Saturday, April 30, 2011

View of the West

Sharing a few photographs taken towards the west, from my country home.

Blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.

Psalm 72:19

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is it Scriptural For Christian Husbands To Demand Their Wives to Go toWork?

from the Google Book, "Old English Country Cottages," which contains
 some sketches by Helen Allingham and other 19th Century English artists.

Red Roof, by Joseph Kim

Dear Ladies,

Perhaps a more accurate question would be: Should Christian wives comply with  unscriptural requests from their husbands?  

In a Christian home, the husband is a leader only within the will of God contained in His Word, the Bible.  A man cannot arbitrarily make up rules and laws and commands that do not fall in line with God's Word. 

He is there to lead his family closer to God's Word, not to lead them away from it and endanger their souls. He must not give orders that violate the scriptures or  cause the wife to disobey God's ultimate commands.   

Let me state, before you decide not to continue reading, that a husband has no scriptural, spiritual right to forbid his wife from attending worship services, or to discourage her, prevent her, or put problems in her way, to make it hard or impossible to be a faithful member of the Lord's church. In cases where the husband has grown discouraged or lost his enthusiasm, the wife may be able to use it as an opportunity to "show by her conduct" what is right, and do all she can to be faithful.

It is also important to state that as a general rule, no husband with a responsible heart will ever create what I call "authority by proxy" situation. This occurs where a man will put his wife and children under the authority of other people.  A husband cannot insist his wife put their children under someone else's authority (public schools, the medical establishment, etc.)  Sometimes a husband will read something about marriage and decide to follow the advice of an author. All of my life I was told to "watch those authors" because you cannot learn about your mate from a book. Living by rules that are someone's else's authorship or ideas, can cause more strife and more resentment than to begin with. So husbands need to learn to live with their wives "according to understanding" as the Bible teaches, not according to the prevailing culture,  a certain author, or the way everyone else is doing things.

The New Testament book of Titus, chapter 2 outlines the activities of women in the Lord's church, showing how the older women are to teach the younger women to care for their families and to be keepers at home, "that the Word of God be not blasphemed." 

If a husband teaches otherwise, and sends his wife to work, he is going above God, and the Word of God is blasphemed. By putting  pressure on her to work outside the home, he discredits the Word of God, and shows a very poor example of manhood to his neighbors and relatives. .  He is also violating God's word in 1st Timothy 5, verses 7 and 8:

And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

If a husband truly understands God's word, he will not hint, ask, pressure, demand or command his wife to "get a job."  He is less of a man if he does, because he is expecting her to be a provider. The Christian husband is supposed to be the provider. 

When the wife becomes a co- provider, she takes on the responsibilities that God has given to her husband.  The man loses a piece of his masculinity and will be forever dependent on his wife's salary, and she forfeits a part of her natural womanliness by leaving the feminine concerns of the home that were designed for her by God. The husband becomes dependent upon her salary and loses his sense of urgency and drive to earn a living.

Instead, a Christian husband should  be dependent upon his wife in the ways that require her feminine strengths to care for and guide the home.  Her  work  at home advances his health and well-being so that he may be motivated to make provision for his family. 

Christian women have a spiritual obligation to be keepers at home:  Titus 2:5.  When a woman goes to work outside the home, there is great neglect of the family, the house, and other home-based obligations.Being home protects her from the stresses of other people's work schedules and other people's demands and dominance over her time and life. Being home provides her with the freedom to be creative in her management of her time and her work. If a man really wants to protect his wife, he should not send her to work where she will be under the authority of other people.

Where God has already spoken, no man can over-rule. Where God has been specific, we are not free to make up another law that contradicts it. Titus 2 is direct: women should be taught to love their husbands and children and guide the home. Being keepers at home gives them more time and the opportunity to extend this love and watch over the things that go on in the home.

Since Christians are supposed to be different from the world, being a keeper at home will let a woman's light shine to a world walking in spiritual darkness. Her example of dedicated home-keeping will be a stabilizing factor in a confused culture. A man whose wife is home should be very proud of the fact that she is doing this on his provision, whether it is a small income or a great one.

The husband as a provider and the wife as a keeper, guard and guide of the home is like the sun and the moon being in their rightful places, each one doing its job but both working together for the good of the earth.  The man and woman in their rightful roles will bring blessings to the home. Although we might not "see" all these blessings, we must remember that many spiritual blessings, such as the favor of God, love, peace and happiness abide in a home where God's law is obeyed.

The New Testament contains these lovely words from the book of Titus, chapter 2.  I have removed the numbers of the verses (which were actually added some time after the translation of the Bible), to allow it to be read as a whole, without the numbers in the sentences.

But speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine:
that aged men be temperate, grave, sober-minded, sound in faith, in love, in patience:
 that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good;
 that they may train the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
 to be sober-minded, chaste, workers at home, kind, being in subjection to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed:
 the younger men likewise exhort to be sober-minded:
 in all things showing thyself an ensample of good works; in thy doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity,
 sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us.
 Exhort servants to be in subjection to their own masters, and to be well-pleasing to them in all things; not gainsaying;
not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
 For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
 instructing us, to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world;
looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, zealous of good works.
These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

Notice the men are told to  speak the things of "sound" doctrine and be "sound" in faith.  Requesting their wives to support the family and seek paychecks through employment, is not sound doctrine and does not show faith in God's Word, His pattern for life, or His commands.  Pressuring the wife to work shows ignorance of the Word of God. It also shows a man who is under peer pressure from other men, usually in his place or work, because they have their wives working, too. (At home, a woman does work!). What this is all about, is the desire for money.

These days, there are erroneous religious teachings being spread about obedience. False teachers declare that a woman is obligated to go to work outside the home when her husband wants her to, because she should obey her husband. When the apostle Paul was told by a government authority that he should not preach the word of God, he replied, "We ought obey God, rather than man." Acts 5:29   These days, if a man asks his wife to get a job, she will comply out of fear that he will leave her if she doesn't, and yet, when a husband asks a wife to stay home, even Christian women will refuse.  My opinion is that people pick and choose what they really want to do, regardless of scripture.

 Men are not authorized to teach something contrary to God's law.  A woman's ultimate authority is the Lord, and if she is wise, she will not ever go against God's word, but instead, teach her husband by her good example in obeying the Word of God.  The words of 1st Peter 3, verse 2, explain that a woman can teach her husband by the good way in which she lives. Adam Clark, 18th century writer and Bible scholar wrote, concerning this:

There is nothing more powerful, next to the word of God, to win people, than a good conversation, and the careful discharge of relative duties. 

When a husband asks his wife to bring in an income, he is asking her to disobey the word of God and to neglect her home.  The word of God is blasphemed when Christian women are distracted from their main purpose described in Titus 2.  Her response should be to fully carry out the duties of home keeping and to do it well, giving him a good example of a Christian woman's duties to the home and family.  I observed a woman whose husband once attempted to say jokingly, that she should get a job. She responded, "I'd do that, honey; I really would, and with all my heart, but first I must finish the laundry, ironing, cooking, sweeping, gardening, teaching the children, cleaning, paperwork, sewing, mending, knitting, teaching younger women, sorting the family mementos..."  She named off more things on her long, long list of things that needed to be done at home.   Another woman told her husband, "You do a MUCH better job at providing for the family than I ever could!"

When a Christian husband humbly wants to obey the Lord in all respects, he will not ask his wife to do things that violate her own commitment to the Lord and His teachings in Titus 2.

There was a time when most people on the earth, even those not religious at all, would not argue about the women being allowed to stay home and be in charge of the inner workings of the household. Most people thought it was as natural as breathing the air. If anyone asked a woman, "Why do you stay home?" or "What do you do all day?" they would have been treated as though they were a dunce, and given a scathing glare. You simply did not ask questions like that of the dedicated, hard-working makers of homes. 

  Little by little, through modernist thinking and teachings in women's studies classes, the freedom of women to be home as caregivers to their husbands and guides of their children, has been eroded, until now, even Christian preachers have been heard to say, "I think it is okay for women to be home, unless the family needs a second income,"  "Women should be home unless there are no children," or "Christian women should be full time homemakers, when possible." 

 The "when possible" phrase becomes the exception clause that is added to Titus 2. I can't imagine these men using the "when possible" phrase regarding really important doctrinal matters, but when it comes to money, the fake exception clause comes in handy.  Imagine adding this fake exception to the verse commanding a man to provide for his own.  I do not see such exceptions in the verses of the Bible which command men to provide for their families and women to be keepers of the home.

The scriptures do not give husbands authority to turn their wives into co-providers. When a man asks a woman to "help-out" financially, there are a number of ways to do this without leaving her post at home and working elsewhere. These include preventing the income from going out as fast as it comes in by reducing expenses. Many women can stay home, but do not want to do without visits to the nail salon, hairdresser, restaurants, daily coffee's at drive-ins, several vehicles,  extensive travel expenses, shopping at high-end clothing stores, and entertainment. These things can all be substituted in other ways that will not involve the wife going to work, which can perhaps be explained in a future post.

Thinking Housewife has posted a pointed poem by one of her readers on this very subject.

I love to have your comments, and if you don't feel free to reveal who you are, you are welcome to post anonymously.

Someone commented about this post on another blog, which has good advice on it for women at home.

After all  is said, written and studied, it is up to the woman to develop a personal belief about the matter. No woman will ever be forced by the church members (at least, the church I am a member of)  to stay home. This decision is always left up to the individual and no pressure is ever exerted on anyone to do anything they do not wish to do. Each couple should seriously study the scriptures as to how that decision will influence others. They should not claim that a preachers wife or any other church member told them what to do. The scriptures are available for everyone to ponder and to digest. I encourage everyone to develop their own personal conviction based on scripture.

I will add that when you take on any work responsibilities other than your home duties, you give up your  freedom to be "just a housewife."  If you go to work, you may find it impossible to ever return home full time again.  Also, you do not have to be debt-free or have every expense accounted for.  You may find when you stay home, that bills get paid, and you will find that at the end of a month at home you are nowhere nearer to living under a bridge than you imagined.  One thing many women and men do not consider is that being a homemaker is largely a matter of faith, and with it may come unexplainable success.

More Notes onThis Post: 2018

  This is one of the most read posts on this blog. I will add a few more things from time to time.  Right now the subject of "taking care of my family" has been presented to me. Should a husband demand sudden changes for his family that could cause danger to their health and their physical and emotional well-being?  

 A husband may, in the name of economy, think he should downsize his family possessions until they have nothing, or sell the house so they can all go live in tent or a van down by the river, and thereby become more spiritual and less material. But this is not good judgement. 

Its very traumatic for wives and children to be living on the edge of financial disaster all the time. One of the mistakes the teachers of women have made, is teaching women who already are very thrifty, to reduce expenses and make it less stressful for a man.  But this will backfire, because it makes some men free from the obligation of earning a living for their families.

 Making money and paying for family expenses is "good stress" and motivation.  It provides the kind of drive a man needs for life. It gives the husband ambition, accomplishment and a feeling of satisfaction to provide well for his family. To a great extent, he depends upon his wife to keep him centered and grounded.   

His work provides more than just the material needs of the family. It gives a good example of Biblical manhood.  Too often, women feel intimidated about the expenses of life, and try to cut corners financially, to make it easier on the husband, but I am not talking about women who buy high-end clothing, jewelry, or pay for hair and nails.  These are already sacrificial women who are dedicated to the home. 

They also will make the mistake of reducing the jobs of the husband when he is home, so that it frees up more of his time. This can bring unhappy results too,, as a man may think he now has time for another business, another job, or a ministry that takes him away from his family.  So be careful not think you have to live like an inferior creature, constantly thrifting, not wearing new clothes, denying children new coats in winter, just to give the husband a break. He needs the responsibility and it helps him show love to his family.

Basically, many good women feel guilty for staying home and not earning money, so they live in an inferior way, not thinking they deserve anything above that of a servant. This is not a good example for the husbands and a very sad way to raise children, who observe their subservient mother and her sacrifices. They in turn may not think they deserve anything more, either, and choose mates who treat them without respect.  So the woman must realize she is in a position of authority in the home, as the guide and guard, according to scripture.  The original Greek words about guiding the home, mean "to rule" the home, as a captain would organize his army, keeping account of everyone and everything. The wife is not there just to work and clean house, but to advise and counsel and direct the home and family.

The man is head of the wife in the role of responsibility. He is responsible for her, the way Christ is head of the church: not as a  demanding boss,but as a someone responsible for provision, protection, comfort and many other things. 

There are some religious marriage books that have made their way into the homes of Christians, and they do much harm, as they make the wife inferior. In the New Testament, the woman is not inferior. The man and wife are "heirs together" in the grace of God.

Make sure as a woman that you don't fall into a brain fog of letting your thinking go by the wayside.  You can easily check out your alertness. You need to guard your husband to see that other people don't influence him to do things that would endanger the family stability.  I mentioned some of those things at the beginning of the article:  moving away to a dangerous place, living roughly with no sanitation, conveniences, comforts, trying to live without money, quitting his job so he can go into ministry, raising children to feel like inferior creatures, etc. 

  Women have an instinct for the home, for family, for life, and they should guide the men to a better life. They are allowed to communicate their needs to their husbands, and men are commanded to live with their wives "according to understanding." Ist Peter 3:7.

The goal of your family should be to live better and to do better, so that you may be able to help your children and grandchildren get a good start in their adult lives.  So women can keep their husbands encouraged to provide an income and to protect the family property and posessions and to be a "house-band" for the family. A husband is the band that forms around the home to keep them intact, safe,protected and provided for.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Special Projects

Please enjoy the links from the little pictures below each post (they change when you refresh the page), my blogroll, and other features here, while I am busy. I hope to return to more regular blogging soon, but in the meantime, I am involved in some special projects. I also have a blog of paintings and books at , which I will be updating soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

You Can Be Happy

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

It is easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows by like a song
But the man worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble and it always comes with the years
And the smile that is worth the praise of the earth is the smile that shines through the tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent when nothing tempts you to stray.

When without or within no voice of sin is living your soul away.

But it is only a negative virtue until it is tried by fire.

And the life that is worth the honor on earth is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic the sad and the fallen, who had no strength for the strife

The worlds highway is cumbered today they make up the sum of life.

But the virtue that conquers passion and the sorrow that hides in a smile

It is these that are worth the homage on earth

Because we find them but once in a while.

~Ella Wheeler Wilcox

My Kingdom

A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell.

And very hard I find the task of governing it well.

For passion tempts and troubles me, A wayward will misleads.

And selfishness its shadow casts on all my words and deeds.

How can I learn to rule myself, to be the child I should,

Honest and brave, nor ever tire of trying to be good?

How can I keep a sunny soul to shine along life's way?

How can I tune my little heart to sweetly sing all day?

Dear Father, help me with the love that casteth out my fear.

Teach me to lean on thee and feel that thou art very near.

That no temptation is unseen no childish grief too small.

Since thou, with patience infinite, doth soothe and comfort all.

I do not ask for any crown but that which all may win

Nor seek to conquer any world except the one within.

Be thou my guide until I find Led by a tender hand,

Thy happy kingdom in myself and dare to take command.

Louisa May Alcott

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Leisure Arts - Fleece Decorative Cake

This is a little play-cake for a child's kitchen, made of fleece and poly-fiber-fill stuffing.  If you are familiar with sewing with felt, you can make the same things using fleece. Polar fleece is a little more flexible than felt and has a softer look, but the choice is yours.

I did not make a pattern for this because I used a teacup saucer to trace the circle, and then cut a fourth section out of the fabric circle to make the cake look like it had been cut. I measured the other pieces as I sewed, and also made a slice of cake, which is not shown here. You can get directions for a slice here.

Since I host a Ladies Tea once a week in my home, I like to have an interesting centerpiece each time, and this cake will be just the thing. Little leisure-art bits like this are great for gifts for those who like them. After the tea, someone might go home with the centerpiece of the week, or I may send it by mail to someone who likes it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Movie: The Lightkeepers

Only occasionally to I find a movie that I feel I could recommend to others. A friend told me about The Lightkeepers because she knew I liked Edwardian costume, so I watched this movie just to see the hats and dresses on the ladies and found it to be a good story, with a happy ending.

The story takes place in 1912.

Netflix offers this movie on instant-play.
Growing up around water and boats, crab and fish, etc. I enjoyed it just for the scenery.

(Parents still need to watch the movie before recommending it to their children.) 

Friday, April 08, 2011

Leisure Sewing: Pretty Egg (Fabric Decorative Ornament)

Eggs in the Country
by Victor Gabriel Gilbert  (France, 1847-1933)

You've probably seen the egg-shaped decorated cakes in bakeries and grocery stores around the country. This dainty little sewing project is a replica of these egg-cakes, and only takes a small of amount of time to make.

It is made of polar fleece but any fabric can be used. This one is a pink egg shape, stuffed with polyester fiberfill,  trimmed in rucking, and topped with a rose and leaves that look just like the icing in the real cakes. Here is how to make one:

With a pencil and double layer of fabric, draw around the cardboard egg pattern which is included in this post and then cut out the fabric.  Machine or hand-stitch a small seam around the edges, leaving a gap big enough to insert stuffing.

When filled sufficiently to your preference, stitch up the opening, and then cut a long strip of fabric about 3/4 to one inch wide. Make the strip two times the circumference of the egg by wrapping it around the outer seam twice to get the right measurement.  This is called ruching, which is a simple kind of ruffle.  To make it, knot a long piece of thread and sew a running stitch , using long stitches down the middle of the strip of fabric, pulling it to gather slightly as you go.

Check to see if it fits the egg, wrapping it around the seam line once, before you knot the other end. Loosen or tighten the gathers as needed and then tie off.

Attach the ruching trim to the egg by sewing through the middle of the ruching again, through the seam of the egg, covering the seam, all the way around.  It should look a little like piped icing.

Using another piece of strip, approximately 3 inches long, (or use the pattern provided) sew a gathering stitch at the lower end.

Gather up the piece like this,

and pull up the thread and tie off.

Then, roll the gathered piece so that it looks like a rose, 

and stitch the lower edges together.

Lay the rosebud on some felt leaves from the pattern. Put gathering stitches down the middle of the leaves before attaching the rose, and pull up the threads slightly to give the leaves some shape, and to make them look like icing. Or, take a stitch in the back of each leave to give it a puckered look.

Imagine what a white bowl filled with these eggs in lemon yellow, mint green, baby blue or white would look like!

Print the pattern out on card stock, or trace around an egg-shaped card for your guide.

Part of the enjoyment of making something like this is the cost: just a few cents if you use little bits of fabric and trims you already have. You can scent them by spraying some vanilla cologne (available at Dollar Tree) into the fiberfill before you stitch up the seam.  It is tempting to make a lot of these, but one of them will make a nice package topper or little gift to include in a package for someone.

Have a look at Pink Saturday to see projects others are making.

The fabric eggs you see below are sold in a popular catalog online:

These velvet eggs are from Victorian Trading Company  - The trims are made of wool and chenille trim. I tried to figure out how they were made but ended up just inventing my own, as you see in the above demonstration!  These are about 6 inches long by 5 inches wide, and my eggs are almost as big. So you see, if you make these cloth eggs, you are making something that sells for about $12.00 apiece online!!  Make some of my fleece piped-icing eggs  for your etsy shop and sell them for your nest-egg!!   Check out my chicken pattern here.

You might enjoy this sweet blog.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Intermediate Sewing: Chickens

These small stuffed hens can be made from scraps of fabric and any trims you can find. This one has tail feathers of stretch trim and a beak made from heart shaped buttons.
This one has a comb and wattle made from this metallic rick-rack, and tail feathers from white eyelet cotton gathered trim.
The eggs can be made two or three dimensional, depending on how many pieces you sew together.

Here is a close-up of the hen next to the matching kitchen curtains, showing the wings attached. Crafts like these are whimsical accents when you use left-over scraps from curtains and table cloths. If you make matching tea-cozies or potholders and other things, it makes a humble kitchen look co-ordinated.

Go to Martha Stewart for instructions on how to make these eggs, if you want something different than the cloth eggs.

 Click on the pattern, then "save" and print on card stock for your template.


Fabric scraps at least the size of the paper pattern
Trims and buttons, sequins for eyes if preferred, embroidery floss for eyes, eyelet ruffle or other kinds of ruffles.
Fiber fill tuffing
thin scrap of batting for the wings.
felt fabric for beak, wattle and comb, if preferred.


With pencil, trace pattern on doubled fabric on the wrong sides (fold fabric with right sides facing each other and wrong side out.

Cut out the card stock or paper pieces and lay them on the fabric, and if necessary, tape them down with clear tape or pin them to keep from moving while cutting.

If preferred, just trace around the pattern with a pencil and then cut out the fabric.
Sew the hen around , leaving open at the "x's".

After sewing around the chicken, turn it right side out, and press with the iron to make the seams smooth.

The gusset is not necessary but you can insert it at this time. I found that just by stuffing the hen a little more full at the bottom, it would sit just fine with out the gusset.

After stuffing, sew the gathered lace around both sides in three rows.

If inserting a gusset, cut a cardboard piece and put it inside the hen in the same place as the fabric gusset.

Cut two pieces for each wing, and sew around it. Cut an X on one side of the wing and turn it right side out. Then stuff with a piece of matching batting that has been cut to the same size as the wing.

Stitch along the stitching lines of the wing to make it look like feathers.

Attach the wings by the x's by making small over-cast stitches.

Sew several rows of ruffled trim on the tail, by hand or machine, turning it around to the other side also.

Sew the beak of whatever trim or fabric you like, and add the wattle and comb of preferred material or trim.

(pictorial tutorial may appear later)

The larger hen in the middle is made of felt with seams sewn on the outside.

You can also use this pattern to make cards from scrapbook papers and card stock, or make large chickens from heavy paper by adding a stand on the lower edge.  If you want to make chickens that fit envelopes, just reduce the pattern and make a template.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

John O'Brien

April Paper Craft: Egg Cards

by John O'Brien American 1951-2004

These egg cards are quite easy and fit nicely into a square envelope. You can buy a box of pastel envelopes of this size at Walmart or the Dollar Tree.  In the above photograph you see the card, a smaller, gift-enclosure card, and a gift tag with a hole punched.  Each one is decorated with a rose image cut from Anna Griffin scrapbook card-stock.  The paper used is regular print type card-stock, in white. Write your greeting on the inside of the card.

Here is a pink set, including some smaller eggs (pattern included), which can be used for table confetti, or as interesting enclosures for the card. I've put the K&C butterfly stickers with the same shade of pink on each egg card. K&C is an English company and you can find the stickers at JoAnnes. Often they are reduced in price or you can use a coupon to get them nearly half price.

You can make your own butterfly clip art by cutting several layers of a hand-drawn butterfly, and putting them together with special tape.
Here is a set of blue cards from the parchment marbled card stock shown below, using Dollar Tree stickers.

From right to left: parchment marbled pastel card stock, Anna Griffin printed scrapbook card stock, and K&C stickers. It is not necessary to buy anything for these cards. Just use what you have, and cut decorations from bulb and seed catalogs that have good quality paper. This projects looks good made with children's construction paper, too.

The Anna Griffin pack is printed on each side of the paper, so the card will open up to another color. This is one of the prints from that stack.

Click on the patterns for a larger view, and then on the window that pops up, click "save." Save this to your pictures and then print on card stock. It is difficult to trace around a paper print-out, so I would recommend you use a heavy paper like card stock. Cut out the templates and trace around them with a pencil on your favorite papers.  Cut out and decorate with stickers and other things, even sewing notions such as little ribbons and rosebuds.

If you do not want to purchase envelopes to fit this craft, or cannot locate them in any store, here is a pattern you can use. Print or paste it onto a heavier piece of paper or card stock, and use it as your template. Trace around it on thin scrapbook paper or computer paper. Make envelopes to match the color of the cards.

Here is a picture of some of the ideas I had for these cards, using scrapbook paper. One of the eggs on the printable template page is slightly smaller, so that you can put it on a larger egg and make a border around it, as you see on the card below.

See more of John O'Brien's paintings here.

These new bulbs appeared to brighten the overcast days.

Something else new is  lightweight coat I have been sewing, for spring or autumn:

Butterick 5425

This pattern recommends using a light-weight wool. I made mine in a thin, inexpensive fleece. The pattern is made for a lined coat, but you can skip this if using fleece and you just need a spring coat that will not be too heavy.  It has a close fit, so you may need to sew a muslin copy first to try on.  This is is for an advanced seamstress.  Buy a pattern like this when the fabric store has a 99-cent sale.  This is not a good sewing project for beginners.

Pink fleece dress-coat with princess seaming and stand-up collar. It has a detachable hood.  The cost of fabric and buttons, all purchased at a discount, was approximately $25.00. 

These are the buttons that will be used on it:

Sometimes these can be purchased at a discount by using a coupon from the fabric store which gives 50% off your total purchase.

The coat would look nice in other pastels like blue, yellow or green, and also in white.