Thursday, September 14, 2023

Molly, Tilda and a kitchen makeover...

 Time is passing swiftly this September, but probably because there's been a lot going on at home, with family, designing, sewing, the garden - and a new companion for me.


In January Blossom and Ross became owners of two 6-week old pug puppies, Molly and Barnaby. In their huge house there was plenty of room for two dogs, three children, and two offices for both Ross and Blossom to work from home. We all adored those two mischievous pugs, but Molly especially took a great liking to me, almost beside herself with excitement each time I visited. 

Then their rental home of five years was to be put up for sale and the owner would not renew their lease, so, as you know, the prayers went up for a new home to be found quickly as rentals are very scarce in our town. Praise God, who at the eleventh hour provided a new dwelling for them last month, not far from where they already lived. The house was half the size of the one they currently rented, but it is lovely and cosy, in a good area, and the family love it. was far too small for two indoor dogs. Living in the hot and humid tropics is not the best climate for pugs, so keeping them outside is not an option. 

We had rehomed Harry the dachshund back in March to a young woman training to be a vet (he hated being indoors, terrorised our old Sophie cat to the point her health went downhill, tore up more garden than you'd believe, created a lot of stress day and night with his endless barking, and quite simply was not the right puppy/dog for us at this stage of life) but the prayers were still going heavenward for a 'real' companion dog that would be my buddy each day while hubby was working.

And so, Molly came to live with us. This made everyone happy as she can see her brother Barnaby often, plus be loved on always by Blossom, Ross and the children when we visit them or when they visit here. 

She's exactly what I needed, and truly, she adores me. Her and I were already buddies, but now it's so much more. She's a curious little thing and follows me everywhere, rarely is she away from my fact, the first day here she wanted to know exactly what I was doing in the sewing room so I popped her on the pink chair and she was completely mezmerised! Though eventually she curled up on the chair and fell asleep. 

Her first outing to Bunnings with hubby and I in his Ford Ranger was very exciting, and once again, she was mezmerised by all the activity, sights and sounds around her. Bunnings is a huge hardware store in Australia (for those overseas who haven't heard of it) and you're allowed to take your dogs in there.

I'm sure you'll see plenty of Miss Molly on the blog in future. 

Next thing which has taken up a lot of my time is a double project I designed from a bundle of fabrics soon to be released in shops this coming October. You may remember that I have often been gifted fabric from manufacturers or distributors over the years, but I did decline all the offers last year. However...


All those sleeping little creatures, and the warm autumnal tones, caught my eye so when I was offered a bundle of the new Tilda Hibernation fabrics to play with my answer was an easy 'yes'. 

For three weeks I've been sketching, erasing, sketching again, erasing again, and finally set my mind on an idea that stemmed from the The Two Towers by JRR Tolkein (second book in the Lord of the Rings trilogy). There's a scene in Fangorn Forest where the ancient Ent, Treebeard, in the cool autumnal air of early evening, settles two of the little hobbits down at the base of a huge tree and says very softly, "Sleep little Shirelings..." (for Hobbits were known as people of the Shire). Here's what I eventually made. 
A table topper which featured circles of little hibernating mice, birds and squirrels...

...and an embroidered hoop inspired by the words of Treebeard. I wrapped the outside of the hoop in more of the Hibernation fabric.

What do you think?
I'll have the patterns ready on October 1st when the Tilda Hibernation fabrics are in quilt shops. 
Funny thing about the leaves I used in the photos. In the tropics we don't have pretty autumn leaves, as everything is green...but in spring, yes, in spring, we have trees whose leaves turn vivid orange, red and brown! We have one such tree in our front yard, but to give you a better view of these trees in all their splendour my husband took a photo near a picnic spot we stopped at during a recent day trip away. 


If you've been here long enough you would know that when we bought this house, our very first, five years ago, in the midst of my joy was the disappointment of having a brown laminate kitchen. Brown is my most detested colour for home decore, and especially in a kitchen. 

This is the kitchen when we first bought the house...

On the right hand side I have already given it a makeover with pretty green floral curtains, hanging plants, potted plants, looks lovely now, yet for some reason I can't find a photo so I'll just reshare one I took recently in that area when Rafaella and Charlie spent the day with me.

Now have a look at my makeover of the opposite side. First thing you'll notice is that I've removed two cupboard doors - and for the life of me I do not know why I haven't thought of this before! It has completely opened up the area and brought light and beauty to my eye. 

I have a few more ideas, but for now, this makes me so happy every time I walk through the kitchen! And the whole makeover cost me nothing more than $7 for the tin of fake flowers, and the next day I spent another $3 for a new coffee mug decorated with a garden scene (which is not pictured). 

There's going to be a few more budget makeovers in our home over time, but I shall not do any of them until inspiration strikes and I know exactly what will work. This small makeover took me five years to achieve, but once the idea was there, it took only a day to bring it all together. I wonder if you are inspired to create a budget makeover in your own home? If so, what room would it be? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Okay, that's enough for today. Next time I shall let you know about the new Stitchery Club, but it's not at all like it once was. I've decided to do a lot more things simpler, easier, less fuss...and to enjoy them more. 
I shall leave you with a sneak peek at one of the new designs I am working on right's a house blessing. After all the autumnal colours of the Tilda designs, I decided to bring some spring colours to life in the home with a blessing to hang on our living room wall. 

God bless you my friends! May His favour be felt all around you, His presence fill each room, and His voice heard clearly as He directs you in the paths you should follow.


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Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
So that's what happened with Harry the Hond. Great relocation action :)
Welcome Molly ! Sounds like she moved in and brings joy to everyone :)
What a great idea removing the doors in the kitchen ! It looks great ! Really creates that feeling of space and coziness.
Funny how an idea pops up and all we can ask is " why haven't I thought of this before ? " But then that idea came at the right time for some reason.
Your new Tilda Hibernation creation looks great ! Glad you could enjoy Tilda once again.
Your new stitchery club plans sound great ! I hope there are new faces/names to the club who want to learn and enjoy stitching along with Elefantz designs :)
hugs, take care,

Lin said...

The new Tilda fabrics do look lovely, as does your table topper. Nice kitchen makeover too. Enjoy your new friend. xx

Donna P. said...

I love what you've done with the kitchen. My daughter recently moved into a new home and an open kitchen cabinet would be perfect for them.
Your table topper is so pretty. I've been sitting here looking at it, eyeing it for the dinette table in our RV.
Lord of the Rings - some of my favorite books!
And welcome to Molly - she seems to be fitting in very well!
Blessings, Donna

Winifred said...

Love that table topper it's so pretty Jennifer.

I rather liked your kitchen it looked very streamlined and fresh but it looks more homely with the doors removed. I wouldn't dare take the doors off my cupboards, they would definitely not look nice. Apart from the jumble of contents the innards are brown & like you I don't like brown stuff! My decent crockery is in the Welsh dresser & my books are all sorts of shapes & sizes so they don't stack neatly, have to hide them away!

Glad Molly has settled so well she certainly seems a character & good company for you.

Enjoy your spring our nights are starting to draw in and I'll miss those long light summer nights. After a short long awaited heatwave it's cooled down a little which is pleasant.

God bless you & your family Jennifer

Mrs. White said...

Your kitchen makeover is beautiful! It is so nice to read about the lovely things going on at your house. God bless you!

Susan said...

Love the table topper and the little wall hanging. If my kitchen was as big and nice as yours, I would be happy. We keep saving to remodel which will be necessary when the range top and oven which is above the range (which is one piece and nobody makes them anymore) finally goes totally kaput. Only 2 of the burners work and one you have to light with a match. I agree that your taking the door off 2 of the cupboards does seem to open it up more.

Jan said...

HI Jennifer,

I so enjoy your posts and reading about how you have simplified your life. So happy that you are enjoying "Molly the Pug". I also have a pug named Stella (13 years old) and will have a new pug puppy in a few weeks (she was born August 25). For me there is no other dog, pugs are simply the best!

Enjoy your beautiful "new" kitchen.

Anonymous said...

We’ll we inherited our sons pug when they were expecting and she didn’t want to deal with all the hair with a crawling baby getting hairy. So she is so ornery and gets her in trouble with picking on my 15 year old yorkie that just wants left alone. Hoping she calms down eventually as our first pug was a lot calmer.

Rita Lynn said...

I just can't believe it has been 5 years since you moved in. I really like the subtle changes you have made to the kitchen. It makes it so personal.

I am anxiously awaiting the release of Hibernation. It seems very sweet.

Thank you for the chat. It always makes me feel like we are sitting in the kitchen across the table from each other.

Vernagrace said...

Hi Jenny - I havn't written in a very long while. When I saw your cupboard color, I thought, that looks so familiar. We moved into our present home 18 years ago, and our kitchen, dining area and living room is all open, and was the exact color of your cupboards, with off white carpet in the living room area. We loved the house but as soon as we were settled in, we painted that whole area. Your house and yard are truly beautiful. You have a marvellous eye for decorating and gardening.

Mary-Louise Parker said...

I love it Jennifer lovely Tolkien! Love Mary-Lou

Jill at emeraldcottage said...

I know what you mean about getting the happy feeling every time you walk by your cupboards - I've just done a mini makeover on part of my craft room and every time I see it my heart sings!

Carol in Texas said...

Jenni, how I love your blog!!!!! How precious is Molly! Doesn’t God work in the most amazing ways. I don’t recall seeing a photo of the kitchen in your home. It is daunting! Brown laminate! Did you add the lime green shade? That is the most appealing thing I see in that first photo you showed us. I love that color green. I’m glad you are making inroads into warming up a room that ought to be one of the most inviting in the home.

As you are approaching spring, here in central Texas we are welcoming fall!!!!! We’ve had a brutal, dry summer and this week the Lord sent us the most wonderful ‘cold front’ that brought much needed rain to our parched land. Prayers answered. For the first time in months, I’ve opened a couple of windows in our kitchen to feel and smell the lovely breeze blowing from the north. Fall here is our best planting season, and I have little that survived the summer. I have some thinking to do!

I love the spring piece you are working on. I look forward to seeing the final piece. I can do it in fall colors!

Annabel said...

I think the removal of the cupboard doors made a big difference! Great idea! I paint everything white... but another alternative is decals. You can get huge plants, leaves and other decals which could work also to reduce the amount of the colour you dont like. It is a really good kitchen. I love your new companion and partner in crime! I am so glad that Blossom and family were able to get another house. That would be a scary situation with the rental situation being so hard. Thank God for this and that you could also take on their little pug! All lovely! xxx

Elvira said...

Te ha quedado preciosa la cocina,las labores adorables y enhorabuena por tu nuevo miembro, ese precioso perro

Ondrea said...

I missed this email notification and just decided to check your blog. Glad I did! It is good to see you enjoying your furrry friend around the home ( and trips to Bunnings lol. ) We have a guest cat here for 3 weeks and I have definately decided that we are beyond having any pets now. She is beautiful but gets me up too early, refuses to go to bed on time and I am constantly de furring my clothes and furniture lol. Great idea with your kitchen . Your Tilda project looks great. Keep well.x

Createology said...

Hello Dear. Molly is adogable. She will be a very good companion. I do like your simple removable kitchen doors to open up the space and decorate it just so. I love Tilda fabrics and your table runner and stitchery are perfect. I am currently donating more “stuff” to our local thrift store. How does it all accumulate?!!

Wendy said...

Lovely post, projects and makeover! 5 years is nothing when you get what you want and know it. So happy for you and your little miss Molly. God bless!

QuiltGranma said...

Just looking at the pictures I can see that you aren't in the USA. Your plug ins for appliances are different!

Emma Christian said...

Molly looks like a lovely addition to your home, having a little dog for company is really nice I agree.

I love your table topper, the fabrics are beautiful and so is the stitchery, you are so clever!

Having the doors off in the kitchen looks wonderful! I recently shuffled some things around in my kitchen too and it made me smile for weeks. When Henry was smaller I had put all the crockery into a meat safe we have so he could reach the things he needed and put jars of dry goods on the open shelves. But then I was sick of looking at food and he has had a growth spurt so I put my crockery out again and the food jars back in the meat safe and it looks much brighter and less cluttered.

Much love, Emma xx

Susan said...

The kitchen looks great! I need many things in my kitchen ... most of all space! It's so tiny! But that will have to be at a later date. Molly looks and sounds so interested in everything. I don't want even a goldfish these days. I can't spare the energy to take care of any other creatures. My son has a Russian Blue-Manx in the basement apartment, and seeing and petting her once in a while is about all I need. =) Thank you for your lovely tempting hints of things to come!