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.