Friday, March 1, 2019

End of a week...

It's Friday night and I'm wondering where the week has gone.
Monday begins full of purposeful plans for the home, the yard, designs, the sewing room, the blog, meals...and our family. And though a number of things were crossed off my list this week there's quite a few that weren't.

The way of life, yes? 
Always be ready to let go of your plans because tomorrow arrives with ideas of its own.

Slowly I'm finishing the blocks for Phyllis May's Kitchen and when the final two are complete I can begin setting all the blocks together...quite probably in a way you might not expect.

But first I need to make sure the picture in my mind can be transferred to real life. 
Hopefully God will expand on the 'how' because I'm becoming increasingly committed to stepping outside the box with this new pattern, just a little cautious about how to make it work so that you love it as much as me.

We've had a few rain showers at night and then today they fell more often. Chatting with a neighbour and some other people whilst out and about there's a genuine fear of too much rain after the floods, but these short spells have been just enough to dampen the gardens and cool the late summer air. 

Our 'almost pet' cockatoo Betty has finally learned to stand her ground at the bird feeder when Double Trouble arrive each morning and I have to admit it's nice to see the three of them breakfasting together while hubby and I sit nearby with our coffee and fruit.

The garden is alive, lush and green with new growth abounding.
The red/orange ixora is in full bloom again, a splash of brilliant colour in an otherwise green yard...

Before my birthday, when my eyes were crusty and hazed from the mould allergy and spacial awareness was not at it's best, I knocked my gorgeous Cath Kidston mug off the counter and it shattered across the kitchen floor. 

This mug was very special to me as it had been a gift from Fee quite a few years back. I told her immediately because only she really understood how much this upset me at the time, but the following day my family got it too. Mr E and Blossom, bless their hearts, trawled the internet for days trying to find the exact same mug but none could be found. Hubby showed me all kinds of Cath Kidston mugs but I could only shake my head because the broken gift was the prettiest of all.

Not wanting to part with the pieces I placed them in a container for a possible mosaic project (when I learn how) but was able to salvage the top two inches and part of the handle as a little garden display with one of the seedlings we recently bought. I simply pushed the ragged edges into the soil around the coleus.

A perfect colour match and a way to still enjoy my favourite mug...

Years ago another friend, Vikki, sent me this little rabbit and I thought it might be sweet outside too, sitting under the shade of some elephant ears (jade plant)...

I'm going to look for more trinkets for my outdoor pots over the weekend as I love small pops of interest scattered through the garden, the kind that make you stop and look closer. 

One of my potted basil plants has thrown seeds and here and there new plants have grown in the garden bed. This one came up between the guava tree and the mock orange.

Remember when I wrote how God had very clearly told me that this year I was to "use what you already have"?
Well I'm following through in many ways. 
In fact those words resound in my heart every day so I'm applying them to many things around the home. But I'm also using this advice in my sewing.

Do you remember my 2015 block of the month, My Vintage Kitchen?
All redwork. 
Simple little backstitch blocks with a spattering of lazy daisy and running stitch here and there.

Well, I'm giving it a fresh makeover!

These little stitcheries are actually the inspiration behind Phyllis May's Kitchen, but the new BOM is much larger and includes a lot more detail and many more blocks.

Anyhow, back to the fresh makeover...

I'm using Elea Lutz's new fabric range Bluebirds on Roses for the borders and also as my palette for choosing the stitchery thread colours. 
This time there's more variety in the stitches with the addition of chain stitch, stem stitch and satin stitch for example. 
And I'm loving it, can't wait to have it hanging in my home. The mini quilt layout will be different too...might even add some small pieced blocks. And the colours - happy colours. Just what I love in this home.
But I can only dabble with this project as light relief on quiet evenings because Phyllis May's Kitchen is the main project and must be properly finished soon.

I do have a finish to show you, though!

My 36" square sweet pea blanket is complete.
This is Rafaella's 1st birthday gift (March 4th), her very own soft and cuddly blankie. The border is a very simple pink chain as dear Blossom loves it that way. 
We're really quite a simple family you know...

A birthday parcel arrived this week from my friend Ondrea and amidst all the pretties she sent were these two beautiful handmade gifts.
Aren't I blessed?

Do you plans for the weekend?

Mr E has grass to mow and a shelf to paint, whilst I have some plants that need attending to and a linen cupboard to refresh. We'll also see little Rafaella to give our gifts as hubby will be working on her birthday. I can't believe it's been a year since this precious bundle arrived! 

Blossom has made Rafaella a special birthday outfit featuring the hand stitched bodice I made a while ago - can't wait to show you the birthday photos. 

May your days be sewn together with grace, kindness, hope and laughter.
May your trials be short and your sleep sweet.

Be assured God finds the greatest delight in the time you choose to spend with Him so stop often to linger in His presence. It will be life to your soul.



Suzan said...

I love catching up with you and your family. Life is so precious. I am sorry that you lost your favourite mug. At leas tit was loved and used rather than sat somewhere not being used. I hope you enjoy a happy weekend and build special memories.

diana said...

So excited to see the little bodice you created as I have a granddaughter. Your handwork is beautiful and I would love to know what the fabric is that you use for the kitchen linens. Have you seen the Susan Branch mugs on her website? She too seems to love nature and simple pleasures?

Little Quiltsong said...

Your blanket turned out beautiful! Love all the 'sweet pea' colours in there! Happy Birthday to little Rafaella! March 4th is almost here :)! Beautiful gifts and usage of your pretty cup that broke. Hope you can still find a replacement for it. Love seeing all the pretty pics of your flowers and birds and projects you are working on - so much lovely eye-candy!

Fee said...

The blanket is beautiful. She will love it xxxx we will find another mug one day. I love it’s new purpose though xxxxx

Tammy said...

So many beautiful pictures in your post today. It is mind boggling that you accomplish so much. I am still unable to sew with my hand problem and still not been able to get into the hand specialist. I finally got insurance authorization. That was a nightmare. Now they must wait on the records to arrive from doctor whom saw me before for it who wasn't a hand specialist before they will schedule me to be seen. I am using my hand not much. That does include limiting my internet usage as it requires use of my hands. Love your finished crochet afghan/ blanket. And all the Phyllis Mae pictures are out of this world gorgeous. Hugs and love from me to you this day and each.

Carli The Quilter said...

Hi Jenny, back at you. Wishing you a speedy crusty eye recovery and I'm pleased that the shingles I got last week is already on its way out! Yeah! I love embroidery and do enjoy popping into your world to see all your lovelies!

sewbee831 said...

Thank you Jenny for enabling me into buying some of Elea's fabrics! LOL (doesn't take much to get me to do that)! BUT it does go sew nice with your stitching! Is there still a pattern one can get the Vintage Kitchen? I love that roofed bird-feeder! Sorry about your favorite mug, I love Cath Kidston, I don't have any, hard to find over here in the US, but I understand that "object bond love" - I'd have cried. Blessings to you - Kathy

Kelly P said...

Your posts are always filled with a plethora of beautiful inspiring projects and inspiration. Your gorgeous afghan will surely become a much-loved treasure. The colors and pattern are both simple and happy -- perfect for a precious child to cuddle. Great choice. Thank you for sharing and have a blessed and happy weekend as you celebrate such an auspicious milestone in your granddaughter's life.

Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Friday! not only did the week go's March! already! Like how did that happen?!
Spontaneous Basil! Have to love that!
I glued cup and saucers together then glued them to a plastic for drinks stir stick...the kind with a flat bottom for squishing the lemon... put them between the geraniums! Looked great until the rain!...check to see if the glue is water soluble or not!
looking forward to getting them out again this year!

Dots said...

Don't you just love the sweet pea colors? I like the finish you chose to do on it. Such a good gift. I love the Trellis pattern. I am planning to make a baby blanket with it for a new baby coming soon. It just crochets up fast, looks nice.
Broke your favorite cup, eh? Well you made a nice use for it. Still get to enjoy it, yet, in a different way. You are so creative, Jenny. It's good to see you getting back to some of the things you love to do. With that settling down of the weather finally. I LOVE your birds in the feeder. We do not have those kind of birds like that in our feeders. So many differences from where you live and I live. It is always interesting to see or read what you have to say. Thanks for sharing.

Lesley Gilbert said...

Sorry to read about your broken mug. I've just trawled through almost 800 CK mug listings on UK Ebay to try and find a replacement. 2 listings had a mug with the same colour/style rim around the top but the flowers were slightly different. The handle (from what I could see of yours) looked the same. I've saved your photo (to remind me) so whenever I'm out and about visiting charity shops I'll look out for a duplicate haha. Good to see your garden is getting back to normal after all the flooding you had recently :)

Kelley said...

You have such a sweet blog and it is such a blessings! Hope your weekend is filled with lots of love, laughter and joy! ��

Brenda said...

Hello Sweet Jenny! Always a lovely treat to find you in my in box. You always have such beautiful pictures, however today, you out did yourself! How blessed you and your hubby are to have those feathered friends! Praying you continue to heal and have no lasting effects from the mold. That stuff is the devil to get rid of sometimes. Praying you and your family have a fantastic March!

Kay said...

So sorry about your mug, it really hurts when we loose something special. There aren't any exact matches on the UK Ebay, I would imagine the only way to get it would be second hand if you have had it for a few years.
The blanket is just lovely. It will be a very special present for your beautiful grand daughter. x

Carla - Alaska Wolf Pack said...

I am, as always, inspired after reading your blog!

Jenny said...

I love sweet surprises in the garden, I especially love miniature gardens & try to keep a few going. What a sweet way to use the broken cup.

Sherry said...

Lovely Jenny Dear...everything you have shared...Stitchery, broken mug, fabric, Rafaella’s 1 yo birthday blanket, and your special birthday gifts. Your post shows your relief of the floods and home devastation. Mr. E and you have worked so diligently and I hope you will take time to rest and recreate. Marvelous March Dear...

Judy1522 said...

The blanke for Rafaella is so pretty. I am so sorry your favorite mug was broken and I think you found a great way to still enjoy it.

Ondrea said...

I love what you have done with the mug. It is nice to have little unexpected things around the garden. The Phyllis May stitcheries are looking so beautiful. Yey! You finished the rug and it looks lovely with that edging. I am working on multiple borders and have nearly completed it. Rafaella will look gorgeous wrapped up in it. You have achieved a lot despute nature's disruption.

JudiW said...

For your broken mug there is a Japanese art form called golden joinery where they make the repair with a touch of gold dust, the result is beautiful. Here a link to a website that explains more about this solution to repair a favorite item. Hope you find this articule helpful

JudiW said...

PS: I love these blog posts it's like having tea and catching up with a beloved friend. Thank You for sharing a part of your life with all of us.

Nanna Chel said...

Jenny, I saw in the news that you had had some rain and was hoping it wasn't too much. I remember after the 2011 floods everyone was nervous for quite a long time when it began to rain. Your garden is looking good and the little birthday blanket is absolutely gorgeous. That year has gone quickly I must say.

Julie said...

Everything is looking so green & lush over there Jenny, whereas I guess, in a normal summer it would all be brown & crisp by now? I can't wait for Phyllis Mays kitchen ... I am so excited about it. I also cant believe that sweet wee girl is turning One!! Where did that year disappear to I wonder??!! Happy Weekend to you my friend Xx

Winifred said...

What a shame about your mug Jenny. Like Lesley I'll keep an eye out in charity shops. Do you have a full photo of it? We could have a treasure hunt.

It must be lovely watching those birds every morning. We have two young cats now so the little birds are giving us a wide berth thankfully but I miss them. I get piles of dead leaves dragged into the house from one of them but it's better than birds & mice.

Your garden looks like it's recovering well which is great. I love your blanket & it's neat border. Rafaella will love it. As you say it's hard to believe it's a year since she arrived. Enjoy your time together.

barcord said...

I feel for you losing your friends gift that way Jenny. Happened to me too. No cup ever filled the space. I love your garden ideas. Our garden is just wakening after winter. We have a few daffodils and snowdrops. It will be a couple of months before we have much colour unless I get some from the garden centre to add to the pots. Your stitcheries are looking wonderful. Cant wait to see the whole thing. My eyes get tired though with tiny stitches, so I am inclined to enjoy the machine piecing more. Happy birthday to Rafaella. Enjoy all the celebrations. I love her blanket. Beautiful.

Robin in New Jersey said...

That blanket is so pretty! Happy birthday to Rafaella!

I too am trying to use what I have on hand for as many projects as I can,
including in my kitchen cooking.☺

Glad to see your garden is recovering from all the rain.

Lin said...

Lovely to see your birds feeding happily together and what a beautiful flower. Such a shame about your mug - what is it about mugs! I love my collection all of which are for different drinks or times of the day and I would be so upset to loose any of them. I am glad that you have been able to repurpose yours, it looks so sweet in the garden. Well done on completing the blanket, it looks gorgeous. I hope Rafaella has a lovely birthday - Philip shares the same birthday but as we just arrived back from Spain this afternoon we shall be too busy/tired to do much celebrating. Will try to make it special though. xx

Hartslove said...

Thanks for sharing the beauty: the birds, garden, stitched works, and the sweet gifts from friends. I appreciate the time and thought that goes into selecting, assembling and posting the photos and adding your narrative.

I rested at home most of Saturday until my son's basketball game in the evening. On Sunday afternoon I set up my paints and painted a cheery bouquet while listening to worship songs.

The weekend was satisfying. I am due back at work in the morning. Not quite ready, but I do enjoy it once I get there.

Peace to you. --Alexine--

KingsailK said...

Thanks Jenny LOVELY to catch up as always beautiful photos!Many Blessings.Mary-Lou. Love the blanket!!😄😄

Susan said...

How sad about your cup...but it can't come to any further harm out in the garden. The timing of this post is perfect for me - we have just had a quick trip to Townsville and DH admired one of the plants at the Townsville hospital (no dramas - visiting our first gandchild born 1/3/19...LOL) and now I know what it is!! thank you!!
Lovely projects are are working on/ the blanket too.