A free 2020 stitchery and a few other things...

Having a number of designs already stitched and in my 'gift idea' box is such fun when occasions roll around through the year.
But I also enjoy stitching something new, or re-doing an older design from years past.
That's what I did with this cover for my 2020 gratitude journal. Originally I shared a much smaller version in redwork to welcome 2015 and I loved it so much that it seemed just right for a remake - much larger and this time in colours and with my signature spatters of tiny applique.

Whilst stitching it I thought you might enjoy having the pattern as a new year gift?
 (download LINK at the end of this post) 

Perhaps you keep journals or diaries, maybe a housekeeping folder?? Actually, I like the idea of a new housekeeping folder - excuse me for a moment while I jot that idea down on a sticky note......(scribble scribble).....

Funny how ideas for new projects just pop into my head as I write. There was a time when I had sticky notes everywhere but now I only have a few and they last but a day because I'm diligent to write them in an Ideas Notebook before day's end.

Do you like the little bookmark too?

I bought a box of these beautiful scripture/encouragement cards a few months back and thought how lovely they'd be with a length of pastel ribbon and gifted in greeting and birthday cards.

One side of the card has a Scripture and the other side has a lovely quote or encouragement.

The thing with fun ideas though is that once you're on a roll you keep, well, rolling!
That's how I ended up with lots of bookmarks and three completed gratitude journals a week before CHRISTmas...

After completing my 2020 journal I made this gratitude journal for a dear neighbour using one of my Bird Seed blocks.

There's a button along the spine which holds a pink ribbon that wraps the journal closed with a bow.

The third gratitude journal is very different from the first two because I made it for my darling Blossom and the journal itself was not new, but my own, one in which I wrote and drew Scriptures and quotes which filled my heart a few years ago...

There's plenty of pages left for Blossom to continue this journal and perhaps one day pass it along to her girls.

The design on the cover is one I stitched in a simple grey and cream variegated thread a number of years ago to preserve my old blue Bible. It was crumbling at the seams and I wanted to hold it together so I made a cover because there are so many hand written notes in the margins and passages underlined...it simply meant a great deal because there's part of my journey with the Lord inside. 

This new version of the same design is larger and just as meaningful because God's WORD is living and powerful, and still the anchor which holds my life steady in the many storms which have ridden rough-shod over my years. It's also what carries my precious daughter through her own storms, and to watch her immerse time each day in the Bible, to hear her abundant and overflowing love for Jesus as she discusses with me the revelations God has shown her, to see the Jesus-type changes in her character and the effect it has on her loved ones...well, I knew this verse had to be on the cover of the handed down journal I was gifting her.

It's a precious thing to have your child weep with joy over such a gift...and it wasn't tears for the cover I made, it was the love for Jesus she saw within the pages of my old journal. 
And I know there will come a day when her daughters will feel the same reading the love their own mumma pours into the remainder of this journal and perhaps a few more. 
Sow the seed of Jesus, ladies; never stop, never lose hope, never back down, never be afraid of rejection. Just be faithful to plough the soil of your children's hearts and invite Jesus to scatter the seeds of loving and life-giving truth through you.


(see the other three below)

We had a very relaxed Christmas; just breakfast at Blossom's with all the joy and laughter a morning can hold with Cully May and Rafaella centre stage and delighting everyone.

The girls loved the dolly cribs we gave them, as well as the bedding I made. In fact Rafaella thought the crib and bedding looked too good for her dollies and climbed in herself!
Oh, we laughed and laughed!!

There's truly nothing quite like the hugs, kissed, antics and joy of granddaughters.

Ross is really hard to buy a gift for but the way to my son-in-law's heart is through traditional foods he grew up with on Cyprus so after a little probing I  found out he loves Tiropita and has not had it in years. When I walked in with a large tray of freshly baked Tiropita he was the happiest man alive!

Later that day his cousin (also from Cyrus) called and once he knew there was Tiropita at Ross and Blossom's house over he came! Apparently I made it better than most and the photos sent of them tucking in to it were happiness to my heart. 

You know, it really was a simple Christmas, yet it was one of the loveliest in many, many years. 
I find as I get older that if you listen carefully, over time most people share with you the things in their life which evoke special and loving memories...like Ross and the Tiropita. 
It was a simple gift and yet it gave him great joy and a reliving of very comforting childhood memories.

Other simple gifts for family members that morning were these small lavender sachets accompanied by those bookmarks I made.

After New Year I will show you the beautiful gifts dear Blossom made me. Truly, handmade from the heart is so very special.

I will sign off today, my final post for 2019, with a little encouragement I shared on Instagram and my FB page today, a message which carries from my heart more than I could say, but I do pray it blesses you.

“The righteous flourish...
planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age;
they are ever full of sap and green.”
Psalm 92:12-14

This promise has stood the test of time; its truth resounding more and more as my years in the Lord’s service as His handmaiden pass by. The once young strong hands now bear the evidence of age marching on and yet I find beauty in my hands such as never before because they tell a story of this life; they hold miracles God-gifted in times of trial; they reach forward to the next moment, the next labour, the next embrace, the next page to turn in His living Word.
These hands will still bear fruit today and in the years to come should Jesus tarry His return because they have been freely offered to God for His moment by moment service.
Ageing is beautiful when you reflect on all He has taught; even more wonderful when you consider all He has yet to teach.

May we each stay teachable and bear the fruit He promises even into old age...


Source: elefantz.com

A free 2020 stitchery and a few other things...