Wednesday, May 15, 2024

May, the month of sewing and shedding...

 I had a number of things on my list to finish this month because I made the decision not to start anything new until a few unfinished projects were complete. My theme for this month, which I totally forgot to tell you about at the beginning of May, is "shedding", and that encompasses so many different aspects of life - UFOs being just one of them. There has been much satisfaction of late when I shed the visual reminders of a job unfinished.

Here's a couple of UFO finishes for May. Both the stitcheries are free patterns I have shared with you previously - HERE and HERE - and now one (a remake) is a little flour sack style decoration, and the the other is a small tie top pillow for the bedroom. 

I also completed a little chicken stitchery for a hoop, and that will be eventually hang in the kitchen.

Also on my sewing list was to alter and repair a number of linen and cotton dresses that have been waiting in the mending basket most of this year.

Now I have a restocked wardrobe of good quality cool dresses for our tropical climate! 

I also (finally) cut up some old linen tops that were quite worn in places, or damaged, and now they will become lovely pieces for creating new cushions in our home. 

I spent a couple of days making a new runner for our coffee table from some lovely green prints I've had for many years - maybe ten years? We decided to brighten our home decor inexpensively so I have been checking what I have in the way of fabrics to sew a few things. The rug below the coffee table was a Mothers Day gift from hubby (he insists on thanking me for making him a father, bless him)...

I have been watching The Great British Sewing Bee on the iPad again, starting over with season 1 (on Britbox Australia) as I cut and sew and plan in the sewing matter how many times I watch the series, I am inspired and learn something new.

As I watched yesterday, I took note of the Tilda fabrics on my table (leftover from the two little pillows in those photos at the beginning of this post) and also the lovely little tin with small shortbreads that I was enjoying with my afternoon decaf coffee...and an idea formed. 

An hour later....

 The tin is just the right size for holding pins, needles, small scissors, binding clips and threads. I still have one more tin left to play with, but not until I finish the shortbreads. 

In the kitchen I made another apple pie (no fancy decorations this time) and tried a 'new to me' bread roll recipe that was quite a hit with the family. 

In the garden there's a number of new plants and herbs growing, plus the kookaburras are visiting often and laughing for me as they sit in the shade of our huge poinciana tree...

The grandchildren are loving their new cubby Cafe and the 'new' dress-up outfits I found at the Salvos op-shop. Can you believe Cully May will be 8 in August? 

So what else am I shedding, other than my sewing UFOs??

My inbox...and all the unnecessary email subscriptions (and some I never subscribed to but they keep coming anyway)
My wardrobe...things that have not fit for years or have weathered too many years. I really want all the little bits and pieces scattered around our small home? No, so I'm assessing each one and deciding two things - do I like it? - is there a place for it to be displayed?
Garden ideas...the ones I have laboured over for years and they have never been fruitful. 
Recipes...trimming down the overfull recipe folder to only those which we enjoy and will be remade over again and again.
Recipe I really need all those cookbooks? Not at all. two thirds have now been donated.
Craft/Sewing I even read them anymore? Have I used them to make projects or for inspiration? If not, then they need to go. Many I sold, and others have been donated. style really is changing, so even though I rarely buy fabrics anymore and have a good but not expansive fabric stash, I'll be selling quite a bit very soon. 
My original completed stitchery designs...time to sell many on Etsy, as there's nowhere to display them here. I'd need a gallery! 
Busyness...yes, I'm shedding that too. Intentionally slowing my days this year (even more than last year) has allowed me to eliminate time-wasting, and be more productive in what matters around the home. I'm also doing two things at once, slowly - listening to a book/sermon/podcast whilst I work in the kitchen, or watching something like Great British Sewing Bee on the iPad while I'm creating/mending/organising in my sewing room. 
Dreams...those dreams of old that are simply not practical at my age or in this time of life.
Unrealistic Expectations...those I have put on myself and those others try to put on me.
Designing...aah, yes, at last the time has come. I have one commissioned project to do for the Tilda Club Australia later this year, and then the slate is clean. 
All the patterns I purchased or saved to make one day...three-quarters were donated or sold. As I've said previously, my style has changed and I'm enjoying exploring that in the things I am now making for our home.
Coffee mugs...I mean, really, how many do you need??? I confess to being a coffee mug addict, as is my Blossom. But they must go. Well, the least liked ones. 
Appliances we do not use...its been exciting to sell them on and empty some much needed storage space! We have barely any in our small home, but it's almost 'just right' now. 

There's more, but I think you get the idea. 

What kind of things are you shedding from your life? I had been brushing our pug, Molly, when I had the ide about shedding. She's a heavy shedder and needs a lot of regular brushing or our floors and furniture gather piles of her loose fur. When I finish grooming her she has a big shake and runs off quite exhilarated...and that made me think about how good I feel when I 'shed' things or burdens or expectations from my life. If I was Molly, I'm sure having a happy shake and my mind exhilarated would spur me on to 'shed' more often.

Perhaps it's my age that also inspires me to let go of all those things? As I get older, I find myself needing less and less, wanting less and less. There's much more joy to be found in the small things, the ordinary things in life, and as I become more aware of that, I find contentment in both heart and mind soon follows. 

Would love to hear your own thoughts, my friends. God bless you, and may His presence be a constant source of gratitude, hope and love as you walk through your days. 

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Barb McGovern said...

It must be the time of year for clearing the decks; I too am finishing up UFOs to clear my table of piles of unused fabrics so that I can sew some new clothes and start some new projects. I enjoy your blog so much that sometimes I just scroll through to see how you have made your home so pretty and welcoming; something I want to do as well. All the best, Barb.

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Shedding, a great way to describe all what you are doing this month. Wow ! You have really shedded a lot. Well done you :)
Gorgeous new rug ! Helps show off all those pretty fabrics :)
Tilda Pie in the sky cussions look great !
It's like a new whole wardrobe when all the mending gets done. I ask myself why it sits so long before it gets done . " it only takes a minute to sew on the button :)".
The great british sewing bee is super. So glad you can watch them from the beginning. I'll have to see what's available here.I'm always ooking forward to the new season.
Love your new creative pin cussion hat biscuit tin :)
Have you ever had a biscuit tin that didn't close properly ? Didn't seal/click closed ? I bougth one all sealed and filled with cookies I thought would make a great containter just to find out the lid was too loose. Cookies were good and the tin went .
8 ! Wow ! She looks great ! Wonderful to hear they are enjoying the cubby cafe :)
The new Tilda Creating Memories fabrics will be here in the LQS mid June. Looking forward to what you have designed.
What's being shed here
The garden is being simplifed. What a difference. It feels more relaxed, calm.
Once that has been completed the shed can have a sort out. How many garden tools does one need when there's artificial grass and a few pots with blooms. Taste in garden pots and decor changes as well. Good thing for the second hand store :)
I've been filling up the paper recycling emptying binders and refilling them with the latest projects. Gret way to use what I have without using more shelf space that is already full.
It's mid May !
We're enjoying a few warm days.
Hugs, take care,

Lin said...

Goodness you have been busy with all your shedding! Definitely something that needs to happen around here but..... Well, I am trying to work through my unfinished quilts so that is a start.Nice use of those stitcheries and great tin makeover. xx

Remembrances said...

What a wonderful way to put it! I too have been shedding. We are moving (or attempting to anyway) from our large 2100 sq. ft. house to our 1200 sq. ft. "vacation" home, so a lot has to go. The biggest thing I did this last couple of days was go through my closet and decide what needed to go. Since I retired, I have "shed" a lot of business outfits, but more must go, so that is what I did! Plus, I did brush my dog, who sheds a lot this time of year and she acted just like your furbaby - exited and very grateful!

I also started a "repurpose/upcycle" box for some of the clothing to be made over into something useful.

I love the cookie tin makeover!

Phi. 4:13

Anonymous said...

What a fitting term 'shedding' is! We've been doing that for a couple of years now - both in the way we are clearing out what isn't needed & doing renovations that make our home much more "old-age" friendly. Retired, but still quite busy as our daughter (a single mother) needs help with things. It's good to see the stress removed from our daughter as so much was done quickly & she is now able to weed out what isn't needed/used anymore. We moved out a large bookcase & a small antique table, replaced it with a just-purchased used white dresser that was in good shape. We moved out our granddaughters trundle bed (sold that immediately), moving a full sized bed to that spot (from our guest room, in excellent condition). Our granddaughter is thrilled with her adult bed (she is 15), and she rearranged her entire bedroom & it looks fabulous. We have a new queen size bed coming for our guest room with a motorized lift for the upper part of the bed. Our son uses that bed when he visits and the queen size bed will be welcomed (he's 6' tall) plus the lift will help with sinus issues and reading in bed. We also have a motorized lift for the bed in the master bedroom, lifting either the head, foot or both, which hubby needs & we're moving in the bookcase for all my favorite authors, which I re-read often. What is going out will be in a family yard sale in a few weeks. It's all a lot of work, but it makes each of our homes much easier to live in! Deb

Mary B said...

I've been shedding for the past several months. I have a long way to go, but that's ok. It's progress not a race. I laughed at how excited Molly gets over being brushed. I have a cat who I brush regularly. She does just the opposite. She gets very relaxed and ends up laying down. When I turn her over to brush the other side, she's like a limp dish rag. While she's laying there, you can see just the end of her tongue sticking out. It's so funny and so cute. Pets really are a joyful pleasure. Hugs and blessings to you and your family.
Mary B

Judith said...

Shedding!!! The most perfect word for moving into the next stages of our lives, work or projects to complete. I had a mental image of a sheep after it has been sheared (let's go out of the box and call it shedding); all that wool which will benefit others while lifting the load on the sheep to begin anew with a "clean" slate no longer bogged down with mountains of fluff.

Julie said...

Hello my dear friend .. I think shedding is the perfect word for all that you have been achieving. Those new cushions are stunning but Oh My .. that table runner with the new mat underneath the coffee table - be still my beating heart 💙 !! How beautiful!! Love, love the photo of the wee girls playing by their cubby house. Hard to believe Cully May is that old - seems just yesterday she was a new baby. Enjoy your days dear Jennifer. x0x

kiwimeskreations said...

Selling my 3 bedroom + studio house meant a lot of shedding - not all of it pain free... I now occupy a wee unit that is part of my daughters house, so once all the shelving is sorted, I may well be 'shedding' even more... and yes, I really don't need a lot now!

Ondrea said...

Lol I have been space clearing too. Next on my list are wine glasses, small cocktail glasses and pewter goblets that haven't been used for decades. I am still planning to get rid of more fabric. I love how you have made cushions with tie tops and converted that beautiful tin. Hmmmm...where did all those biscuits go???? Your grand children are growing so fast and have so much fun at your place. Love your floor rug.

Donna P. said...

Isn't it interesting how so many of us get that urge to shed at the same time? My dd is doing it and so are we. There's only so much room in the RV and we both have a tendency to add. We think to ourselves, "it's small and we'll find room". LOL! Famous last words.
I have also found that my style of fabric has changed, as well as my taste in cross stitch projects. I give my patterns to my dd and if she doesn't want them, she gives them to some of the ladies in her church or to the senior center.
Your grands are darling and how they've grown!
Thank you so much for a wonderful, thoughtful post.

Annabel said...

I love the tin make over! I love that we are both trying to finish up projects. I finished up a pram rug last week... I am two rows from finishing up a boys blanket. The girls have grown! We have know each other since they were tiny! They obviously love coming to your place! I also sew or crochet with a you tube video on. I love it! Fabric is so expensive now that I hope you will be able to sell what you no longer want at a good price. I think it will be snapped up! xxx

Anonymous said...

Jenny, you really do need to write a blog ok with all your wisdom, advice and creativity! It would be a best seller!
You are so inspiring!

Angie in SoCal said...

I, too, am shedding. But it is a monumental job. So I pick a corner of a room, a desk, or table top, or a bookshelf. This week's task is a bookshelf unit. I'm going to take it one shelf at a time of shedding what I want to keep, what I need to get rid of, and what belongs elsewhere. I have to shed what will fill a 1200 sq ft house, not the 2200 sq ft house I think mine is. It's not - just 1200.

Winifred said...

Can't believe how fast those girls have grown. Charlie David too. Grandchildren seem to grow so much faster than your own children for some reason. I'm sure time speeds up as you get older!

You've inspired me to start shed stuff. I'm such a hoarder, think it's because I grew up just after the war, so much was still rationed & things were in short supply so we saved absolutely everything. I've never grown out of the habit especially now with wasting nothing & recycling everything. I'm really sentimental about things people have bought me too even if I'm not very keen on them. However at my age I think I have to make a start.

Well I thought of you again when I saw a lovely pattern for a tulip cushion. It's so pretty so I'll paste the link for you just in case you fancy some tulips!

God bless