In between housework, a migraine and working to get my shop set up on Etsy I've been giving my blog a nice makeover...a fresh, fun and pretty makeover which I gave considerable thought to as I don't want to change it again.
This 'season' of partially enforced change stirred within me a desire to create a touch of permanence here at Elefantz, one which is flowing over to the new pattern covers soon to appear as I gradually update the old ones.
It will take a good month to complete the move from Craftsy to Etsy as I have many patterns to update so I want to do it right the first time and not have to go back and change things later (hence the bright and cheery logo which has become my new blog header) and in fact that's one of my three attitude and response guidelines for 2019 - "do it right the first time and don't cut corners"
The other two are "trust that God is in the details" and "put everything back in its place".
GENTLE DOMESTICITY in 2019
You know I've intentionally pursued the gentle domestic life for a number of years now, and as we set forth into a fresh new year I've decided to take the book which first stirred my heart and lead a book study here on the blog beginning Tuesday January 8th and running through to mid December.
Every so often my friend Fee will post on her blog to share some thoughts, projects or ideas inspired by the book, and occasionally my sweet daughter Blossom will offer her own insights from life as a stay at home mummy with two little girls. I'm also going to see if my friend Rosie will pop by as we have long shared deep coffee-fueled conversations about domesticity, marriage and family.
In case you've missed all the book information, we're going to study and discuss Jane Brocket's "The Gentle Art of Domesticity". The book is not easy to find as a hard copy anymore, but some have been found on Amazon and Ebay, local libraries, and you can always get the Kindle version.
NOTE: you don't need the book to follow along this year long study.
I'll also have a monthly giveaway with a fun domestic theme so make sure to sign up for my blog posts which will arrive via email and then you won't miss any of the studies or activities.
(pop your email over there in the blog sidebar or sign up here for my weekly newsletter)
You might consider joining our Gentle Domesticity Facebook group too!
This Year's BOM
Well, it's not actually a block of the month. It's a project of the month which ties in with our gentle domesticity theme.
I'll have the first freebie ready for you with the launch of our book study on Tuesday 8th January.
The project patterns will be free for one month, right up till the next month's project pattern is shared. Another good reason to sign up for my newsletter or blog posts, right?
This year I'm inviting you to share what's happening in your own domestic life by joining in each Tuesday with a link up to your personal blog. This really excites me because we home-hearted women are all very different so we can learn a lot about one other and from one other by visiting each other's blogs for inspiration, recipes, projects and anything else deemed gently domestic.
I'll have that Link Up button ready to share on Tuesday!
Okay, now how about I share those pincushions!
The Friday before Christmas you received the patterns for Q, U and T so that by using the previously shared I and L you could make the QUILT pinnie...
Today I'm giving you R and S so that we're back in sequence because my OCD-ness requires things go in order and I had a dreadful time waiting to share the next two so that my mind could once again settle into a peaceful state...
I have given R a very soft display with calming greens, salmon pink and white cotton lace.
The little heart is a single strand chain stitch and the rest of the R has been sewn with backstitch.
In the ditch between the R block and the borders I've sewn stem stitch with two strands of the soft green thread...
...and after machine sewing the lace diagonally either side of the R I stitched a line of green chain stitch.
As with all the pincushions made during this Stitch-a-long this one has been filled with crushed walnut shells which you can purchase in the reptile section of your local pet shop.
It will keep your pins sharp and rust free, plus it feels absolutely lovely in your pinnies!
The second pincushion this week is S...
...and it's a tiny square with a soft pink ribbon which turns it into a very pretty and useful scissor fob.
The S block is trimmed to 2.5" square and then I added 1" borders around the four sides. Everything I make is sewn with a 1/4" seam so once the pinnie is complete it measures a nice neat 3" square.
The flower petals are lazy daisy stitch and there's a colonial knot in the middle. The S and the leaves are backstitched in green.
The previous four monthly sets - ABCDE, FGHI, JKLMN, and OPQUT are now available for purchase here in my Etsy Shop.
Do you need help with backstitch, lazy daisy stitch or how to sew with smaller stitches?
I get a number of emails about this and always refer them back to THIS tutorial which I shared a few years back (it also has a free practice pattern).
BACK AT HOME....
Mr E has been busy removing the structures around his shed which the building inspector deemed non-compliant when we bought the house...
The small shed at the front has to go, as does the covering down the side between the large shed and the fence...
The roofed section behind the large shed is also going to be removed as the materials the previous owner used to construct it are not cyclone proof. The yellow pool filter enclosure is fine, thank goodness...
In the garden we've discovered a native passionfruit vine which is trailing from next door's huge bottle brush tree over our fence and all through one our three guava trees...
These passionfruit are very small, like a 20c piece, and very different from the normal passionfruits you buy at the grocers. But our neighbour assures us they are edible so we look forward to trying them.
After Mr E emptied the compost heap into one of our garden beds we had a lot of rain from the cyclone just before Christmas and now three cucumber plants have made an appearance and are happily thriving shaded by bottlebrush, mock orange and guava trees. In the tropics we can't usually grow many vegetables in the summer as they simply burn to pieces under the scorching sun, but we'll see how these go in the dappled shade. Our warm winter is the peek vegetable season which probably seems strange to most people.
The Ixora has burst forth in resplendent red after the rain...
...as has the Crepe Myrtle.
I have loved Crepe Myrtle since I parked next to it at Rosie's a number of years ago and to have one of our own in flower is a blessing I'd not expected. With each week that passes I am learning the names of more plants right here in our garden and am always surprised that some I have long admired are right before me.
The poinciana which spreads over the pool has lost all it's vibrant red flowers but now the leaves have filled out and their lush green is a delight to behold.
The rain has also given the lily pilly and hibiscus trees astonishing growth in a mere two weeks.
And as I said earlier we have three guava trees and all are fruiting!
One is a pineapple guava...
...and the other two are what I'd call a regular guava.
Rosie and her hubby Brian came by today for morning tea and a nice long catch up. They are avid gardeners and it was wonderful to pick their brains about things like guavas (because I have never even tasted one and thought they may be the size of a rockmelon, which in fact they are most certainly not).
Tomorrow Mr E and I are off to check out a few garage sales, something we've not done for a while but are keen to get back to.
I do hope your own weekend brings an adventure or two, and a friend or loved one to share it with.
May your rest be blessed, your eyes awed by creation's wonder, and your heart filled with song...