Monday, November 18, 2019

Christine's Christmas Order - (Part 1)

Greetings dear friends & readers
It is a wet, rainy Monday here today in the Waikato 

 I am pleased I took the time yesterday to pick some flowers for inside the house as my roses are looking rather worse for wear from all the rain we have had (Sorry Willie !!)
Though I am not complaining as any rain at this time of year is So appreciated & saves alot of manual 
garden watering

My lovely friend Christine decorates her entire house every Christmas - she does something festive in every room, even the bathrooms !
This Christmas they have a new home over in the city - so Christine is changing her decorating a little to go with 
their new home.
She has placed a large Order with me which I have almost finished so I have decided to break it in to 2 parts
to share with you 
Her first request this year was for a "Winter Wonderland themed" Angel & Santa.  Her instructions were that "she wanted them to be in silver & white - to still look a bit country-ish & not look too modern"
I have been sewing for Chris for a number of years now & I think I know her taste fairly well.  Added to this is the fact that she just pretty much leaves me to do what I think ... so it's often quite a leap of faith on both our parts.

Once again I went back to the Rosalie Quinlan Pattern "Charlotte Angel" as I find this a good size at 73 cms tall 
plus her length matches well with the Santa Pattern I use.

The gorgeous silver snowflake & star fabrics were all found at Spotlight.  I took these doll bodies on my last trip 
to Mums & spent time sitting stuffing their looong skinny limbs.
While down at Mums I found the delightful glittery snowflake/tassel ornament in a Variety store 

The hair I use on these Angels is hand-dyed mohair yarn
I didn't gather her sleeves in, as the pattern stated, but left them billowy.
When the wings are sewn I always paint them with a watered down PVA glue mixture as this keeps them stiff

Her shoes were painted in silvery grey chalk paint that I found in my paint stash - trimmed with lazy daisies
I felt the large pom pom trim on her dress just helped give her that country look I was trying to achieve.

Next up came Santa - this is a pattern I have made several times for Christine - it is called "Prim Olde Santa"
is designed by Kerry Daly of Primitive Country Treasures  (this was published in a very old Homespun Magazine)

I repeated the silver & white theme using some soft fleece for his jacket trimmed with a silver lam'e fabric

I used the same fabric for Santa's hat as I used for the Angel's wings.
I also repeated the bobble trim on the hem of Santa's jacket

In Kerry's original pattern he holds a ragdoll but I decided against this as I wanted to keep to the white/silver colourway 
 This white teddy was sitting with some leftover stock in my Cottage so I removed his red bows/trims & dressed him 
in a silver/grey bowtie & fur trimmed hat.
He was the perfect size to tuck under Santa's arm

I made a patchwork stocking as per the pattern instructions & was lucky enough to find these silver & white sparkly berries & cones at Spotlight. 
The tin teddy had once-upon-a-time adorned a Greeting Card (Yes I really DO keep all sorts of junk!!) - Teddy had a fluoro pink bow which I dabbed with my white paint
I felt Teddy just finished off the stocking nicely.

I purchased the chunky wool yarn for Santa's beard from Spotlight

I must confess I had not been excited at all about bringing these Winter Wonderland folk to life but I just absolutely LoVe them 💕

I have sent photos to Christine & she adores them also & can't wait to hang them in her winter wonderland 
themed room 💗

I should mention that while I have been beavering away in my sewing room these past weeks, I often spot Miss Pippi tucked up in my fabric baskets - if she just moved 2 baskets to the right, she would be in the orange basket!

Last Saturday (9th) was my town's annual local Craft Fair.
Though I have had a stall for the past several years, I was so relieved I had not booked myself one this year - especially when all the issues unfolded with Mum
(Photo sourced from the local eventfinda page)
I did decide however, to go as a customer & get to have a proper look at all the different stalls - this year there were 100!
The weather was kind & the rain stayed away - there was a great atmosphere.
As I could feel a chesty cold coming on, I just had a relatively quick wander & chatted to a few stallholders, but I did manage some purchases while there.

I bought some lovely plants from two stalls & then some handmade soap from my friend Pauline who runs a wonderful homegrown business - Infused With Nature

This local lady was a new stallholder & I loved her ceramic work. I bought some herb labels which I will put in my garden when the rain stops ... along with this cute hanging cat which I plan to put on my sewing room wall ... it reminded me of a certain 4 legged girl that resides here 😉

Well dear friends - I will be back before the end of the week with Part 2 of Christines Christmas Order
Thanks So Much for your visits today 
I hope the coming week is good & kind to you all,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x

Monday, November 11, 2019

Home Again

Greetings dear friends & readers,
Welcome back to my poor neglected blog -  & also Welcome to November!
Since my last post (a whole month ago!) I have been back down to Mum's again  (4 trips in 6 weeks) - but I am pleased to report that Mum has finally returned Home again, as per her wishes

In order for this to happen lots of changes had to be put in place in Mums Home & also daily routines.
This has meant that I am finally able to return Home again myself - I miss my Home so much when I am away 
& I miss my two furry friends far more than I care to let on 😉
Miss Pippi frets when I go away & upon my return, she becomes my shadow for a week or so.

While I have been away I have been conscious of my Orders piling up & not getting done so I took some hand sewing with me on my last trip
My lovely friend Jane bought this pattern out earlier in the year along with some Liberty print fat quarters & requested me to make it up for her

I managed to get the bears stitched & stuffed while down at Mums & also the doll body stuffed.
Upon my return I have finished her off & Jane was delighted with her Order

The pattern also comes with a drawstring bag pattern to be made as storage for the doll & bears - but Jane & I 
both agreed they were far too nice to spend their lives tucked away in a bag 😉

Also on the "half started pile" was this old suitcase that I had put one coat of chalkpaint on - & then decided to add a glue-on embellishment before continuing to paint.

I purchased several of these embellishments from Paint Me Vintage - they are just glued onto the item & then 
when painted they look just like they have always been part of it.

The suitcase was painted in Old Linen & then lightly scuffed.
Now you will no doubt be wondering why I put the embellishment on the side of the suitcase & not in the middle ??

Because I had something (or someone) rather pretty to sit on the suitcase . . . . . . . . . . . 

This Autumn Angel is a free pattern from the Tilda Website - I just adored her & decided to make her up in some of the Plum Garden fabrics as I had a few fat quarters of this range

Her patchwork Plum pattern is also free to download on the website

I made her apron longer & added a bobble trim - otherwise I just kept to the original pattern
The merino wool dolls hair I purchased from Millymac Supplies

Though I have been diligently working on a large Christmas Order, it has been lovely to create something just for myself for a change also.

I potted up a sweet little Op Shop china Jug with babies tears for my friend Jane's birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Also my Aunt is turning 90 next weekend. 
Though we have been invited to the birthday luncheon Mum is not up to the trip - I am thankful for this as the journey would involve 7.5 hours of driving for me.
So I decided to make Aunty Noeline a lavender bag & send it off with a nice card - she likes nothing frilly or flowery so I kept it very plain & simple on a nice piece of linen in her favorite color way.
It is filled with my own homegrown lavender & smells divine. 💗

Over the weekend I harvested half the beetroot ready in my garden - my crop has done really well this year.
I cooked most of it for eating & then grated some of it & made a delicious raw beetroot salad.
The recipe is * Here * for anyone that might be interested.
(I didn't add raisins & just used Balsamic Vinegar for my dressing)

Well dear friends - that's me all caught up I think.
Thanks so much for your always-welcome visits here today,
I shall be back soon to share a beautiful Christmas Order I have been crafting.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Broken Things

Greetings dear friends & readers
Goodness I did not mean to be gone for so long - somehow another shiny new month has come along 💛

My Mother has had a fall & broken her hip.  Most of the past month has been spent down in Mum's province, sitting by her hospital bed in two different hospitals.
Mum underwent surgery to pin & screw the break, & a rod was inserted - she then returned to the local hospital 
in her small town for rest & rehabilitation.

At 90 years old my Mum's bones are frail & her lower body strength is rather minimal.
I honestly don't know what the future holds ... it is a period of deep uncertainty & we can make no plans at present until we see what unfolds.
While Mum was in the main city hospital where she underwent surgery I travelled each day to sit with her - a journey of about an hour 15.   After doing this for a week my dear friend Carolyn invited me to stay with her - she is only 20 minutes drive from the hospital.  I spent some nights with Carolyn & the days with Mum.

Carolyn is a talented & creative friend - she had decided to mosaic the concrete entrance ways to her property 
using up some of the large stash of broken china & tiles she had acquired.
Late one afternoon I was able to sit outside & chat with her as she did some mosaicing - & listen to the incredible 
bird life in her garden.

I especially loved the way she had inserted little handles & critters into her work.

One side is complete & she is working on the other side - even her letter box got the mosaic treatment

It was fortunate that I remembered to toss my knitting into the car as I threw some things together before heading off 
on my journey down to Mums
The long days at the hospital has seen my dishcloth pile grow & there have been two more added since this photo

On the exact same day that Mum had her fall I had undertaken a small upcycling project

I have never had a bedside cabinet - always just making do with a stool by my side of the bed.
This little wooden unit had sat in my wood shed for several years, becoming home to a family of spiders.

A good scrub in the spring sunshine & then a coat of chalk paint (color - Old Linen)  - I ended up giving it two coats before being called away down to Mum's

Upon my return it was the first project I wanted to complete.  I had a couple of odd transfers left over from this project *Here* so I cut them out & applied them - Miss Pippi checked it all out for me & gave it the once over !!

            Before transfers                              After transfers                    

Finally a good coat of wax & it was complete - all using up products that I had on hand & nothing purchased.  
I am loving having the drawer to hide my chocolate stash bits & bobs in 😉 !!

On Friday I had to pop into town & run some errands for Mum & well - wouldn't you know it, the Op Shop just happened to be right next door 😊
I could not resist treating myself to a few treasures to bring home with me.

Thanks so much for your visits dear friends - I shall get around to visiting you all at your blogs now I am home briefly,
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Pincushion Swap

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Wednesday to you all !!

A couple of years ago my dear friend Leeanne emailed me & said  "here is a blog I think you might really enjoy"
The blog she was referring to was Janet's blog "Rogue Quilter"
I began following Janet & spent many hours drooling over her beautiful quilting & fine detailed work - in particular 
her mini quilts

On a post a few months back, I happened to comment how beautiful I thought this bowl of pincushions was - 
all made from leftover scraps by Janet
"Would you perhaps like one ?" asked Janet
And so I offered to do a small swap with her - we both quickly agreed not to put any pressure on ourselves & just make this swap very casual  - which suited us both perfectly

I wasn't sure what to send to Janet - but I remembered her mentioning how much she loved my upcycled projects 
I came across these two wooden spools - they had been tossed my way when a friend was throwing out an old spinning wheel that had gotten wet & somewhat swollen in size
(I have probably had these for about 4 years now)
I decided to upcycle one of them & make into a pincushion for Janet

I made the top "pincushion part" by gathering a circle of raw linen, filling it with wadding & affixing it to the spool - then I wound some thin batting around the centre stem
I covered this with some tape measure ribbon that I already had in my stash

Because the base was not sitting stable I glued a large washer to the base & then covered this with black wool felt - this gave the whole thing some weight & good stability
(This was actually The Mr's suggestion - not mine) 😉

I had enough small beaded letters in my stash to spell the word "quilt" - unfortunately not enough to spell 
"Rogue Quilter."
I stitched some tiny hexies to the top & then sewed on a couple of copper effect sewing charms - also in my stash

My pincushion was ready to send across the oceans & the miles to Janet in Utah.

As I forgot to photograph my parcel before I posted it I have borrowed this photo from Janet's blog
I purchased some handmade lavendar soap from this gorgeous Lavender Farm just 5 minutes up the road from where I live.,
Also I purchased some Whittakers chocolate, made here in New Zealand - & sent one of my linen lavendar hearts.
I crossed my fingers & toes that all this would get through Customs without a hitch 😉

You can read Janet's blog post about receiving my parcel * Here *

Yesterday - to my utter delight - Janet's swap package arrived.
Let me tell you friends, before I even got the end open, I could smell this most delicious fragrance !! 💗
Janet had sent me some of her own handmade herbal soap - it is Sooo divine, I cannot describe the 
incredible smell of it (& that beautiful bee shaped soap made my heart skip several beats)!!

Along with the wonderful promised pincushion Janet had included one of her mini quilts ! 😊
This one had been made from scraps retrieved from the rubbish bin while Janet was on Retreat - one lady had tossed all her scraps out & Janet had "rescued them". 
I was just delighted & quite honestly - speechless! The workmanship & tiny piecing is just incredible.  

Also included was a notepad & some delicious sounding choccy treats (which won't last long in my hands I can assure you !!)

Thank You So Very Much Janet - your parcel made my day & I just can't stop staring at all my treasures.
You are so kind & generous & I wish there wasn't a great big Ocean in between us !!! 💕

Yesterday was a Tuesday-with-Sid-day & as it turned cold & rainy, we - (I) - made a hut!

It only seems like just yesterday I was making these for Sid's Daddy - covering my old wooden clothes horse with sheets to make a hut !

While Sid had a nap in the afternoon I sat & bagged up fresh supplies of both my citrus & my cottage garden potpourri's

I supply these to The Farm Shop at Gordonton & they were low in stock so tomorrow I am driving over to replenish their supplies.
This afternoon I have finished making up more of my teacup birdfeeders - these are also going to the Farm Shop to be sold on my behalf

I sell each birdfeeder with a small bag of Wild Bird Seed

Anyone who has been following my blog for awhile now knows my addiction inclination towards old vintage china - I love to scour the Op Shops for it.
So I had a good stash to choose from to make these up today.
Before I drive to Gordonton I am driving across to the opposite side of the City to attend my eldest Grandsons Daycare as they are having a Grandparents Morning.

Thanks So Very Much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope the rest of the week goes well for you & you find some happy moments in the busy-ness of your days,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0