Thursday, December 7, 2017

Some encouragement and a festive tutorial...

My plans to rest up haven't followed the path I'd hoped. I suppose this time of year has a way of calling you off in different directions and though you want/need to rest, the opportunities aren't always as forthcoming as you'd like. But I do feel a little better, which is wonderful, so thank you sincerely for your prayers. I actually sat here this morning and thought about that very thing.

Have you just stopped what you're doing and thought about who is praying for you?

What a beautiful, humbling, grateful experience I had as I did this. It made me want to hug each and every one of you who have lifted my name before Jesus. You bless me beyond words. xx

Between the various tasks these early December days bring into our lives I think we each look for a parcel of hours in which to create, a morning or afternoon here or there when we can disappear into the craft room or clear a space on the dining table 'just to make'.

Some of my friends create with paper, others with wool, and some like me use fabric or thread.
Last week you saw the simple ribbony buttony lacy card I made for a friend, and this week I'll show you a different simple gift for another friend.

I've made a pretty three-tiered shabby chic style Christmas tree pincushion in soft pastels, but once you see the basic steps you'll realise it can be made to any size and have as many tiers as you want.

I began by sewing three circles of differing sizes and stuffing them.

Before you make the circles stack your fabrics on top of each other and mix them around until you have them layered in such a way that it makes your heart flutter. 

Using Perle thread or three strands of embroidery thread (I used Perle 12) criss-cross back and forth, always bringing the needle back to the centre, until you have eight sections in your circle. Pull the thread gently as you sew each section until it puffs a little.
Secure the thread in the centre of the bottom side when you're done.

I used pink Perle thread for the bottom and middle pincushions... 

...and white for the small top one.

As this is a Christmas themed project the addition of some bling on top was important to the overall finish so I found the perfect button in my stash and sewed it in place.

Nice, huh?

Assemble the round pincushions one on top of the other and using a very long beading needle sew them together through the centre. 

My bling button had a shank so I gently pushed it to one side and was able to get the needle through the middle of the little pincushion and down through the other two without my trouble.

An alternative is to use a hot glue gun to secure each pincushion on top of each other, especially if you intend sewing 5 or 6 tiers.

The final touch was a piece of crinkly ribbon wound between the large and middle pincushions and tied in a bow. 

I told you it was simple. 

Simply beautiful actually, and I'm sure my friend will love it. 

The fabrics used in this pincushion are from the "Meadow" collection by Camelot Design Studio. 

I've had them saved and uncut for a little while now, but I do believe they were just right for this project. In fact, I may have to make another for soon as December passes by. 

Will you make one, or two?

There's much in my heart that over time I shall begin to share with you, things pertaining to living a life of gentle domesticity, but today I will leave you with just one thing, something I shared with members of our Gentle Domesticity facebook group yesterday...

Too often I tend to drift past life's daily rituals without truly observing their significance; without stopping to be grateful. But the things I attend to within my home are a privilege because within these walls I get to care for people I love and people who love me.

I am free to create an environment which family and friends assure me is welcoming and homely; an environment that tangibly wraps itself around them and says, "stay awhile, I love having you here".

Just as apple pie or fruit buns straight from the oven fill a house with the aroma of home-baked love, so too the fragrance of our attitude can carry itself through every room and each heart, the effects lasting well beyond that afternoon tea.

Have you pondered the attitude of your homemaker heart recently?
Like me, you may need to do this every once in while.

I think it's almost like checking the chocolate cake with a skewer to see if it's baked through and finding it sticky. No-one wants to eat raw or under-cooked cake so we return it to the oven until it's fully baked through and delicious to eat.

In a similar way, we must take time to check our attitude regularly. No-one wants to stay long in a home that causes them to feel unwelcome or in the way, so like that cake we should examine our heart attitude to see if it's right, and if it's not we must be honest with ourselves about why and begin to make changes that will bring about a gentle and gracious spirit. 

At the core of every gentle domestic homemaker is a heart willing to make her home a sanctuary with an atmosphere of beauty and rest, a dwelling place that exudes love and welcome. 
If we do this there is no shortage of JOY to share and no lack of JOY to receive.

I am still learning how to do this, how to be that gentle homemaker, but truly my heart is willing to grow and change for the better and that's really all we need do. Just be willing. 
If we are, then what a bounty of goodness lies before us...

Much love dear ones,


Anonymous said...

Your blogs are so encouraging and uplifting, I enjoy each one so very much. My life seems so opposite yours at this time and I'm not sure how we got here, but I have that willing heart to change and grow for the better and become a gentle homemaker. I would appreciate prayer, and I thank you for your encouragement and example. Blessings

Lorrie said...

A lovely project, Jenny, and even lovelier words about being conscious of one's heart attitude. Blessings to you.

Debbie said...

Oh Jenny...what a lovely project. I think this one is for me to try...just on my way to search out my fabric stash...Thank you. x

LyndaTreen said...

I love the pin cushion! And I love your blog. I lost my husband in March so my Gentle Domicity has change considerably. But even though there is just me in our home now, I still try and live that gentle life we were able to create in my husband's honor. Being able to make beautiful items and still bake a little for my children when they come is still very rewarding and still fills my heart. Your blog is a reminder of what my life 'used' to be and I still try to live it that way even by myself. Fond memories always get me through each day as I continue to live the 'gentle' life.

gracie said...

Thank you for inspiring me....all of us with your words and creativity.

Ondrea said...

Such a gorgeous pin cushion. I love how you have added the bling and ribbon. Sorry you haven't had the rest you had planned and I hope you are pacing yourself a bit. There are so many things I want to do around the house that need attention and in the garden but I have run out of ooomph! I think I need some of those Everyready batteries to recharge myself .

Lin said...

Beautiful pincushion Jenny. xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great pincushion and the wonderful words that blessed my heart today. Life is busy & we need to stop and be so grateful that it is busy! Will get busy making some pincushions for quilt club friends. Your patterns and ideas are always the best. Just want you to know they are appreciated. With love from Kentucky..

Karen said...

Beautiful Jenny - just like you!

Montse said...

BellĂ­simo alfiletero Jenny !!!!!!!!!! me alegro de que te encuentres mejor !!!!!! Felicidades.

Nanna Chel said...

That's beautiful, Jenny...and the Christmas Tree Pincushion too! You are such a clever and inspiring little vegemite. I hope your health improves greatly so you can really enjoy this season with your loved ones.

Julie said...

A wonderful (& timely) post Jenny. I have made those pincushions before from vintage doilies, but not stacked them like that - I LoVe it!! I wanted to mention, sometimes the blingy buttons can be pricey but I found on the counter of the $2 shop recently, some sparkly blingy rings for very reasonable prices & bought a couple. The ring backs come off very easily & they make wonderful button-style embellishments for christmassy things. Have a blessed day my friend Xxx

Christine M said...

I'm glad you're feeling a bit better, Jenny. Your Christmas tree pin cushion is lovely. xx

judith said...

Oh Jenny, So Glad you have had time to create joy for both you and your friend.
The second half of your post has convicted me tremendously. I want a proper attitude in my servitude in my home, and I don't have it. I need it so bad. Please pray for me to attain it thru the grace of the Lord. I don't do facebook, so I thank you for sharing it in your post. Blessings to you, Judith

Farm Quilter said...

Adorable pincushion...I'm going to have to make some now!! Ahhh, the attitude...what a difference it makes. Attitude is a mirror and what you put out you get back. Must be why your home is so warm and welcoming, it is reflecting your attitude!! Refresh yourself, pace yourself and stay healthy!!

profumo di lavanda said...

Grazie Jenny per le tue parole, così belle e per il puntaspilli. Ne ho fatti tanti, ma finora non avevo pensato a farne assemblati come albero di Natale.
Grazie e che Dio ti benedica

Winifred said...

That is so beautiful. Now I think I can make those for Christmas. I have bought sewing boxes & some sewing bits & pieces for my three granddaughters this Christmas. One of those pin cushions would be great for them.
Thanks for this Jenny.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the pincushion tutorial. That is so feminine and pretty. Thank you also for the invitation to re-examine how welcoming both we and our home are. Thank you for showing the way, so gently and sweetly. I don't want to be half-baked! =)