Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Knitting, homemaking, a dress and a giveaway...

Do you remember last year when I knitted cardigans for Cully May and Rafaella?

Well, this year I knitted one for Charlie David. It's a cross over style that I knitted for all my own babies because they're the perfect snuggly cardie for crawling babies, and as Charlie is now 4.5 months old, it's fairly certain he'll be making his way around the tiled floors at Blossom's by July (our mid-winter). 

I'd been working on it for about a month on and off between other things, but yesterday with only the long neckband, sewing together and buttons to attach I sat down with Hercule Poirot and worked until all was done. 

Don't you feel a great sense of satisfaction when you complete a project?! I certainly did. In fact this was my second completion of the day. 

The first one was to sew curtains for the girl's cubby house, something Cully May has very patiently been waiting for since last year. I had wanted to do this sooner but just never found the right fabric. I'd considered using sheer netting but that seemed too grown up, and quilting cotton wouldn't allow enough light into the cubby (it has four windows), but earlier this month I found the prettiest cream and pink polka dot muslin and knew it would be perfect! 

Blossom and the children came over this morning and the girls were very excited (an understatement) with their curtains, and spent ages playing in their little house that Poppy built. 

We shared a morning tea of scones and pineapple fruit cake, with vanilla tea for mummy and nana, and chocolate oat milk for the girls. 

Afterwards Charlie wore his new cardigan and played next to the girls while they coloured in and pasted stickers.

The cardie is a size 6-12 months so it will see him through the rest of autumn, winter and into spring. I tried to get a photo of him laughing with Blossom but Charlie David is not a boy who sits still! Every photo was blurry except but this one, and I love it anyhow because you can clearly see the love his mummy has for him.

Around home these past days I've done a bit of bread baking, made a delicious French soup (Soupe au Pistou with this recipe), scrubbed some of the overlooked places - like the kitchen sink, louvre windows in the toilet, and the inside of the microwave - and hung washing all through the house as it rained for a week and we don't have a dryer...

I also gave my new cleaning glove a maiden workout and can tell you truthfully that I love it! We were getting pool salt at Bunnings a week ago and I saw this hanging on the end of an aisle. I'm really not that impulsive with purchases at Australia's largest hardware and garden store, but as soon as I saw this I imagined how easy it would be to dust around those hidden areas...and it really is. 

I actually cringed at how much dust I collected from behind the television and along the power cords. It's a Sabco Green Microfingers Dusting Glove and was $7.50, worth every penny.  If you're in Australia HERE is the link to find it at Bunnings just in case you need to easily clean behind things too.

I love deep cleaning days, normally every Friday, and play music from Youtube as I work. Lately hubby and I are enjoying a number of American composer Tim Janis's uploads, plus THIS relaxed Hygge compilation.

My desk got a makeover as well last Friday; in fact there were a lot of changes made here and there around the house. They would seem small to a guest, but to me they are big because I'm gradually moving out of one style and settling in one that's more me in this stage of life. 

One thing that will never change, though, is my love of flowers. I had roses on the table a few weeks back and they lasted longer than I'd hoped, but just before they began to drop I cut away the blooms and popped them in a bowl to enjoy longer.

Cully May held them carefully today, marvelling at how they were drying out yet still holding their shape. She's a flower lover too. 

Last week I replaced the roses with huge white chrysanthemums but they did not do well for long - possibly the sudden onset of constant rain as the house was damp and sticky because it's still warm and humid, though the nights are finally cooling. 
So I added them to compost heap and bought myself a bunch of old faithful carnations, which never let me down. They actually look lovely against our new tablecloth.

I'm continuing to read every day, and what a joy this is! After finishing The Secret Garden I began another Agatha Christie novel (Dumb Witness), plus a wonderful non-fiction book by neuroscientist Lisa Genova (she wrote the fictional novel Still Alice) called "Remember". 
I'm also reading a visually beautiful book on the life and art of Impressionist Berthe Morisot, and have almost finished the first of the Madame Chic series by Jennifer L Scott. 
I make mid-morning reading time special by using a favourite tea cup, brewing my favourite tea, slicing pieces of the latest cake I've baked, and settling in for half an hour of total relaxation. Ladies, I highly recommend this; after reducing my Elefantz workload and leaving Facebook, there's more time to keep house, learn new things, read, knit and explore different recipes. 
Making one special time each day to simply sit and read and enjoy a delicious treat has lifted my spirit enormously, especially if the day before was busy...and I'm discovering through Lisa Genova's book "Remember" that learning new things is the best way to create more neuropathways in your (aging) brain and thus help you remember. 

Blossom made this simply breath-taking dress for Rafaella the other day. You may not know, but children's clothing pattern designers have been enlisting our talented Blossom to pattern test their designs before they are sold to the public. She's been making the most exquisite items but I do think this may be my new favourite. Look at all those ruffled layers!

Rafaella wore it here today and I couldn't stop cuddling her.

Now, as you know, Blossom started her handmade children's clothing business early last year and soon after discovered she was pregnant with Charlie David. This brought everything to a halt and it's only lately that she's been able to carve out some 'me' time to sew again at night. Mostly testing for designers, but gradually making more items for her new Shop.

Well, she's wanting to get serious about this now and needs your help. If you pop over to her Instagram page (HERE) she's having a gorgeous GIVEAWAY of the sweetest little red and white Seaside Set.

The winner can choose the size they want between 0-3 months, right up to 18-24 months!
I have seen these darling sets and her sewing is exquisite, you won't be disappointed. Don't you love that pop of red gingham bias inside the sleeve?

All you need do is go to her Instagram page HERE, follow her and tag three friends. As a young mum, and just really starting out, I'd love for you to help Bloss by bringing her IG page to the attention of friends or family who may love to win one of these delightful Seaside Sets. 
(((thank you)))
Oh, and if you'd like to visit her new Lucy & May Shop, it's HERE and she posts worldwide. 

I think you must be tired of reading now. Sorry for such a long post, but perhaps it slowed you down long enough to take a breather from your day? I do hope so. 

Tell me, what are you reading at the moment? I'd love to know. Do you read one book at a time or a few? Do you read a mix of fiction and non-fiction or just one type? Post in the comments because we can all get some new suggestions that way. 

Bless your dear hearts, and thank you for dropping by here and being an encouragement to me for more than a decade...



Unknown said...

your grandies are adorable! I loved seeing these pictures. thank you !!!

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
What a nice Tuesday afternoon surprise ! Enjoying your blog post with a cup of coffee this afternoon :)
The King of the Netherlands is celebrating his birthday today. Lots of activities, Corona proof, on tv.
Then time for a few stitches on Simple days block 4 :)
Still Alice was a good read. Thanks for recommending Remember...and a new music selection.
That cool green fuzzy glove...I have that microfiber " fabric" on a retractable duster, about 1 meter. So handy for those hard to reach places.
Best wishes to Blossom and her sewing adventures :)
hugs, take care,

FlourishingPalms said...

I'm thoroughly impressed with the knitted snuggle you made for Charlie David. You're multi-talented, for sure. But it's those sweet dotted playhouse curtains that stole my heart. Goodness. They're as adorable as can be. No wonder the girls wanted to play in the house! Love that the girls will settle to coloring and stickers too. Believe me, that doesn't happen with four grandsons! I've read "Still Alice," and enjoyed it. My latest finish is "Klara and the Sun," but unless you're into artificial friends (AFs), and a sci-fi world, I wouldn't recommend it. A recent-finish recommendation though is the "Mason Series" by Elizabeth Berg. Three books, and they're right up your alley. Charming stories about the lives of a handful of people in Mason, Missouri (USA). One of the lead characters is Lucille, an elderly woman who teaches baking from her home. The first book is "The Story of Arthur Truluv." Your posts always make me feel sweetly sentimental, longing for such days that I've never had. (Though, you're a rarity as a person who enjoys cleaning house!) Keep hugging all those adorable girls (and one sweet boy) in your life.

Tammy said...

Love the dress Blossom made for Rafaella. It is gorgeous....I used t make my Daughters clothing when she was little And I loved ruffels. The more the merrier....Blossom does beautiful work. Love all your flower photos.

Mary Beth said...

Your grandkids and their play house are absolutely adorable!

terricheney said...

I've been reading the Elizabeth Goudge Triology of the Elliots. I read Pilgrim's Inn first, though it is second in the series, The Bird in the Tree second and now Heart of the Family. I also have With this Ring by Emilie Loring as a second book. I've put Lisa See's book, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane on the table to pick up, as well. I tend to have several going at once but focus hardest upon one of them. And yes, I do a mix of fiction and non-fiction usually but just not at present.

Lorrie said...

Such sweetness in this post. Taking time to read is, for me, essential. I just finished The Other Bennett Sister by Janice Hadlow that I enjoyed very much. I read several books at a time, too. What a lovely playhouse your husband made for your grandchildren. The curtains are the perfect finishing touch! Have a good day, Jennifer.

Debbie said...

I really liked this post with so many different interesting things. And, you're the BEST Grandma, Jennifer!!

Quiltingwiththefarmerswife said...

This is a relaxing post and I never tire of reading your blog. Your daughter is very talented and the grands are so cute. Rafaella makes an adorable model and the her dress is stylish. I like the detail of the collar. As for reading, I always have a book to enjoy. In January I read The Nightingale. It's about WWII and life in German occupied France. Loved this novel because it hit close to home. My dad was in the British army and captured at Dunkirk. My mom and family were in German occupied Belgium. This book is fictional but is so close to how my parents and grandparents described life during WWII. I cried often while reading this novel. After finishing it, I needed something lighter to read. Next was The Printed Word Bookshop. It's by a Christian author....very good. Also, have you read any of the Miss Read books? The authors name is Mrs. Dora Saint and she writes about life in a small English village. Most of her books were written in the 1950s but such sweet reads. Very relaxing with good morals and much humor. My current read is by Rich Curtin called Moonshadow Murder a Manny Rivera Mystery. All of this series has a murder and follows the same detective as he solves the crime. They take place current day in Moab County Utah. No bad language or graphic description of the murder. It's a good read. I don't listen to books I read at night in bed and average 1 to 2 books a week. It's one of my pleasures that is up there with sewing and gardening. Your posts make me feel as though we are sitting together having a chat. Thank you for the visit Jennifer. Patty McDonald

Becki said...

I agree with all the other commentors. And I will add that you inspire me to want to deep clean something. :) Those are sweet curtains in the cubby house and what a beautiful little girl's dress. And Charlie David's new sweater is cute and cozy looking. Another lovely, inpsiring post, Jennifer. :) Thank you for sharing your day in words and beautiful pictures.

Sharon Aurora said...

Oh, Jennifer, the playhouse is wonderful! You both did a fantastic job on it and the curtains brightened it up all the more. That is a dream for any child. Charlie is getting so big already. I will help out Blossom by entering the giveaway. Her outfits are adorable.

I just finished reading The Enchanted April for the first time and started rereading Pride and Prejudice.

Beth said...

Jennifer, I love the curtains for the cubby! It was worth waiting for the right fabric.
It's fun finding unexpected gadgets like your cleaning glove and realising their worth straight away.

Kim said...

I've enjoyed the first two Pilgrim's Inn books, too, but haven't gotten to Heart of the Family yet. So many books, so little time!

Kim said...

Such a cute dress on such a cute little girl! I enjoy reading more than one book at a time, too, probably too much. :) So, right now I'm working on The Lady's Confession by George Macdonald, Heaven Misplaced by Douglas Wilson, Grow Food Anywhere by The Little Vegetable Company, and starting on The Writer's Garden by Jackie Bennett.I also like audiobooks for when I'm driving or crafting and am finally finishing up Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens.

Lin said...

Very swish curtains and the cardi looks super snuggly. Lovely post Jennifer and lots to take in. xx

Lilly said...

One of the most beautiful books I have ever read is the true story written by Amy George about her life around the time of WWII and beyond. She is from Russia and the book is so uplifting as you see God’s hand on this child and her family as He draws them to Himself through unbelievable obstacles. It is out of print now, but readily available on line.

Donna Getgen said...

Hi Jennifer. I sure enjoyed this post. Your grands are orecious. Blossom does beautiful work. Your post is best thing I have read this week, aside from my morning devotional, I send best wishes to you.

Robin in New Jersey said...

Hi Jennifer, (After years of knowing you as Jenny of Elefantz, it feels strange to type Jennifer. 😊) I always look forward to your blog posts. You have such a calming spirit.

Blossom's dresses are lovely. She is very creative and does beautiful work.

I like to read a mix of fiction and nonfiction. I discovered last year during the pandemic/shutdown and being at home recovering from surgery, that I really enjoy memoirs. I also like cookbooks that tell stories about the authors life and where the recipes came from. I usually have a nonfiction book, a fiction one and a Bible study book all going at the same time. Right now I am doing the Courageous Joy Bible study, which I recommend to all. A very sweet memoir, Make Something Good Today, by Ben and Erin Napier, is a joyful read telling their story of how they met and came to have their own TV show. Heather Lende, an author from Alaska, writes about life in small town Haines. I can't read anything violent or with nasty language,it gives me anxiety. 😒 And of course, everyday, I read my Bible.❤

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I'm reading 3 books right now. One is a historical fiction (Liz's Mercantile) that is based on the authors family, another is about Paul Tibbits and the authors father (Duty) and the third is a Christian fiction book from a series (Another Homecoming). I keep a book by the exercise bike, one by the bed, and another one in my work bag, for when I take my client to the doctor, etc (I'm in the waiting room during those times). The last book gets read very slowly (he only has a couple of doctors appts every month).