Friday, February 26, 2021

An unexpected silence and what's coming next week...

 What a year this has been so far. It seems every week I have another health challenge to get through and climb over. This week it's losing my voice and the early stages of a head cold. 

My husband is not much of a talker, more of a thinker really, but in his job he is talking to people all day long so when he finally gets home it's peace and quiet he needs so for most of the week we keep conversation to a minimum - and that's fine because we've never been the chattiest couple anyhow. After almost three decades we could easily finish each other's sentences yet we tend to not waste conversation but mostly just talk about things which really matter. 

When I lost my voice this week, even that little bit of conversation drew to a halt. My husband came home to silence. Admittedly I tried to speak but he just put his hand up and said, "Don't talk, rest your throat and get well." So I sat quietly listening to the occasional thoughts he shared and wishing I could respond. The idea to text him crossed my mind once but that just seemed a little bizarre so I decided he's right and we can both be patient as I heal. But of course, when you can't talk you suddenly have LOTS of thoughts bouncing around your mind! I've written many notes to myself over the past couple of days in hope I won't forget anything - because if you're anything like me, talking about new ideas helps me process them in such a way that I'm able to pursue some further and discard others. Blossom tells me she's exactly the same. 

So what to do when you're under the weather, unable to visit your daughter or best friend, and basically living in home quarantine? Sew of course.

I was going to put together the next Homemakers Heart magazine this week but it shall be delayed until sometime next week now as I found writing and typing and thinking wasn't coming as easily as usual with this razor throat, an emerging head cold and insect bites from head to toe (I react very badly to them). Ah, the joys of life in the hot, humid and wet tropical summer. Insects and all. 

So, to the sewing, the fun bit.

 I have been making a few new projects for the Homemakers Heart and one of them is a cushion featuring the Court House Lawn block with a narrow border all round. My plan has been to make one new cushion each month to replace the old ones in our living room and I wanted them to be free of embroidery, just featuring nice fabrics and patchwork blocks, and each one is to be hand quilted. Last month I made a lovely snowball cushion, but this month's cushion is even nicer, and brighter too.

It's for hubby's recliner so I added brown (very rare that you see brown in things I make) because he likes it, but the courthouse lawn block really needed a bright centre to make the whole thing pop so he got some very dark salmon pink in the mix. 

I hand quilted with my favourite Perle #12 threads because as well as gliding through the fabric and cotton wadding, they add texture, that "homemade with love" kind of texture and finish that I prefer.

I love running my hands over hand quilted items...

The cushion is finished now and Mr E came home last night to find it waiting on his chair. I was more excited than him, but he was grateful. I mean, he's a man who would happily accept a solid brown cushion, you know - but he did appreciate that it was made for him. 

The pattern will be inside the next free issue of the Homemakers Heart, along with the Hearts At Home table runner...

...and a sweet duo of lavender themed stitcheries. One of them I finished as a hanging lavender sachet and the other is my new pincushion. 

I had a lot of fun making the Lavender House sachet...

There will also be the pincushion pattern and "Tuesday" in my tea towel series. Quite a lot for a free publication now I think of it, but it really gives me pleasure to bless you this way. 

On to other things...

Do you remember that after being hospitalised last year in January for my heart that I went ovo-vegan for six months? When I look back that was the healthiest I have been in decades. When we decided to introduce a little meat and dairy back in to our diet last August both hubby and I started going backwards. Thing is we only just realised it this year as both of us have been dealing with a string of unrelated health problems through January and February. 

So, ovo-vegan it is again. Probably forever this time. I genuinely enjoyed it last year and found it not difficult to plan or prepare for so I am left scratching my head a bit right now as to WHY did we stop? Regardless, we're back to it now and both heaving a sigh of relief. 

Groceries were delivered today and I was able to plan out ideas for the next week...

Something I always do now is store all my vegetables inside individual glass containers in the fridge. During our very long hot, humid and wet spring/summer/autumn season food spoils quickly, even in the fridges, but since I began storing fresh veg and fruits in these sealed glass containers they will stay fresh for weeks. It's amazing! 

I bought all the containers with light blue lids from K-Mart for just a few dollars each, and the black lidded containers were free through a promotion that Woolworths ran late last year. I have plenty more in the fridge and cupboard but these are the ones I filled today with ginger, cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, zucchini, asparagus, capsicum, lettuce, coriander and spinach.

We have two large fridges because as you can imagine we need the cold for lots of drinks, water and fresh produce as well as other things here in the tropics. Finding a way to keep our produce fresh for longer has been a gamechanger for our budget and the way we shop. 

I found Xanthe's recipe for dairy free Tzatziki again and made some of that up today, which was then served over last nights delicious brown rice and Tarka dhal for lunch. The warm soft meal was lovely eaten slowly, and even eased my throat.

I sent out Block Two of "Simple Days" to all my BOM members the other day, but if you're not a BOM member and still want to stitch the "Simple Days" blocks you'll find blocks 1 and 2 over HERE in my Etsy Shop.

A new block comes out every month on the 25th until September. Here's photos of block 2...

The patterns are very detailed and include graphs for cutting and placement as well. 

Well, that's it from me today. I can feel myself getting very tired as I barely slept last night and I still have dinner to prepare for hubby and then folding all the washing which is drying in various parts of the house (more rain), as well as ironing his work clothes for tomorrow.

I had planned to make another handmade tag this week as well - the theme being bullion stitch, pistol stitch and french knots, but as yet I've not practiced the bullion stitch so that may well be my sewing plan after dinner if I can stay awake. 

I pray for all of you, that no matter what life is throwing across your path that you look up to God and not down at the problem. It's so easy to focus on the problem, but He is the problem solver and it is to Him we must offer our dilemma and then sit quietly to listen for that still small voice which will strengthen, console, lead and teach us in the things we need to know.

Bless you so very much!


PS: If you're not a regular reader of my blog and don't want to miss out on the next free issue of the Homemakers Heart magazine, pop over HERE and sign up for my newsletter. It's easy. 

PSS: Issue one is still free to download HERE.


  1. Oh Jenny, I hope that your throat eases soon, being ill in any way is never pleasant. Staying home isn't that much fun but I can sympathise as we are still on lockdown in England and I haven't seen friends or my daughters for months, thank goodness for being able to ring and do zooms. Making cushion covers is one of my favourite sewing projects, something that gives a quick result and looks good too. x

  2. I do hope you will be feeling better soon. Sending a hug to you.

  3. Hi Jenny,
    A cup of tea and a moment for an enjoyable blog read of Jenny of Elefantz :)
    It's like telling someone don't bend over and pick things up after an eye operation..automatic reflexes are, yes, instant :)
    Good thing for pen and a Thoughts and Ideas book :)
    It's almost March ! Wow ! Such joyous things for Spring in the next Homemakers Heart! Thanks for sharing !
    Sending you cool refreshing thoughts your way,
    hugs, take care,

  4. Love the produce container idea - all washed and ready to use too. Praying your voice comes back quickly and all your thoughts can be heard again :) - I know the feeling. Lovely seat cushion and beautiful embroidery blocks. Wishing you a blessed day, Jenny!

  5. I do hope you're feeling better now.

    I know your blog is more a sewing blog than cooking but would you share how you prepare & store your fresh produce? Or do you just place it in the glass containers once you get them home? I've found that different things need to be treated differently but I'd love to learn more about your methods.

  6. Sending prayers for a quick recovery my dear. I, too, have found glass containers to be a wonderful rescue for keeping fruits and vegetables fresh longer.

  7. My husband and I started eating a more plant-based diet last month, and I noticed a difference right away! I have more energy, and I am gradually shedding pounds. We do allow ourselves eggs and some dairy in moderation, but our meals are much more creative, and delicious as well. Feel better soon!

  8. Praying for a quick healing for you! Being ill is never fun but it seems that in the summer it is just worse. If I could eat just carbs, I would be happy! I don't eat much meat, but I don't eat many vegetables either. When I was growing up, most vegetables my mom served were out of a can and I didn't like them. I have expanded the number of vegetables I'll eat just a little bit, but I really never learned how to prepare fresh vegetables, so I am at a loss. I'd love to know how you prepare all your vegetables...where did your recipe page to? I thought you had one, or maybe that is just wishful thinking on my part!!

  9. I am so sorry you are feeling poorly, a sore throat is so annoying and if you are like me it just makes me wilt! I also endured one last week for about 4 days, then it was gone and nothing else occurred. I am a tea drinker and when my throat is sore I drink it as hot as I can tolerate. Best wishes, remember to rest, it is important.
    All your designs are darling. You are so talented.

  10. Jenny, I'm so sorry to hear that you are unwell. I hope you start feeling better soon. Be safe and best wishes. Dee

  11. Prayers for you and your health .

  12. Praying you are better soon, Jenny. It's amazing what a sore throat can do.
    I'm glad to hear you are going back to your other diet as I remember you both did really well.
    Blessings, Donna

  13. I started storing all my things in glass containers about a year ago and I love it because you can see what's in them and when you need to make lunches etc you just bring the containers out. Even going one step further if you get the chance to watch Downshiftology meal prep on youtube...she basically cuts things up has everything in the containers like about 10-12 things including dips and dressings and then makes meals from that...she has a summer, autumn, winter and spring video..very inspiring and her meals and recipes are all wholefoods too.

    1. I've actually shared links to Lisa at Downshiftology here on the blog before. She's the one who inspired me to use glass and also do meal prep most weeks. :-)

  14. Well, despite all your ongoing health challenges you certainly achieve a lot girl! Fresh healthy food, much from your own garden, is certainly the way to go. So many beautiful projects. You have so many things to create and share. Lol, my hubby always wants to chat and I just want to concentrate on what I am doing.

  15. I'm sorry to read you were silenced by a sore throat, but happy that it's getting better. The work you have done while you were silenced is beautiful. I always like reading what you are doing with food, too. I wouldn't at all mind having a box of beautiful fresh veggies delivered to my door, if that's what it contained!

  16. Sorry to hear you've been under the weather. Also, I find it interesting that you speak to your husband about new ideas. Wow. That's definitely conversation you would never hear at my house. Hubs doesn't have an interest in, and rarely comments on the things I make. I can imagine how nice it would be to have someone to share with. As for your return to an effective eating plan, that's great! Yes, I save our vegetables in containers similar to yours, however mine are 100 percent plastic. We have only one fridge, and sometimes we have to get creative with how things are stored, even to putting our beverages in a cooler with ice in it! We have a smaller lifestyle in retirement, so we have to be mindful of our purchases. Hope you are feeling better soon!

  17. Such pretty projects you have been working on Jenny - I do hope that you are feeling better. xx


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