Friday, April 1, 2022

Books and Roses BOM - April...



For some it draws us closer into autumn and a welcome season of rest, for others it offers the promise of warmth and a season of growth.

This month my bookmark was completed a little differently because I cut the sides of the stitched block with my quilting ruler positioned on a 90 degree angle. Then all I had to do was sew strips of red fabric along both sides, followed by more white linen.

I filled the centre of the applique bow loops with satin stitch, tied a couple of simple white buttons in opposite corners, and finished with a length of doubled white satin ribbon sewn into one corner.

Do you like it? I wasn't sure I did at first. 
Sometimes I remind myself of Poirot and his obsession with order and sequence, straight lines and nothing off centre! 
So I looked with fresh eyes and decided it wasn't so bad after all. Though I may not make another angular one again, it's good fun to play around with a small stitchery and see if there's a different way to display it. 

Use the link below to download this month's Books & Roses stitchery pattern.

This past week or so I've been mostly confined to home, which never really bothers me as I enjoy being home, but for the first time in my life I learned what it was to have vertigo, and therefore needed to be in familiar surroundings when alone.

I sympathise with those of you have had it or still suffer with vertigo. What an unsettling experience it can be! At first it was thought to be BPPV, and perhaps it is, but my doctor believes its a new migraine aura...which isn't surprising as these past few months the auras have become quite intense and the migraines a tad nastier. 

So, being that I was sequestered at home for almost a week, I got stuck into slow cleaning with no bending, lovely seasonal baking, reading books about homemaking and learning new skills, finishing a small stitchery project to share with you soon, and creating a new framed picture for the laundry.


Every year around this time I bake a "once a year cake" with plums, lemons, almonds and a delicious syrup to pour over the top...

I'm also working my way through another of Paul Hollywood's bread books, and this time I baked his Malt Loaf (two in fact) which is full of sultanas and absolutely scrumptious sliced and buttered fresh, or toasted the next day. I gave one to Blossom and already she's requesting another.

My first batch of sour dough scones a couple of weeks ago weren't bad, though a bit doughy, but the second batch last weekend were really good! Especially with some freshly made plum and cinnamon jam. I have four new jars in the pantry now, which will keep us going for a while.


I've actually finished this little stitchery now, and am ready to get the sewing machine up and running to complete it as a handy kitchen project. I stitch slower now as the nerve damage in my fingers tends to flare up if I stitch too often or with gusto. ;-) 
Small designs are perfect for my good days. I'll be sharing this simple project with you soon, after I make sure it will work. Life is all about trying new things, right? 
I watched some Miss Marple along the way...


I really enjoyed browsing a few books I'd recently found at a charity shop, and the bread book is wonderful! The previous owner had written notes inside which made it seem as though she was chatting to me about her favourite bakes and the occasional changes she made. Can't wait to mill some grain and make some of the whole-wheat loaves. Probably tomorrow or Monday. 


Remember in my last post I had photos of some favourite homemaking books? One of them was Simple Country Wisdom and I have to admit I originally bought it for the cover because it captured my heart, but it turned out to be a real gem.
Laundry is one of my favourite household tasks, especially hanging it on the line and then bringing it in to fold and put away. The gorgeous laundry basket liner had always been an inspiration on my sewing to-do list, but it has been a while since I took that particular book off the shelf to read so I'd forgotten about making one.

Well, isn't it funny that as I was about to sit and re-read it last week, I thought to remove the dustjacket and see if the same photo was on the cover underneath. And it was! So I decided to cut out that lovely laundry basket photo from the dustjacket and put it in a frame to hang in my own laundry. I love how it looks...

And the cover of the book, minus the dustjacket, still bears the same photo, so I'm doubly chuffed.

HOME RENOVATION: (or, the beginning of a few small updates)

Two weeks ago we decided it was time to finally get rid of the very old interior doors within our home. The previous owners had three dogs which slept in their bedroom and the ugly mid-brown coloured bedroom door has a doggy-flap. It was always on the to-do list but the outside repairs and chores were more important.

Now, however, we have made the first steps towards a bit of interior renovation by buying new doors. We have five interior doors to replace in the house, so at the moment my beloved does a bit of undercoating each night after dinner.

I'm really excited! They will be painted 'natural white' and so will the door frames. This will blend very well with the beige walls and add a lot of light to the house. The old mid-brown coloured doors are drab and tend to rob the rooms and hallways of light...and I love a home with lots of calming white. 

So the first door to be installed will be the bedroom, and then he will work his way through the house with the others. No rush, but it's lovely to know it will eventually be done. 

The vertigo eased right up after a massive migraine mid-week so I finally ventured out alone in the car on Thursday and had a very nice morning tea, catch-up and a bit of stitching with Shez, Rosie and Shirley. Shez has recently moved to our town and kindly invited us over. She's settling in nicely and is even adjusting to our seemingly endless heat. I'm sure she'll love our winter, as it's warm and fresh and the perfect season to be out in the yard or walking along the beach. 

Friday (today) I went out and did the groceries, taking advantage of the half-price sales to continue stocking our pantry, and also dropped into a few charity stores along the way to see if I could find anything useful and came home with one book on health and a gorgeous Royal Doulton serving bowl for $4 which will be wonderful for family dinners. I don't buy what I cannot use or what I cannot fit in my home anymore, which is very different to the me of ten years ago. Really glad I'm learning to be mindful with my acquisitions.

This Year of Contentment is truly a blessing. I hope it's so for you as well.
What things or habits are changing in your life for the better?
Personally, I'm feeling more satisfied with life, and definitely happier, despite things that don't go as I'd planned and the unexpected events which would normally have caught me off guard but I now take in my stride. 
I also feel far more confident to close the door on things that aren't right for my life, or which have become a struggle, and I do this after much prayer, for without Christ I can do nothing. (John 15:5) 

Best sign off now as hubby will be home soon and I still need to fold the sheets and put them away, have my swim, and water a few garden beds.

Bless you heaps and may the Lord be on your mind and in your heart now and always, leading you out of darkness and into His marvellous light.


Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thank you for a beautiful start to April !
Malt loaf, scones and a book by Mrs. Beeton ! That takes me back to 1994 !
Great idea to frame the book cover :)
Thanks for another charming stitchery for April :)
We had a few cm's of snow last night that's quickly melting away :)
Enjoy the weekend and the new look with new doors !
Take care,

Tammy said...

Thank you for todays Lovely bookmark stitchery for April. I am so sorry to hear about your attack of Vertigo. Luckily I have never had that experience and pray that I never do. Your new doors sounds wonderful. Isn't it amazing the effect that small new touches can make in a home. from dreary to bright white. We have had a couple days of severe winds and one day of on & off again rain showers. Although we are still in drought status for my county in our state. Praying for you to never have vertigo again my friend. All your baking sounds marvelous

Acres of Crafts said...

Lovely blog as usual. My husband had a very bad vertigo attack about 3 years ago and ended up in hospital as he couldn't stop being sick, it was very debilitating for him, prior to that he had been diagnosed with BPPV, which we had been able to keep under control. He has migraines which have an aura above his left eye, but touch wood since being told to take a low dose aspirin each day they have been kept at bay. He also has a caffeine free and a low salt diet. They never found out why he had the vertigo attack after numerous tests. He couldn't drive for a year, but he is now back behind the wheel of his car, and they said he may go years before he has another one. Look after yourself as I know you do. Love all your recipes and stitchery projects

Julie said...

Beautiful bookmark dear Jennifer & I love the different shape! Your baking always looks so mouth watering & makes me wish I could reach into my screen ... especially the sight of that delicious cake. I am pleased the vertigo seems to be easing - a dear friend has had it & says it is NOT fun. But Oh My ... that laundry basket picture - just adorable. I think I would want to go into my laundry just to keep looking at that beautiful picture in its frame!! Our doors here were all dark wood too Jen & over the years I've waved my paintbrush over them & it certainly does lighten things. Enjoy your weekend dear friend. xxx

Carla said...

Love the bookmark stitching. All the baking is making me drool. Everything looks so good and that picture of the laundry basket is perfect for a laundry room. I have an old wash board on my laundry room wall.

Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny what a beautiful post to read ,I quite like the unusual shape of your bookmark and the stitching is very cute.
Oh that plum cake with its yummy sauce was to die for and I will be looking forward to next March lol.
What a brilliant idea to but the book cover pic in a frame it looks fantastic,I so love reading the ideas that you are come up with,I am just using my Insta pot now to make some mushroom risotto,hope you are feeling better lovely lady 💕🤍💕

Lin said...

Lovely baking Jennifer, the tart looks yummy. The bookmark looks great - always good to try something different. Changing doors always makes a huge difference - looking forward to some before and after pics. xx

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Thank you again for the lovely pattern. I'm so enjoying integrating them month-by-month into my yearlong project. And I understand completely about wanting your home to be lighter. When we bought our current home everything was "renter brown," carpet and all. While we still haven't been able to change out the carpet (a little at a time, you know), I nearly immediately repainted the walls off-white and did the window frames in aqua. Much lighter and cheerier!

Fiona said...

Thanks for another sweet pattern, glad you are feeling a bit better and getting to sew with dear Shez..... we have some door painting going on here too!! haha


Beth said...

I love it that you framed the book cover! I have a series of Bushells Tea postcards framed on my wall that I found at a vintage market a few years ago.

Barwitzki said...

Your napkin is beautiful, I like the little roses, the bow, the diagonal red stripes and also the little buttons... super nice.
I have to try the sourdough scones :-) I have sourdough rye bread in the oven, my husband loves it.
I love beautiful embroidery you do.
Many greetings to you. Have a wonderful sunday. Viola
p.s. I get my grain from the farmer and paint it myself in the mill :-)))

Jill at emeraldcottage said...

I love the diagonal stripes, its an interesting idea! Sourdough scones sound delicious especially with the jam on top.