Thursday, February 11, 2016

Thursday Pearls, Heart Garlands...And The Giveaway Winner


"Love is a great beautifier..."


~ Louisa May Alcott, author of the beloved story, Little Women

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart."  ~ Proverbs 3:3

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And now it is time to share the lovely winner of my ''love'' giveaway...with sincerest thanks to each of you for your kind words and for sharing the beautiful ways you show those you love how much you care...

How I would love to gift each of you with something handmade and sweet!  But as I sadly cannot, I will announce the dear winner of this pretty 'love' wall hanging, handmade by my sister...

Congratulations to....


Dearest Bethany...I do hope that every time you glance at this stitched wall hanging you will be reminded to love unconditionally...may it bless you and encourage you to show others that they are special and loved by you and God, our Father!



Oh, and I wanted to show you the sweet heart garlands I had fun making this week...perhaps you've already guessed...I love creating Valentine's inspired things!  {{happy sigh}}.  I think they turned out quite beautifully...  I used double-sided scrapbook paper which gave the garlands some extra colour and cheer!  Have you been busy at your craft table with any Valentine~related crafts...?

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Hugs n' love!


"For God so loved the world, that  he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."  ~ John 3:16, KJV

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Painting by:  Daniel Ridgeway Knight

Monday, February 8, 2016

Thoughts on Love...



Loving others is something we all struggle with at some point…these last few months the Lord has been showing me how little grace and love I extend to others…particularly to those whom I don’t quite feel like loving…

As Believers in Christ Jesus, we are called to love others as He first loved us this includes those people who are challenging to love as well as those whom we hold dear to us such as our immediate family…


Whilst I struggle inwardly against what I know to be true, I fail miserably in the Lord’s will for my life…I realise that I need to submit to His plan, embrace those He has brought along my path and pray that His love, mercy and grace would flow through me…


Love is not just a feeling…more often than not it is a choice.  Oh, such a humbling, painful choice it can be!

Thoughts such as, “Why Lord…?  Why do I have to love this person?  I don’t want to!” run through my mind, and yet His still small voice rings loud and clear…love.  Love covers a multitude of sins.

Love is it what makes everything you do worthwhile.


I have subsequently begun reading only the Old King James Bible, and I was surprised to read in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 that no mention of love is made…merely the beautiful, meaningful word, ‘Charity’.

What does charity mean?  I wasn’t sure I wanted to find out…I was secretly hoping that it perhaps didn’t mention 'love' anywhere…but here is the definition I found and the true message was quite clear...
Charity:  1.  The giving of help such as money or food, to those in need.  2.  an organization set up to provide help to those in need.  3.  help given to the need; alms.  4.  a kindly attitude towards people.  5.  love of one's fellow human beings.


I know I cannot love without God…He IS love, and from Him comes love – the pure, true, self-sacrificing love that is almost non-existent in our world. 

It is the love that is unselfish and blind.  I don’t possess such a love, but I do know the source of such a love…I am in search of it; daily crying out to the Lord for Him to give me what I long for…

Realising my weaknesses, I also realise my absolute need for Jesus and how trivial my good works are when love, or rather, charity, is absent.


Such have been my ponderings of late, and they have drawn me closer to the Lord, and continue to humble me greatly…I am nothing in my own right, nor do I have the power to love as He first loved us. 

I am a work in progress, a sinner saved by grace and in awe at Christ’s redeeming love for me…I am determined to seek Him further, and oh!  Why does it hurt so much to be pruned?


The truth is we require frequent pruning…our hearts need to be purged, and we daily need to admit our failings and acknowledge how imperfect we are, and how great the Love of Christ is!


Dear friends, I write this today not to discourage you…but rather to encourage you, as I do myself.  I write this so that I may remember when I am tempted to fall prey to Satan’s lies that I do not need to love anyone that I don’t wish to…


This is not what the Bible clearly instructs us to do as Believers in Christ!

True, it is a daily act of submission, and oh, how disheartening it can be at times! 

But may we not become weary in doing good, nor may we ever become self-righteous which we are often apt to do…


Take heart, be of good courage and love…love with no ulterior motive.

Love is not about what we will gain from it, it is about being obedient to the Lord and becoming the beautiful work of art He intended us to be...
..."But the greatest of these is love..."  ~ Corinthians 13:13


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I end with ever so much love in Jesus!  Have a blessed week, dear readers!
 

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 Oh, and before I forget...my little ''love'' giveaway is still open to all readers across the globe...if this is your first time visiting Beautiful Girlhood, please don't let that hinder you...the more the merrier, and you are most welcome here!  I happily invite you to stop by this post to join in the giveaway delights, sweet friends...{{smiles}}
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Painting by:  Frederick Morgan

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Blessings....

My heart is filled with gratitude for all the precious sisters in the Lord I have been blessed to meet, and I daily thank Jesus for allowing me the true privilege of writing on Beautiful Girlhood as well as forming the most wonderful friendships along the way!

Yes, my friends...I have returned from my little blogging rest.  I simply missed you all too much and had far too much I wanted to share with you.  I do think my blogging schedule may tighten up somewhat over the next few weeks as my dear mother approaches her due date, but I want to write oh so much that I will stop by when I can!

In my absence I have been working on several posts including a little tutorial I promised months ago, so all my sweet readers who love to sew, and even those who have limited sewing skills, do stay ''posted'' for a lovely and simple project which will only take about half an hour, coming soon!

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I wanted to show you some of the most delightful gifts given to me by some very dear friends lately, both those that I have met and those that I haven't {yet}...isn't it remarkable that we can enjoy sweet fellowship with those we have never met in person before...?  The love of Christ unites us, and it is a joy to behold indeed!


 My dear pen friend, Ashleigh, blessed me with the most delightful Christmas parcel...just look at some of the treasures she wrapped up for me...it is such a JOY to write to Ashleigh, and she does write the most delightful letters back...{{happy sigh}}.  She made this adorable birdie brooch for me...isn't it too cute?  And see the crocheted doily behind it...so beautiful!
 

Oh, and Mildred, whom I have truly enjoyed getting to know better over the past few months, sent me these beautiful vintage hankerchiefs...aren't they pretty?  I am collecting lovely hankies as they make such wonderful tray cloths, don't you think so too?  I think my favourite is the ladybird one on the left!  {{smiles}}  Mildred, you have impeccable taste! 
 

 My sweet friend who lives just down the road gave me this charming blue tea cup...look at the design on it...  The two of us decided to throw a baby shower for a mutual friend who is expecting a second little blessing soon...  It was so enjoyable to plan together and then finally watch the event unfold...  Thank you, Beverley...I do love this tea cup so!
 

And on Monday my dad came home carrying a beautiful package of birthday blessings from my dear friend, Cheryl...not only did she send me a book filled with the most fantastic ideas for card making, but she added all sorts of goodies including a little book of ''home'' quotes, handwritten notes and a pretty tea cup coaster made by Stephanie...I am busy planning my sewing ''corner'', and I intend to have this pretty coaster on my table for that daily cup of tea!  
Dear Cheryl...you blessed me more than you could ever know...thank you!

The post office has been quite busy with mail for me lately, and I simply have to smile...I have heard the term ''happy mail'' used for exciting things that come through the post office, and I can certainly say this is what I have received lately...  
If you are unsure of whether to begin exchanging letters and gifts with other ladies across the world, may I encourage you to give it a try?  I can assure you that it will be a delightful experience - there are so many precious ladies with generous hearts, it makes me smile to think about it!

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Now I must be off...tomorrow is market day, and I am looking forward to meeting a friend for coffee while my sweet sister, Nancy, looks after the goodies at our stall.  I have quite a few products to show you, but all in good time...I could continue writing for ever so long, but I am sure you have lots you would like to do on this Friday morning!

Have a blessed and creative weekend, sweet friends!
 

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 Oh, and have you entered my little ''love'' giveaway yet?  It is still open to all readers across the globe...if this is your first time visiting Beautiful Girlhood, please don't let that hinder you...the more the merrier, and you are most welcome here!  I warmly invite you to stop by this post to join in the giveaway delights...

Monday, February 1, 2016

Celebrating Love GIVEAWAY!!



Whilst I am still on a blogging break, I thought I would take a moment to share some happiness with you!

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I have a special giveaway planned for you today, my dearest friends!

I love showing you all how much you mean to me and I greatly appreciate your rich fellowship and sweet encouragement, so I am offering a lovely little something for your homes…


As this month is February…the month of love, I have asked my dear, creative sister to make something very fitting and truly ‘’love-ly” as a gift for one sweet reader!






 Nancy creates beautiful pictures with fabrics and her sewing machine, and she is working on a range of lovely cushions and wall hangings which she is hoping to market at our stall each Saturday…I absolutely adore her work (and not simply because she is my sister...), and she is making me one or two sweet wall hangings for my sewing room which is in progress at the moment in my mind…{{smiles}}


She very kindly agreed to make a pretty wall hanging for one lovely reader…  It says, “Love’’, which I thought was very appropriate for February (and all year round!) when our focus should be on loving one another as Christ first loved us…don’t you think having this pretty wall hanging in your home would be a wonderful reminder to love others…?

Now, to stand a chance to win this picture, simply do the following…

Leave a comment telling me how you enjoy showing those your care about how much you love them…


If you would like to gain extra entries…


Tell someone else about this giveaway in any form you choose.  But please be sure to leave another comment telling me that you did so…


There is also an extra entry for followers, so please include your following name in your comment.


Favourite heartmade shoppe on Etsy {here} or follow heartmade’s blog {here}…again, please let me know that you did so in order that I may give you more entries!

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As usual, this giveaway is open to all countries, and will close in ten days’ time which will take us to Wednesday the 10th.  I will announce the sweet winner on the 11th…


Oh, and if you are a first time visitor, you are more than welcome to enter…the more the merrier!   
It always makes my day to ‘’meet’’ a sweet new friend, so let the commenting delights begin!
~ A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  John 13:34 ~

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Taking a Little Rest...❤


Sweet friends...I am taking a little break from the lovely world of blogging...my dear sister and I are currently planning a special Valentine's/birthday (my mother's birthday is February 14th!) picnic lunch...of course I will share pictures!
 
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I leave you with these beautiful, inspiring words from Dietrich Bonheoffer...

There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.” 

I won't be gone long, but I know I will miss you all!  {{smiles}}

May the Lord bless you all as you strive to serve Him in every area of your life!  
Have a wonderful, creative month of January further!


"...In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

~ Proverbs 3:6, KJV

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday Pearls...


"Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future."

~ Corrie Ten Boom

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...Praising the Lord for you all today, dear readers...may each of you have a truly blessed Thursday, dwelling on Jesus and His precious, forgiving love!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sweet Little Valentine Cards...



Valentine's Day is swiftly approaching once again, and it just happens to be one of my very favourite events of the year...
I simply adore all things red and pink, and I love hearts of all shapes and sizes...

If you've been reading Beautiful Girlhood for some time, you will more than likely have discovered by now that I don't celebrate Valentine's in the wordly sense...

I am waiting on the Lord to reveal His perfect will for my life, and if that involves a Godly prince somewhere along the way, then I shall be very glad indeed...I want God to write my love story someday, should He see fit...{{smiles}}

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My lovely sister, Nancy, has been creating these sweet heart cards for the market, using beautiful scrapbook paper and fabric remnants...I thought I would enjoy making a few for my gift box, which I most certainly did!

I love sewing paper as the result is quite striking and oh so simple!  
Perhaps you would like to make a few of these lovelies for your stash of cards, dear friends...?  
They don't just have to be for Valentine's...they can be for any occasion...I know they would light up the face of a sweet friend!
 
I used reds and pinks, but you could also use different colours if you'd like and perhaps a different shape in place of a heart - the possibilities are endless indeed!


~ To Make ~

To start, cut brown kraft cardboard to size...I made mine 2.25" x 4.5", then scored and folded them in half to create a little card...

 

Then cut patterned scrapbook paper or card to size - make your paper a little smaller than the actual card by leaving off a 1/4" or so... 

 



Now cut out a heart template which will fit nicely on your card...trace onto the wrong side of assorted fabric scraps, and cut out carefully.  
 

Use a small piece of double-sided tape to adhere the fabric heart to each piece of patterned scrapbook paper as this makes it easier to sew.
Thread your machine with black cotton and sew all around each heart, being careful to keep the shape intact!
Now secure each piece of patterned scrapbook paper with the fabric heart to the little cards with acid-free scrapbooking glue.

...And there you are!  

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Praying you will have a truly blessed week, lovely readers!


 ~ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only beggotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16, KJV ~

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Soap, Delightful Soap ~ A Few Simple Ideas


Remember how I told you we finally attempted soap making after so many years of dreaming about it, dear friends…?

Well, I thought I would share some pictures of our little soaps with you, and also some sweet and simple ideas for wrapping them beautifully…

  

 Soaps make such wonderful presents, particularly as hostess gifts!

Don’t you just love the smell of all natural soap…?


I will let you in on a little secret…we found some wonderful natural soap base from a local soap company (The Soap Barn), and thus our soap making experience was simple and very enjoyable!

 


Although I would very much like to try making soap from start to finish someday, I am quite happy to potter about with nothing but essential oils, some dried herbs/flowers and ready-made soap base – yes, in this instance, I am happy to “cheat’’ a little – for now, anyway!  {{smiles}}


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I have included our recipe for you should you wish to make your own sweet soaps…I found it in the lovely Ideas magazine, November 2015...I did ''tweak'' a few things, though...

~ Simple Soap ~

You will need...
  
white soap base (the 'melt and pour' variety)
dried rose buds
rose essential oil
red food colouring
mould
spraying alcohol

To make...

Cut the soap base into 1 x 1 cm cubes and place in a thick-based pot over a very low heat, stirring constantly till melted.  
Use a metal spoon or spatula to stir, placing it in a jug of warm water when not using to prevent the soap residue from hardening.
Mix a few drops of the essential oil into the soap base and stir to combine.
Dip the tip of a wooden skewer or toothpick in the food colouring and then into the soap.  
Stir again and repeat to add more colour, if you prefer.
Transfer the coloured soap mixture to your mould, and spray with alcohol to prevent bubbles from forming on the top.
Leave to stand for a few hours until set.  
Before the soap sets completely, make holes in the surface using a wooden skewer and insert rosebuds into the holes.
Leave the soap to stand overnight to harden completely. 
Turn the soap out of the mould the next day and cut up.

~ A Few Wrapping Ideas ~  



One of my favourite ways to wrap soaps is to use fabric and ribbon or lace…   
I shared this idea a few years ago, so do hop over to this post to see how to wrap your soaps with fabric…



Beautiful paper is of course lovely for wrapping soaps in, and I like to use good quality scrapbook paper…  
Wrap your soaps as you would a gift, and add ribbon or lace if you wish… 


A little strip of patterned paper is also lovely around soap, and is handy as recipients can see straight away what it looks (and smells!) like!  
This is our coffee soap, which is scented with vanilla essential oil and contains fresh coffee grounds…




 Broad lace…ah, just gorgeous for wrapping soaps!
Secure lace at the bottom of the soap with double-sided tape...

 


A white doily and some narrow pink ribbon…a pretty and simple way to wrap a soap!  


Or simply decorate with dried flowers such as rose buds which we placed on top of our rose scented soap…

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Do you have any lovely ideas for decorating and wrapping handmade soaps…?

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May each of you have a truly blessed weekend further!
 

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