!
I'm thinking that God always hides a blessing in a trial - and you're learning that with your health right now, you have to do less but you get more time to enjoy what you do. So hard to listen to our bodies - I know when I'm feeling good, I'm feeling REAL good, and I do way too much! Only to pay for it later. We'll learn yet, lol....love you girl. Love that darling baby too!!!!!!!!
Love all of your Pincushions thanks for sharing them. And that little one is sure a cutie!
'the sheer delight of doing....' Yep, I think that's what it is all about! Delighting in God and delighting if life! So precious to be happy in one's spirit!
You are a delight to people and the Lord dear Jenny. Sorry to hear of another health problem but blessed by your delight in the Lord. Beautiful, beautiful pincushion gifts, and a even more beautiful, beautiful Cully May!
all those pin cushions & pillows are lovely!
hasn't Cully May grown! & look at that hair! so glad she brings so much pleasure to you & your family
hope you have a wonderful xmas
thanx for sharing
i am only new to your site and how I wish I had found your site sooner. You share so much love and joy. I delight in your respect for our Lord. Your stitcheries are so beautiful and every time I visit I experience delight.
Thank you Jenny, your gifts are beautiful, so much inspiration and ideas and your needlework is so good. I am also making gifts and I am exhausted after a few hours of crafting, so much concentration as well as the creating but it is satisfying and everything else in life is totally shut out for a period of time. Sometimes the ideas flow quicker than ability to bring to fruition. It is so good you are managing to balance all around your health and well being and are able to continue with what you enjoy and a visit from your gorgeous Cully May just the icing on the cake. Wishing you all the best, Judithann :-)x
A serenely lovely post. I, too, have opportunity to "balance" paid quilting endeavors with "just for fun" projects (and the $$ is most special) but I do miss those free-to-explore moments that were my stitching life in days past. I look at my stash and realize I must do some adjusting in the coming year and create/give to those who's hearts are under trial. Even with the thought of that change in direction, the Lord has brought renewed energy to me for the current necessary finishes.
Blessings to you and yours at this joy-filled/light-dawning time of year...........with hugs...
I pray that your day is blessed!
Dear Jenny, I meant to tell you this after your original post, my brother has the same condition as you after suffering a head trauma many many years ago. It was very difficult for him, but as the years have gone by either the conditioned has lessoned or he has got better at managing it - it doesn't interfere with his life as it once did, though his intake of tea is still prodigious! I know of course every case is different, but hope very much that with time things settle down for you as well. I know how much you appreciate your God-given talents and we all appreciate you sharing them with us, but for now you are so right to put your needs first rest when you need to
Your granddaughter is beautiful and I am sure she brings you delight. The pin cushions are adorable and what a special keepsake for your friends. I hope you find a balance in life that helps you adjust to your physical challenges and still do the things that are important to you.
Good Morning Jenny! Your pincushions are so delightful; I adore all of the special adornments that you add extra making them so extra special. Although, your beautiful stitching would be treasure enough! I seriously need to get on the ball and get several of these made for some special people in my life. Sharing your tutorials is so special. Yet, I am so glad that you are listening to yourself and doing only what you can and then doing what you enjoy for yourself! That alone is a spectacular healing agent and helps us to really discuss with God, ourselves and whoever we wish and learn this new journey. Please take great care of yourself and definitely let loved ones in one hundred percent to help. You and you family are in my prayers.
Good Morning Jenny, I love the way you put several patterns together for both colour & design and create texture with the fabric. Your tutorials are teaching me about putting fabrics together. Thank you, Marian x
I am very happy to read this post.
It seems that everything is better for you, little by little.
I understand that you could not enjoy it in the past, with so much stress. I rejoice that everything for you quieter now.
Cully is the best medicine in the world! She how beautiful and sweet she is!
She's just like her mom !!
Thank you for your good wishes and your advice. Hugs.
Your pin cushions are gorgeous, Jenny. Take care of yourself. Hugs, Christine xx Cully May is just so cute!
The picture of Cully Mae is beautiful. What I also like about it is seeing the smile crinkles on Blossom's face as she obviously adores her little one. I have never seen so much hair on a baby. Were yours like that too? Your pincushions are delightful. It is fun just to sew. I haven't done that in ages. My sewing room became the drop off point for everyone to throw things into when they didn't know what to do with them. When our son moved back in 3 years ago it received a whole lot more. I have been working on de-cluttering the house for a while now but the thought of even opening that door filled me with dread. In Sept. Jim suggested having our new DIL come over once a week and help me with it. She is good about getting me to give things away that I truly do not want any more and we are making progress. More than that we are building a wonderful relationship. I will usually have something to throw into the crockpot in the morning to cook while we work, or Jim will take us all out to eat when he and our son get back that night. Since they moved out it helps to keep us connected. With her help I will be able claim my room again. Keep me posted on how to pray dear one!
Your pincushions are lovely. Thank you for sharing your talents and for your inspiring posts. Take good care of yourself.
Oh those embroideries are gorgeous. I can't believe how much Cully May has grown & so has her hair, she's gorgeous too.
I honestly don't know how you manage to do as much as you do especially in that heat & humidity.
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