Friday, August 23, 2019

Contentment and simple things...

You can learn an awful lot about life, and yourself, from a child.

On Tuesday I was blessed to babysit for Blossom and Ross so they could go out for their first meal 'alone' in a little over three years. Since before Cully May was born, actually.

Rafaella went down for her afternoon nap and this gave Cully May and I some one-on-one time together. We played hide and seek, shared lunch (the girls always like to share my lunch), made houses out of bright coloured felt triangles, twisted pipe cleaners into bunny ears (which she insisted I wear) and sang songs.

So much fun we had playing together and I got an excessive amount of cuddles which filled my happy-nana-heart to overflowing. Then we slowed a while, shared some strawberries and custard, and I asked "What would you like to do now?" Without skipping a beat Cully May's smile beamed wide and she answered "Nana, will you make me a superhero cape?" and handed me a bunch of pipe cleaners. 

"Honey, I don't think we can make a superhero cape out of these." 

"Yes you can, Nana!" she responded, her eyes sparkling and her voice full of confidence in my abilities. So I stopped for a bit and thought about it. 

You know, we adults can tend to overthink problems, but that's something young children are free from. They're right there in the moment and when you let go of your own ideas and expectations of 'perfection' or 'the right way' and consider how simple their needs really are, simple solutions soon follow.

Like my calico grocery bag which goes everywhere with me - if you think like a child it is the most amazing superhero cape!

Those pipe cleaners Cully May felt needed to be part of the cape tied the handles together around her neck.

Around and around the room she ran, superhero cape swishing behind her. She was happy, I was content. Simple things bring joy.

Then she stopped in front of me and asked, "Nana, will you make me a mask?" 

Aware now that I wasn't to raid Blossom's fabrics and set up her sewing machine whilst googling 'patterns for a superhero mask", I considered what we had in front of us on the table. More pipe cleaners and paper!

I'm telling you, the way to a little girl's heart is paved with a shopping bag, pipe cleaners, paper and simple imagination.
I mean, really, is this three year old happy or what?!

When Blossom and Ross came home their little girl insisted I make daddy a mask too, so I did, and they both played superheroes. Happy and content, this nana said her goodbyes and headed home, quite impressed with how a three year old reminded her to stop, consider, and think of simple solutions before trying anything more complex.

Wednesday I did a lot of housework including a thorough cleaning of my front loader washing machine (inspired by this post of Annabel's) before sketching and preparing new designs as part of a larger project in the future...

Later that day I removed the border from a very special old design from 2010 which had been displayed in a frame.

Here's the stitchery removed from the frame but still with the dull dark blue border.
I'd chosen the fabric you see behind it as my cushion print but the stitchery border now needed a brighter blue to match it...

So I found this lovely blue print in my stash and it looked as though it would really 'lift' the overall finish of what was to become a cushion.

A thin 3/4" border of the blue and then large floral borders all around transformed my "Little House Sampler" stitchery...

...into a beautiful new addition to our bedroom.

The cheery brightness of these fabrics has brought life again to a heart-felt design I've always loved but had grown tired of in it's old setting. 

It's called the "Little House Sampler" in honour of the many years we homeschooled and the thousands and thousands of kilometres we've driven across Australia listening to all Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books along the way.  When I designed this we'd just completed our homeschool journey and both my 'young ones' were now adults and working their first jobs. It became my personal way of stitching a memory that spanned eleven wonderful years.
So to have it now on our bed is rather special.

I've decided to offer this stitchery pattern as a gift to all new Rewind Club members who join by September 4th. 
Below is the cover with photos of all the patterns inside the next issue.

The other day my precious husband bought me a rose.

For years the only roses I received were the occasional bunches he'd buy to fill a vase on the table of each rental house, but now that we have our own home he thought it time we had a permanent rose.
It's called Shocking Blue and is in a very large pot outside the bedroom window where it gets a lot of sun but can be moved to safer ground should we find the next tropical wet season to be more than it can take.
After the January/February floods we're a little cautious.

Yesterday Blossom came by with Rafaella and Cully May and we had morning tea out back watching the cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets feasting on seeds from the feeder.

I bakes scones which were served with homemade strawberry jam and the little ones shared mugs of (very weak milky) tea with us. Rafaella is almost 18 months old now and I've nicknamed her Climbing Houdini because she appears and disappears and she climbs up, over and under everything. She's so quick and when you catch her that cheeky little smile you see in the photo below is paired with the cutest laugh. Love.

Cully May helped me pick cherry tomatoes which we'd then pass to Rafaella who would take them to Blossom who filled a bowl to take home. Teaching them about the garden and fresh food is a joy!

Too soon my little munchkins made their goodbyes, but I must admit to needing a rest later as time with them is always full the very best possible way.

These past weeks I've thought a lot about contentment and the simple things in life which fill my heart. None of them were big things in themselves, just a number of small and simple joys and doings that satisfied my wife, mother, nana and domestic heart. 

Things like baking scones, making jam, hanging the washing out to dry, brewing tea in a pot, picking tomatoes and fresh herbs for dinner, planting healing herbs under the lemon tree, preparing my husband's lunch box for work, taking freshly dried sheets off the line and airing the bed, sewing a special cushion, sharing deep thoughts with Blossom, buying fruit and vegetables at the market, preparing a simple pot of tea for my love when he comes home, making a superhero cape from a shopping bag, sitting out back to watch the sun set with the man I love beside me, praying for a friend, making a small gift, discovering an orphan tomato plant ripe with fruit in a hidden corner of the yard, listening to my son in law as he shared an idea I may try, choosing not to spend on things we don't need, letting gratitude well up from deep inside for all we've been blessed with...being still and knowing God.

I'm intentionally slowing my life because it's too precious a gift not to savour, and my prayer today is that you also embrace a slowing of days, of things, of doings, and give time to considering the blessings which have come your way.

May the Lord be your anchor in the storm, your guide in the darkness, your delight in the sunshine, and your hope in every new sunrise. 



Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Luxury indeed!Enjoying the day to day ebb and flow.
love to create things with what's on hand!
"mindfulness" was trendy, haven't heard about it for a while.
Appreciate what's around you. Just have to turn on the news and see how fortunate we are. And we are free to do so many things!
I love reading your blog!
Almost September! Wow! another stitchery !
enjoy the weekend!

Kay said...

Thank you for your beautiful post. x

Águeda said...

your precious little girls!! They are so wise and they are very beautiful people, like their grandmother. hugs

Karen said...

Wonderful post dear Jenny, and your grandchildren so gorgeous! What fun to be had at your place!

Gramma Weber said...

I love your pillow. It brought back a memory of when I made the houses on a wall hanging that said "Greet the day with a song. Make others happy. Serve gladly" That was 67 years ago. Your work always bring the blessing of the past to me.

Tammy said...

I don't know who is the luckiest you are the children for having each other. Sounds like lots of good times and memories being made. They will treasure these moments with you always as you will with them. Those tomatoes sound delicious.

Dots said...

Simple things bring joy. That is so true for me. Pure joy on Cully May's face. So much delight! It brought back memories of when I made my son a Superhero cape. Even today, I can see him playing, running through the house, happy and full of wonder. I miss that. Wonderful post. Got me thinking about so many things today. A lot of 'food for thought' here. Good memories are extra blessings. Thanks for writing. I know you could be doing anything. But,I appreciate your time that you take to make this blog 24 You put your heart into all you do. It shows.

gracie said...

What a lovely uplifting post. Those angels of yours are adorable.

Susan said...

Thank you, Jenny. A wonderful post, and a wonderful prayer. I'm so glad you can share Blossom's precious little ones with us. Your thoughts always bring me thanks and gratitude for all we have individually, and for our friendship together.

Ondrea said...

Oh how your grand daughters make me smile too. They are so cute and have that look of mischief on their faces. The simple things certainly feed their imaginations and remind us that fun can be found in many ways. I love how you redid that stitchery. Glad you had a fun filled time.

Carrie Ando said...

I get great joy reading about yours. Thank you for your sincere sharing. Your "old" stitchery is gorgeous. I am tempted to rejoin the Rewind Club just to receive it. Sewing any of your patterns slows me down to a meditative and mindful state. Counting all our many blessings in a world who tries to make us feel deficient. Praising God........

Robin in New Jersey said...

Precious times...special memories. How is Blossoms health these days?

Diane said...

Thank you Jenny! What a blessing and encourager you are to me - always!

Farm Quilter said...

I always try to remember KISS - Keep It Simple, Sweetheart!! Your creativity in turning a bag into a cape and the masks is wonderful and Cully Mae's smile is priceless!! How wonderful for you that they live so close and are able to come over for tea...truly blessed!! Slowing down is a wonderful way to live. May you be blessed this week.

Janice said...

The simple things really are the best. The look of joy on the girls' faces says it all.

Susie said...

Gosh those two are adorable. It makes me think back to when mine were little - I feel a little sad that I didn't spend a lot of time doing those things - free play- yes I played with them and gave them loads of attention but imaginative play wasn't on the everyday list. With three kids and hubby away so much I would start to play then think about all the other things I had to do to keep everything under control. I suppose that is what Nanna's are for isn't it? I don't remember my mum sitting down playing with me but she would do it all the time with my children and it's something I and they will always treasure. And so will your two gorgeous granddaughters.

Carol O said...

Those Little ones are just tooooo Cute! What a blessing.

Winifred said...

What a lovely post Jenny. I miss those times with my granddaughter when we used to make simple things like Cully Mae's mask, tents in the garden out of sheets and her swing frame, then taking her a little picnic. Now she's nearly 15 and into phones and make up! Time passes too quickly.

KingsailK said...

Beautiful Jenny ,!!Thank you!!♥🙏😄xx