A little gratitude is an excellent trick for spirits-boosting.
So, January is an excellent time to share this little grateful project:
I teach a bi-monthly little class/activity night for the 8-11 year old girls in our church congregation. November's evenings were dedicated to gratitude, and we made these little thank-you card holders. I was inspired by a gratitude wrap I saw a couple of years ago on Amanda Soule's blog.
(She has posted instructions for the project on her blog with a detailed pattern pdf here:
It is very pretty.
Mine were quick.
I had picked up a pile of yellow napkins as part of a bundle at an estate sale I went to a couple of years ago, and they weren't getting a lot of rotation, so I decided to start with them for a base. I marked what the front face of the finished product would be, and let the girls embroider a simple something. I used the opportunity for a simple sewing review: tying knots, threading needles, and working with an embroidery hoop. Rather than teach formal embroidery stitches, I passed around a water-soluble fabric marking pen, they drew their motif, and stitched along the lines. It was good sewing practice for the little wool animals we made the next meeting for gift-giving.
Marian's:I had recently acquired several jars of buttons from a rummage sale via a generous friend (thank you, Amanda!), so I graciously (I'm such a hoarder!) brought a big pile along for their browsing joy and allowed each to choose one for the fastening of their wrap. I'm sure it will surprise you that Marian chose a horse.
I took the embroidered napkins home to sew into the wraps and pass out at our next meeting. Already neatly hemmed, they were ready for a quick conversion. I folded the top and bottom edges in (I'd say roughly in thirds, but I guess it was more like 3/9, 4/9, and 2/9), so they overlapped in the center, and ironed them well. I then stitched 6 parallel vertical lines, making compartments for pens, envelopes, and cards as well as marking where the packet should be folded when closed. In one edge seam, I enclosed a loop of gold stretch elastic (rescued from around a long-ago-consumed chocolate box) to catch the button on the other side.
Marian's gratitude wrap got its first use with our Christmas thank you's. She didn't finish when we worked on them together at home (spend the whole time on mine, making it very sweet and extremely thorough), but was able to neatly carry her cards to work on at church the next day. That's her yellow sunshine journal, where mama made her record her gifts and givers on Christmas Day.
**I just spotted this grand oil painting on the "just listed" row on Etsy's home page. It's so joyful and wide-spirited, and spoke GRATEFUL! to me.
Peek here to see an exuberant collection of leapers available in her Etsy store, prints & originals both.