Last Friday afternoon, the day before we adopted our new puppy, I took the opportunity to drop into a couple of op-shops near Blossom's place...'cause you never really know what you might find. I have a small list of things which I'm always on the look out for, and must tell you that this recent trip to the op shops was well worth my time.
When Blossom comes over for the day with her three young ones, we always have morning tea. And even since Cully May was a toddler we've always used real tea cups. Her, Rafaella and Charlie are taught to hold them securely and treat them with care...and never has a precious tea cup been broken. This was how I taught Blossom and her siblings when they were young and I only remember one broken cup from those long ago tea times.
This beautiful set of Staffordshire china was sitting in a box with a "$10 the lot" sticker...and I think you can easily guess the rest of the story? Home with me it came! There's one cup missing from the set, but that's fine as when we have morning tea there are five of us...so I have a saucer and a small plate spare for piling on sweet treats and strawberries.
Another bargain was the 20c box of doilies. Have to tell you, this was very unusual as they're normally $2 each, but home I came with a handful of pretties for just $1.
I especially like this blue edged doily (and have project plans for it)...
...as well as this small tablecloth, though I'd probably be more correct in calling it a supper cloth. It is covered with floral sprigs (machine embroidered, but still lovely).
The plain white doily will be perfect for adding a hand embroidery to the centre, or a verse of Scripture.
Now, a funny thing happened after I washed and ironed the doilies and folded them to put away in my special plastic storage container, a place where I store all the vintage lovelies I come home with.
I was re-organising the placement of things in the container, when I found this, hand crocheted, from 1953...a memento made for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. I don't even remember where I got this, but it was quite a while back, and even with the recent death of our late Monarch I'd forgotten all about it. Now it is even more special. It says -
E 11 R
Whilst the Harry-pup and I settle into a daily routine I've barely done more than wash, iron, make a meal, water the garden, vacuum and make the bed each day. Hubby and I are still sleep deprived, but more our own problem than because of Harry. When he wakes up for us to take him outside for potty during the night, he comes straight back in and goes to sleep. We on the other hand lay awake for a couple of hours tossing and turning (lots of noisy traffic on our main road doesn't help). By the time we finally doze off, it's almost time to wake up again, and by then it's 5am and there's no point even trying to sleep another hour because the dear Harry-pup is full of beans and ready for a solid hour of playtime before I start breakfast.
Because energy levels for the adults in our home are low right now, I have spent a bit of quiet time going through some fabrics my friend Jo posted a couple of months ago, and one of them really caught my eye. It's a pretty yellow floral, and though I have never been much of a mug rug person (remember all those swaps done between bloggers about ten years ago when everyone included a mug rug in their parcel? Some were very pretty but I ended up with so many that I just went right off making any for years afterwards) I thought with a little stitchery to celebrate Spring in my part of the world, one would really liven up my desk and morning cuppa.
And once I'd done that, it seemed only right to share it with you.
The basic instructions are included with this free pattern download.
Stitch the flower pot and bee to your own liking, whether than be simple backstitch, with a few interesting stitches for texture, or perhaps redwork. I've used a combination of chain stitch, satin stitch, running stitch, backstitch, lazy daisy and stem stitch. The applique is blanket stitched.
That little pop of lace along one side adds a very feminine touch, and the two circles of hand quilting in the left side are there to highlight where a mug should sit.
Made in a day, this would be a nice little gift to put away, and easy to post as well.
I think it will be perfect sitting beneath the yellow tea cup and sauce for tea times!
Use the link below to download the pattern.
I'm about to start working on chapter 4 of our Emilie Barnes book study and hope to have that ready for a blog post next week. The theme for chapter 4 is "The Secret of the Garden" so here's some beauty from ours at the moment - deep red bottle brush and vibrant yellow sunflowers...
My roses are blooming well and it's such a blessing to always have a few sitting in a vase on my desk, but I can't wait to read and ponder Emilie's thoughts on the garden and the beauty we can find there.
Thinking about gardens, I saw this 2023 calendar advertised and was so excited that I bought one. It's got that real WW2 victory garden look about it, and to tell the truth, isn't that a mindset many of us are working towards right now?
Though the calendar is American, and I'm in Australia, that does not bother me as the calendar months are the same worldwide, the artwork is incredibly vibrant and inspiring for a gardener, plus at the bottom of each month's double spread is a little extra thought to encourage those who have green thumbs and those who are working on having them. :-)
I bought mine through Amazon Australia (here) and it took a few weeks to arrive from the US, but well worth the wait! If you want to look for it online in your country it's called the "New Victory Garden 2023 Wall Calendar". I'm so happy to have found it!
The next free Books & Roses BOM bookmark stitchery will be late again, and not because I haven't stitched it, because I have...but I don't like the colours so I'm going to do it again in coming days. Thanks for your patience. If I'm not happy with colours or fabrics, then I'm not excited to share it. The same with patterns I design for purchase. If it's not coming along the way I'd hoped, the best thing is to put it aside and start over. I have never regretted making those decisions. Have you??
I'm interested to know how you are doing in your own home at the moment. When dear Val left her comment the other day and told us she was in hospital, how happy I was to read messages from other commenters that they were praying for Val. That's the joy of blogging, and especially when others feel open to share their needs...praying for one another is a gift, a privilege and a blessing to the one in need. Val, there's a lot of us praying for you lovely lady...and sending gentle hugs from across the globe. ((((you are in God's perfect care and He will hold you tight through every challenge))).
Now it's time to sign off as I can hear the Harry-pup rummaging in my sewing room...and that's a no-no.
Bless each of you today, and in the days ahead. Hold fast to the absolute truth of God's Word, trust that you are never alone, and if you know someone walking the depths of the valley right now, lift them before the Lord. He hears every prayer, and though we may wonder why His answers tarry, trust He has a good reason and a purpose for all things.
That narrow path seems narrower with every passing year, for the ways of the world are widening the way to destruction...but we believers must never lose heart, we must look ahead to Christ's return and keep to that narrow path. God bless you!
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