Friday, February 22, 2019

Phyllis May's Kitchen, pearls and hope...

I'm finally getting back to stitching the blocks for Phyllis May's Kitchen.
I'd hoped to have this ready by March but a Craftsy curve ball right before Christmas and then the monsoon in late January/early February slowed my stitches to barely a few each week. 

Then there was my birthday. Yesterday. A big one. 60.

Truly, I like to drive right on past my birthdays because it's more fun to celebrate someone else's but this week I had a precious daughter and her two precious daughters fill two whole days with love, laughter, prayer, food, song and hair brushing. 
Being climbed over, cuddled, kissed, snuggled into, sung to, chased and talked to non-stop on Wednesday and Thursday wore this Nana out, but it's the kind of wearing out I love more than anything. 

Yesterday morning while Cully May sat behind me and brushed my hair, and Rafaella sat on my lap playing with the long string of bright red beads around my neck, Blossom read John 14 out loud...prompted by God. 
I cried. We both cried actually, because for the five days previous God had been prompting me to read John 14 and every time I went to move on to the next chapter He'd steer me back again. 

When the Lord has something to tell you, something important, He'll put it before you in many ways until you take notice. 
So I'm taking notice.

And then of course there's my beloved, who took me out to our favourite Indian restaurant where we were the only people there and received 'extra' special attention. 
Afterwards we drove along the beach and listened to a few albums from around the time we met, singing the lyrics and laughing at how absurd they were.

Every birthday I spend some quiet time alone to think about my mother who died at just 21.
So young, and yet from what I've been told she adored me and loved being a mummy, so I cherish that thought.

Then Nana took over and became the mummy I needed at age three.

With each year that passes I am more and more in awe of my Nana - Phyllis May - because small children are a handful and can sap all available energy, sometimes quite considerably. 
Cully May (named after Nana) has no on/off button - she just goes and goes and goes all day long until bedtime. At two and half she leaves us all (including Blossom) behind in the energy stakes!

So the older I get, the more I appreciate Nana and the many sacrifices she made to raise me. 
The more I consider what her and Pop went without.
One of those things was pearls. Nana loved pearls but never owned any. 
Because of this I've always loved them too, but more interesting is how much Blossom loves pearls - in fact that's all she wanted for her 13th birthday (though I made her a quilt as well).

On Wednesday when Bloss was here all day with Cully May and Rafaella the little ones wore pearl necklaces and truly it was the most beautiful thing to see! Little Raf broke one of her double strings late in the afternoon but as they were a $1 op-shop purchase we did not mind, just gathered them together and popped them in a bowl to restring another time. We might wait another year before we repeat our 'pearling' but next time we'll serve a tea party on the floor with the littlies too. Doesn't that sound like the most wonderful birthday to look forward to?!

I used pearls in these photos.
Phyllis May's Kitchen tea towel and the pearls I wish I could have given her.

I drew the winner of my February giveaway yesterday and am happy to tell you that 
in Colorado, USA is the blessed winner of a bundle of vintage loveliness.

There'll be another giveaway in March (which is all too soon approaching) so perhaps you'll be the blessed winner then. You never know!

If you weren't a part of my original Stitchery Club during 2015-16 you might like to join the Rewind Club.

It runs for 12 months, with 12 issues containing at least five stitchery patterns.
No matter when you join you will receive all twelve issues by the time your membership ends.

The March issue has now been put together and on the 5th I'll email it off to all Rewind members...

For a closer look at all the patterns you will receive pop over here to the Rewind Stitchery Club page.

Once you become a member I'll send you my "You've Got Mail" gift pattern so you have something sweet to stitch while you wait for March 5th to arrive!

Included with the stitchery instructions is a tutorial for making this into a cover for a large writing pad but you could turn the design into anything you fancy!

One of my Rewind Club members, Joanne, made hers into a gorgeous wall hanging...

She's inspired me to stitch my pastel version again in bright spring colours!
You can visit Joanne's blog to see more pics. 

Before I sign off today I must show you the bundle of hand made pretties my friend Fee sent for my birthday because if you head over here to to her blog she has tutorials for making some of them.

This little pear was especially dear because inside the card Blossom gave me (actually, she gave me two!) were two passages of Scripture and one was Jeremiah 29:11 - the very first verse the Lord gave me when I became a Christian in 1991.

"For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." 

Back then He wanted to assure me that I must never lose HOPE because life was quite heartbreaking at the time and ever since that day, when things are causing me distress of any kind, it is that verse which draws my eyes heavenward and my heart forward in hope. 

So when I opened Fee's gift and saw the HOPE pear I was assured once again that God is on the throne and He's got my life covered. I can hold on to hope and trust Him always.

I'm reminded that having blogged here for over a decade much of my life has become an open book, and yet there's always another side of me, another side of life, which stays very personal and not open to's where God meets me in the valley and where He comforts me with HOPE.

Maybe you need comfort, maybe you have lost your hope?
Reach out to God for He promises that if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you.

Just call on Him - quietly, loudly, without words, or through your tears...let Him fill your precious heart with HOPE too.

Much love


  1. Oh such a happy thought...."Being climbed over, cuddled, kissed, snuggled into, sung to, chased and talked to non-stop"....that perfectly describes my days. At the end of the day my body aches but my heart sings.

    Thanks for sharing so generously.

  2. Happy Birthday. The decade changes can be hard but every day is a gift. I hope you have another wonderful year.

  3. Such a beautiful post. I had no idea it was your 60th! Welcome to the over 60s club LOL. Had I known I would have chosen a more appropriate birthday card. Such a treasured time you had with your girls on your birthday. It can be totally exhausting yet a very special and cherished time. As usual your new design has been lovingly created with fond memories attached. Glad you had a wonderful birthday. Angel hugs.

  4. Oh Jenny. Once again you pierce my heart. So happy for your birthday delight. My prayer is for my estranged grandchildren to share such moments of love with us.
    Then you gift us with Jeremiah 29:11 and share Fee's "Hope" pear. God is gracious through you.

  5. Happy birthday for yesterday, Jenny. By the sounds of it you had a wonderful day. Hugs, Christine xxx

  6. What a perfect couple of days Jenny. Just perfect! God designed us for relationship with each other and family is a beautiful reflection of that. Congratulations on your birthday. God's plan is perfect! Arohanui xxx

  7. Happy Birthday! It's still the 21st here in California! So glad you had a lovely day!

  8. Hi Jenny,
    What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! Indian food! family, love and laughter!A great energy boost! Happy Birthday!
    Thanks for linking!

  9. Your posts never cease to amaze and inspire me. I love the sound of your gentle birthday. Happy birthday. My almost 18 month granddaughter has one of those amber necklaces and it has survived a lot.

    At one stage in my life I felt the Lord telling me to read Ruth. A friend told me that I should heed that. Lo and behold this week I am reading Christian fiction and once again the call to read Ruth is there.

    In case ladies do not know when I returned my recyclables to Tamron today I opted to send my recycling voucher to the flood appeal. It was an easy way to donate and I truly will not miss that money.

  10. Jenny, happy belated birthday. I'm so glad you had two days of joy with your family. That's what life is all about!

  11. Happy birthday. I am so glad that you were blessed to such a have lovely day with family. x

  12. Happy birthday. Of all the blessings you have received, your grandma is the best.And now you are passing that love on to your grandchildren. xxoo

  13. That is a beautiful post Jenny. Thankyou for inviting us into your home and sharing all your birthday celebrations. Your story about your mother and nana struck a cord with me. I remember giving my mum a birthday card thanking her and my gran that because of them I was celebrating birthdays too. We are forever linked, like a beautiful string of pearls. Which by the way I love too. My first baby bought me pearl beads out of her first wages. I still have them 30yrs later. I'm off now to read John 14. Enjoy being 60 and sensational.xx

  14. Congratulations to Frankie Anne on her win of the lovely vintage giveaway. Happy 60th Birthday. It sounds like you were surrounded with love on your Birthday or Birthdays as it was 2 days full of love and family. Your give from Fee is so gorgeous and useful ....Just stunning really/ I didn't know your Grandmother but it sounds like she was a exceptional woman and her husband too. She would be so proud of you Jenny. So full of love and pride int he woman you are today. And don't you know she would love those great Grands if she was here with the opportunity to meet and know them and be a part of their lives. I am sure she is in heaven watching over all of you. Love you my Sweet friend. Hugs to you dear Jenny today and every day.

  15. Happy Birthday Jenny :)!! A special milestone - and what a special time you had of making memories to last and last! So much to be thankful for!

  16. A Happy Belated birthday to you, Jenny - what a wonderful way to spend your day.

  17. What a lovely and inspiring blog post today. Happy belated birthday. You are a very fortunate person and it is clear from your writings that you appreciate all the blessings you have been given.

  18. It is a gloomy morning here in my neighborhood... your post was the sunshine I need. Thank you for being you....Happy belated birthday.

  19. Love. love, love and look forward to all of your posts. I've prayed with you through the water flooding. I can't wait to read next year on your birthday about your littles drinking at your tea party and wearing pearls! You are such a blessing! Tammie

  20. Happy belated Birthday wishes Jenny, What a wonderful way to celebrate with your beautiful family and such a heart felt post as always May x

  21. Happy birthday, Jenny. It sounds like you had the perfect day. I love pearls, too. My sweetheart bought pearl earrings as a wedding present. I cherish them. I understand women who don't have an off switch. Most of my family is like that. I simply don't have the energy. Thank you for bringing so much light into a gloomy, cold day.

  22. Loving the little teases of Phyllis May's Kitchen project! Now just waiting (rather impatiently!) for the unveiling. So glad to hear that you are able to get back to stitching & having a wonderful time with your adorable grandchildren. Sounds like life is getting back to normal, what a joy for you! - Diane from Minnesota

  23. Happy Birthday to you. Sounds like you had a wonderful day.

  24. Happy Birthday Jenny! Bless you for sharing your past memories and present memories with us and especially your love that fills …...this list is huge and touches every person who reads your posts! Thank you! God Bless You!

  25. I am so glad you did celebrate your birthday with those you love and love you!! It is a special day, you know. As the days your children were born is special to you, the day of your birth was special to your mother, so celebrate it for that reason alone, if you must! May the Lord richly bless you this year, as you have blessed all those in your life.

  26. Cyberspace ate my comment, but know that I am thinking of you and so glad you had a lovely birthday!

  27. Happy birthday Jenny - lots of love and hugs from the UK xxx

  28. Happy Birthday Sweet Jenny. Embrace your family and know how much you are loved. Your Nana was priceless and now you are priceless to your Blossom and Cully May and Rafaela. Blessings Dear...

  29. Happy Birthday to you dear Jenny! What a wonderful special day you would've had ... how special that you all wore Pearls. I adore Pearls, they are one of my favourite things ever. Someone told me once, Pearls are for tears, but I don't care, I still love them. I am so pleased you had a lovely day, spent with special people, Fee's gift is just gorgeous Xx

  30. Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for sharing the story of your birthday with family and about your Grandmother and her love for pearls. It touched my heart. I always love reading your blog posts!

  31. Beautiful post Jenny - glad you had such a special birthday. xx

  32. So pleased you had a lovely day with your girls. They'll make the sun shine whatever the weather. x

  33. Happy 60th Birthday wishes Jenny.... Hugs Kaylee xx

  34. Happy Birthday, Jenny. May you have many more.

  35. A belated Happy Birthday Jenny, sounds like it was a lovely nice to be pampered just a little :)

  36. Happy Birthday Jenny! My birthday is Feb. 23rd and I turned 50 this year. Wow! How fun to learn that our birthdays are two days apart! No wonder that I read your blog and feel like we are old friends. <3. Sending you lots of good wishes for this year. *I loved reading how you spent such lovely time with you family. Thank you for sharing. Keri (KeriOnThePorch on IG)

  37. Happy Birthday! By BD was 2/10 and I am 70, but feel much younger. I continue to love you and enjoy your site all ten years of it!

  38. Your Birthday sounded wonderful, and I am comforted by your words as I lost my precious Mum in September and my husband and soulmate in January, I am leaning heavily on God right now.

  39. Hello Jenny, thank you for this blog post and the encouragement through the Scripture. Would you please think of writing about your faith and your devotional routine and perhaps some hints and tips on prayer. If you would rather write a personal email to me instead of to the world, I would really appreciate it. I've been having some problems for the last ten years, a long time. I had two breakdowns and was disabled from my job, now I'm struggling to get things back to some kind of normal, I find your faith and homeliness really encourages me. This post really resonated with me, how lucky you are to have a daughter who reads scripture to you and friends and family that understand and approve of your Christian faith. God bless you Mandy (

  40. Such a beautiful post - Happy Birthday - what a perfect way to celebrate.


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