Thursday, June 13, 2019

Lebanese Chicken and Saffron Rice


Hi Everyone! How are you? Today I'll be teaching you how to make my go-to Lebanese dinner.  This meal has been on roatiation for years around here. I grew up eating my grandmother's hashweh, which is a Lebanese meat and rice pilaf.  My father adored her hashweh which was always served at holiday time. My modernized version takes a departure from tradition by using ground chicken and saffron rice. I also use a rice cooker to speed things along during the busy workweek. Ground beef is traditional and wonderful. But we're always looking for new ways to prepare chicken. This is a warm and cozy dish during colder months. It's light enough to serve in summer too. The signature Lebanese flavor profile comes from a blend of warm spices. If you're looking for an extraordinary chicken recipe, then I hope you'll give this a go.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

New Pattern ~ Bluebird Baby!


New Bluebird Baby Pattern!
This petite bluebird was inspired by a vintage pattern.The pattern is stitched with two strands of silk floss on antique white linen. You can also select your favorite DMC floss to work the pattern. It's a great beginners pattern because it can be completed in a relaxing afternoon. Experience the joy of stitching a small piece of handmade embroidery. Turn up the charm in your home with pretty stitchery! To learn more about this pattern please pop on over to my online shop by clicking the link below. Happy Stitching! xx ~ Jilly

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

French Blue Thread Back In Stock


Just a quick announcement that the French Blue Silk Thread is back in stock. Click on the link below and pop on over to my shop to view all my cross stitch patterns and supplies.
Happy Stitching! xx ~ Jilly  

Easy Cream Of Tomato Soup


This tomato soup is a total game-changer. Loved by children and adults alike, just a few simple ingredients is all it takes to make a cozy, creamy, customizable soup. This is the best tomato soup I have ever made. The magic is in the slow-simmering. But don't let that deter you. This soup is worth the wait. It comes together quite easily and it's great the next day for lunch. Butter helps thicken the soup and make it dreamy. As they say, butter makes everything better. The soup is rich so a that less than a cup is enough for me. I usually pair it with a garden salad and keto bread for a lower-carb meal.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Rose Silhouettes





Rose Silhouettes 

This vintage-modern design is available in my shop now! The pattern celebrates my favorite flower. Stitch one rose or all of them. Select your favorite colors and have a relaxing time stitching some impressionistic roses.

Pop on over to my online shop to learn more: Sew French Online Shop
     
 Happy Summer Stitching! xx ~ Jilly 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

New Rose Silhouettes Pattern




Hi Everyone! How have you been? It's been a minute since I posted a new pattern. These past two winters, I've been involved with doing a lot of homeless outreach here on Boston's North Shore. The winters are long and cold. The shelters fill up fast. People are outside in freezing cold weather. That means passing out hot coffee, lots of blankets, arctic sleeping bag, popup tents and bagged lunches to folks shivering in the streets. It means making referrals to emergency psychiatric services and meal programs. Now that winter is over, I'm burnt-toast. I need a break. One thing that I've struggled with throughout the years of working for social justice is finding balance for prayer, church-going and selfcare. The important things that matter most. They help me from feeling lost and overwhelmed. Everything is better when I integrate all these things into my life. When I place God, prayer and church first then I'm on the right track. But I'm a flawed person. When I feel passionate about social justice, I can often neglect the gentle activities that bring stillness and peace to my life. I guess that's why I'm drawn to cross stitch. Cross stitch is slow-going, but that's why I like it. Stitching allows me to rest and be still. A hoop in my hand focuses my attention inward. I find serenity in the rhythm of a needle passing through linen. I love the way silk thread looks against linen. I'm very happy for a return to a slower pace. Isn't that what summer is about? Slowing down. Resting. Recreating. That might be why I experience  an increase in sales just before summer starts. Thank you to all my sweet customers who find joy in stitching my patterns. That makes my heart happy. I imagine my customers stitching my designs in their air conditioned condos or on their porches with a glass of iced tea or lemonade nearby. Taking care of ourselves by cooking healthy dinners, going for long walks and making something pretty are balms for the soul. Selfcare also means hugging and petting my rescued beagle much more, staying present in the moment and watching her have running-paw-dreams. Standing still feels right. It feels good. To be with my silks and linens is my re-creation

This new rose pattern is the first in a series. I hope to stitch and frame each piece and hang them on a gallery wall. My plan is to frame all the new rose patterns in simple gold frames. Roses will always be my muse. These new patterns are all about roses. A celebration of my favorite flower. I designed the silhouette roses in an impressionistic style. The pattern feels fresh, free, modern and vintage at the same time. 

The rose silhouettes can be stitched in all one color or your favorite pinks and greens. There are so many options for stitching the roses on colored linen too. Stitch one rose or all of them. The pattern is meant to inspire you to create something beautiful and handmade. Stitching my simple patterns are a stress-reducing, mindful experience. Simple is always beautiful. I don't go for a lot of changing threads. For me, lots of thread changes makes cross stitching less enjoyable and less meditative. 

This rose pattern is perfect for summer-stitching because you can take it on vacation with you. Stitch on your porch, on your couch watching Netflix or in your rose garden. Once you've completed a single rose, you can frame it or continue stitching all of the roses.  The pattern is very flexible. The detailed pattern will be for on Friday in my shop. Please feel free to send me an email with your questions or comment below. I'd love to hear from you!  

Happy Summer Stitching!
xx ~ Jilly!    

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Raspberry & Teal






Hi Everyone! How have you been? I've been working on a few more patterns. I finally finished the monogram. "R" is for roses. I stitched the monogram on azalea-pink French linen with white silk. Monograms are heirloom pieces that never go out of style. I'll frame this one and add it to my gallery wall. I'm planning on creating a gallery wall with a mix of my own hand stitched pieces, vintage embroidery and Asian embroidery. I love gallery walls but they need to be done right. There are tips and tricks to make them cohesive. Maybe when my gallery wall is finished, I'll be able to snap some decent photos and post them to my Instagram . Yes, I'm back on Instagram. I'm still on the fence about it. If you don't pay for Instagram promotions then no one ever sees your posts. Such is life on social media. I try to update my Instagram on the regular though, whether people see my posts or not. It's fun.

I hoped to add a few more things to the shop last month but life got in the way. You know how that goes. I spend time helping homeless people. I'm trying to devote time to meditative prayer and spiritual reading because it's essential to my life.

Anyway, I'm currently stitching a large pattern now. There's always something in my hoop. This new pattern is a blooming garden rose stitched with raspberry silk on white linen. I love the way raspberry-pink contrasts with the teal in the teacup saucer too (see images above). The color-pop of pink and teal is pretty. Darker colors always ground pink and make it sophisticated. Pink and black will always be a classic too. Coco Chanel knew that.

I'm going to get back to stitching now. I have a large mug of  French-press coffee on my table. Stitching and sipping coffee is a thing on Instagram. Photos of hoops with embroidery and hands holding a coffee mug pop up in my feed very often. I never tire of looking at the coffee and stitching photos. Coffee and stitching is definitely a thing and they do go quite well together.

I'm always happy when a piece of embroidery is framed and ready to hang on the wall. Hand-stitched items really do make a home more soulful, personal and charming. I can't wait to frame my second rose heart pattern. In case you missed it, this rose heart pattern is stitched with raspberry silk on white linen. You can stitch it in your favorite colors. I hope you'll discover the joy of cross stitching. I have fun freebies in my shop with links to teach you how to cross stitch, so please visit and browse for a while. I'd like to thank you all for your support.

Happy Stitching!
xx ~ Jilly