Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A new Homemakers Heart free stitchery...

As I mentioned in my last post I have a special project for you this week, one which you might like to make for yourself (or someone else) if the idea of keeping a household binder appeals.

Now that I've moved away from social media, the blog is where all things Elefantz can be found (along with my Pinterest page if you're after ideas), so I'm going to have more time to focus on nourishing our homemaker hearts and sharing various ways to build up those wonderful places we each call our home, sweet home.

Over the weekend I had the idea to re-create something I did a number of years ago - a household binder. This is where I used to keep my menu plans, grocery lists, recipes to try and recipes which were repeated often, cleaning tips, miracle spray and other cleaning product recipes, birthday list, gift planner, patterns to make, emergency contact list, essential services details...and much more. 

So this sweet little stitchery which I'm giving you today can be your task for the next week. 

Once I'd completed it, I added a red spotty border along the top and finished it as a pocket which was later sewn onto a simple lined cover for a new arch lever folder.

I chose the same happy colours which now decorate my blog...it just seemed right.

The pocket will hold pens and small notes or reminders that can be easily accessed each day.

Inside, it's obvious who's binder this is. 
In fact, I'm sharing that same print out with you, having left a space where you can write your own name. 

I am working on some pretty pages for your binder that I'll share in coming weeks, little by little as time allows...things like recipe pages, cleaning tips, menu planner pages, 'new' walk-the-room sheets (these have been popular in the past but if you don't know what they are I'll tell you all about them next time), seasonal cleaning lists and other useful ideas to keep us on track in our homemaker responsibilities.

Use the links below to download the free gifts for this project.

Of course you may have other ideas for this stitchery and not want a household binder at all!
And that's jolly fine with me.
However you use it, may it bless you.


Our precious little Rafaella Lucy turned two last week and what a wonderful day it was. She's such a bright and cheery spark, so very inquisitive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Fearless indeed, she keeps Blossom and Ross on their toes all their waking hours.
She's also a child who can make you laugh and laugh, even when she's trying very hard to ignore you and go her own way. That impish little grin and those twinkling eyes tug at every heartstring.

She absolutely loves two things - dolls and books.
When Blossom, Cully May and Rafaella were here yesterday this was quite apparent. Dolly must have a pillow and blanket, but Rafaella must also sleep with dolly and it's not so easy to share a fat quarter blanket between the two of them.
 (hint to Nana "make some play blankets that are bigger")...

I have a shelf in my bookcase which houses a whole lot of wonderful books for me to read to the girls, but they also 'read' to themselves as they know the stories so well. 
Rafaella gathered a big pile on the couch while Cully played with her beading and made us giggle as she 'read' Peter Rabbit to herself...

Peter is such a funny rabbit!

We all had cups of tea, apple and raspberry cake, and some of Poppy's rock cakes too.
It's such fun to have them visit, their smiles linger in each room even after they've gone home.


Last week our task was to clean out the pantry and I showed you mine after it was all freshly scrubbed and re-organised. One of the reasons I gave it a thorough going over was to plan what I'd need to switch the plastic storage containers to glass.
You can see my plastic-heavy pantry from last week here.

This week I can show you a big change! It's not all complete yet but it's well on the way.
I was able to buy large glass jars with screw top lids at Kmart for $2 each, and sets of eight small glass jars to store spices for $6. I also made use of some extra large jars which had been packed away in Mr E's shed since we moved here and even more were scrubbed this morning for the next stage of this makeover...

I got the idea to label the jars with a paint pen from Downshiftology's Youtube video of her own pantry organisation. Now, my family and friends will tell you I am NOT a Youtube watcher but I stumbled across Lisa's channel when I was looking for some vegan recipes. She's not vegan but she makes a lot of great vegan meals, however what really got my attention was how well organised she is with storage and meal preparation so I have watched many of her videos now and it's really inspired me to spend Sunday afternoons in the kitchen preparing for the week ahead.

I found this paint pen at Officeworks and it's fabulous, very easy to write with and I do love having my jars easily labelled. 

At the moment I have the last of those glass jars from up in the shed drying in the kitchen after a good scrub. Blossom took a few home yesterday because she's also switching to as much glass as possible. 


Not sure what kind of washing powder or liquid you use, but I thought I'd show you what Blossom and I use.

We buy the Aware brand which is quite economical and environmentally friendly, and add two tablespoons of pure eucalyptus oil to each box of washing powder (which is emptied and stored in a tin)...

Just a good shake once the powder and the eucalyptus oil are in the tin and it won't just clean your clothes but it will help keep your washing machine hoses clean too. 
And it smells amazing.

I have heard in the past that Eucalyptus oil is very expensive in the USA, which is sad because it's readily available here in our supermarkets quite reasonably and lasts for ages. I also like to use it in our oil burner, especially during the hot wet season when the house is closed up.

Another little tip is how I use Colour Catchers.

As there's only my husband and I at home now we don't have a lot of washing so I save water and power by doing one small load each day, and the sheets and towels on Friday. This means our daily load is a mix of colours so colour catcher sheets are wonderful thrown into the machine and I've never had colours run or blend since I began using them about six years ago.

BUT, the pack tells you to use one whole sheet in your wash.

No....not at all.
You can divide one Color Catcher sheet into ten pieces and that small tear off square works exactly the same as one whole sheet. 

I've never had a problem and saved a ton of money doing it this way.
There are 15 sheets in a box, and instead of getting just 15 washes from that box I now get 150.
Huge saving.

Righto, I must away now because I have almonds soaking for the next batch of almond milk, potato rosti to make, a peach crumble to bake for desserts over the next few nights, and a coleslaw to prepare.
There's also those remaining jars to label and fill...and I can hear my husband's car pulling in to the driveway so the kettle needs to go on for a cuppa too.

What have you been doing around your home lately?

May the Lord of heaven and earth abundantly cheer your thoughts this week and bring laughter, hope and happiness to your home.


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Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Binders filled with ideas...those were the days before Internet became so easily accessible ! I do have a few binders filled with lovely embroidery patterns such as the Rewind Stitchery Club, quilt patterns and recipes.
Your binder idea filled with fun looks like a joy to try ! Thanks !
Ripping up Colour catchers! Who would have thought! Thanks for another great tip!
Great hand writing on those glass jars! Love the art work hanging in the pantry :)

Beth said...

We use the Colour catchers too. If they aren't too dark, we will use them in a second load after drying them out. I hadn't realised you could use the smaller sheet, though for a larger load (more people) maybe you would need a larger piece.
I have been an absolute bookworm since I was little. We even have photos of me "reading" to everyone before I was a year old!

Tammy said...

Good Morning Jenny. What a lovely post this morning. Pictures of those adorable Grandies of yours. You have got to definitely make some bigger blankets....I traced out 2 of your designs last night The Faith in hand clubs peace one and one of the new stitch alongs from the blog here....Hope to be able to start working on them or at least try to soon....And I hemmed a pair of pants for me... Love the binder printable and the new Homemakers heart design as well. Thank you so much . Thank you for always sharing your talents with all of us so freely. Love all the glass in the pantry. And the idea of the paint pens too...That looks so much neater than paper labels stuck on . Have a blessed day Dear.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I use the same Color Catcher sheet multiple times. It works great that way, as long as it hasn't accidentally gone thru the dryer.

Dots said...

Hi Jenny, The little girls are getting prettier as they get older. Two? Can you believe that? Yes. She needs a new bigger doll blanket to share. Always more to make, isn't there?
I like the glass jar idea. I prefer it, too. I like the labeling on those jars themselves, also. Looks fresh and clean. I like being able to see what is in my jars. I also like transferring the contents from bags and boxes to the jars. Simplifies things. I may look to do that this Spring.
Nice little embroidery you made. I have been practicing my embroidery, trying to do a little bit each day. I would like to improve my skill with it. I find it very relaxing and enjoyable. A lot to work with.
I never seen a virus travel around the world like this Corona virus is doing. First time in my life I ever saw this as this is happening. Wisdom is the principle thing. As I was reading the other day, I read,"fear not their fear", and I pretty much hold to that. It gave me unusual comfort. God is good. Be well.

Jenny said...

I have never had a pantry, just my kitchen cupboards. But with everything going on the world I decided I need to do a better job planning ahead to make sure my family is fed. I have a large deep pantry cabinet in my mud/laundry room that I keep garden stuff & cleaners, garden tools, ect. I completely emptied it out this week & am using half of it for my food storage. I'm almost finished sorting through all that was in it. Once I'm finished I'm sure I'll be tweaking it but it's so nice to have it all cleaned out.

Natureluvr57 said...

I embroidered some pockets similar to what you did a couple years ago. Then I sewed them on an apron I made. One pocket says "God Willing" and the other "and the creek don't rise". It's an old saying from the South in the US. For some reason I just get tickled when I hear someone say it, which isn't very often. I did a larger one with a cute vintage kitten looking at a bowl of spilled cherries....naughty kitty but so cute. I have it in the center of an apron. I love pockets. I'm always looking for something new to use my stitcheries on because I'm overflowing with mug mats.

Kathy said...

I found Downshiftology about 6 weeks ago and I upped my "chopping things up" and having them in the glass jars in the fridge ready to go. He is amazing, sounds like such a caring person too with lots of great information. Having an organized pantry is very inspiring and makes it so easy to cook and find things. Years ago I used to use the colour catches however I find these days the colours are pretty good and I never have any problems. I used to do a black/dark wash and then a light wash however now everything goes in together and I don't have any problems with colours. Cutting up your sheets to use a little portion makes so much sense because they are expensive. Kathy, Brisbane

Mandy Currie said...

Hello Jenny, I love the idea of your folder, I want to make a folder especially for all the different bills. Your pantry looks great with all your glass bottles, you've done it so well. We only have cupboards as we live in a rented flat, (read : very small). lol. But it would be nice to be a bit more organised. You have such a special relationship with Blossom, it's wonderful, your Grands are special too, such beautiful girls. Prayers and hugs coming your way. Regards Mandy xx

Farm Quilter said...

Your binder is a beautiful idea!! Love the appliques as well. With all the craziness over COVID-19, I have beefed up my store of canned foods, so I will only need fresh fruits, and in a pinch, I don't have to leave the house to shop for over a month. I know that if my dad got sick, it would kill him, so I'll choose to self-isolate. If I were at home, I usually keep 6-12 months worth of food, just because a trip to the grocery store is an all-day affair! Love seeing your beautiful granddaughters...I can't believe how fast they are growing up!! Enjoy!!

Susan said...

Ah, how sweet the girls are. Blossom is looking more and more like a little girl and less and less like a baby/toddler. How lovely to have them so close together. They are both beautiful and loving. I loved seeing your pantry. I must admit that the week passed me by with me still saying, "I have to get that cabinet straightened up!" But I didn't.

Thank you for the pretty stitchery, and the plans for the book. I suspect it will take more than a book of plans for me to get a good routine going, but one must start somewhere! Good to know about the color catchers. I had wondered. I dilute everything like Best Press and Flatter (to spray and make seams flatter, and it truly works!) and all kinds of cleaning agents, but I haven't thought to cut the color catchers. I only use them on fabric or quilts or new clothes, usually, but washing the way you do makes sense to use them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Jenny! And those babies of yours are too cute!!
Carol O

Caroline said...

Thank you for the gorgeous patterns. Your Grand Babies are so adorable

Jacqueline Knox said...

Thank you so very much Jenny for the sweet pattern. I will love stitching this. You are so kind and thoughtful. Your little Rafaella looks so cute with her doll and beautiful little quilt you made. You have been busy with your pantry and it does look so very neat and tidy. Congratulations. Sending my best wishes and love xx

Ondrea said...

Love the pics of your grand daughters. Rafaella has grown so much ! Looks like another quilt is on your project list now. That stitchery is lovely and it is a great idea to have a household binder. Your pantry looks so neat and tidy. I am not sure where to start with mine but it really needs to be cleaned out. I use Earth Choice laundry liquid since I have had a front loader but I used to use Aware powder prior to that. Great idea putting the eucalyptus oil in it.

the warmfireplace said...

What a wonderful blog post, I love the stitchery and will attempt to do it. Sue

Allie said...

Love that stitchery, thank you dear heart! Happy Birthday to Rafaella, what a precious girl she is - they both are!! Your pantry looks amazing...

MicheleVogel said...

My son, Nick is coming home from out of state for the week. I try to make extra special meals when he is home. Tonight is Chicken and Steak Fajitas with onions and peppers. I love the look of your pantry. Sadly, I don't have one in this house. We did in the last but it ended up being a junk catch-all. Your posts always inspire me. :) thank you for the patterns. They are beautiful!

Fee said...

My pantry needs a makeover big time ! Will try and get to it this week.

Liz said...

Thank you for your many hints.
Your little grandies are gorgeous.
Your pantry is amazing.:)

Jackie said...

I enjoy reading your posts. You write so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, life, patterns and family.

Sherry said...

Jenny I am so blessed to be able to read your blog posts and know there is a calmness to life if we just step back and rearrange our priorities. Thank you from my heart. <3

KatieQ said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and the pattern to set up a binder. I have bits of paper tucked all over with DIY recipes and ideas and household check lists. I love the idea of having them all in one place. Thanks for mentioning about the eucalyptus oil. It isn't readily available where we live in the states, but I will keep checking for it. I had no idea it could help keep pipes clean. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of your grandaughters. They are such a blessing.