Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Keeping in touch, and a pretty free download...


I began working on this idea last year, but it wasn't until this morning that I had more clarity of mind to complete what I'd begun and prepare the file to share with you today.

Over the last week or so I've been catching up around the house, re-organising my office area and tidying the sewing room. This included completing some gifts to post away (well, almost completing as I need a particular item before I can sew the final stitch), drawing up a few new design ideas, mending, cleaning out the kitchen drawers, scrubbing my sink until it shone like silver, baking and cooking healthy meals, tending the parched garden, and swimming in the pool when the worst of the heat has passed. I enjoyed every single homemaker task, as well as the sewing. If I was to complain about anything it would be the temperature of the water in our pool - super, super warm...and I am a girl who loves cold water, in fact my favourite time to swim is mid-winter. 

Anyhow, this morning after a long and interesting phone chat with Blossom about homeschooling, I decided to get back to the computer and add the final touches to a set of lavender themed notepaper, notecards and scripture cards.

Greeting cards, notepaper and scripture cards can all be a bit pricey, especially if you intend sending regularly to family and friends or you're living on a strict budget for whatever reason.

As part of my 2022 Year of Contentment I want to reconnect with old friends, and a few new ones, via the post with a simple encouraging card, note or scripture. I'm not a social person, don't enjoy being in a group, not much for talking on the phone (unless it's to my daughters, or Rosie and Fee) and rarely go out. Being an introvert I never feel that I'm missing anything because I don't socialise (I feel relief to be honest) but I do enjoy sending or receiving a heartfelt 'just keeping in touch' card in the mail.

The free set of cards I have for you to download can be printed on paper or cardstock - the notepaper is best on regular printer paper, but the notecards and the scripture cards are best printed onto 250gsm printer paper which is about three times thicker than regular paper.

What I love about them is not only that I can use them for my personal correspondence, but I packed sets of 4 in cellophane bags and a ribbon to add to my gift box! They make a beautiful gift idea which posts relatively flat and inexpensively.

I did the same with the scripture cards, choosing a verse which I know is close to many a believer's heart - Jeremiah 29:11

So how does this tie in to a Year of Contentment, you ask?

I often feel anxious because I 'need' to keep in touch but find it daunting to write long letters due the troubles I now have with my hands; in fact I wrote about this late last year on the blog and many of you mentioned having the same problem. 

Typing is much easier these days as it's not the same as gripping a pen, so typed letters will also be 'written' and posted this year, but not everyone needs that - especially those who read my blog and know what I've been up to. However, I still feel the need to reach out personally and let these dear people know I care about them. An unexpected card in the mail (which I occasionally receive and cherish - thank you to those special ladies who send letters and cards to me!) is always welcome, and I do find that God plans when they should arrive because it's always on a day when my spirit needs a lift.

I will feel very contented popping letters, cards, and scriptures in the mail, sending them off with a prayer to the intended recipients.

I found it quite economical to make these using just the two types of paper and my home printer. The little cellophane envelopes were purchased about eight years ago in a pack of five thousand so I will never run out of them; the ink was bought on sale and I stocked up at that time; the 250gsm paper for cards was bought in a pack of 250 sheets from the office supply store and worked out to 8c per sheet. 

I use regular envelopes for posting, though I did buy coloured ones on a reduced rack for less than $1 for a pack of ten. Of course I bought six packs. 

Use the link below to download the file for the cards and notepaper. Set your printer to 'actual size' or 'do not scale' before printing the pages.

Contentment comes about in many ways, and this week much of my contentment has been from doing a few neglected tasks around home, preparing some surprise gifts for a few lovely ladies, and making a start on cards for posting.
I'm also about to begin an online watercolour class and shall be pencilling this into my planner as a regular date twice a week...just for me, for personal pleasure and a dose of extra creativity under the tutelage of someone else. 

Another thing which brings contentment is completing tasks which are not my favourite, like pattern writing. I enjoy designing and stitching and photographing the completed pieces...but then having to sit down and carefully write step by step instructions? Mmm, not top of my 'want to do' list.
But once a day is set aside and the task is done - wow, how happy I am, and the feeling of satisfaction and contentment fills my soul.

Here's the next set of Faith, Heart and Home patterns - you can find out more over HERE.
I especially love the Bee Home stitchery, inspired by the wide variety of native bees who frequent our garden each day, especially the blue-banded bees which love the Thai basil and the morning primrose flowers.

If you're struggling with contentment, and I was last year, pray. Ask the Lord for help, ask Him to shine a light on all the small and wonderful things you're overlooking in everyday life. 

I think the past two years have robbed many of us of deep seated happiness, contentment and hope - but let's turn that around now. Let us be content with what we have, where we are, and who we are TODAY.

Yes, we're all a work-in-progress, and tomorrow we can make small changes to grow and improve ourselves, but today, right where you are, give thanks for all the little things you often overlook or consider unimportant. 

Contentment also means to be satisfied.
I am content today with what I have done and who I am. 
Each night when my husband arrives home from work I want him to be greeted by a wife who makes him feel incredibly loved, a wife who is excited to have him home, a wife who is relaxed and satisfied from her daily tasks and choices, a wife who appreciates how hard he works to look after us.

Another aspect of contentment which hit home this week is being pantry prepared. I'm genuinely shocked by the empty supermarkets across our country (Australia), but very pleased with all the effort we've made over the past two years to stock up our pantry. Unexpected shortages can happen quickly, but there's great relief and contentment knowing I only have to look in my pantry or freezer and a meal can be on the table with ease that night. 

In what ways are you finding contentment today?

I'll be back at the end of the week with some recipes and a new way to bake bread that I've not tried looks very easy and I don't need the bread maker. I wonder how it will turn out? Tomorrow I'm experimenting! 

hugs and blessings,

Missed any of the Year of Contentment blog posts in 2022?


Beth said...

I love receiving letters and cards in the mail, and I have 2 friends with whom I regularly correspond. I love tucking little extras in with their letters too - often it's stickers or washi tape.
Your lavender note cards are really sweet.

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Nice new blog header :) The homemakers heart with Jennifer has a lovely ring to it :)
Thanks for the beautiful printable notepaper ! A beautiful idea !
A new way to bake bread ? Looking forward to hearing/reading the results ! Enjoy the experiment !
Enjoy the online water colour course. There is so much inspiration around us.
Sometimes clarity seems to arrive at the best unexpected times such as Monday morning. All of a sudden the fabric choices and patterns came together !
hugs, take care,

Pink Rose said...

Hi Jenny thankyou so much for your beautiful generous downloads ,I enjoyed your post and your honesty in how you feel ,I too can relate to enjoying being at home ,I really want to work on my household tasks this year ,thankyou lovely lady for your enjoyable read xx

Donna P. said...

Contentment is something I struggle with - not sure why. I truly believe it relates to the 10 Commandments, though - You shall not covet. I have a little - I guess you call it a dust collector (one of my mom's favorite phrases) - that states "Simply Grateful". I try very hard to follow that advice to be simply grateful everyday. Following your blog with the phrase Year of Contentment helps and I am "simply grateful" for you.

Tammy said...

Good morning Dearest Jennifer. What a beautiful post today on contentment. I am very content in my home and with my life. Everyone always has wants .. As we humans can often be greedy. But truly my needs are met and I have my pantry stocked to fix meals..Life is always got stressors that pop up. That's just a part of living. My husband and I have enjoyed his being able to work from home these past 2 years. It has been a blessing for us.... Thank you for the beautiful stationary. Have a blessed day .

Kim said...

Well said.

Kim said...

The beautiful writing materials will be well-used here for what I consider one of my main ministries right now - writing friendly, encouraging letters with a bag of tea slipped in. So thanks so much for your ministry for the sake of our ministering. I, too, have been finding contentment in tidying long-neglected corners and in baking sourdough and tending my indoor gardening of sprouts and shoots. How nice to have a community of kindred souls.

Patti said...

Thank you for sharing the beautiful download and your journey towards contentment. I am finding contentment today in having a doable 'to do' list for today with room for reading and sewing.

Robin in New Jersey said...

This is a lovely post so full off quiet encouragement. Thank you, Jennifer for the pretty cards. I love to write notes and mail them off. It's fun to go out to the mailbox and find a handwritten note from a friend instead of a bill. Have a beautiful day.

MoeWest said...

Thank you for the lavender printables. They are so pretty! I find contentment in making homemade with my quilting, embroidery, cooking and gardening.

suzanne said...

Thank you for the beautiful notecards and paper. I, too, am an introvert and find contentment in staying home and making my home a haven of peace and love. I live life simply and homemade. I will definitely use the stationery and notecards to write to friends and those I love.

Mishpacha said...

Thank you so much for the lavender printables. I am learning how to make journals and I love the idea of having a lavender theme, so these will go with the other bits that I am collecting so that I can make one. God bless you dear sister.

BJK said...

Thank you, Jennifer, for the beautiful lavender stationery. I just printed a whole little packet of them for all my writing needs. I love the watercolor artwork!

Chris said...

I cannot tell you just how much joy reading your blog posts brings to me. THANK YOU!

Jan said...

Thank you for sharing your talent with us, the cards are lovely. As someone who is also struggling to hold a pen in my hand, I would like to suggest that you look for "large grip foam pen holder"'s also sometimes called a diamond painting pen. I am not in the same country as you are, but I would think trying to locate them on Etsy would probably work everywhere. They do take a bit getting used to because we're used to a different "feel" when holding a pen, but it makes it easier for me to hold the pen without causing discomfort and once you have practiced a little your hand adjusts to being held wider. I hope they work for you as well!