Wednesday, May 11, 2022

UFO finishes, May homemaking and a storm...

 Well, we thought it had been another failed wet season here in the tropics of North Queensland, but there was a little relief a couple of weeks ago when we got some good rain for a few days, but last night it came down so hard and fast that the yards flooded quickly and all around town streets were going under water. 

One of our pumps wasn't working properly, and hubby went out in the windy torrential storm to dig trenches, empty the pool (which was a sparkling clear blue before the storm, but had now overflowed and was full of yard refuse and mud), pull up the broken pump from the pump well and got it going again (wonderful having a trained mechanical mind as a husband!), then spent hours working on the long pipes which carry the water from the yards to the storm drain in the street. 

The photo below was taken a couple of hours into the storm, looking from our back door towards the pool area, then it just got worse. 

Two trees came down, but they were only about eight feet tall. 

This morning the rain had really settled so with barely any sleep hubby went back out to fix everything and do more maintenance as we're told to expect more storms in the coming days/weeks. He's been back to Bunnings twice already today, and as I write this it is 2.30pm and he's not eaten...he can't eat when there's so much to do. He also went up into the roof because our laundry ceiling (which collapsed during the 2019 floods) is wet again, so that's another thing he's trying to work on. 

I'm cleaning, cooking, washing and drying, and generally having to stay out of his way, and I'm praying hard for him. The upside of all this is that the town dam is full again. It's good to have an upside.

So, let's chat about the good stuff, yeh?

Last time I showed you a UFO project I was just about to begin the hand quilting on. It's completed now and on our bed. Seriously love how it turned out and am really pleased I added cross-hatching around the stitchery. 

It's pretty dark here at the moment so photos aren't the best, but I do love it displayed on the bed. You know when you go in of a night to turn down the covers and you read a Scripture that means so much, and you sense that beautiful peace from God? That's how it is for us each night now. I should have made a Scripture cushion for the bed years ago...but hey, I have lots of Scripture stitcheries completed so I can probably make a cushion for every season. Nice idea. :-)

I was asked in a comment about the thread I use for hand quilting and also the needle. Whenever I hand quilt it is with DMC Perle #12 thread, or if I can get it, Perle #16, which is the Finca Presencia brand. The needle I use is my ordinary size 9 embroidery needle. The lady also asked if I used the 'rocking' method to hand quilt? Not really. Hand quilting to me is just running stitch and I sew one stitch at a time the same as if I were doing running stitch on one of my hand embroideries. 

 On my May reading list is a title I am working through this year, The Simple Home, plus a newbie, A Year Without the Grocery Store.

The Simple Home, by Rhonda Hetzel of the blog Down to Earth, is written for the homemaker as a month-by-month discussion and encouragement. Each month has a theme, and the theme for May is Laundry Love.

I like the quotes she adds to the pages because they make me stop and ponder...

...but mostly I like her content. Rhonda writes as though we're having a conversation and shares much of the simple practicalities of each monthly theme and homemaking in general.

So this month, once things settle, I'm going to get working on my laundry room. It's barely even a room to be honest. With three doorways and two windows, this little space next to the kitchen can be rather challenging to work in...but Rhonda wrote some suggestions which made me rethink my oft-used space and has inspired me to do some planning and re-organising (if possible).

The other book I have not begun yet, but it's on the coffee table where I can pick it up each afternoon tea-break as I enjoy a cuppa and a small sweet treat. I'm sure there will be a lot of useful information to glean.

Another finish already for May is the design I re-stitched last month to make a cover for my new Bible. I shared the pattern as a free gift and you'll find the download link HERE

It was pretty warm here last winter and too hot to spend much time with a rug on my lap, or a quilt top to hand-quilt, so these are two projects I have on the go for coming months and intend to complete. 

This is one of Lucy of Attic 24's free patterns, the Hydrangea blanket. I finished about 1/4 of it last year during our supposedly cooler months, and hope to have it finished by the end of winter (end of August). All the balls of yarn are Stylecraft DK from the UK Wool Warehouse, some which are leftover balls from previous crochet projects, and the rest are balls I purchased during the pandemic in colours I liked. 

I should fess up and tell you I have 'another' crochet blanket pattern by Attic 24 partially made as well, but I decided the colours were too washed out so I folded it up and put it aside. But you never know, I may complete that one day as well.

The other project to complete this winter is my Simple Days quilt! I began last September on the hand quilting but after one block the weather got so hot when spring arrived that I put it aside for this year's cooler days. 

Poor thing, all that stitching and piecing, and then I neglect it. However, you can't lay a quilt across your lap in the tropics unless it's a real winter (which is actually like spring, but much cooler than the rest of the year), and I'm thinking with all this rain and soaked wet earth across most of our state, it may be a cool winter after all. Praying! :-)

Lastly to show you are the new curtains I got for one of the windows in our living/dining room. They are sheer with a lovely botanical design in a muted green. We previously had thick cream cotton curtains but they made the room quite dark in the afternoon and I like more light inside, so these were a great find on the bargain table at Spotlight and have definitely made a difference. 

I will sign off now and leave you with two things. 

Firstly, a recent photo of Cully May, Rafaella and Charlie David, because I've actually had emails asking about them. They are real characters with very individual personalities, but they adore each other and do the craziest things, as you can tell by this photo. It's the best job being their Nana!

And the second thing is a video which may inspire if you're low on cleaning motivation in the kitchen. I have watched this five times in the past 16 months for that every reason, and every time I get this burst of energy that lasts for days and my home gets a great refresh. Plus you will love Niamh's gentle Irish voice...

I hope you all are doing well? Let me know, okay? 

I'm sure we all have days, or even seasons, where our homemaker hearts are weary, fatigued or uninspired. 

I love to hear about your lives and the everyday things you do as you go about your business, so tell me, on days when you're not motivated to clean or tidy or do things around home, what inspires you to get up and moving? For me it is videos like Niamh's, or reading an old Country Living UK magazine (I have a collection from 2009-21) where many pages inspire my homemaking creativity with ideas.

Okay, better sign off and start a pot of nourishing soup because I think that's exactly what my soaking wet and exhausted husband will need for dinner. 

Bless you all so very much,

19 comments: said...

molto belli i tuoi nipoti e anche i tuoi lavori.

Kay said...

Oh my, I can’t imagine what the flooding is like for you but I send you both my love and prayers. X

Deb E said...

How horrid to see a lake in your backyard! While you did desperately need the rain, its shocking to see it come all at once. We just recently had to re-grade our backyard so the it now slopes AWAY from the house - but had so much extra soil that we now have a 2 tier yard, which we both quite like. Much more interesting. However now we have to build a retaining wall (only about 15-18 inches) and put in an underground french drain to run to the front. Luckily the back yard is higher than the front (by up to 10 inches) so its do-able, and will have no worries of flooding. Your poor husband -- its a shock to see that all happening, but even more so when you see him out in it, trying to save your home from flooding.

Águeda said...

Dear Jennifer, I am so sorry for your flooding and I agree with you that it is a good thing that the reservoir is full.
Your grandchildren are precious, they are all a blessing.
When I have a bad time, it is love that makes me get out of bed. I think that my family deserves the best and happiest part of myself. And I get up and do what I have to do. And God helps to do it. There are also the little big things like your blog, wich is another incentive.
A big hug.

Lorrie said...

Oh, the flooding! I hope your husband takes time to rest after all that work. We are in mid-spring, but it's been very cool this year. The flowers are lasting longer because of the cooler temperatures, so that's a positive thing. God's strength and presence is such a help when we don't want to do the things we must for our families.

Julie said...

Gosh Jennifer .. all that flooding ... & here we are so desperate for rain after the driest April on record. I hope it has settled for you now. Those wee grandchildren are just adorable - just look at those sweet faces. The cushion on your bed looks just so beautiful. I love Rhondas books & often pick them up for a re-read. Enjoy your day dear friend & take good care xx

Farm Quilter said...

What a blessing the rain is for you...a bit much all at once, but much needed. I'm so glad Mr. E can fix just about anything necessary in your home. The love and care you both lavish on your home is a great example to all. Surgery on my right hand Friday afternoon will mean doing a lot of nothing for a while and using paper plates until I can get my hand wet again...should be interesting! We had snow here Sunday night, which lasted through most of Monday morning! It's been quite cold this flowers even thinking of showing up yet! Love the picture of the grands...such a blessing to have them so close!

Lin said...

Beautiful finish on the cushion Jennifer, I do love cross hatching, well worth the effort though how you keep a straight line going one stitch at a time I do not know! I hope you get the rain you need without too much damage - especially that roof! Thinking of you both, stay safe. xx

Winifred said...

Crumbs Jennifer that rain and damage is terrible. Poor soul your husband must be worn out & you too. As long as everyone is safe that's themain thing.

Love your makes, they are amazing. I must watch your cleaning video, I really need a kick up the behind to get me going in that direction!

Your grandchildren are growing up so fast, love that happy photo.

Love to you all & prayers for your weather to improve and success with the "restoration work".

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,

That first photo is quite impressive ! Quite a difference compared to our 2.6 mm of rain yesterday !
Thanks for sharing all the beauty inside and out !
hugs, take care,

dwortman said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for answering my quilting question. I think that your method might be more user-friendly to my hands, and additionally, I love the look!

Tammy said...

Dearest Jennifer Good day to you Love. Oh no another flood....I am so sorry you guys have to deal with this yet again. But it is good news that the town damn is full again. We are in drought here. I am having to water my herbs and fruit trees by hand, Which is quiet the chore for me these days. Hoping we get a good long hard rain soon. I just don't seem to ever get motivated anymore. It is hard to ever get caught up on things here at home. But praying that will change. What a cute picture of your Grandies. They are all growing up so fast.

Anonymous said...

That is a lot of rain coming way too fast. Once I got to the end of your post, a big smile came across my face and a little chuckle. Your grands are just so sweet! Love seeing them in your posts.
Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net

Mrs. Kiwi said...

I always enjoy seeing your projects, Jennifer. The details and colours are beautiful.

We've had several days of rain here too. It was so foggy and dark. It just cleared up this morning and I'm so happy to be able to see outside my window again!

With love from,
Kelly (Mrs. Kiwi)

Anonymous said...

am so glad i found your blog. have made several of your stitcheries. thank you for your inspirational patterns. love learning about your part of the world. we are inspring here in pennsylvania. usa. sorry to learn of your flooding and the clean-up is the worst. stay safe. bonnie

ButterZ said...

Those floods are so bad. I hope you haven’t suffered any more damage

Ondrea said...

So sorry you are going through floods again but hopefully it won't be as bad as the last one. The weather here has been quite cool and winterlike. Not happy! Even my potted plants are suffering. Lovely pic of the children. Mine have Covid at the moment, well one is recovered as he got it a few days earlier with his dad. Keep safe xx

Rosie said...

Love the new curtains! I have finished my rug from Attic 24 but I think I will do something with the leftovers!

Angie in SoCal said...

My goodness! Went to that deep cleaning video and got sucked into it's goodness. Did she really do all that in 17 minutes? Mine is twice the size of hers, and I have no laundry room. My appliances are a floor down in the garage. I subscribed to her you tube channel. Loved the one on how to minimize clutter without getting rid of things. Hope the rain is not too bad. I remember you writing about the 2019 rains!