Friday, 17 April 2020

Safely Home.

Hello, dear Lovelies!🌷

It's Friday ( not so easy remembering which day is which these days! ) and today is day 21 of our 21-Day ( Very Strict ) Lockdown, except....it isn't! It's Day 1 of our NEXT 14-Day Lockdown!! I'm not complaining ( I am, quietly, inside ) because I know it's for The Common Good... but shooowee, even for a homebody like me, this is hard on the emotions. I feel I've been forced onto one of those carousel ponies, going around and around but through all the stages of Grief, instead of a manic fun ride!

I think it's fair to say, we are all grieving our "before" lives? Even if it seems as if your life hasn't changed much, on a day to day basis, everything out there has changed forever. We are literally living through an epic historical moment which will become part of our children's or grandchildren's History syllabus! That is, to coin a 70's phrase, blowing my mind!

I've spent this week disciplining my emotions so that Gratitude overrides overwhelming Uncertainty, Fear and Grief. Not easy for me who's a classic Fixer. I can't fix this but I can fix how I respond.

Safely Home. I repeat those two simple words much like a Mantra every time the word lockdown pops up. We are asked to stay safely Home. How bad can that be? Instead of Home being an option now ( in the recent past I could sell my house, move, or become a caravanning gipsy ) for now, it has become a necessity. Prison or Haven? Choice makes all the difference. I've been appreciating every little aspect of my Home. And feeling so much gratitude. Little things, little moments!

I thought I'd share a few snaps of my Home and Garden, which is my entire world right now. I am so grateful for the privilege of having a comfortable home, a little garden, food in the 'fridge, running water, electricity... and a well-stocked larder.💗 I'm grateful the streets are quiet and that our hedges are filled with happy birds. The air is definitely sweeter. Even the neighbours are ( sort of ) behaving themselves.



The Lounge in the morning.


Where we eat all our meals these days ( as opposed to in front of the Telly or in the Kitchen ).


My old Piano where I make up melodies to please Roxy and the Cats. 


My recently renovated bathroom ( which I did singlehandedly! ). It used to look like this...


And my favourite room, the bedroom where five of us manage to squeeze into every night!
Yep...Augusta, Nisha and Roxy!


As some of you may already know, our house is 118 years old. It's more of a cottage than a house. It's one of two semi-detached houses which many houses in our area are. In effect, we have two houses. My youngest son and his wife live in the "other house". Both houses have their own address although they are on one erf. Old houses are lovely but need lots of ongoing TLC!

Our small front garden got Palletized! I've been battling for years to make anything grow in the sandy soil. Eventually, after much slog... I gave up and then, tadaaaa, an idea popped into my mind to lay pallets on top of the sand and make a container garden!



I made this around the same time that I "palletized" the front verandah!


I am having so much fun each day in these little spaces...tweaking this and moving that and snipping things, watering pots, laying down more stones. One day I'll show you the other side but for now, it's still a work in progress.

Most of my days end with this view and a Netflix documentary or Series. We're working our way through Mad Men!



Time for a GIVEAWAY!!
Let me know how you're working your way through these strange times?

Leave your comment below and stand a chance of winning an adorable Butterfly Shawl pattern by Wilma Westenberg. I loved this sweet, summery, light butterfly design. Butterflies are a symbol of freedom. A little of that would go a long way right now!

Lovelies, stay safely Home and enjoy a happy weekend,
💗Jen

PS: for those of you who are working through the Green Tea Extension...Part 3 is live!
https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/green-tea-extension







45 comments:

  1. Netflix and yarn....trying not to boredom eat!!

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    1. That's a tough one! I'm purposefully not buying treats like we would normally do. We'd definitely munch through them all in record time. :D xx

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  2. I love your cozy cottage Jen. I also have a small garden and most of my plants are in containers which I like because I can move them as the weather or my whim dictates. During this time I am venturing into the world of growing vegetables. It is a learning work in progress and I am enjoying the thrill of seeing the seedlings push their way out of the soil and into the world. Part 3 of green tea looks fabulous and I am looking forward to relaxing with my crochet. Thank you for making this time a little brighter x

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    1. What a great time to start planting out veggies, Joanne. And they do very well in containers, especially leafy greens and salad greens. I always seem to score big with certain veggies and fail dismally at growing others no matter how hard I try. Best of luck, I'm excited to see what comes up so do let me know? Happy weekend! xx

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  3. Working on green tea, reading watching birds in my garden, cleaning my attic. Putting items aside for donations

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    1. It's amazing how many people are commenting on the birds they see in their gardens or just on their walks! There are so many more birds around than usual...what a great plus side! :D Mr HooksnTales and I have been insisting for years, that we'd "clean out the attic this winter "...and now I think "this winter" is finally here! :) Happy weekend! xx

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  4. I am currently waiting for a yarn shipment currently stranded somewhere between the UK and Canada so I ordered thread from amazon and have tried my hand at threadwork. It keeps my fingers busy and my mind quiet as I WAIT for yarn... glad you have found some peace in your palette garden!xoxo

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    1. " palette garden "! I love that! :D Happy weekend with yout thread! I think so many of us are making do while we wait for Yarn. xx

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  5. love your home,I'm cleaning my home room by room, crocheting face masks and crocheting a skull afghan for my daughter.

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    1. Thank you, it sounds like you are keeping very busy in yours! Happy weekend! :D xx

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  6. Baking. crocheting. baking did i say crocheting and gardening.i live my garden. this afternoon it wil be a carrot cake and the working away if frafels on my stola

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    1. I'm glad you are doing all the lovely things! A house smells divine when there's baking going on that's for sure! I have been baking bread every second day and with the over ripe bananas, I've made Banana Bread! Enjoy your weekend! xox

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  7. Such peaceful garden and kitty photos! We are on day 25 of lockdown, when my 2 year old little guy allows I spend as much time as I can hooking and cooking to stay sane. I am currently working on the karoo vintage mal and a few amigurumi.

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    1. Oooo...2 year olds can take up a lot of time! I'm guessing busy Mommies are not even noticing these lockdown days because they are zooooming by fast when there's a 2 year old in the house! Enjoy...in no time at all they are telling you they're moving into their own apartment! :D xx

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  8. Love your kitty and you have beautiful garden. We r on 4th week of lock down. Lovely patterns I love so much them. We experience working from home. Office work and house work all together.

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    1. Same here, Kiran! Both my husband and I are at home now but we stick to our work routine and then we both do the shopping, cooking and cleaning...so far it is working out very well! :D Enjoy your weekend and thank you for your kind words! :D xx

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  9. Such a cosy place to live Jen. Perfect idea to use pallets and pots. I've a lovely garden on both sides but always garden in pots for food and tulips. As for the sixth year in a row all colours turned orange and yellow while the package definitive showed purple.

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    1. Hahaha...those darn packets lie! :D I've had the same experience! I love my old, old house...one thing missing, it does not have a ghost! :D Happy weekend!! xox

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  10. I love your cottage but I'm not going to lie - I was expecting more evidence of crochet - LOL.There is not much in my house either although that is all I ever seem to do. I'm keeping busy by crocheting, cleaning my house (five inside dogs = lots of furry dust bunnies to sweep)and I've been baking up a storm at the teenagers requests.It seems cake is the secret to them getting through the lock down and online classes !

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    1. Hahaha, Fi that made me laugh out loud! As soon as I finish a piece it's carefully packed away, out of sight. Baking is indeed the answer to many of lifes problems and challenges, as it eating the baked goods! You can't go wrong! :D Many people have asked me to show off my house...expecting it to be as colourful and over the top as the patterns! :D The opposite is true. I need a calm, cosy and neutral home. Old bits of beloved wood furniture, cosy cushions and soft mono toned throws, plants and stone floors...cottage style, without the colourful quirky bits. There's so much colour going on in my mind, and design ideas swirling about that I think my toned down home is a relief when I leave my little workroom. :D xx

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  11. Hi Jen. Love your little cottage and garden. I live in a mobile home park so my yard is small too. Spring has arrived finally here in Canada. So, I've been prepping my veggie garden. Yesterday I built 2 small boxes to move my strawberry plants into and a trellis for peas to grow up. My husband is an essential employee so he goes to work every day. My boys and I have been staying busy playing games and watching Netflix. I have about 12 projects in the go or planned. Like you not much has changed. Other than being told we can't go anywhere. We are home, together, safe and healthy.

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    1. That sounds lovely though! We had an indoor table tennis set but that idea went out the window as soon as we played...the ball got caught by our Cats and we haven't seen it since! Lol! Wishing you loads of planters luck with your veggies and a lovely full harvest in a few months time! So satisfying, isn't it!? Hope you have a wonderful Springy weekend! :D xx

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    2. I've had to stop working :( I hurt my back so now I'm louging with crochet. Even though its warmed up to 17C today :( sigh. Next week I'll continue my gardening. Maybe I'll make some sunday Folk hexies..

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  12. Slowly but surely I am making my way through my days. I’m crocheting along with the Green tea and in between I’m crocheting the Karoo. Completed through round 80-part 4 last night just in time to be the GT again today. So excited to see the next few rounds. Spending time in the garden, cooking more than normal, watching Criminal Minds on Netflix and doing pretty good. Teaching a lot of people at church how to use Zoom in between times so we can still gather together. Life is different but still good.

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    1. I keep saying how lucky we really are to be living in times where we can communicate through multiple mediums. Not to mention the endless entertainment available through Podcasts and Youtube Turorials , Games and Movies. Indeed, life is still very good in so many ways. :D I'm glad you're enjoying the patterns!! Stay safe, and enjoy a lovely weekend! xx

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  13. I was watching too much news. I decided to turn off the tv and open the sliding glass door and just breathe. Lots of crocheting too of course!

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    1. I know it's not easy, Kelly. You keep thinking there will be a huge newsflash and everything will be ok again. But it's grim out there that's for sure and it's hard to take in the enormity of what's happening. It's so very, very important that you turn off the news which is designed mostly to sell news! It's meant to be reactive. Take good care of yourself through this, you are also not alone, if you feel overwhelmed, reach out. I have loads of Mom jokes up my sleeve! :D Big hugs!! xox

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  14. I love your palletized container garden. It reminds me of when my youngest son told me he wanted to grow a Pot garden over the summer break. I almost lost it until he showed me a picture of what he wanted. Then I did loose it! I laughed so much at myself for letting my own thoughts run away with me. He is now 17 and fortunately a great conversationalist. He keeos me entertained as I stitch away the days.

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    1. He sounds like a fine young man! :D xx

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  15. Love your home. I live in Jozi and it is so blessedly quite. Can even hear the Fish Eagle calling over the Jukskei. My daughter gifted me the beautiful scented Vuvuzela rose and I have been checking it daily marvelling at how it starts out bright yellow and ends up deep red

    Last week my brain was jolted out of retirement by my previous boss asking if I would kindly drop my crochet hook and organise and coordinate the making of 850 masks for the pupils and staff of a school for vulnerable children. In a country in serious lockdown that really required thinking outside the box, but it has been done. The bits and bobs of material sorted through and packed ready to find its way to a group of ladies who, for a small fee per mask, will make them. This in turn will enable them to feed their families.

    So now I can return to being a happy hooker😀💖

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    1. Wow, that's an amazing initiative! I'm so glad so many people have jumped on board with the cloth face masks. I've read a gabillion articles about whether these masks are effective or not and the bottom line comes down to that they do offer protection. In March a local woman not far from me started making masks so I ordered 100 from her to hand out to vulnerable individuals. I've also donated to Food For Life and will keep doing so until things have stabilised ( if anyone is wondering what I do with the money you all pay for my patterns! Lol!! ). Oh, goodness...I DO miss Johannesburg and the highveld in general. Hugs! xx

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  16. What a lovely home you have! I also take great joy in my plants (just set some seeds in peat pots to germinate) and love to snip and make more. And listen to the sweet birds all around us. I inherited these trends and my love of making things from my Grandmother, who was my best friend. I often think how thrilled both of my Grandmothers would be if they could see their crochet or knit patterns with a video! Just think, if you interpreted the print instructions wrong - frog frog frog. Their work was always perfect!
    Well dear girl, I am working on your Bloemfontein Rose pattern right now. I've seen different colorways used and love them all - so I'm doing three at one time. (Is that legal?)
    Glad you're staying in and staying safe!

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  17. Thank you for part 3's release. It gives me something to be excited about working on this weekend while everyday seems to be melting together. Thank god for little things like a favorite crochet pattern. They really seem to make this "safely at home" time from becoming a full case of cabin fever. Stay well.

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    1. I'm so glad we can continue living in Crochetland without too many negative effects from the present situation "out there". By the way, I forgot to mention in the blog ...but we are running a fun competition " making crochet houses" over at the HooksnTales Pattern Workshop Group on FB! So that's another crochet related distraction? :D Happy weekend and crochet on! xx

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  18. Your cottage is dreamy! I love it, and I love your encouraging words - we are not "trapped" at home, we have the wonderful opportunity to "stay" at home. My almost 5 yr old daughter is loving all the wonderful daddy-time she's getting. I am waiting on a yarn shipment to start on a baby blanket for a dear friend of mine who is expecting in november, and I am about to start using the Fynbos extension to add to an afghan I've been working on for AGES now for my sister and her husband. While I can't wait for "normal" to return, this has been, in a way, a very nice, quiet time.

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    1. I agree! :D You'll know from my videos that I'm ALWAYS complaining about our relentlessly noisy road. The noise has reduced by 90%! I've always wished I could just pick our house up and take it to a quieter location...so it feels as if my wish has temporarily come true! I want this horrible virus to go away but I know I'll look back on this homely, quiet, togetherness in isolation time with a certain measure of nostalgic affection. Go figure! Enjoy your crochet! :D xx

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  19. Jen Love your bathroom renovations. You did great job. I am working at the moment as the lady who's job I am doing is having treatment for Breast Cancer, so I was asked to step in for her, normaly I am only P/T as near retirement age.lol.... I am trying to crochet in the evenings but find I am starting to make mistakes as I fall asleep whilst crocheting. Old age lol.... But am giving it a go and making an afghan mistakes and all. Sty Safe, Stay Home, Take care. xx

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    1. Thank you for the compliment, Kathy! We're fortunate to have two bathrooms. The Mr has the "bath" room and I have the "shower"room. :D It's a little luxury I so appreciate!! In fact, my shower room used to be the old laundry room, so it's next to the kitchen and back door. We had a Plumber in to install the loo and basin etc and then I got stuck with fixtures, paint, tiles and so on... which was the fun part. Honestly, everytime I go in there I get a little thrill of pleasure.:D Working sounds like a good thing right now and definitely helps with sticking to routines! But yes, the downside is less crochet time...booooooo! :D Enjoy your weekend! xx

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  20. Hello, Jen. I'm trying again to leave a comment - don't know what I'm doing wrong, but it keeps not going through. I love the green tea pattern and the extenson - thank you!🤗 My two cats, Puisín and Selchie, sleep on my lap whilst I crochet. That is when they're not doing silly, young cat things. They had their 1 year birthday yesterday. Here in Seattle, we too are continuing to Stay Home, Stay Safe. Thank goodness for crochet. I've been working on a continuous triangle shawl in relentlessly cheerful colors, which I adapted from Joy's Journey Continuous Crochet Square Blanket pattern.

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    1. Hi Niamh! Aw, your kittehs sound adorable! My two girls are already 7 and mostly just live the life of lazy, spoilt little Queens! :D I'm happy to hear you are safely home, crocheting, like so many of us are around the world. It's a very surreal thought to think we are all mostly in the same situation! One day we'll look back on these times and remember the good parts, I'm sure. I hope you have a joyful weekend! :D Hugs! xx

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  21. Hi Jen nice to meet you here. Well my isolation time has been spent crocheting when I can and looking after 3 of my beautiful granddaughters. We have so much fun together and I have been trying to teach the older 2 how to crochet. The older one asked me 'Who is going to make these beautiful blankets when you are gone Nan.' So I replied you will when you get older sweetie keep practising. My cats don't like it when I crochet as they are not allowed on my lap then. Thanks for your awesome patterns and I see a lot of people love them. So thanks from all. Love Monica. Australia.

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  22. Hello, Monica! So nice to see you here! Aw, your granddaughters sound so sweet and what fun to teach them to crochet! My Ouma taught me to cook and I remember very happy times in her old-fashioned kitchen and her filled Pantry. It was only many years later that I found out she crocheted...what a surprise because I don't recall ever seeing her knit or crochet and yet she was prolific! I feel a very special connection to her since I picked up crochet...it's all in the inherited "hand memory" I think? :D Enjoy this special time with your G'daughters. Definitely a silver lining? :D xx

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  23. My husband passed away this week after suffering a severe stroke. Isolation is more difficult than ever, but friends have sent flowers that remind me of your beautiful designs, Jen. I have so loved working on them, and my artist husband always admired them. I will continue to crochet my memories of him with bright colors and so much love.

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    1. I neglected to add my name to my email. I am Valerie, from the U.S.

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