Friday, July 2, 2021

Posies block for July and a front entrance challenge...


It was a busy day yesterday so I wasn't able to share this month's free Posies pattern until this morning. You can read about that further on, but for now, let's look at the July block. I found the sweetest little bird on one of my old Tilda fabrics and used it to fussy cut the pot...

The rim of the flower pot is a separate scalloped shape which is also appliqued, and the flowers this time are one of my favourites, tulips.


POSIES was free until January 1st 2022.

The complete 2021 POSIES quilt pattern is now available from my ETSY Shop.

Now to the reason I was unable to share the Posies block on the 1st of the month as is usual, and you know it's a rare occurrence that I am ever late, but yesterday being the 1st of July, I needed to follow through on my mid-year deep cleaning plans - beginning with the front entrance.

I really enjoy cleaning, cooking, gardening and tidying each day, but there are some areas over time which apart from a vacuum and mop, get a bit neglected. I've been walking around the house lately making note of those areas with an intent to begin the second half of this year giving each one a thorough scrub and refresh. 

Yesterday I began with our front entrance. It's affectionately called the 'plant nursery' because almost any plant will thrive there due to the good filtered light and fairly predictable temperature (being not in the path of our air conditioning). It's a pretty little alcove which leads to the front door and I walk past it from the bedroom to the living room many times each day, but as I said, apart from the floors and watering the plants, not much else has been done for a while. 

The "before" photo below makes the area look deceptively clean but when I began removing everything bit by bit a lot of dust, dirt and bugs were revealed.

First of all I noticed how much dust had settled on the plants... I removed them outside and gave them all a good wash with the hose and left them to drain while I got on with my cleaning. Fortunately it was an overcast day so being indoor plants they weren't being parched by the sun.

I'm going to show you the shocking state of things because some of you might be like me and have become 'blind' to areas in your home that on the whole 'look okay' until you get right down and move things away.

The door...ugh.

Beside the doorway...another ugh. 

Behind the door and larger plants...yes, more ugh.

Time to start on a good scrub and refresh!

I use a hand brush to sweep away all the obvious dust build up before anything else, as I find this makes washing areas with a wet cloth later much easier and less messy.

Once I brushed the dust off the door, around the skirting boards and window, the wall shelf, and the book case which we use to hold the plants, I vacuumed everything up. 

Only then did I get the wet cloths and begin to scrub the surfaces. I even made up a paste of lemon juice and bi-carb soda (found this idea online as I have no brass cleaner) to clean the brass door fixtures which are very old and damaged, but they did come up much brighter which surprised me.

I polished the book/plant case, mopped the floor and brought the plants back inside, before deciding what to keep in the front entrance and what to change. 

A couple of hours later and the area looks, feels and smells wonderful! 

How's your front entrance looking right now? Want to join me in this first challenge and refresh that space in your home this week?

I'll do one neglected area each week this month and if you'd like, I'll share them here to encourage you?


Our lockdown ends at 6pm tonight (Friday) and we're so relieved! There's been no community transmission of the Delta variant case brought in by a traveller, and apart from mandatory masks for two weeks, and the usual distancing etc, life can return to a semblance of normality. Hubby goes back to work next week and though it won't be easy selling cars when you have to keep a distance of 4 square metres between you and the customer, I'm sure he will manage. 

The lockdown did not affect Blossom or myself (or my good friend Rosie) as we're all homebodies anyhow. We have food enough in our pantries and no reason or need to go out. 

I did miss out on having Cully May and Rafaella for a day this week but we did a video chat and that was fun. They'll come visit here again next week. 

I find that the more your heart is given over to homemaking, and creating a beautiful and nurturing sanctuary for all who dwell within your home, the less you are concerned about the times of lockdown, for you have enough to do right where you are. 

I've begun a remake of an old stitchery design (here) omitting the applique and using different colours this time as I'll be framing this one for the kitchen. It's so relaxing to stitch in the evening after a very big day around home, for along with the front entrance there were all the usual household tasks to complete, plus some baking.

Cranberry and Lemon biscuits (cookies) and a delicious loaf of bread made using the Bloomer recipe in one of Paul Hollywood's books.

I still haven't made those jam tarts, but I might just leave that until the weekend. Silly I know, but the idea of making an inedible shortcrust pastry really holds me back...quite unlike me! Perhaps I'll see if there's a good recipe for it in one of my Nigella Lawson books. 

I hope you are doing well. Are you able to get out and about more now in your area of the world? Have you caught up with family at last? 

God bless you and keep you, make His face shine upon you, and bring you PEACE.



Beth said...

Thank you for the reminder about dust on plants. I keep forgetting to take mine out and rinse them off.
It's always a blessings to read your posts. I'm glad your lockdown was a short one.

~Melody from said...

The tulip block with that fussy cut bird on the pot is so cute, but I'm loving the herbs you embroidered. ❤ I bet it smells wonderful walking into your home! Freshly scrubbed and with all those glorious plants. Now, that recipe book you mentioned has me intrigued and I'm off to go search for it online. Thank you for sharing.

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Posies block 7 ! Tulips ! A sunny way to start off July ! We're in to the second half of 2021 !
Thanks for " keeping it real " with cleaning the front entrance. Amazing how dust collects in those spaces.
Your coat rack used to display things is acreative use of space :) Such a difference a climate makes in how we use/decorate a front entrance.
Things are opening up faster here. I'm just waiting for my second vaccination before heading out to the ever busier world. I have felt quite " at home" at home the last almost year and a half.
Thanks you for being such a great blogger and designer and caring creative person ! You really filled the days beautifully :)
Hugs, take care,

KingsailK said...

So true Jennifer ,what a good idea and gives you a sense of having done something nice,!Mary-Lou

Annabel said...

Your house looks sparkling. My entrance way has a glassed in area which is lovely for plants but it needs a good clean. I am planning that in the next week or so. I know when Spring comes I will be doing a big Spring clean too. We have a fire and when it finally goes out then I do a big dusting and wet wiping things down as there is ash from the fire. I love the verses about being busy at home and not being idle. Im pretty sure you are never idle as if you are not cooking, gardening, cleaning you are sewing. I truly believe to be content and happy we need to be busy with out hands and productive if we can possibly be. There is so much joy in making things lovely. xxx

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your front entrance looks wonderful but I won't be cleaning mine today. I'm spiffing up our dining room, the primer painting starts today! I last did this 25 years ago so it's time!

Karen said...

So glad you were happily cleaning. It did concern me that you hadn't posted ( I am well past the invincible age). I am always on alert that someone in my life has health issues. Relieved it wasn't that. Not my front entrance, but two hours of vaccuuming.. With deep cleaning edges, corners and taking apart couches and chairs. I have a content smile now. Sore, tired... But content.

morpegred said...

This is such a cute little block! Tulips are also my favorite flower. I had to do a pretty good cleaning of my entire apartment recently, but I have that weekly chore of cleaning out the refrigerator and I think I will cook up a batch of yogurt. I have a 4 day weekend and a quilt cut out and ready to start sewing on, the sun is shining in from my balcony, it will be a beautiful weekend. Thank you so much for these cute little blocks!

Farm Quilter said...

I just got back to my dad's house after spending a month traveling to see two of my daughters and four of my grands! Almost 4,000 miles on my truck, but after 4 years of going nowhere, it was wonderful to get out and see other parts of the country again! I hope you are staying well, no migraines or other health over-doing on your deep-cleaning adventures either!! One a week sounds like a great plan! Your baking looks so yummy...I miss doing that, but just for me is rather a waste.

Angie in SoCal said...

Another helpful post, Jennifer. Thank you. Off to check out my entrance.

Becki said...

I look forward to seeing your deep cleaning neglected spaces posts! I may join you in cleaning my front entryway. Thanks for the inspiration.

Patti said...

I enjoy your reading your posts and thank you for the pattern. So cute!

Kim said...

Again, thank you for your generosity with your beautiful patterns. Your cleaning of your entry area is inspiration as I've needed to do that to mine. In northern Michigan, USA, we call our entries "mudrooms" because for so much of the year they house our snowy, muddy boots or, in my case now, our sandy workboots and sneakers. So it's a big job to keep up with the mess and I don't do so well at it. I think after I finish my yardening tomorrow, that will be my next project.

Hardin County Keepsakes said...

I so enjoy your posts. I was widowed in 2016 and spend way to much time on the computer. This year my flowers have kept me busy as we have had little rain. Your cleaning is how I do mine when the need arises. One area till done. Sometimes not all on the same day.Thanks for sharing your day.Judith

Emily Michael said...

Jennifer, thank you for another adorable block for our quilt! With three very little ones I often get frustrated that I don't keep up with more of the deep cleaning tasks but this made me feel much better knowing I'm not the only one with dust hiding behind and under things! I love the achievable idea of one space at a time. I think I just might take you up on the offer of cleaning along with you. I'll try to get my older two involved! Of course it will take longer but if I've got all week, it won't matter! Now, I cheat for pastry! It's not technically shortcrust but I just do what my Mum and Grandma always did for all pies, tarts etc. Rub one tbsp of butter for every one cup of flour. Slowly add enough cold/ice water to mix. Knead for a second until combined then roll out. It's so quick and easy and because we don't generally eat a lot of sweet things, I don't ever feel like I need a sweet pastry as the filling is always sweet enough. Hope you are keeping well. Bless you, Em x

Allie said...

That posy block is so darling, thank you! And thanks for keeping it real - I think I'll go look at my front entrance, lol. I just yesterday got done spraying for bugs, inside, we've been inundated with earwigs lately and I hates them!!!!! Your little kitchen herb stitcheries are absolutely darling, giving me the urge to stitch again - maybe this winter? I may go back to doing my bible blocks as well come winter. We've had no further lockdowns and the mask mandates have lifted, but folks are definitely still using them. I've been using Zicam in my nose before going to the stores, it helps a lot, it's just a nasal swab that's supposed to shorten the duration of colds and protect you - my aunt uses it before every flight and has been for years. She's never gotten sick on a trip, so it must work, lol. We're having a combo party here tomorrow at my house - John's birthday, Lauren's birthday, Father's Day, and the 4th of July. Should be fun....but rather exhausting, lol!!!!!!!!! Love you girl!

Lin said...

Haha - beat you to it! Moved everything out of my porch and gave it a coat of paint about a month ago. Lovely to have it clean and bright again. I have just done the same with my pantry - amazing how good it makes you feel. Glad your lockdown is over. xx

Winifred said...

Love that posy block Jennifer.
Your entance looks lovely. We don't have a separate entrance just part of the hall & no plants as it's a bit gloomy so it gets hoovered and luckily no bugs about. Think the cats might get rid of them!

Our Covid restrictions are being totally lifted soon despite the fact the virus is on the increase. Total madness! Apparently we have to learn to live with the virus. No consideration for those who still have to shield.

Karen L. said...

I love your front door! Are the birds shown in the photo a type of Kingfisher? They look similar to the ones we have on the east coast of the US but different coloration. I love to see and hear them when they dive into the water for small fish. I come from a birding family so I always notice birds on blogs or anywhere really.
Have just downloaded the #7 BOM block. I have four completed and one more almost done. I assured myself that I would keep up but have obviously fallen behind. No problem as this needs to go on the top of my "to do" list. Thanks again for putting these patterns out and for free! It is helping me to practice embroidery stitches. Best to you and your family in these crazy times.