Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Bursting my Bubble ................. & Back to Reality

Greetings dear friends & readers

The "creating-just-for-myself bubble" I have found myself in burst this week when I realised that I could no longer procrastinate over my Orders.
When we first went into Lockdown I lost a couple of Orders but also picked up some new ones in the weeks that followed

A large Order (20 bags) of Citrus & Cottage Garden Potpourri got bagged up & posted across to The Farm Shop 
on Saturday - they had only 1 bag left in the entire Store

My lovely friend Michelle ordered some potpourri's too - if folk want it for themselves (not for gifts) I just package it in brown paper bags  -  this way they get much more value for money with no fancy ribbons etc


I completed another 10 lavender bags for my lovely friend Desiree's order


A local customer ordered some of my knitted dishcloths in blue tonings. 
 I love the wool on the right, its called "faded denim" & just reminds me of faded blue jeans.

Before Lockdown I ordered a metre each of dinosaur fabric from Spotlight to make some pillowcases for Sid.
Finally - 8 long weeks later !!! - it arrived! 
Using * this great tutorial from Tiny Happy * the pillowcases were quick & simple to stitch up  - one flannel & 
one cotton.

I had a large rectangle of both fabrics left over so I decided to make a hot water bottle cover for Sid - our nights are cold here now & I thought he might like to cuddle it in bed
I wanted to line it so I found a soft flannel pillowcase in my cupboard that I had never used which fit the bill perfectly.

I left off any extra embellishments as I wanted it to be "cuddle-able" for my dinosaur-loving grandson
This pattern has a flap back which fits over the hot water bottle really nicely

Cleaning out a drawer in my sewing room I came across a packet of 7 rice paper lightshades.
These had been an op shop purchase several years ago & were still in their cellophane packets.

It was time to do something with them ... I went through my stash of crochet doilies & glued a selection onto the light shades.
Then I used clear fishing twine to hang them from the exposed beams in my Cottage at differing heights.


One day - when my ship comes in (!!!) 😉- I will get these all wired up & then turn the switch ... & it will look stunning.
For now - it looks pretty darn good anyway.


A neighbor is moving to another district so I made a citrus slice & dropped a large container on their doorstep while they were busy loading up their trailers.
The link to the recipe I used for my slice is * here *

My daughter in law gave me another bucket of feijoas so I made up a feijoa cake - just using my regular Banana Cake recipe but substituting the bananas for 5 large mashed feijoas.
I topped it with a cinnamon spice icing - I can definately verify that it is just delish !!

I shall leave you with this little fairy - asleep on my tatty old pink dressing gown last night while I was trying to knit  -
💕 Bless 💗
Thanks So Very Much for stopping by today dear friends,
Wishing you all a wonderful week - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x






Monday, May 18, 2020

A Very Special Sewing Doll

Greetings dear friends & readers .... & Welcome to a bright shiny new week.

It must be about 10 years ago now that a customer came to my Craft Cottage & gifted me this pattern.
Her words were "this looks like something you might like to make"
Oh how very true indeed 💕
The Pattern is called Emily by Debbie Magee of Always Stitchin' 2003 .... though I can find no website for Debbie now 
I have long ago lost count of how many times the Emily pattern came out of the drawer & sat on my craft table - waiting to be made up - only to be tucked away again.
Finally -  the time had come to bring her to life.
I made the body up, stuffed it tightly & then decided to give my Emily some painted boots.

She posed none-too-elegantly by the fire while her boots dried !!
(No dolls were harmed in this process - no feet were scorched either !!!!)

I had just enough length of a lovely piece of plain cotton/linen blend to make her dress.
I really enjoyed making the prairie points on the hemline & used lots of my Tilda scraps.
All the laces & vintage doilies, trims etc were all found in my stash.

Tilda scraps for the pockets & hexie too 
Then it was time to embellish the dress with the pockets & doilies.
I changed the pattern a little & omitted some pockets, while adding in extra crochet doilies

I tipped out a brown paper bag filled with vintage sewing notions & decided these might be ideal to adorn my dollies pockets


I am pretty sure these vintage threads above came from Kiwikid Sue - thanks Sue!
The "tape measure" is a length of woven tape measure ribbon that I had 

The little Singer Sewing Machine was included in the pattern but I felt the first one I made was too small so I enlarged the pattern a little & much prefer the larger size.
(The Word Singer is just written on with gold gel pen.)


I found a vintage wooden needle holder in my junk bits & also some old rusty bobbins which I strung on some linen cord that I plaited


Some sewing embellishments were added & the piece of cross stitch was the corner of a serviette that I fussy cut.
It fit in the wooden hoop perfectly 
She has a felt hat which I also changed the pattern of as my first version turned out huge & flopped around on her head & made her look like a clown  -  her hair is hand dyed mohair 

I love my Emily Sewing doll  -  I was tempted to give her some wings but have decided she is quite perfect 
just the way she is. 💖
I need to find just the right spot to hang her in my sewing room.
At nearly 90 cms in length she is one tall girl.


It was another busy weekend with the birthday of my eldest Grandson Alec who turned the big 5 !!
Alec's Mum made him a treasure chest cake which turned out wonderful & tasted delicious.
We had a lovely birthday party but kept our numbers to just 10 in accordance with our Level 2 rules & restrictions.
I quite enjoyed the smaller number & found it a wonderful gathering.


On Saturday morning I made these two pot holders for my gift box - this is a free pattern download from the very kind & generous Jenny of Elefantz Designs



Late last week I spent a cosy morning in my kitchen making up a batch of soy candles into vintage glass containers.
I had some new wooden wicks that I was keen to try out as I have heard these crackle when they burn - I hope so.
Also a gorgeous new fragrance - Pumpkin Spice.  I did not go into raptures when I smelt it in the bottle but once made up in the soy wax - Oh My !!!  💗 It is divine !!!
The 2 candles above right are the pumpkin spice fragrance & they make the whole house smell so wonderful - even without being lit.

I hope you are still keeping safe & well dear friends & readers
Here in New Zealand our restrictions have been lifted in many areas but we still must be vigilant & careful.
Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead - take care of yourselves & each other,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Friday, May 8, 2020

Snippets from my Week .................................

Greetings dear friends & readers & Welcome to May !!

When I turned the calendar over to May 1st I took down all my Easter decor & packed it away.

I came across this box of dried pumpkin stalks in my cupboard so I thought I would make some fabric pumpkins like our craft group made in this post * here *
These are REAL pumpkin stalks dried from my last years crop

You don't need a pattern - I just drew around different sized dinner plates to get my circle, & then gathered it up 
& stuffed it really tightly.
Click on the Pic to enlarge them if you would like a closer look
Embellishing them is the fun part - the first two I used some net curtain off cuts but lined my circle with calico first 
so the stuffing wouldn't show through - these were decorated with feathers & silk ribbons & pearls - just anything to make them pretty


The third one I drew around a large circular tray & this one was made from linen.
I embellished this with an old broken brooch & feathers & I cut some "leaves" from an oddment of suede that I used to use for teddy bear paw pads
I also stamped a tag for this one saying  "autumn"

I tried to do did a small autumnal display using some bird nests & pine cones, along with some artificial leaves & bird

Just a small tablescape which I would love to add to at some stage .....................    a Fall stitchery ??  & perhaps make an autumnal table runner .......................

Immediately after packing away my Easter decor I regretted it .... as this beautiful little mini quilt arrived in the post - 
a surprise gift from my very talented & clever friend Claire
She had been making several of them & thought perhaps I might like one ??
Yes Please - thank You Very Much Indeedy Claire !! I adore it !! 💕

Speaking of clever & talented friends . . . . I have had this gorgeous piece of vintage fabric squirrelled away for the longest time & finally sent it to Leeanne a couple of months ago asking her to please make me a whole cloth quilt from it

I decided to take advantage of her very good offer above . . . . so I chose a swirly quilting design called 
"dancing leaves" & chose my backing fabric & batting from Leeanne

                                                                                  The Back View
Oh I am so delighted with my quilt 💗- it brings me so much pleasure to look at it & the beautiful fabric has been bought to life with Leeanne sprinkling her magic over it. 


Last Saturday I arranged to meet up with my daughter in law at a half way point between their home & mine
We had not seen each other for 6 weeks, but I had a sack of organic chook pellets for her hens & she had veggie plants for me
I baked a batch of white chocolate & banana muffins to take to her as I had bananas turning brown

Just prior to our Lockdown Level 4 I had tried to buy veggie plants but there were none to be had in my town
My daughter in law had managed to get some in the city so she had bought some extra for me & then planted them on into a large tray from her worm farm - they were doing splendidly

I got spinach, silverbeet & lots of cabbage plants from her that I quickly put in the garden just before a couple of days rain came.

Then mid week my friend Julie told me about a small garden shop in town that was selling veggie plants on a 
click & collect basis
So I was able to buy brocolli & cauliflower & beetroot seedlings - it felt just like Christmas 💚

A few days ago I found this little wooden corner shelf in my sleepout so I screwed it into a corner of my kitchen & 
did a quick shelf display

While I was in my kitchen I made up another batch of Miracle Cleaner as I have been going through so much lately, with all the cleaning I seem to have been doing.
You can find the recipe for this on Annabelle's blog post * here *
It is wonderful & I use it all over the house for all sorts of things.

Thanks so much for popping by today dear friends,
I shall leave you with this pic of Yin & Yang taken this morning in front of the heater
I hope you all have a most wonderful weekend - be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship To You All, 
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Functional ..................... but still beautiful .........................

Greetings dear friends & readers

Although I like things to be functional, I think there is no reason whatsoever - why they can't also be beautiful.
(Or aesthetically pleasing as some might say)

First thing last week - I cleaned my Laundry.
A really, really good deep clean that included the walls, the ceiling & the floors.
The net curtain at the one window in my laundry had long ago seen better days. 
 I remembered about a piece of fabric I had purchased from this gorgeous French Shop last year when I visited with my lovely friends Sally & Jane

A gorgeous vintage piece of linen imported from France - the odd tiny mend in it too 💕 
I had washed it but done nothing with it - it had sat in my sewing room shelves.
I decided to make up a new curtain for my window so I added a casing to the top & then threaded it onto an old length of rod  .  .  .  .

Although it was not really the colours I had in mind for my Laundry - it fit perfectly at the window.

Next I decided to make a new peg bag as the bottom had fallen out of my old one quite some time ago.
I knew I had a nice piece of red/white ticking fabric that would be large enough but I felt that I needed to try & bring in the oranges & blues in the curtain piece.

I also decided I needed to try to use up some of the hexie flowers - an Op Shop purchase from This Post
Luckily enough I had, not one but two helpers for this exercise

Miss Pip helped me choose colours & then Blackie very kindly pressed them all flat for me
I added in some Tilda fabrics as I knew I had some oranges - as well as some vintage embroidery pieces that were torn or tatty on one end

A bit of a faff .... but it turned out very pretty & functional & beautiful .  .  .  .
.  .  .  . and I managed to combine the oranges & the reds & the blues all together 💗
I removed the plain centres of the hexie flowers & fussy cut some Tilda fabrics to replace them
I LoVe my new peg bag ...... & it is functional but still beautiful in my eyes.


During Lockdown Sid's parents have informed me he no longer has a daytime sleep - so I decided to take down the cot I had in my spare room.
This left me a space to bring in the drop leaf desk I had in my Cottage.
I never particularly liked this desk but it held all our paperwork & everytime I needed a receipt I had to run out to the Cottage to look for it.

It would be much better inside the house.

After painting I lightly distressed all the edges with sandpaper
I begun to paint it with chalk paint but very soon ran out - so I finished the entire desk using my acrylic wall paint - Dulux Cottage Cream
I liked it but I didn't Love it  ......  something was missing.

I had ordered a pretty transfer from Paint Me Vintage a few weeks ago & this week, when our Country moved to Level 3 Lockdown we were able to receive parcels again.
I thought the transfer might be perfect to bring the desk to life some what.

I was able to cut into it & use 2 sections - I just love the way it has turned out & given the desk such a pretty 
french vibe
Functional ...... but still beautiful 💗


Another special delivery to arrive last week was our brand new grandaughter (my step grandaughter) 
 We welcomed to the world little Juno Elizabeth weighing in at 8lbs 10 ozs 
By that I mean we welcomed her via cyber space as she is allowed no visitors just yet - but I can't wait to give her
 a cuddle 💗

I was delighted when The Mr arrived home from the Farm supplies shop with a bag of potting mix for me the other day!
It just goes to show how the simplest things can give you pleasure.
I have been potting up lots of small cuttings & growing them by the French Doors at the end of my lounge which is like a little hot house area for plants.


The Mr has several stray cats at the farm that come & go at various times, sometimes increase in numbers, sometimes decrease
Their names are Friendly Cat 1, 2 & 3 (!!!) 
He feeds any that are there as they keep the rats & mice down & also help prevent the birds constantly building nests in the tractors & diggers - such a fire hazard
Although they are quite wild, some have become tamer over time. 
 He sent me this photo yesterday of 3 of them in the back of his Ute when he came back from shifting the cows.
I have promised Not to show Miss Pip the photo (!!) 😉

Thanks So Very Much for your visits here today dear friends,
I hope you are being kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x