Living in a long series of rental homes for all my life it's kind of hard to imagine what having your own home would be like.
Things like hanging a photo on the wall requires permission from the owner, and painting is just one big no-no. For years I've not been able to hang my stitcheries or quilts, family photos or paintings around the house unless they're free standing on a bookcase or desk.
But this current rental already had lots of nail holes in the wall from the owners who had lived here for a few years, so when I go slowly around the house and examine the walls I find places to hang special things. This makes me very, very happy indeed.
As I reflected on this the past few days I decided it was time to give some areas of the house a makeover, to look at it with new eyes and with a heart to make it my own. The house is up for sale, as you know, and we're wondering if we can possibly add enough to our home deposit savings over the next few months to afford the 10% required to seal the deal.
I have some ideas to raise extra funds but will pray about that before I follow through.
I did a complete makeover of my sewing room at the beginning of March and will take pics of that for you soon, but yesterday it was the laundry room which grabbed my interest. It's not the most exciting room to be sure, but has good light and possibilities for some prettiness...so I began by making a peg bag.
When it rains I need to hang clothes on the back verandah and the pegs I keep inside for that purpose were residing in an ugly plastic bag.
But not any more. I had a look at a few peg bags on Pinterest and in the end decided to make up a pattern as I went along.
The green floral is an old Tilda print and the pink gingham is from Lauren Nash's "Bunnies & Cream". I used the broderie perse technique to add one floral spray from the Tilda fabric onto the gingham and absolutely love the effect!
Tiny hand applique stitches...
This morning I gathered my large stash of good quality cotton tea towels (on the clearance table at Spotlight, 7 tea towels for $10 in each bundle so I bought four bundles)...
...and washed them ready to be decorated. I do this because all tea towels shrink in the first wash and if you add a trim (fabric, stitchery, braid, ric rac or ribbon) before washing them it just won't look nice after the first wash when the towel shrinks and the trim does not.
Some will go to Blossom, a few into my gift box, and some for the 'makeover' laundry as hand towels.
A good iron and they will be perfect for pretty trims.
In each of the tea towel bundles there were a few of the waffle weave kind, and what glorious colours!
Waffle weave shrinks even more than cotton tea towels so they will be washed too, but I have other plans for them which I'll show you next time.
I've been having a good look at Jess's laundry blog posts for inspiration too, and over coming days will plan more projects that will turn this laundry into a very welcoming space in the home.
I've also made over my office space, something high on my to-do list for weeks but I needed to be sure about how to make it work more efficiently for me, and also how to get a view of greenery.
If I can get good lighting I'll show photos next week.
One think about embarking on plans you've left idle for a while is that once you complete the first project on your list you're really keen to finish more. That's where my head is at right now.
So while I was waiting for my tea towels to dry I remembered the $1 tea pot trivet found at the op shop recently...
So darn cute, but I didn't like the plain metal colour.
So...I went for a potter around Mr E's man cave while he was at work and found some white metal spray paint. First coat done!
Honest, this tea pot shaped trivet will look SO much nicer in white.
While I waited for that to dry more thoughts led me down another path, one almost forgotten. Tea parties, tea cosies, and TEA in general.
A few years back I dedicated a week of blog posts to all things tea related, and shared how I'd made three different tea cosies.
This soft vintage style cosy is my favourite one and you can see how I made it here.
Mr E will be working on the Jeep this weekend so I plan on pulling out all my tea cosies and giving them a gentle wash so I can use them again. Too long have they languished in the linen cupboard.
Here's the other two...
You can see this one with the 'tea leaves' stitchery motif being made here.
You can see the detailed tutorial for the red and blue tea cosy here.
And then I thought maybe you'd like a weekend project?
Perhaps you'd like to make your own tea cosy??
What if you spied that little "tea leaves" motif and thought "I'd love to stitch that!"....
Well, you can. I've popped it in my shop as a free pattern for you!
The free template for the tea cosy is also there, plus the stitchery "T is for Tea" used on the blue gingham cosy (not free).
As Friday afternoon winds down here in my tropical Australian paradise I'm waiting for a Strawberry Shortcake to bake. It's Mr E's absolute favourite cake and he smiled very wide when I told him over breakfast that it would be our dessert tonight.
If you've not tried this before, you must! I'll do up a fresh version of the recipe and share it with you next week.
More plums are ripening on my kitchen bench which means a few more jars of jam next week and our "once a year cake" which is really called a Blackberry & Plum cake. It's very rich with a decadent sauce so I only make it once a year, hence the name we've given it. When I tell my daughter Aisha that I'm baking it she can barely utter a sound, so envious is she, poor darling...living thousands of kilometres away Aisha's only partaken of this delight once since I began the annual ritual of making it. But there's always next plum season.
Rain is on the way again, which is good for the garden, the trees and my potted plants. This bougainvillea struggled to survive drinking small amounts of tap water during the long drought, as did many of our potted plants, but living outside under the palm trees and having these past four weeks been blessed with an abundance of pure rain water it is thriving once again.
Which made me ask myself, 'Jennifer, what makes you thrive'?
Over the course of a few hours answers came...
Not having a car to drive right now causes me to stop and rest more, to potter around the house and attend to things which often get overlooked, to sit with a cuppa and just read my Bible quietly for as long as I like, to read inspiring blog posts and write down ideas for the future, to dwell longer at the kitchen bench and prepare something extra with our meals, to happily create in the sewing room...so many peaceful things, and all because I'm not driving to and fro.
Being peaceful at home causes me to thrive.
What makes you thrive?
I shall leave you this Friday afternoon (actually I left you a little while back to take the Strawberry Shortcake from the oven....oh my, the aroma!) with some links to things that caught my attention this week. Hopefully I can do this each Friday so let's call it "Good Reads Friday"?
Brew a cuppa or fill a glass with something lovely and cool, and have a browse and a read when you have a moment or two...
Don't make your own life difficult - some very wise advice for women today.
The three enemies of gratefulness - humbling, inspiring.
Cute tea cup cross stitch pattern (free) - on my 'to-stitch' list.
Make your own cottage style decorative eggs - three techniques and all so simple.
How to take herb cuttings - save money and grow your own.
Until next time, breathe, be kind to yourself, don't rush, and maybe pick a posey or two for the table. You'll be so much calmer if you do.
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