Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Favourite books in 2014

The year is fast coming to an end, so its a good time to ask:

What have been your most favourite books this year?

Please share with others what you would highly recommend.

What has moved you to tears?

Made you think?

Wanted to tell someone else about it ASAP?


Monday, November 24, 2014

My first quilt: Finished


I made it, my first quilt is completed and given to its new owner, my sister-in-law.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I could do this, but I did!!! Set your mind on something and you can achieve almost anything. 

This is how it all started back in winter. It has taken me sometime to do, I didn't rush and I did have moments (or weekends) of self doubt, but I went on regardless and made it to the end. 

Laying out the front to measure up the borders and sashing. All the fabric used in the main design is Japanese, I just love Japanese fabric, the colours are so beautiful and rich.

Sewing on the binding
Having the computer and sewing table/machine nearby is very handy. When I needed to watch a youtube clip of how to bind around corners, I could watch the clip, turn my chair and follow the instructions. 
I quite enjoy hand sewing, it is relaxing and peaceful. I did this with classical music playing in the background and the window open so I could get the cool breeze and listen to the rain falling.  Even the birds sang for me. It was all rather lovely and calm. 
Road testing! Found Ruby asleep on top of the quilt, she seemed very content and comfortable. Before it is packaged up and given to my sister-in-law it will be de-haired and cat free. 
I did not machine quilt this quilt, I have not learnt machine quilting yet and this wasn't the quilt I wanted to learn on. This was done professionally by someone who owns one of those hugely expensive computerised machines and she did a brilliant job. I discovered many quilters use the services of this lady if they want fancy patterns. One day I will learn this skill, but first, I need to learn how to match my points!!
DONE Not perfect but way better than the very first quilt I made. Onwards and upwards from here!!! I've learnt a lot from this one, and I am bound to learn even more with the next. 

It is such sleepy business watching mum sew - but I sit patiently and wait.  She often stops and pats me and we have quite long conversations about the meaning of life!! Sometimes I stand up and place my tail in her face and she grumbles about cat hair!! and then she gives me a big hug. 


Friday, November 21, 2014

Art Friday: Random!

William Hays
Art Friday: Random

This week is random, completely random works of art!! I couldn't decide on who to share with you, so you are going to get a bunch of paintings I quite like! I hope you enjoy this collection. 

William Page Atkinson Wells Landscape, a girl in a meadow, 1905
Evening at home” (Edward John Poynter, UK, 1836-1919

Daniel F. Gerhartz
Apples by Rembrandt
 Vladimir Volegov
John William Waterhouse
Nancy Noel
de Bessie Pease Gutmann


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday

Give someone a pot plant to cheer up their day.

"No one is useless in this world
who lightens the burdens of another.” 
Charles Dickens


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Do you feel blessed?

Do you feel blessed?

I do. 

My life isn't perfect, far from it.

I have suffered ups and downs like everyone else. 

Does anyone have a perfect life?


Regardless, I have much to be blessed about and much to thank the Lord for.

I have a roof over my head.

My home is comfortable and keeps me dry and warm.

I have a cosy bed to sleep in.

My home allows me to retreat from the world.

I have food on the table every night, my pantry is full and we do not run short.

I have clothes to wear, shoes for my feet.

I have good health but if I do have problems I have access to doctors, hospitals and affordable medicines.

My children had accessed to good schools.

The roads I drive on are safe and my car is road worthy.

My job meets our needs and pays the bills.

I live in a safe country free from war and famine.

I have family and friends that care about me. 

And I have a Lord that loves me endlessly, even when I slip and stumble. 

I am truly blessed,
 on occasions in my busy life I forget how blessed I really am. 

I have no reason to complain.

God is GOOD. 

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19


Monday, November 17, 2014

Giving to the poor

As Christians we are expected to reach out and help those less fortunate.

She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)

Once or twice a year I go through my cloths to see what I no longer want because I haven't worn them in ages or they don't fit. I pack all the clothing into bags and take them off to the charity bin. Some people at Christmas donate cans of food they haven't used (found at the back of the pantry and well past their expiry date). We give away old books, knick knacks, things from the kitchen, toys, children clothes are popular etc...Just walk past any charity bin and you will see almost anything. 

However, look closer at the content of the charity bin - mine are often overflowing so that isn't difficult. Lots of people give . . . rubbish, clothes that stained, a broken zip, toys that no longer work. Its one of the biggest complains from charities, the amount of items they receive that are not suitable for human use. 

Why do we think it is ok to give the poor the worse of what we have in our cupboards. Things we would no longer want to use. Much of what we give ends up in the tip and costs charities lots of dollars to dispose of. 

My cousin sent me an article the other day and it was the last paragraph that really struck home 

The next time we have the opportunity to share what we have with someone who is in need, let’s give from the pile we want to keep, not from the one we want to throw out. (source)

How many people would be willing to go through their wardrobes and find some of their favourite clothing and give them to charity. I think I would struggle to find just one person. We all like to "help" the less fortunate, but we are particular in what we give. 

I have a friend who, after doing her grocery shopping will give the homeless man outside the supermarket something to eat. She never gives money (as it will be use to buy cigarettes and alcohol), rather she buys the man something healthy to eat e.g. a bag of fruit but she always includes some chocolate. She always adds the little extra because, as she says, why should a homeless man not enjoy some chocolate, we all enjoy it, so he should too. 

He has filled the hungry with good things, 
And the rich He has sent away empty. (Luke 1:53)

This is how we all should think when giving to others . . . do you think the Lord Jesus Christ gave us second best, no, He gave us the best, He gave us chocolate plus lots more. In writing this post I looked at the number of verses about helping/giving/reaching out to those less fortunate and there are far more verses than I thought. We are encouraged over and over again to reach out and help. However we live in a society that is less likely to give than ever before. And even if you don't have very much to give, there is always something (maybe just one item) that you can give to make someone else smile. 

And as I wrote recently about shining your light in the corner where you are, likewise, you don't need to go to Africa to help those in need. Just look at your own neighbourhood, perhaps someone at church is in need of help. And help doesn't just mean second-hand clothes, it can include a casserole for the family that may be going hungry. An anonymous grocery hamper, meat from butcher, gifts at Christmas, the list is endless. 

God's message to us is simple - help the needy. It's not hard to understand; it's just hard to do. And as we approach Christmas (just over a month away), this is an excellent time to put it in action. I quite like doing the "wishing tree" at Christmas. My place of work does one and I like to buy something special for a child who I know won't been getting very much at Christmas. A simple gesture can make all the differences. 

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, 
And He will pay back what he has given. 

(Proverbs 19:17)


Friday, November 14, 2014

Artist: Charles Wysocki

Artist: Charles Wysocki

I have posted paintings by Wysocki before - his cat collection, however he has done plenty of other paintings besides cats and I thought I would share some of these with you. They are so full of detail and the more I look, the more I can see in these paintings.

Enjoy and I hope this is a nice way to end the week.

A few of his cat paintings - the detail is amazing. 



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