Friday, April 28, 2017

Flour sacks, linens and herbs...

I woke this morning to the coolest breeze we've had since last August and my, it was refreshingly welcome!

Finally the worst of our very long tropical summer has passed, the nights are becoming cooler and the days mostly requiring just a ceiling fan whirring away with perhaps the air conditioner on for a couple of hours mid afternoon when the autumn sun still manages to burn the front of our high house.

Porridge has once again returned to the breakfast menu...

...and I feel like 'feathering my nest' with new cushions, a quilt in the works, slow cooker recipes, and gardening.

What do you look forward to at this time of the year?

April has been a busy month with many time consuming activities and plans focused around family, home and the business.
All this has caused me to neglect my dear blog for much of the month, and I do honestly love blogging, but life you know? It has a way of taking over and all else falls to the wayside. And that's okay, just go with the flow and in the end everything settles again for a time.
I sense a slowing is just around the corner for me and will be happy returning to regular blog posts.
I truly enjoy catching up with each of you, and love reading your comments with thoughts, ideas and those occasional small glimpses into your life as well.

On the sewing front, something I have been patiently excited to 'play' with are these flour sack towels I bought from Lehman's in the USA a couple of months ago. They are much bigger than anything we get here in Australia and at 31" x 36" each I can easily make two Aussie sized kitchen towels from one flour sack towel.

For economy sake I ordered the 10-pack which worked out to (postage included) just under $5 each. My fellow Aussie girls will know that's great value for such a huge, perfect-for-embroidery-and-applique kitchen towel.

A challenge I have set myself with the first towel is to make as many items as possible from it.
Firstly  I've cut away an Aussie tea towel sized section and begun stitching a new design along the bottom...

( more stitchery peeks at this for a few weeks though!)

This has left me with about 1/2 the original flour sack towel yet to work with and a number of ideas to create more useful and pretty items.

Another idea I have in mind will turn these aged and beautiful doilies into a tutorial project I can share here on the blog.
I think re-purposing vintage linens is probably my favourite sewing thing to do!

It's the Labour Day long weekend here in Queensland so I may work on one or both of these projects during that time, but Mr E has other ideas.

He wants to head back to Bunnings for more garden supplies on Saturday as his long weekend plans include potting up a few more plants and returning to his bonsai hobby. He's set himself up a simple potting bench under the back deck, in the shade...

...and I'm allowed to use it too. Ha ha!

Last weekend we bought herbs and a cherry tomato to plant in pots along the deck. Late autumn and winter are the seasons to grow vegetables and herbs in the tropics as the weather is lovely and warm but not scorching hot like the rest of the year.

I love having so much green outside the kitchen door!

We have pots of aloe vera all around the house because they thrive all year round and definitely help when I burn myself...

This lovely little gravy boat was a $2 garage sale purchase last month and now has a new purpose as a pot for some thyme.
It's so cute that I intend looking for more gravy boats in future for a similar purpose.

All around the back deck green is adding life...

...ready for me to give the area a makeover for morning coffee and Bible study now that it's cool enough. Hopefully that will happen over this weekend as well.

The palms have fruit for the large birds...

...and the trees along the side of the house are shedding old leaves and replenishing their limbs with fresh foliage, which gives the rest of our bird life shelter and shade.

A surprise this week was the very first Bird of Paradise flower we've seen on this plant! I hope it continues to flower for us.

You know, life is good.

I had an awful season of depression through March and into mid April, but our few days away up at the Lake combined with cooler weather and the daily exercise workouts I began a couple of weeks ago, have greatly improved my mental and physical state.
The increased energy from exercise, taking 30 minutes to do something 'just for me' each day, and spending more time outdoors and away from the home office was the tonic I needed.

Thank you for your prayers and kind thoughts about the struggle I was having. It meant the world to me.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone,


Suze said...

How I love this post. IT is cooling down and I love it. I feel the heat much more than anyone in the house. IT is a welcome change from the humidity we have in Brisbane. You have reminded me it is time to resurrect the garden. The only things that have handed summer well are the weeds.

I hope you enjoy your outside reading spot. It looks lovely.

Thank you for telling me about those towels. My mother lovingly embroidered some. My ex was supposed to return them but I seem to have two of the six, His new partner used to paint finger nails over them. Now I can buy some fresh ones and do some for mum.

Enjoy the weekend. We re having a quiet one as I am sailing with mum for four days from Monday. This latest jaunt was so cheap and I have never been to Frazer Island. I hope we have a great rest as mum was sick 16 of the 18 days we were at sea in March.

Little Quiltsong said...

Another lovely post. Love seeing all the different and unusual plants that thrive around your place. Love what you do with flour sacks and repurposing little linen pieces. It reminds me of all the fine crochet work my mother would put around hankies and such. Wish I had had the patience to learn when she was still able to show me.

Bits of Stitching! said...

How good you are feeling much better! :-D
Garden looking great!
Love stitching on a good quality floursack towel! I keep a few on hand on my stash, those larger size ones provide so many possibilities,... been thinking on extensively embroidering one to use as a tablecloth topper (table overlay topper), but no time at this moment for such a big project. Can't wait to see all the projects you'll be creating with them!
Hope you keep feeling well, and have fun stitching! 🌷💛

Mary Ellen said...

Glad that you are feeling better. Enjoyed the photos of your plants. I will look into the flour sacks - I live in the States so shipping costs shouldn't be too much!! We are transitioning to the summer season - not looking forward to heat and humidity but since I found your lovely designs I will be able to bear it by staying in the air conditioning and stitching!!

cucki said...

Glad you are feeling better
Love your post and I love the embroidery so much

Colorful love
Smiles and blessings x

Jacqueline said...

Did you mean Lehmens Hardware store here in Ohio, USA? That store is fabulous. If you can't find it there it isn't to be found.

So glad your depression is lifting and life is looking good. I think exercise, diet and a strong faith help in that area tremendously. Well grandchildren help too.

Have a great weekend.

A Joyful Cottage said...

I'm very familiar with Lehman's, Jenny. I shopped at the Kidron, Ohio store frequently when I lived in Ohio. I love that place! I'm glad your spirit is refreshed and that the weather has cooled. All your plants look like they're doing very well. (Nice pedicure, by the way!) Looking forward to seeing more of your dish towel project(s). Have a lovely weekend, my friend. Hugs, Nancy

Jillquilter said...

I am a special education teacher and have taken up the hobby of looking for your blog posts on my lunch break. Oh, how you perk me up! I relate to all you create and write. Thank you for giving me that connection. I am in Arizona. The heat you are so relieved to have behind you is just beginning for me. You know how much I dread it and I know how wonderful the next months are for you! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Jill

Machelle said...

Lovely post! Thanks for sharing. I feel more relaxed just reading it!

Julie said...

Hello Jenny - I have been gardening & you have popped into my thoughts often. Glad to read all is okay with you my friend. Those dishtowels are VERRRRY tempting - thank you for the link. I hope you have a lovely long weekend & get to spend some time outdoors & that it stays just that little bit cooler for you. It is funny to see your pictures in your jandals as I sit here in slippers & socks already !!!! xxxx

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the Lehman's site. I have some of those towels around here. I will have to see if I can find them ... as if I can find anything these days. =P Life IS good, and I'm glad you are through that dark valley. They come and go in our lives, but each time, we become stronger, more faithful children of our mighty Heavenly Father.

Robin in New Jersey said...

So thankful you are feeling better, Jenny! That's an answer to prayer.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

I am glad to hear you are feeling better. Fresh air and exercise really helps one mentally. I love all your plants! I have been to Lehman's once and would love to go back again sometime. Nancy

Allie-oops Designs said...

So strange to see your autumn looking like our high summer, lol - love it. So glad it's cooled down for you, hon. Lovely plants. We're just starting to think about planting here! We have 10 new trees in pots on the balcony, so the deer don't eat them....
Love the peek at your new stitching! I have a couple of those flour sack towels, love them, you can tie them around your waist for an apron, they're so big!

Ondrea said...

Another lovely picturesque post. Love all your plants. Lots of greenery is uplifting and that Bird of Paradise is gorgeous. I need to get back to Bunnings to buy more potted plants for my back decking. It is looking rather sad out there but I haven't been able to leave the house much over the past couple of weeks. Love how you have matched those vintage doilies with the fabrics. Perfect choices. I really should get out my grandmothers' doilies and make them into something I will use instead of just sitting in a box. I have had the heating on here for a few days and have now finished your "welcome" BOM designs twice ready to make into the table runner I had planned. It is the ideal weather for sitting indoors stitching ( when I can focus).

Janice said...

What a diverse country we live in. The weather is starting to cool down here too. However, as you plant your veges we are pulling ours out after we received our first frost!!! We are starting to plant the hardiest of plants for the winter and move others out of the frost's way. I love the challenge you have given yourself with the kitchen towels. I'm looking forward to seeing what you create. It is good that you are feeling better now.

Jane said...

It's crocheted blanket cool weather at night here in Hervey Bay. The mornings and evenings are cool enough for a cardi and the days are lovely and warm but not hot. I am enjoying this time of year very much.
Thank you for talking about the flour sack towels. I had been tossing up whether to buy these or not. I have been on the Lehman's site and have bought some. I was looking for towels for doing some applique on. I am thinking of including some of your stitchery as well.
Enjoy the long weekend and getting your Dry Season garden planted.

Tricia said...

So happy to read this and know that you are feeling better, dear Jenny. I look forward to seeing more of your Bible and morning coffee spot. That will be such a sweet retreat area!! Have a blessed week!

mOm said...

Good Morning Jenny,

I was so surprised when reading your blog this morning (one of my top 5 favorite blogs by the way), when you wrote about finding the flour sack towels at Lehman's Hardware store. Every Fall my daughter and I travel down to Charm Ohio for our Fall getaway. Been doing that for over 25 yrs. Have wonderful Amish friends there. We always go to Lehman's Hardware Store which has changed over those years. But my number one purchase over the years....flour sack towels!!! They are also wonderful for cleaning windows. Once I got my friends those towels as a gift....they were hooked and every trip I would purchase more. Such a small world it is. I have machine embroidered on them for towels. Lovely they are. Great find Jenny!!! And your price you got them for was better than mine. Will have to check website for better pricing.

Thanks for your lovely post. They are always sharing ideas and inspiration. The makes you feel good blog!!

Peggy (alais mOm) Margaret Ott Morgan

Lin said...

So glad that life is looking brighter for you Jenny. What a brilliant post - lots of beautiful pictures. I have to say that flour sacks are a complete mystery to me! However you will make something beautiful from them I am sure. xx

Margaret Stickland said...

Hello Jenny You have moved house since I was last blogging as usual you are out and about in the garden . The garden certainly is a heart starter , each season brings another of God's wonders for our delight. Blessings Margaret