Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Pearls

  
"God is the only one who can make
the valley of trouble a door of hope."

~ Catherine Marshall

~ Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:5 ~

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May the Lord bless each of you, sweet readers, with a wonderful Thursday!


 

Painting by:  Edmund leighton Blair

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thursday Pearls {& a Sale on Selected Heart❤made Products!}

 
 "Neither go back in fear and misgiving to the past, nor in anxiety and forecast to the future:  but lie quiet under His hand, having no will but His."  

~ H.E. Manning 

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A precious friend of mine sent me this quote in a lovely letter the other day...I found it beautiful and truly encouraging to my heart...may it bless you too, dear reader...

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."

~ Psalm 42:1

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In other news, I am busy clearing old stock in the shoppe at the moment...  How about visiting Heart❤made this morning and doing a little shopping for a sweet friend, new baby or even for yourself...?  I am having a sale on my sweet hessian jointed bunnies.  They make such lovely little gifts and would cheer any bookshelf or bedroom!  I would love to send a package of happiness your way...{{smiles}}

They have been marked down from $8.00 to only $6.00, so do pop over and have a look!


 May the Lord bless each of you with a wonderful day and may He fill you with His blessed joy!

With love in Christ,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Caleb is Two Weeks Old....

 "What an amazing miracle – the birth of a child!
We stand in awe – and God has a smile!
He’s created a life that’s never lived before.
A life that is special, unique, with gifts galore.”

~ Verse from the poem, Whence Came This Child? By Nancy Campbell

~


 Little Caleb Courage, who was born into our family on the 29th of April 2016, is now two weeks old and the delight and joy of our lives!
This baby boy is loved and kissed and cuddled so much by his sisters and oh!  We are cherishing each precious moment with him…


Ah!  Already his dear little face has changed and he has begun to interact with us…

 “We fancy that God can only manage His world by big battalions abroad,
When all the while He is doing it by beautiful babies at home.
When a wrong wants a righting, or a truth wants preaching, or a continent
Wants opening, God sends a baby into the world to do it.
That is why long, long ago, a Babe was born in Bethlehem.”

~ Frank Boreham


Yesterday the light was shining so perfectly into the room and Caleb was so content after a comforting bath, that I had to capture some sweet moments with my camera…I am sure you will agree that he looks too adorable for words in these baby outfits…how about this one below?  {{Smiles}}


Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:  and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”


~ Psalm 127:3  

Aww…there is something so beautiful and special about a baby, wouldn’t you agree…?  

Blessings,
Kelly-Anne

~ Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them... ~

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Walk through my Garden in May

What a glorious day!  Ah, the sun was shining and there was an autumnal crispness in the air which made for perfect gardening weather...after perusing a Country Living magazine with a cup of coffee in hand, I was inspired to step into my garden and see about doing some weeding, sowing some seeds and basking in the glory of our Lord's incredible creation...

I discovered my cherry tomatoes had developed what I believe to be black rot, so I sadly pulled them out and cleared the bed, sowing carrot seeds as well as California poppies in their place.  I did think it was a bit late in the season for tomatoes...but they popped up one day and grew so swiftly I simply couldn't bear to disturb them!

I spent the morning enjoying the sunshine whilst thinning red onions and pulling carrots for supper.  I  harvested the last of my bush beans and had a nibble of fresh peas - could anything be more delightful for a light snack?

After a some wonderful outdoor work, I came inside to be greeted by the appetising aroma of freshly baked bread, lovingly made by my sister...did I mention she baked cookies as well?  I think it would be quite fitting to say it was a Little House kind of day...{{smiles}}

In my opinion, fresh farm bread, spread thickly with butter, topped with sliced avocado and chopped fresh greens (lettuce and arugula), from the garden of course, made for a deliciously light lunch...  Surely there is nothing so deeply satisfying as working steadily in the garden and being able to eat the fruits of your labour?

I love what Thomas Jefferson wrote about the garden...

"No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden." 

Now for a walk around my garden...  Late last year we moved our vegetable garden up from the below our house to the side where the ground is a bit more level and is easier to fence off the garden from the chickens.  Interestingly enough, the success rate of the crops have increased as the garden is further from the plantation of trees near our house.  I have also found it easier to keep my hand on the garden and the weeds under control.  I had to add plenty of compost to the soil as this was new ground, and since then I have rotated my crops and harvested plenty of healthy vegetables...

Feverfew sweetly blooming... 


The first peas of the season...

My garden has somewhat of a ''jungle'' aspect to it, but I do try to keep it fairly structured otherwise I find I lose plants in amongst the stronger greenery and struggle to keep up with succesive sowing...but I do love the slight rustic appeal of a jungle style garden and love to grow flowers in between vegetables and salad greens.
Fresh homegrown carrots...surely nothing can compare...?

Calendula blooming beautifully among the peas...

A garden in progress; ever changing...

Arugula growing happily next to healthy kale and sorrel...


In case you are wondering about the tyres...I will just say that they are not my first choice.  When I think of my dream garden of someday, I imagine rows and rows of healthy vegetables; the ground thickly covered with straw and compost.  But...we have moles here...lots of them, and I cannot begin to tell you how many days I have shed tears on discovering my plants uprooted and the ground all soft beneath my feet.  Thus, the tyres keep out the moles as there is a second one buried below the surface with shade net at the bottom. 

Coriander...I am the only one in our family to actually enjoy the flavour of this strong herb...and I always like to keep a fresh supply on hand as I think it compliments a spicy dish so well!

Lovely leeks...oh, I can taste a leek and potato soup...

Red butter lettuce...

...Truly, my heart is happiest when tending the little patch of earth I call my garden...

~
How does your garden grow, dear reader...?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday Pearls

 

"How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none."

~ A.W. Tozer

~ Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.  Psalm 103:1-5, NIV ~

~
Thursday blessings, sweet friends! 

Painting by:  Unknown

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Pearls...


~ Baby Caleb Courage, born April 29, 2016 ~

"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for."  

~ Author Unknown

~
Happy Thursday, sweet readers...

~ Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them...  Psalm 127:5 ~

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Caleb Courage

 
^ Cuddles with Rebekah

^This is one proud big sister...Sofia has fallen in love with her baby brother...

~
We are completely smitten with the newest member of our family...this precious boy has been cuddled by his sisters from the moment he arrived home last night...  
I had the wonderful privilege of having him sleep on my chest from bedtime till about 1 o' clock this morning, and I will forever treasure those sweet hours in my heart...  

My little brother...little Caleb...oh, I give the Lord all the praise and glory for this incredible gift!

My mother is convalecsing in the comfort of her own home and we are very grateful for this...she is doing much better now and we continue to pray for a swift recovery and complete healing over her body.  I am incredibly blessed to have such a mother as I have...she is someone whom I look up to and I pray that someday I may display as much courage as she has during this time...

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I want to thank each and every one of my dear readers for the prayers and love shown to our family over the past few months, and especially during the last few days...  Your words of encouragement have been very precious to me and oh!  How I wish you could all meet Caleb Courage in person...do enjoy the many photographs I have to share...  I am hoping to do a proper newborn photoshoot this coming week...look out for that!

With blessings and joy,
Kelly~Anne

Friday, April 29, 2016

Introducing...


Our precious baby brother, Caleb Courage, joined our family early this morning...
He weighed 5.1kg...the biggest of any of our babies!

Caleb is a darling, healthy little fellow and oh!  We all love him already...
My heart is filled with joy and thankfulness for this wonderful blessing...our first brother!

Please keep my dear mom in your prayers, sweet friends, as she recovers from a difficult C-section...the Lord was truly with her and my dad during the whole operation...we are so thankful for the prayers that have carried our family...we serve a mighty Lord and King!

~
Stay posted for more pictures coming soon...

All my love,
Kelly~Anne

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts...


"Remember this, 
that very little is needed
to make a happy life."

~ Marcus Aurelius

~
Thursday blessings, my dear friends!


Painting by Mary Cassat ~ Five O' Clock Tea

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Autumn~ness



Autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influences on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.  She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations…”

~ Jane Austen


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Autumn has well and truly arrived in our lovely part of the world and my heart swells with joy as I ponder the pleasures of this wonderful season…

            ....Beautiful crinkly brown and gold hues of the leaves that grace the trees are a happy part of Autumn…don't you think...? 

Autumn is a season for cinnamon and spices, for gathering firewood and pinecones to see us through the chilly winter…

...A season for the orange and brown pumpkins that grace the stores and for baking bliss...

A cup of steaming coffee always tastes richer and more comforting in the autumn…especially if honey and cinnamon are added…

Autumn is a time for watching to see when the first oranges and lemons appear on the trees,
and a season for preserving its tangy goodness in jars of beautiful marmalade

Letters are lovely in the autumn…somehow the imagination comes alive with the arrival of cooler weather…what could be pleasanter than taking pen to paper and journaling thoughts for a dear friend to read…?

Autumn is a a season for bringing out cosy knitting and embroidery projects and snuggling up to watch delightful time period movies...

A time for venturing into the garden in search of fresh peas for a hearty meal and a time to sow spring bulbs and flowers…

 …Above all, it is a time to thank God for the bounty of summer and the provisions stored in the cupboard and freezer for winter…

Yes...this wonderful season has arrived in all its glory and I delight in its rich beauty!

What do you love most about the season which you are in...?  {{Smiles}}

~
Blessings, dearest readers!


"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven..."  ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

{P.S.  We still await the arrival of our baby brother, sweet friends...thank you for your continued prayers and love!} 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Nursery Reveal...


Welcome, friends...I know you are all very eager to meet our precious little brother...

We continue to excitedly anticipate his arrival and pray for a safe delivery, and in the meantime, there is a special place I would like to show you...

It is something we have been working on for the past few weeks, and although more or less finished, I know we will continue to add new handmade items and decorations here and there...

This is the first baby boy to be welcomed into our family, and we are so delighted to be using reds and blues instead of pinks and whites this time around!  It is a whole new experience, to be sure!

The theme for our baby boy's ''corner'' is sea, and we have used all our favourite fabrics...  We actually spotted them at a material shop over a year ago, long before we knew we would even have a baby boy, and we purchased some for heartmade items... 

Well, when we discovered that after six girls there would indeed be a BOY joining our home, we just knew these gorgeous sea-themed fabrics would make the perfect nursery items...and we were right!  {{Smiles}}


It has been absolutely splendid being able to sew baby things once again, and this is the first time I have been quite so involved...  Despite having almost no budget to work with, it has been amazing to watch everything come slowly together, and to see how one can create such lovely things with only a few supplies and a whole lot of love.

Baby's nursery (not sharing his name quite yet...) is simply a small corner in my parents' bedroom, but it is a special one...  My dad painted the walls white and put up a shelf with knobs underneath to hold the few decorations we wanted to put up, and he also repainted the cupboards that we had painted pink back when Rebekah was born...(see here)

I made the curtains and cot frill from white calico and trimmed them with red gingham.  I also hand-stitched a red running stitch along the bottom for extra handmade charm.



The decorations are simple as well, but they match the sea-theme beautifully!  When we decided to use these fabrics, I just knew I wanted to make a whale softie or two for Baby's cot!  I have subsequently made a couple more for my shoppe (see here)...


I covered ever so many wooden hangers in coordinating fabrics...I used the red check, blue bubble, light blue and navy blue star as well as the main fabrics, the whales and boats.  My mom knitted a few covers as well using moss and plain knit stitch (not pictures).

 

These hangers turned out fabulously and prevent the baby clothes from catching on the wood...they also look much better than plastic ones, wouldn't you agree?



I made a ribbon taggy ball with fabric remnants (similar also available in my Etsy shoppe) for Baby to play with later on...for now it looks sweet up on the shelf!



One of my first projects was actually this mini bunting... The red bias ties in beautifully with the red gingham on the curtains and in the quilt.



This big traditional jointed teddy bear actually had a spot on our market stall before us girls decided he should be given to our baby brother instead.  And doesn't he look ever so cheerful up there?

 
Nancy re-painted and re-covered the wooden box we used for both Rebekah and Sofia.  It was looking a little tired and well...a little too pink!  She used the whale fabric for the inner and strong hessian twine for the cord.



I made these two little drawstring bags, but Nancy did the crocheting of the edges and strings...so gorgeous, don't you think?  The one little bag contains cotton wool balls and the other, baby socks...maybe I will make one or two more for some other baby goodies...or perhaps a larger one for laundry. 

 

Now for my favourite part...the quilt!  This was the last item on my list of things to make...
 I didn't intend to make it quite so big, but we had a duvet inner from Sofia's camp cot, so I decided to make the quilt into an actual duvet cover which can be used for a good two or three years, that way we didn't have to use bias on the edges or pay for fancy top stitching to be done...



I had great hopes of doing a quilt design such as a 'Yellow Brick Road', but after much consideration, Mom and I decided the fabric designs were really too busy for anything too intricate.  Plus, I also saw some adorable simple block quilts on Pinterest...and so I made my piece (pun intended) with a block quilt - I absolutely love how it turned out...
  

I spliced denim in between the quilting fabrics as I wanted to use it on the edges and as the backing of the duvet.  This worked remarkably well and added a very ''boyish'' feel to the quilt!  Wish I could sleep under it...looks so cosy, doesn't it?!  {{smiles}}

Nancy created a beautiful boat picture with fabric scraps and buttons, and I used fabric scraps to quilt the sides and make a lovely cushion...



Lastly, we found a few adorable wooden decor items at a local gift shop.  The anchor and boat hooks, as well as the little boat picture frame form a collection of sea-themed decor...


...I have forgotten to tell you a little about this special wooden cot...it was in fact my dad's cot when he was a baby...and then it was mine...  A few of my sisters used it as newborns too, and hopefully Baby will use it for his future little ones.  It is a stunning wooden cot, and is in great condition...all it required was a lick of paint!



...And so we come to the end of our tour of the nursery.  Ah, I can't tell you how eager we are to see this little boy face to face.  What will he look like...?  Will he have darker hair like Rebekah did as a baby...?  Or will he be fair like the rest of us at birth?

One thing I do know for certain...this little one will be welcomed into this world with so much love and joy...
He has six delighted older sisters who prayed for him to join their family for years and who talk to him in utero each day...
As I shared in this post, we did not think we would be at this place in life again after my mom miscarried three babies in a row at 12 weeks.  Those past trials and seasons of sadness make this time a time of great jubilee and rejoicing for us as a family and as children of God. 

Here are some ''before'' pictures...

 The nursery ''corner'' ~ before 

Gabrielle helping to fill in cracks in the wall...


 Beth filling in cracks in the wall...how happy they were to give Dad a hand!

~
As I write tears fill my eyes as I think of the graciousness of God - that He chose to answer this prayer leaves me in absolute awe.  
 He is our loving Father, but many times His answer is not what we are looking for...replies such as these are difficult to bear and are often met with great frustration and sorrow on our parts.   
But He is with us through our grieving and I believe He weeps with us in our pain...

Thus, we are humbled that the Lord would see fit to bring yet another life into our family, and we pray that this child will go forth and be a light unto the nations for the glory of God!

~
Dear friends, I am so glad you could join me for a peek into our baby's nursery...hopefully my next post will be a birth announcement!  Thank you for your prayers, your love and for sharing our joy - it means so much to us, and we are delighted that this baby will be greeted with such gladness!

Many blessings on the rest of your week...