Pretty Little Bouquets & Decorations - Unique Gift Ideas

Today I want to tell you about my friend Debbie.

She has a great interest in buttons and jewels.

She is a very intelligent girl.

She has a great smile.

These three things are all true about Debbie and they make me smile but the main thing I want to tell you about Debbie is that she makes some lovely items that you will really want to take a look at and tell others about.

Now of course I am not backward about asking questions about Debbie's talent and I have seen the final product so I could talk about it all but I think it might be nice if she would tell us a little about it herself.

Hi I'm Debbie and I'm from Northern Ireland

I began making handmade bridal bouquets using an array of materials such as buttons, beads, pearls, brooches and other pieces of jewelry just over a year ago. I started making them as I wanted to carry something a little different at my own wedding, which took place in September 2014. 

During my process of trying out different designs /colours I began to accumulate a lot of bouquets around my home. A few of my friends started to comment on how much they liked them and suggested I should sell them to other brides.

So in November 2013 I opened my Etsy shop, Pretty Little Bouquets

To date I have sold almost 200 bouquets/ buttonholes, my best sellers are my cute little mini bouquets for Flower girls but I have also had the pleasure of collaborating with lots of brides to make their unique custom bouquets and bridesmaid bouquets.

I have also been working lately to produce a few nice button decorations to celebrate Christmas 

and I would like to think that with Gods help Pretty Little Bouquets will continue to grow and bring joy to many brides in the future.

Didn't I tell you she made lovely things and when you look at the prices you will be amazed at how reasonable they are so get over there quickly and have a look around.

Don't worry about where you live because she sells worldwide.

Remember too if you have an idea of what you would like and don't see it in the shop if you contact Debbie she can work with you for a custom made item.

I do want to make it clear that I do not benefit in any way from any sale Debbie may make by anyone clicking through to her Etsy shop 
from my blog.

I'm just excited to share my friend's talent with you and introduce you to some beautiful creations at great prices.


Advice for a King and For Us - A Dose of Encouragement

Most People speak of Proverbs 31 
in reference to women 
but what about the King it starts off with?

If you read this previous Encouragement Post "No Time for Study" you will remember that I had decided to take action against my distraction by my iPad which I love.
If you haven't read that post then hop on over now, read it and then head back for the rest of this one

Now I still love my iPad and use it for loads of things but I had decided that the only thing it was allowed to do in the morning, before I would read at least one verse of the Bible, was to wake me up.

So up to today I have been reading Proverbs 31 a verse or two each morning, depending on whether two verses seemed to go together or not before I reach for the iPad to plan my day and before I go on the computer to blog or go on facebook or work on things for church.

I have been jotting down my thoughts in my Bible Journal (which in the past years has been brought out for a season and then left lying for a while and then out again but from now on it is staying out).

Then I have been posting the verse(s) on facebook and writing my thoughts.
Sometimes a couple of sentences and sometimes a couple of paragraphs.

Now this was just to keep me accountable because I wanted to form this as a new habit each morning and they say doing something for 30 days makes it a habit so in November I have 30 days & I'm hoping to form this new habit this month.

But some of my friends from here in Northern Ireland, and from England, Belgium & Switzerland have been reading along with me and commenting.
So I want to say thank you them for the encouragement this has been for me.

Today I thought I would share the first section of this chapter with you.

And I am so happy that it doesn't start focusing on how a woman should behave but on advice to a man (of course this advice is from his mother so it must be really good advice - you do know I'm a mother don't you!)

NOTE:  I am reading each day from my real Bible (physical book in my hand as opposed to virtual/online Bible) which is the Revised Standard Version but copying here from the online NKJV Version because I like both.

The first two verses (see above) tell us who is involved - the King and what he remembers his mother taught him.

King Lemuel of Masa may have written this chapter of Proverbs but he was taught these things by his Godly mother.
We should remember we are teaching our children at whatever age they are but for their adulthood as well.  
He is her son so he is her responsibility and is part of her part of her promise either to God or from God.
God gives us our children so we should entrust them back to God but we also have a responsibility to promise God to bring them up in His Ways ands not teach them badly.

Verse 3
Do not give your strength to women,
Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.

Is his mother advising him not to allow women to gain power over him to take away the control he will have as king?  Makes me think of Samson delivering his strength into the hands of Delilah and his destruction followed.
The problem is that it is not just the king himself who will suffer but also the kingdom he is responsible for, when someone has control over the leader it affects everyone.

Verses 4&5
Taking the two verses because these two verses need to be read together
4. It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,

Nor for princes intoxicating drink;
5. Lest they drink and forget the law,
And pervert the justice of all the afflicted

She repeats "it is not for Kings" and this means a stressing of the fact. She is definitely preparing him for his role as king, ruler of the people.
So it is important that kings do not drink wine or desire strong drink.
It is important that the people who rule the nation do not get intoxicated because they might forget to uphold the law properly or even decide to change laws hastily or be persuaded by others into wrong decisions because their own heads are not thinking clearly.
If we drink we may forget something important or not consider something to be important and hence not worry about the effects on others.
When they don't do their job properly it is the people who suffer unjustly.

Proverbs 31 v 6 & 7 have to go together.
6. Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
7. Let him drink and forget his poverty,
And remember his misery no more.

Yesterday it was why the king should not drink & get drunk
Today it is looking at how it may be permissible to give someone something to drink.
Looking at this version I wondered about this "bitter of heart" but my RSV Bible said "bitter distress"
Wine can be used as a medical help or for those in great distress or those who have had a great shock.
Of course this is advice to others and not the people in distress so it would indicate that it all should still be under careful thought, regulated amount and not a hasty decision.

Proverbs 31 v 8 & 9
8. Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9. Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Again the two verses need to be taken together.

The King needs to be the one to stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves, for those in need.
He must be the good judge he has been put in this position to be. He must fair in his judgements (or righteous as the RSV says) which means he must judge as God would and make sure the laws are fair.
The responsibility is his and he must honour his responsibility.
We must remember what responsibilities we have and honour those too.

I was so encouraged by the fact that this chapter actually started with advice to be fair & just as you take responsibility for the people you have been given charge over.
This could mean in specific areas like a king and his realm or in broader areas like writers or politicians or telly evangelists who often do not even know the people who will be their readers or their constituents or their viewers and also in homes and families, schools and churches.
In any of these areas of responsibility, and no matter who we are we will fall into some kind of responsibility, we need to take on this Godly advice of keeping ourselves in the right position to give wise advice or judgement or help to others.

Most often we look on advice as being ordered to do something but I think we should look on this advice as encouragement to be better people with God's help.

I pray that God will help us all to take this advice and act wisely.


It's God's Love #20

On Sundays I write a short post consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of God's Love and I would be very pleased if you would come and join me each week.

We Praise God

We Worship God

We are in Awe of God

We Fall at His Feet

We cannot be Silent







towards us.


Who Needs Encouragement Today? - A Dose of Encouragement

A friend of mine needed some encouragement today.

     My husband needed some encouragement today.

          Our oldest son needed some encouragement today.

My friend has been in hospital and just got home today so she needed something to make her smile even though she is still in some pain.

My husband is just starting to get rid of his cold but has a pile of work to do so he just needed a few things to help take his mind off the work deadlines and relax more.

Our son has been ill in bed in his apartment for the last two days so he needed to phone us and have a little chat just for the company and a little moan about the person in the apartment below him who had music playing most of the night even though he was out working a night shift.

If Jonathan were here with us I would be making homemade soup for him - he always likes that and I would probably sit down and watch a Poirot or Lewis DVD with him (we both love detective stories), but he's in a different country so we just have a chat on the phone.

Fred got a little laugh with me fooling around in the kitchen while getting lunch and of course he got a cuppa mid morning with one of his favourite chocolate snacks taken in to him in his office (he works from home when not travelling).

My friend Amanda is often on facebook so posting a video of one of her favourite songs, then later some greetings there and a bit of teasing will hopefully have helped to make her feel loved and cared for.

These are just some of the little everyday types of things that we do to encourage people and help them along when things are a bit difficult and sometimes we don't even feel like we have made any great effort to do them.

Then the phone rang after 5pm and all I had to do was lift it and greet another friend and then just let them talk about a certain thing that is on their mind.  I needed to say very little but just with a caring attitude and maybe more importantly I was willing to sit and listen to their concerns about a relative.

Yes sometimes all we have to do is be the person that listens.
We don't need to have answers, just listen.


Because only people who really care will be ready to listen and one of the greatest needs someone can have is to know someone cares about them; 

someone cares enough just to let them talk.
This is someone who loves them.

This is what happens when we are obedient to God's Word.

Little did I know that I was going to need some encouragement today as well.

I never imagined that I was going to have someone make accusations about me and two other people today that were untrue and get so annoyed at us that they had to apologise for swearing online.
All because we didn't want other people to feel inferior or unappreciated.

What did I need then?
To know that there were other people who would listen to how I felt and would care about the situation.

Where did I get that?
From two sources.

Another group of bloggers who are great encouragers.
Yes that's what they are.
They help when someone needs help,  they tell each other when they have found a good blogging tip and they celebrate with someone who has achieved something they never thought they could manage to do.

And also from God.
He has told us He cares for us, He loves us, He wants good for us, He will comfort us, He will always be with us if we put our trust in Him.
I know He cares for me personally and He loves me personally, He wants good for me, He comforts me and He will never leave me.

I also know that if you have put your trust in Him you will be able to say exactly the same things.

So take heart today and if you are in need of encouragement then 
say those same things to yourself 
 be encouraged by God.

This is what happens when we are obedient to God's Word

And in case you would like to hear Amanda's favourite song I've got it here for you.


It's God's Love #19

On Sundays I write a short post consisting of a Bible Verse around
the topic of God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would come and join me each week.

It is


that we can

personally know

God's Love


His Son Jesus.

Background photo credit - Chris Wilson

This Love 

that is just



it is



of the world's



An Organised Storage Closet!

Today I have good news because I have

Finished my Storage Closet

Now my husband will be very pleased because (you know me when I start to sort things out in one place it messes up another) the area that was messed up in order to accomplish this task was the floor of the Dressing Room just where we walk through from the bedroom to our ensuite.

Needless to say Fred doesn't like tripping over things in the dark and that's what happened when he was up early and didn't want to put on the light to disturb me.

Any way back to the task.

This Storage Closet was just a rectangular walk-in cupboard off the Dressing Room  with nothing in it but some water pipes.

Such a waste of space

When we bought the house we had already decided that we were shelving that space as soon as possible.
Then I had the idea of using some of it to do what I had longed to do for years 
(more about that later).

So with the shelving etc. all done a few years ago at the same time as our wardrobes were all fitted in the dressing room it should have been used properly, but instead of that we put things in but didn't take enough time to sort everything properly and then ended up with too much stuff in it and the floor got covered and you may remember I showed a few pics of it in an earlier post when I started it but it needed now to be finished off properly.

On the left hand side behind the door I already had
 baskets and boxes
but then I got them sorted out and labelled.

Lowest shelf contains 2 large baskets:   Travel items   &   Ski Suits

Next Shelf up contains 2 large baskets:   Small  bags and containers  &  Bath Mats

Next Shelf up with a set of 3 baskets contains:  White guest towels,  Facecloths  &  Ensuite hand towels.

The shelf above that contains 2 darker baskets:  Pashminas / shawls  &  Winter Scarves

The shelf above that contains a lidded box and a dark basket:  Old Photos  &  Lightweight decorative Scarves

On the right hand side beside the door I already had 
baskets and handbags
but then I got them sorted out and labelled too.

Lowest shelf contains 2 large baskets:   Beach Towels   &   Bath towels

Next Shelf up contains:  Larger handbags

Next Shelf up with a set of 3 baskets contains:  Shoe expander & insoles etc.,  straps off large bags  &  my belts.

The shelf above that contains:   Smaller handbags

The top shelf had been so underused but now it has all my puzzle magazines.
Yes I know I have piles of them- mostly because I don't do them as often now because of the word game, logic puzzle game and number game I have on my iPad and all the time I spend blogging!
But I do love logic puzzles of all kinds and find it so relaxing to sit and solve them.

On the left hand side further into the closet 
there is a second set of shelves specially sized for Fred's shoes
never too bad but still too many shoes.

His shoes are now neatly stored and the right types together.

The few exercise items that had been thrown into the bottom shelf are now in a basket on the floor under the shelving behind the door.

I put up 2 hooks and his baseball caps are now hung up at the left of the top shelf.

On the right hand side further into the closet 
there is a second set of shelves specially sized for my shoes
never too bad but the bottom shelf was full of my Puzzle books.

My shoes are now neatly stored and the right types together.

The Puzzle books removed from that bottom shelf and it is used for shoes now as well so they can be spaced out a bit better and not on top of each other so much.

I put up 2 hooks and my baseball caps are now hung up at the right of the top shelf.

At the back of the cupboard facing the door there is one long shelf at the top (sloping ceiling) and then my great idea had been to put in rails instead of more shelves.
These shelves are not for clothes but for 
tablecloths and throws etc.

The tablecloths etc. are now more neatly stored and a few more put on the rails.

This simply means that they do not get creased by being folded up and put in drawers for periods of time - especially the tablecloths.

The last of the handbags were removed from the top shelf and I actually have a bit of extra space but I'm sure it will get used up when I sort out the Dressing Room.

Under the hanging rails (which are set at 3 different heights for ease of placing and removing items plus see what is there) there is still room on the left for a rucksack and 2 seagrass lidded baskets which hold sheets and pillowcases for our bed and on the right 2 small suitcases and a covered material container for sheets and pillowcases for the EZ bed which we put up in the dressing room when all six of us are here.

Now just to let you see some of my heart labels close up.

Aren't they cute?  I love them.

So I now have An Organised Storage Closet and I NEED to keep it that way.

This was more Housework than Funwork I'm afraid but very satisfying to see the end result.

Please tell me that I am not the only person to have difficulty in keeping this type of cupboard tidy.


No Time For Study! - A Dose of Encouragement

I know that I am easily distracted.

Especially when I am trying to organise my Study which can get into such a mess very quickly and easily.

But also when I'm reading or trying to study something or preparing a talk for the kids at church.

You see I can see something that I have for a kids craft and then it reminds me of something else I saw on Pinterest and that means
  • I just have to go look for that pin again 
  • and then I will just have a look to see if there are any other nice ideas on Pinterest 
  • and then I will just check my emails when I'm on the laptop 
  • and then a quick look into Facebook working on something for the kids in church
  • and then my messages 
and then the time has flown and there is

And by STUDY I mean the verb not the room in my house that is always a mess.

Now all of this really spoke to me about this other type of


I can sit down when I know I have a decent amount of time and do a Bible Study and I know that lots of you can too.
But frankly this is not every day.

I can in fact sit down when I don't have a lot of time and read a few verses each day and I know you can too.
But I was also very conscious of the fact that I was always lifting my ipad and checking emails or facebook in the morning before I was picking up my Bible to read those few verses or to sit and study for a while.

Yes I could have been lifting the iPad to read my Bible App first thing but I wasn't.

You see I was too easily distracted by those "dings" and little notifications that keep popping up to draw me back into the virtual world.

So last Thursday 30th October I felt challenged 
to determine that I should make a change in my habits 

- because Yes it was a habit I had sunk into.

I was coming to the end of a month and the end of a blogging challenge so why not go straight into another personal challenge and make a new habit of reading

at least one verse from the bible 

before I do any lifting of the iPad for anything else.

Hence of course I needed to tell Fred about this because I need to have to be accountable to someone but then he is travelling a lot these days so I decided to take it to my friends on facebook as well.

On Friday 31st October I posted this so I would now be accountable to them as well.

And that is how I got myself started.

Each day since then I have got my bible and I'm reading through Proverbs 31 before I lift the iPad.
Sometimes one verse sometimes two verses and making a brief comment my Bible Reading Journal.

Then later when I eventually go to the computer I post the verse(s) and my notes on Facebook.

On the first day I even made a graphic of the first two verses (just because I like playing with graphics).

So I have now today reached verses 8 & 9 which is the end of the first section of Proverbs 31 and tomorrow I start unto the Virtuous Wife section.

I really do hope that by the end of the 30 days it will have become a habit and one that I will not find easy to break.

Why don't you think about this.

Are your Bible reading habits good?

You don't have to wait to start something like this at the beginning of a month - you could start today!

What chapter or Book of the Bible would you start this with?

Just remember

before you get drawn into all the other things in our 21st Century life.


It's God's Love #18

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

A simple, short post consisting of a Bible Verse
around the topic of God's Love and I would be very
pleased if you would join me each Sunday.

God's Love

is everlasting


full of 

 goodness & kindness

towards us.

God's love

for us


never end

so it is constantly

around us

with no exceptions.