Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Trip to the far North (Catch Up #3)

Greetings dear friends & readers & Happy Weekend to you all !! 💚

I met my dear friend Leeanne about 6 years ago through our blogs & we very quickly struck up a rather close friendship 
Each Year Leeanne would tell me "you must come visit me in the far North"
Yes! I would reply ... with the very best of intentions ... but somehow never quite got there.
This year with the closure of my Cottage, I decided it was a priority.
So last week I put on my big girls panties & drove myself 5 hours away to visit my friend in Northland.

This was my room at Leeanne's beautiful Home ... & even though I tried really, really hard ... I did not manage to smuggle the quilt on the far right into my car & bring it home!!

Her Home is a testament to her amazing creativity & is filled with handcrafted treasures everywhere you look ...
 I felt right at home 💜

Simon, Leeanne's cat, who sometimes features on her blog, joined us when we sat by the fire stitching & chatting.  
He blends right in when he sleeps on the giant biscornu Leeanne has made him from vintage wool blankets.

The Country Yard ..... the most beautiful patchwork shop set in stunning grounds

High on my wish list of things to do & see, was to visit this gorgeous Patchwork Shop here
Kerryn, the Owner has been to my Cottage a number of times & I had always wanted to visit her beautiful shop myself

There was so much eye candy everywhere it was hard to take it all in.
(& yes, some purchases definately came away with me)

Early the next morning we drove up the Coast to a beautiful spot Helena Bay Gallery & Cafe
You can just see the coastline in the distance of my photo ... though the air was crisp, we sat outside on the deck & had delicious coffee & cappucino cake

Next door to the cafe is a stunning Gallery filled with local artisans work.
 I always like to bring a small momento home with me, so I purchased the red pottery heart above ... it sits perfectly on my small "heart wall" at Home

Back in the city again, we decided to do a trawl of the local Op Shops because ............ 
well,  just because ............

I gathered a small collection of junk treasures in the Hospice Shop ... some for making into birdfeeders & some for candlemaking

But my "treasure of the day" would have to be this cute little vintage enamel Tala Pastry Cutter set ... complete with all 4 sizes of cutters ... for the princely sum of $5 ! 😊

I knew it would look perfect sitting on my enamel breadbin with some other junk vintage treasures

While sitting stitching/chatting at Leeanne's I worked on this wool felt candle mat ... I had cut it out before I left home.
The pattern is by Barri Sue Gaudet of Bareroots designs
I love how it turned out & LoVe the primitive colours! 

I keep these glass containers for my candle making - they are great for tipping any leftover soy wax into - so I wrapped one with some pip berries & added a tealight
I hope to make some more of these for my Christmas Craft Stall.

And my final completion has been another two cotton dishcloths ... these are made using leftover yarn & are destined for the present box.

Well dear friends ... that's me ... all caught up! 😉
I hope you have a wonderful weekend & the coming week brings you only good things,
Thanks - as always - for your visits to my blog,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0x

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Teaching & a Birthday (Catch Up #2)

Happy Wednesday to you dear friends & readers!
 Today is Catch Up Post # 2  😊

Thank you all So Much for the lovely comments you left on my last post .... I appreciate each & every one of them!!

You may remember in this older post where I had been asked to teach a handcrafted item to a small Rural Women Group this coming winter.
I decided to make the felt mice below - an easy handstitched item achievable in an afternoon - I half filled their bodies with dried lavender to make them fragrant.

The Craft Day was held on June 29th in my small rural town .... 15 ladies attended.

A week prior to this I sat down & prepared all my kitsets ... I kitted up a range of both the cream & the pink mice.
Remembering everything I have to take is always a bit of a mission with these classes.

As I found myself unusually rather organised for me ... I decided to make up another couple of class samples ... 
this time in a Christmas theme

One wet, stormy morning I sat at the work table & handstitched my Christmas Mice while my staff members Supervisors napped on the job!!

I think the Christmas versions turned out wonderfully & even though I added the dried lavender to them, 
I think you could just as easily omit this & then scent them with some Christmas Pine Oil.  🎄

All made using up scraps & bits & bobs I already had in my craft stash.

This year I was able to take part in the full days craft activities... we made Christmas Cards in the morning 
under a lovely tutor, Irene.

Some of the ladies working away happily
These are my 4 cards below ... there was some stamping/embellishment on the inside also 

My photo does not do them justice, they are actually a 3D  layered effect

Though I remembered to quickly snap a couple of pics while the ladies were crafting their mice, I did not get a chance to photograph everyone's creation at the end, as some of the ladies left earlier than others

It would've been nice to show the 15 completed mice all lined up on the worktable.
But the ladies had a fun day & all really enjoyed themselves - when the afternoon sun came into the old Church Hall, the scent of lavender was divine! 

On the last day of June I had a Birthday .... 58 years around this clock of life !!
My wonderful Sons & Grandsons .... that is me to the right holding my grandson Sid.
Though we had planned a picnic morning tea in our local Park, the white-out frost put paid to these plans so we went to my youngest son's home instead.
My dear friend Carolyn was up this way so she was able to come to our morning tea & presented me with a beautiful homemade (carrot) birthday cake.

I was also lucky enough to receive some gorgeous handmade gifts from friends ... spoilt indeed!!

My first attempt at a scrubbie .... apparently you can get 4 from 1 ball of yarn
Amongst my friend Donna's gift was this fascinating yarn ... it felt like it had a bristle thread running through it.
A quick google search & I was able to find a pattern to knit up a "scrubbie" ... (a pot scourer)
You will find the free link here if you should like to have a go ...
or here are some other free patterns to knit using the Washknit yarn

The Mr presented me with a Coffee Maker ... I must admit one of these had long been on my wish list .  .  .  .
.  .  .  .  though my coffee making skills are improving I think it's only fair to say I have quite a wee way to go yet !!!

The Mr is milking at present (we autumn calve) so he is gone by 5 am.
On the days that I have Sid I like to get up & get the house warm before he arrives
Her Royal Highness resting by the fire !!
 Someone else thinks the fire is entirely for her benefit of course!!
Have a wonderful day dear friends - thank you all again for your visits!
I hope to be back before Saturday with Catch Up #3 (my last catch up post)
 With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Tin Cans & Tilda (Catch Up #1)

Greetings dear friends & readers
Welcome to a bright shiny new week AND a shiny new month!

Though I have been tardy in my blogging of late, I have definately not been idle. 
 I have been busy creating & taking photos as I go so there is lots to share with you.
However in order not to be too photo heavy I have decided to schedule a series of "catch up posts" for this week ... today is Catch Up #1  😊

When I wrote about presenting the Craft Group Ladies with a basket of tins to create with ... I saved what was left over for myself

From the bottom of the basket I removed 3 small catfood tins
I knew in my storage cupboard I already had the wooden mug trees above (50c each from the Op Shop) 
along with the old tin baking dishes, also an Op Shop find

I disassembled the mug trees outside & cut them down to size, then with the Mr's help, I screwed the baking tins to the top along with the cat food tins in the centre - see photo below

Once I had them together I painted them, but half way through I found it was far easier to unscrew them 
to get a good covering, particularly in the top part
(all my paint was just using up leftover chalk & test pot paint)

Before screwing them back together again I traced a cardboard shape for my cake tin base, added wadding 
& covered it in Tilda fabric, glued lace to the outer edge, then hot glued this into my base.
Once I screwed the catfood tin back in again it gave it a nice padded effect.  

I filled the catfood tins in the centre with wadding & added lace trim before gathering a large circle of Tilda fabric 
& gluing this into my tin 

Voila ...... a pincushion !!   (or three)

I embellished with some wood cutouts, ribbon & key charms.

I can't choose a favourite colour ..... is there any particular one you prefer I wonder??

These are going to be stock for my Christmas Craft Stall.

I knew July was going to be busy for me so I kept going with my "tin can creativity" while I was on a roll

I took the last remaining condensed milk tin & filled it with some oasis scraps I had on hand ...... then I covered the tin with some scrapbooking paper, also in my stash

I fashioned 12 petals from Tilda fabrics & hot glued them to a barbeque skewer to make a flower 

When I decided to add 2 leaves, they wouldn't sit upright so I painted them with a PVA & water mixture, which gave me the desired effect
I poked my skewer into the oasis then glued some sphagnum moss to cover this.

I really like this pretty Tilda flower & hope to make some more for my stall.

The Electrician came & (finally) fixed the broken light fitting in my sewing room ... Oh how wonderful it is to use the light again!!
I wanted a new lightshade but the Mr assured me there was no money in the budget for this!!

I knew I had this old shade in my sleepout - another Op Shop treasure - so I bought it inside & removed the tatty, torn fabric off the sides .... well to be honest the fabric more or less fell off all by itself !!

I wound some pretty fabric around the frame of the shade & then glued a beaded trim to the bottom that I already had in my stash.
I LoVe this simple but effective lightshade So much !!!  ❤

Lastly dear friends, I stitched an Order for my friend Sandy.
She wanted Hottie Covers for her grandchildren with their names appliqued on. 
Sandy was delighted when she collected them & they are winging their way South to colder climates!

Thanks for staying with me through this lengthy post dear friends,
I shall be back in a couple of days with Catch Up #2   😊
I shall also get around to visiting you all at your blogs at long last.
Take care of yourselves & have a lovely week ahead,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Sewing Day

Wintery Wednesday Greetings dear friends & readers

This time exactly a week ago - for the first time since I closed my Craft Cottage - I had a sewing day!
How wonderful it was!!

To me ... a sewing day is when you find yourself in the sewing room really early in the day 
 You choose to do nothing else in the house except the dishes (sometimes) ... you don't have to be anywhere  
or do anything for anyone else!
All you have to do is create ..........  & feed yourself!!
These days for me are few & far between!

My dear friend Leeanne had given me a small pile of linen items last year to use in my sewing as they were superfluous to her requirements.
Amongst the items was this long wrap around bistro apron ...  made of raw linen with these words embroidered 
on the pocket -

Claire Wilson's Country Kitchen
for all culinary purposes
Original Forest County Pottery
Est 1873

For reasons I have no idea of  .... I decided it had a certain french flair to it.
So I decided to sew it up into a large square cushion with a buttoned back

I had some large wooden french style buttons that were perfect for the back closure
Well the Eiffel Tower is quite definately French !!
I stuffed it with an oversized inner & then - because of the french feel - I tucked a bunch of my dried lavender 
into the pocket

Simple & unfussy but effective

I was late picking my lavender this year .... late February in fact.
I plonked it on my outside basin & then never quite got back to it ... when the wetter weather came along it got moved up to my deck table.
Early last week winds blew it every which where, so I gathered it up, sat by the fire & rubbed the stalks into a brown paper bag while Sid slept.

From the remnants of the apron I decided to make some lavendar hearts .... I machine embroidered the words "Joy", "Peace" & " I 💗 Home" onto pieces of the raw linen before sewing up my lavender filled hearts.

I managed to get 12 hearts from the leftover scraps - I attached a vintage button & some linen thread to hang them.
I am having a stall at my local Christmas Craft Fair this November - as I do most years - so these items will be good stock for my stall.

After lunch I sat by the fire & finished off these felt sewing machines - this is a pattern by Betz White .... the same one we made last week at our craft group get-together
I already had 3 completed but was able to finish off another 5 .... again these will be for my November stall.

Earlier in the week I managed to finish off a birthday gift for a special friend & send it on its merry way to the far North.
Two more covered coat hangers & a soy candle made in a vintage enamel basin that was tucked away in the back of my sewing cupboard
The Black Rose is a new fragrance & smelt rather beautiful!
This coathanger below was made from a vintage pillowslip - I used the embroidered edge to cover the coathanger as it was so pretty, then added some gathered lace & trim

I made up a small square lavender bag & tied this to the top using the leftover pillowcase fabric .... just a little embellishment  💝

Well dear friends, winter is really making its presence felt here in my little corner of the world

Everyday I am thankful for the fire & how it warms the house.
I hope you find some time in your week to do the things that bring you pleasure.
Thanks so much for stopping by today .... keep warm or cool where ever you are
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0