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.
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,