Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Gentle Domestic Life and a BOM in 2018...

I first began my earnest journey towards gentle domestic living around the middle of 2014 after a few years of being unsettled within myself, feeling I’d somehow lost part of my identity when the children grew up and left home.

In 2015 I shared the idea of following ‘a year of gentle domesticity’ on my blog, suggesting others might like to revive the gentle and oft-forgotten arts of embracing home-life and all this entails. A loud cry was heard from all corners of the globe, women everywhere were hungry to have their home-centred-hearts refreshed and validated. I was stunned at the response for I had imagined this was perhaps my own crisis, a journey for one. Yet, beautiful notes and comments flowed forth about a similar longing.

It seemed that for too long the simple and precious delight of being a homemaker had been made to appear trite and lowly, yet I believed the woman who loves her home and family and finds joy in the everyday living of a domestic life had value far beyond measure.

Walking this path over the last few years I have come to appreciate that you never quite ‘get there’. Intentionally living a gentle domestic life is a morning by morning choice and the fruit of our labours may not be evident for weeks, months or perhaps years – but it’s always worth the effort.

As the months pass by the softness of a grateful and gracious heart begins to shine and others will notice. A new depth of appreciation for the people in our lives and what we’ve been blessed to have will richly increase our capacity for kindness, compassion, love and generosity.

We discover new skills, return to old ones, and along the way find more women who share a desire to ‘feather their nests’ and create a wonderful home sanctuary where crossing the doorstep is always accompanied by a sense of belonging, hospitality and welcome.

Living the gentle domestic life is not solely for the woman who spends each day at home, it’s for all women who embrace homemaking, whether they work at outside employment, are caregivers for relatives, volunteer a few days a week, work beside their husband on the farm, or like me are working from a home office.
The heart of a homemaker is ‘for’ her family and home, no matter her circumstances.

One example - for the busy working mother a simple act of throwing a fresh tablecloth over the dinner table and popping a few flowers from the garden into a glass jar between the salt and pepper shaker suddenly causes her heart to swell with satisfaction and the meal of BBQ chicken and salad from the supermarket suddenly doesn’t seem so bad because she’s changed the atmosphere of the meal and made the place where it’s going to be eaten one of warmth and care where the family can laugh and share about their day.
It’s really about doing what you can in the time you have with a gentle homemaker spirit.

Next year we shall once again celebrate this wonderful vocation of gentle domesticity through my blog and in the Gentle Domesticity Facebook group.
Join me in 2018 for a year of discovering what our homes reflect about our hearts and how to nourish the atmosphere in ways that will bring blessing and joy and comfort to any who pass over its threshold and also to our own lives.

Personally I shall be confronting the hangover of over-consumption within our home, budget and personal purchases by choosing to live on less, using what we have first and learning new skills which I hope will be useful now and into the future. I have no high expectations to put upon my efforts, just a willing heart to embrace the small things that matter and remove the things that don’t.

I was raised by my Nana and Pop in a tiny one bedroom walk-through with outside bathroom and flower strewn front garden barely the size of a bathtub, so I’ll be drawing much of my own inspiration from the memories of that time, years where love was generously given, gentleness, laughter and gratitude were normal, hard work was accepted as everybody’s responsibility in life and housewives took pride in their homes whether modest or grand.

 I remember there wasn’t much money but my grandparents provided well through the industry of their combined creative skills, but many of those skills I never bothered to learn or have long forgotten...for now. After all, it’s never too late to learn and life really can be an adventure.

Shall we journey this gentle domestic year together?

My friend Fee will join us in 2018 and share some wonderful homemaker ideas on her blog, so between us we hope to cover many different aspects of the gentle domestic life to encourage you and to encourage each other.

Through the month of December I'm offering the original Gentle Domesticity pattern as a free gift which you can download here from my shop.

It would be perfect as the cover of a homemaker's binder, stitched onto a vintage linen or framed as I did with the blue version...

In 2018 I will also be offering a free Block of the Month.

The twelve designs were originally offered through my Stitchery Club a couple of years ago and by the end of next year you'll be able to piece them together as a quilt.

"A Year in the Garden" will kick off January 1st and I can't wait! 

So there you have it, 2018 will be all about home, family and the garden.
I do hope you'll join in the fun!



  1. Thank you so much Jenny!
    What a great spark to start the winter and 2018!
    Your blog sure does bring inspiration to each day!


  2. Thank you Jenny, for this lovely embroidery! Loved your shared story, it always touches my heart when I hear it. I too grew up in a small house, (though it always seemed large to me) - and most of our backyard was a vegetable garden. Everyone worked hard for our daily bread, but there was always plenty to share, and that is what I remember most - the hospitality my parents always extended, and the wonderful memories made!

  3. I'm looking forward to spending 2018 with you and your very inspiring blog posts. I have been 'retired' from Nursing for almost two years and I have struggled for almost two years with 'no longer working as a nurse.' I am becoming more and more content with that thought and have always dreamed of being at home. I rarely think about nursing these days. I am ready to fully embrace my new role.

  4. Jenny, thank you for all your encouragement. I need all I can get. I rush too much sometimes and miss the little things in life. I am striving to do better.
    I can hardly wait for the new BOM. I have been wanting to do a quilt with all embroidered flowers and/or plants. I am so excited!

  5. You are so so right about the homemaker, I am so blessed & thankful that I am able to stay home/retired. I live simply & I am so fortunate. I am healthy and I believe me being home makes a difference. I am so grateful for finding your blog; there is so much creative & talented people in the blog world. I enjoy watching Floss Tube & have made such wonderful friends. God Bless you & your family.

  6. You and your gentle words are just what I need. I closed my business then end the end of 2010. I was lucky to travel to Ireland ,in 2012 tour Europe with daughter, grandson he was 2 1/2 and his father for 5 weeks a wonderful time. Then last year to Germany and France, first with our church and follow in the foots steps of Martin Luther and a fun week in Paris with a great friend. Now I'm stay home and enjoying this time in my house and the kids 2 daughters are taking over the large holiday now my turn to enjoy!
    Getting to be with husband a little more he is still working but has slowed a little. We are coming up on our 48th anniversary in April so he's a good guy like mr. E.
    Although I do not have the get up and go I use to I do try to make him a good dinner every night and keep a gentle house. Thank you.

    Lindy Munday

  7. Jenny, you are such a wonderful and peace-filled soul that adds 'normalness" to my day. I am so inspired by you and your kind, gentle spirit. I am an old soul of sorts and have been since I was born. your grounded roots and simple background make you such a lovely person, indeed. I so look forward to your blog every day and miss them when you don't write every day, although I understand completely. it would be the joy of my heart to be able to stay home and be a housewife and take care of my home, but that was not God's plan for my life. I still love hearing there are folks like us out there, and keep on doing what you are doing. As Kaye said, we rush way too much (my job demands it) and have to have everything right now, so your gentle domesticity keeps me right where I wish I could be, but can't at the moment. Someday I might be able to but for now, I do rush, but have as many dinners at home and keep the ambiance of home "homey" - - you are awesome!

  8. I am so happy that you are continuing to share your gentle and sweet life with us. I will be joining in on the fun.

  9. Hello Jenny, I would love to do your BOM Quilt Along! Plus, I have decided to take my first steps into the path of becoming a Homemaker. Thank you for everything that you share with us Jenny! You are the best Leader chosen by our Lord that I have ever found to be so honest and continually teach lessons of our Lord on a daily basis. Thank you Jenny and have a fantastic day!

  10. I have enjoyed all your posts this year and look forward to 2018 where I plan to spend on only necessities . I love following along and reading all your lovely followers responses . Thank you for your generosity of spirit. Robynne

  11. Thank you so very much Jenny. I love forward to 2018's BOM... Thank you for this beautiful design to kick start it all. Love and hugs to you each and every day. This coming year I too plan to spend less. With daughter off to University and with my health issues and to find out our medical insurance copays for everything are tripeling in price. We will have no choice but to spend a lot less on all things. I will be using up things we have on hand and purchasing new a lot less frequently. Try to waste a lot less.

  12. Thank you Jenny for your beautiful words and lovely gift. I look forward to reading your blog in 2018. Lots of love Guida xx.

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  14. Thank you Jenny for a wonderful year of gentle domesticity. I am looking forward to 2018 and sharing another year with you.

  15. Thanks so much Jenny! I love your uplifting & encouraging posts and can't wait to see what you have in store for all of us in 2018!
    Thanks also for the free patterns you so graciously provide for your blog followers.

    ~Sue M.

  16. Gracias, querida Jenny por compartirnos tan hermoso diseño y por inspirarnos. Gracias a ti he ido aprendiendo a darle a mi casa ese "calor de hogar" del que tanto he leído. Tienes razón cuando dices que es una decisión que se toma día a día. Recibe un fuerte abrazo! Estaré atenta a tu próximo BOM ❤

  17. Jenny, what a beautiful goal for 2018. After such a terrible year with my health issues I shall be looking forward to a year of stitching along with the wonderful group at Gentle Domesticity on FB in 2018 and once again enjoying your beautiful designs. Thank you for all you give so freely. May you have a wonderful, safe, and joyful Christmas with your family. (And maybe when we are visiting our friends in Townsville in 2018 we can share a lovely cup of tea). Hugs to you

  18. It sounds like wonderful things are coming in the new year. I love being at home (although because of circumstances I have to work full time). Keeping home makes me happy.

  19. Sounds like perfection to me, Jenny! Thank you for doing this. I need all the encouragement I can get to slow down and smell the flowers. =) You know, I really *can't* do it all. =)

  20. I can highly recommend next year's BOM as I have those patterns and I made a little mini for each month which are proudly displayed. My December one is there until Christmas things take over the room. A wonderful new year ahead for you.

  21. Thank you Jenny. I look forward to all you have to share in 2018!

  22. Gracias Jenny , este año quiero bordar , soy novata . cariños

  23. You have so eloquently put into words the feelings of my heart and mind. With your permission, I would love to adopt your 2018 mantra for my own life. I am in the same stage of life now and find my ultimate pleasures in my home and love the art of homemaking although I've been a career woman since college. My passion is quilting and embroidery but also enjoy home cooking when time permits. I love having those I love into my home for a sit down meal and fellowship. I am so looking forward to following your blog and hopefully contributing something useful or at least, insightful. Happy 2018 all!!! May God abundantly bless your homes with love, peace, and joy.

  24. You have so eloquently put into words the feelings of my heart and mind. With your permission, I would love to adopt your 2018 mantra for my own life. I am in the same stage of life now and find my ultimate pleasures in my home and love the art of homemaking although I've been a career woman since college. My passion is quilting and embroidery but also enjoy home cooking when time permits. I love having those I love into my home for a sit down meal and fellowship. I am so looking forward to following your blog and hopefully contributing something useful or at least, insightful. Happy 2018 all!!! May God abundantly bless your homes with love, peace, and joy.

  25. Maria, it is my prayer that all women take this into their blessed, gentle lady. x

  26. Am i too late? Id like to participate in the block of the month.What do i need to do?

  27. Hi Holly :-)
    You'll see the BOM button in my sidebar. Click on that. :-)


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