Monday, January 7, 2019

The saga of the grapes...

Have you marked your calendar ready for tomorrow's start to our Gentle Art of Domesticity book study?
The busyness of Christmas and New Year often exhausts the committed homemaker so simply stopping to rest, reflect and refresh may have slipped your mind. Because that's what our book study 
will bring.

Rest to the body when we brew a cuppa or pour a cool drink and sit down for a while to read; reflection on the joys of domesticity we may have overlooked but which will come alive with each turned page, and a refreshing to our homemaker hearts as we discover the wonder right before us and take time to be invigorated by the possibilities yet to be explored.

Tomorrow we'll begin with my overview of the entire book for those of you who don't have it or those who are waiting for this adventure to begin before turning a page.
Are you as excited as me?!

Now into the final two weeks of his summer school break my husband is doing as much as he can in the yard, gardens and interior of the house before his spare time drastically diminishes.

I've got my favourite pineapple fruit cake baked and ready for morning tea times this week and will draw up a new menu plan when we sit down together for that lovely relaxed mid morning cuppa.

Although asking my husband to give me some meal plan ideas is not as productive as one would hope. Generally he'll reply - "I"m happy with whatever you make, dear" - or if he's missed something he particularly likes there's a chance that will be his one and only offering. More often than not this will be "gnocchi, we haven't had that for a while" (which means it's been more than ten days).
Blossom tells me Ross is exactly the same. Is it just a man thing, I wonder??

Yesterday I made a start on Lucy's "Sweet Pea CAL". All those coloured yarns look gorgeous!

Although I do wonder if I'll do them justice by the time I complete the lap sized quilt. Having not done anything like this before frustration did set in about five stitches into the first row due to the yarn splitting and a tiny single strand carrying over when I made a stitch. Regularly.
But carry on I did, twenty minutes here, ten minutes there, through the afternoon and later last night as we watched the tennis (well, as I listened to the tennis is more accurate because that yarn and the need to count demanded I pay attention).
So here I have completed the cast on row and the first row of the trellis pattern ...

Tomorrow I shall take this project along to our Tuesday sewing/crochet/any-craft-you-enjoy group at Marci's and have dear Karyn explain to me why this yarn is splitting and driving me crazy. Personally I'm sure its the way I hold the hook or how I execute the stitches. Will update you when the issue is resolved.

Last week (or was it the week before?) I showed you a sweet little 2019 stitchery I'd done and was about to use on the cover of this year's blog planner. A girl can change her mind.
Just as I was about to make it I showed a photo on social media of another 2019 design I'd created for the January Stitchery Club, along with the fabric which had inspired my choice of thread colours.

The more I looked at it the more I wanted that as my blog planner cover (and the other one will be for something else) so on Saturday I set to work...

Journal, diary or planner covers are very quick and easy to make if you're using just one piece of fabric, thin wadding and lining. The fabric is so pretty that I decided to keep this cover simple and just embellish with the 2019 embroidered hexie...

I've had the blog planner for years but never used it, however with all my fun plans for this year it was the perfect time to bring it into service.

Love that it has pockets at the start of each section because I'm a note taker and often jot ideas down on the nearest scrap of paper, so now I have somewhere to house them until I have time to properly give them thought.

I also added a few of those sweet dividers which I used to separate one of my Gentle Art of Domesticity books into topics for this year's book study.

If you're after one of these blog planners, alas, I have not seen them for years. My copy was purchased from Typo in 2014 I think...gosh, I've certainly let it languish without a purpose for a long time!

That's enough from me today, I'm sure you have your own list of to-dos ready to be tackled and I have a morning tea to serve and another bag of grapes to wash.

Oh, before I go perhaps you need a laugh? 
Yes? Well, I'll fess up about the grapes.

I do my groceries online with Woolies and they home deliver. I pay a yearly delivery fee which allows me to have what I need delivered any day of the week and as many times as I like in the whole year. For someone who works from home this is a blessed thing.

Unless you don't pay attention and order things you do not want.

Such as nine bags of grapes.

Green grapes were available in 900g (2 pound) bags on the order page. Great, I wanted one! But for some reason the number 9 was stuck in my head so I kept clicking the amount required button until it hit 9. And you'd imagine I'd remember doing that, right? Nope. In one brain cell and clear our the other!

The next morning my groceries arrived and I was pretty surprised at the amount of bags delivered...until I discovered three bags held all those grapes.

Yep, $55 worth of grapes were sitting on my counter. Scrambling to check the invoice I could see there was a 9 in the amount supplied box, so off I went to the computer to check my order online because I was SURE this was a Woolies problem and not my own.

Oh no, dear self righteous Jennifer...this was your own doing. 

Needless to say we've been eating grapes till the cows come home, and in fact Mr E's standing joke when I say breakfast, lunch, morning tea or dinner are ready is "But have we had grapes first?"

Yes, I tried to give bags away but only a single neighbour reluctantly accepted one bag which I almost forced upon her and Blossom just would not take one as her own fridge was bursting with fruit, grapes included.

And yes, I should have noticed the grocery bill was a bit steep, but I'd earned a $50 discount which I'd not realised at the time so it all looked  fine to me.

So here we are now, two weeks later, with a final bag of grapes ready to be washed and eaten.

My mantra has been "grapes are the new lolly" (candy), though I might revert back to sweeties once the last green grape bursts forth in my mouth.

Now I'm planning to do, a cuppa to brew, cake to slice, and grapes to finish.

Oh happy days.

Hope your day is full of happy thoughts and bright sunshiny smiles!


  1. Omg that’s the sort of thing I do !! Lucky you love grapes xx

  2. Oh you poor baby, hope that at least they were nice grapes. I tried some the other day, yukky so didn't buy any. As for getting help from hubbie re dinners, forget it Jenny, it really is a man thing. On Friday night I always ask hubbie what he wants to eat on the weekend (he works away and we only see him on weekends), its always the same answer, "whatever you feel like or what have you got in the freezer (seriously I have quite a bit in the freezer), in some rare moments I get "beef stroganoff" which is his favorite. Lucky I love the darling man. Take care Jenny and cook whatever you feel like, he will enjoy it regardless. Guida.

  3. throw the grapes in your freezer! They are delicious frozen, especially when it's hot out. I'll pop a couple in my mouth and it's so refreshing. they keep well frozen for up to a month. I leave them right on the stems. They get sweeter too when frozen. As for the crochet, try the next size up hook. And I find that steel hooks split the yarn easily..I prefer a plastic hook. Good luck!

  4. ha...ha..ha....9 bags..... too must have wondered if you could get throught them all - congrats on doing that!. We used to put some in the deep freeze as the kids liked them as ice poppy treats. Me thinks there will be much checking of your orders from now on!

  5. Jenny , Jenny, Jenny .... just had to laugh at the Great Grape Debacle! I agree with Shelley. ... frozen grapes are fantastic either on their own or popped into a cool drink - we've even had them with ice cream . That's one mistake you'll not make again. Like you I have started the sweet pea rug ... large for our queen bed ... a 30th anniversary present for 2020. I am doing the sample pattern as I think it would be more harmonious in our bedroom. I find the yarn easy to use so maybe it is technique and I'm no expert. This pattern is very addictive and so sweet. Must get my book out ready for tomorrow. Take care dear friend and please double check your grocery order from now on. xxx

  6. Oh Dear Jenny with so many grapes to eat. My goodness at least they are a healthy food. Love your new planner cover and tabs and pockets. Yarn splitting is very frustrating and I do hope the group can help you remedy this. Enjoy your days with Mr. E while he is still on school break. Blessings Dear...

  7. I have been using Styleraft Special DK for years and it generally never splits. I would suggest that it's probably your hook. I would recommend getting a Clover Amour hook to elimate the problem.

  8. I've not had a problem with Stylecraft wool in the past but I havent started my blanket yet so it might be a problem with this new batch of wool.
    I'm really interested in the planner that you talked about.I am always on the lookout for ways to make my days more ordered but I do have to watch out because I can become a fit OCD about it all. Found your recipe for the cake and looking forward to making it as soon as I can get some mixed dried fruit. Looking forward to tomorrow. Thank you so much for all the inspiration that you supply. Julie

  9. I want to join the book study, pleas.

  10. Oh funny.. you could have made wine with all those grapes 🤪

  11. Hi Jenny,
    Grapes freeze well! Freeze loose on baking sheets first, then bag up! Frozen grapes make great ice cubes in water or other drinks and smoothies!

  12. Oh you poor darling. I had to smile. Maybe this confession will ease your pain. Before Christmas I came home to find the cat had vomited on mum's bed. I hauled out books, tissues, tv controls and much more. I tumbled everything into the washing machine and when it finished everything was covered in paper. Somehow a library book was in there and I missed it. That cost a lot too.

    I am having surgery this week so I have denied the intense desire to buy the yarn. I look forward to hearing how others are getting on. Maybe when my hand is healed I will celebrate by purchasing the pack and making the blanket. Meanwhile even though every extra penny has been put side I still don't have enough to pay for everything. Therefore I am glad I have resisted the urge to spend. But when I can I will be buying the book and the yarn.

    God bless.

  13. LOL about the grapes. I used to like serving frozen grapes on a platter with other fruit. They are really yummy on a hot day. Maybe you could put them in the bathtub and stomp on them to make wine LOL. I love your journal cover with another sweet embroidery. I can't remember having problems with the Stylecraft soecial DK yarn and I have used it in at least 3 projects. I hope you sort out the problem. Have fun tomorroe.

  14. Haha the grape saga is so funny Jenny! Did you know you can freeze grapes? They are great to eat frozen in hot weather.

    Oops, just reading through the comments I see others have suggested freezing the grapes. You must try them now lol!

    Have a great time tomorrow!


  15. Your posts are always so fun to read! Had to laugh at the grapes episode. We always say - these are stories to tell our grandchildren :)! Beautiful journal cover. Hope the yarn situation straightens out and you can enjoy this new crochet project more. Someday I just might attempt crocheting again too. Lucy's blog always inspires me with her beautiful projects. Enjoy your day, Jenny!

  16. I know I have said it before but I do love your posts. I suffer from self-righteousness and it made me feel better that someone so kind as yourself does sometimes....I probably shouldn't post this but it is true. My family is soon prayerfully traveling to Disneyworld for a week and I am going to try crocheting dishcloths for the first time so I have something for the plane and nights.

  17. Thank you for the morning chuckle! I think we've all done something like that...I know I have!

  18. Love my grocery home delivery service...and I ended up with to many potatoes on one order. So you are not alone my dear Jenny!

  19. Your crocheting is so pretty - how I miss it! Lovely yarn. It just might be how you're holding it that's making it split - I've used yarn like that though. Your journal cover is so pretty, love the hexie. And yes it's a man thing about dinner - I just asked Jeff to help me and he's fine with hamburgers every. single. day.
    Laughing about the grapes - yes, they do freeze well! Although they hurt my teeth when I do that. Nine bags, lol!!!!

  20. The crochet is lovely, and your grape story made me smile. I myself bought two bags of grapes, but if nine bags had showed up somehow, I think I might have made grape jelly. I've made it with purple concord grapes and it was messy, but delicious. Green grapes should be a snap! Or juice, juice is good. I suspect you may not have grapes for a long time now. =)

    I don't know if all men are like that, because Paul was our cook. He was so much better at it, and kept me healthier than I am doing it myself. I hope you and Mr. E. have time for at least one more drive around, maybe one each of the last two weeks? I know he wants to get his projects as far as he can, but rest and relaxation are good, too, not to mention time together. I know, I'm preaching to the choir. =) And I guess what I was looking forward to today is tomorrow! I'm one of those waiting to dive into the book with you, so I look forward to it. I had it firmly in mind that it was Monday, though. LOL

  21. I wish I had read this blog post before we had lunch today. We had grapes just like yours. Cute story! I'll be sharing it with Beloved later today when we make a somewhat long drive to the airport to pick up family who are coming to visit us.

    Your planner is beautiful. Your embroidery is absolutely perfect!

  22. OMG ... what a story, and always good when one can laugh at herself, (and to allow us a giggle or too, as well?)
    I'm one of the frozen grape lovers too ... a nice little frozen sweet treat winter or summer!

  23. Hello Jenny, I am looking forward to the book study! Your journal cover is beautiful, I especially love the gentle hand embroidery stitches used to attach the hexagon. The stitch you used, which has slipped my forgetful mind, is my favorite stitch to use. Oh, goodness 9 bags of grapes to delightful and then how glad they are gone, I can understand all of that. LOL. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful life with us! Have a delightful day!

  24. Frozen grapes are a lovely cool treat when the weather is hot! Those same frozen grapes are great to keep a drink cool without watering it down or changing the flavor of the drink. Chuckling at your error and knowing I have done the same thing when submitting an order online! I'm a bit surprised you didn't come up with a recipe for some kind of grape bread or cake!


  26. Hi Jenny, I did my test piece for the gauge. Then I decided to continue it. I am making a scarf for my daughter to match a hat I made for her. I just got may yarn and WOW, is that beautiful? I love the feel of it. I am gonna start my blanket tomorrow. I have never done a CAL before. But when I saw your yarn, I decided I needed to try it, too. I should get mine completed before Spring comes in. We are in winter here in Ohio now. The colors of this blanket are so cheery!
    Years ago, a lady I knew made a concord grape pie. It was different. But it was pretty.

  27. My hubby is the the same when it comes to meal planning... gets old for me but I have been doing it for 37+ years now so I should not be surprised when he says... I like everything you make:) LOL!

  28. Debby in Kansas USAJanuary 8, 2019 at 7:40 AM

    My book is right here and I'm ready to go!

    My husband is the same with the meal planning. You'd think I'd quit asking because the answer is always, "Everything you make tastes good...." with no suggestions. On a very rare occasion, he'll pop up and say, "How come we haven't had in so long?" I love that! It's often something I've completely forgotten about. Now, I make him one pecan pie a year and he NEVER forgets to ask for that lol!!

    Love the grape story!

  29. Hi Jenny, Where did you get those adorable stick on dividers for your planner?

    1. At the Daiso shop. I think they were $2.80 - and you get loads in a pack.

  30. I am looking forward to all your posts this year - I went through a book called simple abundance (for a couple of years actually) and really enjoyed it. I dont really want to buy another book, and it doesn't seem to be in our library, so hoping that following along on your posts will be enough. I do enjoy your stitchery patterns, they always bring a smile to my face. Mmmm a blogging journal - that is a great idea. I have been wanting to infuse my blog with a bit more enthusiasm, maybe a pretty journal is what I need! I also enjoy frozen grapes, but it sounds as though yours are now almost finished.

  31. I love the colors of yarn! I just started a Corner to Corner afghan I've been wanting to do for a long time. I'm stitching from my stash so I had to dig out some colors. I hate when yarn keeps splitting. I'm also working on making pinwheels for 3 quilt tops (I need over 400!)and the last thing I'm working on is my Mom's mystery quilt. I trimmed all the blocks and next is "framing" the blocks and trying to get them all to be the same size. What a hodge podge of sizes I have. I'm never bored-how can people complain about being bored? I haven't been bored since I retired. Take care

  32. LOL - that's a lot of grapes. Grapes are thought to have an anti-aging affect on people. Here's one summary: Heather Hausenblas, an associate professor at the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida in Gainseville, Fla., said to that another recent study published in the Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology in Oct. 2012 showed that people who took resveratrol orally for more than 60 days had improvements in their skin. Their skin was more moist, less rough, had better elasticity, and participants' age spots had decreased. Another study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2011 found that people who used a gel containing resveratrol on their skin for 30 days reduced acne by about 54 percent, according to a Global Acne Grading System (GAGS). Have you or DH noticed any changes? Hehe.

  33. Did you turn a pale shade of green Jenny from all those grapes. Yikes!!! Wow that sure is a lot of grapes but these things happen to us all.
    Love your blog and a wonderful way to start the New Year. I am at the library so I am going to see if they have this book. It looks so wonderful and a copy should be in all our homes I say.
    Thank you Jenny for your wonderful blog and for the inspiration and love to us all that pours from your heart and soul. Thank you.
    My email is "" just in case I get lucky.
    Thank you.

  34. I love the story about the grapes! If your grapes are seedless, you can freeze them. But, eat them one at a time like a frozen treat. They would be so refreshing on a hot afternoon or evening. I enjoy your blog and your stitching. Thank you!

  35. Haha! Love it!! Freeze the grapes - we do that every summer when they are cheap - they are soooo yummy frozen! xx

  36. LOVELY and colourful as always Jennyxx

  37. I bought the book Jenny on ebay !!soo happy!Thanksxx

  38. Your journal is lovely, I jhave just found your blog and I have added it to my reader! I am looking forward to the book along. I would love to find a copy as this kind of book is best in hand, however the ereader will do for now. Funny about the grapes, I bet those won't be on the order for quite some time.

  39. Just catching up with your recent entries. Loved the grape adventure. Must say, on behalf of my husband and all men out there who are excellent cooks, my husband often asks me what I'd like for a meal, being the chief cook (I cook when the spirit moves me, but prefer being the chief baker in the household). My response? "Everything you make is delicious, honey." To which he responds, "but I want to know what *you* want." This is why I need to go on a diet in 2019!!! Blessings, Elizabeth


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