Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Final Stretch

Greetings dear friends & readers
I am on the final stretch as I head towards the Craft Fair this coming Saturday.
I will be at Site 31 so please do drop by if you are coming to the Fair, & if possible, please bring fine weather 
with you 😉!!

This final week has been very much about finishing up items, labeling & pricing, packaging ... & also making up the potpourri's that I love to create

Over the weekend it rained & was cold & wintery again ... I lit the fire & informed The Mr there would be no meals eaten at our dining table that day as I commandeered it for my citrus potpourri mixing & making.
The heat from the fire took the lovely citrusy fragrance right through our little house.

I managed to fill 25 bags with the mixture I had made up

My roses have been a little later flowering this year so I have been unsuccessful with air drying the beautiful red Dublin Bay rose I always like to use for my Cottage Garden Potpourri.
As a last resort, I decided to use my dehydrator to dry them ... this took only 2 hours to crisply dry the red rose petals.

I was able to fill 18 bags with the Cottage Garden Potpourri which I was thrilled about. 

Raglans main street is lined with these wonderful Palm Trees

One fine day in the middle of last week, The Mr suggested we take a drive out to Raglan
I did not need persuading as I was, once again, very close to tossing my sewing machine out the window!!!
Raglan is a small Coastal town that, despite becoming increasingly popular,  still retains that quaint old town feel to it.
I LoVe Raglan ... it is a wonderful place to visit & I also enjoy the picturesque drive out there ... it is about an hour from us here.

Even though it was the middle of the day, we always like to buy fish & chips at Raglan - the fish is Sooo fresh & tastes completely different to what we buy back here.
I always cart my tomato sauce with me as I love my fish dipped in tomato sauce.
We ate our lunch on a grassy verge down by the sea & let the wind "blow the cobwebs away"!
It was a great visit & just the distraction I needed to get me motivated again.

My veggie garden has been a constant source of pleasure for me these last couple of months, after being dormant for several winter months.
Every night I pick something & cook for our tea - this broccoli is one of my favourite varieties  (Green Dragon broccoli) 

Two weekends ago - Queens Birthday weekend,  I planted tomatoes, courgettes, several different varieties of lettuce, two pumpkin plants, apple cucumbers, capsicums & basil.

I try to pick a couple of leaves of silverbeet or spinach & toss in with whatever I am cooking most nights

Freshly picked Broccoli & Cabbage above - will be in tonights stir fry dish.

A couple of nights ago, while sitting stitching on the couch, I snapped these photos of the furry ones
I was amazed how in the space of about an hour, they changed positions so much, but still remained tucked up close to one another.
This was especially cute seeing as they had had a fur flying fight about an hour previously! 

Thanks so much for stopping by today dear friends,
I will be back next week to let you all know how the Craft Fair went  
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

A (rather large) Tilda Skating Angel

Good Tuesday Greetings dear friends & readers!

Earlier in the year my lovely friend Shirley loaned me her copy of the book Tilda's Winter Delights
The book is filled with gorgeous things but the one item that was a "have-to-make-one-day" was on Page 6 -
 the Skating Angel.

Oh how I adored her!
With Shirley's permission I copied off the pattern, tucked it away & promptly forgot all about it!

After I closed my Craft Cottage last April I was tidying & sorting some leftover items ... this vintage faux fur wrap was amongst the items.  I looked at it long & hard & remembered about the Skating Angel.  This might be perfect for her 
I thought?
The man in my local photocopy Centre very kindly enlarged the pattern for me by 200 % ... I wanted to make 
a decent sized Angel !

As with several of the Tilda doll patterns, the clothing is built into the body as you sew ... there is no body & then dressed with clothes on top.
I must admit I found it somewhat tricky working with the thick fur fabric & I was thankful for my years of teddy bear making experience, which certainly helped.

With quite a few stops & starts along the way ... she slowly came to life ...

She has spent the last month sitting on a slipper chair in my lounge - not quite complete until just yesterday . . . .

The Mr finally made me some "ice skates" for her boots ! 💗

Though she is destined for my market stall ... let me tell you a tiny secret ... I would be more than happy to keep her !!!

I cannot decide whether to tuck some greenery & berries into her arms to make her a wee bit Christmassy ???

Please do let me know your thoughts dear readers 
(Incidently my Skating Angel measures 82 cms long)

I pulled out my Granny Chic book from the shelf last week

I had purchased some barkcloth fabric from Trademe & wanted to make some roundie cushions .... they turned 
out great!

When The Mr overheard me threatening to throw my sewing machine out the window last week, he suggested I take some time out & go for a walk in the fresh air (!!**??)

I took my camera around the garden & was pleasantly surprised to see that, despite my utter neglect these past few months, it has sprung to life & is looking rather pretty in parts.

The granny's bonnets & foxgloves always put on a wonderful show despite customers always assuring me they were weeds!!

As I sit typing this today the rain is bucketing down ... typical spring weather!
At least the garden is getting a really good drink.
Someone who shall remain nameless, has decided that since she is resident baby of the family she will take herself off to the Cot for the afternoon

Remind me to change the sheets before Sid comes on Thursday ! 😉
Have a lovely rest of the week dear friends,
Thanks as always, for your visits here today,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

A Rather ( VeRy!! ) Unusual Prim Santa !

Greetings dear friends & readers

Approximately 18 years ago now I bought a Santa Pattern from this Patchwork Shop in Rotorua.
The pattern is called Olde Thyme Nick & was produced by Kathi Campbell of Heart to Hand designs in 1996!

As Christmas approached every year, I would get the pattern out, glance at it, then promptly file it away in the 
too hard basket!
This year I decided Olde Thyme Nick was going to come to life 😊!

I think I was possibly put off because his body is not sewn & then stuffed as I am used to, but rather constructed from wood blocks & dowels (broom handles) & wire!

This is his initial construction above ..... Yes - this did require some input from The Mr!

His dowel (broom handle) legs & body are then well wrapped in wadding.
It was fortunate I had good supervision for this task in the shape of Miss Pippi who ensured I covered the dowels thoroughly!

Unfortunately she was there again when I cut out his trousers, helping to press the fabric!

The pattern came with 5 wooden button shapes which were to be handpainted ... this was a slow process.

The pattern included instructions for the button painting, colours etc.
For his coat I handstitched a primitive wool felt "tree" & then sewed the buttons to the branches.
This is him slowly coming together below ....

It was at this stage that I rather promptly lost interest in him.
I had made 2 hands but Pippi ran off with one one went missing (!!) so I had one hand attached, his coat & boots 
but still no head.
I felt the head pattern looked too small & couldn't seem to get the dimensions right.
I put Santa in the corner of the room & there he sat for almost 3 weeks while I went off & made other things 😉

I made some sets of Christmas mug mats, scented with cinnamon & whole cloves ....

I downsized some stitcheries from Jenny of elefantz stitchery Club & stitched them using Cottage Garden threads, then I framed them in these cute Rosalie Dekker wooden frames.

I made felt matchbox mice .... 6 altogether!

The Mr asked me - what are you going to do with that funny looking headless Santa?  
I said "put him in a corner in the back of the sleepout!"
He encouraged me to continue on with him so I reluctantly made up his head, which still seemed too small to me . . . .

. . . . but once the beard & hair were on, it was the perfect size!

I made him a hat with a rusty star & then laced up his boots with leather thonging.
He is screwed to the base board, a nice thick piece of native Rimu I pinched found in the Mr's wood shed !

I stitched a rusty bell & a primitive tree to his hands.
I made him a wool scarf ... he was coming to life at last!

Olde Thyme Nick was finally finished!
And I am So pleased I persevered with him 💝

Here I am standing beside him ... he is 44 inches tall & comes to just above my waist, so he is one tall fellow!
He is going for sale on my craft stall ... I think he will need his own special spot to stand there in all his glory.
I hope someone buys him & gives him a lovely Home.

Wishing you all a lovely week dear friends,
Thanks so much for stopping by today,
With much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Craft Central Station !!

Greetings dear friends & readers!
I have only just turned my calendars over & here it is October 9th already!!

The days are slipping by in the blink of an eye with much creativity going on here at Threadbear.
I have successfully managed to make a mess in almost every room of my house & every single surface is covered in craft related pursuits!
The Mr commented it is beginning to look like "Craft Central Station" around here, but with only one month til my Christmas Market Stall, there is no time to relax!

I decided it was time to do something with the teeny tiny hexies I bought from the Op Shop last July in this post

I had long wanted to make up these tiny Christmas bags - a pattern by DeCuyper Trading Co called 
"Spirit of the Season pocket ornaments"

I made 3 gingerbread men & 3 snowmen to fill my bags ... you can see the size of them by the tape measure I have pinned to my photo ... they very nearly sent me cross eyed with their size!!
I am going to scent my wee "men" with some cinnamon & clove oils.

I tied 2 cinnamon sticks together & added some greenery & pip berries.  My friend Sally-the-florist is getting me some sphagnum moss to pop in the bottom of each bag.

Last week I sat at the table & made another batch of fabric Christmas trees ... I have made these in past years & they always go very well.  They are just sewn using fabric remnants from my stash, a cinnamon stick tree trunk & I also scent these with clove oils.

Along with the stitching, there has been a bit of painting going on here ......

This orange chippy chair was hauled out of the back of my sleep out - yet another Op Shop treasure!
I gave it 3 coats of cream wall paint (Resene Clotted Cream), however when I went to sand/distress it - as I did consider might happen - the orange paint showed through in lots of places.

I was disappointed but as time was against me, I decided to simply embrace the orange & found some doileys & linens in my stash with red & orange colourings in them

I made a chair pad using these colours & tied it with some satin ribbons to the sides of the chair

Then I mod podged some paper doiley hearts to the chair back

I am thrilled with my chippy upcycled chair now 💖

Sally very kindly gifted me a wooden magazine rack ... again I have forgotten to take a before photo!
I loved the little heart cut outs in each end!
Over the weekend, in the spring sunshine I gave it 3 coats of cream wall paint & then a light distress.
I mod podged doileys onto each side & end, & then pasted some Cath Kidston wallpaper to the inside base of it.

This is going for sale at my November stall.

I finished painting/distressing a dark wooden mahogany table for my friend Gail.
Then I washed up all my paintbrushes & gear & have put it away til after my market stall.

Last Thursday when Sid came for the day I decided to make him a sandpit
I tipped all my rolls of ribbons out of this plastic container & then filled it with some leftover sand that I knew 
we had down in the depot yard.

The little wooden stool he is sitting on & the wooden tray to his left are both Op Shop purchases - destined to be upcycled, but somewhat delayed at this stage due to His Lordship finding them quite perfect for his toys!!! 😉

Thanks so much for your visits today dear friends,
I hope the week is good to you all ... be kind to yourselves & to each other,
With much love & friendship to you all,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0