Life Update

Friday, September 27, 2019


Somehow it's almost the end of the month and this is my first blog post other than my regular monthly report! I thought it was time for a bit of an update on what I've been up to, not just this month but in the last year too.

As social media has made it easier and more natural to share every little bit of your life, I've felt myself wanting to keep more things private. But I do miss sharing a bigger look into what's going on in my life, especially here on my blog. I love looking back at older posts and seeing what I was thinking or feeling at that time.


To be honest, this last year has been tough for me personally. In August last year I experienced the biggest flare-up in my arthritis* that I've ever had and it was pretty out of control until May/June of this year. There were stretches of time where I was limiting my times up or down our stairs to 2-3 times a day because my knee would swell up so easily. Since my sewing room is on the second floor, that made it pretty hard to be productive in my sewing! I love to be busy working on projects and generally working with my hands so it was difficult for me to do what I needed (rest) to get healthy.

*I have juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Read more here: Safe Crafting: Sewing with Arthritis


The entire situation forced me to evaluate how I was doing everything, including working on my business/blog/sewing. It made me realize that I needed to take a step back and work at a slower pace in order to maintain my health. That's the main reason why blog posts, patterns, and even my social media posts have been fewer and farther in between. Just like everything else, nothing is permanent, so I may return to my prolific sewing habits someday. For now though, I'm taking things slower.


I have so many things to share, from projects that never got photographed and all the creative work I've done on fixing up our home. It's a challenge for me to fit everything into a day without overdoing it. Taking care of an entire house has taken up so much more of my time than I anticipated. It's all good, but it does mean less time to work.

In the last two months I painted our kitchen, including the inside and outside of our cabinets, which was quite an undertaking. It was actually the big push on finishing up the painting that kept me away from the blog this month. I've also been working steadily on the lined drawstring bag expansion pattern, which I'm still hoping to release this Fall. I'm including a lot of different options, so it's taking longer than I expected. I do think (hope!) it will be worth the wait.


My sweet George bunny has had a bit of a rough summer too. He's been having a major shed and it has been hard on his digestive system. So that's been a lot of extra worrying and he has needed extra care and attention. He has been improving and I'm hoping things will return to normal once it cools off and his shedding is done.


My little cutting garden on the side of our garage has brought me immense joy this summer. I usually go out to check on it a couple of times a day, it's so peaceful to watch the bees and butterflies enjoying all the flowers. I'm looking forward to an even bigger garden next year. I'm going to be really sad when there isn't a constant rotation of flowers in the house over the winter.

I think that's plenty of an update for now! I'll be back next week (for real this time) for my regular monthly report. Then I'm hoping to get back to a more consistent blogging schedule. I can't make any promises, but I would like to be in this space more regularly.

17 comments :

  1. I love your huge kitchen window to your backyard. It must make for a happy house. Best wishes to a better autumn for your health.

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  2. Jen,Glad you are feeling better. Love the windows in your kitchen. Why don't they make pretty sheets like that anymore? Hugs to George bunny. I saw some unique Pyrex at an estate sale last week-end. I don't buy it anymore. I'm almost 70 and need to downsize my "stuff". Ha Ha.

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  3. Thanks for sharing the various 'bits and pieces' of your life! You've been a very busy gal, even while dealing with an arthritis flareup. Love your cutting garden - your flowers are beautiful! Deb E

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  4. Having suffered a chronic illness for years I have to say I am impressed with what you accomplish. Pain is so debilitating and since it isn't visible many people expect more from you than you are comfortable givinng. Move at your new pace for a while and let your body decide when to do more or less. I've had 32 years of pain and when I tried to do too much the physical and emotional stress just compounded my problems.

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  5. The kitchen looks incredible! Your hard work is so worth it, and you do amazing things every day. <3

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  6. Thank you for sharing Jeni, as always! I think you're fantastic. :)

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  7. I'm finding that life is a series of seasons and each one has a different focus. Take care of your health and family first and the rest will fall into place where it fits. ❤

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  8. Jen, thank you for sharing how you are doing- I was concerned when I did not see your posts. It is a continuing challenge not to overdo. I suffered from chronic migraines for 22 years and now am better- but I know how difficult just doing day to day things can be.

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  9. I know a lot about your health condition. I hope that the flares settle down soon. Meantime, I am happy that you take good self care choices when you flare up.
    Perhaps moving your sewing space down stairs.... I know that is not usually possible. George is a lucky bun boy to have you to help him manage the fur flying.
    I love your dish collection, and also your vintage sheet collection.
    Enjoy the changing season and happy week-end

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  10. It's always nice to read about what you are doing. I'm sorry you've been having so many issues, but am glad you are wise enough to pace yourself. Chronic pain is no joke and I don't think people always realize how much of your energy it drains. Kisses to George; glad he's improving.

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  11. Kitchen looks wonderful! Glad you’re getting relief. Our granddaughter has same type of arthritis and some times are worse than others even with great care.

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  12. Your kitchen looks great with the painted cabinets. I have painted my cabinets too so I know how much work it is to do that. Your garden is really pretty too. You are doing well with prioritizing your efforts.

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  13. Thank you for sharing! Your kitchen is beautiful. Take care of yourself!

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  14. Ah, Jeni -- your posts are always worth the wait. I'm sorry to hear you've been having health challenges. And George suffering, too! Your kitchen looks fantastic and your last flowers of the season are lovely, too.

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  15. These bodies of ours. We take them for granted until they don't cooperate with our plans. Good to listen and make yourself the priority. Loved seeing a wee bit of your world. And hoping this flare up subsides soon!

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  16. I rarely comment here but I do read frequently. Health and family always come first - always. Never apologize for that. And I echo what another commenter pointed out. If the stairs are too much of an issue, spend some time looking at alternate ways to prioritize the use of your house. I know MANY quilters who use the dining room and/or the living room as their studios and turn upstairs rooms into sitting rooms, family rooms, etc. I have OA and totally understand what you mean about limiting times up/down the stairs and missing your fabrics/studio space.

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  17. SEW sorry to hear that you've had such a rough go of it this year, Jeni! Hoping that you and George are on the mend soon. I have missed your posts, but totally understand the limitations of your pain threshold and limited energy supply. Quilt when you feel able and we'll be here waiting to hear about it once you are feeling better.

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Thanks for keeping this blog a positive place, I appreciate the time you're taking to leave a comment! I'll answer any questions here in the comments section!

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