Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Fresh starts...

Out front there is a huge white buttercup bush (properly named a Turnera) and each morning it is where scores of bees stop on their daily pollen shopping spree.
I tried to capture a photo close up but the bees are swift and refused my pleas for a portrait, so I've just zoomed in closer for you to see one of the buzzing beauties at work. Makes me happy knowing our garden has many bee, butterfly and bird friendly blooms.

So here we are on January 1st with a new year before us, untouched and unexplored.
As I mentioned the other day the pre-Christmas Craftsy changes have definitely put a speed bump in my path and though I'm quite accepting and relaxed about it all I do now have a lot of extra work to do setting up a new online pattern shop at Etsy and updating all my patterns due to their expired links - not how I'd hoped to spend the summer holiday school break with my teacher husband.

So I'm not going to kick off the 2019 year of gentle domesticity with it's associated book study, free patterns and regular homemaking blog posts until next week. Right now I just want to go for a couple of long country drives with my beloved and gather my thoughts, pray and set up a shop. 

In the big scheme of life another week won't hurt anyone, but it will give hubby and I time to explore the countryside and enjoy some time out from the recent festivities, home/garden renovations and work.

Do you remember when I stitched this design last year? It was just before we moved into our home and my plan was to hang it in the kitchen once I'd decided how to finish it.
A couple of weeks ago I finally did just that...

The floral fabric is cut from a sturdy tea towel and I blanket stitch appliqued the "Simple Way" stitchery block onto the front before hemming around the towel edges and enclosing one end to allow a quilt hanger to be inserted. 

I haven't hung much in the house yet because I'm still finding my way around and discovering my style...something I thought I knew but which seems to be a little different than I'd imagined.
However, this simple wall hanging has given my decorating mojo a nice kick start and in coming months you'll see more and more of what I do within these walls for beauty and inspiration.

Lately, those stitched words "the simple way is usually the best way" hanging right where I see them all day long (I am in the kitchen a lot) has helped to relax my thoughts so that I let go of the 'too many' plans which try hard to crowd my mind. As a women who likes to keep her word, work to a routine, not let anyone down and follow through on her commitments, it's not easy for me to stop and remember than I can delay some things, change my mind sometimes, or let go when plans simply cannot be seen through to the end. 
But I read those words and there's a sweet peace that sits upon my spirit, so I look at the day or week before me and consider "what is the simple answer to this or that situation?" - and you know, an answer, a simple answer comes to mind quite soon after.

The pattern is available here in my Etsy Shop and over the coming month I'll have many more available there as it's my new PDF pattern home. But slowly...one thing at a time.

Blossom came by with the girls today and it was extra special because they got to play with Poppy. They don't see him as often as they see me because he's at work most of the time when they come by for the day, but Miss Cully May adores her Poppy so when he's around she gives me a quick hug and then runs off to be his little shadow for the day. 

Blossom and the girls bring such joy to our home...

Whilst hubby is on holidays he has made some changes to my sewing room so that I can create and work more efficiently. Firstly, his Christmas gift to me was a wonderful height adjustable table where I can sit and sketch new designs as well as prepare them for stitching. I cannot tell you how much easier it is to work in the sewing room now!

I can lower the table when I'm sitting and then lift it higher for project preparations.

The room is a mess right now because I'm in the process of rearranging things but with the new table AND the shelving he built the other day...

...I can now plan this bright and cheery work space to suit my business needs.

This coming Friday I'll be sharing two alphabet pincushions with you, the R and the S to bring us up to date (as I've already shared the T)...

The links to download the QU and T letters are still valid and will stay that way until Thursday night. You'll find them in this blog post.

Craftsy removed the three previous sets of alphabet patterns so I'll be adding them to my Etsy Shop in a few days in case you missed any. 

There are still 22 patterns in my Craftsy Shop which the owners decided to leave there, though they removed 113 others. Now I know this is a pain for anyone who was working through "A Year in the Garden" because they removed the October, November and December patterns, so in the coming week I'll have all twelve of those blocks in my new Etsy Shop and will include the quilt finishing pattern with each of them.

On the sewing table at the moment I have a number of new patterns that I cannot show you yet (though you can see a few peeks over here on my Instagram page) and I need to finish a cover for my 2019 blog planner using this little design from last month's Stitchery Club...

I've never used a blog planner before but as I have a number of new things in store for you this year it occurred to me that this may well be a wise project to make.

SO FAR I can tell you this...

We're still working through the Alphabet Pincushions Stitch-A-Long each Friday and that will run through until February 22nd.

I will begin the book study of 'The Gentle Art of Domesticity' by Jane Brocket on Tuesday 7th January. The book is hard to track down these days but is available on Kindle by clicking here.
(I do not earn anything from this)

I will share the first free pattern/project in our 2019 Year of Gentle Domesticity on Tuesday 7th January.

The rest of this year's plans will be shared next week.

I send out a free newsletter each Friday and this year there will be a few 'extras' offered along the way so if you aren't receiving them already it's quite easy to pop over here and sign up!

May your year be blessed, your heart cheered, your mind clear and your paths made straight in these coming twelve months!


Delight in Nature said...

Good morning from Yorkshire my dear. Not warm and sunny here but dark and damp. I love that you have my summer with you at the moment and will return it to me in a few months time according to the Lord's will. Talking of which I am reading a really useful book at the moment called The Will of God as a Way of Life by Gerald L Sittser in which he biblically explains how we can cope with sudden changes that we have not foreseen. I can recommend it.
I'm really looking forward to our Jane Brocket book study and I have my copy ready.
May the Lord bless you and your family this coming year, may He shine His face upon you and give you peace.

Wendy Duwe said...

I'm so happy that you are taking time for each other and your faith. Pray that God will bless your time together. Love and hugs. P.S. Don't worry to reply.

Smily-Света said...

Warm greetings from cold Hungary! Thank you for sharing these cozy family pictures, some insights of your world and plans. Waiting forward you book's study, it sounds very inspiring for me.
Kind regards,

Martha Roberts said...

It is lovely to see Blossom and her sweeties. Such pretty girls. Enjoy Mr. E and his time off. I see he has been busy. Sewing room is shaping up nicely. Love to you both. Can't wait to start working our way through Jane Brockett's lovely book. I have had it for about 2 years but haven't used it much. Looking forward to exploring it. Happy New Year!

Allie said...

Your sewing space is just a delight, dear heart, how sweet of hubby to get that wonderful table and shelf for you!!! I'm glad you're relaxed about the changes, we can't do anything about them so why not...I pray God's blessing on your etsy shop. The girls are too darling! I'm so pleased you have a home of your own that they will grow up remembering. Enjoy your time with hubby - always praying for you both!!!

Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, your sewing room looks so bright. It must be a joy to work there particularly with your new table. The girls must love visiting you at your new home. I believe my grandchildren have been enjoying the pool at the unit they are staying at on The Strand. I am hoping that cyclone doesn't decide to head back to the coast during the week.

Shortbread and Ginger said...

Your work room looks lovely. Best wishes for 2019.

Donna P. said...

Happy New Year to you and your family. May 2019 be a blessing (including blessings in disguise!).
I have really enjoyed watching your new home come to life as you and hubby make it your own.
Your new pattern is so pretty!
Thank you for everything you do for us!

Jenny said...

Happy New Year Jenny!

What a sweet gift from your husband! I just love the table.

I am so far behind on making the things I want to make that another week to wait for your book study is just fine with me....it gives some of us more time to actually get the book if want to as well!

Tania said...

You are a busy woman Jenny! So much going on at your place. I never got to try any of your patterns in 2018, but I did purchase a magnifying glass to make the work easier. So I had better schedule in time for doing at least one of your stitcheries this year. I miss doing the gentle art of hand sewing, it is such a satisfying past time.

Enjoy the time with hubby in the coming week. This special time is important for you both. We will wait for your return :)

God Bless and Happy New Year,

Love Tania xx

Robin in New Jersey said...

Happy New Year, Jenny!

matty said...

Happiest of days from the perpetually grey and wet NC mountains! Thank you for sharing your eye candy of bright and sunshiny flowers and stitchings! This girl needs these right now! Looking forward to a marvelous year of “gentle domesticity”!

Tammy said...

Happy New Years to you And your family Dearest Jenny. Posted a link to your Etsy shop on my Facebook page in hopes it helps bring you some new customers this year. Still upset how Craftsy has treated all of you designers. Wishing you much business success this year, good health and much love and family time with all of your children and grands this year. Enjoy your husbands time as much as you can while school is out. Love your studio. Love all the white walls. And love your design you hung up as well. it is gorgeous and very colorful. That hanger you used is also very very pretty.

Marie said...

Happy New Year from Canada! Your sewing room looks lovely. I can imagine working in front of that big window. Your little granddaughters always look so happy - so cute! I am really looking forward to what you have to share with us this coming year.

TerriSue said...

Dearest Jenny, Your Simple Way hanging is just beautiful. I like the way you finished it so much. The little quilt hanger you have for it is just perfect also. It's saying is so true.
Our grandchildren also will run to their grandpa when given the chance. Our oldest, (almost 12 now) though has found out that grandmama is able to show her how to cook and sew. Some things that poor tired Mommy just doesn't have the time for.
Your sewing area is so bright and sunny looking. It looks like a pleasant place to carry on your business. I am happy that you have a cheerful appearing room to work in.
The buttercup bushes certainly must keep busy with that many blooms. Thank you for sending the spot of sunshine today. We are expecting an ice-storm that will be continuing with sleet, frozen rain and snow until Thursday. Right now it is 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Then on Thursday it is supposed to be in the low 60's. That's Texas weather for you. I have some violets in a bed by our front door that insist on blooming throughout the year. Poor little things are going to get a bit of a shock today. I am thinking about running out and picking all of them before the ice hits!
I am looking forward to hearing of your plans for the coming year. I am glad that you will be taking the week off to be with Mr. E, You need it and I am sure he does also.

Farm Quilter said...

Enjoy your time with Mr. E whist he is enjoying summer break!! I hope to see some pictures from your jaunts so I can enjoy your beautiful, warm part of the world!!! Have a blessed new year.

vintage ellen said...

Your posts are always great and I love how you end each one. It feels like you have said a little prayer for each of your readers. May 2019 be filled with blessings for you and your family.

Susan said...

I love that buttercup bush....might look out for one here. I’m sure Etsy will work well and many designers will move there. Love the table....a great idea....will you share where it came from?
Take the time to enjoy the holiday period.....love the little vase design.....thanks Jenny....God bless you.

Sherry said...

New beginnings and so many changes for you dear and it is refreshing to know you are accepting things as they come and you are making adjustments as you are able to do. Being flexible in life is a gift. I am so grateful for YOU and your giving soul. Blessings dear...

Debby in Kansas, USA said...

So many pretty pictures to look at! The flowers are so beautiful and it's nice to be reminded of what is coming in just a few months. It's bitter cold right now and we're surrounded by bare sticks!

You're going to love working with your new table. I quilt in a church group. Several months ago, a retired architect asked us if we would like his professional table....we were stunned, but thrilled to take it. It seems like every month, we're discovering something new and amazing it does! The height & tilt adjusting are WONDERFUL!! As for your Creating Room, you're so so neat! It's so clean and cheerful in there! No wonder you're so inspired to create such beautiful designs.

My book hasn't arrived yet. According to the recent email, it's en route. And even if I had it, I completely understand taking your time to enjoy your husband's time off. I do the same when my husband is off. I want to spend every available moment with him. :) I read in a book once that Ruth Graham's friends called Billy (Graham) the plague because when he was home from his travels, she completely disappeared. I get that!! So enjoy the days fully!

Happy New Year!

Chookasmum said...

Hi Jenny wishing you Mr E and all the family a happy healthy 2019.
It is very hot down here and the dust storms have been horrendous, fortunately we have been on the edge of them and that is bad enough.
Jenny where would be able to purchase the book for your study, I am looking forward to this.
Cheers Lorraine xx

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Happy New year!
Wow ! Love the new blog look! header/top !
Etsy is looking great too!
Enjoy your vacation time together!
just a few more stitches and days needed to get caught up with 2018 and A year in the garden!
Take care,

the warmfireplace said...

Happy New Year from Bedfordshire UK, just take your time and enjoy the break with hubby, looking forward to your posts on Jane Brockets book, simplicity is best I am working my way through Rhonda Hetzels The simple home this year. Sue

Ondrea said...

It is good to know you are just taking your time and smelling the roses with your hubby. I totally agree about keeping things simple as one can avoid a lot of stresd that way. Lovely pic if the bee. Fortunately, dad's bees are now doing well again and we shall hopefully get some more honey soon. Your sewing room looks so serene and your hubby did well chosing that table for you. Fantastic idea.Enjoy the next few days.

allthingzsewn said...

Jenny, Hoping this New Year will be a blessed one for you and yours. I'm anxious to see what you have waiting for us. I'm not understanding if I have to enroll in the new embroidery club since I just joined? The inspirational one is what I'm interested in.

Susan said...

I love the clean, organized, happy look of your Etsy shop, Jenny. I look forward to all the things that will show up there in the coming weeks. The girls look wonderful. Don't those little ones grow fast? It seems only yesterday, Blossom was just a teen with no thought of being a mom, and look at her now, so capable and so loving, following so many things she's learned from you and Mr. E. I like what you did with your stitchery, and wish I'd ever see tea towels that pretty around here! =) How wonderful to make your own space, exactly as you like it. Mr. E. gets an A for Christmas shopping for you! Enjoy your time with him this week. That should be your priority, so do it without thought for other things. They will find their own time later. =) <3

Winifred said...

Happy New Year Jenny. Hope it's a lovely one for you all in your new home.

Света said...

С новым годом! Удачи и творческих успехов!

KingsailK said...

How LOVELY ,I am in N.Ireland looking forward to The blog also

Karen said...

Such a lovely post Jenny. You are such a treasure doing all the work thats needed to put everything in Etsy after the weird stuff with Craftsy. I pray a blessing on your business this year, may it be more sucessful that you can imagine, just as Gods love for us is more than we can imagine too. Arohanui