Many years ago a dear friend introduced me to the most wonderful book.
We were house sitting for her family so I had a week to immerse myself within those pages and the seed planted in the soil of my creative heart back then has never stopped growing and bearing fruit.
The book was Jane Brocket's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity" and though it didn't expound on the virtues of living a domestic life (something I added to my life and blog in 2013) it does embrace the domestic 'arts' of baking, painting, reading, knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery and other such pursuits. I quickly bought a copy for myself and over the next few years gifted more copies to some dear homemaker friends whom I thought would also find it inspiring.
This past week has been personally challenging for me in a number of areas and I felt the need to take moments of rest and refreshment for an hour or two each day, time to separate myself from the many 'must dos' that never seem to disappear, and the 'need tos' that keep tapping on my diary door.
So each afternoon with a cup of tea by my side, I settled down to re-read "The Gentle Art of Domesticity"...
Tea and this book are a marriage of serene bliss during times of weariness.
I find myself copying some of Mrs Brocket's quotes, the ones that lift my soul, onto paper and slipping them inside my journal for further contemplation another day, especially the ones which I could have spoken myself, so personally true they are to my life and experiences.
My bible in the morning and this book each afternoon...they've carried me through the week, gently nourishing my fragile heart and filling my thoughts with joy and hope and inspiration for each new day ahead.
I love her conversational wit in describing the simplest things - like icing a cake, filling a vase with flowers, or spreading fabric across the floor to plan a quilt. She makes me laugh quite a bit, but then I'll be captured in a thought and sit gazing out the window for ten minutes allowing my mind to travel where it wants, personal inspirations revealing themselves as I do.
The book could be called a springboard I suppose...because it has a tendency to be a starting point from where I launch my thoughts and let them fly free to land where they may, often times creating a new approach to my domestic endeavours.
I wonder if we all have a book like this, one we gather close when something comforting, familiar and cheerful is required? A book we can get wonderfully lost in, which has the ability to bring a smile to our cheeks, reassure us that all is well, and give us inspiration to try something new or practice things we'd like to improve in.
Do you have a special book like that?
I'd love to know what it is.
Something else I've found relaxing this week has been the making of those coasters and finishing a design from last year as a cover for my sewing cushion.
I like all my designs but there's a few which I like more than others so after they've been stitched I store them in a special box where they wait to be made into a project when the time is right.
"The Flower Thieves" is one such stitchery.
I use cushions to rest my hands on as I embroider (I don't use a hoop) and one is rectangular and one is square. I have two covers for the rectangular cushion but only one for the square so it's been on my to-do list to make another for quite a while.
The stitchery block was trimmed and simple borders added before the addition of some hand quilting around the applique sections and machine quilting in the green border.
The back has a zipper closure and I finished the cushion with quilt binding around the outside edges.
I love how this cushion turned out, but I think it's just too pretty to be hiding under my hands as I stitch.
Perhaps I'll pop it on our bed.
And make a different cover for my sewing cushion.
Some things don't turn out the way you expect and other things turn out better than you'd hoped.
I think that's rather lovely as it keeps us creating, and creating is a gift we should cherish and use.
I pray you have a lovely weekend, that you find a book to inspire your dreams and a project that's in need of your wonderfully creative touch.
(and a relaxing cuppa while you're at it)