Thursday, October 20, 2016

LoVeLy Things ...................

Greetings dear friends & readers
This past week (& a bit) has seen me enjoy a variety of lovely things .............

I had been wanting to make some Christmas Angels for my upcoming craft market
The Angels in my "Tilda's Christmas Ideas" book had been on my mind for awhile now -
- perhaps it was time they came to life ??!!

Although I am a traditionalist at heart when it comes to Christmassy things .... the past year has seen me embracing the more non-traditional colours for christmas, as well as the reds & greens that I love.
I feel they all have their place & their "moment to shine"
Bearing this in mind I decided to make my Angels in non-traditional colours

The first one I made in some lovely soft grey Tilda fabric, scattered with bunches of flowers

I decided not to make the fabric wings in the pattern, but chose instead to use some delicate feather wings 
(available from Variety Stores/$2 Shops)

The second Angel was made in a pastel colourway of pinks & pale lime greens 
The "Christmas is here" banners that they hold in their hands are printed off onto medium weight cardstock
I decided to attach these with double sided tape as I felt they could be removed after the festive season & the  Angel could stay out & be enjoyed all year round

As the small gold crowns featured in the book are unavailable here in New Zealand ... I embellished my angels heads with a twine wreath which I had threaded with a few pip berries.

Way back in June, my friend Elaine gifted me this gorgeous linen teatowel below for my birthday

I LoVeD it  .  .  .  .  but decided it was far FAR too nice to use to wipe dishes with !!!
So it sat in my bedroom for several months until I decided (last week) to make it into a cushion.
I simply divided it into 3 parts ... a front, a back & a decent couple of inches for a flap to hold the insert in.
Then I just sewed straight down the sides - right side facing OUT

I quickly ran up a rectangular shaped insert using an old thin cotton sheet & stuffed it with wadding

The addition of 3 hot pink buttons & I think the back is equally as pretty as the front.
Voila . . . a teatowel becomes a LoVeLy cushion to enjoy.

Dear Blackie is another "lovely thing"     (Yes Pippi you are too but its Blackies turn today !!!)
When I first rescued Blackie & bought him inside he was the wildest, hissy-est, spitty-est, clawing feral thing you could ever imagine
One attempt at patting him or a gentle word, & he would disappear under the bed for the entire day
He still prefers outside to in  .  .  .  . but these rainy days have seen him have a bit of a change of heart

I do most of my cutting out down on the floor & he likes to ummm -  "assist me"

A young friend is having her first baby soon & I wanted to make her a baby gift
As they have chosen not to find out the babies sex as yet, I decided to go with non gender-specific bright colours to be safe
I made her an Owl fleece cuddly rug, a bandana bib & a wool blanket rabbit rattle 
My young friend, the mum-to-be was delighted as she is a colour loving girl

While I was making the bandana bib for the gift, I ran up another four from some soft flannelette that I had on hand
This is a free pattern available from * here *
I usually try to keep a few colours of the bibs for sale in the Cottage & also for my present box.

If I ever need to do any intricate stitchery work now, I usually do it during the daylight hours
My eyesight is no longer so great at nights ... but I do enjoy some repetitive stitching that's not too complicated
These felt mice christmas decorations just foot the bill perfectly
I have been stitching 10 of them over the last couple of weeks, in the evenings while watching T.V.

I have displayed them on this miniature tree, once again to sit on my stall table at the craft fair.
Now I mentioned I had cut out 10 . . . . well I am actually missing two & I am quite certain that a small ginger 4-legged being might have some knowledge of this !!!

And lastly dear readers - while we are on the subject of  Lovely things - I got to look after my dear grandson Alec three times last week 
He is such a delight as he discovers the outside world & all the adventures that it holds.

I hope that your week is going tickety-boo & that the coming weekend is wonderful for you all
Be kind to yourselves & to each other
Thank you so much for visiting with me today
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Monday, October 10, 2016

Getting back on track ...................

Greetings dear friends & readers,

I managed to finish another chrome leg stool ... the same style as the one I did in this post *here* & the last stool from out of the haybarn (unfortunately)
This stool I had covered in a different patterned oilcloth
I am hoping this one is as popular as the last one I had in the Cottage

I had some leftover remnants of oilcloth in my sewing room so decided to stitch them up into some outdoor cushions

I find when customers see my own outdoor cushions, they often ask to buy them
So these will be going for sale at the Cottage  ....
....  the cushions that is .... NOT the cat
(tho' somedays the cat would be for sale .................. or even free !!!!!!!!)

The men have been & removed the blossom trees that I wrote about here
Considering the wet weather & the soggy ground, they did a great job of not making too much mess
The very next day the Mr went out & purchased 4 new weeping blossom trees prunus something something ... & we planted them.
They are a slow growing, later flowering, weeping variety that will NOT grow up into the power lines
I now have 2 large piles of this below ... to spread on my gardens

-  one pile out the front & one out the back  - 
I look back at my life & I wonder what happened in my life that I now get excited about piles of mulch !!!!????

Perhaps I have a chromosome missing somewhere ...................

During the past year - particularly once the Mr broke his leg ... I got waayyy off track with alot of things
I feel as though I have spent most of the year just chasing my tail
Gradually I am getting back on top of things though it is a long, slow process
One of things I got way off track with was my vege garden
I let it go to weed & then when I did manage to weed it, I flung veges in willy-nilly with complete disregard for my moon gardening calendar
All my broccoli & cauli seedlings, my beetroot & several herbs bolted straight to seed - it was soooo disheartening

I am feeling good about my garden again now that I am diligently planting by my moon calendar - which tells me when to plants things that produce above AND below the ground
I have lots of new veges coming along & we are almost ready to eat our first lettuces of the season

This little wooden bowl below was found in my craft cupboard
I think it was left over from this old post *here* where I made "little bowls of prim"

I loved it & wanted something to fill it .... but wasn't quite sure what ??
I accidently tipped over a bag of Tilda scraps in my sewing room (I keep every single scrap of Tilda offcuts)  so this inspired me to make some Tilda hearts to fill my bowl
I added a tiny mother of pearl button to each heart
Instead of stuffing them with wadding I filled each one with dried lavender ... they smell heavenly
The "Home" button is old & I think is a Nikki Tervo ceramic button
Funny how something so simple can make me feel so happy 

The garden is coming back to life after winter & it feels like new things burst into bloom each day
It is a pretty time of year & reminds me why I love spring so much.
Thank YOU so much dear readers for stopping by today to visit with me
Your visits & your comments are so appreciated
I hope the coming week brings you only good things,
with love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Christmas ..................... And Candles

Good Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers
As we have had constant rain since I last posted ... there has been quite a bit of productivity from my Sewing Room.
Now I know alot of you will be groaning when I mention christmas ... but it was time for me to finish some Santas that I began several months ago.

I have rebooked a stall at the craft fair that my local town hosts each November opposite our beautiful rose gardens.
Last year I found the christmas items on my stall were rather popular.

This Rustic Santa above was my first completion ... he is an old  Woodcutters Daughter pattern 
(now Theodora Cleave)
On the instruction sheet Barb has written "I especially love this Santa"  ... well he is one of my favourites too. 
I have made him a few times now for gifts & to sell, & I treasure the one I own myself.
  ...........  I just adore him with his quilted teadyed jacket & his rusty tin embellishments

Next Santa to be completed was this fellow called Prim Olde Santa by Kerry Daly of Primitive Country Treasures

This guy is lots of work with all his toys & trims & attachments.
The raggedy doll is gorgeous & I was able to find a lovely olde worlde christmassy fabric to use for the stocking

I scented the cinnamon sticks in his stocking with a touch of christmas pine & spice oil & he smells rather divine.

These two stitcheries were unearthed amongst my christmas patterns ... one was completed, the other just begun.
I managed to finish stitching the last one ... Cottage Garden Thread "Kangaroo Paw" ... & made them up into little lined christmas bags.
This is an old Country Friends pattern ... once again, I have made this a few times now & it's a favourite of mine.

....  Simple ticking fabrics for the backs ....

This gorgeous woven christmas trim - purchased from my local patchwork shop Stitchin Stuff  just yesterday - was perfect to complete the bags

Earlier this year as we embarked upon our renovations, I had to unpack several wallunits & cabinets in order to move them out of the lounge room,
I came across some lovely teacup sets gifted to me & never ever used so I decided to try making some soy candles in them, as a change from the teacup pincushions I usually make.
I purchased some soy candle wax & some wicks online ... & then .......  nothing further happened !!!
They all sat in the spare room gathering dust !!!
Last weekend I finally found the confidence to give it a whirl.

I must be honest & admit I rushed with the first batch ... & paid the price for it.
The result was several air bubbles in my candles & one of them cracked as well.   These ones will be burnt myself, gifted or sold as "seconds".
The second batch I did a little more research, took my time & had a much greater success rate.
I found it helped to warm the teacups just ever so slightly first.

The first batch were fragranced using Mulled Wine & for the second batch I used Lime, Basil & Mandarin as I felt this suited the pretty green of the teacups

This old 2 tier wrought iron stand - unearthed in the haybarn & repainted by moir - is perfect for displaying them on 

The next batch I plan to make will be scented with either orange cinnamon or lemongrass & ginger fragrant oils 

There is something so therapeutic about making soy candles - especially when the weather rages around outside ... you are tucked away creating delicious smells in your kitchen !!!

Thank you dear friends & readers for staying with me through a lengthy ramble
I hope your week is going well & that you are kind to yourselves & to each other
Thank you for your visits today
with much love & friendship & kindness to you all
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

photo at the bottom especially for you dear Willie cos I know you will mention they are missing today !!!  :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Timeless Black & White ....... (or Cream)

Rainy Sunday Greetings dear friends & readers
I have been trying to do a blog post for sometime now & even though I had the photos .... the words just would not get themselves onto the page !!!

My lovely friend Christine popped out for a cuppa & chatted with me about a new doll she would like me to make her.
Christine is currently introducing touches of black & slightly off white into her beautiful home.
She wanted me to make a specific doll for her ... a raggedy pattern called Sunshine - a Lil'blokes design
But she did not want ANY raggedy red in the dolly - just black & off white or cream

Little Miss Sunshine was such a pleasure to create for Christine ... I always love the timelessness of black & white 

Christine did not want raggedy red hair either so I used black perle cotton to stitch Sunshine's hair ... I wasn't sure how this would look but I think it really suits her with her monochromatic colour scheme

After walking past her for a day or two & feeling that something was missing, I realised she needed a toy to hold

This little black teddy bear was in my craft bits & bobs so I gave him/her a cream bow & heart button embellishment

Aahhh much better now she has a little friend for company

Christine was thrilled with her dolly & texted me to say she was most happy in her new home surrounded by other dolls & bears.
You can read about other doll commisions I have done for Christine *here* &  *here*

The garden is just coming to life after our long wet winter & lots of trees are bursting into flower - the magnolia below is in full bloom at present

We have many cherry blossom trees on our property - 7 of the flowering cherry blossom variety prunus awanui
Five of them are planted running parallel to the grapevine, but these will be getting removed in a couple of weeks due to them continually growing up towards the power lines

This one out towards my Cottage will just be getting a heavy prune ....
.... which will be great because it shades my vege garden a little too much.

You can see by my photos, it is still raining here ... these days are good indoor days ... with the fire roaring there are always painting jobs to do, even if it IS only Santa's boots
And as you can see ....
.... I have constant supervision ....

.... even though the Supervisor does get a little weary at times !!!

After the topsy turvy-ness of our renovations, I somehow ended up with 3 broken lamps,  one of which required a trip to the electrician.
This lamp here sits beside the couch by our fire & it is a great stitching pozzy on wintery nights.

After repairing the switch I decided it needed a new shade, but I didn't want to shade too much light as I find it difficult enough to see at nights as it is.
After removing the old cover, I wrapped the frame of the shade in lengths of cotton fabric & then when I was finished - it all needed a bit of a haircut trim.
I added a sweet raspberry coloured bobble trim to the base but Oh it needed something more ...........
Some crochet flowers would be a nice touch but all I had were these in a gawdy yellow colour
However, what I DID have was a paintbrush & an old-nearly-dried-up pot of resene "pohutakawa red"

I could paint them couldn't I ???   ..... Why ever not ???!!!

I just glued the flowers on at random ... I love the effect

Just simple & wonderful 

Thank you all for your visits this rainy weekend dear friends & readers
I shall leave you with this photo I snapped this morning of the tui that visit us here now the blossoms are flowering
Miss Pippi spends hours figuring out how she can taste test one !!!

I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead
with much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0