Wednesday, November 30, 2016

1 Santa, 10 Hats, 1 (naughty) Cat

Greetings dear friends & readers
It is that time of year again when the run up to Christmas involves everyone wanting their orders completed . . .
I have been sewing so much I am sure there was smoke coming off my machine yesterday !!!

After I made the black/cream doll & the black/cream teddy bears for my lovely friend Christine, she asked me if I could possibly make a large Rustic Santa in the same colourway.
Thankfully I had made 2 bodies when I made my last Rustic Santa so all I had left to do was make Santa's clothing

Anything that I felt was too whitish got dunked in tea-dye to colour it a rich cream tone.
Next came my favourite part -  the embellishing . . .
Christine had asked for this Santa to Not have the ragdoll that the pattern provides ... instead she would like something else tucked under his arm please  ??

Now bearing in mind that Christine is a mad keen teddybear collector, when I came across these 3 in my stash, they seemed to foot the bill perfectly 

As I was unable to find any christmassy fabric in the black/cream colourway I patchworked a stocking using what fabrics I had on hand.
Then I filled the stocking with the 2 smallest bears, some cinnamon sticks & greenery


For the fluffy teddy I made a black/cream bowtie & a Santa hat in the same tonings

I also stitched a large rusty bell to Santa's hand

I thought this colourway was really quite striking ... when he was hanging up in my Cottage behind the counter for 3 days, I could've easily taken 2 more orders for him !!

In the midst of making Santa, I got a phone call from Christine, who had begun her christmas decorating.
Could you please also make me 5 black Santa hats & 5 white ones for my bears ??
As I had the fabrics on hand, these were no problem to run up. 
When I hand delivered them along with Santa, I got to "test run" a couple of them while Chris made us a coffee  .  .  .


I just love visiting Christines beautiful home & especially at Christmas when she decorates the entire two stories . . .


See what I mean about "mad keen bear collector"

I LoVe this vignette above


The photos I have shown are just a teeny tiny portion of only two rooms ... it is a wondrous sight to behold
You can read more about Christines Christmas House in this post from last year

Miss Pippi does not like it one bit when the sewing machine gets more attention than she does.
Early this week I heard an unusual banging noise & upon investigation, she was under one of my cabinets with 
"a wee (dead) friend"

Truth be told, I think it is Blackie that catches the birds, then leaves them & she brings them inside to play with a little longer & try to pretend it was her hunting skills that caught them originally

As you can imagine there were feathers galore to clean up !!
But as with all naughty children rascals, when you see them sleeping you can quite easily forgive them any naughtiness that may have happened

Bless their little souls.

Thank you for your visit today dear friends, it was so lovely to have you pop by,
I hope the lead up to Christmas is going okay for you all,
Remember to be kind to yourselves & to each other,
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, November 18, 2016

Craft Fairs and Teddy Bears

Friday Greetings dear friends & readers,

The Craft Fair last Saturday was somewhat of a wet & windy affair

I have pinched borrowed this photo from the I-site website & it shows the rather damp conditions.
That is my stall under the blue gazebo where the arrow is pointing.
I only got to snap a couple of pics of my stall & now that I look at them, I see lots of my crafts had blown over



Because I generally only do this one stall per year, I am rather ill-equipped for outdoor markets
I just use The Mr's Moto X gazebo which doesn't have any sides ... I think in hindsight, I would've been better with sides - they would've given me alot more protection from the elements


Though we only had one real wetting shower come through, the wind was constant all day long & lots of things blew over or hit the ground
I must confess .  .  .   it felt like a rather loonng day.
On a positive note, thanks to Sue who came over from Hamilton to say Hi, to Amanda who came all the way from Patetonga to collect an order from me, & also to all the people that stopped by to purchase or to say Hello !!
It is always a great opportunity to catch up with customers both old & new.
Amanda purchased a rustic Angel doll from me & sent me a gorgeous photo of her happily hanging in her beautiful new Home.



My neighbour at the Fair was an old friend Julie ... who is currently running a business with her daughter Bridget called "Bo and Co" ... sewing beautiful girls clothing






You can read a wonderful interview about the girls new venture here at Cupcakes and Bunting
Many thanks must go to Julie for coming to help me so many times when my creations hit the ground !!!
One of my happy memories of the Fair is of an older gentleman leisurely browsing at all my crafts who took the time to tell me "you have a real vintage country look to all your work"
His compliment made my day.

The night before the Fair I managed to hastily put the last stitch in these little fabric trees ... 
a pattern from my Tilda book "Homemade & Happy"
Though I had purchased the rustic pots a year ago, I had never done anything with them
I used up some of my Lynette Anderson fabrics for the trees & the trunks are made using actual tree branches



I did sell the red one & hope to make some more of these - perhaps using some Tilda fabrics

When I completed the black/cream doll for my friend Christine back in this post she asked me if I could please make her two teddy bears in the same black/cream colourways.
The pattern Christine wanted was an old Teddyworks design called Simple Simon.
It had been many years since I had made this pattern up & I must admit I had kinda lost my confidence a little bit along the way .... as you do
Two pair of pants, two bodies/heads & arms & legs ready to be assembled
This pattern is most unusual in that you make a calico body weighted with pellets, then joint the fur head to this.
You then make the arms & legs from fur & these get inserted/stitched into the clothing at the finish.
This makes him a very flexible bear indeed.
I had some string mohair in a pale cream colouring so I decided to use this as felt it would go perfectly with the black/cream colour scheme
Simon And Simone

Although the pattern is basically a boy bear ... I like to make a girly version too ... so for her I added a hair bow & some pretty embellishments to her jacket
The boy version I added a small bow tie





Considering what horrors they were to create ... I felt they turned out rather perfectly ... as did Christine when she collected them yesterday

At the very end of the pattern this is what the designer has written ...
"He looks great sitting amongst a collection of bears ... he is extremely poseable & can sit in positions that most other bears can only dream of ... "




How absolutely right they are !!!

Thank you So Much for your visit today dear friends & readers
Tomorrow its the Weekend !!!

As I am fighting a headcold at the moment I plan hope to do Not too much
With a lemon drizzle cake in the oven & the latest copy of Simply Vintage Magazine ... would you care to join me ???
with much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones
x0x0x0

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Trees ........... & Trunks !!!

Good Tuesday afternoon to you dear friends & readers

I have been plodding along busily making stock for the craft fair this coming Saturday in my local town . . .

I wanted my stall to have a Christmassy theme so made some small Christmas Tree decorations this week


These 10 little prim christmas trees are just a simple triangle of fabric sewn around & stuffed with a cinnamon stick for their trunk.  For some of them I have glued a Star Anise to the top - others I have stitched a rusty bell or heart

This wooden tree had been a display unit in my friend Gail's gift shop ... I rescued it from her rubbish pile & it made the perfect spot to display my tree ornies
I have scented each tree with some cinnamon/clove oil so they smell quite delicious.

I have finally completed the second trunk .  .  .
.  .  . the rusty brown one in the background

Once again, The Mr made me paint it with anti-rust protectant paint after I scrubbed it thoroughly
Then I used some leftover cream wall paint as an "undercoat" to give me a better coverage as I had decided to paint it  ...   Pink !!!

Any painting projects around here are usually done under serious supervision .  .  .  & this was no different
I'm not sure which is the trickiest . . . cleaning the pink paint OFF the cat or picking the ginger hairs OUT of the paint work at the end  ???!!!


I gave it 3 coats in the end .... all using testpots Resene Pale Rose & then once dry, I light scuffed up the edges a little


A hastily thrown-together display on top

I am thrilled with my new/old trunk & an added bonus to this project is that I can now store some blankets & linen inside the trunk as well.




Having been born wild, Blackie has always had a definate preference to be Outside during the day.  
But this past week I have noticed him sneak inside & curl up a the end of my lounge by the French Doors where the afternoon sun streams in . . . amongst my potted baby's tears cuttings


Miss Pippi ??? Well she is no doubt outside supervising the Painter !!!

Last month I received a wee surprise parcel in the post from my lovely friend Leeanne
She had been shopping at the Salvation Army Store (the Salvo's) & thought of me .  .  .

How wonderful !!!  Thank You Leeanne  :-)
I am sure there was some choccie in the parcel too (but the cats must've run off with it !!!!)

Beautiful scented Stocks in my lounge - a gift from Kerry - thank you So Much Kerry, they have only just finished now & I am drying the heads for potpourri

I have been drying citrus fruits in my dehydrator & making up batches of citrus potpourri for my market stall
The house smells delicious . . .

Though I used to have to make it continuously, I have not made any for almost a year now & it is something I sooo enjoy doing . . .

. . . along with collecting up different seed pods & cones from my garden to bulk it all up.
Lets hope the weather is kind to us for Saturday folks as it certainly has NOT been this past week or more !!

Be kind to yourselves & to each other,  & thank you so much for your visits today.
I hope the rest of the week is good to you all.
with much love & friendship,
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x

Friday, October 28, 2016

A stool, a rack, a trunk .......... & worms that pee ...........

Happy Friday dear friends & readers

A couple of weeks ago my friend Jan informed me there was an old wooden stool at the local Op Shop for only $5 !!
I was on my way to babysit Alec so I popped in & purchased it on my journey.
It sat in my car for 2 days before I took it out of the boot & bought it inside.
When I looked at it in front of the fire that evening .......... I wondered what on earth was I thinking ????!!!!!!!
The paint work in my photo looks quite okay .... but in reality it was decidedly tatty, chipped & tired looking.
The seat was hideous & had no padding whatsoever - although it DID have about 500 staples holding it in place !!

I removed the seat cover firstly (yes all 500 of them !!!)
Next I painted the legs cream & then I found a large offcut of foam rubber to add some deep padding to the seat

I covered the seat with some of the gorgeous Sanderson Oilcloth that I was able to buy from
my lovely friend Catherine
The edge of the oilcloth had the manufacturers details on it - rather like fabric does - so I cut these off & affixed them to the base.

Somewhat of an improvement don't you think dear readers ??


While I was painting the stool legs, I also painted this magazine rack which I hauled out of the sleepout
Though I forgot to take a "before photo" it was plain dark wood - rather similar to the one I did in this post

Painting anything slatted can be time consuming & fiddly but I always especially enjoy the embellishing 
part at the end


The Mr arrived home from the farm last month with these 2 old tin trunks on the back of his Ute
I danced around merrily with much excitement & glee .  .  .
The grey one is an old ammunition trunk . . .  it had been used to store gunpowder in.
I did not ask The Mr how he disposed of the gunpowder - but I think I am fairly safe to say he did not toss it in the burning hole !!!!

After a good scrub The Mr made me coat the entire trunk with anti-rust preventative paint ... this part of the revamp was boring, uninspiring & time consuming . . .
Then I gave it 3 coats of my cream wall paint Cottage Cream
After studying the top I decided to paint the cross part in red . . . I used my testpot Resene Persian Red
After 2 coats of this I decided No - too dark/too brownish/ not happy !!
So out came my nearly-dried-up-testpot of Resene Pohutukawa

Much better .  .  . & much more the deep rich red I was visualising


I have not sanded/distressed the edges of the trunk yet ... I am still undecided about this as The Mr thinks I should leave it as it is.
What do you think dear readers ??  Leave as is or sand the edges ??


This tin trunk is going for sale in my Cottage but the largest sized one - yet to tackle - will be going in my lounge.

I am not too sure what I am doing most of the time ... but I must be doing something right with my worm farm because those little worms are pee-ing like crazy !!!
The set up of the worm farm is structured so that everything liquid that comes out of them goes right down to the bottom layer
This reservior has a tap on it so you can access the worm tea/juice which makes the most amazing food for your plants, pots & your vege garden
I had been asked by several customers if I would be selling any of this liquid gold so this week I was able to bottle some up for sale .  .  .
.  .  . as well as using it continually myself on my plants & the garden.

Thank you so much for staying with me through this lengthy ramble
The sun is shining today (for a change) & it is nearly The Weekend !!


I hope it is a wonderful one for you ALL dear friends,
Thank You all for your visits
With much love & friendship
Julie & the furry ones x0x0x0