Working six days a week, month after month, really began to take a toll on my sweet man, so he's arranged with his employer to take one day off every fortnight, allowing him opportunity to catch up on things which can't be seen to at the weekend, like doctors, blood tests, dentist, hobby interests, optometrist, hair cuts...all those things which are much easier done from Monday to Friday.
This past Thursday he went off in the early morning to run his errands and then came home to clean the pool and do a bit of pruning around the garden. We have a variety of different hibiscus trees in the front, side and back yards, but there's this stunning one right outside the front door which has the most exquisite pink flowers and I often go out to admire it in the afternoons when the scorching sun has moved to the back of the house.
When hubby was pruning on Thursday he came in with two small cuttings of that lovely hibiscus to display on my desk, and though I grow gorgeous roses and have them displayed in vases around the place, these two vibrant hibiscus blooms took my breath away...
I popped them in a white milk jug to admire as I sat quietly with pencil and paper to sketch a new design amidst a relentless migraine, aware they'd be wilting by Friday and therefore intent on enjoying them for as long as possible. (When a migraine strikes my creative ideas flow like a waterfall so I make myself sit and draw as long as possible)
Hibiscus are not a flower for cutting and keeping in vases; they thrive on the tree, though even there they have a short life - but they truly are one of the prettiest flowers in our garden.
Hubby made my day with his gift.
This is the beginnings of one design I sketched on Thursday...
...inspired by the colours of my remaining fat quarters of Tilda's Windy Days, which were sent to me a few months back by Tilda Australia to design with.
I recently mentioned falling in love with needle-turn applique, as I've been slowly working on an old applique quilt pattern which used needle-turn to hone my skills.
All my design life I've preferred blanket stitch applique, and I still do for those tiny little shapes which frequent my patterns, but I have grown to enjoy needle-turn for larger shapes and decided to employ this style into the new design, "Choose Happy".
Here's how it's coming along...
Just the other day a small parcel of fabrics arrived, a rare online purchase for me, but they are so pretty that I bought four 1/2 yard cuts. One of the pieces had some lovely little sentiments written between the flowers and garden elements (I'll show you the fabric another day), and one of those sentiments was "choose happy".
Well, it was as though God was speaking right into my heart. I thought about it for a while and then realised how needful it is to CHOOSE how we feel when the world around us is full of challenges and trials, when the news does nothing to uplift the spirit, and people around us seem always so forlorn.
This, in the midst of a migraine, spurred me into the sewing room to sit under the air conditioner at my desk and bring those words to life with needle and thread. I'll have this design in my new Club later in the year.
More than inspiring me to design and sew, though, those two words inspired me to alter my thinking and to consider how choosing a positive attitude through the ebb and flow of the week ahead could literally be life changing, especially if it became a natural habit to do so. Just food for thought, yes?
Speaking of food...
I'm back to doing meal prep once or twice a week. I followed Lisa of Downshiftology for quite a while and got loads of encouragement and recipe ideas last year, but then I dropped away from planning and for the life of me cannot tell you why. But, I've gotten back into that wonderful habit and have been enjoying opening the fridge to find much of what we need already chopped and stored or cooked and only in need of heating up.
This morning I roasted trays of broccoli, sweet potato, red onion, carrots and beetroots - all of which can be used in salads, or heated to serve with some form of protein. I made rice in the rice cooker, enough for the week, and roasted marinated chicken breasts before slicing and storing as well.
I also made Zucchini Bread which smells amazing!
HERE is her Zucchini Bread recipe if you'd like to try it.
If you're after some meal prep inspiration watch some of Lisa's videos on her blog, like THIS ONE which inspired today's cooking. And THIS ONE which has the delicious (and moist) roast chicken breast recipe.
(photo below from Lisa's blog)