All of us are at the door of a new season - my hemisphere welcoming the warmth of a colourful spring and those of you in the northern hemisphere preparing to snuggle up as autumn approaches.
Because I really do get excited about anything to do with the garden, I thought it would be fun to share with you a practical project which you can use for your own purpose or could be posted quite easily as a gift for someone who loves to grow food and flowers. It's easy to pop seed packs in a plastic container but how much prettier to store them in handmade pockets.
I designed the Bloom & Weave cover stitchery back in 2017 and found the thread colours used in Bloom & Weave were a perfect pairing for Tilda's new Tiny Farm fabric (in quilt stores now) which I used for rest of the project.
Aren't the little farm and garden scenes gorgeous?
Anyhow, if I was excited about this project then I hoped you would be too, and perhaps even more so because I'm giving the pattern to you as a free gift.
Why? Because its the 12 year anniversary of my blog this month!
Isn't that incredible? For twelve wonderfully creative and thought provoking years I've regularly blogged and loved every minute. Making new friends, sharing ideas, being inspired, offering and receiving encouragement, learning new things, sharing Jesus, shaking my 'little grey cells' into action (as Hercule Poirot would say)...and generally finding immense joys along the way.
Dear Blossom was just 14 when I began here and we were in the thick of homeschooling, something else I (and she) loved...and now she's 26 and expecting baby number three. I look on my blog as a journal, a twelve year map of our lives, moves, challenges, trials, celebrations and growth.
So I wanted to share something lovely and fun and useful with you this month, and my new Seed Saver Pockets pattern is that gift.
I do hope you make one, either for yourself or as a gift. Perhaps both. Use the link below to download my Bloom & Weave Seed Saver Pockets pattern.
This morning it was quite overcast and there was a slightly cool breeze drifting through the yard so I waited till hubby left for work before brewing a chamomile tea, spreading peanut butter, banana and local honey on rice cakes and settling down on the old blue outdoor couch to watch the birds and enjoy the garden view.
It wasn't long before the sun returned and the clouds shifted away so after my relaxed morning tea I hung up the washing and thanked the Lord for our home, the garden, the birds, and all the unseen blessings He showers on us that we never know about.
This September is also another anniversary, a very special one - it's been two years since we moved into this, our very first 'own' home.
Two springs, two summers, two autumns and two winters have passed and we've learned a lot about home ownership, stewardship, flooding, home maintenance, gardening, mending, construction, seasonal changes, raising poultry, physical exhaustion, pool maintenance, plumbing and so much more. Not one single week has been wasted; the Lord continued to teach and improve our skills and understanding day by day, month by month...and though much of these past two years has been hard on our older bodies due to the great amount of physical work required to create the sanctuary we desired, we wouldn't change a thing, even the flood.
So in reflection we've had more than a few conversations about life as it is now in 2020 and how we are entering a season of slowing down somewhat so that we can last the journey ahead, however long (or short) that will be. As Christians we await the return of Jesus above all, but should He tarry that return we must also prepare for next year and the one after and so on, by being mindful of what we have been blessed with, how long we are able to work, our ages and level of fitness, and how we can still be available to help our family and others if they need it.
I had four very clear dreams lately and wrote them down when I awoke. I won't share the entire dreams but the message which came with each one...
The first dream focused on finances and the Lord said to me "Show restraint" - so we have become very mindful of what we receive and what we spend, and to not be wasteful.
In the second dream I saw a woman with many large storage buckets and she was filling them to the brim. Then the Lord said to me "Prepare" so my husband and I have been carefully stocking our pantry and preserving what we can.
In the third dream I saw a checklist and and an in-tray on the desk of God. He said to me "Examine and address your character to become more like Jesus." So we are working on every area of our character as it comes to light in the study of our Lord. This will be a looooong study, but we know it is very important.
In the fourth dream God very clearly spoke these words - "God can do what man cannot". In this we know we must turn to Him in every circumstance, no matter how serious or hopeless it may appear because He above all is able.
Since the dreams I find myself more deeply immersed in the things of faith and home than before, and honestly I wasn't sure that was possible, but growth is lifelong and it knows no bounds so I welcome this deeper walk into the calling God has on my life...to nourish others at home, to be a homemaker who cherishes her position, to work hard and help my husband pay off our mortgage, to be a good steward of everything under my care, to share the gospel with others, to live my life in such a way that it glorifies Christ, to teach younger women the principles of Titus 2:3-5, to be humble and to be generous, to use the gifts of design He alone gave me.
You know, I love hanging up the washing every day. Those minutes are spent talking to God, singing a hymn or two, smiling, turning my face to the blue sky before heading back inside. Later I breathe deeply of the natural sunshine-y fragrance which wafts through our sheets and clothes and towels as I bring them inside, fold and put them away. I think this is the most natural joy for me within my homemaker responsibilities and I'm so glad we don't have (or need) a dryer.
I was inspired a couple of weeks ago to draw up a new set of designs which might become a block of the month, or perhaps a wall quilt...it all depends on how many sketches I draw and how I can envision them coming together. But the catalyst for this was indeed watching the washing on the line, flapping the breeze, so that's the first block I've completed. Just a wee peek...
That same joy I felt back in 2016 after designing the twelve Gentle Domesticity blocks has returned to my heart - such is my love for all things domestic and home centred.
Being inspired and excited about what I create, what you create, gives any task an abundance of delight - whether that be a stitchery, a quilt, a cake, a jar of jam or pickles, a display of flowers in a vase, a tidy pantry or even a delicious mug of hot chocolate.
Cooking comfort food for my family is quite high on my list of delights and though these past few months I've shown you more of the healthy savoury meals which have been prepared in our kitchen today I'll show you some sweeties I baked recently and which put big smiles on the faces of my loved ones.
Orange, rosemary and cranberry cookies/ Banana, blueberry, pecan and oat loaf/ Strawberry jam and sultana scrolls...
It's my husband's birthday tomorrow so another spot of baking will fill the morning. Strawberry Shortcake is his favourite treat along with rissoles, mash and veg...it's the same every year and I'm just as happy as he when I serve dinner because I see the delight in his eyes.
Well, that's enough for today, and if you got this far, bless your precious eyes!
Pray for Blossom will you? She's off to have an intravenous infusion of iron tomorrow as in every pregnancy her levels fall dangerously low and the doctors still don't know why. Her little boy now measures three weeks further along than 'normal' size so she'll be having him a couple of weeks early (she doesn't have gestational diabetes, just has increasingly larger babies) and despite a lot of pain and other issues she glows with happiness. I'm so proud to be her mumma.
God bless you, loving hugs,