A jar full of gratefulness

There has been much in the news about how if you count your blessings every day you’re much less likely to suffer from depression. This is not a new idea; there was one study in York University, Toronto that asked moderately depressed people to complete an online gratitude survey every day and psychologist Jeffrey Rossman concluded that, “a sense of gratitude helps you feel positive about the people and things in your life, and about your life in general.  When you have positive feelings about your life, you tend to be happier, more energetic, and more productive.”   Another study by Professor Robert A. Emmons at the University of California maintains that “those who kept gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who record hassles or neutral life events. They are also more likely to make progress toward important personal goals.”  Sounds too good to be true and definitely worth a go!

We live in abundance and it is all too easy to take everyday things for granted. We can lose sight of how important the people around us are and how much we value their contribution to our daily lives.  I do feel especially grateful as my eldest son recently returned from deployment in Afghanistan and each day that he was away I counted my blessings that it was another day closer to his safe return.

Inspired by the virtual jar at http://www.thegratitudejar.com/ I decided to create a real jar that we could use to record the things we are grateful for and then reflect on them, either at family mealtimes or on ‘low’ days.

There seems to be an infinite number of resources that do similar things on the internet but I wanted to use my Silhouette to create a special jar personalised for my family.

First I found a suitable (ex-jam) jar and then I designed the label using the Bira font from (http://www.dafont.com/bira.font).  I do love this style as the script letters weld together very beautifully!  I decided to cut the label in blue vinyl.   I used the KG Flavor & Frames  font (http://www.dafont.com/kg-flavor-and-frames.font) that Lauren at the Thinking Closet used recently in her Sugar and Flour jar labels project http://www.thinkingcloset.com/2013/05/13/i-heart-labels-sugar-flour-jar-edition/)  for the frame. GratefulJar I then realised that the lid had printing on it that couldn’t easily be removed, so I cut a scalloped circle (it may have been a free shape of the week over at http://www.silhouetteonlinestore.com a while back) and decided to hand write a quote on the top using a fabulous white Posca pen I was desperate to try out!  Gratefullid.

The quote (from William Arthur Ward) is, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a gift and not giving it.”  I hadn’t come across William before but Wikipedia was keen to tell me that he is one of “America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Arthur_Ward.  These words really resonated with me as I just LOVE wrapping and packaging presents and get almost as excited about the paper as much as what is inside!

Lastly, because being thankful is good for your heart (http://www.mywell-being.com/think/being-thankful-good-your-heart) I created a whole page of hearts with my Silhouette that I cut on a textured white card stock, so that we can begin to record our gratefulness. I’m very excited! Gratefuljar3

I’m really pleased with the finished project and I thought that I may extend the idea as a way of telling important people in my life how much they mean to me…. a really powerful way of expressing gratefulness. It could be for Valentine’s Day (now I’m really planning ahead!) or to cheer up a friend that is off par.   As my youngest son is about to leave primary school I thought it could be used as a way of thanking the teachers and staff in the school for all they have done for him over the years. Once you get started, the ideas are limitless!

And if you’d like to check out some more Silhouette creations, here’s a collection of projects by my Silhouette Challenge buddies…

DIY Paper Star Lanterns by Me & My DIY

Adding Easy Sketch Pen Detail to Silhouette Cuts by It Happens in a Blink

Laundry Room Labels by Unoriginal Mom

Kids Step Stool with Sass by Joy & Gladness of Heart

Magnetic Perpetual Calendar by Everydaypaper

Silhouette Fabric Ink {An Experiment} by Create & Babble

Playhouse Signs: Who Will We Be Today? by Suburble

How to Get a Second Wind Out of Your Gel Manicure by The Thinking Closet

DIY Graduation Gift by Super Sweet Life

A Silhouette Challenge by Home at Eight

Oval Coffee Table Reveal & More! by Give Me a Paintbrush

Stamped Gift Boxes by Coley’s Corner

Travel Accessories for Vacation Mementos & Business by An Elegant Touch

Interested in joining us for our group posting event next month?  We’d love to have you.  Simply contact Lauren from The Thinking Closet by email.


About weheartcards

http://www.etsy.com/shop/weheartcards Esther Warner started designing cards several years ago, then in 2003 she returned to University as a mature student, completing an IT degree. Since then she has developed her passion for paper and creativity by computerised card-making. In the corporate world she was awarded ‘Worcestershire Businesswoman of the Year’ in 2005 Esther says, “When was little I loved getting post. The excitement of getting a letter or something delivered to my door when it WASN’T my birthday or Christmas was really exciting. Wondering who had sent it and what it could be…. The anticipation of opening the envelope to discover what was inside was thrilling! ” In later years Esther was very homesick at boarding school and the daily post distribution became the most exciting part of the day. Each card from we♥cards is filled with love and made for the recipient personally, Esther hopes that they convey the excitement she felt when she was small and received a letter from her Grandma!
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19 Responses to A jar full of gratefulness

  1. What a great idea! It’s so important to be thankful for all of the great things that happen in our life.

  2. Love this! My friends and I created a whine jar at work once 9we had to pay a quarter if we complained about anything trivial), but this is much better!

  3. Esther, what a special and meaningful creation! And it’s also beautiful from a design standpoint (hooray for the frames font! and I love the Bira font as well as your own handwriting…so artistic!). This is a great reminder to us all to count our many blessings; not only will it stave off depression, but it will power us through those tough bumps in the road of life! Thanks for sharing this with us, Esther!

  4. melstampz says:

    What a special idea, Esther. I will have to try this for sure!

  5. Melanie says:

    A thought provoking creation- love it!

  6. this is a wonderful idea! IT IS one thing to think of being grateful and another to take time to write it down

  7. Debbie says:

    I love this idea Esther! What a fabulous way to keep positive thoughts in the forefront of your mind, and pushing the negatives back. And I love the other ideas you came up with for gift giving..i.e. Valentine’s Day, teachers, or just because. Love love love it. So glad you shared this in the Silhouette Challenge!


    P.S…..I noticed McNamara in your header…is that your last name? My grandfather was a McNamara from Kansas. Wonder if we’re related? 🙂

  8. Coley says:

    What a meaningful and creative way to use your Silhouette. 🙂

  9. Valerie says:

    What a great idea. I love the quote you used for the lid. I’m the same as you about wrapping and giving presents. It’s such fun!

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