Friday, June 10, 2022

A nice wintry day...

 Finally, and I say this with a heart full of joy, winter has arrived. Some years it only lasts a week or two, other years a month. But today it is nice and cool, and I needed to put a cardigan on over my nightgown when I got up, as well as slippers to cover my feet as I walk around on our tiled floors - though in the sun outside it's lovely and warm (perfect for gardening).

It's been nine days since my last blog post and back then I wrote of my plans to get back to the hand-quilting of Simple Days, expecting to complete the remaining eight blocks by the end of August (only one block had been quilted, and that was last September). Well, can you believe that in those nine days I have completed another six blocks already! Only two more to go and I'll be able to sew the label in place and add the binding. And with the weather bureau predicting a a week of cool temperatures ahead there's a distinct possibility I'll have the quilt all finished by the time our short cold snap is over. 

I settle down each afternoon with the quilt, my needle and thread, and a murder mystery - rotating through Poirot, Marple, Midsomer Murders, or Rosemary & Thyme. 
Today as the morning was so nippy I decided to quilt until lunch and then do all my chores in the afternoon. 

My pretty purple slippers added an air of elegance and royalty (Blossom has a red pair) because I'm celebrating with the Queen this week. 

I've also brought out my favourite Royal Albert mug and enjoyed it full of hot tea, with a side of toast, for morning tea each day. I am an unashamed monarchist and love the faith and enduring constancy of our Queen.

I've been milling spelt grain lately and baking bread, muffins and biscuits (cookies) with it - my, so delicious and hearty! Hubby loves it, and it loves his digestive system, which is an added bonus.

Lunches for me, when he is at work, are pretty much the same each day - nourish bowls. With a base of brown rice, I top that with black beans, salad vegetables, grated carrot, macadamias (or cashews), greens, homemade Korean chilli sauce and a sesame drizzle. Delicious and very filling! 

Every day I swim my laps in the pool, even now that it's winter and the water is icy, because I love how refreshing it is to swim in cold water, plus its good for circulation. I normally have my swim after a bit of gardening, which at the moment consists of pruning, weeding, fertilizing vegetables, and extending the areas where I cover the ground with cardboard and sugar cane mulch. 

I have pumpkins growing out front and also out back. The plant out in the sunny front yard already has some little pumpkins appearing, but I think the one out back is not far behind. Today I extended the cardboard/mulch area under it as it's grown a lot in the past week.

We dismantled the worm farm in early autumn as we'd not had the success with it that we'd hoped, but it gave us three large trays complete with many holes across the bottom, and today I filled one with soil and planted out coriander (cilantro) seeds. We eat a lot of fresh coriander, but it's too hot for it to grow in the tropics most of the year so winter and early spring are the only time to sow. 

Hubby bought me this Gorilla Cart about six weeks ago and it's my gardening buddy. I don't have to carry heavy things very far now, just put what I'm using in the cart and off I go. This has certainly been a blessing for my back! ;-)

I'm reading a few different books, especially at night, but am considering hosting a book study on this one, as it's brimming with home wisdom and ideas, and so much is based on a home that honours the Lord. If this interests you let me know in the comments below. :-)

I like to change the living/dining/office area around every season, and that's usually just moving my desk or swapping the blue couch with the dining table...but this time I did something new. 

As I still run a business from home, it occurred to me that perhaps I could separate my desk from the living room by moving the blue couch further in, away from under the window, and using it as a sort of divider...thus giving me a slightly separate computer area.

It's actually made the 'living' area a lot cosier.

One of the other things I've been working on is a new issue of The Homemakers Heart magazine, and here's a peek at one of the projects I'll be including.

All previous issues of The Homemakers Heart from 2021 are still available and free to download HERE just in case you missed them. 

I wondered if you may like to sew a Union Jack cushion? I have made three or four in the past decade, and intend to make another over the weekend, in pastels, like my Royal Albert mug.

HERE IS A LINK to the free pattern/tutorial I shared back in 2017. I used some Tilda 'Circus' fabric in this version...

And this is another Union Jack cushion I made using pretty Robyn Pandolph florals. This one had hemmed edges to the stripes, whereas the other one (above) has blanket stitch applique over raw edges.

Now, I'd best announce the winner of my hand-stitched Books & Roses block!

Thanks for all your entries, and the comments about how you would use this little block. I really enjoyed reading them!

The winner is....


Congratulations to you, Janni. I have sent you an email and once I have your address this little block will be popped in the mail and winging it's way to you. 

That's it for this week, which I hope has been a good one for you?
May the Lord stoke the flames of your homemaker heart, give you peace and delight in your gentle domestic responsibilities, and fill your thoughts with fresh ideas for creating beautiful spaces around your home where those who dwell within or come to visit may find sanctuary from the weariness of toil and trial in the outside world.

Biggest hugs,
your friend...


gail said...

Lovely newsy post again today Jennifer. Have a lovely weekend.
Blessings Gail.

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
We're almost as warm as your chilly Winter day :)
Thanks for the seak peek of the stitchery in the opcoming issue ! Looks lovely !
You have created a comfy cozy living space moving things more to the centre instead of around the edges of the room. Well done for giving it a go !
A new Union Jack pillow would be a fun weekend project ! Was it back in 2017 ? Now it's 2022! The British do know how to celebrate the Queens Jubilee !
Thanks for sharing the pattern :)
Love your mug :)
Enjoy your cool winter days under Simple Days :)

Miriam said...

Compliments to the winner. As for me I dreamt for a few times ;-))
It’s always a pleasure to read your post. Thank you. Yes, I would like to know something about the book that you are reading.
Have a nice week end,

Lori said...

Lovely post, as always, Jennifer! While you are enjoying the winter in your neck of the woods, we here in TX are experiencing record heat. I just thank God for air conditioning! We must stay in anyway as the whole family has come down with a variant of Covid. Not pleasant but not horrible either. Kind of like a cold/flu combo. But I know that by Jesus stripes we are healed!

I would love a book study on the Emily Barnes book. I just bought that one about a month ago and have only had time and energy to skim. She has always been a favorite author of mine.

Enjoy your chilly weather! Many blessings!

Unknown said...

Thank you, Jennifer! My life is too busy and you always remind me to stop and give thanks to God for what He has given me. I, too, would love a book study on the Emily Barnes book. I just ordered it! God bless you exceedingly, abundantly more than all you can think or imagine.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

Thanks for the visit to your home. I love that you move your furniture around with the seasons. Enjoy the cooler weather over the next little while. It's not too bad here this morning, but we have a forecast of strong winds to start again this afternoon - blurgh!

Lorrie said...

Another lovely post, Jennifer. I am also an unashamed monarchist, and have been looking for a way to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee year. I think the Union Jack pillow would be perfect, and I'll be downloading your pattern as soon as this comment publishes. Thank you!

I don't know if your weather is affected by the El Nino/La Nina weather patterns, but we're in a La Nina (cooler than normal) cycle, and I just read today that it might last into 2023. Ack! It's been so very much colder than normal here. But I'm glad to read that you are enjoying the cooler winter.


Janni Harlick said...

Hi Jennifer, I am so happy to have won the stitchery! Thank you so much! I have not received my email from you so I thought I would put it here:
Love your post as always. I think I need to make one of those Union Jack pillows. I am originally from the UK and love our queen and royal family. We have watched all the jubilee celebrations on the tv. A study on the Emily Barnes book would be perfect.

Ondrea said...

Oh my! You have been very busy. I hope your fingers are not too sore from the marathon hand quilting. The quilt is looking beautiful. Good on you swimming each day. Glad the weather is more pleasant for you and that it is not as cold up there. Great gardening companion you have.

Connie said...

I would love a study of the book. Jennifer, I find your blog to be so calming and on point in the stressful, angry world in which we all live, here in the US, in Australia or wherever. I always look forward to what you have to say. Thank you for your ministry.

Lin said...

Congratulations to Janni on winning your gift. That loaf looks delicious and lovely for you to have some cooler weather in your garden.
We have just been away for a few days and one of the places we visited was Greenway which was Agatha Christie's holiday home in Devon.I shall not do a post on it as it rained so we were unable to visit the gardens and I have hardly any photos. But the house was amazing. It was left to the National Trust complete with everything inside, including her clothes in the dressing room and all the beautiful collections of china, paintings and furniture etc that she and her family acquired. Such a cosy place to visit and so much to see. The boat house, which we didnt visit, is also the scene of the murder in 'Dead Mans Folly' which was filmed there with David Suchet.
Enjoy your cooler weather. xx

Terri - Palm Bay, FL said...

First, thank you Jenny for taking the time to share peeks into your life at home, your family and the adorable creations you come up with. I love reading about your day, the visits of Blossom and the grands and adventures with Mr. E. Hank you also for sharing some thought provoking discussions on your Bible readings and your walk with our Lord. Very refreshing to read.

I would love to have a book discussion on the books you read. Some of these books I have never heard of and find them very interesting to read about. When you share these little tidbits and insights, I grab a cuppa of my favorite tea and sit a while to read. Wish the way you write, I feel like I’m right there with you.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, time, talent and creativity with all of us. Waving at you from our home in Ecuador.

kupton52 said...

Another especially lovely post....but then I don't think I've ever read one of yours that wasn't lovely, inspiring and uplifting. I love Emilie Barnes' books and have a few. I just ordered Simple Secrets for a Beautiful Home today and would WELCOME and appreciate a book study on it. Thanks so much for considering this. Blessings from West Virginia/USA.

SympleTymes Cloth Art By Sherrie Nordgren said...

Hi Jennifer First I just have to tell you it is always a "Huge" pleasure to read your posts.They are so up lifting, and a word from the Lord is what we all need in this up side down world..Thank You from my heart..
I just ordered book
simple secrets to a beautiful home by Emile Barnes
I would love to participate in a book club of this book..
Enjoy your cooler temps..Our's are going hotter for sure,
God Bless You and all your family
Sherrie Nordgren

Susan said...

Enjoy your short touch of "winter" - it's generally a lot colder all over Australia this year - a good thing perhaps.
It's always good to have a revamp of furniture placement - it can almost look like a new house.

Kim said...

Another beautiful, refreshing post from someone I consider to be a "Big Sister in the Lord." You are an encouragement indeed and I would thoroughly enjoy doing a book study of an Emily Barnes book - I've read several and find them quite inspiring. She was a helpful influence in my early homemaking years (back in the dark ages, you know). Your home looks so fresh and inviting and cozy.

Stephanie said...

Yes, I love the idea of a book club. This book sounds perfect.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog! Thank you Jennifer, my neighbor Sharon sent it to me as I didn't receive one from you, so I was glad she got from you! I can imagine your home as if I am there! You might enjoy The Positano Diaries on u tube! Many Blessings Mary-Lou

Susan said...

What lovely projects AND beautiful food and garden pictures. I'm so glad you are having a cooling trend and hope you enjoy it greatly. We're having hot and humid, so I'm staying inside ... not that I was going out much anyway. Continuing to heal slowly. =) I loved seeing your house changes. I'd like to scrap everything here and start over from scratch, but I'm getting the new and needed garage door instead. So responsible. LOL