Saturday, June 23, 2018

At home this week...

I am loving the cooler nights of these past two weeks. Though not the chilly winter evenings we enjoyed whilst living in a small town at the top of a mountain range in 2005, we certainly do appreciate the brisk bite in the air our tropical winter is offering at present. I even went out and bought slippers on Wednesday! 

Our winters here are very, very dry. No rain or humidity, so your skin stings from lack of moisture. I lather cream on my face, body and feet morning and night, and smear beeswax lip balm or pure coconut oil over my lips numerous times a day. Even Mr E has taken to cocoa butter cream to relieve the discomfort of dry, parched skin.

But you know, despite the increase in moisturiser purchases, we love this time of year. After nine months of endless heat it's pure joy to leave all the windows open and forget about air conditioners for a while. It's also the season for stews and soups and crusty bread, hot chocolate and lemon/honey tea.

In the mornings and late afternoons cardies and tracky pants make an appearance and I find myself wanting to hand quilt in the evenings. There's an unfinished wall quilt I began last year that needs to be sandwiched with wadding and backing so I'll do that today and then I can keep it by our couch for stitching after dinner. 
I think it will be lovely hung in our new home when we have one...

One downside of being a school teacher is the proliferation of germs students like to share around, especially during our short winter. Mr E has unfortunately succumbed to one such germ exchange and came home from work yesterday a mass of aches and pains, chills and fever.

Thank the Lord I had made a large pot of chicken bone broth in the slow cooker and was able to use it as the base of a nourishing chicken soup last night because we all know that's an essential step in healing winter ails. My beloved gratefully finished his bowl and headed off to bed where he tossed and turned all night, alternating between chills and fever, barely sleeping. I'm so glad there's plenty of soup left because it will be needed today, and I can supplement it with a loaf of fresh baked sour dough.

So no house hunting this weekend, which is what we needed to be honest as it's really knocked us around the past few months - though I never wanted a weekend off due to illness, and I am praying he recovers swiftly.

A few sewing projects were finished this week. For some reason it's winter when I get the urge to complete things, although time at the sewing machine was also a lure. As you can see in the photo above, I finished the zippered pouch which I began last weekend and I also made two of my stitcheries into cushions...

Funny thing, I thought my supply of cushion covers was plentiful because I do tend to make them regularly, but this week when I removed and washed all the covers which had been displayed through the house since summer and then went to the linen cupboard to replace them, I found I had barely any. 
Light bulb moment for me. 
I do make covers regularly, but I tend to give them away as gifts. 

So I'm in the process of sewing new cushion covers to keep, using some of my new stitchery designs as well as re-making favourite ones from the past.
The "Love" cushion (above) features one of the July stitchery club designs, but the "Bloom" cushion below is an older pattern which was originally stitched in orange and teal colours...

It looks very different now in blues and golds!

Do you remake things from the past?
I have printed up many of my older designs to remake over the next couple of years, not just updating colours and fabrics but also tweaking some (especially from my early design days) with more detail in the stitchery itself.

With a hopeful move on the horizon in a few months I'm scanning our home with new eyes, deciding what will come and what will be sold or donated and currently on my radar are two bookcases loaded with a variety of cookbooks and foodie DVDs.
Some have been with me for decades, some are garage sale or op shop finds, and others were purchased at bookshops locally and online. I have held onto a few for sentimental reasons, and a few more for just one particular recipe, yet others have sat unread for years and there are some which simply do not excite me at all as they were purchased or obtained on impulse, an impulse which evaporated quickly.
Blossom has taken a few which appeal to her, but the others will be sifted with a good dose of commonsense in the days ahead.

This is one I found at the op shop for $1 and was promptly placed on a shelf and forgotten. After dusting it off yesterday I brewed a cup of tea and settled down for a browse...

...which I'm so glad of because it has many recipes, simple recipes, that I will now try.
Bloss and I both love peas so next time she visits I'm going to make this...

Considering which cookbooks merit moving along with us also got me thinking about the kitchen I will have and how I'd like to display certain things - like good cookbooks, tea pots, jars of ingredients and the like.

For many years I've had a plan to sew decorative shelf edgings, stirred on by patterns I've collected from old magazines and a favoured home sewing book.

Not sure if I want red in my kitchen as this rental kitchen has a lot of red and I find it to be harsh and not at all relaxing, but I do like the effect (below) of the decorative ribbon edging along the edge of the shelves...

The simplicity of the embroidered blue edging below is lovely...

...but it's this one which really catches at my heart whenever I turn the page of Caroline Zoob's book "The Hand Stitched Home" and discover it all over again.
Perhaps it's the scallop edges? Or the vintage appeal of the designs?
All I know is that (apart from the red) it inspires me more than others...

I'm rather grateful for the time between now and when our forever-on-earth home is found because it's giving me space to consider how I'd like to decorate without spending precious dollars.
It's also allowing me to contemplate the value of what to take and what to leave behind because the older I grow the more simplistic I find my heart becoming. 

Like food, really. But I'll leave that for another post.

Best get back to caring for my dear man, although he's very much an independent guy who would much rather be caring for me. True love, you can't beat it.

Final pic. 
My schlumbergera (or Christmas cactus) is getting ready to bloom!
I wait almost a year for it to bring forth winter flowers so it is centre stage on the dining table at the moment for us to enjoy those blooms as long as they last.

Oh, and the Jeep is back on the road! The long awaited part arrived in the mail on Tuesday and by late Tuesday evening Mr E had the car up and running perfectly again.
And that's how I got out and about on Wednesday to buy my slippers. Smile.

May the Lord grant you grace and mercy, peace and provision, in the days ahead. May His presence surround you and lift you when weariness takes over, carry you when you cannot make it on your own, and fill you with every need under heaven.

Love and hugs,


Kaye said...

It has been so hot and miserable here in Western Kentucky. It's always humid but more so in the summer. We are getting a break from the heat, too. It has been in the 80's during the day with low humidity. I'm loving it. I wish it would stay this way all year long. Jenny, I pray your dear husband recovers quickly and I pray you don't come down with it. I hope you will be able to find the home you want soon. Your pillow covers are beautiful. I love the shelf edgings, too. How cute they are! Your soup looks so good I think I am going to make some tomorrow.

Julie said...

Your new cushions are beautiful Jenny. I am pleased to read you are getting some cooler temps at long last. I do hope Mr E is soon feeling much improved. My kitchen is mainly cream with a bit of native wood & I use red as my accent colour .... teatowels, kettle, red spotty mugs etc. I really love it & enjoy the pops of colour. My friend has just freshened her kitchen up in white with mint green & she has also used red as her accent colour. Hers looks amazing! Happy Weekend to you my friend Xxx

selina said...

i used to see those shelve edgings on many of the homes of the friends my dad used to drag me around to when i was young, most had the fruit designs on them! i think i saw cups & teapots on one as well; they're vintage! just love it to pieces, i have started collecting again, mostly old collectables though
your cushions covers are adorable!
ooo that last cook book looks like a real gem to keep!
thanx for sharing

Lin said...

Your blue and gold cushion is so beautiful Jenny. Hope Mr E recovers soon. xx

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

What a delightful post! I especially like the blue embroidery shelf edging. Your pillows are so sweet. I downsized when moving 3 years ago and could even do it again! Oh dear. Hope your hubby heals quickly and you don't catch the virus. Take care. mary

Mary in Peoria Handmade said...

P.S. It was 111 degrees here yesterday and I fear today will be worse. It's been over 100 days since we had rain.

Hartslove said...

Hope your Mr. E bounces back soon. What good timing it was for the jeep, slippers, and chicken stock to be ready. I loved this entire post. I especially admire that quilt top that you brought out. Wow, it is so pretty, and I see the pattern but can't figure out how you kept it all in order (mirroring or alternating the pieced stripes in each quadrant). The white center gives it the effect of a window.
Summer just arrived here, so we have had some downpours, lots of clouds and high temperatures, and schools let out for the season. Thanks for the lovely closing prayer. Cheers, Alexine

Kay said...

I hope that Me E bounces back with your wonderful soup and care. x

Brenda said...

Hello Jenny; Your cushions are lovely. I have several of the panel style cut out and sew together cushion covers that were given to me that I have been meaning to sew together for ages and then get side tracked and forget all about them. Also quite a few Apron patterns pre printed ready to cut out and sew together also. With special embroidery stitches they do make great gifts. I do hope that Mr. E feels better quickly. Your special soup and love will help him tremendously. I loved the special hand embroidered fabrics that decorated the edges of the shelving. It is so beautiful. One of those splendid ideas that I would not have thought of and yet it is so beautiful and just adds so much character to a room. If you choose to do this, I do hope you share with us. Have a fabulous day!

Farm Quilter said...

Praying for healing for Mr. E and protection for you so you don't get sick as well. God knew what this weekend would hold...chicken soup and the Jeep back in commission just when necessary! Also praying for your house hunt, waiting on His timing to present the perfect house for you. Your work is always so beautiful and inspiring.

Susan said...

You must have just about a brand new Jeep by now. =) I hope it runs well for a long time, now. I hope Mr. E. is already feeling better and getting a much better night's sleep. Your post is just a lovely compilation of beautiful things for your home. I need to do more with cushions and a few other things. I'm glad it's cooled off there at last! Best wishes to you both for a healthy week ahead. I'll be praying that you find your forever home soon.

Cheryl B. said...

OMGosh I love the red! I have lime green cabinets with red hardware! But I love the blue too. Oh let's face it i love anything embroidery!
I hope your DH gets well soon. Mine was just diagnosed with prostate cancer last Tuesday, so I am so glad I am home, retired and able to devote my time to making his life easier (he still works) and make him healthy foods.

Ondrea said...

Love your revamped designs and that pouch is lovely. Those edgings in the cupboards are so nice but they would get very dusty quite quickly in my home LOL. I hope hubby is on the mend. Sounds like he is quite miserable. I hope you don't come down with it. A break from house hunting will do you both good. Less stress and more relaxation.

Allie-oops Designs said...

Yikes praying for Mr. E!!!! So glad you're enjoying some lovely cool weather hon. Enjoy your browsing, so lovely to contemplate just how you want things!!

gracie said...

Your posts are so inspiring in many visiting.

Mercedes Pelegrí Perez said...

Unas labores preciosas !!!
me encanta tu estilo de crear !!
siento pena que no entiendo lo que escribes, me encantaria poder leerte !!
el cojin de log cabin con la casita me tiene ennamorada !!!!
lo encontre en pinterest y lo empece ha hacer, espero que no te moleste !!!!
un fuerte abrazo

Susan said...

Just wondering how you made chicken stock in the crockpot. I really like the blue, scalloped shelf design. I wonder how you attach them to the edge of the shelf.