Monday, April 23, 2018

A joyfully domestic day...

After Mr E's school holiday break and my time out to recover from chronic fatigue and a run of migraines, this morning I woke with a very clear plan for getting my housework routine back on track. 
I began with the ensuite bathroom, then the toilet and laundry, the walk in robe, vacuuming, and cleaning out the fridge. Whilst all this was happening a few loads of washing got done and were hung outside in the sunshine between the other chores. Bob the dog followed me around here and there inside but outside he decided to roll around in the dirt so his normally white fur is now rather brown and dusty. I've brushed a lot out but tomorrow he'll need a bath.

Lunch was nourishing, something I will be more mindful of after this lapse in energy recently. A broccoli, chicken and pesto salad, served with the last of our weekend's ciabatta bread nicely toasted and thickly spread with butter. Have I ever told you that butter is better than any topping you can put on bread? Well it is to me.

It felt so good to have energy again today, and even better to slip back into a normal Monday cleaning routine. When Mr E was leaving for work early this morning he said "I'll help you clean when I get home" but I assured him rather than being a chore, homemaking and all it entails brings my heart more joy than he knows. Laughing, he shook his head and headed out the door. My beloved really does consider all house duties as drudgery and can't get his head around the fact that I find it the most pleasant of pastimes. But he does enjoy the results. LOL!

After lunch I made a lemon meringue pie which will be our dessert for the rest of the working week, and no complaints there as it's in the top three favourite treats for this family.

Don't you love that lemon tray underneath? I found it at an op shop for $2 and  thought it would brighten up the kitchen. Even though my home is rather sparse on yellow, a touch of citrus-y lemon is lovely. 

Over the weekend some time was spent in the sewing room cutting more scraps of fabric to make more one inch hexies. It's been very worthwhile doing this, and not just for the ever increasing number of hexies being made.
Any scraps smaller than 2" wide go into a basket which will become my applique stash. Many of my designs contain little pops of applique here and there...

Scraps smaller than 2" wide but longer than 6" are being set aside for bordering stitcheries or using for log cabin style patchwork pieces in the future...

Using up scraps leftover from other projects I've made over the past few years has given a lot of satisfaction, and also a reason to justify those fabric purchases. I don't know about you but I genuinely don't like hoarding fabric or having too much of it anymore. In those first years when I taught myself to quilt and do patchwork (I began late in 2005) amassing fabric was an obsession. 
In hindsight I cringe at the memory of many 'filled to the brim' plastic tubs and much of my book shelving weighed down, due to the collecting of more fabric than I could use in a lifetime.

When it all became too much my OCD about visual calm and order kicked in so I sold heaps and donated plenty more. In fact I had to go through that same purging a few times over a couple of years until I had just what I loved, what I needed, and what I hoped to use. 
I still have the odd impulse purchase, but mostly I buy with a purpose in mind. 

When sorting through my scraps box I found this partially made dresden block too, and now my mind is ticking over with ways to use it. Possibly on a tea towel?

Actually I made a new tea towel on Saturday afternoon...

...and then I watched a tutorial to make a hand towel for the kitchen.

Think the hand towel part should have been yellow or lemon, not that dark aqua, but it was a practice piece and will come in handy none the less.

Instead of a bunch of flowers this week I found a less expensive pot of budding pink hyacinths! They're comfortably nestled beside my breadmaker and the fragrance which drifts through the kitchen and dining area is a delight to the senses.
Must admit, I didn't know these grew in autumn...but I'm not complaining.

Another bargain purchase recently were these skeins of DMC perle 5 cotton. I don't embroider with such thick threads but at $1 each my idea is to use them for crochet edging on hand towels.

Such pretty pastel colours, I think they will be very pretty crocheted in a lacy design along one end of a hand towel or around a face washer.
Of course, crochet is not my first language so I need lessons! Right on cue an email from Craftsy arrived offering two weeks of unlimited lessons in any class for just $1 and I accepted the offer.

I think the offer finishes at midnight April 24th so if you're interested it's here.
You can watch a LOT of classes in two weeks. 

One last bargain to show you today. When we were in Cairns a week ago I found this sweet tea towel set and fell in love with the gentle bouquet embroidered across the bottom of one in red cross stitch...

The towels are heavy weight linen and beautiful to hold.

Being so lovely they shall not be used for everyday kitchen purposes but set aside for serving when we have guests. 

That delicate cross stitch motif has inspired me to possibly design a few small cross stitches. I did do this a few years back but never released the pattern...perhaps I should bring it out again and have another look? 

It's getting late here now, the sun had gone down, Mr E and I have had dinner (creamy chicken & mushrooms on rice) and he's calling me to slice that lemon meringue pie and make a cuppa before tonight's episode of My Kitchen Rules I must away.

Would you like the recipe for our dessert?
It's very simple.

Download the recipe here.

Tomorrow I am off to pick up Cully May and take her out with me for the morning while I run some errands. I'm sure the afternoon will see me taking a nap as she's a little girl with lots of adventurous energy, but it's all worth it to spend time with her.

I hope your week is productive and joyful and that you find pockets of peace and refreshment whenever you need them.

Bless you heaps,


Jacqueline said...

Glad to read that you are feeling better and back to your normal routine. Enjoy your adventures with Cully.

Jenny said...

I just spent the weekend with my daughter-in-law &her family enjoying a girls getaway. We stayed up too late, shopped too much, ate very poorly & had the best time. I too am very happy to get back into my routine. Especially eating healthy, I never feel good eating so much junk & am having my regular baked eggs for breakfast this morning.

I'm going to file away your system for scraps! I am new to piecing projects. My mother was an avid quilter & I inherited her stash. I sold & gave away most of it when she passed away 11 yrs ago. Some I just could not part with because they were such treasures to her. I'm in the process of setting up my own sewing/craft room & will begin sorting through my small stash. I cannot wait to get started actually making things!

Allie-oops Designs said...

I've been running on empty the last two weeks - I can't seem to get a routine going at all. I just abandoned one that didn't work for me. Wish I could taste some of that lemon meringue! I do love your lemon tray, I love pops of yellow especially here in the gloomy north country, it brightens everything. That fabric on your tea towel is too darling for words, well done Jenny.
Wish I could pop over and give you some crochet lessons - I'm making a ton of dishcloths right now for my best friend, she wants them very plain [single crochet] and small, so they go fast.

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny; So glad to know that you are feeling better and once again doing the items that bring joy to your life. I adore the towels that you have shown. They are all so pretty. I have some tea towels to embroider or applique, yet I continue to focus on the block of the month blocks. I finally finished block 1 and am so happy with it. I will try and post a picture of it later on today on the facebook group. Kevin has a doctor appointment this afternoon and I get to go to the fabric store across the street and browse, even buy if I really find something I just have to have. LOL. I hope that you continue to feel well and have a fabulous time doing things that make you happy.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Hi Jenny, glad you're feeling better and life is back to normal.
The lemon meringue pie looks delicious. I'll have to try it when I get back home xx

Joyce said...

I’m glad you’re feeling better and back to your normal routine. Lemon Meringue pie is also a favorite at our house.

Susie said...

Glad to hear you are getting back to normal. Such lovely pictures accompanying this post. I like the idea of those Craftsy classes as I've taught myself to crochet - started a blanket and now can't remember the stitch I've used. As for the pattern reading - blah! I understand there is a difference between UK and USA patterns - talk about making it confusing. Have a good week.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's very like the lemon meringue pie my mother made. She crushed graham crackers for her crust, and I still like it that way. I can't stand the jellied lemon ones, after growing up eating this one with condensed milk! Yours looks completely delicious. I like the hand towel just as it is. The aqua picks up the blue in the yellow print, and I think that's perfect! Using that same print on the other towel as edging was inspired, too. What fun!

Your hyacinths are beautiful. Mine have bloomed out and the daisy greenery is taking over. With all the rain lately, I might get two sets of blooms from those this year ... or I might get none! Just never know in E. Tennessee! I don't stitch with perle 5, either, but that's a great idea to use it for crochet on towel edgings. I haven't done that in more than 50 years. I wonder if I still can? =) Have another glorious day on Tuesday, Jenny!

Glenise said...

Jenny glad you are feeling refreshed and back on track but please take it easy as you need to slow down. Your lemon meringue tart looks delicious. Hmm it would go down a treat with a cup of Lady Grey or Green tea. Yummo. Your tea towels are gorgeous. Every photo a delight and your words too. Thank you. Hope you had a special day with Cully May.

Farm Quilter said...

So very glad you are feeling better...we all need to take care of ourselves or we can't take care of those we love. Enjoy your day with Cully May and refresh yourself with a nap afterwards (why do we feel like we need an excuse to nap??).

Ondrea said...

I had a feeling you were unwell and hope that your good health stays with you . I must admit that I do find some household chores to be rather monotonous but essential to keep me happy nonetheless. I admire your passion for housework. Love your scrap stash for applique. I have just rehoused mine in the perfect colour coded drawer set I couldn't resist in Spotlight. My old system was stored high up in plastic drawers that were over stuffed. Looove those tea towels you have made and the beautiful cross stitched ones you found in the Op shop. Thst lemon meringue looks so tempting that I may treat ourselves and make it when I havd fully recovered from this bug I have. Have a wonderful time with Cully May.

Mimi said...

Jenny I am so glad you're feeling more energetic. We find that simply being the age we are means that energy levels are not what they once were. It's an adjustment. Gentle pastimes take precedence over loud and robust ones sometimes, and that's okay too. The Lemon Meringue looks divine, and I cannot wait to try it! Love, Mimi xxx

Martha Roberts said...

I love this post! It is like sitting and chatting with a friend. You inspire me in my housekeeping endeavors. I also have a husband that loves lemon pie. I will be trying your recipe. I hope you enjoyed your time with your grandsweetie. Those are precious times indeed! Love, Martha

lynnbear17 said...

Love all the beautiful hand embroidery you do and the choices of your fabric are always so cheerful! You must have a house full of beautiful things you have made. I am jealous of your talent.