{ paper hearts blog tour & giveaway }

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I love love!  And this week of celebrating love is the perfect time for me to tell you about my friend Courtney’s new book “Paper Hearts”.  I can tell you it’s been a crazy long time since I’ve read a love story, but I smiled through every page of her sweet novel.

The story includes an inspiring tradition of writing love notes on paper hearts and tucking them here and there for your special people to find.  What a great idea!  And I don’t care if he’s a 17-year-old high school guy, I’m writing a little paper heart love note to my son and tucking it in his room somewhere.  Our teens might be the ones who need love notes the most, right?:)

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And here is something you will love.  Courtney is hosting a fantastic giveaway package including one of my love-key necklaces…

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To participate in the #shareyourheart campaign and to enter your chance to WIN a pretty awesome prize, all you have to do is find Courtney on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/courtneywalshwrites), and SHARE the Paper Hearts Book Trailer with your friends.  Then enter the giveaway on her facebook page to win.  Fun!

For bonus entries, create your own paper heart and share it on Courtney’s wall and tag your post with #shareyourheart

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You can watch the adorable book trailer here.

And here’s a link to Courtney’s blog where you can see all the other Paper Heart tour participants.

The perfect book to snuggle in and read on this weekend celebrating LOVE!

{ read something }

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I’m a reader.  I love books and am in love with books.  I read a lot.  Think of the sheer privilege it is to be able to read!  Think of the privilege it to be able to read and to have thousands upon thousands of books at our disposable.  There is no time or place in history where so many books have been so easily accessible.

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Learn to fall in love with books.  Read current books, read books written long, long ago (this is my current to-be-read stack).  You don’t have to believe everything you read in every book.  You don’t even have to like them all.  But love the process.  Snuggle in, hibernate, with a good book.  Savor the feel of turning a new page, the satisfaction of closing the book when you’ve read the last chapter and sighing over it.

Yay for books!  We should read more.  Let’s read more.

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January 30, 2015 - 7:07 pm

beth p. - I am doing a little happy dance over here because … about 3 years ago I saw this book in the library but already had a huge stack to check out so I figured I’d get it another time. But, much to my chagrin, I couldn’t ever remember the title. I searched in a variety of sources but I’d only read a little blurb so didn’t really have much to grasp. And then, I forgot about it. Til today. Thank you, Rebecca for including The Blue Sweater in your stack. I have just looked online and it is currently checked in at my local library branch. Heading over there to check it out. Thanks to you :)

January 31, 2015 - 6:01 pm

Fonda Rush - I wonder if the accessibility of books will be threatened by the technological age. Already, some books only come electronically. Ebooks require computers or readers which may reduce the number of people who can access them. I can imagine that the blind have a limited number of books written in Braille or made into audio books available to them.

February 2, 2015 - 5:48 am

Lorrie - There are stacks of books on shelves here, too. Reading is as essential as breathing and prayer to me. I love looking at what other people are reading.

{ just rise up }

I’ve been reading an inspirational book by Sarah Francis Martin titled “Just Rise Up”.

Sarah encourages us to do a lot of things in her book.  Good things.  And I’m inspired on so many levels by this young lady’s boldness to put herself out there and write about her faith and commitment to living her life for God.  And so there’s much you could take away from her writing.  Sarah has encouraged me to…

{1} Rise up.  Literally.  I’m an early bird anyway, but sneaking out from under the covers even earlier carries its rewards.  The still-quiet house, the calm before the day, the feeling like I’m stirring around while the rest of the world sleeps.  I love that feeling.

farm-april-2014-i{2} Journal intentionally.  My one little word for 2015 is ‘write’ so it’s something I’m focusing on anyway.  But Sarah prompts us to write responses specifically to questions and thoughts she shares in each chapter of her book.  Putting thoughts, prayers, questions, etc., down on paper is always a good idea.  The written word remains.

IMG_1322_2{3}  Get serious about reading and meditating on God’s Word.  I love to do this anyway.  But it falls away sometimes only because I let it.  Because I nonsensically think I don’t have time or can’t allow myself that luxury today.  Bad idea.

IMG_1309_2{4}  Live a life of praise to God, no matter what.  I am convinced there is not any situation we find ourselves in where we can’t find something to offer up praise over.  And this can circle back to the journaling.  Write out your praises!  It solidifies them and makes them feel more real and true.  Give it a try.

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DIVIDER-BRANCH-MUSTARD copyThank you, Sarah, for this little gem of a book.  I am encouraged to rise up!

January 28, 2015 - 3:22 pm

Sarah Martin - Rebecca, friend. You inspire me. Thank you for these kind words. Your art blows me away. I heart you!!!

January 28, 2015 - 11:57 pm

Mary Lydia - thank you for your post… very reflective….. hit home for me.

January 29, 2015 - 12:04 am

Jeanette in Illinois - Rebecca,
I have my copy ordered and can’t wait to read it!!! Thanks for sharing this with us. I think it will be a wonderful accompaniment to the Documented Faith project and Bible Journaling too!!
Hugs & Blessings.
So looking forward to meeting you in person in VT!!!
Jeanette

February 11, 2015 - 10:56 pm

Cherie Wilson - oh very sweet to know! I have my copy……….. and now your encouragement to stop the busyness of the business and read this little gem by sweet Sarah! xoxo

{ 2015: the year of write }

IMG_1261Like many of you, I choose a word of focus each year.  Last year was art, the year before that was time, 2012 was give, etc.  For 2015, my word is ‘write’.  I didn’t even have to think twice about it.  It’s my word.

This concept of choosing a word each year, at least among those in the artsy-craftsy world, was begun by Ali Edwards.  It’s a great concept.  Maybe a more realistic and gentler approach to the new years resolutions that sometimes feel more like a have-to than a get-to?  That’s how it works for me anyway.

I used to write.  I used to love to write.  Why I let it fall away from my daily routine?  I don’t even know.  Life, I suppose.  Gathering the eggs, washing the linens, sweeping the front porch, checking the email, chasing down the dust bunnies…

But I want to get back to it.  Because…

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I want to inspire others.  Sometimes that happens when I write?  Maybe?

I want to remember all these moments that are happening and then left in the wake of life.  I am not young anymore.  Big, big events are happening, all the time, around here.

I want to hear the scratch of pencil on paper.

I want those who come behind me to know what I prayed for (I write out my prayers sometimes).

I need a keeping place for these random, out-of-nowhere thoughts that pop in and out of my brain for a usually-short stay.  Sometimes they’re really good thoughts.  But of no use when they disappear never to return.

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So, here’s to the written word!

Here’s to 2015!

January 5, 2015 - 7:27 pm

Julie - That’s great! I’ve been learning as I’ve started journaling what God is teaching me that it helps tremendously to focus when you write things out. It enforces it even more than if typed out. It does require more thought and discipline, but so worth it. I love your thought about leaving a record for those who come behind you. The great missionaries and preachers of the past wrote and recorded and it is still being used to greatly bless countless lovers of Jesus hundreds of years after….Perhaps on a smaller scale God will build up others after we are with Him.

January 6, 2015 - 1:01 am

Lorrie - I’m always inspired by your posts, Rebecca, and I hope that your year of Write means more of them. I find that writing clarifies my thinking in a way no other activity can. Wishing you joy on your writing journey.

PS. I read every post but don’t always comment because I’m asked to fill in the name/email every time I do.

January 6, 2015 - 8:56 am

rachel - How i’ve missed your posts- your words inspire endlessly! Happy 2015 to you and your beautiful family.

January 6, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Kristen K. - Rebecca – you have such a beautiful heart, and I’m so excited for you for what God will bring in the coming year. Congratulations on the upcoming wedding – how fun, and what a blessing! May God bless your heart with your writing, and all of the big stuff going on this year…as you are a blessing to your followers with all of the creative ways you share your gifts. Thank you, and Happy New Year! :-)

January 6, 2015 - 4:45 pm

Chrystel - I love this, Rebecca. I, too, journal my prayers. I noticed a consistent petition this past year for God to reveal his plan for me as I go into retirement. So, I chose “Purpose” as my 2015 Word of the Year, Surly he has a purpose for giving me the passion to craft and providing many opportunities for me to learn.

January 6, 2015 - 8:28 pm

Lana Manis - I wanted to choose a word this year and see how it went, but I can’t settle on a word that seems to speak to me… or maybe it’s FOCUS? I seem to have trouble focusing on several aspects of my life the last few years… now you’ve inspired me! I’ll wait and see what transpires. :)

{ vermont in the spring : stitching workshops }

Oh just the thought of that on this cold wintry day, right?

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I will be teaching workshops May 28-31, 2015 on all sorts of stitching at Meleen and Charlotte’s Vermont Getaway this Spring.  I hope you can join us!  Very limited space, but what a beautiful time we will have together…

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I will hold your hand all the way through if you like.  So even if you’ve never stitched by hand before, please don’t let that discourage you.  If you’re a stitching pro, please come too!  You’ll find much inspiration and all the beautiful threads you can wish for.  I will be available for you as much or as little as you need me:)

New England in the Spring, a gathering of friends laughing, chatting, stitching and sharing.  I’m saving a spot for you!  Stop by Charlotte’s blog for more information.

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2015 - 5:11 am

Kelly - Sounds so lovely, Rebecca. How I would love to learn to stitch from your kind soul! Maybe I could finally learn! Come to Wisconsin someday, pretty please?

Blessings…

January 3, 2015 - 4:25 pm

Melanie Legrand - Please consider taping this class and offering an online class. I would so love to attend, but it is too far away. I have been waiting and watching for your next class. It’s looks so adorable and lovely!!!

January 4, 2015 - 4:09 pm

Sheila Rumney - Oh, how I wish I could be there! I just love stitching with you… One of my biggest highlights ever was to have taken your classes at Silver Bella. Wishing you a wonderful New Year.

January 4, 2015 - 10:40 pm

Andrea - Oh, a girl can dream! I’d ove to join you and the others in Vermont. It sounds fun.
I think you all are so talented.

January 4, 2015 - 10:42 pm

Andrea - …love