Thursday, 28 July 2016

Thursday Pearls

  "I have learned that I will not change the world.   
Jesus will do that.   
I can however, change the world for one person. 
And if one persons sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute, in fact, it is worth spending my whole life for."

~ Kate Davis 

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."

~ 1 Peter 2:9, KJV

With love and blessings on this beautiful Thursday...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Reflections on Heartmade ~ the Past Two Years

Despite having a couple sick little ones in the house this week past, I somehow found time to complete a fair amount of the sewing I had planned for this week...{{happy sigh}}
As my next order should only coming in at the end of July and having completed the previous one on Monday, I now have a slight break, giving me time to restock my market stall.
This week marks Heartmade's second anniversary...time has just flown since we began trading at our local craft market and it is wonderful to look back at where we have come from, think of all we have learnt and achieved and plan for the future!
 Thankfully, the Lord holds our future in the palm of His hand, so we simply need trust Him and follow His leading.

I thought I would take a few moments to share about the market we trade at...  {To see my post, Following His Leading and How Heartmade Began, stop by my previous blog here.}
We started off in July 2014 in a temporary spot on the deck of the building (most stall holders have their spots on the sand surrounding the actual market building).
We were there for a few months before moving down onto the sand area...  This was quite challenging as our items are delicate and fade quickly....and can I just mention that a South African summer and a few dusty breezes is not ideal!
From there we moved to another spot on the sand area and for some reason, our sales went down considerably.  This was demoralising at first, but the Lord used this time to teach us patience and how important waiting on Him is...  He also showed us that even though we were there to sell, that was not the only reason - we were, and are, there to shine for Him.  This should be our main focus and since then we have really sought Him and not allowed ourselves to become frustrated, tempting as it may be at times.
After much prayer and a little over a year of waiting, the Lord opened doors for us to move our stall onto the deck again, only this time in a new area on the other side.  
Why we were given this spot, being new to the market still and not having the biggest stall, I don't know...but what I do know is that I serve a loving and gracious King who hears prayers!  
And so we have a permanent spot that is both shaded and away from all the sand and dust.  
Also, it is more contained and so easier to set up our table each week.

Even though we have days when sales are not as we would have liked, we choose to give glory to Jesus for all He has done and is continuing to do in our lives and in the lives of others through Heartmade.  
He has given us the opportunity to speak volumes into the lives of others who are very far away from Christ, simply by being at the market each week..  We have formed friendships with most of the stallholders and although they do not know Christ {yet!}, we hope that by being who we are in Jesus will bless and inspire them to question how they are living out their lives.  

Thus, Heartmade is not just about our quality handmade items, it is about spreading love and light through what we are blessed to do and through being open vessels for the sake of the Gospel!  Sometimes we become frustrated, but God continues to shine forth His might and through the market I have gained a couple good clients for which I am very thankful!
And...I get to do what I truly love to do in my own time...and I am at surely does not get much better than that! 

Now let me show you a couple of the items I have been working on this week including something new...{{Smiles}}

Meet this sweet new bunny which I made for a client of mine...she sent me a picture of what she had in mind and I tweaked things from there and used beautiful pink 100% cotton fabric and added a pink ribbon to finish it off...
Here is another I made, only this time I used a beige print with a leafy design...this is a more neutral coloured rabbit...I think he is my favourite of the two!  {{smiles}}
Of course I made another one or two for my market stall as well because oh!  They are just too sweet...

It was lovely to play with beautiful fabrics for my actual stall this week...althugh I do enjoy creating orders as well!  But my stall has been looking somewhat sad and neglected of late....  The busy season is approaching, so I need to keep on top of things a bit more...

Here is a red and beige floral mini bunting I made and I think I may just keep doesn't work with the colour scheme of my bedroom, though, so I suppose it can bless another...:)
I am enjoying making my patchwork hearts at the moment.  If you remember from last week, I hosted a sewing workshop for girls and we made these hearts....only they did theirs by hand and only worked a heart cross stitch motif as all of them were new to the concept.  

I also prepared two more reindeers to sew whilst sitting at the market on Saturday...I find it is a great time to work on things I don't normally enjoy doing at home...  The sewing on of the paw pads take a while as they're handstitched and the stuffing is easy to do while I keep an eye on my stall and chat to passers by.  
Hopefully I will have these lovelies finished very soon...and I may even add them to my Etsy shoppe, so stay posted!  {{Smiles}}  The reindeer are my top sellers in late November, early December and so far my stock of them consists of three with these I get to work!  {{Smiles}}


A turqouise ellie softie and a pink patchwork baby taggy ball were another two items I had fun making this week...I try to keep a good stock of every item, usually about half a dozen of each, maybe more depending on their size and how popular they are.
The ellies are definitely my best seller by far, more than likely because we live in the Knsyna area where there are forests and elephants have been spotted...
Tourists love anything to do with elephants and these are sweet gifts to take home to babies and toddlers...or even young children!
  This pink taggy ball is now available in my Etsy shoppe over HERE...

This sweet beige bunny with a red and white striped bow is now available in my Etsy shoppe!  You can visit the listing over HERE...

And I simply couldn't resist sharing yet another photograph of this precious boy!  
Ah, Caleb is growing like a weed and has started grabbing things with his chubby little hands...when I am talking to him and giving him kisses, he puts both his wee hands on my face as if to draw me that is enough to melt any heart!  
Caleb is now 12 weeks and continues to be a blessing and a joy around our home!  
On this particular day Mom was hanging the washing and put Caleb outside on a blanket to look at the world around him...he enjoyed this so much! 
I would love to know what you has been happening in your crafting room, my friends.  
It is always inspiring to hear of what others are making, so I invite you to share your creativity with me!  {{smiles}}

My country diary has been quite happy this case you missed Tuesday's post, What Being Happy Means to Me, stop by here.  And I know this week's Thursday Pearls will lighten your heart as take a moment to read these pearls of wisdom and may your heart be blessed!

I pray each of you will be blessed with a wonderful Lord's Day tomorrow!

With love,

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Thursday Pearls

  Painting:  In the Garden by Carlton Alfred Smith
A woman who focuses on worshiping God will consider carefully how she is dressed, because her heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance. ”
~ Elizabeth George
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
~ Romans 12:1-2
Thursday blessings, dearest readers...

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

What Being Happy Means to Me...

I have been pondering lately what it means to be be truly happy...

What does the word happiness mean to me?  
Is it simply a word, an expression...or is it a feeling?  
 Or is it something else altogether?

Perhaps a cup of hot coffee on a chilly morning...  Kissing chubby baby cheeks....
Watching hens peck contentedly in the dirt in search of a nutritious worm...watching the children play in the garden getting as brown and muddy as they possibly exquisite sunrise...ah, the simple pleasures in life are gloriously rich indeed!

^ View of the farmland beyond our house taken from a bedroom window on a misty morning...

I think too often we are in search of an elusive idea of what we think happeniness is...
If only we could have this or that or if only we could go here or there...
We are continually looking for the next exciting occasion, person or thing to make us feel happy...

But...I believe that happiness is found right here...  
It is discovered when our hearts are thankful for each gift from our heavenly Father, 
when we choose to praise Him in the midst of our busy, sometimes chaotic and painful lives and when we strive to be content in our circumstances.

A child's toothy smile...the first blossom on the peach tree...a bowl of freshly picked homegrown peas...a jar of homemade strawberry jam...a handwritten letter...a steaming pail of fresh milk...delightful gifts discovered when we purpose to embrace the here and now...

^ Brocolli harvested from the garden...

Yes...I believe that happiness is found in the simplest things.  But I also believe in joy...

Joy comes from the King of Kings...our Saviour, Jesus Christ and is given to us when we purpose to delight ourselves in Him and seek first His Kingdom... 
Joy is not always something which we feel, rather it is a choice to be glad and thankful in whatsoever state we are in, just as Paul wrote.

Joy is discovered in Christ Jesus...oh, the blessed freedom that comes from following Him! 
Joy is sometimes painful and uncomfortable...often it means going without, but our Lord is a God who takes pleasure in giving us good and perfect gifts...  And He is faithful, so very faithful...

^ A cheerful pot of pansies never ceases to bring a smile...

Joy comes from laying down our lives for God...when we seek to please Him rather than follow our fleshly desires.
Joy wells up deep within our hearts when we seek to obey His commands, share His love with others and pour out ourselves for the sake of the Gospel.

I do not believe in simply being happy...  I believe in being joyful as we go about our work for the one true King.  

May I encourage you, dear reader, to make a conscious decision today {and everyday} to choose joy...

"Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer."  ~ Romans 12:12

With love and joy in Christ,

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sewing this Week and Other Musings...

Ah...another week has just about drawn to a close.
It is Saturday afternoon and I have returned from the market and am now resting a little before supper preparations begin...
I had hoped to become a bit more consistent in my writing lately but alas!
The Lord graciously sent me another order and He also allowed me the incredible privilege of hosting my first ever sewing workshop for young ladies 9-12 years of age.
I will tell you all about it in a moment but first, let me give you a glimpse of the goodies I have been creating in my sewing room lately...

 Miss Lettice is such a gorgeous addition to Heartmade!  
Each rabbit is quite intricate and time-consuming to make, but very special...  
I made one for my order as well as a Farmer Boy bunny.  

 The Farmer Boy rabbit is a more recent make but has become just as popular as Miss Lettice...
  Bunting formed the main part of my order.  
I made three beautiful large pink/red/white bunting as well as two large boyish bunting.  
I got to go fabric shopping for these so my collection is looking quite happy at the moment..{{Smiles}}

^ This one is my favourite...

I also completed two patchwork hearts with a flower cross-stitch motif...
...And a couple more ellie softies.
I think it is safe to say that the ellies are the most popular item at Heartmade at the moment...
In fact, I have another to send off this coming week...{{smiles}}


Just have a look at how big and precious Caleb has gotten!
We celebrated eleven weeks with this sweet boy yesterday...someone asked me to today if I was still enjoying my brother...
I replied that with every passing day Caleb becomes more special and sweet to us!  

^ This little fellow is laughing now, smiling more and has already outgrown his 3-6 month onseies...what a delight he is! 

Now...I simply must tell you all about the sewing workshop I mentioned earlier.
About a month and a half ago, the Lord led me to begin planning a sewing day for girls ages 9-12 and I was delighted to hear that I would be demonstrating how to sew pretty patchwork hearts to not six girls as I had originally planned, but to seven!  
Nancy was my assistant {I could not have done it without her...} and at 9am sharp on Friday morning, seven lovely girls joined us for a day of fellowship, sewing and tea!
Oh, it was so was everything I had hoped and prayed it would be and more ~ what a faithful God we serve!  
One young lady remarked how it felt as if we were all princesses what with the elegant teacups and beautiful instrumental music playing in the background!  The girls worked diligently till 3pm {we did break for tea and then for lunch} and went home with a patchwork heart sewn mainly by hand {I used my sewing machine to secure the ribbons} with a pretty cross-stitch motif and I must say, I was altogether impressed by how patient the girls were with the sewing and the cross-stitching.  

And they all begged me to host another class sometime very soon...that blessed my heart and made all the hard work and effort really worth it!  It is not simply about the sewing...yes, I want to inspire them and give them a few of the basic "tools" to take their creativity further if they wish, but I also want to encourage them to see the beauty in everything, to enjoy fellowship and wholesome activities and ultimately, to inspire them to a closer walk with Jesus.  
The Lord doesn't need perfect individuals who have it and know it all, but rather he requires us to be broken vessels for Him and to be open and willing for Him to use.
I am praying much about forming a Bright Lights group in my area in the coming year...
While I am working through the training and preparing the lessons, I hope to do a few more workshops to really get to know the girls better as well as their mothers.  

I want to use my single years for God's glory and this is my very first step and oh!  It is daunting to think of a larger picture!  But...Jesus has given me grace for today and I don't need to think about tomorrow.  Sure, I can make goals and have dreams, but I must surrender them to Christ.  I can do nothing in my own strength as I am too weak...  He has given me a desire to encourage young girls to embrace their God-given feminity and the plans He has for them and I believe that in time He will bring everything that He has ordained to pass.  I need simply to trust Him and seek His counsel in prayer and in the reading of His Word.  

I sadly did not get pictures of the was a rather busy few hours, but perhaps next time I will be more organised!  

 Painting:  Milkmaid with Cows by Julien Dupre
In other news, we have acquired a milk cow, my friends!  Yes indeed, Molly has joined our little farm and we will be milking her and looking after her calf from now on.   She is being loaned to us {actually, a couple years ago we did this and it worked really well.}
We do want to purchase our own cow someday, but in the meantime God has once again provided just what we needed ~ we had been praying for awhile that somehow things would work out so that we could keep a cow and it was a wonderful answer to hear that Molly could once again bless our family...
I will be chief milker {I hope I remember that which I learnt and build up my hand muscles quickly!} but I will be teaching my younger sisters as well.
As we speak, my dad is busy building a cow shed and in the garage is the cow feed and the shiny new milk pail is awaiting the first drops of rich, creamy milk to fill it to the brim...  Exciting, busy times lie ahead!

Next week Beth will be celebrating her 12th birthday {July 22nd} and the next day Nancy has a concert with the orchestra she plays in...  Our whole family are planning to attend ~ what fun that will be!  {{smiles}}

It is always such a blessing to share the daily blessings of this beautiful life with each of you, sweet readers!  Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and the friendship you extend!  

What was your week like, dear friends...?  Have you ever hosted a sewing workshop?  Have you tried milking before?

With love and joy in Christ,

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Thursday Pearls

"Never lose an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful. It is God's handwriting - a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, every fair sky, every fair flower. "

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh with whom is no variableness, neither shadow nor turning."  ~ James 1:17, KJV 

 Happy Thursday, dear friends!  May you be blessed and be a blessing to everyone around you today!  And remember to continually thank the Lord for each beautiful gift He has you...

In Christ's love,

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Thursday Pearls...

"Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts."

~ Elisabeth Elliot


"Wait on the Lord:  be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:  wait, I say, on the Lord."  ~ Psalm 27:14, KJV

Oh, what beautiful words by a truly wise and Godly woman...I love Elisabeth Elliot's writings...they are inspirational and encourage me to a deeper walk with the Lord.

Surely we should wait upon the Lord in every area of our lives?  Perhaps you are waiting on God for a precious babe to fill your heart and home with joy and laughter...or you are pleading with Him to open doors for a work opportunity...maybe you are waiting on the Lord for your husband...  
May your hearts be challenged and encouraged today to give your struggles, your heartache, your hopes and your dreams to the One who cares for you...  
Wait upon Him and may your heart not grow weary, dear friend.  He is with you; He is walking beside you and He knows...
Surrender to His perfect will and be content with where He has you...  Be of good courage and place your trust in His almighty hand!
  With Christ's richest blessings,

Monday, 4 July 2016

Beautiful, Everyday Blessings

Sometimes I forget just how beautiful my life is; how extraordinarily blessed I am to be a part of a loving family, to be at home doing that which I love and enjoying the delights of a simple life in the country...

Today was not a particularly wonderful or special day in any fact, it may have been rendered fairly usual...
However...the Lord opened my eyes to the incredible beauty surrounding me and filled my heart with joy - a joy that has eluded me of late as I have allowed my thankful heart to wander somewhat.....

I just had to share some of the beautiful aspects of this blessed day...

 ^ Allysum growing in our flower garden...aren't they so pretty and dainty?

I enjoyed a lovely walk along the gravel roads this afternoon...after two weeks of being without fresh air and exercise due to yet another cold, it was simply delightful being able to venture into the great outdoors again and watch my dogs sniff and run about as they soaked up the wintry sunshine!

The new Shining Stars magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday morning {{happy sigh}}, so I have been sipping tea {compliments of my sweet friend in Florida} and reading each beautiful article...  My heart has been greatly challenged and inspired once again through this beautiful magazine.

 ^ Caleb Courage at two months...

 Cuddles with my precious baby brother...Caleb is growing so quickly, it is quite remarkable to behold!  Each day I sing praises to the Lord for the wonderful gift of a little brother - often it feels as if he has been here all along...{{smiles}}

^ Two beautiful reindeer made last week for a shop...:)

My fabrics are strewn across my room as I write...  I am currently planning and cutting out the different items I hope to make this week...  God has graciously given me another good order and I am excited to fill it this coming week...


Our hens, who have not laid an egg between them in months, produced a beautiful brown egg for us this is that for a blessing?  Of course we are all delighted...perhaps we will have a new batch of chicks this Spring afterall...?
^ Rocket and Kale growing in my garden...

The aroma of simmering soup...  Ah, winter is the perfect time for making big pots of nutritious soup and I have had a great time in the kitchen lately...  Oh and did I mention I used leeks grown right in my garden as well as homegrown kale in today's homemade chicken soup...?  
Oh, the simple pleasures in life!


Receiving packages of love from friends across the ocean never ceases to brighten my day!  
My dear friend, Sarah, graced me with a sweet parcel containing a lovely handwritten letter, a little bag filled with various delicious teas {{hmmm}}, as well as an adorable outfit and soft toys for Caleb! 
And Sarah didn't forget my sisters either...candy was included for them!  
I was so touched that someone whom I have never had the privilege of meeting {yet} would be so kind and thoughtful as to send me a love-filled box of goodies!  The Lord is so good, isn't He?  
I am grateful for each precious friend He has brought along my path...

And now, as the day draws to a close I intend to ponder each beautiful blessing from the Lord as I go about my evening duties...I hope to bask in the glory of my Lord and King and bring joy to His heart by keeping a thankful heart...

What small blessings have you been praising the Lord for lately, dear friends...?

With love in Christ,

P.S.  Do any of you know of someone who would be willing to design this, my new blog?  I am afraid my computer skills are sadly lacking when it comes to design...  I am looking for a simple yet chic blog design that would suit the country nature of this blog?  If you have any ideas, I would be delighted to have you email me at

Sunday, 3 July 2016

A New Chapter Has Begun...

With a crisp white page before me and pen in hand, I have begun work on a new chapter

Welcome to my diary…the diary of this somewhat old-fashioned, country maiden with a love for all things vintage and beautiful…

You may have been a reader of my previous blog, Beautiful Girlhood for many years or even a few months, or you may be a new friend altogether  Nevertheless, I do warmly invite you to stay awhile and enjoy the things I wish to share…

From much loved recipes, to sewing ideas and crafty projects…to beautiful quotes and lovely vintage finds…to musings on my garden and my love of country living…I do hope you will find something to enjoy in my diary...

And of course I will write about the wonderful blessings that enrich my life, the joy of being a daughter at home, my precious younger siblings and my thoughts on homemaking and Biblical womanhood…

Do make yourself a cup of tea and stay awhile…may your heart be blessed and inspired!

Oh, and I would love it if you stopped by my Guestbook and signed your name...making a new friend always brings a smile to my face!


Painting by:  Ernest Walbourn