I believe my truest friends can be counted on a single hand, and one of them is Ruth.
I've spoken about my dear friend Ruth in the past, how the letters she writes me through the year, whether there be five or two, nourish my soul and fill me with a deep sense of care.
We met online through a homeschooling group almost seventeen years ago and from there forged a deep and abiding friendship which grows stronger to this day, the kind of friendship which you treasure closely because it so rarely comes along in life.
A parcel arrived from her yesterday overflowing with birthday delights she had gathered to bless me, such as doilies, a book to write special recipes inside, another lovely book with embroidery stitches (many I'd never tried) and one especially beautiful coral pink bookmark in the shape of a feather which she had crocheted just for me. Ruth's crochet is exquisite...
...as is her eye for the style of doily which catches my heart. Isn't this precious?
It's actually been a Ruth kind of week.
As you know, I am Australian and live quite happily in my dear country. What you may not know is that I live in the state of Queensland, and in this state we have an organisation called the Queensland Country Woman's Association.
Ruth Fairfax founded the QCWA ninety five years ago and was also instrumental in forming the Country Woman's Association of Australia, as well as the Associated Country Women of the World.
As today is International Women's Day I thought it appropriate to 'celebrate' the wonderful things Ruth did for country woman in my state, country and indeed throughout the world.
About four years ago, the QCWA began a quarterly magazine with all proceeds being used within the organisation. Named RUTH Magazine after the founder of the QCWA it is available through newsagents in Queensland and Northern NSW or can be ordered online as a mail-out subscription.
I've been a Ruth supporter since issue 1 and love the modern yet gentle style of country life within it's pages and the celebration of country women who have so many talents which flow far and beyond life on the land or a country town.
The editor of Ruth had apparently been following my Elefantz page on Instagram for months, the designs in last year's Gentle Domesticity BOM resonating with her, but one Sunday late last spring she stumbled across the fact that I lived in country Queensland and immediately emailed to ask if I'd please share about Gentle Domesticity in the magazine.
the autumn issue of Ruth arrived in the mail on Monday.
Since 2009 I have had my stitchery designs published in craft and sewing magazines around the world more than 250 times but sharing about the gentle domestic life, celebrating it in Ruth Magazine means more to me than words can say.
Loving home, embracing the heart of a homemaker, choosing to feather my nest and tell the world how much is satisfies my soul, encouraging women who since women's liberation threw the baby out with the bathwater have felt almost embarrassed to admit they enjoy partaking of the domestic arts and being wives and mothers...this is where I truly bloom from within.
And it's something which has become a part of me, it's a message to share and a life to delight in.
It's a journey where you, me, we can invite others to travel alongside us.
I have given Ruth Magazine the pattern for "Joy in the Ordinary" as a free download on their website because it was the most popular of all twelve Gentle Domesticity designs last year and is my personal favourite as well.
I think it simply says it all.
The pattern is also a free download here in my shop.
Go on, stitch it up for yourself.
There's so much joy when you embrace life in the beautiful ordinary.
I delighted in the kitchen this afternoon.
Rice paper rolls made for Mr E's work lunches the rest of the week, a delicious orange and sultana cake for morning and afternoon teas, and right now there's a lamb roast with loads of colourful veggies in the oven filling the house with salivating aromas...
...and I also remembered to take a photo of my new "Herb Garden" pillow, which features four 'herb' stitcheries from the March issue of The Stitchery Club.
The pillow pattern will also be included this month.
That's enough of me, I'm sure you're waiting for me to stop talking so you can move on to other things.
But can I just say this?
I love that you come to my blogging corner of the world and leave comments and chat with me and I enjoy hearing your own thoughts and gaining insight into what inspires you or what challenges you face and how you overcome them, and I think others who read your comments do as well.
So bless you for dropping by and being part of this rather large global kitchen table where the chat is continual and there's tea and coffee in abundance to go around, where you're always welcome and can bring your stitching or crochet, toddlers or pets along too.
That roast smells amazing....
What a lovely friend you have in Ruth; Jenny. So nice to see you have been published again; just goes to show how lovely your work is and how much of a sharing person you are.
I could almost smell your roast dinner from here in Western Australia. By the way that cake looks yummy :-)
How lovely! ( for BOTH "Ruth honors"!!) I am excited for you. Happy birthday month! ...and thanks for providing us common folk loads of lovely things to share in our ordinary lives and days��
How exciting Jenny.
I love coming to 'chat' at your table.
Congratulations Jenny. Such an honor.
Happy birthday month a well.
Following your foot steps with Jesus and your love of family is a great comfort.
Thank you for all you do and the lovely patterns.
So, so happy for you, Jenny! Wonderful news! Also beautiful birthday gifts - they are truly special! Love seeing your baking and hearing about your cooking - sounds wonderful. I always enjoy your blogs and 'sitting around the kitchen table, chatting' :)!
I am so excited for you, Jenny! And thrilled that you got some happy mail to brighten your day. The doily is gorgeous, and her workmanship is just lovely. How did the cloth you were knitting come out, by he way? I hope your migraine has cleared and that today will be a restful day for you!
Congratulations! You are a very special lady and now more folks will be encouraged by your sweet and gentle spirit. Blessings!
Jenny, you have once again turned an opportunity to boast into a opportunity to bless. Congratulations on being featured in yet another magazine and sharing your wonderful designs with new readers.
Cindy in NC
Congratulations on the positive, humble impact you have, online and in print! I am so glad that so many in Queensland will be introduced to you and your talent. You are so incredibly humble...like Cindy said, you could have boasted but you chose to bless. Every time I read your blog I feel like I am sitting with a dear friend, sipping tea and being blessed and refreshed!
There is nothing I can add to the lovely thoughts of these ladies for you. I thank you, plain and simple. Your's is a blog I never scroll past.
Hugs and blessings.
Hello Jenny, Happy Birthday! Such lovely gifts you received from Ruth. Plus, how spectacular to be published once again, in a Magazine that you truly respect and enjoy yourself. Jenny, you are such a special Leader in the Holy Word and share it in such a way that we understand and it refreshes our days, leads us and so many paths. Plus, you are such a splendid artist and share how to embrace life loving being a housewife, Mother, Wife and everything for us to be happy and honored. Thank you for sharing everything, Happy Birthday and Congratulations for this grand honor for you to be published in the Ruth Magazine!
Congratulations on the feature, Jenny. You are a wonderful mentor to so many women. Your blog is a blessing to me, so I THANK YOU for inviting me into your home and life with every post. It's been such delightful getting to know you, as well as your beautiful designs, through your writing. Hugs, Nancy
P.S. Ruth sounds like an amazing woman and friend.
Encore un bien joli post ...
Et un gâteau très alléchant !!!
Love, love, love the herb garden cushion!. Back to read the rest of the post later. Sneaky me just looked at the photo love!
That was a lovely present. That cake looks scrumptious mmm!
Reading your blog posts & becoming your cyber friend Jenny, has meant the world to me. You have made me feel good about loving being a homemaker again. I am so thankful to have you & your blog in my life. I love it when you pop up on my blog roll & reading your posts is often like sharing a cuppa together ... albeit a cyberspace one. It often feels like you are chatting to us when you write your posts. Keep up the wonderful work that you do & share Jenny. x x x Such a beautiful magazine, wish you could get it over here.
Congratulations on being published again. Your work is exquisite and should be shared.
Good friends are truly a treasure and hard to come by. I am glad you have your Ruth.
Just popped by to say thank you to you for being inspiring in so many ways, for your embroidery and your love of family and God and for sharing all of that. Happy International Women's Day and special thanks for all mothers out there xxx
Love Alison x
A friend like Ruth is to be treasured! Love the herb design. Nancy
Wow! That is incredibly special.
Thank you Jenny for reminding me of what is truly important. family, friends, home, faith, love.
Somehow, while liberating myself to do whatever I wanted with my life, I never gave up my love of quilting and all things domestic. My baby stayed in the bathwater. LOL I'm so grateful for all the things that love has brought to my life, and I'm grateful for the true and lasting friendships that have come from it. I don't know if we'll ever meet in person, but it really doesn't matter if we do. Heart knows heart. =)
Thank you for sharing this information about your friend Ruth, and showing pictures of her beautiful package. Thank you for sharing the Ruth Magazine. I'm so happy you were featured, and I understand why it pleases you the most of all your publications.
What a lovely friend Ruth is..
Loved reading your post Jenny.
Your posts as always seem so in tune with what I am going through...
I am feeling a change coming in my own life - a change for a simpler and less stressful change (work related)
I am scared yet hopeful and just reading your post has helped me enormously.
Home and family are what are important.
Thank you as always for sharing so generously of your own journey.
I would love to sit and have a cuppa with you...
Loads of love from Tanya Hughes in Perth Western Australia xxxxx
Dear Jenny: The delicious aromas of your kitchen have come to my house.
And the story of the two Ruth to my heart.
You must feel very proud of your work .
God bless you. Hugs.
What a nice pillow.
Your friend Ruth is amazing - that bookmark is sublime! What a treasure of a friend. Love the story of the magazine too, very fitting that you should be in there!!! I love love love your herb garden pillow. And - I can smell the roast from here - now I'm hungry!!!
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